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. 


No comments:

Post a Comment