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 (: