Monday, December 26, 2016

White Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! This week was really good, a little crazy at
times but good. It started off with a temple trip to Payson on Tuesday
which was awesome and then we had a mission Christmas party Wednesday
which was super fun even if we did get lost on the way up haha. The
highlight of that was when one of the AP's did a monkey impression in
the talent show I'll attach the video cause it's hilarious. Christmas
Eve was nice we didn't really know what to do because we only had one
appointment before we were done proselyting for the day so we ended up
playing Christmas songs at a nursing home in town and it was really
nice they seemed to like it a lot. That night we went to one of our
ward mission leaders homes and spent Christmas Eve with them it was so
fun they are awesome. Christmas was awesome!!! An investigator that's
been taught for 4 months now finally made it to church for the first
time yesterday it was the best!! Then a family made us this huge
breakfast before we skyped our families it was so good and it was way
awesome to see my family. Not gunna lie I was most excited to see Beau
but that's just because he's adorable haha. I am so grateful for the
opportunity I've had this month to be a missionary as we celebrate the
birth of our savior and turn our focus to Him. I absolutely love being
a missionary and I'm so glad I have a whole year to continue to do the
Lords work here in Utah :)

Love from Nephi,
Sister Dunkley

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nephi: Gods Country

Hi everyone! 

This week has been crazy but so good! I LOVE my new area and companion we have been having a blast these last couple days I just know this transfer will be great! She has been in this area as long as I've been on my mission so she knows it pretty well which is nice! She has trained and been a sister training leader for a while so I'm excited to learn from her and have a good time. Her name is sister Reynolds from Salem Virginia and she's awesome. Nephi is pretty small but Vernal got me used to small places so I'm really comfortable here. I like being out on the Wasatch Front because it's beautiful and I'm so close to the mission home compared to before it's a blessing for sure! I've already had my first encounter with the black ice here and needless to say I lost the fight. Thank goodness we have a car and I don't have to walk a whole lot but I'm going to be more careful because my back can't take another bad fall like that... it's a good thing I'm closer to the ground than most people at least that's what my companion says haha. The people I've met here are awesome and our little apartment is adorable we love it here. It's tiny but it's home I like it. Here in Nephi we cover 2 stakes all the way from Levan up to Rocky Ridge a polygamist community and yes we have an investigator there.. we can't proselyte there so we meet at the closest church building. His family is the TV show "My 5 wives" if anyone's seen it so no big deal I'm just teaching a tv star haha jk. We are teaching one of the 18 year old kids in the family who is moving out and wants to join the church he's really awesome! Lots of questions but he's really great. It's cool having a bigger area and a lot more wards to cover because you meet tons of people and they are all so nice it's great! It has its challenges but I feel really blessed to be serving here. The Lord has wonderful things in store for me and my companion in the next couple weeks I just know it. I hope every one has a merry Christmas and keep Christ at the center of your celebrations! He is what brings us true and lasting joy :)  "The peace of Christmas is “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” It is the peace that the Apostle Paul promised would “keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” And Paul was right. That peace we seek is only through and because of Jesus Christ." President Eyring 2016 Christmas Devotional. 

Love from Nephi
Sister Dunkley 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Baptism number 6!!

Well first things first we heard about transfers this morning! I am leaving and going to Nephi to be companions with sister Reynolds so that should be cool! I've never been there before but I'm hoping it's warmer than Vernal haha. Holy cow I can't believe this stake has had 6 baptisms in the last 4 months that I've been here it's amazing! There are so many prepared people here for us to teach and meet it is such a blessing. We have been really tried hard to find new investigators recently which has been hard but we will keep trying and see what happens! This past week flew by like crazy because of all the things we were busy doing. At Kathys interview we played a prank on the elders because they were 30 minutes late and she told the elder interviewing her that she no longer wanted to be baptized because he was so late but couldn't keep up the joke too long because I blew it by not controlling my laughing haha. At her baptism she apologized for the prank and he looked at her and said "well, don't worry about it it's washed away in your baptism!" And we all laughed it was pretty funny she thought it was hilarious. We attended Christmas parties this week and it was so fun my companion got to meet Santa Clause for the first time and she thought it was the coolest thing ever it was great. More about Kathys baptism though because it was so special! In the font right after she was baptized she had the biggest smile and was just filled with joy it was so cool to see. A lot of people there were teary eyed and the spirit was so strong I will never forget that experience. I am so grateful to be serving here in this mission and I'm Vernal it is such a blessing and I am having so many experiences that will bless my life forever. I will probably always have to deal with people commenting on my height multiple times a day but you know it's the life of a midget missionary. Maybe that'll be my trademark, sister Dunkley the midget missionary lol. Anyways spiritual thought for the week comes from the Sunday school class we went to today with an investigator. It was on real intent, faith and hope. I liked how the teacher talked about our motives or desires why we really do things. We are good people doing good things but we can be even better when we evaluate our intentions and if what we are doing brings us closer to Christ. I really appreciated that and it was perfect for our investigator that went I hope she got something out of it cause me and my companion knew it was what she needed to hear as she prepared for her baptism next month. I hope you all have a great week! Kaya Anuma! Si se puede! Love from Vernal, (for the last time)  
Sister Dunkley 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Baptism 4 and 5!

This week has been the fastest week of my mission holy cow! It went by crazy fast and it was full of miracles and fun times. Taylor and Deagan were baptized Friday night and it was so good! A ton of family and friends came it was great! We all felt the spirit so strong and the boys were beaming it was awesome. Saturday we got to go to Payson and listen to Elder Cook it was awesome and I was so happy to be there! We all rode in the van on the way down it was fun we all had a good time talking and getting to know each other better. It was a looooong drive but so worth it. Elder Bjorling was driving which was interesting because he's from New York... I don't think I need to say anything else. If anyone knows Brother Cicon just think of him driving hahaha. We will have another baptism this weekend right before transfers which will be really good I'm so excited for her! Cathy is the best she's so humble and has the strongest testimony of Christ and the Book of Mormon it's amazing to see and to be able to have taught her. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be serving here and to see so many blessings it's amazing! 

This week I wanted to share something from a conference talk by elder Holland 
"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines. I testify of the renewing power of God’s love and the miracle of His grace. His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there."
Elder Holland 'The Laborers in the Vineyard' April 2012 General Conference 

I hope you all have a great week and serve someone! 

Love From Vernal, 
Sister Dunkley 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Baptism number 3!

Hi everyone! This week was really good! We had some good lessons and
Sydnie got baptized!! Super happy for her. It was such a nice
baptismal service as well because the spirit was so strong and the
speakers were really good. Everything went smooth as planned and it
felt so good! We have 3'brothers getting baptized this friday night
and I'm SO excited for them as well! We met them my second week in the
field and because of complications with family we had to wait a while
but now they are getting baptized and it will be so good!! They are
super excited and I just know it will be such a special night. We also
get to go to Payson for a mission wide meeting on Saturday with Elder
Cook which will be crazy with so many missionaries but super cool I'm
sure! I'm really excited for it. I'm grateful to be serving in vernal
another week despite how freaking cold it is haha. I love being a
missionary it is so fulfilling and there are so many blessings I get
to witness being here! It's interesting talking to return missionaries
because you can tell how much they want to put their name tag back on
and get back to work while missionaries sometimes get so trunky and
wish they could go home. It helps me have a greater desire to work
hard and enjoy being a missionary while I can. I love the work and all
I get to experience here! Check out and watch the new
Christmas video when you get a chance it's awesome! #lighttheworld
have a great week I love you all!

Love from Vernal,
Sister Dunkley

Monday, November 21, 2016

Winter for a day❄️

This week was so good! Best two things that happened were

1. Wednesday the 16th we got to go to Heber City for a meeting with
half the mission and Elder Legrand R Curtis Jr. of the 70 and it was
SO GOOD! Just the best. We learned more about the #lighttheworld
initiative that the church is coming out with on Friday and it's going
to be way cool I'm excited for it! I got to see some friends at the
meeting and had some fun times with my district in the mom van it was
fun haha. It was a 2 and half hour drive one way because of some
traffic and TIWI so we had a lot of bonding time which my companion
mostly slept through (she doesn't do well in long drives) overall
super good day.
2. IT SNOWED! Thursday was the first snow day of the season!! Super
fun. It was soooo cold but me and my companion loved it especially
cause it didn't stick and it's been warm ever since haha.

Other than that just a lot of missionary work! A miracle from this
week would be with Savannah a new investigator who was referred to us
by a family in one of our wards who brings her to church and finally
was able to find a time to have her over for a lesson and it went so
well! She is so prepared and ready for baptism and hopefully after
this week we will have permission from her mother to be baptized 😊
her father and step mother are 100% supportive but the biological mom
isn't quite there yet but isn't against it so we should be able to
have her baptized next month because she said she wants to be baptized
before transfers in case I leave it was so sweet! We told her we'd
make it happen for sure! That brings us to 4 people being baptized
next month and it's crazy overwhelming but I know that the Lord is on
our side and will help us make this all possible!

My favorite thing I learned from our meeting on Wednesday was that if
we read the Book of Mormon and pause every so often to ask if this is
the work of god of the work of man we will be able to gain a stronger
testimony that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God and there
is no way any man could just up and write it on his own. It's just not
possible. I love the Book of Mormon and all it teaches me and the
comfort it brings. I know that it truly is the keystone of our
religion and can bring us so much peace in this life.

I love you all! Have a great week and stay warm if you are anywhere
near me in Utah haha

Love From Vernal,
Sister Dunkley

Monday, November 14, 2016

Baptism number 2!

So many exciting things to tell this week!!

First, Cayden got baptized! This kids the best and I love him. In
every lesson he always tried to turn it into a learning moment for us
and tried to teach us stuff and it was hilarious so at the baptism
during the primary presidents talk she says " you're so smart you
should be up here teaching me" and he says " well yeah that's what I
do with sister Dunkley in our lessons!" And we all busted up laughing
man he called me out the elders that came thought it was great and I
will probably not live that down my whole mission haha.

Second on Wednesday I get to leave vernal for the first time my whole
mission!!! Everyone has had to go to Provo for something but I never
had so when I heard I get to go to Heber City on Wednesday AND Payson
on Dec. 3rd I was super excited haha. This Wednesday is a special zone
meeting for 4 of our zones because a member of the 70 is coming it's
going to be so cool I'm super excited!

Third we found 4 new investigators this week that seem promising which
is pretty unheard of especially in this area our hard work is really
paying off!!

I seriously love being a missionary it is so fulfilling and I can't
imagine my life without all the experiences I'm having and all that
I'm learning. When I first came in August we had one investigator on
date and about 4 progressing/new investigators and now it's November
and we have 5 on date 8 total progressing and 4 new investigators with
a couple potential investigators we have found and will contact this
week to see if they are interested. It's shown me that two people
really can come into an area and turn it around if you work hard and
are in the right places at the right time. Missionary work is far from
easy even in Utah but seeing people come unto Christ and gain
testimonies of the Book of Mormon makes everything worth it.

I want to invite all of you to read Elder Oaks talk from this past
general conference titled "sharing the restored gospel" and tell me
what you think :) have a great week!

Love from Vernal,
Sister Dunkley

Monday, November 7, 2016

Driving the mom van

Some exciting news is I get to drive the Zone Leaders van because our
car has to go with them to Provo so our vehicle coordinator can fix
the tiwi (it's how the church monitors my driving I don't feel like
explaining it further sorry haha) long story short it knows the speed
limit and gives me a mark if I go over 6 miles for longer than 10
seconds that's the easiest way to explain it. Our windshield got
replaced so it's not working and he'll fix it somehow.

