Monday, March 24, 2014

Desiree's getting baptized this Saturday!!!

This week was GREAT!
So to start off, with some awesome news, Elder Nelson (yes, one of the 12 apostles!!!) will be visiting our mission next month on the 19th and will be speaking to our entire mission!!!!! Holy hot dogs I'm soooooooooo stoked!!!!! I forwarded the email to you about that announcement (: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I'm so excited! Pray for me that I will prepare well to receive revelation (: We found that out during zone conference and that was great. We focused a lot on the Book of Mormon and it's role in gathering Israel. So it was really great (:
But this week went really good! We had a couple really good lessons with Desiree! To see the change in her truly is amazing. She has always been nervous to say a prayer out loud, but on Saturday she got interviewed for baptism and she said a vocal prayer before the interview with us and her friend Vanessa! It was great (: She did really well on her interview and she is set to be baptized this Saturday! She already has everything planned out haha she wants me to confirm her (: I'm way excited for that!
We also had a really good lesson with Nichole! We had a ward member come with us and she shared a way cool experience that she had! So she has gone to the family ward here in Camarillo a couple times for church, but she had never been to the YSA and she didn't know of any friends she had that went to our ward. So before she came in the building last week she prayed to Heavenly Father (She is very religious and has a good relationship with the Lord) and asked that she would feel clarity and peace if this is where she was supposed to be. So we sat by her during sacrament and at the very end of sacrament meeting, our bishop felt inspired to get up and share a few thoughts. He said something along the lines of "I've talked to a lot of you and I know some of your struggles and challenges, and I feel inspired to let you know that everything will be okay." and at that moment she felt that clarity and peace she was looking for. So that was super cool (: She really is sincerely searching for the "complete" truth in a church.
I'm so happy to be a missionary! It's so crazy to me that I have already been out for..... wow 14 months now. At least the number of months I have left is still 2 digits (: Haha. It doesn't even feel real! All this is going by so fast! I feel like after my mission I will feel like I wasn't even gone. I feel like my mission will seem like a dream... So crazy. Time is going by fast. It truly is such a blessing to be serving the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Missionary work definitely is hard work, and I believe it was meant to be hard, because if it weren't, no growth would take place in the hearts of any missionaries. I'm so humbled and so grateful for the chance that I have had so far to serve the Lord with all I have, and I'm excited to see just what these next 10 months have in store for me. It's so amazing to see the change that has taken place in my spirit. I have learned to trust in the Lord and to desire his trust in me, which leads me to have a true desire to be obedient to His commandments. Thank you so much for you and dad's example to me! Thank you for all your love, prayers and support!
So those were the big things that happened this past week. It was a good week (: I'll make sure to take pictures of the baptism! I hope all is well back home. I love and miss you a lot! I'm glad to hear you are doing well in your classes [mom]. (: Keep up your good work. You are continually in my thoughts and prayers along with the rest of the fam! Have a great week (:
Elder Teeples!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A week of miracles...gathering our Father's sheep.

