Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017 Rain or Shine

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

 

 We had a Zone
pumpkin carving activity!
This is the temple!


  This was one great week! Good news is that I am going to be finishing my mission here in Rochester with Hermana Tietz :) we were super surprised because we didn't think we were going to stay together, but I am excited for her to "kill" me! I love this area and there's so much more to do, so I am so happy that i get to be here for another six weeks.

      We had a very interesting week as far as teaching lessons and such. At the beginning of the transfer we made a goal to knock 100 doors before the end of September. Once we met that goal we made another goal to knock another 100 doors by the end of a transfer. Last week we met that goal, and we set another goal to knock 50 more doors by the end of the transfer and we met it the next day. Needless to say, we have been knocking a lot of doors and looking for people who are willing to hear this wonderful message. Rain or shine- it's been super fun. We haven't seen too many things come out of it yet, but we know that the Lord has a Plan and we just need to continue to work hard and be diligent missionaries.

     So, as we have been doing a lot of finding because we don't have a huge teaching pool right now, we have had SO MANY crazy experiences. Something that we have been trying to do is following spiritual promptings right away. I love following spiritual promptings because they lead us to do the Lord's will. However, we get ourselves into really awkward situations. The other day we were driving through this random neighborhood back to our apartment to get some lunch. As we were driving I saw this random house and thought "go knock that house." So we stopped the car and knocked that specific house. The people who lived there weren't interested. We felt that there must've been some reason as to why we were told to stop. So we walked across the street and knocked on another house.  GUESS WHO IT ENDED UP BEING!! It ended up being some investigators who recently moved last week and we hadn't received their new address from them yet. We seriously felt super stalkerish to be honest because out of all the houses in Rochester, we knocked into the house that they had just moved it. Seriously, it was not a coincidence whatsoever. I am so in awe that happened now, even a couple of days after!!


all of the missionaries
(plus Steven Bly who just got back from
his mission in Peru on the very end)
who helped out with the
question and answer session! 


    We also had a really cool experience this morning.  A group of high school students from a religion class came to our church building to have a tour of it. At the end of the tour we had a "question and answer" time with them. It was a super cool experience to be able to stand up in front of a group of youth and answer some really insightful questions and not so insightful (a.k.a: can mormons drink milk?! YESS I LOVE MILK). That was a super funny question.

     One scripture that has been on my mind a lot is in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it says, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." This scripture really helps me put things into perspective. Sometimes, we can get too focused on receiving immediate blessings. BUT that isn't how God always works. It's not that God doesn't want to bless us right away, it's because He knows that if we just wait a little longer something so much better is going to come our way!! I am so grateful that we have such a loving Heavenly Father that has a very perfect plan for each of us- SO much better than we could even imagine. I know that as we put our trust in Him that everything is going to work out!!

I love you all and I hope you have a good week!!! Don't forget that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you all SOOOO MUCH MORE!!!


con amor,

hermana duvall

We were trying to take a beautiful picture of the fall leaves
and you get a picture of me not looking at the camera. Yay


Agua de Jamaica IS HEAVENLY I LOVE IT SOOO MUCH



I was actually clicking my heels but you can't
see it because my skirt is too long
(missionary probs) 


La Familia Hermosillo.
They are one of my favorite families here in Rochester!
Their oldest boy, Jose just got the priesthood and he
bore a really powerful testimony during our lesson
yesterday about how he loves God.




Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 Road Trips and Lots of Rain

Hola mi Familia y mis amigos! 
 
 This was another great week that just flew by soooo quickly! It's been raining almost every single day here this past week. It's definitely been a lot of fun and an adventure. This is the last week of the transfer, so we will find out next week if I'll be staying here in Rochester to finish my mission. I really hope so because I love it here SO much, but wherever the Lord wants me I'll go.
   

A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET IN WISCONSIN. 

