This week was great! We made it through a busy week of three Zone Conferences! We enjoyed presenting trainings at each one. Even though we do the same things with every zone, we are able to fine-tune our training and make improvements and changes to it each time we gave it, so by the time we reach our last one it was much better than the first time. It's so fun being able to see all of the missionaries throughout the mission within the span of a week.
Elder Ure, Elder Shelley, and I with
Elder Ure, Elder Shelley, and I with
We had a cool experience this week teaching this young couple named Anthony and Redeit. We just knocked on their door, trying to see someone else who doesn't live there anymore and Anthony talked with us for a minute and had a lot of great questions about the Book of Mormon. After explaining it briefly to him, he allowed us to come inside and sit down. We then taught he and his wife all about it. Most of the people we meet from Ethiopia are pretty devout Ethiopian orthodox, but they aren't really strongly attached to any particular religion, but they are strong in their faith in God and Jesus Christ. They're in their 20's and have been married for a few years. They were intrigued by the Book of Mormon! Recently, we've been trying our best to emphasize the fact that the Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Jesus Christ, and that we represent Jesus Christ. Often times we meet people that say we are from the "Church of Mormon" the "Mormon Church", or even the "Church of Joseph Smith." But we have been trying our best to explain that we represent the Church of Jesus Christ, and that this is His church, and that He is at the head of it. People have so many misconceptions about us, but when people recognize how we believe Jesus Christ to be central to everything we believe and teach, it makes a difference. It certainly did with Anthony and Redeit! They are excited to learn more!
Every time we have a companionship study, we start out by reading a few pages of the Missionary Handbook, and then we try and identify one thing that we can apply or focus on that day. One day, we read the pages about administering blessings to the sick, and giving blessings of comfort and counsel. We were trying to figure out how this could apply in our day that day, and we decided to make sure we had oil in our vials. The oil vials we had on us were actually empty when we read through these pages, so we decided to fill them up, just to make sure we were ready if asked to give a blessing that day. Then a few hours later, right after our dinner, we got a phone call asking us to go to the hospital to give a blessing to a woman named Felicia, who was having some complications. She is an investigator that the sister missionaries in our ward have been teaching. We happened to be just a couple miles from the hospital she was at. Within 10 minutes of the phone call we were in her hospital room. Felicia was astounded that we made it there so quickly! She told us that God put us in the right place at the right time! It was a cool experience there in the hospital room with her as we discussed the priesthood, gave her a blessing, and read through a few scriptures with her.
We also had the opportunity to give a blessing one of the Ghanaian members of our ward, who had her fourth child this week! We gave her a blessing just a couple hours before she had her baby boy, so it was cool to be part of that special day in their family!
We've been teaching our next door neighbor Kadiatu who has been coming back to church pretty consistently over the past month or two. On Saturday, we found out that it was her birthday and hat she had nobody to celebrate with! No family or friends in the area to celebrate with that day, and all she had planned was to go to work. So we baked her a little cake and went and sang happy birthday to her! She was SO happy! It always feels good making people laugh and smile. She's such a happy woman!
This week on Saturday we'll be going up to the temple to take the departing missionaries for their departing temple trip. The temple is closed for cleaning for a few weeks on the day of transfers, so we have to do their temple trip early. In excited to go again! I love the temple and I'm grateful for the opportunity we have to go!
"The great genius of this Church is work. Everybody works. You do not grow unless you work. Faith, testimony of the truth, is just like the muscle of my arm. If you use it, it grows strong. If you put it in a sling, it grows weak and flabby. We put people to work. We expect great things of them, and the marvelous and wonderful thing is they come through. They produce.
Nothing happens in this Church unless you work. It is like a wheelbarrow. It doesn’t move until you get ahold of the two handles and push. Hard work moves the work of the Lord forward, and if you have learned to work with real integrity it will bless your lives forever. I mean that with all my heart. It will bless your lives forever."
I am grateful for the principles of work, and those who have helped me to develop good work ethics over the years. I hope I can continue to learn the importance of work and know how to work hard throughout my life, in all aspects of life.
I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!!
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission