"Fairbanks definitely isn't for wussies" -Pres. Robinson

Monday, March 27, 2017

Saddest news of my life: the ZLs took my red truck away.
I'm just going to start this weekly out on a bummer note to get it out of the way. But yes, Spice has been taken from me by the Zone Leaders. Cried myself to sleep last night and don't really want to talk about it. Their truck got sent to the shop and they don't want to drive the Jeep (it's the only extra missionary car we have up in FBX) because they have a "truck area" (homes, all areas in Fairbanks are "truck areas" sorry kiddo). So they played the ZL card and got the other elders involved and long story short: they got the keys. It's sad, I know.

Go like Alaska Frost Photography on Facebook because they're bomb diggity. 
Okay so all the happy things about Fairbanks this week...I met this HOMEGIRL investigator (who I LOVE and ADORE) and she is photographer and her boyfriend is a less active member of the Church who is also a photographer. She invited us over for dinner one night this week and showed me all her photo toys...I died. She has a gun safe literally FULL of lenses, cameras, and all these other fun things. And then she was like, "we're going to go chase the auroras tonight (side note from Dunlop: for those of you who don't speak Alaskan, this is where you drive out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night with your big fat parka and camera+tripod and park your little self in the snow and shoot the auroras for hours #goals) and I know you sisters have that missionary curfew thing so you can't come with us, but you can borrow this lens and shoot here in Fairbanks. We're going out past Eilson so you probably wouldn't make it home in time,". OKAY I ADORE HER. Sis. Fa'anunu and I ran back to our apartment, bundled, and then headed up to shoot. Missionary curfew was kinda a bummer because the lights really get cool at like 3am, but we did what we could :)

We saw a baby moose & I got shoved in the snow. 
We went to Dylan & Christina's to teach one of their new member lessons on Wednesday night and we were standing in the living room waiting for Dylan to come back from his friend's house and he BURSTS through the front door and is like, "SISTERS THERE IS A BABY MOOSE OUTSIDE!" Sis. Fa'anunu hasn't EVER seen a moose before (what the heck, right?!) and so we pulled our snow boots on and ran down the driveway *meanwhile Fa'anunu is losing her mind she's so excited. So we took a selfie with this cute little baby moose #noshame. Then Dylan was being a nine year old boy during our lesson (weird, right?) about the Ten a Commandments and so I promised him that if he could memorize all of the Commandments in order by the time our lesson was over, he could shove me in the snow. BUT if he couldn't remember them all, I got to shove him in the snow. Game on. Honestly, I don't really mind being thrown in the snow anymore (#thecoldneverbotheredmeanyway) because I've been cold since we landed in AK so it's more of just a numbness now. Side note: it was twenty four [above zero] the other day and I don't think I've seen the temperature that warm since October in Anchorage #tendermercies. So, as you might guess, Dylan memorized all Ten Commandments and got to shove me in the snow. Sister Fa'anunu didn't realize she hadn't filmed it the first time, so Dylan got to shove me in the snow twice. Then he just walked away me left me there to freeze and die. It's okay, he knows all the Commandments now and I guess that's what matters #missionarysacrifices. I'll probably throw him in the snow before I get transferred out of Fairbanks though tbh...

THE North Pole was the biggest letdown in the history of ever, but Zone Conf. was good. 
President and Sister Robinson came up to Fairbanks for zone conference on Friday and President is getting a little trunky on us (they go home in June) and he decided to have everyone drive down to North Pole for ZC, because why not?! To those of you who want to keep thinking that North Pole, AK is a magical place, skip this next part because NEWSFLASH it's not. Anyways, we decided to stop by THE North Pole on our way over to the church and we almost drove right past it because IT'S SERIOUSLY JUST A LITTLE POST PAINTED LIKE A CANDY CANE ON THE SIDE OF SOME RANDOM ROAD SHOVED IN THE SNOW. IT WAS SO LAME AND I WAS SO BUMMED AND ALL MY LITTLE ELF DREAMS WERE CRUSHED BY IT'S LAMENESS! Whatevs, we got out and took a picture anyway #doitforthegram. Also, I licked the North Pole and my tongue didn't get stuck #bucketlist #blessup. 
Zone Conference made up for the bummerness of the North Pole though. President Robinson opened it up by saying, "Fairbanks definitely isn't for wussies,". Maybe one of my all-time favorite Pres. Robinson lines. Probably tied to him pulling up in a rental minivan for interviews and telling Sister Fa'anunu and I that we need to be "missionaries that match the message" #mormonminis #backwindowfamilydecals. I think they were just out of red Dodge Chargers at the car rental this weekend...sorry President. haha! Zone Conference was all about families and temples. YASSS! When Elder Ardern was up in Fairbanks with us last transfer, he told us that as missionaries in Fairbanks, AK right now we are to "prepare this land for a temple". A TEMPLE IN FAIRBANKS WOULD BE SO AMAZING! OK YESSIR ELDER ARDERN I WILL GO AND DO! Alaska has the same number of temples as Wyoming (aka one) and it's far, far away in Anchorage. It's hard for members to get there though because plane tickets are expensive and the drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage is sketch. I know there will be a temple here some day. It's just going to blend in with all the white snow that's here nine months out of the year, but that's okay. Something that President Robinson has taught me a lot about is that our goal isn't only to help people enter the waters of baptism, it's to help them make it to the temple where their families can be sealed there for time and all eternity. What an awesome blessing and what a testimony of how much our Heavenly Father loves His children! He doesn't intend for our families to be together just for our lives on Earth, He allows for us to be families forever! 

