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!