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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cebu Mission Tour

Wow. That was a lot of wonderful emails I just feasted on. Whenever there is a shake up in the p-day schedule I always get the best emails the following week! Okay, let's try to figure this out. Long long, busy week. I'm sorry, it will be two weeks with no pictures. Last week I forgot my camera and this week the internethan is looking pretty shady. I don't want to lose any photos. I did manage to glean one photo of my batch reunited again. We started together, we'll end it together. 

Tuesday: We shopped at SUPER LEE PLAZA! It's a giant shopping center that has everything a little american in the Philippines could want. Oh wait.. I'm not considered little here. Although being fat is admired here. Love it! 

I saw my last companion Sister K at McDo's with her anak (she's training right now). She's seems really happy. She caught me up with what had been happening in Bacong the week I'd been gone. A lot has happened apparently. 

That evening we bought pizza from a German man, it was delicious. We got it because Sister Soleta (MY MTC COMP) and her comp Sister Primero (SISTER ATIENZA's TRAINER) stayed the night with us, it was fabulous. Sister Soleta and I just chica'ed and laughed about the MTC. I love catching up with that girl. 

Wednesday: We got up early and caught a jeepney to Dumaguete! The ceres bus we took was basically entirely missionaries so it felt like a missionary bus haha, it was a lot of fun. I sat next to Sister Soleta so that Sister Atienza could sit with Sister Primero in the row in front of us. We tried to sleep most of the ride, we both got car sick. 

I ran around temple grounds all afternoon looking for Sister Conjelado. I knew she was there. I quickly found every other companionship but hers! Finally when I was in distribution I looked out the door and I saw her and I sprinted out of the building and she saw me and pointed at me smiling. I was crying before I even reached her and I just tackled her in a hug. It's the first time I'd seen her since training. She asked me "why are you crying?" and I just pathetically answered "I miss you!" I caught up with her for a minute, it was really nice. 

We did a temple session that night and it was so nice. I sat in the celestial room with my mtc companion and we just held each other's hands and prayed. It was so beautiful. I love the temple.
Sister Conjelado showed us the way to the apartment we were staying at because she's staying there too. It was amazing, walking down the busy streets of cebu city at 9 o clock at night with my trainer. She was just giving me advice. I'll always remember it. 

Sister K was staying at the apartment too. I felt like i was getting ready for bed with all of my comps. It was interesting. 

Thursday: Elder Haynie spoke to us. It was great. We were allowed to ask him questions so I took the opportunity to ask one. Hearing from General Authorities is such a wonderful chance!
I caught up with Sister Quinney too, another person I love. And Sister Abenoja came out of a bathroom stall when I walked in and we just screamed and hugged each other when we saw each other. 

There was a mission wide picture. I saw my whole batch. All 8 of us together again. When everyone was catching up with each other I just stood with Sister Conjelado and tried not to cry because we both knew it was the last time we would see each other. 

The zone leaders gave 10 of us sister's a ride home, back to Dumaguete that night and we just laughed and played car games and told funny mission stories because we can't listen to music. It was a great experience gihapon. 

Friday: I was absolutely exhausted. I started a new journal. My 4th journal of the mission. Look out world. 

Saturday: Still tired. I made a list of english/visaya translations for a investigator who wants to learn english. 

Sunday: Primary program in Sacrament. It was beautiful. All of the kids sang beautifully, no one was distracting to the audience. It was perfect. There was an illongo woman in gospel principles class so they taught in tagalog. I felt like a new missionary again. 

I went on split with two ward missionaries. One of them is preparing for a mission. I asked her at the end how she felt about missionary work and she said she was nervous, i told her "I won't lie to you, it's not easy. But it's worth it." 

Monday: we had a CSP in dumaguete. I talked with Sister Hartog the whole time. She is so funny. 

Tuesday: we just worked hard. We went to a member's house for dinner, they bought chooks to go, it was amazing. 

Well I'm out of time, I love you all! Make good choices, and I'll try to have more time next week :D
-Sister Katrina Dunn

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Sibulan Shakedown

Well I have a beautiful, long amount of time to write to you all!! Mission tour is this week so they moved our P-day to Tuesday because we are all riding up to Cebu tomorrow. There's One Direction playing in this internethan, I'm wearing my back up outfit, let's do this! 

