Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017- Romans 5:19

Hey everyone!

We had two more Zone Conferences this week- one for the Annandale and Woodbridge zones, and another for the Centreville and Gainesville zones. They seemed to get better each time, even though we taught the same things at each conference. I love seeing all of the missionaries throughout the mission, hearing their experiences and learning from them.

Aside from the Zone Conferences, we've been busy teaching many, many people. We've taught so many lessons in the past three weeks, it's awesome! We are going to try and focus on helping our investigators attend church, because we've been able to find and teach a ton of people. But we'd like to have more of them attend church and enjoy the blessings of worshipping with us on the sabbath day. I wish I could have time to talk about everyone were teaching, because we have some pretty great people! I still write in my journal every day, so I don't feel that bad not writing home about everyone.

Lasts week I mentioned one of our investigators named Isha. So it turns out her name is actually Isatu, but she sometimes goes by Isha because she says it's easier to say. We went to a lesson at her house this week and when we got there she was packing up tons of clothes in huge boxes to ship to Africa. The people we meet from Sierra Leone and Ghana here all work so hard to provide for themselves. They don't have much, yet they're willing to collect so much and send a lot of what they do have back home to their extended families and friends who are in need. She told us they need all this much more than we do. Isatu is a great example of pure charity. So we helped her box up some clothes to clear some space in the tiny apartment so we could all sit down and have another lesson. She understands the gospel so well, it's great! She'll be leaving in a week to go back to Africa for a month, so we will miss her while she's gone, but she's excited to come back and start coming to church.

We had two, back-to-back exchanges this week with two different sets of Zone Leaders. That means I wasn't really with my companion for two days in a row. This week we have exchanges with four sets of zone leaders, all back-to-back, which means I'll pretty much have a different companion four days in a row, but we will still be in our ward each day and have them come to our area. With our schedule throughout the transfer, it's necessary to do a lot this week, or we wouldn't be able to do them all. It'll be pretty crazy and busy, but I'm excited!

This is Logan, Elder Valdez, and I
with the Boachewaa family. Amma, and 5 out of her 6 kids

I love all of the zone leaders. Many of them I've gotten to know quite a bit since I've been here. It's fun to learn from each other as we spend a day together. For one of the exchanges we did his week, I was with Elder Valdez and we had a really cool experience! We had a priest (Logan) come out with us to visit and teach a few different people. He was supposed to meet us in this certain apartment complex, but we got there a few minutes before him, so I decided to stop by a potential investigator we met last week, named Amma. She's from Ghana, and other than that, I didn't know anything about her. But we knocked on the door and she invited us right in. She then began to gather all SIX of her kids together to sit come sit down and listen to our message. It was one of the best first lessons I've ever taught. We had the undivided attention of 7 people! (Her husband was around the corner, pretending not to listen, but we know he was.) Her kids are Isaac (25), Derek (20), Grace (19), Jesse (12), Derek Jr. (11) and another little one that wasn't really engaged in the lesson. I was impressed how on a Friday night, all of her kids (a few of which are young adults) were all willing to sit down and meet with us for about 45 minutes! They all asked great questions and were curious to learn more! I hope that we can continue teaching them!

I got an email this week with the coolest news!! Amy Koroma, who we taught and was baptized last year in February, a little over a month into my mission, is going to the temple in a couple weeks for her endowment! I sent a message to her a while back, around her year mark, encouraging her to start taking temple-preparation classes. And she reached out this week telling me the news, inviting me to attend! I love her family so much! I am so glad that she has stayed strong in the gospel over the past year and a half! Her son Omar (I miss that kid!) will also be getting baptized in October when he turns 8. I'm so glad I've been able to see the process of this family learning about, accepting, and embracing the gospel! I know that generations will be affected from this family.

President Huntsman shared a scripture about obedience with us last week that I really liked. It is Romans 5:19 which says "For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
This shows that our decisions today have eternal consequences. If we choose to be obedient, and strive to faithfully live the gospel, our future families and generations after will be affected by our influence and example. "Many will be made righteous" and enjoy the tremendous blessings that the gospel brings. On the flip side, if we choose to be disobedient and not follow Christ's teachings, generations after us will lack the blessings that they could have had, if we were obedient and faithful. Sure, they might still have decent lives, but they will miss out on so many blessings. This scripture gives me more motivation to make sure I strive to live a righteous life. There are generations of people, so many that we can't even comprehend, of which our obedience can impact.
I'm grateful for my Moms decision to join the church, 34 years ago today! Her obedience and that decision has impacted many.

I love you all so much! I pray for you, and I also feel the influence of your prayers on my behalf!  I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

All of this trash (including the shopping carts)
was pulled out of a small river in this neighborhood
that we go to all the time. We thought it was ridiculous
how much trash was in there every time we walked by.
This is Jason, he just turned 19 and comes out with us
every week teaching people!
He'll be getting his mission call within the next few weeks!

A picture of some yolaf rice,
a popular dish in West Africa,
especially Sierra Leone and Ghana.

I see these pretty much every day, a few different kinds of them.
It's a constant reminder of Temecula! My dad is the CFO for Channell Commercial, the company that makes these.

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