9 months down and 9 to go……

Hey everyone! WOW…i am so. grateful.

First i would like to start off by telling EVERYONE to ALWAYS work out. deffff been slacking off on that in the mission, and I am feeling the consequences. hahaha i did a round off backhandspring a few times today and I am already feeling the pain. Tomorrow will be awful.

This week I have laughed more than I ever have in my whole mission. My companion is HILARIOUS and exactly like a mix of Caitlin Tilby and Delaney Clevenger and I love her. hahaha

I AM SO GRATEFUL. I have never worked so hard or seen so many blessings in all of my mission. My companion and I work incredibly well together and have already seen two baptisms with a third for the 14th of June! I know baptisms aren’t what matter, “converts” do. And all of them are completely converted to this gospel. They know it’s true, and they live it, and it’s beautiful to see.

Not only have we been seeing miracles in baptisms, but also in our investigators. Recently we went to a new part of our sector called “San Miguel”….there are like a billion places in Ecuador called San Miguel. They love Michael, the Arcangel..which is cool! ha. so anyway, San Miguel is a little town off the Panamericana. It’s really small and the people live in reeeally humble circumstances. We went there and seriously EVERY person we contacted heard us out and invited us  in.  They are extremely open there and almost all of them told us that they know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, restored to the earth. They were so grateful and begged us to come back. THAT has NEVER happened to me on my mission. ever. Almost no one wants to hear us…but this town has been seriously prepared by Heavenly Father and are ready to hear this gospel.

I seriously THRIVE off of this work! It is the most incredibly beautiful thing we can do! There are SO many people suffering from regret and pain for past sins that don’t know how to repent or even that by doing so, they would feel spiritual relief. This gospel changes lives because it gives them the hope and peace they’re searching for. It is even more amazing that I am blessed enough to be called by a prophet to be here in this moment in Calderon with Hermana Gonzalez. It is such a blessing to be here on this mission and I have never, ever, been any happier than I am now. I love this gospel! I know it heals the wounded soul. Sometimes I wish i could just preach to a crowd of people hahaha…like, I feel like I’m not doing enough even when I’m giving it all. I KNOW with all my soul that this is the very church Jesus Christ established and that it has been restored because there is nothing in this whole world that could bring me more joy. Nothing.

I’m passed the halfway point of my mission now. I have been reflecting a lot. Maybe I haven’t been happy my entire mission, but I have grown. Maybe I haven’t seen a ton of baptisms, but I have seen people be truly converted to Jesus Christ and helped people. Maybe I haven’t enjoyed eating fish eyes, pig skin, or cow intestines…but i have had food to eat. Maybe I am far away from my family and the people i love…but i am helping unite families eternally here. I. LOVE. BEING. A. MISSIONARY. I beg everyone that can, to go on missions. You will never find a greater joy in your entire life, i promise you.

Now, if you’re not serving a mission then the way you can find incredible joy and peace in your lives right now is by simply being obedient to God’s commandments. Commandments were given to us, so as we keep them, God can then have a REASON to BLESS US. I know He loves us, and He created this life to be a joy for us. Be obedient and you will find a joy you’ve never experienced before.

We are teaching a woman right now, Patricia, who will be baptized June 14th. She had been talking to missionaries on Facebook and came to the church to talk to the bishop, then with us. We talked to her and she has been going through an incredibly horrible situation. This gospel, she said, is the only thing that has been able to bring her peace. She has come to church the last two sundays, and she has been feeling a great peace she said she’s never felt before. This gospel has brought her hope and healing and she said she is going to stay the rest of her life because she knows that only God can get her out of the situation she’s in. I have never seen someone with so many vices weighing them down, change their life so drastically and leave them behind so fast. She is determined and has an enormous faith. I am learning a lot from her.

This life is not about our circumstances temporally or physically or economically. It is about our circumstances emotionally and spiritually. Matthew 16:26 asks us “For what is a man [or woman] profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Are you exchanging temporal or worldly things for the wellbeing of your soul right now? If so, change it because when you leave this life, you will have NOTHING………..Make God happy and be more concerned for the wellbeing of your soul!! THAT is what truly matters.

Life will be hard, it’s not easy for anyone, BUT FIGHT. Mosiah 23:21-22 tells us that “the Lord…trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless-whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day.” God will try us, but it is just an opportunity for us to show him our fidelity and faith in Him. He will bless in the end. I can testify of that!

OKAY. sooo i forgot to explain the most scary, hilarious, and beautiful moment of my mission. HAHAHA. Okay. So Maria Cortez got baptized this thursday!!! It was a miracle that it happened and that she lived. First off, the mission leader had left the font filling up and we didn’t have keys to open the door and stop it. So it TOTALLY overflowed and overflowed the room and the hallway all the way till it got outside. BAHAHA. We were sweeping and mopping like crazy until the mission leader came and helped us out. THEN! We finally get to the baptism and it turns out she’s really scared of water (she is 65 years old). We talk her through it and all and after doing the prayer the second time, she goes under! YAY! she got baptized! But then she comes up out of the water….choking. She couldn’t breath and i seriously thought she was going to die. Five men ran up and started hitting the water out of her and she ended up breathing again….but it was the scariest thing ever–especially since her family doesnt support her decision at all–what would they have said?!?! So anyway, THAT scare ended and then came her testimony. She can hardly hear anything and I told her about ten times to bear her testimony…so FINALLY she understood me and yells “ohhh!! i am REALLY HAPPY!” and then went on this rant about how she almost drounded in a pool one time and ended in the name of Jesus Christ. it was the most hilarious and precious testimony ever. I love her dearly. And that is all i have to say about that experience.

Maria Cortez at her baptism!
Maria Cortez at her baptism!

I hope you all have a really really great week 🙂 Be obedient so you can be happy 🙂  Weelllll that’s all folks! have a GREAT DAY! Love, Hermana Dunne

Here’s an awesome talk given by one of our apostles that I think you’ll really enjoy. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/we-are-all-enlisted?lang=eng


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