Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017 HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Hey everyone!

First and foremost, Happy Father's Day to the best Dad in the world! I'm so grateful to have been raised by two incredible parents, and to have an amazing father. I love you tons Dadio! I am also grateful for my Grandpa Duvall, his example and for the legacy he left behind. And I am grateful for Papa Smith, for raising the most incredible mother in the world. I am grateful for all of the other father-figures I have had throughout my life. I have had so many great examples to look to!
I really like the following excerpt from the Teachings of the Presidents, Ezra Taft Benson manual. It says"Fathers, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released. Callings in the Church, as important as they are, by their very nature are only for a period of time, and then an appropriate release takes place. But a father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity.
Our pattern, or model, for fatherhood is our Heavenly Father."
There is no better calling than that of a Father! We can hold different callings and positions in the church, or in the world, but nothing is better than being a father. I am grateful for you Dad, for being a good example to me and showing your unconditional love to our whole family.

This was a super busy transfer week! I'm glad that it is over and we can finally catch our breath. We've been going nonstop this week with a lot going on in the mission and in our area. I'm amazed how much work we are able to accomplish in our proselyting area, while still attending numerous meetings and getting a bunch of other stuff accomplished involving the start of a new transfer.

 Elder Ure and I with President and Sister Huntsman
at the temple.

I got to attend the temple again with the departing missionaries. It was great to be there with them and President and Sister Huntsman! Sleeping at the mission home later that night, and then waking up at 3am to take them to the airport takes its toll though. It's weird to have a night that throws off our daily sleep schedule we follow every single day.

My first week with Elder Ure has been great! I feel so blessed to have had awesome companions throughout my mission.

Our most progressing investigator that we have right now is probably Robert. I haven't written in any of my emails about him yet. We met him just about 2 weeks ago, but have already taught him four times or so. He is 57 years old and is a former marine. We met him checking on his brother who we met outside on the streets a few days earlier. His brother wasn't home when we knocked on his door, but he invited us right on inside after meeting him. He then began telling us a little bit about himself and his life. He explained how after he left the military he was a truck driver for many years, and how he drove through and stopped in Salt Lake City multiple times. While there, he said he was amazed with how kind and friendly people were to him. In our lessons with him he has said numerous times something like "there's just something different about you guys, you all have a light to you that I don't see much in other people" and has also said "that's something I want." He has really enjoyed and understood everything we taught him. He is such a humble man. He constantly says "I don't know everything, but I know that this is all good. It feels right, and that's enough for me to build upon." I love his perspective on learning about the gospel. We just need to take things one step at a time, little by little. None of us are ever going to truly understand and comprehend everything there is to know, but we can always continue to learn and progress in the gospel and in life. He's the best! He reads everything we leave with him, and then writes down questions and comments to discuss each time we come back. He grew up Baptist, but is super open to everything we have taught him. We had one lesson with a member, Brother Vance, who is a convert that was also raised Southern Baptist. It was cool to see how much they had in common. Robert remembers feeling good when he used to have religion in his life, but has been far from it for many years. He told us that the day when we knocked on his door, he had been feeling like he needed to "get back in touch with the Lord," and that it was no coincidence we met him that day. I'm excited to continue teaching him.

At the airport at 4 in the morning with
13 departing missionaries who I will miss!

Every week we have experiences where I feel like we were just put in the right place at the right time. For example, in the Aldi parking lot, we bumped into this guy Jacob from Ghana, who we've been trying to schedule a time to teach him, but haven't seen him for about a month. I didn't even see him at first, but as we were getting in our car he was sitting in his car parked right next to us and was smiling at us and then we realized it was him, so we were able to schedule a time to go and see him. Things that like seem to happen all the time. I love seeing the Lord guide us to certain places so we can run into people like that.

Elder Leishman and Elder Hansen. These are two of my good friends here in the mission. It was sad saying bye to Elder Leishman last week, but I'll see him back at BYU.

One of my favorite pages in Preach My Gospel is the First Presidency message at the beginning. Part of it says"We challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work. Every missionary has an important role in helping “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children."

I love what it says about happiness. In chapter 6 of a Preach My Gospel, it talks all about different Christlike attributes. This transfer, our mission is focusing on the Christlike attribute of joy and happiness. Joy and happiness actually isn't one of the Christlike attributes listed in PMG, but I think it definitely qualifies as one. Christ is the greatest source of joy and happiness and he exemplified it throughout his life.

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

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

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