Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 17, 2017 Safety for the Soul!

July 17, 2017
Hey everyone!

Gotta stay hydrated in the summer!

I hope you are all doing well! I am having a blast here and am loving every day! It seems like each week just flies by! We are keeping busy and seeing some good things happen!

This is Joshua. We also taught him while on our exchange.
Joshua is a college student and is from Ghana.
He's really knowledgeable in the Bible, and at the beginning
of our lesson he just wanted to bash with us and argue,
but it was really cool how our discussion changed course and
by the end of it he was happy and smiling

We had four different exchanges this week with different sets of zone leaders in the mission. They all come to our area, so we have double the work going on each day, and two days to plan for in one area, so it's been a busy week! Four days in a row with a different missionary in our ward. I remember when I was a zone leader I always looking forward to coming here on an exchange in the past, so it's cool to see missionaries come to us and be super excited to go out and work in our area each day. It's been a full week of teaching and finding some incredible people.

We had another great lesson with Gifty this week. We read more out of the Book of Mormon with her, and emphasized how it is the key

One of my exchanges this week was with Elder Lucero.
 He's a great missionary! He is a Spanish speaking
elder, and is a zone leader in Woodbridge. This is us
with Eshetu (recent convert from Ethiopia) who came out with
us to help teach a few people. Eshetu is one of the happiest
 people I know, and he has such a firm testimony
of thegospel! It's cool to hear him bear his testimony
in lessons, because it is so simple but
so powerful at the same time.

to helping us gain a testimony of this gospel. After our lesson she explained how the more we teach her, the more everything feels like it could be true. She said she still has some doubts and concerns, but the more we help her learn and understand, those doubts keep being diminished. It's really cool to see her open up and begin to understand the truth!

We found and taught this lady named Gina. She told us how she had a good friend in Canada who joined the church a few years ago, and she noticed the miraculous changes in his life, and then she said she wants to see that same change take place in her life. It was a really neat experience teaching her about the Restoration of the gospel and seeing her embrace everything. Throughout the week we were able to teach a lot of lessons to a lot of different people, I wish I could have more time to share all of the experiences we have had this week.

We did had a few investigators make it to church on Sunday. One was a lady named Fatima, who showed up with her 5 year old daughter to church. We've only taught her a couple times and just met her a couple weeks ago, so we were excited that she made it to church! She's excited to come again!

In the middle of church we also had a guy named Shabaz just walk into the building. He is from Pakistan, and told us he met missionaries a few months ago, and that he hangs out at the park right across the street from the church all the time, which is right  by the Potomac river. And he just felt like walking into the church building today, because he sees it all the time. So it was pretty cool meeting him! He enjoyed the part of church that he stayed for. He's going to go to the singles ward in Crystal City next week.

Our other investigators at church were Christian and Stephanie. Their Mom is a less active member that was baptized years ago in Annandale, and then moved to this area but has never come to church here before. The missionaries before us had been working with this family for a while. Christian and Stephanie, the two kids, have come to church many times over he past few months, but their Mom has never come. Until this Sunday, it was the first time all 3 of them came together. Their Mom was nervous to come because of some past experiences, but she said she felt good after it all and was glad she came. It was a big step for her to come!

Driving to the mission home for Pday

This week is the last week of the transfer. Next Tuesday we will be getting 28 new missionaries in the mission and about the same number going home, so this mission will have a lot of turnover the next two transfers! The changes are exciting, but I'm going to miss a lot of the missionaries going home this transfer that I've been able to serve with throughout my mission. Elder Ure and I will most likely be staying together another transfer, which we are excited about!

I wanted to close by sharing a portion of Elder Hollands talk "Safety for the Soul", given in 2009, about the Book of Mormon. It's a treat talk and he bears a powerful testimony. If you have a chance, you should all go and listen to it again. He said:
"I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work--and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times--until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages--especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers--if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. “They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.”

I am grateful for the Book of Mormon, and the knowledge and truth that we can learn from its pages and apply into our lives. It truly is the evidence of the truthfulness of this gospel!

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

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

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