Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20, 2011

All here is great. We have transfers next week, so i'll be emailing on tuesday. I'm pretty sure i'll be getting transfered. the next two preparation days are probably going to be a whole lot of eating. we're able to go all over the city on preparation day adn so we're visiting some of the members in the branch to say bye and things. next wednesday evening there's a farewell fro all the elders that leave in the mission with a slideshow and things and so i'm sure that most of our spanish ward and branch will be there to say bye and take pictures after since 6 of us are leaving.
yesterday at church, my most recent converts from the branch in the south showed up to get their patriarchal blessings. there's a spanish patriarch here in our ward in the north which is neat. they're doing great and estefania was telling me that she already spoken at church and given a testimony. the branch president really felt that they were ready to get their patriarchal blessings.
another investigator that i taught for 4.5 months from a previous area is getting baptized this sunday as well which will be neat for my last sunday.
One day during the week, we stopped on a street to knock on a contact address we had and while we got out of the car, I noticed a row of houses across the street and had the thought that we should knock on them. After the contact didn't answer, I asked Elder Nielsen where he thought we should knock, he mentioned one of the houses across the street as well and so we crossed and began knocking. No one answered until the last house. It was a member lady from an english ward and we found out that her husband speaks spanish because he is from Portugal and that their next door neighbor is a lady named Carolina from Mexico. It was a small miracle, but it strengthened our testimonies of the power of the spirit in guiding us during the day. We haven't yet found Carolina at home, but hope to work with the members to help her recieve the gospel.
thanks for everything! love u all. see u soon.
con amor,
elder dunlap

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 13, 2011

i'm not goign to have time to write today. we rented a van as a zone and a member is driving us all to banff and some other places in the mountains and so we have to leave as soon as we can. here's a neat miracle that we had yesterday though.
We were able to teach Isabel yesterday. She has came to church for 3 weeks now, but has seemed less than interested in the messages and more interested in just making connections and trying to find a job. She was found by the Brintons after a 7 day challenge in downtown only a couple days after she arrived from El Salvador. She actually has been sleeping through most of church and has refused to really participate. But, she has continued to come and we knew that she was guided to the Brintons by a miracle. We decided to pray earnestly that she would have an experience with the spirit that would change her desires and spark more interest. We were able to finally have a teaching situation with her in which we taught the first lesson. The Brintons were able to testify that they felt God had placed her in their path and then she started to open up and tearily shared that she had been praying earnestly to find someone to help her out the weeks before coming to Canada. The spirit strongly bore witness as we taught the Restoration and especially the first vision and a change was very apparent by the end of the lesson. She teared up and told us that she knew it was true. To the firm, she expressed that she has been thinking about returning to El Salvador within the next 9 days if she doesn't find work or a place to live. We're praying with her for a miracle and hope to be able to follow the spirit to help her be baptized soon whether she stays or not.
talk to u next week!
con amor,
ELder dunlap

June 6, 2011

Hola familia!
Everything is great here. There's still not too much new news. We continue to work and try to find new investigators. We wee able to see a couple of small miracles during the past week.
While stopping by english members during the week, we were able to recieve a reference for a neighbor of a member that spoke spanish. We stopped by his house and we realized while talking to him that he's a lost member from Chile. We were able to testify to him that God had sent us to him to come back to church and change his life. We can tell that he felt the spirit and expressed that he knows he needs to come back to church and accepted an appointment with us for the coming week. We were also able to be led to a lady from Ecuador that is good friends with an investigator that Elder Galloway and I taught over a year ago together. The investigator had came to church and was very interested in baptism, but then moved and dissapeared. Her friend that we met said that she is goign through a really hard time right now and is searching for spiritual help in her life. She's goign to talk to he friend for us and give us her information during the week. Hopefully, they'll both begin taking the lessons during the week. We've grown in our testimony this week of the power of the spirit in guiding us in small ways daily and hourly that can accomplish miracles in this work.
We're just trying to stay focused on the work. It's kind of hard because so many of the members know us well and want to talk about plans and things aftere the mission instead of missionay work when we visit them.
I heard that canada might be in a mail strike, or will soon be in one. So, I'm not sure if we'll be recieving letters for a while.
Con amor,
Elder dunlap

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 24, 2011

Hola familia!
I can't remember if I told you, but yesterday was victoria day in canada and so the libraries were closed and we weren't able to email.
all here continues to go great. we feel really good about our area and have seen several great miracles during the past week in finding new investigators and working with members. We have grown this past week in our testimony of the power and blessings that come from following the spirit. We felt inspired one day last week to walk a little bit while passing by some contacts and members that we had planned. While we were walking, we passed a lady with her grandson and daughter and contacted them. Through talking, we realized that she was an inactive member from Guatemala. She hadn't had contact with the church for several years and invited us to stop by her house anytime we liked and gave us her address. On Saturday morning, we felt like we should pass by. When we showed up, a man named Manuel answered the door to the house and let us in to teach him some of the principles from the first lesson. The original lady wasn't home, but Manuel really opened up and agreed to continue learning about the church. He has a lot of word of wisdom difficulties to overcome, but we were able to testify that we had been guided there to help him. We hope that the spirit will continue to guide us in working with him to help him progress towards baptism and come to know his Savior.
we aren't sure exactly what will happen next week yet, but we should still be emailing on monday. we're supposed to go to the temple on the 4th of june and so we won't have our normal preparation day next week, but should still email on the same day.
sorry the emails short, we just got a text from the assistants and have to be somewhere in 15 mins, we'll try to come back later and finish emailing.
thanks for everything,
con amor,
elder dunlap

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 16 Pics

may 16, 2011

Hola familia!
We just recieved transfer emails and I'm going to be staying here in this area for the last transfer with elder nielsen. we're enjoying the area and the people and so i'm content to be here for the last 6 weeks of the mission. it's warming up here and becoming a little uncomfortable at times during the afternoon in the sun with our suit coats. i'm ready for june so that we don't have to wear suit coats anymore.
We have been able to see some miracles over the past week. We were blessed with a reference from the Sisters in Airdrie of a man from Chile that has accepted an invitation to recieve the lessons. His wife had previously accepted a baptismal date in the past, but then the sisters lost contact with her. She's currently in Peru on vacation, but through their persistence, have softened her husband to begin taking the lessons. We have been very grateful and recognize it as an answer to our prayers. We also visited with a somewhat less active that has been experiencing a lot of opposition from family members and friends and has been thinking about leaving the church even though he knows it's true because of how hard it has been for him. We found all of this information out as we sat down and started talking to him. The message that we had prepared for him fit perfectly with the doubts he had. We found him at a crossroads and the spirit had guided us before the lesson and guided us during the lesson to say the things that he needed to hear in that moment. It was a choice experience for both of us as we felt the love of Heavenly Father for him. We grew in our testimony of the importance of planning and following the spirit regarding our lessons.
all else is going well. we're goign to be writing emails next week on tuesday again because the libraries will be closed on monday. it's victoria day here, which i'm not too sure what that means, but it's a national holiday. we'er also going to be able to go to the temple on saturday june 4th which we're excited about. thanks for everything!
i haven't sent pictures in a while, so here's a picture from yesterday of my companion and i with an elder fromt he mandarin program that is going home tomorrow. also, we had a pizza party yesterday because we had the cleanest cars in the mission and it's a zone picture that we took after.
con amor,
Elder dunlap

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 8

Hola familia!
It was great to talk to everyone and hope that you all had a wondereful mother's day. I think that every organization at church made some type of treat to pass out to all of the mother's and as missionaries, we got to taste a lot of it.
Not too much has changed during the past week to report on.
We had somewhat of a tough week with canceled appointments and busy members, but we felt inspired to go by a certain member on Saturday and to seven day challenge him. He had just arrived home when we showed up and he told us about a friend that he met recently that was asking him questions about the church and wanted to come to church. He commited to invite him over and hopefully we'll begin teaching his friend this week!
We had zone conference this past week and it was all centered around revelation and the role of revelation in our missionary labors and daily lives. We studied the talk from general confernce by Elder Bednar about a light being turned on in a dark room and the light coming from a rising sun. I've found those examples so true during the mission.
Thanks for everthing! Miss yuo and love you all
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 2, 2011

All here continues to go well. It was a fast week with some of the different trainings and things that we had going on. The weather has warmed up as well. Today is the hottest day of the year so far at 19 degrees. i think that's probably aroudn 60 or 65 but i'm not really sure. we're still not able to take our suit coats off though until it's consistently over 22 degrees. that probably won't be until about june.
We've been focusing on making our seven day challenges more effective and more spiritual. We were able to extend a challenge to an inactive member that is somewhat of a recent convert. It was a very spiritual lesson and we saw some immediate success in his personal spiritual development. He came to church this past Sunday and it's been a couple months since he came. He accepted the challenge willingly and is praying and trying to seek inspiration to find someone.
thanks. love u all!
con amor
elder dunlap

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


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April 19

Hola familia!
Yesterday morning, we were able to have a meeting with Elder Richard G Scott and also elder brimhall of the seventy. It was a great meeting and i know that all of us learned a lot. i was especially impressed with the christlike attributes of love and compassion that just seemed to radiate from him. he talked a lot about our future after the mission which seems to be a theme that all of the apostles that have visited us seem to talk about. he was a very humorous person as well. sister archibald got up and started sharing many of the instances of the way that he had impacted people over the weekend during meetings that theyh had together. he then stated that it was starting to sound too much like a funeral service for him and that she should quit.
the work here is going great. We've seen several miracles in the area over the past week. We were able to teach a new investigater Alejandro twice over the past week and he seems to be searching for the truth. We also found two people from colombia that were on the sidewalk as we got out of our car that accepted to recieve the lessons. We met another Mexican man named Marcelo as we left a house of a contact that wasn't home. He accepted to meet with us this coming Saturday as well. All of these miracles have came as we followed our plans that we made by the spirit and sought where the Lord wanted us to be. My testimony this week has increased yet again of the importance of effective planning.
i hope that everyone has a great easter. we have a talent night in the ward this coming friday which has kind of caused an uproar. it's good friday which is a sacred day for the catholic church and so when we invite people, everything has thought that it was to a special religious activity associated with easter. members have also seemed reluctant to invite people because they don't want to offend their friends by inviting them to a celebration. but, it should be successful. the activities always help to find new people.
the weather has also been crazy. it snowed 27 centimeters one day this past week, but today, it's sunny and warm again. it sounds like the weather everywhere has been a little crazy.
thanks for everything!
con amor
elder dunlap

Friday, April 15, 2011


OPPS! Hi this is Sara, I must have forgot a letter from march and just found it in my email.

Hola familia!
We're excited because everything went great with the baptism yesterday. We got a little scared because on Saturday the 15 year old girl got a little scared about the baptismal interview and her mom showed up on saturday morning alone. But, we were able to talk to her and she had her interview as well on sunday morning before church. The baptism was very spiritual because of the way that the spirit has really worked in the lives of this family during the past two weeks and because several members had great experiences fellowshipping and helping out with the lessons. I ended up baptizing them both. Beatriz the mom had asked me to baptize and confirm her nad Elder SOlis was goign to baptize the daughter, but he had some troubles getting her under the water. After 5 failed attempts, I ended up doing it instead. Everyone felt pretty bad for him, but it turned up alright.
We again were able to experience a wonderful miracle this past week with the same family. We went to an appointment with Beatriz and Michelle this past Wednesday and were surprised when the other daughter named Estefania sat down to listen to the lesson. She had refused to listen the week before and was somewhat resistent to her mom and sister getting baptized. Her mom was a little upset about it, but told us that she was going to pray for a miracle. Estefania tearfully explained to us that on Tuesday evening she had decided to read the pamplets we had left with her mom and a little bit from the Gospel Principles book. As she read, the spirit very strongly testified to her of the truth and it totally changed her heart. After reading the pamplets, she gave her cigarettes to her friend the next day at work and told us that she was giving up alcohol. She told us that she wants to be baptized as soon as she can and after the baptism yesterday of her mom and sister, we were able to set a date with her for april 3. There will be a couple of hurdles because she works all day on Sundays at a restaurant and it's their busiest day, but we know that the Lord will keep providing miracles for this family. I've again increased in my testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost in conversion through this choice experience.
It's again snowing here, but the cold weather should soon be gone hopefully. Everything else seems to be going great.
Here's pictures from yesterday. Hopefully, there will be more soon on the 3rd of april. ALso, a picture of the current temple.
Thanks for evertyhing!
COn amor,
Elder Dunlap

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Hola familia!
Everything's going great in the new area. We saw a couple of miracles this past week in our first couple of days together. We were passing by the house of a potential investigator and another man that we weren't looking for answered the door and after some discussion, accepted a visit this evening to begin recieving the lessons. We were also at a member's house when a friend of theirs randomly stopped by. They had been thinking to invite the friend for a couple of weeks and we weren't able to begin teaching him, but the members bore their testimonies and invited him to meet with us this week. I know that planning by the spirit has helped us be in the right place and see these miracles.
Estefania was also baptized yesterday. She gave her own talk on baptism which was a great experience to be part of. She strongly bore testimony of the truthfulness of what she had felt and shared the miracles that have happened in her life over the past couple of weeks. She told everyone there that she has been studying preach my gospel and wants to serve a mission as soon as she is able to. Her mom and sister also participated by giving prayers and the talk on the Holy Ghost. Her mom tearfully bore testimony of the changes that have happened in their home since her baptism 3 weeks ago and how happy they are. Estefania is already sharing the gospel. She brought a friend to church yesterday and her friend came to the baptism and is going to start taking the lessons this week with Elder Solis and his new companion is my old area.
It was kind of a bitter sweet experience going to church here in the ward again in the north. I was able to see members and converts that I haven't seen for a long time. My first converts from the mission are in my area now and the dad taught the lesson in elders quorum yesterday. After church though, I went to the baptism and am really going to miss being there and seeing the people from the south branch. It was definitely a very spiritual day and it brought great joy.
Here's some pictures from the baptism yesterday.
Thanks for everything!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 5, 2011

Hola familia!
I just found out that I'll be getting transfered back to the spanish ward in the north part of the city. I'm excited to go back and see some of the members that I began my mission with, but I've also been in the branch here for a year and am sad to leave the area. I'll be serving with Elder Nielsen again. We served together 2 transfers ago and he's a great elder. I'm excited to be back with him.
We've continued to see great miracles with Estefania. She is getting baptized this coming sunday the 10th after church. She quit her job because of the bad influence that it was on her and the fact that she wasn't able to attend church. She came to all four sessions of general conference and had 36 questions prepared to recieve and search for answers while listening. She has started writing a talk about baptism that she wants to give at her own baptism on Sunday and has set a goal to serve a mission as soon as she is able to. She even bought Preach my Gospel already and has been studying from it. It's neat to see the changes that she is making and how fully she has embraced the gospel. The spirit continues to prepare her for her baptism. She has continued to face some opposition, but the talks in conference really helped her understand well the purpose of opposition and why she's experiencing it.
There's not much other new news from here. I'm glad that everyone is well at home!
miss and love u all
Con amor
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 17, 2011

Hola familia!
We have had a great week this past week. We're going to be having a baptism this coming Sunday the 20th! I don't remember if I told you, but a member in our branch was challenged by the missionaries to find someone to teach and the member found a lady from colombia the next day as they were both waiting in line to get their tires changed. The lady and her daughter came to church last sunday and loved it and we began teaching them on wednesday. It was a great appointment and they accepted a date to be baptized in the first lesson after a little bit of coaxing from the spirit. The daughter is 15 and named Michell and really is the one that has been pushing her mom. She told us that from the first sunday she didn't have doubts and because of how she felt, she knew it was all true. We taught the mom on Saturday again as the daughter was in a young women's activity and as she prayed at the end of the lesson, the spirit strongly testified to her of the truth of the message. There have been so many other miracles as well that have happened with them as they sincerely have desired to fin
d the truth. We were also able to attend a baptism for a child that turned 8 from the branch yesterday and they loved it. It will probably be a pretty busy week as we try to keep them on track and get in all of the rest of the teaching before Sunday. Here's a picture from yesterday after church. THey're the second and third from the left. Please keep them in your prayers during this week. Theeir names are Beatriz and Michell.
Everything else continues to go very well. We were also able to have a meeting with elder christofferson on saturday morning. It was a neat experience to be in the presence of an apostle. I'm always surprised with the gentleness and kindness that seems to radiate from the general authorities. He talked to us about preaching repentance and how we do that in these days as missionaries. We all left spiritually edified and I'm sure that it'll be a great boost to the mission in the coming weeks.
Thansk for your prayers and support!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 7

ola familia!
Everything here continues to go very well. It's supposed to warm up during this week considerably which will be nice. It's been a pretty cold winter recently. I've been wearing two pairs of long johns underneath my suit pants. But when we do get in a door, it makes things a little hot. I think I'll probably them that i'll fly into greensboro and it should be sometime the 30th of june i assume. The new elders usually come in on the 29th and then there is an outgoing missionary fireside that night and the elders leave early the next morning.
We decided this past week to really have a good fast and to specifically pray and fast for the guidance to acheive our baptismal goal during this month. The Spanish Central extended a seven day challenge to a member family during this past week and the member called them the next day. She had found someone from Colombia while shopping at Canadian Tire that wanted to meet with the missionaries. They taught the lady and her daughter who is about 14 during the week and the two came to church on Sunday. We found out that they live in our area and were able to set up an appointment for this Wednesday. While talking at church, they seem to really be searching for the truth and are excited to keep learning. My testimony has increased of the power of an appropriate and consecrated fast and that our sincere prayers are answered. We also had the opportunity to get out of the city and visit a lady in a small town named High River. She was very schooled in the scriptures and other religions and she had even studied theology for 4 years in cuba. up until now in her life, she finds the baha'i faith as what brings her closest to god. they have some interesting beliefs but we really felt the spirit guide us to answer her doubts and really bring everything back to whether the book of mormon is true or not. she offered a heartfelt prayer at the end askng God to let her know if she should be baptized. we're going to go visit her every thursday and so hopefully she'll keep progressing.
all else is great. we're excited for the visit on saturday from elder christoffereson and elder real of the seventy. they're here to reorganize a stake in medicine hat, but are taking some time out to talk to us.
thanks for all u do and your support!
con amor,
elder dunlap

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February 28,2011

Hola familia!
All here continues to go well. We woke up this morning to more snow and cold weather. The wind chill today is -33. The good thing is that the really cold weather is hopefully about gone, well probably another month. It's definitely been a colder winter than last year. Last year seemed to have more chinooks that came and melted some of the snow.
I was able to do a baptismal interview for a young man that's 26 named jesus fuentes that got baptized in our branch yesterday. He accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson and has been very prepared. It is always neat to have the opportunity to be in a one on one setting basically hearing the testimony of those that are getting baptized. There was a great turnout at the baptism, probably in part because they brought left over food from a branch party the night before for the refreshments. There was also a family of 3 that was baptized in the north spanish ward yesterday at the same time. So, the zone overall seems to be doing very well.
We just recieved an email that we are going to have a meeting on saturday march 12th at 8:00 with elder christofferson of the twelve apostles. i'm super excited. the time that we had last march with elder bednar is an experience that i'll never forget and we're excited to have the opportunity again. last march, elder bednars visit seemed to fuel the mission as a whole and it'll hopefully do the same again for us. the meeting is going to be here in calgary, but all of the missionaries outside of the city will be bused into calgary.
elder solis and i are excited becasue we got a reference for a colombian lady that lives outside of the city in a small town called high river. it's about 60 kilometers drive from calgary and we'll probably start going there once a week to teach her. we'll get to see a little bit of the country side on the way, even though there's really not much other than fields to look at.
we've had trouble scheduling appointments over the week with many of our investigators. part of the problem that we run into is to live in calgary and not be able to speak english, most of the people we work with have to work in low paying jobs for many hours to get by. with their busy schedules, it often makes scheduling appointments hard. we have high hopes for the family of 5 though that we began teaching last week. they seem very interested and seeking for the truth.
thanks for everything you do!
con amor,
elder dunlap

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feb. 14 2011

Hola familia!
Everything here is great. Before i forget to tell you, next week will be transfers and so I'll be email on tuesday next week. I think that i'll probably be staying in this area one more transfer with elder solis, but we'll see what happens.
the weather has stayed fairly warm which has been nice. we've been getting out and walking some and talking to the people on the streets. the warm weather is pretty contagious and a lot of people seem to get out and around when the weather warms up a bit.
The area continues to grow. Elder Solis is doing an excellent job of extending seven day challenges and it's led to some great success that we hope to see soon. I at first was apprehensive from the rigidity of the invitation for the seven day challenge thinking that it might offend people, but have since repented and realized that it's led to some great success. Our seven day challenges have been more of expectations and less of invitations and it's been great.
Elder Solis is great. We're working on recieving and responding to personal revelation. I can tell that recieving personal direction and revelation and really just decicion making in general has been a little lacking in his life. The mission is a great opportunity to put that into practice. He continues to be an excellent example of dedication and probably has the purest heart of any missionary I've met.
One day this past week, we showed up for a dinner with some members and the father of the family had not yet arrived from work. He was supposed to arrive soon, and initially sat back in the car to wait, but then decided to knock on some doors in the complex that they live at. Our first impression was to go to a certain row of condos and after 3 doors, we found a colombian family that let us in for a moment to talk to them at the door. We taught some principles of the restoration and were able to leave them with pamplets and a Book of Mormon. They didn't accept a set return appointment, but said we could pass by next time we were close by. It was a neat experience for us both to feel guided by the spirit and an instrument in the work. We also are excited because one of the english speakers that we found last week for the english elders has accepted a baptismal date already and seems very prepared for the gospel.
thanks for everything and all you do!
con amor,
elder dunlap

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb. 7, 2011

Hola familia!
We woke up this morning to more snow. There was probably around 5 inches. The weather here really is kind of crazy. During the middle of the week, the temperature got just about freezing and sunny and so everything turned into slush and then froze again. We tried walking some on Saturday which was pretty impossible because all othe the snow that was sitting aroudn had started to melt and ran out of the front yards onto the sidewalks and fronze as ice. It's still snowing and aroudn -20 celcius. The truck makes it pretty easy for us to get around, but we have zone conference tommorow and if we didn't win the cleanliness competition, we'll probably end up with something else to drive.
The area is great. We've pretty much narrowed all of our former investigators and potential investigators from our area book to about 7 that are interested and have accepted visits. We're just trying to stay in contact and get in the doors with them to help them feel the spirit. Because we've pretty much went through the area book, we've been doing more personal contacting but have been trying to make it a revelatory experience and have seen some great success. We also have a solid first lesson finally scheduled for this Thursday that has been delayed the last two weeks with a member family and their friend that is interested in learning about the church.
We have tried to set specific goals over the last couple of weeks regarding personal contacting efforts. As we've prayerfully sought the guidance of the spirit, and then went out and completed our plans, we've been blessed with some great success. On Saturday morning, we knocked on the door of a young 25 year old that was very open to learning. We initially started talking a little about the restoration, but the thought came to mention how the restoration helps give us answers to questions about why we're here on earth and what happens after this life. He immediately seemed to change and said that he had been having those questions recently in his life. He eagerly set up an appointment for this week. He was surprisingly from Chile, but has been in Canada pretty much since birth and speaks perfect english, so he'll be taught by the yougn single adult missionaries. As we left the doorstep, we felt the spirit confirm that we were in the right place and had been instruments in the hands of the Lord. Moments like that bring the pure joy and happiness that are felt during the mission.
The mission overall is doing great. The overall success and miracles continues to increase and baptisms as well. The theme for our zone conference tomorrow is how the atonement changes our bahavior and nature. We've been studying it during the past week to be prepared and hope to have a great experience.
I hope all is well at home!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011

Hola familia!
Sorry, i think that i may have forgotten to send my email from last week. I opened my email today and saw that I had a draft saved from my email from last week. I deleted it thinking it was weird and then realized that for some reason it might not have ever been sent. So, sorry again if you didn't recieve it. We had a great week. There was a family of 3 plus a 2 year old that got baptized in the branch yesterday. Here are a couple pictures. I was able to do the baptismal interview and it was a great experience. I recieved several impressions of things to specifically talk to each individual about that I didn't think much of until they were confirmed and given strength and blessings about in their confirmations the next day from our branch president. The mother asked me to baptize her after the interview which was neat. I had to do it twice though because she stook her foot out of the water. The hot water heater had a problem at the chapel and so the water was very, very cold. They seemed happy though despite all the shivering.
We had a very interesting experience this past week with on of our investigators. After teaching for about 15 minutes, the Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on the door and saw we were there and pretty much let themselves in. They sat down beside the investigator and started talking and teaching as if we weren't present in the room. I could tell that the investigator was very uncomfortable and after about 15 mins, we had to excuse ourselves because we had another appointment to go to. Apart from it not being very courteous, my testimony was strengthened of the inspired teaching pattern that we're given in Preach My Gospel that comes from Jesus Christ himself. Although it was an experience that I hope we're not faced with again, I can say that I have more appreciation for the guidance that we have.
I hope that everything goes well with the sealing and baby blessing. I'm sure that it'll be a great experience.
The weather has been warmer. We have been a little bit over freezing during the day. I never thought I'd say that just above freezing is good weather, but after being used to -30, it feels like spring weather. I even saw some people outside in shorts. Everything else continues to go great. I'm trying to help Elder Solis realize that ice cream for breakfast isn't too healthy and he's been eating raw cabbage salads all week because he thought it was lettuce. We've had a couple close cooking disasters as well so I'm teaching him some different things. He's doing great though.
Thanks for everything!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12

