Christmas Day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

We got to talk to Caitie for about an hour on Christmas Day! It was SO good to hear and see her.
She is very happy and loves Alaska💕

Short and Sweet

This is going to be short and sweet #sorry but I gave my fambam the Alaskan lowdown yesterday, so if you want to know more stuff…ask them☺️

This week was good. All our peeps (Micah, Christian, Ray, Darryl, etc.) are good. The sun stays up for a little longer now, so that’s good. Christmas as a missionary is freaking dope. For our Secret Santa gift exchange in our district, I got a mini drone so that rocks my socks. I saw two moose this week. Someone had a seizure during our dinner appointment on Christmas Eve, but it's Gucci, they're ok. I didn't trip down any more stairs. I tried to make a snow angel in the snow but forgot it was freezing outside so it was just icy. It was Christmas. I see bald eagles everyday #america. I think that's it.
I love y'all! Chat with ya next year (haha I'm funny)!
Love, love, love, love,

Sista Dunlop💕

Mountains, Stairs, Zone Conference, and Pizza

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hi. First of all, the hike we went on last week was AMAZING! It was -11 when we left the parking lot and our hair turned white with frost on the way up, but it was SO worth it. From the top, you could see the entire Palmer valley, Pioneer Peak, Matanuska, Lazy Mountain, and out to the Knik glaciers. Alaska is so dope. Also, it warmed up enough to snow this week so that rocked. It made it look more like Christmas (but yesterday all the wind blew the snow from away from Palmer over to Wasilla so that was a little sad #prayforsnow) up here. Yayayayay! Tender mercy of the week: AK mountains are pretty and all, but they're not the same as WY mountains so during studies this week, I found a talk about the TETONS that's super duper awesome so here ya go, read away people: Spiritual Mountaintops

Casualty of the week: I fell down the stairs in our apartment. Not just some of the stairs, like all of them. It was a full on wipeout. Some of the stair ledges have broken off and so now there's exposed nail heads sticking up and our socks always get caught on them when we go up and down the stairs. It's deadly. We asked Bishop Beames if we could borrow some wood glue or something to fix it but his wife had a baby this week and he never got around to it. Awk. So anyways, I was going downstairs to put my shoes on and my sock snagged on the top stair nail and then I died. Then we spent the next ten minutes laughing/crying about the whole thing before calling the Mayhue's (the AAM housing coordinators) and asking them to mail us some wood glue. 

We had the Palmer Zone Conference on Thursday and spent all day inspiring the heck out of each other. I freaking ADORE missionary trainings and meetings. They're so long but whatever, they're worth it. President Robinson talked about being a light to the world and being an instrument of the Spirit how we (as missionaries) are here to power people's lives with the gospel. It was super cool. Then the APs did a training about the importance of companions and did a "newly-wed questionnaire" game show kind of thing that Elder Bird and Elder Jensen and I had joked doing about last transfer haha #awkward. But it was awesome. 

Sad story: Nick dropped us this week. He had been sick for a little while and so we haven't been able to see him but when we dropped by this week, he told us that he didn't want to keep progressing in the gospel and that he felt he was in a place to put his testimony on hold for a little while. It was way sad but I know he'll come back soon. He told us that he would keep praying, reading the Book of Mormon, and coming to church though so that's awesome!

It was an awesome week for Micah! We took him on a tour of the chapel, which is a new thing the church missionary headquarters are pushing for missionaries to do and some really cool miracles and experience have come from it, and he really liked it. When we showed him where the baptismal font is (the one here in the Palmer chapel is bright blue haha #ghettobutawesome), we invited him to commit to baptism and he was so excited so now MICAH IS ONE DATE TO BE BAPTIZED JANUARY 1 2017 #newyearnewMicah!! I'm so excited. We also had a cool miracle this week with him where we were at his motel room (so many people live in motel rooms in AK...wut) and as we were finishing up to go to our next appointment, there was a knock on the door. Micah answered it and it the less active member that we were supposed to go and meet with next! It turns out that he is next door neighbors with Micah and had seen us knock on Micah's door! He invited all of us to go out to pizza with him (praise Alaskan pizza, it's so good but I don't know why) across the street and the whole dinner he was talking to Micah and cheering him on and was so excited that Micah was getting baptized and shared his testimony of the gospel with him and all this cool stuff while Sister Christian, Sister Mataele, and I just sat back and ate pizza and watched. Blessings. Heavenly Father works in amazing ways! Then we shared the #LightTheWorld initiative with the pizza restaurant's manager and he loved it! Miracles everywhere!

On Saturday, we celebrated my four month click day by going to Taco Bell. I've never eaten so much Taco Bell in my life until I became companions with Sister Christian haha she loves it. Every Saturday night in December, our district has gone caroling in the snowy cold and this week a bunch of random people let us come IN their houses to carol (usually we all just cram on their doorstep, sing, give them a pass along card and talk about the #LightTheWorld initiative, and peace out) and had us taste test a bunch of sketchy Christmas cookies, pretzels, and chocolate somethings. Sometimes I feel like people think missionaries' bodies are just garbage disposals haha. 

