Christmas in Lubango!!

Missionaries with President Merrill

It’s almost Christmas and I cannot believe it!! Only 2 more days! Here in Lubango there are lights everywhere, and it actually gets cold here so it feels like Christmas!  Anyways Mom this computer is not letting me send pictures, such a bummer;  I will try and get them to you later.  The package with all of the presents is here,  so Elder Money and I pretty much guessed all of them, or at least I think, it was really cool with the scriptures!

On the way to Lubango

Sleeping on the way to Lubango- 18 hr. drive

On Our way to Lubango

So there are 4 Elders here in Lubango.  The other Elders are leaving soon from the mission.  The Hustle and bustle of Christmas do not exist here for Christmas, it’s pretty much the same, there are lights but life goes on pretty normal here. We bought a little Christmas tree and some lights so it feels like Christmas, super awesome, also the Elders from Huambo are taking a bus to come down here tomorrow for Christmas!  That will be so much fun! There will be 8 of us. So we won’t be going to the Mission home we are too far away 18 hrs. But it should be fun.  Christmas in Lubango.

Whole mission with Elder Hamilton

So sorry about Tomas from your mission Mom, it’s crazy how the connections of a mission last for eternity, its way cool, Gandia Spain is so beautiful,  one day I will take my kids back here to Angola to see the beauty here.

Lunch with our Mission President

So this week was absolutely wonderful we had a lot of success.  Elder Money and are finding a lot and trying to visit as many recent converts and members as we can.  The work is moving this is my first time, white-washing an area and it is definitely a challenge.  We don’t know the area well and we are working through members and references.  We met a man named Elias, he probably understood the Restoration better than anyone that I have taught on my Mission.  He is 20 years old, the same age as me, he has accepted the invite to be baptized.  Elder Money and I have been setting aside time in the day just to find and contact and the Lord has been putting people in our path daily.  It’s been a real eye opener to see the Lord’s hand.  So the other night we had basically finished the night it was at 8 at night and we decided to sit on a bench and wait for someone to walk by.  So after about 20 seconds this guys comes up and he asks us if we speak Portuguese, and we tell him yes and then he starts speaking English and then asked us if we could speak English.  Anyway he invited us into his home and he offered us a desert and a drink, He was super nice, and he told us how much he admired the work that we did and then he began to tell us his life story, he grew up in Portugal and then moved to Holland and he didn’t speak the language, it was difficult at first and he related this to us on our mission and how we have to learn a language on a foreign mission. He proceeded to tell us how his friends were not a good influence and they tried to take 150 kilos of heroine across the border.  They were caught and he was sentenced to 8 years. The judge gave him additional 8 for being black.  He took his case to the Government in Holland and his sentence was reduced to 3 years probation.  He worked in Canada at a Construction company.  Amazing story. I was blown away.  He offered to take all the Elders in Lubango to dinner.  This guy is amazing. 
On Sunday we had a huge turn-out at church.  The chapel is very small and I bore my testimony to the branch and it was a great day.  Wonderful things are happening here in lubango.  The Lord is putting people in our path as we are obedient to his council. I wish you all the most wonderful Christmas this year and hope that you feel loved wherever you are in the world! Elder Dunkley

Undefeated in Tennis!

Thanks to Sister Merrill for the additional pictures of the trip to Lubango!!


Lubango !!

Climbing an Imbondeiro Tree in Lubango!!

President and Sister Merrill by the Imbondeiro Tree

Loving this Tree...Imbondeiro - National tree

I’m down here in Lubango! This place is just like paradise…it is so beautiful.  There is a beautiful mountain here called Tunda Vala and we are planning on going there!  They also have a Cristo Rei Statue like the one in Brazil, and it is on top of a mountain so we will be going there also. The weather here is a lot cooler.  Elder Wilson and I go running in the morning and it is so chilly that I actually need a coat.  The city has Christmas lights here and it is so much calmer.  I absolutely love it! I could not have picked a better time to leave Luanda than now…seriously Luanda is heating up like a pot on the stove. 

On our way....18 hour journey to Lubango

Sites along the way

I have been having allergies I think, I have had a constant cold for the past 2 weeks and I am really congested, but it will pass. Anyways Lubango is sure a remote place in comparison to Luanda.  It is also very pretty and has a lot more mountains and more to do here.  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here, super awesome, I’m super excited and can’t wait to get started!

Along the River

So I am hearing about all your finals… very stressful…that is one thing that I like about the mission is that there are no tests and no grades, only the Lord’s work.  I love all of you so much keep being amazing and Riley keep singing!
Well it’s been a few days in Lubango and the trip down here was wonderful, so on Wednesday night Elder Money and I slept over at the AP’s house and we got all ready for our trip.  President and Sister Merrill showed up at 6 a.m. and we all loaded up our baggage and headed out.  The trip was so wonderful and so beautiful.  It was really fun traveling with the Assistants and also President and Sister Merrill.  Super awesome!  So when we arrived in Lubango it was very chilly, first amazing sign, the cold…back in Luanda it is heating up fast…so we settled in.  The house is absolutely wonderful, and the neighbors are great.  There are two giant dogs that guard our house, but when we enter they bark at us and try to bite, doesn’t make sense.  The next day we ate at a really great Restaurant Art Doce.  Then after that Elder Hyde showed us the area since he served there for 8 months.  We went around the city and visited some of the previous investigators and got to know the area…super cool.  The following day Elder Money and I did contacting the entire day and we tried calling as many people that we could find.  We are both new to the area.



On Saturday we had a ward activity and all the missionaries did a skit.  We did the day in the life of a missionary and Elder Money and I put on coats and the other Elders put their arms in behind and we acted out our day but they were doing everything with their hands.  It was super funny and all of the kids loved it!  Then on Sunday we had our Church service …I love the ward here…we got to hear the Primary Program and we had to get to the church at 7 to clean beforehand, it is a wonderful Chapel.  Very Humble and where we held Sacrament meeting is no bigger than my garage back at home, super tiny but I like it. Elder Money and I visited with Domingos after church it took us about an hour to walk to his house. We did contacts for about 3 hours after that and met a really cool kid named Misericordioso..which in English is Merciful. The work here needs a foundation,  Lubango is way awesome, I know that this transfer is purely guided by the hand of the Lord..where we will go and who we will teach.  I am excited to serve here and I hope that the work flourishes.  I know this Gospel is true.
Elder Dunkley



Conference with Elder Hamilton of the 70 ...transfer to LUBANGO!!

Elder and Sister Hamilton

To start off this email I have some wonderful news…we received transfers and I have been transferred to LUBANGO!  It is an area out in the province.  It is the furthest away from all of the areas, I am so excited!! I will be heading out there this week with President and my new companion Elder Money.  We will be making the trip by van with the President and with Sister Merrill and driving the 18 hour journey all the way to Lubango.  This should be absolutely wonderful as I will get to see all of Angola, from the green forests to the desert.  I am so excited! Super Stoked!  So my companion and I will take over Lubango B…Neither of us have been there so it will be a complete white wash. This should be an adventure, and I am extremely excited and cannot wait!  Anyways that has been the show all morning…I am so excited.  Anyways I loved all of your emails!! I am so glad that you got all of my letters…there are more on the way.  Mom I received a very large package today…shipped on Nov. 20th could this be the Christmas package??? Should I wait to open it till Christmas Eve…??

Elder Yeanapolus and I at the Conference

 I am going to Lubango in the thick of summer and in Lubango it doesn’t get as hot, and it is not humid and it rains a lot...should be a blast!  This week was wonderful, we had a lot of visits, and as always we are working with our investigators...documents, and trying to help them get married.  It is a constant battle that all of the missionaries are facing here.  We had a visit from Elder Kevin S. Hamilton of the 70 this week.  He spoke briefly with us about the mission our needs and also lifted us up spiritually.  He stated that Satan has done a great job with marriage. I pondered on this assunto (subject) and I have realized that practically every one of our investigators,  are just waiting on marriage.  It is so true, anyways something that we are trying to work through.  It is not easy to be married here, it is not cheap and there are many steps and on top of that we are battling to change tradition, where everyone wants a festa (party) and this is something that is keeping people from receiving all of the ordinances in the Temple.  So we (me and my companion) are trying to emphasize the eternal perspective on things.  Elder Hamilton came to speak to us during out Mission Conference on Wednesday.  It was a wonderful experience and I can say that he is someone that has inspired me a lot.  Such an amazing person and it was a super cool mission conference.  I learned a lot and also about what I want to apply in my life.
This week we had a fast with one of our investigators Mateas who is basically begging to be baptized.  He has a desire stronger than anyone that I know, he is working so hard, but the only thing he lacks is marriage, his wife is in the province right now, which makes it very difficult to work on their documents, and she has told him that she will not accept his new religion.
The daughter of Marcos, who is 9, had her interview and she will be getting baptized on December 14th, super cool…but the others will come much later as the whole family is planning on being baptized.
The work is tough and at times when you feel like giving up that’s when you get on your knees and ask the Lord for help! I love you all…Elder Dunkley


Thanksgiving and AMTB!!

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Mission Home

Hello Family!! The pictures from Boston and Washington D.C. are super cool looks like you all had such a wonderful time.  Thanksgiving sounds like it was great.  I miss you all so much, the Christmas tree farm is always such a blast, miss it too.  It’s getting very hot here, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas season at all.  I sent some letters home with Brother Weggeland..do not read them until Christmas Eve.  So today, we just got Elder Dredge’s package it took almost 2 hours.  I also love having native companions they help out so much with the language and it is more fun.  I feel more immersed in the culture, it’s a blast.  Dad, yes the rat was an upscale, it was actually really good… President Pedro explained to me that it is some of the best meat that you can eat in Angola.  That doesn’t sound very promising on meat.
On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving as a mission at the mission home, we had a thanksgiving feast..just like home.  It was so good, we had turkey and stuffing! The best meal I have had since I have been here!  Thanks to our awesome Mission President and Sister Merrill! I Love them!  It was such a blast!

Best Meal since I have been here!

We left that morning and got there and had our AMTB the ANGOLA MISSION TURKEY BOWL ! We played soccer, as in the states Football.  Our district was the “Fast Turkeys”,  we did not win unfortunately..we came close in our game…3 to 4… It was such a blast.  Viana did not come out on top but we put up a good fight.  Besides football I also got to play tennis with some Elders.  It was way fun! I am undefeated on the mission thus far. Looks like I still have got my talent, anyways we will see in another year and 3 months.  We were pretty exhausted by the end of the day, I got pretty sunburned but it was super cool!

Amazing Thanksgiving Day!

The riots have calmed down and things are moving smoothly here in Viana, thank goodness. So right now we are working with 4 families and they are all working on getting married and then they will be baptized.  Ava Roasalina has said she wanted to be baptized on the 28th of December she is such a sweet lady and she has very poor health so we are hoping that she will be able to make it into the baptismal font.  Celestina and Suzana are both so smart.  We are praying and working hard to help them find the importance of the church and the saving ordinances.  Keep praying that their hearts might be softened and that they might gain confidence to be baptized and become members of the church.
So cool story we met up with a family that had just moved here from South Africa. The night before they called up asking where the church was and said they could not find it.  We were in Vila the next day right where the church is and they called and said they were there too, so we ended up meeting with them and they speak English, and hardly any Portuguese. They were from Cape Town and they asked me where I was from and I said Texas, and they said I know an Elder who lived in Texas.  Elder Judd popped up in my head.  I said Elder Judd?! He said Yeah!  It turns out Elder Judd my friend served in his ward in South Africa Cape Town and now he is in my ward in Viana Angola, super cool, it truly is a small world.
On Sunday, Irmao Nickatela asked if an Elder would give a lesson in Gospel Principles (Principios Do Evangelho) This week, so Elder Dredge asked if I would give the class, I prepared a lesson, this was the first time ever and it was on the Final Judgement. The class was full, a lot of our investigators, and it felt like I was teaching them specifically, super cool experience. 
During Sacrament meeting I offered to translate for the new family from Cape Town South Africa. Then the husband wanted to bear his Testimony, so I went up to translate for him, he bore such a strong testimony. I could feel the spirit, so strongly. I will not forget what an amazing experience it was. 
I love this church and I love the Gospel, one thing that I have learned this week is that the Lord can change people as he has changed me.  I feel his hand in my life guiding me, and I feel the tides ever so turning, and I know with Him I cannot fail.  I love this Gospel and I hope you all have the chance to bear testimony of its divinity and power.  I never feel taller than when I am on the Lord’s errand.
I love you all, it was a great week!  From Angola, Africa….love Elder Dunkley