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, April 28, 2015

Hiking, Spaghetti, and the Stalking Truck

Hello, kamusta mo? This week was surprisingly short. Time is moving faster and faster. It's true when Missionaries say the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. 

On Thursday morning we went hiking! We went up to the grotto at 6:30 in the morning. It was already burning hot, and we talked to this man who used to live in america, who's a Catholic missionary. He was really nice, and wearing a rocking jogging suit. The only downside of the hike was that afterwards I felt really sick. Heat exhaustion i think. 

I made spaghetti this week. My companion was excited to try what she calls "american spaghetti" because the spaghetti here is sweet, and the kind i made... isn't. I made it the way I make it back home. 

And the explanation behind the stalking truck. There is this bakery truck that has a loud speaker on the top and when it makes deliveries it plays just the first 4 chords of Jason Mraz's 'I'm Yours' on repeat, very annoying. And we were walking down the street, and it kept making deliveries right by where we were walking so it felt like it was following us down the street, it was really funny. 

We discovered this hot chocolate machine right by Marlina's house and it only costs 5 pesos for a cup. It's beautiful. I love it. For our CSP this week we helped sew these little circular rugs that they use for cleaning. They aren't actually rugs, they are the size of an oven pad thing that you put hot foods on, i dont remember what those are called, but they are used for cleaning. All of the sewing machines here are the old singer ones, like the peddling ones, they are so cool. We had another CSP where we cleaned and painted at this old school and on the way there the members let the missionaries drive the sikad haha, Sister Poteki did it first and we were all in it and she crashed it into some bushes, so i took the wheel and got us there safely, although there is this ramp into the entrance of the school, and i was like "Wait, no i can't do this," but it was too late haha and we went rocketing down it. Very fun. The brooms we used to clean we spent like 15 minutes plus trying to get a picture of all of us jumping at the same time so that we would look like witches. We never got the picture haha, but sister poteki has got some mad hops. She can jump, high! 

The highlight of my week, the baptism. It was so lovely, an entire family was baptized gihapon, but the girl we taught, she bore the most beautiful testimony. I cried. It was so spiritual, i was so thankful for that. I needed it, especially because this week was pretty difficult. 

We found out one of the people we are teaching not only is a missionary for another church, but she CREATED the church. It just gets harder and harder haha, i love her to death though, she is so precious to me. 

I've started making brownies for everyone. They love them. It's a hit, well I make them for all the missionaries in our ward because there are 6 of us, as well as the sister's downstairs. 

We had exchanges yesterday and I had to lead the area, it was really hard, but i survived. I'm understanding more, but i still really struggle with the language. We are writing up a new study plan for me now.

I loved my study this morning. Alma 58. the verses 9-12 stood out to me, about how we need to take courage, and the lord gives us our trials because he knows what we can handle and that we need to keep growing, there was a line in jesus the Christ i really liked as well, that God knows what we need before we even ask, and i added in in my study journal, before we know what we need as well. I've changed so much since i left home I don't even recognize myself. but i think these changes are for the good. 

Well I'll keep it short, well shorter than usual haha. I love you all.

-Sister Dunn-

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No Bake Cookies & Faith Building Experiences

The title of the email, sums up my week pretty nice. I made no bake cookies this week, delicious. It was like a little taste of home. I shared them with the Sisters downstairs too. They loved them too. My companion wants me to teach her how to make them.

On Wednesday there was a family we've kind of had to stop teaching but when we walked by their house Tatay was outside and we talked to him for a few minutes and then said "oh well we'll share with you sa sunod" (means next time)
And he just replies "karon?" (now)
And we said "dili, sa sunod." thinking he just didn't hear us.
But he repeated "Karon." more sure so we said "sige, karon." and followed them inside and taught them. It was so good, they are much more prepared now than they were before. The next night when we walked by his tindahan we asked him if he read his book of mormon and he said "yes, it made me cry while i was reading" because he was so touched by the messages there.

On Thursday we were leaving Upper Drilling and there was a bunch of yelling and shouting from the forest area right by us and i said to my companion "I bet there's a cockfight going on right now" and so we asked some children who were watching the sikad's what was going on and they said "cockfight" I win. I don't know, it's totally legal here. It usually results in a lot of really drunk men.
Speaking of drunk people, we FTE'd this group of just absolutely hammered people, at like 2 in the afternoon it was the funniest thing ever. One of them was so bad he was just laughing to himself the whole time we were there.

One of our IBD's his mom doesn't want us coming by so often to teach him, and we went to go talk to her about it.. bad idea.. she murag... yelled at us and walked off. There was a lot of drama surrounding that.

We FTE'd an old tatay this week who kept insisting there is a 'Jesus Junior'. We were like "pagsure?" it was wala'y claro. Funny though.

When we were leaving the apartment on Saturday there was a joe (middle aged white man in the philippines who comes here looking for a wife) and he was getting out of a trike and he saw us and yelled "hey white chicks!" Sister B just says "Consider me woo'ed" when we were walking away.

I discovered a new song this week called "born in bethlehem" and I suggest everyone listen to it, its so funny. It's got like a country twang to it. It's like a country book of mormon version of 12 days of christmas and it's so funny.

Someone was watching Gnomeo and Juliet in the church when we went there for district meeting and I was like "no!! I love this movie" just turn away Sister Dunn, ignore it. Luckily it was in a different room.

So the miracle of the week. (Oh yea my companion and I also started to try and find a tender mercy in ever day). We had zone interviews yesterday, and so no time would be wasted we had to go on splits in our area, and I had to work in my area with a new companion, and i was so nervous like "I'm not going to understand the less active, he always talks so fast" and Sister Conjelado just says "you will understand today" so I'm like sure, whatever. So I'm walking with my new companion to the appointment, giving her the background of the family and what the lesson will be and she's like okay. So I'm stressing out, and we get to the house and we sit down and I'm just thinking, she said i'm going to understand so I will' I just said that to myself and... I understood. I was able to do the lesson. It was so good. I wasn't lost, or confused. Faith building experience. not a fear building experience. It's important that we all remember (believe I'm still trying) to make experiences, good or bad, faith building and not fear building.

I loved the interview with the President, and Sister McCurdy made really good cookies for us. I ate like 7 they were so good. We had a workshop in the morning too, I loved getting to hear these thoughtfully prepared messages. The AP's gave a workshop on the "culture of the gospel" and I was able to relate it to pure cultures in microbiology. It was cool, I could make an analogy with science!
Anyways, love you all! Stay safe palihog.

-Sister Dunn

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I took it for granted.

Hi all! How have your weeks been so far? Hopefully, fantastic. I pray for everyone back home, every day. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for your lives!

This week was good, the spirit was definitely with us as we tried to find more people to bring to the truth. I loved General Conference so much, it is truly revelation given through our prophet and apostles, specifically meant for us on the earth today. All the talks about marriage were scaring me though, haha... not yet. 

We FTE'd these three women last Wednesday and one of the little girls ran up to her mom and yelled "I know an american!" it was funny, and also very humbling, The people in the provinces are so nice.
We found a less active who is a seamstress and she is designing a dress for me, I'm so excited. I have to go find material today though. She's so nice, although the reason she is an LA is because she doesn't like all the gossip at church. We are trying to help her see she can be the example. Set the example of no gossip, or discouraging it where possible, but I don't know if it made a difference or not. 

We had dinner at a members house and she was asking about the wild animals back home and I was telling her about squirrels and raccoons and no one had any idea what I was talking about.. weird haha. 

One of our old investigators has been hiding from us this week, we finally surprised her on Sunday night and we sat down and were talking with her, and I almost cried I was testifying to her "yes there are a lot of trials in this world, but that is why we have the Savior there beside us at all times, to help us when we feel lost" it was just really sad. We don't want to give up on her. 

Thursday afternoon we left the apartment and were heading to our first apointment and we saw that someone had painted a basketball court in the middle of the street. haha like what? And since then, every night on our way home there is a basketball tournament, just in the middle of the street, and we have to bypass it. Luckily the Tarongoys are always selling green mangoes there so I always buy one on the way home. They are my favorite! 

General Conference was fabulous. I think my favorite talk was 'Waiting for the Prodigal' by Elder Brent H. Nielson. It was so powerful, and humbling to not only think of our loved ones, but about ourselves, we could be lost and not even know it."All of us need the Savior's Atonement to heal us. All of us are lost and need to be found." 

I also really loved the talk that said "the church is like a giant hospital, we all come here for healing" We need to be patient with those around us, and allow them space to grow and improve. Just as we need space to grow as well. 

All in all I loved general conference, I was so pumped the days leading up to it.
There is one family we teach in Lawis and they are so good. They pay such rapt attention when we teach, and ask a lot of really good questions. I'm excited to see what's in store for them. 

On Sunday in between sessions we had a picnic in one of the classrooms with a few of the members. We all just shared food and talked, it was so nice, how giving and kind everyone is. My companion made food to bring too, don't worry haha. We didn't just mooch off of everyone else. 

Now to explain the title of the email... We had two separate investigators this week, who are so desperately searching for the truth. I didn't realize this, till we were sitting with them in their houses, and they pulled out stacks of books from different religions. They had read them all, and were wondering, and searching so badly for the truth, not knowing where to find it. And it hit me. 

I have taken it for granted, having the truth at my fingertips my whole life. I never had to wonder if I was saved, or where the truth was, or where we were going after this life because I had always known. And here were two people, in the same day that we had the privilege to teach, who are looking for something I've just always known. It was extremely humbling, looking at them, holding those dusty stacks of books with a confused expression in their eyes. 

One of my favorite and least favorite moments during the teaching process, is when the investigator tells us they don't want to continue because they are "getting confused". I take this as a good sign. this is the time we fight for them, and fight hard, because we know how much the gospel can help their lives, and we know its confusing them because... they are getting a testimony of it. They know its true, but they are clinging so desperately to the knowledge of their old religion, the one they grew up in. 

Every day I learn more about how each one of these people we talk to, are so loved by Heavenly Father. I pray for the gift of charity, so I can see a glimpse of the love that Heavenly Father has for them. So that I can become the kind of missionary he wants me to be.
I love you all, have faith, watch, and wait.
love, sister dunn

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Holy Week

I won't go into detail on the things I witnessed this week. But I do want to impart a special message to everyone. PLEASE GO WATCH BECAUSE HE LIVES ON LDS.ORG! Keep the focus of this easter season on his resurrection, not on his death. Because he lives!
He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.Please remember that we are beloved children of our Heavenly Father and we all have the opportunity to become like him, to live with him! I'm am so happy for this opportunity to be in the Lord's service, and we can all be whether we are serving full time missions or not, embrace missionary life. Spread the gospel to your friends! And have charity for everyone you meet!

and a lot happened this week, but I'm out of time haha, so i'll keep this short.
I'm excited we get to go Casoy next week, its absolutely beautiful. We have a new investigator and our last lesson with her was probably the most spiritual lesson I have had since I came out to the field. I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store for her.
Love you all, stay safe! And remember the real reason for this easter season! (sorry this email was kind of char)

-Sister Dunn

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jelly Biscuits = Life

Sige, this week was... hard to explain. There were ups! There were downs... but at least last night we got hot cakes. Not banana this time, but still good. Nayt and Jaimie I'm almost halfway through the journal you bought me, it is so cute and handy I love it.

Last week after i emailed we went to the wall, it was awesome! Basically next to the river there is this giant cement wall, i think its a dam barrier, it wraps all the way around. To get to it you have to climb up to the overpass and climb over the barrier. We see people out there all the time and we wanted to try it so away we went! It wasn't too exciting, but it was nice up there. Lots of air. At gaisano i found the best stickers, they are glow in the dark cats, and i had to have them, only 15 pesos, totally worth it. They are wearing neckerchiefs.

On thursday we were looking for a referral and we found her neighbor sitting outside so we sat down and taught her and while i was testifying about returning to live with langitnong amahan she just says "dili" it caught me off guard, i didn't know how to continue. Apparently she does not want to go to heaven. Sige... that's fine. I guess.

There was this old homeless tatay walking down the road later that day, by the boardwalk and he was kind of mumbling to himself so we stopped and Sister Conjelado gave him some biscuits and to say thank you he sang us this song in visaya, it was definitely interesting. It was about a couple who took a picture together and then died. Umbot, hard to follow.

Mom, I got to shred fresh coconut this week at a members house and it made me think of that time that you wanted fresh coconut for a recipe so you bought a whole coconut from the store and spent hours trying to get it out of the shell, haha, let me tell you, there is an easier way to do it. you straddle this plank of wood and there is this spike attached to the end of it, and you just place a bowl underneath and scrape a coconut half over the spike. It takes like 10 minutes or less for one coconut. And the fresh coconut tastes SOO GOOD!

There is this really good soup we buy here, we get it all the time cause its only 25 pesos which is like 50 cents, and we take it home and eat it, best eating out investment ever. We had exchanges this week and Sister Lamoglia promised to make me brownies i just had to bring eggs, so i swaddled a bunch of eggs in a plastic bag and was holding them protectively against my body until we got to their apartment. The brownies, also very good. In the morning there were ants crawling all over them, but we just scared them away and ate the brownies anyway. I'm learning to get over things that would have previously bugged me. there are some interesting developments in my life.

It was pouring down rain, and my feet were so muddy, but we just rinsed off, i love rubber shoes best things ever.

When we were walking around a woman spotted us and literally sprinted inside her house to get away from us. We were waiting for a trike on the side of the road, and she came around the corner because she thought we were gone, and when she saw us again she jumped back. But she must have really needed something from that tindahan because she ran past us and kept worriedly looking over her shoulder. I just laughed, some people love us and... some people are terrified.

We went out to the bukid and there was this litter of puppies running around I had to pet them, and then I had to alcohol my hands because they are diseased.

We tried taho this week, its tofu in this sweet juice, very interesting. Its a hot lumpy drink... I have mixed feelings about it.

We had a missionary workshop for the members on Sunday, and church was 5 hours long because of it. I'm amazed all the members stayed. It was a huge missionary member fireside to encourage them to invite their friends to learn about the church. We sang "Where love is" for the members, we had to do it acapella but it went really wall. Such a pretty song.

I tried Halohalo for the first time on Monday, Its like purple ice cream, ube, beans, rice, wafer stick, jellies, and other stuff and you just mix it all together. I didnt think i would like it, but it was weirdly delicious. Look up a picture of it.

Bah I got hit by a trike this week, the motorcycle slammed into my back. The cab hit Sister Conjelado in the shoulder, it was pretty exciting. No battle scars though, haha.

We were walking in upper drilling to teach an investigator and we passed this group of kids and one of the girls called out to me "I want to friend you" everyone here says "Hello my friend" to me, i think its just their limited english, it always makes me smile. Well we got talking to them, and then this other group of kids showed up and the younger kids started teasing one of the boys, saying he was in love with me, it was pretty funny, so i introduced myself to him. He's 12, really shy. I always have weird experiences here.

Oh Kaylyn! There is this less active we are teaching who looks EXACTLY like Zayn from one direction, its the darndest thing!

Yesterday when we were leaving Dumlog I saw this girl sitting on her bike singing breakaway by kelly clarkson and i just thought "I need to talk to this girl" so I tapped her on the shoulder and started talking to her. I told her we were missionaries and a little bit about her message and then she said "Naa'y pangutana sister" so i said "sige," and she told us how she's valedictorian at her school and asked why her friends said she didn't deserve to be valedictorian, why they told her she's just a second choice all the time, she was really upset about it, so we talked with her about Christ and trials. I know God puts these people in our path who need comfort, it was so good. I'm glad I stopped to talk to her. It's always when we are most tired, most upset and humbled, we had so many trials yesterday and that was just such a good moment.

Anyways love you all, watch because he lives on, its delightful!

love, sister dunn