Friday, December 18, 2009

Menjivar Family had a dinner for the Elders

Hi Sister Dunlap!

Sunday's Christmas dinner was great! Thank you so much for emailing us pictures and letters for Elder Dunlap. We had all 12 spanish speaking missionaries gathered at our chapel with the permission of the Mission President. We invited my uncle and his family as well. My family and I decorated the stage while we waited for the south missionaries to get there. As soon as they did, we allowed them all to go in and we started with a small family home evening. Both district leaders shared Christmas messages which really brought the Christmas Spirit!After the family home evening, we served the food. As an appetizer, we gave tamales followed by the main course; "spanish" turkey with rice and vegetables. After dinner, we showed all the baby pictures and the elders had to guess who was who. Following that, we had showed them a slideshow we made of 2009 mission pictures (formal pictures and crazy mission pics which they enjoyed seeing). At the end of the mission pictures, we put the rest of the baby pictures we received and the missionaries found out who was who. Everyone recognized e. Dunlap! It was a lot of fun and we all had some good laughs! (Because of all the demand, we'll make a copy of the slideshow to give to the missionaries.)After the slideshow, Josh, my brother went to change into his Santa Suit. We had to stall in order to give him time. We told the missionaries that someone wanted to come see them and they were pretty clueless. The missionaries got to sit on Santa's lap and we gave them their family letters and a present from our family (all 12 elders got matching ties). And than we had dessert =)My family and I really enjoyed having them all together and sharing a little with them. Yet, we feel we received a lot from them. We're thankful for the missionaries we have and for their wonderful spirit! We hope you and your family have an amazing Christmas and a Happy New year! Thanks again for everything!--The Menjivar Family

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Hola!I hope all is well at home and that everyone is preparing for Christmas! The weather here has warmed up a bit. We had a couple days last week of negative 30s and 40s. Today and yesterday have both been around freezing or a couple degrees below. It has felt like summer in contrast. We had a Christmas dinner on Sunday after church with all of the Spanish missionaries. President gave us permission for the south elders to come up and be with us as well. We had a short christmas program and the family had prepared a Christmas dinner for us. They put together a slide slow of all of us and santa also came and gave us all matching ties and letters from our families. Thank you for all your letters of love. It's such a blessing to have members here that really love us and take care of us. We've already been invited over for christmas and christmas eve by many members, and so I'm sure that we'll be taken care of. We're still teaching a lot and our investigators are progressing well. We've felt like we were extending ourselves in too many areas. So, we've prayerfully selected several families that we're really concentrating on and really trying to make short daily visits to. We've challenged almost all of them to read all of 3 nefi before christmas, adn so that's given us a good excuse to stop by daily adn check up on them. Through this, we've had some very powerful lessons and really seen the spirit working in the lives of our investigators and their families. We've really learned the value of daily contact. The families feel our spirit while we're their, but the advesary works in their lives the rest of the week. Daily contact has also increased their daily accountability to us as we check up on their reading and prayers. The basic principles that fortify our lives are really fortifying and building the faith of our investigators.Often as missionaries, we go to appointments in the evening and are surprised with a second dinner that is already prepared. This happened last night. We had fasted all day adn then ate a big dinner at a member's house. We hurried to an appointment with a Columbian family and the bishop was meeting us at the appointment. We were surprised by a meal already on the table waiting for us. As missionaries, we've learned that we just have to say a prayer adn eat as much as we can. But, the bishop tried to talk his way out of eating- saying that he didn't know and was full, and that his plate had too much food on it. The family kind of shrugged him off and gave him the response we always get- that they're sure we have room to eat more. He looked scared, but managed to stuff down his whole plate. My companion and I thought it was pretty funny that he got a little taste of what it's like for us sometimes. I think for some people, they just show their love for us by making food. We've just came to accept that sometimes we just can't talk ourselves out of eating.As we focus on the Savior and emphasize that to those we teach, my testimony of the atonement and the mission of the savior has definetely grown. People seem to have a more loving and caring spirit at this time of year. A spirit that I wish could be carried with all of us always.I love you adn miss you all. I look forward to talkign to you on Christmas. I think that you'll probably be calling at around noon my time. I'll give you the number and specific details next wednesday in my email.
Con amor,Elder Dunlap


Hola!This week has been a pretty cold one. We had a snow storm on thursday and friday. The roads turned out pretty bad and we weren't able to drive our car friday or saturday. This made working pretty hard, but we managed to walk to a couple of appointments both days. I'm not sure how much if snowed, but probably about a foot and a half and then with drifting it was a lot higher in places. The snow ended up canceling the temple trip that we were supposed to have on saturday. We were pretty bummed, but still got to take a preparacion day on saturday. The snow was bad enough to shut down some of the main roads and I heard that people slept in malls aroudn town because they weren't able to get home. Alot of people rely on buses for transportation and the buses were getting stuck. We heard though that this is one of the worst snows in a couple years. The work is still going well in the area. The snow was kind of frustrating because it made visiting people hard for a couple days. We're going to start volunteering at some english classes aroudn town. We had the idea yesterday during the day. Last night, we had an appointment with a less active who started talking about his wife taking a class nearby. We stopped by last night after the appointment to talk about volunteering, and met a former investigator in the lobby who wants to meet with us again. The Lord is already blessing us with people to teach from this.Yesterday was zone conference. It was very spiritual and centered aroudn the atonement. President talked about how people carry burdens at this time of year and how we can apply the atonement to their lives and teach the atonement to help them overcome these challenges. I learned a lot about the enabling power of the atonement in our lives. We often teach the redeeming power of the atonement- the ability to repent and be forgiven and redeemed of our sins. But, the conference was focused on the enabling power of the atonement. The strength that we can draw from the atonement to overcome our weaknesses,struggles, and burdens in our lives. Sometimes we pray for the Lord to lift our burdens, or to change our circumstances. But, the enabling power of the atonement is the understanding that the Lord can help us through our burdens. Can give us the strength to have hope and remain steadfast and have joy through our burdens. We also learned about how it applies to our lives as we try to become better. The BOM is a history of the teachings of prophets and of this struggle of man. The struggle to go from bad to good and good to better. To become saints and perfected through the enabling power of the atonement. I really love zone conference. We always find answers to our prayers about the people we're working with and ways to improve our teachings.The phone call rules have been changed. We're calling now on Christmas morning sometime between 10-2. I'll send yuo our cell phone number on the 23rd adn what time we're worked out for you to call. Members have alligned christmas dinners for us, so I'm sure we'll be recieving lots of love. Our christmas starts this sunday because a family in the ward is having a dinner for all the spanish elders in the mission at the church for us. It should be fun.I'm glad to hear that everything is going well! I love and miss you all and look forward to talking to you in a couple weeks! Love, Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

Hola!The weather has really turned off cold recently. I thought that winter was already here, but I guess that it hasn't. Calgary doesn't really plow the roads and there was a snow last friday that turned into pure ice. Wrecks were happening everywhere and it took us about 1.5 hours to make a normal 5-10 minute drive. But, the good thing is that people from canada said that it's the worst traffic that they've ever seen. We had to get out of the car and push people that were getting stuck at stop lights and couldn't get going again on relatively flat roads. I'm staying warm though. We've been staying busy with appointments so it keeps us out of the weather. The work is going well. We're actually teaching two Ateists right now. One is married to a member and the other is a single guy. Both are very nice and actually come to church practically every Sunday. It's been interesting teaching them. We have to take a different approach to presenting the lessons and the doctrine. It's been fun but also frustrating. We really just try to help them feel the spirit as much as we can and help them recognize it and the manifestations of God in their lives. We've had some great spiritual experiences and miracles this week. We got a referall from an english class that the church offers for 3 mexican guys who live together. We were told that they are home on Saturdays adn Sundays and gone during the week, so we decided to stop by and see them last saturday and try to catch them at home. When we walked up to the last, an old former investigator that had been lost was standing at the front door knocking as well. He ended up being freinds with the people we were trying to visit. Different things that day had came up and worked out so that we stopped by at the time we did. It really was a blessing of the Lord and a miracle to be able to find this guy again. He had been taught by my current companion several months ago in another part of the city and had left for Mexico. He returned to Calgary after several months and we were able to find him in our path. We're working with a lot of people that we feel are very close to baptism, but seem to have one hump, doubt, or problem to overcome. We're really emphasizing on praying hard so that the Lord will help them exercise their faith. President has exerted to me and my companion recently over the first couple weeks of this transfer his confidence and feelings that there's goign to be several baptisms in this area this transfer. So, when you pray for us, pray that our investigators can overcome their doubts and take that step. President has counseled us both to pray specifically for baptisms and they will come. The ward is taking a bus to the temple on saturday adn we've gotten permission to go. We get to email today, but our actual Preparation day this week will be on Saturday. I'm excited for the opportunity to go. I think that the other spanish elders in the branch in the south are goign as well- so it should be a fun trip. Mom asked about Christmas suggestions and calling. I think here we will talk to you guys on Christmas eve. We are supposed to be home at 6 in the apartment and I'll give you guys the cell phone number and you'll just call that number. So, I shouldn't need a calling card. If I do, I still have that one that deda and grandma sent. The mission office saves all the missionary packages that come in this month and then distributes them aroudn Christmas. We're supposed to save them and open them christmas morning. If you send anything, make sure you write gift on the outside and christmas presents as well so that they'll hang on to it at the office. I can't really think of much that I need. Music, sweaters- they have to be v-neck and can have a pattern as long as it's conservative, and every missionary loves new ties, stamps or stationary stuff. I'm doing pretty well with warm weather clothes right now. Mom also asked about my allergies adn health and stuff. I'm doing well. There's really nothing that's wrong. I've gained a little weight but I don't think too much. It's pretty unavoideable in this mission. The people really just love to feed us. We definetely don't have a problem finding food. We're actually given too much, but it's how everyone expresses their love for us so we like it. I ran a little with my last companion inside the stake center that's near us in the mornings so I've been kind of active. The current weather has inhibited it a little recently though. Thank you for the emails, love, support, and prayers. I hope that all is well!Con amor, Elder dunlap

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Transfers THANKSGIVING- November 26, 2009

Hola!This week has been another busy week. My area from my first transfer got split in half for the second transfer and now for this third transfer, the area has been combined again. So, it's been exciting to get to visit some of the people I taught from the first six weeks. I can't believe that it's been 5 months already. My new companion is Elder Krueger from Utah- near Provo. His dad is actually a branch president at the MTC right now. He's an excellent companion. I've learned so much from him already in this week. There's basically a group of 7 missionaries here that have about 9 months left and then 7 that have been out around 5 months. So, he has about 9 months left before he goes home. He's a really hard worker and I'm very excited to be with him. The biggest thing that I've learned from him so far is how to not only love the people, but express the love that you have for them in a way that relates to them and their culture. The hispanic culture is simply more animated about emotions and expressing them and that's something that I'm having to come out of my comfort zone a little bit with. I think that Elder Krueger was really what this area I am in needed. The Spanish is coming along well. Elder Krueger is helping me correct some of the habits with the language that I had developed over the first 3 months here. Right now I'm really trying to focus on appropriate grammar. I've picked up a decent vocabulary to be able to teach adn express my self and now I'm trying to refine the grammar. As far as the work, we're really teaching a lot of people. I've realized that I've been blessed to start out my first couple months in a very active area as far as investigators. We're trying to put together an active ward mission plan with the ward. Our ward's current plan is a little dead- so we're trying to excite the auxilary leaders- to set specific goals for their auxilaries concerning missionary work and make plans how to accomplish those goals. We really feel that if the ward all works together with excitement and defined plans- the work in this area will take off. Especially here in an English speaking country- the members really are our best tool and only real effective tool to find new people to teach. We just got a new Elder's Quorum president that is really making a lot of great changes concerning missionary work as well. I'm excited for what is to come in the ward.This past Sunday was the confirmation of the Salazar family. The father is a mechanic here in Calgary and took a test to become officially certified 8 months ago. He told us that he had been awiting for his results and certification to come- because it takes a while since he's here on a work permit from Mexico. He had recently talked to someone and didn't expect it to come for another couple of months- but it arrived the day after his baptism in the mail. He was so excited when we arrived the day after his baptism to tell us what his Heavenly Father had blessed him with. To see their happiness and joy about being members and finding the church brings a joy to me that's hard to describe. They're a choice family of our Heavenly Father.We're actually going to get a United States thanksgiving tomorrow. There's a member family that is making us all recipes from home. I hope that you all enjoy the food and family and spirit of thanksgiving. I miss you all and love you!Con amor, Elder Dunlap

November 17, 2009

Hola!This past week has been a very good week. Saturday we had our Noche de paises or activity with the different countries. It went very well. The gym was full of people at the 17th ave stake center- which is a very, very large gym. I took some pictures and videos and will send you them soon. Each country set up a booth with food from their country and some authentic decorations. We ended up making chili, cheese hot dogs and president wanted us to sing a hymn. So, we sang the spirit of god in spanish. A lot of investigators and less actives went to the event and we met a lot of new people as well. It was a lot of fun to see the members and investigators having fun together and enjoying each others company. Sunday was the baptism. It went very well and I baptized the son. I think I put him a little too far under the water because he had trouble standing back up, but I just wanted to make sure we didn't have to do it again. They had been wearing jeans to church, but bought all new clothes for this past sunday and for the baptism. It's great to see a slow change happening in their lives. The members were all very supportive and a lot of them showed up for the baptism. President and sister archibald came as well which was a nice surprise. It meant a lot to see them there and surporting us. They brought a little gift for the family as well. There was an investigator that came to the baptism that is an atheist and the bishop during his welcoming specifically addressed this investigator and testified to him of the divinity and reality of our Heavenly Father. We thought it was pretty neat. Today is transfers, but I haven't yet recieved an email telling me where I'm headed. I hope to stay in my area, but I'm sure I'll be happy wherever president feels I should serve. I think the place I'd least like to go is to Lethbridge- just because it's about 2 hours south and you don't get to see the other spanish elders at all. I think in lethbridge there's about 30 spanish speaking members that attend an english ward. They're working to establish a branch, but there's just not many spanish speaking people there. The spanish work seems to be the slowest there. I think that you teach both in spanish and in english. Christmas is quickly approaching, I think that a member from the ward sent you something in the mail. I'm not sure what it is, but they asked me to see if you had recieved something. I know that they're planning a dinner for all of us one day in december as well. Mom asked what I want for christmas- and i really don't know. There's not much that I need right now. Maybe some nice church music. I really don't have much music. I just got the email and found out that I'm staying in the same apartment and area- which I'm excited about! I'm getting a new companion- Elder krueger from utah- which I'm excited about as well. he's in my district and i really like you all and thanks for the love and support!Con amor,Elder Dunlap

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009

Hey, We are emailing today because tomorrow is rememberance day in canada and the library will be closed. I assume that it's like veterans day in the US. People here have been wearing red flowers no their shirts for a couple weeks now and I was told that it's for rememberance day. We don't really get to experience the canadian culture too much because all of our dinners adn the people we work with are solely from South american countries. I'm sure that I'll pick up some things though. My companion says Eh a lot. Before the mission, I joked about speaking spanish and saying Eh, but some of the members that have been in canada for a long time actually do that. I think that it's pretty funny. Next tuesday morning, I'll find out about transfers. The whole spanish program will most likely be switched around because we've all been with trainers for 3 months now. I really hope that I stay where I'm at, or at least in the ward that I'm in. I'll get an email on Tuesday morning telling me where I'm going. I think that we're moving aroudn the boundaries in the ward a little bit again, so I really have no clue what will happen. This week, we're preparing for the baptism of the family of 3 from mexico that we're having on sunday. The ward is preparing for the cultural day this saturday. I think as for the US, we've decided to make sloppy joes. It'll be us 12 spanish missionaries and we're trying to talk president and his wife into coming and doing a song or dance with us. There's been somewhat of a fun rivalry in the ward recently as each country prepares their food and dances for the activity. It kind of seems that Mexicans are discriminated a little in south america as well as north america. We had an investigator come to church for the first time on Sunday. A funny but somewhat inappropriate story is that . There is a new elders quorum presidency, and so at the beginning of priesthood, they asked everyone to stand up and introduce themselves and say something about them that no one else knows. Our investigator was the first to raise his hand and go. He told everyone his name and that he's had a vasectomy. After church, the mexicans had a meeting to discuss what everyone would bring for the cultural night. He had just heard the word of wisdom a couple days before and rose his hand and said he could bring the beer. I don't think some people appreciated his humor, but it was pretty funny. Everything really is going well. I've been blessed with how well the spanish seems to be progessing. I still have a ton to learn, but am getting more and more confident. I've read the BOM out loud for 30 mins a day since a couple weeks into my mission. I think there's power in the book not only for our lives, but learning a language. The investigators that truly grow and progress and accept the message are those that embrace the BOM. There truly is power in the words and guidance and protection for our lives. I just foudn out we're eating homemade sushi with a Guatemalan family tonight. I'm pretty scared for what we might eat. I assume we'll have to dip it in salsa or something. Love youElder Dunlap

