Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 Peace in a Storm

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Homies are Forever.
I love Hermana Davis so much
and we already has transfers coming up next week.
We are hoping we will stay together haha

   I hope you all had a wonderful week :) this was a really great week for being a missionary here in Minnesota. The weather was SO nice this weekend that I finally didn't wear tights! I have been debating if I could go outside without tights, and finally I got the opportunity to do so. It was so nice, because we have been able to be outside a lot more and there are so many more people outside who we can talk to. However, before the weather turned so nice we had lots of rain and we got soaked a couple of times being outside haha.
   

Happy Weather Warning week :) awkward tub pictures, am I right?


Also, this week was apparently weather week for testing the tornado alarms. Normally, every first Wednesday of each month the tornado alarm goes off just to test. But, on Thursday the alarm started going off!! Hermana Davis and I just had finished up studies so we were still in our apartment. We honestly were really confused and didn't think it was actually happening. Nevertheless, we went and sat in the tub and asked some of the members who lived nearby if we should be panicked. Little did we know (because we are missionaries and aren't able to watch the new every morning) that it was just another test :) So we took pictures, that I will attach, to document the embarrassing moment of sitting in a tub haha.

I kind of failed trying to make it look like
I was holding the smiley face but oh well haha


    This week was such a great week! We have been finding so many new people to teach and seeing SO many miracles! We are hoping and praying that we will continue to find those who are ready to accept this message. I know that as we continually follow the promptings of the Spirit and follow the Lord's guidance that we are doing what we are supposed to.  
     I would like to share this amazing experience that we had last Tuesday! Hermana Davis and I were at this apartment building because we were supposed to have a lesson with some one that we had met earlier that week. That girl ended up not being home; and, because we had already knocked this whole apartment building, we decided that we were going to leace. But we had a prompting to go up to the third floor because we heard someone vacuuming. It ended up being this lady named Roxanne. She told us that her husband had passed away 3 months ago from that day. And right before she came to clean this apartment, she visited his grave and she said a prayer that she would be able to just receive strength to keep moving forward. Then, we showed up in her life just a couple hours later. We had a wonderful discussion about what happens after this life and we were able to share some of our favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon with her. The spirit was just so strong. She cried as she told us that she knew that we were sent by god to meet her and that God loves her very, very much. She accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and that she wants to read it and discuss it with us eventually!! We haven't been able to set up another time to meet with her because she works so much, but I know that eventually down the road she will remember that two girls in dresses who followed the prompting to go talk to the person who was vacuuming the third floor!
  Something that I have been thinking A LOT about this week was how Heavenly Father always answers the prayers that we have. Even if it is in His timing and it may be in a completely different way than we would ever expect, He will ALWAYS answer us. I cannot comprehend HOW He does answer EVERY SINGLE PRAYER, but what I do know is that He will always answer us because He loves us all so much. In Matthew 7:7-11 it says,
"7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
I know that because Heavenly Father loves us all so much, that there are always great things in store for us. I know that we will always be the happiest when we align our will with His will. I know that the greatest gift that He has given us is His Son, Jesus Christ, and that as we continually rely on our Savior that we will always be able to find peace even among a great storm.

I love you all so much. But, more importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love you all so much more! Have a wonderful week :)

con amor,
Hermana Duvall


Some of the Birdsell kids! We love Faith so much.
She is one of the Young Women in our ward
and we look up to her so much.
She has so much faith and love for the gospel :)


We took this picture after we got soaked walking around a trailer park
it had only been sprinkling throughout the whole time, but the last half of a mile
we had to run to our car because it started pouring... haha!

 Hna Alfaro is one of our favorite members.
She is heading off to Washington, DC this week. She is going to try
and find Jeremy somehow so watch out haha Jere.



7)

Abiu Espinal. We had a great lesson on temples
and why we have them and we all drew pictures of the temple.
Abiu is an amazing artist and was taking a little longer because he was adding
so much detail, so he hadn't finished drawing it when we took the picture.


