Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week 3 in the Mission Field!

I had another baptism this last sunday on the 29th! It was a MIRACLE that it happened. Alexis is 14 and her parents are members but inactive and when she was 8 yrs old she was going to get baptized, but then her parents said no the day of the baptism. She's been going through a ton of missionaries ever since and she just kept backing out or her parents would. Well we did everything we could! On Saturday she got her baptism interview and we were all excited for her to make this huge decision and act on her faith to follow Jesus Christ. We had everything lined out for the baptism and who was speaking and everything. THEN! Sunday morning at 7:30 she gave us a call and said she didn't want to get baptized anymore. We were way bummed and just kept explaining to her how important it was and how much Heavenly father is waiting for her and how much it will bless her and help her in her life. so we said many prayers for her because she and her family are going through rough times. So we tried calling her back to ask her again but she screened our calls so we went over there and knocked on the door and could hear them inside but they didn't come, so we left them a note on the door and basically just said.... Well she's obviously not ready to be baptized, we did everything we could to help her, and she received her answer and confirmation that it was true and the right thing to do, but she's just not ready. We were all very sad because she was SO READY, or though it seemed. So, discouraged as we were the rest of the morning, we all still had a faith in her that one day she would be ready. We were sad yes, but we kept faith. For me personally I felt for the first time ever how sad it is when someone who has tasted a little of the gospel and it's blessings, just rejects it totally. I felt sad for heavenly father and honestly felt how he must feel when people reject him. But I still had faith in her. That's the lesson I learned that day! Faith can move mountains as it says in the scriptures and do miracles. Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement can do miracles. And it did! She called us back right before church and said, I've thought about what you said and I'm getting baptized and I'm going to church right now! YAY!!!!!!!!!! We were so surprised and were excited and happy and it was just a CRAZY rollercoaster day! haha We were a little nervous that she might back out again but she went through with it! She and all us sister missionaries sang the "Lord is my light" for the special musical number and she started crying it was so sweet. It's a miracle. When we have people in our lives that might make wrong choices or whatever....we need to always be there for them. We need to keep faith in them because the MINUTE you have doubt and lose faith.... Man that could've been a great miracle that just passed you by. We need to keep faith in each other and help lift each other up. When you do, you will bless theirs and your lives greatly and strengthen both your faith and theirs. Be that light in the dark for someone....be the light set on a hill and let your light shine (in matthew somewhere and also the Book of mormon i forget the reference.) My second baptism! I've seriously witnessed some amazing things just for being here 3 weeks.
Well I'm super tired all the time haha. Some days it's so bad I drag my legs to keep pushin forward. But I love it. Days in the mission field are always a surprise. One minute it could be the best day ever and the next it could really stink. So it's always interesting to see what will happen. It's been nice and cool lately. lol It's so funny how I'm always in these extreme weather situations it seems like. My body thermometer is out of wack I swear haha in Rexburg I think 30 degrees is nice and warm and here in Santee I think that 90 degrees is nice and cool haha. All I do is sweat all the time but I'm already used to it. Everyone is always sweating. Did I mention last time that it got to 105 degrees the other day? My Spanish is still coming slow. I'm frustrated lots of the time cause I can't understand people and get the whole picture of what they're needs or concerns are. But I'm workin on it.
We went on exchanges the other day and I stayed her with my trainer Hna. Pineda and we got Sister Clifford to come with us the whole day to observe our teaching and give us some advice. She is one of the top two sister missionaries in this mission and she was amazing! She gave me some amazing insight.
The temple was AMAZING!!! so gorgeous....even though there was still some scaffolding on the sides for cleaning it so the windows were all covered up but it was still gorgeous. It was so nice just to go there and not worry about anything. Well that's all I can think of right now haha I forgot my notebook with everything that I was gonna mention in this letter....I forget ALOT of stuff cause there's just too many things to remember. but I love you all and hope you are doing well.
Happy birthday early to brenna michelle and carrie!!! love you guys!
hermana dunn!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Tawny's two companions in San Diego enjoying a New York Giant Pizza, Hermana Thomas from Kansas City & Herman Pineda who was born in the US of Nicaraguan parents and is a native spanish speaker.
Tawny was present for the "Mission Call Opening" for Marcos, who got called to California Fresno Mission. Next in the lineup are Hermanas's Thomas, Pineda and Marcos sister, Paloma.
On the left is Miguel Soto, who Tawny helped to teach from the tuesday she arrived to Sunday when he was baptized by Marcos, the second from the left. Third is Hermana's Pineda, Thomas and Dunn. Tawny also sang "I believe in Christ" for the baptism special number in spanish!
Tawny's MTC teachers from left to right Hermano's Hidalgo, Dallon (a sub for when the others weren't there) and Messer

Tawny's mission progression...first call...Second call!!!

Holding a baby python at a members house!!!! these things can get up to 8ft long!
THE BEST PICTURE EVER!!! Not sure if this was set up by tawny or not but we're asking! :)

Hot Hot Hot!

It's sooooooo DANG HOT!!! It's so hot here in San Tee. It hit 101 one day then 102 and today is supposed to be 103. I am really excited for today though cause we are going to the temple!!! yay!!! First time in my favorite temple! Marco's the member that got his mission call last week is going through for the first time today and we are going with him so it'll be cool to do that.
Other than that I can't believe I would still have been in the MTC since yesterday! I feel like I've been here sooooo long and have learned so much. My trainer Hermana Pineda really is awesome! She's a great trainer. I've been so discouraged at times though because I feel like I am the WORST teacher in the world! I CANNOT understand people for the life of me when we talk in Spanish. Everyone is so different with their slang and dialect it's frustrating because I really want to help these people but I can't communicate very well or understand. Missionary work is hard just so ya know.... It's not just teaching lessons or preaching. It's finding out peoples needs and truly trying to help them through accepting and applying the gospel in their lives and it's hard. We're talking to our friends, our brothers and sisters and it's hard to help them understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel and truly help them apply them in their lives and see HOW MUCH it really helps them have happier lives. Your blessed more when we do what Heavenly Father has asked and set for us to do. It's sad when people don't even want to try or shut the door in our face or more frustrating, say and make an appointment that they want but then don't show up! It's so hard. I feel super stupid, as several times I have just taught "lessons" and not people. Several times I have TOTALLY butchered the lesson and the language that I just wanna quit right there. But I know that with trial and error and with these challenging times, I will only learn and grow from them and get better at relating the gospel to people and truly help them strengthen their testimony in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and His gospel. His plan for us. I can't decide what was worse, the other night at a guys house I didn' t understand ANYTHING he was saying and therefor couldn't help him and his need. Or last night when I just drug out the lesson for AN HOUR!!!! and the teenager said to her mom that she was BORED! I'm so embarrassed! I just can't seem to keep it short, simple, sweet and powerful and relate it to people. I can't shut up! It's really hard to try and put yourself in their shoes and try to think of the best way I can help them understand. But there have been other times where I've totally rocked!!!! My trainer was proud of us in these awesome lessons and how we related it to them. It really is just following the spirit, because he knows the people and what they need. When we listen to him we know what to say and how to truly help people and know what they need. Honestly I don't know what the normal missionary experience is for training so I've been beating myself up a lot...but my comps have said several times how impressed they are with my Spanish and how I've been just jumping in and going for it.... I guess lots of trainers just make the greenie watch, but not mine! I've learned a lot. Members of the ward have even commented on my Spanish but it's just honestly understanding people, that I can't do! ITS SPANISH! ha ha The easiest in the world...but I just have to keep trying. Heavenly Father must have a lot of faith in me for sending me two weeks early because I feel totally inadequate at times. But I just try and remember what my comps have said.

