Tuesday, December 21, 2010

dEC. 20

Hola familia!
I hope that everyone is preparing well for Christmas. We had our branch christmas program yesterday adn it went very well. It definitely helped to get me more in the christmas spirit. We have several traditional christmas meals planned for this week. On tueday and wednesday we're eating with chilean families that are making traditional christmas empanadas. Friday, our whole district is going to be with a venezuelan family adn on saturday, we're going to be with a mexican family. Every country has their own traditional meals. I'll try to take lots of pictures and send them next week.
The work is goign well, we were abel to find 2 new investigators this past week. An older member from Bolivia in our ward recently recieved her son and daughter in law from Bolivia as refugees. We were able to officially begin teaching them this past week. The branch president had told us that he had talked to them and they weren't interested in changing religions, but we helped them with some service on saturday morning and I feel like the spirit inspired us to ask some questions that revealed that they really are pretty open to learning. We were able to share a lesson about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and the daughter in law even revealed to us that she feels that something is lacking in her life. As we taught adn asked questions, thoughts came to say things and teach in a way that we hadn't really before and hadn't thought of. It was a reaffirmation that the spirit is what should guide our lessons.
I'm excited to talk tko everyone! Love and miss u!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dec. 6,2010


Hola familia!
Thanks for sharing the experience about the baptism mom, it's a neat story. I'm sure that it was a graet experience. I've grown to learn that nothing really just happens out of coincidence in missionary work. The Lord is always guiding those prepared to recieve the gospel. We just have to be willing to listen and follow the spirit.
This week has gone by quickly. We were able to go to the temple on Sunday and go through a session in spanish. Our district rode down to Cardston with a member from the ward in the north named brother gillis. He's canadian but served a spanish speaking mission and his wife is from Nicaragua. They're definitely one of my favorite families. Cardston is about a 2.5 hour drive and on the way, it's basicallly like driving through kansas or nebraska. I always assumed for some reason that canada was all mountains and woods, but have quickly learned that most of alberta is just like the midwest united states, but just a little colder. Cardston is a neat town because it's about 95 percent members. The missionaries there pretty much have a list of everyone that isn't a member. There are several other southern alberta communities that are similar around there as well.
This week has been fun as we've I've been getting to know the area and the members. We don't have too many investigators, but several members have some friends that really seem prepared to begin meeting with us. Unfortunately, a member of our branch passed away this past week. He was 73 years old, but his wife is only 50 and so he left two daughters that are 17 and 20 that still lived at home. He was very lively and still worked, so it was a shock to everyone. We took him to several appointments when I aws in his area and visited him often. He always was the first every fast and testimony meeting to share his testimony and so it was a pretty spiritual testimony meeting at church yesterday as everyone testified of the plan of salvation. We were also abel to particpate in the blessing of a baby by a member that lives in our area so overall, it was a really good sunday.
I can't believe that christmas is already here and that we'll be talking in a couple weeks. I hadn't really thought abotu that until you mentioned it today mom. I'm not sure what the rules will be this year, but i'm sure pretty similar to last year. Just let me know if there's a specific time that you'd like me to try to call. It'll be on a saturday this year, so we probably should be free at any time.
Has anything else happened with teh school stuff? Were you able to talk tko wake forest about everythign?
Thank you for everything!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

nov. 30, 2010


Hola familia!
I just foudn out that I'm getting transfered. I'm staying in the branch in the south of the city but switching stakes. I'm sad to leave teh investigators that we have, but it should be a new experience. I'm going to be serving as district leader with elder nielsen. He's been out for 2 transfers and is from salt lake. i've learned a lot serving as a zone leader and am glad that two new elders are going to get the opportunity to do it. We're excited to go to the temple this coming saturday with the ward and branch. They have a session in spanish every three months and the whole zone will be going.
I had a neat experience with a member while on spits this past week. We went to an appointment and the family we were going to visit wasn't home. A couple weeks ago, a member had mentioned that a mexican family lived on a street nearby, but I wasn't sure exactly which house. We planned to knock all the doors and while walking down the street, the mexican family drove into their driveway. It was a perfect opportunity to begin talking to them and meet them. We talked for about 30 minutes outside of their house and they invited us to return for an appointment tomorrow evening. We found out that they had previously met with missionaries before about 3 years ago and were close to getting baptized. My testimony of backup plans continues to grow. as we prayerfully make plans, the Lord knows where we'll be and puts those prepared in our paths.
sorry that the emails short, we are helping someone move today and have to be there soon.
i love u all!
con amor,
Elder dunlap

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

nov. 23, 2010

Hola familia!
This has been an interesting couple of days. On thursday evening, we got home and stopped by the senior couple that lives below us for a couple minutes to visit with them. While we were talking, President called us and Elder Galloway answered and walked to the hallway to talk to him. When he returned, he looked pretty pale and sick. He whispered that we needed to go plan. I was worried that something bad had happened, but President actually called him to be an assistant. He had to report to the mission office on Friday morning at 10 o clock. So, we both had to pack our stuff and I've moved in with another set of elders until transfers next week. It's been a little crazy trying to cover two areas between three of us, but we do have two cars which is kind of neat. We'll probably go on a lot of splits during this week. Elder Galloway definitely was shocked and all of us really were. As an assistant, he won't be serving in spanish for the next three transfers which will be hard for him. I think he really just didn't want to leave all of us spanish elders or to leave the members and investigators. I told sister archibald that I wasn't happy about it, kind of jokingly (but not really) adn she just pointed up and told me to talk to Him and smiled. So, I'll definitely be getting a new companion next week and possibly a new area. I'm hoping to stay though because it looks like we'll have a couple baptisms very, very soon.
Elder Galloway and I had a couple neat experiences this past Thursday evening. We had an appointment scheduled with Ole, but we showed up to his apartment complex and he wasn't home. We assumed that he might be arriving late on the bus because of the weather and decided to wait a couple minutes to see if he arrived. As we were waiting, a UPS man approached and was waiting to deliver a package to a resident. He happened to be from Colombia and after talking, we realized that he knew a couple members and that he even had a Book of Mormon in his house that he had never read. We were able to get his contact information and he accepted an invitation to meet with us in his home. We had a member with us, so we followed our back up plan to visit a single lady that we had met the week before. She's a member of an english ward and is from Peru. We stopped by her two weeks ago because she was on a list of spanish speakers in the stake, but couldn't visit with her and she invited us to return during this past week. She immediately let us in and through talking to her, we realized that she had an 11 year old son that isn't baptized. We taught about the sabbath day and she has desires to return to church after many years of inactivity. She wants her son to be baptized and he had desires to begin attending church even without his mom. While we were visiting, the door bell rang and her bishop and a home teacher showed up. They had just happened to try passing by her the same evening. We were able to fill them in and they were able to arrange a ride to church for the son for this past Sunday. We were able to give the referral to the english elders in the area. My testimony has grown this past week of the importance to plan by the spirit and the power that it can have in our activities and daily missionary lives.
The weather has been pretty bitter. It's been snowing off and on all week adn today the temperature is -20 C adn the wind chill is
-30. The cars were actually grounded on Tuesday for part of the day because the roads got so bad.
Everything else seems to be goign well though. We had another ward activity this past Saturday that went very,very well.
Thank you for all you do!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Monday, November 15, 2010

11.15.10

Hola familia!
I'm glad to hear that everything is great at home. We had another great week. It seems that some of our investigators are really progressing well and should be baptized very soon. Ole is a 24 year old mexican that we've been teaching and he's previously denied the invitation to be baptized because it was too soon. He's praying about he 28th of November and it looks like it'll probably happen. He really is keeping commitments well and understanding the doctrine very well too.
Our neat miracle from last week has worked out well too. She is named Carla and we had an FHE, a lesson, and then she came to church yesterday all during this past week.
We had another great experience with the 7-day challenge this past week. We have a former investigator named German that loves to meet with us, but really just wants to be friends. He has been somewhat resistant to commitments about being baptized and learning, but we knew that he had lots of friends and loves to help people out. We decided to 7-day challenge him and so we watched a mormon message and it really touched his heart. He said "that really touched my heart, I need to start praying more." I grew in my testimony through that simple comment that the spirit is what inspires us to act and to draw closer to Heavenly Father. In the presence of the spirit, we invited 7-day challenged him and he immediately called a lady that came to mind and we set up an appointment with her for the next day with the central elders. He then expressed to us that he doesn't know if he'll change religions anytime soon, but that he loves the way that our church teaches practical application of gospel principles. We hope that it'll inspire him to keep learning and start progressing.
Here's some recent pictures from a ward activity. The sign is for a band called Menudo that everyone says is basically the backstreet boys of latin america. The baptism is the coupel that I taught for a long time that got baptized this past week. In the picture, they're withthe bishop from the ward in the north.
Thank you for everytihng!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11/8/10


pic from zone leader conference at mission home this week


Hola familia!
Everything here is great. Not too much new has happened. We did have zone conference this past tuesday which is also inspiring and uplifting. The message was again centered around improving ourselves as individuals to be more effective missionaries. We learned alot about sacrifice, consecration, and the process of perfecting ourselves throughout our lives.
We also had a zone leader council meeting on friday where we talked a lot about plans for changing the culture of belief in the mission. President Archibald owned car dealerships in Utah and so he always had some neat stories about selling cars that he related to how we let our minds limit ourselves and what we're able to achieve in the missions and throughout our lives.
We had some neat experiences this past week that we're excited about.
My testimony was strengthened this week of the 7-day challenge. We extended a challenge to a young family that had recieved several 7-day challenges in the past, and had started to do small acts of missionary work from them, but hadn't been able to yet invite someone to their home. We decided to simply share a mormon message and ask some basic questions about their feelings. Afterwards, we extended the challenge in the presence of the spirit, and they both thought of the same person to invite. They recognized this as revelation and called her on the spot. They set up a family home evening for this evening, only 5 days after the challenge was extended. I've learned more about the purpose of the challenge and how to make if effective. We just stepped back and let the spirit animate and inspire the family as they testified of Gospel principles and then invited.
We also had an appointment cancel this week an hour before we were to have it and felt inspired to go to visit a member family. The father of the family had a friend from high school over and after a brief message with the family, the friend told us that he had always been interested in learning about our church and asked if he could start learning. The family and us were both excited and we were able to refer Andy to the wildwood elders to begin teaching him. I could tell that the family was very shocked and humbled by the interest that he showed in recieving the lessons. We're hoping that it'll help inspire them to keep doing missionary work.
We're excited for two baptisms in the zone this coming thursday. It's of a yougn family that i taugth for the first 7.5 months of the mission and they've always been some of the investigators that i've been the closest with. He called us this past week to invite us to the baptism and i asked him why they had decided to get baptized about so long. He said that they felt more and more that something was missing in their lives and so they knelt down as a couple and prayed and the things that we had shared with them and what they had felt kept coming back into their minds. They started coming back to church about 2 months ago and meeting with the elders again and are ready for the baptism! He told the elders that he's always felt like a fish that was hooked and knew he was goign to get reeled in, but was fighting it all this time.
Nothing else is really new other than the fact that another senior couple just arrived from Provo to work in the mission office and they also moved in the floor below us in our apartment building. We now have two senior couples directly below us and so I don't think we're goign to have to worry about being taken care of.
Thank you for all you do! I love and miss you!
Elder Dunlap

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nov. 11, 2010


Hola familia!
Things continue to go well. We had a good week this past week and were able to find a new investigator.
We were able to teach an older man named Carlos yesterday. It's been a story that has evolved over the last 2 weeks. We were in the New Brighton/Copperfield area one night and had an appointment fall through at the last moment. We had been trying to step back and seek revelation in those moments and so we said a small prayer. We started driving towards a less-active's house down the street. On the way, we really were thinking hard about how we would be able to recognize a Spanish house in the area. The thought came to mind to look for signs and so we drove pondering on every house. A couple houses later, we saw a basketball hoop and the backboard was painted like a Colombian flag. That night, a boy who was 14 answered and was nice, but didn't seem to have too much interest. We had stopped by one other time since then and he again answered and said that his parents were busy. This past Wednesday, a similar situation happened. We had an appointment in the area that fell through and so we went by. We talked to Carlos for about 10 minutes at the door and he invited us back for a lesson yesterday. Wednesday night, we also went by a member that lived near by who let us in and volunteered to go to the appointment with us. We taught him yesterday and he was an interesting man. He wasn't totally accepting to the message, he was actually very honest about his thoughts. But, he firmly commited to keep meeting with us and to read the Book of Mormon. We hope that this will change his heart. When the lesson was winding down, he abruptly stood up and so we followed to the door. While standing near the door, the member and him were talking about English classes and we hadn't had an opportunity to extend a firm invitation to baptism. I thought to myself, how can we get this in adn it be positive? I looked at Elder Galloway told him we should invite him. Elder Galloway was able to extend the invitation which was declined, but accepted well. We then invited him to pray with us and he walked back into the living room and said a prayer. After the prayer, he embraced our hands with both of his to tell us goodbye and I could tell from his countenance that something had changed. He thanked us over and over with a sincerity that came from his heart. He previously had just given us a normal handshake.
Through this, there are a lot of ways that my testimony has been strengthened. The power of prayer and the spirit that it brings to investigators has especially stuck out. I also know that the Lord blesses us with those prepared as we listen to the promptings of the spirit. We're just trying hard to learn to recognize and act on them when they come. We're excited to continue working with Carlos and hopefully his entire family. We know that if he reads, the Book of Mormon will bare witness to him of the truthfulness of the Restoration.
We were pretty low on kilometers at the end of the month adn so we spent all of friday and saturday walking. I'm pretty sure that we walked a total of 25 miles or so in 2 days and were pretty sore getting home on Saturday night. I felt old trying to walk up the stairs.
This week we have zone conference tommorow and then zone leader council on friday. All day meetings seem to make the week go fast because we always have things to prepare. The theme of zone conference is centered aroudn Elder Scott's talk from conference about faith and its relationship to character building.
Nothing else too exciting is happening. We're planning a cultural competition for next preparation day with the mandarin elders in the mission. They're putting together some activities like hot sauce eating competitions for mexico and chop stick picking up jelly bean competitions and ping pong for asia. It should be fun. A lot of the elders are taking it pretty serious.
Thank you for the school preparations. Just keep me informed in there is anything that i need to do and i can get permission.
I've also been excited because a yougn family that I foudn and started teaching my first week in the mission called the elders and decided to get baptized on november 11th. I taught them off and on for the first 7 and a half months in the mission and they were originally going to get baptized last november. They had continued to read the book of mormon adn be involved with the friends they made. Over time, they eventually started coming back to church about 2 months ago and have decided to be baptized on the 11th. I'm pretty sure that theyh chose it because it was the day that they were supposed to be baptized last year. They will make great members. I've never seen someone read and understand the book of mormon as well as he does. He has a marking system for his reading and is making a geneology chart as he reads.
THanks for everything!
Con amor,
Elder DUnlap

Friday, October 29, 2010

Elder Zivic


Heres a pic of Seth with Elder Zivic of the seventy

Oct. 25,2010

hello family!
like always, things continue to go very well. we were able to go to a baptism last night of a lady named ana lopez that got baptized in the north ward. she recently arrived here- about a month and a half ago from mexico and is working for a coffee and donut place called tim horton's. they sign working contracts with people from mexico to coem and work here for 2 years. the neat thing about her story is that she works with a recent convert that was baptized in march. one of their first days at work together, she was askign him about his religion and told him that was wanted to recieve the lessons with the missionaries. she accepted a baptism date in the first lesson and was very prepared. it was a very spiritual baptism and she invited 4 of her non-member friends from work that came. i love the bishop in the north, bishop ochoa. during his welcome to the ward comments, he talked mostly directly to her freinds about what they'd seen and felt and taught them some of the plan of salvation. he invited them to investigate the church and act on what they had felt. it was pretty neat. i was able to do her baptismal interview on saturday night which is always a neat experience to hear them directly share what they've felt and talk about the whole teaching and changing process.
saturday night, we also had a branch activity called La vina del mar. it's a music festival from chile. the gym was packed full and it went very, very well. there were tons of non-members and we're excited for many of the people that we were able to meet. the acts were mostly representations of famous latin singers and groups which really didn't mean much to us, but it was pretty funny to see and to watch.
we also have good news that our zone had the cleanest cars last transfer, so we won the car trophy and our reward is a pizza party tommorow after our district meetings. unfortunately, we're still driving a pontiac vibe though. it should come in handy with the winter coming though because it's all wheel drive.
the work with the investigators continues to go very well. we feel like we're pretty close to haveing a couple of baptisms. liliana's husband is a member adn she's been coming to church for 3 months or so straight now. she's very involved with the ward and has now told us that she knows the book of mormon is true and that joseph smith was a prophet. there's still a doubt there though that's holding her back that we're trying to overcome. preach my gospel says that sometimes people are like icebergs. 3/4ths of them are under the water and we only see the tip outside of the water sticking out. we're praying and trying to uncover what she's still worried about.
we're also workign with another part member couple. the husband has a date rigth now for the 15th of december and we're strugglign to get them both to come to church. we really feel strongly though that it's actually her that is holding them back adn we have plans to try and help them overcoem that as well. she hasn't been to church in several years and we feel like she's just a little embarassed to come back after all that has happened with her.
other than that, not much is new. the weather is officially cold, there's again a little bit of snwo this morning.
i'm glad to hear that all is well at home!
con amor,
Elder dunlap

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 19 2010





Hola
Here are some pictures that I've recently taken. The leaves are pretty much off of the trees now, but they really were very pretty while they were changing. The snow is the view out of the back of our apartment this past friday. It was the first real snow of the year that stuck to the groudn. The weather has warmed up a little bit since though. The other picture is from last monday when elder galloway and I ate with a family that we taught the first time that we were together.
Sorry that I don't have much new from this week. It looks like there aren't any changes in the spanish program for this transfer. The mission as a whole is changing a lot with transfers, but we seem to all be staying in our areas.
We are excited because we have a ward activity that is coming up this weekend called la vina del mar. It's a famous festival that they have in Chile. We've got a lot of members that are bringing friends and we're always able to get some good references from the activities.
On exchanges, Elder Chunn and I set a goal to set up a new investigator appointment. We felt inspired to stop by a former investigator family that we have tried to contact for several weeks without any luck. They immediately answered the door and were initially cold in their response. After some awkward conversation, they opened up and after talkign for a while, the husband told us to call him during the week to set up an appointment to come visit them and talk about God. My testimony was strengthened of how the spirit guides and directs us to accomplish our prayerful goals.
I'm glad to hear that all is well at home! Love and miss you! Elder Dunlap

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 12

Hola familia!
Sorry that I didn't inform you that I'd be writing today instead of yesterday. I think there were several mothers that called the mission office wondering if their sons were ok. Yesterday was Thanksgiving here and so the libraries were closed. The latin culture didn't really celebrate the thanksgiving holiday. Some of them did, but mostly they are the ones that are canadianized. It was preparation day, but Elder galloway and I went and ate a late brunch with a couple that we taught in the east and that got baptized in april. It was nice to see them again and that they're getting along well. Next week, I will be emailing on tuesday again. Next week is transfer week and we always switch preparation day to tuesday during transfer week. I'm hoping that I don't get transfered and don't really expect to be transfered, but we'll see what happens.
We're teaching a couple new people that we're consistently working with. They all seem to be progressing well and we're expecting to have some baptisms very soon. There are two baptisms this coming weekend in the branch of a Colombian couple and at least one baptism the following weekend. We're really excited for the success that we're being blessed with throughout all of the companionships in the spanish program.
This past week, we had an appointment that fell through even though we had called to confirm the night before. We got back into the car and Elder Galloway said that we should get back out and talk to a lady that was raking her leaves across the street. We were able to have a great conversation with her and share a Book of Mormon with her. She also accepted a return visit to learn more about the church. The lady was in her 70s and about 8 years ago, she started reading the Bible daily. Since then, she said that she has read it through 15-18 times and that it has absolutely changed the person that she is. Wednesdays are normally her baking day and she never leaves her house during that time. But, last Wednesday she was reading the Bible in the morning and felt inspired to change her normal schedule and rake the leaves outside. Her husband was going to rake them that evening after he got home from work, but she thought she'd do it for him. My testimony was strengthened this week that the Lord truly guides and directs this work in all aspects and we can be guided to those prepared in every hour of the day if we take a chance to ask and listen. This lady had baked every Wed. for who knows how long, but the Lord knew we'd be there and that she was prepared to hear our message.
The weather has stayed warm recently, but today has turned cold. I think that the last spurt of warm weather is probably gone. Everything else continues to go very well. Nothing too new has really happened.
Thank you for everything!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Leadership Training


Heres Leadership Training..
Seth is the one on the right side below the lady in the blue shirt.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sept. 20, 2010

Hola familia!
We had a great week this week. Elder Claudio Zivic of the seventy was here on friday for a mission tour. We fasted as a mission and it led to a very spiritual experience for all of us. President Archibald was very excited about the level of spirituality and really feels the consecration level of the missionaries has been increasing recently. It was Elder Zivic's first mission tour in english. He has been assigned to the argentina region for 6 years and is originally from buenos aires argentina. He has recently been assigned to work out of salt lake. It was neat that we were able to speak with him in spanish, he definitely lit up when we spoke to him in spanish. him and his wife discussed a variety of topics. his wife spoke fairly good english because she was an english teacher for many years. his english wasn't too great though. he was able to get his points across though and it went very well. we were also able to have a zone leader training with them afterwards which was a neat experience. he talked alot about our goal to baptized a stake before the completion of the temple. he asked several times: what is your part in this goal? he really emphasized that we all need to make it our own if it's going to be accomplished.
we're excited about a couple of neat experiences from this past week. there's a couple that moved here from spain about a month or two ago and has came to church almost every sunday. the husband is a member and the wife isn't. they have two little kids as well. the wife has been resistant to invitations to receive the lessons, but has continued to come to church. we were finally able to have an fhe with some of their extended family members this past monday and the wife was present. the lesson went well and she tearfully expressed her doubts and feelings about coming to canada and bore her testimony about jesus christ. yesterday at church, her husband was super excited as she accepted an invitation to meet with us this week. her husband was behind her pumping his fists.
we also received a reference for a lady that owns a mexican/colombian restaurant in town. there's not many latino restaurants, so she already knows many of the members of the church. we heard from a member that she was interested adn stopped by at the end of last week. she was busy, but invited us back this morning. we decided to eat lunch there and while we were eating, we were able to talk to her about her family and her desires and goals. she has 5 children and 4 of them are of baptismal age. she wants them to be in a religious setting that will help them progress adn become good people. she feels a little stressed because she's forced to work so much. she even expressed that she wants her kids to serve missions like us. we've been super excited adn the best part is she lives in our area. she invited us back for a formal lesson on Wednesday morning. we're also excited because the food was super good.
the picture is from yesterday at church. unfortunately, this family is going back to mexico because their time here has ran out. they're a member family that i visited a lot in my last area.
this week is supposed to be a little warmer, but it snowed one morning this past week. winter is definitely here already.
elder galloway is getting along very well. he does a great job of staying focused and just keeping his mind occupied. i can tell it's hard sometimes, but he does a great job of not showing it. he knows that this is where he needs to be.
thank you for everything! i already have at least on birthday meal scheduled for saturday. a family has a son that is turning 14 or 15 on the 26th and they're going to make us tacos. his dad works for fedex here as well.
thanks for everything!
con amor,
elder dunlap

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pictures - Sept.13,2010



here is a sunset off of our balcony. we live in a pretty nice apartment building. it's a 2 bedroom place. one room we use as an office.



also a rendering of the calgary temple.


also a picture with a lady that got baptized a couple weeks ago. elder galloway foudn and taught her together in the east for a while. she's the one in green. her husbadn is a member but hasn't been active since he was about 12.