 This was one of the busiest weeks ever; we weren't in our area for a two days straight. We did probably about 10 hours of driving all together. Road trips are fun, but not as fun when you're driving in the middle of nowhere..anyways, We had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) last Tuesday up in the cities and it was a great time like always. Right after MLC ended, we headed of to La Crosse, Wisconsin for an exchange with the sisters there- Sister Calchera and Sister Jasperson! I spent my time in La Crosse with Sister Calchera, who I LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART. She's one of my favorite sisters. We have gone on a couple of exchanges and we always have such a great time filled with learning and talking and laughing. It's the best. While we were together, we had a lesson with


The La Crosse, Wisconsin district.
It's always a fun time leaving MN
to spend some time with all of them

someone who has been having a lot of trials in her life recently. As we stood outside talking with her, even though I just met her I felt that Heavenly Father really knows and loves her so much. Sometimes it may feel that God isn't there when we are going through trials, but I know will all my heart that He is always there! And plus, we don't have to go through it alone! I love testifying of Jesus Christ and His love for all of us, because I really do know it!

President and Sister Barney and Francisco! 


We also had interviews with President Barney this last week! I always love interviews with the president. I am very grateful for him and his insight! It is always a breath of fresh air when we get to spend time with President and Sister Barney! Also, they were able to come to a lesson with us with Francisco! Hermana Tietz and I had to translate throughout the lesson, which made it a little difficult, but the spirit was so strong. I am grateful for their strong testimonies. FRANCISCO IS DOING SO GREAT! We worked on some of his family history this week and he found 6 more people in his family tree! He received the Priesthood yesterday and is going to be able to bless the sacrament now! And he received a calling! He's doing so great and we are trying to continue to help him progress and strengthen his faith. He honestly amazes me how willing he is to follow all of the commandments and follows God's will.



A couple of random funny things that happened this week:
1.)We stopped on the side of the road to type an address into our GPS. But, right as I was typing it in the GPS stopped working! So we sat there patiently waiting for it to start. As we were waiting, this sweet little old lady, named Pat, came out of her house holding two tupperwares- one with Halloween Oreos and one with lots of chocolate!  She offered us some and asked us to  explain how the whole trick or treat thing works because she was expecting the kids to come. She kept calling us "sweet little things" and then it stared pouring so she went inside. We don't know why she came out of her house and offered us candy, but it was the sweetest thing ever! Haha it was also hilarious and so random.

We're drenched and it was fun to say the least
(and then we were really cold)

2.)We went tracting in the rain multiple times this week and got soaked multiple times this week. Surprisingly, not many people felt bad for us and wouldn't let us in. But we met a few golden people that we are going to go back and teach more.
3.) Cats love me. I was at an appointment, just teaching, and their cats were like all over me. They think my hair is a toy too so that's fun.
4.) I got to translate in Testimony meeting again. Hermano Meneses always asks me to translate for him when he bares his testimony. hahah it's so fun but so hard at the same time! I just have to laugh about it because I know it's not perfect, but I grateful the Lord gives me the strength to go up in front of a bunch of people and do it!
  This week was filled with a bunch of randomness and it was great. Now for a spiritual thought! Something that I have been thinking a lot about this week is simply how amazing our Savior, Jesus Christ is! He literally went through it all- the best and the worst of it- so we don't have to do it all by ourselves. Sometimes, for some odd reason we think it's easier to do it all by ourself because we want to be independent or we don't want to be a burden..etc. This is something I've learned a lot recently- IT'S SO MUCH EASIER WITH THE HELP OF THE SAVIOR. There's a

The pics that Hermana Tietz
quickly took as we were in a
lesson haha so funny.
These cats wouldn't leave me alone. 

quote that explains this that Sister Jasperson shared in district meeting this last week:
“Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It’s our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what everything feels like!  He knows all that. He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that. He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief."

One of my favorite office missionaries :) Sister Heilman!
She's learning some Spanish and she's doing great. We love her lots. 

I love the Savior so much! He's my best friend. Love you all lots. But more importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ love you all SO MUCH MORE.
have a great week!
Hermana Jennifer Duvall

 Nyakouth and us! We used to visit and teach her a while
back, and we just started teaching her again.
I love her faith and her sweet prayers


Sister Calchera and I with a little boy who I can't
remember his name,
and some cows in the background ! 





Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 MIRACLES: after the trial of FAITH

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

FALL IS COMING AND I LOVE THAT 
THE LEAVES ARE TURNING ORANGE

 Why do I feel like it was just Pday? Time is just flying by sooooo fast! This last weeek was a pretty good week! The leaves are starting to change colors and I'm pretty stoked about it. Part of me wishes the leaves could change colors without it getting really cool, but you win some and you loose some!   

 

Flapdoodles to finish the exchange
  and talk about what we learned! 

We had exchanges this week with the Rochester Sisters, Sister Woodward and Sister Luk! I had the chance to go with Sister Woodward to her area. While on the exchange, we taught someone about the Priesthood and why it's important. As we taught this lesson it made me feel ever so grateful to have the priesthood in my life. I am grateful for all the many blessings that I've received from the priesthood! One thing that I love about the priesthood is that the men who have it cannot use it to bless themselves, they can only use it to bless others.

   

Hermana Tietz's Grandma sent us little pumpkins.

 One thing that Hermana Tietz and I have been working on it listening and following the first promptings that we receive. This week we were driving around just stopping by some people. As we were driving on this one street that has a walking trail on it, I looked over and saw someone walking on the trail. Without thinking much, I told hermana Tietz that we need to stop and talk to that guy. So we ended up meeting Mohammad! We had a really awesome conversation about prayer and how prayer has helped us in our lives. He was really excited to hear that we have a living day prophet and we told him about General Conference! It was a cool little miracle that we saw as we listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes it can be a little scary to just walk up to random people, but I've found that as I completely put my trust in God that He is able to work through us and give us the words to say! Along with this experience, we have been meeting several new people and knocking lots of doors! Slowly but surely we are finding those who are willing and ready to listen to our message. I find strength knowing that there's at least one person who, God has prepared.

We are simply trying to be better at taking more
pictures so here's a car selfie...


    Francisco is still doing super good! We were able to have an Family Home Evening with a family in our Stake that speaks Spanish and it was so awesome! Francisco ended up bringing his cousin for the lesson. Francisco shared this really cool story with all of us. Last week, Francisco was sitting in the church and remembered that he needed to pay his tithing. As he sat there, he thought about all of the money that he has earned so he could calculate what he needed to pay for his tithing. After figuring out the amount, he reached into his pocket to see how much he had with him, and it was the SAME EXACT amount of money that he needed to pay his tithing. He bore his testimony as to how God always makes things possible for us as we are obedient! We also watched the Sunday Sessions with Francisco with some members in our ward. Francisco LOVED general conference and said that all of his questions were answered.

Fun trip to the zoo a couple of
weeks ago! Maverick, Hermana Duvall, Hermana
Davis, Hermana Tietz, and Hermana Shepard! 

I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE SO MUCH!!! For those of you who don't know, General Conference is basically this meeting where the Prophet, Apostles, and other leaders of our church speak to the whole world. I had several questions going into General Conference and almost all of them were answered. As I watched, I felt so much love from Heavenly Father because I realized once again that He really is so aware of me, my questions, my struggles, etc. I loved all of the talks that were given. But, one of my favorite talks was given by Donald L. Hallstrom about miracles! He shared the scripture in Ether 12:18 which says,"And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." FAITH is REQUIRED for miracles to happen. There are so many miracles that we can hear of, especially of those who are healed without any explanation other than God; but, another miracle is Him simply giving us strength to endure. The question is where are faith is centered on:  immediately receiving relief or is it centered on the Will of the Lord? Do we have faith to not be healed, so that we can become the person that God wants us to become? After all, we only go through things that God KNOWS we can handled and KNOWS we will learn from and grow from. I know that as we faithfully submit to the will of the Lord, that we will be able to recognize more of the miracles that happen in our lives day to day. I have felt the Lord strengthening me, when I feel I am too weak to keep moving forward. I am forever grateful and forever debted to all of the help and love the Savior has provided me. I am grateful for Jesus Christ  and I am incredibly blessed to be a representative of Him!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you! but, more importantly, God and Jesus Christ love you all SOOO MUCH MORE!

con amor,

Hermana Duvall

We were trying to copy the pumpkins faces...
so please excuse my ugly face ahaha





Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25, 2917 REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!


I was sitting on Hermana Lopez's couch
 reading/browsing this book about the
 history of the Book of Mormon,
when choco decided to come join me. 


   This week was such a great week. The weather is still super weird and not very normal, because it was nice and warm. I am praying really hard that it stays like this for as long as possible. However,  Hermana Tietz is praying for snow because she wants to experience a "real winter" haha. We will have to wait and see what happens. Anwyays, it simply amazes me how time in the mission is such a paradox. I feel like the time is going by way to fast, but when I think about what we did at the beginning of the week it feels like forever ago.

He used to scare me because he's huge,
but he really is just a big sweetheart.
He tried licking my face
and luckily i avoided it.



    Update on Francisco: He is doing so great! We recently started reteaching all of the discussions to him this last week! It has been really cool to see his testimony of the Book of Mormon grow more and more everyday. Every time we ask Francisco a question like "How are you going to continue to strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ?" He smiles and grins as he hugs his Book of Mormon! We also helped him start his Family History so that he will be able to have some names to take to the temple eventually!! He told us that he keeps seeing more and more blessings that have come from his decision to be baptized. Many more blessings are going to come! Also, Francisco has been teaching us various "trabalenguas" (tongue twisters) in Spanish that are super fun.
video
Francisco trying to teach us a tongue twister (pájaro cari poca pote) 
   

Sister Hardy and I on our exchange 


We had exchanges this week with some sisters in our zone- Sister Hardy and Sister Larsen. Sister Hardy and I were in my area for the day and it was so great. Sister Hardy is from Arizona and she just got out on her mission this transfer. We had a super great time on the exchange. We were able to teach a couple of people and do lots of finding. We knocked on one door and they weren't super interested so we started walking away, and then he called back to us and offered us some water because it was super hot outside. That was a cool experience and we were super grateful for that.

    We are still doing a lot of finding and knocking doors. I love seeing how the spirit leads us to the people who are ready and willing to listen to us! I love being able to see the hand of the Lord in the work, and I am reminded every day that He really is the one who is in charge!! This week, Hermana Tietz and I were planning one stopping by a previous investigator. However, as we were walking down the street we had the feeling that we needed to keep walking. We ended up meeting someone named Lori, who is going through a really hard time right now. We were able to share a Book of Mormon with her and it was a little miracle that we were able to talk with her and help her feel that God really is aware of her!

 

 Lee and their cute dog Aurora


   We also recently started teaching the husband of one of our members in our ward. His name is Lee and he recently started gaining interest in learning more about the gospel. We are excited to start teaching him again and to help him will all of his great questions haha.

This was such a spiritual high weekend, with the start of General Conference with the Women's session AND we had a member of the quorum of the Seventy, Elder Renlund Stacey, come to our ward yesterday to speak. I learned and heard so many things and I wish I could share all of it with you. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE! This was one phrase that stuck out to me this whole weekend. In President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk he said something along the lines that nothing that anyone ever says about you will overrule what God says. God says that we are all His children and that we ALL have a divine destiny and potential to become like Him. The worth of a soul is it's capacity to become like God. I know that we are all of great worth in the sight of God, and we mustn't overlook what God thinks. He LOVES us SO MUCH!!!  I know this to be true. I also know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and He loves us all so very much.

  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and remember that I love you! But more importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ love you all so much more!


Con amor,

Hermana Duvall

                         

Sister Passow and Hermana Tietz and
my huge hair due to the humidity







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.

FREE SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI = HAPPY US



 

 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.