Here's a random story though ha ha. My companion has never seen The Princess Bride. And everyone knows that movie! I know I've seen it only a thousand times! ha ha So one night my comp and I ...mostly my comp...told her the ENTIRE movie/story scene by scene and practically line by line ha ha! It was hilarious and amazing how much sister Thomas has that movie memorized. But it was like watching the movie over again ha ha It was our bed time story...don't worry it wasn't during missionary time or anything, but I just thought it was funny. Now she want's to watch it when she gets home. Hopefully we did it justice ha ha.
I love you all and challenge everyone to study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel ...or just anything gospel for 1 hour everyday!!! I do it every morning as you know and it really does make a difference in my day for the better! It starts my day out great! I love it and hope you all try to take this challenge. I notice a real difference in my day if I don't....(Sundays we don' t have time to do it). And even though this week has kinda stunk for me, don't think that I'm quitting or don't like this. I LOVE being a missionary! I love the feeling and power of the calling that I have, to help others and to serve them. To gain a stronger testimony. To feel the Lords hand in my life, even stronger as I'm working side by side with him to help anyone and everyone. I love it.
I love you all! send me letters as they are better to read personally than emails because I can't print out the emails or pics from the email .
Hermana Tawny Dunn!

What was I eating?

At a members house I ate some weird funky meat. I didn't know what it was, but it tasted funky and was really crunchy. I hope it wasn't like hooves or beak or something!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hello From San Diego!

Ok everyone!
Lots to say, lots to say! I get an hour to email at the local library and ONLY ON TUESDAY!!! I ONLY receive mail and packages on Tuesday too! So if you don't hear a response right away that's why. Plus I'm SUPER busy and hardly even have time for myself to get ready for bed even! No time No time.
Lot's of drama with my call but I just want everyone to know that it's all going great! The church obviously wanted me to be close to better medical care JUST IN CASE anything did happen. BUT NOTHING IS WRONG! I'm healthy and well and there was no change in my second MRI that I got. Salta was just too remote for me to be there in case anything did go wrong. So i was reassigned to San Diego, CA. It was hard to get the news. i was called into the MTC Presidents office and he told me. i did cry and was upset for that day and a little down the next day too...cause i mean come on...i was called to Argentina originally! but with the help of my wonderful teachers and leaders and the love and support they gave me along with my district and ESPECIALLY the lessons that they gave definitely helped me realize just how much I need to have faith and trust in the Lord... and that He works in mysterious ways. It was hard to accept it at first but like I said...with the help from those powerful lessons that seemed to be just for me, I was able to more easily accept the will and way of the Lord to come here to San Diego. I love it here! of course there's' family here and I've been here lots! So the day they told me about my change though I only had 5 days left in the mtc! I had only been there for 7 and 1/2 weeks instead of 9. They said they were doing this because my leaders all said I was great and ready to get out there....otherwise the next group leaving for San Diego would be end of September. So they shipped me out early. I was all by myself at the airport and on the plane. No normal procedures for me. No exiting group or companion. I was the only one coming into the mission because I had come a week after the recent group came for transfers. The Mission President, Pres. Donaldson, was there to greet me in the airport. He's super nice and WAY awesome! Then my companions...yes I'm in a trio....came to pick me and my junk up. haha. It was p-day so that was nice to just have an easy day after all this new shock that I was thrown into. I didn't get the regular orientation or meet the president's wife or go to there home or anything. Then 6pm that night we went to appointments.....in Spanish. haha I just sat and listened. The next day was zone conference and was sweet! Pres. Donaldson is an AMAZING MAN!!!! Tons of DEEP deep insight and studied Hebrew and has deep stuff about the gospel and scriptures and knows everything!!!! He's a really intelligent man.
I have to share something interesting too. I definitely don't mean to brag or anything but my trainer told me that when he was set apart as a mission president by one of the 12 apostles, they told him in his blessing that they would send the best missionaries in the world to him! He told us that! So I thought that was way cool and it made me feel a lil better because this whole week I've felt totally inadequate and useless because it's all so new and different from the privileged life in the MTC. Made me kinda forget Argentina too.. haha.
I'm in San Tee, live with members in their basement and sleep on the crapiest hardest mattress haha. My trainer is Hermana Pineda who was born here but is Nicaraguan. My other comp is sister Thomas from Kansas city. I love them both! They rock and we get along really well. It's hot here, but pretty in it's own way. All the hills around are covered in these huge boulders and just weird looking.....brown mostly but lots of palm trees and other trees around and flowers and just pretty. I have this INSANE amount of love for the people already and I don't even know them. It's amazing!. I love this feeling of being able to help people feel the spirit and grow more to want it in their lives and to follow the gospel and apply it in their lives and truly see how it changes there lives for the better.
We only have 30 min to exercise which stinks because it's right when we get up at 6:30 which I have NO ENERGY AT ALL! haha. Oh and I'm definitely gonna starve cause there's hardly ever time to eat because we are always running to appointments. we have like 9-12 investigators, so it's crazy! Three girls with one shower stinks...plus we can't go upstairs unless we all go since we live with members so that stinks too because if we want a snack we all have to go. haha I sleep and shower with the ants but it's coo! we tight! haha :-)

We're the Guinea pig mission so anything new to teach or how to teach we do it and then let the rest of the missions in the world know if it works or not. We're Spanish speaking and have lots of Hispanics around for us to teach. If we talk to anyone in English we send the English speaking elders to teach them because were supposed to do Spanish only. We talk a lot in English though so it's hard!!!!!!! HARD to get better at Spanish. but I jump in the lessons when I know what's going on and know how to say stuff. haha. Lots of the time though I have a hard time understanding what people say because of different dialects and slang and stuff. My comps all think that I have way good Spanish though so that's comforting.
Now for the best part! I GOT A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!! lol It doesn't really count fully as mine but my comps say it does. I got here Tuesday and Miguel Soto our investigator is GOLDEN! He believes it all wants to apply it in his life and follow Jesus Christ and did. He really has a strong testimony. He was taught for 3 weeks and I helped teach him from Tuesday to Sunday. He was baptized on Sunday the 15th and I sang "I Believe In Christ" for a special musical number...in Spanish of course. So that was awesome. Great to hear his testimony too. It was strong. Also a local member family, except the mom, I really love! Marco's is 23 and just got his mission call last night to California Fresno! We got to be there for it which was cool! His sister Paloma is 17 and super sweet!!!! and their mom Maria is SO NICE I love her. They have fed us twice. which is always nice but we sisters never get fed....never make appts which I always root for but it never happens. We only have an hour for meals so the food is instant stuff that I have to eat cause that hour turns into 30-45 minutes because we're always late or running somewhere so I'm hungry lots of the time but I'm gonna get more munchy stuff to grab and go for the day.
Well this is a novel now. I love you all! I love my mission! I love my comps and I love being a missionary!
ps. We have a car....which stinks. I hate it but for San Diego it's necessary. I will have to drive too once Mom and Rod send me a driving record from the DMV or wherever your supposed to get it. I can't till I get that and need it ASAP please!
Con Amor,
Auntie :-) Hermana Dunn
I LOVE YOU LINCOLN SKY FOWLER!!!! hope i get pics of him soon! OH YEAH !!!! my mailing address is
7404 Armstrong Pl
San Diego, CA 92111-4912
United States
Friends, please use this address to write me and FAMILY please Email me or write....! We come to email in the morning and get our mail later in the day so if you have any questions for me and want them answered right away then email them so I can answer you through email. Just remember I only get an hour too. and I write novels. haha.
pss I don't know what will happen, but I wonder if after I get my 6 month MRI and everything is good and no change,....if they'll send me to Argentina then. I have no idea. Pres Donaldson doesn't know either....any thoughts?
To my district and teacher! I met Elder Moreno Elder Christianson and Sister Voyles from the District movies! haha! It was cool!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mission Change!

