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

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