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!

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