Monday, December 29, 2014

It's A Wonderful Life!!! :) Week 9 - Month 2!!

How is it going guys?!  Hope your Christmas was great!
Sorry guys, this is going to be really short! :P I don't have a lot of tiiiiiiime! :(
This week was wonderful! So many great miracles this week! We potentially have a new investigator! It is Em-- daughter, whom just previously got baptized, Ya--, she is 13. She goes to church every Sunday with her mom and she went to Young Womens for the first time yesterday and she loved it! She was so excited for all the activities and she loves the girls there! We are going to visit with her on Wednesday at Sister Murray's house for breakfast and we are really looking forward to it! She seems so excited, and we are just as excited! She is so ready! We just need to teach her and she should be hopefully baptized soon! :)
We met a recent investigator in a window! She supposedly moved and so the hermanas lost contact with her and when we saw her Hermana Roos was so excited! She wants us to visit her sometime this week! So we are planning on doing that. She seems more open to us teaching her, but she told us she has a really hard time accepting the Restoration and more specifically Joseph Smith. So we are going to go point by point with her to make sure she really understands and make it very simple. We are really hoping that all will be good with her once again!

I feel like the language is finally clicking and I am speaking a whole lot more! Hermana Roos and I are doing a 40 Day Fast and included in that fast we are speaking Spanish most of the day. So we should definitely have some improvement! :)

We had two windows this week and we met a lot of people! We contacted 61 people in total, so it was great! I was on exchanges this week with Hermana Williams and it was wonderful! We had a window as well and we met this girl Sa--. She said she has been trying to go to church to participate in "mass" but she must have been trying to go at night, because every time she went it was closed up. So we told her that there was going to be a service the next day and she said she would go! So hopefully she did! Hermana Williams said she would get ahold of the missionaries in that area, so hopefully she did! Because she seems SUPER interested!
Christmas was great! Loved it! :) Thanks everyone who either sent me a card or sent me a package, I truly appreciate it! I am going to try to personally write each one of you, but it is kind of hard to do that, but I WILL try! :) So thank you! :)  We had a lot of fun, and I loved it so much.  We had a Zone fiesta on Christmas Eve and we watched "It's a Wonderful Life" which was the first time I have ever watched it! It was great! :) Loved it! :)
Thank you everyone who has done something significant or something small for me, especially at this time of year, you are all in my prayers! I hope all of you had a wonderful week! Oh! And Happy New Year! :)
Hna. Rachel Duncan
PS: These are all the pictures that I have been meaning to send, but I either forgot my camera, or my cord. :P Enjoy! :)
Outside of Rachels Apartment 
Christmas Skype

Monday, December 22, 2014


Hola Everyone!!! :)
Merry Christmas, everyone! So excited for Christmas! :) It doesn't even feel like December! It is so weird! :P Oh well!
This week has been crazy! But at the same time, nothing has been happening! So this just may be a short email! I don't have a lot of time anyways! :P
ugh. I don't even know where to begin! :P
Last Monday I got to go to the New Missionary Dinner, it was very nice! I want you all to be very jealous, because Sister Orgill makes really good food! :)  On Wednesday I went to my first ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) It was super awesome! :)  We learned a whole bunch of great stuff! :) Then on Thursday we had our mission Christmas Party! :) Had so much fun! :)  On Friday we got to go to the Chalk Walk, which it super cool! :) It was at the Laguna Niguel building (It is so pretty, I will send pictures! I failed to bring my camera, sorry! :P) And the choir was singing.  A bunch of people from all over got to draw pictures on the ground and there was a competition (I think) And there were some REALLY pretty ones! So cool! :) Then on Saturday we had our ward Christmas Party! :) Might I just say, that the Spanish ward really knows how to party! There was dancing, piñatas, and so much more! if anyone were to do that back home, you would be considered weird! :) haha :) But there were a bunch of non-members there! So we got to meet them and talk with them! :) It was great! :) Funny story! Okay, so there was so many people! SO MANY! And because of that there wasn't a lot of food, and so by the time I got through the line, all I got was a tiny scoop of rice and beans.  Haha :)  Oh well! ;) It was fun! :)
So! Something cool happened! In our mission we do this thing called the Windows of Heaven.  It is a proselyting technique we use, and I haven't done it yet, BUT I'M REALLY EXCITED!!! :) So before we set up a window, we pray to know of a VERY specific date, time, and place that we are meant to go.  Windows only last for an hour, and we are planning on doing 3 this week! One tomorrow, on Christmas Day, and on Saturday! :) Okay, to the cool part! :) So as we were praying to know what day, place, and time that we should do these windows, I had  a VERY strong impression that we needed to go to the plaza near our house on Christmas Day at 1 PM. As I was pondering, I simply wanted to know why, and right away, I saw a lady.  She has blonde hair, and she will be wearing a scarf and she will be on her way to return something.  I told my companion, and the Spirit was sooooo crazy strong.  It was so cool. :)  But yeah! Can't wait to meet her! :) I know that whoever she is, she has been waiting for a long time for the Gospel, in fact, she has been looking for it! :) The church is true, the book is blue, and God loves you! ^_^
During this week, I have been really pondering and studying the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus has for us.  And I promise each and everyone of you, and they do.  I have no doubt in my mind.  And because of Christ's infinite love, we are here.  We are who we are.  I truly believe that. Christ didn't have to die for us, but He chose to do so because He LOVES us.  I don't think that the Atonement would be an INFINITE Atonement unless there is love from Him.  Without love, we could not return to our Heavenly Father.  And Heavenly Father loves us so much, that He gave His son to us.  And He truly is the gift.  He is our reason for the season.  He is love.  And I would ask each of you to ponder within your heart to know what that means to you, and within this week, I encourage you to serve someone, anyone you meet, even if it is simply giving them a smile.  But I would encourage you all to pray for chances to serve others.  You will not only be blessed for your efforts, but you will be surprised who you will bless on this special Holiday.  May your holidays be full of love, happiness, and full of remembrance towards our dear Savior. I love you all, and I wish you all a very merry Christmas! :)
Con Amore,
Hna. Rachel Duncan
Spanish of the Week:
Estamos muy agradecido por todos bendiciones en nuestras vidas. (Eesta-mos(t - like most, but drop the t)-agra-des-ee-do-pour-toe-doe-bend-is-ee-on-ees-en-no-est-ras-vee-duhs) (That was really long! :P)
We are very grateful for all blessings in our lives :)
(appropriate for prayers) :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blowing up phones, ties, and brain cells!! Week 7

Hola everyone!!!!
THIS WEEK HAS BEEN CRAZY! But it has been soooooo wonderful!!!! C:
I finally made it to California! And I looooooove it! :) I forgot how wonderful it is here! So glad to be back to this wonderful place! :)  My companion is Hermana Roos, she is from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and she has 4 1/2 months left.  I LOVE HER OOBERS!!! She is so nice! :) And she laughs at all my jokes, so that is a plus! ;)
This week has been so crazy, so busy, I just don't know what to do with myself! First off, getting here to California was great, but I was soooo tired! I still am recovering from all the traveling.  But all is well! :)
This week we had a BUNCH of choir things! Oh! Yeah, I am in the choir! X) Yay! :)  I love it! We had a bunch of events to go to this week! We had a really awesome experience yesterday while at the Innerfaith program!  The Innerfaith thingy is a bunch of churches from all over join together (peacefully) and we put together a music program! We sang last and it was soooooooo cooooooolllllll!!!!
We say Joy to the World in a flashmob(ish) way.  First Elder Mitts started singing, then Elder Mofatt, then Elder (Icannotremember...) And then we stormed in and BANG! Started singing! :) It was so cool! We totally caught them by surprise! ;) Then we say He Sent His Son, and I just love that song because not everyone has ever heard it, so I noticed a few people tearing up! (Good job choir!) And then we finished off with Angels We Have Heard on High (LOOOOOOVE) And it was sooooo powerful! The Spirit was so strong and We got a standing ovation! It was so awesome! :) We have some other choir events this week, so I am excited! :)
We currently only have one investigator, and that is Ma--.  We visited her on my second day, so I don't really know her that well.  All we know is her aunt or something like that is a member and asked us to teach her family and Marisa was interested! So we are currently on the hunt for new investigators!  Which is not easy! But that is what we are here for! :)
So, I have some wonderful roommates! Love them! They are Sister Smart and Sister Lafluer (I think that is how you spell it, sorry Sister Lafluer! Teehee! ;)) Anyways, I just love them! They are great! :)  We have parties every night, to celebrate something!  For example, I needed to destroy my tracphone, and we spent a good 15 minutes smashing it, burning it, and melting it.  It was very relaxing! ;D Haha, just kidding! But it was fun!  And Sister Smart had her 6 months the other day and it is a tradition to burn something when you make it to your 6, 12, and 18 month mark.  So an elder from her district gave her a tie and we poured a bunch of hand sanitizer on it and let that sucker BURN.  It was great.
*Disclaimer* We are not missing any limbs and nothing caught on fire! We were very safe!
Well everyone, this week has been a great one! I could say that not a lot happened, but at the same time, a lot did! So yeah!
Love you guys! :)
Con Amore,
Hna. Rachel Duncan
PS:  Check out the new Christmas video!!!!! It is amazing!!!
It will knock your Christmas stockings off your feet! ;) Love it oobers! :)
Spanish of the Week:
Feliz Navidad! (Fell-ease naw-vee-daad)
Merry Christmas! :)

If you live in the area and would like to go see the choir perform here is their schedule.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

She is in the field

Rachel wasn't able to send out a mass email this week because she was traveling but I thought I would post some pictures from her new adventure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Para Siempre Dios Esta Con Vos! :) Week 5 *Last week in the MTC*

HoLa EvErYoNe!!!!!!! :)

WASSS UP?! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! :) Thanksgiving was great! :)  It was very special, because we got TURKEY!!!! I miss American food so much! And it was just sooooo nice to eat something that I actually recognized for once! (Seriously, the food here sometimes scares me. Mystery meat Monday!) haha :) They even had table cloths put out and played music while we ate, and I just was so in love! haha :)

We got to listen to a LIVE devotional given by Bednard (YESSSSSSSS!!!!) AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!! He didn't give an actual talk, it was more of a question and answer thing, and it was so cool! Everyone from all the MTCs got to participate! It was awesome! My favorite thing he said was, "Does the trial of faith accure daily only to be strengthened?" yep! :) It happens!  Someone asked him the question about how he gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he answered it in the coolest way! He disappeared for a few minutes and to get a piece of paper, and it was a copy of Joseph Smith's first personal journal entry.  He read it out loud and talked about how Joseph has little education and couldn't write or read for the life of him.  And then he compared it to the Book of Mormon, and we all know the Book of Mormon is super powerful and its words are LITERALLY not of this world. And then we went on about how there is just not possible way Joseph Smith could write the Book of Mormon just to trick people.  And there really is no possible way! It just is not real! So it was just another testimony builder for me about the Book of Mormon, it was really cool! :)  Two days before we had ANOTHER live devotional by Dallin H. Oaks (YES YES YES!!!) and it was AWWWWWWESOME! I love that man.  I just love all of them.  But I will always have something special for Holland, haha. :) Anyways! He talked about some great stuff! My favorite thing he said was, "Do something for men and women that is a small but kind and a brave thing that the Savior would do." Amen to that!!! I just love all that the prophet and the apostles have to say! These men are certainly called of God! GOTTA LOVE THEM!

This week has been great, but it has been really hard.  We have been trying to speaking only Spanish, and at times it is so frustrating.  But I think that my Spanish has really improved, I feel like I don't even struggle that much! I can pretty much talk to anyone, but at times I will be in the middle of a sentence and be like, "Wait, como se díce blah blah blah." and usually I can work my way around when speaking, but it is going well! I am not perfect, but it is sufficient! :) I feel like I am prepared for the mission field! :)

Things with Alejandro and Miguel are going great! :)  Alejandro is getting "baptized" this Saturday and tomorrow is our last lesson with him!  We taught Miguel the last time and he FINALLY committed to Baptism! He is getting "baptized" January 15th! Woooo! haha :) Yay! :)  So proud of them! :)

Well! I have been saving to do this for the last week, and I am just so excited to share this with all of you!  But I have been wanting to bare my testimony to all of you, and if I mess up, I'm sorry! But I have a testimony of Spanish now, and every day that I have been here has strengthened that! :) So here you go! :)

Yo sé que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es verdadera ! Sé que Jesucristo es muy cariñoso, y Su ama es para todos las personas! Yo sé que nosotros somos muy bendecido ! Yo sé que La Expiación es muy importante, y es parte del plan de Dios . Yo sé que Jesucristo murió por todos los hombres, y no fue fácil. Yo sé que El Libro De Mormón es de palabra de Dios. Yo sé que nosotros tenemos un viviendo profeta, Tomás S. Monsón.  Yo sé que José Smith es un profeta, tambien.  Estoy muy agradecido por todas las bendiciones en mi vida! Estoy muy agradecido por mi familia, y my mejor amigos,y especialmente mi Eterno Padre.  Estoy muy feliz, y yo sé que es porque a Dios y Jesucristo! 

I know that my Redeemer lives, and He loves us all so much! I love you all so much too! Have a great week everyone!!!!! LOVE YOU ALLLL!!!!  :)

Spanish of the Week: 
Estoy muy cansado! (Es/toy moy cone/saw/doe(
I'm so tired!


Con amore, 
Hermana Duncan

Random dude with a machete and cutting up the tree in front of our house!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Miracles, Hijoles, and Doughnuts. :) WEEK FOOOOOOOOOOUR!!!!

Hola everyone!!!!!!

SUP?! I hope all is well!!!! :) Things are going great here! I suppose! :) First things first. I want to thank my mommy for sending me donuts. They were delicious! And with all the struggles and frustrations throughout the week, I would go home, eat a doughnut, and everything was okay. So thank you mom! Hermana Nelson got some donuts too, so we had 3 dozen donuts and she even ate one in the shower!  She says you have not lived until you eat a doughnut in the shower, so if you have not, you better get on that!
We had some great spiritual experiences this week! First one would be when we went to TRC (Teaching Resource Center) where we actually teach volunteers (most of them are members, but some are actual investigators!) Hermano Polo said there were not many people that day to teach so Hermana Brown and I were together with Hermana Nelson and Hermana Redford.  We had a lesson all prepared and it was suppose to be about receiving answers to our prayers, and we said a quick prayer together and prayed that we would be able to teach with the spirit and we would be able to help whoever we were teaching.  A girl around our age came in, her name is Casy and she is so beautiful! We started to get to know her and asked her what she liked and we learned that she loves to do ballet! :) We began our lesson with a prayer and we discussed what we were going to share with her.  Hermana Nelson asked her if she felt like there was any time in her life that she did not receive an answer to her prayers.  She waited a moment and she began to cry and told us that she had a boyfriend who is an RM and they want to get married, but she feels like she needs to go on a mission.  She had only discussed it with her mother the day before (I think, I may be missing some details, my Spanish is not up to par!) about it, and she did not know what to do.  Well. Three of us (Me, Hermana Brown (My comp.) and Hermana Nelson) have boyfriends serving missions!  We just looked at each other and we knew we were suppose to help her.  We shared some scriptures with her about receiving answers to prayers, and I shared my experience with her about making those exact decisions while Zach was out, as well as Hermana Brown and Hermana Nelson.  We were all in tears, because the spirit was so strong and in my heart I knew she was suppose to go on a mission.  She would be a great missionary!   Her spirit is so strong, and I hope to see her again! I already love her! i love all the investigators we have! (Even if two are pretend and they are our teachers) but I still want to help each of them and to serve them.  That is why I am here! :)  Oh! Alejandro committed to baptism!!!!!!!!! :D YAYYYYYYY!!!! He is getting baptized December 6th! Three days before I leave! :) We finally figured out the problem, and he just wants to be with his family forever.  His mom died when he was young, and he fears that she is in a not so nice place and we informed him that is far from the truth, but she can be in paradise if the work is done for her, and the only way to do that is to get baptized! So I invited him to follow the example of Christ and to be baptized, and he said yes, but he would have to ask his wife. His wife is a member, why would she not say yes?! haha :) So yep! All has been so well! I love this Gospel! It is so wonderful! I feel like I have been blessed so much this week with my Spanish, and I feel like I took a huge leap.  I still struggle, but it is getting so much easier. :)

Yesterday I got to leave the CCM with my companion!!! Haha :) Her retainer broke the night before and she had to go to a dentist that was an hour away, and it was quite the experience! :P People here are nuts.  Everyone drives super fast, everyone is swerving around one another, and random people will be in the middle of the street selling tacos.  What.  I actually got really sick on the way home because if the crazy driving! It was not pleasant, lets just say that. But it was a good experience nonetheless.  Hermana Brown waved at someone, and the Mosiah, the Hermano with us told us not to do that because they will think that we want to hook up. O.O No thank you! Haha :) The dentist was a member and she turned on some primary songs for us while we were there, and it has been so nice to hear music! We are not aloud to listen to music here, and it is very sad!

Oh! And I finally saw Preston! :) I see him every once in a while, and it is weird seeing someone I use to see almost every day! haha :) But he seems to be doing good, and he seems happy! So yeah! :) I call him by Preston and he calls me by Rachel, and our companions always correct us, haha. SILLY COMPEÑEROS! :D

Oh! And these pictures are all pictures of us sleeping through devotionals, classes, and even in the great outdoors.  it is kind of hard not falling asleep when you are so dang busy and tuckered out by the end of the day! :) Im guilty too!

Spanish of the Week:
¡Hijoles! - (Ee-hole-ez) Oh my goodness! Elder Kummerman says it all the time haha :)

Love you all! Have a great Thanksgiving! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you all!  Save me a slice of pie for me! ;) 

Con Amore,
Hermana Rachel Duncan :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Satan Really Doesn't Like US..... Week 3

Hola!! :)

Well.  This week has been jam packed with a lot of things, and at the same time, not so much!

First off, our investigators are progressing!!!.... Kind of? I do not know! It is kind of hard to tell! But they are both opening up to us! if i have failed to tell you their names, I apologize haha, We are teaching Alejandro and Miguel. (They are really our teachers, teehee! Hno.Vargus is Alejandro and Hno. Polo, "Pollo"/Chicken as we call him because he loves chicken and stealing our food, is Miguel) Alejandro's wife, Wendy is a member, and they have a little baby girl named Renee who is one.  He is Catholic and wants to know more about eternal families and about where we go after we die, but we are currently teaching him about the love of God, because he struggles to know that God is there for him and knows of his struggles.  Apparently Renee is in the hospital for something, I don't know why (I was not there, I will explain more after this..) and so we are praying for her and his family. :) Miguel is really hard to teach.  He has been a member of FOUR different churches (currently the 7th day Adventist) and we have only taught him twice in the past two weeks.  The first lesson was really funny, because I was teaching him how to pray and how we need to be reverent. This is how the prayer went:
Me: Nuestras Padre Celestial...
Me: ......(Trying really hard not to laugh) Estamos muy agradecido por todo bendiciones en nuestras vivas....
Miguel: (Repeats every word I just said in a whisper)
Me: (I'm now laughing)..... Gracias por Miguel...
Miguel: Gracias por MEEEE!!!
(My companion and I are now in tears)

Reminder: This is all roleplaying, I would totally not act like this is I did not know that this was my teacher.  Polo is the Beez Kneez.

Oh it was so great. But the next lesson I totally caught him be surprise with a scripture (Matt 5: 1-11 I think?) about how we should pray without repetition and with loud voices, and it was just great.  I felt like a champion. :) But anyways, Miguel is opening up to us.  He has a son who is a member, and his other son is the exact opposite! He is really rebellious and Miguel said he will join the church when his son does... Soooooo..... PLEASE PRAY FOR US! :)

Well.. I got sick.... AGAIN. But this time it was REALLY bad. On Sunday night during a devotional it was getting really hot and when we went outside I thought I would be better... NOPE. I ended up going home earlier, and got super duper sick. I had horrible nausea, and then one of my roommates came home because she was throwing up too... then her companion came home the next day... and now MY companion is sick today! So I have been stuck in our casa for three days.  AND IT STINKS. But all is well! I feel so much better! :) I just have to play mommy for my companion. :) Please pray for my district! We have been very unsuccessful with English fasts every time we try to do one. We usually do it every Monday and Wednesday, and every time someone gets sick! So please pray for us! We are all convinced that it is...SATAN. So please keep us in your prayers! We are going to "casually" begin our English fast and surprise that little stinker like never before! The little devil wont know what hit him! ;)

So on Friday, I spent a good hour or so drawing pictures of our whole district (after I was done studying.. OF COURSE) and I was so proud of my work! Everyone loved it, and it was just great!....

Then on Sunday, all of us sisters went to Relief Society and when we came back one fo the elders in our district RUINED IT!!! But it was really funny. :)

We went to the temple today!!!! It is so beautiful! Unfortunately we did not get to walk around the grounds, we just went to the visitor center.  But you could still feel the spirit! I want to go back one day! it amazes me how much there is a difference between the CCM and the city itself.  We are literally not of the world here! Other than this past Sunday and Monday there was a lot of fiestas because it was the Mexican Revolution Holiday, and literally all night long there was music, cars honking their horns, cannons going off (We literally will hear random cannons going off every single day.  Its really big here I guess because it supposedly shows respent to Saints of the Catholic church) And my lovely companion looks at me every single time and says, "Well, there goes another tribute." (Like the Hunger Games, She is so silly!) But I love the spirit here, it is so strong, and I simply don't want to leave! OKAY. I do. But my district is literally the best ever! We get along soooooo well!!!!!

I miss you all oobers! I cant believe NEXT WEEK I will be out for a month! :) Time is already slipping by and I haven't even really begun! Before you know it it will be as if I return home tomorrow

Spanish of the Week (I'm copying you Zachy, hope you don't mind! :))

¡Adios, carita de arroz! (Car-eeta de arrr-ohhz)
Its like Americans saying, "See you later Alligator!"
But it literally means, " Goodbye, rice face!
.......Since when did I ever look like rice? XD Silly Latinos! :) I LOVE THEM!

Love, Hermana Duncan