Monday, December 30, 2013

Look mom I got in a pool with my companion!!!! We did service for somebody and this nasty pool was in their back yard (:

Got some sweet gifts and loving the spirit of Christmas!

me and all my presents
Hello (: 

I hope you had a most wonderful Christmas! It was soooooooo good to talk to you and the rest of the family! This Christmas really was a great one! I really got into the spirit of giving rather than recieving. I gave one thing away, and it made me feel good, and so I gave something else away, and it made me feel even better, so I just started giving things away that I didn't really need to some people who would enjoy it more (: It really is so amazing how good serving others made/makes me feel! I don't know what it is, but I LOVE doing yard work! I love doing service for others (: It makes me so happy! hopefully that attitude will stay with me when I come home in a little over a year ;) hahahah. but yeah, we got taken care of reeeeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyyyy well by the ward. We are so blessed by them! 

Thank you so much for the money (: it really means so much to me! and thank you to Grandma and Grandpa C for the money as well! I love you! (: 

So this week was good! We were able to talk to Jack. We talked to him about baptism and what his thoughts were on it. He told us that he doesn't want to be baptized anymore... It made us really sad to hear, but I really think he is just going through a phase that will pass hopefully sooner rather than later. I think he wants to go try "the world" before he gets baptized and we are going to talk to him about that. Any thoughts or ideas on how we can help him?? 

Alana came to church this Sunday, and we were able to visit with them this past Friday. She went to a baptism the Spanish branch had and she said she really enjoyed it. We are really trying to work with her to get her progressing towards baptism. She really is so great, and I can see the light of Christ in her! She wants to do what is right, we just need to get on the same page with her. 

We have decided to read the Book of Mormon with Ian. He hasn't ever kept that commitment, so we decided to read with him, and it was really good! He had a lot of questions that we were able to answer, and we think he understood it for the most part. That is what we plan on doing with him everytime we visit him now. Hopefully he will feel the spirit from it and feel motivation from it to read on his own! 

We talked with Kim yesterday. She is going through some really hard times..... Like really, it hurt my heart to hear about her trials and to see how humble she is. We talked to her and she mentioned that she was planning on her boyfriend taking the lessons, but they have had the flu the past couple days so she is waiting for that to pass. She is still planning on coming back to church and we were overjoyed to hear that! I can't remember where I heard it, I think it's a scripture? But it talks about how when one soul repenteth, there are many angels in the heavens that rejoice, and that is how I felt! I love seeing people change their lives for the better (: 

I went on exchanges with Elder Hortin this week. He is a really good Elder! He is from Walsburg, UT, which is up Provo Canyon on the way to Heber. He knows his area really well, and we were able to have a really cool experience with a lady named Nanette! She is going through some hard times in her life, and we planned her for a certain time of the day, and we were able to make it to her home right at that time, and she said right at the moment we knocked on her door, she was really over stressed and needed somebody to talk to. It was a really cool experience! We were able to share scriptures to comfort her. It was a really good day (: 

I hope everything is going well at home! I'll be really looking forward to hearing from you next week! You are in my thoughts and prayers always (: I love and miss you so much! Talk to you soon!

Elder Teeples (:
Attached, a picture of me and my comp (finally (: ) 

and remember the souls taht you put into my Doc Martins last year?? yeahhhh (: I walked through them pretty good. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Helloooo (: 

Well this week was good! I played my sweet rendition of Silent Night at our mission's Christmas devotional. It went good! Pres. Castro asked me to play it right in the middle of his talk! He told us all the story about how the song Silent Night came to be, and he built it up just perfectly! Then the song sounded good (: Except the mic for my guitar was far away from the guitar and couldn't get any closer.... but that's alright (: I had fun doing it! Then I played Away in a Manger on the piano for some other Elders while they sang it. It was great! 

So this week Elder Gray was still sick... He had/has pnemonia!!!!!  So he spent this week resting again. Our mission's general physician had him in the apartment most of the time, so we weren't able to get too much done this week either, but we did get some of the most important work done. Luckily I am still alive (: I haven't caught the Pnemonia yet! he has been sick for 13 days now! 

We had a lesson with Jack again this week. We had a lesson with him at the church right before he had an interview with the Bishop. We really think he is just feeling pressure from his family.. I went with Elder Kanenwisher (an Elder from the 2nd ward) to teach him, and the only thing we felt to do was to testify to him and bring the spirit it. We talked a little bit about repentance and how it is truly a gift from God. We aren't really sure what to do at this point, but we are praying for him a lot. 

We saw Ian as well. Elder Hortin (the other 2nd ward Elder) came with me to that and we had a really good discussion on faith. He said that he understood that faith would help him with his trials right now, if he had it, but he wanted to know what the religious importance of faith was. So we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and explained to him that faith was that first stepping stone that eventually leads to our salvation into God's Kingdom. So it was a really good discussion. and apparently during our lesson I sat on "the cat's chair" (the chair his shedding cat sleeps on) and my behind was COVERED in cat hair. So he saw it all over me as we were walking out the door, and he was like "whoa hold on!" (he has a british/english accent) and he grabs a lint roller, hands it to Elder Hortin, and says "you rub his bum, cause I'm not going to" hahahahahha! I got a crack out of that (: So Instead, I just rubbed my own bum. 

