Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 24, 2010

The time continues to pass by quickly. We had a mission tour this week with an Area Seventy that really elevated the spirits of the missionaries even more. He basically just held a question and answer session with us. A lot of missionaries asked questions about receieving and following promptings and being guided by the spirit. His overall message was to pray as hard as we can and act on our thoughts and impressions and just go to work. If we make a mistake, we'll learn from it and do better next time. If we're being obedient, the Lord will guide us and direct us in every aspect of the work and our lives. He talked about how recieving and following inspiration is a refining process that we'll develop throughout our missions, and throughout our lives. He taught us how it applied to faith as well. Every missionary that stood up testified of the goal for March.
President held a special meeting with us the next day as a Spanish program and commissioned us to be examples. He's planning on using us as a catalyst for the mission of miracles and baptisms. He said that our potential is 30 baptisms a month as a spanish program and that's 5 per companionship. We're really having to stretch out of our comfort zone and work even harder.
We continue to see miracles though. There were 6 new potential investigators that came with members to church last Sunday. Members had invited and brought their friends without us expecting. We have a dinner tonight with a member couple and their freinds for the first time. Last night, we visited a family from an English ward that speaks Spanish and felt impressed to share a message about Service. After the message, they told us that they had felt inspired in a recent church meeting about missionary work that service to their neighbors was the way that they could currently help out in the ward missionary work effort. They said that our message confirmed that and that their next door neighbors are two spanish speaking families that they've never really gotten to know too well. They commited to invite them today to have a dinner with us. Other members continue to help us out as well.
Last week, we walked out of our apartment and found a lady from Chile that we had met about a week prior and had been trying to get in contact with. She was waiting at the bus stop outside of our apartment. We were able to talk with her and have an appointment this Friday at the home of a member. The Lord continues to bless us with miracles which are really increasing our faith.
I'm glad that everyone seems to be doing well! Thank you for your support and prayers!
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



We just got transfer emails and I'm staying in the same area with Elder Galloway. I'm super excited though. Two more Elders that I came out with are going to be serving in our District together as well. Elder Chunn and Elder Harker were companions at the MTC and are going to be serving together. This transfer has really flown by. It's already 6 months that I have been in Calgary and this area.
We had some great experiences this week. We had commited to extend baptismal invitations in every lesson and the first one we extended was accepted. We have a baptismal date scheduled for February 28th with a man that recently got here from Mexico named Daniel. We just took the step of faith in the President's program and he accepted. We read from 3 Nefi 11 about the coming of the Savior and then recognized the Spirit and he accepted a date. He really knew nothing about baptism at all, but he knew what he was feeling.
We also had a family home evening last night with a member family in our ward at the church. We taught the first lesson with different pictures in different rooms at the church. We ended in the chapel with the restuaration and had planned on commiting them to find someone for us to teach in a week when the spirit was strong at the end. Before we had the chance, the father stopped us and said that he wanted to commit to us that he would have someone prepared for us before the following Monday. It was a great experience because we were then able to tell him that the inspiration he had just recieved was from the Spirit because it was exactly the commitment that we had intended to leave with the family.
Both of these experiences have again strengthened my testimony of the role of the Holy Ghost in the work. Both of these programs have been instituted by our mission president and it also strengthens my testimony that he is an inspired man of God.
Sunday was Gustavo Martinez's baptism. Everything went great. All 12 spanish missionaries in the city came as well as two senior couples that work in the office. We also had the support of President and Sister Archibald there. We usually have the baptisms in the releif society room at the stake center, but we had to move it to the chapel. The chapel was pretty much full of members. It seemed like a normal Sunday sacrament meeting. I was pretty nervous to give a talk, but it ended up going well. I had been praying hard and my nerves pretty much went away once I started. Gustavo bore a testimony after his baptism that really touched the members as well. It was great to see the joy that he truly experienced at his baptism. He told everyone tha it was the best day of his life. He's already wanting to go out with us to appointments everyday as much as he can. I'm sure that he'll be a great support.
The picture is all of us before the baptism. Gustavo is in the middle back between elder Galloway and I.
All is still going great and I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well at home too! I love and miss you all!

Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Feb. 3, 2010

Hola Familia!The time continues to fly by. I realized this morning that there's only another week left in this transfer already. I'll be writing next week on Tuesday because transfers will be on Wednesday morning. I'm really hoping that I stay in this area. I know that it's been 6 months here, but I'm enjoying serving with Elder Galloway and love the area. I'm a little worried that I'm going to go to Lethbridge in the south.
Over this transfer, we've been trying more than anything to really help the members feel the spirit when we're with them in their homes. I think it's really starting to pay off. We were able to find 6 new investigators this past week that all seem very interested and excited. A former ward mission leader in the ward from years ago felt inspired to take us to visit a family that he had taught with the missionaries several years ago. The had experienced some recent health difficulties and wasn't home at the time, but we were able to meet and teach a lady from Chile named Rosa and another man from Peru named Warren. The both were very receptive and had past contact with the church through friends or family.
We also recieved a call on Sunday morning from a member who had met a man from Brazil at the gym and he was bringing him to church with him. The man is named Ulysses and he loved church and said he is goign to come every Sunday.
Gustavo continues to progress well. He works with another one of our investigators who told us that he brings his Book of Mormon to work every day and reads it during his free time. Gustavo has set a goal to finish the Book of Mormon before his baptism on Sunday. He has asked me to talk on the Holy Ghost and we really should have a big turn out at the baptism. The members really have embraced adn freindshipped him.
We have a meeting every monday as a zone and the zone leaders had a special program planned for this past monday. They had us fast on sunday and really tried to create an environment where we could feel the spirit strongly. President has set a goal for 100 baptisms in the mission for the month of march. He said that it's never been accomplished in the north east region but feels that obedience will be the key. We're all being recommited to be 100 percent obedient. The spiritual meeting really inspired the elders in our zone to step up. This is a huge step up from the amount of baptisms the mission usually has per month. I think we have averaged around 20 per month for the whole mission since I got here. He has some specific things that we're implimenting as well. We have all commited to extend a baptisimal date in every lesson that we teach to an investigator. We are to recognize the spirit in the lesson when we feel it and help the investigator recognize it as well and extend them an invitation to be baptized. It's going to be a big stretch for us as far as being bold, but the spirit was strong in our meetings and Elder Galloway and I know it's what we need to do.
I've realized more than anything this week the role that the spirit plays in motivating, teaching, and communicating to the heart to inspire the people we teach. We've seen the benefits with the members inspiring them to do member missionary work. We've also seen the effects in our zone this week as well. Missionaries that may have struggled to be dedicated before really have seemed to have a change of heart and the desire to be more commited as the whole mission tries to get on the same page with obedience and unity. President is really stressing the need for obedience and faith over the next two months to accomplish this goal. We're really excited about the changes taking place.
Canada has been excited about the Olympics. I'll try to send home some canadian quarters. They have olympic pictures on the back right now and are pretty cool. There's a view of downtown from our chapel and about a week or two ago we saw a huge flame on top of one of the skyscrapers in downtown. We thought the building was on fire but someone said that the olympic torch was here for a couple days in Calgary. Other than that, I really don't know much about the Olympics. All of the stores have cool Olympic clothing that's been pretty neat. I've thought about buying some by figured it would probably be on sale after the Olympics are over.
I don't know if I told you, but Elder Galloway and I are back in the Chevy Colorado truck. We had the cleanest car in our zone at interviews.
This week, just pray for our new investigators, that everything goes well with the baptism on Sunday, and that the investigators will feel the Spirit in their lives helping them change!
Thanks for the Love, letters, and support
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap