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 Wednesday๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ตso 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

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