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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Favorite Quotes and Need the Pancit recipe! (10/27/2014)

Hola Madre!
Stat! I need the Pancit recipe! I think I sent all of the recipes you gave me home on accident, so now I got nothing. Perfect! That's what I needed! Oh I love my Mumsy!!!!! I will be feeding like 6 people at the District Meeting on Friday. 
<Mom Note: Nothing like trying to remember the Pancit recipe on the fly today while out of town. I sent it with a certain 'someone' when she left on her mission, but she (who shall not be named, but who is currently my favorite Sister Missionary) lost the Pancit recipe and needed it asap so she could buy the ingredients on P-Day. She is cooking it for her entire District this coming Friday. Pancit is a Filipino recipe that I learned how to make by watching Sister Duenas' grandmother who is from Guam. The recipe has rice noodles, chicken, pork, shrimp, cabbage, carrots, onion, celery and soy sauce. It is delicious! For the sake of keeping it inexpensive, I suggested that Sister Duenas only use chicken this time (no pork or shrimp as we usually do). Kiana has helped me make the recipe a number of times, but she has never made it all by herself. this will be her first time cooking it solo, but I'm sure she can do it :) As a friend of mine said, the Holy Ghost can bring ALL things to our remembrance...even a recipe!>
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cool pictures from what I've been doing for my P-Day (Preparation Day) today. We went to old town Jacksonville. Its kinda like Ellicottville with all the antique shops. It was super fun and I was able to get some presents for people.
Of course she couldn't resist taking pics of adorable goats!
I'm sure Sister Duenas couldn't pass up giving the goats some face rubs :)
Possibly the coolest license plate evah! It's New York, sooooo...... :)
Here are some of my favorite quotes for this past week by Elder Holland, Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Eyring.

Here are some quotes and stuff that I've liked throughout all my studies on my mission.
I've read so many talks that I feel like I'd never really be super nervous again to go up there myself. I know what a good talk sounds like, and ever since I left Eugene I haven't given a single one yet. I think it's because these wards are so big they have endless people they can ask to give talks, so they don't have to ask the missionaries. That's good, but I'd still love to give one :)

My favorite inspirational General Conference quotes (from various years):
"[Recently,] the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve published a letter to leaders of the Church across the world. In part it read: 'Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife.'.....

President Thomas S. Monson:- "Courage not compromise brings the smile of God's approval."
- "Once we have a testimony, it is incumbent upon us to share that testimony."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
- "My dear brothers and sisters, there will be days and nights when you feel overwhelmed, when your hearts are heavy and your heads hang down. Then, please remember, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, is the dad of this church. It is HIS gospel. He wants you to succeed. He gave His life for just this purpose."
- "Even when we think we can't rise up, there is still hope. And sometimes we just need someone to look us in the eyes, take our hand, and say, "You can do it NOW!""

Elder Russell M. Nelson:
"Even if everyone is doing it, wrong is never right. Evil, error and darkness will never be truth, even if popular."

President Boyd K. Packer:
- "Faith, to be faith, must be centered on something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness."
- "We all live on spiritual credit. In one way or another, the account builds and builds. If you pay it off as you go, you have little need to worry. Soon you begin to learn discipline and know that there is a day of reckoning ahead. Learn to keep your spiritual account paid off at regular intervals rather than allowing it to collect interest and penalties."

President Gordon B. Hinckley:
- "The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries - we place our order and then hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for, and then speak to the Lord as one man speaks to another."
- "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
- "You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence."
- "God planted within women something divine." That 'something' is the gift and gifts of motherhood. Elder Mathew Cowley taught that "men have to have something given to them [in mortality] to make them saviors of men, not women. [They] are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls.....and the regenerating force in the lives of God's children."
- "When [an individual] is motivated by great and powerful convictions of truth, then he disciplines himself, not because of demands made by the Church but because of the knowledge within his heart."

Elder Neil L. Andersen:
- "As the world slips away from the Lord's law of chastity, we do not."
- "While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman - - Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared and nurtured. Families are the treasure of heaven."
- "Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision."

Sheri L. Dew:
- "Satan has declared war on motherhood. He knows that those who rocks the cradle can rock his earthly empire. And he knows that without righteous mothers loving and leading the next generation, the kingdom of God will fail."
- "Like Eve, our motherhood began before we were born. Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality, righteous women were endowed premortally with the privilege of motherhood."
- "Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us."

Elder D. Todd Christofferson:
- "In measuring success, we recognize the profound truth underlying all else - - that our lives belong to God, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Success means living in harmony with Their will."
- "Our lives should be a confession of Christ, and together with our words testify of our faith in and devotion to Him."
- "If we remain firmly rooted in faith in Christ, we are in a position both to receive and to offer divine help."

Love you!!!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

1-Year in the Mission Field (10/20/2014)

Hey Mommy!
So this first pic is the one I've been looking at for my "Mommy fixes". Now especially since I guess I'll be staying on my mission til May 5th.  Guess I'll be home just in time for Mother's Day.
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Duenas so much for the card. Tell them I send my love! <Mom note: I did tell Grandma and Grandpa Duenas and their response to Sister Duenas was "Please tell her that she is forever in our hearts, and we are sooo very proud of her.">
Here's my map of the wonderful plan that Heavenly Father has set up for us.

The members feed us way too well here. We have dinners every night all the time. I'm trying to get healthier in the last 6 months of my mission. For exercise, I'm trying to run a bit more, stretch less and do more lunges and stuff. If it wasn't so wet, I'd ask for bikes or something.
This week we were able to have a lot of lessons, meet new people and get new investigators.
We've met some very interesting people and now know why some people just don't want to speak with us though they might be kind. <Mom note: Sister Duenas provided some examples of what some well-intended but misinformed people think that Mormons believe, and attempts by Sister Duenas and her companion to clarify the misinformation were not met with acceptance.>
Training is going well. It is pretty cool seeing how much I've learned as I teach someone who is right back where I was just one year ago. <Mom note: Sister Duenas reaches her one-year mark in the mission field on 10/23/2014! Can you believe it?! We are so proud of her sticking to it, serving with love, and for the growth and learning she has experienced as a Sister Missionary.>
Anyway, a very interesting week. Full of service again too. We split logs for 4 hours and worked at the food pantry for 2 hours, and then worked at the Medford Temple for an hour as well. It's been super fun.
Got my hair cut today. It hasn't been cut since March, back when I was in Eugene. Whatcha think?

               BEFORE                            AFTER  :)
Do I have the Pancit recipe? I think you sent me out with it. Though I don't know when I would have time to make it for anything.
<Mom note: I sure did send it with you :)  >  
Tell the Greene missionaries I said thanks for the advice. I think I'll really use the study one from the Sisters.
Love you bunches!
Sister Kiana Duenas

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Missionary Training for New Trainers (10/13/2014)

It has been a very interesting and most exhausting week.
First I sent off Sister Haugen, and since I was companion-less, I had to hang out with some other Sisters before my new Sister came in. It was cool to help this companionship out and see what it was like in their area, but it was just so awful having to be out of my own area for three and a half days. So many appointments had to be rescheduled.
Wednesday afternoon I, and other trainers, took the transfer van up to Eugene. Our vehicle coordinator is awesome. He stopped at Dairy Queen on the way and we got ice cream :)
Then we had a Training Meeting with President Lowary and the AP's (Assistants to the Mission President). They had lots of great advice for us new Trainers. Mainly it was, don't put your stress or worries on the new missionary because they are handling enough trying to learn everything; love and serve them; be understanding and firm in their learning; be an example of an "exceedingly obedient" missionary.
Missionary Training Meeting
We likely wouldn't be able to use those books ("I Want to Be Baptized" and "The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket"), but they definitely seem great to use when teaching future children.
(Regarding my college major and future career) I honestly don't know what I want to do with my life at this point. I have some ideas, but it's difficult because the things I want to learn are different than the things I'd like to do for a career. Lots of things to think about for sure. I just started today to really think of what Elder Godoy said about our patriarchal blessings and if we are doing what we need to (in order) to get the blessings promised in them. Today, I wrote the blessings promised and next I'll write the things I need to be doing and see where I stand so far.
Speaking of coming back home. Now I have no idea when I'll be  returning. It used to be that Sisters could choose to come home Early Transfer or Late Transfer, since 18 months doesn't fall on a Transfer evenly. But now I heard (a rumor) that all Sisters will just go home Late Transfer. If that is the case, then I would be coming home on May 5th instead of on March 25th.
 My new companion is Sister Hall, from Utah. There are challenges of being a Trainer, but it is a good experience too.
Sister Duenas and Sister Hall
Super exciting news this week though!
We get to see "Meet the Mormons", work on the Temple grounds, split some more wood and continue the Lord's work. It's gonna be great :)
Love you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rainbows and Repentance (10/06/2014)

Hola Madre!
Hey, yeah I'd love those copies (of the May 2014 Ensign and 2015 Relief Society Manual - Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson) if you'd send them!
So, transfers week...
I am staying in Central Point and Sister Haugen is going to Corvallis up north.
Yeah so I don't know who my next companion is because I will be training!!  :)  So so excited!
This day was absolutely gorgeous. This rainbow knows where its at and is pointing people in the right destination :)
Rainbow at Medford , OR Temple
Rainbow leading to Medford, OR Temple
<Excerpts from a letter received on 10/03/2014>
So, I've been reading in the scriptures about repentance.
Here are some things I found and learned:
- We must have faith, humility and real intent when repenting and when coming unto Christ to be healed.
Omni 1:26 - offer up our whole soul
3 Nephi 18:32 - full purpose of heart
3 Nephi 9:20 - broken heart and contrite spirit
- Heavenly Father forgives us and then keeps helping us to return to His presence. It's not a repent, don't do it again and then you're done. We repent and then make even better choices and continue forward and upward. We ought to use the new clean slate He's given us and make something of it. We've returned to the path and have the Holy Spirit with us again, so now we can use it and continue to better ourselves and follow the Lord's will and commandments.
- Christ suffered and paid for our sins, but he didn't take away our personal responsibility. The blessings of the Atonement are available to all on conditions of repentance (daily), accepting Christ (fully), and having faith in obeying His commandments (continually).
- As we repent, our outlook on the world and ourselves changes. We are able to see our own worth and potential. Something our Heavenly Father has always seen inside us. We are so much more than who we are now :)
So, obviously you can tell I really loved President Uchtdorf's talk at Women's Conference. He and all the prophets/apostles know what to say and what the Lord needs us to hear. Can't wait for General Conference this weekend!

Something I've finally determined is what I want on my missionary plaque. I want one.
My scripture on there will be Mosiah 4: 9-10: "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them."
I feel this scripture fits me very well since I've learned and been on my mission.
The "Meet the Mormons" movie will be showing here in Medford and us missionaries just might get to see it!
<Email from 10/06/2014>
Oh man! You need to finish watching General Conference! It was AMAZING!!! President Monson and really all the Apostles were so serious about their messages (though of course there were a couple of jokes cracked). My favorites were by Bednar, Oaks, Jorg K. and Anderson. really they were all great, but these really struck me and/or excited me.
A 30 pound watermelon given to us by some caring members
Me and Sister Haugen on her birthday
Love you bunches!
Sister Kiana Duenas

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cheerfully Do All that You CAN Do (09/29/2014)

Well I can see what place I come in ma own Mummy's heart. Replaced by a grandbaby. Good thing he's just so darn cute ;) I am totally jealous you're getting to hold him! I seriously can't wait until I can meet him.
We've had a great past couple of  weeks. We can always work harder and there's always room for improvement, but we've been doing well and finding new people to teach the gospel. This area is great for member-missionary work and there are tons of activities where our less actives and investigators can come to socialize and feel welcome.
I looked at the time I have left on my mission and it's just so so short! Where in the world has the time gone?! I have just slightly less than 6 months left. That's only 4 transfers! It's just so crazy. I've been here (on my mission) forever and yet just a blink, and I've learned so much, yet my bucket has so much more room to fill up.
HI! It's ME!!!!!! :)
We've done a little more service this week. Worked at the Food Pantry, raked leaves, stacked wood, and vacuumed someone's house. Really cool, while we were stacking wood we found two logs that were truly shaped like hearts, so we had our Senior Couple Elder cut them off for us so we can use them as coasters. Don't have a picture right now, but I'll be sure to send you one later.
Ok and now crazy story time!!!
On Saturday we were on our way to see this blind less active lady to teach and before we got into the elevator some other older lady started yelling down the hall to us to "come quick". This home is for the elderly, kind of like the ones Grandma took care of. We went down there and we saw that an older lady had tripped over a walker and was flat out on the ground. Sister Haugen and I went to see if she was ok and get her back up, but soon found that she was bleeding, so we didn't move her but attempted to comfort her until help arrived. She had fallen and hit her head on the door frame and was bleeding from her head and her arms were pretty cut up as well. We immediately found some workers to help. They bandaged her arms up and put pressure to her head. During all this I was comforting the one who had called us since she was very distraught and she thought that Alice, by then we had learned her name, was going to die. She was very much in shock, but I just told her that she did good in calling us and that Alice was going to be just fine. Seeing us pretty capable they (the workers) gave us gloves and we sat there with Alice and kept her conscious. Sister Haugen did a lot of the talking since Alice seemed to warm up to her. We stayed with her until the ambulance came and took her away. End of crazy story. Moral = the Lord puts His servants exactly where He needs them and He gives them the strength and clarity of mind and spirit to handle the situation that they've been put in.
Lately, I've been studying about repentance and faith. Good stuff that I'll try to write you later.
This week we've been trying to use the Articles of Faith in our teaching and it's been going great! I've determined to memorize them all and so far it's going great. I've got 1-7 done, (just 6 more to go). In honor of these great Articles, I have written down something similar. These are my 13 reasons I love Jesus Christ.
More notes from Sister Nielson (wife of general Authority Elder Brent H. Nielson) who visited the Oregon Eugene Mission back in August.
- You can count on your Heavenly Father knowing where you are and you can count on His miracles.
-The Missionary age change for women is part of the plan for Hastening the Lord's work. We have been saved until this time to stand when we heard the call.
- Pursuit of holiness and happiness - President Uchtdorf's talk called "Of Regrets and Resolutions".
- We are the creators of our home.
- If you wake up in the morning every day battling something, it's okay. It means you're normal.
- If you feel the promptings of the Spirit (ex. while you're teaching) then you can know that the Lord is pleased with you.
- Practice virtue and holiness continually (Doctrine and Covenants 46:33)
- Heavenly Father doesn't care about crumbs on the floor. He cares about the kids.
-See that big obstacle coming for you and, using the Spirit, adjust and side step it, don't try to force your way through it.
- Cheerfully do everything that you can do. You do everything that you can do, and God will take the rest.
Love you!!!!!!!!!

A Ladder and the Holy Ghost (09/22/2014)

Yes! I am so excited to be an Auntie!!! He is such a cute little 'burrito' :)
The OEM Secretary told me the second after you called her. They were so happy for me becoming an Auntie!
We had a Young Woman join us for a mini-mission this week. Her name is Sofi and she wants to go on a mission!
Sister Duenas, YW on Mini-Mission, Sister Haugen
At first, at the (Medford) Pear Farm, most of us were on the ground picking pears with our hands, except four Elders were on the platform. Then, after ground picking was done, we all got a ladder. I'm such a chicken. At first, I refused to get on a ladder, then I just sucked it up and never looked down and held on for dear life. Humans (especially ones named Sister Duenas) are not supposed to be in the air. period.
I know my way around Central Point a lot better now. Though I'm technically the senior companion, Sister Haugen does the driving since she's the more experienced driver.
Central Point is very missionary oriented. Lots of Senior missionaries serving in their Stakes and coming back from their full-time missions, and families with their own missionaries out, so they know how to get it done :)
The Zone Conference was awesome as usual and for the Holy Ghost talk, I was the third speaker. Nearly had a heart attack when President Russell announced who was going to be speaking!! Immediately, the Sisters around me started encouraging me and saying "you'll do great", and "just breathe". I think I must've had an alarmed look on my face because one of them even gave me chocolate to calm me. Which of course it did :) The Sisters here and the other missionaries are so great.
Awesome quote I found :)
I don't know about you, but I am SO SO SO excited for the General Womens Conference and then the General Conference next week!!!! We have a saying on the Mission that it's like the Missionary Super Bowl. We are all so excited!
Oh. Have you seen the new Mormon Message on Its about a Mom with a To-Do list. It is super awesome and spiritual video. It totally makes everyone cry. You should watch it :)
The weather the last couple of days has been stupidly warm...high 90s to 100. But this week is supposedly the 'cool down' to Fall, so I am sooooo very happy. It was funny, someone said it might get to 70 soon and Sister Haugen said "Oh my gosh that's like winter!"   ummmm....Sorry Sister "South Cali"....that's not winter. lol. <Mom Note: Winter in New York is anything below 30 degrees. Until it gets below 50, carry on with flip flops and sandals and shorts ;) >
I had a photo shoot with a couple of kitties this week, and a ginormous cat named Max. Seriously, he's huge.

Love you bunches!!!!!!   <3 <3 <3 <3 <3