Thursday, August 18, 2011

My 10th of 12 Transfers ~ August 16, 2011

I"M TRAINING HERE IN THE DESERT!!!!! (Calexico) I'm not getting transferred, but I'm getting a FRESH new greenie ....right off the plane! Tomorrow we're going into San Diego for transfers nice and early. I'm nervous....I guess finishing up sister Croker's training ...trained me to be a trainer. :-)

Last week when we went into SD for the sisters m
eeting....the breeze felt SOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!! So nice and cool! not hot! I loved it! It was a nice lil brunch meeting and then we left...
This last Sunday I played violin in sacrament meeting! We got 3 investigators there!!! I played "O My Father" arranged by Steven Sharp Nelson and a member played piano for me. It was awesome! Actually my hands were SUPER shaky! AHHHH! So my vibrato was off the wall! ahhhh! Never fails! I don't know how to shake the nerves! Any suggestions anyone???? I dunno why all my life I STILL get nervous! But all of that was forgotten when a good good friend of mine, Minerva, who is going back out to the mission in October to ARGENTINA after having some medical issues came up to me after church and said thank you and that I had helped her realize and gain an answer that she for sure still needed to go! She was crying and really moved by the spirit! And THAT is what I've been praying and hoping for ever since I got my violin out here! That I would be able to touch someone else's heart with my music. It meant a lot and made my week!!

This morning
we went to the swap meet. It was SOOOOO HOT!!! Like humid humid because it was only 95 degrees! We were dripping with sweat! It was nasty! We (my district) all got matching sunglasses :-). My companion and I got "cat called" ew! hahah. Then we took a district picture at the border with our sunglasses ahha companion and I got "cat called" (whistled at) AGAIN!!! only from the other side of the fence in Mexicali!! lol. oy! but it was fun!
I think one thing that I'm just sooooooo grateful for is the gospel and growing up in it! I see people around me all day that are worried and feel lost and are frantic, or searching for truth...literally and ....and want to feel secure especially now in this economy and world. And I just feel this great calmness and assurance and testimony that I KNOW, when I do my part to live the gospel and keep the commandments and my covenants, that I have the Lord's promise to be ok! To be blessed! To be watched over and protected in this life. Thank you mom and Rod for raising me in the gospel and being such strong examples of love and faith. I can truly trust in the Lord.
Enjoy the tons of pics! Hermana Dunn

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nice & Cool....... August 8, 2011

It's only 95 today! nice and cool! I'm not sweating! and the other day it was REALLY cool at 85 degrees! I think we're gonna have an ice age down here! haha. jk.
Today is our p-day as tomorrow we sisters will be going to San Diego for a meeting at the mission home! woohoo! The mission home is SICK! (Awesome) they live on a mountain and the view is ridiculous! (Beautiful) and the house is huge! I've only been there once... that one time our carbon monoxide monitor went off in our apartment. I never got to go when I arrived into the field for the first time because I was by myself.

Well this week has just been a good week . Slow...but good! we've been seeing more people and have finally gotten to contact some potentials. I love it out here! I love Calexico and El Centro and Brawley! Even the heat haha....ok not really the heat, but I'm getting more used to it. Yesterday was fast Sunday .....and out here we HAVE to drink water even when fasting, because it's so hot. Nice! Even though we were in AC buildings/houses pretty much all day. Yesterday (Sunday) the elders had a baptism of a part member family. Their 19 yr old daughter was baptized by her dad. It was really sweet. and I played violin for it! I'll be playing violin in sacrament this coming Sunday too! The song I played for one of the firesides. "O my Father", so that will be fun.

Other than that we're just working hard with this assignment from the stake to go to ALLLLL the Less actives and try and get them back to church. We're being blessed here and there though with referrals, so that's nice. The work is slow, but good. The area just needs a lot of growth, so we're trying to get the ball rolling.

I just wanted to tell you how much I love each and everyone of you! I've grown in love SO much as a missionary! for the people, for members, for investigators, for family and friends! It doesn't matter what background or job or religion you are or have, I love each and everyone of Heavenly Fathers children! I can see the potential that each and every one of them have! and I know that we all have a divine potential to become like our Heavenly Father! And that we can all receive the fullness of joy, blessings and peace that we all want....only in and through Jesus Christ and His restored gospel! I love being a missionary and seeing the gospel transform people into stronger beings, spiritually, physically and mentally!

Hermana Dunn

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Elder Ballard ~ August 2, 2011

WENT TO SAN DIEGO THIS WEEK!!!! WOOHOO! It wasn't as cool as I was hoping it to be...but at least it wasn't 110. Today coming to El Centro to email the temp hit 115. It's a lot more humid now so that's no fun! This morning we went and did some service with the elders, cleaning out a garage for a yard sale. Then we went to Mexico. hahah just kidding. Only to the fence! It was sweet! we took some pics of Mexico through the fence.
Anyways.... ELDER BALLARD!!!! It was sooooo cool!!!! He talked about the work and the bishops and stake presidents and ward mission leaders were there too, from every stake! He talked about the importance of missionary work and ward council and how they need to be working together if the church wants to see any progression in the conversion of our brothers and sisters. Without the help of a healthy working ward council, missionary work is a flop. With the new 8 fundamentals comin out to the MTCs all over the world now (the ones we've been doing a pilot program with) and with Preach My Gospel, missionary work is way more effective and helpful. The old ways are in the past! the new and inspired missionary work needs to be implemented yesterday haha. So it was way good to hear him back it all up. His testimony at the end was my favorite. It was powerful and basically a blessing on missionaries, the work and our safety and our families. Afterwards we got to go up and shake his hand!!!! The sisters got a hug from Sister Ballard who is sooooo cute! Sister Clayton looks just like her mom that's for sure! (my mish pres' wife is a daughter of the Ballard's) ....and I got to shake Elder Ballard's hand. He's my favorite! He actually reminds me of Grandpa Blair some how. I don't know why but he does!
Other than that the work has been really really slow. It's practically a whole different mission out here. Plus it's so hot that no one wants to answer the door or everyone is gone. But we're trying.
Well I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week! I can't believe there's only 2 and a half weeks left of this transfer....and then I only have 3 transfers left. ah....I don't wanna come home. lol. No offense. In fact the other day when we were having district meeting, the stake pres 1st councilor arrived and then in came an elder FRESH off the plane from Paraguay!!!! to get released!!! AHHHH!!! In missionary terms we call it "dying". So he was about to "die". It was quiet and we were having our meeting and then all of a sudden we heard Pres Fairbanks say..."WELL, it's time to take the tag off!!! YUP, gotta come off!!!" and we all gasped! haha...we were all dreading that day....geez, and I'm the only one out here that's going home THIS year! Ok...I'm stopping!
Hermana Dunn

welcome to mormon myth busters volume 1...."can one cook an egg on the sidewalk?" ~ July 26, 2011

