Contacts and Cliffs and Seminary Graduation in Africa!

On top of the Cliff on the other side of the World!

Loving the view!

I am loving Lubango, I want to stay here forever!  The Work here in Africa is booming and it’s an exciting time to be a missionary.  Wow Riley you made the Varsity Team! That’s Amazing!  I am also needing new shoes as I have had to repair them 2 or 3 times and new boots would be nice, it rains so much here that we have to walk through rivers, it feels like anyway!  I loved the package so much… peanut butter and honey are so expensive here, so thanks, I had some this morning with pancakes it was so awesome!
So this week is rained harder than ever.  I felt like it was hurricane season in Texas, which can get pretty bad.  We were soaked by the rains and everything got wet!

Jumping across!

Elder and Sister Lopez, married couple- missionaries and Elder Wilson left this week.  We spent time in meetings and getting things organized for the Lubango Branch.  We are seeing some progression in two of our investigators.  Jorge, a friend of a member named Henrickes, that is working towards baptism.   He came to a baptismal service on Friday and after he said that he wasn’t far away from that..I gave him a hug and I could tell that he was able to feel the spirit, which I think is one of the best things.  He is participating at church and getting involved during Gospel Principles.  He is working hard to be able to be baptized on Feb. 22nd. He has to leave town for Military purposes so we are hoping that it will happen before he needs to leave. We also have another investigator her name is Zani she is about 15 or 16 and is very smart.  We also are also teaching an investigator  who has been taught by the missionaries for a long time but is finally getting baptized on the 8th of Feb. Which I am way pumped for! We are getting him prepared and I hope everything goes well!  We went over the baptismal questions with Domingos to make sure that he is ready for his interview, he is excited to be baptized.  We had training with the Zone Leaders this week as it is just 4 of us in Lubango.  We talked a lot about the growth of the ward and how we can get the Branch to flourish.  There is great member support here and it is truly a blessing when the members are helping you and the work really grows a lot more effectively.  I am so grateful for member support!  So Elder Lopez came down (Brazilian Missionary) in his 60’s a super funny guy and he came to the house to give us all training that I think we all needed to hear.  He talked about our emotional and physical health, our well being and trying to stay happy.  He has served a mission and he knows that it is tiring and that you can get very exhausted. He talked about how we need to be a support unit for each other since there are only 4 of us down here.  He pointed out that everyone wants to talk to us because we look different and everything and this can also be very tiring.  But is the mission and you just have to force up a smile and the Lord will do the rest. 
On Sunday it was a great day and we had a great turn out at church. I brought suckers to keep the kids quiet during Sacrament meeting.  After that we ate at the Branch Presidents house, it was a beautiful day and we ate outside and had a wonderful meal.
Then we went to the church for the seminary graduation meeting, even here in AFRICA! It made me think of when I graduated seminary!  We had cake and there were lots of the youth here that are preparing to leave on missions.  Last year we had 13 missionaries leaving from Angola!
Other than the parasite and allergy that I have had over the past week or two the missionary work has never been better! We are contacting everyday and always looking for new members and investigators to teach and the work here is thriving and I am loving this area here in Lubango!  I hope to stay here for awhile! I wish you all the most wonderful week full of spiritual experiences!  We had a wonderful week and the Lord is my life at all times! I hope that you recognize that too!

Love Elder Dunkley


Serra de Leba mountain and....the Chameleon!

Serra de Leba

Serra de Leba Mourntain

On the cliff at Serra de Leba

On the edge at Serra de Leba

Lubango is probably the coolest province!  Today we went to go and see Serra de Leba, which is a windy road that goes up a mountain on the way to Namibia... super cool... It had cliffs too, I didn’t get too close this time Mom!
Some great news! We just got 3 new elders here!! I won’t be meeting them any time soon, maybe in a few months, but anyways so Visas are finally coming thru.
 I love Lubango so much! We have a baptismal date marked with a man who has been investigating the church for about a year, he decided to not get married and join the church. Elder Wilson and Elder Wilhelm had a baptism this past Saturday it was way cool, our baptismal pia(font) is way tiny,  and Elder Wilhelm is so big it is difficult to baptize under the water.   Things are going very well, and I am loving the area!  Elder Wilson leaves next week, wow Mom you are heading to another trip to Honduras hopefully you won’t get any parasites!
So here in Lubango., the members are really strong and they work with the missionaries.  I’ve never had more close relationships with members on my mission, than here in Lubango. They are so wonderful, and we are working with them and their friends, for referrals. I am finding that it is a really good way to do missionary work. My companion and I are doing great... the work continues to move on strong!!

Cristo O Rei statue like the one in Brazil

Cristo o Rei statue..its huge

This week I was on a division with Elder Wilhelm in my area, and we had a lot of success.  We taught this guy named Belmiro inside his taxi.  He explained to us his biggest concern was being afraid of going to church, because a lot of churches here can put fear into people especially if they aren’t paying tithing.  So we explained to him that he wouldn’t feel any fear if he came to our church. Cool lesson..then we taught another new guy named Simao and we had a lesson just getting to know him and his pasture friends.. they offered us a drink we talked about the church... super cool guys... very open.. they were from The Congo... and spoke French and Portuguese! So this Sunday at church we had about 82 people come! Super good turn out!!  We had so many new people come!! We didn’t have to teach primary thankfully... oh also we are teaching one members friend named Henrickes, who is such a cool guy!  We are helping him make changes in his life of giving up alcohol and other things, and make good choices for friends, I know that will help him a lot. After we met some more of Henrickes friends playing foosball outside of one of the bars. They challenged Elder Money and I to some games,  I wrecked, haha, I won like 8 times in a row,  then a really good Angolan was destroying and beat me, anyway super fun..


More of me and the Chameleon!

Well this week was a success, I can see the Lord’s hand in our work each and every week, focusing on those that are ready to hear the Gospel and having the spirit with me during lessons is my focus. It’s a wonderful time to be a missionary I love you all sooo much and I wish you the best week! Love Elder Dunkley!


Tunda Vala and Waterfalls....teaching Primary!

Waterfall at Tunda Vala

P-day at Tunda Vala

It was wonderful to hear from you guys on Christmas and also another email today…it makes me feel connected!  So you guys are in Park City! You must be having a blast! I wish I could see snow, it will be another year!  People here have never seen snow, I served with Elder Francisco and he is Angolan and he went to the MTC in Provo and saw snow for the first time and he was amazed! He sent me some pictures, super cool,  Anyways another trip to visit the relatives, I miss those times, sometimes I feel like I took it for granted…But hey then I am home and then we can go up for spring break or something- right mom?!  And Happy Birthday Mason! I wish I was there!
So there are two Elders here that are going home soon.  Elder Wilson and Elder Wilhelm which means we should be getting someone new missionaries next transfer and the following.  I am sad because Elder Wilson is my running buddy and he leaves this month.  We run through Lubango and up by the train tracks and up the mountain, it is so cool!  Hopefully they will send someone down who likes to run.  I keep on taking the Vitamins but I have no arm strength...I just do cardio!
 Here in Lubango it is pretty chill, I love the work here, the people and the atmosphere.  The work is going devagar…slowly... getting to know the area.  Here in Lubango everyone is so nice. We get huge rainstorms and they don’t leave their house if it rains. It is cool it’s like tropical rainstorms! Way awesome. We got stuck in our member’s house for 2 hours the rain was sooo bad!

River by Tunda Vala

Well the festivities are pretty normal here unless you are in the tribes. I am glad you liked my singing on the video that the Merrill’s made.  I will try and download some more pictures; the internet is really slow here.  I know the Skype was frustrating and cutting out but we did some good connecting and yes mom that was section 4 I quoted in Portuguese. I just wanted to memorize it. I can read the Spanish off of the cereal boxes so I can understand it.  I am sure that you can understand a lot of Portuguese as it is similar. Hopefully my future wife will speak Portuguese that way we can talk without the kids knowing like you and Dad did.  I think I want to teach my kids Portuguese also.
Our Mission is getting small because the Visas are taking so long.  There are only 3 Elders that are younger than me!  So the Elders from Huambo a province about 8 hours north came down by bus to stay with us for the holidays since it was just 4 of us here in Lubango...  We met up with them on Tuesday and we all got a Taxi and paid 50.00 to take us to Tunda Vala which is like a 7 wonder for Angola.  It was amazing, a mountain, thousands of feet up…it’s indescribable!  It also has famous waterfalls, it was too bad we could not jump in…but so cool to see!

Elders from Huambo

We also got burritos at this place call Habibis.  The only place open on Christmas Eve. 
The next morning we all opened up Christmas present from our families and we also did a gift exchange for one another.  I got a light saber…so cool! Then we all skyped our families which took like 6 hours because the internet is so bad here. Everyone looked so different especially my younger siblings, it is so crazy!  We had a Christmas meal at President Marques house it was so good.  On Thursday we said goodbye to all the Elders and we got back to work.  No one could meet with us because it was the day after Christmas and we ended up contacting that whole day.  I took the Elders out to lunch with the money I received from Christmas.

Gift exchange with the Elders...Light Saber

Presents from Family Christmas Package

Elder Wilson and I were walking on Christmas night and we saw a homeless man carrying a trashcan full of his stuff so we offered to help him carry it for him.  He was so happy and smiled with his 6 teeth. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to help him out.
So for New Year’s they light off fireworks at the Cristo O Rei estatua...Christ King Statue, so Elder Wilson and I watched the fireworks and then everyone went running into the street and started chanting something, anyways it was way cool. On New Year’s Day we hiked up to the Cristo O Rei Estatua! It is so big and huge up close! And we found a chameleon bigger than my hand!  We took pictures of it and it also changed colors depending on what color your shirt was! I loved the hike it was awesome!  We grilled hamburgers on our new grill that we bought and we met some new people this week, one of which was Jose.  He is the advertising manager for Coke here and his Boss is Mormon and that is how he came in contact with the church. He also speaks English and has a wonderful testimony; he is a humble awesome guy and wants what is best for his family.  He came to church this past Sunday. Lubango needs a great member like him in the branch. 

At church we had an amazing turn out!  So many people came, the chapel was overflowing!  We had over 93 people there. The primary teachers were not there so Elder money and I taught primary.  So it was hard to get the kids to get focused and listen and 2 boys kept trying to fight each other.  It took both of us to try and break them up and they were jumping on us and we were picking them up trying to get them away.  I thought about how I was in church sometimes when I was younger and can relate to the teachers. I guess I am getting a little taste of it now.  We played musical chairs and sang songs and had them draw pictures it was fun but a lot of work.

Primary Class- all ages in one small room

  Elder Money and I are still doing a lot of contacting in this new area, the days and weeks blend in so much I can’t possibly remember everything that goes on, but it is the spiritual moments that matter,  the Lord is working through us like never before,  I am stronger with Him on my side, the best feeling is seeing the fruits of our labors. It is a wonderful time to be a missionary and I couldn’t be in a better place in the World! I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s celebration! Prospero ano para voces! Amo Voces! Love Elder Dunkley Chau Chau!