Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017 Prayer and stuff!

The weather has gotten warmer a little earlier this year than
 it did last year, which has allowed for more outdoor service
opportunities. We spent a couple hours at Ken Williams house
 helping him clear a ton of leaves out of his yard.

Hey everyone!

It's been a pretty good week here in Warrenton, filled with all kinds of stuff.

We had a couple of fun different service opportunities this past week!
During an exchange with another missionary, Elder Howells, we went to Jake Seely's house and were able to help him put a bunch of mulch all around his house. While there, Jake also took us on a tour of the huge farm that he lives on and works on (but doesn't own). It was really cool riding around the property hearing him describe the different type of work he does on it everyday.
Later in the week, we were able to help his grandmother out by painting her basement that she's getting ready to rent out. I'm not the greatest painter, but it was fun!

While tracting a street in a pretty nice neighborhood, we noticed these two teenagers playing basketball in their driveway. We approached them, introduced ourselves and then challenged them to a game, two-on-two. We told them if we won, then we'd share a 10 minute message with them and if we lost, we would just leave them with something to read. They agreed. They were both pretty good, one of them was a senior in high school on his schools Varsity basketball team. But sure enough, Elder Jones and I, in our white shirts and ties, beat them! Our basketball skills paid off. So we taught them a brief first lesson and they seemed curious and interested in the message we shared. I always find it neat how open and willing young people are to at least hear out the message we share, even if they don't persist in having interest with it. So many people are immediately closed off and don't even want to take just a few minutes out of their day to hear a brief message that's only meant to help them.

In a couple of previous letters over the past month or so, I've talked about Fatima and her kids, Jackie and Nelson. that we were teaching. This past week we had our final lesson with them before deciding that the best thing for their family would be to pass them off the the Spanish speaking missionaries. They hadn't been coming to church but they always enjoyed learning from us. They did finally express some interest in going to the Spanish ward, even though it'll require them to drive much further, so hopefully the Spanish missionaries will be able to help them progress. I'm glad we were able to find and teach that wonderful little family!

About two weeks ago there was a woman in our ward who passed away. She hadn't been able to come to church consistently over the past few years because of hr health struggles. Her husband isn't a member of the church but has always been supportive of her membership and participation in the church. The funeral was a little over a week ago and he was extremely grateful for the bishop and our ward for helping put together a beautiful funeral service and helping his family so much over the years. We decided to visit him last night and I'm so glad we did! He seemed to be handling everything really well, and it was amazing to see his perspective and outlook on everything he's been through. I am so grateful for the knowledge and hope that the Plan of Salvation brings to us, knowing that we will see our loved ones again and that they are always watching over us.

We also had a Zone Conference, combined with another zone, last week that Elder Jones and I were in charge of. President Huntsman told us we put together a really good training for the missionaries there and that he learned a lot from it. We also enjoyed listening to his counsel to us. I am so grateful for such an amazing mission president and his wife as well. They are such great examples to us and I've really enjoyed getting to know them over the past 14 months or so.

I came across this definition of prayer this week that I really liked. This comes from the Bible dictionary. It says that "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."
I love that last sentence. Prayer is something that requires work and effort, especially if we want it to be sincere. When we pray sincerely and fervently, some of the highest blessings can begin to become ours. I don't think missionary work would be possible without prayer. And life would also be way too difficult without it. So... don't forget to pray!

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

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

1) This is Elder Vargas. He's a full-time church service missionary that helps out our mission a lot. This was a day that he helped us move another companionship from one apartment to another. Elder Vargas
is awesome. He not only helps out our mission, but he also serves in the temple one day a week, serves in family history centers, does facilities management, and a bunch of other stuff. He's unable to serve as a  full-time proselyting missionary, but it's amazing to see him serve faithfully in the capacity that he can serve in!
There's this town called "Little Washington" out in the middle of nowhere, but it's still part of our ward boundaries. In the town there is this place called "" that is apparently pretty famous. I'm not really sure what makes it so special, I The Inn at Little Washington think maybe some famous people have stayed there in the past or something.

 During an exchange with another missionary (Elder Howells), Jake Seely in our ward took us on a tour of the huge farm that he lives on and works on. We did some service at his house helping to lay down a
bunch of mulch, and then he drove us around the farm to see all the cows and hear about some of the different work he does there. It was pretty cool to see! After we went back and changed, Elder Howells and I were able to teach a pretty awesome lesson to this man named Pedro who Elder Jones and I met a few weeks ago!

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