|Rachel, Steve, and Blake Sippert. Their basement |
is hands down the best place to live as a missionary.
I'm going to miss them! Blake felt like a little brother to us.
After being in a car for the past 9 months, it did feel nice to be out biking and walking around a bit more this week. Elder Ostendorf is great! He is really good at connecting and communicating with people. We've enjoyed this past week! We've knocked on a lot of doors and talked to a lot of different people. Warrenton wasn't very diverse, but being back in a city there's a lot of diversity again! In our area there's specifically a lot of people from India. We actually have a couple investigators we are teaching that are from India. They're super nice! In our apartment complex there's a ton Indians, it's kinda cool! It does constantly smell like Indian curry though and I still can't decide whether I like the persistent smell or not...
Anyways, this week we had some great experiences! We've been able to teach a few different people. One of our investigators is named Swati. She's from India, and has been to the D.C. Temple Visitor's Center and gone to church with and LDS friend in Maryland. She grew up with Hindu beliefs, but has had a lot of Christian influence over the last 10 years. She hasn't been to our ward yet, but has been taught a couple times and hopefully we can help her progress in the gospel.
We were knocking doors on a street and realized and older member lived there so we knocked to try and meet her and nobody answered. As we were leaving her driveway we heard the door open so we rushed back to her and started talking. She is hardly able to walk and make it to the door, but she had a feeling it was missionaries after we knocked a second time, so she mustered up the strength to come open the door. She has a disease that doesn't allow her to leave her house much, and the simple fact that we stopped by to say hi and talk for no more than 10 minutes made her day! It's fun seeing people brighten up from just a brief conversation with us.
This is Claudia, the referral from Elder Crisp in Bolivia,
We were on splits the next day, and I was with Kirk,
This is Elder Ben Crisp who is serving his mission in Bolivia with the recent convert (the mother of Claudia).
I realized something interesting this week while studying in Alma. In Alma chapter 8, verses 3-6, Alma talks about his success in preaching the gospel in the land of Melek. "Alma departed into the land of Melek...he began to teach the people in the land...people came to him...and they were baptized throughout all the land." I'm sure Alma had some miraculous, joyful experiences as he preached the gospel to the people in that city. People were receptive to the gospel and they received the blessings that came to it through baptism. Alma must've been so happy! I find it interesting that there isn't more recorded about his amazing experiences there, but instead there are only 3 verses about it. Then, contrast this to the many verses and chapters following that are recorded about Alma's experiences in Ammonihah. This city was quite different from Melek. In this city "Satan had gotten great hold upon the hearts of the people" and "Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer..." to soften the hearts of the wicked people. People rejected him, mocked him, spit upon him, and they weren't receptive. Though Alma struggled in the land of Ammonihah, there is SO much more written about his experiences preaching the gospel there, and the lessons he learned from it. I learn from this that there is so much to be learned through adversity. It's really enjoyable to be having a ton of success, like Alma did in Melek, but often times we will learn lessons through adversity that we wouldn't have been able to learn when everything was smooth sailing. I've definitely seen that to be true on my mission. I've been in areas where we've had so much success and everything was incredible! But there have also been times that were more difficult. But in the difficult times I've been able to learn lessons I couldn't have otherwise learned. I'm looking forward to this upcoming transfer in Tysons. I hope we can work hard to accomplish the will of the Lord in this area!
I love you all and hope you have a great week! I'm excited for general conference this weekend and know that it will be a good experience for all of us.
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission
|Jake and Kelli Seely, and their new baby Maggie. |
They had us over almost every week, I'll miss them as well!
|Trying to get Maggie to smile, not much luck.|
I thought this doormat was pretty funny, especially