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This week has been another good week. We've been trying to keep in daily contact with our baptisimal dates so that we can help them stay strong and committed. Our "golden" family is still doing very well. We had another FHE with them this past Monday and they decided to move their baptisimal date up to November 15th. We're teaching the commandments tonight and are praying that they'll accept them well. They already have strong beliefs in the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon and so I feel that this will help them overcome any doubts that may arise from the word of wisdom or tithing tonight. The member family is very good too about sharing thier own experiences and testimonies and makes teaching a lot easier as well. We may have another baptism soon as well. We're teaching a man that's Columbian and is leaving for the winter. He spends every winter in Columbia and works in Calgary in the summers. He studies a lot and shares the gospel with all his friends and family. He's very excited to get to Columbia and share it with his parents. The problem is that he just wants to wait until next spring when he comes back to Calgary to be baptized. We've been working with him and I feel that he'll be baptized before he leaves. He watched a Special Witnessses of Christ video from the church. It is the testimonies of all 12 apostles and the first presidency about Jesus Christ. In this movie, there's a story of a current apostle leaving a book of mormon with a testimony in it and a signature with an investigator. He had us sign his BOM and write our testimonies for when we become apostles. He also read the proclamation to the world adn got worried that he hadn't taught his kids about Jesus Christ. So, he sat his kids down for an hour adn taught them the lessons from the pamplets. Then, he slapped his son really hard and told him that now he'll never forget it. He told us that the physical pain will make his kids remember the message and never forget it. We have another investigator who loved all the pictures of Christ in the pamplets that we hand out and so he cut them out and glued them in his BOM and made bookmarks out of some of them. It's interesting to see different people's excitement about the Gospel and how they express it. I feel like we have many weaknesses and things we can improve, but the people really have genuine respect and love for us. It's such a blessing to see the joy and excitement in those that really understand and embrace the message of the restauration and understand how it truly affects their lives.A great part of working with hispanic people from all different countries is that we get to experience diferrent foods and cultures. This week, we ate a traditional dish from Guatemala that they prepare for the 1st of November. It was all types of meats and sausages mixed with some vegetables and beets and cabbage. I've been trying to take some pictures of the food so you can see what I'm eating. The weather has warmed up a little bit. There's warm air fronts called Shinooks that randomly come during the winter. For a couple days, it'll be pretty warm and melt the snow. Then, all the water freezes and more snow comes on top of it. We're getting excited for the cultural day coming up. Partly because, all the Spanish elders will be there. All the countries are putting together a traditional song or dance. As missionaries, we're representing the United States and are going to put together something. Some elders are trying to get permission to do the Electric Slide or the chicken dance and get president and sister archibald to do it with us. If not, we'll probably end up singing the star spangled banner or a hymn in english. Can someone send me the mission office addresses for the Baltimore Maryland missiona and the Jacksonville FLorida mission. I've got some freinds that I want to write but don't really have a way to find those addresses. Also, my siblings should write me about what's going on in their lives.Love you all. Thanks. Elder Dunlap

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 28,2009

Hola!This transfer is already halfway over. Time really is passing quickly. This week was a very good week. I feel that the Lord is really blessing us with success right now. We were able to have 6 investigators at sacrament meeting last Sunday and with the other two companionships in the ward, we had 11 total. We're having a lot more success getting members to come to lessons with us as well. Probably because they see the investigators at church and activities and get to meet them. We've also set 5 baptisimal dates for November right now. We're putting together a daily schedule of things for the investigators to stay focused on these dates and feel the spirit everyday. We're goign to try to have short visits of 5 minutes by us or ward members leading up to their dates to get them excited and bring the spirit. The family of 3 that we met at the talent night absolutely loves the church adn all the teachings. Their date is november 22, but we will probably have it sooner. They've been converted since the first lesson and are excited about baptism and love attending church. We have been very grateful for this family and the member family that has been fellowshipping these investigators. It is the perfect example of member missionary work- and how much easier the work truly is. This family prayed about and found someone to invite to the talent night. The family they invited had been prepared. The spiritual level of these lessons is so much higher because the investigators are diligently searching, reading, and progressing. It's so exciting to feel and see the joy that the gospel is truly bringing into their lives. Monday night, we planned an FHE and made desserts as well. Yesterday was mission conference and it was all about commitment. The story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis was used a lot and there are great lessons in this story. They stayed true and dedicated to their covenants and commitment to the Lord even until death. In our zone, we all wrote a weakness we have on a piece of paper and then went and buried them in the flower bed outside of the chapel. I think we should've flushed them down the toilet. It has been flurrying a little almost every day, but we haven't had much of an accumulation again yet. I've been staying warm with the package that dad sent. I'll send pictures of the red long johns soon. I'm glad to hear that everyone seems to be doing well. I love everyone adn thanks for your love adn prayers. The Lord definetely is blessing me adn my companion and the investigators.Love Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seth forgot to mention...

I forgot to tell you in my email that I ate dinner two nights ago at the brother of Angelica Delgado's house. His name is Nefi Rodriguez and through conversation, I found out that he's from Guatemala and related to them. I thought it was pretty neat.

For those that don't know.....The Delgado family were our best friends when we lived in Coral Springs FL. We did Joy School (preschool program where the mom's rotate) and enjoyed them so much. Seth would have been about 3-4 years old when we moved to Florida. Also, while he was in the MTC he ran into one of their daughters (we called her Raquelita) in the mail room. They played together as children. It warms my heart to think of them and the connection to Seth now. How wonderfully small the chruch is sometimes.

October 22, 2009

Hola,This past week has been a pretty good week. We've had a lot of success in the area. We sponsored a ward talent show this past Saturday for a ward missionary activity and it went very well. The members loved it and the whole gym was packed with people. As missionaries, we sang the primary song We'll Bring the World His Truth while a member of the ward accompanied us on the Yukalalee. We wore lava-lavas with our white shirts and did a little choreography. I've got it on my camera and will try to send it soon along with some of the other funny acts fromt the Talent Show. We lacked practice, and actually forgot the words to the third verse, but we made it pretty cheesy and I think that everyone at least laughed because we were so bad. We were able to find a new family of three that we taught a first lesson to this week adn I believe that they have been prepared to accept the gospel and will progress to baptism very soon. We are planning a combined cultural night in november with the missionaries nad members of the spanish branch in the south of the city. This is goign to be at the 17th avenue chapel where deda and grandma served because they're planning for 500 people to attend. We're already inviting people and committing members to prayerfully find families to bring to the event and to meet with us. There's going to be food from all the different Hispanic countries and dances from the countries as well. As missionaries, we'll probably make something cheap like sloppy joes or chili to represent the united states. We're goign to plan some type of song as well for the event. In our weekly planning session this week, I felt inspired to review our ward list. We found a couple addresses that we hadn't visited yet with Less active members. The first one we tried to visit, the address was wrong, but we decided to try the house number at a different street with a similar name in the same area. At the address, we didn't find the person that we were looking for, but we found a less active member living with another less active member couple that just moved here from Peru. We invited the couple from Peru to come to church- and they did this past Sunday. In the basement, there is a family of 5 that are goign to start listening to the lessons as well. Afterwards, we felt great gratitude for being led to this hispanic house. I know it wasn't a coincidence that we had decided to review the member directory that we have.Overall, everything else is going well. I'm getting along well with my companion, we're almost halfway fininshed with this transfer already. Time definently is flying by. Our investigators are progressing slowly but surely, several of them have doubts that we're working hard to try and help them overcome. I really believe that there will be many baptisms very soon in the area. The weather is still cold, it's warmed up some to more of a fall type of weather. It's wet and foggy and windy just about every day right now. We have interviews every 6 weeks with the mission president, adn at this interview, there's a car competition. The companionship with the nicest car in the zone gets to drive the 4 door chevy truck for the next 6 weeks. We just had interviews and are hoping that we will get the truck. I'm doing very well- there's nothing really that I need rigth now. Thank you dad for sending the box, I probably should get it today. The zone gets together every Preparation day for sports at the stake center, so hopefully the zone leaders were able to pick it up. As we find more investigators, and work with more members, we are getting fed more and more. My suits are going to have to be dry cleaned soon because they smell like torillas and hispanic food. Sometimes we tell people that we've just eaten or that we're in a hurry, and they still try to feed us. I'm definetely not starving. The people have great respect for us here and are so loving to us.Thank you for everything!love you, elder dunlap

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

e-mail trouble 10-13-09

Thank you for the recipe. I don't know if you sent me the soup recipes, because the emails i recieved from last week- like the 6th or something were cut off. I only got a little bit of it. Your other emails I recieved though. The email program is messing up a little. I typed my weekly email and clicked send and then i got locked off, so I lost my email from this week after I had spent over half an hour on it. I'm going to start typing it in microsoft word so that i have it saved. So sorry, I don't have enough time to write it all again. But i'll write the basics. Yesterday was thanksgiving here in canada. We had two dinners- one with a less active family that we ran into from St. Vincent in the carribean. This was on Sunday and we had west indian food with them. The way we found these people was very cool- and at the dinner they shared their experience with praying for help when we arrived with everone adn it was very tuoching. Yesterday, we had a hispanic thanksgiving with three families from the ward. They made turkey with a hispanic salsa in it. They also had TONS of other hispanic foods. I think that I'll be full for a couple days. The work has been split in half because they divided my area, but we're working hard to find creative ways to inspire the members. There's a couple inches of snow this morning and so winter is officially here for probably another 7 months. dad- if you're sending a package- any long johns or wool socks that you have would help- i've picked up 5 pairs of wool socks and some gloves, but pretty soon i'll have to get some thermals to start wearing. sorry about the short email- i promise that i did have a good long one before it got you all very much, elder dunlap

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 6, 2009

Preparation day is today this week because tomorrow is transfers. We get an email on Tuesdays telling us where we are going so that people can prepare to leave on Wednesday. There aren't any changes in the Spanish other than the boundaries of my area are shifting a little bit. We're going to be sad to lose some of our investigators, but we're also picking up some new neighborhoods. There is a new missionary from the MTC that came yesterday so we now have 14 spanish elders. I assume that next transfer everyone will be moving around in the spanish program, but this transfer, everyone is staying with their trainers. Overall, the work is progressing well. We expect to reach some baptisms with progressing investigators this transfer, we have several that are very close, but just have one doubt to overcome. We hope that with the Lord's help, they can exercise their faith and take the essential step of baptism. I really enjoyed listening to conference. It was a good break from the norm and very inspiring for me. We have an investigator that has two young children and just moved here from Mexico. He is super excited about families and very concerned with raising his kids. We met with him the Friday before conference and he had lots of questions for us about the teachings of the Bible and scriptures about raising children. It was a great opportunity to invite him to conference and promised him guidance about these things. He came to the preisthood session and absolutely loved it. He took pages of notes, and I feel that this will be a key experience in his progression. He really felt how the Gospel can bless his family. The weather has quickly turned very cold. Fall lasted a very short 2 weeks, and there was snow on saturday and sunday. The worst part of the weather is the wind. It makes the weather seem a lot colder. I'm very glad that we have a car. Tell nathan, sara, ashley, shawn, and monica thank you for the package. I got it last wednesday. thank you for the trump tie, i now have the two that they've sent and i picked up an all red one as well, so i'm catching up on shawn's collection. everything is going well, i'm staying warm and being blessed daily. i think thanksgiving here is sometime next week, so i'll be eating a big feast a month earlier than u and miss uelder dunlap

September 30, 2009

HelloWe didn't end up going to Banff today. The member that was going to take us had something come up, so we're going to try for sometime in the next couple weeks before it becomes too cold to go. The weather is definetely becoming very cold already. I guess it is classified as Fall here right now, but to me it feels like winter in the mornings and evenings. It is very windy and that makes the cold weather worse. I believe that they are calling for 2 cm of snow this saturday. At certain parts in the city, you can see the mountains off in the distance and they're covered in white most of the time. I've been collecting some wool socks and gloves and things so Ive been staying pretty warm. This is the last week before transfers. I don't think that I will be moving areas, or switching companions, but it is possible. They're opening up a new area because one more spanish missionary is coming from the MTC, so everyone could also be moved around a lot as well. I hope that I stay in the area though, we've had a really good week and keep finding new people to teach. time has truly flown by, it seems like i just left the MTC. the biggest thing that has been holding our investigators back and that we've been struggling with is getting investigators to church. we've decided this week to start a program with the elders quorum to encourage enchanges and also we've been praticing a short lesson that we are sharing with a commitment to attend church to try and bring excitement and also invite the spirit for a direct commitment to come to church. we think that this will really pay off, and with the Lord's help, help them progress towards baptism. we've been praying hard about this, and your prayers would help as well. the language is still progressing. this week, i've had a couple dear experiences, when i know the words that came to my head and the words i said weren't from me. likewise, the countenance of the investigator changed, and their attitude as well. it's hard to express, or put into words, but i know i have been blessed this week with the gift of tongues when needed and this has been an answer to my prayers. thank you for the birthday gifts and your love and support. i haven't mailed the pictures, i was going to wait until i went to banff, but i will mail them today. con amor, elder dunlap

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So to all who may not know....Seth's birthday is Friday, September 25th. Born at 8:00 am on the nose and weighing in at an even 8 lbs. We love you and miss you.

September 23, 2009

Sorry that I didn't get to write much last week. A member in the ward likes to take the missionaries around to see the country and he took us to a town called Druemheller. It is famous for dinosaurs. We drove about an hour through farms to the city. The land has washed out there into shallow canyons and they have found all types of dinosaid bones and fossils there. There is a very impressive museum there and all types of tourist things to do in the city. I'm going to mail pictures today so they should be there next week sometime. It was nice to get to see some of the terrain and area around here. Transfers are coming up in 2 weeks, so he is probably going to take us to Banf next week, but we should be back in time to write an email next week.I can't believe it's almost transfers, I feel like I just got here. I really hope that I don't leave this area because we've got some really good investigators that we're teaching and the area has a lot of potential. I've been exposed to some interesting food recently. I think that the members try to gross out the missionaries sometimes, or make the food so hot and spicy that they themselves can't eat it, but it's fun. I ate some fried pig skin with fat called chichirron or something like that. They also like pigs feet, cow stomach, pig intestines, liver, heart. Basically any type of meat that's cheap to buy. I really like it because each country has their own speciality, type of food, or style of eating. We have a family from Nicaragua that we're teaching on friday and they're making lunch for us for my birthday. They kind of scared me though with some of their birthday traditions. They said they smash eggs or pies or cake on people's heads. The work in the area is progressing well. A lot of new investigators and we stay busy teaching. We've got some challenges, but we're slowly overcoming them. Over the last month, I've seen the most progression with the language in that I'm able to understand so much more than I could when I arrived. My testimony of the power of prayer continues to grow as specific prayers have been answered this week for my companion, investigators, and my own personal questions. Our mission tour from two weeks ago was centered around a talk given by elder bednar to ces institute teachers entitled: "Seek Learning by Faith." From the year 2006 delivered at the jordan institute of religion building. I spent several days reading and studying it and the doctrines it discusses. It specifically discusses that Joseph smith asked in his prayer which church he should join, not simply which church was true. He had full intention to act on the answer he recieved, and I think that's a key to personal revelation that i have learned this week and has been strengthened. We must be willing to do our part, all we can, and if we're asking for is truly the desires of our hearts, we will be willing to act. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and emails. My companion tells everyone we meet that it's my birthday friday, so i'm sure that I'll recieve lots of love here. Thank you for prayers and support!Con amorElder Dunlap

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I"m not going to have time to write an email this week. We went to Druemheller with some members today. It was about an hour away and we're running late to get to dinner adn have to email the president. I'll include details next week. SOrry, everything is well, thanks for the emails, love u Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Last word...

i forgot to remind that if anyone sends a package, write gift on it so there's not charges to accept it here.

Sept 9, 2009

Hola!This week has been another good week. Our investigators all seem to be doing well. Our two with a baptisimal date from Nicaragua had to push back the day because of work schedules, but they seem to still be doing very well. We pray for them all daily and I know that the Lord strengthens them and us as well as we try to help them progress towards baptism. We've had some very fortunate events this week that have brought us new investigators to begin teaching as well. A new investigator invited 2 friends over for a first lesson which we found out when we showed up. It was a very pleasant surprise and they all seemed super excited about the message. The mission president also has really stressed working with the members. We prayfully selected 3 member families to teach short lessons to and work with this week. We had planned on sharing a message with these familes as a dinner message and really emphasizing that the Lord wanted them to find someone for us to teach in their home in the next week. This is a new 7 day plan to work with the members that our mission president is emphasizing. When we went to two of them for dinner, they had already invited a non-member over to eat with us and after dinner, both the non-members agreed to begin the lessons in the homes of the members. We didn't even have to ask the members. This was our miracle for the week. We felt very aprehensive about beginning this program with members and asking them to specifically to find someone in the next 7 days for us. But, with 2 of the 3, they had already been prepared and been thinking about this and had someone ready. I know that our prayers are being answered and the Lord is preparing people for us to teach. Everyone from my district at the MTC seems to be doing very well. Several have already had baptisms in the short time they've been here. We have a mission tour with a general authority tomorrow. So we'll all be together except elder S.walker for the day. This should be a nice reunion. I'm excited to see them, as well as be counseled by a general authority. I dont remember who is coming but he's from the 1st quorum of the 70 i believe. The weather is starting to get cool. We wear suits now and I bought a wool and casmere jacket to wear for milder weather right now over my suit coat. During the day isn't bad but the morning and evenings get pretty windy and cold. mom asked abuot things for my birthday. i really don't need anything except winter clothes. snow gloves, wool socks, scarves, thermals really. i think it's really expensive to send packages though so i really wouldn't worry about sending anything. it would probably cost more to send the package them the items cost and there's a ton of thrift stores here. canadian people must like thrift stores.some nice information is that we were driving a 4 door chevy colorado truck, but we traded with the zone leaders a couple days ago because they had some packages to pick up. every transfer at interviews there's a car competition to see who has the cleanest. the cleanest in your zone gets to pick whatever car they want- which is the truck for everyone. we'll find out the results tomorrow at mission conference. we'll probably end up keeping the chevy malibu we have. hope all is well at home! thank you so much for the prayers and love! i'm doing great and am very happy to be serving here. i love the ward that i'm in. they asked elder chunn and i to bear our testimonies yesterday. i luckily don't think that i said anything i wasn't supposed to or got any words mixed up. i love everyone!elder dunlap

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Canada 9-2-09

Hola!I don't know if I told you in the last emails, but wednesday is my Preparation day and is when I will be emailing. This has been overall a really good week. The people in this area of calgary are so diverse. I'm amazed at how many different cultures and languages there are. I assume that Alberta has good incentive programs for refugees, or it is easier to come here than the united states. A lot of the Hispanic people come here as refugees. I think that this helps with the work because they are searching for a new life adn new people to meet, for jobs, or meanign in their lives. We have a lot of investigators right now. Two committed to be baptized in two weeks and a couple more that are progressing. The biggest struggle right now is that the people love us and love our message adn believe that we're people of God who are bettering their lives, but they don't understand the need to keep committments. To read adn pray for themselves, and that their salvation is at stake. That baptism is essential for them adn will bring them closer to their Savior adn Heavenly Father. This is something that we're goign to try adn get better at over the next couple weeks. There's people from all types of Hispanic countries here and a great way to establish trust with them is by talking about their native country. We often knock on doors that have flags in the windows or stickers and flags on the cars. Theres a lot of clues that I'm learning to tell what country someone is from. We have two with a baptisimal date named Jose and Salena and they have an 11 month old baby. They're refugees from Nicaragua and are our "golden" investigators right now. They only real challenge is that he works on Sundays right now One other progressing investigator is Freddi from Columbia. He has a 4 year old son and his wife died a coupel years ago. We taught him the first lesson in his home where all he had was a bed and a tv. We sat on some fold out chairs. I felt such love for him as we taught and it was a spiritual experience. He said he needs a stronger testimony to accept a baptidate, but is progressing well. It was great to hear him pray out loud, probably for the first time after our lesson. These are our people that we ask for your help praying for this week. That they will grow strong in their testimonies and desire to follow the Savior. I understand about 70 percent of most conversation that people say, so I'm reasonably able to communicate and understand the context. But, my funny story for this week was something I didn't understand. A member invited us over to meet a friend of hers who has had a lot of health problems at her house. We got there adn it was an older man from Peru. She asked us to give him a blessing and we did adn taught about apostasy adn the priesthood adn restoration a little before the blessing. The spirit was strong adn Right after the blessing, she asked him how he felt. He said something and pointed to his arms adn rubbed down his arms adn his body. I thought that he said he felt tingles all through his body. I was excited adn wondered why my companion didn't start talkign about the spirit and helping him recognize that was what he felt. I almost started to, but decided not to. After the lesson, I found out that he said he had sweat all over his body frmo walking to the house adn was a little sore. He didn't understand that she was asking how he emotionally and sp=iritually felt, he thought she meant physically I guess. I laughed after I found out what really happened afterwards. The good news is that we're goign to continue teaching him at her house though. Thank you for all the love adn encouragement. I feel so loved by these people. They have such a charitable and open culture. They absolutely love the missionaries here, so they're taking care of me. Thank you also for the forwarded emails from those from the MTC. I love and respect your thought adn comments and you're in my prayers and dear to my heart. I'll send pictures next week, I honestly just haven't taken any here in Calgary yet. We're working hard adn I believe we're being blessed for our obedience. Even though my spanish isn't great, I feel that the people can understand the feelings of my heart from what I say. I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well at home!
I love you all.
Elder Dunlap

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day In Calgary

Hola!I made it safely to Calgary. We landed around 1 yesterday and the mission president and his wife met us at the airport. We went to the mission home and had some orientation meetings during the day. We had dinner together and then had a testimony meeting in the evening at a local chapel. The mission president and his wife are both very nice and have been very welcoming. There were 19 new elders that came from the MTC plus 5 more elders that are from canada and have been called to US missions, but are having trouble getting visas. They've decided to spend the first 6 weeks of their missions here in this mission while they wait. We all slept in the basement of the mission home last night on matresses and then woke up this morning and there was transfers for the missionaries. Everyone met in the parking lot of the church and talked for a while and then left their seperate ways. TOday I've just been unpacking and buying groceries. There are 13 spanish elders right now in the mission. All of them except 2 are in the areas aroudn the city. Two elders are in lethbridge, which is a couple hours south. Elder Walker from Saint George from my district is now in lethbridge. In lethbridge they translate at church for the members and in the city of calgary there's a chapel and a branch for spanish speakers. I'm in the Calgary East Stake adn we attend a spanish ward which has over 100 members. Elder Chunn from my district at the MTC is in the adjacent area and we attend the same ward on sundays. We also go to dinner with him and his companion i believe most of the time, so that will be good to see him often. The ward that Elder Chunn and our companions are in is supposed to be very strong which is graet. Pretty much all of our trainers have been out for about a year in the mission. My new companion is Elder zoltan from california. He has been in this area for 6 weeks and his last companion just finished his mission. He's still getting used to the area, but he seems liek a great missionary and I'm sure he'll be a great trainer for me. We met the other 7 spanish elders and President Archibald said that they're all strong and great elders. Everything is goign well. I'm excited to be here and start working with real people. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve.Thank you for the package from memaw and papa, I got it this mornign at the transfer meeting. All mail should be sent to the mission office because I'll be close and the zone leaders pick it up adn distribute it often. The address is: 7044 Farrell Rd SE Calgary, Alberta T2H 0T2CanadaI think it is around 1 dollar though to send a letter though- or 2 stamps should be good. We live very close to the library adn that's where I'll email every Wednesday, which is normally the preparation day. As far as the missionary work goes, we have a good number of investigators and I'll go to my first appointment tonight. We also have our first dinner appointment so hopefully the food won't be too spicy. The new mission president is really stressing member referrals, especially with us because we only teach spanish speakers, and so there are some programs that he's instituted and new ways that we go about obtaining those referrals and encouraging the members. I don't think we really will be doing any tracting at all unless we absolutely don't have anything else to do. THe members in the ward are supposed to be very active and engaged with finding people for us to teach. We live in a one bedroom apartment on the third floor, but it's pretty roomy and spacious. I don't really have any other news other than that everythings going well. I'm excited to teach my first lesson and that I'll have a lot of members to interact with and practice the language with. A cool experience was on the plane from salt lake there was 3 canadian olympic team hockey players. One is captain of the phoenix coyotes, one is captain of teh san jose sharks, and i forget who the other one played for. There were 45 seats on the plane adn 21 missionaries. Elder Chunn sat next to the one from the phoenix coyotes and taught him the first and second lessons and they discussed religion the entire flight. He gave him a BOM pass along card adn committed him to read it. Elder Chunn was probably the only elder who really knew anything about hockey on the flight and struck up conversation with him before introducing the gospel. I don't feel that it was a coincidence that Elder Chunn sat next to him and was able to establish a discussion with him about hocket and then progressing to religion. I know that there are no coincidences in this work. I really don't have much more news other than to pray for me and wish me luck. Over the next couple days we're goign to be meeting the investigators and since my companion is fairly new he wants to try to make contact with all the members in our area, active and non-active. Thank you for all of your love and support. How grateful I am to be here! Love, Elder Dunlap

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

One more week left! We went to the temple this morning for the last time as a district. It was a graet experience. Our two teachers came and went through the session with us and we were able to meet my teacher's wife. 6 of us leave for Calgary on Monday morning at 6 am. The flight leaves Salt Lake at 10or 1015ish and lands in Calgary around 1230. There are 20 of us going as a group. So I assume that there are 14 english speaking elders that will be going with us. There may be 2 or 4 mandarin speaking elders because the mission has some mandarin speaking elders assigned. I believe that we will be staying in the mission home on Monday night and then Tuesday is the preparation day for the mission. I'll probably meet my trainer on Tuesday and head off to where I am assigned. I've been praying for him for a couple weeks, so he better be good. This week we pretty much have the same schedule, we will have to say goodbyes this weekend to our teachers and then we get to see the temple dedication on sunday as a final treat. I am really going to miss my teachers and the elders going to baltimore. We've became really close as we've grown and progressed together. Not too much exciting has happened this week. We've been teaching a lot in spanish. I feel like I've kind of hit a plateua with the language rigth now. I'm getting comfortable with teaching and have to make a conscious effort to try and implement new words and phrases. We spent some time with our new branch president yesterday. He has changed some things and has different focuses as the old branch president, but I know that he was assigned in this branch. The new branch president and his wife seem like grandparents, the old branch president and his wife seemed like parents. They're both great, but just have different focuses on how they feel missionaries should be prepared during their time here. Mom- if you can please print out those emails I forwarded to you. They are letters from my old branch president that I would like for you to put in my book that you said you are keeping. He is a graet man and I really appreciated the opportunity to learn and grow from him. I also recieved the photo card in the mail a couple of days ago, so thank you.Our devotional last tuesday was by Elder Snow, he's in the second quorum of the 70 and was just assigned to the missionary department. He talked about commitment. He gave six statements that we need to accept and implement to be good missionaries. I don't remember what they are rigth now, but they were very good adn I took good notes. I've already filled up my journal and have bought two more with the 6.00 they give us a week. I forgot to say that President Clegg is in the mission presidency here and he served as the president of the dominican republic MTC for 3 years, so nathan may have had him and his wife for the 6 weeks he was there.I'm trying to stay focused over the last week. We've set some goals to keep us busy and try not to think about canada too much. Everyone is excited to eat real food at the airport. I'm just excited to be able to cook my own food and decide what I'm going to eat for at least 2 meals a day. Memaw- if you think that you can get my jackets and sweaters to Calgary before Monday, you can mail them to the mission office so that they're there when I arrive. The address is Elder CLifton Seth DunlapCanada Calgary Mission7044 Farrell Rd SECalgary Alberta T2H 0T2 the phone number is 1 403 252 1141 If it can't arrive in time, I should be able to send my address next Tuesday of my apartment. An elder said his mom mailed a small box and said it cost 30 dollars, so hopefully it won't cost too much. I love everyone and miss you! I'll send pictures soon after i get to Canada. Love you and miss you Elder DUnlap

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

Two more weeks left! We will find out this Thursday our details about flying to Calgary. Time has passed quickly over the last couple of weeks.My branch president was released yesterday. He has been here at the MTC for 4 years and so it was really hard for him to leave. Him and his wife shed many tears. He really is a great man and became a dear friend as I met with him over the last 7 weeks. My district especially grew close to him. Him and his wife brought us donuts from KRISPY KREME on friday night which was very nice. There are 10 elders in the district 12 donuts. The last two had to be fought over. As a district we committed to set specific goals for the Referal Center last week. As companionships, we set specific goals and prayed about them and prepared all week. Last Sunday I felt inspired to challenge the district to do this during our planning meeting. The Lord definetely answered our prayers. Our district had more success in the referal center this week in placing book of mormons and scheduling missionary visits then we have had the 7 weeks here combined. It was a wonderful, unifying, and uplifting experience. My companion and I spent the whole hour and 45 minutes teaching and testifying over the phone it seemed like. Usually, about 70 percent of the time, you spend recieving answering machines. One of the expereinces that I had was with a lady who i was calling to confirm the delivery of a lamb of god DVD. For some reason, she had not recieved it. I asked her what she knew about our church and it led to a long discussion where she asked me all types of questions. She had been given a Book of Mormon years ago by a neighbor and happened to still have it. She just happened to have a couple of hours free rigth then when i called. She told me that she had been wondering what she was going to do with her time when I called adn I had sparked her interest and she was going to read it right then. She asked me if there was a certain section she should read. We read some verses together over the phone and she comitted to erad it right then adn pray about it when she was finished. She accepted the missionaries and seemed very excited to learn more. This lady was definetely prepared by the Lord. I know that these weren't coincidences. She asked me all the right questions, I felt like I really didn't have to do anything. All the companionships had similar experiences. I'm thankful that he Lord provided them for this district. It's nice to be able to do real missionary work and experience the joy here, it keeps us excited and focused. The Tuesday devotional was the Provo temple president. I forget his name right now, but he's a former seventy. He spoke on the power of the temple ordinances for us in our calling. It was very, very good, I really enjoyed it. I'm still hoping that an apostle comes this Tuesday or next, I know I've been saying this since like 3 weeks into my stay at the MTC, but there really should be one soon. Our last Sunday here, on August 23rd, we get to participate via broadcast in the temple dedication for Oaqure(Oacker) Mountain, i'm not sure how to spell it. Everyone will be getting interviewed and ready for that over the next couple weeks. We're finished with all the Spanish grammar, so classes now are review and teaching. I don't feel like my Spanish is improving as much as it was in the beginning. I feel comfortable teaching the lessons and people can understand. I'm not sure how grammatically correct they are, but I can express my feelings. Right now I'm really just focusing on memorizing vocab and scriptures for my language study. Sorry if I don't respond to questions from Dear Elders that were sent over the weekend. On Monday evening, we recieve all the Dear Elders for the entire weekend and most likely Friday as well. Last monday we recieved like 30 for the district at one time, so I don't read them until Monday evening after I email.Hope all is well.Love Elder Dunlap

Monday, August 3, 2009

Seth Saw a girl from Joyschool (Preschool) at the MTC August 3,2009

Hola!This has been another good week. Thank you for the letters! Sara asked how teaching is going. It's pretty good, I feel pretty comfortable teaching the basics of the lessons and I think that I'm understood fairly well, at least by other missionaries and teachers. I sometimes feel like I know the definitions of more words than I use though. It's hard to think in English and translate in my head into a small vocably of spanish words that I know. My companion is doing well too. He has some basic phrases in Spanish and has struggled with the language, so sometimes it is hard because he'll get lost in the lessons and jump around some because he doesn't understand what is going on. He's worked hard though and has made some great progress in the language. We're starting to be able to make lessons personal to the investigators with our extended vocabulary. Preach My Gospel is about teaching to the needs of investigators and helping them come unto Christ. The biggest challenge is being able to do this on the spot when situations arise in lessons. We've memorized words and phrases to teach the basic doctrines, but good lessons apply those doctrines to the investigators lives and helps them understand how any problem they face can be solved or made easier to bare through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We get along very well though and are both pretty easy going people. Tonight the oldest district leaves and so for the next three weeks, we will be the oldest district in our zone. There is 4 districts in our zone or branch, so about 40 elders. Being the oldest district means that we will have 3 weeks in which it is very likely that we will speak in sacrament meeting. No one in my district has gave a talk yet, but I'm sure several of us will get the chance. Everyone writes a 3-5 minute talk and then the bishopric announces who is speaking every Sunday when the meeting starts. There is two speakers every sunday and then someone from the Bishopric or their family will give the large talk in sacrament meeting. I'm glad to hear that you recieved the pictures in the mail, I was worried that they were lost. Every fast Sunday we have mission conference, so instead of a branch priesthood meeting, we have a 2 hour meeting with all the elders at the MTC. The MTC presidency and their wives speak usually. Yesterday one of the wives gave us a check list of things to do to prepare for a baptism. One of them was to remind the new member to bring extra white underwear adn towels. It seems even at the MTC, the Presidency wives have a motherly attitude towards us, they always reminding us of the practical motherly type of things. The Tuesday devotional was by an emeritus member of the seventy- elder Dellenbach. He spoke on the Book of Mormon and it's role in conversion. I realized last Tuesday that we've had all former members of the seventy, because July is the month that the general authorities take vacation and rest. So, this next week we should start again with general authorities for the devotionals. I'm hoping that we get another apostle before I leave. I don't know yet when I depart. This should come in the mail about a week and a half before I leave, so I should recieve it one week from this Thursday. I have 3 more weeks here. My district will be hosting the new missionaries the next 2 Wednesdays, so showing them to their rooms. I'll be standing out in the hot sun all day conducting traffic in a suit since I'm the district leader, my branch president said this isn't something that I'm allowed to dellegate. We only have one more very tense to learn and then we're pretty much done with our language instruction here at the MTC. We'll be reviewing adn teaching a lot over the next couple of weeks. Saturday at the RC, I made a call in Spanish. I was confirming a book of mormon delivery. My teacher was listening on the line as well and translated what I couldn't understand for me, but I responded totally in Spanish and was able to bear my testimony. The lady said that she had a bible and book of mormon but didn't have time with work to read either right now, but she said that she wanted to read the book of mormon and would contact us when she did. I was just glad that she was able to understand my spanish and I could pick out bits of what she said. I recieved Sara's package. Thank you Sara and shawn. I love the tie. There's a missionary in my district who had been showing off his Trump ties and raving about them, so he liked the one that you sent to me.When I was picking up Sara's package, a girl in the mailroom asked me if i ever lived in Florida. I said yes a long time ago and she sadi she went to joyschool with me. It was raquel delgado. She recognized the last name. I didn't have time to talk to her any other than tell her where I was serving, but I thought you would find it interesting that I ran into her here. Everything is overall going well, I'm becoming closer to my district and will be sad to leave 4 of them in 3 weeks, but I'm ready for some real food. I don't need anymore snacks, I should have enough to last until I leave. Thanks for all the love, food, and prayersCon amorelder dunlap

Monday, July 27, 2009

Seth's Letter 7/27/09

Hola!This week has been another good week. It has went by pretty fast.Our devotional last Tuesday was Jon Groeberg, he was the elder in the movie the other side of heaven. He was a member of the seventy and now is a temple president i believe. Him and his wife both spoke on the importance of making the temple the central focus for our investigators. This was two weeks in a row that our devotional was about the temple and the role it plays in missionary work in this life and in the past generations through geneology and returning to the temple and assisting in the missionary work on the other side of the veil, and through future generations and posterity. It must be pretty important to hear it twice in a row. I saw a quote in the medical office this week that had the definition of a missionary: someone who leaves their family for a short time, so that others can be with there's for eternity. This truly is our ultimate goal. The work and glory of this life is to bring about the salvation and eternal life of men and as missionaries and members of the church, we are his vessels to accomplish that for all of heavenly father's children.Yesterday, the branch president called me to be the district leader. I've immediately became either the most liked or most disliked person in my district. The district leader is in charge of getting the mail for the entire district and distributing it twice a day. So, If i have mail for someone they love me. I'm humbled that I would be called as the district leader, but it'll be a hard group of missionaries to lead. They're all very strong in their testimonies and capabilities and I would've supported any of them as the district leader. My responsibilities are to collect the mail, hold weekly interviews with everyone, and conduct all of our meetings and classes. We have a district meeting every sunday for an hour to set and plan goals and then on tuesday nights, we have our own testimony meeting after the devotional for an hour. I also have some additional meetings. I'm kind of selfishly bummed, because this will cut into my personal study time and free time and just make me busier, but I'm sure that I will grow from the experience. The branch president is a very wise man, and I've had some very spiritual discussions and moments with him. He's a very inspired that most importantly loves missionaries and loves people. The language is still progessing. We are officially teaching all in Spanish and all of class is in Spanish now. This week was the week that we were supposed to start, but our district is about a week of a week and a half ahead of the schedule we are supposed to be on. This will be neat because we'll probably finish the curriculum about a week and a half early that the teachers are going to teach us. We'll have basically all the grammar and will have our last week and a half to just review and practice and teach lessons with our instructors. We'll probably get extra personal study time too, which will be nice. Saturday night at the Referall Center, we had a nice chat with a teenage girl who signed on because she had been invited to church the next day with a friend and just was inquiring what it would be like before she went. My companion were able to have a nice discussion with her and teach her some principles and were going to ask her to follow up with us the next day after church but the system crashed and we got signed off and couldn't find her. I also called a lady who had requested a free item from the church and was able to bear testimony to her. She said she was struggling with a death at the current moment and hopefully it helped her, or she at least was able to be comforted a little bit by speaking with someone. I recieved Dad's package awhile ago and so thank you for that. I'm glad to hear that Dedas surgery went well,is he still recovering well? I've heard from all my siblings except monica, so tell her that she has to send me a dear elder and tell me what she is doing in her life and plans for byu.Were u able to recieve some of the pictures? I'll try to send more soon. We wear green ties on fridays(verdes viernes) and part our hair on tuesdays(martes partes) for unity i guess- and because they rhyme in spanish. It adds a little conservative fun to the week- and i have some district pictures of these. I miss everyone and love you all. Thank you for all the support!Con Amor, Elder Dunlap

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20,2009

This is about the halfway point here at the MTC. My estimated departure date is August 25th, but I won't recieve a flight plan until about 2 weeks before I leave. I'll be able to call at the airport and will probably buy a callign card here before I leave. Most of the flights are pretty early in the morning on either monday or tuesday. We'll be getting a new district leader this weekend and having midway interviews with our branch president, so we're officially halfway to the field.

Last Tuesday, the devotional was by President Steuer and his wife. They are President and Matron of the Ogden temple and he was recently released from the seventy. They talked about finding lasting conversions so that we can get investigators to the temple. Last night, the fireside was by the administrative director of the MTC and he talked about the power of prayer. He went through the entire book of mormon, pointing out examples of how prayer is the foundation of conversion and testimony. It was really good.

On Sunday nights, we get to watch a movie. they have 4 to choose from and so last night we watched the testaments. elder walker and I didn't get a new companionship in our room this week, and i'm not sure if we will. we are in the first floor on the building near the cafeteria and so they're transitioning that area into housing for some of the full time Referal center missionaries. some missionaries with health problems serve here for 2 years in the referal center. they have great success- teaching over the internet and over the phone. not only do we have the best hall to live on, but i am also in branch 1, district 1a, and our branch president is probably one of the best. he's been here for 4 years as a branch president and so he's very wise. he'll be released in one of the coming weeks because branch presidents serve for somewhere between 2-4 years. i wouldn't be surprised if he was called as a mission president in one of the coming years. a lot of the branch presidents are called. some of our goals for the week are to memorize d.c. 4 in spanish, to teach 10 lessons, and to have 45 contacts in our companionship. they encourage us to share messages and practice teaching alot. we've signed up for a progressive investigator starting on saturday. he plays a role, and we start from a door contact and keep teaching him until his baptism. so, we'll have a week to prepare him for baptism before we leave, and if he does accept, you even give baptism talks. it's pretty neat because a teacher is the investigator and gives you feedback after every lesson. we'll probably meet with him twice a week, so it'll push us to learn spanish for the next visit and to also see the whole proccess of conversion unfold. during the week, they also have a teaching evaluation center, so my companion and i go about every day and practice teaching with just us and a teacher. it helps out so much. i've seen elder fisher a couple times, he has my same lunch. i haven't had time to talk to him, i have just seen him across the cafeteria, but tell his mom he's eating everytime i see him, so that's probably a good thing. i'll try to see how he's doing today at lunch. thank you mom for the package, i recieved it a couple days ago, probably 2 days ago. i don't really need anything right now, thank you for the love and prayers! sometimes in class or studying, my thoughts will turn to one of you and i know you're praying for me and i'll feel your love.

con amor
elder dunlap

Monday, July 13, 2009

Letter from Seth July 13, 2009

Another week has already passed. Time is passing faster as I get used to the schedule. This week our Tuesday devotional was by Angel Abrea, who is an emeritus member of the first quorum of the seventy. He pretty much just taught from the scriptures about the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It was very intellectually inspiring from the scriptures. I learned a lot. Our sunday night devotional was given by a member of the MTC presidency and his family. He has 7 sons and 2 daughters and all of them served missions. So, they all shared one tip for us and the grandkids sang some songs and there were other musical numbers. It was a very fun message about missionary work. One of the things that stuck with me was that we should remember who we are on our missions- a phrase that we often hear in our lives. But not only that he added that we should remember who we are so that we can tell others who they are. To find those who are searching for purpose and direction and the assurance that they're children of our Heavenly Father. Dad asked about gas- everyone here has gas. I think it's more the inactivity and sitting around then the food though. A district from our zone left partially yesterday and some more are leaving tonight. So, I'm losing my two roomates. One of them left for Nicaragua last night and the other is leaving for Panama tonight. I'll miss them, it was good having older roomates who could ease the MTC transition because they knew the ins and outs. They say the two nights you don't sleep here are the first night and the last and my roomate definetely didn't sleep last night. At one point he actually was writing in his journal in his little closet so he wouldn't keep us up with the light on. It's sad to see the district say bye to each other. They've spent 9 weeks together as brothers and they've shed a lot of tears. One cool thing about them leaving though is they leave behind lots of free stuff that won't fit into their bags. So, I got a brand new pair of black shoes from a guy who had four pairs and some face wash, and some granola bars. I don't think that leaving the MTC will be as hard for me, I'll miss the guys in my district who are going to Baltimore, but I'll be seeing the other 5 a lot in Canda I assume. Two guys from my district leave today for the Guatemala MTC, so there has been 12 of us. 6 calgary, 3 baltimore, 1 boston, and two guatemala. The ones leaving for guatemala are very nice but if this was survivor and i was forced to vote two out of our district it would be them, so it works out well. I got nathan's package last monday i believe. thank you for the laundry bags and gummy bears. I don't think that there's anything else that I need right now. We go to the referal center once a week in class and then can go in our free time as well. There we can chat online with investigators or make phone calls for follow-ups to see if people recieved free DVDs or bibles or BOM's from the commercials and from online. The real reason for calling though is they want us to discuss the content with the people and bare testimony and try to teach them a lesson. This is kind of scary but also really exciting. At the RC, we get to practice why we're here. It's pretty neat to be able to talk with real people. Most people aren't too receptive, but every once in a while someone in the district will find someone truly searching and will have an amazing discussion and we'll be around kind of cheering them on. It's exciting because you get the nature of your calling. Some missionaries even find investigators who they teach all the lessons to strictly online because for various reasons they can't see the missionaries personally. Every once in a while you'll call someone with a song as their ringtone on their cell phone which is weird after not hearing worldly music. Here hymns get stuck in your head instead of the radio.It's about time for another apostle to come for a devotional, they said that about every 3 or 4 weeks one will come. So that should be pretty neat. Pretty much all the teachers here show a video called The Miracle of Missionary work by elder holland. It was an MTC address given in 2000 i believe. It's probably one of the most powerful talks I've heard and if you can find it online i encourage you to watch it. You'll know why once you watch it. It's very passionate and can apply to all our lives.Everything is going well, we should get a new district in our zone this week and two new roomates. I'm mailing my SD card with pictures and video either tonight or tomorrow, I plan on getting some short video clips later today. Con Amor Elder Dunlap

Monday, July 6, 2009

Seth's Letter July 6, 2009

Thank you very much for the letters. I got memaws package with snacks this morning. Thank you very much. We eat dinner every day at 430, which is pretty early, even for going to bed at 10:30. This week has been good. The devotional last week was by Gerald Lund who wrote the work and glory series. Every tuesday, we have a general authority speak to us. It's odd to think that it's only been 12 days here. We've learned so much. We're already praying and testifying and starting to teach a little in spanish. Our instructors say that we're the fastest progressing class that they've ever had adn if we are diligent during our time here, then we could be fluent by the time we leave. They said the problem for most missionaries is about week 4 of 9 they become comfortable and slack off. They had us write ourselves letters so that we wouldn't forget the desire and enthusiasm that everyone has now. My companion is probably the worst in the class at the language, so my hour of langague study is usually spent tutoring him and helping him out, but doing that, I learn the material better and it's a nice review for me. I really am learning and growing a lot. I can memorize the grammer and retain it a lot faster than I could in high school. It's a testimony builder to me that I'm learning at a pace faster then my own strength and there's help from above in this work.A lot of people have asked about the food, it really is pretty good. Breakfast they have all types of fresh fruit and cereal and oatmeal. They always have really good salads, like chef salads, or spinach salads, and they put all types of meats and cheeses and vergetables on them and the dressings are very good too. At dinner i usually eat the meal they're serving and it's usually decent. The long lines keep me from eating too much. People that gain weight simply just overuse the buffet. My district still really gets along well. We usually play softball everyday and we get about an hour of gym. I'm going to mail some pictures sometime this week. They have a photo print place here too where it's pretty cheap so I might just print some out. Right now, the pictures are really just of people and the provo temple. That's the extent of the scenery. The buildings are all brick and look the same, but they do have some nice flowers planted which helps a little bit. I hear all types of great instruction. Just imagine hearing talks and lessons from mission presidents and general authorities almost every day. The best though this week was yesterday during mission conference they played a clip from Elder Bednar that i believe he only gave a couple weeks ago here in a devotional. He said everyone asks him how to distinguish promptings from the holy ghost from their own personal thoughts. He said quit fussing, worrying, and complaining about it. Be good, and live how u should be, keep your covenants, and pray diligently and the Lord will guide your life. He said it's that simple. If you're doing good, your thoughts will be good, and everything good comes from the Lord. You'll look back at your life and recognize the Lord's hand in your life. I thought that it was very direct, but very true as well. The temple was closed last week, but we got to go this morning. Our sessions is at 7, so we had to wake up at like 5 15. It was a great experience, and we get an hour nap on p-days if we want it. That's really all the news, the swine flu stuff is pretty much gone. They still won't let us play basketball, but i feel like they don't like basketball here because of injuries and want to keep it gone as long as they can. People are startign to shake hands again. I hope all is well at home. The funny quote of the week was in a meeting they told us: You're not cool, you're wearing a suit, So don't try and act cool. Sorry if the email is scattered, there's really just not much change from week to week. We have the same schedule every single day for the next 7 weeks. Eat three meals, about 7 hours of class instruction and 3 hours of studying- one hour language, one hour personal, and one hour with your companion. So, I'll try to come up with interesting things to say. Love Elder Dunlap

Monday, June 29, 2009

Send him a letter!!!

Below is Seth's first letter/email from the MTC. He says that Dear Elder works well and wants everyone to send him letters.
To do that just go to and send a free message to the MTC- You will need his individual box #267-0825 Calgary Canada Mission.

He says to send snacks. (I will send the Laundry Bag he needs)

First Letter from Seth-MTC 6/29/09

Today is Monday, our first P-Day. We are able to email for 30 mins on P-days, so you should be able to expect a letter every monday. Dear Elder works well, I got Mom's letter and so tell everyone to write me on that for now. The new mission presidents have been here since Wednesday when we arrived, so the apostles have been here teaching. All of them were here for sacrament meeting on Sunday for sacrament meeting with the mission presidents, but only the mission presidents attended. It's still neat they were here though. Friday night we had a special devotional bc of the mission presidents and Anderson, Christofferson, Perry, Holland, Oaks, Scott, and Bednar were all here. Holland spoke about the divine companionship of the HG and it was a great experience to be able to see all of them in an intimate setting. I also saw Christofferson going into the bathroom yesterday and he waved at my companion and I. My companion is from Orlando Florida, his parents run the church farm down there with like 40,000 cows, he has worked as a cowboy thoughout high school and since high school for them. We don't have much in common, but get along well. There are 12 people in my district and 6 of them are spanish speaking going to calgary. They are all very impressive. Everyond is VERY dedicated so far and it seems from their personalities that they will be. The Lord must need some good missionaries in Calgary. During the day, we have class for about 7-8 hours and one hour of personal study, one hour of companionship study, and one hour of language study. They really stress goal setting and planning each minute of the day. The two teachers I have are good and so days don't seem very long. We've heard a lot of inspiring messages about missionary work, but it really just makes me antsy to get itnto the mission field. Falling asleep at first was a little hard, really more just nerves, but it's gotten better. Everything is doing very well, I enjoy my district and the elders and we really don't have any time to focus on anything then what's important. Everyday really feels like Sunday here. Sundays are just a little more relaxing because we don't have class. We have about an hour of gym everyday which is nice. We go across the street to the fields everyday because it's really the only sun we see during the day. The flu stuff is dying down, but we still can't shake hands and they kept us seperated from the mission presidents except for the devotional by elder holland and they still were roped off from us. Normally we would spend time with our mission president because he's here, but they don't want them getting sick. I've set MTC goals to draw closer to christ, and to accomplish that to read Jesus The Christ, The BOM, and Preach my Gospel while I'm here. The language is coming easy right now, so I'm trying to focus on increasing my personal testimony so I can teach with more power, heart, and feeling. We learn and grow so much everyday, our branch presidents are mostly returned mission presidents and teachers are definently hand picked and selected. We had a testimony meeting the night we got here on WEd. and then again after the devotional on Friday with our district of 12 people. It was amazing to see the elders who struggled to even express a brief testimony on wednesday night share inspirational, powerful, and spirit inspired thoughts on friday night. I can't wait until we leave to see the improvement at that point. Yesterday our Branch president shared a message about commitment in district meeting. He is in banking and business and it seems like commitment and dedication is something he's incredibly passionate about. It's great to hear inspiring messages all day everyday. He encouraged all of us to write commitment letters every year, and anytime we get a new job, get married, get a new calling and to read it regularly. He shared one by Henry B. Eyring that he wrote while he was a missionary that I'm sure you could find online. It is very inspiring. Hope all is well, if anyone wants to send me something, I need a laundry bag, in the bookstore they're 13 dollars and i'm cheap. Also, snack food is always good. I will write next Monday. Love Everyone, Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Just so you know Seth's address for now is:

Elder Seth Dunlap
MTC mailbox # 267-0825
Calgary Canada Mission
2005 north 900 east
Provo, Utah 84604-1793


This is Sara, Seffy Poo's Sister..
I went with my dad to take seth to the MTC today.
In case some of you haven't heard, because of the swine flue epademic,
we were not allowed inside the MTC, we were only allowed to drive up
and drop him off. We were able to take some pictures in front of the sign
and say our goodbyes before he headed off to serve the lord.

Here is him at the MTC ready to go!

Here is Seth and his Father.
Here is Me and Seth, my big brother!

When we 1st unloaded the car..
hes going..

Here is one last look back for mom!

Here you can see his back pack... as he heads inside..

We love you Seth and so proud!!
We'll miss you but know your doing a great work!