Monday, January 30, 2017

Hey hey hey. You guys. It was above zero for a hot sec this week. And by a hot sec, I mean for one day. But whatever, it's the small things when you're a missionary.
Also, it was a miracle week. Sister Pike and I decided to teach at least two lessons everyday (which is a big dream goal here in AK) and we taught like fifteen. Crazy. We're teaching this dude that lives out of his car (we meet with him at Barnes and Noble and it's a little sketchy so we bring the sixth Ward elders with us), Christina and her son are getting baptized soon, we are teaching the dad of an active family and he's not a member [yet] but comes to church every Sunday, and there's just awesome stuff happening in the Fifth Ward. So pumped.
Also, Sister Treu and I got the worst colds ever on our exchange this week. We died. Shoutout to Vicks and tissues because somehow we made it. Here are some videos to make up for this uber short email, sorry peeps love ya.
xoxox Sister Dunlop



Monday, January 23, 2017

Dearest friends and family and everyone ever,
As I have frozen my fingers and toes off this week, I think all my thoughts have bubbled down to this...WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER LIVE IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA IN THE WINTER?! IT'S A JOKE!! WHY WOULD YOU LIVE LIKE THIS?! YOU CAN'T. IT'S INSANITY. HAHA! Anyway, it was -63 degrees at one point this week #livingthedream. Cold. PS shoutout to Sister Allie Winter because it's like 130-140 degrees warmer in her Alabama mission than it is up here. What. The. Heck. Where. Am. I. I. Am. Frozen. 

Tuesday it was warm enough for us to go out (our mission has a rule set by President Robinson that we have to stay in if it's colder than -40 degrees because our cars don't work very well when it's that cold haha) and it was only on the -20s. After our district meeting and lunch (and a ping pong tournament) that morning, Sister Pike and I went to a member's house and shoveled their driveway and front porch steps while they were at work/school #secretservice. It had dropped to the -30s by then (because the sun had gone down) and we were out there for about two hours shoveling haha. Once you’re out long enough, everything is just numb and stinging so you just keep on keeping on because you can't even feel it. It's so cold that it hurts to breathe here though and so you have to always have your mouth and nose covered when you go outside. Awesome. But awful. Then we drove around visiting some people (trying to get into their houses and warm up haha) and then had a lesson with our investigator, Christina, who is on date to be baptized in February. She's super awesome and is really excited about the gospel, but her husband is not a fan so that makes it hard. After our dinner appointment, it was -39 outside and our Zone Leaders told us all to go home for the night. Little did we know, we would be stuck at home for the next 2 1/2 days!! It was in the low (high?) -50s on Wednesday and Thursday so President Robinson told all the Fairbanks Zone missionaries to stay in. At first, we were super pumped. We took naps, cleaned our apartment, made cookies, watched just about every movie on the Gospel Library app, planned for world domination this transfer, etc. But then by the second day, we were going to lose our minds. We even had the Zone Leaders bring us Monopoly - I hate Monopoly, but we were getting desperate. Then we found a 1000 piece puzzle and did that- Sister Pike & I hate puzzles. Then our apartment complex's fire alarm started going off but there was no way we were going outside at -281739 degrees, so we called our Zone Leaders and asked them what to do and Elder Younger was like, "just stay in and you'll be fine,". So we did. Even though the alarm went off for like 1/2 an hour. We think it was just a drill because we didn't smell any smoke. What a brutal time for a fire drill. Who does that?!

Friday afternoon it was finally above -40 (but not by much haha) and we FINALLY were allowed to go out and be missionaries #freethezooanimals. Our poor little Fran the Jeep was so cold when we started her Friday morning. I don't even know HOW she started. Our district all went and did service at the Fairbanks Food Bank and all the elders looked like they were going to kill their companions haha #toomuchtimetogether #roughdays but they were all good once there was some other human interaction that wasn't with their companion. Oh, elders. Sister Pike and I get SO distracted together and I'm our designated driver and she's the map queen but we almost accidentally drove to Anchorage this week haha.
It was still really cold outside this weekend, and for those of you who are wondering...yes, you can feel the difference between -40 and -30 outside. It still hurts either way though #frozenchosen. We went onto UAF campus to take a picture by the temperature sign thing the other night but it was only -34 so it's not even that dope. Sorry. We shoveled a giant driveway and porch for a member in 3rd Ward with some elders on Saturday and it was probably one of the coldest times I've ever been cold. Sister Pike is from Santa Barbara, CA and so she's cold all the time but this was a super cold kind of cold. The member was super nice and made us chili after we had been out there 5ever #blessings #serviceperks #ihatechilibutwhateveriwasfrozen. Then the elders went back out and shoveled off her roof and made it into giant snow piles that Sister Pike and I jumped off the porch into. It was so deep we almost couldn't get out haha! We only had two hours of church on Sunday (as opposed to the normal 3) because it was -40 outside and then we came back to our apartment and planned a super awesome week of teaching. Way pumped. Then we had to bulk up and go back out for dinner. After dinner, we brought a YW who just got her mission call to Las Vegas out to a lesson with us. We went and taught Aaliyah, a nine year old who's family are members but she was recently adopted, and finished the last of the missionary lessons with her. Aaliyah wants to get baptized with her friend from another ward and so that will probably happen late February/early March. Yay! I have no idea why this email is so long this week, so sorry. But here's my little Sister Dunlop the missionary plug for you...

This is all totally run by God. All these miracles and tender mercies and things that happen each's NOT ME! I'm just here to be His instrument. "Forget yourself and go to work". It's amazing and wonderful and powerful and I wouldn't trade this adventure for the world. I'm in love with being His missionary here in the Alaska Anchorage mission. Every day is learning and growing and becoming and your desires (not Instagram followers, GPA, state record titles, or whatever else) qualify you for this work. "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called". That's the coolest blessing. God requires YOU to be YOU. It doesn't matter that I suck at directions or feel like there are so many times each day when I "word vomit" in lessons or whatever else but I know that I am called to be the Sister Caitie Dunlop I am RIGHT NOW and TODAY, not for the Sister Caitie Dunlop that I will be when I get on the plane and fly home. Heavenly Father expects PROGRESS and not immediate perfection. I am called in my present state to testify of Jesus Christ and of His gospel. I am called to be His eyes, His ears, His hands, and His heart in Alaska. I don't want to be doing anything else with my life right now. Don't get me wrong, there are moments where I crave a Pearl Street Bagel or a drive through GTNP, but I know that this is exactly where God needs me to be right now. This gospel is so happy! The gospel of Jesus Christ is what makes good people great. LOVE is the very essence of this gospel. "It's not about how much you love, it's about how much you are willing to sacrifice because you love". It's all about love - eternal families, the Atonement, the Plan of Salvation, and every little bit of the gospel. It's love. Micah used to always say, "love God & do right". He told us it was his life motto. It's that simple; four words. Love God. Do right. I love the gospel and being able to share it with others is freaking awesome. I love being a missionary! Thank you for being part of my cheer team - I love you guys. Stay warm down there. 
Sister D. 


The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oh, Fairbanks. Where it's so cold that you have to take in a breath before walking outside, where the sun is up for only three hours a day, where they don't salt the streets because the salt doesn't even do anything, where your eyelashes freeze instantaneously, where everyone leaves their cars running in the Wal-Mart parking lot, where even though it's -38 degrees Bishop Boland still holds three hours of church on Sunday, and where it's just straight frozen up here. It hurts to breathe. But whatever, I love it!

Tuesday morning (at the crack of dawn) we met with the Memory Lake & Colony sisters to shuffle around for transfer logistics. Sister Christian was scheduled to fly down to Juneau later that afternoon, Sister Ouderkirk was going home, and Sister Lake's & my flight up to Fairbanks left at 9am - we kinda had to hustle drive to Anchorage to make it. Christian and Ouderkirk were supposed to drive down in the Lazy Mountain car and Lake and I were going to drive down behind them in the Memory Lake car. But Christian & Ouderkirk ditched us and went to visit some sisters on the way to Anchorage. So they peaced and then it went like this...
Me: "Do you know how to get to Anchorage from here?"
Lake: "Nope, I've only been in Memory Lake my whole mission (side note: Sister Lake and I came out together from the MTC). Do you?"
Me: "Nope."
Lake: "Well, I don't feel good about driving in the snow (it was still dark at 7am and dumping snow) so can you drive?"
Me *trying to be a good person but dying inside: "Sure!"
LOLOLOLOLOL we somehow got to Anchorage after a total whiteout, full on stop on the highway by Beach Lake, and just being so lost #runningonfaith #IthinkIonlycriedtwice #SisterLakecriedtoookay. We also didn't have a phone and had 1/4 tank of gas, so that was awesome. The APs must have had a ridiculous amount of faith and trust in having Dunlop and Lake drive from Wasilla to Anchorage (what the heck doods). Anyways, we miraculously made it to the mission office -20 minutes late, but come on!!- and met Christian and Ouderkirk there (little bitter), loaded up, and boogied to the airport. Our flight was leaving in 45 minutes so we figured we were good, PSYCH. As we loaded our baggage (also looking for Elder Dimmik because he was supposed to fly up to FBX with us), the airport man told us we had missed our flight *PANIC/WANT TO CRY/DUH WE MISSED IT/APs HAVE SO MUCH FAITH SORRY WE DONT KNOW HOW TO ADULT/NOW WHAT. But he was super nice and re-booked us for the next flight that was leaving in an hour and a half so we loaded our stuff on the baggage thingy, got new tickets, still wondered where on earth Elder Dimmik was, went through security, and then Elder Dimmik was sitting right there and was like, "of course the sisters made me miss the flight" bahaha so sorry. PS Elder Dimmik came out with Sister Lake and I too #babiestakeonFBX. Then we had to borrow a rando's phone and call the APs #scary and tell them what happened and whatever whatever. FINALLY we load on the plane (#blessed because I get the window seat) and as we fly over Alaska it just looks like a frozen, barren, wasteland #yayyyyyyy. It was only -20 when we landed and the other FBX missionaries picked us up and we went to the Institute building for pizza and ping pong. Then Sister Pike (oh PS she's my new companion and I ADORE her, she's from Santa Barbra and is freezing all the time haha, she just finished being trained so I'm "greenie-breaking" her) and I went to our apartment and dumped all my stuff. Then we went to Wally World to get food - Sister Pike drove in snow and ice for the first time and it was terrifying, I drive now haha. Then we have just been figuring stuff out all week and how we're going to baptize Fairbanks this transfer #dreambig. It's going to be awesome. Sorry this is a bummer selection of photos this week- we've been busy/iPads hate this cold and only sometimes work yay.
I love y'all! Stay warm xoxox 
Sista Dunlop❄️☃️

