Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016 Asif is amazing! 12-Step Program


Hey everyone!
This transfer is over on Thursday! It's gone by the fastest of any transfer so far. We've been busy and it's been fun. I look forward to another great transfer in Alexandria!
We had a very eventful week with Asif! He came to the United States temporarily before moving back to Dubai, but has scheduled his plane flight for August 29th, so that he can be baptized on the 26th and the confirmed next Sunday on the 28th. We had a lot things to teach him before his baptismal interview, so we taught him about a lot of the commandments on Friday and his interview was on Saturday.

August 16th With Asif after one of our lessons with him this week

August 19th With Asif after another of our lessons with him from the week

We covered the topics of following the prophet, the 10 commandments, tithing, fasting and fast offerings, the word of wisdom, and the law of chastity all in a single lesson. That'll probably be the only time on my mission that I'll ever cover that much in a single lesson! But with the limited time he has here, it was necessary. The more he learns, the happier he seems to get! He is super excited to start paying tithes and offerings, and after learning about the word of wisdom he immediately stopped drinking coffee. He went from 5-6 cups a day, to zero without a problem. He's pretty devoted to everything he's been learning, it's amazing. He brought his wife and newborn baby to church with him yesterday and is super excited for his baptism this week. She is super supportive of him and will continue learning about the gospel as Asif progresses. I've never seen someone progress and prepare for baptism as fast as Asif! His level of understanding and his testimony of the gospel is incredible considering his Muslim background and limited knowledge of Christianity before meeting with us. He originally planned on going home about 2 weeks ago, but prolonged his stay to be baptized, so he doesn't have much to do with his time, so he spends hours each day studying the Book of Mormon as well as other materials we've given him to read. He explained how his employees back in Dubai want him to come back but to take care of his businesses, but he has decided to stay here! His baptismal interview was great and our whole district happened to be at the church building at the time of his interview, so we decided to sing a song for him. We sang "Nearer My God to Thee" in the chapel which was a sweet experience! He points out all the time how much he feels the spirit of God whenever he's around us or in the church building. We have the information for the congregation he will be attending back in Dubai and we will most likely get to Skype him on a weekly basis to continue teaching him principles of the gospel! He tells us if we ever go to Dubai, we have a place to stay!

August 20th After Asif's baptismal interview, he loved meeting some of the other missionaries in the area!

We watched the conference talk "Choices" from President Monson with Isha this week and talked about the importance of prophets on the earth, and taught her about the Word of Wisdom as well. She and Quintin came to church together again, and Isha brought her little kids with her as well. As of right now, they should both be getting baptized on September 2nd!

Kim has been back and forth in her mind all week. One day she'll be excited for baptism and the next day she'll be unsure about things. She's changed her mind multiple times throughout the week, but every time we visit her, she enjoys learning more about the gospel. She has such a great desire to quit smoking, she even went to the addiction recovery class with us on Sunday night. A church service missionary couple conducts the 12-Step Addiction Recovery Program each week. They allowed us to join in, and it was a special experience! I've never felt the love of God for people as strong as I did than being here in this class listening to these humble men and women discuss their struggles and successes as they work on overcoming their addictions. I'm grateful for everyone that works for and works with LDS Family Services! Miracles are happening in the lives of these individuals, although it may take time, it's amazing to see what can happen through relying on Jesus Christ to help overcome addictions! Kim added quite a bit to the discussion and we got to participate a little as well. The 12-Step program that the church has is incredible!! We will probably get to attend the class more in the future if Kim decides to keep going to it.

This past week, our mission set a goal to find 300 new investigators during the week. Our district did a few different finding activities that helped contribute to finding more people to teach. We did chalk drawing of the Plan of Salvation at a local park which was super fun. We met a lot of cool people that day! We also tried doing some street contacting in Old Town Alexandria, where we were able to talk to a ton of different people. It was great! We also tried doing a couple of church tours, inviting a ton of people to come see what the church is like. Our mission surpassed our goal of 300, finding 432 new people this week! Because we beat the goal we will get to have an extra trip to the temple this year! We're excited about that, but more importantly, we were able to teach and testify to a lot of people to help the, access the blessings of the gospel.

Our district had fun drawing out the Plan of Salvation in chalk.

Another missionary took a picture of us teaching these two high school kids about it. They were pretty interested in it all!

We went to Great Falls on the Potomac River today! All I have to say is that nature is truly amazing.

Some pictures at Great Falls on the Potomac River. Maryland is on the opposite side, and this river is the boundary of our mission.  The weather was amazing today! There were people kayaking and rafting in the river, it was cool to watch them!

A time lapse video of the Potomac River

Congrats to my brother Danny and his new fiancée Sarah! I'm excited to have another Duvall added in the family in a couple of months!

And a Happy Birthday video to my momma!
Happy birthday to the best mom in the world! Love you tons Momma! 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Jeremy Duvall Washington DC South Mission

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