Friday, September 10, 2010

9-7-10

Hola familia!
We just got transfer emails and I'm staying in this area. I pretty much knew that's what was going to happen though. This has probably been one of the least exciting transfers just because I already knew what was happening. There's always something exciting about the possibility of moving areas and not knowing what is going to happen.
We're becoming more familiar with the area and have some great potential coming from english classes and member families. We just got to do a better job of getting the members to take that final step of faith to get their friends to recieve the gospel in their homes. There's a lot of families that are close and we're excited about it. We started workign with a Peruvian family as well. The problem is that the mother isn't very receptive at all.
About a month ago, we randomly met an older man from Guatemala while he was waiting for the bus. We always get really excited when we meet someone new that speaks Spanish. He was somewhat receptive, but didn't seem too interested in meeting with us. We got an address that day and invited him to church, but were never able to find where he lives. On Sunday, he was waiting at church when we showed up. He said that he had been waiting for us to come by and decided to just come to church. We found out that he was baptized 30 years ago and is looking for more peace and comfort in his life and decided to come to church. It was a great experience to know that we impacted him that day and he was placed in our path in the moment that he needed it. My testimony has been strengthened that through small and simple things, great things come to pass. In the moment a month ago, I didn't realize the impact that we had left with him. I've been extremely grateful for this opportunity to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.
I continue to love serving with Elder Galloway. His father passed away this past week but he seems to be getting along really well. He has a strong testimony of the plan of salvation and I know that it's helped him to stay out here and continue to work hard. He has three yougner siblings that's he's worried about at home probably more than anything, so please continue to keep them in your prayers.

I'm glad to hear that all is well at home! The weather here continues to get cooler. We're in all suits now that September has started. Thanks for all you do!

Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aug. 30,2010

Hola!
I'm glad to hear that the vacation went well. We had another great week. Last night, we had a combined missionary fireside with the ward in the north. President and sister archibald spoke and several recent converts also shared their conversion stories and testimonies. A good group of members came out and a couple non members and overall it was a good success. In true spanish form, we started about 20 minutes late because a family couple that was speaking arrived late and then we ended about 40 minutes over. I'm pretty sure that president expects it by now though. One couple shared their experience of how they lived in Mexico and weren't close to God at all. They were goign through some difficulties and the wife resorted to praying for help. She said that three times she felt the prompting to move to Canada and so she woke her husband up and they sold all they had and bought tickets within 2 weeks. They arrived to canada without any money at all and not knowing what to do. As they were walking through the airport in canada, a man came up to them and offered them a ride to a nearby town and work that began the next day. Shortly after that, they met the missionaries and after some struggles were baptized. Several other converts have similar stories that show the Lord's hand in their arrival and life here. It was neat to see many of the members go up and hug adn thank the archibalds after the fireside as well. The spanish people have such lovign and expressive personalities.
While returning home one night this past week, we were waiting to cross the road and saw a dad and son a ways off in their front yard. We felt like we should go talk to them and as we approached them, we realized that they spoke Spanish. We were able to share different aspects of the gospel with them and bare our testimonies. They didn't accept an invitation to learn more, but I know that they were placed in our path. I know we were at least able to plant a seed and it really lightened our spirits at the end of a hard day. It's such a blessing to have this calling and the opportunity to share our testimonies with anyone we meet.
This week is the last week of the transfer. We'll find out next Tuesday about transfers, but I'm pretty positive that I'l be staying in the area with elder Galloway. We'll be getting two new elders. One is from Utah and the other is from California. It seems to be a trend in this mission and especially in the spanish program. Preparation day next week will be on tuesday because of transfers.
I've already had to start using a light coat in the evenings and mornings. By the end of september, we'll probably be into the winter again. The summer overall has been fairly mild.
Recently, a lot of my studies have been centered aroudn recognizing and responding to the spirit, as relating to my lfie and also the role that it plays in the lives of members and investigators. Something that I've recognized recently in my life and that sister archibald shared in a conference recently is that: if it's something that's hard, or something that we don't want to do- it's probably from the spirit.
Thank you for all you do!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Aug. 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

Hola familia!
I hope that everyone at home is great.
Last night, we were able have two baptisms in the branch. Two young mexicans named Jose and Elebit were baptized. Elder Chunn and I had begun teaching them and set a date with them before I left the downtown area. We had felt good about extending a commitment to find someone to recieve the blessing of the gospel in 7-days to an inactive member. We knew that he worked with several spanish speaking people. THe member was able to set up an appointment for us about a month and a half ago and they were baptized last night. It was neat to see how the experience has really helped the member grow in his faith and return to activity. We've really tried to focus on that truth. That this commitment is a way for the members to draw closer to Christ and recieve the blessings of sharing the gospel. Also, to help them experience the joy that comes from sharing the gospel. At first, I really thought the challenge was just a way for us to have someone to teach, but as we've focused more on the blessings and benefits of others, it's been more effective and also has brought a such stronger spirit. The baptism last week was a result of a similar challenge as well. These experiences have really helped both the ward in the north and our branch become even more excited about missionary work.
Elder Davies nad I had a neat experience on exchanges this week. We went by several contacts and while walking, we talked to everyone in our path. It was a small goal that we set when we started walking. We were able to give out a couple cards or pamplets, but didn't really see any immediate results. As we were returning to the apartment for dinner, we were approached by a young lady that asked if we were from Jesus Christ. She said that she needed help to quit smokign because she had recently found out she has asthma and needed God's help to overcome the addiction. We were able to teach her about prayer and the power of the scriptures and we said a prayer with her. She accepted an invitation to teach her in her house as well. Afterwards, Elder Davies pointed out how we had been blessed for being obedient and talkign to everyone. I know that's true and my testimony has been strengthened of obedience and that the Lord puts those prepared in our paths.
Not too much has changed over the past week. We continue to work hard to find some new people to teach.
I ask you to keep my companion Elder Galloway's family in your prayers. His dad has had very serious cancer ever since the time he left for the mission. He got special permission to talk to him this week on the phone because it doesn't look like he'll make it much longer. The doctors have taken him off of pretty much all treatment so he can have a peaceful time in the next while. He continues to stay positive and work hard though. We just try to stay extra busy to not think about it.
Thank you for everything. I love you all!
COn amor,
Elder Dunlap

August 23, 201014

Hola familia!
I hope that everyone at home is great.
Last night, we were able have two baptisms in the branch. Two young mexicans named Jose and Elebit were baptized. Elder Chunn and I had begun teaching them and set a date with them before I left the downtown area. We had felt good about extending a commitment to find someone to recieve the blessing of the gospel in 7-days to an inactive member. We knew that he worked with several spanish speaking people. THe member was able to set up an appointment for us about a month and a half ago and they were baptized last night. It was neat to see how the experience has really helped the member grow in his faith and return to activity. We've really tried to focus on that truth. That this commitment is a way for the members to draw closer to Christ and recieve the blessings of sharing the gospel. Also, to help them experience the joy that comes from sharing the gospel. At first, I really thought the challenge was just a way for us to have someone to teach, but as we've focused more on the blessings and benefits of others, it's been more effective and also has brought a such stronger spirit. The baptism last week was a result of a similar challenge as well. These experiences have really helped both the ward in the north and our branch become even more excited about missionary work.
Elder Davies nad I had a neat experience on exchanges this week. We went by several contacts and while walking, we talked to everyone in our path. It was a small goal that we set when we started walking. We were able to give out a couple cards or pamplets, but didn't really see any immediate results. As we were returning to the apartment for dinner, we were approached by a young lady that asked if we were from Jesus Christ. She said that she needed help to quit smokign because she had recently found out she has asthma and needed God's help to overcome the addiction. We were able to teach her about prayer and the power of the scriptures and we said a prayer with her. She accepted an invitation to teach her in her house as well. Afterwards, Elder Davies pointed out how we had been blessed for being obedient and talkign to everyone. I know that's true and my testimony has been strengthened of obedience and that the Lord puts those prepared in our paths.
Not too much has changed over the past week. We continue to work hard to find some new people to teach.
I ask you to keep my companion Elder Galloway's family in your prayers. His dad has had very serious cancer ever since the time he left for the mission. He got special permission to talk to him this week on the phone because it doesn't look like he'll make it much longer. The doctors have taken him off of pretty much all treatment so he can have a peaceful time in the next while. He continues to stay positive and work hard though. We just try to stay extra busy to not think about it.
Thank you for everything. I love you all!
COn amor,
Elder Dunlap

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16,2010

Hola!
It was another great week here.
Elder Galloway adn I were able to attend the interview adn baptism yesterday of a lady named penelope from Mexico. We had met her when we served together, but never really had the opportunity to teach her. elder harker and christenson had challenged a member family to find someone to be taught in their home and recieve the blessings of the gospel in the following week. The members invited her and she accepted a date in the 2nd lesson. the baptism was very spiritual. she shared a strong testimony about the changes and blessings that came to her life. she shared with us on saturday nigth at the interview that the missionaries had been inviting her to pray and know if the church was really true so that she could know for herself. she decided to do it that night, but got a super strong headache that stayed with her the rest of the day. that night she prayed, and while listening for an answer, she had the distinct question come to her head: is your headache real? and she thought, well yes. and then the thourght, the church is as real as your headache is right now. it's interesting how everyone comes to the same conclusion, but it always comes in different ways for everyone. she said that she opened her eyes to make sure no one was talking with her because the voice in her head seemed so real. the members were so happy to see her get baptized as well. it was a great experience for the whole ward and should really be great for the missionary work in the ward.
our area is progressing well. it's one of the harder areas really because it covers some of the nicer parts of teh city. we've got soem really great potencial investigators that we're working with member families to begin teaching. Even though teaching investigators has been slow recently, I've found great joy in working with the members recently in an abundance that I've never really felt before. Some members are really grasping the fact that the blessing of the atonement is something that all the children of our Heavenly Father really need. It has brought greater joy into their lives and seeing that happen, it has brought joy into mine as well. We've seen some great miracles meeting new people that live in other areas recently too. I've seen great joy in the work seeing others in the zone exceed. My testimony continues to grow of the happiness and joy we can feel in this work of the Lord.
the mission as a whole continues to focus on the 2 year baptismal goal. we have zone conference comign up next week and the theme is goign to be all about zion's camp. we've been studying in preparation adn there's a lot of great parallels and similarities that apply to missionary work and missionary life.
i was able to see the first family that elder zoltan adn i baptized last nigth at the baptism. i haven't seen them in several months because i've been down here in the branch. they continue to progress and grown. the father recieved the melchezidek priesthood a couple weeks ago and they're preparing for the temple at their year mark in november. we're able to take a temple trip every 6 months and i'm saving mine to hopefully be able to go with them. there is a chance though that they'll have to return to mexico in the beginning of october which will be very sad. the mom is also expecting a baby that should be born in one month. it's great to see them so active and happy.
the weather here has already started to turn chilly in the evenings again. starting september, we're back to suit coats unless it's above 22 degrees. i can't believe that it's already that time again.
thank you for the updates and encouragement. i love and miss you all.
con amor,
elder dunlap

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 3, 2010

Hola familia!
This past week has been an exciting and fast one. Elder Galloway and I have been in a companionship with two other missionaries that we're dropping off at the mission home tonight. Elders Krueger and Nelson have been showing us the ropes on some of the new responsibilities and also introducing us to soem of the people in the area. They're both going home, so we've done a lot of picture taking adn eating. It's been a lot of fun though. The members really loved them in this area and we'll have soem big shoes to fill. We've been able to split up some over the past week and really have had some great success. They've both worked really hard which makes coming into this area fun. It's been weird seeing them to prepare to leave. They were our trainers when we arrived, which seems like such a short time ago.
New things are happening in the mission. The MTC has came out with some new trainings and videos that we'll be learning more about soon. We previously had interviews once a transfer as well as zone conference, but they'll both rotate now and only be every other transfer each. We have our first zone leaders council this coming friday. It should really be a great learning experience.
We're excited for some of the missionary activities that are coming up as well. There's a picnic this saturday for the branch and the branch has really been pushing invitations. The members always do a great job of getting friends out. I think it's the hispanic culture that really makes it easy for them to invite. We hope to meet some new people and start some great teaching opportunities. Some members in the ward in the north are also planning a fireside with the mission president. They're making a short video with testimonies and conversion stories of several of the new converts set to music. We're hoping that it'll be a great success and tool in the future.
The mission and the stake presidents in calgary have came out with a new two year goal to baptize a stake- or about 2,500 baptisms before the completion of the temple. Some specific goals have been set and it continues to be an exciting time in the mission. President Archibald continues to have challenging expectations for our spanish program. It's interesting that he never lowers his expectations for us. I"m sure that Elder Galloway and I will be learning a lot and growing a lot as well over the next couple weeks. I couldn't be more excited to be serving with him again.
I'm glad that the babies are both doing very well. You'll have to email me some more pictures sometime soon. I love and miss you all!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7/27/2010

Hola familia!
We really had a great week this past week. We were able to set two baptismal dates for August 14th. One is a girl from colombia that we've been working with for a while named natalia. It's been hard to get in contact with her over the past couple weeks, but she seems ready to be baptized. The other is a 20 year old frmo Mexico. He's a friend of a member adn we were able to begin teaching him this past week. He accepted a date in the first lesson for the 14th as well. He too seems ready.
I just got news though that I'm getting tranfered. I'm sad to leave the area and a lot of the people that we've been working with. My companion, Elder Chunn will be training one of the new elders in our area. Elder Rudd will be training the other in the ward in the north of the city. They're both excited to train and will be great for the new elders. It's going to be different having new elders in the mission. Several of the older elders will be leaving in the next week as well.
I'm getting transfered to cover the south stake, or the southeast corner of the city. Elder Galloway is going to be my companion again. I couldn't be happier! I loved serving with him and am really looking forward to it again. They created a new all-spanish zone for us with two districts. Elder Galloway and I are going to be the zone leaders. I'm sure that there's going to be soem new challenges and responsibilibities for us.
I'm glad to hear that all is going well with the babies. I can't believe that life continues to go on without me at home. The weather here continues to be great. THere's been a decent amount of rain recently, but I think that's probably common here in Calgary. I miss and love you all! Next week I'll have more details about the new area and things. It is a holiday here on Monday, and so we will be emailing on tuesday next week.
Com mucho amor,
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

7/21/2010


Hola!
We had another great week this past week. Time continues to fly by.
Yesterday was the baptism of Alicia, a girl who is 22 and from Spain. She has two young kids that are still in Spain, but she came to canada on a 6 month visa to learn english. It's interesting how the Lord works. She came with her younger sister and her sister's boyfriend. They had all recieved permission and worked out plans to go to England to learn English, but for some reason were reassigned to calgary at the last minute. I guess that the governement there has connections with certain cities or countries, i'm not sure how it works. but, she was assigned to calgary. she met a member that was a recent convert over the internet somehow before she came. he started bringing her to our english classes and she began listening to the missionaries. her husband in spain is an atheist and she had developed throughout her life similar views. i was able to perform the baptismal interview and it was a wonderful experience. president archibald conducted part of the interview and i learned a lot from the way he answered some of her questions. i had the opportunity to translate between the two of them. the elders have done an excellent job preparing her and helping her along. it was great to be able to hear her testimony of each question and the different commandments. her family in spain was totally against her decision and her sister here as well. but, she knew what she had felt and that it was true. she asked me to confirm her and that was a spiritual experience as well.
we also received a call from an investigator that we haven't taught for about 5 weeks. we've stayed in contact with her fellowshippers and they've been helping her along although scheduling differences and some things that happened in the single adult ward that she was attending have kept us from having an appointment. we talked to her a couple days ago and she told us that she's been reading the book of mormon recently and has decided that she is going to get baptized. most likely before the end of the month. we have an appointment with her tomorrow and hope to work out all the details.
we also challenged a member to invite one of their freinds to learn about the gospel in 7 days. the member said that they have a friend that is a young mexican that told the member that he'd like to be baptized. the member said that he told him he has to learn a little bit first.
we've been excited about all of the new things that seem to be coming together and the blessings that we're receiving. it seems that things seem to always come together at the end of transfers. we have transfers next week, so preparation day will be on tuesday next week. the elders are all excited because this thursday is when we find out who will be training the 2 new elders that are coming from the mtc. i'm hoping to stay in this area at least one more transfer. we'll see what happens though. we've heard rumors that there's going to be some changes with several of the older elders going home from the spanish.
this past week, i also learned how to put down new sod. a member asked us to help him and through the service, we were able to meet two new spanish people. they're both younger guys that work for the member. they live in other areas of the city, but we were able to find two new references. i've been pretty sore ever since. we had to carry A LOT of dirt and grass to the back of the house where we were putting it down. it was a lot of fun though. most service opportunities here are usually helping people move.
i'm glad to hear that everything with the babies continues to go well. i love and miss you all.
con amor,
elder dunlap

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12th

Hola familia!
Everything here continues to go well. We have spent a lot of the past week walking but it's been fun to get out and be amongst the people. It definitely makes me have a little more of a missionary spirit to feel like I'm suffering a little bit. I realized how spoiled we are being able to drive the rest of the year. With the stampede, everyone in towns seems to have transformed to cowboys. Everyone has on cowboy hats, flannel, and jeans. We've tried to avoid the stampede area near downtown but there has definitely been more people out in the streets.
We're excited because there's a baptism planned for this Saturday in our branch. It's a girl from Spain that a member brought to the English Classes that we had started. It'll be my first baptismal interview so it should be a neat experience. Hopefully, alot of the other students in the class will come to the baptism and feel the spirit.
We have been teaching a part member couple. The wife is a member adn the husbadn is Harry Krishner- or something like that. It's a unique religion is based on vegetarianism and reincarnation and some other things. We decided to visit a yougn single adult member that speaks spanish this week and through talking to him, he told us that his dad had converted from the same religion and it was the same situation- his mom was a member. It was a neat miracle to be able to find that out and we plan on bringing the couple to the appointment this week. I really hope that it'll help him get over soem of the doubts he has. I've learned to appreciate more during the mission to keep a broader perspective. Little daily miracles like this are what brings the ultimate success in the long run. Sometimes, it is frustrating to look back at a day and only have one lesson or not really see too much success. But looking back over weeks and months, and seeing the changes in the people we work with and how we've personally grown, success can be seen. We've helped to bring people unto Christ and have grown through our trials.
I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well. I love and miss you all!
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 5th

Hola familia!
This past week went by quickly. It seemed like I just wrote. We were busy this past week contacting and beginning to teach some of the new references that we had recieved at the end of last week. We've really been blessed with new people from several different places.
This past thursday was canada day. With the nice weather, there were a lot of people out on the streets. We went downtown for an appointment and it looked like there was a celbration downtown. The city is getting ready for the stampede. I assume that it starts this week, or at least within the next couple of days. Almost every community center or church in the city has a free stampede breakfast. I guess it's a tradition that has developed. I'm not quite sure though what our rules are about attending them. We may be eating a gourmet breakfast every morning for the next week and a half. This month, we also can only drive 3/4 of our kilometer alotment, so I'm expecting to encounter some pretty interesting conversations downtown. I've heard that there is a lot of alcohol that is consumed during the stampede.
The Latinos have been very interested in the World Cup. I think it's the topic of conversation at almost every house we visit. There is definitely a strong sense of national pride amongst the different countries that are here in Calgary.
The weather continues to be excellent. I just wish that it would stay like this all year round.
Everything else is going great here. I miss you all, but am enjoying more and more the mission as I become more comfortable with stretching myself.
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 28th

Hola!
I'm glad to hear that Hailey continues to grow and be healthy, that Nathan and Ashley are preparing for their baby, and that Monica was able to find a job. Maybe this is beginning of a future as a librarian for Monica.
We've had a great week this past week. We've lacked some solid investigators recently, but we've been flooded with blessings in this past week.
We extended a 7 day challenge to pray and invite someone to meet with us to a member family a week ago. THey brough someone to church yesterday and then we went and ate dinner with them last night. Their friend is going to be moving about a block away from them in the beginning of July. I taught her a little bit in my past area, but now she's going to have a perfect fellowshipping situation. She enjoyed church and is going to continue to attend.
A former investigator showed up at church 2 weeks ago and he wants us to start teaching him as soon as he moved to a new house at the end of the month of June. We're excited to begin working with him. He randomly came to church so we can tell that something has changed in his life.
A guatemalan guy went to church in the north ward yesterday and he wants to start meeting with the missionaries. He lives in our area and we're going to begin teaching him this week as well.
Another member found a less active lady that he works with. She's been inactive for a long time and recently moved to Calgary. She's married to a non-member but accepted an invitation from the member to begin listening to the missionaries again.
We also extended a 7 day challenge this past Saturday to a less active couple and they immediately thought of two people that they are going to talk to and invite this week.
President has been stressing the importance of being obedient and extending 7 day challenges in our areas. He's stressed that it's not about us, but that we leave strong commitments with ward members so that they can receieve the blessings of sharing the gospel and so that they can have a faith building experience. As we've been obedient, blessings seemed to pour in these past couple days. New investigators have came in all different forms. Maybe not exactly related to the 7-day challengein some cases, but blessings for being obedient to the will of the Lord and the mission president. We've really been filled with gratitude the last couple days for the things we've been blessed with. Thank you for your prayers and support.
The summer weather has finally arrived. It won't be here for long, but I think if the weather was like it is right now all year round, Calgary would be a town ten times the size it is.
The Calgary Stampede is coming up the beginning of July and I'll probably be right in the middle of it being in downtown. We'll definitely try to avoid it as much as we can.

Thanks again for everything! I love and miss you all.

Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

june 21




Hola familia!
Sorry, I forgot to let you know that we were switching preparation day to Mondays. It's going to be on Monday from now on. I'm pretty sure that most missions have Monday preparation day. I'm really not sure why our mission was on Wednesdays. I think that we're really going to enjoy having it on Monday. We can work all week non-stop leading up to church on Sunday and then have a break before we start another week.
This past week has flown by. We saw a neat miracle yesterday as we were trying by some old contact addresses. We decided to stop by the address of an old convert from about 2 years ago. We knew that she had moved to Montreal shortly after her baptism, but felt that we should stop by and see if another latino family had moved in after she left. There was a lady named katalina from mexico in the front yard and we were able to talk to her for about 20 minutes and share the a little bit about the restauration with her. Small experiences like that always excite us and make us very grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes it is difficult to find new people to teach.
We also saw a neat miracle with a less-active couple that recently moved to Calgary and that we've been visiting. The husband had served a mission in Mexico but life choices had kind of led him astray after. We felt that sharing the gospel could really benefit them in their lives and testimony. As we shared the message, they expressed doubts that they were worthy to share the gospel because they hadn't been living it to the fullest. We tried to encourage them and gave some pamplets to the husband to share with some latinos at his work. He was excited to share with us yesterday the spirit he had felt as he shared his beliefs with his boss. He said that it really helped him in his personal conviction. He showed up at church yesterday for the first time in a white shirt and tie and seems to really be on track to get back on the right path.
In the mission, we're really focusing on Christlike attributes again for this transfer. We're going to be encouraging and talking about setting personal goals. I think it'll really help us grow and become better servants and experience the life long changes.
The baptism picture is from Sabrina Cruz and her husband. Elder Galloway is on the left and Elder Walker is next to me. Elder Walker was my MTC companion from Florida and Elder Galloway and I taught Sabrina before I was transfered. The member performing the baptism in Angelica Delgado's brother. Him and his family really helped them along the teaching process.
The other pictures are from last week in the mountains.
I'm glad to hear that all went well with Hailey and that she's doing well. Thank you for all your love and support. This week, I pass the hump mark. Time really has flown by!
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

Monday, June 14, 2010

06/09/2010

Hola Familia!
It sounds like sara is in the process of having her baby, so I hope and pray that everything turns out well.
This week has been an exciting week. A couple that Elder Galloway and I found in my last area and began to teach were baptized this past Sunday. They asked me to speak on the Holy Ghost and so I was able to go to the baptism in the ward. It was good to see all of the members from the ward that I miss. It was a special experience because of the way that we were led to find her and her family. She had been praying specifically and earnestly for guidance in raising her children. She had recently felt overwhelmed about her responsibilities as a mother. Elder Galloway and I felt impressed to walk more and we met her in the street one afternoon near her house. We felt compelled to walk as we discussed some words from my setting apart by the stake president. It was neat because I was able to use the story in my talk to teach about the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
We've also been excited about the english classes that we teach on tuesday and thursdays. They continue to be successful in meeting new spanish speaking people. Last night there were two new people that were brought to the class by freinds. We had 13 students and only one of them was a member. Two of the students came to church last Sunday as well and we've began teaching them. We've been developing good relationships with the students and it really has been fun and enjoyable. The stkae is in the process of calling a full time teacher for the class and providing funding for materials and things.
The bed bugs seem to all be gone. As part of the spraying, we had to bag all of our clothes, bedding, and suits and load them into our car and was it all at the laundry mat and dry cleaner. All of our furniture had to be cleaned and moved around so that all the base boards were available. We had spent several hours preparing the apartment and were waiting for the exterminator last thursday morning. As the exterminator arrived, the city busted a main gas pipe a block from our house. We were immediately evacuated for 3 hours and couldn't start the car. The exterminator couldn't return until this past Monday, so we had to unload and do everything over again. It was a pretty funny situation.
Next week is transfer week already. We had a meeting this past week with President because some changes are coming up in our program with new missionaries coming in and some missionaries going home. By september, we'll be the oldest generation of spanish missionaries. Time flies. President is thinking about special training programs and possibly a spanish only zone to help us with smoe of the challenges we experience.
There's a chance that a member is taking us next preparation day to the mountains. We're pretty excited to get out and hopefully see a moose or mountain goat or something.
I love and miss you all!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

06/02/2010

Hola!
This past week has been a good week. Francisco and Enrique were both baptized and confirmed on Sunday. It was a great spiritual baptism and we had another investigator named Natalia that was able to attend. We had made some cookies for the baptism and she was joking that she was going to contract us to make them for her baptism as well. She doesn't have a set date yet, but she should hopefully be getting baptized soon. She says that she wants to wait until August when the friend that initially invited her to come to church comes back from vacations. We're hoping though that the spirit will change her heart sooner so that she can recieve the blessings. Many members came to the baptism and like always, the refreshments turned into a fiesta. There was a wedding on Saturday and we ended up with all of the leftovers at the baptism. Another member showed up with tortillas and started frying flautas. Bishop has tried to emphasize that it's not a party, but the members haven't quite caught on yet.
Sunday was stake conference and there was a broadcast from Vancouver for all of Canada. President Uchtdorf, Elder Ballard, and Elder Pace of the seventy all spoke. They covered several different topics a lot was said of the history of Canada with the church adn the great contribution that the members here make to the growth and work. A lot was also addressed to the youth and to parents about preparing and teaching the youth to learn by faith and through the spirit to prepare themselves. My respect and love for this country definitely was strengthened through the messages shared.
I'm really am enjoying serving with Elder Chunn adn Walker. They're great elders and examples to me. We have some other investigators that we're working with and hope that they'll soon be ready for baptism. We extend invitations to everyone in every lesson and we're seeing great success with it in the mission. President has promised us as we do it in love that the investigators will realize that we offer because we love them and know that baptism is what they need for their eternal progression. I know that the Spirit guides us to offer the invitation in ways that won't offend or be overbearing. It has really helped us uncover the true doubts and concerns of investigators. Several investigators have went from no never, to maybe sometime, to probably as we've helped them along. My personal testimony that the Atonement is truly what all of the children of our Heavenly Father need in their lives has grown through this as well.
I have some bad news. We've caught a bed bug in our apartment. There's been a couple apartments in the mission that have had them recently and we probably got them from one of them. Don't worry, Sister Archibald has a son on a mission and is making sure we're taken care of. It's just been a lot of tedious work. Basically everything in the house has the be bagged up and washed at a laundry mat or dry cleaned.
I'm glad to hear that everything is still going well with the adoption adn the baby on the way. I love you all! Thanks for your prayers and support!
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

5/26/2010

Hola familia!
I'm glad to hear again that all seems to be going well with the babies.
I forgot to tell you last week about the temple ground breaking. It was two Saturdays ago. The temple is going to be built in the northwest part of calgary on a hill that overlooks the city. The groundbreaking had been delayed a little bit because of some resistance from the surrounding community, but they have worked everything out. Elder Hallstrom from the presidency of the 7 came and presided. We weren't able to attend the ceremony, but we were able to watch it from a live stream at the stake center. It was interesting to hear the history of the church here in calgary adn see the excitement of all the members. There were several representatives from the community in attendance and Elder Hallstrom's message was basically the Plan of Salvation. It was very simple, but is why we build and construct temples in the world.
I also have found out recently that we live about three houses down from the main Hell's Angels hangout in the city. They're fairly quiet apart from the occasional motorcycles that ride past our house. Our neighbor said that in the summer there's sometimes 20-30 bikes parked out in the street. A very large man with tattoos sometimes walks some pit bulls in the neighborhood. I haven't decided if this is a good or bad thing. I assume it'll probably keep us pretty safe.
We've been excited for the baptism of at least Enrique this Sunday. We planned the baptismal program and hope and pray that everything goes smoothly for Sunday. Francisco has been out of town for 2 weeks working and hopefully he has been able to quit smoking. We are going to meet with him tonight and find out. I think the fact that Enrique is firm in his date it'll give Francisco the extra push that he needs as well to take the step. We visit them everynight just trying to keep the spirit in their lives and focused towards the steps they're making.
I think I told you last week but we've also started teaching an English class twice a week now. The same students are coming back every class and we've had between 8-12 students every class. We really think that this will soon lead to some very good opportunities to teach them. We're at least developing some good trust and friendships that will help when they begin listening about the gospel.
The winter just can't seem to go away. It is supposed to snow this Friday again.
This weekend is stake conference but it'll be a regional broadcast from Vancouver by President Uchtdorf. We're excited for what he has to say about the area. The Vancouver temple was just dedicated a couple weeks ago and with the groundbreaking here I assume it'll be missionary work/temple related.
There's 2 spanish elders leaving in two weeks or so and then a couple more over the next coulpe transfers after that. We're anticipating some changes coming up. We know that President is going to be forming an all Spanish zone. Currently, we are in English zones. I think it'll really help with having training in Spanish and working with the unique challenges in the program.
I hope all is well! Love and miss you!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap


Monday, May 24, 2010

Apartment & Room 5/19/2010




5/19/2010

Hola familia!
It's good to hear that everyone is going well with the baby for Sara and adoption. I hope and pray that everything works out well. I've attached a picture of our bedroom and the house that we live in. The house is divided into 4 apartments and we live in the bottom right apartment. It's nice because we have a large park with a soccer field across the street. Our neighbor downstairs is a guy named Donnie. He's had trouble with alcohol and drugs and things in his life, but now he's cleaned up his life and reads everyday in the Book of Mormon. He's read it almost twice now all the way through. He hasn't been baptized, but the English elders come by and teach him every once in a while. He really takes care of us with anything we need. He's fun to live next to.
The work continues to progress well. Natalia wants to go to the single adult ward in the stake and she loves the activities there. She has some doubts about baptisms for the dead. She has had 3 non-member freinds already tell her untrue things about the church. She recognizes though that it's Satan trying to keep her from something good for her. She knows what she's felt at church and in answer to her prayers and she continues to stay strong. The freind that invited her to church is from Israel and is there for the summer. Natalia knows that she wants to be baptized but is telling us that she wants to wait until August when her freind can be at her baptism. We think with time these doubts will subside and there's probably something else holding her back right now.
Enrique and Francisco seem to still be progressing well. We've been able to meet with them both some individually which is better to help them each recieve what they need right now.
We're excited because we just got a new ward mission leader that is excited to start working with us. We have been without a ward mission leader for about a month now because he decided to start attending an English ward. Our new leader really seems to be on top of things.
We've started teaching an English class that we hope will lead to some new investigators soon. The last two weeks we've had about 8-9 people there. Teaching Enlgish is alot harder than I thought, but we've gotten the support and help of the stake. They are buying materials and calling teachers. Our stake president was a mission president in NYC and he said that 60percent of the baptisms in his mission came from the classes. We've already been able to establish some good freindships with the class members and I think it'll lead to some great things.
I love you all and thank you for your support!
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 28th, 2010

Hola!
It's good to hear that everything seems to be going well with Hailey. It's snowing here today. We're supposed to get between 10-15 centimeters of snow between today and this evening. Right now, it's a pretty annoying wet snow with a strong wind. I don't think we'll be spending much time for preparation day outdoors today. We'll probably play basketball of volleyball at the stake center. Our zone usually just gets together and we hang out at the church or at a park or something.
I got an email from the mission about our phone calls. They said that we can talk for 45 minutes sometime between 1pm-8pm our time. We have church from 1-4, so anytime probably between 5-8 would be best for us. I'll send you the phone number next week because there's a chance that I could be transferred. We'll get the transfer emails next Tuesday so preparation day will also be on tuesday next week. Time continues to fly by. This next transfer there will be two elders going home from the spanish program and end of july we'll get two more new ones. This past week I passed the 10 month mark which is hard to believe.
Our investigators continue to prepare for baptism. There's a chance that they will have to move the baptism because of work issues, but we're praying that all goes well for this Sunday.
Last Sunday was our first branch conference. President Spackman is our stake president and he spoke about Matt 6:33. That if we first seek the kingdom of God, everything else will work out in our lives. He is the grandson of a past apostle. I assume it's probably Elder Tanner because I've heard that he was from here. He said as a 10 year old, he knew that his grandpa was very wealthy and so he asked him what it takes to be rich. His grandpa responded with that scripture adn he said it's always stuck with him. He said that his grandpa shared the story in a general conference talk a short time after that. There are several people in the ward struggling, or looking for jobs and I think that it really benefited them. Elders Quorum was interesting because one of the Stake counselors taught it in English and it was a very interactive lesson. It was funny to hear the members that we always speak spanish to speak in english. I wondered what I sound like in spanish. It was a good lesson tough about the importance of home teaching for our branch. Our branch is interesting because there's probably about 170 members on the records and about 130 of those are fairly active. There's usually aroudn 100-110 every Sunday in church. There was more less active work in the ward in the North that we did so that makes the work a little different.
Thanks for all the sacrifice and support! I love you all! I hope you have a great week!
Con Amor
Elder Dunlap

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 21

Hola familia!
It's been another great week. Our two baptismal dates continue to progress and come to church. Enrique and Francisco have been coming to church and know what they've been feeling in their lives. They've been hard to get to read on their own because of their schedules, but they continue to progress. We rescheduled their date with them last night for May 2nd because this Sunday is branch conference and the bishopric said they're going to have meetings. We try to have the baptisims after church on Sundays just because it's when most of the ward is willing to come. Because a lot of members don't have cars and things, it's hard to get a good turnout during the week.
I had the privilege to speak on Sunday during sacrament meeting about missionary work. I talked about doctrine and covenants 4 and what types of "hoces" or sickles i think in english that we can use to share the gospel. I also talked about how members can be led by the Holy Ghost to follow the same pattern that we as missionaries use in our work. To plan, pray, and go out and work and be led by the Holy Ghost. I think that it went well.
We had a zone conference yesterday and it was all about improving our teaching skills. They really emphasized role playing in the mornings our teaching situations that we will have during the day and how it really helps us to put ourselves in the shoes of our investigators and recieve revelations of the things that we can teach them and questions that we can ask them. We've been practicing our question asking to really help them learn by faith on their own by sharing their thoughts and feelings.
Time has been passing pretty fast. We're slowly starting to teach more in this area. We always try to talk to everyone on the streets as we're traveling to find those that the Lord puts in our paths. It was much easier in my old area because it was more residential areas. Every once in a while, someone would be getting out of their car, or standing outside their house. This area has a lot of apartment buildings and there's always people traveling in and out of downtown. Sometimes I'm lost at who we should talk to and people seem to always be in a hurry. It's been a struggle finding the right balance.
I don't know if I've shared it with you, but in my setting apart by the stake president, he counciled me in the blessing to talk to everyone on the streets because thte Lord would put those that are prepared in my path. As Spanish elders, we drive around most of the time because our areas are so large. Walking really just isn't very effective and that leaves little opportunity to talk to people in the streets. Even harder is finding Spanish speaking people in the streets. Elder Galloway and I in one of the last few weeks of my old area decided that we should drive to neighborhoods and then walk to all of the contacts and things we had in that neighborhood if we weren't in a hurry. It decided to do it as we discussed that part of my setting apart. We were walking one afternoon during the week and were a little lost but saw a lady a ways down a street as we passed it. She looked like she had darker skin and we contemplated whether to walk to talk to her. At that moment, she said something to her son in what sounded like spanish and so we went to talk to her. I was able to teach her one time before I left the area and she came to church. She's continued coming to church and should be baptized soon with her husband. She has told Elder Galloway that she had been specifically praying for something more in her life and more guidance for raising her kids. She was searching for more happiness. It really is great to hear that she is still progressing and see the Lord's hand in this work, to be able to be part of tender experiences like that.
For Preparation days, we just clean from 10-11, email from 11-12, go shopping for a while and then eat lunch. we then have 3-4 hours to usually just play sports. The zones all get together in every stake at the stake center or at a park now that the weather's nice. It's nothing really too exciting. There's some neat things here in this area like museums and chinatown adn things in downtown but we haven't been down there yet. I'm sure we will sometime soon.
I did get the package, thanks a lot it was great! I love everything you sent. No, I haven't really gained any weight at all, I still weigh about 155 like when I left. I think some of my muscle has converted to fat but overall I weigh the same. My companion and I have started running though. We have a community park right across from our house and it's not freezing in the mornings anymore.
Thanks for everything! I love you and miss you!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap