MTC Address Mission Address
Sister Katrina Roene Dunn Sister Katrina Roene Dunn
FEB25 PHI-CEB Philippines Cebu Mission
2009 N 900 E Unit 112 Temple Complex-CJCLDS
Provo UT 84602 Gorordo Ave
Lahug, Cebu City
6000 Cebu, Philippines

Friday, January 30, 2015

MTC Prison (joke lang)

Ayo! Kamusta ka everyone! I only have 20 days left in the MTC! It's a post Christmas miracle. We always feel so locked up here. It's like Hunger Games for missionaries but no one is dead... yet. Joke lang, it's fine here. You just get tired of the food really quickly. On the days with pudding though... those are the best days. It can turn your frown upside down.

Last P-day after I was done writing we had the funniest moment at dinner. So the Elders are supposed to take the Sister's trays for them, pero kanus-a Elder Evans stood up with a stack of trays, Elder May started clapping for him and after like a second the entire lunchroom was clapping. it was hilarious! It was last Friday night when I got the package from Debbie and my Ron Weasley Sweatshirt was inside i was overjoyed! I put it on and danced down the dorm hallways, skipping and hollering.. or something of the sort.

We spent the entire week trying to halohalo (aka halo2x) mix our language and sometimes we do maayo kaayo and other times we do ok lang. We are working on it. Every day at breakfast all of the Elder's try to blow boiled eggs out of their shells and they are getting pretty good at it. my only saving grace at breakfast food wise it that there is always grapefruit. and i love it.

ok the shift button is broken on this keyboard so nothing will be capitalized unless i really try hard.

i taught the lesson on sunday in district class, it was on the atonement. preparing for that lesson gave me the opportunity to study what the enabling power of the atonement is, and what it is is super awesome so i encourage everyone to study it and see how much the lord does for you everyday without you even realizing it.

i also gave a talk on sunday, which is actually a really funny story because usually i prepare my talks days in advance in case i get called up, but i was so busy this past week that i didn't prepare it till the morning of at like 6:45, i only spent like 5 minutes writing down 3 talking points and a quote and lo and behold i got called to speak :( which is peculiar because i gave opening prayer as well so I thought i was safe. Pero, when i got up there to speak we are usually only supposed to talk for 3-5 minutes so i was freaking out on how i was going to make it last that long but then i ended up talking for 8 minutes without even realizing it. it was incredible. the spirit gave me so many things to say! i don't know how i did it. It reminded me of my plaque scripture, D&C 100:5-6, god blessed me so much, and gave me the words to say.

I heard a good quote on sunday, "character is having the strength to do something even when the emotion of the moment has passed' which i think is so true. we almost all got to sit in at sister mumu's patriarchal blessing, (sister quinney,soleta, and i) but this patriarch said we couldn't so we were kind of bummed because she really wanted us there. while we were waiting though sister soleta fell asleep on my shoulder lol, and was out cold for like 30 minutes.

We watched testaments on sunday night and it was AWESOME! I loved it, the only thing i didn't like was the guy who played jesus. he seemed really smug, not at all christlike. pero, he's not jesus so its understandable.

monday was really hard, it felt like i was having an anxiety attack all day long :( i was so stressed out and my head hurt really bad. i did try kinder chocolate for the first time, and it was delicious.

theres a girl in the new district in our zone who says the cutest thing. when you look sad or like you need a hug she goes 'bring it into hug harbor' and holds her arms out. shes one of the nicest people i have ever met.

i have a new nickname, sister tapos (i think thats how its spelled) it means done or then in cebuano, i think its funny.

on tuesday morning an international sister from bulgaria sat with us at breakfast and wrote my name in bulgarian on a napkin, it looks SO COol! see what i said about the shift button. We went dumpster diving that night (aka went around to the free buckets on every floor of our dorms) and i found the motherload of hangers on the fourth floor, which i desperately needed so i was able to hang all my clothes up in the closet. blessings!

TRC went really well this week. one of the sisters just got back from her mission in Cebu in December and she was super cool. Every day i pray for the gift of tongues, and sometimes i feel it working for me. it's real everyone.

We saw a picture of the cebu mission home on wednesday, and it is a huge mansion. we get to stay there for a night when we get to the field. i dont mind that at all. its gorgeous and surrounded by palm trees.

oh yea we sang i feel my saviors love at the tuesday night devotional and you would be proud of me mom I sang in the choir again.

Sister metcalfe showed us pictures of her new baby granddaughter and she is the cutest thing ever, baby withdrawals right here. last week there was a kid running around the mtc and everyone was so startled, seeing kids now is really weird.

we hosted the new missionaries on wednesday, i hosted a sister going to korea, one going to eugene oregon mission, and one going to bulgaria. how cool! I got a missionary host sticker and everything. i get to do it next wednesday too.

there's an elder in my zone who played professional rugby for australia and he gave up this huge contract for new zealand to serve a mission and he's 21/ blessings for sure, what a huge sacrifice. its never too late to serve a mission, until your 26 that is.

one of our favorite things to say to each other in our district is "kalo-oy" which basically means like "oh you poor baby" kind of making fun of them, its really funny.

OH mom remember that girl that posted on the facebook group all the time before i left? she's coming in to the district across the hall next week. i saw her picture on the newly arriving missionaries sheet. so looks like i get to meet her.

we talked a lot about filipino lore in class this week, and one thing that got brought up was kapre, who is basically this scary dark man who sits in mango trees smoking a pipe, he's used to scare little children into not climbing tall mango trees. I thought it was pretty funny. whats funnier is Elder beretara has a friend in kiribati who's name is kapre.

I play volleyball during gym time (im not very good) but its really fun because we play with the poly's and they are really good and get really into it, but everyone's really nice to you even if you suck at it.

we went to the temple again this morning, although next week we are going to do initiatorys instead of endowments, because we've never done them before and think that they will be fun. Im jealous of all the international missionaries, because they get to do a session at salt lake :( and i really want to do that.

well, this is all i remember right now, if i forgot anything big i'll write it next week.

gihigugma kamo nako!

-Sister Dunn

p.s my favorite quotes of this week, courtesy of my teacher

"this is the second time in the last 5 minutes i've turned around and seen Elder Beretara massaging another man's hands"

"this pen is so fine point, everything is on point."

"I can't pinky swear, it's like making a covenant!"

and then Sister soleta said this: "We are the elite soldiers of God, fighting against Santa... oh wait that says Satan!"

Friday, January 23, 2015

Goodbyes/Hellos in the MTC

Hi everyone!

This week kind of just sped by, I can't believe I'm already into my 3rd week at the MTC. The mission is really starting to pick up time wise. This week was pretty emotional for everyone. The Illongo district left for the Philippines early Thursday morning and Sister Soleta and Sister Quinney can't stop crying. I loved them too, but i've been able to hold it together. Life goes on.

I have to bring my journal to the computer so that I remember everything that happens. I write in it ALL. THE. TIME.

Sister DarthlandVader aka Sister Landvatter got that nickname from a guy named Elder Le duc, and he had drawn a picture of Sister Ferguson on a banana and she looked like a scarecrow, awesome. So we nicknamed him LeDucolas after Legolas. Yea, Sister Orr is a genius. After P-day last Friday we found out our investigator Anna was our new teacher Sister Henshaw and she is amazing. She was in the Philippines when Typhoon Yolanda hit and she had to swim through flood waters and walk miles and miles and it was crazy she was smack dab in the middle of it. God will protect us when we are in his service.

It's kind of weird to think that popular music and movies are coming out while I'm here and I have no idea about them, but I kind of dont care anymore. I have no desire to watch movies anymore, its the weirdest thing. Although we did get to watch Meet the Mormons on Sunday and it was nindot gyud! I suggest everyone watch it. Honestly, the last story made me cry though because it was about a missionary mom.

One of the Elders lost a tooth after smacking it on a bunk bed ladder in the middle of the night, and Sister Quinney was sitting with him at dinner and he almost spilled the salt and she says "its bad luck if you spill the salt" and he said that was stupid and she warned him about ladders and stuff and he says "that's stupid i walk under ladders all the time!" and she just taps her tooth and says "uh huh..." he got so mad/he thought it was funny.

I've already filled up like 1/3 of my first journal. I love writing in it. I think I already said that... Oh yea I got called as a Sister Training Leader last Sunday, so now I'm like... in charge and people ask me questions.. i was barely the newbie and now I'm supposed to help people.. UNSA? I'm teaching a district lesson this Sunday, and I'm kind of nervous.

Sister Henshaw told me something this week that really stuck with me. Investigators can see it on your face when you are thinking about them, or if you are worrying about the language or something else. So I've been working on keeping eye contact with the investigator and letting the spirit speak and it's working way better. M Russell Ballard said the SAME THING in the devotional on Tuesday so i know I was supposed to hear that (he came to the MTC, we've been really lucky getting to hear apostles 2 weeks in a row. I took 2 whole pages of notes, so much good stuff). Teaching like this is scary though, I'm trying to have hugot nga pagtuo (faith) also I memorized my missionary purpose this cebuano. I rock! No actually heavenly father rocks and is helping me so much. Next up is memorizing the first vision in Cebuano.

One of the sisters in my zone is from Fiji and has limited english vocab and the other day we were walking back from the gym and i was a bit tired and she goes "Sister Dunn you look dull!" I didn't know what she meant for a second then I laughed, because she's the loveliest person ever and didn't mean it the way it came out. It was pretty funny.

We learned how to switch our sentences from actor focus, to object focus, to recipient focus this week, and i finally understood it because Brother Johnson is the best teacher ever. And Elder May is trying to get him and Sister Henshaw together *rolling my eyes* but honestly they'd be adorable together.

The last night I felt homesick this week was really rough, we were all crying in our room and giving advice and then I prayed soo hard that night and the next day I didn't realize it till someone else brought up the fact that they were homesick, that i wasn't homesick anymore. It was amazing. I finally feel like this is exactly where I need to be, and i can think about home with a smile on my face knowing you all are being blessed and doing better with me on a mission than if i were there. D&C 100, read it!

We did TRC for the first time this week, kind of awkward and really difficult. Oh and in a lesson that wasn't TRC two of the Elders were sick in the trio in my district so we invited Elder May to teach with us and at one point he was trying to ask if the investigator had any children and instead of saying that he said "Naa ka'y mga anak!" very exuberantly and we all just lost it laughing so hard because he had told everyone "I HAVE CHILDREN!" it was the best. But he's not the only one making mistakes in lessons. During a lesson with an investigator I felt inspired to share Moroni 10:3-5 but at the time I thought it was Moroni 8:3-5 and she was SOO confused! We laughed pretty hard about it afterwards.

One of the new sisters in our Zone is cousins with a sister thats already in our zone, HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!

ELDER BALDWIN GAVE ME PEANUT BUTTER!! I was so happy! If we could hug, I totally would have. I just elbow bumped him instead, and I've been guarding it with my life.

The night before the Illongos left we all went into a small room and sang "God be with you till we meet again" and it was beautiful and so sad, and everyone was crying, its amazing how after two weeks you can feel like you've known someone for so long. Oh yea, and Amber the zebra keychain you got me, I'm so sorry when I was doing service my keys fell off of my belt loop and he got decapitated.. it almost made me cry.

Well my time is basically up, keep sending me dear elders, I miss everyone and I love all of you!

Gihigugma kamo nako!

-Sister Dunn

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wow, week 2 already..

So it feels like I have been here for years already, but then looking back on the week it passed by soo quickly. I'm starting to lose my English so some words might be misspelled, bear with me. I'm trying to remember where I left off last email, so good thing i have my journal here. I write in it every day, so i don't forget anything. I'm so glad they have mud cups in the cafeteria, every time they are there I eat like 2... because i love them.

The investigator we've been teaching (aka a return missionary pretending to be an investigator) committed to be 'baptized yesterday' even though the lesson before that we completely bombed the restoration, it went so bad. It really humbled us and allowed us to come together and do a totally awesome last lesson!

Sunday is probably my most favorite day of the week here. It's just like sacrament, which is kind of scary because we never know who is speaking till we get there so you always have to have a talk prepared. And then it's a bunch of meetings like the most massive relief society in the world (no joke they told us that), but it was super magical. We had a new sister's meeting and that was really nice.

