Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016 Q & Quinn, Temple Trip, NARMF fireside‏

May 30, 2016

It was a beautiful day at the temple today!!

Last night President Huntsman dropped a couple hints to Elder Shelley and I that makes us pretty sure that we are probably going to get split up this week. Transfers are on Thursday! We'll see what happens!

We had a great first lesson with Q this week! Before we even started teaching he said "I want to be baptized like everyone else in my class at my church" and then he asked his Dad at a certain point in the lesson "Dad, can I be baptized this Sunday?" Last week was his first time coming to church and he loves it so much already! Quinn wants his son to be baptized as well, but he wants to make sure that Q understands the importance and significance of that decision before doing it. We are so excited to continue teaching him about the gospel, to help him be prepared to be baptized! Quinn Jr. asks the funniest questions so it's a little hard to keep him focused on a certain topic, but he's a super smart kid and understands a lot! Aside from the lesson, we also had a lot of great conversation with Quinn. He told us more stories from his mission, and talked about the importance of keeping a journal. He kept a pretty consistent journal for most of his mission, and at a certain point he wrote a message to his future self, which he re-read last Sunday after going to church. This particular message made a pretty big impact on him and his decision to start having his kids learn about the gospel that he grew up in. I've kept a really consistent journal so far and I know I will be able to look back at it later on in my life to help me out as well!

Kadija convinced her mom to feed us dinner this week rather than just having another one of our usual visits. African food isn't that bad! She made us a dish called "yolaf." It's a rice dish with different meats mixed in and a "sauce" of a bunch of vegetables mixed and squished together. Along with the “yolaf” she made some meat and vegetable kabobs, with the meat cooked in peanut butter! It tasted pretty good! We brought a priest with us who's about to graduate from high school and start school at George Mason, and he had a great experience joining us for dinner and for their lesson! Amy Spoke at the "New and Returning Member Fireside" (NARMF) last night and did great! This transfer the fireside was at a chapel in Mount Vernon. Everyone there enjoyed hearing her testimony and her conversion story! She explained her whole story from the time missionaries starting teaching her brother when she wasn't interested, up until where she is now. The spirit is always super strong at these meetings where new members of the church testify of how they found the truth and how much it has been a blessing to them in their lives. Michelle Frick also came to the fireside to listen and she was really glad she came as well! At church yesterday, the bishop asked Michelle to bear her testimony. She wasn't expecting it so obviously she was nervous, but she bore a wonderful testimony to the congregation about how she found so much more direction in her life through the gospel, and how it has kept her grounded through different trials she's been through. We were able to go to the temple this morning to do baptisms for the dead with Michelle! She joined a group of about 35 youth from a ward in Maryland and Michelle just looked super happy the whole time we were there! She's done so much family history work that she didn't have enough time to finish all of the names she did. But she is excited to go back soon to do more work! It has been such a blessing to see her progress in her testimony!

We went up to the temple early this morning before Michelle got up there and we were able to do an endowment session. It was my first time doing endowments since I got here to DC and it was wonderful! I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to spend some time pondering and praying while in the celestial room. I'm filled with joy and gratitude for the opportunity I have to be here serving a mission! I'm grateful for this gospel and the eternal perspective it helps bring into my life.

I read through a talk entitled "Of Regrets and Resolutions" be President Uchtdorf a couple days ago and I'm so grateful for what I learned! Our live on earth is such a small portion of the eternity that's in store for us, yet this short life is so crucial in determine how much happiness we will be able to enjoy forever. President Uchtdorf said: "One day we will take that unavoidable step and cross from this mortal sphere into the next estate. One day we will look back at our lives and wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely. To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
* Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
* Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
* Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made mistakes--if we have made choices that we now regret--there is the precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret and remove the burden of our sins. His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart, and a determination to do better and especially to become better. Yes, this life is passing swiftly; our days seem to fade quickly; and death appears frightening at times. Nevertheless, our spirit will continue to live and will one day be united with our resurrected body to receive immortal glory. I bear solemn witness that because of the merciful Christ, we will all live again and forever. Because of our Savior and Redeemer, one day we will truly understand and rejoice in the meaning of the words “the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. The path toward fulfilling our divine destiny as sons and daughters of God is an eternal one. My dear brothers and sisters, dear friends, we must begin to walk that eternal path today; we cannot take for granted one single day. I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Everyone of us will regret mistakes we've made throughout our lives. But we can all make decisions now that can have eternal impacts for good. I love his counsel on relying on the atonement which will allow us to move forward with a clean slate! Just like President Uchtdorf said, towards the end of our lives many of us will "wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely." I hope that by the time my life comes to end I can confidently say that I made my time matter by spending it with those I love and in the service of others, and that I always strived to live up to my potential by constantly relying on the atonement of Christ. We're faced with decisions every day, and our future relies heavily on what we choose to do now. I'm so grateful to have the knowledge of Christ's restored gospel that helps me make decisions that will keep me on the path back to our Father in Heaven, and I'm so grateful for the Atonement that allows us all to get back on the path when we deviate from it.

I love you all! Hope you have a great week!

Elder Duvall

Last week on P-day we went fishing near our apartment for a little while until a thunderstorm came out of nowhere. It was sunny when we started then the clouds started coming and then we got soaked walking back to the apartment, but it was fun!

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