Monday, December 26, 2016

December 25, 2016 First White Christmas

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

7-way Skype call. It was so much fun being able to talk to my whole family. 

I love each and everyone of them so much! 

My cousin, Erinn! It was so awesome to get to visit them!
We randomly stopped by and caromed to them.
 It was so nice to get to visit with them!! Love them!!

      I hope you all had a very wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world!! I am so grateful that I am here in Minnesota right now and that I could spend Christmas with the people who I love here!! I experienced my first white Christmas! There was snow on the grow and everywhere outside, so that was pretty exciting! I Skyped my family yesterday and it was a very special gift. I am so grateful for my family and for everything they do for me. I love each and every one of the very much!
     This week was an awesome week and I was able to witness a bunch of
little miracles this last week. We were able to teach a lot of people this week about Jesus Christ, and we had various lessons were they seemed like little miracles. I love being able teach others more about Jesus Christ, and helping them understand that Jesus Christ can help them with anything! I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and what He did for us. Yes, He is the reason for the season, but He is the reason for our lives as well. I love sharing this message with the people here in Minnesota. It makes me so happy that I can share it.
    Earlier this week, Hermana Ch├ívez and I were looking for a trailer park that we could go knocking (because there tends to be a good amount of hispanics in trailer parks). But we typed in the wrong address and ended up on this random street of town homes. We decided that there must have been a reason that we ended up there, so we decided to try knocking a couple of the houses. Wended up knocking this door of a lady named Cheryl. Cheryl had just gotten home from the hospital, because she had broken her arm the night before. She expressed to us other problems and difficulties that she has been going through and how she wasn't super excited for Christmas this year because it was just going to be different. We were able to show her the "Light the World" Christmas video to her. As we were watching the video, Cheryl just started crying. She said that the video helped put the real meaning of Christmas back into her life again. We also sang her favorite Christmas song, "O, Holy Night!" with her. From the moment she opened the door to when we were able to leave, I felt like I literally saw a person change right before my eyes. This experience just testified to me how much Heavenly Father really loves each and every one of His children. Also, that Heavenly Father is aware of all of His children and their needs. I know that He lead us to her door to lift her spirit and help her remember what Christmas is really all about. I know he's aware of all of our needs and that He will always answer our prayers. It may not be in the way the we want or think it will come. Sometimes He will answer our prayers through other people, even strangers that just show up at your door (perhaps, missionaries?? :) haha). I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to meet another one of God's children, Cheryl, and help her recognize her worth in he Heavenly Father's eyes.
    On Saturday, we had a couple of lessons in the morning. Then, we were able to celebrate Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) with some members. We first went to our ward Christmas dinner and visited with them members there. After, we spent the rest of the night with la familia Davila! Hermana Davila made like ten different kinds of Tamales, and they were all SOO GOOD. I ate a couple of the different kinds, but unfortunately I physically didn't have enough room to eat as much as I wanted to. I love the Davila Family! Everytime I am with all of them, I feel like I am with my family.
    Christmas day was so wonderful! It is definitely a Christmas that I will never forget. It was my only Christmas in the mission field, but I am so grateful that I could be here to celebrate it. Our ward combined with an English ward for a Christmas Musical Program. There were a lot of beautiful musical numbers and talks; of course, my favorite part of it all was that it was all about Jesus Christ! I love the spirit that music can bring. Also, about 7 other missionaries and I were able to participate in the program. We sang Silent Night. some in English and some in Spanish. After church, went over to the Zempoaltecatl's house. We spent most of Christmas day with them. After skyping our families, we helped them make dinner and then ate! We had super yummy tacos, ponche (which is this heavenly warm juice made from boiling fruit) and a samoan dish called Panipopo. It was all super good! We also went Christmas caroling up in Maple Grove, and I got to surprise my cousin Erinn and stop by her house! It was super special to get her and her family. We also were able to teach some lessons as well! Overall, this was definitely one of my favorite Christmas's ever. I think it was one of the first Christmas's that I was really able to just focus on the real meaning of why we celebrate Christmas: Jesus Christ.
      This week I tried centering all of my studies around Jesus Christ, and I learned so much!  By studying and applying what I was learning, my testimony in the Savior has grown a lot this last week. One of the things that I studied this week is the need for the Savior in our lives. Sometimes we think that we can become better, become more Christlike, or repent, without the help of the Savior, Jesus Christ. But, we cannot become like the Savior without His help!  Heavenly Father has provided us with a savior for a reason! In a talk by Elder Craig C. Christensen he said:

"These are the “good tidings of great joy” we celebrate at Christmas—not only that Christ was born but that He lived among us, gave His life for us, was resurrected, and ultimately “finished the work which [His Father gave Him] to do.” We rejoice because the confusion and chaos of this world can be hushed by the promise made to us from the very beginning—a promise fulfilled by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For this reason, the story of Christmas is not fully told without the story of Easter. It was the Savior’s atoning sacrifice that made holy the silent night in Bethlehem. It was His gift of redemption that caused us to shout for joy in the premortal world—this gift that heals our sickness, restores our sight, and wipes away all tears.
The light we love at Christmas emanates from the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. The story we cherish at Christmas tells of our Father’s plan of happiness, which Christ made possible. The gift that makes the Christmas season sacred is His very life, which He gave that we might have everlasting life. May we receive this gift and share His love and His gospel with all the world, particularly during this wonderful season of the year, is my prayer in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I love this quote because it is so true! Although Christmas is over, we can still serve others and following Jesus Christ's example! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that through Him we can all gain eternal happiness. Here's to a new year filled with lots of happiness!
     I love you all, but more importantly Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ love you all so much more!! Have a wonderful week, and Happy New Year!!
Hermana Duvall
Also, some exciting news!!

The transfer board finally just got emailed out, and I am getting transferred to East St. Paul. I am also going to be an STL with Hermana Warmbier. I am so excited and a little in shock. This is going to be a fun transfer!!

On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 1:38 PM, Jennifer Louise Duvall
<> wrote:

Obispo Volz and Sister volz!
They put together a super nice lunch for us and gave us some Christmas stockings.
I am so grateful for them and their examples. 

. Pakito!!! We finally got a picture with him.
He was baptized early this year and loves the gospel! 

 I am so strong apparently haha

Noche Buena at the Davila's home!! 

We opened presents early in the morning on Christmas so that's why I look like I'm half asleep haha

The Zempoaltecatl family!! Hermana zempoaltecatl actually served her mission here in Minnesota! We love them so much and are grateful for everything that they do for us!! 

Classic Christmas pic to end the day. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

19 December 2016 - Merry Christmas from Minnesota!!!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Primero, FELIZ NAVIDAD! I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and that it is filled with lots of happiness and gratitude! I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent His son, Jesus Christ, here to earth to be the light of the world. So it got sooo much colder here this week. I left my water bottle in the car for less than an hour and when I got back in the car it was completely FROZEN!

It was cool but I was really thirsty. I've never understood why people say that when it gets below -20 degrees it hurts to breath, but now I know what they mean. Yayyy. This week has been a fun learning week of how to layer and stay warm. Church was cancelled yesterday because of how cold it was. Our ward Christmas party was also cancelled due to the weather. We were kind of sad because we had some investigators planning on coming, but that's okay! It gave us more time to be out working. :)

We met with the wonderful Hernandez family (Ellie y Jose) again this week! They fasted for the first time last week, and they had some cool stories to tell us. They both felt quite accomplished and they are excited for the next fast Sunday! They have gotten to the point where missionaries have taught basically all of the lessons with them. So we are going to continue to visit it them and help them in areas they need to continue to prepare for baptism.

Because the Christmas party was cancelled we were able to go and teach Sergio and Natali! When we first got there, they offered us coffee because we just looked so cold haha. We were able to teach them about the word of wisdom and the blessings of living this commandment. Then they were asking if we had evidence to prove that Jesus Christ came to the Americas. So, we were able to teach them about the Book of Mormon. Sergio had already be taught in the past about it by other missionaries; however, Natali was just soaking in everything that we were saying. They both are going to read the Book of Mormon this week and pray about to see if it's the word of god; they are so excited! They even started watching the Restoration Movie right before we left their house. I love teaching them. Natali is just so humble and wants to learn the truth, and Sergio asks the most interesting questions.

We were able to teach Christian again this week! He asks a lot of really great questions every lesson that we have with him. During this lesson, he asked why there are so many churches and how he can figure out what church is really the Church of Jesus Christ! We were able to testify to him about Joseph Smith restoring the same Church that Jesus Christ established while He was on the earth. He found peace in hearing about the story of Joseph Smith; and, also know that we have Another Testament of Jesus Christ (The Book of Mormon) that can help us learn about Jesus Christ. He told us that he wouldn't have taken the Book of Mormon if he wasn't going to read it. He is looking for the path that is going to lead him in the right direction. He really has a desire to continue to learn more and more. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon and continuing on this path that he is on, that it is the path that will lead him to the most happiness!! This gospel has brought so much happiness into my life, and I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to help others find this light!

We had the chance to go Christmas Caroling this week!!! I LOVE christmas caroling, so it was so much fun for me. As the Minneapolis Zone, we joined together at a Senior Home down in Richfield and sang Christmas songs to those who live there! It was such a special experience. I love seeing how music can help people be so much happier. We also had the opportunity to go Christmas caroling with some of the youth in our ward, and that was a super fun experience as well! I love the ward that I am serving in. I am so grateful that I get to spend Christmas here with them this year!

I really loved the Christmas Devotional that we had a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to share a quote from Elder Bednar's talk:

"In every season of our lives, in all of the circumstances we may encounter, and in each challenge we may face, Jesus Christ is the light that dispels fear, provides assurance and direction, and engenders enduring peace and joy. Many of our memorable and enduring Christmas traditions include different kinds of lights—lights on trees, lights in and on our homes, candles on our tables.May the beautiful lights of every holiday season remind us of Him who is the source of all light."

I love this quote so much because it is so true! Jesus Christ is the Light that all of us need in our lives, and Christmas is a wonderful time of the year that we have to remember Him and to celebrate Him!!! I am so grateful for my savior Jesus Christ, and for the light that He has provided me in my life! I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to share this light with these people here in Minnesota!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas celebrating our Savior Jesus Christ! I love you all, but more importantly Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ love you all so much more!!!

Hermana Duvall
Minnesota Minneapolis Mission

Rudy and his daughter Rosario! Rosario was visiting from Guatemala this week so we got to meet her! We visit Rudy almost every week and read the Bible with him.

yay for cold and hot pizza 

Twelve Days of Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2016

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!!



I tried taking a picture of a snowflake. 

     I hope you all had a wonderful week and are looking for ways that you can all serve around you. I really love the #LightTheWorld video and calendar that the church put out, and I have seen the difference that it has made in my life the past couple of weeks. I just feel so much happier!
     IT SNOWED SO MUCH AND IT IS SO COLD. To the local Minnesotan’s I am sure that it isn't that cold, but it seems really cold to me ha-ha. It basically snowed the entire weekend. We had to get a ride to church yesterday with some members, and it took us about an hour to drive to church (when it normally only takes about 25-30 minutes) because of all of the traffic and snow. I am so grateful that Hermana Chavez is driving, but I do not have any experience driving in the snow. Although it is really cold. And my face seems like it is always cold, I am so incredibly grateful that I am a missionary right now. I love Minnesota and the people here that we are teaching.

Sister Bingham and I with Marylyn. 

We met her at the gas station!!
She is seriously one of the sweetest people I have ever met.

    This week I went on exchanges with my STL, Sister Bingham, and I went down to her area in Eden Prairie. It always is a little different doing English work but I really enjoyed it. We met with a super sweet older guy in the morning and read the Book of Mormon with him. Then, we taught a family who is actually Hindu. The missionaries started teaching them about a couple of years ago, so they have come to believe in Jesus Christ. Which is so awesome! We also taught a recent convert, Leah, later that night. She was baptized back in September, and she just has been on fire ever since. She loves saying prayers and loves reading her scriptures. She was super fun to teach. As Sister Bingham and I were driving back to exchange back with our companions, we stopped at the gas station because we both had to use the bathroom. While Sister Bingham was in the bathroom this super sweet lady walked up behind me. We started talking to each other and what our favorite thing about Christmas is. Then, I was able to share the #LightTheWorld video with her. She absolutely loved it. Sister Bingham came out of the bathroom in the middle of the video, and we got her number. Marylynn is excited to have the missionaries come visit her soon!

 Exchanging back. Trying to stay warm!!
The wind makes the cold so much worse haha. 

We had another lesson with Jose and Ellie! They are doing really well and have been saying their family prayers more often. They told us that they really notice a difference when they say their prayers and when they don't. This week we had a quick lesson about fasting, and how it is important to fast with a purpose. They weren't able to fast on fast Sunday a couple of weeks ago, but they fasted the day after we had the lesson with them. Jose and Ellie told us that it went really well. We are going to follow up with them more later this week when we see them again.  Also, Jose wants to start paying Tithing even though he's not a member yet! I am amazed about both of their examples of diligence in keeping the commandments!
      I finally got to meet an investigator that they were teaching before I got her to Minneapolis named Yacqueline. Yacqueline is golden.  The last couple of weeks we have been sending her scriptures to read, and she has read all of them. She loves reading the scriptures, and she is always asking us what else she should read. We went over there with the intent of sharing the Christmas video, but turned out that she had already watched it! She also has been doing an act of service every day since. So we shared another Christmas message with her. During the lesson she just flat out told us that she wants to be baptized! She expressed the desire she has to follow Jesus Christ in every way possible; and, has recognized the spirit so much more in her life since she started meeting with us. We aren't sure when she is going to be baptized. She has some family coming into town and won't have time to meet with us; but, we are going to continue sending her scriptures.  Yacqueline has such a light about her, and being around just makes me want to be better. I am excited to watch her continue to progress in her testimony of the savior.
    We had another lesson with Jessica again! Jessica is such a sweet soul. We shared the Christmas Video with her, and she loved it. She is so excited to serve just as Jesus Christ served! Funny story: At one point in the lesson she was telling us a story, and she said the funniest thing to us: "At first I really liked it. It was so lit.... wait do you guys even know what lit means??" We just cracked up! Apparently I am getting to that point where I look like I shouldn't know anything about what's going on in the world.
     During my studies this week, I was reading about Jesus Christ birth. I just love how the sign of Jesus Christ's birth was three days and three nights without darkness. How special is it that when the first gift of Christmas, the Savior of the world was born, that there was no darkness? I definitely know that Heavenly Father didn't do that on accident, because Jesus Christ really is the light of the world! In John 8:12 Jesus Christ says, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." I know that this is true! As we follow Jesus Christ, we will have so much more light and joy in our lives.  In a talk (That Ye May Be Children of Light) given by Elder Robert D. Hales, it talks about this exact thing. He says:
“Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps you are the light sent by Heavenly Father to lead another safely home or to be a beacon from a distance to show the way back to the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life? Your light is a beacon and should never stop burning or mislead those who are looking for a way home. … Jesus Christ is the light that has been given to us so that we may follow and know where to go. [I pray] that each one of us may choose the right [so that we can] lift and strengthen those around us."
   I also know this to be true!! We can all follow the example of Jesus Christ and be a light in the lives of others! Heavenly Father loves all of His children so much; I know that as we turn to Him in prayer to know who we need to serve, or bring back into the light, that He will tell us! I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers as we pray to Him in Faith. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and is the Savior of the world. I am so incredibly grateful for Jesus Christ and his redeeming love. I love my Savior. He is one of my best friends. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to help others feel of Jesus Christ's love.
    I love you all so much! But more importantly, Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, love you all so much more!!

Hermana Duvall


Minneapolis Zone! I forgot to mention in my main letter that We had our Christmas Zone Conference. It was down in the Lakeville Chapel. It find kind of weird being back in Lakeville but it was fun getting to see everyone again! Sister Cobb and I sang a musical number. I was going to record it but I forgot until I was already up on the stand. We also got to watch the movie It's a wonderful life!! 

Some of the Spanish hermanas!! 

Me, Chavez, Leavitt, Anderson, Dean, and Rowland. 

Sister Abrahamson. We visit her every week. 


Hermana Carmencita!
I love visiting her. She has one of the most unique personalities ever.
We sang hymns with her this last week. 

We made pupusas again this week! I was trying to make it look like

 I was smiling with the half eaten pupusa in my face. 

 From the 12 days of Christmas package that i sent to Hermana Duvall and Hermana Chavez.  I wrapped each gift and taped a spripture on the outside. They were to read the scripture and then they were suppose to guess what was inside. 

Proverbs 13:19 -Burt's Bees Chapstick 2 Timothy 4:3 Q-tips

1 Samuel 2:9– socks

Add caption

1 Samuel 2:9– socks & Revelation 14:19- vine of the earth- red vine

Luke 2:14- ornament peace good will toward men

Proverbs 6:21  scarf

Monday, December 5, 2016

12-5-2016 "Happy December!!"

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos! 

This one is for you momma!! I know how you love manager scenes!! 

I hit my actual 6 month mark last week!! So crazy!

 Hermana Chavez surprised me by making me the cute flower balloon

 and sign over my bed. So sweet 

  I can't believe it is the last month of the year!! It's so crazy to think how fast time has gone! It's already December, and it has barely even snowed here in Minnesota. It snowed once this week, but the snowwas all melted by the end of the day haha. Not complaining though.   

I hope everyone had a wonderful week, because I really did!! I love the Christmas video and ideas that we have to serve every single day, just as Christ served. It's been fun to see how serving others helps others happy and it helps me feel so much happier. It's true that when you are serving those around you, that's when you are the happiest!!
   We taught Jose and Ellie again this week. They both have basically been taught everything that they can be taught by the missionaries. So, we asked them all of the baptismal interview questions. They both already have such strong testimonies, and are really awesome examples to me. They said that they both feel ready to be baptized, but they just need to be married before they can.  We are going to continue teaching them and helping them progress towards baptism. We don't have a specific date that they are working towards, but hopefully we will be able to set one soon with them!  

  We had some pretty cool miracles this week with sharing the Christmas video with some more people. On Wednesday, we met Sergio and Natali. Sergio met with the Hermanas back in march, and we decided to stop by and meet them this week.  We just had a short lesson and shared the Christmas Initiative video with them.  Natali, his wife, expressed to us that she's never been super religious but she wants to learn more! She invited us to come back and teach them some more, especially because she wants her daughter to learn about Jesus Christ.  At the end of this lesson, Sergio offered the closing prayer (after we taught him how to pray) and when I looked over to Natali she was tearing up. The spirit was really strong. We ended up going back on Saturday to teach Sergio, Natali, and Caty (their daughter).We just taught them all about the importance of prayer and how prayer really is a gift from God.  Religion in general is a little new to Natali and Caty, but they both are excited to learn. They just soak in everything that we teach.  We had a member come with us, Hermana Matus. It was perfect because she was able to invite Caty to mutual. Caty is excited to come to mutual, and hopefully they will make it to church this next week!
    Earlier this week we received a bible request/referral for someone named Christian. So, we called him and set up an appointment to teach him and bring the bible to him. We taught him about the importance of studying scriptures and introduced the Book of Mormon to him. However, it turns out that the other Hermanas (Hermana Anderson y Hermana Leavitt) who are serving in Richfield had taught him a week earlier and had given him a Book of Mormon. The whole time we were teaching him he just kept saying "I believe it." He is excited to learn more about Jesus Christ and said that he will pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Also, he came to church yesterday too!! He wasn't able to stay all three hours but really enjoyed it.  

    We also had a pass-off lesson with the Medicine Lake Elders this week! They have been teaching Dago in English for the past couple of weeks, and they decided it would be better for him to be taught in his first language. So, we had a lesson and got to meet Dago and his family! Dago actually had been taught by the missionaries back in like 1997 and went to church every week for a whole year. However, he had some troubles in his life and stopped going to church. Then the Elders randomly knocked on his door a couple of weeks ago and just started teaching him! We taught him about faith. He has a strong desire to learn who God is and who Jesus Christ in.  We invited him to simply pray to know if God is there. We are going to continue to teach him, but it is going to be little by little. He is super excited to continue learning though!!! 

 On Sunday, Hermana Matus asked us to help her out in her Young Women's class on Sunday, because she was going to be talking about bringing others unto Christ. We helped her by sharing our experiences with missionary work and why we chose to serve..etc. Talking to these 12-13 year old girls, made me reflect on how much I really love being a missionary. I am so grateful to be here serving the Lord and serving the people here.  I love the scripture in Mosiah 2:17 it says, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Jesus Christ is the best example of what it means to serve your fellow men along with serving God. We don't have to do something super over the top to serve; it can be something as little as a smile or a note. I know that service and being charitable is what can help us become more like Jesus Christ and learn more about him! I know that Jesus Christ is the reason for this season! I hope that we can all look more outside of ourselves and serve those around us. I can promise that as you serve more that you will be able to feel more of God's love in your life for you and for those you are serving!!!

    I love being a missionary. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. And I love all of you!! More importantly, however, Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ love you all so much more!! Have a happy week full of service!!! 

Hermana Duvall 

I finally got to eat some super yummmmmmyy sushi!! It's been way too long!!
We went there last p-day. So worth it!

Hermano Pacos daughter, lluvia! She's one of the sweetest little girls. 

Whenever we go to teach Paco o Pakito she always loves sitting next to us. 

Hermana Leavitt and Hermana Anderson!! I love serving in this ward with them. I look up to both of them so much! They are serving down in Richfield.

Hermana Leavitt