Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017 Francisco's Baptism

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

    This was such a great week for us. The weather has been super nice, hot, and humid so it has been fun to get some actual summer weather right before falls hits. The trees are starting to turn orange (which is my favorite color for those of you who didn't know) so that makes me so happy. One of my favorite things to do is crunch all of the leaves that are on the ground. Hermana Tietz and I recently discovered a trail that has FREE vegetables. We may or may not have passed by there a couple times last week. We love our veggies. So it's been a pretty great week.



 Francisco was baptized! He's so happy!

All of the people who came to Francisco's baptism!
We wanted to take a group picture so he could
remember all of those who came.

Hermana Anderson, hermano Celis,
Francisco, Obispo Fletcher, and us!

FRANCISCO GOT BAPTIZED! The baptism turned out to be perfect. Hermana Anderson actually surprised all of us and was able to get permission to come down to Rochester for the baptism. It was fun to see her again. After the being baptized Francisco told us that he felt like he was a little child again, pure and clean :). I was even able to see a difference in his countenance. He was confirmed in sacrament meeting yesterday! I felt the spirit testify to be yesterday that God and Jesus Christ really do love all of us so much- individually. Christ really is our personal savior  for each and everyone of us. Ahh Francisco seriously is a miracle. It has been such a blessing seeing him progress and his testimony become stronger and stronger. He has a genuine, sincere desire to do anything in his power to follow the example of the Savior. I know that by being baptized is one of the first and most important decisions that we can make in our lives. I am so happy and excited to see how his life is going to change even more, as he continues to strengthen his faith and progress in the gospel.

      Hermana Tietz and I have been trying to get creative with finding new people to teach, because we don't have too many people that are progressing right now. We went chalking with one of our favorite members, Sister Stewart. We chalked out the Plan of Salvation (or Plan of LOVE) and we were able to make some really good contacts with some people! One of my favorite things to teach people is about god's plan of happiness that He created for us. We also have just been knocking a lot of doors and talking to lots of people. We have definitely met a few promising people who seemed pretty prepared and ready to learn more about the gospel- so we are excited about them. Something that I have noticed recently is how happy we can be, even when we have several people in a row to "go away" or just shut the door without even saying anything. It may at some times get discouraging, but it has helped me grow to love the Savior even more- being able to experience a glimpse of what He did when he was on the earth. I am so grateful for his example because He spent His WHOLE LIFE serving others, and striving to be like Him everyday has made me realize how happy I can be even when things are hard.

I found a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley that I absolutely just love. He said:

 "Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. Cultivate a spirit of forgiveness in your heart against any who might have offended you. Look to the Lord and live and work to lift and serve His sons and daughters. You will come to know a happiness that you have never known before if you will do that. I do not care how old you are, how young you are, whatever. You can lift people and help them. Heaven knows there are so very, very, very many people in this world who need help. Oh, so very, very many. Let’s get the cankering, selfish attitude out of our lives, my brothers and sisters, and stand a little taller and reach a little higher in the service of others. … Stand taller, stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Forget yourself."

Hermana Torres!  She is a member from St. Paul.
i served in St. Paul back in January. It was fun to see her again1
I'm pretty sure that we all want to be happy- we all want happiness in our lives. I have seen this week that sometimes it does take a little work to find real happiness, but it is so much more worth it. Life is meant to have opposition in all things, but that doesn't mean that Heavenly Father wants us to walk around being unhappy and selfish people. I know that as we follow the example of Jesus Christ, of turning outwards and not inward, we are able to find that happiness and joy that comes from serving others.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you, but more importantly Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you all so much more!

Con amor, Hermana Duvall

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 "yo soy mini-misionero!" with some thoughts on my Grandma Smith

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos! 

Hermana Anderson and I (the amazing Hermana López
took this picture after we ate some delicious pannekoekens) 

 This week was one with lots of expected changes and lots of unexpected changes!! Hermana Anderson left Rochester and now Hermana Tietz is my companion. I already love Hermana Tietz so much and I really look up to her. She is a champ when it comes to all of the hispanics trying to pronounce her name correctly haha.

We finally remember to take a picture of Francisco!
We took this right after we showed him the
 Baptismal font. He says he's not super photogenic haha

 okay, so FRANCISCO IS DOING SO GREAT!!! I don't feel like I can fully express how amazing it has been to teach Francisco. He is simply just so prepared and is making it really easy to teach him. This week, we were able to teach him about various commandments! By the end of each lesson, he was practically bearing his testimony to us of that specific commandment and how much he knows that it is of God! He had his baptismal interview this last Saturday and he passed. After walking out of the room, he kept telling us over and over again how happy he was and how he felt so much peace and love from God.

 Just a casual pic of me at Transfers

It has been amazing to here the change that has taken place in his life. He said that about a month ago he would've never thought he would be at this point, but that he is so very grateful. He said before, he wouldn't stop to help someone or he would be embarrassed to talk about religious things, but now he says he smiles a lot more and wants to help all of those around him.  He also has a desire to share the gospel with his friends and family and he loves calling himself " mini misionero " and he brought his cousin to church yesterday! Woo. His baptism is scheduled for this Saturday afternoon! We are so excited for him!!! I was studying the other day and I found this quote that really reminded me of Francisco it says- "If you haven't chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."  I know that the decision that Francisco has made to be baptized is one of the best decisions ever. I know that as we choose to be on God's team, everything will always work out.
   Other than Francisco, we are visiting and teaching various people here and there. I have definitely seen the Lord's hard every day as we are out working. I am grateful to know that he is the one in charge of this work and I am so incredibly grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ. It makes me so happy to be able to follow in His footsteps every day.

      As some of you may know, my Grandma Smith passed away this last week. The knowledge of the Plan of Salvation- that I will see her again and that families are forever-- has really, really helped me this last week. I am sad that she is no longer here on this earth, but I am also filled with peace and comfort knowing that she is no longer suffering from Alzheimer's. I know that she is now one of the angels watching over me. My mom sent me a scripture this week that I wanted to share with you all. It's in Alma 24:14-15. And it says:  "And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has
made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations. Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged..."

I am grateful that my mom sent me this scripture because it brought me a lot of comfort. I really am so grateful to know that God loves us all so much. I have felt the love God has for me Specifically time and time again as I have turned to Him in prayer and turned to helping those around me who are also having a hard time. I am so grateful to know that God prepared this plan of Salvation so that we might have Hope and light in our lives. I know that Jesus Christ is the center of this plan, and I am ever SO grateful for His sacrifice. God knew that we wouldn't be able to return to live with Him again with Jesus Christ, which is why He sent his son to come to this earth.  What a wonderful, marvelous gift that we have been given. I love Jesus Christ so much!!!!! I couldn't imagine going through life without Him always by my side cheering me on or carrying me in the times where I feel like I can't go forward. I hope you all can rely a little more on our Savior this week.
love you all so much! More importantly, our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love you all SO MUCH MORE
con amor,
Hermana Duvall
Some Thoughts on Grandma Smith
On Tuesday night things seemed to work out perfectly so that I was able to receive a phone call from my mission president telling me that Grandma was going to be passing away soon. We had various appointments set up but they seemed to fall through. We found ourselves at the church waiting for a phone call from our investigator so that we would be able to have a Skype lesson. I know that God worked it all out so that I would be available to be able to  call my parents and talk to Grandma for one last time. I really wanted to sing grandma a song one last time and so I tried my best to sing "I know that my Redeemer Lives!" over the phone to her. It probably sounded a little pathetic, as I was crying at the same time. But, as I sang, I really felt that my testimony of the Savior seemed to grow a little stronger. I felt peace and comfort. I am grateful to know that the savior suffered for me and knows how to succor me personally.  After getting off the phone, I went into another room so I could say a pray by myself. I prayed for a good amount of time. As I prayed I felt the peace and comfort of the Savior lifting me up, telling me that grandma was going to be okay and so much happier. After saying my prayer, I saw the painting of the First Vision of Joseph Smith seeing God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I sat there looking at the picture, feeling so much gratitude for the sacrifice Joseph  Smith made to be an instrument in the Lord's hands of restoring His church. I have felt much comfort from the knowledge that has come from the Church of Jesus Christ being restored back to the earth. I felt so much love from our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.  As I stood there looking at the painting and zooming in on Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, I felt as if they were going to be waiting really soon, along with many other family members like papa and randy, for grandma to go back home into their arms.

     There are so many things that I love about Grandma and so many things that I am going to miss about her. I am grateful for all of the laughs that we had together. I am grateful for her laugh and her smile. I will miss that funny sound that she would make with her throat and how funny she thought she was when she did it. I will always remember the countless number of frozen yogurt runs that we had with grandma. She sure loved her frozen yogurt. I treasure the walks that we had outside when the weather was nice and sunny. I am grateful for music and for all of the many times that I was able to play the piano or guitar and sing for grandma. I especially loved when Grandma would hum or sing along to the song. I am grateful for all of the many conversations that we had as she would hold my hand and squeeze it every once in a while. Even when she wasn't able to respond back with words, I always knew that she was listening and that she loved me very, very much. I am grateful for all the little tender mercies where Grandma managed to say "I love you too" or something simple like "be happy."

      One of the things that I will always hold near and dear to my heart is how strong Grandma's faith and testimony is. I will always remember how much she trusted in God to stay on this earth, even so long after her body and mind wasn't able to function to it's full capacity. Thinking about this, how much faith it would've taken Grandma to continually submit to His will. It makes me happy to think that she is now pain free and she doesn't have any disease holding her back. Every time I visited grandma, I remember always feeling the presence of angels (D&C 84:88 -I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.) I am grateful to know that Grandma is now one of my angels that will be there, round about me, to bear me up. I am grateful that Heavenly Father kept her on this earth for all of us to learn so many wonderful lessons from her. From Grandma, I learned what it means to fulfill the measure of your creation and fulfill God's will. This life isn't about simply fulfilling our own desires or worldly wants, it's about aligning our desires with God's will. I know that I will always treasure her example, faith, trust and patience. I am grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I cannot wait to see her again, to hug her again, and to thank her again for her loving example to all of us. Until that day comes, I am grateful to know that she'll be one of the angels watching over me specifically and helping me return back home to live with our father in Heaven again.

    I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that because of His atoning sacrifice, that we all will live again in perfected bodies. I know that we can all repent of our sins, so that we can live in perfected, pure bodies- like unto Jesus Christ. I know that Families can be Together FOREVER. I know that it is our choice to fulfill God's will in this life, and I know that as we do so we will be blessed with happiness that will not only last in this life, but through the eternities. I know that this time that we don't have with grandma in this life, is going well to made up for and even more. I look forward to spending all of eternity with my family.

The Bergesens! He makes some really amazing smoked ribs.

The cute Howard Family!

 Los Meneses y Los Lascanos!
 Some of my favorite people here in Rochester!

 Brother Johnson, who is the ward mission líder, and his family! 

Most of the Hermanas at Transfers- plus Sister Barney
(who just happened to put on a Spanish name tag that day

 Hno José Castillo.
We had a lesson outside and the weather was absolutely perfecto

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017 Lots of Changes!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

President and sister Barney after MLC. 

  Espero que hayan disfrutado su semana! This has been a lot of week with lots of changes. Transfers have already come again.. time is just flying by faster and faster. I am going to be staying here in Rochester, and Hermana Anderson is leaving me to go to West St. Paul!! Hermana Tietz is going to be coming here with me and I am super excited. Also, as some of you may have figured out, I am back on Facebook! My mission was recently authorized to use Facebook in our proselyting efforts. I am really excited to be able to share the things I am learning and things that are important to me throughout the week. I would love it if any of you would send me a message If you have any questions about the church or what I am doing as a missionary! I love being a missionary and I am so very grateful for all of the different ways that we have to share the gospel!

*me* "ahh my hair is getting into my face"
 *president* "stop being such a girl hahahahah"
so funny. 

     This week we had MLC again and it was great to see some other missionaries again. We mainly just talked about how we are going to use online proselyting. It was cool to see everyone share experience and their thoughts about how this is going to help the work of the Lord hasten.

Jackie is a member that we love to go visit.
Also in this picture is is daughter, mom, and sister.
Love them! 

FRANCISCO!¡ okay, so Francisco is doing SO great. We were able to meet with him multiple times this week and I wish I could share everything thing. Teaching him has been so great. He is learning so quickly and applying the principles he is learning into his life. Hermana Anderson and I have agreed that sometimes it almost feels like he is teaching himself and we are just there to quite the lesson. One of the lessons that we taught this week was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the lesson, Franscisco kept on sharing what he had learned from reading a verse in the Book of Mormon and then would apply it to what we were teaching him! He give super awesome prayers. In the last lesson, he prayed that he will one day have the opportunity to be a missionary and share the gospel with others, so that other people can be baptized too! It has been amazing to see the desire he has to share the gospel with others grow as he is learning more and more.
     Other than Francisco, we are still doing a lot of finding and teaching a lot of other people here and there. We have some other investigators who are progressing at a slower pace and are doing super well. It is amazing to see all of the different kinds of journeys that all of us are on, yet the Gospel of Jesus Christ is able to help all of us!!
I was studying in the talk, "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox this last week. He shares a quote that I love, which says,
 "Elder  Bruce  C. Hafen has written, ―The  Savior‘s  gift of  grace  to us  is not necessarily  limited in time to 'after' all  we  can  do. We  may  receive  his grace  before, during  and  after the  time when  we expend our  own efforts  (The  Broken Heart [Salt  Lake  City: Deseret Book,  1989], 155). So grace  is not a booster engine that kicks in once  our  fuel supply  is exhausted.  Rather, it  is our constant energy  source.  It is not  the light at the end of the  tunnel but the  light that moves us through the tunnel. Grace  is not achieved somewhere  down the  road.  It is received  right here  and right now.  It is not  a  finishing  touch; it  is the  Finisher‘s touch."

Mona and Joyce! Hermana Anderson played the piano
 and I sang a couple of hymns for them and they LOVED.
They kept asking if we could just please do one more song haha 

This is something that has helped me this last week. Sometimes, we forget that the Savior really is there to help us all along the way. He isn't just going to choose when he is going to show up into our lives, He is always going to be there. I know that it takes our part to turn to him for the energy, light, or hope that we may be lacking. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that he has provided me with so much light and strength in my life. I am so incredibily grateful that he is the Light of the World that will never be hid. I hope you remember how much the Savior loves you and appreciates you! I know He has already suffered it all, so He KNOWS how to succor us and help us in every single way possible!!

  I hope you all have a wonderful week and know that I love all of you! More importantly, God and Jesus Christ love you all so much!

con amor,
Hermana Duvall

Deborah and Cesar and their daughters, Camila
 and Mia and a cousin that I don't remember her name haha 

Just a classic picture of me against a brick wall. 

Sister Miller is going home!
I served with her over a year ago in lakeville.
 It was sad saying goodbye to her. 

 I got to meet one of my Dads cousins, Polly, who is living here in Rochester. It was so great to share different family stories and to hear different things about the farm that her father and my grandmother grew up on! I love having family hear in Minnesota and it is definitely a treat that I got to visit her :)
Polly Mattson- my dad's cousin and I

Millie and Tillie

My dad's cousin had these picturesof my great grandmother Millie and her twin sister, Tillie

Sister Stewart! She recently moved here and
 is super awesome.
She is so strong and I look up to her a lot. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 Trusting in the Lord always works!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Hermana Anderson and I taking a picture
 in the midst of a knocking a bunch of doors.

      Another great week with lots rain and great weather ahah. There really haven't been many mosquitos recently and it hasn't been THAT humid. Also, happy birthday to the best momma there is! I am so grateful for you and all that you have done! I hope you had the best birthday last week. And congratulations to Amanda and Josh for their new baby girl, Chloe. She's so precious!

This week was filled with a lot of knocking doors and trying find new people to teach. We seriously knocked SO MANY doors. Nevertheless, the Lord blessed us with some amazing miracles.

Look at the beautiful sunset! 

We have been doing a lot of stop bys to people who were taught in the past. This week, we decided to stop by a guy named Francisco! We were able to set up an appointment for later in the week. When we went back on Saturday, we knocked and he wasn't home. So we were really sad at first, but then we decided to call him. So as we were walking back to the car, I saw that Francisco was walking down the street and saw him answering his phone. It was super funny and awkward, but it was a miracle because we ended up being able to teach him! It was raining, so we taught the lesson on his porch. We taught him about the restoration of the gospel and he was just soaking it all in. He said multiple times that he felt the spirit so strongly and that what we were teaching him was true. He especially LOVED the Book of Mormon, because it testified to him that God loves us all the same, no matter where we are from or what color our skin is. At the end of the lesson, he picked his own date to be baptized: September 15th! He knows it's pretty close, but he told us he likes Goals that push him. So we are going to work with him to help him prepare for this day. He also rode his bike all the way to church yesterday because he remembered that the Elders ride bikes a lot haha. He LOVED church and participated a lot in all of the classes. Francisco is literally a miracle and God just on him in our path. It's been refreshing to find someone like him who just recognizes truth. I am excited to continue working with him and watch him learn more of his purpose in this life and more of our Savior Jesus Christ.
   We also had interviews with President Barney this week. I am SO grateful for him and for his guidance that he has provided me. He really is so loving and caring and you can just tell that he absolutely loves being a mission President. He told me that he really is going really going to miss hermana Anderson and I so much when we leave, but I had to remind him that we still have a good 3 months left together haha. I love being a missionary and it has been so much fun working with Hermana Anderson again. I really look up to her and how selfless she is. Transfers are next week already and we can't believe how fast this transfer has gone!

      This week has definitely been a challenging one, but hermana Anderson and I have been working really hard to trust in the Lord and His timing. I have seen so many blessings come from showing faith and doing things that may be hard, but that we are prompted to do. I know that this is the Lord's work and I am reminded that everyday. It's amazing to see how things work out so perfectly as we are following God's will.

      I was studying in a talk this week called "Trust in the Lord and Lean Not" by Bonnie H. Cordon, and it says:

I photobombed her picture and
I thought it was super funny.
Here am I being my happy crazy self. 

 "When we physically lean toward one side or another, we move off center, we are out of balance, and we tip. When we spiritually lean to our own understanding, we lean away from our Savior. If we lean, we are not centered; we are not balanced; we are not focused on Christ."

I love this quote so much! If we picture someone using a crutch to stand up: as the person leans away from the crutch, there is nothing to catch them, no support. So as we lean away from Jesus Christ, there is no solid foundation that is going to catch us and be there to lift us up. I know that as we lean on Jesus Christ and we TRUST in Him, we have a much more solid foundation that will protect us against any doubt, confusion, temptation, etc. I know that Jesus Christ has the power to help us when we need it. I know that trusting in the Savior in His power and in God's plan that he has for us, we will always have a sure foundation that will lift us up. It is our decision to choose if we are going to rely on Him. He's always going to be there. I know that I have felt the Savior lift me up and carry me when I do get a discouraged in anyway, and I am SO grateful to have him as the most reliable crutch ever. I love my Savior so much.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Les quiero. But more importantly, Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ love you all so much more.

Con amor, 

Hermana Duvall

 Hermana Anderson visited Reyna when she
was in  this area before and we finally got
to see her again. We have no idea what she's doing haha. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 Adjust The Sails

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

 I finally got a picture with this!! 
When I was on exchanges with Sister Larsen, 
we went tracting on this street expecting people
 to think it was funny. Nobody really made any 
comments about how my last name was the same as 
their street name though ahah 

     This week was a great week, but definitely was hard one haha. We are doing alive and well and are laughing a lot, even though our teaching pool is not. We had a lot of investigators drop us and told us they didn't want us coming over anymore. Ill hit you all with the sad news first.... We are not going to be meeting with Jesus anymore. He was supposed to be baptized yesterday, but due to health concerns and a loss of desire to keep commitments we will not be meeting with him. It has been absolutely awesome to see the change that did take place in him. He started praying everyday and learned how prayers are more like a conversation with god. He has learned more about Jesus Christ and what He can do to help him personally. I know that Jesus learned and grew so much and I know he will one day reach out to the missionaries again. So that was really sad in the time being and was the hardest drop of them all last week, but I have felt peace that God has a bigger plan than all of us.

Sister Larsen is one of my favorite people ever. 

Love her!

      I went on an exchange with Sister Larsen this week! She has been out for a couple of months and it was the first time she got to take over her area. She is such a great missionary and you can just tell how much she loves being a missionary. As we were together, we were able to meet a lot of knew people and see the spirit work through us.

We took this picture in the park with our investigator Jose!!!

  There was one miracle that happened this week that I want to share with you all. On Saturday morning we were going to try to stop by to visit our investigator, José. It is really hard to contact him because he doesn't have a phone and his apartment building is a lock out. We were praying really hard hat we would be able to teach him because we hadn't seen him in a while. Right as we were saying our pray to go try to see him, we got a call from some elders. They told us that they ran into our investigator Jose in the park and Jose wanted to talk with us! The park was just down the street from where we had parked. We were able to have an awesome lesson with him in the park about the Book of Mormon. We invited him to be baptized and he really wants to! The catch is that he is going to Mexico for a month at the end of August, so we will have to pick up teaching him after that. We are going to try to see him one more time before he leaves. I am grateful for this little miracle. I have a testimony of when we follow the spirit, we will be lead to where god needs us to be and what god needs us to do.

    The other night, Hermana Anderson and I were talking about all of the things that happened during the week. We realized that a lot of sad things happened, and it didn't really phase us in the time being. Yet we are still so happy and laughing a lot. I think it's because  I found this quote this morning as I was studying. President Thomas S. Monson said, "We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we ​choose​ a positive attitude.”​​  I know that even when things don't seem to be working out the way we want them to, that God has a plan that's so much better than our own. I know that as we truly show faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, we can fully accept His will and His timing; and, He will help us have the strength to fulfill His will. We have the power to choose if we are going to following God's will and we also have the power to do so happily. I love being a missionary and I love the happiness that it has brought into my life!!
Last Monday, we had a really awesome FHE activity with all of the hispanics in our ward plus a couple of families that are learning/wanting to learn Spanish. It was definitely one of the high lights of the week!
It was so much fun seeing those who are trying to learning English and those who are trying to learn Spanish, trying to communicate with one another.
Hermana Anderson and I got to teach the lesson and then they all played tug-of-war and futbol together. It was such a fun evening.

   I hope you all have an amazing week, love you all tons! More importantly, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you all so much more!!!!

con amor,

Hermana Duvall

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017 Everything can be Illuminated

¡Hola mi Familia y mis amigos!

We were able to go to the La, Crosse district Meeting. 

I hope you all had a wonderful week. This has been a pretty interesting week for me!!
Last Monday, we headed out to La Crosse, Wisconsin for an exchange. We were there for Monday and Tuesday. It was fun to be out of Minnesota for a couple of days, because I have been in Minnesota and haven't left for more than a year haha.

Sister Jasperson. I love and look up to her so much!
She's from California so we had fun sharing our
experiences and love for CA. 

I was with Sister Jasperson, who is a Hmong Missionary. She has been out for just a month on her mission and she is on fire. I learned so much from her. I was able to participate (by sitting there and smiling) in the lessons that we taught in Hmong. One of the Hmong ladies that we visited, Grandma, said to me in Hmong that she would teach me Hmong and I needed to teach her Spanish haha.

This is grandma! She only speaks Hmong
 but she was so happy to open her home to us. 

Grandma gave us some gourd juice...
I'll just say that it's not my favorite haha 

     This week we did A LOT of finding. We are having to clean out our teaching pool because we haven't been teaching many people who are progressing or we haven't been able to get in contact with a lot of our investigators. As a result of this, we are knocking lots of doors and are trying to find new people to teach. It's really fun actually. We have been finding some new people to teach, but it is taking a lot of diligence and commitment. One thing I noticed yesterday as we were knocking a neighborhood was how happy I was. Even though we weren't seeing much success, we were able to talk to a few people who listened to us. I know that as we continue to  be diligent in our finding efforts that we are going to continue to see miracles. Focusing on the little miracles and all of the little blessings that God gives us is what is helping us continue to look forward with faith.
       We are still working with the Hermosillo Family and their dad who isn't a member Rigo. He expressed that he feels that he has never received an answer as he has prayed about the Book of Mormon. However, we had a really good lesson with him about Faith and putting in our part. I know god has a very specific plan for all of us and he answers us in His timing, according to our faith.
       We are still working with Jesus, but he will not be getting baptized next week. It still has been really amazing to see the change of coming closer to He savior take place in him. I know that the Lord strengthens us in things we wouldn't ever be able to do alone.
     A quote that really helped me this week was by Lorenzo Snow and he said:
“When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated.”
I know that as we looked outside of ourselves we are SO MUCH HAPPIER. I know that as we strive to bring light into the lives of others,that same light will come into our lives as well. I know Jesus Christ is the brightest light, and as we rely on Him we will never be in darkness. I know that our purpose in this life is to be happy and to be filled with light. It is up to us to go to Jesus Christ and He will life and illuminate us.

