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!"

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