Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016 William, Megan, Dolla$, and Quinn‏

We had another great week! Transfers are next Thursday, June 2nd. There's a chance I could be transferred out of Centreville, but we both think I'm going to stay! I love this ward a lot!

We were able to meet with William this week! Our first visit with him he started explaining to us a lot of the struggles that he and his family have been going through lately. They live in the basement of a small town-house here and it's not the best circumstance for his family. We read 2 Nephi 2:2 with him that says "Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain." This scripture is Lehi counseling his son Jacob, who's gone through a lot of trials and tribulations for his whole life. Lehi teaches is here that all of the trials we go through in our life are put in our lives to help us learn and grow. We encouraged William to try to think about what he has gained from the trials he's been going through. He began to think and then explained how his living situation has actually forced him to spend much more time with his wife and kids that he didn't have before, and how he's grown so much closer to them through it all. Even though it's not the most ideal situation for them, the Lord has blessed him and his family a lot! This scripture really comforted him! We were able to teach him most of the Restoration, but had to leave before getting all the way through it. The lesson went great and he accepted our invitation to join us at church! He wasn't able to make it yesterday, but said he would love to come this Sunday! We're supposed to meet with him again tomorrow.

We had a quick visit with Megan this week. She's super busy because her senior year is finishing up and doesn't have a lot of time. We shared a portion of President Uchtdorfs talk "The Infinite power of Hope" with her and she loved it. My favorite portion of the talk comes at the end when he says  "And to all who suffer--to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely--I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart." Even though our lesson was super short, she told us that it meant a lot to her! I'm so grateful for the hope that we can have through Jesus Christ to be able to make it through all of life's challenges!

We had a couple lessons with my man Greg Dolla$ this week. He finally rapped for us! (he kept it clean of course) but he's pretty good! He's got a long ways to go, but we've really enjoyed becoming good friends with him and helping him make his way back to church. He's such a great member-missionary! It seems like each time we go over there he brings a friend with him for us to teach. His friends have some pretty interesting outlooks on life, but they're all super chill and relaxed (for certain reasons that I won't describe haha). But it's fun to work with them!

About month ago, we knocked on a door, and a lady answered and immediately said "Go on into the backyard and talk with my husband." We were a little sketched out, but we went around the house and into the backyard and her husband, Quinn, was on the deck grilling chicken and he said "Oh hey Elders! It took you long enough to find me, you slackers!" We had no idea who this guy was but we began to talk. He then invited us up and we talked with him and his son for over about 2 hours. He ended up being a member of the church, and served a mission in Cambodia! (check my letter from 4/25/16) he has some crazy mission stories! He went away from the church shortly after his mission before he started his family. They just moved back to Virginia a few months ago after living in Saudi Arabia for the last couple years. Over the last month we haven't been able to really meet with them at all, but we've dropped by his house each week and sent him a few messages. He let us take his dog out a couple times when he went up to Philadelphia one weekend, but aside from that we didn't have much contact with him. To our surprise, he showed up at church yesterday, with his son Quinn Jr (goes by "Q")! Q loved primary and Quinn participated a lot in our Sunday School class! He bore a pretty powerful testimony during the class and gave a little bit of his background and struggles he's been through in his life. And then it got to a certain point where he said something like "And it wasn't until these two punks with the same name tags that I once wore (pointing at us), showed up in my backyard while I was barbecuing, that I even thought of coming back here today, but here I am." We laughed about it when he pointed at us, but the spirit was super strong and he was super sincere with his desire to change. He wants us to come by this week! We're hoping to be able to teach Q, who just turned 9, more about the church! I'm grateful that we were able to meet Quinn and be a part of that whole experience!

This upcoming Sunday we will be able to go to another "New and Returning Member Fireside!" Amy Koroma is going to speak! We're super excited for her to be able to share her story with other recent  converts, investigators, members and missionaries!

We're going to the temple next Monday with Michelle to do baptisms for the dead! It is open for Memorial Day until 12:30. We look forward to that! We might get to go up there early in the morning to do an endowment session! I'm excited because I haven't been able to do a session yet! We're only allowed to go once every 6 months, but that'll be a great experience!

Just a quick thought from my studies this morning from Alma chapter 30. This is where Korihor preaches blaspheme and demands a sign from Alma to prove that there is a God. Alma simply replies in verse 44: "Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

The sun was shining super bright through these trees, so we had to stop and take this picture.
We live in such an amazing world!! There is so much beauty all around  us and all of the Lord's creations on the earth truly denote to the reality of Gods existence and miraculous power! I'm grateful to know that we were all created in His image and I'm grateful to know that we can return to live with Him again! I'm loving it out here on the east coast! It is so green!! It's been raining a lot this month, but it's beautiful out here! I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Duvall
We all thought this painting looks a ton like Elder Eyring! Haha

A family friend of Elder Teeples was able to take our whole district out to lunch to
Red Robin after our district meeting! He has a cool conversion story and is a funny guy!

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