YES! one CAN fry an egg outside on the sidewalk! haha....actually the parking lot. Yes the Valley IS hot enough to do so. We decided one day during weekly planning (which normally takes 3 or more hours) to take a 5 min break, outside and see if an egg would cook! haha. It took about an hour and a half to do so but it did it! Don't worry we were planning while waiting for it!

Oy! I'm hot. I'm sweating all the time. apparently in august it's more humid cause they flood the fields??? I dunno but it's only 100-105 today and it feels much hotter. yick. It was nice a cool the other day at 97! It felt nice But I'm still hot haha. Plus this time is apparently the worst time of year to find ANYONE at home let alone any investigators. Everyone's escaping the heat, on vacation, or just escaping the heat and locking themselves inside not answering. Luckily this mission isn't big on tracting (knocking doors) ....but we've been kinda desperate lately. Still trying to work hard with the members, and that's always a slower process than knocking doors, but way WAY more effective.
We also had an unexpected visitor the other day.....a HUGE COCKROACH from hell! hahahaha! So as I was going for a little late night snack after planning... I opened my cupboard and got some snacks....and then noticed these two HUGE antennae on my cup of I screamed! and sister Croker came and was like....ahhh! that's way too big for me to we went downstairs to get the elders to come kill it. They looked and looked and couldn't find it, so I said LOOK HARDER!! it's there!! and then they were like "oh! there it is!" So we heard some bangin around and they came out with it trapped in a was like 2 and a half to 3 inches long WITH WINGS! ah!!!! They flung it out of the cup and smashed it on the wall. I got a picture of the dead version of the cockroach. I named him petey! (I don't know just the first thing that came to mind.) He stuck on the wall for 2 days and then someone cleaned him off. haha.
Well the work is going pretty slow...but we will be going to see Elder Ballard, sister Clayton's dad, this Saturday! woohoo! Road trip to San Diego!!! Hopefully the work will pick up after that cause he will be talking to the bishops and ward mission leaders of all of hopefully it'll help us out in the Imperial Valley.
Well love you! Please go swimming or take a cool shower for me and I'll pray for you all! haha.. I already do but yeah!
Love you!
Hermana Dunn

July 19, 2011

I'm dying out here in Calexico!
IT'S SOOOO FREAKIN HOTTT!!!! Ya know.....growing up in the northwest I never r
eally knew that temperatures could reach up to 120-124 degrees. Neither did I have any clue that anyone would actually want to LIVE in that kind of heat....or EVEN COULD!!!!! I thought people would melt/die in this weather! I didn't know they could sustain life out here!!! haha.
I'm sweating everywhere! Luckily it's not really humid! otherwise I would really die! But still....your skin is SCALDING hot when you walk outside. Luckily everyone here has AC! But I gu
ess another bright side...or more hopefull side is that now I'll just sweat off all the weight that I've gained from all the FOOD and tortillas that gets put in front of me! ah! I'm so fat! But......that's the mission here next to the border. OH!!! I live like 12 blocks away from the Mexican border of Mexicali, MX. So everyone ....even the stores ....speak Spanish here! It's Mexico. El Centro is 20 min north of us and Brawley is 45 min north of us and then I've heard of the sand dunes.....that are an hour or so away! Hopefully we'll go there for one of these p-days.

Training! ...... Here's the funny story. The day we got the calls for transfers me and my comp were crushed we were BOTH leaving .....but then later that night at 10pm....I got a voicemail from the AP's (mish pres. assistants) and they said, "hey this is and so, there was a mistake on the transfers list and Sister DUNN....You need to come to the trainers meeting at 9AM tomorrow!" I freaked out when I heard that and everyone else laughed/was excited. I wasn't! I was freaking out. I DON"T KNOW ANYTHING!!! Why would they want ME to train!!!! AHHHH! So then I basically knew I was going out to the desert because we had all our options layed out. oy vey!
During the transfer meeting I was in shock cause I just couldn't believe I would actually train. But I'm with Sister Croker! from Bellingham, WA ....2 hours north of Seattle right next to the other border way up there. Sister Thomas and Gines were her trainers last transfer... and with this new pilot program that they are testing out here (as always) for the whole is now two transfers long....12 weeks with the new 8 fundamentals and Preach my gospel training. She also has been struggling with Spanish a lot! and hardly speaks I'm teaching and talking ALOT! It's really hard. I've never felt so weak. Plus the area out here is REALLY SLOW!!!! We hardly have anyone! and need to find like crazy which is also another weak point of mine big time! ah! I don't know how to do anything!! Hopefully president Clayton will give me some more guidance since we have interviews this Friday, but it's fun! I love sister Croker! and the war out here is awesome! Even though lots of people are gone for vacation and from the heat too. July and August get up to 130 sometimes!!! and they grow a lot of hay and watermelon and cantaloupe out here, so farm land! I feel like its a worse version (heat wise) of Rexburg.....and way more desert! I'm training and not knowing what to do where to go or how to help my comp improve on Spanish or how to find more people to teach. Poor sister Croker haha. I'm praying hard though. ....and oddly calm about this all.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and please PLEASE pray that we will find those golden investigators out there and get help from the ward! It was entertaining to drive from San Diego ( I miss it sooooo much!) to Calexico and watching the temperature climb. lol.

OHHHHH!!!! Now that I'm out in the desert and who knows how long I might be out here...maybe the rest of my mish.....we don't get mail very often at all. O
nly when someone needs to go to San don't send any food!! and don't expect me to respond too soon. ELDER BALLARD IS COMING TO TALK WITH US ON JULY 30!!!!!! We get to go then! and meet him!!!

WE also have an investigator that is super sweet. She's really shy and loves to write letters! She communicates better through letters I guess so we are teaching her through letters AND visits as well. Pretty cool huh!
well love you all!
Stay nice and cool for me and go jump in the lake for me!
Hermana Dunn

CALEXICO ~ July 19, 2011


A nice whoppin
g 112 degrees F today!
Sitting here with the total of 10 missionaries out here in Imperial Valley!
Love, Hermana Dunn
P.S. I'm TRAINING!!! well...finishing up sister Croker's training...
her last 5 weeks.
more to come in the next full letter...


I'm GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!!! AHHHH!!!! I have mixed emotions....mainly sad! We have SO MANY progressing investigators right now that I love with all my heart and they have baptismal dates!!!! and now sister Werner & I are getting transferred so they are going to be "white washing" our area!!!! AHHHHH!!!! SHVAN is SUCH and amazing investigator I have never taught someone SO READY for the gospel before and feel like I'm teaching a member! and my recent converts Fernando Ana and Albino!!! AHHHH and the whole WARD!!! I love this area too much, but knew that as soon as I finally said that I wanted to stay here, I'd get transferred. I've been here for almost 10 months. I'm sad to leave everyone...but feel oddly at peace about I guess I know everything will work out for the good. The only thing I'm dreading is the fact that there is an opening for a sister out in Calexico, the DESERT!!!!!! 2 hours away and 120 degrees!!!!!!! ahhh! nightmare! who knows.... maybe I'll get a little taste of what it would've felt like in Salta. oy! I really hope I don't go out there....but saying that...I probably will! ha! But we don't find out untill tomorrow! ah! Also.....they don't get mail out there every week! Because it's so far comes in like 2 week intervals or maybe more. But that's not the important part! lol. We'll see though. I just really REALLY hope and pray that all my investigators and recent converts will be taken care of! That's all I care about right now. I'm sad to leave them, but ready for a change!
It was sad to see of sister Nelson at the airport this morning....AND my trainers Sister Pineda and Sister Thomas! oh my goodness I just thought......Ireally hope I don't get switched to ENGLISH SPEAKING!!!! AH!!! I know I'm not training though! unless I go out to the desert and finish up training the sister out there...The new pilot program has missionaries being trained for 2 transfers now instead of one like me!
President Clayton is amazing!!!! We love him!
I will tell you next week where I am!
Love you!
Hermana Dunn!

Monday, June 20, 2011


To me! haha. Ok so I ate a TON the past week! I had a different birthday dinner almost every night of the week! From pizza, to Mexican, to Italian, to BBQ chicken! It was a good week! One night we each were fed a ton and then Hermana Pastran fed us a HALF of a cantaloupe with HALF of a mango in it too! I was SOOO FULL!!!! I attached some pics of one night of b-day celebration. Don't worry people I still worked

So something way exciting for our ward is that Carlos and Enrique both got their mission calls this last week and opened them together! They are the first missionaries of our ward! Carlos is going to Rawley, NC mission speaking Spanish and Enrique is going to Lexington Kentucky English speaking! woohoo! It was fun to be there for that. I'm going to send this real fast and write the other half of the letter so that the elder that's lending me his camera cord can leave .....yay pics! and yay for cameras and computers that actually allow me to email pics!

..... so we got to be there to see them open their calls....with half the ward there too. I love this ward so much!
We've got an investigator ready to be baptized! Fernando, the awesome one that's just so ready! we're just waiting for a few things to be worked out but hopefully it will be soon that he's baptized.
We've been doing good though....we have a mobat (Mormon battalion) night coming up tomorrow night for investigators so that will be fun. I'm also going to play violin for the next fireside!!! Sister roomie now for 8 accompanying me in O My Father. So it'll be really pretty. Thank you Brenna for sending me that arrangement!!! But that's pretty much all the excitement now. We're just trying to help our investigators progress and learn and understand the gospel more. Mercedes is thirsty for it, but has been super busy with work and just recently had a minor HEART ATTACK! So that's not good! We offered our help for anything but she's doing good. You can tell though that she wants this for sure for her kids. So it'll all work out in the Lord's time.
It is gorgeous down here! Nice and warm! We're (a bunch of missionaries) are going to Red Robin today for a b-day lunch get together... for mine and another elder's b-day. So that will be fun!
Love you all and hope to hear from you soon.
Love Tawny

Prayer + Faith + all energy of heart + work = MIRACLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH MY GOSH!!!!!! Miracles really do happen according to the faith of man! Do you remember how last week I told you that Fernando was NOT getting baptized because of legal complications and confusions? Well......HE GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY AND CONFIRMED ON SUNDAY!!!!!!! Boy it was an emotional couple days, up and down and up and down like my second baptism with Alexis Segura. Our faith was tested, but because we decided to just trust in the Lord and do all we possibly could to do our job and work, and putting Fernando's name along with some other investigators names in the temple. Fernando was able to get baptized! It was a miracle of faith. He was just soooooo ready and excited to be able to get baptized! He loves it and was BEAMING at his baptism and on Sunday! He loves the gospel so much that he's sharing his experience with everyone!
Another exciting thing that happened was that we had a fireside in City Heights last Sunday as well and guess who worked their guts up to play a violin solo? I actually did it! I know incredible huh! nerves still got the best of me for the most part. I hate that! I've performed all my life and I STILL shake like crazy.....I played Stephen Sharp Nelson's arrangement of "O My Father" and sister Nelson played piano for me. My hands were shaking so bad that my vibrato was intensified......but I tried my best to control it. Other than that I did pretty good!!!! Everyone loved it. so yeah!
We also had MTE (Missionary Training exchanges) yesterday and today, so our p-day is actually tomorrow but we still got to email today so that all the missionaries families wouldn't freak out. Man I can't tell you just how amazingly blessed my life could possibly be to have President Donaldson as my mission president. Sadly he's leaving at the end of this month....but he has been called to teach ALL the new mission Presidents the doctrine at the MTC !!!! And boy was this MTE loaded with DOCTRINE!!!! I love learning the DOCTRINE!!!!! or the "why" of the gospel! It's SO AMAZING to see what Heavenly Father's plan really is for us and how it works and we got the "disc of knowledge" too!!!!! FINALLY the POWER in my hands hahaha!!! I'll is a cd with 14,000 pages of notes on the doctrine and scriptures that president Donaldson continues to add onto! He writes for the church too. I am eternally blessed to have this precious AWESOME gift of knowledge of the gospel to be able to study for the rest of my life and learn Hebrew!!!! I'm so excited to study it when I get home!
Humberto is an investigator that we've recently started teaching that I found months ago......He's really interesting! He was raised Catholic but has searched all his life in different religions. He doesn't believe there is one true one.....he takes the good from each...but right now loves Buddhism. So he doesn't believe that Christ is His Savior.....we just got done teaching him and watched finding faith in Christ. We are starting with the basic basics! but he's willing! That is the key! and I can feel so much of God's love for him and have faith that he will come to know the truth someday soon!
Love you all.......GOOD LUCK to all the iron man competitors! Roland, Marci and Carolyn! I'll be their in spirit cheering you on!!!
Love you

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

May 24th Letter

I just turned 11 months old in the mission yesterday! I can't believe I'll be out almost a year soon! oh yeah and I'm goning to be turning 22 in a week! oy! That's weird. I feel...old. No offense to anyone else at all haha.

Transfers are tomorrow! Still haven't gotten the call yet...hopefully soon. I think I'm staying here though. I have to give a talk on missionary work in Sacrament next week so I bet it's sealed the fact that I'll be staying....but ya never know!

We just recently got 3 investigators with a baptismal date in the past few days! Mercedes for June 19th and Fernando and Rodolfo for the 12th of June! We're super excited for them because they are all just so ready, want it too! You can tell they want to follow Christ. Mercedes, especially for her kids. She want's them to have a good example and just good lives. Fernando really want's to turn his life around and want's it so bad and is reading and praying and attending church for ALL 3 HOURS!!! Rodolfo's mom we found out does NOT understand or speak Spanish! She's from Oaxaca, Mexico and speaks a native dialect! We were asking if Rodolfo was home and what her name was and she just stared at first we were like... What?? ...but then it clicked "WHOA! she doesn't speak Spanish!!! crazy!!!" We don't normally run into that down here! Normally people are from the states north of Oaxaca....Sinaloa, Sonora, Jalisco, Michoacan, Baja California...etc. So it was way cool that we just found someone from a more Indian blood background. Rodolfo said that he doesn't really speak the dialect anymore and that they can basically communicate with her...but her husband speaks Spanish and the dialect. I'll have to ask him what the dialect is called though.... When we heard that she was from Oaxaca I thought of my cousin Brian! So Brian.....did ya run into a lot of different dialects? did you learn any?....

This last week we had Zone Conference which was awesome! We also had a fireside out in the desert!!! In El Centro! It took two - two and a half hours on 94 to get there. It's this old 2 lane highway that winds through the countryside right along the border! It was pretty....I felt like I was in Utah or Montana haha.....OK so it was sort of pretty. lol. I sang in a group and played the violin again for I am a child of God.... And I did GOOD! I didn't mess up! Except the ending was thrown off and everyone messed up....but it was still good! It wasn't too hot either...only 85...but the winds were SURE STRONG on the way back home! Then we just took the 8 back home. So that was fun to take a lil road trip out to the country/desert. The stars were GORGEOUS on the drive home.....been a long time since I could see them like that!
So far we STILL haven't gotten transfer calls....So I'm probably staying. love you! Have a great week!
Hermana Dunn

May 10th

Happy mothers day today!!! In Mexico, Mothers Day is always celebrated on the 10th of May. It's like a holiday holiday too....No one does anything but celebrate all day. Everything is shut down etc. So we'll see if we get to teach anyone tonight! They might all be in Mexico with their moms. But Mother's day rocked cause I got to call home! woohoo! Then it made me feel trunky for a little while....but I got over it. haha.
Well really the only big news is that my companion had to go home :-(. Because of medical reasons. But the good news is that she will come back out when she gets better! Sister Jensen, we miss her. But President Donaldson said that she was doing good. It was kinda crazy though cause it was so last minute. She left Saturday within about 3 hours from when she talked with president. But she'll be back soon!
Ana, our investigator, is still progressing, but we found out that she doesn't feel ready this month to get baptized and that she's going to be in Mexico for like a month or something! oy! But that she wants to after she gets back, so that was a little sad to hear, but we still have strong faith in her and know that she will get baptized when she's ready! Which is good and what we want for everyone, to be ready.
Jose Luis is slowly progressing too. We taught him the word of wisdom and it went shockingly well! He didn't understand the no coffee and tea thing at first, but when we taught the doctrine and the "why" he understood and was like, "OH! Well I'm gonna get rid of it!" It was amazing! and he let us talk!!! haha We weren't there for even an hour! Ok, 55 mins but that's FAST for him! It was awesome!
It's weird that transfers will be in 2 weeks, since we just had some...sort of. Who knows what will happen and who will go where!
I thought I would share something cool that I read about today while studying. I was reading about the Plan of Salvation, which is the plan that Heavenly Father has for us to gain peace in this life and in the life to come. It answers the questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? and Where are we going? But I was reading in True to the Faith, on pg 117 about the blessings of knowing the plan! it say:
"A testimony of the plan of salvation can give you hope and purpose as you wrestle with the challenges of life. You can find reassurance in the knowledge that you are a child of God and that you lived in His presence before you were born on the earth. You can find meaning in your present life, knowing that your actions during mortality influence your eternal destiny. With this knowledge, you can base important decisions on eternal truths rather than on the changing circumstances of life." My favorite part is that last sentence! This gospel is the ETERNAL TRUTHS that have been restored to us. We can find security and know that we won't be lead down the wrong path when we Base our decisions on these ETERNAL TRUTHS, rather than on the ever changing of called "morals" and circumstances of the world. Eternity and God and Heaven are always going to be the same yesterday today and forever and it's going to go on for all eternity! This world we live in now is a split second compared with eternity. And I dunno about you but I've observed a lot of challenges in this life and had my own... But because of the plan of salvation...because of the restoration of the gospel...I know these eternal truths to actually be true! and I know that anything and everything can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ... through the ways that He has set! We can make our decisions, knowing that when we choose the right, we will be rewarded with the acceptance in to the presence of the Lord, in Heaven, forever living in a FULLNESS of Joy and Happiness with our families. That's why we follow the commandments. That's why we are in the world but not of the world. That's why we stand out. Because we know the truthfulness of the gospel. and THATs why we are so persistent in trying to help others come unto Christ, through faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the holy ghost...and enduring to the end. I know it's true. And I know you know it's true, or have known that, or will come to know that. I know that by reestablishing or reenforcing that knowledge and living it, will give you eternal happiness.
It later goes on to say in True to the faith on pg117 , "You can continually improve your relationship with family members, rejoicing in the promise that your family can be eternal. You can find joy in your testimony of the Atonement and the Lord's commandments, ordinances, covenants, and doctrines, knowing that 'He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come' (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23)' " .
It's everyone's choice to accept it or not though. Heavenly Father is definitely happy when we choose to follow it and accept it.
I love you all! And hope you are well and happy!
Hermana Dunn

May 17th Letter

HELLO!!! HOLA! Buenos Dias! Que tal? What up?! haha
I've got exciting news! My recent convert Albino.... you remember how it started with him and then we baptized his daughter Ana, and then His wife Susana got baptized in Mexicali.... We were teaching his son Tony whenever he was here in SD.... but he would go to Mexicali a lot. Well, HE GOT BAPTIZED down there 2 weeks ago!!! on mothers day! and he got confirmed this last Sunday!!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!! The whole family is following! Albino is super happy and now there's just one more son that hasn't gotten baptized. Some day. :-) It was so exciting to hear that he got baptized though.

We are actually going to be having a small Mission President's fireside again this month but in Calexico. My apartment and 4 other sisters and two cars full of elders will be going there to sing and do the special musical numbers. I will be playing my violin again on the same song. So hopefully I won't mess up again haha. But it'll be a two, two and a half hour drive out to the desert. I heard it's HOT HOT HOT out there! Like 95 degrees at night! It gets up to about 120 normally in the summer... Which sounds like what I was going to be dealing with if I had gone to Salta, Argentina. It should be fun! We're just going for the night and driving back right after the fireside. I will also be singing in a small group of sisters for one of the songs, plus the choral pieces. So that will be fun this weekend!

Transfers are on the 25th next week so we'll see what changes are made. I have to give the lesson in gospel principles this coming Sunday and then if I'm still here on the 29th I'll speak in sacrament on missionary work.
We got an awesome new investigator....actually a couple! that are really interested in learning more, so that's sweet! It's nice to actually talk to people that are happy to see you and want to see you and don't avoid you, run away or hide. One of the investigators might be a lil too happy to see us!! LOL they might just go to the elders instead. We'll see though.
Lately a couple people have told me that I've lost weight which is GREAT! But I dunno I think it just might be my bangs that I just cut that makes my face look different, cause they do. I definitely don't really feel like I've lost weight haha. But hey! I'll take that compliment!
We had some exciting things happen at our apartment! One is that we found a kitten and her mom on our back porch and she is SOOOO CUTE!!!! But they are strays so it breaks my heart... We don't feed them but they just chill on the back porch sometimes. The other one is that the sister's bikes got STOLEN from the front porch the other day!!!!! AY!!!! They had forgotten to lock their bikes at night and when we opened the window we realized they were gone! ay! Sister Adams was using sister Kratzer's bike too and had just dropped $80 to repair it the day before!!!! So we went back to the bike shop and she bought the exact same bike and everything since sister Kratzer will be coming back soon to get it. Bummer!!
That's pretty much the news down here at the border! Hope all is well with work, health and school!
Hermana Dunn

April 25th Letter

TOMORROW!!!!! Yup tomorrow is the day that we go to the Carlsbad Mission to see L. Tom Perry. I'm super excited! Oh ....I'm giving the closing prayer too! I just remembered that ....guess I'll practice my prayers in English today haha.

So This week has been a little crazy, but last night topped it off. My comp and I went to see an investigator, Ana and we had a AMAZING LESSON!!!!!!!! It was totally the spirit teaching and directing what to say and ask. It was just so awesome we all almost started to cry. My heart was full afterwords. I just love these people so much! Especially when the spirit works through us to be able to help them come to know Christ and His Gospel and the truthfulness of it. She agreed to prepare herself to be baptized on mothers day May 8th. Which by the way will be the day that I call home again! Feels like yesterday that i just talked to the fam, but it's here again!

Anyways with Ana we were reviewing the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and we hadn't had personal study that morning as church starts at 9AM. So I was feeling unprepared but said a prayer that Heavenly Father would help me remember scriptures, or know what to say and what to ask. Then during the time when we were talking about her family and how this would bless her and her family I remembered two scriptures that I just happened to read in sacrament yesterday! They were PERFECT! Mosiah 2:22&41.. look them up. It's Heavenly Father's promise to his children that when we obey the commandments we are blessed in all things temporally and spiritually and that this promise never falters but is the same forever.... but we must do our part to act and exercise faith.

Random little tidbit! My roommate, sister Adam's, .....her great grandfather is Bruce R. McConkie! Pretty sweet huh. Now I want to read the Mormon Doctrine books that he wrote when I get home even more!

Well other than that we are just trying to find more people as always. That's the hard part. It sure is easier when members find know and/or find those that are truly searching for it. People will talk to us sure....but sometimes they just aren't interested! Story of my life, but there are those that really are and really do things to know it for themselves! That's where We come in! To help people know for themselves that the gospel is true, then showing them how to act on that knowledge. Knowledge without using it or doing anything is never going to benefit us at all. You've got to apply it!! Then that knowledge will turn into something even greater, which is wisdom!

My TEN MONTH MARK was on Saturday the 23rd. OY! Time is flyin and I only have 8 months of this amazing time left... scary!

Well I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!
Love ,
Hermana Dunn

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thanks to momma I GOT MY VIOLIN THE OTHER DAY!!!! I got it in the biggest box ever! It was pretty funny. But Sister Donaldson, my mission president's wife, asked me to play violin in the next fireside coming up this Sunday!!! I'm going to be playing with the choir "I am a child of God" in Spanish as this one will be a Spanish fireside. I'm definitely nervous because I haven't played in a LONG time so I've been practicing it....there's some harder parts in it that go into 3rd position, or the high part of the violin, which I'm nervous for and might just rewrite to a lower part. But it will still sound good. I'm still nervous though. My nerves always get the best of me and my hands get shaky and I can't do vibrato very well because it just goes crazy and isn't controlled. So any advice to kick the nerves? anyone? For next time I play. Man I'm shaken just thinking about it. haha. So pathetic! The part that gets me is that I've performed my WHOLE LIFE and I STILL get nervous and shaky! oy! I'm just going to pray a lot, do all I can and then the Lord will take the rest, so I can share my talent with those that need it at this fireside. But any other tips would be good too!!
Well we've had a good time! We've gotten a few new people which is exciting. The hard part is seeing anyone because NO ONE IS HOME! Everyone is soooo packed with working and other things all the time....which is understandable of life and the economy right now. But it's got to be hard when you pack your life so much that you hardly have time for family or just yourself. I've grown to love people so much more on the mission. I've been in this area of Otay Mesa (Chula Vista) for 7 almost 8 months now and I love love love the ward! I love the people and I love the people we meet teach and everyday. The thing that I've grown to notice and love a lot more is the fact that, here in the Church of Jesus Christ, His Church, we are all living the Same gospel and have the same purpose to work and in. No matter where you go throughout the world the gospel is the same! It is God's. It is universal.... It is the INFINITE atonement of Jesus Christ that we all teach throughout the whole world no matter what race, culture or background you come from. Here on the mission I especially love seeing, so many different people with different backgrounds and stories, but who are united in Love and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have the same "perfect brightness of Hope" (1Nephi 31:21ish) that we can live with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ again, with our families.
I love how in General Conference last Sunday, Elder Jeffery R. Holland, one of the 12 Apostles, said that "this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's not a huge fast food outlet!! You can't ALWAYS 'have it your way'!" which is my point. This isn't the gospel of fit the preferences, pleasures, opinions or likes of men! It is not to fit what can be comfortable to men, but that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of our Heavenly Father which is tailored to help us, transform us into happier children of God, so that we can stand worthy in His sight once again. If God is the same yesterday today and forever, like it says in the scriptures, then His gospel is too. It is the same yesterday today and forever and can promise you that His Gospel has been restored to it's FULLNESS, (meaning, without lacking certain parts) today to bring us the saving ordinances of the gospel so that we can enter back into the presence of the Lord and become like him. So that when we live worthily and endure to the end, applying HIS Gospel in our lives, we will prove ourselves worthy to be rewarded with a FULLNESS of JOY.
Your Heavenly Father loves you. No matter who you are or what you do, He always has and always will love you with a perfect, infinite (meaning NO END) love. He knows you...really KNOWS you....and has tailored the gospel perfectly to help you become your true self, to reach your full potential of becoming worthy to enter into his rest. He loves the whole world. But it's only through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice that we can do that. It is up to you, to choose what to do with the time that has been given to you (yes that is on Lord of the Rings but is SO true and awesome!). It is up to you to accept or reject the fullness of the gospel, because if any part of the gospel was missing then it wouldn't work. God would cease to be god, to be perfect and all knowing. That's in the scriptures somewhere.....I think around 2 Nephi or Alma? I don't remember.
I love the Lord and my Heavenly Father. I love their gospel. I love being a missionary. And I would like to invite all of you to Know for yourself, from God, to know that these things are true. If you have a sincere desire in your heart and you REALLY intend to do what God would want you to do and you ASK Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things are true, He will reveal into your heart, mind, feelings and thoughts by the power of the Holy Ghost, that what we know to be true, is true! Will you pray to know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to it's fullness? If and when you do I can promise you that the Lord will bless your life, and help you with your struggles, and help you come to accept and receive the gospel.
Hermana Dunn
P.S. Please keep my companion Sister Bickley in your prayers, her Knees could send her home if they don't get better.
PSS. Transfers are on the 13th and I will find out the 12th if I get my area changed....who knows what will come.

I got Kissed!!!

By the sun......and by an investigator! Did I make you gasp when you read the email heading? lol yes I sorta got kissed by the sun that we've been getting. It has been nice and warm lately! It even got into the low 80s the other day, so it's been really nice. Then when we watched General Conference and saw that the trees outside the conference center had a fresh coat of snow, it sort of shocked me haha. I forget that it's winter everywhere else because it's so warm down here. And yes I got kissed.....on the cheek. Don't worry, by one of our investigators. Jose Luis Lopez! He's in about his 60's, so not too harmful. lol But it was a shock for sure because you just don't do that as a missionary! But it's normal in the Hispanic culture to do the "handshake, hug, kiss on the cheek greeting". He then tried to repeat it to my companion, but she just held her hand out and was like "no we can't do that" and he looked soooo sad and like he felt bad because he didn't know. I felt so bad....but better that he knows now. lol
A day in the life of the missionary!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Hello everyone from the Sunny San Diego California Mission!
This past week has been awesome! We really stepped it up and opened our mouths more and talked with a LOT of people! It was awesome! and because of our efforts to be more efficient in the work of the Lord, we were blessed! We added 5 new investigators!!!! YAY!!!! Well actually 6 but one was only here for the week and just went back to TJ. but what an amazing blessing! We have been needing new investigators so bad and we just boomed! Of course every mission and every area in the mission is different for finding and teaching but for us....6 new was a lot!!! We have a pretty white area so it's hard to find. So needless to say... I love being a missionary. I love this calling and everything that i learn each day, especially about leadership.
Something I learned in my studies today was from the book "Jesus the Christ" by James E Talmage....I think? is that when Christ taught the greatest commandment to his 12 apostles at the last supper to love one another as He loved them..... He was not only teaching them to love the Lord with all their heart might mind and strength but to love our neighbors. And with this love that they had they would let the world know that they were set apart to this calling as leaders because of that love. And that's just it! One of the keys to leadership, that we can see even in Christ's life, is that a leader should have and infinite love for those he serves. A leader should serve out of love for the people, and not out of love for himself or to get gain.
So I loved that.
Please keep my comp. sister Bickley in your prayers. Her knee problems have been kinda coming back and the next step basically, if it doesn't get better, is surgery which would end her mission. She's been having a real rough time with this especially yesterday at the Dr. and I know exactly how she feels! It was giving me MTC flashbacks.....but yea....she has what's called Patella Femoral Chondromalacia... or that her knee caps slid off to the side because her cartilage is softened or something. Basically a young persons arthritis but not necessarily at the same time meaning that she'll get that. So yeah.... Please keep her in your prayers so that she can heal and finish her 6-7 months left! Love you!
Love Hermana Dunn

Elder L. Tom Perry

So guess what!!!! I got a call yesterday morning from President Donaldson. He asked me to give the closing prayer for when Elder Perry comes to talk to the entire Carlsbad Mission and the entire San Diego Mission together on April 26th. !!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!! I was just like....OH! uhhhhh! SURE! he said "Make sure you work on your thee's and thou's real well."
Well, I"M nervous! but EXCITED!!! I dunno why I was the one picked but I'm pretty pumped, and am going to make sure I don't look homely that day and not do anything embarrassing, like call him someone else or burp in the middle of the prayer or something!! haha! Plus!! I need to practice praying in English because it's WAY weird to do that and I forget words because we always pray in Spanish! So pray for me!
Some more news! It's my HALFWAY mark TOMORROW!!!! 9 MONTHS! aHHHH!!! I cannot believe that it's gone by SO FAST! I feel like I just got here yesterday and I've spent 7-8 months here in Chula Vista. It's been awesome. I love being a missionary and I don't even want to think about when I come back to the normal life. It'll be hard and weird. Yes the mission life is definitely hard. It's physical mental and spiritual work. President said that mental work is definitely harder than physical work, and spiritual work is harder than mental and physical work combined. NO wonder we're sooooo drained each day! When we hit the pillow we are out! and it seems like we are always tired. .....because we are. But it's amazing the amount of energy and power that the Lord blesses us with, to carry on! Press forward! Seguir adelante! The things we have LEARNED alone, would generally take a lifetime for someone to learn!.... but thanks to the many blessings of being a missionary we have the privilege to learn from our experiences, studies and teachings from our mission president too. I love it! It's going to bless my life so much....well it already has, but even more after the mission! I've learned the power of prayer and of the Holy Ghost to even help me study! I'm learning how to set goals and make plans everyday! and to learn to rely completely on the Lord and trust that as long as I'm being a good girl, obeying the commandments, keeping my covenants, and following the spirit... that it will be FINE! It'll be ok! Heavenly Father will take care of the rest! My roommate, sister Gines, gave this awesome analogy the other day that I love. "Quit trying to knock over all the domino's yourself! All you need to do is knock over the "God" domino FIRST, and he'll knock over the rest!" Aka,....put Him first in all you do, and He will guide you and let everything else fall into place!
Yesterday was an awesome day! We talked with a lot of people! I know I've now been on my mission for 9 months, but I'm not a perfect teacher and never will be! One thing I'm definitely not perfect at is stepping out of my comfort zone and just TALKING to people. So we tried it yesterday and it ROCKED! We talked to SO many people. Some listened and talked forever and others didn't. Now it's just always having that fire to do it, which is the hard part. But I'm doing my best to follow the spirit and really help others come unto Christ through HIS restored gospel and to help lead them along the path that HE has set for us.
I love you all! I love my mission! and I hope all of you have a GREAT week! and that all of you have GREAT health too! Thanks for all the prayers!
Love, Hermana Dunn!
ps. Brenna! Ryan Wood is totally on the new cards! He's on the bottom right corner of the cards with the black strip in the middle and blue letters. These are the new color ones with tons of pics of people on them. I thought it was cool.

Monday, February 28, 2011

8 month mark!

Oy vey! I can't believe I will have been out for 8 months TOMORROW!!! Time has FLOWN by!

Well it happened!!!!! ANA GOT BAPTIZED on SATURDAY!!!! Feb. 19th, 2011! Her dad, Albino (who just got baptized in January) Baptized her!!! It was so awesome! I loved it! and I'm sure she did too! Then she received the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday in church of course. She was just Beaming! We had a party after the baptism too and Hermana Salazar and Ana had made a big pot of chicken Mole!!! YUMMY!!! It was sooooooo good! Mole is my favorite.

Well something embarrassing happened the other day that I feel bad for. We were taking the other sisters to their apartment to drop them off from district meeting. We parked real fast.... cause when nature calls, ya gotta go!!!! Right?! Well we stopped for the bathroom break and were ready to start the day..... When we walked outside our car was being hooked on to the tow truck! AHHHHH! I know, I know! terrible! So we ran and talked to him thinking that by some miracle he could drop it for free. Well that didn't happen. I had to pay $89 on my debit card to drop it. BUT the good news is that we caught him because it would've cost like $400 or $500 to get it from the impound! Our wonderful, but maybe a little too nice of mission president doesn't make us pay for stupid mistakes like that.....I guess he pays for it?? I know! Crazy! So, I'm thankful....but sorry! But the funny part of the story is that I gave the guy a card and said, "Well this is for you!!!" ..and he was like " Ah, now you're making me feel bad!" He didn't like his job, but we's his job! So we invited him to go to the website and then he had to go.

Another "fun" story...oy! A week or so ago the whole district went over to eat at a member's house. It was goood! We are always grateful for those that share their food with us. Well turns out that the whole night, the whole district was wiped out and kept making trips to the bathroom!! No one felt good. But we lived! The many joys of new cultures and the mission life. I just thought it was funny though how the whole district was down and out.. oh well. It was GOOD food! I'm fully converted to spicy Mexican food! Anything else will be bland when I come home. Ok maybe not everything else.

Well I love you all and hope that I can get some pictures in the mail to you from the baptism. It really was just so amazing.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love ,
Hermana Dunn

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb 8th Letter

From 70-80 degree weather!

HA! I know I like to rub it in, but it's just so warm. But when it's cold it's a little more humid cold which REALLY doesn't feel good and especially in a skirt!

Well let me just say that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days in the mission! I can't believe I've been on the mission for 7 going on 8 months! Let alone in Chula Vista for pretty much 6 months of that time! It's crazy! I absolutely love it though. I'm getting to know the members a lot more and I love love LOVE them so much! They feel like family and every once in a while it's nice to talk to people that are actually excited to see you and don't run away from you! People that actually want to listen to you haha. But I love everyone of course! We are still working with Ana. She was in Mexicali for a week or so, so we didn't get a chance to see her for a while....but she will hopefully be getting baptized this weekend! We haven't confirmed the date yet but YAY!!!!!! She's just so awesome and we love her so much. Oh and we added some people to the teaching pool. Elim is 17 and she's awesome! She's a foster child of a member. She's really interested and we are going to be meeting with her again tomorrow.

Other than that we've just been trying to find more people all the time. Sister Muir goes home on March 1st :-( She's definitely not too happy about that. None of us are....but the time just keeps FLYING by....holy cow it's so fast! Then the 2nd is when we have transfers. So yeah. Things are going pretty well though, other than the fact that people are just SOOOO busy all the time that we can't find anyone at home or on the phone... or my favorite is when people peek through the window and then come lock the door and don't answer... or when you can obviously hear them inside and they say SHHHHHH! really loud and fake they aren't home.

The past couple weeks I've really noticed and appreciated what an amazing family I have. The love and kindness and just the fact that we are just.....I dunno....a good family!!! How blessed we are, not that materialistic things matter at all! But we have a roof and food and heat and clothes. We are very privileged to have all these blessings. The greatest blessing I think we have is the gospel. The unity and happiness it brings to our family when we allow it to. The family is ordained of God and He has created this WHOLE plan of happiness and salvation for us and our families. To have unity, support, a sense of security and belonging, peace, love and happiness. I'm am so thankful to have the family I have, and I love you all ....and the friends that I have too!

Seeing the different situations of people here on the mission makes me really see the blessings of the gospel. Some families are broken or some have no family or hate their family. Some don't have much, but have everything in their family relationship! It makes me want to share the gospel even more to these families, because I know that the gospel will bring these blessings that I have. It will bring them hope. It's been said in the Proclamation to the World the Family by the church that "Happiness is most likely to be achieved when the family builds their foundation on the principles of the gospel, love, repentance, forgiveness, patience, etc" something like that. It's one of my favorite lines though. It is true! THE CHURCH IS TRUE! JUST TRY IT!!! LIVE IT! Love it! .... do it Because you love it and because you love the Lord! and "he shall direct thy paths for good".
Look up Heleman 5:12 It's an amazing promise! Also Mosiah 2:41, and Mosiah 4;9-10.

Today I'm going on the trolley to down town with a bunch of other missionaries, so that will be fun! I love you all!

Con Amor,
Hermana Tawny Nadene Dunn

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year Letter

Well sorry people! Last week all the libraries were closed so I didn't get to email, obviously.

Christmas was awesome and so was New Years! Talking to my family was nice! For dinner we went to a members house and got STUFFED with turkey and potatoes and also, the Mexican traditional dinner on Christmas Eve, TAMALES!!! I love tamales! I was SUPER stuffed though! Holy cow! Then Christmas day we went to a members house and ate ham and tamales and all that jazz.

Thank you everyone for the gifts and pics and Christmas cards!!!! I loved them all! Especially the pics! One of the members in our area gave my companion and I, wood carved nativities! It's one figurine with Mary Joseph and Jesus of course. They are gorgeous! It was sooooo sweet! Love that family! Not this week but hopefully next I'll send more pics for everyone to see some of the families we see and investigators we have. :-)
Speaking of investigators!!!! We are going to have a BAPTISM on the 9th.....Next Sunday! His name is Alvino and he is the nephew of one of the ladies in our ward. He lives in Mexicali with his family, but is up here looking for a job and is just SOOO ready for the gospel!!!! He's AWESOME! He actually reads and was reading about everything we believe in on and is so ready! One time we "taught" him and it was perfect because we didn't really teach him, the spirit did! He even had a question and just opened the Book of Mormon right then and was like, " oh look here in Alma 32:28 this is the answer to the question i just had!" ha! He had his Aunt read it and she started crying in the middle of it because she knew that Heavenly Father knows him so well and is already starting to answer his prayers. .....we didn't do anything. It was perfect! That was the ideal situation. To teach the doctrine, simply being the mouthpiece for the Lord....and teaching what they need to hear! You do that by listening to the spirit. That is hard at times because you don't always know their need for sure....but in this case it was all the spirit and Alvino....not us. Actually we weren't really doing that great a job teaching ....haha. Luckily Heavenly Father made up for our faults.
Oh, I had Birria again! You know...the cow head soup......but this time it was actually really good! and we ate the meat part....not fat! Who'd a thunk that I would ever love that! haha. It was way good actually! and....the Second Counselor Hermano Betancourt, fed us some Honduran Baleadas! I LOVE THOSE!!!! It is eggs and spicy sausage with beans and this yummy hot sauce that he makes and yummy cottage cheese and it's basically like a taco....but with soft tortillas. He says you can't NOT run into them in Honduras....they're everywhere! Brenna and you remember those?!
I would like to thank everyone for the love and support and prayers and letters and everything that you have done for me! It means a ton! As we were writing in our journals on New Years eve (we had to be in before dark) I sat there and realized how much I've changed in one year! It was incredible. The gospel really does give you a whole new, better, happier, outlook on life and really does help you progress and grow in your life. That's how it was designed by Heavenly Father. He does everything he does and lets everything that happens, happen ....for our good, for our experience, for us to grow and to see how he truly blesses our lives and watches out for us and He knows our full potential. By following that plan of happiness, the gospel, we can reach that full potential! That is, to become like our Heavenly Father and be perfected in him through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Look it up in the Book of Mormon! Moroni 10:32. He never gives us anything that we can't handle! So if you feel your faced with REALLY tough situations, decisions or temptations..... Just remember that you are a Child of God and have power through the gospel, to overcome that challenge. Look it up in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 10:13...!!!!

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you!!!
Love you!
Hermana Dunn