Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 3, 2017 Happy 4th!

Hey everyone!

This last week just flew on by. I can't believe it is already July! About a year ago I was transferred from my first area, Centreville, to Alexandria.

Elder Judkins and I with Desmond at his baptism!
What a great day! Elder Judkins goes home in 3 
weeks which is hard to believe.
One of the first people that Elder Judkins and I taught together was Desmond Whitfield. We taught him many times over our six months together. This past Saturday I was able to drive back to my previous ward and attend his baptism! It was such a great experience seeing Desmond make that step! Elder Judkins performed the ordinance, which was pretty cool because he finishes his mission in just a few weeks. Elder Judkins and I were the first two of many missionaries that taught him over the past year. It was fun seeing so many familiar faces and members in that ward. Desmond took a moment to himself after coming up out of the water with his head down, praying and thanking God. It was a spiritual baptismal service. Michael Heaney and Chris Ricks, two other recent converts Elder Judkins and I worked with, each gave a talk at the baptism. It's cool to see them actively participating in the gospel, and embracing new members. Desmond bore his testimony at the baptism, thanking everyone, especially the missionaries who persisted teaching him over the past year. A year ago, when we first met Desmond I never would've thought he would've made it to this point. He was pretty connected to other churches and had a hard time truly understanding the message of the Restoration, but as time went on he slowly began to understand and gain a testimony of everything. I'm glad I was able to go back and be there for his baptism!

This is all of the missionaries that taught Desmond over the past
year. Me, Elders Snow, Judkins, Johnson, Baxter, and Jones.

Elder Judkins and I with Chris Ricks. He's such a
great guy! He's been a member of the church for
about 8 or 9 months or so now. It was fun seeing
him again!
We finished up this transfers Zone Conferences this week. We did the Centreville and Gainesville Cone Conference, and the Mt. vernon and McLean Zone Conference his week. I really enjoy doing trainings at those meetings and seeing all the missionaries throughout the mission. It's also cool to see how it just gets better as each conference goes by. We always train on one of the 8 fundamentals that are taught when a missionaries is being trained in there first couple months.

We had a great lesson with Robert this week. He's making good progress, always super engaged in our lessons. Reading the Book of Mormon in between our visits and asking great questions as we continue teaching him. He decided that he wants to set a goal to be baptized on his sons birthday which is in about a month from now. We've taught him multiple lessons, but he still hasn't made the step to come to church yet, so we're hoping this week he'll have the courage to come. We also found out he has a twin brother, and they're identical, so that was pretty neat.

Our mission set a goal this week to find 400 new investigators. Each night President Huntsman would come to our apartment and we would total up the numbers and film a video, which would announce how many we found that day, along with a goal of something specific for each companionship to do the next day to help make this happen. It was fun seeing the missionaries all work hard to accomplish this goal. We found a total of 419 people who were taught the first discussion and over 90% of those were invited to baptism. Elder Ure and I found 12 new people this week! We don't seem to have problems finding people to teach. Getting them to come to church is the more challenging part, so we hope to focus on helping all of these people have a desire to come and see what church is like in the coming weeks. The coolest part of this finding week was when President Huntsman showed up to our apartment to film one of the daily videos and gave us a referral for a cashier at the 7-11 across the street. He talked with him for a few minutes and found out that he used to meet with missionaries. So we went over there the next day and met him and he's pretty interested in meeting up with us. How cool is that?! Nothing's better than your mission president finding people for us to teach! We love President Huntsman!

Today's another Zone activity at the mission home, barbecuing and playing basketball and volleyball with a bunch of missionaries is always fun. I hope you all have a fun and safe 4th of July! Love you all!

Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission

Elder Smith and I after our exchange. He's from Arizona and
we both love In-N-Out. He insisted on taking this picture, and
for some reason gave me a Krispy Kreme hat to wear. Gotta
love In-N-Out! (This is the car I drive around)

Happy 4th of July, from your local missionaries.

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