During study time on Sunday though the Illongo district came in and distracted us for 2 HOURS! So finally my kauban and I left so we could get some work done, we studied on the stairs. We told the district leader that they were distracting us, so now they aren't allowed in our room anymore.

We got to go on a temple walk and take a bunch of pictures and it was so much fun, we had a blast but the sun kept shining in our eyes.

It snowed this week too, which sucked because I don't have a coat, so i just focused on the philippines warmth and imagined I was on the beach every time we go outside. Sister Quinney was nice enough to let me borrow a coat for the temple walk. We saw the 'Danes' at the temple too, and got pictures with them. Sister Landvatter cracks me up, she's always saying something funny. If I remember a good quote of hers i'll write it down.

That night we had a devotional and the spirit was so strong, and I was feeling really down on myself about my Cebuano and i just looked at my patriarchal blessing and listened to the devotional and started crying, because i read something really helpful/super important for me. this gospel is such a blessing in my life. We also had choir practice, mom you would be so proud of me we sang front row "Joseph smith's first prayer", in practice for the Tuesday night devotional. Oh and David A. Bednar video we watched he impersonated the cookie monster and it was awesome. The chorister's name was Sister Dunn too, it got confusing for a minute.

Oh a sister landvatter quote "Do you ever get homesick for heaven? Like do you just miss God?" we all kind of nodded our heads and just got really quiet and sad for a minute.

On Monday it rained and I ran out into the rain and yelled "Sister Soleta!! I'm HOME!" she just laughed at me. I danced in it for a minute. We kind of slept in monday morning... ooopss... but that's cause the alarm clock (sister ferguson's alarm) that we've been using didn't go off. But it was only like 5 minutes over. I woke up and checked my watch and didn't believe that was the actual time so I checked my clock and said "HEY GUYS? The alarm didn't go off, we're late!" and we all jumped out of bed and ran around like chicken's with our heads cut off.

There is this really scary voice that announces quiet time and lights out in our dorm, i'll try to get a recording of it before I leave the MTC.

We had to rush to prepare a lesson for the investigator because our teacher didn't tell us we were teaching, and the other teacher came in and said "are you ready?" and we were like "for what?" and he just says "to teach" so that was not funn!! Dili maayo..

I was singing really loudly in the shower after gym and Sister Dolokilagi thought it would be really funny to reach under the curtain and grab my foot. I screamed so loud. She loves to scare everybody though. If someone screams in the dorm, its cause Sister Dolokilagi scared them. She scares you by snorting in your ear like a pig usually. A lot of the sister's are scared to be our friend because by association to us she'll scare you.

I feel bad, we were being really loud as a class i think on Tuesday and Elder Frost left the room cause he likes to study and after a few minutes i said "Elder may, write Elder frost a note and slip it under the door." and then i told him what to write and it said "Sorry Elder Frost, please come home! Love, District 45" and he came back in and said thanks for the note guys and then we had like this insane bonding moment as a district and we all kind of told each other our worries about our homesickness and it was really nice (sidenote: a few days later Sister Soleta and I saw that Elder Frost had stuck the note in the front cover of his preach my gospel, we were so touched).

Sister Soleta is addicted to kit kats and eats them all the time.

One of the Elders in the zone fell out of bed and smacked his face on the bar and his tooth fell out and when he would laugh it was soo funny we told him he looked like a prospector. He went to the dentist though and he got a cap so it looks the same as it did before now. For a whole day though it was hilarious.

Monday night we sat on the STL (sister training leaders) floor and ate sour gummy worms, brownies, and chocolate milk and talked for like an hour it was awesome.

We had a bet about what our teachers wife looked like and I won, they all thought he married a filippina but i guessed she was really short and blonde and he showed us a picture and I yelled out "SHES SHORT! I'M RIGHT!" and he gave me the weirdest look...

So at Tuesday night devotional we sang Joseph smiths first prayer and Russell m. Nelson and his wife came to the MTC and spoke, it was sooo coool!!

Oh mom, my estimated leave date from the MTC is February 19th, and my day I'm coming home from my mission is July 8th, 2016. Just thought I would let you know.

After the devotional we got back to our dorms and the illongo girls were upset and crying because one of the elder's decided to come home. Sister Metcalfe (branch presidency first counselor's wife and our favorite!) was comforting them and it was just really rough that night.

