Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Post for Everyone!

Last Sunday, my companion, Sister Christensen and I went over to our bishop’s house to have dinner and a lesson. During this lesson, we talked a lot about the Atonement (the act where Christ stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins as well as taking upon himself all the pains that we go through). Sister Christensen and I mentioned how sometimes we feel, as a lot of people do, that this act, although vital to understand, will never fully be comprehended in this life with just our finite brains. Although this is true, our wonderful bishop made a profound statement. He went on to tell us that YES, our minds CAN indeed understand the Atonement. It's when people get scared that others say they won't understand it, that they don't study it. Although you can go deep within the concept of what he literally bore upon himself, I have learned that the Atonement is in fact a very simple act we can all understand. Faith. If you have the slightest bit of faith in Jesus Christ, you understand it enough for now. And when our faith increases, so does the understanding of the Atonement. Then will your desire to share that knowledge increase as well.

Begin today! Don't let others tell you what you can and can't study/understand/do/become. Gospel related, sports related, or life in control of yourself. Don't make excuses. You don't quit after messing up a drill once do you? No! You keep doing the same thing over and over until you master it. Same with studying gospel topics.

My invitation to you is very simple. Whether you've been studying the Atonement your whole life, never heard of the word, or somewhere in between...pick up from where you are and STUDY THE ATONEMENT. My personal advice to you-click on this website... type it in the search bar. That way you can hear what prophets and apostles have to say about the topic. Just one option :)

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for getting to share about this topic every day for over a year now. It is literally the greatest expression of love that both our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ could give me, you, and the world. I love the fact that because of Jesus Christ, I don't have to be stressed out about being a perfectionist. Just the little steps I do take is enough for him. Progression is all he is looking for.

Always remember that!

-Sister Duncan

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Beauty of Team Sports

Sweat drips down my face, squatting down in defensive position, I see in the corner of my eye the point guard in motion to pass my player the ball. Thoughts rushing through my head. 'Should I go for it or not?' In a split second I decide to go for it. Because of the slightest hesitation, I'm too late. My player catches the ball, and goes towards the basket. Luckily I have help side from my teammate. Because I'm out of the picture however, they make an extra 2 passes for a wide open 3. Drains it. I hear Coach Visger yell from the sidelines as she grabs someone to sub for me: "THE CHAIN BREAKS AT ITS WEAKEST POINT". I realize that for those 5 seconds, I was the weak point of the chain.

From this, there are 2 different perspectives. "Why not play individual sports so you don't disappoint the whole team when you mess up?" Or, "that's the beauty of team sports". There are pros and cons to both individual sports and team sports. Even after an experience like this, I have to say I'm a little by-est toward one side-team sports, and let me explain why.

I remember my junior year of high school. I had gone through soccer season during the fall, basketball season during winter, and now it's spring time. I had played softball the 2 previous years so everyone just assumed I would continue on with that. I had decided right after basketball season that I wanted to focus on that sport and see if I could have a chance at playing college ball. Due to that-I was playing club basketball year around. When I brought that up with my new softball coach, she let me know the team club sports, period.

At this point, I had made a decision with myself to give my all to basketball. I had two options: Lie and say I wasn't playing club so I could play both. Or turning in my softball jersey. I knew I would feel guilty not giving my all in softball when so many other girls were.

After lots of lots of praying, I finally recognized my answer. "It's up to you". Ahhh, my least favorite answer! So, I decided not to play softball. And since Heavenly Father decided to hand it over to me, I choose to try out for golf of all things!

It was the first time in my life I had played a individual sport competitively. My thoughts, "Man, this will be great. I don't have to be accountable to anyone. I can just worry about myself. And if someone else on my team has a bad round, it doesn't affect me!" (Yeah, don't ever think that. Rookie mistake).

Those two years of golf solidified to me the importance of working as a team not only in sports, but in life. Although it may seem like it, never are we alone playing individual sports in life. Even things like PR's (personal records) need to be accounted to someone. Just some of my favorite qualities of teamwork are these: support, unity, accountability, and just plain old having someone's back.

So in life, how do we have someone's back? My personal opinion...sharing with them something that they will benefit from. If your teammate is having a hard time getting footwork down and you can see it, give them a tip or two. If someone just recently lost a loved one and you know about God's plan for us being that they will get to see them again-well then...TELL THEM! From basketball skills to sharing the doing it out of love is how they will be receptive to it best.

To finish I want to share 2 of my goals I have made just recently that I want to apply to the rest of my life. And I would strongly encourage all to follow make some like these that will be personalized toward you...probably taking mine up a notch or two.


Simple yet challenging. I know that as we are thinking of others, this life will be better for everyone. We truly are all one team, slash ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY working to achieve the better for the world.

And because of that...I will end this by saying...LOVE YOU ALL and keep up the great work!

~Sister Duncan

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Get to that Pillow!

As my companion and I dragged our bikes in for dinner the other day, a thought came into my head. "This is the first dinner we have
had that hasn't been at someone's home in the last month." And with
that, I quickly decided to use my hour of dinner as sleep time.

This is a picture Sister McKenna took of me during this much needed 45 minutes of glory.

When I woke up it took me a couple more minutes than usual to get up
due to my neck being kinked. I thought to myself...why couldn't I have
just gone 2 more inches and made it to the pillow. Then all would be
well! Unfortunately I had to pay consequences; luckily just temporary ones though! This just a simple story, but a profound one if you
relate it to the journey of life. Do we really want to end up just
short of the finish line? Or do we want to give our all and have no


Just the other week I was on an exchange with another sister, she
asked me a question. A simple question at that, but it will
forever be a part of me now. "Have you ever felt like you have truly
finished something in life?" My immediate response, "well of course, I
gave my all in basketball." She went on talking about why that was the
reason she wanted to come on a mission, to finally finish something.
As the selfish Sister Duncan I am, I continued to ponder that question. I
finally came to a realization that I hadn't. I haven't finished
anything completely in life. It was a hard pill to swallow, but true. Basketball, piano, school.

 Putting in extra shots after practice, focusing a little more on my homework instead of the radio, or wasting time on Facebook instead listening to my nagging mom tell me to practice the piano. The choice is yours, which one do you want?



Be on a video game?

Name get changed to a verb?

Now there is a difference between this, and being too hard on yourself. I don't want anyone to think they are complete failures in life. We aren't perfect of course. But think right now about your accomplishments. We all have given a lot of effort into certain things in life, but have we came to that point where we know we gave it everything we had. I am
grateful for that sister to ask me that question. So now I pose to you the same: HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU HAVE TRULY FINISHED SOMETHING IN LIFE? If not, go get it! Life is short, so make the most of it. If your answer is yes, then great for you! Go continue to finish other obstacles.

 Heavenly Father wants the best for us, He WILL help us along the way
to finish what we started. I know that to be true. As we seek to grow
in our knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ- all things are possible.
Not easy, but possible! Temporal or spiritual. No matter if you have been a lifelong member
of the church, never been to any church in your life, or just don't
see the point in religion whatsoever. I would ask you, just give it a
shot! Being apart of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints
is the biggest blessing of my life. It's here as Christ's church to
give you a fullness of everlasting happiness! Not to take anything
away from what you already believe, but to add upon those blessings. God wants us to be our happiest, and we will be happy as we
finish the path to eternal life.

As the Snow College women's basketball team would say,


Thursday, May 29, 2014



Before we begin, let me explain the picture-my dad's name is not Napolean's Neuman Duncan! But yes, he's cool enough to have shirts made of him :) Now on to the point...IT'S MY DAD'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!

At a ripe old age of 8, I started my blooming career in the field of...lawn mowing. Duncan Lawn Care is what we called ourselves...unique I know. Blame it on my brother, he thought of it! This weekly family outing every Saturday taught me A LOT about work. I don't know
how my dad got away with having us to child manual labor...but he did
and I'm now grateful for it. Just being able to see
over the lawn mowers handle bars, mini Sister Duncan first started out on my own
lawn so people didn't yell at me when I hit a sprinkler head, or
edged the grass to short. Eventually, it was a full day of work
 waking up early and finishing just before dinner.

People would always tell me how hard of a worker my dad was but being
surrounded by it all growing up, I was a little numb to it. It was
just normal to me.Now looking back after ALL my years of expertise, I
can see what they mean!

 Since my dad wasn't shy about embarrassing his little girl bragging to
coaches, church friends, co workers, ect about me, I'm going to get
back at you now and brag to the blog world about some of the few
things I love about you!

-I happened to get parents who's genes are BOTH very stubborn and like
to do things on their when it comes to him teaching me
sports, I will easily admit he taught me everything...but it also came
with a price tag for him! He's a champ!

 -He taught me how to be "coachable" as he would say. But basically how
to respect people in general and to help me understand that I'm not
always the right one.

 -He always provided for his children's needs but didn't "spoil" us. This
one is controversial with he rest of my siblings...As I was the only
one who got a cell phone in high school. But I was a junior so I waited long enough! Plus it took me a whole summer of just shooting free throws to earn it :) Anyways, that doesn't matter-thanks for the phone dad!

-He worked hard so he could support me in what I wanted to do and helped me reach my goals whether it be school, sports, a mission, music, or just life in general!

-This one is actually one of my favorites. A lot of things you can buy with money, but he showed his love to me by spending time with me. He was there with me. Whether it be teaching me how to pull weeds, how to drive to the hoop strong, or by watching every single BYU football and basketball with me. He attended almost every single sporting and music activity I had. Think about that. Hundreds, maybe thousands of games throughout my life. Even in college! He drove to Kansas to watch me sit on the bench...that's dedication right there! :)

I could go on and on but the main point is, I LOVE MY DAD. I love what he taught me. I love the way he treats me. I love that he truly wants the best for me. I didn't always love the advice he gave me...but now I do! Whether you have father here on earth, a fatherly influence, a father in heaven like we all do, or all three, Please go have a conversation with them and ask for their advice. I'm sure my dad would have loved me coming to him more often to have talks with him. Same with our Father in Heaven, he is more than willing to help us out. He wants to! He is just waiting for us to come ask.

I'm grateful that my dad takes his calling as a dad seriously but also makes life fun. I'm grateful that I have him as a worthy priesthood holder in our home. How blessed are we that the authority Christ had and gave to his apostles to perform ordnances such as baptism, is here on the earth today?! And that my dad holds that same authority! And I'm so grateful for his willingness to always be ready to use that authority and serve others. Love you dad, and thank you again for everything! Have a spectacular birthday-I won't tell anyone how young you are!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Ballin' Birthday

Clever title of the post huh?! If you know me, you know how much I enjoy birthdays. I just simply
can't get enough of them. So what better way to celebrate my best
friends birthday today than with a blog post. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KOB! Kobe and
I have only known each other for about 1 1/2 years...before that we
both hated each other playing basketball in high school ;) (you think I'm kidding...) So today I
wanted to share with you one of the many things I have learned from her.

I can still remember hearing her say to me on almost a daily occasion,
"Court, there's more to life than basketball you know?". Whether it be
after a frustrating practice, thinking it was the end of the world when we lost, missing a cultch shot,
or the very last game I would ever play with a snow college jersey on...I
could always count on her to lighten the situation.

Now my response was usually something like, "kob, I KNOWWWW" with an
annoyed tone. But she had a point. Is basketball going to be here for
me when no one else is? No. Am I going to go pro and make
basketball my career? Of course not. So why make such a big deal about
something that is only going to be here for you temporally?

 You can look at a lot of things in life this same way. Whether it be
sports, technology, work, ect. The question I like to ask myself is
Now, the difference between temporary happiness and lasting joy. Yes a lot
of things give us happiness in life...I will forever love basketball. What I'm NOT saying is that basketball is a sin! I truly believe that some things that bring temporary happiness are good for us such as sports. But sometimes these things that are temporary seem like they are what life
is all about. I know that there is so much more to life than just
those things that bring satisfaction in the moment.

Doing what's right may not always seem fun in the moment, but you will
receive the most joy in the long term for putting God first and
obeying his commandments. As we learn from King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, those who will keep the commandments of God will receive both temporal and spiritual happiness. (Mosiah 2:41) Happiness is a personal choice. WE CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY! Whether we realize it or not. True happiness is here for all, it up to us to have the correct attitude. Ever meet that one person who seems like everything in their life is going the wrong way, but yet they are still happy about their trials? BE THAT PERSON! I'm grateful for the agency I have to choose how I think, act, and become.

Thank you kob for helping teach me this
important concept to life. Have a crazy fun bday cause you never know when you're next 20th birthday will be :)

If you want to read more into happiness, read this talk! But if you are lazy and want a summary in 4 words, I have your back! Ready?
Happiness comes to those who:
























Thursday, May 8, 2014

Meet my Mom

The other day we were over at a members house for dinner. They have a
10 year old child and as we went through dinner I noticed how well
behaved this child was. He opened the door for us, said please and
thank you every time he asked for something, and even offered to set
the table! I know...what kind of a kid does that right?! I asked the
parents how they raised their child to be like that and the moms
response wasn't really what I was expecting but makes total sense.
What she said was "I treat him how I want him to treat me. And I give him a hug each morning he wakes up and throughout the day." What great

Since we go into a lot of different houses as a mission, I am lucky
enough to see how different parenting takes place and take bits a
pieces out of each home hat I want to implement in my own home. The #1
thing I have noticed is that most if not all the time, the child will
treat the mom how they see their dad treat the mom. Which makes me
realize how grateful I am for my dad as well. But he has to wait for
his own post next month :) Anyways, back to the point...

I don't think I realized growing up how blessed I was with the mom I
have. That is one of the biggest reasons I know there actually is a
God who loves us and watches out for us. Because he places us in the
families we are meant to be in...and he definitely nailed mine :)

 As some of you may know, Mother's Day is quite the holiday as a
missionary. It is one of two times a years I will get to skype home
and talk to my family! Yeah crazy rule huh? The purpose is just so we
are focused on what we are here to others gain a
relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It makes since
now that I'm in the shoes of a missionary because it would be a
distraction from the work I only have 18 months to do.

I got to skype home last Christmas to talk to them as well, and to be
honest, I was a little nervous! All these emotions were running
through my head.
                                      - I'm suppose to be a perfect missionary!
                         - What if they think I haven't grown spiritually?
                         - What the heck do I even's only 45 minutes!
                         - Am I already an "awkward" missionary?
                         - And my biggest fear- Am I going to cry???

Trust me...I could keep going! But as I continued to think about it
and I do now, it's JUST my family! They love me and I love them so
just act myself! Simple as that.

The relationship I hold with my mom is very important to me. And I
think we have had that bond because of the way she treated me while
raising me...I can act myself around her. I feel comfortable. Her
voice echos in my head as I remember the thousands of times she
ingrained the words "WORK BEFORE PLAY" in my head. And just as many
eye rolls came as I would jump on in before she could even finish.
"ORK BEFORE PLAY...yes mom...I KNOW!" BUT, now I am so grateful that I
was raised by someone who knows the importance of motherhood and takes
the role of it seriously, but is still someone who knows how to have

So I decided to write a short thankful list to my mom as I hope all of
you will do as well. Trust'll be he best thing you give to her
this Mother's Day!

I'm grateful for:
-Her hugs (trust me, I miss those a lot right now!)
-Her homemade Red velvet cake frosting
-Her sitting with me to force me to practice the piano everyday
-The late night Dairy Queen runs for mister missy floats
-The one and only game she gets competitive at...POUNCE!
-Her back rubs to keep me awake in church!
-Her being there every day I got home from school or practice.
And lastly, -All the countless hours she puts into making sure I am
the "spoiled" youngest child I am suppose to live up to :)

 Love you mom and I can't wait to talk to you in TWO days :)
Sister Duncan

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ever feel like you're being DOUBLE TEAMED?

This picture was taken at the first round of the state tournament at
the University of Utah my senior year of high school. If I could
explain how much this game meant to me...Man it would take days. You
know that dream every sports kid has at becoming a state champion one
day?? Well this was my last shot at it.

Growing up with a dad as my coach, I was use to looking at game film
and dissecting each play to see how I could improve. Honestly, I
wasn't always the best sport about it but it worked so props to my dad
for sticking with it!

So let's have some basketball talk for a moment. Here's me...number 14
on Cedar. If you notice, I'm looking AWAY from the basket. (The basket
is in between the two other players not guarding me) That means I'm
not in a position to shoot the ball which doesn't make me a threat to
score. Now lets say I was looking TOWARDS the basket. I would not only be a
threat to score but I would have seen the little gap #4 and #22 were
leaving me. A clear path to the basket. Pretty obvious to see from the
view of the photographer...just a few feet away. Yet I couldn't see it
because I was too caught up on getting AROUND the two players rather
than go through the STRAIGHT PATH.

This was something my college coaches really helped me see the
importance of. Most players I played against in college were faster
and more athletic than me. So if I tried to get AROUND them...I wasn't
going to win. BUT if I was smarter than they were then I
wouldn't have to be as fast. As coach Visger would say, "make a
straight line to the basket!" The difference if I got to the basket or
not was if I was lazy and went "horizontal" or "vertical".

In my life I've seen myself and others make the same mistake. We are
faced with a problem. It seems too big and daunting to even look at
(like being double teamed) so we waste our time by trying to find a
way around the situation. We often call it "beating around the bush".
But really, if you just attack the situation head on, there's a lot
better outcome. Often times  in life it's good to ask ourself the same
question my coach implemented in me...are you going horizontal or

3 Nephi 27:33
And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings he said
unto his disciples: enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the
gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that
find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death,
and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein
no man can work.

The "broad" way = basically all the court I was looking at. There were a
lot of places I could dribble but none of the ways I was looking at
we're going to help me reach the goal of getting the ball in the
The "strait" way = the very specific, narrow path that would have lead me
to my end goal.

People that love us, warn us and try to help us get through the
situation. If we are smart we will listen but a lot of times our own
stubbornness gets in the way. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the same
way. The steps we need to follow are actually really simple and
STRAIGHT forward:

 *Have faith in Jesus Christ
*Be baptized by someone holding proper authority
*Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
*Endure to the end

Just as I was given coaches that wanted to see me and our team
succeed...our Heavenly Father wants to see us succeed. We are
given the steps of eternal life, it's up to us to choose which path we
want to take. Do we want to try and find happiness our own way...or
the way God has given us?? In basketball I have learned that my
coaches are a lot more experienced than I am. They know what's best
for me. Same in life. Heavenly Father has A LOT more
experience than us :) Don't make the same mistake as I did in this
picture! I can tell you...the outcome wasn't what I truly wanted. It
may have seemed like the right choice at that time of the game...but I
never got that state championship title i always dreamed of.

Fortunately in God's plan, there isn't just one state champion. As we live the way He has commanded us, we have a promise that we will all experience more joy and happiness than we can imagine...even more than the feeling of being the best basketball team in the state.