Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017 Last day as a teenager!

Hey guys!

Well today is my last day as a teenager and I don't really know what to think. Tomorrow I will be 20 years old. I remember being a little kid and meeting people that were 20 and thinking to myself that I would never be that old. But here I am!

 Kerry took us to this cool Indian buffet for lunch last week!
They had some pretty delicious curry and butter chicken!

They surprised me with a birthday dessert!

 This upcoming week is already the start of a new transfer! Starting now, every transfer we will be finding out before Sunday where we will be getting transferred, so now you don't have to wonder mid-week if I'm staying or going. We found out that Elder Jones and I will both be in Warrenton for another 6 weeks! We're excited! Things are picking up slowly but surely in this area, it's cool to see how things have progressed since the day we both arrived here six weeks ago!

Kerry also happens to be good friends with Steve Young

And he was so kind to get me an autographed copy of his new book addressed to me. 

Pretty cool gift!

This week we started teaching this kid Lawrence Stiles. He is 11 years old and his mother is a less active member of our ward. He was taught by missionaries a few times right before Elder Jones and I came into the ward at the same time, and haven't been able to get in contact with them until this week. Lawrence is a sweet kid! We play basketball and do different things with him as we teach, to keep his attention. For example, yesterday we played horse and every time someone got a letter they had to read one of the articles of faith and then we would explain to him what it means. We hope that we can get him prepared for baptism soon! That is something his Mom really wants for him, but she wants him to want it too and for him to understand it's significance. Tonight they will be joining us for an FHE with an awesome member family in our ward.

A few days ago we were able to teach Fatima and her two kids again. This time Brother Toone came along with us to teach, and he brought his little daughter Arianna along with us which was fun.Then on Sunday he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting of how he was impacted by coming out with us to teach. That was pretty sweet! It was our second lesson with them. They are just the kindest little family, so welcoming and so happy to listen and learn more about the gospel! She is hesitant to come to church because she doesn't want to come without her husband, and he doesn't speak English at all and she speaks it really well. The closest Spanish ward is pretty far away so it might be hard for them to make it out there, but we're going to keep trying our best!

Fatima and her two kids Jackie and Nelson after our lesson, 

and then there's brother Toone and his daughter Arianna.

The Depuy couple came to church again this week and they finally stayed for Sunday School instead of dipping out right after sacrament meeting. They also invited us over this week for dinner and a lesson! They are definitely interesting couple to teach, considering they already have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon but they have other things they still don't quite agree with about the church (they were formerly active in the RLDS church and are pretty attached to their beliefs). They've been to church more this year than the past few years combined though, and they're starting to get to know a lot of members of the ward, so we are hopeful that as time goes on that they'll get the answers to their prayers that they're searching for.

Another really sweet opportunity we had this week, was that we started going over the discussions with an excommunicated member in our Ward. Under the direction of our bishop and Stake president we are helping him set some goals and progress back to the point where he can enjoy the full blessings of the gospel. He is working really hard right now through some difficult past transgressions, but he is so awesome and a huge example of Repentance and forgiveness. The spirit was so strong in the lesson, and I quickly began to really love this guy. We testified of Heavenly Father's endless and infinite love he has for all his children, even if we don't feel worthy of it, it is always there. It gave us a whole new perspective being able to teach him.

Here's a quote that I liked his week:
"We show our love for God--and our faith in Him--by doing our very best every day to follow the course that He has laid out for us and by keeping the commandments that He has given to us. We especially manifest that faith and love in situations where we don’t fully understand the reason for God’s commands or the particular path He is telling us to take."

We don't need to always understand the reasons why we are asked to do certain things. We just need to trust in God and have faith in him and his commandments. If we do that, we will be blessed throughout our lives as we strive to follow Jesus Christ.

I hope you all have a great week! Happy birthday to the best twin out there! Love you all!

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission


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