Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016 The Church in Africa

Hey everyone! We had a great week!
The Book of Mormon will lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel, so "Feast upon the words of Christ!"
We watched a video recently about the growth of church in Sierra Leone. There's a series of videos on called "Unto All the World" about apostles traveling throughout the world to hasten the work of the Lord.

(Here are the links to two of the videos about the church in Africa: one, two)

The 3,000 stake of the church was organized in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 2012. Freetown is where most of the Sierra Leoneans in Virginia are from. Check out the two videos! ! It'll give you a sense of the amazing type of people we get to work with here. After getting to know so many Africans here and getting a taste of their culture, I would love to visit there someday! The first video gives a little history of the wars and rebels of Sierra Leone and how the church has recently grown exponentially in a short period of time. The second one shows Elder Holland with some of the stake leaders and him talking about the confidence he has in them. Something he says that I love is "If you ever wanted an object lesson, that your happiness doesn't depend on your material wealth, you'd go to Africa. These people are happy blessed, joyful people, and in many cases they have almost nothing." That is so true! The Africans we meet here are some of the happiest people I've met! They work so hard to get by, and despite all of their struggles, they are so happy, and it's contagious! It's made me so happy to get to be a part of these people lives.

 Quintins baptism was great!! He is such a great example and has grown a lot in the gospel in the span of 2 months

We met Quintin outside as we were on our way to teach Isha for the first time about 2 months ago, and now he is the newest member of the church! I know that the Lord put us in the right place at the right time, so that he could see us walking by and call out to us. It caught us off guard when a complete stranger yelled at us from his balcony asking where our church is, but I'm glad we took the time to talk to him that day, even though it made us late to our next appointment. It has been a great experience teaching him the last couple months and I know that he will be blessed for the decisions that he has made and will continue to make. His baptism was a special day for him. Isha agreed to give a talk at the baptism. We helped her during the week to prepare for it, and she was super nervous, but she did a great job! It's wonderful to see new members of the church fellowship other people so well. After the baptism itself, Quintin shared a few of his thoughts about his whole experience leading up to today. He testified of His love for Christ and the joy he felt that day. One thing in particular that he said that was funny was something like (not verbatim, but close enough): "I'd like to also thank the missionaries today for all they have done for me. Sometimes they call me and ask to come over, and there
were times where I had so much going on and I honestly did not want to see them, but I said yes anyways and they come and teach me and helped me prepare for today." It was funny to hear him say that. We were persistent with him, and I'm glad he took the time to meet with us, even when other things were stressing him out and he didn't want us over. But at this point, he regrets nothing, and he is glad to be where he is now. He's now part of a ward family, as well as a worldwide family!

Quintin calls Isha his new "sister in Christ." They do a lot to help each other out. We will be watching some of general conference with them this week!

This is Nazir, Quintin's roommate's kid. Whenever we go to teach Quintin, Nazir climbs all around us.
We have still been working with Kim to help her quit smoking. She has been getting really down on herself when she gives in to the temptation, and she has a strong desire to stop, but is struggling. We had a lesson with her specifically on hope. We wanted to help her realize that even though she may continue to mess up, that she should not give up. In the middle of our discussion with her, I was reminded of a specific portion of a talk from Elder Holland that I shared with her. Last April, he said "Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength. Call out like Alma, “O Jesus, … have mercy on me.” He will help you get back up. He will help you repent, repair, fix whatever you have to fix, and keep going. Soon enough you will have the success you seek." We all will continue to make mistakes and fall down, but no matter how many times we mess up, we can get back up. He will continue to give us the hope and faith we need to press forward as we endure (enjoy) through the trials of life! Kim really liked this quote.

Desmond, the one that was in the ICU last week, is doing great. We were able to visit him at his house this week and he's actually getting ready for an extended vacation in Africa and Europe soon, so getting him to progress in the gospel will be difficult. But when he comes back, we'll be sure to get back in touch with him.
Elder Judkins, Sheila and Elder Duvall
We were able to teach the media-referral Sheila from last week again. She is battling cancer and is going through a lot in her life right now. We weren't able to schedule any appointment with her throughout the week, but felt to stop by last night, and she let us right in and was glad to see us! Once again, she was having a rough day, and called us her angels coming at the right time to help brighten her day with the word of God. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation, with an emphasis on the resurrection. We shared the scripture from Alma 40:23 "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame." Not only will we receive a perfect body, with no pain or sickness, but we will then have a more perfect understanding of Gods love for us as well. This brought Sheila a lot of peace, knowing that "the sufferings of this present time are [nothing] compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). I'm excited to continue teaching her! She's so kind!

We are SO excited for General Conference this upcoming weekend!! We've been listening to past conference talks as we've been driving around in the car getting pumped for this next weekend. It's always great to hear from our Prophet and the 12 apostles! Our investigators and recent converts look forward to it as well! I'm grateful for modern revelation through a prophet, and the chance we have to receive personal revelation as we listen to the counsel of our leaders with humble hearts. I hope you all can take specific things and apply them in your life!

We have transfers on October 6th and we are hoping to do a third transfer together. We've got a lot of great things happening and are enjoying every day. I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Jeremy Duvall Washington DC South Mission

Delicious cinnamon rolls! Thanks Mom for sending that recipe to Sister Emily Flanigan! She made them for us! There were more than these, but they sure didn't last long!

Today we took a tour of the Capital Building from a member of the church that is currently doing an internship for one of the Representatives from Utah. It was an awesome tour! There are different
tunnels underneath DC that connect all of the different covers net buildings and offices, so we went from his office and walked underground to the Capital building. We got to sit in for about 30 minutes of a session going on in the House of Representatives chamber where different topics were being debated and voted on. Obviously we couldn't take pictures while in there though. Here's some highlights of the tour that I liked:

The chamber where the original US senate used to meet.

The Senate Appropriations Committee room

 The directional center of Washington DC. Not the geographical center, but all the streets go outward from this point. 

George Washington's original tomb was going to be here, but in his will he wrote that he wanted to have his tomb at his Mt. Vernon Estate. 

 This is the staircase that every president of the United States walks down right before giving their Inaguaral Address outside the Capital building.

Statue of Ronald Reagan. There was a statue of prominent people representing every state in this room. 

Statue of Brigham Young, representing the state of Utah.

The original mold of the statue of Lady Freedom, which is on top of the capital building rotunda.

The last meeting held in this room was the meeting in which the decision to impeach President Clinton.

Video of me explaining a little bit about Brigham Young to a tourist group. The tour guide saw us and said "Hey, explain Brigham Young, you could do better than I can, just try not to keep it super religious." The she handed me the microphone and I talked for a minute or two, and Elder Judkins caught a few seconds of it on camera. It was fun to do! I wish more of it was recorded.

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