Monday, August 26, 2013

Trust in the Lord, prepare and He will provide the Miracles.

Hello! Things are going great!! Since we don't have too many gators (Investigators (: ), we received an assignment from the bishop to "seek out" less active members to find out if they have moved, are not interested, too busy, etc. So we have had some fun doing that. keeps us busy so that's good (: We have had to ride our bike up the hill a couple times. It's fun! Not... But once we get up there it is a nice view (: and going back down is a blast. The hills are soooo steep! But yeah, the houses on the hill are really nice. There are a couple active members who live up there and it is great! I will include one of the pictures off of their back deck (:

We were able to see Luigi this week. It went pretty well. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and he said he really likes what he has read so far, but he is still planning on reading the whole Book of Mormon before he gets baptized. And from the way he was talking to us, it sounds like he is planning on getting baptized. He is almost there, he just needs a little extra push! We are praying for him and doing our best to help him progress! He is so funny. He is basically a dry Mormon.. he helps with all the activities and invites less actives back to church. He is great.

We brought Sis. Beem with us to visit Tim and Suzanne Gagnon. Between our first visit and when we met with them this week, Tim had studied some websites on the internet and got things from his pastor that really weren't true. He read a lot of notes he took from his sources and we explained to him what was true and what was false. Some of the things that are on the internet about our church are just so funny! Having Sister Beem there really helped a lot! Her testimony was so very needed. It's one thing for 2 weirdos in white shirts and ties to tell you about our beliefs, but when there is a member there that seems like a normal person adding their testimony to ours, it makes all the difference. Sis Beem and the Gagnon's had known each other from work in the past which helped a lot. Tim said that he was going to talk to his pastor about how the information he got from him was false, which is good (: They are getting really busy with work and school so we are planning on seeing them in a month or so. But it really seemed like they are both sincerely seeking for truth. We left them with a couple copies of the Book of Mormon our first visit with them, and Suzanne was taken back at the fact in the introduction how Joseph Smith said it was "the most correct of any book." She thought from that statement that we hold it higher than the Bible. We explained to her how the Bible had been corrupted through out time, and we solved that issue for the most part. Even if they aren't looking to get baptized, they truly are searching out the truth about our beliefs which is great (:

This week in my studies I have been reading Mosiah, and something in chapter 24 really stuck out to me. In the chapter, Amulon is reigning over Alma and his people, and they are "persecuting" them and making their burdens heavy. The people cry to the Lord and He makes their burdens light, so they have a testimony that God comforts us when we are in need. The Lord then told Alma that He would deliver him and his people out of the hands of Amulon "on the morrow." And what I think is so cool is that they didn't just sit around waiting to be delivered out of their enemy's hands. They spent all night packing up and "preparing." At the time, they didn't know how they were going to escape, but the trusted in the Lord and did something about it, rather than just waiting around for a miracle. Then the next morning, they were able to escape because the Lord cause a "deep sleep" to come upon the Lamanite guards. I just love how the people as a whole put their faith forward and "prepared" for the miracle to come.
The digital frame is awesome (: Also, when convenient, if you could get your hands on the EFY 2013 CD, that'd be sweet as well. Also, the Lower Lights are pretty good, and i really like their more recent CD, but I am so grateful for the music I have! It keeps me satisfied (: thank you so much for all that you do! I really am so lucky to have you and the rest of the fam giving me so much love and support! Again, there is no rush for any of this stuff (:
I hope all is well at home! You guys are always in my prayers! I love and miss you tons (:
Elder Teeples

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bradon's Home! So Crazy!

Hello! This week went really well (: No I have not gotten the digital frame yet... Hahaha I totally remember most of those videos!! I had totally forgotten about the one with the evil bar of soap (: I am definitely going to have to watch them when I get back! That is so crazy how Bradon goes home today... wow. That went by really fast! tell him hello for me today when you have lunch with him (: I miss him so much! and that is good to hear that Keith and his band had a good time. Hopefully dad gets some good rest!
So I don't have too much time today... But what we have been doing lately is going around trying to contact people. We met with the bishop a couple weeks ago, and he gave us this huge list of less actives that he has no idea who they are, so we are helping him out by seeking them out and finding if they have moved, or if they are just not interested, etc.... so we have been doing that (: We haven't had too many teaching appointments here, due to the fact that we only have half of what used to be one area. but we are hoping to get the work in our half of the ward speeding up soon!
This past week we met with Luigi and read the Book of Mormon with him. He is really funny! He is such a nice guy. Like I said before, he has been investigating for a long time, but he is getting closer and closer. I feel like he is really close to getting baptized. He just needs to soften his heart just a little more and let the Holy Ghost tell him that it is true!
So we taught this one family this past week. We tracted into them the week before, and we came back and talked with the mother, father, and two kids who are about 20 and 15. It went really well! they are really strong in their beliefs with Calvary Church. Most people who go to this church know their bible well. So we were discussing with them, and one major thing most people "pull out of their hat" is Rev. 21:19-20 and how it says "if any man add to this book, the plagues which are written in the book shall be added unto him" or something to that effect. So we explained to him that it was simply talking about the actual book of Revelation, but they didn't believe that, as nobody really does. And we showed them a couple other places in the bible where it says that same thing, but they still didn't buy it. So I was like, "so if it really is talking about not adding to the Bible, then why don't we have any of these plagues??" and the father kind of got shocked for a second (heheh (: ) and he was like, "wait does it say that?" and we all re-read it together, and he tried to make something up real quick on how it is talking about "the plagues in the next life." HA! No. So I got a kick out of that (: So I've been studying just what "plagues" it is talking about, so if dad has any insight on that, he should include it in his letter to me this week (:
This past week I attended a district leader training meeting. it was amazing! we talked a lot about the talk by the president of BYU-I Kim B. Clark called "the Power of the Holy Temple." It is so good! you should listen/read it for FHE (: It's really good.
Sorry this is so short, but thank you for all that you do! For all the love and support (: You are in my prayers daily! I hope you have a wonderful week! Love and miss you! 

Elder Teeples 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blessed to have a foundation in Jesus Christ!

Hello! This past week was good (: Thank you so much for the package!!! The sweets are always well appreciated (: SO! I was reading in the new Ensign this past week.... and I'm just reading in the "Latter Day Saint Voices" part and I read an article and think hey, that's pretty good! I look at the name, "Jaimee Lynn Chidester" What?!?!?! Super cool (: Kidna funny. I freaked out just a little bit.

This week went well. We were able to see and investigator named Rose Sanchez, who has apparently been an investigator for a long time... 10 plus years or so. We were having a lesson with her and she mentioned how she didn't understand the importance of Joseph Smith, and she didn't know what he did...? What??? of course she had heard about Joseph Smith.. I don't know why she said that, but on her teaching record it says that she has been taught about Joseph Smith multiple times... but we talked about him and she committed to reading 1 page of the Book of Mormon daily. Woo!

We met with Luigi again this past week. We read Mosiah 7:20 up to chapter 9 and it went really well. He is so funny! Did I already tell you about him last week? Him, His wife's family and his kids are all active in the church, he just isn't baptized. His family is all catholic though.. He says he wants to know everything about the Book of Mormon and the church before he gets baptized. HA! Like that'll happen in this life... haha (: but in stake conference yesterday, President Castro gave a wonderful talk and he said this in his talk: "It's kind of risky saying this, but I am a professor of religion at BYU-I and I still don't know everything." Go President! We are hoping Luigi was listening when he said that... But he is slowly progressing towards baptism. He's been meeting with the missionaries for a while now too. A long time ago, the missionaries used to actually live at their house... crazy. So that's Luigi! We're going to find out what he thought of stake conference this week. The other talks were amazing! The 1st counselor of the LA Temple presidency came to give a talk. It was really good! He mainly talked to the non-members who were in attendance, and he kept saying, "We have blessings in this church that are far greater than you can imagine!" It was really good (: and he described a sealing in his talk. It was awesome! He is a great speaker!
We were trying to contact some less actives yesterday, and we went by this one lady and she told us that we (Elder Castro and I) should become models... it gave us a laugh (: haha. Some people are really strange here... but it's great. There are a lot of people here that have been through a lot of trials in their lives. I just have to look at their lives and family situations, and it makes me sooooo grateful for the life I have! We have been lucky not to have any major trials in our lives. And I know it was because you and dad built our family on the foundation of Jesus Christ and his teachings! thank you so much! I really can't thank you enough for that!!!
We haven't been able to go back to see the Beems yet... but Sister Beem is so awesome. She is temporarily taking care of our dinner calender (which is a hectic job, since there are 2 sets of missionaries in this ward now) and most of the days we don't have dinner, she buys us gift cards. She is so nice! A special prayer for her would be appreciated. It's not even her calling! it's great (: We were able to go by the bishops house this past week and coordinate our efforts with his. He is a musician and has a 12-string guitar..... yup. I'm in love. I am getting one after my mission! It sounded so good (:
But as far as I know I don't think there are any rules against a digital picture frame... So just send that, that'll be fine (: thank you so much! and thank you so much for checking my account and for the emergency fund.  It's so crazy how Bradon is going home (dying, according to the mission lingo) next monday! His mission flew by. as is mine... time is going by so fast. It's crazy! Kolby sounds like he is having a tough mission experience... He is in guatemala, and his companion doesn't speak english... sucka ;) hahaha just kidding. a prayer for him as well would be appreciated! I will be praying for you and your school situation! The power of prayer is so amazing! I totally under estimated it before my mission.
Oh! I actually got to give a lady a blessing the week before this past week! it was so amazing! I wish I had time to write more about it, but it's so amazing feeling the spirit work through you. so cool (: the priesthood is amazing. Thank you for all your love, prayers, and support! It means everything to me! Have a wonderful week (: Love and miss you tons! You're always in my prayers!
Elder Teeples

Monday, August 5, 2013

The simplicity of the gospel is simply beautiful.

This week went well! White washing into a new area truly is a different experience! White washing is when both missionaries that are getting transferred in are new to the area. I've really learned how to rely on the Lord this past week, as I had no one to turn to all the time that knew about the area and it's investigators. But overall it went good! Elder Castro and I feel so blessed that we were able to be transferred together. We didn't have to get through that barrier of learning how to teach with one another, so that was good. (: Ventura is amazing! I'm already starting to love it here. But I miss Solvang a lot ): I miss the Stapp family! I think she sent you a message on FB this past week? They gave us all a tie the day before we left. they are great! I miss them and the other members/investigators a ton.

There is one investigator named Luigi Falcocchia. He comes to church every week with his family, because his wife was raised LDS. He is awesome! So funny. He has a hold up with Joseph Smith... I don't know how he got such a skewed vision of what kind of man Joseph Smith was, but we are doing our best to fix that for him. We are reading the Book of Mormon with him and we are going to challenge him to read the Book of Mormon daily when we talk to him next. He comes to church weekly, and yesterday he asked some really good questions in our Gospel principles class.

We taught a young couple named Michelle and Adam who have a young baby. They are very kind, and they wanted to know what our church had that others did not. We talked to them about how we believe we can be sealed to our families for eternity and also about the Book of Mormon and I had the opportunity to testify how it has blessed my life and blessed our family. I expressed to them that I know how much happiness it can bring, and that is why we keep coming back; because we want others to have that same happiness in their lives. The Book of Mormon truly does bring so much joy into our lives! Thank you for raising us all on that righteous foundation (:

Elder Castro and I were walking around trying to get to know the area while finding some investigators homes, and we felt prompted to knock on a door, so we knocked on it. It turns out, that it was where the Beems lived, some members of the ward. Total miracle!! Bro. Beem is less active and his wife Sis. Beem is very active in the church. He isn't too fond of the church, but was very polite, and we were able to go in and sit down with him. We shared Moroni's promise with them (Sis. Beem got back from doing her visiting teaching while we were there), and the spirit was very strong. I know it was not a coincidence that we knocked on his door. It was an amazing experience! I have really learned how to follow the spirit (: He doesn't speak to us very loudly... but if we are listening and heeding his counsel, the outcome of our situations will always be for the better. I know that is true!

During my studies this week, I was reading in Mosiah 7, and in verse 33 I found something really cool. I read that if we 1. turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart 2. put our trust in Him 3. serve him with all diligence of mind, then "He, according to His own will and pleasure, will deliver you out of bondage." that is such a simple concept, but it's so amazing! Not just out of physical bondage, but out of bondage of sin as well. A lot of things of this world really do bring temporary happiness or pleasure... but in the long run, when we can really see the big picture, they are not important. I love Pres. Uchtdorf's quote, "At the heart of joy, you will find the love of good things." I know that if we love and invest our time in good things (Scriptures, church, etc.), it is there that we will find true happiness. Phones, guitars, music, etc. are really nice, but in the long run the holy things are the important things.
The picture you got was actually a non-member we ran into on the street... ha (: She actually was trying to get us to call home for like 20 minutes before she decided that sending a picture would be enough.... haha she kept saying, "Come on, I know you want to! your mother probably misses you so much! You can use my phone so nobody will ever know!" Haha definitely a temptation... but we explained to them that you and Elder Castro's mom would appreciate it more if we followed the rules (: haha.
Ventura is awesome! I'll have to take some pictures and send them soon. Thank you so much for all that you do for me (: It really means the world to me. I love and miss you, and pray for you everyday! You and the family are in my prayers daily (: Have a wonderful week!
Elder Teeples
P.S. Father, thank you so much for that old missionary handbook! I have found it very useful, and in some parts, quite humorous (: thank you! Talk to you next week!

Very nice young man. It was pleasure to talk with Him. He misses you a lot.
From one mom to another.