Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016 Street Contacting and seeing people through God's eyes

Hey everyone!! Hope all is going well!

"Whoops. Didn't see that sign there. Guess we have to go somewhere else!"

We've done a lot of street contacting this last week because the weather was super nice outside for a few days, so we've been able to talk to a ton of people out on the streets! Elder Chu is super motivated to talk to as many people as possible, so it's been fun, and we've met a lot of interesting people! We met a really old man named Jimmy Carter that we thought could've been the former president. We met a nice Sikh man named "Mr. Singh" that told us that he got in trouble with the police trying to walk into the DC temple after attending the visitors center. We met a man named Luis, he talked to us for 30 minutes explaining some crazy dreams he had and wanted us to interpret his dreams and tell him what they mean. It was funny, but he was super nice and wants to learn about Christ. We tracted into a lady named Fatmata from Sierra Leone that happens to be good friends with Amy Koroma! She let us try some chicken that she was grilling when we met her and we invited her to church and she said she might come! We also taught a lesson to a Muslim man named Hedi from Iran that I met about 4 months ago, but this was my first time actually going inside his house. He was super respectful and interested in our faith, but is obviously pretty set in his ways. We also met Williams’s mother, who told us her life story in Spanish, at her doorstep, for about 30 minutes. I felt like we were in a Spanish soap opera! We had no idea what she was saying half the time, but it was great and she enjoyed talking to us!

Let's see... who else... Oh, we also met a Hispanic lady named Sonia, who pulled her car over to the side of the road and jumped out to talk to us. At first, we thought she was going to be super nice and want to ask us questions, but instead she spent 10 minutes trying to tell us how we are lost and that the spirit we've felt in our lives is "the spirit of deception from the devil." We just bore our testimony to her and told her we weren't interested in arguing with her. As missionaries, we hope to spread the peace and joy that the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into our lives. I wouldn't be devoting 2 years of my life to doing this if I wasn't 100% certain that this is the true church! I find it funny sometimes how people think that they can sway us from the faith by telling us irrelevant things. But it's all good, we still love them anyways!! :)

Every week we contact all kinds of people! I usually don't write about all of the encounters we have with people, and there's still plenty I left out. But I'm grateful that we are able to meet so many different people every day, regardless if they are interested in the gospel or not. One thing I've learned since being on my mission is that to be an effective servant of the Lord, we have to love everyone, and view everyone as sons and daughters of God. Elder Renlund said last October that for us "to effectively serve others we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes.This expanded perspective will open our hearts to the disappointments, fears, and heartaches of others. But Heavenly Father will aid and comfort us.We need to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that know and feel if we are to accomplish the rescue... Only when we see through Heavenly Father’s eyes can we be filled with “the pure love of Christ" ("Through God's Eyes" October, 2015).I'm grateful that I've been able to continue to develop this love and perspective for the people here!

We met a few times with Greg this week and taught a good lesson on the Word of Wisdom. He still struggles with a few substances, but does desire to quit. He says he knows he's going to stop once he has his own family, but we're trying to help him realize the blessings that can come from stopping as soon as possible rather than waiting. The longer he waits, the harder it'll get to stop. So we're setting goals with him to help him cut back. I love Greg so much! He's become a great friend and we're at the point where I can be straight up and bold with him and he can recognize that everything we say is because we care about him. Temporary happiness is a tool Satan uses to win the hearts of many people, but we know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can bring us eternal joy. Greg asked us if we could give him a priesthood blessing to help him out and that was a really spiritual experience. He was able to receive some guidance and feel the spirit! We showed him the video on Mormon Channel called "From Gang Member to Good Man" about Bubba, and he loved it! He was able to recognize that ultimately it's through Jesus Christ that any of us are capable of making changes in our lives. Whether they be big changes or small ones, it's through Christ that we can all have the strength to change. Making changes in our lives might not always be the most comfortable thing to do, but I think it's necessary to constantly be striving to improve if we want to have the most joy possible I our lives and in the life to come.

I'm enjoying being a trainer! It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's going well! He's only been here for a week and a half, but Elder Chu is doing a great job! We are both learning and growing each day as we learn how to effectively work together.

I love you all! Have a great week!!

Elder Duvall

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