Wednesday: Sister Curameng and I forego'ed the shopping because I needed to pack and she has a tiny store in Siaton called 'Migs' that she can go to with her new companion on Thursday. I couldn't do laba because it didn't have time to dry, so I had to take like a weeks worth of dirty laundry to my new area. I got smart with packing, I moved my luggage downstairs before beginning the packing experience because I knew there was absolutely no way I was going to get that full suitcase down the stairs if it was full. I would perish. That night when we went out to work I didn't tell anyone I was transferring. I know, I'm rude. More like a 'SURPRISE! SHE'S GONE!' for my companion. That night when we got home we just talked it out, our fears and expectations for the upcoming transfer. 

Thursday: I got up at the crack of dawn, packed up my last minute things, and we got my luggage down to the chungie and onto a jeepney. It decided at that exact moment when we left the apartment that it was going to pour down rain. LYFE. Shortest transfer of my life. We got to the Ceres station, I waited there for my new companion to arrive, I loved her as soon as I saw her. 
SISTER ATIENZA! She's 4'7", weighs like 5 pounds, has long black hair. She's adorable, and so sweet. We speak in Visaya, so that I can improve. She's teaching me a little bit of Tagalog too, so I can become doubly bistak, but just a few words. I'm focusing on Visaya jud. She's from Batangas which is pure Tagalog, but one night when we were FTE'ing we encountered a group of men who speak Tagalog and she discovered that after 3 months of Visaya she can't speak Tagalog anymore. It was pretty funny. I admire her for enduring the FTE. 

The Zone Leaders drove us to the apartment, I love it, it's small, I have my own bathroom with a flushing toilet and everything! My first flushing toilet since I got here. We jumped into studies because it was still early, and during lunch she asked me "Are we going out at noon?" and I just looked at her confused and was like "yes..." it wasn't until later that day that I realized, it was her first day out of training which means that she leaves at noon now. During training you leave the house at 1:00, for extra training stuff, but now noon. I felt bad, I didn't even realize. I was ready to just get to work, but she killed it nonetheless, she is a powerhouse teacher and FTE'er. She was trained well.
Sibulan is a beautiful area! We tracted on the beach my first few nights. As in, wonderful view of Cebu island! It's so fun. There was a giant group of people trying to get a boat into the water by rolling it down the beach on bamboo logs, there were children knee deep in the water looking for salowocki (sea urchin) for dinner. It was just picturesque. 

Our last appointment of the night was these three girls named Miller, Trixie, and Carla. During the lesson i killed a mosquito that was sucking on my leg and Miller says "thou shalt not kill" I was stunned beyond all belief. Then she, and I kid you not, grabbed a fan and said "So you don't kill anymore mosquitoes". She's so funny, she likes to give me a hard time. I sang "where love is" from the children's song book because they like my American slang (accent) when singing. 

Friday: the senior couple worked with us for the last time before they go back home to Oregon. It was my first time translating a lesson. I was translating for them everything my companion and the investigator were saying into English, and then had to turn around and translate everything they said from English to Visaya. I think I'm a seasoned missionary now. It is not an easy task, but it was a lot of fun.
Miller informed me I have bad Visaya. I'm telling you, she makes fun of me. I just laughed it off though, I love her. 

Saturday: Vanessa (the investigator I translated for) has a son, his nickname is Dodong. He usually is terrified of white people. In two days flat he has become my best friend. We play hide and seek, we're tight. 

We had a baptism! A really sweet couple, it was really nice. It was Sister Atienza's first baptism she was so excited! While we were there a boy from Germany shows up (he's on vacation here with his family) he was with two girls that live by the house he's staying at. I quickly discovered that all the German I learned in high school has been replaced by Visaya and I know zero German. I was talking in Visaya to the girls he was with and one of them turns to him and says "You should be like her, she speaks our language." I felt bad, because he's only here for a few weeks, and I've been here for 6 months. Anyways, he was really nice.
I found a really delicious halohalo place on the beach that uses all fresh fruit. We're going there again today, it is fabulous. 

