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Sister Cantaloupe 7/17/17

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hello my people. Hope you know how much I love and adore y'all. I seriously do #vblessed.
The beginning of this week was literally a month long, I swear to you. We tracted our brains out trying to find people to teach. We met some super nice people, but none of them were really interested haha #awkward. We're working on better ways to find people to teach, but sometimes we have to put our big girl pants on and knock doors *insert "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson here. Elder Leland also asked me to train in District Meeting last week and I did a training on Kid President haha I'll tell you about it when I get home "...don't stop believing unless your dream is stupid, then you should get a better dream...".
This weekend was the "Bearpaw Festival" down in town and we got to go and help out there which  was sweeeeeeet. IDK what the reasoning for this "festival" is but...not mad. It’s basically like the Fair but there's like street vendors, picnics, parades, boutiques, baseball games, rodeos, etc. It's freaking awesome #goAK. Our district helped out at the Teddy Bear Picnic and for some reason Sister Johnson and I were picked for the bean bag toss so I spent hours and hours picking up bean bags that kids threw at me #loveit. Then we were crowd control for the parade on Saturday morning and got to wear super fashionable neon orange safety vests and walk up and down the street making sure kids didn't get trampled by parade floats. Side note: the Bearpaw Festival parade put the 4th of July one to some serious shame. They had football teams, Irish dancers, scarf people, rock bands, Jeep crews, and all this cool stuff. I even had a [super kind, generous, loving] lady use a [loud and happy voice] at me for "uneven candy distribution". She packed up her camp chair and peaced. Bye Shakira. Then we worked with the Beach Lake sisters and magically pulled together a free lemonade and cookies stand right outside the entrance to Bearpaw #innovativefinding #imsickoftracting. It actually went super well, we passed out a ton of lemonade and cookies and even gave away like five Book of Mormons #goteam.

We cover both Eagle River Valley and Mt. Baldy right? Yes. So yesterday I guess both Bishop Parks and Bishop De Kay thought it would be funny to both impromptu call me up to share my testimony during sacrament meeting #lolnotfunny #freshblood #iactuallydontthinktheyplannedthatbuthey. It was good though. I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase "lift where you stand" and how Heavenly Father does not expect us to be perfect all at once. He loves us and wants us to progress and sometimes (usually) that doesn’t happen over night. But day by day as we lift where we stand, lift those around us, and do the best we can to exude love and inspire greatness in others; that is where we grow - just a spiritual little Sister Dunlop moment for you today xoxo. The people in the wards have started calling me "Sister Cantaloupe" because apparentally my name is the hardest thing ever and so I say "Sister Dunlop, like cantaloupe”. And then it sticks #whateverfloatsyourboat.

Sorry for the lamest selection of photos this week. I don't have Sis. Fa'anunu to take selfies with every day any more #rip. Also, THE JEPSENS (the family that has a big piece of my heart up in FBX) WERE BAPTIZED LAST WEEKEND πŸ’•πŸ’”☺️πŸ™ƒπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸŽ‰πŸ‘ŠπŸΌ. That makes my heart so happy, I adore them. Have a super sparkly week!

XOXO Sis. Dunlop (or Cantaloupe)




The Land of the Free & The Home of the Sun

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hey peeps! Sister Johnson has been working my behind off this week, which is good. But some PDays feel more blessed than others☺️πŸ™ƒ. Maybe being 20 is why I feel so old and tired now #grandma (PS thank you shoutout for all the birthday love yesterday ❤️ I feel so blessed with all you people). The weird thing about being a missionary on your birthday is that it just feels like any other normal missionary day.

Bear sightings report: only one this week. He's this scrawny little dude hanging out in our neighborhood we saw on Monday night. Haven't seen him since so hopefully he's not our dinner tonight #bearmeatisnasty.

I can't remember if I told you this already or not, but we cover both the Eagle River Valley and Mt. Baldy wards. Our areas together are HUGE. The only other sisters' area in this mission that covers two places is Oceanview and the Bush Branch...and I've served there too haha. So anyways, we have a lot of work cut out for us and our teaching pool is looking pretty slim so we've been knocking a hecka ton of doors. Not really the most productive use of time, but we are working on finding balance. Also, Sister Johnson is going home at the end of this transfer on August 10th so she's on a "go big and go home" streak. It's a little cray but whatever. We've been working to ignite the member missionary work in the wards so
we've been revamping the ward mission plans and sharing Missionary Bingo with families, teaching them the lessons, taking them on Chapel Tours, giving them Book of Mormons to give to people, etc. #ignitethemissionaryfire.

