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.

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