Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017 "Me quiero bautizar"

¡Hola mi Familia y mis amigos!
     This week went by so fast. I cannot believe that it is Monday already. This week was filled with lots of fun and miracles! I am proud to announce that I have finally seen a firefly in real life. My life has been changed.

 I am going to miss them so much.
 I am incredibly grateful for everything they've done for me. 
They are some of my biggest role models. 

We had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Forbes last week! It was a great one with lots of learning. Hermana Hughes and I got to give a training, so that was fun. President and Sister Forbes will be heading home this Friday. It was really sad saying goodbye, because they've both helped me so much on my mission.  But I am excited to meet our new mission President and his wife, the Barney's, this Saturday. It's always good for change!

the Rochester Zone! 
Back: Elder Yang, Elder Blackburn, Elder Loveland, Elder Edwards, Elder Hutchins, Elder Gabrielsen, Elder Fergusen, Elder Barrett
Middle: Me, Hermana Hughes, Sister Luk,  Sister Winters, Sister Blazzard, Sister Calchera, Sister Larsen, Sister Andersen
Front: Elder and Sister Bearss, President and Sister Forbes, Elder and Sister Merrfield


Sister Andersen

We went on our first exchange of the transfer with Sister Andersen and Sister Larsen. I went with Sister Andersen to her area and I learned so much from her. At one point during the exchange, we were just walking down a street knocking doors and we saw a cool yellow corvette stopped on the side of the rode. We ended talking to this guy named Terry (who was in the yellow corvette) and he was so nice! He was super excited to hear about the Book of Mormon and couldn't wait for the sisters to come over to teach him more.  After talking to Terry, we also talked to another lady named Judy. It was s pretty simple conversation and we testified of how much God loved her. She started crying, said thank you, and shut the door. I don't know why she started crying, but I am grateful for little opportunities that god uses us to let his children know they're loved! We also got to teach an investigator named Lupe and apparently her parents have visited with us Spanish sisters before. So that was a cool connection.

Hno José Castillo!
He was baptized a year ago yesterday and 
loves this gospel so much!

We were able to teach Jesus some more this week. When we first got to his house, the first thing he told us was that he didn't want to come to church anymore. He couldn't really give us any super solid reasons why other than he didn't want to. But we were able to read some scriptures with him and (through the spirit) helped change his mind! Which is a miracle, because at the end of church yesterday Jesus was SO happy. He was just grinning ear to ear. He walked up to us and said "Me quiero bautizar." He had a great experience at church and learned that he could eventually be baptized for a friend who already passed away but wasn't ever baptized. He is now super excited to be baptized. He needs to make some lifestyle changes before he can be baptized, but we are going to continue to work with him so he can meet this goal of his! It was really cool to see the transformation that happened in him in just a day. We are so excited for him!

Just a picture of me casually walking down the road
 (I photo bombed a picture Hna Hughes was taking) 

   I have been thinking a lot about our duty to God. Without Him and Jesus Christ we really are nothing nor would we have much purpose to our life. In Zone Conference, Sister Forbes shared a scripture with us that I absolutely loved. It's in Mosiah 2:21 and it says:
"I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another--I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."
How lucky are we to have an all knowing and all loving Father in Heaven who is watching over us everyday. Also, how lucky are that God provided us with a Savior so that we would be able to repent, be happy, and have eternal happiness. I know that it is through obedience that we can find that real happiness. To end I would like to share a quote from C. Scott Grow: "As we strive to become like God's He can make us more than we could ever make ourselves." I know that's true!
      I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all tons. Remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you all SO MUCH more.

Con Amor,
Hermana Duvall

Hermana Duvall
Minnesota Minneapolis Mission
Sister Calchera, Ashik, Hermana Hughes, and Atong!
Atong is a member of our ward here and she's from South Sudan.
Ashik is her friend. We showed up early to this lesson
(before Atong) and we weren't able to communicate
with Ashik very well,because she doesn't speak a lot of English.
 But we were able to sing songs for her and bring the spirit that way. 

Bob! We volunteer at Salvation Army every week.
He's the head chef.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017 Goodbye Faribault!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Hermana Davis and I with President Forbes.
Onr of our last pictures with himbefore he goes home in a couple of weeks! 