So that's about it this week.
Here's a TON of photos.
Merry Christmas!
Go forth and be awesome. 

Love, Sister Dunlop💕

This mountain is called "Three Sisters"

Palmer Zone Conference: Lazy Mountain, Colony, Matanuska, Valdez, Fishhook, Palmer, Cottonwood, Pioneer Peak, President & Sister Robinson, President & Sister LaVoie, and the APs

It's Windy

Monday, December 12, 2016

I don't really feel like writing a super long email (probably because we're going to go hike mountains in a second and I'm freaking PUMPED) so here's a short one: People say that Fairbanks is the worst place to be in the winter but Alaskans say it's Palmer. Why? Because in addition to it being below zero just about all day and every day, there's insane wind (20-30 mph) that hurt so bad. It makes my bone marrow hurt. It was so windy one night this week that the wind blew all of the boards from our balcony off (it's a sketchy balcony to begin with) and then another we saw birds that couldn't even fly straight because it was so windy. Yayyyyyyyy.

We had two different referrals pass off lessons this week (one from the elders in Fish Hook and the other from the Palmer elders) and have been going and finding a lot of less actives and teaching them. Sister Christian has only been in the area for one transfer and Sister Mataele and I just got here, so we are all trying to figure out the area's a good time. One of the referrals is a guy named Micah who is GOLDEN. He went to church with his friend last week and has decided that he wants to turn his life around and be a better dad for his family. He basically asked us to let him be baptized and so once he overcomes some Word of Wisdom issues, he's good to go! He wants to be baptized on Christmas so that would be the coolest Christmas present ever (besides FaceTime with my fam (tbh stoked). It's been so cool to see how the gospel makes good people become great and how Heavenly Father brings people to the gospel. 
It was also the Colony Christmas celebration in Palmer this weekend (there was a parade, fireworks, and subzero temps. Nothing stops Alaskans) and our Stake celebrated by setting up this gigantic nativity display throughout the church building that was free and open to the public. All of the rooms had different themes and they have live performances and all this cool stuff.
I love you all! Stay warm down there. 
Love, Sister Dunlop the Eskimo💕

Lazy Mountain

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hello from Lazy Mountain! It was a balmy -10 when we started our car this morning and it's only been above zero a few times this week. Yay! Lazy Mountain is super duper pretty though so that makes up for it being so gosh dang cold all the time. Last Monday was insane with us running people all over the place in Anchorage and then leaving Oceanview and going on exchanges in Beach Lake with Sister Richards. Late Wednesday night, we crammed (literally) four sister missionaries and all their stuff (which was a lot) into a truck and drove up to Wasilla, about an hour away. There we met with our new companion(s), unloaded our stuff from one car to another, and then drove for almost an hour to get to our house in Lazy Mountain. It's ON Lazy Mountain. We live with our bishop, Bishop Beams, and his family above their garage in this barn/loft one room party thing. It's tiny and so cute but there's not a lot of water and so Bishop has to go into town and get water for the well every few days. It's a party. I'm a bad missionary and don't have photos of it for you but eventually I promise to get you some. Sorry. Also, this email is pretty short. Sorry again. 

I've only been here for a few days but Sister Christian has introduced Sister Mataele and I to some of our investigators and people from the Ward. We are teaching this guy, Nick, who is native and told us stories of when he was in a group that traveled around Alaska and played the drums. Super dope. He told Sister Christian a few weeks ago that he would be baptized as soon as he felt "no resistance like the wind was to his back" about the gospel. And then on Thursday, that was exactly what he told us. That he knew the gospel has been restored and that the Book of Mormon is true and that the "wind was to his back", but he still didn't seem to want to get baptized yet. He's a ripe tomato that won't get off the vine. Good times. Side note: the Heckels are getting baptized on Wednesday! I'm so, so, so excited for them but it makes me so sad that I won't be there for it because now I'm up here in Palmer and Anchorage is a zillion miles away, but I'll be there in spirit! I LOVE THEM! Also, Arthur is getting baptized soon and I won't be in Anchorage for that either, so that's sad but whatevs. 

Anyways, that's all really. We are just having a trio party up here in Lazy Mountain. It's so good. Here's some photos to make up for this shortie email. I love y'all!
Love, Sister Dunlop

Thanksgiving Transfer Calls

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hey fam! A ton of stuff happened this week and I'm going to try and cram it all in here really quick because writing it all out takes a million years. First of all, with this week being transfers, I'll just start by saying that YES, I'm getting transferred. And I'm pumped about my transfer call. I'll be going up to LAZY MOUNTAIN in PALMER to be in a TRIO with SISTER CHRISTIAN who was trained by Sister McGee-like me) and SISTER MATELLE (who was trained by Sister Ewing-also, like me) and I'm so stoked! In the wise words of Elder Bird, "it's always a good time to be in Palmer". Saweeet!