How was the 4th? THE SUN BEING UP ALL OF THE TIME IS LAME. But it was an excuse for me to get Sister Johnson to wear her America sunglasses, I forced her to buy, all day with me. She hasn't worn them since and probably won't but I wear them every day #noshame #letfreedomring. There were no fireworks (...sunlight...) and the parade in Chugiak wasn't even .02% as awesome as the one at home. It was just tractors and police cars throwing Smarties. No one even likes
those. But we had dinner with one of my favorite families and ate salmon and halibut that they had caught that morning #soblessed #iamnowafishsnob. Also, the 4th was an excuse for me to wear an

outrageous outfit that only goes together on Independence Day #notmad.

I finally got to meet our new mission president, President Toone, this week! He is so FANTASTIC! We had Chugach zone conference with him and Sister Toone on Friday and it was super awesome. He was a seminary and institute teacher and so we all had a little call to repentance about not remembering all the scripture masteries #oops. He's fab and I'm pumped. 

So yep, there's a billion and one things from Sister Dunlop this week. I hope life is happy and sunny. 
XOXO Sis. Dunlop

I'm Still Alive But I'm BEARly Breathin' - Eagle River, AK

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hi people! In all honesty, I feel like I am running around with my head chopped off. It's a good time but this week has been insane. Leaving Fairbanks was the most bittersweet thing ever on Wednesday morning and I teared up a little bit walking through security at the airport (that was also the first time I had been alone in like ten months so that was probably part of it too). It was so weird to say goodbye to the people who have made such a big influence in my life and people who I have come to love so dearly over these past few months and not really knowing if I would ever see them again #mishlife. Anyways, somehow I got all my stuff crammed into suitcases under 50 lbs and climbed on a plane with Elder Herrick, Laursen, Leland, and Olson headed to Anchorage. Sister Pike and Kimball picked me up and then we headed up to Chugach to transfer swap all the sisters around. It was so happy to see all those people I haven't seen in a billion and a half years. Sister Johnson (my new comp) and I were wearing the same skirt when she came and picked me up so #compunity. We drove up to Eagle River (so pretty, but honestly anything is prettier than Fairbanks...) and sorted my life out before we went to work. It's going to be a bomb diggity transfer kids. And Sister Johnson is going home at the end of it so #gobigthengohome.

Oh, and we had a black bear run across the street in front of us the other day on our morning walk #yayAK. ERV is like crawling with bears right now so that's make tracting really exciting. Hopefully we don't die. And tomorrow is the greatest day of the year and all you Lower 48ers down there better love and enjoy it for me because fireworks don't really work when the sun is up forever. Send me pics. Also, I turn twenty in a hot sec here so if that's not crazy, idk what is. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! ❤️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Hopefully I will be able to figure out these areas this week and be less of a mess so I can have some good stuff to tell you about next week. 
Love you all.

XOXO Sis. Dunlop

 

June 26, 2017 - Fairbanks, AK

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hey peeps! I just feel like I need to start out by sharing how immensely and unreasonably blessed I feel. God is SO GOOD you guys. Also, I'm getting transferred. Crazy, I know! I think President remembered me and the fact that I've been up here for time and all eternity. Not mad though; learned a lot, loved a lot, cried a lot, prayed a lot, grew a lot. You know how in Cars, Lightning McQueen hates Radiator Springs with all his heart and soul and then when he finally has to leave with Mack it's like the saddest most bittersweet thing ever? Same. That's how I feel about this last transfer. I super duper did not want to stay here another six weeks-and laid on the FHC floor crying for like ten minutes after transfer calls from President #anotherstoryiwillonedaytellyouabout - but now I feel so grateful to have been able to take part in all of these adventures, moments, and miracles. What have I learned? God's timetable is different than mine. But I am learning to trust Him and am grateful to look back on these last few (or like seven) months and see His hands in all things #BLESSONS. But anyways, I am flying down to Eagle River on Wednesday morning to serve in the Eagle River & Mt. Baldy wards down there with Sister Johnson. I am super excited! There are mountains there!

Okay so this week...crazy. Remember how last week I told you about this cute girl, Haley, that I met on Sunday and was on date to be baptized on Saturday? Yeah well by some magic miracle of amazingness (or Heavenly Father, let's be real here) she was baptized Saturday morning. Not to pick favorites, but her baptism was definitely one of my very favorites. It was basically all run by the youth of the stake and the Spirit there was so thick you could cut it like a piece of cake. Haley is a go getter with the sweetest and kindest spirit. We finished her last lesson with her and she passed her baptismal interview [with flying colors of course] on Friday. I know, it's supposed to happen a week before her baptism and not the day before but #hotmess #runningaroundwithmyheadcutoff #idontevenknowHaleyshewasjusthandedtome #butiloveandadoreher. Another awesome part of this story: the zonies started filling the font for us on Saturday morning and then we came a few hours later to trade off and finish filling it and setting up chairs. So we get there and the zonies are like, um we have no idea what's wrong but the water is like forty degrees (lololol) and someone said they would come and take a look at it but the water is freezing cold. Oh no. So this guy comes and does some mechanic inspection observation thing and finds out that the boiler is out of fuel oil-or whatever it is that makes it so hot water comes out-and that the soonest it can be fixed is Monday. Oh no. We started filling pots of boiling water in the kitchen and running them back and forth and dumping them in the font but eventually we just gave up because it wasn't really doing anything. Sorry Haley! She's a trooper though. Then her confirmation yesterday was the sweetest thing and everything was just so GOOD you guys! Fairbanks, despite it's roller coaster of weather, emotions, and events, has just been so GOOD. There's a joke in the mission that "Fairbanks will either break you or make you" and I feel like it's done both. Life is good kids. Go be great.

XOXO Sister Dunlop, Queen of Fairbanks

A LIST OF THINGS FAIRBANKS, AK HAS TAUGHT ME:

A list of things Fairbanks, AK has taught me:
The gospel makes good people great. 
Do not fear repentance. 
Patience
"You are sent here to prepare this land for a temple"
Learn how to show the Lord that He can trust you.
Some Tongan words (like three)
Matching the missionary message. 
God never gives up on you, don't give up on Him.
"We can't afford for you not to serve as the best missionary you can be"
Fairbanks is a really cold place, but the people here have hearts of gold. 
Obedience+faith+skills=effective missionaries
"Stay prayed up"
Even though I'm imperfect, the Lord uses me to do His work.
He doesn't call the qualified, but qualifies the called #refinersfire
"Heavenly Father knows you by name and He sent YOU to Alaska because it’s where He needs you and where you need to be"
Pride buzzes a noise within us that makes it impossibly hard for us to listen to the still, small voice.
Tracting builds character. 
"Come, Come Ye Saints"
Anything worth having isn't just handed to me, I have to work for it. Work really hard for it. 
Kindness
Life goes on.
A year changes things.
"I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today; there's a whole lot of LIVING in what I just said..."
You just have to be as good as you can be, and the Lord will magnify you and your talents. 
The Lord has sent me here to be His eyes, His heart, His voice, and His hands. 
Alma 34:32
The Lord works on us from the inside, out. 
"In my case, a lot of the answers are in the rear view mirror"
The Lord never fails to provide.
Go out and be grand. 
Declare His gospel with confidence. 
It's about the eternities. 
"God doesn't want us to be humiliated, He wants us to be humble"
Choices and consequences. 
Faith is from God, fear is from Satan. 
Charity
The Lord never asks us to do anything without providing a way to do it.
1 Nephi 3:7
This place has played such a great part of my Refiner's Fire. 
Go about doing good. 
God knew the Restoration would be a hard pill for some people to swallow, so He brought forth the Book of Mormon.
"Smells like the Word of Wisdom"
Trials are evidence of God's love for us. 
There are angels around me. 
Gas station proselyting 
"Repenting is not a backup plan, it is the plan"
God prepares people's hearts for the message of the gospel. 
It will all work out. 
Yellow
We're all just trying to be a little bit of amazing
The Lord would never take you this far, just to leave you to crumble
"Don't turn the page until you've learned something"
The power of a ward family. 
God is in charge. 
Deepest heartbreaks+happiest joys
Pink drinks
I will go and do...even if I don't want to
The Lord's timeline is different than our own, be patient. 
"Every step I took towards the light, the brighter it grew"
The Theory of Distance Traveled
There's a place where the sun doesn't set.
"This is the true and LIVING Church"
Proverbs 4:26
Mercy
"The Coffee-table Book of Excuses of Why I Can't Come To Church Today"
God gives me my people because He loves me.
God knows me.
God cares about me.
The Book of the Mormon
Preach My Gospel is divinely inspired.
"Every child that God sends into the world, He intends for them to succeed"
The gospel makes me my best self.
I can do hard things because I am His.
Don't count anyone out.
God sends me my people.

There's definitely more, and stories behind all of this, I'll just tell you all about it when I'm home.

XOXO the Queen of Fairbanks

June 19, 2017 - Fairbanks, AK

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hello people. This is going to be a short one because I'm lame but here's what happened this week:
someone the 6th Ward/YSA Branch elders have been teaching (that's another story) got baptized in a muddy river in the pouring rain #truealaskan, we did a ton of service helping our beloved Sister Stowman finish up decorating her apartments, we crashed another wedding, we had a throw down (but awesome) Plan of Salvation lesson with one of our investigators who is being silly and will not progress, we packed and moved another family #partofmissionaryjobdescriptionnow, we randomly were handed this cute girl to teach that's getting baptized on Saturday #staytuned, we get transfer calls Thursday night, we had our last Sisters' Meeting with President and Sister Robinson this week that we PVCed into, and we tried to be good missionaries for the Midnight Sun Run this week so we drew the Plan of Salvation on the street but then realized it was 9:30pm (missionary curfew, which is really hard to remember when the sun is up all the dang time around here) and so we had to go home and just leave it out there...no idea what happened next. Go Fairbanks. The longest day of the year is Wednesday and someone was saying that we are going to have like 22 hours or something of daylight here which is really confusing to me because I haven't seen the sun rise or set in like three months and it just goes around and around in the sky. Whatever Alaska.
Love all your faces.
XOXO Sis. Dunlop

Sister Martinez and Sister Dunlop at the North Pole
10 MONTHS!

June 12, 2017 - Fairbanks, AK

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hey peeps. Here's a mess of what happened this week:
I'm melting. It is a billion degrees up here and Alaska doesn’t believe in AC-because it's cold and snowy forever and ever up here-so that makes it so much worse. Our car said it was 96 degrees at one point #sos. The other day members were joking about how the worst times to be in Fairbanks are January (because it's so cold) and June (because it's so hot)...LOLZIES FOR SIS. DUNLOP SHE'S STILL HERE. Whatever #iamqueenfairbanks.

Service moments from the week: We helped out at the Food Bank and this week they had our whole district come and pull the sprouts off of 10,000 lbs. of potatoes. It was nasty, I don't think I can eat potatoes for a while. TBH not as bad as other FBX service experiences though. We helped our old [bomb diggity, super stellar, awesome, fantastic] Ward Mission Leader clean out their old house on Base and move into their new house in 1st Ward's area #cry. It wasn't that bad, just some vacuuming and mopping under the fridge. Then they took us all out to Charley's for sandwiches and lemonade #blessingsonblessings.

Our poor Fran the Jeep has just been taking a beating. Remember how she like froze and died in February? Well, the other day Sister F. and I were at the hospital visiting a less active (we call her Shakira, she's a little crazy but we love her, and she's moving to Wasilla) and when we came out, there was a huge dent in the driver side door because some homie drives like a stoopidhead. Anyways, it was a hit and run so that was super sparkly and fantastic. I super enjoy the giant white streak from the homie's car that doesn't come off as well. Also, there's a huge crack in our windshield from where our TIWI is and so we're just waiting for everything to come falling in on us. Fran has turned Ghetto McGhetto. And some ravens had a poop party on our car but it’s raining today so hopefully that will all wash off too. Love life.

People we're working with: Sister Paula Hess is doing good. We had our first new member lesson with her out on the back porch and talked about the importance of going to church, reading the scriptures, and saying prayers and how those little things build up our testimony and make a difference in our lives "...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass...". We went on a walk with a less active this week and she told us that she wanted to go on a picnic so she made us this drink-IDK what it was, can't tell you more than it was brown and pulpy with hecka dog hair-and some "salad" that was just every bean in the world with some water and onions. Thought. We. Were. Going. To. Die. LUCKILY Heavenly Father loves us and she forgot paper plates so she told us to take the salad home with us and eat it #lol #no #garbage #sosorry. And then she forgot her phone over by the bike racks and so she went back over to get it (which took a blessed ten minutes) and we dumped out our cups of mysterious brown sketch liquid while she was gone because you couldn't have paid me enough to drink that stuff. Missionaries are protected.

President Russell M. Nelson flew up to Anchorage this week and spoke to the missionaries. The missionaries in S. Anchorage, N. Anchorage, Soldotna, Palmer, Wasilla, and Chugach got to go and see him in person (#pb&jelly) while the rest of us watched it through PVC that didn’t work for the first hourish but we got to hear the end of his wife’s talk and then his so that was good. They talked about the scriptures being answer books and how we can pray to have the eyes of understanding and how that will help with our questions to be answered. They talked about the power of the calling of a missionary and how there are those on the other side of the veil there with us. I've felt that a lot on my mission. That I'm not alone but that those who I knew and loved on this side are with me, even though they are on the other side. I'm grateful for that and I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who gave us the Plan of Salvation and makes it so that death is not the end.

Okay, this email is getting too long. One last thing: Dunlop Palooza started this week! What is Dunlop Palooza? Well, it's the month long celebration [June 9-July 9] leading up to my birthday. We kicked off the event with a smash cake and box brownies. I freaking love my Fairbanks family.

XOXO Sis. Dunlop


 
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