So yep, that was pretty much what went down in Fairbanks this week. Because of General Conference this weekend, we will have transfer calls on Wednesday night. If I stay in Fairbanks, Fa'anunu will be the first companion I've ever had for two transfers! So that might be dope...we'll see what happens. Also, to all you JH homies on Spring Break on an island, don't send me photos. I like pretending that living in 24 degrees surrounded by piles of snow is warm. Thanks love ya bye.
Peace & blessings.

XO Sis. Dunlop


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It was a random week, so here's a random email....
On Tuesday night, Bishop Boland asked Sis. Fa'anunu and I to crash a
wedding. He didn't use those exact words, but that's
pretty much what we did. So we went to the wedding (it was happening
in one of the church classrooms) and it was freaking awkward but
it's okay, there was cake. We had stopped by the church to drop off
the shovels we had been using that day to shovel driveways-I think
I've done more shoveling just this transfer than I've done in my
entire lifetime #AK-and Bishop stopped us in the hall. There were like
maybe ten people at the whole thing, and a bunch of them were less
active members so that's why he wanted us there. The wedding lasted
.04 seconds and then Sis. Faanunu and I said hi to a few people
but they obviously didn't want to talk to us, so we took some cake and
peaced out. Crash a wedding? Check.

We did more service at the Ice Park again a couple of times this week. It
was Spring Break for the schools and the youth ice sculpting
competition and so there were a bunch of little kiddos out there
sculpting ice - so crazy. Other update: I didn't win Bingo this week at the senior center, so
that was super sad but it's okay. It was St. Patrick's Day when we
were there and all the cute little old people were greened out to the
maxxxxxxxx- shamrock sunglasses, giant green hats, green lipstick. We
ate corned beef and cabbage like all week this week  #death #sos

We had dinner with Christina and Dylan (and their hubbie/dad Randi)
this week. They are doing super awesome! Christina loves visiting
teaching and we are helping her get ready to go to the temple in
Anchorage next month with the rest of our ward. She rocks. Side note:
she wore rubber duck leggings under her skirt to church yesterday and
it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

Here's some rando pictures to finish off this random email.

XO Sis. Dunlop


Monday, March 13, 2017

Sup fam. Okay big announcement of the week: THE SUN RISES AT 8AM NOW AND SETS AT 7PM AND IT'S A BIG FAT BLESSING I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THE SUNSHINE! I didn't realize how much I missed it until the other day when we were sitting at a stoplight and the warm sun was right on my face. I almost started crying #happytears. So yeah, that's the big and exciting news from Fairbanks. Woo. March & April are when the daylight is normal in Alaska. Right before it goes into 100% sun all the time - that's going to be weird.

Aayliah was baptized on Saturday! IT WAS SO CUTE- I died. Sister Fa'anunu and I were standing at the top of the stairs holding her towel for her and she climbed out and gave me the biggest, wettest hug ever. I love that kiddo. Then when they closed the font door whatever things (you know what I'm talking about??), she climbed back into the font and started swimming around haha. She was so happy. She kills me. Sunday was a really special day for their family because after Aaliyah was confirmed, they blessed their new baby girl too.

Aaliyah's life story in a few sentences: she was fostered by this member family with three other foster kids (all younger than her, none of them are related) like five years ago (she's nine now) and then the family had to wait a while but was able to officially adopt those four kiddos in January. Now that Aaliyah has been officially adopted, she was able to be baptized and has been waiting a really long time to be able to. It was so awesome to be able to teach her and be a part of her baptism. It was so happy!

The Ice AK Festival is going on right now and continues through the end of March and so we are volunteering at it a few days a week (aka we clean up garbage then go sled on the ice slide and climb around on the sculptures- "volunteering"). But now that these next few weeks are Spring Break for most of Alaska schools, they trained us to do tickets so we sit in a warm little hut and punch tickets and hand out maps of the park. It's pretty chill #hahaAKpuns. But these ice sculptures are INSANE! They are giant harvested blocks of glacier ice so they are super blue and pretty. Then the ice sculptor teams come with their chainsaws and pick axes and chip away at these huge things of ice and make dinosaurs or log cabins (that you can actually walk into and they have a bed, kitchen table, and living room) or the Statue of Liberty. They're out there all day just chipping away at a giant ice block and sipping hot cocoa. It's probably not hot cocoa though, this is Fairbanks we are talking about #alaskansarecrazy

Peace & blessings love ya'll bye

XOX Sister Dunlop ❄️

The Sky's Awake So I'm Awake & the Iditarod

Monday, March 6, 2017

Okay so...we saw the Northern Lights EVERY NIGHT this week and they
were SO DOPE you guys! They were blue and green and pink and purple
and they seriously like DANCED across the sky. I died. Literally,
started crying. Whatever. I love Alaska. Even though it's freezing.
Our little (she’s 10) investigator, Aaliyah, is getting baptized this weekend so
that's super exciting. We are really happy for her! Yay!
She was fostered by a member family a few years ago and was recently
adopted by them and so now that the adoption is finalized, she can be
baptized! Yay! Dylan was really sick this week and had to go to the ER
but he was able to get a priesthood blessing and is doing so much
better! Christina still rocks my socks, she's one of my favorite
people ever.
We went and watched the Iditarod start this morning (in the -30s with
wind chill) which was so AWESOME, but freezing. The mushers were so bundled
you could barely see their eyes haha. I would be the wimpiest musher
ever. Bless mushers.
That was the most random letter but whatevs.
Peace and blessins love ya byeeee.

XOXO Dunlop