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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"naa ja'y candy sister?"

Hi! This week was interesting, but as I said to my companion, every day in the Philippines is interesting. We like to carry candy in our bags to give to the mga bata and they know it now, and kind of just expect it, it is so funny. So we were saying goodbye to this member family yesterday and the daughter without missing a beat asked "Naa ka'y candy Sister?" which means "Do you have any candy sister?" I laughed so hard, and of course I did so I gave her one. And then last night I offered up a piece of candy to whatever child could tell me which direction was north, and neither of them could so they both got candy, and then I taught them about the big dipper.

So leaving off after my last letter... Last wednesday we hiked to the top of this really tall hill that overlooks all of Toledo, and took pictures. I found the skeleton of a dog, it was pretty cool. Sadly though, i think that it had just starved and crawled up there to die.

Later that night we were FTE'ing (finding the elect, which is basically street contacting) and this white man walked past us, stopped, came back, looked at our name tags and kept walking. after we were done talking with the group of men we tried to look for this man but he had disappeared. We had seen him at church on sunday the week before.

This week was kind of punted week, whenever we tried to find people, or tried their houses they were not home. It was especially bad on Thursday, i think almost every house we tried they were either not home or "asleep". It was funny. And frustrating. One of the less actives we teach is less active because she got offended, and she always gets really fired up and takes control of the lessson. She made a good point though "the gospel is perfect, the people aren't" but then all i could think of was, forgiveness! On Thursday night we bought this really yummy soup and i ate a chili from it, (apparently you aren't supposed to do that) it was an accident i didn't see it... and I felt like i was dying it was so hot. It reminded me of the time I ate that really spicy habenero at EFY.
I bought marshmallows this week and I have been roasting them over the stove. So yummy. so worth it.

The ward was doing a runway show for the relief society anniversary, and we went to see it for like 5 minutes on saturdayit turned out soo good. The girls were so cute and did a really good job.
In all the food here they put "magic sarap" which is essentially MSG, so sometimes when they food tastes especially good I ask my companion "what did you put in this?" and she goes "magic..." in this mysterious voice and i just know, that I am eating so much MSG. I'm going to have a heart attack at one point or something.

Saturday was a day of miracles. We climbed up this hillside first thing and found this boy and his two sisters, and they let us teach them, and they are so elect! So prepared, and so we have a return appointment with them. And then we walked to the next set of huts and there was this family outside and we talked about the book of mormon and he said "If you say it is the word of God I will listen" and they let us teach them too! This family, also, soo elect! We gave him the book of mormon and he started reading it. It was a really spiritual lesson, just talking with him I could feel my testimony of the book of mormon growing.

We went to one of our IBD's houses next and they had a bunch of baby chicks running around, they were like the size of golf balls and so cute! It was a bit difficult to concentrate, i really wanted to hold them. And then when we left, there were a ton of baby goats on the hillside. So many cute animals!
We went to go contact an FTE from earlier that week, and when we got there it turns out they had been waiting for us ALL AFTERNOON and were worried we weren't going to come! They are also our new investigators. I'm telling you, DAY OF MIRACLES! When we left their house one of the daughters said "BYE AMERICANA!" Haha it was so cute!

One weird thing here is when people greet me on the street they always say "Hi my friend" it's strange, but nice. Its better than what some people yell.

There was this little Tatay sitting on the cement wall that overlooks the beach/ocean and we went over and talked to him he had this crazy awesome beard and turns out he's been a fisherman for over 50 years. Sister Conjelado just leaned towards him and says "God loves you" it was really powerful, he kept shaking her hand.

We went over to a recent converts and all the children wanted my pringles haha, and kept saying the word "chip!" in the cutest little voices, because they didn't know that word before. And the mom practically force fed us this really good cabbage soup. Its funny how much people want to feed you here.

The chicken problem is coming to drastic proportions. They keep me up all night every night. so the other day i woke up and theres this rubber band gun in our apartment and i went out to the balcony and got down and did like a sniper shot at the ground by the chicken and he got quiet real fast. It was a warning shot. they've been pretty quiet ever since.

On Sunday while we were walking to church this really nice member couple stopped and let us ride in their van to the building, tender mercy for sure because its so hot outside, and their van had aircon.
We went to a funeral this week and on the ride there like 10 of us piled onto a motorcycle with a small cart attached, it was pretty fun. We sang my favorite hymn there, "lead, kindly light" it was beautiful, except there were a bunch of kids being really loud.

On monday one of the elders got a care package with chocolate. I was in heaven. I needed chocolate. I've almost finished my entire jumbo jar of nutella. We are singing "where love is" for the fireside and we had to practice it, and we don't sound very good haha but we're trying and we're getting better. 

We had to let go of an investigator this week who hasnt been progressing, it was really hard. Especially because after we left her little daughter Arlene (who i adore) ran out after us and yelled IN ENGLISH "I love you sister dunn!" my heart broke. But we know this family will eventually join the church. It's in god's hands, in his time.

My guilty pleasure food here is mango ice pops. They are only 1 peso each and they are made from fresh mangoes. They are beautiful creations.
Love you all, have a fantastic week!

-Sister Dunn

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sipon & No Showers

Wow, this week was long and tiring. I'll explain the title of the email. Sipon is the word for cold. Which I have, my nose is so stuffed this week. And the no showers. We have pretty shady water here, and sometimes it just gives up. This week I experienced my first brown out (black out) so no power, and no water. We had to skip our shower one day, we felt so gross. The next morning when we turned on the faucet and there was water I was jumping around I was so excited. I didn't even care that the water was cold, the shower felt so nice. I'm used to the cold showers now, and since it's so hot here it's a blessing.

I had my first big mac ever this week. My first big mac and I had it in the Philippines. I don't know what all the hype is about it's just a burger, and its not even that good. In&Out is so much better. 10,000x. I learned a new word from Sister Beyer this week. Char, it's not Filippino I don't think, just a word. It means like kitschy or over the top. Oh and I got my scriptures fixed this week!! Finally, they were pretty bad.
We stopped by an old IBD's house and he had cigarettes and earrings and Sister Conjelado just holds out her hand and goes "rememberance" and he GAVE US THE EARRINGS?!! LIKE WHAT?! Then she told me to choose one. It's in the pocket of my bag right now. And then she had me throw his cigarettes in a puddle.
We visited a less active this week, and the children had lice we were kind of worried during the lesson, but it was fine and I forgot all about it halfway through. Also this week.... I extended my first baptismal invitation, and she said yes!! YAY!!! She's our investigator too, like we started teaching her, I'm so happy.
One night this week we were on our way back to the apartment and there was this group of Elders just singing on the side of the road. They missed the last boat out of San Carlos and had to stay the night in Toledo, it was funny and random though. They had nice voices.
I ate a vegetable, it was like a cross between a potato and a banana, kind of weird, but good. Oh I also ate kamote and it was sooo goooddd! We had it last night at dinner. We saw sister in the field picking these leaves and she was laughing they were for me at dinner and she said "Goat's like to eat them " (kanding is the word for goat) and they were really good, goats have good taste.
We ate pizza this week at Gaisano, haha its not as good as american pizza, but still very good. And they were setting up for a catholic mass in the middle of a mall? i don't understand.
Wahh no one came to church on Sunday I was so upset, i didn't expect it to affect me so much but i was so not happy haha. Everyone told me to expect that my whole mission. I don't want that to happen!!!
And we had to teach relief society, she came up to us at the end of sacrament meeting and asked us haha, I tried my best, I'm not even a good teacher in english, its a whole other problem in Visaya...
There were two girls this week who asked to take their picture with me, and were so excited when I said yes. I'm still getting used to that.
We ate McDo's again on Monday, can you say McChicken?!? Tender mercy, so lami!
Since I had a cold this week, we had to go to the pharmacy and buy an antitussive, and when I ordered it he was like "huh?" so i had to pronounce it the filippino way and he was like "Oh, okay" pronounced like An-tee-too-siv. haha i laughed so hard. Also there is so much skin whitening stuff here. Also they make kalamanci juice here for colds (kalamanci are basically tiny limes) and it works so well. Effective gyud.
Sister Lamoglia made like gourmet eggs for us on monday night, and when we do exchanges she promised me she'd make me brownies in the rice cooker, and when she finishes her mission (the end of my twelve weeks) she's gonna give me the recipe, boo ya!
I got to talk on the phone with sister mccurdy for a bit yesterday morning which was nice, it was like talking to mom, i really needed it. Tender mercy.
We went by this house where the woman didn't want to see us, but we could totally hear her inside the house and the little girl came up and said "my mom isn't here kono" and Sister Conjelado goes "she says?" and the little girls goes "yes" i died laughing it was so funny. It was like that moment in the RM "SISTER BORIS I CAN SEE YOUR ARM!|
anyways got to go, love you so much!

