Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016 "If we look for the good, we will surely find it!"‏

We came across this graffiti on our way back home one night.
Can't believe this week marks 3 months since I entered the MTC!

General Conference weekend seriously feels like a holiday! It's a weekend that I've always loved growing up, but you seem to appreciate it 10x's more as a missionary! I've felt so uplifted by all of the guidance and counsel we received from the prophet and apostles over the last two days! I noticed a theme of the importance of temples and families. I love my family and I love the fact that I can be with them for eternity through the ordinances of the temple. There is no place on earth I would rather be than in the temple with my entire family!

I'm so grateful for a living prophet and apostles that guide the Lords church! There were so many great things that I took away from this conference, but one talk in particular that I enjoyed a lot was Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk during the Saturday night Priesthood session, where he talked about what makes a marriage and a family successful. He pointed out that although each individual within a family shares the same gene pool, we all experience life in a different way. Because of this, we all go through different trials and problems that are uniquely ours. But no matter what the problem may be for a specific individual within the family, or the family as a whole, the cure is charity. CHARITY NEVER FAILETH. He explained that charity (kindness, compassion, listening, sacrifice, selflessness) is the foundation of all great marriages, and therefore is the foundation of a successful family. I love how he proclaimed that "those who save their marriages CHOOSE happiness." Although happiness can sometimes seem to be the product of other factors in our lives, it ultimately comes down to our decisions. No matter what we're faced with, we can decide whether or not we want to be happy. In addition to that, I love when he said "IF WE LOOK FOR THE GOOD, WE WILL SURELY FIND IT." He applies this to the relationship between a husband and wife, which is so true, but it can surely apply to so much more than that. If we look for the good in every person we meet, we will be able to overlook their shortcomings and see them as God sees them, as a son or daughter of God with so much potential. We can also "look for the good" in all of our experiences on a daily basis. I know that as we look for the good in others, with charity, and as we look for the good in our daily lives with optimism and hope, that we will find so much more joy and happiness in our lives! Missionary work can get hard at times, but there is good in every day. We just have to find it! And it works the same way in our lives, we just need to find it and recognize it!

I will probably talk about other talks I enjoyed in my emails the next few weeks as I goback and read through them. Our investigator Michelle was able to watch all 4 sessions of general conference at our Bishops home, and the women's conference last week as well. We watched both sessions on Saturday with her there. It's really cool to see her desire to learn and she enjoyed conference quite a bit. We look forward to her baptism this Saturday! She has progressed a lot since we started teaching her. We watched the Sunday sessions at two different member’s homes and enjoyed the spirit there as well!

We were able to go teach another new member lesson to Amy and Kadija this week. It's been a few weeks since we've been able to teach them, so it was nice to be back in their home! They love having us over and we will be going more consistently the next few weeks.

We had the opportunity to exercise our priesthood this week and give a couple priesthood blessings to people in need. I'm so grateful for the power of the priesthood that is on the earth and that we are able to use it to bless the lives of others!

We have been meeting a lot of sweet people lately as we've gone out tracting, but we've struggled arranging 2nd appointments with those we meet. They will give us a time to come back and then either not be there or have something come up. We know how much this gospel can bless their lives, but in the end we have to respect their agency and all we can do is try our best to help everyone we meet by teaching them about the restored gospel and inviting them to act upon the message that we share. We're hopeful that we will find some more new people to teach!

I'm looking forward to another great week! I hope you all have an awesome week and are able to find the good that is in each day! Love you all!

Elder Duvall

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