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.

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