Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 He Will Pay the Rest

At  our ward mission leaders house,
with his son Sterling.  Brother Williams
is the best.  He's from England and is
one of my favorite ward mission leaders.

Hey everyone! We had some exciting things happen this past week. We only have one more week left in the transfer, so we'll find out on Saturday if Elder Ostendorf and I will be doing another transfer together. Also happening this Saturday- our investigator Kristina is getting baptized! At our Ward Mission leaders house, with his son Sterling. Brother Williams is the best, he's from England and is one of my favorite ward mission leaders.
She is Vietnamese, but was raised in the US. She has been coming to church since September, and finally decided to make the choice to be baptized. She lives next to a few different member families and comes with them to church. She hadn't been progressing in her testimony, or towards being baptized, so she stopped meeting with missionaries in January. But the ward members continued to fellowship her and she kept coming to church. Without any push by us, she approached us while we were walking through her neighborhood and told us she's ready, and that she knows she needs to do it. We couldn't believe it in that moment, but it's happening! This past week we had a couple lessons with her, reviewing everything she's learned over the past 8 months, and taught a couple new things. She also had her baptismal interview last week and is all set to be baptized this Saturday! Certain things were said that changed her perspective, and she felt the spirit confirm to her that she needs to just do it! We set a goal at the beginning of the transfer to have at least one baptism this transfer, with no idea who that one would be. We had no idea Kristina would all of the sudden make this decision, but we are so proud of her! She's been on the fence for a while, so we and the members in the Tysons ward are super excited for her! There's been a big change in just the past couple of weeks with her, it's incredible! We had interviews with President Huntsman this week. It's always nice to sit down and talk with him for a few minutes. I'm so grateful for President and Sister Huntsman and all that they do for us. We had an exciting lesson with Swati last night. We just read through some verses in Alma 32 and talked a lot about faith and things we can do to "nourish the seed" to help our faith grow. She finally committed to coming to church and said she'll be able to start coming in May, so hopefully she keeps her word. It's been fun teaching someone from India, I've met a lot of people from India throughout my mission, but haven't been able to teach many consistently until meeting Swati. She's super open minded and curious to learn. She reads anything we assign her to read, and her next step is church. She knows she needs to do it, but just hasn't made the effort yet, but it'll happen! Towards the end of the lesson we heard a few sirens from outside from fire trucks that drove by her house on the highway, but didn't think much of it, we hear them all the time.

The house on fire outside of Swati's house.

After we said the closing prayer and walked out the front door of her house, we immediately saw her neighboring house, directly across the street was on fire! Tons of smoke coming out of the windows. There were multiple fire trucks, fire engines, and fire fighters there with hoses putting out the fire. Nobody was harmed, the house was vacant and nobody currently lived there, and it's a mystery how the fire started. We watched the action for a few minutes with her and the member that came with us to the lesson. I just thought it was funny how we were in the lesson with Swati, completely oblivious to her neighbors house up in flames. It was pretty exciting! (I probably wouldn't have said that if people actually lived there or if someone was harmed of course..) At church yesterday there was a man named Dennis, from Moscow Russia, that came with some members! He is their neighbor and his son is friends with their kids, and his son wanted to come to church, so they came! They immigrated about 5 years ago to the U.S. and his wife is from Ukraine. He was baptized as a Russian Orthodox many years ago, but told us he fell away from God for a while, and he then told us that he is "now starting to come back." He chose a good place to start that's for sure! He came to our gospel principles class and asked a lot of really good questions and is curious to learn more! We're excited about him and we're working with the members to schedule a time to meet with him. I want to share a few thoughts again from when Elder and Sister Rasband visited our mission Easter weekend. Sister Rasband gave an incredible talk about the Savior's atonement. She used a beautiful symbolic story to help us understand His sacrifice for us. I'll try and describe it, but there's no way I could deliver this message as powerfully as she did. The story was about an Elder in their mission, the New York, New York North Mission. This particular Elder dreamt his entire mission of getting his shoes shined from one of those nice stands in Manhattan, where you get to sit up on a nice comfy seat and someone shines your shoes for you. He thought it would be so cool to have his shoes shined. However, this missionary was never assigned to serve in Manhattan. When he was coming down towards the end of his mission, he was assigned to serve in the Bronx, another suburb in NYC. He was sad because he felt like there wasn't any nice shoe shining stands in the Bronx like there are in Manhattan. One day, however, while he and his companion were walking down the street, he heard from around the corner a voice shouting "shoe shine, shoe shine, anybody want a shoe shine?!" He was excited hearing these words, thinking this might be his chance, his opportunity to have his shoes shined like he always wanted! He approached the man and asked him "how much does it cost?" This humble man then responded, to the elders' surprise "as much as you are willing to pay." The man then knelt down, on his hands and knees on the dirty sidewalk and began the process of shining the missionaries shoes. He dipped his stained fingers into his small container of black polish and applied it to the shoes. He then looked down at the sleeve of his shirt, looking for a spot on the sleeve that was slightly cleaner than the rest, and used that spot to polish the shoes. Then to finish it off, he lifted up his sleeve and the elder saw his filthy arms, and the man looked for a spot on his forearm that was less stained up than the rest of his arm, and used that spot of his bare skin to finish off the shoes and make them look nice. As this man was doing all of this, the missionary's perspective changed. He now started to envision the Savior. He was reminded of the Savior, taking the stains--the sins, the hurt, the anguish, all of the mourning of all mankind, upon himself. He let it all dig deep into his pores so that we wouldn't have to. Jesus Christ atoned for each one of God's children, individually, giving us all the opportunity to 'walk away with our shoes shined.' The missionary then reached into his pocket and gave every cent he had to the poor old man, and then his companion did the same, and he walked away with his shoes now shined, and his appreciation and relationship for the Savior enhanced.The Lord calls out to us the same thing as this man did "Sole shine, sole shine, anybody want a sole shine?" We may ask the Lord, "how much does it cost?"To which he will respond "however much you want, I will pay the rest." All he asks of us is to try our best- to use the knowledge we have been given and act accordingly. He suffered for us all. 1st Nephi 19:9 says "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."   Because of His loving kindness, he will make up the rest. We should try all we can to faithfully follow Him, but we'll always fall short, but He's promised to "pay the rest!" His love and mercy is always there, we just have to invite Him into our lives. When we apply atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives, our appreciation for Him and what he did for us him will increase, and we will come to know Him better. I've seen that to be true. I thought this little story was a beautiful representation of the Saviors atonement!Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! Love you all! 
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

Brother Blake took us to lunch a couple weeks ago before he moved, he's awesome!

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017 Easter with the Rasband’s & Huntsman’s

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great Easter!

The highlight of our week was on Saturday night, a special night for the D.C. South Mission! On Saturday morning, one of our mission President's daughter's was married in the Washington D.C. temple. Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, along with President Huntsman's Mom and Dad, Jon Huntsman Sr., were all out here this weekend to be here for the wedding. Elder Rasband has been close friends with the Huntsman family for most of his adult life, and decided to do a fireside with our mission on the night before Easter. This time was different than the one in January. The one in January was missionaries from our mission and the D.C. North Mission. This fireside was just the D.C. south missionaries, but this time we were allowed to invite investigators, recent converts, and other members to attend. It was incredible! I don't think it's possible to describe in words how special this meeting was, but I'll try.

Elder Judkins and I with Michael after the fireside.The three of us all taught Michael leading up to his baptism in December. Elder Ostendorf taught him while in the Annandale Ward, then we taught him in the Lincolnia Ward.  Michael will be going to the temple in December  at the year mark from his baptism, right before I finish my mission!He's excited for it! I'll be the only missionary thattaught him who will still be here in Virginia at that time.

Michael Heaney, a recent convert I taught in Alexandria drove Elder Ostendorf and I to the fireside. Traffic was super light and we ended up getting there really early, so we had front row seats, just a few feet away from the pulpit where we were able to listen to some amazing talks. Jon Huntsman Sr. and his wife both spoke, then President and Sister Huntsman, then Sister Rasband, then Elder Rasband. They all spoke very highly of one another and it was cool to hear stories and experiences from their past they've had with one another throughout their lives. If you don't know the connection- Jon Huntsman Sr. gave Elder Rasband a job in his company when they first started many many years ago, when at the time Elder Rasband was a young Elders Quorum president. Then President Huntsman eventually worked under and alongside Elder Rasband for many years as well, up until Elder Rasband was called to serve full-time as a general authority in the church. Jon Huntsman Sr. served as Mission president over the D.C. Mission many years ago, when President Huntsman was a young teenager and now President Huntsman is serving as the mission president in the same mission, 35 or so years later, with young kids of his own. 

It was fun running into Jake and Kelli Seely from Warrenton,
 as well as Elder Judkins, at the fireside on Saturday. They got to
know Elder Judkins really well while he was serving
in a different ward that they used to live in.

What a great way to spend Easter weekend, listening to all of these servants of the Lord and great men and women of faith testify of Jesus Christ- His life and mission, His Atonement, and His resurrection. This meeting and all of the thoughts/impressions associated with it will be in my memory for a long time. Coming out of this meeting, I definitely felt an increased sense of desire, motivation, and commitment to continue working hard throughout my mission. After being here on my mission for some time now, I've caught myself in certain moments "just going through the motions" forgetting what an incredible opportunity this is to be here at this time of my life, with the sole purpose of helping people come unto Christ. Thankfully those moments haven't persisted. But the spirit leaving this meaning couldn't have been more timely! 

Anyways, I'll share some thoughts from the meeting in future emails, but in this one I'll just share briefly what Elder Rasband spoke about. He focused his talk on what he called "the greatest message of all history. The power of life over death in the resurrection." He referred to Job, who asked a simple question "if a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14). Not too long later in the scriptures, Job powerfully answers his own question "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26) Elder Rasband mentioned different people dear to him that have had untimely deaths, or people he knew with children that passed away at young ages, and to these people he will simply say- they're not dead, but their spirits live on, and will live on forever. You will see them again. He shared 2 Nephi 25:13, a verse of scripture written nearly 600 years before the event of the resurrection "Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name." It's such a great message of hope, knowing that the Savior still lives, and he still has 'healing in His wings' that we can access in our lives. Elder Rasband talked about the resurrection in a few other contexts as well, but as he finished up his talk he shared John 11:25- "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." 
After sharing this scripture he bore one of the most powerful testimonies of the Savior I've ever heard. This may not be exactly word for word, but these are a few words I wrote down from his concluding testimony, he said- "This weekend, we pay tribute to, we honor, and we magnify the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, 'the resurrection and the life.' As one of His servants, I bear you my witness tonight, that Jesus Christ lives! This is His true and living church on the face of the earth! Those are not my words, those are His words. He is at the head of it. He is "well pleased" with His church and he continues to guide and direct it. I know that His voice is no stranger to the leaders of this church."
Those last words were so powerful. I believe it. 
I'm so grateful to have been able to be part of that special day in our mission. What made it even better was seeing Katie, a convert from Centreville, sitting just a couple rows from us listening to the speakers intently the entire time, feeling the spirit. After the meeting she insisted on giving an Easter basket full of goodies to 9 different missionaries that taught her over the span of 8 months leading up to her baptism, Elder Shelley and I were the first ones she met. 

Aside from the fireside, we had a great rest of the week!

We found an awesome new investigator! Her name is Margaret, and she is a single mother of FIVE kids from Nairobi, Kenya (where the Church just recently announced a temple is going to be built). They are 13, 9 (two twin girls), 5, and 2- two boys and three girls.  The first time we taught her this week we just knocked on her door and had a good 20 minute discussion about the gospel, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. She was super willing to listen and seemed really interested in having us come back. The first time teaching her at the door I was amazed by how well behaved her children were. They were so respectful and quiet as we were talking with their mother. We came back a few days later and had a great lesson reviewing what we taught her the first time. She speaks English pretty well, but is still learning, so we have to teach really simply. One thing I've definitely been able to learn and see on my mission is the power of simplicity. People can often get so caught up in over-complicating things unnecessarily. There's so much power in teaching the simple truths of the gospel. I'm excited to start teaching this family! So far, we've only been able to teach Margaret, but we hope to start teaching her 13 year old son, and twin girls as well! She has strong faith in God and in Christ, but doesn't attend any specific church and is excited for us to come back! 

We had a good lesson with Tim a recent convert in the ward, and his wife Adelaide. She is from Brazil and was baptized when she was 18 and Tim just married her a little over a year ago. A few months after they got married, Tim got baptized, and now he is approaching the 1-year mark since his baptism. So we taught them a lesson about temple work, with an emphasis on the temple sealing. The spirit in that lesson was super strong as we testified of eternal marriage! They will start taking temple preparation lessons in the next couple weeks and they will hopefully be getting sealed to each other within the next couple of months. 

Surprise! We also put an investigator on date for baptism for just a couple weeks from now! Her name is Kristina. I haven't mentioned her before. She actually first started learning about the church in September of last year, but hadn't been progressing for a long time. So she hadn't been meeting with missionaries for the past few months because she wasn't progressing towards baptism. She was constantly reading anti-Mormon stuff online and had tons of concerns with joining the church, however she would continue to come to church and has made good friends in the ward. She approached us as we were walking through her neighborhood and said she wanted to schedule a time to meet and talk about baptism. So we met with her and our ward mission leader and discussed the requirements for baptism, how she can prepare for it, and what we need to do for her, and she's all in! It's a pretty crazy situation apparently considering her past experiences with the church over the last 8 months or so. She said she finally felt the spirit tell her that's what she needs to do, while listening to a member bear testimony at church about his conversion story despite opposition from his family. More details to come next week. Things may change, they may not, we'll see. Stay tuned. 

We did teach Swati again yesterday as well. Our lesson was mainly focused on prayer, faith, and repentance. We brought Brother and Sister Hillstead with us, a young couple in the ward. (My brother Zach was actually her teacher years ago when she was in the MTC preparing to go on her mission to Berlin, Germany!) They did a great job assisting us in teaching that lesson and connected really well with her. 

I'll close with a quote from Elder Nelson's talk about the Savior. 
He said, "Under the Father’s great eternal plan, it is the Savior who suffered. It is the Savior who broke the bands of death. It is the Savior who paid the price for our sins and transgressions and blots them out on condition of our repentance. It is the Savior who delivers us from physical and spiritual death.
There is no amorphous entity called “the Atonement” upon which we may call for succor, healing, forgiveness, or power. Jesus Christ is the source. Sacred terms such as Atonement and Resurrection describe what the Savior did, according to the Father’s plan, so that we may live with hope in this life and gain eternal life in the world to come. The Savior’s atoning sacrifice--the central act of all human history--is best understood and appreciated when we expressly and clearly connect it to Him."

I'm grateful for my Savior and this special weekend that we could more earnestly focus on Him. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

My second time on the mission going to Great Falls today. Last time was in August- today was a pretty nice day with Elders Leishman, Simpson, Ostendorf, Nielsen, and Chu.

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017 Don't Look Around, Look Up!

Hey everyone!

Yesterday was April 9th, and a year ago on that day Michelle was baptized in Centreville! I sent her a message asking her if she was able to watch general conference last week and she did. General conference last year was about a week before her baptism, so it's crazy to think it's already been a year since that point. She'll hopefully be preparing to go to the temple soon!

We had a good lesson with Swati this week. We taught her through the Plan of Salvation, with an emphasis on God being our Father in Heaven. Culturally she's been brought up Hindu, and different aspects of Christianity she's still trying to wrap her mind around, but she doesn't disagree with them. She actually drove to our church building last week on a weekday, but was sad when she got there and realized "it was closed." She thought it would just be open whenever she showed up, even though we told her our services are on Sunday. That shows some action and intent on her part that she actually put forth effort to drive there, but hopefully she can make it on Sunday.

