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!

No comments:

Post a Comment