We wern't able to have a lesson with Alana this week, but we are hoping to meet with her and her family this week! 
We have been getting SHOWERED with gifts from this ward! So far, I have recieved 3 ties, 40 dollars in gift cards, and LOTS of candy! Plus all the left overs we get from our dinners...... I love the blessings that come from being a missionary (: sometimes I just want to pass it on to somebody who truly needs it though! (My belly doesn't need to get bigger from all this candy (: ) but it truly is a blessing to be serving in a wonderful area where most people treat us good.  We had an awesome experience this week. Elder Gray was sick of the apartment, so he said he wanted to go to Subway fro lunch, cause they have a special going on right now with $2 6" subs. So we decided to go with the 2nd ward Elders and we had all of our sandwiches made, and right as were about to pay, the lady that just got done paying for her meal hands us a gift card and says "I hope this covers your meal" and walks away.... what?! So we said thank you, and all together our meal ended up being like $8.60, and there was still $11.40 on the card! She paid for a $20 gift card right in front of us to pay for our meal! It was so nice of her (: So we had our sandwiches and it was great. Later that night, we asked the 2nd ward Elders if they wanted to go to Subway again to get dinner. So we decided to go again. and once again! As our sandwiches were all made, the person paying in front of us told the cashier that he was covering our meal. We found out he was a member, and he bought us chips and a drink as well. Then he pulled out a $20 bill and handed it to us and said, now I want you to go to the dollar store and buy you some candy bars. WHAT?! We told him that we weren't aloud to accept money, so he was like "Alright, then I'm going with you then!" So we walked over to the Dollar store and we each grabbed 1 candy bar, and he was like, "so you like these peanut butter twix's?" and we were like, "sure..." and he grabbed the rest of the box and dumped it in the cart! and he started grabbing a bunch of other candies and threw them in.... it was the full $20 of candy bars.... The blessings of being a missionary are great (: We are taken care of so well! 

I am very excited for this Christmas! we have plans to go caroling and I'm stoked (: My companion is gonna call home around noon, so I'm going to call either before or after that. I can definitely try to talk to Bradon on the phone (: that would be great! I haven't talked to him for over 2 years! Crazy! But yes, I got the package (: thank you so much! The presents are sitting under our California Christmas tree (in the picture) Thank you so much (: If you get a chance, watch the most recent mormon message. It is a really good one (: Thank you so much! you are in my thoughts and prayers daily! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I love you so much (: I sent letters today! Hope you get them soon! Talk to you later (: 

Elder Teeples (: 

Monday, December 16, 2013

His grace IS sufficient!

Hello (:

Well this week Elder Gray was sick... so not too much happened this week. Elder Gray is still sick and he called Dr. Skanky (our mission's physician) and he said he should be resting for another 2 or 3 days. I'm really hoping he gets better soon! The apartment can get rather boring at times (:  But!! I got lucky this week! I am allowed to have a guitar (: Cause I was asked to give a special musical number in our missions Christmas devotional this week, so I have been practicing for that! So being stuck in the apartment wasn't too miserable (: but this week did go by pretty slow... but that's alright! My knee is doing good. It feels a little bit better, but still shifts when I bend it. And there is more 'give' on one side of my knee when I squat down. So I have my docs appointment on wednesday, so I'll keep ya posted.

We were able to see Jack Genchi this week. The visit we had with him was a lot better than the one we had last week. He is still set for his date on the 4th of January. As far as we know he is reading and praying everyday! So that's good (: We are really praying for him! We really think he is just stressed right now. All his life he has been telling people that he is going to be baptized when he is 18, and now that he is 18, he is just now realizing that he has to make that decision. I think we just really need to help him realize that he wont really have to change that much from what he is doing now. He is living all the standards of the church just as good, if not better, than any other member. We have a dinner appointment with him and his family tomorrow, so I'll let you know how that goes!

I was able to go on splits with Elder Kanenwisher an elder from the 2nd ward, and we went and saw Tristan, one of our investigators. I guess Elder Gray and Elder Payne had been just stopping by [seeing] him and his girlfriend pretty casually, and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon that night. He said that he wasn't much of a reader, but he seemed like he would look into it.

Last night I was able to go on splits with Elder Hortin, the other Elder from the 2nd ward, and we went to see Alana Hartkop. We had a really good visit with her, and we started talking about baptism and if she has thought about being baptized. She started expressing her concern of having an active, member mother and a non-member father was hard for her, and then at that moment some family came in the door and the subject changed.. and we weren't able to discuss that again with her last night. ): but we are really working with her to get her towards getting baptized.

During this week I was able to study quite a bit, due to my companion being sick. I studied a lot about the grace of Jesus Christ, and how Jesus Christ doesn't make up the difference, but rather he makes up ALL the difference. It's so interesting to think of it that way. He has done us an nonreturnable favor, and in return all he asks us to do is to follow him and keep his commandments. We truly are so blessed in our lives to feel of that grace! A good Sunday tape to listen to is by Brad Wilcox - His Grace is Sufficient. Did I already suggest that one to you?? It is a reallllllyyyy good one!

So yeah... That's what happend this week (: I'll let you know how my docs appointment goes! thank you so much for all your love and prayers! They are definitely being felt (: I love and miss you! Talk to you soon!

Elder Teeples (:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holy Frostbite Batman!

Well, this week was crazy! It was great, but it was a change. I already love Simi Valley! The ward is great, and the area is good. I can already tell that I am going to love it here! There are a couple things in the district that I didn't feel like were in complete harmony with the mission rules... apparently a couple of the Elders have gym memberships to Gold's Gym??? I was kinda confused with that one... but yeah, we are working all those kinks out (: It was sooooo cold this week! It was down into the 30s! that probably sounds warm to you guys right now, but it is freezing here! And in this area, every other day we are on bikes... so my wee lil' fingers get a bit chilly sometimes (: ha. And yes, as you know my knee hurt a little bit. I haven't read what you said in your email, but basically I am waiting for the doctors opinion on it. I think no matter what I will just endure to the end of my mission if I do need surgery, but I guess we will find out. Yeah, this week we didn't have a cell phone... Elder Payne, Elder Gray's last companion, accidentally took it with him when he got transferred to Santa Maria, which is like 2 hours + away..... poo. I never realized how hard it is to do missionary work without a cell phone! I don't know how you did it dad ;) I got a lot of respect for ya! 

Oh! while I still remember, what would be a good time to call home this Christmas? I think we have a dinner scheduled, so around 5-7 would probably be the only time that wouldn't work. So just let me know what time works good for you guys (:

My new comp is Elder Gray. He is from 30 minutes south of Denver. We are getting along pretty well. He has been out for about 4 and 1/2 months and our distict is so tiny compared to my last one! and it's all ELDERS! Yessss!!! (no offense to women at all... (; ) sports are a lot more fun since we can just go all out. but I really have to take it easy with my knee. but It's awesome being around a bunch of Elders again! 

I was able to meet a couple of the investigators. I met Ian Minns. He has a pretty hard life... We usually just go over and share thoughts with him to uplift his spirits. His wife died not too long ago, and the government isn't being to fair towards him to say the least. He has a lot of really bad health issues, so we are really praying for him on that.  We do a lot of service for him to help him out. His backyard is like a massive service project! it's crazy, but it's fun. 

Our investigator with a date, Jack Genchi (jaynkee), expressed to us that he didn't want to be baptized on his date anymore. ): He told us that he feels nervous and we think he feels really pressured into doing it, since his family is relying on him so much to be baptized. In our lesson we basically just testified to him and tried to help him feel the spirit. He told us that he doesn't feel like he has a testimony of this church. We promised him that if he read and prayed about the Book of Mormon that he would soon come to find out that it was true. I shared my experience of how that "burning in the bosom" didn't come right off the bat, but I just had to be patient for it to come. He is still set with that date, and we are going to do our best to help strengthen his testimony by that date. Please keep him in your prayers that his testimony will be strengthened by his date of Jan. 4th! 

We taught the Hartkop family along with their friend Rainbow. The Hartkop family is awesome! Sis. Hartkop is a member, and the son Scott is a member, but Bro. Hartkop, and their daughters Sarah and Alana aren't baptized. We are really trying to help Alana! She graduated this year, and she basically lives all the standards of the church, and she actually has a calling in the nursery.... So we are just trying to help her get to the water (: But they are all so great! they love the missionaries. but It was a great lesson and we talked about the Plan of Salvation. It went really good! Rainbow was there as I said earlier. She's around 30 I think? But she looks super young, and she has a daughter named Heaven. Her ex husband is Paul Rodriguez a famous skate boarder, so that's pretty cool (: Haha it was a great lesson. 

I got to speak in church yesterday about missionary work briefly. It went really good, at least as far as I know (: ha. Before church the bishopric asked me to speak, and he said that the ward needed more excitement for missionary work, so I did the best I could to "pump them up" (: haha. But it was great! 

I think that's all that's happened this week... my mind is kinda going crazy right now! mondays are busy days (: haha! But thank you so much for all that you do! it really means a lot to me just how much love and support you give me. you are in my thoughts and prayers alll the time! I love and miss you (: Talk to ya in a couple weeks! 

Elder Teeples 
My new district.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My mission is flying by far too fast!


First off...... It is CRAZY how fast December got here!!! It doesn't feel like December, partly cause it's 60's-70's here (:
2nd...... I am being transferred ): ): I'm soooo sad! I seriously love this ward so much. I'm going to miss this place!! But I'm getting transferred to Simi Valley and I will remain a district leader. It's only like 20 minutes away from here... Elder Navarrete is getting transferred to near the top of the mission to Atascadero, and they are putting Sisters in this ward, which will leave this district here with 8 sisters and only TWO Edlers!!!! How does that sound dad??? Probably a whole different mission experience... there are sooo many sisters! So yeah, that is the update on that!
But I got the Letters and stamps last monday, so thank you so much for that (: or was that two weeks ago? I don't even remember... All the weeks/days blend into one big blur! it really is crazy how fast time goes by. 
So yeah, Thanksgiving was awesome! We went to a family's home named the Merril's. They are actually the ones who have family in Elk Ridge! So yeah we had fun there. We got stuffed! We got to share our talents with them so that was good. Elder Navarrete and I have got this thing going where I play the piano and he sings and we do that a lot for people. It's great! So yeah it went really well (: there was a lot of family in their home, but it wasn't anywhere near as crowded as our family would have been... so yeah (: Haha.
This week we had a really good lesson with our investigator Luz Flores. She is great! We taught her the Restoration and it was good. It was really scary though, because in between the lesson we had with her this past Tuesday and the lesson on the Thursday before that, we saw her talking to the Jehovah Witnesses ( a different religion that doesn't like the LDS church in these parts...) and we were scared that they were telling her negative things about our church... so we got to the lesson and she said they she didn't believe what they said and that she likes our church better (: yessss!!! and she read the Book of Mormon Intro page since our first visit, so that went really good.
We saw Adam, the 18 year old. He is doing really well! We really connect with him because he is a musician, and I got to play guitar with him a little bit so it was awesome (: He is planning on coming to church this next Sunday.
We taught Larry the 3 big "turn-off" commandments today..... but it went really well and he accepted to live all of them! (: We taught him the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, and tithing along with keeping the sabbath day holy. it was a really good lesson! we had to postpone his baptism for a few weeks, and we are sad that we won't be here, but that's okay (: the Lord definitely has a plan for all of this to work out perfectly whether we are here for him or not.
But yeah, This week was a good one (: I'm so glad to be on my mission. I really have learned so much! It is so great (: I love my mission. I love the people I serve. I'm sad that I am coming up on my one year mark soon! It is going by far too fast. But thank you for all that you do and all your love and support! I'll be praying for you and the rest of the family, as always (: Love you and miss you so much! Talk to you in less than a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Teeples (:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh how I love Zone Conferences!

Hello! Holy cow this transfer has gone by so fast.... we have transfers next week! It's nuts how fast the time flies by.

This week went really good! We had zone conference this past Friday (: Oh my gosh I LOVE zone conference! It's seriously one of my favorite meetings EVER! I learned sooooo much! It started at 9:30 am and got over at 7 pm. It didn't even seem that long! One of the main things that I got from it was trying even harder to be a good representative of Jesus Christ. Christ was the perfect example for us in all things, including being a representative, since He represented His Father while on earth. I want to become "a window to His love" and just let it shine right through me! I'm still a pretty dirty "window" but little by little I am cleaning it (: We also talked A LOT about D&C 4. I actually got to stand up and recite the whole thing in front of the conference! It was awesome (: The spirit was so strong. And I had a really cool experience at zone conference! So that night, we had a lesson with Larry Peluso and we had absolutely no idea what to teach him. I was really worryng about it, and during the afternoon part of zone conference I was praying thinking about what we could teach him to help him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3) came to my mind, and that felt pretty good, but I still wasn't sure. So I said a prayer and asked for some kind of confirmation that that is what we needed to teach him. Not even a minute later, President Castro was talking to the whole group about being an instrument in the Lord's hands, and he compared ME to being a sickle, or instrument, in the Lord's hand for the harvest of souls. And I felt the spirit so strongly at that point and I knew that Heavenly Father was listening to me brought my name to Pres. Castro's remembrance, in order to provide a little answer to my little prayer. It was such a testimony builder to me! And I said a little prayer right afterwards and thanked Heavenly Father.
Then our lesson with Bro. Peluso went sooooooo good! We met together in the Bishop's home, and we started off the lesson with the song "come thou fount of every blessing" I played the piano and Elder Navarrete sang. It was sooooo amazing! It set the tone for the rest of the lesson. We taught him and the lesson was so powerful as we talked about being cleansed from our sins through Christ's atonement, having faith in Him, repenting, being baptized, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a very powerful lesson. He is still set for next Saturday! So we are going to set up everything so that happens (: 
But yes, Steven Linford is Kolby's dad (: That's sooo cool!! I like Bro. Newman. He taught the mission prep. class on Tuesdays at the seminary building. He's a really good guy! That's so cool to hear about the new [Payson East Stake] presidency! 
Oh yeah, Elder Navarrete and I learned a song together, and we played it for the relief society this week in church. I sat down and tried to learn hymn 220 "Lord, I would follow thee" and I just couldn't do it... it wasn't working out. So I just started playing the song "my way" (I have my own little style type way of playing the piano...) and I made it sound more like an arrangement, and it totally worked! So I practiced and we learned it in like 30 minutes (: It is pretty amazing! It sounds way good! and Elder Navarrete is like a professional singer which makes it even better. So that was way fun (: Maybe I'll try to get an audio recording of it somehow...
We had a lesson with Jared this week. We read the Book of Enos with him and it went pretty good. I love every chance I get to testify of truth, and especially prayer! I have such a testimony of it (as with the experience above (: ).

But yeah, things are going good. Thanksgiving should be good. A couple families from the ward said we could go visit them so that will be good (: and the rest of the day... we're not sure, but we'll find something to do (: Thank you so much for all your love and support (: it really means so much to me. I couldn't be on a mission if it weren't for you and the rest of the family. You are my inspiration, and the drive that keeps me going. Express my love to the family for me! I love and miss you so much (: 

Elder Teeples! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Charity...the center of all gospel principles.

This week went pretty good. (:
Bro. Larry Peluso ended up not making it to church, unfortunately. ): But we did set up a time to meet with him this week on Wednesday. We are doing our best to help him be ready for the 30th. He is still set with that date, so that's good. 
We had a "hand off" lesson with Linda this week along with the Conejo Canyon Elders and a couple other members. We had the lesson at the church building. It was a really spiritual lesson, as we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We ended off the lesson by singing a hymn, and the spirit was so strong. She was very touched by the song. She still ended up coming to our sacrament meeting yesterday, because the Conejo Canyon ward's time is really inconvenient for her. If she comes to our meeting at 9 am she can stay for sacrament and Sunday school, but if she comes at 11 am she would only be able to stay for half of sacrament meeting, due to taking care of her son at home, and taking him places where he needs to be... poo. So we are trying to work that out with her. But she came to our gospel principles class and we had a good lesson on the Holy Ghost. We got there and we realized that our gospel principles teacher wasn't even there, so we jumped up and started teaching something (: It was great. The spirit was really strong.
We had a lesson with Jarred Sullivan this week as well. We read part of 2 Nephi 31 with him and we really focused on bearing our testimonies to him of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, etc. At the end of the lesson we invited him to live a 'Mormon lifestyle" (no coffee or smoking, coming to church, etc.) but he said he didn't know if he could do it and he didn't want to commit. We then told him that we didn't expect him to do it perfectly but to simply try. (that sounds too harsh... it didn't sound that harsh during the lesson! haha.) So we are going to follow up with him this week. 
We taught a potential investigator named Jack. It's amazing seeing others feel the spirit and having their hearts soften right in front of you! It was really cool, when we first started talking to him we asked him if he had read any of the Book of Mormon that past missionaries had left with him, and he said that he had read a little and he was really skeptical about it, but after bearing testimony to him and explaining about it a little bit more, he opened up to it more and said he'd read and pray about it. It's amazing what the spirit can do! 

Elder Navarrete is doing good. He is getting better each day, as I have mentioned before. The adjustment to missionary life is  slowly but surely settling in. He is turning out to be a very good teacher, and he takes control right away in a lot of teaching situations, so he is doing well. It's amazing to be witnessing his growth! He still doesn't smile too much, but we are working on that (: haha. 
We had exchanges with the Conejo Canyon Elders this week. I went with Elder Carratini and it was really great. His laugh is soooooooo funny! It makes me laugh so hard everytime I here it. He is from Nebraska and we had a good day. During our studies I had a really cool epiphany (for lack of a better term). Everything comes back to charity in some way, no matter what it is. Especially with Christlike attributes. If you have charity you will be patient. If you have charity, you will have hope. If you have charity, you will be diligent. If you have charity, you will be obedient. It's amazing! I don't know why I didn't realize that earlier... But yeah, although he is very near to the end of his mission, he is still working really hard, which is great. He is going home in 2 weeks. 
Oh yeah! We went to seminary this past Friday!! It was awesome (: it started at 6 am.... ugh. Tiring! but it was really good (: we talked mostly to the Freshman and it was really good. The teacher just had us bare testimony about how we came to know the Book of Mormon was true, and I explained how it was like a seed. You need three things for a seed to grow: Soil (a good church), Water (scriptures) and sunlight (prayer). you also need diligence and patience to help a seed grow. You need to diligently water the seed everyday and be patient for it's growth. I told the class that the first few times I read and prayed about the BoM I was frustrated because I didn't get that burning in the bosom. But through that diligence and patience, I eventually got that promised feeling and I now know without a doubt that this is the truth.
Thank you so much for all that you do for me!  I love and miss you so much! I hope to hear from you soon (: Thank you for all your love and support! It means more than the world to me! I love you and express my love to the rest of the family (: Talk to you next week! 

Elder Teeples 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Elder Navarrete is doing great. I saw a HUGE dog and I attended a meeting with the Area Authority. Awesome.

Hello!!  This week went really good (: It's funny that you mention Alma 53. In our mission, one of our "theme" scriptures is Alma 53:20. Our whole mission is like based around that! It's so cool (: But it is so true!  There are soooo many parallels between missionary work and the strippling warriors. It's great to think about (: Oh! and thank you so much for the money! and I got the package! thank you so much (:
So! Something cool happened this week end. The leadership in the bottom half of the mission got to go listen to Elder Garnes, the area Seventy for this area, talk on leadership yesterday. It was awesome! Unfortunately I don't have my notes... but he talked a lot about loving the missionaries we serve and that is the best thing we can do for them, because no matter how hard hearted and unloveable they are, they can change from feeling God's love come through somebody else. He also talked a lot about faith and how God really does prepare a way to keep His commandments. It was all so good! I wish I had time to write more! but it was an amazing experience (: 
That is so crazy how Jax is getting his learners permit soon! and Joseph will be 6!! Ahh.... crazy. I have a package to send home with their presents, but the post office is closed today... but I will try to send it ASAP!
Our follow up appointment with the Peluso's went really good. We set him with a baptismal date of November 30th!! Woo! And he came to church yesterday! It was awesome (:  He is doing well and we have an appointment with him this Friday at the Bishop's home. We are really looking forward to that.
We found out that Linda Hu doesn't live in our ward boundaries... She lives in the Conejo Canyon ward. We talked with our leaders, and we are going to have a "hand-off" lesson at the church this week with the Elders from that ward.. That will be tomorrow. We are sad that we won't get to teach her anymore because we have come to love her so much... but while pondering and praying about this situation, Isaiah 55:8-9 came to my mind. God's ways truly are higher than ours, and His thoughts than our thoughts, so I know she is supposed to be in the Conejo Canyon ward for a reason, we will be blessed for obeying the rules. Although I may not see why that ward will be better for her (because what seems like her perfect fellowship lives in our ward), the Lord knows, and I trust that He will put her in the right hands. 
We taught our investigator Tom this week! We finally got a hold of him! We just stopped him on the street, and we talked to him briefly about the priesthood. The spirit was very strong! There was one point in our conversation where I said that I had seen miracles come from priesthood blessings that I had given he said that he got a lot of cold chills when I said that. It was so cool for me to see the Holy Ghost testify to him right there that what we were saying was true! testimony builder (: we are hoping to see him again soon.
We watched the Restoration video with Jared this week. We also read 2 Nephi 2 with him. It went really good! He really is an honest seeker of truth. We had kneeling prayer with him after the movie, and he said that he didn't feel anything... We promised him that if he is diligent in his reading and praying that he will come to know through the power of the Holy Ghost taht what we are teaching him is true. 
We had a really good lesson with a potential named Diana. She knew what the Book of Mormon was about because she studied about it a little in college when she was young, and she accepted one and said she'd read and pray about it! Yes! We are excited to follow up with her. (:
We went on exchanges with our ZLs this week. It was really good! Elder Wallace and I drove way out in the boonies... like seriously we thought we might have gone out of the mission (he didn't know the area too well...) but we ended up in the place in a canyon called Malibou Lakes. It was awesome there! It was away from the city, and everybody we talked to there was nice. It had an awesome vibe to it, just kinda like a forrest-like feel to it. There was a dog there that was soooooo big... it's head came up to my chest.. it was nuts!  I wish I served there all the time! But for now, I stick to the city I guess (: 
Elder Navarrete is doing well. He is adjusting more and more everyday. He expressed to me how he is actually having focused thoughts, rather than thinking of something else from his personal life. That made me so glad to hear! We are definitely working hard. I think your prayers have been helping a lot! So thank you so much (: But he is doing better and better. 
And for Christmas.... hmm.... I was thinking some music, but I don't know all the music I want.... there is a guy named Brandon Heathe and he is really good! He has a song called "The Harvester" and it is way good. I don't know what the album is called, but that CD would be a good one to have (: Maybe I'll have some more I can find to ask for for Christmas... but thank you so much for all that you do and all your love and support! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily (: I love and miss you!
Elder Teeples 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy Halloween from a 'u-tard'.

Well. This week was really good! We were really busy this week.

Yeah, Elder Navarrete and I have been doing better. I guess he just thinks all the members of the church in Utah are just dumb and don't know what the real world is like, which is probably true for the young people. But he thinks that no missionary from Utah know how to teach the Gospel... He calls us "U-tards" which kinda makes me chuckle each time... but this past week he said he'd always hate me for being a "u-tard". But I'm trying to just love him. I am just trying to be patient, kind, and loving with him. I can definitely see his potential and I am doing my best to lead him in the way he should go to become a dignified, powerful missionary. So that's how that is going (:

Halloween was good. Some people thought that we were being Mormons for Halloween... It was funny (: we were able to go knocking on doors a little bit, and we would say "trick or treat" when they opened the door. Most of them looked confused, would think for a minute if we were serious or not... So they would get out their candy, and they wouldn't be too happy when we offered them a card/pamphlet.... hahah it was funny though (: We had to be in our apartment at 7 o clock because of all the shenanigans that go down on Halloween. It's so crazy that October is already over!