Last Monday, our zone was able to go and help with a super cool service project called "Thanksgiving Baskets" that was organized by a different Christian church but we were able to jump in and help out, which was so awesome. Organizations had teamed up and freely donated turkeys, potatoes, stuffing, apples, and all that other Thanksgivingness then people came and showed proof of residency or something like that, received a number, waited in line, were called up and shared how many people were in their family, then we helped them through the lines for food, loaded it all up in their cars, and they drove away. It was flawless. We helped feed over 2500 people for Thanksgiving! Serve, serve, serve. Then we all went to Taco Bell bc we were starving. 

Tuesday morning we dropped Sister Ewing off at the airport for her 48 hour trip to Juneau for exchanges and then the Huffman Tria was born! SO BLESSED! We had our last district meeting (sad day bc the Turnigan Arm district rocks) and then we celebrated my lifeaversary (the one year mark since my Tincup Canyon car accident) with sodas from the Holiday gas station and making cute Thanksgiving cards to ding dong ditch the Huffman and Oceanview member with. I could be in our Huffman Tria for the rest of my life. It was SO good. We also finished the 12 Week Missionary Training program which means I'm finally a real missionary! Yayayayay! Praises. 

For Thanksgiving, we went over to the Barbachano's house and had Huffman tag along with us because no one in their Ward invited them over (sad). But let's be honest, it wouldn't be a thanksgiving party without them. That night, President Robinson was going to be calling all the sister missionaries about transfers and so we decided to go to our next door neighbors, Elder and Sister Mayhue, for our calls because they had never heard a transfer call before. It was so funny to watch their faces as they heard President say, "Sister Dunlop, the Lord wants you to be transferred into a trio with Sister Christian and Sister Matelle in the Lazy Mountain area,". Haha I was dying. I adore them. 

Friday morning, Sister Robinson (our mission president's wife) invited all the sisters serving in Anchorage to come to the mission home for lunch and help her decorate for Christmas! We set up like a zillion nativities, Christmas lights and wreaths, and then the [fake] Christmas tree. The APs stopped by to grab something from Sister Robinson, but I don't think that they knew #1 we would all be there and #2 that they hadn't been invited to decorate too. I think they were a little salty about it too #sistermissionaryperks. 

We took our district out to "dinner" at the Yogurt Lounge on Saturday night because none of us had had people sign up for dinner and a member in Oceanview had given us $50 for food so we spent it on froyo. Not mad. My last Sunday here was celebrated by having to give the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting in the Bush Branch and then being asked to speak in Oceanview's Sacrament Meeting too. 
Big things, I know. 

Today is a mad scramble of finishing packing, dropping missionaries V, W, and X off and then picking up at Y and Z whatever time, cleaning, our district volleyball tournament, and all this other busy stuff. Tomorrow morning is the start of my transfer journey up to Palmer and I won't get to my new area until Wednesday night #alaskanmissionaryproblems because of some insane logistic travel plans. 
It's going to be chilly, but what else is new? I'm so excited!
I love you all💕☃️
Love, Sister Dunlop the Eskimo

Here's an insane & conglomerate mess of photos from this week:

It's warmer in my freezer

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I had this super sad (but awesome, because Alaska rocks) moment this week where I realized it was warmer in our freezer than it was outside...killer. We were knocking doors in 12 degrees on Saturday (yay for human popsicle life) but at least the sun finally rose around noon so it warmed up a little bit (to like 18) haha. I love AK. This email isn't going to be very long, but I promise to make up for it with lots of photos because let's be honest here, some of you only look at the photos. Don't worry, that was me too. 

It was a pretty good week up north. On Tuesday, we were able to go to the Anchorage temple with our zone and it was so awesome. I love the Alaska temple! Alaska and Wyoming now have the same number of temples (one, haha) so that's really cool. The Heckels weren't feeling too well on Wednesday so Sister Ewing whipped out these hidden chef talents she has and made them chicken noodle soup! She even handmade the noodles! I was so impressed and just watched her work her soup magic the whole time. We left a giant vat (@amillz) of the soup on their porch and  tried to ding dong ditch their house. I slipped under the car while we were running back, but I don't think anyone saw me haha. Slipping is a daily struggle for Sister Dunlop. I had my last trainer & trainee meeting on Thursday which was super happy because those meetings sometimes feel like forever and a day long. I also turned 3 months old that day, along with the other four sisters (Richards, Cox, Lake, and Jewel) that came out with me. Yay! There is a lady in the Oceanview Ward who owns a floral company and we texted her Thursday night to see if we could come by and get some flowers from her to take over to Sister Heckel the next day (because it's the anniversary of when her mom passed away). She called us back and invited us over to her house to help her do a huge Christmas floral arrangement thing in honor of Sister Heckel's mom #tendermercies. Friday & Saturday were exchanges with the Jewel Lake sisters and Sister Neild came to Oceanview with me and Sister Ewing went with Sister Jimenez to Jewel Lake (which was the area she was trained in!). Sister Neild and I were at the church building doing some Bush Branch calls and this lady had been in the gym setting up for a party later that night, and we get to talking to her and she tells us how she was the first sister missionary in Alaska. SHE IS LEGEND! So, so, so cool. She told us about how she and her companion opened up Ketchikan and then now here we are with almost 30 sister missionaries scattered over Alaska. 