This week was pretty good! We were pretty busy most of the week. But it was so cool! We saw a couple miracles! So on Tuesday we were thinking of what we could do that day, and we had this "unknown" list, basically a list of people's records the ward has received, and they aren't active, so they have no idea who they are. So we decided to stop by one of them in Camarillo and her name was Ayla. She had been living there for about 6 months and we set up an appointment to meet with her the next day at the church. Aparently she got baptized about 4 years ago, then her really good friend who baptized her went on his mission almost 2 years ago, and she moved shortly after, and lost contact with the church, until we came knockin on her door. So we went to the church the next day and had a great lesson. We went over the Restoration and watched a little video with her. At the end of the lesson, we knelt down for the prayer and asked her to pray and she kinda resisted, then we kind of encouraged her a bit, and she opted to say the prayer. It was such a great prayer! The spirit touched her and she started crying a bit, and she thanked Heavenly Father for sending us to her to reach out to her. And she works usually every Sunday and she asked that she would get work off this week so she could come back to church. THEN! She got her schedule and didn't have work yesterday (: Hallelujah! So she was at church! It was her first time in a singles ward, so it was probably different for her but she enjoyed it!
Desiree was also at church! She is set for baptism on the 29th (: She wanted to see someone else get baptized first before her date.... but there arent' any going on... so we'll have to talk to her about that. But she is doing so good! During church yesterday, she called for Ayla and had her sit next to her during relief society. She is so great! We will be seeing her a couple times this week.
So yeah! Setting up the booth/table at the campus went really good! We made a couple really good contacts. For about an hour of it though I was talking to this guy named Patrick... He was bible bashin' pretty hard. Hahah it made me laugh afterwards though, because he kept saying (keep in mind he's a surfer) "Bro, I know that there are things in the Book of Mormon that contradict the Bible so it's not true" and I would keep answering him, "well, have you read it?" ...."well, no" "Have you prayed about it?" "Um.. no" "Then how do you really know if you haven't even sought it out and asked God?" Haha we repeated that at least 4 times in the conversation... but towards the end he ended up taking a Book of Mormon to read it after rejecting it multiple times. My companion was talking to his buddy for like 15 minutes... I was pretty occupied, but Elder Robison said that the guy he was talking to was getting soooo mad! He said that he could see veins popping out of his forehead! Ha It was fun (:
We had a really good lesson with a girl named Nichole! She is sooo funny! She was being taught by some Sisters in a family ward, but she is YSA age, so the sisters thought she would enjoy the YSA ward better. She we had a "hand-off" lesson where we and the sisters were there at a members house. She is great! She came to church yesterday and she seemed to really enjoy it!
But yeah I always wish I had more time to go more in depth about my week. We've got another busy week this week. Zone conference is on Wednesday so that should be great! 
In church yesterday we talked a lot about prayer and how it is almost always answered in a way we wouldn't expect. The teacher of sunday school told us of something cool. He said "God only has 3 answers that He gives us. 1. Yes 2. Not yet and 3. I have something better for you." And It's sooo true! Everything that happens is for our benefit whether we know it or not. I have definitely learned that so much on my mission!
Thank you for all your love and support! You are in my thoughts and prayers! Have a great week!
Elder Teeples (: 
The district!

And this one may or may not be exaggerated a little bit.... (;

This is how OCD my companion is...(neat and tidy altoids)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another Baptismal Date!!!

Hola!!!!! (:
This week went really good! Last Monday and Tuesday we were in meetings all day. 2 days of straight sitting! But it was great (: Such a spiritual feast. I learned sooooooo much about leadership and about how to minister to other missionaries. It's so cool to see just how much the mission prepares us for life!
But my zone is good! We have two districts here! It's great (: we had a zone meeting last week and we brought back the counsel that President gave to us on Monday and Tuesday! 2 of my past comps are in the zone, Elder Spencer, and  Elder Navarrete. If you remember, Elder Navarrete was the one who HATED Utah missionaries. and me, being a Utah missionary as his trainer didn't really help on my part. But I just loved him. I heard from the area seventy, Elder Garnes, that that is the best thing we can do for the unloveable missionary is to love them. I talked to him just the other day and he has changed soooooooo much. I haven't heard it from him, but his DL told me about how he respects me for the way I treated him, although he didn't appreciate it at the time.
Okay! So Desiree! She has progressed soooooo much this week! the week before last, she was super nervous to meet Elder Robison and I (cause we were both new) but she likes us, and on Wednesday we invited her to be baptized on March 29th and she seemed really uneasy and uncomfortable with it.... so we had a 2nd lesson with her on Friday and we were wondering how we could help her feel more comfortable with baptism, and she totally blew us away! Right when we started talking about it on Friday, she was like "I know I need to be baptized. I realized that it is something I need to do, so I'm going to do it" WHHAAAAAAAAAT?!?! Awesome! So that was awesome! She's doing sooo good. She comes to church and reads from the Book of Mormon often so it's great.
We had a couple lessons with some new investigators and we have return appointments with them this week! It's going to be another super busy week! But on Tuesday we are going to the local University to set up a display booth/table with one of the ward members about the church. So we should find a lot of success from that (:
So last night we were visiting people and we stopped by this house with a bunch of girls living there that were going to college. We taught one of them along with her boyfriend and it was a good lesson about the Restoration, so we were planning on coming back. The BF wasn't there, so we just taught her and one of her roommates. They are leaders in their local Christian church, and the roommate was very into it. Anyways, we were teaching them about the Plan of Salvation, and the spirit was strong, retestifying to my heart that it was all true. She mentioned how her grandmother passed on the night before and that she was sad, and didn't know where she was, but she knew it would be okay. So I shared the experience I had with Grandpa Teeples' passing away. I remember at his funeral I couldn't bring myself to be sad, because I knew exactly where he was. I couldn't be sad with that testimony I had. Then we promised her that she could know these things too. But sadly she wasn't open and wasn't willing to change her beliefs... She told us how she believed she won't recognize her family heaven... it made me sad but we'll keep working on them (: I love this Gospel and it truly brings me happiness!

Thank you for all your prayers and support! I love you so much! I sent a letter this week so hopefully you get it! You are in my prayers!
Elder Teeples (:
That was the sunrise this morning (:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Loving my new area and comp. and being SUPER busy!

Okay.... so basically. Being a zone leader is suuuuupppperrr busy! This is gonna be a short email, due to that factor, plus we got to emails like 30 minutes late..... which I will explain why. Yeah. I have like 8 minutes left... ha.
But this week was good! My new companion Elder Robison is great! He is my 1 companion who has been out for well over a year. So it is great! He actually wants to be obedient, which makes being obedient soooooooooo much easier. He is amazing at the piano too! He plays by ear as well. He is so kind! We are both new to this area. He has been in Santa Barbara for the past 7 months. The first day we were here, we went shopping and It turns out I had $18 less than I needed for all my groceries... poop. So he paid the rest without skipping a beat. He is awesome! We get along really well.
So this week we spent a lot of our time coming up with zone goals, preparing a report on the missionary work for the past month for the stake presidency  (which was hard... cause we weren't even here during the past month!) and we had to collect supply orders from the whole zone... and blah. On Friday we didn't leave the apartment once cause we were so busy doing all that stuff! Sooooo crazy. But we got it all done! We presented the report yesterday, and everything is all taken care of (: We have had so many meetings and we actually have a meeting today and tomorrow that will take up most of the days. It's crazy! But it is making time fly by so fast! So that's good (: Elder Spencer and Elder Navarrete, two of my past comps are both in my zone so that is exciting. 2 cities! Camarillo and Oxnard. We email way on the west side of Oxnard and we live on the East side of Camarillo! So it is crazy. It takes like 25-30 minutes to drive here, it is also the building where we go to church. Yeah! I forgot just how quiet the YSA wards are! It was dead silent during sacrament meeting yesterday! Haha but it was way good. This ward does a "break the fast" every fast sunday, so we were excited for that. We were in the very back of the line... and when we got to the food, we were literally scraping the bottoms of pans and bowls for food hahahah it was funny (: So I had an awesome goolash of spaghetti, various types of rice, soup, and really spicy salsa. But it was good!
Teaching young single adults is soooooo much easier than older people. It is so much easier to connect with them! We had a couple really good lessons this week! Our main investigators are Desiree, Joseph and Max. I'll have to tell you more about them next week.
I am sad, because at this building, we aren't aloud to use the printer..... which is lame. I usually print out your emails and read them later, but the older gentleman watching over the family history center informed me very firmly that we aren't aloud to use the printer for personal use... oops (: So I had to speed read/skim through your emails. I got the just of it! and thank you for the pictures!
But yeah things are going good here. I love this place! Although I do miss Simi Valley a lot.  Camrillo/Oxnard are known to have the best weather in the world! Like quite literally. It has the most mild climate. But! On the mountains that were waaaaaaaayyyyyy far away, Elder Robison and I saw snow on top of the mountains! We couldn't believe it (: Oh he is from Montana... forgot to mention that. But yeah, this week it rained A LOT. Which is great! We needed it.
Thank you for all your love and support! I love and miss you all! I wish I could write more about my week! Have a wonderful week (:
Elder Teeples