Another Sister Landvatter quote "You know there really is sunshine in my soul... and it's fabulous!"

Wednesday! We officially survived a whole week and we got to annoy the newbies and say "WELCOME TO THE MTC!" every time we saw an orange dot!

We had a 'sleep over' wednesday night where we had a bunch of food and sister williams made me laugh so hard "Orchard skittles, they are my happiness!" we also had glow in the dark balloons.

Elder Mataele spent the whole day singing "somebody has a crush" to Sister Soleta, every time he saw her he said that. It reminded me of Lupin can't sing/hermione cant draw. Although we're not exactly sure who he was talking about. So she just said she had a crush on him and he stopped bugging her finally. Lol. Oh and Wednesday lunch had THE WORST FOOD SELECTION! We thought we were going to starve.

He also thought I had a boring journal so we did the hokey pokey in our classroom before we went to our dorms.

Sister Landvatter kind of reminds me of Catbug.

Elder may told us that as a child he had a cat named Quatzforth, best name ever.

Well I'm out of time, I split up my time and do laundry at the same time so that I can remember everything i want to write.

Amping everyone!

-Sister Dunn

Friday, January 9, 2015

First two days... WHAT

HIIII!!! KUMUSTA KA! How is everybody?? I feel like it's been forever and it's only my 3rd day here! I feel like I have so much to share, and I don't really know how to convey it! So my P-day is Friday in the MTC, so that's why I'm allowed on the computer so soon! So I guess I'll just start talking about what's going on here, cause there is a LOT going on!

As soon as I got to my gate they were already boarding, that is like the first time that has happened to me. Also, emptiest flight I have ever been on, I could've moved around and had a full set of 3 seats to myself but I just stayed in my assigned seat. They were playing a movie on the plane, it had Reese Witherspoon in it, but I couldn't hear anything that they were saying. I think it was about a revolution in Kenya, but that's basically all I got haha.

When we first took off it was like super super foggy, and I couldn't even see the wing out of the plane window, and it was really scary, but as soon as we broke over the clouds the sun was shining so brightly over the mountains, it was absolutely beautiful, I just sat there in awe watching it. After a few minutes I even had a perfect view of Mt. St. Helens but we flew by it too fast, so I didn't have time to pull my camera out and snap a picture.

When we landed I found baggage claim pretty easily but man... struggling that luggage across two lanes to the pick up lane was so difficult. I finally managed by stacking my carry on on the top of my super big suitcase and orchestrating a circus act of balancing it and dragging them all behind me. You should have seen it, it was a sight to see.

Pick up went good! I am so thankful for Sister Lohberg and Kara for coming to get me, that was super nice of them. It helped ease my worries of getting there. On the drive I saw like 25+ church buildings, I swear there is like one every block it's insane. Especially cause we have to drive 15 minutes to get to our building back home.

We stopped for In&Out which of course was delicious, and I got one of those cool hats (it kind've looks like the Krispy Kreme hat I had in the van for like 3 years). When I got dropped off, my host sister was super nice and lead me towards where I got my badge and I was the only sister checking in then.

I share my room with 3 sisters going to Denmark (Sister Orr, Sister Landvatter, and Sister Ferguson they're awesome and soo soo funny) as well as my companion Sister Soleta who is so beautiful inside and out, she was born in the Philippines but moved to Brooklyn when she was 8. She's fluent in Tagalog which is such a blessing to me, she helps me with my Cebuano pronunciation. But she says Cebuano is NOTHING like Tagalog so... wow. She's awesome. I didn't really meet her till I got to my classroom though, because she wasn't at the MTC yet.

When I did finally get to my classroom though, the teacher Brother Wood, ONLY SPOKE CEBUANO TO US! I did a quick orientation and used hand gestures and answered in English to kind of figure out what he was saying to me. Luckily no one else understood him so I felt less silly.

In my district its me, my companion Sister Soleta, and three elders (Elder May, Elder Frost, and Elder Beretara) who are all so awesome. The district ahead of us is kind of rowdy, and they like to distract us whenever the teacher isn't around and that kind of gets annoying.

After 3 hours of pure Cebuano we went to an orientation and everyone stood up when the MTC president said either the state or country that you were from and let me tell you, there are people from all around the world. Like in my zone, Sister Mumu (who is so full of light and enthusiasm you can't help but love her) is from Fiji and there was also new people at the MTC from like China, Japan, Qatar, and a whole lot of other places it was insane. Only like 2 other elders from Washington though. One of them I sat with at a meal, he's going to Argentina. I heard a quote in orientation that I really liked though, that I'm going to try and remember my whole mission. "Little growth occurs in a comfort zone, and little comfort occurs in a growth zone."

After that we went to a People and our Purpose seminar, which is basically a bunch of the newbie missionaries in a room with one investigator and everyone tries to teach them. In the first room everyone kind of got of track, and kept bringing up new doctrine without actually answering Melissa's (investigator) question until finally an Elder in the back stood up and started talking to her, and it was BEAUTIFUL! He knew exactly what to say, and this spirit just came over the whole room. I want to be able to teach as well as him. I did raise my hand but I never got called on, but that's okay, his message was really good. The next room had a man named Carlo and he called the plan of salvation the Happy plan, and I thought that was really beautiful. He had a son who died as a baby, and he's really catholic and believed his son is now in limbo because he wasn't baptized as a baby and we were kind of explaining to him about how he's already returned to live with our Heavenly Father. The third woman, Sharon, she was probably the hardest one to teach, and I don't think our communication was very good, and the spirit was just lost. I was really unhappy with how it went. After that we met with our zone and Sister Argyle and her companion showed us around the campus with the zone leaders (forgetting their names right now) and Sister Mumu kept snapping pictures of Sister Quinney (her companion), Sister Soleta, and I. It was really funny.

That night though I suggested to Sister Soleta that we try and pray in Cebuano and I half-managed it, so half Cebuano/half English. It was really hard for me to sleep. I was so homesick and felt really discouraged, but I'm glad I brought my own pillow it was really comforting.

Okay, that was day 1, I want to make sure I tell kamo (y'all) everything.

We woke up early on Thursday, at 6 and I was so hungry. Actually I'm hungry all the time here, and you only really have food at meal times here, cause your on the go go go go go so.. but we have a community snack drawer in our room that the danes found that previous sister's left at it has SO much candy in it, I was so happy! Anyways. I prayed in Cebuano again for personal prayers, and I didn't even need my book! Yay! I need to hurry I'm almost out of time. so.. In language class, it was a different teacher Brother Woods, and it was all in Cebuano again and I started to understand a little bit more. At the end of class he called on me to say the prayer in Cebuano, and I actually managed to do it from memory! but only half of it, because I only know how to begin the prayer and say I'm thankful for stuff. During companionship study the Elders from the district ahead of us came in and bugged us for like an hour so we couldn't focus, they were funny, but we really needed to study... so I was kind of bummed.

We met our branch president last night and it was a really spiritual/tearful meeting. I cried when I bore my testimony (like i always do) and Brother Metcalf (first counselor of branch presidency) interviewed me and I cried a bit more about how I was homesick and he offered some really great words of comfort and I've been doing a lot better since. I was so tired last night I fell asleep almost all the way.

This morning we got up early again and went to the Provo temple, and it was amazing! The spirit there is so strong! It was Elder Beretara's first time through, so he was receiving his endowments and he was just glowing, I was so happy for him. In the celestial room we were all just beaming!

Now I'm writing to you guys, and I only have a little bit of time left soo. I love you all! And if it isn't too much if kamo could pray for me that would be amazing.

Oh here's my testimony in Cebuano, :)

Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang ebanghelyo. Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang simbahan. Nasayud ko nga Propeta si Thomas S. Monson. Nasayud ko nga Manluluwas nga Manunubos si JesuKristo. Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang Basahan ni Mormon. Nasayud ko nga gihigugma kita sa Dios. Nasayud ko nga nakaila ang Dios kanato, sangalan ni JesuKristo, amen.

Love you all, and miss you!

-Sister Dunn

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's finally here!

I can't believe it, the day I leave is finally here. It's insane how fast the time went from when I received my call. 94 days since then, and it just flew by! I am so grateful for all of the help I received to prepare me for this day, and I am so excited to go serve.