-Sister Dunn

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Toledo - Most beautiful place on Earth

Ayoweh! It's so pretty here. And the people here are the nicest people ever. I'm pretty sure there's no one on Earth that could convince me otherwise. It's so beautiful, I'll just leave my apartment and be walking down the street, the beach not even a half mile down the road, and just smile, no clouds in the sky, sun shining bright. I was meant to be here. Even when things get rough, or I'm sad, or homesick, I always have this feeling of comfort like... this is precisely where I am supposed to be.

We are blessed enough here to have someone to do our laundry, so that frees up time for us on P-Day, to get everything else done. I'm not quite used to the food here yet, or the amount of rice people can consume. It's other worldly. At the market there is just stalls and stalls where all they sell is rice. My favorite part of the market is the fruit stands though!!! Ahh fresh mga saging and mangoes!! They are so delicious!! Oh and some woman was like "beautiful nose, can I touch it?" I rather apprehensively leaned forwards and let this woman grab my nose, it was funny. Then she asked for a pamphlet because she saw our badges.

On Thursday I was feeling really sick, but we went to this one house and we were singing with one of the women there, and her voice was awful, but her singing, I don't know the spirit she brought made me feel so much better. It was my favorite part of the day. That night i gave away all my pins (dinosaurs and jungle animals) to kids in one of my favorite family's. They loved it.

Saturday was the baptism!! They were so cute, Ronnel and Jaylou. They are 9 and 11 and they gave such good testimonies I was so happy for them. One of them was late so we ran down to his house to get him, Mayann went with us, haha we were taking selfies outside of the house, and Kelcey was there, shes 5 i think and I took a picture of her too.

Another lizard moved in this week, although i haven't seen either of them in the past 2 days. I'm worried. By Landon and Dylan's request I am naming the new one Pascal, haha they just hang out.

We had District Meeting on Monday and I learned a lot. It was on the Art of preaching the holy ghost into the hearts of the people. and we discussed how it is an art form, and that true conversion comes through the power of the spirit. Also trying to understand what an investigator must feel.

Yesterday one of our investigators who was going to discontinue teaching told us about how on Monday she was praying really hard for an answer and then she decided to sit down and read her scriptures and while she was reading she looked up and saw the Elder's outside and she said "I knew that it was a sign that God loves me" and I was like "IT IS!! HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH!" It was amazing and spiritual, and she decided she'd try and stay in Toledo if she could find a job, and if she stays in Toledo then we can keep teaching her!! Amazing! We're praying so hard for her. We're praying hard for all of our investigators.

On Sunday night we were really tired and we went to our last appointment and we were punted, and we were like well what are we going to do, and there was this group of kids and Sister Conjelado started to talk to them and then she was like "Asa sa inyong balay?" and they were like "Didto" and pointed with there lips (because everyone does that here) and so we followed them back to their house, and now we have a whole entire family to teach! Nanay ug Tatay and kids its awesome! My kauban was so inspired.

