It's been a crazy week! Due to other things that go on throughout the transfer, this week was our week where we needed to do 4 exchanges with different sets of zone leaders in the mission (Gainesville, McLean, Oakton, and Mt Vernon), all back to back. So for four days I was hardly with my companion, Elder Yang. It was really interesting being with a different missionary each of those four days, but we had a great week in our area! I was able to learn a lot from each of the sets of zone leaders, and I hope they were each able to at least learn one thing from me.
While on one exchange, with Elder Harding, we taught a man named David. David Galindo is from El Salvador, but has lived here most his life, and has a couple little kids. We found him my found first day here (a month ago!). We've been teaching him about once or twice a week since I've been here. He hasn't had much religious foundation in his life, so we've taught him really simply and focused a lot on the fundamental basics of the gospel. He is slowly progressing, but has been making some good changes in his life. He's never really prayed much in his life, but is now starting to pray regularly and he can feel the difference it makes. Im grateful to know that no matter how rapid or how slow our progress is, the Lord is pleased with our effort as long as we are headed in the right direction. Whenever we meet people from El Salvador, I jokingly say "Me gusta papusas!" David speaks perfect English, but his mother only speaks Spanish. I said this phrase to her a couple weeks ago, and in one of our lessons with him this week, all of the sudden she walks out of the kitchen with a plate full of fresh, homemade papusas! They were delicious. She's such a kind lady!
This kid Presley drew a sweet picture of a me!
This only took him about 5 minutes to draw.
Another person we are teaching is someone named Tenisha Davall. Not Duvall, but Davall. So close to the same last name! She's pretty cool, she got a cousin who's a member of the church and is interested in learning more. We've only taught her twice so far, but she seems pretty solid.
We also teach a man named Rob. He's about 50 and suffered a stroke and other health struggles years ago causing the right half of his body to become partially paralyzed. Over the past years he has regained much of his strength and mobility, which is cool to see. He is still confined to a wheelchair but is able to move most of his body. We've taught him a few times as well, and it's so humbling to see how strong his faith is in God. He's got such a great outlook on everything we taught and really enjoys learning, and is excited to come see what church is like.
We have a long list of investigators and people we are teaching, and we keep finding a lot of new people every week. We want to focus on helping them all attend church so that they can begin to progress further and enjoy the blessings of worshipping with us. I always tell people they can sit and talk to us all they want, but they will never truly be able to experience it all in action unless they "come and see" what it's like! (John 1:39).
I gave a talk at church yesterday about the importance daily scripture study and about remembering our baptismal covenants, and how those two things give us spiritual power. I was asked the day before to replace the youth speaker and prepare a brief 5-minute talk, but then on Sunday morning they told me one of the other speakers had to cancel, so I had to quickly put together a longer 15 minute talk. I think it turned out well though! I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to speak.
One thing I shared about scripture study was what Preach My Gospel states about it. It says that "We show our faith by studying, believing, and obeying God’s revealed word. We diligently search the scriptures to understand the truth. We feast upon them because they open the door to revelation and show us what we need to do and become. We search the scriptures to learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from God and comes through studying and living His word and His gospel."
I talked about how studying the scriptures on a consistent basis shows our humility- the fact that we set apart time to search the scriptures sends God a sign that we love and appreciate him, and that we want to learn. As we humbly search the scriptures we will be in a better position to receive revelation from God. That revelation may come directly through the words we read, or it will come through the thoughts, impressions, and feelings we get as we read.
This morning we had a Memorial Day breakfast in the ward. Our chapel is located just a mile or two down the street from George Washington’s Mt Vernon estate, right along the Potomac River. It was a beautiful morning to celebrate Memorial Day!
I love you all and hope you have an amazing week and great Memorial Day!
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission