This was a busy week starting off the new transfer! It was sad saying bye to about 30 missionaries that I've served with over the course of my mission. But it was fun welcoming a ton of new missionaries to the mission field as well!
My longtime companion, Elder Judkins!
Later that evening, it was fun being at the mission home with all of the departing missionaries for a testimony meeting. I enjoyed hearing from all of them! At the end of the night there were 5 different families that came to pick up their missionary, so it was fun seeing the joyful reunion that was for each of them and meeting some of their parents.
It's fun seeing the nervous excitement of the new missionaries, coming in, not fully knowing what to expect. And then seeing that in contrast with the departing missionaries, who go home with more confidence and with such strong testimonies.
On the way up to the temple with some
We have an investigator named Otelia who we have taught multiple times over the last few weeks who I haven't written about yet. She initially was a referral from some members of the ward. She has attended a couple of the self-reliance classes that the church does as part of that new program, which is how she initially got in contact with the church here. She is the best! Otelia absolutely loves reading the Book of Mormon and is learning a lot. She came to church for her first time yesterday and had a great experience!
5 A.M at the airport with the departing missionaries
Christian and Stephanie will hopefully be having their baptismal interviews this week and their baptism next weekend, so we're looking forward to that as well. It's been fun encouraging their family to pray together every day and to spend just a couple minutes daily in the scriptures. Prayer and scripture study are two of the most simple commandments, but the changes they bring into our lives are incredible.
I'll be going back out to Warrenton this week for the baptism of Lawrence!! He was the 11-year old kid that Elder Jones and I taught for a while when we were in that ward. I'm super excited for him, and excited to see some familiar faces out there!
This is when we picked up Elder DeSchepper and
I was reminded of a great talk this week titled "You are My Hands" given in April 2010 by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I would like to share a brief portion from the beginning of his talk. He says:
"A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was--a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: “You are my hands.”
Went to lunch with my good friend Kerry Harding
When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.
That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart."
I love the symbolism of the townspeople deciding to not sculpt on new hands to the statue after it was damaged. Just because we probably will not physically see the hands of Jesus Christ while in this life, does not mean that He is not there. His hands are in the details of our lives, each and every day. And more often than not, we can feel the loving embrace of His hands through the hands of those around us. And we can be His hands to others, as we reach out in love and service towards those around us!
I love you all! I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Jeremy Duvall
Washington DC South Mission