Hey everyone! Tawny's mission has been changed to the San Diego, CA Spanish Speaking Mission by an apostle. The Salta Mission was just to remote if there was any medical changes with her cyst. She's really bummed about the change but is handling it very maturely! She was comforted in the fact that only an apostle can change a mission but of course she's still bummed. Let's be sure to keep her in our prayers to help boost her morale. She reports Tuesday at 5am to the San Diego Mission cutting out about 3 weeks of MTC time. We'll keep you posted about where to send mail and stuff to. She doesn't have an address yet so we'll let you know when we know.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

week 6 at the MTC

Well! last week was dramatic with my MRI. News is that there is no change in it and that my call is now in the hands of the prophet and apostles and Drs in SLC right now and they will have the final say in if I stay in Salta or not. the Dr. here that's a tough cookie was saying that he would at least root for Buenos Aires if I changed and still stayed in Argentina cause there's a British hospital there....but I honestly don't know when or how I'm gonna hear back from SLC. Oy vey! Well it's been extremely hard to think that i might not be going to Salta anymore but throughout the week I have been blessed by my amazing teachers and leaders here! they have given amazing lessons that seemed to be just for me and what I needed to here. I've been trying to just be patient and accept the will of the Lord. it's been hard since my heart is set on Salta but then this lesson that hermano Messer gave was amazing! He compared Matt 25 the parable of the 10 virgins to the premortal life and how we were given talents to come here to earth and use and magnify and gain more to help others hear His gospel. He thought that in the pre-mortal life we made promises to people that we would come and find them in this life and teach them the gospel and boy that made me think, "wow I really do need to just accept wherever I go with an open heart and a smile cause I made promises to people and the Lord only knows where they are and that somewhere might not be in Salta. So I'll wait to hear from SLC" Again I still would love love love to stay in Salta but I have NO CLUE at this point. But I've been learning my lesson. I love my teachers. They are sooooooo awesome!!!!! And that conference talk I told you about in the last email...."but if not..." did anyone read it?! It's amazing and that helped me a lot too! Just know everyone...that the Lord gives us trials in our life to test us and our faith in him. He gives them to us to make us stronger to learn and grow. Is that not the whole point for this life on earth? To learn and grow, gain experience and see how well we endure it? When we endure it well, meaning don't complain but be happy and still try and enjoy life, then Heavenly Father will bless us even more and help us through our trials by giving us peace, being with us and giving us patience. Look up D&C 121:7-9 it's a comforting scripture. Just press forward with faith in Christ and ask yourself, "what is Heavenly Father trying to teach me right now?" and then work hard to be obedient and he will Greatly bless your life. D&C 130:20-22? Just do your very best. That's all He asks of us. Well I went to the RC as we do every week and we had to make TWO calls in Spanish!!! Our comp was aloud to listen in and hermano Hidalgo listened in and helped us with what they said so that we could talk to them. GUESS WHAT! my VERY first call IN SPANISH the girl wanted to meet with the MISSIONARIES!!!! I bore my testimony to her in Spanish about eternal families and she totally agreed to the missionaries coming over! I have to give credit to my comp and teacher cause they helped me with what she said but that was my very first person I sent the missionaries too! She almost sounded Mormon already ha ha I wasn't sure if she was or not but obviously not! That was awesome! ha ha I was beaming that day! Well I don't have too much else to say except thank you Brenna for the letters and I NEED your WY address right now so I can send you the one I have for you to Cheyenne.
I love you all and have no idea when I will hear from SLC or if I'll get to call you or not but hopefully soon! Love you all!
Hermana Tawny Dunn

Monday, August 2, 2010

MRI Results

Hello everyone,
If you read Tawny's latest email home from Tuesday you will know the reason I am writing this...
I just wanted to let you know that I waited long enough today for a call from Provo with Tawny's MRI results... I finally called the MTC Medical this afternoon just before closing and talked to the nurse to find out what the results of the MRI were....

It remains the same, No growth in the cyst!!! As fully expected...

The MTC & Dr's are now looking into the availability of an adequate medical facility in Salta for the recommended replete MRI in six months. That will likely determine if her August 23rd departure (still the same) remains to Salta!! Then they will meet together to discuss the plan, whether it be Salta, somewhere bigger in Argentina or ?? At this point it sounds quite possible for a mission change, but we will see??
I will keep you posted...