I love Angola.....singing in the Branch Choir.... and Irmao Pedro!

I love Angola, it is such a wonderful place, it drives my stress wall sometimes, but it's home now, and I've grown to love it. I love the people here, everyone loves to talk, and so do I so its constant joy and conversations here. That's what I really like about it, I'm pretty sure that it was the same way in Spain (Mom) and Mexico (Dad).
Yes, Riley there is a piano here and no one in the ward is musical. I sing in the choir each week and we struggle to hit the notes, funny thing, we practice all the parts separate with the first voice and then the second and the third and then when we sing all together, everyone is singing the same note and it all blends in!
This week we were at the Bias family and they made us a frangetei which is a chicken wrap dish here, it was so good! We met with Geraldo and we talked about the Plano de salvacao it was awesome and he is preparing to get baptized next month on the 31st!
We had family night with Joao and Paula, always super fantastic with them, Olivia is getting ready to get baptized next week.
We met Aleshandro and we sat with him on the roof of his apartment building, super cool we were up 8 floors and we could see all of Luanda, we talked to him about how the Gospel can change his life, he is an illegal immigrant from the Congo so he has to get his citizenship in order to be baptized, we had a wonderful lesson with him.
We had a great lesson this week with Teodoro and his family, 7 people and we shared Moroni 7:45-47 and we all shared experiences where we had served and showed charity.
We visited with Irmao Pedro and Tani and read the Book of Mormon with them, we are hoping that he can save up enough money to go to Cuba and have the surgery done and that he will be able to walk in the future, it kills me every time we just get and walk out of his house so we move him into his wheelchair and go outside.  I wish he could walk, we just keep praying.

We are praying Irmao Pedro will walk one day...

Irmao Pedro and his wife Tani who cares for him

We met with Gelson, a 19 year old boy and I bore my testimony about why I was here in Africa and I told him just a year and a half ago I wasn't sure if I was going to go on a mission, but when I discovered that the Gospel was true, nothing mattered more to me and I wanted to be here, that I would not be here if  I didn't believe that it was true.  We could all feel the spirit in the room and it was strong, such a great experience.
On Sunday the electricity went off and so we went over to the church.  During Sunday school I was able to bear my testimony on service and shared Moroni 7:45-46. After church we met with Fransisco and we could tell that he was drunk and so we gave him a short message and encouraged him not to drink and we would meet with him again when he was sober.  This is a huge problem in Angola since the beer is cheaper than the water. We have to buy bottled water to drink. Here is an example of the water filter we just changed in our apartment.

Water filter- Before and After

Irma from the Branch gave us some food for lunch and as we were leaving to go home.  On the way two homeless guys approached us for money, and we gave them the usual response that we don't have any money to give, I went to go offer them a pamphlet in my backpack, then I saw all the food I had in my backpack and I offered them the food which they gladly accepted with the pamphlet about the church, awesome experience. 

Willing to try everything that is served here!

Well that was the week, super awesome, I love it, I hope that you are all doing well and that you are having success and that the Lord is able to accomplish things through each one of you!


My Friends....Zone Conference.... and an African Buffet!!

I always hear my name in the Rua (Street) from the kids...Elder Dunkley!!

Ola Familia! Wow Time flies I can't believe that I have been in Africa now 15 weeks! The mission isn't easy, there have been times when I have been way overwhelmed and their have been times when I have almost been broken down, literally not knowing what to do, but i just keep on moving forward and pressing on and with hard work and moving diligently and it reaffirms my testimony.  There will always be trials but as we move forward with faith we will see the blessings.
We are now teaching Serestly Grandy's brother he has read the Book of Mormon and believes that it is true! We were so pumped!  We went to Pedro's and Tani's and we read the Book of Mormon with them, he can't get baptized because he is a paraplegic so we just try and read with him every week.  Pedro is saving for a surgery that he can get in Cuba so they are just hoping.  We went by Dorival's who was recently baptized and talked with his mother about African culture.  We are hoping to be able to get closer with his family so that Dorival can have more support from them for joining the church.
We had Frangilitila off the side of the road for the first time it is a chicken wrap it was delicious!
We had a missionary Zone conference and we got to know our new Mission President and his wife. President and Sister Merrill.

Zone Conference

They showed us a slide show about their life and Mom you were in it, when you met the Merrills!  All the Elders turned and looked at me in shock, funny moment...Anyway we had a lot of training and then we ate Brazilian food and then we changed and went over to the campo de futbol and we played soccer for the rest of the night and spent time with the President.  This was on the 4th of July so it was kind of nice to spend it this way, super fun, I love our new President so much!
At church I bore my testimony and shared Ether 12:4 and my experience as to why I decided to serve a mission, which basically came back to my desire to give people hope and to share with others what has given me faith and hope and light throughout my life to others in the world.  We then said goodbye to the Elders that were flying back to their areas. Elder Yeanolpolus was in the MTC with me, was going back to Lubango.  Then we went to Irma Sidonia's house and read with her "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"  since she had a problem with hitting her kids so we decided it would be good for her to hear this message. She wasn't offended, super awesome night.
We had to go to the President's for interviews and we got to know him better, he is such a humble and down to earth person, that is what I love about him.
On Sunday we invited the work crew working on a house next to us to church and they just went in their work clothes with us and also our neighbors asked if they could come to! Super awesome moment we had 5 people come to church with us at the last moment.  It was great Dorival bore his testimony for the first time!
After that we went to Rita and Paulos and taught their family about the 10 commandments it was funny because after each commandment they would tell us a story about someone who had broken that commandment and we were there for about an hour, I love them so much..they have a wall of pictures of all the missionaries and their families.  We talked about 2 Nephi 32:3 feasting upon the words of Christ super awesome visit.
I ended up having to get a new phone because I lost one a few weeks back and my companion did also. It was 600 Kwanzaa. We went to Antonio's cantina (store) he is still struggling financially and not many people are stopping by but he believes that the Lord will help him have more success in the cantina and we are encouraging him and helping him endure his trails, we try to buy some drinks every once in awhile to help him out.
We met Graciano who had a lot of questions from the pamphlet he had read, he was in jail for about 3 years for something he was wrongly accused of.  He and his wife and 3 kids are looking forward to starting their life over and getting a fresh start, so the Gospel is perfect for them.
We did a service project the entire day for Irmao, he wanted to do a service project for all the drivers and security guards in his complex and all the people who have helped him and his family in the 5 years that he has lived there.  He asked that the missionaries do all the grilling, so we grilled all the hamburgers and got the leftovers and we were able to talk to a lot of people about the church during that time.  On the way home we got into the Taxi and we heard "Elders" and it turned out to be someone that we had taught that we had been trying to find for some time now and he asked for our number.
At church on Sunday, the room was full to the back, so we sat in chairs behind all of the benches (like how they do in America) super cool so many people came to church.
We met Enda and answered her questions about God really great discussion. She is one of those really loud praying praise the Lord women and she says amen after every single time we talk, we invited her to come to church with us on Sunday.
We had Zone meeting in the new mission office building which is way nice, the church went all out and it is nice. We discussed our goals as a Zone and what we need to work on and improve super awesome.  We had pizza and drinks after at Kero.
We went to Joao and Paula's after for a lesson and they have this pet rat, its massive and it runs around us during the whole lesson and people try to touch it and it just jumps and hops like a rabbit. Super funny, ( Mom, you would die it is huge) some of the rats here are the size of a basketball. We invited Joao's and Paula's daughters to be baptized on Aug. 10th. Now it is going to be great because the entire family will be baptized, super excited!
So after that we sat with Diogo and Novo and answered all the questions they had for us, they had written down a lot. 
We then went to Gelson and Paulo's and taught the law of tithing and fast offerings, it is such a hard thing to ask people here seeing that they already do not have much, love to see the faith of those that accept and see the purpose of tithing.
We taught Dorival a new member about the Priesthood and he is getting prepared to receive it soon.
Crazy moment a Vietnamese guy came running up to the taxi that Elder Stewart and I were in and jumped in yelling said he would pay for everyone if we would just go and he started yelling about the police in Angola and illegal immigrants, it was obvious he was running from the Police.
We visited Lima first someone that we had met in the street just a few days ago, we taught him and his family, he works to take care of his mom who has been sick for the past 13 years not sure what she has but she showed us her foot it had green pus coming out of it and the skin was all gone, extremely painful.
I thought I saw Samira and walked up to her, wasn't her funny thing here all of the women where the same clothes, sometimes I am clueless about telling them apart!
We went to Paulo and Rita's for dinner they are such an awesome family, they cooked us a buffet.  I love them so much it has been such a blessing for us to teach them and get to know them , we had a lesson and bore our testimonies, awesome night.

Helping cook at Paulo's and Rita's

Paulo's and Rita's buffet for us!


New Mission President and Angola a New Mission!

President and Sister Merrill with the Elders in Luanda

President Merrill and his wife are here and they came to the baptisms and it was the first time that I met him, it was awesome we had such a great time and he shook each of our hands and he told me he remembered meeting you, mom.  They are so welcoming and helpful, comforting to know that we finally have a Mission President that is going to stay here with us.  I am truly grateful.
So excited because Paula (Joao's wife) is getting baptized so both parents will now be baptized.  We are teaching the entire family.  Serafim is getting baptized and we asked him who he wanted to baptize him in the ward, and to my surprise he asked me if I would baptize him.  I was shocked, did not see that coming, anyways, so I told him that I could baptize him.  I was super excited!
After that we visited Tereza and we taught her the importance of the Book of Mormon. Here people really like to invite you into their home, especially if you are American.
We taught Dorival and we taught him about baptism and confirmation and got him prepared to be baptized.. Then we helped the 5 Elders that were going home get their luggage in our apartment since we are the closest to the airport.  It was hard to say goodbye to the Elders that were leaving, it was a sad moment, especially to say goodbye to those who I had become so close to in such a short time.  It was truly a heart breaker anyways, almost cried.  Airports, just make every missionary emotional, especially me.
So a member had cooked us lunch and she cooked a pig and brought it over to the house, so we all began eating the dinner and I noticed that the pig tasted a little hairy, so looked down and saw like 1 inch white hairs all over the skin of the pig.  The pig had not been shaved or anything it was like she just threw it on how it was. Anyways family it wasn't hot hoof  but I am getting close!
Funny moment, some Angolans were working on the air conditioning unit inside of the house, so I decided to offer them some brownies, apparently Angolans don't like chocolate, they began to eat because of my polite offer.  They hoofed them down and I offered more and they said no thank you.  After that Elder Stuart let me know that they don't like chocolate!

Serafim's Baptism

Friday Night we went to go fill up the font since it takes about 2 hours with the leak and the Zone leaders showed up to help us, it was awesome. Saturday we woke up and went to the baptisms, I brought my baptismal clothes (got to use them for the first time).  We were there at 6:30 in the morning and we had to run to the church to fill up the font more because of the leak and so during the night a lot of the water drained out. So we filled it up till about 8 and then went home and changed and came back.  After the talks their was a change and they asked me to baptize Dorival also.  I was super nervous, there were so many people there including  the Mission President who had just arrived.  For the baptism, I didn't know how to say Dorival's full name completely so I had to practice and also the prayer but I am thankful that I was able to do everything the first time and it was such a relief.  Anyways Serafim and Dorival both got baptized super awesome.  The mission President spoke at the baptism he spoke great Portuguese it was awesome.

Serafim's Baptism

Dorival's Baptism

Paula's Baptism

After the baptisms we taught Julia and Ruth about the Restoration, great lesson and after that we visited Dorival and I shared with him Helaman 5:12 about having a testimony like a rock unto the Savior. It was awesome.
We taught a member of the secret service of Angola it was super awesome.
We had 9 people that were confirmed at church.  Super awesome.  After church we went to the Wegglands to watch the missionary broadcast for the topic of working with ward members.  After that we gave them a message on Eternal families, my favorite part of the gospel.
We got up early on P-day to go and play soccer and the collector and another guy started fighting these 2 other guys and they were all fighting each other. Interesting things like this happen every day here.
Such a great week so happy that we finally have a Mission President here and Angola Luanda is a new mission as of July 1...!!!!