Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 2 January 15, 2016

1-10-2016 This is everyone going to my mission (not including the 3 other people that are Spanish speaking).
Fri 1/15/16 1:31 PM
Dear Family and Friends,
Well I've been here for about a week and a half and it has flown by so fast! It feels like I just got here yesterday, but at the same time it feels like I've been here for a month because I have learned so much!
     I leave on Wednesday morning (Jan. 20th), along with 13 other missionaries where I will fly from SLC to Washington D.C. where we will meet the mission President!
Throughout the last week, we have learned a lot about teaching and we have practiced A LOT. We teach lessons almost twice a day to "investigators" and it has been awesome getting to know them and learning what they need to know about the gospel that will be able to bless their lives.
     On Tuesday, we had a devotional from Neil L. Anderson from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. It was so cool having an apostle of the Lord come and speak to all of us here at the MTC. He focused His words on the Jesus Christ and how He should always be at the center of our work. If we aren't constantly teaching and testifying and Jesus Christ, we aren't fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. We represent Him, and we wear His name on our chest everyday, which means we need to strive to always do what He would do. He taught a lot about Christ's doctrine and how that should always be our focus.
     After the devotional, we had a district meeting, where our district all shared thoughts about what we learned from Elder Anderson and what the Spirit taught us as we listened to him speak. Being the district leader, I had the privilege to guide the discussion, which was awesome! I encouraged everyone to share, and I was able to comment on everyone else's thoughts with my testimony of what they each spoke about, and the Spirit was so strong in that meeting!
     On Wednesday, during one of our classes, we watched a video from Elder Holland that was a previous MTC devotional. It's pretty cool that only the MTC has access to most of the devotionals given here, and they can't be found anywhere else online. In this particular talk, Elder Holland talked about the story of Peter and the other apostles that were out fishing (after Jesus Christ had already been crucified and resurrected) and then Jesus came to them and asked Peter 3 times if he loved Him, and Peter responded each time that he did. After the 3rd time, when he answered sincerely that he loved the Savior, the Savior responded and told Him to "feed my sheep." The Savior was disappointed that His apostles went back to their old ways of fishing now that He was gone. Relating this to missionary work, Elder Holland taught us that as missionaries, we need to leave behind our "nets" and our "fish" and our "boats," and focus on becoming "fishers of men." As a missionary, I won't be able to be as effective as the Lord wants me to be, if I continually thought about my life before I came here to serve my mission. The next two years, I have the opportunity to share what I know to be true, to help other people "come unto Christ and be perfected in Him" and I won't be able to do that if I am not entirely focused on the work.
     After listening to a portion of this talk from Elder Holland, I decided that I am going to try my best to keep the phrase "forget yourself and go to work" always in my mind. If I ever get any feelings of frustration, doubt, discouragement, laziness, anger, homesickness (the list can go on and on), I will tell myself in my mind to "forget yourself and go to work!"
     I've learned so much from all of my teachers, my Branch Presidency, and other missionaries that it would take me hours to email everything (but I'm doing a good job recording a lot in my journal every night). But if I could say one major thing that I've learned this week, it is that one of the best ways you can find your testimony is to constantly share it. I've heard it said that you can often "find your testimony in the bearing of it." I already had a solid testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel before coming here, but my testimony has been enhanced a ton as I've had the opportunity to share it all the time with those in my district.
     I've been able to go to the Provo Temple twice while here at the MTC and it has been awesome! It's comforting to know that so many people pray for the missionaries and our safety.
     I can't wait to fly out to DC in a few more days and I'm excited to let everyone know all about it!! Love you all!
Elder Duvall

1-08-2016 Ran into my roommate Elder (Sam) Bratsman.
He is headed to serve in Las Vega

1-08-2016 Ran into a good friend from school, Elder Stapley

Add 2016-01-10 Elder Duvall's district -
Elders are all going to Washington DC South Mission
2016-01-10 Sister Livingston and Sister Hyer
(sister Hyer is from Moses Lake)

1-10-2016 DC Boys
01-10-2016  Elder Duvall's district The Elders are all going to
Washington DC South Mission, the sisters are going to Chicago IL West

1-10-2016 This is everyone going to my mission
(not including the 3 other people that are Spanish speaking).

Elder Duvall was excited to run into his cousin, Dee Davis
at the MTC!  Dee is a French teacher at the MTC

1-19-2016 Elder Duvall gave the closing prayer at the
MTC devotional and met this couple, Elder and Sister Sowby, who served previously
in NYNY North mission with Elder Danny Duvall.  When they saw
Elder Jeremy Duvall they knew that he must be
Danny Duvall's brother. They also served in DC South
 so it was fun for Jeremy to meet them on his last night
before he shipped out to DC South.

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