Especially for Momma!
Just a bunch of us Elders on St. Patrick's Day
My new companion in Tysons will be Elder Ostendorf! He's a great guy. I know him a bit already. We have taught a few of the same people while he served briefly in the Annandale Ward when I was in the Lincolnia Ward right next to it. We both taught a couple of the same people that we passed into each others wards. He also served here in Warrenton a while ago too. He's from Salt Lake City. I don't know him super well, just a bit, but we've talked a few times and I'm excited to get to serve with him in Tysons. Transfers are tomorrow morning!
With the new transfer, I will also no longer be serving as a zone leader. I've been able to serve as a zone leader since July, so for about the past 9 months, and it's been awesome! I will miss being able to serve in that assignment, I did enjoy it a lot! I told President Huntsman during interviews that I'm happy to serve wherever he needs me, so I'm excited to see what's in store this next transfer. Elder Ostendorf will be the district leader of our district so I'll still be able to go on a good number of companion exchanges which I enjoy doing!
Tysons is a bike area as well. I've been in a car for the past 9 months, so it'll be nice to get back on my bike again!
As far as this past week is concerned, a couple highlights included some baptisms that we went to, and getting some priests in the ward to come out with us.
There were a couple baptisms this past Saturday. One of them was an 8 year old, grandchild of the Manwarings in our ward. The morning of the baptism was a beautiful spring morning, and the bishopric member conducting the baptism said that on his drive over he was humming the song "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" thinking through the lyrics of the song "Oh how lovely was the morning..." He pointed out that the family whose grandson was getting baptized is an ancestor of George Manwaring, who wrote the lyrics to that song. He is their great, great uncle. George Manwaring also happens to be my great, great uncle! Our family connects to George through his brother, David. The Manwarings in our ward connect through another brother, Herbert. Anyways, aside from that cool connection, the Depuys came to the baptism!
They have never attended an LDS baptismal service before, and they really enjoyed attending it and felt the spirit that was there. Afterwards, however, Art joked around while talking with us he said that when brother Manwaring invited all Melchizedek priesthood holders to come join in on the confirmation circle, Art thought about getting up and joining, but he decided to stay put (thankfully). It was funny as he talked about it afterwards, but that's his main holdup with the church is feeling like he already has been "called to the priesthood" in the RLDS church (which technically no longer exists- now called Community of Christ, which has strayed away from many of the RLDS teachings and practices.) I'm glad I've been able to teach them while serving here! It's given us a whole different perspective from a teaching standpoint. And we love them! I'll send a picture of us with them at the baptism.
The other baptism on Saturday was of Brother Sippert's niece. Brother Sippert baptized his niece, who lives in the 2nd Ward. The missionaries in that ward taught his niece who was about 10 years old and she was super excited to be baptized. She raised her arms and shouted "Yay!" with a big smile on her face following the baptism. It was sweet!
The past few weeks we've been trying to get all of the priests to come out with us to spend a couple hours with us and get them pumped to do missionary work. It's been fun! We've knocked some doors with them, taught some lessons with them, and made other visits to potential investigators and less active members. It's fun to see them motivated to get involved, even if it takes a little convincing from us or their parents to get them to come! We have had some cool experiences with the 16-18 year olds coming with us! I remember being a priest and being invited by the elders to go teach with them, but I let other excuses get in the way. I wish I would've done it more!
I'm so excited for general conference coming up next weekend! I can't believe it's almost been 6 months since the last one. Elder Holland gives a wonderful promise about listening to conference. In April 2011 he promised us "If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you." I'm excited to receive some personal revelation as I listen to the leaders of the church address us. I'm grateful to know that all of us can receive guidance and direction concerning life's challenges as we listen intently to general conference.
I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission