We had a pretty busy week this week, with some mission conferences, and lots of lessons and finding more people to teach. We’ve been putting a little bit more extra effort into talking to everyone we see. We had a cool experience finding some pretty sweet people while pumping gas at a gas station. I’m grateful for Elder Ure and his desire to work hard to the end. He goes home next week and I will get a new companion!
This past Saturday was a day that I had been looking forward to since my first transfer here in the mission field. My first few weeks in Virginia, I was able to teach Ami Koroma, and her children, Kadija and Omarr. Kadija was 8 at the time and Omarr was only 6. I remember the day that Ami and Kadija were baptized (February 13th, 2016), which still feels like it was just yesterday. I remember Omarr was sad because he wished he could’ve been baptized with them. I told Omarr that I would still be a missionary when he turns 8 years old, and I promised him that I would come to his baptism. I was able to go back on Saturday to attend his baptism and keep my promise to him. Bishop Duersch (who is now President Duersch in the Stake presidency), baptized Omarr.
Omar, Kadija, Ami and I.
I just felt so happy being there! It’s been cool to see everything come full circle with that family! It’s been an amazing experience seeing this family stay so faithful and converted. They’ve hardly missed any Sundays of church for nearly two years. Ami was able to go to the temple for her endowment earlier this year, and now her mother Kadiatu is getting ready to go to the temple as welll. Ami continues too share the e gospel with her friends and family. She invited 3 nonmembers to come attend Omarr’s baptism! Ami, Kadija, and Omar, along with their many extended family members and friends that have joined the church as a direct result of them, will always have a special place in my heart!
It felt like I was “home” being there at that baptism. It was fun reuniting with so many of the members in the Centreville 1st Ward, where I spent the first 6 months of my mission.
President Duersch, Omarr and Ami
We had Elder Mervyn B Arnold of the 70 visit our mission this week for a Mission Tour. It kept us pretty busy. On Wednesday night, Elder Arnold and President Huntsman We had two half-mission conferences on two different days. The night before the Conferences Elder Arnold and President Huntsman came with Elder Ure and I to our area to visit a member family and do a missionary activity with them. Once we got there he told us to “observe well, you’ll be training the mission tomorrow on how this is done.” So we sat there and participated as he did this activity with the family. It was an activity out of Preach My Gospel and it works really well to get the members thinking about people who they could begin to share the gospel. We’re excited to start doing it with the members in our ward! Elder Arnold is such a spiritual man, and I learned a lot from him over the course of the 3 days we were with him. Elder Ure and I each had an opportunity to have a personal interview with him as well which was a neat experience.
Elders Woellhaf, Ure, Oldroyd, and I.
But I’m more grateful for all of the doctrine he taught about and the spirit that was felt during the meeting. I’m excited to see our mission apply the things that he and his wife taught us over the two conferences!
Dorothy is doing really well! She has gone 10 days without smoking now and is excited to be baptized! We’ve been working with her ever since my first week in this ward back at the end of April, so it’s cool to see how much progress she has made, even though it’s been relatively slow, it’s cool to see where she is now. She recognizes a huge difference in her life and in herself and we can see it too.
It’s crazy to think that my sister is in her last full week as a missionary! It’s weird to think that I started 5 months before and will still be here for a month after she’s done. But I’m extremely grateful to be here longer! You are a great example Jenny! Finish strong!
I love you all! Hope you have a great week!
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission