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:
The gospel makes good people great. 
Do not fear repentance. 
"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. 
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. 
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. 
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
"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 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

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 " 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

May 29, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Yep. Still in Fairbanks. It snowed this week. And hailed. Love life.
Also, so sorry that I have lost all my creativity in thinking of subject lines for my emails. I'm boring now #9months. And sorry that I never have good photos for you anymore. I'll try and be better.

We've been doing a hecka ton of tracting this week #faithtofind. Every time we knock doors, the people that actually talk to us/we get return appointments with end up being YSA so we have to pass them off to the elders and it's the worst. We've seriously passed like four referrals off to them! #weareallonthesameteam #butstill.

Our last zone conference with President & Sister Robinson was this week. And in all honesty, it was filled with a lot of bummers: President & Sister Robinson leave in a few weeks, we got TIWIs (they're these little computer things that monitor your driving and say things like, "check your speed", "check your seatbelt", and "aggressive driving" but they have a hard time with all the dirt roads and pot holes in Fairbanks so they just beep and yell at us all the time. They're super stellar and way awesome), and the Fairbanks+Juneau zones don't get to fly into Anchorage for the missionary conference with President Nelson in a few weeks so that's #lamesauce. We will just PVC into it. Woo. But other than that, ZC was good. We talked more about the Book of Mormon and being "all in". It's so easy to glide through your mission; a little here, a little there. But Heavenly Father wants us to be all in. "You only have eighteen months to be awesome". That goes for all you real lifers too. It's so easy to just slide through life and make it out okay. But God wants us to be great. He wants us to do great things and feel great joy. Be all in.

Another gross AK service experience for you: the 6th ward elders texted us and asked if we could come help them and some other missionaries build a fence for one of their members...sure what the heck. So they sent us the address and it's the same lady that we got to spend all day filling sand bags for a few weeks ago (can't remember if I told you that story or not, but she's a cray cray gypsy cowgirl chick). Killer. So we go over there and she asks us to straighten this sketch barbed-wire fence that's all over the place and so that was just a hot mess because in all honesty, no one knew what they were doing. But we did it. The fence looked straighter(ish). So that took like an hour. Then she moves us all up to the front yard to fix another fence and tighten up the wire there and then she thinks that because I'm a sister missionary I love animals like some Sleeping Beauty/Snow White Disney princess living in the woods kind of a thing and so she has me clean out this nasty, nasty abandoned chicken coop (it was just about as bad as the maggot dog food last week) #sos #momcomegetme #nothanks #isthisreallife. Then she starts ringing a cow bell and yelling at us to "come eat grub". I look at Elder Miller like dude, no freaking way #weareallinthistogether. We all endured and survived the mystery soup lunch before she sent us back out to work.
Side note: we all thought this was going to take like two hours max. No. We were there from 11am-6pm. Here comes the worst part. She puts the elders back to work on the fence and sends Sister Fa'anunu and me down to the garage with her son (also loco) to BRING THE CHICKENS BACK UP THE HILL AND INTO THEIR NEW AND IMPROVED HOME sponsored by Sis. Dun over here. I'm freaking out but am way too scared to tell this lady no. So we go down there and Josh (the kid) opens the garage and there's two giant boxes-like the big ones you see at Sam's Club or Costco that they put oranges or watermelons or whatever in, like the big giant huge ones-FULL of chickens. This is not real life. And these chickens aren't like cutie little Easter chicks. They're like legit chickens. I was dying. And when we opened the lid of the second box, these black turkeys flew out! NO THANK YOU. Then Josh left for a second and Sister Fa'anunu and I were freaking out trying to figure out how to get these birds up to the chicken coop without having to touch them. We found a big blue bin and started scooping the chicks in it. I am not touching these things. They want to kill me. Then Josh came back with Elder Miller and Elder Caldwell and they rescued us and started picking up the chickens and filling the bin. Basically, service as a missionary is always a good time. So while Josh+the Elders were running a blue bin of chickens back and forth from the chicken coop, Sister Fa'anunu and I cleaned out the chickens’ water thing. Then we had to load the gigantor empty Sam’s Club boxes into the back of the lady's truck to take to the dump and there was still chicken mess all in it. It took all the missionaries to load it. So nasty. Then we finally told her we had to go and so we bounced. I think I'm done doing service in 6th ward for a little while #maggots #poopscoop #fences #chickensthatwanttokillme. I'm sure there's a billion other details I am forgetting about this service learning experience but I'll just tell you all about it when I'm home.

Something Fairbanks, AK has definitely taught me: Heavenly Father has a much different timeline than our own. Be patient. It will all work out. He knows what He's doing. Trust Him.
Love your faces.
XOXO Sister Dunlop
Queen of Fairbanks

How Tuf are you? #xtratuf

Crazy AK hair, don't care

May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hello. My name is Sister Caitie Dunlop and I've been in Fairbanks since the beginning of time (aka 2017). It's been a long time. And seriously, it's been a rough run. Really rough. But good too #learning #growing. And I'm still here. Why? In all honesty, I wouldn't even be a little surprised if President Robinson just forgot how long he’s left me up here. It's cool. Forever. Remember how when I landed here it was like -40 degrees and it hurt to breathe outside? Well, the other day it was 75 degrees and I thought I was going to die. Even got a little sunburn. Where am I? Oh, the top of the world. This place is insane. Anyways, I'm staying in Fairbanks at least until the beginning of July. Woo #fairbanksqueen #prayfordunlop. Also, don't remember if I told y'all or not, but "Leaf" happened last Saturday. Legit one of the craziest/coolest moments in ever. Fairbanks has been gray during Break Up (since April-ish) and we woke up Saturday and things were starting to blossom/grow/whatever and then as we went through the day, things were getting greener. And then we came back to Sophie’s - the sketch apartment complex we live in - and everything was GREEN. Like bright green green. So crazy. So pretty. Since then, things have just been getting greener. It's like a whole different world. Moral of the story: Leaf is real.

The Jepsen kiddos are doing awesome! School in Fairbanks finished up this week so now that it's summer up here, we can meet with them more and wrap up their lessons to prep them for baptism #tourguideBarbies. (PS now that it's summer out here, the world is so much happier! Also, everyone is home/outside so the chance of us knocking the doors of empty houses has significantly decreased #blessup). We talked to the Jepsen’s about possibly bumping the date of their baptism up into June because they only have a few lessons left. That would be awesome but their grandpa is flying up to come and baptize them, so we just have to wait and see about flight prices before solidifying a date. Sometimes I forget how far away from the rest of the world Alaska really is. Zach read 1 Nephi 3:7 to us the other day and it was one of the sweetest moments of my mission. Sydnie, Samantha, and Leah all had friends over when we taught about the Plan of Salvation a few days ago, and it was so fun to teach all of those little girls. Teaching kids about the gospel has been one of my favorite things on my mission. I love to watch the foundation of their testimony begin to solidify as they come to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Seriously, so awesome.

We did one of the grossest services I've ever done in my entire life this week. It was SO bad you guys! Elder Miller+Caldwell (6th) asked some of our district to come out to their area with them (way the heck out there #AK) and help one of their members with their deck. We all thought we would be building a deck. Nope. Worse. After driving a million hours and a day, we get to this sketch, sketch, sketch half finished house on the side of a cliff. Killer. Then we see that there's this ghetto Mcghetto bridge of death from the driveway/dirt to the front door. PS it was like 15 ft. from the deck (on the ground) up to the door. As we walked closer, we saw that the deck had collapsed under the weight of the snow/mountains of stuff on top of it. And in all honesty, I wouldn't be surprised if it collapsed just because whoever build the sketch "bridge" to the front door had build the deck as well. You all should've just been there to witness this mess. This lady comes out and tells us how she wants us to clear everything off the deck so we can get under it and lift it back up to the door. Lol what the heck no dude. Literally she was planning to have all of us climb under the deck (even though it was pretty much entirely broken) and get under it to lift it up. No idea how she was planning to keep the deck there after we got out from under it, but whatevz. Some of the elders climbed down to the deck and started handing/throwing stuff up to Sis. Martinez and I and then we would hand it up to the other sisters on top of the cliff ledge. Sketch. It started out as old books, a glove, a light, etc. And then it became a giant box moldy cat litter that all fell out when I lifted it off the deck because the bottom of the box was soaking wet. At some point, my hand was cut and I was bleeding but our cars were forever away and no one just so happened to have bandaids with them (lol I’m the worst CNA). And then there was a huge bag of dog food that was too big to throw up to me, so I climbed down the deck to help Elder Caldwell push it up to everyone and it EXPLODED AND MAGGOTS CRAWLED OUT. I. WAS. DONE. Oh my gosh seriously so gross. Elder Caldwell and I thought we were going to die. It smelled so bad. So we tapped out for a hot sec and had to go breathe some real air. Then once we had all cleared the whole deck off and were figuring out how in the heck we were supposed to lift this huge [and so broken] thing, the lady told us she wanted us to come down and poop scoop. She has like a zillion dogs. It was mountains of poop people. So we poop scooped for like an hour and then finally Elder Miller told the crazy lady we had to bounce. I've never been so excited to leave somewhere in my life. All of us went running towards the cars, had a gratitude prayer that none of us died [or threw up] and that Dunlop survived with minor blood loss, and then headed back into Fairbanks. Praise.

I went on exchanges with Sister Neild in 2nd ward this week. Bless her soul she's a scary driver. But we survived #missionariesareprotected. We tracted lots and then had dinner with this cute family on Post where the dad was complaining that he keeps getting older but the missionaries are always like nineteen years old haha. That night, we went out for birthday ice cream at Hot Licks (the best ice cream EVER, even better than Moo's #sorrynotsorry) with one of 6th ward's recent converts, Britt and his "lady friend” Phyllis. They're like 70 years old and pretty much the missionaries’ grandparents up here. We adore them. Technically Britt lives in our area, but it's this whole mess about how Britt is moving back into 6th ward and just temporarily living in 5th la la la. We all know he’s going to end up staying in 5th ward because it's the best. Sorry Elders, sisters win. Britt was telling us that he thinks sister missionaries should be called "Elderess" instead of "Sister". Elderess Dunlop up here. Haha heck no that sounds like I'm from Zelda or something.

Sister Paula Hess has her baptismal interview tonight! We are really excited for her. She's been really, really sick and so we've been shuffling around her baptism date back and forth and right now it’s set for June 3rd. Hopefully all follows through for her! She's been investigating the Church since 2012 and so Sister Fa'anunu and I figure it's about time she gets baptized! Pray for Paula! We had a really awesome conversation with her [via text] the other day about the Holy Ghost's role as Comforter. I think that that has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Whether it was before WY State Dance competitions, after rolling my car off a cliff, being dropped at the MTC curb, or whatever - I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has given us the Holy Ghost to be our comforter when things get rough & tough.

What else this week? Hit my Hump Day. Passed my golden girl, Sherrie, off to Sister Martinez & Sister Neild via Chapel Tour #sadbutawesome.
Met this lady while tracting who talked to us for a hour on her porch [while we were getting eaten alive by mosquitos but trying not to make it too obvious we were getting all the blood sucked out of our veins] and ranted about her husband doing something or other; love my life. Tracted some more. And more. Found the best donuts in Fairbanks (they're at Lunch Cafe). And that's about it.
Love y'all. Sorry for the lame two pictures.
Go & be great!

XOXO Sis. Dunlop

Mother's Day Update

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hi all, 
We didn’t get a weekly email from Caitie on Monday because we were able to face time her on Mother’s Day - happy day! We were in Rexburg for her cousins’ mission farewell (Eliza is going to Nicaragua, Laura is going to Peru) so she was able to chat with a lot of family and even say hi to her cousin, Michael, that is serving in Brazil. It was awesome. SO good to see her face and hear her voice. She is happy and healthy (ok, she’s tired, but happy!), funny, feisty as ever (especially about the Elders that have “her truck” and won’t give it back), she’s working hard, growing, learning, and nearly halfway through her mission. The news from Alaska is that she will stay in Fairbanks with Sister Fa’anunu for another six weeks. She was hoping for a change of scenery, but she’s feeling hopeful that with the change of seasons and everything finally turning green, she will find some new energy and ways to serve in Fairbanks a little longer. She loves the people in their ward (she called from a ward member’s house that is actually a high school friend of ours - small world!) and loves being a missionary. She has learned to love salmon and bought herself some Alaskan fishing boots - she is figuring Alaska out :) 

Thank you for all of your love and support for Caitie - she loves you all!


Monday, May 8, 2017

I'm working on becoming a better person- it's a long process but, from the moment they clicked my tag on me at the MTC, I knew that I wanted to return home in 18 months better than who I was. Probs not the first missionary to say that, but it’s true. Luckily, the gospel makes good people great. If I've learned anything so far, it's that my mission has been a giant Refiner's Fire. Super hard, but super awesome and I've heard that it's all worth it in the end. And I've got a lot of refining to do. Also, I feel like I've been skimping out on some stories for y'all. And I'm sorry. So here are some really long ones. Read them if you want. Other than that, I'm alive and Fairbanks is Fairbanks.
XO Sister Dunlop

Story #1: Hiking+Zombie Apocalypse Mosquitos
So I magically convinced/dragged the elders out to Angels Rock last Monday for PDay (after an hour long drive though The Middle of Nowhere, AK and on sketchy roads they haven't filled the potholes for yet...sorry) and our hike was SO FUN! I LOVE MOUNTAINS! The snow and ice still hadn't totally melted down in the trees so we were slipping and sliding all over the place until we finally got a little higher on the mountain. Then it was just muddy the rest of the way up. But anyways, we're hiking along and there are these gigantor mosquitos (like seriously, the baby ones are the size of a coin) buzzing around like helicopters trying to suck out all our blood and leave us out dry - they're preparatory for the Zombie Apocalypse, I swear to you. Random and not really related to this story (or anywhere else in this email): we've been seeing SEAGULLS around Fairbanks. What. The. Heck. They are so lost or something like literally I have no idea where they came from or what they're doing here. But whateverz. 
So anyway, good hike, bad mosquitoes.

Story #2: Hot Mess Tuesdays
Tuesday afternoon/evening was a hot mess. After district meeting, we go to paint nails at the senior center and I'm seriously the worst ever at it. I paint like everything but their nails. Luckily, a lot of them don't have microscopic eye sight so I don't really think they notice :) From there we went to go and see one of our favorite less actives, Sister Deitch (she's a little crazy but we love her), in the hospital because she has been there for the past few weeks with pneumonia and some other stuff. So we go over there and go up to her room and it's empty. Her bed is made, the curtains are closed, everything's clean in the room. Now, a patient-less and clean hospital room means one of two things: the person got better and is home now, or they died. She had told us they were going to keep her in the hospital at least for another month so we started freaking out because we thought she was gone. Literally. We try calling her, no answer. Freaked out and called the elders (Sister Deitch adores elders so she has met like all of the elders in our district) and they were zero help in our quest for Sister Deitch. We decided we needed a McDs ice cream cone to feel better (this homegirl member gave us McDs gift cards and so sometimes we treat ourselves to ice cream when we have breakdowns/our less active homies go missing). We're in the drive thru and our phone starts ringing...IT'S SISTER DEITCH! CHURCH IS TRUE! She was like, "I'm not in the hospital anymore. I was sick of that place so I took a cab and went home. I'm home now. Can you come and visit me?" she like straight escaped the hospital. Whatever, we were just grateful she's not dead.
Then we did other missionary stuff and had to go and pick up Sister Nield and Sister Martinez and take them to the airport to go down to Anchorage so we get there and remember that the back of our Jeep still has our snow tires in it (reason #3857128 I want my red truck back) and so there's no way for us to put the sisters or their luggage in the Jeep. So then I get blessed and have to drive the sisters' truck to the airport and then we remember that the YSA elders had signed us up to take high school girls in Mission Prep out on splits with us. But we don't have time to go back and get the Jeep so we go pick them up in the truck and then they have me take two girls and Sister Fa'anunu take two girls but there's not enough seats in the truck for all of us so we have to drive separate (we had separate lesson appointments to go to anyways) and Sister Fa'anunu kinda knows where things are, kinda not so they leave and these cute girls get in my car and I'm FREAKING OUT because I realize we are supposed to teach Paula the Law of Chasity that night and so it's just going to be hecka awkward. And we are planning on having a member come with us so that's killer. We pull in to Paula's driveway and knock on the door and no answer. So I have two high schoolers all fired up to do missionary work and a member sitting on the porch with me, but Paula's not home. So we call her, no answer. Text her, no answer. Knock on the door again, no answer. Awesome. So then the cute member we were with starts talking to the girls about her mission in Japan and all this stuff that worked for them, what didn't, and all that la la la. Then it was time to go and meet back at the Institute. On our way back to the Institute the girls were like, "Sis. Dunlop, what is missionary work really like?". Homegirls, I'll tell you. Being a missionary is the hardest thing I've ever done. I've never felt such heartbreak or such joy in my whole life. I figured that after awhile I would be numb to the sound of a door slamming in my face or having someone tell me they're "not interested" [in their opportunity to be sealed to their family forever] or that they're "too busy" [to learn eternal truths]. But I was wrong because it still is hard. But it's good. And joyful. And that's what makes all the door slams worth it. Because "it's all for the one", that's something President Robinson says all the time. The one. 

Story #3: Tour Guide Barbies
So we've been teaching Sydnie, Samantha, Leah, and Zach Jepson and we finished up the first lesson (the Restoration) with them and invited them to prepare to be baptized on July 8th. Yes, we know that's like a million years away, but we can only meet with them every other week so it's going to take us about that long to finish all of the missionary lessons. We also told them that we would be their "Tour Guide Barbies" to the Church and towards their baptismal date. The member present with us made a joke that if the sister missionaries were Tour Guide Barbies, then the elders would be Tour Guide Ken. The Jepson kiddos thought that was the funniest thing they've ever heard. I adore that family. 

Story #4: Exchanges
Exchanges with Sister Martinez are like holidays, the happiest days ever. I freaking ADORE her. She was also trained by Sister McGee and was training Sister Jewel down in South Anchorage when I was being trained in Oceanview. We served around each other down in Palmer but I just did a "one and done" there and then got sent up here to Fairbanks. So I hadn't seen her in forever and ever and then she was transferred up here to 2nd Ward which was one of the happiest things in all of Alaska. So we went and visited people in 2nd, had dinner with their investigator who is getting baptized on Sunday and had the most profound and deep things to say about the gospel that I've ever heard. And he is receiving the priesthood next week so he can baptize his wife #goals. Love them.

That's all I have for right now.
Love ya bye

Sis. Dunlop

May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

This is going to be kinda shortish because I FINALLY convinced our zone to go on a hike today and we're heading up to Angels Rock out by Chena in the middle of nowhere. And as you all know, I do not like writing these forever long email report things. But I do it because I love y'all.

Things about this week: I tried Chaga. It's this sketch AK tree drink thing. Super sketch tbh. One of our less actives gave it to me. Sister Fa'anunu was too chicken to try it but basically this guy goes out into the woods and finds these growths on the sides of birch trees, knocks them off, brings them home, saws them down, puts the sawdust in a coffeemaker, adds some water, and drinks it. I guess there's like a zillion health benefits to it but I don't know, it just tasted like tea water. Probably won't try it again unless it turns out that I can become a stellar superhero by drinking more of it. 

We've been tracting a lot this week trying to grow our teaching pool. I am learning to love tracting, still super don't like it, but learning to love it because we do it so much. We found a stellar potential investigator...that we have to hand off to YSA because she's not married but whatever #notbitter. When we knocked on her door, she was wearing a Color Run t-shirt and in my head I was like "this chick is Mormon but she doesn't even know it". Anyways, we were talking to her and did the 8 Step Door Approach (@sisMcGee) and it was awesome and then she started asking more questions and I ended up teaching her the Restoration right there on her front porch. Then we gave her a Book of Mormon that she was really excited about and she said she would come to church, but we didn't see her yesterday so we'll have to go track her down and get her to YSA.

On Saturday our ward helped with the Community Clean Up in FBX. All around the city, people cleaned up all the nasty garbage from Breakup that was on the sides of the highway. It took us three hours and we found stuff like pj pants, needles, Taco Bell sauce, and all this other random stuff. But it looks so much better! I have so many sketch stories from doing service in Fairbanks, I'll probably have to write a book about them all when I get home. Also, we have a bishop now! IT'S BROTHER POWELL! We absolutely love the Powell family (as I'm sitting on their couch eating cookies and doing laundry). Yay for 5th Ward!

That was a super random email but whateverz.
Love y'all. Peace and blessings.

XO Sister Dunlop


Monday, April 24, 2017

Short and sweet here's this week:
the sun was out all day and all night, the snow is still melting (there are giant puddles/lakes everywhere), our bishop is still doubling as Bishop and FBX Stake President, we made homemade pizza with Sister Gridley, visited Sister Dietch in the hospital with the elders from 1st Ward, celebrated Elder Dimick's birthday, cleaned some houses, taught some lessons, played some Bingo, knocked some (a lot of) doors, and I don't know…more missionary stuff.
I love AK.

XO Sis. Dunlop