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.