Thanks for the quick reply!
For the auto focus, I did have it on single servo (s), I made sure that I pressed the AF-on button before I used it but it still wasn't able to do AF.
The batteries are new alkaline batteries.
Thanks for the suggestion on the dust specks. I'll look to make sure the dust isn't on the viewfinder before I find a small air blower. Won't a brush just add more dust on the mirror/bottom?