Sunday: We are officially out of food. and out of rice. We have reached crisis mode. We were supposed to shop of transfer day but we didn't have money. We are currently surviving off of biscuits. New missionaries bear their testimony in sacrament meeting on their first sunday in an area, that should be tradition in America too I think. It's a lot of fun. I just stared at my comp to get through it, my visaya was okay though. I had no idea what I was going to bear it on, and then I got up there and just started talking about the family. Umbot. 

After church we went to Dumaguete because Sister Atienza was getting her patriarchal blessing! While I was waiting outside Sister Hartog showed up (WE'RE CO ZONE AGAIN) and I just ran at her saying "SAY IT AIN'T SO!" and we tackled each other in a hug. I missed her dearly. We're staying in the same apartment in Cebu so it's going to be a blast. 

Then a family of people I ADORE from Bacong showed up! I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to them, so that was a real tender mercy.
We went to a bukid part of our area that afternoon. My comp said we would be hiking, I was like "haha yea whatever, i hike all the time. my whole mission has been bukid". No. I was not prepared for what she meant. It was like legit hiking up a mountain, grabbing on to rocks, and everything IN A SKIRT! It wasn't bukid. It was super bukid!

We extended a baptismal date for the people who live up there so we have two new IBD's! On the way back down the dangerous mountain side, Sister Atienza slipped and fell and now has a massive bruise on her leg. poor thing. 

Monday: Right when we woke up there was a brown out. Curses! Luckily I had water in my bucket so I was able to shower. Then right before studies the water came on again. tsk tsk tsk. Life is never dull. We went to Dumaguete again for District meeting, lingaw kaayo. Sister Hartog was there. We were able to be companions for practice teaching, that was a lot of fun. We had KFC for lunch, I ate something called a zinger, I think everyone should try it. 

One of our investigators that night requested a priesthood blessing because they had fevers and so we called the Elders, they didn't have oil with them, so they borrowed it from a member. The bottle was from 1988. As in, the bottle of oil is older than I am. It was really interesting.
Wednesday: We're back again. Well the personal study I want to share with you is two weeks in the making. 

It's the story from the New Testament after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ where he meets his disciples on the shore and they rejoice together. And then Jesus asks Peter three times "Do you love me?" I was studying Jeffrey R Holland's talk from October 2012, it's a beautiful talk. His reply that he creates for the Savior is absolutely heart wrenching, and has really put my mission in a new perspective. He said: "Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me."

I've been trying the past two weeks to, every time that I get tired, or even a little bit lazy, remember the words here. Sister Curameng said it best in zone training meeting "It isn't supposed to be easy. We are supposed to work hard." I wish I had my journal with me, I have her exact quote there.
The point is though, that we need to remember our job here. Exactly the reason we are here. I reread my call this morning, it talked about how we are expected the live the highest standards of conduct that are expected of a servant of the Lord, and if we do, then we will be endowed with power. Alma and Amulek were given power of the Lord, and only then were they able to work the miracles.

I love Sibulan. I love being a missionary.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Siaton to Bacong (and back again)

So this week was a week of changes, gyud! AS IN, I am startled by everything I experienced this week, but alas, life goes on. So here. we. go.

Wednesday: Sister K's birthday siempre! The cake was delicious in case you were wondering. That night at our Recent convert's house they had bought her a cake from Sans Rival, so duha ka cakes. Lami! And one of the people there was giving us dating advice for when we go home "you have to flirt a little!" okay, well thank you. 

Thursday: Zone Training Meeting in Siaton. The workshops were really good, gave me a lot to think about. President's was on having our own Sacred Grove. The AP's was on Character of Christ. The STL's presented it really powerfully. 

Sadly, it was the last day I would see Sister Beyer in the mission because she goes home this week. I cried and asked her for her last minute advice, it was really powerful but I won't share it :) We took some selfies (of course we had to take model selfies, that's our thing!). 