Everyday we get around by trike and my favorite place to ride is on the back of the motorcycle its so much fun!! And its a much better form of transportation than anything we have in america. Just pay 8 pesos and you can ride anywhere in the area. So we ride to Dumlog a lot, kay we have a lot of investigators there and at sunset when we ride over the river its gorgeous. The sun just shines on the water, its all pink and there are palm trees everywhere. I love it up in Dumlog its so bukid and so its just jungle and there are cows and goats and rivers, and palm trees and its beautiful!

Anyways, love you all! Keep writing!!

-Sister Dunn

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

From Provo, to Portland, to Tokyo, to Manila, to Cebu, to Toledo. (jet-lag included)

Wow oh wow, good thing I have my journal with me or else I would not remember everything that happened since I wrote last... Almost 3 weeks ago. They kept having us travel on P-day so we were missing the chance to email. Hmm soo the last day I wrote was.. Friday the 13th, how apt. Haha anyways, I'll start there.

2/14 - Valentines Day, obviously! And So much fun. Thanks Debbie for the valentines, every one in my zone got a pin and they loved them! They wore them for days afterwards! And the branch presidency wife from the Thai zone gave Sister Soleta and I stress ball hearts that say Lock Your Heart on them. GENIUS! So whenever we feel ourselves unlocking our heart, we're supposed to squeeze them. Oh crazy story, I don't remember how it came up, I think we were asking about what Manila was like and Sister Soleta told us a story about how when she was a kid, a group of squatters took her dog and ate it. Insane, common i guess. There was another sister in the MTC who said that happened to her too.

2/15 - Sunday, we sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again in Sacrament meeting and everyone was crying. I have a really emotional zone, it was really tough. In Relief Society we heard a talk by a woman who's daughter has a rare blood clotting disorder and when they were all on family vacation, (her daughter was pregnant at the time) had to be rushed to the hospital, and while they were there they wanted to do random acts of service so they were taking flowers to everyone on the floor, and there was one woman in a dark room by herself, who was also pregnant that they tried to give flowers too and she wouldn't accept them because she didnt have anything to give in return and they just told her, its okay we're doing this because we love you, and so the woman picked up her violin from the corner and played my favorite hymn 'how great thou art' on it, and they showed a video of it, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I was so touched.

2/16 - Someone in the Tagalog branch had a birthday party so there were a ton of balloons. They gave me one and I drew a face on it, and I made the mistake of leaving it in the classroom when I went to the bathroom, and when I came back its balloon corpse was lying dead on the ground outside the classroom. Elder May popped it because he lost at what are the odds. I was so mad, I got another balloon and drew a face on it, and then they spent the rest of the night trying to pop it, but I ended up popping it, so they wouldn't. It was all very dramatic. Sister Allegretti informed me that my spirit animal is a koala bear. I agree. We had a family home evening as a zone, it was awesome, we all bore our testimonies and Elder Dapat was saying compliments to every one and he looked at me and said "Sister Dunn you're my disney princess!" I was so touched, best compliment EVER! They all know i love Disney here.

2/17 - I got the final package from Debbie! It took approximately 1 hour to finish off all the chocolate in the box. We got to sing Consider the Lilies for choir and it sounded gorgeous. I'd never heard that song before, but it is so pretty! We said our goodbyes to the branch presidency, I cried I'll admit it. It was really hard to say goodbye. They were like our MTC mothers.

2/18 - We got the new districts going to Cebu, and there is a Sister from Tahiti with the longest name. I love her, and it took a few minutes but I finally was able to say it. Sister Tatarata-Maheahea! She was sooo sweet and amazing! I had to send more stuff home when I was doing last minute packing. I sacrificed the peanut butter and left it behind, but i refused to sacrifice the nutella (don't worry it's safely in my fridge in the apartment). Last meal, there were mint brownies and milkshakes. Perfect! We said goodbye to our teachers, we love them so much. I cried again. And then following tradition the whole zone gathered in room 219 on the last night and we bore our testimonies, and sang Lay Down My Dear Brother, and God Be With You Till We Meet Again. And literally, everyone was crying. It was so touching, we really were like a family. When I said goodbye to Sister Henshaw it felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest, I love her so much. She was like my sister.