I love you all and I hope you have a very great week. More importantly, God and Jesus Christ love you all so much more!!!
Hermana Duvall

 El Hermano Jose Castillo gave hermana
Anderson and I these hearts with our names in it

 El Hermano Jose Castillo me this
 heart my name on it

We had to stop to take a picture with the
cute little ice cream truck (bus?).
I love that it has Dora on it haha 

We went and got tacos en a tienda called El Sueño.
Alex Frandsen, his little bro, and Jesus!!
It was good to eat some authentic tacos. 

Veronica!!!!! Look how happy she is!!! 

Just a classic picture of a Polaroid

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017 The Worth of Souls is GREAT!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
      This week was super great filled with lots of meetings and super nice weather. No joke, for like 4 days straight it was in the high 60's/low 70's and it was SO nice. But the humidity is slowly coming back. Okay, that's my weather kick for the week.

We went to Canadian honker and tried their famous
Bunnie's cake! Sister Luk and Sister Winters,
with a recent convert Victor 

    Last Tuesday, we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) up in Bloomington. Those are also super great being together as all the leaders in the mission and talking about how to improve the mission. I always learn a lot there. The next day, we had Zone Conference.  Hermana Anderson and I got to give a training, so that was fun.
       I had a really fun opportunity this Sunday translating. Our sacrament meeting is in English, and normally a member of the ward translates and those who need translation use headphones. This member wasn't able to make it to church this Sunday, so hermana Anderson and I had the chance to translate. As we were sitting there, one of the Hispanic members came up to me and asked if I could stand next to him as he bore his testimony in Spanish and translate for him. SO SCARY. I did it because he asked and it worked out fine- a lot better than I thought it would. I am grateful for the help the Savior gives me to be able to do things like that are super scary haha.

The Marler Family! We did a fun activity where we made
 sandwiches and related it to prayer. 
Their daughter Emma really loved it. 

   We also had Exchanges this week with the trio in the zone. So I went on an exchange with two sisters (Sisters Luk and Winters) and their companion Sister Woodward came to our area with Hermana Anderson. It was super cool because I got to sit in on a couple of Chinese lessons! I love that even though I wasn't able to understand what was being said, I was able to feel the spirit. Doesn't matter what language, the spirit can still be there.

Out here in Wisconsin mini golfing for Pday.

    We are currently in La Crosse, Wisconsin, for today and tomorrow. We came  here for an exchange with Sister Calchera and Sister Jasperson. I can finally say that I have been to Wisconsin. It's pretty because there are these bluffs that almost look like they could be mountains!
       We were finally able to see one of our investigators, Naya this week! She has been out of town visiting family for the last month or so. We had a really amazing lessons bout the Plan of Salvation. We invited Naya to be baptized and she said she really wants to. She had to talk to her parents about it, so we are praying for her! We also were able to see Jesus this

This morning as we were driving to Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
The Mississippi River

week again. They had a really amazing lesson with him about Tithing while we were on exchanges. We had another lesson with him later in the week, and he has lost a lot of hope. He has been making so many changes in his life and has had various trials come in his path as he had been preparing for baptism. He hasn't been able to see the blessings come from all of theses changes. We are still planning on visiting him more and we are hoping that he will continue to hold on a little longer. I know Blessings come in Gods timing and that God has a perfect plan for all of us.
      A scripture that has been running through my mind a lot this last week is in  D&C 18:10 which says "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God"
We need to see ourselves and others as God sees us, so that we are able to remember our great worth and potential. I know that God sees us for who we can become. He knows who we can become, and he has a very perfect plan to help us get there. I know that God loves every single one of us no matter what. If there has been one main thing I have learned being a missionary is how important we are to our Heavenly Father in heaven. I know he answers our prayers. I know he knows best. I know that Heavenly Father sent His Son to give us the strength to keep pressing forward even when it is hard. I love being a missionary so much and I love teaching people this wonderful truth.

I love and appreciate you all! I know that God, and His Son, Jesus Christ love you all so much more. Que tengan una buena semana

Con amor,
Hermana Duvall

a super cool 🌅 sunset!
 It definitely looked better in person than in the picture.