Monday, February 29, 2016

Return and Report, Amy, Phyllis, an exchange, and Michelle!‏

Transfers are this week and it's quite possible that I could already get a new companion because Elder Yeager has been in Centreville for a pretty long time, but anything can happen. This week was solid!
We had a busy and fun P-day last Monday! First we got to visit this huge farm. This guy that some other Elders met owns a huge farm much bigger than this picture! Reminded me a little bit of being in Moses Lake, Washington with all my family.
Some elders in our zone! Front row: Elder Yeager, Holdaway, Snow, Evans, and Krambule. Back Row: Elder Stenquist, Belnap, Hall, Duvall, and Meldrum.
Didn't smell that great but I thought of the words of Grandma Duvall, "It smells like roses!"


After our visit at this farm, we drove a little bit further out into the countryside and went on a hike. It was pretty fun! Here's a few pictures from it:

We ate dinner at a members house on Tuesday, and the father is an outrageous Star Wars fan. He owns over a quarter million dollars worth of collectibles, memorabilia, costumes, autographs and a ton of random little things organized in their basement. It was crazy how much stuff he had!! He plans on selling it all a few years down the road so he and his wife can travel the world a little bit and visit some places they've always wanted to go. He let us snap a couple pics with his light sabers.

On Thursday, we had our "Return and Report" meeting for all of the new missionaries. We received some good training on how to do effective weekly and daily planning, and how to teach simply yet powerfully. It was sweet to be with everyone that I went through the MTC with. That meeting was probably the last time our whole MTC group will be together in a small setting like that for the rest of our mission. It was cool to hear about some of their experiences and what they've learned throughout the first transfer.

Thursday night we went to do some service for a lady named Phyllis. She needed some help moving some stuff around her house. We met her a couple weeks ago and told her we are always willing to help out with anything. She gave us a call and we headed over! We didn't know much about her other than she met a couple missionaries a few years ago. So we helped her out with moving some things up and down stairs in her house and wanted to share a message with her before we left. We ended up talking for about 45 minutes about the church and what makes it different from other churches. Turns out, she watches BYU TV all the time and enjoys watching the shows and conferences on there! She actually had a Book of Mormon from a long time ago but it has been in a box for a while. She found it and we read a few verses with her and taught her about where it came from and how the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. She hasn't had much interaction with the church in a few years, but has been to different holiday events that were at the church years ago and she has some LDS friends. She didn't make it t church yesterday but we're hopeful for next week! She also wants her to meet her son and try to help him overcome some struggles he's working with.

On Wednesday we went over to Amy and Kadija's house, along with their home teacher, and we taught them a lesson on how they can be missionaries too and share the gospel with their friends and family.
We were supposed to take them to the Temple Visitor's Center in DC yesterday, but ended up not going because the members who were going to take us up there had something come up. We might go up there next Sunday. Amy started her FamilySearch account yesterday and will work on finding names to take to the temple on the 9th!

I went on an exchange with our district leader, Elder Bradley, on Friday and had a great time we taught a lesson about Jesus Christ and the Atonement to a small Filipino family. They were super friendly and loved learning and they had a lot of really funny questions that we answered. They live in pretty humble circumstances and as we were about to leave she told us that she prepared a meal for us. She made
an interesting Filipino dish that tasted pretty good! I'm not sure what exactly I was eating, but it was some sort of soup and rice. This little family didn't have much, but they were so willing and excited to share a meal with us. It was sweet to be able to meet them and talk about the gospel with them. There was a slight language barrier because their English isn't the greatest, but they express that they felt the spirit as we talked about Jesus Christ.

On Sunday night we taught another lesson to Michelle. We taught her about part of the Plan of Salvation, focusing on Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and on baptism. It was a sweet lesson! We extended the
invitation for her to prepare to be baptized on March 19th and there was a few seconds of awkward silence that followed. She then responded by saying "Will that be enough time?" We assured her that we will help her prepare as she learns more and acts upon the messages we share with her. We explained the importance of setting a date as a goal to work towards and she felt a little more comfortable with that date after the Bishop talked for a couple minutes more about baptism. It's awesome that our bishop is so willing and supportive in our missionary efforts letting us teach in his home. The spirit is always strong
there and it's super awesome being able to involve his kids in the lessons. We are so excited for Michelle and can't wait to help her reach her goal as we continue to help her grow closer to Jesus Christ!

On another note, one thing that stuck out to me in my studies this week was a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin "Come What May, and Love It." Elder Wirthlin said, "But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life. If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness."

He went on to explain things we can do to react well to adversity. First he encourages us to laugh! Laughing is one the greatest antidotes for sorrow and despair.

Then he encourages us to have a more eternal perspective, reminding us of the words of the Savior to Joseph while in Liberty Jail: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions
shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

He also reminds us of the principle of compensation: "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be  returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."

The last thing he advises us to do when faced with adversity is to trust in the Lord. Elder Wirthlin stated that "The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in. He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong."

I love everything he taught about facing adversity. Remembering to laugh is important. When we laugh, our days are so much better and those around us can benefit from it as well. As we strive to have an eternal perspective we will know that everything we go through truly is for our benefit. As we understand the principle of compensation and as we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we will be able to better endure through the trials we face in this life. I'm grateful for modern day prophets and apostles that lead and guide the Church with their counsel and teachings. I loved this talk from Elder Wirthlin and I know that it's through Christ that we can not just endure through life, but enjoy life as we endure it.

There was a meeting about to go on in the White House today when we were outside it, so there were a bunch of officials walking in through an entrance by the Treasury. There were all these secret service men all over the place. While we were walking by the National Treasury (before this picture was taken) right next to the White House, this man stopped us and asked us a couple quick questions about the Washington DC LDS Temple. He said he was from Illinois and he was about to go into a meeting with President Obama in about 15 minutes! So he was in a rush but he said he wanted to talk to us, so he had us write down our names and number and he took a picture of us and said he will call us later and explain everything. We were so confused as he was saying all of this. But we thought it was cool that we met this random guy that was about to go talk with Obama! His name was Doug and he looked pretty official, but we have no idea who he is haha. Anyways, we thought it was cool, and we'll see if he calls us later!

I'm looking forward to this week and I hope you all have a great week! Love you all and don't forget to laugh!

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016 The Spirit of Temple Work

It's been over a month since I arrived in Virginia and our first transfer is almost done! Time really does fly by. Transfers are on March 3rd and Elder Yeager has been in the Centreville 1st Ward for about 6 months now, so there's a possibility he could get transferred out, but he could also stay here for one more transfer to finish the 12 week training with me. We will see what happens next week!

This week we met with Amy and her kids a couple times. On Wednesday we explained and introduced them to the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Articles of Faith, and to Joseph Smith History. They were excited to learn that there's more books for them to study from as they continue to learn and grow in the church. Amy explained to us again how grateful she has been as she and her children have been taught by missionaries over the last couple months.
Last night, we met with them again to discuss temple work and family history. This was probably one of the strongest times that I've felt the spirit thus far in my mission! We taught about how within God's plan of salvation for us, he allows those people who didn't have the opportunity to learn about and accept Christ while on the earth to be taught and accept it in the spirit world after they die. Because God loves us and wants all His children to return to Him, it would not make sense that he He would doom all these people to never have the chance to learn about and accept His gospel on the earth. Amy expressed concern in the past regarding her ancestors, particularly her grandmother, and how they never came to know Jesus Christ. She has been worried about where they are and if they're going to be able to live with her in the presence of God again. After we taught about the spirit world and she expressed this concern about her grandma, I told her that her grandma has been taught about Jesus Christ and his teachings, and that she is up there anxiously waiting for Amy to do her temple work. I told her that her grandma has been watching this journey Amy has been on the last couple months, and that the next step is for her to go the temple to be able to perform the ordinances on behalf of her grandma. As I was saying all of this, Amy was crying and the spirit was so strong! She explained that this is exactly what she's been looking for and praying for. She told us about some really personal and spiritual revelation that she had received in the past, that she never quite understood. It was a beautiful experience that she shared and after we explained everything about temple work and the purpose of it, she said that it all makes sense now! And that she can't wait to be able to do this work for her ancestors so that they can feel the same joy she has been feeling! Her faith is so strong and she constantly expresses her gratitude to God and to us throughout our discussions. We are so excited to help her out. We are meeting with some family history consultants later in the next couple days to help prepare some names for her to take. She will be going to the temple on March 9th to perform baptisms on behalf of any names that she's able to take with her! We are probably going to go to the temple visitors center sometime before the 9th with some members of the ward. That will be super cool to do, and we will probably be able to attend on the 9th with her as well!

We're still working with Michelle. She wasn't able to meet with us this week, but did come to church yesterday! We're planning on meeting with her this week to try and set a goal with her for a baptismal date that we can help her work towards!

On Saturday night, we had a discussion with a lady named Stephanie. She moved here from Ohio a couple months ago. When we had the huge storm a few weeks ago, she needed help shoveling the snow in her driveway and walkway. She didn't have any shovels or the time to be able to shovel everything out and was overwhelmed. Her coworker and friend, who's a member of the church, got our number and asked us to go help out. We enjoyed shoveling out her driveway that day even though she wasn't home. We left a card that day with our number and she called and thanked us. But last week, we finally met her in person! We tried numerous times to contact her, but weren't able to until a couple days ago. She was really open and willing to listen, and was intrigued by the fact that the same priesthood authority that Jesus Christ held has been restored to the earth. She is interested in reading the Book of Mormon and learning more about the gospel and we're excited to go back this week and teach her more this Saturday!

I'm still loving every moment here and am continuing to learn, little by little, about every aspect of missionary work and what we need to do to effectively help other people grow closer to Jesus Christ. I know that it is through Jesus Christ that we can find strength, hope, peace, and comfort. It's through Him that we are cleansed from sin and through Him that we can progress in this life.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Elder Duvall

Got to do a little rock climbing the other night. This family had this little home-built play gym in their basement. These kids were super excited to show us this after we ate dinner with the family.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016 Baptism and New People

One of my favorite scriptures is D&C 18:15-16.

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

We had the privilege to experience some of that joy this last week as Amy and Kadija were baptized! Nothing makes me happier than watching people faithfully make changes in their lives that bring them closer to our Savior! The baptismal service was a great experience and was well attended by members of the ward. Amy and Kadija were both so excited to make this important step in their lives. I know that the
covenant we make with God through baptism is important, and if we try our best to live our lives based on that covenant, that we will never go astray. As we strive to always keep His commandments, always
remember Him, and truly take His name upon us, we will stay on the narrow path that leads back to Him.
Elder Yeager baptized Amy and then I baptized Kadija! Omar, the 6 year old brother, can't wait until he will have the opportunity to be baptized as well when he turns 8!

Being able to baptize Kadija was a great experience! She is such a kind and loving girl! Her full name is actually Hajakadija, but goes by Kadija. Looking at this picture of Kadija for some reason I am reminded of the children's Primary song "I'm trying to be like Jesus"  

"I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers:
Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught."

Omar asked if that painting is what Jesus actually looks like, and I said "I'm not exactly sure" and that "that's just what a lot of painters think he looks like." But Amy overheard us and emotionally said "Oh yes, that is what He looks like. I have a testimony of that! I will share that story another time..." 

The joy of missionary work is not only found in baptisms though. We can feel it every day as we meet new people and testify of the truthfulness of the restored gospel! Even when people may disrespect
us for no reason, or reject our message before we get a chance to even say anything, we can find joy. I find peace and happiness through rejection, as I remember how the gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life and the life of my family and friends. Each person that rejects our message is one step closer to finding those people that are ready to listen, learn, and act upon what we teach as representatives of
Jesus Christ.

On Thursday, I was on an exchange with one of our zone leaders and we were doing a little tracting (which we don't do a ton of) and we're getting rejected over and over. We approached a man who was walking his dog and briefly talked to him before he kept walking and he said "Not wife tells me enough about Jesus." He then continued on his way. We though it was funny the way he phrased that, but anyways, about 45 seconds later he turned around and came back to us. He said that he felt bad for being a little rude, and that something told him to turn around and ask us for something. He didn't know what it was, but felt he had to ask for something. Sure enough, we gave him a Book of Mormon and shared a brief message about it, he thanked us and said we could come by his house anytime to talk more about it. It was the spirit that told him to turn around! The gospel of Jesus Christ is important and it blesses lives. I wouldn't be here if I didn't know that! That will be fun to go back soon and talk more with him.

We showed up to church yesterday and a man named Marco was sitting in the back. He showed up with a member of the ward and wants to start learning about the church. We are going to meet with him on Tuesday!

Last night, we had the opportunity to teach a lesson to Michelle. She is a single mother who has an 10 year old daughter Kayleigh. I met her and her daughter my first night in Centreville! Bishop Duersch
took me and Elder Yeager to their house that first night I was here to meet them. They had just moved here and Bishop got the records of the daughter and wanted to go find out more about them. Her daughter has been a member of the church for a couple years, but Michelle has never really been interested until recently. She came to church the last two Sunday's and we were able to meet with them last night. We taught her the message of the Restoration and how it can bless our lives, at Bishop Duersch's home. It was such a great atmosphere to be in his home and feel the spirit there. We each bore powerful testimonies of how the restoration of the gospel has blessed our lives as we taught,
and Michelle accepted the invitation to be baptized! We will do all we can to help her prepare for that occasion! If weather permits, we are planning on meeting with her again tonight to teach about the plan of happiness that God has designed for us. It's been snowing all day today and if it doesn't stop we probably won't get to teach her again until Sunday, but it's all good!

We've had a great week and we are thankful for the numerous opportunities God has given us!

Hank Smith, my Book of Mormon professor at BYU, closed every class with this phrase and I'd like to echo it at the end of this letter: "The church is true. I promise."

Anyways, hope you all have an amazing week! Love you all!

Elder Duvall

Some family of Amy's (left to right: Kadija, Amiza, Aminata, Hajakadija, Omar, Alim). Amy's mother (has a super long name, but she lets us call her Kadija) loves the gospel as well! She doesn't speak much English at all, but we are eventually going to start teaching her through translation from Amy! They speak an African language called Krio. They both come to church and Amy whispers what the speakers are saying in sacrament meeting and in Sunday school. It's pretty cool to watch that whole process. 

Amiza and Alim are two of Omar and Kadija's cousins who came to watch the baptism.
Alim (pronounced A-leem) and Omar are both excited to be baptized when they turn 8! 

Went to a members family for dinner and this little girl 
is obsessed with missionaries. She was super funny! 

Part of a family that's from Bolivia, we liked his hair so we had to take a picture!

Monday, February 8, 2016

A GREAT Week! February 8, 2016

Busy week! Started with Zone conference and taught a lot of lessons throughout the week. We had a zone Conference on Tuesday and learned a lot from President and Sister Huntsman, as well as other leaders in the mission and our zone. It was a great meeting! I somehow ended up singing in a musical number with a couple other missionaries. Last
Monday (the day before Zone conference) I walked into a room at the church that they were practicing in, and they needed another person, so they gave me a hymn book and told me to sing, so I did, and then they basically volunteered me to sing with them! I figured I might as well, and it turned out pretty good, with hardly any practicing. The song we sang was "How Great Thou Art."

We taught some awesome lessons this last week!On Tuesday and Wednesday night, we met with Amy, Kadija and Omar and taught them about obeying the Word of Wisdom, paying tithing, and  beying the law of chastity. Both lessons went really well and they committed to living them all! After we taught about these commandments and invited them to live them, we went over the baptismal interview questions with her to prepare her and Kadija for their interview. After it all, Amy got really emotional. She explained how she has been waiting so long to find the right path for her and her family. She has tried attending a number of different churches but something never felt right. She explained how she always felt like the true church would come to her, rather than her having to find it. She said "I know this the right path for me and my kids....I'm ready!" After she said that, the spirit was so strong! She has been through a lot in her life and opened up with us quite a bit. I'm so excited for her to make this step in her life! She is so excited for her kids to grow up in the
gospel. Their baptism will be this upcoming Saturday, the 13th!! At church yesterday she was super excited about being baptized! Elder Yeager and I will each have the privilege of baptizing one of them!