We had a cool experience last week that reminded us of a conference talk from last weekend. We were about 20 minutes walking distance from our apartment and started heading back at the end of the night, and all of the sudden it started downpouring rain. We didn't expect it and we weren't dressed for rain. But realizing there was nothing we could do to avoid it, we kept on walking back. We were reminded of Elder Yoon Hwan Choi's talk, where he mentioned advice he would give to his missionaries in Seattle to "Go out in the rain, look up to heaven, open your mouth, and drink it! (Hahaha) When you look up, you will be strengthened to open your mouth to everyone without any fear." It's dark outside, in a rainstorm, so there obviously wasn't anyone to talk to on our way back, but God still managed to place someone in our path! A few minutes after the rain started to pour, a kind stranger in a car pulled over to the side of the road and offered to give us a ride. We were a little hesitant to accept it at first, but after realizing how kind he was we couldn't deny it. At this point we were already soaking wet, but we got in his car, and it only took a few minutes until we were to our apartment. His name was Elias, was about 20 years old or so, and he is an Eagle Scout that did scouts with an LDS troop a few years back! We found out that he had actually been taught a few times by missionaries in the past as well, but after he moved to Maryland he hasn't had much contact with the church. For some reason he was here in Falls Church, but was on his way back over to Maryland when he saw us. So we got his address and phone number that we gave to the missionaries that cover his area. He was open to meeting up with missionaries again to learn more about the church!

I really liked Elder Choi's talk where he encourages us to not look around at our circumstances, but rather to look up in faith. He said "It is never too late to look up to Jesus Christ. His arms are always open to you. There are generations before us and after us depending on us to follow Christ so that we can be an eternal family of God."
He then went on to say "It’s not always easy to look up when your parents are opposed to the gospel, when you are a member of a small Church unit, when your spouse is not a member, when you are still single although you did your best to marry, when a child has strayed, when you find yourself a single parent, when you are physically or emotionally challenged, when you are a victim in a disaster, and so on. Hold on to your faith in those hard times. Look up to Christ for strength, balance, and healing. Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, “all things shall work together for [your] good.”

We didn't complain when the rain came, but accepted the reality of the situation and did what was in our control, and God took care of the rest. I know that principle can apply in any circumstance of our lives. There's certain things we can and can't control in life, but if we faithfully focus on the things we can control (how we use our time, what we do for others, our obedience to the commandments, etc.) everything will ultimately work out for our good.

Another highlight from the week was going on an exchange with Elder Walker, a Spanish-speaking missionary this past week. We spent the day working in his area, and it was great! Elder Walker was actually in the CCM (Mexico MTC) at the same time as my sister and met her briefly while he was there. It was fun seeing how different a day in the Spanish program was. First off, Hispanic people are so extremely kind and much more willing to listen than the average people we talk to everyday. We had a couple different people we had never met immediately let us into their homes to have a brief 15-20 minute gospel discussion with them. Because they were all in Spanish, Elder Walker did the majority of the teaching and I just sat and listened, but I participated by reading scriptures or a few sentences out of the pamphlet. But at one point during one of the lessons, Elder Walker stopped and looked at me and smiled as if it were my turn to start speaking/teaching and I had know idea what to say so I looked down and read a couple sentences from the pamphlet and then tried testifying of the first couple principles that we teach people-that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that His gospel blesses families. It was pretty funny, and the guy from El Salvador that we were teaching didn't make any weird faces at me while I tried to speak Spanish (unsuccessfully), so that's a good thing I guess! Haha..

With Elder Walker at Claudias house.
She surprised us and fed us a nice meal!
Her husband hasn't really been interested in joining in
 on lessons when they go teach her,
but she's been enjoying learning from them.

The best part of our exchange though was getting to see Claudia again! She calls me Hermano Duvall, instead of Elder for some reason, but calls all the other missionaries elder, it's kind of funny. They had taught her a few days prior to us going and in our lesson we read out of the Book of Mormon with her and helped her to understand more about its background and its importance to our lives and to our testimonies. The lesson went pretty well and I sat there for a majority of it. But at the end of the lesson Elder Walker asked me if I wanted to add anything, and I told him to just tell her that her "Mom knows that this is true and she wants you to know it all as well. You can come to know its true by coming to church, and by reading the Book of Mormon, and praying to know if it's true." So he told her all that in Spanish. Such a simple and clear invitation! Her husband doesn't seem to be very interested or supportive, which is a bummer, but Claudia is excited to continue learning. Claudia had also prepared a meal for us as well which we weren't expecting when we arrived, so that was really nice too!

Springtime has been nice here. It's starting to warm up quite a bit and everything's starting to get green. Aside from the random rainstorms we've enjoyed the weather here recently.