Hola familia!
I'm running a little short on time, so I copied you my email to president for the week at the end. I don't know why I haven't done it much before though. i basically type the same stuff over again. i hope that all is well at home. i got deda and grandma's box this past week and so thank you very much. it's been a week of new experiences, but it's been a good learning experience. recieving a new elder that didn't go to the MTC hasn't exactly been easy, but everything is going great. we have a first appointment tonight with a colombian family that seems very prepared to recieve the gospel. right now, we're probably seeing more success as far as finding that I've experienced so far on my mission. we have many other first lessons scheduled for this week as well. the weather has been almost unbearable. the temperature is about -15 with very strong wind and some snow. the wind chill has been aroudn
-30 which makes short trips to knock on a door pretty cold. we've gotten a lot of crazy looks and people telling us that we should take a break and stay inside. I love you all. thank you for your prayers and support.
con amor,
elder dunlap
Area- The area is great. We have been teaching the basic missionary lessons to our members so that we can get some good practice and it really has brought the spirit to our visits. We've also focused on really getting everything out of our area book with former investigators and potential investigators. We've been putting in the extra effort to frequently stop by them and make calls and it has led to several people accepting visits from us again. They are people that Elder Nielsen and I had tried by or called on occassion, but consistent effort during the last week has brought some great blessings.
Companion- Elder Solis is great. He's definitely an example of obedience and dedication. He studies diligently and is always excited to share the gospel. He often runs around me as we're walking up to a door so that he can talk to them. We're working a lot on understanding preach my gospel and especially the basic doctrine of the church.
Testimony- I fasted and prayed a lot leading up to the arrival of Elder Solis so that the area would be prepared and that he'd have a good experience to begin his mission. I've been trying to focus on following what the Lord wants us to do and say in all aspects of the work from planning to contacting and teaching. I've felt a greater love for the individuals that we meet and work with as I've simply focused on looking them in the eyes and trying hard to communicate the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. We've been able to see great success in setting up lessons with potential investigators during this past week by applying that principle.
We statistically had a hard week. We had 7 canceled investigator lessons during the past week. But, they all rescheduled for this coming week and so we're excited for the teaching opportunities that we will have. I'll admit that during the week it was pretty hard, but through some sincere prayer and contemplating I realized that our canceled appointments led to many other opportunities to be where the Lord wanted us to be. I'm very excited for what's going on in this area. We set a baptismal goal for three for this month and I'm just trying to feed off of Elder Solis's belief. He wanted to pack his baptismal clothes and carry them with him the first day in case we found someone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 3

Hola familia!
Everything is going great here. I found out at the end of last week that I would be training the new elder coming into the spanish program. He lives in Toronto, but is from Argentina. I haven't met him yet, but he could possibly not speak much spanish at all. President really isn't sure how long he's been here in Canada. I'm excited to have a native companion that will be able to help me with SPanish even more. He's not able to leave the country because of immigrant laws and so he'll be coming straight here from Toronto. It'll probably be interesting because he won't have the MTC training that others have, but it should be fun. We are going to the mission home tonight to meet him and for a little testimony meeting with all the new elders. I'm goign to be staying in this area to train him as well.
We've seen quite a few neat miracles as I'm sure the Lord has helped us prepare the area for the new elder.
We had a goal all this month to reach the standard of excellence of one investigator from our own finding efforts. This past Tuesday, we were able to begin teaching Milagro. She's from Cuba and just arrived for a 3 month vacation to visit some of her family members. We taught her twice this past week and she has such a strong desire to soak up any religous knowledge that she can find because of some of the restrictions that still exist in Cuba. On Thursday, she told us that she knows everything we taught her about the Restoration and Book of Mormon is true and that she'll get baptized next time she returns to Calgary to visit. She is reading in the Book of Mormon and hopefully as she continues learning, her desire will continue to grow to follow the Savior.
We also started teaching a lady from Nicaragua that had been taught twice in the past, but they've been out of town for the holidays. We tried to ask her questions about how she felt and she really opened up and told us that she didn't think that the church was right for her and that baptism wasn't her goal. We felt our hearts sink a little, but tried hard to listen to the spirit to determine what she needed to hear. After more questions, we foudn out that she was really just upset because she had given her mother in law a bag of coffee and a cross for Christmas and was offended that she didn't accept or like the present. After explainging the word of wisdom and why we dont use crosses, she opened up even more and we both shared our testimonies and conversions. By the time we left, she said that she wanted to continue learning and that it was like they teach people on sesame street- you can't say that you don't like a food until you actually try it. We left humbled because we really knew that listening to her and then the spirit had really helped open up her heart. It's something that I've really tried to develop more recently and we've seen a big difference in our teaching.
I thought I'd send you a picture of our truck that I get to drive just in case it makes you jealous.
Everything else is good, we have stake conference and then branch conference the coming two weekends which is kind of a bummer. I really enjoy them, but it's hard to get investigators to come when everything is in english. I hope that you all enjoyed the holidays!
Con Amor,
Elder Dunlap