On Friday, we taught John about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. John recently finished college in Canada and just moved here last year. He is super open with learning about the church and expressed a desire to make God part of his life again. We taught him simply, but powerfully and invited him to read and pray sincerely about the Book of Mormon, he said he would! We are excited for him!

Sunday was my birthday! Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! I'm 19 now but of course I don't feel any different! It was fast and testimony meeting at church, and I used the opportunity to introduce myself formally to the ward and to bear my testimony. There are three young adults that just moved into this ward that are from Valley Center, CA! An engaged couple and a friend of theirs. One of them bore his testimony and introduced himself to the ward, and of course nobody in the congregation knew where Valley Center was except me. It was cool to talk with them after the meeting! One of them lived in Murrieta for a couple years! It seriously is such a small world in the church.

I had two different birthday dinners! At the first one, my Mom got in touch with the family and coordinated with them. There was a birthday banner that my mom always makes at home and they made good dinner and ice cream pie desert. They coordinated to have a package and some gifts there as well. I felt honored to celebrate my birthday with some
of the members here and I'm grateful for my amazing mother who made the effort to make it a special evening.

It was interesting not being with my twin sister, and not being in California, for the first time on our birthday, but it was still a great day!

I can't wait for Amy and Kadija to be baptized this Saturday! Sorry I haven't sent any pictures with them yet, but I will definitely have some next week!

Here's an excerpt from a conference talk a few years ago (October 2010, Patrick Kearon) that I recently read and enjoyed: "Brethren, we find healing and relief only when we bring ourselves to the feet of the Great Physician, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We must lay down our weapons of rebellion (and we each know what they are). We must lay down our sin, vanity, and pride. We must give up our desires to follow the world and to be respected and lauded by the world. We must cease fighting against God and instead give our whole hearts to Him, holding nothing back. Then He can heal us. Then He can cleanse us from the venomous sting of sin. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

We know what we need to do. We just have to have the desire and faith to do it. We need to have the trust and faith that we can be cleansed, as we lay aside the stings of sin and turn to the Savior.

Hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Duvall

Here's a few pictures from the week:
Wednesday, February 3rd. Super foggy day, I thought this looked cool.
On Saturday (2/6) we came across a random little forest of bamboo! So of course, we stopped and took some pictures:

Oreo's from Sister Rock.
 "Just imagine that they are fresn, warm from the oven,
Chocolate Chip Cookies!"
Elder Duvall's Birthday gifts and Birthday banner
Elder Yaeger stretches to be taller than Elder Duvall
"This is my favorite! Thanks mom for all the candy, ties, pictures, cards, birthday banner, and the electric blanket!"

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016 It was a great week here in Centreville, Virginia!

Mon 2/01/16 7:33 AM
Family and friends,
First of all Congratulations to my sister Jenny on getting her mission call to Minneapolis Minnesota, speaking Spanish! I knew you were going stateside Spanish speaking, I called it! Also happy birthday to her later this week! It's weird that we will be separate on our birthday for the first time in our lives on Sunday, but that's okay!

It was a great week here in Centreville, Virginia! We've been able to use one of the mission cars the last few days, so we've been able to get a lot done. It's temporary, but we've put it to good use! Got to visit a lot of people this last week! I'm trying my best to try to remember everyone, but it's hard to remember everyone's names when I'm meeting so many people in a short period of time. But I'll get them down with some more time.

I'm continually impressed by the diversity here. One day I'll be eating papuses (not sure how that's spelled) from El Salvador and the next day I'll be eating a dish called plov, from Russia. When we knock on someone's door we never know who we're going to find. One door will be a devout 65 year old Muslim from Afghanistan, and the next will be two college aged guys that just moved here from Canada (one was Asian and the other was Indian, yet they're Canadian). Its really
interesting how no two homes are the same in any way!

We got to teach the Amy and her kids again. We decided to read through a chapter in the Book of Mormon with them and discuss it. We read through 1st Nephi chapter 8, explaining to them Lehi's vision of the tree of life. It was the perfect lesson for them because Kadija (Amy's 8 yr old daughter) just learned about that at church a couple weeks ago. She was super awesome in the lesson and was able to answer all our questions about what everything represents in Lehi's dream (the iron rod being the word of God, the tree of life being the love of God and Jesus Christ, the mist of darkness being temptations from the devil). We related this story to Amy and her family. Amy represents Lehi, because she cares for her kids and wants them to grow up knowing the word of God and to live their lives centered around it. In 1st Nephi 8 verse 12, Lehi states: "as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit."
Here's some of the languages that we have copies of
The Book of Mormon of in our apartment. We have access to pretty much any language if we need it!
Lehi knew what the love of God felt like, and he wanted his family to know too. Teaching Amy about this really increased her desire to raise her children in the gospel of Jesus Christ. She's felt the joy from the word of God and she cares about her children so much. They are such a beautiful little family and I'm so excited for them! They came to church yesterday and had a great time. Amy's mother joined us too! She doesn't speak any English, so Amy translated everything the
speakers were saying. It was cool to see Amy teaching her mother as she translated from English to Krio. We were trying to get them a Book of Mormon in that language, but accidentally got a Creole one, not Krio, but we'll get the correct one this week! We are going to visit them a few times this week to cover a few more doctrines and commandments to prepare them for the covenant of baptism. Amy has a brother named Sahid who just moved into the Centreville 2nd ward (were
in the 1st ward), and he and his kids are also investigating the church. This small family has such a wide sphere of influence, I can wait to see how hints pan out!

We've been able to teach a few other people this week. We taught one lady named Jade, a single mother with two kids that has recently become interested in the church. We taught her a simple lesson about faith, using Alma chapter 32 and explained that we can begin to develop faith through prayer, scripture study, and attending church. She had a few questions for us at the beginning of our discussion that we weren't really able to answer but as we taught and bore testimony of the simple truths of the gospel, the Spirit was super strong in the room! After we concluded our thoughts, she said "woah, that was powerful." After that, I realized the best way for people to feel the Spirit testify of truth through us is for us to bear testimony of the simple truths of the gospel. I told her that we aren't perfect teachers, and that we don't know everything, but we do know that this gospel is true and that it can bless our lives. We testified of some
core beliefs: that God knows us and He loves us, and because He loves us, he has provided a plan for us to return to Him. And that when we try our best to live His gospel, he rejoices in our decisions. We explained that we can grow closer to Him and to our families when we strive to live the teachings of Jesus Christ as we continue to develop our faith. None of us are ever going to have "a perfect knowledge" of the gospel, but we can continue to learn and grow throughout our
lives. She felt the spirit through the simple truths of the restored gospel!

Church on Sunday was great! The members are so excited and willing to preach the gospel. We are able to get members join in on lessons with us multiple nights a week which is awesome!

This last week I decide to spend some time studying the Christlike attribute of charity. Here's a few things I learned from my studying.
Moroni chapter 7 teaches:
"46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure."

To be able to develop charity, we have to desire to have it and can pray to God to help us develop it. We can develop charity as we love and serve others and try our best to see everyone as God sees them. We are all sons and daughters of God, and we should try our best not to judge others, but to see them as

our brothers and sisters. In verse 48, Moroni shows us that as we develop charity and love for everyone, we will be more like the Savior when He comes again. We can be doing so many great things in our lives, but if we are lacking charity, we "are nothing, for charity never faileth." There are so many ways we can better develop charity, and ultimately I think it comes down to the small and simple things we can do better each day. The way we think about others, the way we act around others, and the way we speak towards others can demonstrate our levels of charity. If we always try to have charity in our minds, we won't fail in becoming more and more like the Savior. Developing charity is a lifelong process, it won't happen all at once. But we need to make sure we are doing the best we can, everyday, to develop that love for others.

As I've tried to focus on charity this week, trying to view everyone as God does, I've felt so much happiness as I've been preaching Jesus Christ's gospel to the people here. I know that if we remember to always work on developing this love, we can grow closer to our families and friends, and become more like our savior Jesus Christ.

Hope you all have a great week! Love you all,

Elder Duvall

I don't even remember how many cars we shoveled out of the snow, but it was a great workout for us. These are the 6 of us missionaries that live in the same apartment complex.