Friday, December 24, 2010

Feliz Navidad!!!

SURPRISE!!!! I'm writing today and not tomorrow! I forgot that our mission president said he still wanted us to email today instead of on p day tomorrow cause he didn't want a million parents calling him worried where there missionary was and why they hadden't written hahaha. so tomorrow is our p day but only for this week and I'll tell you why!!!
We had MTE....(missionary training exchange) where we meet with our zone and President Donaldson (mish pres) trains us and teaches us more about the gospel and how we can better help others understand it. He teaches us new tools to use in teaching and ways to teach. Then we have a missionary who's been out for a while or whatever, come on exchanges with us in our companionship to observe and help us how to implement what we just learned into our teaching. Like today we learned that an effective way of teaching that we need to get really good at is teaching with stories. And who would of thunk that Jesus Christ is our perfect example of that! and President Monson too! hahah. OF COURSE stories work! we just simply forgot about it and/or don't use them that much. I've quickly found out though that i STINK at telling stories! there's a lot of things about teaching that i'm not good at, at all! but i try my best everyday to improve and just follow the spirit to help these people. It was awesome though!!! the things i learned and continue to learn from my mission pres is AMAZINGLY mind blowing and helps me understand the gospel so much more and only strengthens my testimony that this IS THE WAY! This is the way that heavenly father has provided. His way, His authority, His gospel, His will. Not our gospel our church but His. My appreciation and knowledge for the gospel grows each day! and I only hope to help people gain this same knowledge and appreciation...because it is well!

I have a challenge for you guys. if you want....of course. I would love to hear from you! and answer these questions.
1)What do you truly want in this life? to achieve or whatever!
2)If you could ask Heavenly Father ONE question of your heart, what would it be?
3)What means most to you?
That would be great if you could write me a letter :-)
OH my gosh!!! GUESS WHAT!!!! I will be hitting my 6 month mark on the 23rd of this month!!! in 2 days!!! ahhh! that means I'm 1/3 through my mission. That means I only have 1 year left! oy! I still feel like I know NOTHING, but have learned sooo much at the same time. I love the mish! and I hope I'm helping SOMEONE! I hope I'm helping you...even in the slightest way.
We have this ROCKING member who is an AMAZING missionary.! she's in her 60s and she just LOVES to share the gospel no matter WHAT people think of her because it brings her so much joy! Her name is Eva Salazar and her son is a rocking RM too! still doing the work too! Her nephew we just added last week. We went to the Mormon Batallion and he LOVED it! and we taught him last night for the first time last night and invited him to be baptized and he said YES and he said YES to 3 weeks too! AMAZING what the miracles can be when you follow the spirit. My comp and i were RIGHT on key because everything that i was wanting him to hear SHE said it! it just flowed and we all felt the spirit testify to us so strong and he is just SO ready to do this! WE also added more people and a family that is awesome! So things are working out better and we are just trying our best to put all our talents and selves out there on the line for the Lord and his children so that we can better help them.
Thursday will be our Christmas party where we get our presents and stuff and I'm singing in a trio the first noel. and then Christmas eve and day we have several eating appointments with members. so I'm gonna look like Santa pretty much hahaha. jk.
well love you all! hope to hear from you soon.

love hermana dunn

Dec 14th Letter

so i have noooooo time to write cause we went to the temple today and it took all day....traffic stunk too. but i can feel all of your prayers and they are much appreciated. yesterday we added FIVE new investigators! it was awesome! i don't know how but it happened.
next week my P-day will be on wednesday the 22nd .....cause we have meetings all day on monday and tuesday with the mission pres which will rock. so dec 22nd is my p-day for next week and email day!
and just for a random story on a random events night......the other night we were walking to the car and a firework went off about 100yds from us and scared the poop out of us! my heart stopped cause it almost sounded like a gun shot...haha but no worries we saw the firework. it was random though....then we were driving down the street and a possum slowly slinked it's way across the road ....it was nasty! like and ROUS from Princess Bride (rodents of unusual size) haha. then we were driving home at night and i saw a meteor fall! or a really bright shooting star!.
we have a mission president fireside in La Mesa this sunday which will be fun! it's in spanish and we'll be singing christmas songs. .....sorry but i'll type more next week. and i still haven't gotten time to send pics yet...sorry.

love hermana dunn

Dec 7th Letter

Sorry this is late everyone. We lost the car keys this morning and also had some technical problems with stupid picture developing place where I was printing pics to send home...but they didn't come out. So sorry you wont get all the new ones I wanted to send.
Like every transfer, it was nerve wracking this morning during study time because we were waiting for ''the phone call'' to see if any of us were getting transferred. Well....none of us are! I'm staying with Sister Muir here in Otay River Ward...in Chula basically. woo hoo!!! our roomies are the same too sister Nelson and sister Gines who are awesome! They are in Chula 4th ward. So it'll be another party for the holidays in our apartment. haha.
The work here has still been slow. Some days are awesome some are not and some are a lil hard, but the mission is awesome. I'm really blessed to be here in San Diego. i LOVE IT! I think i was really meant to come here believe it or not! I love the ward I'm in! I feel like I've known all the members for a long time and they feel like family. Love them!
In an attempt to try and help our investigators progress and strengthen their testimonies and get more investigators I thought up the idea a few weeks back to have a mini little fireside for our ward. Music program with testimonies for those of you that don't know what a fireside is. We missionaries sang 4 songs and the youth sang another and we did it as the "spiritual thought" for mutual. We did some pretty arrangements of I'm a child of god, Lead kindly light, O my Father and the youth did I know that my redeemer lives. It was good! but the turn out wasn't. None of us got any of our investigators there and none of the members, except ONE brought friends. There were 2 people there that weren't members. We had our stake counselor speak too! I was pretty bummed. I almost wanted to cry cause I was so frustrated that none of us could get anyone there. BUT!!!! Turns out that it seems that the youth/ and members might have needed it more that investigators. One of the members in our ward really appreciated it and lots of the youth needed to hear it too.
So to much of my dismay there were no investigators and I felt that it was a wasted effort and time, but I'm glad it turned out that SOME people were able to be touched by the music. Makes you really think how investigators aren't the only ones that need to be strengthened in the gospel. All of us as members ALWAYS need to be strengthened in the gospel. We are not perfect, we have everyday challenges and bigger ones at times and we all have our faith tested. We always need to remember though that we need to help lift each other up and edify each other always. NEVER, are we to judge others of how "perfect" or "not perfect" there lives may Seem. We all have challenges. Heavenly father has an amazing perfect plan of happiness for us that we need to share...but the adversary has his plan too that can sometimes dangle in our path and for some even trap them in despair. But it's with the light of the gospel that can give us hope and strengthen us. we can all share that light and all need to. There are people out there searching for it. Now that may have just sounded cheesy or preachy but I'm dead serious. I continue to learn each day just how much the gospel really means to me and to others and to Heavenly Father.
The other night at the Christmas devotional broadcast president Eyring said something like, "you would give Him (heavenly father) Much JOY this Christmas season and always as you come unto him and accept his restored gospel." That's what I hope to do as a missionary and as a human being is to bring my Heavenly Father joy in coming unto Him each and every day and hopefully helping bring others unto him as well as a missionary. That quote though that He said just really hit me. The greatest gift you can give to Him this season and greatest joy you can give Him is to come unto Him and accept and apply His gospel that He has once again restored to the earth through a prophet.....because He LOVES US. The Christmas season is really about the Savior and what he came into the world to do for us. The best way we can honor His life and His sacrifice is accepting and living the gospel. I strive to do that everyday...and I hope we all will. It may not be easy at times...but that's why he's given us families, prophets, leaders, teachers, scriptures, the book of Mormon, prayer, church, wards! That's why Hes' given us commandments, to bring us joy and eternal life. "for behold, this is My work and my glory: to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man" Moses 1:39 "porque, he aqui, esta es mi obra y mi gloria: Llevar a cabo la inmortalidad y la vida eterna del hombre."
It's amazing the things I continue to learn....especially in Spanish at times. I love the mission and can't imagine my life without it and the things i might have never learned....so far. Even though there are really tough days at times, I keep pushing through. without the bad days I wouldn't know the GREAT Days that I have!
Love you all!
Hermana Tawny Dunn

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nov 16th Letter

HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE MY MISSION! I LOVE SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA MISSION!!! My mission president is AWESOME! I love him! He's sooooo crazy intelligent and gave a ROCKIN Zone Conference and I just totally got new meaning to the gospel and just HOW ESSENTIAL it is in our lives! I'm so blessed and thankful that I'm here in San Diego otherwise I wouldn't have met these people! and definitely wouldn't have had the privilege of meeting President Donaldson! God works in mysterious ways that's for sure! He taught us a ton of Hebrew though and all that jazz and now I want to take Hebrew Old Testament and New Testament classes when I get home!
Mi corazon es con los mexicanos ahora! Yup....I love Mexico and the people and the food and the culture and the music....when I hear it in the streets that is.....and everything! I'm getting to love the spicy food too! Even though I really am still a wimp when it comes to spicy spicy food. The other night at the Alberto's house (they feed us every Sunday, the place where I've also tried pigs feet) we had some yummy dinner and there were jalapeno peppers that they were biting into and eating. So I decided to try it! I took a tiny bite and my mouth was ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My face turned red and I started to cry it was so hot!!!!! and Hermana Alberto leans over and tastes it and she was like...this isn't that hot Hermana! hahahha. I LOVE Huevos Rancheros now! It's eggs with beans and salsa and tortillas! SO GOOD! oh one downside the other night hahah .....we were eating at someones house and there was a dead cockroach in my companions drink!!!!! EWWW! I had to really try hard not to puke! and looked carefully through my food.....no worries though I didn't have any in my food. Just a fun lil surprise in the food though hahaha....as Rod would say, "it's extra protein!

The work has been extremely slow for us sad to say but we just have been having a hard time finding people. But don't worry things are starting to pick up. We found an investigator the other day that was flirting with me and kept telling me that he just couldn't believe how beautiful my eyes were and that my boyfriend just couldn't say no to those! hahaha I told him I didn't have one...lol But then in the end he HUGGED me!!! I was soooo shocked and just didn't know what to do so I gave him two pats on the back and said thanks haha! Yeah....gotta watch that closer next time. Luckily it wasn't a kiss!

Anyways I gotta go. We are finally going to the Zoo today!!!!
Love you all! ....will write more next time.
Love tawny!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nov 9th 2010