Anyways, I love you all! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

There's a cemetery right across the street from our apartment and we found this really cool statue of the last supper! Perfect timing for Easter being this upcoming week!

With Elder Hansen and Elder Leishman on Pday after playing basketball.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017 Week 2 in Tysons

Hey everybody!

Had a good second week in Tysons Corner! Lots of walking and biking and talking to people. 

We have an investigator named Raymond who's been meeting with missionaries for a while, but has struggled quitting smoking and really wants to. So we've had a couple good lessons with him, reading scriptures and setting goals with him to decrease his smoking so that he can work towards quitting. 
We have another lesson with Swati tonight, one of our investigators from India that we hope goes well. She agreed to pray about choosing a date for baptism last week so we'll see how it goes! 

We also had Zone conference this past week. For the first time in 9 months I wasn't responsible of conducting the meeting or presenting any sort of training. It felt kind of weird, but at the same time it was nice to be able to sit back and receive instruction from President Huntsman and other leaders in the mission. 

Isha and her mother,
along with the two sister missionaries
that helped prepare her Mom for baptism!

Awesome miracle I heard about this last week. Isha Sesay (recent convert I taught back in Alexandria who was baptized in September) was finally able to have her mother make it to America from Sierra Leone. She moved here at the beginning of the year, in January, shorty after I got transferred out of the area. 

Sister Morin, Fatmata, and Sister Madumma
before her baptism

The sister missionaries in the ward were able to teach her mother and help her prepare for baptism! I received a couple pictures from her baptism day last week! It's amazing to see that Isha is been going strong in the gospel since her baptism, sharing it with her family and friends.  For the 6 months that I was teaching her, she was always talking about how she wanted her Mom to come here for two main reasons: one, she needs help from someone to watch her kids so she can go to work more, and two, so that she could share the gospel with her, allowing her Mom have the same blessings of the gospel in her life. Now it's happened! This news made me so happy to hear, and I'm sure Isha is extremely happy! I'll be excited for the day that I can see Isha and her kids again, and meet her mother! 

Elder Ostendorf and I watching the Saturday
afternoon session of conference with Benson,
a little boy in our ward.

I really enjoyed General Conference this weekend! I can't believe that this was already my 3rd General Conference as a missionary. We were able to watch each session of conference with different member families in the ward. Usually the past few talks I'm able to pinpoint one talk in particular that really sticks out to me, but this time I liked so many of them that it was hard to choose just one that hit home. So I'll just list off a few things that I really liked from conference. 
I liked how Elder Bednar described about the difference between the phrases "called to the work" and "assigned to labor" with regards to a mission call. I know that I've been assigned to labor here in the Washington D.C. South Mission, but I'm grateful to know that I "cannot go amiss" while about the work of the Lord. 
Elder Ballard talking about goals and how the simpler and more straightforward a goal is, the more powerful it can be.
Elder Gary B Sabin said something along the lines of "If you're only partially committed, you'll miss out on some of the choicest blessings that God has in store for you. . . When we are 'all-in' we can have the assurance that all things will work together for our good." I thought that was pretty powerful!
I really enjoyed Elder S. Mark Palmers talk! I actually met him about a year ago while serving in Centreville he came to a Stake conference. He even went to one of our investigator/recent converts home to give her a blessing. Two points he discussed stuck out to me. First, how no teaching or learning can be done in frustration or anger, but love needs to be present. Second, how when someone fails to live up to our expectations, we should never withdraw our love for them.
One of my favorite quotes from the weekend was from Elder Russel M Nelson. He said "True disciples of Christ are willing to stand up, speak up, and be different from the people of the world."
There's many other things I liked from conference, but those were just a few that I thought I'd put in here. Also, Elder Rasband is coming to our mission (again!) in a couple weeks! He's doing a fireside on Easter weekend, specifically for missionaries and their investigators, as well as recent converts and less active members. I'm excited to go to it! We'll get to hear from an apostle, and I'll be able to see different converts that I've taught over the past 15 months! 

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

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

This is Elder Bouck, he's super funny. I went on an exchange
with him last week. The mark on his chin was from a pretty
bad bike accident he got in. He's a good sport!