Last picture in Alexandria! Founding elders of the Lincolnia Ward.
The title of this email is "I can see the stars," because I got transferred this week to Warrenton, VA. It's on the far opposite side of my mission from where Alexandria is and it's easily the countryside part of our mission. I can actually look up at night and see the stars really well now, so that's pretty cool. I am now in the Warrenton 1st Ward, which is the largest ward in our mission! It is WAYYY larger than my last ward, geographically. The ward consists of a ton of farms and homes that are spread way apart from another. Some of our appointments take anywhere from 15-45 minutes apart from each other, driving. Whereas in Alexandria everything is within just a few miles of each other.
A taste of the country out here! Lot of long dirt roads and people spread far apart!
My new companions is Elder Ethan Jones! We started our missions together in the MTC on January 6th of last year, so we will be hitting our year mark together this week! He was one of my favorite missionaries that was in my MTC group, so we were super excited to become companions and have had a great first few days together here in Warrenton!
With my new companion, Elder Jones! This was today during basketball.
There has been a lot of boundary realignments and new wards created in Northern Virginia over the past month or so and we are actually in a brand new stake. Just a couple weeks ago the Gainesville Stake was created. Consequently, a new zone in our mission was also created to align with the stake, so Elder Jones and I were assigned to be the Zone Leaders here in the Gainesville Stake. This will be my 5th transfer as a zone leader and his 1st, were both excited for it!
The members here are awesome! We've been able to meet and get to know a lot of them the past few days. There wasn't much work going on here as far as teaching investigators are concerned, but we're trying our best to work with what has been going on, and improving and expanding our teaching pool. It's a much different feel out here for both of us when it comes to finding investigators. Elder Jones is coming to Warrenton from Arlington, and I'm coming from Alexandria, so we've become accustomed to the city where there is a person to talk to every 10 feet.
Also, we don't live in an apartment complex, like most of the other missionaries in the mission, we live in the basement of a members home! Their names are Rachel and Steven Sippert, and they have a little boy that's full of energy. They have had missionaries living in their basement for almost 3 years now! They're an awesome couple, they even host a monthly "donut night" at their house, where anyone is welcome to come and enjoy fresh homemade donuts! They did it last night and we were able to go and meet more of the members of the ward there. Well try to bring some nonmembers to it next time it happens.
This ward has some great recent converts that have been baptized in the past year, so we look forward to working with them as well.
It's defiantly an adjustment being here. Coming from Alexandria, where taught numerous lessons every day and people were so open to learn, to a place where it's going to be much more difficult getting into people's homes. But our main goal as a companionship is to find joy in this journey and try our best to stay optimistic and positive through the opposition.
On a side note, one thing I was worried about was all of the people we were leaving behind in Alexandria, that some of them would fall through the cracks with all of the change, because that ward is being white washed as well. But I'm so relieved that they've got a great set of Elders there now! They're all in good hands!
I am going to miss the place I felt like was home in Alexandria, but I am excited to be here in Warrenton! Change is a good thing, although it can be quite uncomfortable I know we're going to have some great experiences here and learn a lot! I am grateful for this new year of 2017! I can't wait to see what wonderful memories and lessons lie ahead! I hope you all have a great week and a great year this year! Love you all so much!
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission