Find the good, hold fast to it, and be not moved.

Lots to say, so let’s get started!

First off, I got emergency changed this week to the other side of Quinchuqui! This week a lot of us had emergency changes because a lot of new missionaries came to our mission from other missions in Peru. So Hna Rojas went to the coast. Her country doesn’t have any coast or ocean soooooo she’s in for a treat. Poor thing 😦 I miss her TONS. buuuut good news is I’m with Hna Lopez now! She’s Colombian (aka way cool) aaaand she is the most hilarious person ever. We have normal changes this sunday so if we stay together I will be “killing” my first missionary! (ending their mission….)

I was craving Mexican food but this  wasn't the same:(
I was craving Mexican food but this wasn’t the same:(

 

Second off, I think I have a parasite. Let’s just say that everything i eat goes right through me -__- nuff of that.

 

This week I have also been chased by two cows and one bull. HAHAHA stepped up from drugged men and dogs to cows. Seriously, they’re like possessed here! They’re always super mad and CHASE ME. It’s more scary than funny though…

 

This week was crazy because I was really sick for most of it and we had emergency changes and everything that moved was angry! Cows, dogs, drunks, people we contacted…everything. We contacted a house and I said we were talking of Christ and asked if she needed help with anything. The woman inside the house yelled, “I’m catholic! I don’t need help and especially not from you two!” I told her “Okay, that’s fine. This message is for everyone. But if you need any help with anything in the future, let us know and we’ll be here!” She yelled “GET OUT”. ssooooo that was a good experience.

my new sector
my new sector

 

 

This week I would like to share a few points on searching for and living the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to know which church is the true church of Christ, we must know how the church Jesus Christ established is. We must read the Bible, realize that He formed it built upon prophets, apostles, and that His church has the authority of God.

The second part of knowing whether or not it is His church is ASKING GOD DIRECTLY. God will never lie to us, it is crucially important to ask Him and pay a lot of attention to your feelings and thoughts. He will answer you if you ask with faith and real intention (James 1:5) Now, that is how you come to know what is the true gospel and church of Jesus Christ. The second, and maybe more difficult part, is living it.

Opposition is an eternal principle in the premortal life, this life, and the afterlife. satan is continually fighting against God and His followers. Temptation will never cease until Jesus Christ comes again. There are many who are tempted in this life and if we are tempted to the point where we sin, we MUST repent if we desire to live with God again..

Praying is key. The more we pray, the more we receive strength from God. The more we learn about His nature and how we can better live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Alma 37:33 says, “…Teach them to withstand EVERY temptation of the devil, with their FAITH on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Through our faith, we can overcome temptation.

The more we pray, the more faith we have. The stronger our faith gets, the firmer we stand in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more loyal we are to Jesus Christ and His gospel, the more blessings, understanding, and spiritual and moral strength we receive. It starts with prayer which leads to faith.

Elder Holland has an excellent talk about this called “Lord, I believe” from the April 2013 general conference.  He says, “…do not start your quest of faith by saying how much you do NOT have, leading as it were with your “unbelief”…Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.”

We must hold onto the faith we DO have. Doubt your doubt before you doubt your faith. We must remember what we KNOW to be true, hold onto that and slowly strengthen our faith so that we can believe and come to know in even more principles of this gospel. Alma teaches us that faith does not mean we have a perfect knowledge. That comes with TIME. However, we must stay strong to the principles we know to be true.

 

There are those who might not cultivate their testimonies. There are those who may stray away from this righteous path because they doubt their faith before they doubt their doubts and they allow satan to take hold of their lives. But I want something to be really clear, because I have seen this too much on the mission:

You CANNOT justify sin with sin.

The Lord cannot look upon sin in the least degree of allowance. Any kind of sin is NOT acceptable before God. If others have made mistakes in their lives and you happen to make one of the same mistakes, you cannot justify your actions based on what others have done. That is not how God works.

This gospel is a gospel of change for the good and eternal progression. “In this church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to WALK BY FAITH…In moments of FEAR or DOUBT or TROUBLING TIMES, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited…hope on. journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your FAITH, because ALL THINGS are possible to them that BELEIVE.” (Elder Holland, “Lord, I believe”)

Do not let satan’s temptations or mistakes others have made in the past affect the way you live your life. Do not let your moral standards be torn down because of the bad in the world. Find the good, hold fast to it, and be not moved. Let others see your light, stand firm in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and LIVE IT every day of your life. You will be blessed.

my sisters
my sisters

 

Watch “The cost–and blessings–of discipleship” by Elder Holland  and I promise that you will feel the power of God speaking through him to you. Our God is not a laid back God with an “anything goes” attitude. He is strict, He is just, and He is merciful. Take heed to the words of the prophets and His apostles and you will see innumerable blessings in your life.

 

This i share in the name of Jesus Christ, amen! MUCH LOVE,

Hermana Dunne 🙂

my best friends
my best friends

 

It’s tradition to have your face smashed into your birthday cake!!

HEY YOU Guys…..thanks for reading my emails.

We celebrated all of our birthdays and got our faces smashed into our cakes.
We celebrated all of our birthdays and got our faces smashed into our cakes.

 

I have had my face smashed in cake four times this week. Definitely not ideal but HEY it was good. There is a plant here called “Ortiga” and it is a plant used for traditional punishment here. It is also used for birthday parties. LUCKILY I MADE IT OUT ALIVE. The plant just makes you sting and itch like crazy for a few hours. You get a few good bumps out of it but luckily i avoided THAT. My companion accidentally walked by it this week and got to experience the effects. Poor thing.

 

Honestly yesterday for my birthday, it was a SUPER trying day! But because Heavenly Father blesses His servants, He threw in a few great experiences. I feel like that is what the mission is always like. Lots of opposition, but you always have those moments that bring the thought to your mind “THIS is why I’m here.” The mission is really beautiful like that. It breaks you down to humble you and put your life in order, but it blesses you to keep you going and know that God loves and that this is His work.

me and the sisters of our sector
me and the sisters of our sector

This week Hna Rojas and I gave the training to our district! The lesson went really well! We talked about our purpose here. One activity we did is that three elders held ice in their hands while the rest of us sang hymns, recited the first vision and our missionary purpose. The elders were SUFFERING! haha Then after we talked about how what we did (singing hymns and all) is really good stuff, but there are people suffering. Who was helping them? We, as missionaries, can do lots of great stuff and keep all the rules and everything, but we must be sure that we are giving the Lord our all. That we are diligently seeking these people who are suffering. Those people who are living with the weight of sin and don’t know how to leave it behind. We must find them, help them throw away “their ice” and bring them to the truth. There is a scripture i really like that we shared that’s in Alma 43:1 i think where it says that Alma could not rest. We can’t either. We are called of God to do this work and we don’t have time to rest. This time is sacred and we must give the Lord absolutely our all so those who are suffering can finally come to know this truth, this peace, this joy.

the hermanas surprised me
the hermanas surprised me

After, the elders gave me two tubs of oreo and chocolate ice cream for my birthday. I was pretty happy.

 

I read a good talk that talked about how we must put God before all things rather than justifying what we do with excuses of culture or whatever it may be. It’s called “No Other Gods” by Elder Oaks.

Something he said is “But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral.” Let that settle in your heart a little.

We must stand up for what is correct. We must be examples. in 1 Timothy 4:12 it says “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Robert Louis Stevenson defines what courage may be for us when he says, “Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.”

Charles Swindoll adds, “Courage is not limited to the battlefield…or bravely catching a theif in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are inner tests, like remaining faithful when no one’s looking,…like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.”

Me and the Rodriquez family....I love this family!!
Me and the Rodriquez family….I love this family!!

I love these quotes so much! Accepting this gospel and living it may cost us friends and cause us to feel alone. But that does not matter. We must stand alone at times until others join you and realize that you’re doing what’s right. Be an example! Be who God has destined you to be! Be obedient to God’s commandments and don’t mind what others may say! This life is the life to prepare to meet GOD.  Be loyal to God. Don’t mind what others say. Be valient in this gospel and you will stand out and bless the lives of others.

When you truly come to find out WHY you keep God’s commandments and WHY you are a member of this church, THAT is when you become strong. THAT is when you can stand alone, with God at your side, and be happy in life. THAT is when you set the standard and bless the lives of others. I am coming to realize that before my mission I didn’t know very well why I did the things I did in this church. I knew they made me happy, I knew they were the right thing to do, but I didn’t have my own personal reason for obeying God. Find that reason now and I promise you that you will be stonger and happier. I have been able to find that reason thanks to this mission and I know that this gospel is true. It is the only way we can find our way home to our Heavenly Father and live eternally with our family.

look I'm tall
look I’m tall

I want to finish with a quote from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He says, “Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men [and women] have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.” -(Thomas S. Monson, “courage counts” Ensign Nov 1986)

This gospel is true. Find out for yourself. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

MUCH LOVE,
Hermana Dunne :DHAVE A GREAT WEEK. BE GOOD.

I thought he was going to pound me to the ground

Great afternoon folks!

I just want everyone to know that walking up a volcano numerous times day and night is not ideal. haaha I am starting to walk with a wooden stick as protection against the dogs and the drunkards, so that’s good.

God bless America
God bless America

Really this sector is hard because of the quiet culture and because most already have their own beliefs and just don’t want to listen to us. It is seriously emotionally and physically draining working here but it’s a good change.

A lot of people here don’t know how to read or write, which is reeeeally sad. There are also a lot who can’t speak and are confined to their homes making bags and blankets and stuff…it is way sad. But they always have a smile on their faces when the say hi to us.

degraining corn & sorting it out...makes your fingers strong!
degraining corn & sorting it out…makes your fingers strong!

 

This week we asked the kids of a member what they learned in church and one said “my teacher told me that we shouldn’t be violinists” HAHA we were laughing so hard. He meant to say “violent”. Too precious.

One day we were walking down the street and some men–some drunk, but mostly not–were yelling at us “hey mormons, give us your money, mormons, come closer” but they were yelling it in a really disgusting tone and it took EVERYTHING in me and Hna Rojas to not turn around and “give them a piece of our mind”. We just kept walking until we were away from them.

And listen to this!

In our sector we have to return home early because there isn’t a lot of light and it gets dangerous at night. Last night we were walking home early but it was a little darker than normal and we almost got to the house. However, there was a really tall, buff man walking by our house so we decided to walk on the other side of the road and pass the house until he had gone. As we started to move towards the other side, the man came straight for me, lifted his arms up to either grab or hit me, and yelled. It was the most terrifying thing ever and I literally felt a rush of energy hit me of pure evil. Feeling that was horrible so I jumped backwards to avoid him. As i jumped back, my companion stepped forward and yelled “SAL DE AQUI” or “get out of here” and he stopped, glared at her for a second, and then left us alone. I could not believe what had just happened…because i seriously thought he was going to pound me to the ground. But the power of God worked through my companion and she scared him enough to leave us alone. She is shorter than me…usually girls her size can’t scare away angry, possibly drugged, men who are determined to attack. I know that God protected us last night.

My companion let me know that in this sector, things are different. People here either worship God hard core, or they worship satan. We must be more careful.

I want to assure everyone that the power of satan is real. He eminates pure evil and he will do all he can to drag you down to eternal misery with him. But I want everyone to know as well that the power of God will always and has always been stronger. God knows and loves us and whoever is on His side, He will protect.  Side with God now and have protection forever. Stay loyal and true to Him and He will bless you. As it says in Alma 37:46 “The way is prepared, and if we will LOOK we may LIVE FOREVER.”

me and my comp frollicking
me and my comp frolicking in the meadow while waiting for lunch

One of the scriptures that really stood out to me this week is found in the chapter 42 of Alma. This chapter is truly amazing…it cleared up so much for me! It explains why we’re here, why Jesus Christ atoned for us, why we must repent, what exactly is the plan of God for us, what must we do to live with Him again...really amazing and beautiful. God loves us. This is why we are here as missionaries. We are inviting people to be baptised and come unto Christ. As it says in the scripture–we do not obligate anyone to do anything, but it will bring eternal happiness. Because this gospel tells us exactly what we need to do, and provides the true power and authority to do it, in order to be saved and live with God again.

me, my companion and Diana (a new convert)
me, my companion and Diana (a new convert)

If we want to be sure that we will live with God again, we must speak with Him and do His will–do what He tells us to do. Ask God in prayer if what you’re doing is right if you want to live with Him again! Don’t go ask your pastor or bishop if you are in the true church–ASK GOD. He loves you. He will respond to your prayer. Ask Him about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ask Him if it is true. Don’t go ask your friends or the internet. ASK. GOD. I promise you that He will respond to you as He has to me and millions of other people,  Find out for yourself today.

I love you all so much and hope you know that. Also, I will not be almost attacked again–no worries. I always walk around with a big wooden stick like a wizard or something..hahahaahah…just last night i forgot it. So i will be OKAY (*cough* mom *cough*) 🙂 LOVE YOU ALL! HAVE A GREAT WEEK! Con muchisisisimo amor, Hermana Dunne!!!!

me and my protection stick
me and my protection stick

My sector is actually a volcano!

Alichishi!

First off, here is some exciting news:
I got to play guitar a little this week. Realized that i totally forgot how to play. -__-
Learned that my sector isn’t actually a mountain. It is a volcano…and with president telling us that we all need to have our 72 hour kits ready, i am only a little concerned…

Now for the parts that weren’t so preferible…

The San Juan celebration is very interesting…. It is a celebration of a saint, but the people are drinking themselves to death. It was actually a really eery feeling. All night and all morning there were men (no women whatsoever) walking the streets like zombies. They dress up like it’s halloween and just drink and dance and sleep in the streets. It is actually pretty dangerous. There are a lot of people who die during this time. So we had to go home early every night. During the day, however, there was NO ONE. It was silent, which made it even more eery! They were all sleeping like midday until six. Anyway, that was a new experience this week. There was a different feeling in the atmosphere. And it smelled like pure alcohol, B.O, and urine…

ENOUGH OF THAT! Moving on! Nothing super funny happened this week so that’s a bummer, but it was a good week! We had a Conference with 4 zones. It was a super confusing conference though. President and the APs were all over the place because we were going to receive 13 new missionaries from the missions within Peru the next day. We have spontaneously been receiving lots of new missionaries from Venezuela and Peru recently. Venezuela is actually in a reeeeeally really bad state right now. It is literally almost impossible to find food now, no one has money, and they aren’t letting people leave the country. That’s what the missionaries and members have been telling us at least…so hopefully it gets better there. Pray for them! :/

Every week seems to go by faster. I feel like Christmas is right around the corner. hahaha for real though. But it is seriously amazing what a mission can do to ya. I never thought I would be craving to read the scriptures…but i literally cannot wait for studies…the scriptures are full of spiritual food because as i read it fills the hunger i have! The word of God truly fills our souls! You can feel that power the more you read them!

me and my temporary lacrosse stick:)
me and my temporary lacrosse stick:)

Watch “israel, israel god is calling” at lds.org/broadcasts. Never check your religion at the door. suuuuper powerful talk by elder Holland.

I really really love the words of Alma. He is so passionate about this gospel and helping others and I want to quote his words because i feel the exact same way,
“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thrunder, repentance and the plan of redemption that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.” (alma 29:1-2)

I have a very strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation. Study it more. It will save your life and bring you true, eternal happiness. It has changed my life and i understand it so much better now. I promise that it will bring you greater happiness. Next time you see Mormon missionaries walking down the street tell them to explain the Plan of Salvation. It will change your life.

I also want everyone to know how sacred and how great a blessing serving a mission is. Serving a mission is not a fad. It is not about where you go, who you meet, what kinds of pictures and friends you make. It is sacred time dedicated to the Lord. Every one of us who has the opportunity to serve a mission should pray about it seriously and prepare yourself. It is the most beautiful and rewarding experience of your life. Don’t take it lightly. But also know that it is incredibly fun because once you realize the importance of what you are doing and the miracles that come in the mission…you will feel a joy by preaching the word of God. Take advantage of this opportunity. you will be forever grateful.

Till next week! Take care everyone. Love, Hermana Dunne

Ñuca ÑaÑagu Dunne cani.
OH AND HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! take care. set off fireworks for me.