I can't believe it's p-day all over again! It's going by sooo fast! Yup it's hot! It's been like in the high 80s/90s for us down here next to the mexican border! Feels nice! My watch tan line is getting a lil more defined haha. That's not very cool at all though haha. Just kidding. Well some exciting news! For me and for all!....Last night we were eating at a members house and she asked us if we felt the tremor last thursday! I was like...."what?!!??" Apparently there was an earthquake 5.1 on the scale over outside of El Centro, out in the desert about 2 or 2 1/2 hours east of here. And she said that she felt some of it ....but I definitely didn't feel anything! I've never been in an earthquake but heck I might have felt a tiny tremor and not known it. haha.
So my spanish is getting better I've noticed but is FAR FROM perfect! But it's amazing to me how I've been getting way more insight/revelation through my spanish scripture and preach my gospel study! It's so crazy!!!! Because I'm still learning the language and I've been understanding gospel stuff way more and way better! It's so cool! It makes me just want to only study in spanish....but I like to study in english so I can understand everything better. Just a fun lil note!
Oh I forgot to mention that for Halloween we all had to come in before dark and just chill/work in the apartment. Just as a safety precaution for all the weirdos runnin' around on halloween night. It was fun though! Me and the roomies all made a huge breakfast to eat for dinner! It was so good! and pumpkin and peach pie! hahah. And we played uno. This of course after we were done working and planning and all..don't worry we still worked haha.
Hey can somebody send me some pretty pics of CDA lake and downtown and just of CDA. por favor?! no one believes me when I say it's gorgeous unless they've been there haha. Also some pics of winter time up there too? some people haven't even seen snow! oh and mom could you maybe print out the latest family portrait as a wallet size photo for me? por favor? gracias!
oh and we went and visited the Ruthefords the other day again and I asked him how he got the Ruebens and the Picasso pic. Turns out he REALLY DID meet Picasso! He was going to art school in Nice, France and he met 4 of Picassos apprentices and so they rode over on their bikes one day to his studio and he met Picasso and he gave him this drawing!!!! HOW CRAZY COOL IS THAT!!!!
So the work is going kinda slow here actually. We're having a hard time finding people to teach. and we both are terrible at contacting in the street. I never know how to start or what to say and it just becomes awkward. I feel a little embarrassed but we're trying to just take courage and go talk to them! When we do it's totally worth it.....or totally not hahaha. You either get shot down or they end up talking and it's awesome meeting new people! But does anyone have any advice for me for contacting? It would be much appreciated. Brenna just sent me some music in english and Spanish and I got the idea one day when we were praying for weekly planning that we (the missionaries in my district) should put on a little missionary musical/ fireside thing. We all are good singers and I thought it would be fun to have us all sing different songs / play piano / violin and have little spiritual thoughts in between and invite our investigators and members to bring friends. So everyone likes the idea now I just gotta put some stuff together. We don't know yet for sure when it will be, but I'll keep ya posted. We always do have firesides for the whole mission once a month some in Spanish some in English....but i thought it would be nice to have a small lil private one.
This week is gonna be great! Tomorrow we have Zone Conference again!!! Woo hoo! President Donaldson is AMAZING!!! He knows all! haha he is omniscient! haha so that will be awesome! from 8AM to 4pm!!!! then on Friday I'm going on exchanges with sister Voyles...meaning she will be with me all day while my companion is with another sister in her area. Sister Voyles is an amazing missionary and she's one of the ones that was filmed in the Preach My Gospel DVD's. She was called to that of course and she really gets missionary work and I'm way lucky to have been reassigned here to this mission to work with these people and this mission president! I'm gonna take tons of notes from her. Hey! All of you people go out and buy the Preach My Gospel DVD's and watch them! They are awesome!
Shout out to Brett Calkins!!!! someone please ask him....if your not reading this Brett,.....where he is going on his mission and if he's gone to the tempel yet? all i heard was the Netherlands but I'm excited to find out where exactly!!! Woo hoo! Congrats!
Well I love you all! Hope all of you are taking my invites to read the scriptures and Preach my gospel everyday! The restored gospel really is everything. The worth of every soul is great in the sight of god! That's why we're out here teaching the restored gospel. Teaching to peoples needs and teaching by the spirit. Bwcause that's how it's done!
love you!
Hermana Dunn

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov 2nd Letter

Yeah yeah! All you lucky north Idahoans and Utah people are all freezing huh! hahah Just kidding, that's mean... It's so nice down here! It's been sunny and high 70s and BEAUTIFUL GORGEOUS California sunsets! The past couple days have been sooooo clear and cloud free I could even see out on the ocean!!! Beautiful SD and Tijuana and Coronado island are all visible! If only I wasn't driving then I would take more pictures in the car.
Well I met someone famous! He's a member in the English ward and we went over to his house to ask about an investigator that was seen in the past, who is his neighbor. I don’t know his first name but his last is Ruthaford....or Rutheford or Rutherford.....I don't know how to spell it but he's a famous sculptor! He has two of his pieces in the Smithsonian and one 8ft angel with stained glass wings somewhere in Minnesota or Michigan or somewhere. Look up on google "The Ruthebird" sculpture. It's one of his most famous signature pieces that I saw. His house was AMAZING!!! Mom you would've been in heaven. Me personally I died and went to heaven cause he HAS AN ORIGINAL PICASSO!!!! He also has an ORIGINAL RUEBENS painting! I don't know how he got the Ruebens, but he said that Picasso personally gave him that original drawing, I think when he was going to art school in Europe! I don't know if that's true or not because I forget what years Picasso was or still is alive. Someone please look that up for me? His house was covered with art work and sculptures and these model Mast Ships in glass cases all over! I loved it! Such an awesome house! Such an awesome Guy! He's super nice and super strong in the church.
So a shout out....Aaron Peet! If he doesn't read this, can someone who does, like Shaunna or Erica please get hold of him and ask for me: What was the name of the island in Panama that he served on? There's a family in my ward from Panama who I LOVE and we were talking about that.... But I can't remember the name of the island.
For those of you that wanna write me here's my address! ALL are welcome to write me, so do it haha.
Hermana Tawny Dunn
7404 Armstrong Pl
San Diego, CA 92111

Funny story.....We have an investigator who is the Mexican version of Rod! haha His eyes are what got me because they look exactly like Rod’s and his little side smile ....just his smile kinda looks like Rod too! I was about to hug him! haha ok not really....but here's an air hug for you Rod! And here's an air hug to everyone!
Heres some funny quotes that I’ve seen on peoples doors...and or signs:
"No Solicitors”, “No Salespersons”, “No Surveys”, “No Nobody”, “No Jehovah's Wittness’s" hahah funny for us Mormon missionaries.. haha. and the other is just for you mom... “I cleaned my house last week, sorry you missed it!'' haha funny huh!

So here's a quote that I read the other day and liked! President Hinckley loved this too. It is from the Deseret News by Jenkins Lloyd Jones June 12, 1973.
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. Most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey- delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
I think this is true....i also think there can be more of those spurts of beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed with the restored gospel. It truly is the calm in the eye of a hurricane. In the storms in life and the world we often want to find peace....and that’s what the gospel does. Our lives aren't perfect, but through the restored gospel and through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can find light and peace and happiness and strength to get through the storms in life. With the atonement it can help us endure our trials well till they end. We can find strength in the Lord. As Nephi said in 2Nephi 4:33-35 pg 64...."O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way- but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. O Lord, I have trusted in thee and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen."
Then he says in 1 Nephi 15:11 "Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?-If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you."

There ya have it! We need to always rely on the Lord in prayer and in being faithful to him and seeking to do good and keeping the commandments. When we ask in faith he will help us, comfort us and everything else.
I love you all! hope yall have a great week!

Love , Hermana Dunn

Oct 26th Letter

ahhh! I have no time! ok...I'm not getting transferred! So I'm staying in Chula Vista for at least another 6 weeks. That's cool! yay!

I biked all day Friday and that stunk! I've never been so tired and fatigued in my whole life! But never slept so good.... I literally could not walk at the end of the day after all those hills! oy!

Oh, the best Christmas present for you to do is send me a family pic! yay! I love you all and am doing great. Didn't end up going to the zoo last week cause it was POURING down rain!

but here are some AWESOME talks for you guys to read that I read last week and love.

Adversity -President Henry B. Eyring & The Power of God's Love-Elder John H. Groberg,

Love you all !

Hermana Dunn

Oct 19th Letter

hey I'm goin to the zoo today! haha if it doesn't rain on us which it looks like it! it's been chilly and cloudy and rainy lately and i still haven't gotten a chance to go shopping for some cute cardigan sweaters, but will next week....for now i borrow my roommates.
So lately it's been goin great! we're getting more brave at going up to people and just start talking....it's still hard though at times. man if you really wanna know what missionary life is like then read alma chapter 26....its sooo good. But one thing that i've noticed with our investigators is that lots of them aren't ready to get baptized cause they want to learn more and more and put it off. Which is understandable....i would too, but as the first presidancy has told us missionaries exactly what to teach, and teach it to them, they are then ready. it's just a matter of them feeling it and exercising their faith and read the BOM pray and attend church so that they can show heavenly father that they are willing to follow him and wanting answers. We teach them though ALL that anyone needs to know before baptism. Do you think 8 year olds know everything about the gospel when they are baptized...nope! do you think you know everything about the gospel even right now! nope! all of us are ALWAYS learning and growing stronger in knowledge and faith in the gospel throughout our whole lives. THEE most important thing you do need to know though is the basic principles of the gospel. They being; 1st faith in the lord jesus christ 2nd repentance 3rd baptism 4th the gift of the holy ghost 5th enduring to the end by living worthy of steps 1-4....and repeating with step 5. There is a promise from the lord and from prophets and leaders fo the church that when you use these basic principles of the doctrine and grown in more understanding of them you will not fall! Our investigators i have noticed are scared of falling after they get baptized....they agree to baptism, but are scared of this. We all are scared of this i think at some point in our lives or often. i have been scared of this in my life too! But if we do what the lord has taught us and commanded us, and focus on the good then we will not fall! Now life is hard and we are only human...there will be times where we will need to go through trials to learn...but that's why the gospel is there to pick you back up and bring you into the light again. nobody is perfect, we all have trials, but it's the promise of the lord that if we hold on and endure to the end and do the best we can, then we will have eternal life. basically this talk right here that i've pasted says it all and i LOVE it ! this is the prophet's daughter Ann Dibb. and she gave this amazing talk in october 2009 conference. PLEASE READ IT as it's part of my letter ...and enjoy! it rocks. i love you all and hope you have a great day!
oh ps. brenna or emily....could you guys please look adn see if you can find a good christmas duet piece for vocal and piano of What Child is This or some other good songs . we're gonna have a christmas talent show and i might wanna sing with someone. thanks. love you!
Love, Hermana Dunn

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pata de Puerco

~The follow message is not for those that are squeamish or for those with the faint of heart or weak stomach's. Reading this passage may bring side effects of dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, heart failure, fainting, and/or visual images. hahahaha yeah, seriously though don't read this if you are eating or just ate. ~

Yup that's right......I tried Pata de Puerco..... Literal translation for those of you that don't speak Spanish is.... FEET OF PIG!!!!! it was .....DISCUSTING!!!!!!!!! It was so sick..... luckily though I only grabbed a little and then of course she put a little more on my plate, (a member). It was thee most revolting thing I have had yet, because it reaked.... even though it was cooked, and the bones skin fat and (little meat really), were in it......literally the whole foot of the pig was on the serving plate. and just wait!!!! THE HAIR WAS STILL ON IT TOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH! ew ew ew ew. For those of you that know me I gag if there is hair in my food... so that was sick when I had to ....dispose of the hair lets just say. Luckily there were lots of tortillas and hot sauce and beans..... I tried to mask the flavor of that with all of those and just ate it fast...but at the same time I would just stare at it and not want to eat it. I just kept eating more beans and tortillas and tried to get full off those while still trying to get rid of the pig feet.... I just didn't eat the skin or fat though, I refused haha. Well, I said that it was "good" but that I was too full. haha So yeah I avoided as much as I could, but the rest I just use all the other food to wash it down. It was gross because I reaked of pig feet afterwords and just felt it in my skin too ...lol I just concentrated the rest of the night not to puke. Luckily I didn't get sick.... I have a stomach of iron!
Well that's it for the food corner.....as for me, I don't know how my body does this everyday! 15 hours of working straight. All I can say is the Lord really does bless his missionaries really well and takes care of them because without this calling my body physically wouldn't be able to do this everyday for a year and a half, and it's not just physical but I am so drained of energy and just fatigued at the end of the day mentally, physically and spiritually. No wonder we get 3 hours of studying time in the morning and exercise too. I'm grateful for it and for the blessings of the Lord because amazingly enough my body does this everyday. As strange as it is and as tired as I am all the time, I have energy and animation!!!! Even when people yell at us or slam the door in our face or screen our calls or visits or my favorite, look through the peep hole on their doors and pretend like their NOT home when we knock... EVEN though we can totally hear them inside. haha yeah. But the people that do listen are AWESOME! I love it....I love them! They make it all worth it to see their willingness and desire to learn and have an open heart and mind and then see the AMAZING blessings and changes in their lives. It's just awesome.
One thing that I just want to say about the Book of Mormon (BOM) is that IT IS SOOOO TRUE!!! Ok honestly, everyone, If people will just take 3 weeks of their WHOLE entire life and experiment on this, and as Alma said, "Arouse their faculties even to experiment on his word and exercise a particle of faith, even if it's no more than a desire to work in you till you come to believe that you can give to that faith and come to know if these things are true or not..." Alma 32:27-31. IF you do this with a true desire and intent to know if this church is true and what I'm preaching to people everyday for a year and a half is true then READ THE BOM!!!! Heavenly father loves you SO much! and He has provided a convincing way, Convincing Evidence of what we, as missionaries, say is true, and that evidence is the BOM. You can hold it in your hands and read it for yourself. It's proof of the true nature of God and His love for us. It contains the promises that Heavenly Father made with the ancient prophets of the Americas and with you today too. Those promises are Eternal life, eternal families, salvation, remission of sins, peace, joy, happiness, love, comfort, help, success .... The list goes on! And it's all up to you to find out for yourselves. That's what we do as missionaries, we teach the doctrine, we apply it to the peoples needs and help them see and testify of how it can truly better their lives and help them. We as missionaries are witnesses of this and are representatives of Jesus Christ. We feel His love that He has for all of his children, otherwise we wouldn't be doing this for 18-24 months.... separated from our own families and lives. We leave our families for a time so that other families may become eternal families too. We invite people to come unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. And that way you can know of these things, that they are true and are all in the BOM. It's evidence of God's love for us. It's another testament of an entire civilization here in the Americas.. and helps us understand in clear simple terms the words and teachings of the Bible too. We invite everyone to:
1. Read the BOM
2. Ponder (really think and apply it to yourself) the message it contains
3. ask God, in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true.
Those that do this, will receive these promised blessings ...
1. Know that Jesus is the Christ, our Redeamer and Savior
2. Know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of god and that the prophets today are truly called of god receiving divine revelation from God
3. Know that this church is true and that it is the Lord's kingdom here on earth.
It's true. I've read it, and I've pondered about it and have received SO much help and light, truth, knowledge, wisdom and personal revelation from it. I've prayed to Heavenly Father to know that it was true and I felt it burn within me that it was and is true and the word of God. This is what we INVITE ALL to do... but because God loves us, he has given us free agency to choose to do it or not. So it's up to the people's free agency to accept or reject.
I love you all and have to go now. I hope you all are well. Mom please also maybe send me some candy corn? :-) or anyone else that wants too. haha. Please say hi to uncle Don, Mike and families for me .... I always feel so close yet so far away haha. Say hi to the office for me too please Rod.. Do they ever read my emails or blog??? You should tell them to write me hahah.

Love you all!
Hermana Dunn

Monday, October 11, 2010

more pictures!

View of Santee

No privacy here on the Mish!! Good place to study though.... Santee yard decorations I guess... ha ha

Tawny and her companion working hard, weekly planning!!

One of Tawny's favorite temple shots

The Natives running from the border patrol!! ha ha not really. Just a little P-day fun

Second Baptism in Santee Aug 29th. Alexis Sequra

Santee District goes to the Mexican Boarder on P-Day

Saturday, October 9, 2010

PICTURES!!!

Sorry I couldn't get this picture to flip your gonna just have to turn your head haha




Hello everyone from Chula Vista!

Hello everyone from Chula Vista! We went to the temple today and it was awesome! So pretty! and here's the pictures that were just taken today! The entire outfit I have on is not mine it's my roommates haha. That's how sister missionaries can dress now though cause the wardrobe has totally changed from plane Jane to cute!!!! and I have NO clothes that are cute ha ha ha. oh well.
So here's a fun story. Last Tuesday night we were getting into bed saying our prayers and all and our carbon monoxide alarm went off!! So we got out of the house and called the mission pres and his wife and they basically said to come stay at the mission home that night ! That was fun!!!! hahaha We were all excited because no one gets to go to the mission home except when you come and when you leave! The beds were sooooo comfy and the house is HUGE!!!!!!!!!! and right on top of a hill, so great view!!! It was like a field trip haha. Turns out that the carbon monoxide thing was just doing random testing beeps and there was NO carbon monoxide in our apt so DONT WORRY! haha We don't even have any gas anything in the house so I don't know why it would go off, but every apt has one just in case! so that's good!!!!
We found more people that are going to get baptized! They are sooo ready and basically came up to us!!! One of them went to conference which was awesome.... She loved it! We also had "MTE (missionary training exchanges)'' where president Donaldson trains us. HE IS AMAZING!!! HE IS A GENIUS!!!! he is soooooooo smart! He knows soooooo much about the gospel AND THEN SOME!!! He knows a lot about Hebrew too... That TOTALLY gives the gospel and scriptures new meaning! It's just amazing. Apparently when we go home from the mission he gives every missionary a CD with 4000 pages worth of his notes on it! I'm excited! Makes ME wanna take a Hebrew class!
It's really a privilege to be here though. I love San Diego mission! I heard something cool from Pres Donaldson that this is the mission where the missionaries that are going to be the next leaders of the church come and that those that are reassigned here are coming here to learn something specific from this mission about being a good leader! I thought that was cool and feel honored to be here and wont mind at all if I end up not getting to go to Argentina even though I still want to. I really do love it here though!
Well I love you all and have to go!
I'll write more next week.
Love,
Hermana Dunn!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Well, it's gorgeous down here in sunny San Diego! hahahah! All you Eskimos in Idaho and Utah, freezing. heheh. Just kidding. It's been really hot for Chula Vista though. It was 97 yesterday and it's almost October!!! It's been really muggy too. But the SUNSETS!!! Oh my gosh! I love California! The sunsets have been so pretty and clear the last week. Pink orange, yellow sunsets. and the moon the last couple days was HUUUUUGE!!!! and super close and orange! So pretty! It's really pretty at night too when we go up in the hills in a part of our area where there's nothing but fields and then you see Tijuana lights on the hill next door. it's really pretty! even prettier when we're coming down out of the hills at sunset, like the other day, and see the sun setting on the ocean....TJ to your left and San Diego skyscrapers to your right. and a sea of lights ahead. pretty pretty! shout out to Emily right now, cause I know your just hating the fact that your only reading this right now and not seeing it for yourself haha. sorry!
Funny little observation....I've been noticing lots that the Hispanics love to spend money on grills! hahah not BBQ grills, and not the grills on your car, but "Grillz" on your teeth, for those of you that don't know what they are. haha. It's Hilarious! They like to look flashy and "hot" all the time and "pimp" with their grillz. haha. I've also noticed that there are some people here that remind me of the hispanic version of people at home. #1....Shout out to Autumn at Rod's office! There's a member family here. they are a young couple with 3 kids age 13 and younger and the mom SOOOO REMINDS ME of the Hispanic version of Autumn....only a little more serious haha. I LOVE that family! They are awesome. It's funny though how much she reminds me of her. #2 A shout out to my little admirer Ryder Fuqua! hehe, there's another member family who I LOVE and they have a little one year old that is super sweet and has the cutest smile and that smile reminds me of Ryder! ....So very random, but I love it haha.
So for the week....it's been slow. We are struggling to find more people to teach. And the investigators that we Do have are SUPER busy all the time and never have time to see us and are never home. Plus everyone goes to TJ on the weekends! ahh! But we're pluggin along. It's a trial of our faith and willingness to keep on keepin on, but we're doin it! During personal Study the other day I thought of something that i would like to request from anyone and everyone who is willing to share. And that is.....
Please send me a letter of something that you have recently learned in your gospel study that has changed your life....OR/AND one of the biggest lessons you've learned in life (about anything...doesn't have to be gospel related) that helped you change for the better. I don't know why, but I was just curious, and also thought that it might help me relate these experiences to some of our investigators. I wouldn't tell them that it was your experience....or if it's private then just say so in the letter and I wont share. But this is all totally up to you whether or not you want to do it. You certainly don't have to if you don't want, or don't have time. (plus it's fun to get mail! :- ) )
I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned here on the mish as you all may as well know, is faith and trust in the lord! Even if things aren't going the way you planned, to always just keep putting your faith and trust in the lord....cause he works in mysterious ways! It's hard though at times....that's for sure, but life is hard....and it's hard for a reason, and that's to help us learn and grow in experience and faith. haha a movie quote that just popped into my mind which I HAVE to say of course is, "Life IS pain! Anyone who says otherwise is selling something!" - The Princess Bride haha. you know me! Love to quote movies still!
Well I'm sorry this letter isn't as exciting. But I love you all! And I love my mission! Oh, I guess a little something is that there are GINORMOUS SPIDERS down here! And big nasty June bugs or something that all seem to come to me! Of course! So there have been several screaming, jumping, heart failure moments for me when I encounter them. haha my companion laughs at me.
LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
Hermana Dunn

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I got transferred to......

CHULA VISTA!!!! Yup I was transferred to the Rio Otay Mesa branch and my new companion is Sister Muir! She's great...really quiet but nice. Chula Vista is FREEZING compared to San Tee ha ha.. I miss San Tee and the hot weather! but Chula is cool because there are three awesome views. One of TJ (Tijuana), one of the ocean and then one of down town San Diego. When your up on top of a hill you can see all of them. It's so pretty, nice cool ocean breeze even though I’m not right on the beach.....I’m about 15 min away from the border. Everyone goes to TJ over the weekends so we can't get ANYONE to church, as far as investigators.... The branch is great...It's so weird though because they are a lot more responsible in their callings and everything is nicer... Santee was a little poorer area. I miss it though so much and my old companions, but I love CHULA!

It's weird not being in a trio anymore.. I like it though, it feels easier to teach. We have 8 missionaries in our branch which is a lot ...there is the two of us and two other sisters...one of them being sister Thomas my old comp :-). Our apartment is cool. The kitchens ghetto but that’s ok we're never there anyway ha ha.

BTW...anyone is welcome to send packages! Not too many, but since I’m in the states so it's easier and I don’t have to pay for customs! Popcorn, hot chocolate, goodies, chocolate, whatever :-) haha. Halloween/ any holiday packages are always welcome too.

One thing I’ve discovered is that I’m TERRIBLE at contacting. Just walking up and starting a conversation and then relating it to the gospel of course...just like, making it flow smoothly without being awkward, but I’m working on it. There's a new technique that we're using with the Book of Mormon. We've been finding it to work really well, only with Hispanics though. We teach them how the Book of Mormon was written by their ancestors and how they wrote it for them today to know of their lives, a knowledge of Christ, communication with God and then we invite them to read and pray about it. They really pay attention because Hispanics are always nuts about their family and ancestors! It works well.

We have more meal appointments! Dinner is always crazy, haha Because they dish the food up for you and you don't have a say in how much you want, so they pile it on! oy! One night we have "seviche" it's seafood like shrimp mixed in with this salsa stuff and put on a tostada....it wasn't my favorite because I hate cold shrimp....but I ate it anyway. OH!!! another thing. I discovered what "CHICHARON" is!! It's what was in empanadas the last week I ate those in Santee.... It's fried pig skin!!!!! AHHHHH!!! (hooeeeehhh!) I tried it at a ward party the other night and it was SICK! Ick...nasty consistency.....but there was a yummy Honduran dish at that party!!! Brenna and Brent! The second counselor is Honduran and made what's called Baleadas. It's so yummy I don't know how to explain it but I asked for the recipe.

