Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016 Exciting Week! Iysha and Quintin

While helping a family move out of their apartment last week, I got a call from Elder Chu in Centreville with some awesome news! Amy Koroma's brother, Alex, and her mother, Kadiatu, are both getting baptized!! I'm so excited for them and their family! It was a pleasure getting to start teaching Alex once he arrived here from Sierra Leone. I've known Kadiatu since my first week in Virginia and she is the nicest woman ever! She doesn't speak any English, but has been able to learn about the gospel via translation from Amy. It's so amazing how that whole family has slowly joined the church. I will be able to go out to Centreville to attend their baptism, so it'll be exciting to see everyone out there again!

The work here in Alexandria is progressing quite a bit as well! One morning, I was flipping through our area book, trying to plan some visits for an exchange that we were having that day. I was going to be with Elder Goodson for the day and I wanted to try and schedule some solid appointments with people. While flipping through the area book, I came across a name "Isha Sesay" that looked super familiar. I started looking at her background info and all it said was "Iysha is a referral from a recent convert in Centreville and is really nice and interested in learning more about the gospel." Right after I read this, I distinctly remembered sending the referral for this person over here a few months ago. Iysha is a former coworker of Amy Koroma, and Amy had the chance to share some of her feelings about the gospel with her. I remembered teaching a lesson to the Koroma family about missionary work and encouraging them to share the gospel with their friends. A couple days after that lesson,

Amy gave us the address for Iysha and told us to send it to the missionaries in that area, and it just so happens that Iysha lives here in this ward!! So I immediately called Isha and scheduled an appointment for that night! Elder Goodson and I went, along with a member of our ward, to teach her. The lesson was amazing! She was receptive to everything we taught and we commit her to be baptized on August 27th! When we invited her to be baptized, she said "that'll be the happiest day of my life, I can't wait!" When we sent the referral here, it was right before Iysha had to go to Sierra Leone for a couple months, and she just got back here about 2 weeks ago. So the missionaries here at the time weren't able to teach her much, but now she's back and she's super motivated! She came to church the last two Sunday's and loves he feelings she gets as she comes. She told us that she's going to teach us how to cook some African food soon so that'll be fun!

There was another miracle that resulted from that as well! As were walking through her apartment complex about to teach Isha, someone yelled to us. We turned around and looked up, and there was a man on his balcony that saw us walking by and the first thing he asked was what the address of our church is. 


This is Quintin from Sierra Leone. We taught him this morning and he is probably going to be baptized the same day as Isha!

His name is Quintin and he went to the LDS church a few times in Sierra Leone a couple years ago and he wanted to go again. We were able to come back and teach him a couple days later, and that lesson went super great as well. He doesn't have a car, so he told us he'd be willing to walk to church if he had to! He is super committed! We were able to arrange for a member to give him a ride so that he wouldn't have to walk, but he had a great time at church yesterday! He met Isha and they seem like they'll make good friends and she'll probably be able to drive him to church since they live so close. We were walking down the hallway at church and Isha was telling Quintin about how she's getting baptized in a few weeks, and then she told him "You should join me, we could get baptized on the same day!" And he responded saying that that would be really nice. It was the coolest thing to see her fellowship him, as well as the other ward members that are from Africa. August is going to be an exciting month working with them both, helping them prepare for baptism!

The members of the ward have been supporting us a lot! We've been able to have members come out with us multiple nights a week to help teach and fellowship the people that we've been working with and it's helped a lot!

This is Paul Heffron, the "Missionary Dad" here in Alexandria! He loves having us over for lunch every now and then!

We've also been teaching a group of four ladies from Ethiopia. They are the nicest people! Three of them live together and are Ethiopian Orthodox, and they have a neighbor from Sierra Leone who's Muslim, and she loves joining in on our lessons and asking questions. It's always fun going over to their house! The four of them are planning on coming to church this Sunday.

Yesterday I was able to attend our stake missionary correlation meeting, which includes the stake presidency, bishops, ward mission leaders, and zone leaders within the Mount Vernon Stake, and President Huntsman as well. It was awesome to be able to discuss the missionary efforts in the area with all of the leaders here!

Elder Judkins and I came up with a "zone vision" that we presented to our zone this week, which we think will help us become better missionaries. We made a little card and gave it to each companionship. It has the scripture 2 Nephi 5:27 on it which states "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." And then on the card we listed three main things that can contribute to our happiness as missionaries. The three factors are 1) Obedience 2) The Holy Ghost 3) The Atonement. As we are obedient to the commandments that we've been given, we will have the freedom and happiness that will come from the blessings we'll receive as a result. As we strive to constantly be worthy of having the Holy Ghost with us, we will be able to have the promptings that will allow us to do the things that will make us most happy. And as we utilize the atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives, through daily repentance, we will be given the strength that will allow us to be more effective instruments for the Lord to work through. Ultimately, obedience, the Holy Ghost, and the Atonement all go hand and hand with each other and will allow us to be happier each day. There is so much joy to be found in serving others, so why not get the most out of it by doing the things we know will make us most happy, while we dedicate this time on serving our missions!
I love you all!  Have an awesome week!
Elder Jeremy Duvall 

Washington DC South Mission

Elders Goodson, Hall, Judkins and Elder Duvall

Super nice apartment complex that feels like a hotel

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