Anyways, this week was crazy good! Lots of people to church and on
date for baptism it's insane! We are breaking records in this area and
it feels so good to see the reward of our hard work and obedience. Now
we just have to keep it up!! Going to bed exhausted feels so good
because I know I worked hard and did all I can that day. If I have
energy when we get home I know it's a bad sign haha. Also the last 3
months I've been serving here there's a lady who sews bears and she
makes them for the missionaries and we go over every other week for
like 2 hours and help sew them and I finally finished mine it's so
cool I'm so excited!! I love it haha. Other than that more things will
be happening these next couple weeks cause we have 5 baptisms this
transfer which means a lot of work for us to help them be ready but I
am more than happy to work harder if it means more people are coming
into Christ and being baptized :) We are going to the dinosaur museum
with our investigator today so that should be fun he's hilarious and
so excited it will be awesome.

So yeah that's life in vernal! Stay safe this week with crazy election
stuff happening idk what's going on cause we don't watch the news but
yeah be careful! Haha.

The biggest thing I learned this week is trust in the Lord and do your
best it's all we can do! Faith is an essential principle if we want to
be happy and successful in what we do. Heavenly Father has a plan for
us and he will guide us if we humble ourselves and are willing to be

I love you all and I hope you have a good week!

Love from Vernal,
Sister Dunkley

Monday, October 31, 2016

No longer a greenieπŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ’š

Hey everyone! 

Today is a special day because I've finally finished my training and we get to watch Zootopia tonight while we are locked into the chapel yay!!! I'm so pumped. I love the 12 week program but it feels so good to be done and to not have an extra hour of study anymore haha. This week was pretty good here in Vernal! Lots of treats since it's Halloween and people houses are all decorated it's so cool everyone goes all out for Halloween here it's so fun to see! Sister Lenogon has never celebrated Halloween before so she thinks it's the coolest thing ever it's so cute how excited she gets about it haha. We went to a couple ward parties this week so she could see what it's like to trick or treat and she loved it it was awesome. We got 2 new investigators this week!! So exciting. One is Marley she is a sophomore at Uintah High and we went to her house looking for someone else and it turns out she's never been baptized but has been interested for awhile so that was way cool! The other one is Savannah a 10 year old her mom is a member but the dad isn't and doesn't really want anything to do with the church but is fine with them going and with her being baptized so that's good! It's sad to see when one parent just doesn't care and wants nothing to do with us but it's hard here in Utah so many people get offended by someone in the church and have no desire to go back. It's taught me so much about the importance of just being kind. Stop caring about what others do and how they live their lives we aren't the judges of others we are commanded to love them no matter who they are and to forgive everyone. So many people here would go to church if we all just tried harder to love our neighbors and not judge people. I have to work on that everyday but I've noticed a change in myself when I try hard to have charity for everyone I can have the spirit with me. If I'm thinking about how dumb it is that this guy is less active when he knows the church is true I can't have the spirit and I'm being insensitive and rude. I'm grateful for the atonement that helps me improve and forgives me of my shortcomings (which are many) because without it I wouldn't be able to be an effective missionary. There's a quote a sister missionary shared with me a couple weeks back that I found hilarious as well as so true 

Nothing ever said is more true than this statement haha. No matter what we are all divine children of a loving Heavenly Father and nothing can change that. 

I hope everyone has a great week and try's harder to be kinder to everyone around I know I will! 

Happy Halloween eat some candy for me! 