I hope you all had a wonderful week, because I sure did! My last couple of days in Faribault, we just went around saying goodbye to a lot of people. It's crazy how quickly you can come to love people, only knowing them for a short period of time. It was sad leaving some of our investigators like Major, Valencia, and Candelario. We were able to invite Valencia to be baptized and she thought of her own date. Candelario talked to his boss and got work off, so he could come to church. Major promised that he's still going to church every Sunday now that his health is better. I know the Lord will continue to lead and guide them through this path that they are on.

Le quiero a la hermana Hughes 

So it's been different being in a different area, after being in an area for 4 1/2 months! But I love it here so much already. It's the best. I love Hermana Hughes! She will be going home at the end of this transfer, so we are giving it our all and working really hard! One of my favorite parts of being here is that my Grandpa served here 70 years ago,and I keep think that I could be where he walked. So that's been cool. We have been teaching a lot more in Spanish here than I did in my last area and it's been so fun. I am serving in the Rochester 3rd ward and basically like half of the ward is full of doctors or people who work at the Mayo Clinic. So if I end up getting sick, I will be very well taken care of. The ward is called a magnet ward, so it's English and Spanish.  Sometimes the Hispanics have a hard time saying my last name, so I have been called hermana duvalin and hermana dulce haha. We are teaching a lot of Hispanic families right now that have a lot of potential.   We have a couple Investigators also speak English that I have been able to meet and teach and they're all awesome.
      One of our investigators, Jesus, came to church on Sunday! The Hermanas met him last Saturday (before I got here) and he went to a different ward the next Sunday. But we had an awesome lesson with him this last week about faith and repentance. He has a strong desire to stop smoking and change his life around! He was able to come to our ward yesterday because he wanted to be around more Hispanics! He really enjoyed it. We are going to continue to work with him and teach him some more. We are excited about him.
       I really love being a missionary! One thing that I have been thinking about a lot recently is faith and putting full trust in God. There's a new Mormon message that is about not having fear but to have faith. In this message it has a line that I just love. It goes something along the lines of "Although my future is unknown, I do know my father!" In Psalms 56:4,11 it says, "In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." I know that God has a perfect plan for every single one of us. All we need to do is have faith and trust that everything is going to work out, even if we don't understand. I am so grateful for my loving Heavenly Father and my earthly Father (Happy Father's Day btw to the best daddy out there. Love you tons), and for all of the guidance I have received. I love that we can pray and ask of God for advice as to what we should do in our lives.
   I hope you all have a wonderful week! Remember to trust in God and remember that God and his son Jesus Christ love you all so much!
Con amor,
Hermana Duvall

Bro Pietsch

Los Espinal

The Curry's  

Sister Reineke

The Hunter's 

Nylaya Hunter. She always told us that
we were her best friends haha

Valencia! She had her baby last week

Sister Oelkers

 Candelario. I'm going to miss teaching him!

The Wilson Family

The Pages

The Taylor's

The Taylor's

Donna Cashin

Hermana Davis and I have been meaning to stop and
take a picture in this field for the past three months, and we finally did on our last day in Faribault!

"YOU BETCHA" and I've definitely gotten into a funny habit
of saying Oh yeah too haha

Video- Abiu and I did this dance this time every time we said goodbye. Going to miss my little Abiu. He's the best

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 6, 2017 goodbye Faribault, hello Rochester!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!


       This has been a really great week to be a missionary. I really do love being a missionary it's the best. So we got news about transfers today and I am going to be serving in Rochester as an STL! I am so excited because this is where my Grandma Duvall was born and where my Grandpa Duvall was serving when he met my grandma!! Hermana Hughes is going to be my new companion and I am so excited to get to serve with her. I served around her in St. Paul a couple transfers ago, so it'll be a sweet reunion.  Another crazy thing that is happening with transfers is that Hermana Davis is also leaving Faribault, and our area is going to be whitewashed by two different Hermanas.  I am so grateful for the last 4 1/2 months that I've been able to serve in the Faribault ward.

 Donnahue's greenhouse and lots of pretty flowers. 

  We had some amazing lessons this week and we were able to work a lot more with the members in our ward!! One amazing miracle that happened was that our investigator Major Bell finally made it to church!!! He has been super sick for the last month or so. We had a lesson with him this last week and brother Taylor came with us. It was perfect that Bro. Taylor came, because he was able to help Major with some of his questions. Major promised us that day that he would come to church! He kept his promise, woooo! So, he said that he really wants to continue to learn and eventually be baptized! We also had an amazing lesson with a lady named Liz! Sister Reher came with us and it was also super perfect. She was able to address very specific concerns that Liz has had for a while. Liz told us that we were the very first missionaries that she has ever let in. She said she didn't know what had changed, just that she wanted to listen to us. So, she is now excited to continue taking the missionary discussions. Another person that we have been teaching is

Hermana Davis casually flipping her hair like such a model

Candelario. It's still the same with him. He wants to be baptized, but wants to make sure that he learns everything he needs to before. We have been teaching SO many amazing people who are so prepared to listen and receive the gospel into their lives!!! I am excited for the other Hermanas to continue to teach them, and hopefully I will be able to travel up for some possible future baptisms.

 + all of the missionaries who have been on this journey with them!
 Brother Kotas was baptized a year ago,
and this last weekend him, his wife nikki,
and their 4 kids were able to be sealed!!!!

   Some exciting news: The Kotas Family got sealed in the temple this week! Hermana Davis and I changed our Pday so that we would be able to go. It was seriously such an amazing day! We were able to attend an endowment session beforehand, so that was special. But the sealing was so incredible. When they brought their four little kids into the Sealing Room all dressed in white, it was so precious. All of the kids were so quiet and reverent throughout the whole thing (which is not super common for those crazy energetic kids haha). The spirit was SO strong and I am so grateful that I was able to attend my first sealing :) Being there confirmed to me how special a temple marriage is and how important it is! It was awesome, because so many other missionaries were able to attend the Kotas's sealing as well. It was cool to see the impact and wonderful change that the gospel can do for so many lives.
         Something that I have been thinking about a lot recently, is the purpose of life. Our purpose is have joy and to learn, grow, become worthy to enter into the presence of God on day. Sometimes it gets really hard to live in this world of so many distractions and disillusions, where so many people serve for personal gain rather than to simply help each other. There's a scripture in Luke 6:23 that says, "Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven." Heaven is the ultimate goal. I know that having a more eternal perspective has helped me a lot in my life. As long as I am glorifying my Father in Heaven and following Jesus Christ, I know my life will be filled with happiness and I will always be able to leap for joy. I know that through Jesus Christ we WILL be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father again with our own families FOREVER. How joyous that will be!!
         I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all! But more importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love you all SO MUCH MORE!!

con amor,
Hermana Duvall

This is Bethwell (or Karosi)!
We met him as we were walking around an apartment complex.
He is from Kenya and was SO excited to hear about the Book of Mormon.

She has become one of my "closest" friends :)

Sister Walkner!!!
We took some time to plant her flowers for her last week.
I enjoy gardening, but it was SO hot and humid!

We went on a run the other day to this tin man.
 We have been wanting to take a picture by it for a while now,
so we thought we mind as well workout on the way there?

Lakeville missionaries reunite! 

He is a member from my first area in the Lakeville Spanish Branch.
Ran into him at the temple because he was picking some elders up!
It was so fun to catch up with him.

Julian was sleeping,so we gathered around him
 and took a nice family picture.
 I am going to miss the Kotas's so much. LOVE THEM

      Pie in the face videos!

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 B.A.T.= Begin Again Today

¡Hola mi Familia y mis amigos!
      Ojalá que hayan tenido una buena semana :) this was a really great week for me. I still love being a missionary! I cannot believe that I hit my year mark last week. Time really has just flown by, it's crazy.

Sister Benson, Sister Miller, me, Hermana Davis.

  This week we "blitzed" our area with our STLs. This means that instead of doing an exchange where a person in each companionship switches places with another and goes to another area, they both came here and stayed in our area! It was really awesome and filled with little miracles. I was with Sister Benson and we went up to Lonsdale for the day. It was cool, because a while back Sister Benson met a lady in a gas station in Lonsdale who gave us her her number but not address, saying that she would love to have missionaries stop by. We said a prayer that we would be able to find this lady, and after knocking only two doors we found her house!! Miracle. Prayers are answered.
      Candelario!! I cannot remember if I have written about him before. We are teaching so many people right now, but Candelario is one of our most progressing investors. A couple of weeks ago, we were knocking an apartment building. Candelario walked passed us up the stairs. We stopped him and asked him a simple question: Do you know what happens after this life? And he replied: no, who knows? WE DOO!! So ended up setting an appointment for another day and then  we taught him about the Plan of Salvation. He looooved it so much. It was funny because we asked him to say the closing prayer to the lesson and to ask if the Plan was God's plan. However, he decided to just say the prayer in his head. Once Hermana Davis and I realized what he was doing, we did the same until we could tell that he was done praying haha. Yesterday, we taught him about the Restoration and he LOVES Joesph Smith's First Vision and completely believes that it happened. He loved how Joseph Smith said that he saw a light brigher than the sun. Candelario has had some experiences that he could relate to that of Joseph Smith. He expressed to us that he knows it wasn't a coincidence that we stopped and talked to him a couple of weeks ago. He wants to be baptized eventually, but wants to make sure he is ready. Which is exactly what we will help him to do!

Chalking at the Baseball park!
An investigator took the picture of us. 

Now that the weather is starting to be a little more consistently nice, we have been chalking some more!! We decided to go chalking at a Baseball park where there were various baseball games going on. During the hour and a half that we were there, we ended up seeing two of our investigators that we hadn't seen in a while!! Both of them told us that it wasn't a coincidence that they ran into us there. I love when we know that we really are in the right place at the right time.

 It spells out LOVE. 

     We also had Stake Conference this weekend and it was so good! It was so much fun being in the Lakeville Chapel, because I got to see a lot of the members that are in the Spanish Branch I served in my first area of my mission. I had the wonderfully, super stressful opportunity to translate two talks. I forgot how hard it was until I started speaking haha. I also ran into someone from Temecula! My sister Emily's friend, McKenna! It's always a special treat when you see someone from home :) Due to the fact that we got to the Saturday Adult meeting of stake conference a little early, we went and did some work with the Lakeville Hermanas. that was fun too.
  There were so many great talks given at Stake conference. Elder David C. Scott of the 70 came, and I especially loved what he spoke about.  He talked about how we need to develop unshakable faith. Life is obviously hard, we are meant to be tried and tested. But as we are constantly strengthening our faith in the Savior, life will be more joyful and a little easier. He also used a little saying "B.A.T" which stands for "Begin Again Today". If you feel like you're faltering in your faith and trust in God, you don't have to procrastinate the day that you can feel happiness. Through our Savior Jesus Christ you can feel that happiness TODAY! I love Jesus Christ. I know he is the Savior of the World. I know that He is the reason why I can find happiness and still have hope, even in the darkest of times.
      I hope you all have a wonderfull week; love you all! More importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love you all SO MUCH MORE!!
con amor,
Hermana Duvall

I (Momma Duvall) received this picture and message on Sunday morning.  it made my day!!!
"Hey Emily & Sharon! This is McKenna (Lawler) Guess who I just ran into at Stake Conference!!!"
"McKenna, Ohhhhhhhh!!!!!!!😘❤!😁This just made my day! Thank you! Give her a big giant hug from her momma if you are still near her!!!🙏😇"McKenna: "Isn't that crazy?? I walked into the chapel and as soon as I saw her I said, that's Jenny!! I couldn't believe it! I absolutely will give her a big hug from you both and tell her you love her. She has such a light and confidence about her, only talking with her for a few minutes I can tell she's an amazing missionary who loves the work- truly. Minnesota is so lucky to have her!"

 excuse all of the ugliness in this picture but I just love it haha. 

Just another picture with some of our
favorite people! I love La Familia Espinal.
I am so grateful for them. Especially crazy little Abiu. 

all of us missionaries with the Brother and Sister Kasper. 

Hermana Davis made me breakfast to celebrate 1 year
on my mission. So sweet! I am a creature of habit
and I literally eat the same thing
for breakfast every morning. 

shout out to my girl, Cals.

Lakeville Hermanas, Dean and Bryson.
We have way too much fun together.