Monday, September 4, 2017

I first off need to start this weekly by attempting to briefly convey how simply fantastic and amazing President Toone is. I don't know what AAM did to be so blessed with such a loving and kind mission president, but we are seriously the luckiest mission in the world and I am forever grateful for him and his sweet wife. We had interviews with President Toone this week and I had just been feeling overwhelmed by the whirlwinds of being a missionary-investigators not keeping commitments or being too busy to meet with you, doors on doors on doors being shut in your face before you even have the chance to breathe just because you wear a little black badge, a ward of wonderful people who need a lot of love but feeling blank as to knowing what more you can do, being homesick for my people, not having a ward mission leader to help us homegirls out because we're feeling directionless and lost, the earth starting to turn brown and gray as the fresh snow settles in the mountain tops #freezin, families whose hurt would be healed by the gospel and through the Atonement because that solves everything but they're not willing to give it a chance, people thinking that missionaries are just a free labor moving company, and the weight of trying to be His heart and His ears and His eyes and His hands and be perfect at it and be a part of all these missionary miracles and just feeling really small. I went in and sat down with President Toone and he helped heal me. He pulled me right out of the whirlwind, planted my feet on the ground, and brought me back. Everything President Toone and I talked about and all that he said to me was exactly what I needed and my heart is so grateful for that. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and my AAM well enough to know that we needed President and Sister Toone with their love and zeal for the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is good. 
Here's how I am feeling...Mosiah 2:20-22
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another--
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another--I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

Other exciting things that have been happening: OH. We had this less active member that neither Sister Pike or I had ever met before, show up to church last Sunday and was asking all these deep and not related to the lesson strange [sketch] questions in class and the teacher suggested that he meet with us sometime this week and we could answer his questions...great. Sis. Pike and I were a little freaked out by this guy so we had the Knik elders come with us to his lesson #safety. We get in there and he starts explaining to us how the government writes Latin code words in the sky and if you were to cut a table in half or a wall in half, the Latin would come out. Latin is everywhere. And then he told us how he has these five military soldiers that follow him around because his father discovered a dark secret about his family in the past and now the military is out to get him/watch him to make sure he doesn't spill it. Also, according to our dear friend, the military hides symbols in the palms of your hands and Latin letters that spell out your destiny. I was so lost. We mostly just sat there in silence trying to figure out what to say while he rambled. It was like we got thrown into Inception or the Da Vinci Code or National Treasure or something #whirlwind. I guess he moved back to Virginia or something that day because Bishop Bowen told us he's gone now...bye friend, good luck out there. 

Apparently dizziness is contagious. Earlier this week, Sister Pike had been feeling really dizzy and nauseous and then she started feeling better on Thursday and then I started feeling dizzy and nauseous for the rest of the weekend. It's really weird because it's not like dehydration or something like that, it's just like that feeling you get when you stand up too quickly and see stars everywhere. But like, constantly #whirlwinds. There's not really anything we can do about it so we're just surviving. We've just been waiting for either of us to pass out during a lesson or while tracting on someone's porch, it hasn't happened yet but I'll keep you updated if it does-should be exciting.

We were our district tracting in the Wasilla elders' area on Saturday and we were heading up to a door and this cute mom stuck her head out the window and was like, "hey! Are you the LDS missionaries?! I was just reading a blog from this mom on the east coast who was talking about how much she loves the LDS missionaries coming over," ...we were speechless. Then she told us about she's a blogger and was working on a post right now so she couldn't chat but told us we could come back (you're welcome Elders) and then she said, "if everyone was as serious as you guys are about your faith, going door to door, it would heal the world,". Amen. Amen. Amen. The gospel solves everything. In missionary work we talk a lot about "the one". The one family that opens their door to you while you're out tracting, the one investigator that comes to church on Sunday, the one lesson where your investigator (who really become some of your greatest and sweetest friends through this whole thing) commits to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. At the end of the day, we do all of this for the one. 
Doctrine & Covenants 18:15-16
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
Serving a mission has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. But I've never felt so much joy or peace or gratitude as I have serving a mission. It's tough, but amazing. It's a whirlwind. And it's all worth it. Idk, I'm just feeling really blessed and grateful up here and have seen tender mercy in tender mercy on tender mercy happen around me. Life is so good and I love being one of His missionaries. 

XOXO đŸ’•Sister Dunlop

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