On the bus ride home I talked to this really nice girl. She was 16, on her way to Dumaguete for a pageant. Before I started talking to her I was feeling really nauseous and so I said a prayer for strength and then I thought "well fulfill your purpose" so I looked up, the woman on my right side was sleeping so I talked to the girl on the other side. I don't know what will happen, I won't ever see her again, but maybe I planted a seed, I don't know. I didn't feel sick when I spoke with her either, my car sickness, vanished. 

We recontacted Felix, the man that said we could come teach him and it turns out HIS WIFE was a woman sister K had met on exchanges with Sister Curameng. the woman had complained that missionaries never come visit her but she got off the jeepney before they could get her name, so when we went back to find her it was near impossible. THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS, everything happens for a reason. 

That night was hard, we were wandering around in the rain, so we contacted an old contact that had been taught by the Sister's a year before. She's really nice, it was a good visit. 

Friday: a quiet day. when tracting we met a woman who declared "I was born in this religion and I will die in this religion. I am not interested in what you have to say." We were just trying to ask her where her neighbor was... then she said "I am 82 years old. Perhaps my departure time is coming. My airplane is coming soon and I will fly, fly to another world". Her name was Petra Beducan. It was really funny. 

We visited this woman named Esther who is really awesome. We found her while tracting last week, she's really receptive. I have high hopes for her. 

Saturday: We visited a less active who all of her kids wanted to take turns reading the book of mormon out loud. We went to the branch presidents and their neighbor got us coconuts out of the tree to drink and eat. Lami kaayo as per usual. 

Sunday: I woke up with a fever and I was really sick so we stayed home :( We went out that afternoon though and managed to teach a woman that has punted us for the last month. She's doing okay. We walked by this group of boys who every time we pass them they call me Janet. I don't know why. 

Monday: District meeting in Siaton. We worked there with Sister Curameng because Sister Beyer already went to Cebu to go home. It was fun, I love Siaton. We taught probably the most shy teenage boy I've ever met in my life. He hid his face behind his book of Mormon. Kono he's usually like that.
Tuesday: A good hard day of work in Bacong. We were able to visit Felix's wife again, unfortunately he was at work. She has a lot of good questions. And we went back to the other woman from early that week, and her husband was really thinking about what we were saying. It was awesome! He gave the prayer too. 

TRANSFER CALLS! They moved it to Tuesday night, right before P-DAY. I'M TRANSFERRING!!! To Sibulan it's like 30 minutes away haha. I'm follow up training, I don't know much about her yet, I've only met her once at a zone conference. She's tiny, I know that. Cute little thing. 

I'm going to miss Sister K, she changed my mission, she is so kind and loving. I hope that all of you get a chance to meet her some day. But she's going to be training a new missionary now, so I am so excited for her. 

Okay I lied, I know I promised a good study and I have one I want to share but I'm out of time again! Just know I love you, and I'm sure next week will be equally exciting!
-Sister Katrina Dunn

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Manghula & Belgium Chocolate

I never know how to start these emails, it's always so awkward so I apologize. So like... hey, how was your week? I guess I'll tell you about mine... 

Wednesday: The crazy man that followed us on Tuesday.. you would not believe it but when we got on a jeepney after shopping he showed up again!! He came out of nowhere, it was terrifying. I was gripping my groceries like there was no tomorrow.
The lightning was crazy that night, it was pretty cool.
Also I forgot to mention last week but I was able to see my MTC comp at zone interviews, it was so cool to catch up with her. I missed her a lot! 

Thursday: Least painful Thursday I have experienced. Usually they are long and tiring, but this one went by fast. I exercised, did a bunch of squats, and then was super sore for the next three days, but I learned the visaya word for sore. In a statement it would be like this: gipamaulan ko (i'm sore) Well technically I learned the word on Saturday, but the word applied to Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

We discovered a LA family that lives ACROSS THE STREET FROM US! They've been hiding. We've been here almost three months and we finally met them. A woman we had met a few days before, we went back to see her, she had read the pamphlet we gave her, and was really receptive. I hope it goes well. 