 Had to say bye to Martinez on Monday #sadday
Our little baby Jeep, Fran, loves being frozen outside #jokes
This wasn't even the coldest
Sister Pike and I coming to you live because we felt bad that we don't have a pic haha!

I hate thinking of subject lines for these emails :)

Monday, January 9, 2017

This is going to be kinda short but I'll send lots of photos to make up for it.
Last Monday, we pet & fed moose #casualAK with Brother Collins who is a moose biologist in the LM Ward. He and his team also catch reindeer from the Bush - they go out in helicopters, hover over a heard of them and then Brother Collins jumps out and runs after them, catches one, tranquilizes it, loads it in the heli, and takes it back to the lab for research #boss. He's also like 60+ years old so that's way impressive.
We had a gingerbread house decorating contest with our district - totes won. I was also volunteered to represent the Sisters in a sword (pool noodles duct taped around a PVC pipe) duel and battled the Elders on PDay and won #greatness. We had a throw down lesson with Ray because he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel has been restored but won't get baptized so that's fun. President Robinson called us with transfer calls Thursday night and I'm heading up to FAIRBANKS tomorrow morning to [freeze my face off and] serve with Sister Pike! Way pumped.
Micah has disappeared from the face of the planet so that's pretty lame. We had Zone meeting on Friday and then I was throwing up all weekend and Sister Christian jammed her toe on the desks and the mission doctor told her she couldn't walk for a day so we were stuck in our apartment forever #goodstuff #bonding. For service this week, we helped our recent convert clean her house #hoarder and I thought it was going to lose my mind, but it’s good stuff. She wouldn't throw stuff away! It's okay, we still love her.
Even though I wasn't in Lazy Mountain for very long, I learned a lot about love here. Loving the people, my companions, the crazy elders in our district, and even random people on the street. The gospel is all about love! I've loved this area and am excited for my new icy adventure in Fairbanks. 
Peace and blessings y'all

Love, Sister Dunlop💕


Monday, January 2, 2017

Hey peeps. This is going to be short, sorry I love ya.
Here's some rando facts/stories from this week:
Micah's baptism date has been moved (cry, cry, cry).
By the end of January, there will be two and a half more hours of sunlight up here.
We were tracting and someone told us that their neighbor doesn't wave back to them when they wave, so they think they're probably atheists #bahaha.
2017 is my "Black Out" year yayayayay for Sister Dunlop.
It snowed a ton.
We did service and washed dishes that had been sitting in the sink for three weeks and there was so much mold, I don't even want to talk about it anymore.
Transfer calls on Thursday night.
I've eaten so much candy this week, it's a joke.
We have three working light bulbs in our barn apartment so we hung Christmas lights that we stole from bishop's garage.
WE GOT A BUNKBED- our Ward mission leader made it for us *joy tears.
We are going to go pet moose today.
We celebrated the last day of 2016 by eating sketch Panda Express.
Sister Jackie Dean goes to the MTC this week (so stoked - look out NorCal).
I saw a bald eagle every day this week #merica.

I think that's all. I love y'all. Have a sparkly week!💕