Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 "Preach By the Way"

Hey all you people!

I hope you all had a great first week of November! With the time change this last week, it now gets really dark outside pretty early, which isn't the best for proselyting purposes. However, the work still goes forward!

In D&C 58:46-47 the Lord gives some counsel through the prophet Joseph Smith to the elders of the church. He said:
46. Wherefore, assemble yourselves together; and they who are not appointed to stay in this land, let them preach the gospel in the regions round about; and after that let them return to their homes.
47. Let them preach by the way, and bear testimony of the truth in all places, and call upon the rich, the high and the low, and the poor to repent.

I love the phrase "preach by the way." As missionaries, we are encouraged to "talk to everyone" and preach the gospel wherever we are. Over the last 4 months of being here in Alexandria, Elder Judkins and I have been amazed by how the Lord places people in our path. As we go to and fro from different teaching appointments, trying to get in contact with different investigators that we have, we haven't spent too much having to resort to finding people through tracting, the least effective way to find. As we prayerfully plan our days, deciding which people we will try to contact the following day, we always strive to talk to those we meet along the way. In fact, a majority of the people we teach have been found "preaching by the way" while nearby another investigators household. This past week, after having a really solid lesson with Fatu, we were on our way to the car and we crossed paths with a man named David. We only  talked for about 5 minutes, but got his address and number and he said we could come back. So a couple days later we were able to go to his house and teach him the first lesson. He's been to a number of churches throughout his life, but has distanced himself from God the last few years. He has felt discouraged recently, feeling like God hasn't heard or answered his prayers, so he decided to stop praying or go to any church. But following our lesson we invited him to church and he agreed to come, and he did! And church yesterday happened to be our Stake Conference! A member of the 70 came and gave a really good talk, and the stake president, the DC temple president, and our mission president and his wife all spoke. David seemed to really enjoy everything! Isha sat right behind us and introduced herself to David afterwards. David is also from Sierra Leone, so obviously they started speaking Krio to each other. We're excited to keep teaching him.

This is David!! Such a humble man! We were able to meet him, teach him, and
then have him come to Stake conference all within a couple of days! He's a miracle!
The sister missionaries in our ward have an investigator named Chris, who is from Alabama. They've been teaching him the last couple of months and he is getting baptized next weekend! We've been able to interact with him a bit, and yesterday he asked if Elder Judkins and I would perform his baptism and confirmation. We are honored to perform those ordinances for him! He's been in the military his whole life and currently does I.T. work at the Arlington National Cemetery. He's a sweet guy! Every week he walks up to, us and between the three of us he decides who has the coolest tie. Last week it was all paisley so we all took a picture together. I'm excited for his baptism next week!

 This is Chris! The sisters investigator that has been
coming to church for a couple of months.
We are excited for his baptism on the 18th!

This was pretty much what Dora's 

face was like during our entire lesson.

In our lesson with Fatu, prior to meeting David, her daughter Dora was super engaged in the lesson. She was asking all kinds of really good questions and smiling the entire time. Fatu was impressed to see her daughter suddenly become really interested in learning everything about the gospel. She's only 7 years old, but is super smart. She also said the opening and closing prayer for our lesson! I'll send a couple pictures from the lesson.

Fatu and Dora after our lesson

We haven't been able to have a lesson with Hannah in a couple weeks, because she's been super busy with work, but she had a cool experience this week in Arlington. She was at a bus stop waiting for the bus to take her back home and two other missionaries walk up to her and start talking to her. She got so excited when she was talking to them that she called us and said "I'm here with your brothers!" Then she handed the phone to one of the missionaries, who then told us "Hannah has been telling us how excited she is for the 19th!" It was a tender mercy having her run into them. The 19th of November was the original date for baptism that we extended to her about a month ago, but she's only been to church once and needs to be taught a lot more to prepare for baptism. We're glad she's excited for it though! And we hope she's not disappointed when we tell her we'll have to push it back.

We recently have learned a lot about the importance of gratitude. In D&C 78:17-19 it states
"17. Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18. And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
19. And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."

There are so many promised blessings we can have in our lives for doing something as simple as receiving "all things with thankfulness." We've gained a testimony of this! We've been so grateful for the circumstances we've been put in and the people we've been blessed to teach, and the blessings just seem to keep on coming. I know that expressing our gratitude to the Lord is important. It shows our humility when we can recognize where our blessings truly come from. It's also important to express gratitude to those around us! I'm grateful for this gospel which has blessed my life and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here! I'm grateful for my family that I love so much.

I love you all! Hope you have a great week!

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

Bacon wrapped in croissant rolls, probably my favorite snack that I've made myself.

 I voted this week!

We taught a lesson to Linda this week, she's from Ghana. She's super kind and always lets us come over and teach her. We're trying to get her to read the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets, but she hasn't been reading. So we decided to get her all of the material in Twi, so hopefully she starts reading now. Brother Gelder came with us to the lesson, his family is awesome!

Brother David Orme and his wife Cynthia. Such a sweet couple!!
They're not even in our ward but they wanted to take us out to dinner
after the Saturday session of our Stake conference!
They are one hilarious couple.
One of his sons, Kelly lives in Temecula.

Today on the metro we met this couple. They are members of the church that live out in Warrenton which is on the opposite side of our mission. Every time we go into DC we meet a lot of members of the church on the way.

Empty metro station after rush hour is over in the morning.

 I got to go to the Library of Congress again today.
The last time I came here was way back in March.
This picture is of the main reading room from the public viewing entrance.
We got to go down in and study.
I read out of a Library of Congress official copy of the Book of Mormon.

My library card :) If you look closely at the reflections 

you can sort of see up into the rotunda of the building.

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