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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Three Baptisms! (04/21/2015)

So we had our interviews yesterday for the Klamath Zone and these interviews always take longer than they say they will. For example saying that we will start at 9am and end at 1pm. WRONG. We start at 8:30 and end at 4. We had the specialized training til 11:30 or 12 and then the interviews started from the farthest away to the closest in location so time isn't super wasted. We are just 10 minutes away so we basically went last and didn't leave until 4pm. Again my interview wasn't long or anything special. He basically just said I'll talk to you in a couple weeks for the exit interview so I can get along to the rest of the missionaries :). Hakuna Matata. We also had a specialized training, centered on obedience and diligence. President is calling the mission to repentance for not having focused meaningful studies and not getting up on time. Of which I have not had any problem with (except one companion) my entire mission thank you ;).
Klamath is a strange area, but it has been great for me to feel I've ended my mission strong. Everything looks the same so we always need a GPS. We can certainly find people to listen but many of them are not truly interested. Most everyone here is pretty noncommittal on religious things, but there are a few gems :) With that said, and I now realize I totally forgot to mention this... We had three baptisms this past weekend! A mom and her two daughters. It was amazing and they are a huge wonderful addition to the ward. They were a referral from members in a different ward. The man in the picture is the one who referred them and baptized them. It was a very happy day :)
Can you send me my 4-Generation Pedigree chart? There is a wonderful family history consultant here and she is super fun. I told I had basically nothing done on my chart and she said she'd put the things I had in and see what other things she could find. She is very excited :)
Yeah so I'll be sending 6 boxes home this week and that should take care of everything. I have accumulated way too much clothes these past 18 months. These will be the only boxes because we will be going to Crater Lake next Monday! Don't worry I'll take tons of pictures and make sure not to fall in ;). <Mom Note: If you have clothes that are worn out and you will never wear again, don't bother sending them home. Either throw them out or donate them.>  Ok. Sounds good, I will do that. I certainly have a lot of well loved clothes that need to be retired now :)
I have prayed and I feel really great about going to USU. I am especially excited about the Institute. I plan on taking classes there too :) I still really like dealing with plants and am finding I really enjoy it with all the yard work and maintenance we do out here :)  I might try to do something that'll mix horticulture and geography.
Sister Duenas trying to not cut her head off with the ridiculously large paper cutter 'thingy'
<Mom question to Sister Duenas: Did Kristina tell you about volunteering you to speak at the Youth Missionary Fireside when you come back home?> HA! Yeah she did! Can't say I didn't expect having to speak in something like that. Not super jazzed about talking in front of tons of Youth but, as the OEM motto goes, "Stand Tall. Doubt not; Fear not."
Ok and now I gots to go! Talk to you next week and see you in 14 ish days!
Can't wait to talk to you! Focusing on the work still but can't say I'm not countin' down the days too <3 
Will be going to Crater Lake Monday morning so I'll be sure to send pictures! And then to the Portland temple on Tuesday! Great last week coming up for me :)
See you soon! <3<3<3<3

Spring is in the Air (04/13/2015)

Hey Mumzy!
Klamath Falls has had random cold snaps this past week that have brought snow and then it would be beautiful sunshine.
Glad the snow has melted and weather can get back to normal back home in NY. Is it all brown and squishy now? 
Don't worry about the Spring cleaning I won't care how clean the house is.<Mom Note: psshhh...whatever...I do this every Spring, Dear :) > Speaking of the house, are there any changes? You said a long time ago that the tvs were bad and some other stuff I can't remember.
Thank you for the flowers! I still can't believe I got that scholarship. It's kind of like being in a dream.

Just to let you know I have a request for when I come home. Specifically for my first meal ;). So here is my order: Meatballs and Perogies with corn or green beans(the ones with garlic and pepper) and blueberry bread as dessert OR a nice juicy steak and a talk glass of real milk OR wagon wheels and blueberry strudel as dessert. Of course it is completely up to Jim though. Whatever he wants, he can use my coming home as a way to get the meal he wants :) (you're welcome Jimbo!)
Sounds like you are doing great things in the Primary and the kids love you!
Sad about the Sister's leaving the Greene Branch, but it does make sense. It's going to be hard with the initial wave of missionaries coming home and not as many coming out to replace them.
Here's my face from yesterday, since I know you like to see me :)
I get to go to the Portland Temple one more time before I come home! All of us missionaries that are leaving on May 5th get to attend the temple with President and Sister Russell. Super exciting! I love the temple.
Since we will be having interviews with President Russell next Monday, our p-day is being moved to Tuesday instead.
Love you!

Service Work in Klamath Falls (04/06/2915)

Holo Madre!
I am not in 2 wards, we just visit two older ladies in the other ward since they need sisters to help out.  
My District is small, just six of us,two other sets of Elders and me and my companion.
We have done a lot of yard work so far. We are working with the YMCA (maintenance/yard work), the Red Cross and a couple other local things every once in a while. It's been pretty great to just serve in the community. People will start to recognize us as normal human beings eventually from seeing us serving everywhere. The yard work/maintenance was just normal yard work, raking and such. For the Red Cross, we will be sitting at the sign up desk or the concessions making sure people don't faint.
I played rugby every Saturday morning during my last transfer in Newport. Usually 8 to 14 people playing, us and the Elders. It was pretty fun :)
We baked chocolate chip cookies for Easter to give out to everyone.
Sister Duenas making chocolate chip cookie dough
Loved the Easter box of course! The candy is almost gone since I'm trying to savor it. Tell the Branch I got their Easter box as well and that I love it too! And to whoever sent them I really like the Jane Austen note cards.
There is a member here in Klamath Falls who studied Geography in BYU. He is working on a water project here in Klamath since water is becoming scarce for the summer. He talked to me a little about it and it only solidified that I wanted to be in this major. Not sure what emphasis yet of course but I'll figure that out when I get there.
Love ya! Bye!

OEM Mission-wide Conference (03/30/2015)

Hi Mumzy,
Klamath Falls is nice. We are serving in one ward. Here are a couple pics from last weeks transfers.
Sister Duenas and the Mission President's wife - Sister Russell
Sister Duenas (with umbrella) - a typical rainy day in Oregon
Here are my long awaited for notes from the amazing OEM Missionwide Conference!
President Russell - This meeting is making history as a mission in coming together. Listen carefully and gather promptings.
Elder Brent H. Nielsen (of the Quorum of the Seventy) - 
Our purpose as missionaries is to: invite the spirit, receive revelation and open the heavens.
Doctrine & Covenants 43:8-9 - "ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me".
There has been 39 million views of  "He Is The Gift" video and it has resulted in 34,000 referrals.
The new Easter video is still in rough draft but we still got to see it before all others!! #BecauseHeLives - AMAZING!!!
The OEM will be rolling out the next phase of iPads. The OEM was a pilot mission to start the iPads and now we are one of the first missions to roll out the new iPads. The iPads are to be used to help fulfill our missionary purpose. The best filter for appropriate internet usage is our relationship with the Lord and our Heavenly Father. Don't let it (the internet/technology) be a distraction here on our mission OR in life in education, job or role of mother/father.
Brother Heaton - 13 years Director of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, and worked for 40 yrs at the Provo MTC.
Alma 39: 2-4 and 9-10, also Matthew 16 - Don't boast in thy strength and wisdom. Be humble and obedient. Don't forsake the ministry. Don't follow the "popular" crowd. Take up the cross and deny yourselves of all ungodliness. Be humble and listen to elders, counsel with your brethren.
Be the primary source through which the Holy Ghost teaches. Use the iPad to access and show church approved media/videos only to support the missionary message. Let the spirit guide.
Elder Nielsen (again)-
Personal testimony and righteousness -> How firm is your foundation?
Moral Agency - By choosing to be baptized and making covenants in the temple, we have chosen to follow God. By choosing to follow God, we have already 'spent' our agency. We have chosen to become agents of our Heavenly Father and we are accountable to him for our actions/choices. We have covenanted to be disciples of Christ for a lifetime.
Love you bunches!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bye Bye Newport! Hello Klamath Falls! (03/23/2015)

Holo Madre!
Sister Chalfant and I were double-transferred out of Newport. We will be replaced by elders and there will be no more Sisters on this part of the Coast. I am back in Klamath Falls and will be serving in the 3rd and 4th Wards. My new companion is from Idaho and is in the middle of her mission right now. 
Sister Chalfant and I had to wake up at 4:15am (we went to bed at 12:15, since we had so much cleaning and set up for the Elders to get done) to arrive at the Corvallis transfer spot at 6:15. Left there at 6:40 or something and got to Eugene around 7:50. Left Eugene and got to Medford at 12 something, got lunch and then left for Klamath at 1:30. Arrived at Klamath at 3:15pm. 
Apparently I'm now in a pretty good ward and dabble a little in the neighboring ward because they are in need of sisters so bad. This'll be an interesting last transfer I think...there was still snow in the mountain pass and it is not just light sweater weather like it was in Newport. Now I need to get my jacket scarf back out. On the plus side, I might actually get to see Crater Lake.
Now that I've been able to ponder things a little more, I think I'd be ok if I stayed at BYU for college. (Then I can visit Mara and Josh and Desmond and help out with cooking and stuff! I can have fun cleaning other people's houses :D, just not mine hehe.) I think I just got scared my first year there because of the crazy fast pace of everyone around me, but I know now it's nothing to be afraid of. With finding what I want to do with my life after my mission, I find it a little more exhilarating.
So with all that said I think I'll take summer classes at BYU. Thank you so much for getting all that college stuff done and signing me up for Summer classes at BYU. So were you able to get me signed up for those Fall semester classes? If you didn't get my email I really liked the 2F graph the best. I actually read the descriptions first and picked my fave classes and that one I think had all of them! Perfect!!! 
Here are some pictures from my last week in Newport.
-- A fabulous St. Patrick's Day package, the apple jacks, chips, pasta and caprisun are already gone :)

-- crazy awesome and delicious Grape Ape donut from Voodoo Donuts in Portland

-- and a picture with Wi, great New Zealander who we play rugby with and get our chicken fixes from. He owns a food place called Flippin' Chicken. 

ok, gotta go!
Love you bye!! 

A Crazy Busy Productive Week (03/16/2015)

Holo Madre!
The temple trip was amazing as usual with our entire Zone. It was a beautiful day if a bit long. We got to stop by Deseret book too, like I said last week. As for the long day at the temple....Well, we had to get up at 0430 am to get ready to get to the 9am session at the temple. We started the day pretty early and that's why it seemed to last so long.
The Zone Conference we had on Tuesday was very good. We learned a lot more about how to better teach the restoration of the priesthood to investigators. By not skipping or skimming over that part, they are able to know how important the power and AUTHORITY of God is right from the 'getgo'. 
Then, we had short lessons from our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders about prayer and its importance. You'd never believe how hard it is getting someone to pray out loud. People are so scared of being judged or rejected that we have to bolster their faith and confidence that they are loved by their Father in Heaven so that faith and love out weigh the fear.
Then, of course, we had the Atonement talks from various missionaries plus one certain curly haired one ;) I could send you the talk I prepared but it wouldn't be the one I actually gave. See, I had written the talk a couple weeks ago, but then we met a member who just moved into the ward and she shared her story. With her story and the spirit I felt, I realized I needed to change my talk a bit. So unfortunately, no, you kinda can't get the talk. The talks were pretty good and the spirit was especially strong that Conference. 
Then, at the end, we all got our new iPads. Basically they are the same as the ones we had previously just faster and with more storage. There is a rumor going around that Facebook will be back in a couple months in our Mission, and if that's the case it doesn't especially matter to me since I'll be back East side :).
PREACH MY GOSPEL - Newport Beach, Oregon
And now I dare you to ask what eventful thing happened on our way back from zone conference ;)
As for the "eventful thing" I would say you should talk to the stupid deer and give it a talking to for walking in the road but alas, I don't think it can speak at the moment...The mission car has a couple good dents in it now with some nice clumps of fur :) And No, t'wasn't me that was driving :)
This past week was crazy because it's rare that awesome or even super productive things happen on Mondays since we only have a couple hours of work and people just want to be left alone at those hours (7-9). 
Then we had Zone Conference on Tuesday which took the entire day, and we hit that dumb deer. 
And because we hit the deer we had to take care of it on Wednesday which ruined our hours from 11-1:30. 
We were still able to get things done but  it wasn't until Thursday, Friday and Saturday that we were able to get great things done in the area. We saw people we hadn't been able to have lessons with in a while and set up more lessons for this week. The best part was that we were able to meet the mother of one of our investigators. So now we know more of where our investigator is coming from and how we can best help her to understand the restored gospel. 
District photo
Sounds like you are doing great in Primary! Totally knew you could do it :) 
And for being on a nice healthy diet you certainly make a lot of great food for others to gain on...hahaha.
So, I made my Strawberry cookies twice and the Pancit too. Everything was eaten by the time I remembered to get a picture. Everybody loved them :) The Pancit came out better this time, but still not what I remember it looking or tasting like texture wise. But everyone absolutely loved it and some want recipes so :)
Yep I got my Pinewood Derby cars and will graphite them the day before the race. The Elders are super excited that I am letting them use one of my Pinewood Derby cars. They will share my gold car. Though I told them they can't have it until the day of the race. Sometimes boys can be very accident prone if you know what I mean.
Didn't get any other package <box for St Patrick's Day>. That box is so cool!! I wish it would come so I can show everyone! Stupid USPS indeed. When do you think it'll get here?
hmmmm....Me thinks my mother knows me too much since she keeps dropping movie references in the most perfect places. I have educated you too well :)
Gots ta go! Love you!

I Love to See the Temple (03/09/2015)

Hi Mom!
HA! So now you've joined the stalker Moms huh? hahaha well I'm glad you were able to see that video. That is the OEM Mission song we sing after every lunch at Zone Conferences. President Russell had told us that we could sing our other thank you song for the people who provided our lunch. Then he started waving his hands once it was done for us to leave. Well, lets just say this, we love our President but there was NO WAY that the ENTIRE mission was gonna come together and NOT sing the OEM song. After a minute of sadness, disappointment and shuffling feet from a lot of us we all heard such a wonderful familiar song being started softly by a couple brave Elders. Then everyone burst into the song! I looked back at President standing with his wife and he could tell he had been over ruled.. even by his wife who was singing proudly with Sister missionaries a few feet from him. He gave in with a smile and joined the song. Once it was done I looked over at him again and he had tears in his eyes. This was truly a moment never to be forgotten. All the OEM together, all proud to be serving in Oregon. The spirit was pretty thick.
The voices singing loudest were likely Elder Pickett, Perrine or bah...I can't remember who else was standing with them, but yeah they have pretty good voices. Awww, I love my Mom. Well, it did help that I was the one practically right in front of him <the Elder shooting the video>. I'm sure I'm in the other videos too since we (Sister Chalfant and I) were in the middle of everything :)  Sister Chalfant took a video too but I'm not in it. Totally bummed I didn't grab my camera before going to lunch like the others did. Oh well. I'll just get one this Zone Conference. It's likely my last one :(
Sorry forgot to grab my notes again from the mission-wide conf but I'll try to get it to you next week with the notes I will be taking tomorrow at the Zone Conf as well. We have zone conferences every other transfer so this one tomorrow will be my last. I will cherish it like crazy.
The temple was awesome as usual! I love to see the temple and am grateful that my mission allows me to go every 3 or 4 months.
Portland, OR Temple
We drove up to the Portland Temple with the senior missionary couple and before we came back we made a stop at the Deseret Book store. Man! We need one of those in New York. There is so much stuff there that I wanted. Lots of great books from General Authorities and fiction and stuff, but alas I cannot touch them yet. I did get a cello hymn cd to listen to and it's beautiful to listen to on Sundays. There were a lot of great Sheri Dew books and some I wanted to look at from Elder Holland, Elder Callister, Elder Bednar, Elder Packer or Elder Ballard I think, and John Bytheway. I didn't pay too much attention to titles since I knew I wouldn't be able to read them anyways <until after my mission> so I can't tell you anything else.
Glad the box got to you ok. Just make sure to be careful with it because there is something in there I made that is fragile. I hope it didn't get ruined even though I wrapped it pretty good. I can tell you this though...One of the gifts you and Jimbo will both love and the other will likely torture you a little ;) hehehe (both are for Jim though).
ok gotta go! Wish me luck! i'll be making the Pancit this week.
Love you!! <3<3<3
....really quick though. The ward is having pinewood derby and ANYONE can enter. Could you send my black car and my gold car? I'd like to see if they still got it ;)