Our area....We are pretty much finding new investigators because they split our area and the other sisters were supposed to get the new area, but since they are on bike they got ours!! Because it was closer to them and we have the new area now... and pretty much everyone is white. It's hard to find more of the Hispanics but we’re trying... so the work is really slow right now. I’m kinda stressed, so I’m breaking out and finding more grey hair! oy vey! We switched one night with our roomies though....they have a different branch and are on bike too and they needed our car so we biked for the last 3 hours of the night and BOY am I OUT OF SHAPE!!! I don't like these California hills!! haha oy vey I can't believe they do that all day, all the time. my skirt got caught in the breaks too! and ripped! only a little at the bottom but I sewed it back up....you can't really notice it though. I haven't been sleeping very well as it's just a new area that I’m getting used to. Which brings me to “This weeks Assignment” for all of you:
GO TAKE A NAP FOR ME!!!!!
Yes, I’m tired...but I’m so energetic at times which doesn't make any sense because I’m so tired. The mission Rocks though. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a dream and then I realize..."WHOA!!! I'm a MISSIONARY!" It's cool. EVERY girl should go on a mission. You learn SO MUCH. You learn about other people, about yourself, (I found out how selfish I can be) and find more out about our Heavenly Father and the way he works and his love for us.


We went to a family last night that are less active and I absolutely LOVE them!!! They have 3 kids 13 down to 3 and they are adorable.... The lady is super nice, it felt like home and she gave me a real hug!!!! Like a big squeezing one! haha the ones I love! I loved it..felt like home. Their family is so sweet!

Well I’m pretty much out of things to say other than for everyone! STUDY PREACH MY GOSPEL!!!!!! It's SO awesome and has everything right there! It explains things simply and clearly. It's for you guys too, not just us missionaries! Study it everyday!!!! Seriously you will learn the basics ...the most important stuff from it that we teach and need to understand everyday.
It has good scripture references all the time to go into more depth. So please do that everyone!

Letters are always welcome even though I might not respond right away. pictures too. I’ll try and send pictures this week or next.
I love you all! I love being a missionary and I love my mission! San Diego is heaven on earth!

Oh haha my district leader was in Spring Valley last transfer and remembers seeing Uncle Mike! haha "you know, he was tall and kind of intimidating looking?, oh yeah I’m pretty sure I know who that was!" ha ha yup that was cool.
Love you!
Hermana Dunn
GO TAKE A NAP FOR ME!!! RIGHT NOW!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Transfers! 9/14/10

Buenos Dias Mi Familia!!!
Como han estados? How have you been? Les amo muchisimos! I love you all so much!
Well Transfers are tomorrow and we get a call today to see who needs to start packing to go to a new area tomorrow and so on. We haven't gotten a call yet but we are all very nervous/ excited/ sad to be split up because we're all so close. Hopefully they will call before I finish this letter! ahhh! ha ha.
Well, this last week was tough because being Senior companion, (to see how it all works) is tough and hard! You are in charge of everything in your companionship and it's kinda stressful. You have to be on your toes and doing everything right and being completely in tune with the spirit to know where Heavenly Father wants us to go what to do and what to teach. It's amazing though, because after you pray and sit and just listen for where He wants you to go you just get a thought in your head and or a feeling in your heart and you know where you should go whether it's to see that specific person or someone that you could find on the way there, to that original person. It's crazy how the Lord works. It's really interesting to see and do it.
It's also amazing but frustrating to see this other thing.....As a newbie in the mission field I'm learning what to do and what not to do and how to do things. There are several times where I think I did really good or awesome but then it turns out that I totally bombed at whatever I did. But then other times I think I did terrible and my trainer says, "no you did good!!!" or whatever. So it's very unexpected what will happen next. Always up and down and up and down emotionally. It's tough at times, but then other times it just rocks.
Last p-day, we as a district, went down to the Mexican border to "Las Americas" to go shopping. They are these outlet malls....ha ha and they are RIGHT next to the huge fence that separates Mexico and the US. So we took some pics in the parking lot right next to the fence. ha ha It was fun. ....and of course I hate shopping so that part for me was boring, but it was just fun to be with everyone. Hopefully I'll be able to send some pics next week but I dunno.... lots of stuff to do.
Ok....so here's something that just came to me the other night as I was studying. I had to just grab a pencil before I forgot everything, so it might not make sense but take from it what you will. It's just about everything gospel related and I dunno maybe someone needs to hear something from it. I don't have time now to categorize/ organize it though. here it goes
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Jesus Christ said, "come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 10???) Through the atonement Jesus Christ will lift our burdens for us in life because he knows EXACTLY what we're going through... whether we are sad or depressed or angry or confused, in the dark or sick WHATEVER. He loves us, He loves YOU, unconditionally and wants happiness and love for us. He has provided a way to do that through the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ. We have to be willing to put in our part too though, be willing to act and do what he wants. Through the Atonement we not only receive remission for our sins, but we are blessed with the Grace of God when we have faith in him. "Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest." *** "Love inspires us to make the right choices" (me, ha ha, inspiration from my Patriarchal blessing). It inspires us to do the right things. We serve others and serve God because we love them. Learn to love like a little child. No matter what someone does wrong, love them still. Just like a little child does. Have this same love for the Lord and His teachings and commandments. No matter what hard times we have in our lives, love Him still and KNOW that He does these things to help you become stronger and grow. So, overcome them! Press on and work through it and your Heavenly Father will bless you greatly and strengthen you. When we see that life's challenges are for the better and embrace them, we make life better. Open your minds, hearts, eyes, and ears to the ways of the Lord and you will learn more. You will be strengthened, you will have happiness, you will love and have love in your life and you will gain a testimony of the Lords gospel and his promises as you see the blessings He gives you when you follow his teachings. He has set a way for us to gain these things along with the promise of eternal life. To live with our Heavenly Father in heaven and our families, and that way is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has restored it once again here on the earth today, specifically for our day. He along with the prophets of the Americas saw this day and knew the world would be a crazy place. He knew Satan would work his hardest these days to tare apart the family and try and make our lives hard and miserable with the crazy things of the world. That's why Heavenly Father gave us the restoration of the gospel along with the Book of Mormon. So that we could find hope, and peace still in this world, through His teachings. So we would have hope of a better life to come after this life, as long as we are willing to set our pride aside and follow Him and truly come to know that we are all sons and daughters of God..... Through the Gospel we can truly find and learn who we really are.
I love you all! I love my mission!
Hermana Dunn
"Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest."

Week of 9/7/10


This weekend we were home alone. We live with members, in their basement and they left for the weekend so we took care of the house. It was fun, not that we did anything different, but I felt at home Saturday morning as I told her that I would water her plants outside and water the lawn and take care of the dog. ha ha Felt like home! Their dog, Jetta, is an Akita... I think that's what it's called....like a big snow dog. He's old but sweet. We noticed he wasn't anywhere to be found... I was worried that he crawled under the deck to go die or something cause he's super old....but we were worried because he was gone!!! The gates were shut and all. We were calling his name and we finally heard a whimper and it sounded like it was coming from the neighbors yard. We looked through the fence and he was trapped inside their pool area with the gate shut. We have no idea how he got there. So we knocked on the door and no one was home so we just went in the back and got him because who knows how long he was there in the heat!!! and he has THICK black fur. He went straight to the water though to drink when we got him back. Then the next day we came home and he was sitting on the front porch!!! So we called the Hawkins AGAIN to tell them and they said there had to be a whole somewhere, so we checked and there was a loose board sure enough. haha. So that was exciting.
Well nothing too eventful this week other than my companion being sick. We've been letting her rest a lot so work has been a lil slow. But I'm "senior companion" for a week...just to see how it works. It stinks! ha ha ha They have to do everything, where to go, what to do who and what to teach and everything!!!! It's HARD! So much responsibility! I've been a lil stressed cause I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job... but I'm learning!
Today we're going down to the border to the mall of America for a lil bit. Oh and next week is transfers~!!!! I don't know and won't know till next Tuesday if I'm getting transferred or not. I have no idea what to think. So we'll see. Well I gotta go. No time ...sorry this is so short.
Love you all! And...Keep studying the scriptures everyday!

Love Hermana Dunn

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

PICTURES!

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!!!
Both!

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...
Karel

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 5 at the MTC

Ok...there's a lot to say. Thank you mom and Rod for the goodies package. I just got it yesterday because of the mail being closed on Saturday. It's funny though, because there are PLENTY of goodies and all you can eat food here at the MTC which is terrible! but I'm trying to control myself ha ha. But the goodies are good! Maybe just not another box though ha ha. If anyone want's to send me stuff, a good idea is pictures! I love them! and everyone else does too. :-)
Please copy and send me an article from April 2004, Sunday morning session of General Conference. (sent) It is called "But if Not..." by a member of the 70 and send it to me? It's really good and I encourage you all to read it. It's about having faith whether or not things go the way you planned.
Well, the beginning of this week stunk! Yesterday during gym time I went to check and see if they had scheduled my MRI for next week. As most of you know I have a stupid brain cyst thing and it's given me a lot of grief !! (but no physical side affects) As I did that, the Dr. came in and the girl who was scheduling it asked him some questions about it. Then he, a little insensitively and frustrated, asked me why I hadn't "taken care of all this before I came to the MTC" (we did!) and that in my situation he would probably say that I'm not going to go to Salta because they would want me to stay in the states if anything about my MRI looked questionable! I told him that Salt Lake City Medical had reviewed it and that the Dr's had approved me to go to Salta... as long as this MRI looked good. He was just kind of rude and said that they had never let him in on anything ... so he was kinda taking it out on me!! He just kept mentioning how he doubted I would still go to Salta and that I needed to get the MRI right away! So they made the appointment for that day asap. I asked if I even had time to go change into my skirt because we were in gym clothes... they said no, you have to go now. Well I had forgotten my name tag, so we went back up and got it and I just started crying because of the Dr and the fact that I wanted a blessing before I went to get the MRI, but I couldn't because all of the elders in my district were at the gym. We went to the classroom to get my cough drops so that I wouldn't cough and move during the MRI and luckily my teacher hmo Messer was there early.. I asked him to give me a blessing so he pulled a teacher out of the hallway and they gave me one. ....still bawling I went out to the curb and waited for the shuttle and my elders came by and asked what was wrong and said a prayer with me and my other teacher hmo Hidalgo too. Originally they wouldn't let us go off MTC campus in gym clothes but they let us since I had to get there right away. I got there and they had to stick me 3 times to put an IV in because my veins are too small, so that stunk. But luckily I was calm and didn't cough during the MRI. Then we went back to the MTC and I got to call mom and talk to her for 15 min and tell her what was up, so that was nice. When I went back to the Dr. here that had been kinda mean, he was like, "you didn't take your original MRI with you?!" I was like ...uh, NO I thought you were going to look at that and compare the two and you NEVER told me to take it!! So there was TOTAL lack of communication throughout the whole day and I had to go BACK to the clinic to give them my first MRI. SO, it was a long, stinky day and I was super tired and had a headache from it all in the end.... But life goes on and the elders, my companion and my teachers were all very loving and supportive.
I went to see the results today but they of course are not back yet, so I have to wait till tomorrow, which means you all will have to wait till next p-day unless I get to call home again. ugh!!
So what have I learned from all this......Patience and long suffering and to trust in the Lord and have faith in him. I've done all I can do and now it's all up to him. That's where the talk, "But If Not..." comes in.... so read it everyone!
On the up side, I got to go to the temple today!! It's finally open, so that was GREAT and felt really nice.
Well love you all!
Hermana Dunn

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mission Photos!


Tawny's district group photo by the world map from left to right
Elder Bunnell, Elder walker, Elder Edwards, Elder Cathro, Tawny, Hermana Papenfuss, Elder Nelson, Elder Johanssen and Elder Obray (who is behind Elder Johannsen and you can only see his ear.)


Tawny's district group photo by the temple. Back row from left: Elder Nelson, Walker, Johannsen, Bunnell & Obray. Front Row from Left: Elder Edwards, Hermana Papenfuss, Hermana Dunn, & elder Cathro.


Tawny and MTC Sign

Tawny Studying


Tawny and her companion Hermana Papenfuss

Tawny and World Map

This is a picture of Tawny and Nicole Meyers. Nicole Meyers is a friend of Tawny's from Coeur d' Alene who got there a couple weeks before Tawny did! So funny how those things work sometimes.


Hermana Papenfuss studying


First Day Dork :)

Hermana Papenfuss First Day