Love From Vernal, 
Sister Dunkley

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gotta love Hunting season

Hunting is most people's religion here in Vernal and it's pretty much all we hear about as missionaries and to be quite honest it's a foreign language for this so cal girl. I don't understand what they are talking about most of the time so I just smile and nod like I care so much about how big of a buck they got last week on the mountain haha. Last night at dinner though was a first. We were at a young couples house who are less active and he pulls out his phone to show us his deer he just got the other day and points down to what we're eating and says look this is what you're eating! My companion and them got a good laugh out of the face I made when he said that! It was just so weird to be shown the animal you were eating that was an experience to say the least. I'm happy to report that it was really good though! He cooked it really well and made it not taste so much like deer so I appreciated that haha. A lot of people here miss church during hunting season which is frustrating but it's how it's always been so it's really hard to try and change it especially when most bishops are doing it to which is it great. Keeping the sabbath day holy means so much to Heavenly Father because it's the one day he asks us to put Him first before anything else and I've found that as we do that we receive so many blessings. Peace, comfort, rest, and countless others. We get more out of church when we have an attitude of worship and gratitude and really try to focus on why we are there taking the sacrament. Sorry don't want to get all preachy on ya just how I feel. This week was good though we had some good lessons with investigators and others that fell through which was hard. We met this really nice lady named Cathy though she's awesome! She has a lot of LDS family members but has never joined herself and decided she wanted to learn more and it's been really cool seeing how open she is to us and the Book of Mormon. She is a great example of having an open mind and being able to have a religious discussion that is uplifting and positive rather than bible bashing and trying to force beliefs on one another. I really appreciated her attitude towards us and I think once she gets a testimony of the Book of Mormon she'll really progress fast. Tuesday was exchanges in Roosevelt with the sister training leaders and I got to be with my old companion and it was so fun! We had a blast even though we had a horrible lesson with a Ute family who don't really respect women so that was interesting to say the least. I'm just glad I don't have to go back there again cause it was rough but the rest of the day was great haha. Today we are going to hike to the U so I'm really excited about that! I love that everyone in vernal loves the Utes and not BYU it makes me so happy even the high school here is the Uintah high Utes it's great

Spiritual thought: make church a priority that's all I have to say about that haha

I hope everyone has a great week! 

Love from Vernal, 
Sister Dunkley 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Golden investigators⭐️

This week was pretty average compared to the craziness I've had here this transfer. We have been meeting a lot of potential/new investigators which has been so cool! This little boy Cayden is just great and he is the epitome of a golden investigator who was prepared for us. The first lesson we had he was so involved and had such a huge understanding of what we were teaching. At the end of the lesson we invited him to be baptized on October 29th and he said yes! His mom was all for it and really happy for him. The bummer is yesterday at church we found out that his dad will be out of town that day so we'll have to make some changes but still it felt amazing to meet someone so ready and excited about the gospel. That made it so we have 4 people with baptismal dates for November which is unheard of in this area and it can't believe how far this area has come in the 10 weeks I've been here! So many investigators and people ready for baptism it's amazing. We met this hilarious old man a few weeks back who loves the church but is struggling to know whether or not he should be baptized and we are hoping to help him get that answer because he goes to church faithfully for like the last 2 years his only hold up is his wife doesn't want to be a member so he's worried he'll create a divide in the marriage if he gets baptized but the last time we met with him she joined us and told him up front that she sees no reason why he can't get baptized he's been living the gospel for years so nothing will really change which is so true and I'm so glad she was able to express that to him and help him resolve that concern. Who knows maybe we'll get him on date this week as well!

 I hope everyone is doing well! I love being a missionary everyday it's seriously the greatest gift that Heavenly Father allows me to be here and teach his children. It's true in Doctrine and Covenants when the Lord says that he uses the weak and the simple to preach his gospel because if he didn't I wouldn't be called as a missionary! He strengthens me everyday and I am so grateful for that. 

The quote I wanted to share today is from a talk/Email thing that gets shared around by missionaries called "The 4th Missionary" and it basically just talks about 4 different kinds of missionaries and their effectiveness and the 4th one is who we should all strive to be like. It says "To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation. You are not cast in stone. You not only can change but you do change all of the time. You are a dynamic, changing, evolving being. You are always changing. You never stay the same. You cannot stand still.You are right now the sum total of what you have thought, said, seen, heard and done. What you think, say, do, hear and see, cause you to change; to change for good or evil; to become either stronger or weaker; to either internalize the qualities of light or the qualities of darkness. You are responsible for who you are and you are responsible for who you will become." 

I love this because accountability is such an important trait for all of us to acquire and as missionaries it's important for us to teach this to investigators to help them understand that they have to be willing to take the steps necessary for baptism. We can only do so much to help them but we will not take away their agency or accountability. I know that as we decide to change for the better and ask for help Heavenly Father will be there every step of the way. He never leaves us alone, we only loose sight of his presence in our lives. I am a witness of that truth. 

I love you all and pray for you daily! 

Love From Vernal, 
Sister Dunkley