Fashion Shows, Pastor Steve, Spanish & Doughnuts

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hi peeps! I promise this email won't be as long as last week's haha.
Sister McGee and I have been doing a lot of work this week as we are trying to "make Oceanview great again" haha. PS there are so many Trump supporters in Anchorage like what the what. The Oceanview Ward has been in a lull for a while in regards to missionary work and so #TheRedsareonfire will fix it!

Sister McGee and I put on a Zone Conference training on Wednesday this week.  President Robinson wanted us to train on dress code...boring. Everyone hates dress code lectures, let's be honest here. But we decided to make it awesome! We split everyone into groups and then they had to make missionary outfits from garbage bags, duct tape, and newspaper-that Sister McGee and I went dumpster driving for (another good story). Then, we had a mini fashion runway to show off all their fabulous designs. They actually were pretty awesome haha. After that, Sister McGee and I rallied it all in by talking about how as missionaries, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. His name is on our tags and we wear them everywhere we go so it's important for us to follow dress code and look good as representatives of Him. "When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you teach good," -Sister McGee.

After Zone Conference, Sister Martinez and Sister Jewel (who are serving in the Huffman area of Anchorage right now), Sister McGee and I went to the Farr's house for waffles. All week, Sister McGee had been telling me about their waffles and how they were like French toast/waffle/croissant amazingness...they were!! The Oceanview Ward knows how to make some amazing dinners. I'm starting to understand why missionaries have to exercise every day haha.

After waffles on Wednesday night, I went on exchanges with Sister Martinez in Huffman for 24 hours. Sister Martinez and Sister Jewel are "pink washing" that area (meaning that President Robinson decided to pull the Elders that were serving in that area and replacing them with Sisters) and there hadn't been a ton of missionary work being done there so on Thursday Sister Martinez and I drove around tracting in the rain all day. We found this super steep driveway at the end of a street and decided to go up and check it out. There was this guy up there with all his dogs (Alaskans have a thing for having gigantic dogs and having a lot of them) out building a shed in his yard in the rain. His name is Pastor Steve and was the nicest guy. He told us about how much he looks up to the LDS Church for not just "walking the walk, but talking the talk as well" and he told us how much us going out and devoting 18-24 months of our lives to sharing the Gospel inspires him. Then he invited us to come back for Sunday dinner with him and his family- it was taco night. DUH! Pastor Steve is a homie.

I never thought all those painful hours sitting through SeƱora Bowker's Spanish classes in high school would amount to anything; especially not when I was serving as a sister missionary in Alaska. But Heavenly Father has a sense of humor (like when I told Him I didn't want to serve a mission somewhere hot and so He called me to serve in Alaska #frozenchosen).

This week, Sister McGee and I were referred to a lady named, Adrianna, from Colombia. When we first met with her, she spoke English pretty well but I could tell that she would feel way more comfortable speaking and learning the gospel in Spanish. I gave her a Book of Mormon in English and one in Spanish and told her that she could read from whichever one she wanted to. Our first lesson with her went really well but that night I tried to figure out how we could help her learn and understand the Gospel better. Oh wait-we have awesome Spanish-speaking elders in our mission (bless). At Zone Conference on Wednesday, we tracked down Elder Paulson & Elder Taylor and I was like, "yo, we've got a homegirl for you to teach,". Not those exact words, but kinda.

Friday night, we all met with Adrianna to do a pass off lesson together. IT WAS ONE OF THE COOLEST LESSON EXPERIENCES EVER. Sister McGee and I had prayed to know what we could do to help Adrianna and understand her needs better and changing her over to the Spanish elders was exactly it. Here's how the whole thing worked: Sister McGee (who speaks zero Spanish) and I were leading the lesson and so Sister McGee would say whatever in English and I would add on to her in Spanish. The Spanish elders then translated what Sister McGee said into Spanish for Adrianna, Adrianna would reply to them or me in Spanish, and I would translate what Adrianna was saying to them into English and type it onto my iPad under the table for Sister McGee to read so she could keep teaching the lesson. Then the elders would teach a little and then Sister McGee would speak in English a little and I added on in Spanish and explaining it sounds like it was a mess but it was seriously so cool and the Spirit in there was SO STRONG. Luckily, the Holy Ghost is a perfect teacher. My brain was stuck in Spanglish for the rest of the night. But hey, I guess I must have learned something in Bowker's class. Or it was just my little Hermana Dunlopez coming out haha.

Saturday was my one month mark!! I'm like 5% done with my mission haha. I've heard that with missions, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days...true. Sister McGee and I celebrated with doughnuts (Alaska makes some amazing doughnuts people). Later that day, we had a District Tract in the Huffman area and it was sprinkling rain the whole time but as Sister McGee and I were walking down the muddy and bumpy gravel road in the forest, I was like, "this is exactly how I pictured being a missionary in Alaska,". It's so awesome. Being a missionary is hard sometimes but something Sister McGee always tells me is that, "giving up these eighteen months and devoting them 100% to serving Heavenly Father through a mission is the best thing you can do for you, your family, and your future,". That's so true! I haven't been out very long, but have come to realize more fully how much the Gospel has blessed my life and I'm so grateful for it and can't imagine my life without it. THE SCRIPTURES ARE TRUE YOU GUYS! HEAVENLY FATHER REALLY LOVES US! Now, being able to be out here and sharing that good news with people makes it mean even more to me. I love being a missionary. I'm staying in Alaska forever.

Okay so going back to Pastor Steve. On Sunday night, we and the Huffman Sisters had planned to go have dinner with Pastor Steve and his family. We had thought it was just going to be Pastor Steve and his wife but PSYCH, it was their whole family!! It was so awesome. His son in law, Jorge, made us homemade Mexican food- Mama Laura, you would've died it was SO GOOD! He even hand pressed his homemade tortillas with a mini tortilla press like the ones they have at Costa Vida (blessings)! The whole time we were there, I kept thinking about The Family: a Proclamation to the World and how the ability to be with our families forever is one of God's greatest gifts and it makes my heart so happy. Pastor Steve and his family aren't members of the Church-yet-but I kept feeling like we should share The Family Proclamation with him. So Sister McGee and I ran out to Ronda (our car who doubles as a moving LDS Library) and grabbed one for him then came back and gave it to him. I told him about how this Proclamation was like God's blueprint for families and how families bless our lives. It was really cool and he promised us that he would read it before we saw him next. Pastor Steve and his family are so cool and they already seem like members of the Church haha, we'll work on that.

Sorry if that wasn't very exciting. Here's an awesome scripture to make up for it: "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory in myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory that perhaps I might be an instrument in the hands of God in bringing some soul to repentance" -Alma 29:9.

Anyways, I love y'all.
Winter's coming.
Go forth & be awesome.

XOXO Sister Dunlop

Alaskan ocean wind
"why can't they just say speed limit?"

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