Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 Trusting in the Lord always works!

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

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

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

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

Look at the beautiful sunset! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Con amor, 

Hermana Duvall

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

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 Adjust The Sails

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

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

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

Sister Larsen is one of my favorite people ever. 

Love her!

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

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

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

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

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

con amor,

Hermana Duvall

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017 Everything can be Illuminated

¡Hola mi Familia y mis amigos!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 El Hermano Jose Castillo me this
 heart my name on it

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

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

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

Just a classic picture of a Polaroid

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017 The Worth of Souls is GREAT!

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

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

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

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

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

Out here in Wisconsin mini golfing for Pday.

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

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

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

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

Con amor,
Hermana Duvall

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