Back at the room we did last minute packing and we discussed candy and notes, I came up with some of the best ones. Fruit roll up - roll up your sleeves and get to work. Good & Plentys: Do good works and plenty of them. Twix- Betwixt with your eye single to the glory of God. I felt like a champ.

2/19 - We got up at 2 in the morning. We showered and lugged our suitcases to the travel office. We picked up our tickets and then got on a bus that drove us to the train station (Kaylyn we drove by your favorite temple - provo city center- it was gorgeous). There we caught a train that took us to Salt Lake, where we then took Trax to the airport. So It's not even 6 in the morning and we've already ridden a bus, and two trains. Kill me. My bags luckily weighed 49 and 50 pounds respectively. I rock. We discovered we had a layover in Portland, which was good. We needed the break. When we were going through security all the Elders had to get their hands checked for bomb residue, but none of the Sister's did and I said it was because sister's are more trustable and Elder Mapel just looked at me and said "You're wearing a pink owl pin on your shirt how dangerous can you be?" He had a point.

This is the point where I called you mom and tried not to cry. I'm sad I didn't get to talk to you longer. On the plane I was stuck between Elder Beretara and Elder Frost and they both slept and I was squooshed. And all the elders sleep with their mouths open it's hilarious. There was this adorable baby behind us named Ames, His mom let me take pictures of him. He was perfect and so adorable.

In Portland we ate at Burgerville (so good, first non MTC food and it was perfect). Then I tried to call Dad, but the calling card stopped working and I basically broke down almost in the middle of the airport. I managed somehow to hold it together. The Portland airport is so empty and sad, it reminded me of the Everett Mall.

On the flight to Japan Elder Beretara was so excited because they feed us on the flight. We were all kind of sitting near eachother except Elder Jennings, we couldn't figure out where he was. It was really slow the first half of the flight, but eventually everyone wanted my seat because I had a great view of the ocean, so they kicked me out of my spot and I moved to sit by Elder Jennings, we eventually found him. He had his own row and plenty of leg room so of course I moved up there. Oh and a flight attendant spilled red wine all over me, so i had to soak it in club soda and get to the Manila MTC smelling boozy. Luckily the stain came out.

2/20 - I'll start a new day because of times zones. When we touched down in Narita we were so excited! It was Sister Snyder's first time on a plane for these flights so she wasn't doing so hot. We had to re go through security in Japan, (which i didn't realize how necessary this was until I saw how lax the security was in Manila on the way to Cebu). We all bought Ramen, and laughed at the toilets there because some of them were in the floor. Just small box like things in the floor.

We explored the whole airport (and almost missed our flight because of it), and I bought two nindot kaayo keychains, so that I would have a japanese souveinier. I don't know how to spell that. They have the funniest ads there. And we went into this origami shop with the CRAZIEST ORIGAMI! They had dinosaurs and forests, and even the entire Cinderella scene. ballroom and all. There was this one store we went into where there was a giant samurai hanging from the ceiling, it was hilarious. I slept on the flight from japan to manila, but it was awful because the guy in the seat in front of me had his seat reclined the whole time and kept squirming around. they had carts for the luggage in Manila which helped a ton! We met a church representative who took our passports (we wont be seeing them till our missions are over) and then we exchanged our money and got into vans. This is where I experienced the craziest car ride of my life. There really aren't lanes... or traffic laws... or police officers (no seriously I've been in Cebu for a week now and I haven't seen a single police officer). It was so funn though. We drove close enough to other cars that I was able to fist bumb elder Grey out the car window. We got the Manila MTC and had a quick orientation where they informed us that we were allowed to sleep in a whole extra hour the next day. (i'm still exhausted and recovering) one hour is not enough. but its something. I'm grateful.

2/21 - Manila is gorgeous! Poverty stricken, but beautiful and warm. The MTC campus is so pretty. Palms, and huge flowers and vines. I cant describe it. It's like Eden. And we get to have class outside all the time! I quickly discovered that the rice at every meal is not a joke. We had rice for breakfast. Interesting to say the least. I felt nauseous the first few days i was there though. I'm still adjusting to the food.

An elder told me I looked like tinker bell, haha, i guess maybe. He was like "You look like that fairytale, the show my sister always watches, the fairy, tinkerbell".

We got to go proselyting in Manila (Quezon City technically) and people stared at me SO MUCH! They weren't even being discreet about it, just openly pointing at me. We got to ride 2 jeepneys, they were so much fun. And we visited the poorest house i have ever been in. I can't describe it. But they are so happy here. Everyone is so happy.

We saw a group of Bayut's playing volleyball in the street, it was funny. They are the nicest people.

When we were talking about proselyting later in the classroom, Elder Beretara was telling his experience. All the kids were pointing at him while he was walking about and yelling "MATABA!" which is Tagalog for fat, and while he was telling us about this his chair broke, we all died laughing it was so funny! The teacher says "The chair testifies!" Fat in Visayan is Tambok.

2/22 - We discovered there is a large number of people from Australia at this MTC with beautiful accents. :) We had an orientation about the Philippines and there was a sign from MCDonalds in the presentation that said "Number 1 in the world except for the Philippines where we can't beat that stupid fat happy bee" they were talking about Jollibee, which is the philippines major fast food place. They are EVERYWHERE!

We were allowed to do planning outside in the garden, and it was great until the mosquitoes came out. We ran inside but some of the Elders stayed and came in later talking about how toads showed up, so we ran back outside and there were tons of huge toads hopping around, Elder Mapel picked one up and started taking pictures with it. Also the bumble bees here are HUGE! They remind me of tracker jackers from hunger games, no lie they are the size of hamsters.

Ok I've got to hurry I'm almost out of time. So We did get to go to the Manila temple it was gorgeous, it felt like a house, the ceilings were low and it just had a nice family feeling to it (BTW I HAVE NOW BEEN TO BOTH TEMPLES IN THIS COUNTRY) awesome. We had to go to immigration and we sat there for 3 hours, no fun but we did get to go to the 7/11 and the have kinder eggs! I was so excited i bought one. On the drive through the city the elders had a competition on who could pass out the most pass along cards out the bus window. They passed out a lot.

The night before we left all the elders from Samoa and Tonga did the Haka and it was INSANE! IT WAS SO COOL! Very loud.

We had to get up early for our flight again, 3 am. The flight to Cebu was only an hour. and the security at the airport was a joke. not kidding, a joke. in Cebu we split up from the Cebu east people, it was sad because we love them so much. I didn't want to say goodbye to sister Mumu.

President McCurdy is the coolest. he has such a great sense of humor. We spent the day at the mission home and got to go to the cebu temple, prettiest temples ive ever been in. no lie. it was like beauty and the beasts castle, when it was pretty. not the scary one. We stayed in a hotel that night and met our trainers the next morning. Sister Conjelado, who is amazing is my trainer. We took a bus to Toledo, 2 hours by bus. These two people kept asking if i was married, and other weird questions. In toledo we ate at MAng inasal, delicious. and then we visited a lot of families. I love the Catubays, they are the cutest kids. I love them with my whole heart. We've seen them every day since I've been here. They cooked dinner for us last night. Ok I'm officially out of time. I'll give the rest of the details about Toldeo next week, oh and there is a lizard that lives in our apartment. I've named him Bong (legitimate name here) pronounced boe-ng and he hides behind the fridge/ and the dish cupboard. Last night though i came home and he was chilling in the bathroom. Also ive been eaten a live by mosq. I'm probably going to get Dengue. Anyways, love you all!