Random sunset with a Book of Mormon reflecting in the window


Grace Bell! She is a cute lady that we met the other day.
She is from Jamaica.

We went out for ice cream with the Espinal Family.
Not everyone made it into the picture



Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017 Hey, do you believe in Jesus Christ?

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos! 

Some super yummy sugar cookies that Sister Reher
 and her granddaughter made for us :) 




Easter Sunday, Easter Dresses.


     Espero que hayan tenido una buena semana :) this week was such a great week! Happy (late) Easter. I had a very wonderful week leading up until Easter Sunday. I love Easter so much! I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that he atoned for us, died for us, and was resurrected for us, so that we all will be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father once again. This week we saw a lot of miracles and the Lord's hand just leading and guiding us wherever we needed to go. 
     

Sister King is one of my STLs!
She's so sweet and I loved going
on an exchange with her. 

 We went on Exchanges with our STLs this week and it was so much fun! I stayed here in Faribault and Sister King came to join me here. She is going home in just a couple of weeks, so it was cool to think that I was the very last exchange that she was going to be going on! During out exchange we saw a lot of little miracles. We decided to go walk around a trailer park and share the Easter Initiative video, "Prince of Peace" to everyone that we saw. We ended up sharing it a hand full of times and met some really wonderful people that we are planning on going back to teach more. Exchanges are always really fun because you get to learn so much from each other and you always see miracles.



The Espinol family
Notice the bunny ears behind Abiu's head.

Abiu is doing so good and he is continuing to learn more and more about the gospel. This week we taught him more about the Plan of Salvation and HE ASKED SOME OF THE BEST QUESTIONS THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD. Seriously, he continues to amaze me more and more every time we are there. As we were teaching him about the God head, he was asking a lot of questions. After he finally understood it all, he sat there and thought for a little bit. Then he just shouted out, "OH! So Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are like a TEAM! They all work together to help us." Oh yeah. I know that's true. I know that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all three separate beings, yet they are one in purpose. They all work together for our good.

Sister King, Debra Clark, and I.
Debbie is one of the sweetest members
that we have! We love visiting her. 

  We had a mission wide hour of "finding" this last week and it was so cool! To start off this hour, all of the missionaries got on a conference call and started off with a prayer. During this hour, the goal was to have each companionship find one new investigator and share the "Prince of Peace" video twice. Hermana Davis and I had picked a random street with some apartments and townhouses and went to work! It was so wonderful being out there, knowing that every single missionary in our mission was doing that same thing at that same exact time. 

Ethel Black! Her son is a member,
and he sent a referral for us to go visit her.
She was so happy when we showed up.
She showed us all of her pictures of her when s
he was a dancer growing up.
We sang some hymns with her and she hummed along.
She calls us her girls. We love Ethel. 


   We ended up meeting this really awesome guy named Patrick. He was outside smoking meat and listening to some music, so we decided to just walk up to him. He was the nicest guy ever!! We spent a good amount of time talking about how God and Jesus Christ has helped him in his life. He used to be a drug dealer and has been in and out of jail. However, he has completely turned his life around all because of Jesus Christ. He loved the video and is planning on coming to church next week! After talking to him, we only had about 10 minutes left of our finding hour. We decided to run over to this apartment building, only to find out that we weren't allowed to enter unless we were let in by the person that we were planning on visiting. So, we quickly said a prayer that someone would walk out of the building that we could share the video with. Right as we say amen, this guy named Brian walked out of the apartment. He just walked passed us and didn't really say anything, but then the amazing Hermana Davis just asked him, "Hey, do you believe in Jesus Christ?" We ended up sharing the video with him and he thanked us multiple times for stopping him to share the video. We have an appointment to teach him some more this week!!! That one question totally changed Brian's whole day. It's a question that can change all of our lives as we sit and think if we actually believe in Christ. Are we willing to stop, think, and follow him? or just walk past his loving, welcoming arms? just a thought haha.

 Rosemary! She was a referral from some members,
the Fossums. She was very happy
we stopped by and shared the
Prince of Peace video with her.


   It is so nice that the weather has started to become a lot nicer! We have been parking our car and just walking around a lot more, and we have been seeing so many miracles because of it. All of these Minnesotans are coming out of hibernation and enjoying the beautiful weather. I am grateful for this wonderful weather and for Spring! It brings new life and so much joy.
   I actually gave a talk in church yesterday about our purpose in this life according to Jesus Christ's teachings. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity because I was able to learn and grow so much more as I studied and prepared for it throughout the week. One of my favorite quotes that I used in my talk was from "Songs Sung and Unsung" by Jeffery R. Holland, and he said:
"Now, this is not to say that everyone in this divine chorus can simply start shouting his or her own personal oratorio! Diversity is not cacophony, and choirs do require discipline--for our purpose today, Elder Hales, I would say discipleship--but once we have accepted divinely revealed lyrics and harmonious orchestration composed before the world was, then our Heavenly Father delights to have us sing in our own voice, not someone else’s. Believe in yourself, and believe in Him. Don’t demean your worth or denigrate your contribution. Above all, don’t abandon your role in the chorus. Why? Because you are unique; you are irreplaceable. The loss of even one voice diminishes every other singer in this great mortal choir of ours, including the loss of those who feel they are on the margins of society or the margins of the Church" (April 2017 General Conference). 
I know that we all are of great importance, because we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father!!! He sent all of us here for a very specific reason. Jesus Christ came into this world to do the Father's will and He never strayed from it. I like to think that I talked with Heavenly Father right before I came to this earth, and He told me what my purpose in this life would be. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and I can continually repent and be better, and becoming closer and closer to Him and Heavenly Father. I know that this church is true! I know Jesus Christ is the head of this church, and that He is always there to help us!!!

Love you all! But more importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love you all SOOO MUCH MORE!! Have a wonderful week.

con amor, 
Hermana Duvall


Look I made a new friend :) !!!

video




Video of Hermana Davis and I listening to a message that Lori Stanley left on our phone.  She left us the sweetest message ever. We had heart attacked their garage the night before because Fred wasn't feeling well. As we walked us to their house, we realized he was sitting in the front room. So that's why we heart attacked their garage instead of their front door.

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017 Soy una fidea?

 Hola mi familia y mis amigos!   

Hermana Davis and I in the Kasper’s backyard,
 enjoying the beautiful weather. 

This was such a great week. I have been on a spiritual high this last week from general conference, so that's been good! We were able to go to a Twins baseball game this last week with some of the missionaries from our mission. Technically, we weren't supposed to go because we are too far out in the boonies BUT some amazing members (the Reher's) ended up giving us a ride. It was a fun time to get to watch some professional baseball and see all of my missionary friends! 


The weather has been so nice recently; we haven't had to wear any coats! Woot!
We took this picture in the back yard of some members in our war, The Kasper’s :) 


Brother and Sister Reher!
They drove us up to the baseball game :)
 we love them so much. I am so grateful for their wonderful examples.

Sister Corbridge and Sister Zacharias!
My first 7 and a half months of my mission,
I served around Sister Corbridge.

All of us again trying to just stay warm (the wind chill was very cold)

Hermana Meredith, Hermana Hughes, and Hermana Davis!



 Just a pretty picture of the field! I looks warm, but don't be fooled!


President Forbes took this picture of the majority of us missionaries.



Some of the Hermanas! Top row: Hermana Bryson,
Hermana Meredith, Hermana Dean, Hermana Hughes
 Bottom Row: meeee, Hermana Davis.
 It's so fun when all of us get together.



Hermana Davis and I and the Twins sign behind us

Also, I still really love being companions with Hna Davis. There's literally never a day that goes by where we aren't laughing. This week she got up and slept walked around our room at about 3 in the morning. As I talked about it with her, she didn't remember a thing! It's crazy because we literally had a whole conversation and she was trying to open the window to our room because she thought I dropped something outside (I don't know...?). Anyways, I love her and she's a gem. 

      Abiu is doing great and so is his family! Hermana Espinal and Hermano Espinal are working towards going to the temple and receiving their patriarchal blessings! I am so happy and excited for them. My patriarchal blessing and covenants that I've made in the temple have helped me so much in my life. I know their lives are going to be blessed x 100000. I love the Espinal's so much. Hermana Espinal loves calling me "la fidea" which means the noodle. Hahahahahahah. I love them and they are some of the funniest people I have met here. 

   

President Forbes took this selfie of us all.
I couldn't figure out where to go so my face is being cover by Pres. Forbes.
"President Forbes, why are you wearing a Dodgers cap and not a Twins one?"
"Because I am a dodgers fan" *all the missionaries laugh*


      We have been visiting with one of our members, Sam Chavie, and his son Ethan (who is not a member). Ethan is a junior in High School and is one of the coolest teenagers ever. Last week we had a really amazing lesson with him, his dad, and a member who came along with us. The lesson was absolutely inspired and we are very grateful that Bro. Oelkers was able to come with us. At the end of the lesson Bro. Oelkers invited Ethan to read the Book of Mormon. He told Ethan that if Ethan finishes reading it before he does, that Ethan will get to shave all of Bro. Oelker's hair off!! We asked Ethan yesterday how he was doing on his reading and he said, "I am doing FANTASTIC! Brother Oelkers will be bald before you know it!" We are really excited for Ethan, because this is the first time that he is going to read the Book of Mormon all the way through. He is a very logical thinker, so we are trying to work with him through that. We promised him that as he reads the Book of Mormon he will be able to see the blessings come from it. Hopefully we are going to have another lesson with him this week! 

       One thing I have been thinking a lot about this week is our life before we came to earth. A member said something to me that really stuck out to me. He said that before this life we ALL choose to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. How do we know that? Because we are here on this earth right now. Why then would we choose to not follow Jesus Christ in this life if that is the WHOLE REASON we were able to come to this earth? I have been studying "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" this last week. One part of it says, 

"IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

I know that we all lived with our loving Heavenly Parents before this life, and that we were given our families are this earth to lead, guide, and to be a support to one another. I know that families really can be together forever. I am so grateful for this knowledge, as it has brought a lot more peace, comfort, and given me more of a purpose in my life. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children, and that's why He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of the world! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter this week. I know that through Jesus Christ peace can always be found.
   
I love all of you! More importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love all of you SO MUCH MORE!

con amor,
Hermana Duvall (la fidea :))


We stopped at a library in Northfield to finish our studies.
We tried taking a cute picture in front of a bookshelf but this is all we got! Jaja! 

Mary Chuceya and her husband Yobese.
 We've been teaching Mary for a while now.
We saw them as they were waiting for a bus
to come pick them up. 

video

We also took a video of Yobese teaching us how to say something in Swahili :) 


The Famous beo Pietsch!
We go out to dinner with him every week.
He has a very strong testimony of Jesus Christ. 





6)

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017 Prayer Works!!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Faribault, MN.
Hermana Davis and I have been wanting to take a
picture in front of this mural for a while now.
We finally found time to do it!
We had to mount my iPad on the top of our car haha. 


    Another wonderful week of being a missionary and I am so happy. I love being a missionary and a set apart representative of Jesus Christ! We finally moved out of our old, disgusting, mold-filled apartment this last week. We are so happy to be in a new apartment where it doesn't smell like mold. We do, however, have a toilet that makes a really loud noise when we flush it. It is actually quite funny, but a little obnoxious at times haha. We are slowly unpacking all of the books and other missionary materials when we find time to do so.  

 

Hermana Davis and I with Juan, Julio, and Johnny.
They were the guys that I talked about in my letter
who were fixing their car outside.
 Johnny is just one of their friends
who jumped into the picture haha. 

  Funny Story: At the end of each month, we have to fill out a car evaluation. So on Saturday morning Hermana Davis and I walked out of our apartment and got to our car... Just to realize that I forgot to grab the keys to the car and our apartment building and she forgot to grab the phone. What does that mean? We were stuck outside, with no way to get in and no one to call for help. Being really typical missionaries, we quickly said a prayer and we asked Heavenly Father to please have someone come open the door to our apartment building within the next 5 minutes (so we could start studies on time). No joke, within about 2 minutes a girl walked down the stairs in a robe and a blanket wrapped around her and she opened the door for us!! This was just a funny experience that taught me again that Heavenly Father really does answer prayers :)

     Abiu is doing great! I am really able to recognize a difference in him as we taught him this week. He already had so much light about him, before he was baptized; but, now his light is so much brighter! He is understanding the scriptures and the lessons we are teaching him much easier and is still asking the best questions I have ever heard. I love teaching Abiu so much. I am so grateful for him and his example of just wanting to do exactly what Jesus Christ would do.

The Odd Family!
We watched a a session of General Conference
with them. We love them so much!they are both
fluent in Spanish,so we get to practice our Spanish w
ith them. That blur in the picture is their
 8 month old puppy named Hobbs.

    On Sunday, in between the two sessions of Conference we decided to do some finding. There was a trailer park that we close to where we were watching Conference, so we decided to go there. Luckily, the weather was decent and we were able to walk around without feeling like our faces were going to fall off. During this hour that we had to find people we were able to teach three lessons by just stopping and talking to everyone who was outside. We had a little miracle with two guys named Juan and Julio.  They were outside trying to fix their car, so we went up to them asking if they needed any help haha. They explained to us what they were trying to do with the car, but we really didn't know how to help them. We quickly joked and told them that neither of us actually know anything about cars, and we offered to say a prayer with them! At first they laughed and said that they could just take their car to the autoshop. We talked about how God is pretty intelligent and that He most likely knows where the piece that they were looking for was. So we ended up saying a prayer with them and had a really good discussion with them about church! After we left, we really felt like we needed to go back and give them each a Book of Mormon. So we went back and they were amazed that Christ came to visit the Americas! We are going back to teach them more this week, and they are excited to come to church on Sunday!!!

We watched some of General Conference
with the Hancock Family!
This is Maddie Hancock and we love her so much. :)
she is headed to BYU next year,
so we want to try to be in some classes together. Woo! 

I LOVED General Conference this last weekend so much! There's something different about being a missionary and watching general conference. It's like Christmas haha. I learned so many wonderful things and received so much guidance/answers to questions. I know that Heavenly Father heard my prayers because literally all of the questions I had written down beforehand were answered as I was watching and listening to General Conference. There were so many talks that I loved, but I wanted to echo what the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, bore testimony of. He said, "I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety.” I know that it is SO important for us to strive daily to gain a stronger testimony of the Savior. I know that He really is the only way we can receive real, everlasting light in our lives, and that through Him we will return safely home to live with our families FOREVER. I know that as we do the little, simple things like prayer, scripture study, going to church, serving others, etc. that our relationship with the Savior of the World will grow stronger and stronger each day. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ so much. He is my all time best friend, and I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to strengthen my relationship with Him daily! I hope that all of you will examine your relationship with the Savior and have a desire to come closer to Him!!!

   I love you all tons and I hope you have a wonderful week!! I know that Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, love you all SO MUCH MORE!!

Love,

Hermana Duvall

Pictures:

This is Lori and Fred Stanley! We love them lots.
They are not members of our church, by missionaries
have visited them for a long time.   They both have strong testimonies, a
nd Lori LOVES General Conference. In our lesson last week, L
ori looked at me and started crying. She told me that she
"really sees that I love the Savior so much and that
I know prayer really is communication between us and God. "
It was a special experience and I do know those things to be true! 


"just one of the lovely sunsets that we see every
night driving through the middle of nowhere :)"