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


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


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