This next week is insane. Today we only have half a PDay because our zone is going to help with a giant Thanksgiving service project for Anchorage and then Sister Ewing is getting dropped off at the airport at 6am tomorrow morning to go and do exchanges in Juneau (little salty I'm not going, but hopefully I'll get to Juneau eventually) for two days and so that means I get to TRIO WITH HUFFMAN FOR TWO DAYS! So stoked. We have a partial PDay on Wednesday, I'm not really sure why that is, but I'm not complaining. Thursday is thanksgiving (duh) and we have dinner at the Barbachano's and then we are just going to house hop for leftovers and whatever for the rest of the day until we get transfer calls that night *anyone who guesses my transfer call correctly gets fireweed honey or something* and I honestly have no idea what's going to happen. I could stay here, but then I will have been in this area for almost 5 months by the time next transfer rolls around, or I could get shipped off to Fairbanks or Eagle River or something like that. And then Saturday is the 100th day of my mission- they grow up so fast. 

Also, I know this isn't really AAM related but, tomorrow (11/22/16) is the one year anniversary of my Tincup Canyon car accident. I think about that day all the time and have never ever questioned for a moment that Heavenly Father was watching over me as my car crashed into that icy river. Even though I was the only one in my car, I know I was not alone. And I know that we are never alone. My car accident is such a strong testament to me that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that He has a plan for us, and that He is always watching over us. I don't know why things turned out the way they did, but I know they could've (and logically should've) turned out much worse. I'm grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, seatbelts, Lifeproof phone cases, the human body's "fight or flight" nervous system/adrenaline rush, the random strangers that picked my dripping wet and freezing cold self up, and so many other little puzzle pieces like that. I know guardian angels are real and I know that they were there that day to pull me out of my car. So remember that you're never ever alone and that you have a Heavenly Father who knows you and loves you and that He has a plan for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Sister Dunlop

Photos from our PDay hike last week (AK=😍)
Anchorage Zone at the Anchorage temple
Baby trainees turned 3 months old & graduated trainer and trainee meetings
Freezing our faces off (what else is new)
Just a little reminder about guardian angels💕

Soldotna, French Toast Friday, and Wild Game Dinner

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hi doods. So I decided not to voice record my email this week because I feel like I left a zillion and a half things out last week that I wanted to tell y'all about but I can still send some if you want. Whatevs works. You tell me. Also, the stream of emails I get from everyone on Sunday night makes my heart so happy, so thank you💕

Hopefully you're all staying warm down there because at one point this week I was knocking doors in single digit weather. Happy November in Alaska. PS: I know that I make all these sassy remarks about Alaska being ridiculously cold all the time but I still love it anyways #manyarecalledbutfewarefrozen. 

We had exchanges down in Soldotna this week and I got to go and be down there with Sister Williams for a day (blessings on blessings). Soldotna is dope! I actually got out of Anchorage for the first time in forever (#quotesFrozeninweeklyemailandnoshame)! Sister Williams showed me around all over Soldotna; the pretty part (all the glacier melt rivers and lakes that are crystal blue and the super dense forests) and the sketch part (we saw a house that had 9-12 old cars in their front yard and the back of the house was smoking (it had been on fire for a couple of days haha), a guy riding his snow bike with a laundry machine tied on the back, a mannequin riding a stuffed moose (not like a stuffed animal moose, like a moose that was once alive but was shot and now is stuffed kind of animal), and all this other random stuff. Then I met one of their new converts who is an Alaskan native and he's super nice. He is going to baptize his daughter in a few weeks too so that's pretty cool. It's a little more than a three hour drive from Anchorage to Soldotna so we met back up at a sketchy cabin motel spot near Hope to exchange back on Thursday. Our drive back to Anchorage was super duper sketchy. It was snowing, hailing, and raining (at the same time) and then under the thick layer of slush on the roads was ice. Want to talk about some PTSD from my Tin Cup car accident?! Yep. Thanks Alaska roads. Once we got to Girdwood, the roads cleared up a little more and so Sister Ewing and I pulled over for a quick sanity check/Dunlop needed to get out of the car and breathe moment. We somehow made it back to Anchorage in one piece #missionariesareprotected.

When I was at home, Mama Laura celebrated "Cookie Friday" every Friday. It was the best! But now I don't have Cookie Friday up here and so I decided to start French Toast Friday because we somehow ended up with a ton of the extra bread from the Mission Office. It's a new holiday (in addition to the pre-established every Friday holiday known as, "Flannel Friday"). It's awesome. I smashed up Cinnamon Toast Crunch and then put it on top of our French Toast before we baked it in the was amazing!! Trademark that. We also tried it with crushed up Captain Crunch, and it was good but not AS good. I don't even need Pinterest...JK, I miss it everyday. Everyone is invited to join in our happy French Toast Friday celebration if they wish. 

On Saturday, after morning district tract in Brayton (where it was raining ice, not snow or raindrops, ice. Go Alaska) our district went to lunch at Sam's Club (yay greasy and cheap pizza). Then Sister Ewing and I went over to the Heckel's house to help them prep and cook for the Wild Game Dinner later that night. The Wild Game Dinner is an annual activity that the Oceanview Ward hosts at the end of autumn where members cook up all their extra random game meat from their summer hunts and then we all eat it. It's way sketch haha. There's bear, elk, caribou, moose, reindeer, halibut, salmon, frog, wild boar, turkey, pig (not ham, it's "pig"), and a bunch of other stuff. We made caribou kebabs with Brother and Sister Heckel which turned into a real life episode of "Chopped" because they realized they were missing a bunch of ingredients so Sister Heckel made some crazy substitute concoction that worked out somehow. Cool. PS: I don't remember if I told y'all this last week, but the Heckels were on date to be baptized, then they weren't, then they were, and now they are (long story- I'll tell you when I get home) and so they are scheduled to all be baptized on December 7th! What's really cool about this date is that it's the nine year anniversary mark of Sister Heckel's convert baptism. Cool, huh? And what's bonus cool about it is that Brother Heckel is working on getting the Priesthood so he can baptize them. Booyah! 

The Wild Game Dinner was so...Alaskan. I don't know how else to explain it. It was kind of a mad house with random meats and desserts and whatever all over the place but that's about how all Mormon Ward activities go really. There wasn't any muktuk there so that was a bummer (I promised myself I wouldn't leave Alaska without trying it) but they did have just about everything else. Moose, caribou, and reindeer aren't all that bad but I haven't decided how I feel about eating bear yet. It just smells really weird. And it's a bear, like I'm eating a weird. Also, I met Mont Mahoni there. He's a Third Nephite from Big Lake. And he was wearing a Utah State hoodie, so he's definitely a righteous one (#goaggies). You'll have to ask Elder Bird for all the sources, stories, and evidence of all of Mont Manhoi but basically he's real and I met him at Wild Game Dinner. If I was a Third Nephite, I would hide out in Alaska too :)

Sunday was the Primary Program for both the Bush Branch and the Oceanview Ward. It's pretty much the greatest Sacrament Meeting all year. The Bush Branch program was so cute because there's only like four Bush families with primary age kids in them and so each of the kids had a mini talk on something and then the whole family would sing something like "I Love to See the Temple" or "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet". President Andersen, the Mayhues, Sister Ewing, and I were laughing the whole time. One of the kids got up and said, "You shouldn't do anything that's bad for you, because that makes it hard to have a testimony". Wise words from a kid that's going places. The Oceanview Ward Primary president asked us to come and sit with all the kids on the stand for their program (basically to make sure they all stayed in their seats and got up when it was their turn to speak) and then sing "Called to Serve" with them. Super awkward but whatever. 

That's about all I've got. I'm making Sister Ewing and the Huffman sisters come hike Flattop with me (because I'm sick of lame P-Days we've been having just playing volleyball in the gym with the Elders) later today so I promise to take some photos to share with you next week. We get to go to the temple this week and I turn 3 months old on Thursday! Yay! Other fun news: I had my first Alaskan wipe out this week and landed straight on my face after slipping on some ice (Sister Ewing just laughed and kept walking). That was joyous. But mostly painful. I'm a survivor. Christmas is in 41 days!
Love y'all, Sister Dunlop the Eskimo⛄️

Week #9

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hi peeps! So writing weekly emails takes me forever and a day and an elder showed me this thing where you can just record your weekly email (or random thoughts by Sister Dunlop) instead. Hopefully it works. If you hate it, tell me and I won't do it anymore but anyways, I love y'all. Peace & blessings. Go forth and be awesome.
XOXOX Sister Dunlop

Week #9 - Audio Letter

I hate emails who don't include photos too, so here's the only ones I took this week (Sis. Ewing doesn't really like photos) and here's a selfie of us with Elder and Sister Mayhue in the big, huge AAM van they use to pick up and drop off missionaries from the airport in. It has four rows of seats!

8th Week in AK

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween! After a lot of thought, I decided to be a sister missionary for Halloween (and the next one too) this year! It's super unique and exciting, I know. 

After our district meeting on Tuesday, we rallied the district to come and help a family in our ward pack and clean their house because they were moving down to California this week. Sister Martinez, Jewel, Ewing, and I scrubbed the kitchen clean for almost four hours while the elders loaded the moving van and cleaned the bathroom. It was a little nasty but she paid us in pizza and fresh (but frozen) halibut #alaskaperks. 

We had exchanges with Huffman on Wednesday/Thursday and so Sister Martinez came to OV with me! So blessed. Five minutes into our exchange, we got a call from the Spanish elders to come over and help one of their investigators pack up her apartment and move. Fun fact: if you're ever moving and want to get it over with fast, call the missionaries - we are pro. Anyways, so Sister Martinez & I drive over there (it's really like around the corner from our apartment, but it was so cold outside) and it's Adriana's apartment hahaha. Remember the Spanglish lesson from a little while ago? Yep, that one. So we packed up her house and then the elders drove the moving truck and followed her out to a storage unit where she's keeping all her stuff. I don't really know what's going on there, I was just used to pack, tape, carry, and load boxes. Then Sister Martinez and I did some Bush Branch calls, visited and taught the Heckels, had dinner, and then had a super powerful Restoration lesson with Arthur that Elder & Sister Mayhue (our cutie senior couple missionary neighbors) called in too. Thursday morning we had these big dreams to go and walk around the cemetery and find people to teach, but ended up getting locked in and had to go and ask the people at the front desk to let us out. So awkward. Later that day, I brought Sister Ewing over to Wanda's house to meet her (and because I wanted a giant Ziploc bag of candy). Then we had a lesson with Kaeloni and went to dinner at Moose's Tooth with the Rinlinsbacher's from the Oceanview Ward. 

More exchanges on Friday/Saturday with Campbell Park and Sister Slaughter came here with me. I've been on at least one exchange every week of my mission so far and so sometimes I don't even remember what area I'm assigned in anymore. We did a lot of finding/tracking down less actives in our ward that day and then went to a baptism for the O'Malley elders that night. I've never had so many doors slammed in my face in such a small amount of time as I did during our district tract on Saturday morning in the Rabbit Creek area, so that was a good time. We stopped by the Alley's birthday party on Saturday afternoon before Trunk or Treat to say hi and invited them to church on Sunday. They didn't come and Trunk or Treat was an epic fail because it was cold and raining and so it only lasted about an hour before all the kids were frozen and crying. Sometimes that's how I feel too when we are out tracting forever. I get it too, kids. But the Heckels were all emojis for Halloween so that was adorable and the smartest costume ever because you could wear a coat and all your warm clothes underneath!

Next week is busy with interviews and meetings and trainings so stay tuned. Sorry this email is super short and super lame.

Sister Dunlop

Snow and Bush Baptism

Monday, October 24, 2016

It snowed this week! Not like snowed, but like snowed snowed. Snow. So much snow. Snow all over the place. It was also freezing cold all week. For our district tract in O'Malley area on Saturday, it was 18 degrees out and it was so cold that I wore thermal tights, thermal leggings, SmartWool socks, gloves, and both layers of my Patagucci parka (that makes me look like a dog mush team driver). I was warmish. Welcome to Alaska. I don't think I'll thaw out for the next 16 months #manyarecalledbutfewarefrozen

I went on exchanges with Sister Richards (my MTC comp) at the beginning of this week in Beach Lake/Chugiak where we ate nasty raw(ish) moose for dinner that a lady made for us (after she shot it with her bow #bossalaskanwomen), then we got barked at by a team of sled dogs and I thought they were going to break through the fence so that was terrifying, then Sister Richards played her harmonica all the way back to Anchorage. Good times. JK, I was about to chuck that thing out the car window onto the highway honestly. 

The Heckels are doing so awesome. They make my heart so happy! We went to dinner at their house the other night, and I was so touched to see the change that has happened to them over the past few months. The Spirit is totally in their home now and you can see how much happier they are. The gospel is a message of happiness, hope, and joy and being able to share that with people has been the neatest experience. November 5th is coming😍

I don't know if I've told y'all about Kaeloni, but she's this super cute little nine year old who lives out in Chignik (Alaskan Bush) that we've been calling and teaching. I had been looking through her teaching record, and found that she had been invited to be baptized back in June but nothing had been done about it and so we taught her about baptism and invited her again to be baptized, she was so excited and said yes! Here's the thing about Bush baptisms, they happen two ways: the person can be baptized by a priesthood holder (either by someone from their village that has the priesthood, Branch President Anderson, or someone else who flies out there with the priesthood) in a river/lake/ocean/glacier water/whatever is out there in the Bush OR they can fly down to Anchorage and be baptized in a font (boring). When we asked her if there was a river or something like that near her house that she could be baptized in, she said yes but that there were usually too many bears for it to be safe #AKprobs So we asked her about getting baptized in Anchorage. Kaeloni told us she and her family weren't coming down to Anchorage for a few years so we asked her to talk with her parents about her wanting to be baptized to see if it could be sooner than that haha. We'll see what happens. Hopefully by Christmas. 

Arthur is another Bush peep, who lives in Naknek. He told us that he was baptized by the elders in Soldotna back in 1980 but no one can find his records so he needs to be re-baptized. We asked him if that was something he wanted to do and he was like, "well, why not?". BOOM! So awesome! He is in a wheelchair and told us that he would be heading to Anchorage in the next few months for some medical check ups so that would be a perfect time for him to be baptized! We are starting over with the missionary discussions with him and so we can prepare him for baptism in the next little bit here. Two Bush Branch investigators [kinda] on date for baptism? Check. I'm so pumped.

Oh! Pastor Steve and his family went to church yesterday!! YASSSS!! He is in the Huffman Ward, so you can email the Huffman sisters about how it went haha. It sounded like it went super awesome though. So that was this week. Real cold. It feel more like Christmas than Halloween up here! Sister McGee went home on Thursday and so that was the saddest thing that ever happened to me, but Sister Ewing is awesome and is catching on really quick! 

Have a super (warm and sunny) week down there in the Lower 48☀️
Love y'all! Peace and blessings. 
Go forth and be awesome. 

xoxo/ Sister Dunlop



Monday, October 17, 2016


I'm just going to be super honest and tell you guys that writing weekly emails is ROUGH. There's so much that happens in a week and so much that I want to share with y'all but it takes a million years to write it all down & I feel like if I share it all with you right now, I won't have anything to talk about when I come home because you'll know it all already and I'll be super boring. I think my first email from Alaska (the one that was like six pages long) took it all out of me before I really even started my mission haha. So here's what happens this week in bullet point form (sorry not sorry)...
  • We took our district photo on Tuesday after our last district meeting before transfers #squadgoals. But now that it's transfers, all of us are about to be shuffled all over Alaska (or sent home if you're Sister McGee) so this photo isn't even accurate anymore. 
  • Sister McGee and I painted "Prayer Rocks" with the Heckels kiddos on Tuesday. They have been having a hard time remembering to pray and so we thought these would help them. Their mom is seriously the Crafting Queen and so it was perfect. I've never seen so many paint colors in my life. Dang Shakira. The Heckels kids are doing so awesome and it's so cool to see their faith grow each week and how far they've come since I met them in September. 
  • Wednesday was seriously a day of miracles #aDisneyWORLDkindofday. It was so cool. We started out by going back and visiting the people that we had tracted into in our Ocean View district tract last week. We met a man named Steve who is exactly like the other Steve (in the Huffman area who is coming to church with his family next week!!) and so that was bizarre. He was really nice and told us that we could come back and teach his family next week sometime. Okay!! Then we met a lady named Erica who's husband Sister Martinez and I had tracted into last weekend. He wasn't very nice when we had met him and told us to go away. As we walked by their house, I remembered talking to him with Sister Martinez, but felt prompted to knock the door anyway. Luckily, his wife Erica answered and he was gone when we knocked. She let us in and we taught her and her brand new daughter, Ella, the Restoration. It was so cool. Follow the promptings of the Spirit folks. 
  • After that, we decided to go visit the Stratton family one last time before Sister McGee goes home. They were home and let us in! Woo! We chatted with them about how things have been going and then they gave us a full grocery bag of freshly picked apples. Fresh fruit is a delicacy in Alaska, I'm serious. It's so good you guys, don't take it for granted! Jen Stratton (the mom) told me that I could come back with my new companion whenever we needed a snack or a bathroom break so hopefully I'll be able to sneak little pieces of the Restoration haha. The Stratton's rock. 
  • Remember Jorene from the Bush last week? Yeah well, she had her little baby girl on Monday! Her name is Rylee Luca. So cutie! She asked Sister McGee and I if she would be able to get a Priesthood Blessing for both her and her baby before they had to travel back to Kwigillingok (the Bush village they live in). But she hadn't answered any of our texts or calls so we had to literally go FBI sister missionary and track her down. We called every hospital in Anchorage looking for her and then we called a bunch of hotels. We eventually were able to find her and went to her hotel that night with the Mayhue's (a senior missionary couple in the AAM that lives right next to us!) and President and Sister Andersen of the Bush Branch. It was cool to hear Elder Mayhue give little miss Rylee Luca a [basically a Father's] Blessing. I think that Jorene and her sweet family are close to being baptized! She told us she wants to recover from her pregnancy and then will get back into the lessons more. Yay we love Jorene!
  • Normally, we have dinner with a member/family from our Ward each night and it always feels like an awkward blind date. Like who are you guys and what are you feeding me? Is this reindeer or bear meat? A bunch of super awesome moms from Ocean View decided to invite us to their "Ladie's Night" at Texas Roadhouse on Wednesday night to wrap up Sister McGee and my #Disneyworldday so that was a huge blessing. It was the best blind date food ever. Those rolls man...
  • By the end of Wednesday, Sister McGee and I had handed out 8 Book of Mormons and it wasn't like handing out Halloween candy where you just open the front door, drop some candy in the kid's plastic pumpkins, and close the door again. It was like honest and real and awesome. Wednesday rocked. 
  • We tracted Huffman on Thursday and Sister Jewel and I met this super cute old lady named Bonnie, who lives in a bright purple house. She told us that she was the author of the Bible and when we asked her how long she has lived in Alaska she told us that "Alaska is a conspiracy theory" and how she's really living in the South and that "the government just wants us to believe we are in Alaska because they keep pulling the wool over our eyes". K cool. Before we left she told us we couldn't come back unless we brought a new husband back for her with us. She asked us to play matchmaker for her. So that was a good experience. Sister Jewel and I made it out okay. You meet one of every kind knocking doors in Alaska. Tracting builds some serious character to say the least. 
  • I went on exchanges with Sister Langford in Campbell Park on Friday. She's only one transfer older than me so it was just another "Babie's Day Out" like last week with Sister Richards. We met a guy named JR and after we gave him a Book of Mormon, I asked him to pinkie promise me that he would pray about it. He did. And pretty much smashed my little tiny baby pinkie in the process. Worth it though. We also somehow lost a hubcap but in reality, I think someone actually stole it off our car while we were out teaching. Campbell Park is way sketch. 
  • Saturday morning, Sister Langford and I went to a Tongan baptism to support Elder Hawkins and Elder Tuimoloau (the Tongan speaking Elders in AK) with a bunch of other missionaries and I was just super confused the whole time. Tongan sounds super cool but it also sounds like they have a mouth full of Tic 
  • This weekend was Stake Conference and a new Stake Presidency was assigned. Elder Hamula and Elder Stapleton of the 70 were up here and it was super cool to hear from them. In the adult session Saturday night, they talked about the process of calling a new Stake President and the importance of the Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation keeps popping up everywhere I go- I teach it tons, it was all over General Conference, and then Elder Hamula talks about it. On Sunday morning, they called the new Stake President (President Esplin) and his councilors to come up and sit on the stand with them. It looked like a long walk from the back of the gym up there haha. Both the outgoing and incoming Stake Presidencies bore their testimonies and then Elder Stapleton and Hamula closed up the meeting with theirs. It's so awesome to see the organization of the Church and how it's directed by God and not by man. 
  • Later on Sunday, we had a Q&A session with Elder Hamula and Elder Stapleton in the Bush Branch and so Sister McGee and I got to go to that and the members of BB could ask them any questions they wanted. It was super cool and they answered all of them. They even asked Sister McGee and I to answer one about how to be better at sharing the gospel haha yay for sister missionaries. I love the Bush Branch and all those experiences I've had serving in that [huge] area. We might have some Bush baptisms coming up in a few weeks - stay tuned and hope that I will get to fly out for them!
  • We had a lesson and dinner at the Barbachano's house with the Heckels and then headed back over to the Stake Center for another Q&A with all the Stake youth. There were probably like 80 kids there. Go Alaska! Again, they were able to ask whatever questions they wanted and so questions came up like, "why can't we date until we are 16?" or "what's your favorite scripture and why?". And then Elder Hamula, was like no seriously, ask me the deep soul searching questions. He didn't really say it like that, but kinda. And then the youth started asking real questions like, "how do I learn to trust in the promptings of the Holy Ghost?" and "how can I grow my faith more in God's will for me?". Way cool. 
  • When we walked out of the Stake Center, it was snowing!! It was like the second or third time Elder Adams (from Louisiana) had ever seen snow before haha and he was so pumped. The Anchorage temple looked so pretty all lit up while it was snowing. Side note: the sun rises at about 9am and sets at 6pm. The days are so short! I know I've said that in like every email, but seriously it keeps getting darker up here! And it's between 20-30 degrees everyday- I'm always cold. 
  • Oh! And we got our transfer calls Thursday night! Guess who's coming in to be my next companion...Sister Ewing! She is coming down from Fairbanks to finish my training this transfer. I have no idea who she is, but I've heard awesome things about her so it should be super fun. I'm also way excited that I get to stay in Ocean View for this next transfer and work on all the dreams, things, people, and plans that Sister McGee & I have going on right now. Ocean View & BB are on fire! Yay!
  • Sister McGee leaves on Wednesday💔😒😳😟😫😪😭😵so if you see me wearing only black for the rest of my mission, it's because I'm mourning her loss. And today is my last full day with her because President Robinson wants me to go on a 24 hour exchange with Sister Richards over in Beach Lake on Tuesday. So I'll have fifteen minutes to say goodbye to Sister McGee in the parking lot before she goes when I pick up Sister Ewing on Wednesday. I'll be a mess. 

So that's pretty much what happened to Sister Dunlop this week. It's just a little bit of everything. Sister Allie Winter is headed off to the Alabama Birmingham mission field this morning. She's going to be so amazing you guys. Alabama better get ready! Thanks for all your emails, letters, photos, prayers, and love. Y'all rock my [Smart Wool] socks. 
Go forth and be awesome. 

xoxox Sister Dunlop