I'm pretty sure I've taught more lessons this week than I have any other week in my mission. It has been amazing how busy we have been! So much has happened I wish I could convey how great the last couple weeks have been.
This is Leroy, a member of the ward that came to join us in our lesson with the Ethiopian family. Before we got into teaching anything, they gave us a bunch of food to eat and it was pretty good!
We have an investigator named Kim that's started learning about the gospel a couple weeks before I got here in Alexandria. In one of her first visit with missionaries, they were having a good discussion with her, but when she was invited to baptism she immediately said no and then kicked them out of her house. About a week and a half ago she called and told us she's been reading the Book of Mormon and that she's felt really good about it and wants to keep learning. Then a few days later, she called us early one morning and asked if we could come over and give her a blessing because she was in the hospital the night before. So we went over and gave her a blessing and had a cool experience with her. After the blessing, she immediately told us she felt her burdens lifted off of her and that she feels at peace. She said that she wants to work towards being baptized! She struggles with smoking, but has a strong desire to quit, and has already made tremendous progress. She came to church for the first time yesterday, and got up and bore her testimony in sacrament meeting! I've never seen that before! Someone whose never been in the church before, who barely started learning about it, got up there and testified that she knows this is the right path for her and that she hopes that she can have the strength and courage to be baptized! She calls us everyday just to check up on us, and asks "How are my friends doin on this beautiful morning?" She's the sweetest woman! She leaves us voicemails occasionally as well, telling us things that she's learning from the Book of Mormon and how she feels the spirit as she reads. We're so grateful for Kim!
This is the Olsen family, with our investigator Kim. Kim loved meeting different ward members this week!
We then went to another wards sacrament meeting with another investigator that we taught this week that couldn't make it in the morning. His name is Asif, and he's from the United Arab Emirates, specifically the city of Dubai. He's pretty wealthy and came to America to buy some hotels and gas stations. He makes it sound like buying a hotel or gas station is like buying a piece of candy. It's funny how he says "If I like the gas station, I'll buy it" like its no big deal. From what we understand, he owns a big advertising company in Dubai. He's an interesting man, but he's super will to make sacrifices to become a member of the church. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and knows that it's true and is super motivated to learn! We found out that there are actually a couple LDS congregations in Dubai that we will get him in contact with when he returns.
This is Asif! He's such a great man!
Alex Koroma and I. He was so happy when he found out I was going to be able to come to attend his baptism!
Kadiatu, Alex, Elder Wickham, Elder Chu and I. I'm so grateful that I was able to attend their baptism and be a part of their conversion process!
I'm so grateful to be involved in these amazing miracles the last few weeks!
I'm also grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country and the opportunity we have to worship as we please. Today we were able to go to the Arlington National Cemetery. Regarding war, President Hinckley has stated "As we contemplate the human misery created by war, we need to recall our debt to those who have sacrificed so much for human liberty." I'm grateful for those who have gone before us and sacrificed their lives in effort to protect the freedoms we enjoy.
Good view into DC from a hill inside Arlington National Cemetery, right next to Robert E. Lee's house
Arlington National Cemetery with the Pentagon in the background
An amphitheater right next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where we watch the changing of the guard ceremony.
Well, I'm loving it here! I love all of you! And I hope you have a wonderful week.
Elder Jeremy Duvall Washington DC South Mission