We also taught a part member family in the Bishop's home this week! Bro. Peluso isn't a member, and Sis. Peluso is. The missionaries have worked with them in the past, but lost contact with them... We had a great lesson teaching them the restoration and we have a return appointment with them tomorrow! So we are definitely looking forward to that (: It should be a really good lesson!

One of the members, Bro. Cornell, had a couple friends over at his home this past Friday. We were running really late, and we were hoping they were still going to be there when we got all the way to his house (he lives at the top of a hill). So we pull up at around 8:15 pm and knock on the door, and he opens up and was like, "Elders! What a surprise! Were you just in the area?" and then gave us a very obvious wink.. ha needless do say, we caught on (: That sly dawg tricked his friends into meeting with us! Another member couple were there as well with their baby boy, along with a very young couple. We were able to break the ice right off the bat with them through Elder Navarrete's charm of being a professional video game player, and talking about Halo. It was kinda funny! Haha but we eventually got to teach them a "message" so we taught them about the Book of Mormon and explained to them what it was and what we are called to do as missionaries. They seemed very enlightened and open to reading the Book of Mormon!! Sweeet (: We are going to see if we can start working with the member to start teaching them.

Huge miracle! We taught a Chinese lady named Linda Hu. She came into our church building this last week and started talking with some members, Bro and Sis Friedman (Bro Friedman is Caucasian and Sis Friedman is Asian) who both also just happened to speak Mandarin. They talked with her and set up an appointment with us to teach her in their home. So we taught her on Saturday morning and it went really well! The members were perfect friends for her, since they could describe words to her in Mandarin that she didn't know in English. It was soooo cool! Both of the members served in Taiwan for thier missions so they knew exactly how to describe them (: She accepted a baptismal date of November 30th!!!! That was a huge miracle! The members we able to give her a Mandarin Book of Mormon so that was awesome. We are going to be meeting with her in the members home again for dinner this Wednesday. And I guess they are going to make me a duck egg for dinner... They say that most white people think it's really gross... So it should be interesting (:

I was listening to the talk "Our Perfect Example" By Pres. Eyring this past week. It was really good! That's another one you should listen to as a family. It has such a powerful message. It's great!
But yeah, I hope all is going well at home! thank you so much for the pictures! They made me laugh (: I'm gonna go print them off at Target right now. I love and miss you so much! Express my love for the family. I love and miss them all so much! I prayed and fasted for all of you this past Sunday and Friday (I fast every Friday (: ) I hope all is going well! Have a wonderful week (:

Elder Teeples!
 My district.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I finally met my cousin Sis. Platt.


Wow! [mom] Your hair really is a lot shorter! But it looks really good (: Keith did a wonderful job!

So... the situation from last week hasn't changed [with our new contact]. We didn't go back this week (obviously) But we called him, and he was drunk a couple times, and he is having a hard time...

Well my new companion is Elder Navarrete! He has had a really hard life.... But he has also had a pretty cool life. He is really good at basketball, football, and soccer. And he was a professional video game player, and he loves choir. His high shcool choir was 3rd in the nation when he left. His name is from south america, and he is from Southern Missouri. He is a missionary who is ready to work! But he has something against missionaries from Utah.... I discern that he has a little bit of pride in his heart, and he thinks he doesn't need to study the lessons, the training program, etc.... so I am being patient with him and praying very hard to know how to best help him.

This week went really well! We have found a couple really good potential investigators. One of them is a lady named Jen that we taught on the street. She was really nice and thought our belief of eternal families was awesome. So we are planning on going back to teach her more. We also found a man named Erik. He is a really nice guy and said he had never talked to missionaries before. We left him with a Book of Mormon and he said he'd read it if he had time. So we will follow up with him for sure!

We weren't able to see any of our investigators.... But we are planning on seeing them this week (: 

I was reading in 2 Corinthians for a some of my studies and I really love how in 2 Cor. 7 (I think?) it talks about how Godly sorrow leads to repentance, and worldly sorrow leads to death. That really hit home and I was able to ponder about that a lot. It really is so great that we have repentance in our lives! Such blessing and gift from the Lord.
I would write more, but I am out of time.... But I will write letters home today, and send them soon! Thank you for sending me a package (: I can't wait to get it! I hope you're doing well! I love you and the fam so much! Talk to you soon (: love and miss you!

Elder Teeples
             So I dont' know if I ever sent a picture of Elder Spencer and I... but here you go!

And this is my new comp Elder Navarrete. He doesn't like to smile.... he says "smiling is for the weak".................. I must be pretty weak then, cause I smile a lot!

This is Sister Platt! Finally met my 2nd cousin (: haha

Monday, October 21, 2013


Lightsaber! Held by Elder Spencer (:
Let's hope I never get fat....  
This is my district for this transfer!  

Trainer Again!


Holy this week was nuts....So I'll just jump right into things since I dont' have too much time. We got transfer calls! I will be staying here, and I am going to train a new missionary again! By myself this time (: I'm excited. I will be staying District Leader. Elder Spencer will be going to Simi Valley. 

Apparently the Elders from a ward in our district met the singer of a band called Panic! At the Disco.... I'm so jealous. I'm pretty sure at least Keith knows who they are. But yeah so that was cool! 