We found another woman I decided to FTE and she said "oh yea missionaries visited me 7 years ago and then never came back!" she was really cool, she let us teach her, we tried to go back yesterday but we were a few hours late. But when we tried to find her again, we found another potential investigator who had been taught by missionaries before too, and had even visited the church!
Also the word hiccup in Visaya is sid-ok, which is funny because "hiccup" is also a word in visaya and means touch, like to touch something. Very confusing. 

Friday: HARRY POTTER'S BIRTHDAY! I'm still classy as ever and have my priorities straight on the mission. I hope you all celebrated with butterbeer, bertie bott's every flavored beans, and that you waved some wands and traveled through time. If not, disappointed.
We visited one of our OST's from before, she was acting kind of whatever about the lesson, so I looked her straight in the eye and bore my testimony and she got quiet. I think it worked haha, God gives us power when we need it. 

We tracted an area and found this woman shucking napier (it's like sugar cane) for her cows, so we helped her do that. It was really fun surprisingly. We took pictures in the corn fields there. The air was so heavy, we were sweating buckets. I took a video of us walking, and you can see the sweat (singot in visaya) dripping off of us. I'll show you all when I come home, just how hot it is here. 

Saturday: The first day of August. I think I might puke. I realized this week that I hit halfway in the mission a week after my 20th birthday. No no no no NOOO. Anyways, about this day... We fasted, which became especially difficult when one of the members offered us fresh pineapple... man.. I did not like pineapple at all growing up. I love it here. That should tell you all back home that actually LIKE pineapple exactly what you are missing out on here.

An LA's chihuahua had puppies. She looks exactly like Ginger, with the personality to match... BANTAY! 

We went to another members house and I sat in their hammock. Most people here just use fisher's net for hammocks, and I asked where I could buy some and the woman told me "from the fisherman obviously!" that doesn't help me.. hahha. 

A met a man from another country (i won't say where) who said some incredibly offensive things about the people here. I had to grit my teeth to get through the conversation with him. Sometimes I wish that I did not have to deal with people like that, I figure it makes me stronger. 

We went to an LA's house and her friend was there too. She's a manghula. That's a fortune teller. It was a very very interesting conversation that followed. She was very nice. She knew that we didn't participate in those kind of things, she was nice about it. She told me she had to burn her tarot cards because they were bad.. 

Sunday: A family from Utah visited church. The son had served here in Bacong like 17 years ago, his visaya was almost perfect still. Gift of tongues is REAL! We got punted all day.

Monday: District Meeting in Siaton. In the ceres terminal bake shop they have this hot dog rolls for only 18 pesos. They were fabulous! 

We tracted in Lutao and met a man, that I will always remember. He's never visited the church, but he remembers when he was 14 years old, back in the 1960's when he met mormon missionaries for the first time (that's when the church first came to the country!), and how he had some discussions with the Elders. We taught him, it was a very interesting discussion. I was really impressed by the spirit the whole time we were teaching him. I want to go back and teach him again. 

A member just got back from living in Belgium for the last 4 years, she was so funny. We went and shared with her, and then she gave us chocolate. From Belgium. I don't think you understand the import of this. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Some of the best chocolate I have ever had in my life. 

Tuesday: I saw my first horse in the Philippines. Well technically it was a Shetland pony but it was of the Equus family so that's what I think is the most important. One of the LA's is watching her Sister in law's baby and I asked her how long she would be watching him for and she said "oh 5 years." the mother is moving to South Korea for work. It is an interesting dynamic, but you've got to do what you've got to do.. 

Our IBD informed us she is moving to Bindoy, so now we don't have an IBD anymore. But I'm hoping that several of the new people we found this week will progress towards baptism quickly. I'm trying to stay positive. 

I cooked tuna afritada for dinner, and Sister K bought bananas and boiled them. She said "a little piece of Fiji here in the Philippines" lagi.

Wednesday: Well, it's Sister K's 21st birthday, which is the biggest most important birthday for Fijians so we are trying to celebrate right! We splurged and bought a cake from Red Ribbon. I am so excited for the rest of this day. 

Well I love you all, I'll try to have a good study for you next week, I'm almost out of time.
-Sister Katrina Dunn