Okay. Here is the crazy part. I'll give you the short version........ Here we go.
So our ZLs went on a blitz with us this past week. That is where they come to our area and all four of us go tract somewhere or go to appointments, etc. So Elder Spencer and Elder Reese went to go tract a street that Elder Spencer and I chose out the night before. So we decided to exchange for 30 minutes. Elder Kleinman and I worked for 30 minutes, and we wait for a couple minutes... they don't show up. So we start tracting another street. Time starts ticking by.... 45 minutes after they were supposed to pick us up we get a phone call about a drunk guy and they would be there soon.... what?? so about 30 minutes after that they finally pick us up, and they are trying to explain what had happened.... I was so confused. Apparently they tracted into a guy, and gave them a regular reaction to missionaries (I was raised in a christian home, I love Christ, Not interested, etc.) and he just started bawling when they were talking to him. He was super drunk and the night before he had gotten drunk and beaten his fiance (and it wasn't the first time) . No bueno... His 18-year-old son called the cops on him and they came and he spent the night in jail. Somebody bailed him out of jail that morning and he was just a wreck. His fiance was gone. So they talked to him a little bit and tried to comfort him. They checked his house to make sure he didn't have any more alcohol, and he didn't because he drank it all. Then they made him promise not to drive anywhere. So that's when they picked us up, and we exchanged back then Elder Spencer and I went and got some In'n'out because we hadn't had dinner yet. I was about to park in the In'n'out parking lot to eat our food, but Elder Spencer said that we should go park in front of his house to make sure he doesn't/didn't leave. So we drove there, and ate our food, and just before we were finished we see his garage open up..... we see him walk out and hop in his van. NO! So I jumped out yelling to him and waving my arms (I probably looked like a weirdo) and he almost hit me when he was backing out, but he saw me next to his driver window just about he drove off, then he pulled back in the driveway and got out...... That was a close one. It was no coincidence that we were there at that time. He was still pretty drunk. We found out that he was going to buy a burger from In'n'out because he hadn't eaten for a long time... I then felt pretty bad for just scarfing down a double-double (: haha. But we go back inside with him, and this guy is just a wreck.... he was crying and talking to us about all of this. Then..... the fiance walked in.... We are pretty sure she was drunk too. She had packed up her car and was coming back to the house to get a couple more things. She started screaming and yelling the nastiest, most vulgar things at him for 30 minutes straight, which felt like hours. He didn't say anything, he just looked down the whole time. I was terrified..... I didn't know what to do. The only way I could describe how I felt was spiritually cold. The spirit was completely gone. I didn't know what to do.... so I just dropped to my knees and started praying, pleading with Heavenly Father to calm things down and to bring the spirit back.... at just about that time, Elder Spencer said to her, "[Name], I think it would be best if you left." Then he kneeled down and the man followed. Then she went upstairs, and sat at the top stair. After I felt things had calmed down a bit, I opened my eyes and sat back on his couch. Then he pulled out his phone and started playing some christian rock music. And they were actually really good songs, and that helped the spirit come back a little bit. Then I don't remember how, but earlier before she came, it came up that I played guitar, so he went and grabbed his guitar and told me to play something.... so I said a little prayer on what I should play, and I felt like I should play Nearer my God to Thee. So I did, and by this point, both the man and his fiance were bawling. She came down and joined us. They told me to play another song, so I played "Hero" By Abandon. And like right in the middle of the song they like started cuddling.... and kissing... it was soooooo awkward! and knowing my immature self, I almost started laughing right in the middle of the song haha (: But yeah, to shorten it up a bit, we left that night, and the spirit was somewhat back. They weren't yelling at each other at all, so that was a miracle in and of itself. Then we decided to go back the next day to check up on them..... Not a good idea. He was sober that day, but I guess earlier that morning she went to her Yoga class, and got completely hammered afterwards. So she was sitting in her car around the corner just completely belligerent from being drunk. He found her in her car, and he drove her back to their house, and he carried her up to their bed and she just passed out. he unpacked her car and washed all of the clothes she had in there. A couple hours later is when we got there. We had a lesson with him and he told us that he felt lost, and we told him that we had been sent by God to help him come back to Christ. He said that he really believed that we were sent by God, and he was planning on coming to church, and everything. Then..... His fiance woke up... still drunk. She comes down and starts yelling at us right in the middle of our closing prayer, and she wouldn't stop. So we got up and started walking out the door, and he was telling us that he'd see us on Sunday, but she starts yelling at him to give her keys back, because he took them while she was passed out. He wouldn't give them back to her, and she was like begging us to stay and help her find her keys because she was convinced that he was going to kill her that night. We kept telling her that we didn't know where they were, but that wasn't good enough for her. She was not letting us go until she got her keys. So he gave her keys back, so we tried to sneak out and we got to our car and started driving away. While that was happening she goes to her car and finds that everything she has packed is no longer in there.... She was FURIOUS. she walked very swiftly  up to our car before we could get away (and might I add that she is wearing nothing but underwear and a robe, and she isn't concerned if it flies open or not) and she made us roll our window down. She started screaming at us to help her come find her clothes that she had packed, and we tried to convince her that we didn't know where they were but that really wasn't good enough for her.... So we convinced her that we'd pull over and help her, so we do so, and we go back inside. She yelled at us and the man a little bit more. then we hear the door bell.... could it be?? It might be!!! YES!! It's the police! I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a policeman in my whole entire life!! So eventually we got out of there.... goodness.... so we aren't going back there for a while. Then he didn't show up at church yesterday, so we called him right before our meeting started and he said he couldn't make it because he had to go bail his fiance out of jail because she had gotten a DUI the day before... what a mess. But I know that it was inspired by the spirit to find him, and we are going to help him change. It won't be easy, and it won't happen over night, but they can change. 

Woooo... There we go (: that is the highlight of my week..... After going through that, eating dinner at member's houses was such a safehaven! The Spanish unit of our stake put on an activity Saturday night and that was way fun.... We weren't able to see Tom this week... He wasn't there ): But we found him last weekend and we are going to go back this week. We weren't able to see Paula either.... sad ): But we are definitely going to have a good week this week! 

Thank you so much for all that you so! It really is such a blessing to have a wonderful example like you as my wonderful mother (: Thank you for never drinking, as we can see it is the devil in a bottle from the situation above. I love and miss you lots! Talk to you next week (: 

Elder Teeples

Monday, October 14, 2013

We found a new investigator! Awesome!


This week was great! Yeah, that was Brother Merrill that called you. Ha we talked a little bit at church yesterday, and got a couple pictures! Nice guy (: 

This week we got a new investigator named Tom!!! AHHH!! My first new investigator in Newbury Park! He is great! We were walking around an apartment complex while Elder Jones was with me on an exchange. We found him, and he was using a walker (it looked like he had been in an accident of some sort...) told him all about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and he was so interested. He is a recently-converted Christian, so he had been wondering why God hadn't called another prophet recently. It was great! He is soooo humble and soooo prepared. It was just so amazing how we found him and how we crossed paths! One minute earlier, or one minute later, we would have missed him!

Sister Teal came to church this past week!! Apparently her baby was supposed to be blessed, but.... it didn't happen... and we don't really know why. So we think it is going to be blessed next week. But Sister Teal is married to a member and she has been taught for while now, but I haven't been able to teach her, cause their how has been under complete remodeling for the past month or so, and won't be done for a couple weeks. They are living at her mother's house in Moorpark. We had the opportunity of teaching the Gospel Essentials class and we talked about charity. Bro. and Sis. Teal were both there and they gave a lot of input. It was a really good lesson.  So it was good to be able to meet and teach her! 

This week in my studies, I studied the talk Safety for the Soul by Elder Holland. It always gives me chills and brings the spirit everytime I hear/read the conviction in his voice! So powerful. It really is so amazing that Joseph Smith was willing to die for this cause, just because he knew it was true. Same with his brother Hyrum. That is a huge testimony builder for me that I know this Gospel is true, because they were so ready and willing to sacrifice everything for it. They sealed their testimonies with their blood!

So a cool miracle happened this week. We were over in a far away part of our area, and we were just about to leave the area, when I had a super strong prompting to go see a lady in an apartment complex (Which by the way are MASSIVE here) in that area. And I almost ignored it!!!!!! But I didn't (: So I got out of the lane that entered the free-way, and we made a huge loop to get to the apartment complex, and we were walking through the buildings to get to the lady's apartment, and we see a lady walk out on her balcony, and she started waving at us. It took us a second to figure out who she was, but we found out that it was a less active member that we had been trying to contact for a couple weeks now. So we went to her door and started talking to her, and she said that she had walked out on her balcony wondering if we were going to stop by that day, and there we were! She wanted to tell us why she hadn't been there when we came by (cause aparently her son lives there, and he just never answered the door). So that was awesome (:

And I was just informed that Britney Spears, Will Smith, Justin Beiber, and many other celebs live WITHIN my ward boundaries.... cool huh? (: 

So yeah this week was really good! We didn't get to see Paula or Jarred this week... but We are seeing them next week (: thank you for  all that you do! I love and miss you tons! I hope school gets easier eventually! 

soooo this week, we recieved a sticker to put on our license plate for registration in the mail from the mission office, and.... we lost the envelope.... no bueno. We prayed, and searched every where for it, but it is no where to be found... So we had to drive to the DMV and I had to buy a replacement Sticker for 20 bucks... so I used my mission card, and I don't have very much left on it for the rest of the month.. I think I have around 10 dollars.... so... If it's not too big of a hassle, some money on my personal card for food wouldn't be too bad (: Thank you! and for Christmas.... I'm not sure what I want.... I'll have to ponder and pray about it ;) A car, ipod, and laptop when I get back? haha Jk. I'll think of something! Thank you so much (:
Elder Teeples 

Loved Loved Loved Conference....exclamation point!


So Elder Spencer had a doctors appointment for his foot this morning, and it went waaayyy over, so I have even less time this week, but I will write as much as I can (:

So this past Friday and Saturday were SOOOOOO windy. Not the windiest day I've ever seen, but for California it was super windy. So the wind caused a bunch of dust to stir up in the air, which caused Paula's Asthma to rile up.... so all Saturday she was coughing like crazy and she didn't feel well enough to come to the building for conference.... sad ): But conference was sooooo good wasn't it?! I loved it! My two favorite talks were the two by Pres. Uchtdorf (: they both hit home for me. So awesome! But we wont receive the conference ensign til the beginning of next month... It takes a while to get to us ha. 

We had a really good lesson with Jarred . He is doing really well. We read part of Ether 12 with him and it went really good. He was way interested in reading the story of the Brother of Jared and the 16 stones, so he is going to read Ether 3 and we are going to discuss it with him. We are also going to talk to him about praying and fasting that his wife's heart will be softened toward Christianity. It should be a good lesson with him this next week!

We had a couple really cool lessons with new people this week. It was really cool, because they were both random drop-by lessons at 8:30 pm, and around here NOTHING happens past 8 o clock. Like literally. Every bodies houses are dark when 7:45 comes around, and most people are mad that you knock on their door around 7:30. It's nuts! and It's starting to get dark around like 6-6:30 here. Anyways one of them was a guy named Scott. We were using the restroom in a gas station after we filled up one night, and he was just talking to me while he was waiting in line to buy something, and he said to come by and gave me his address. Sweettt! (: So we went by Friday night and taught him the restoration. It went really well! He is way chill. 

Then we stopped by a potential investigator the next night, and we caught his sister at home around 8:30, and we were able to tell her a little about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read and pray about it. It was awesome! She was so shocked that we weren't able to watch TV ( she was watching "The Big Bang Theory" at the time), get on the internet, etc. for two years! Haha it's always funny to see people's reaction to that (: 

I had something really cool to tell you.... but I can't remember right now for the life of me. Maybe later today if I rmember I will write it home (: haha. Well, I hope all is going well at home! Thank you so much for all the you do and for all your love and support (: it really makes me feel so loved! And thank you so much for your lovely remarks in your email! (I skimmed over it breifly (: ) I'm definitely doing my best as a missionary! I wouldn't be the missionary I am without your amazing influence in my life! Thank you so much for all that you do (: I love and miss you!!!

Elder Teeples