Monday, June 30, 2014

Thousand Oaks is great!


This week was really great. This was my first week in my new area in the Thousand Oaks area of the Westlake Village YSA ward. I've really enjoyed working with the ward members! They are so missionary minded, it's great! We had a lot of lessons this week with investigators that we had members with us. It really makes a difference in the work. (:

We taught our investigator Sheen Sheen (Ben). He is an investigator who truly has a pure heart and a desire to do what is right. I only got to teach him once this past week, but he is doing good. We taught him the first half of the Restoration, and he seemed to understand it really well. There is definitely a language barrier, as he is from China. He went to a sacrament meeting other than our own because he was busy for at the time of the YSA ward, but he said he liked it! We are excited to meet him this week. He is set for July 26th for baptism!

We also taught our investigator Erick. He is doing really well, and he recognizes the spirit whenever he is around us. He wasn't able to come to church yesterday due to a family emergency, but he is reading the Book of Mormon and we committed him to live the word of wisdom this past week, and he said he would. It's so awesome, because he is soooo willing to do what is right! He seems on track to make his date on July 19th to be baptized, we just need to teach him the lessons.

We found a new investigator named Emily this past week who wasn't there for our return appointment. Nevertheless, she was open to learning more so we will see if we can contact her this week. 

We also set our investigator Alonso with the date of August 9th. He is doing great. He has had a rough time the past little bit, because his friends are going down the immoral path, and he doesn't want to live that way. He wasn't able to come to church yesterday, but he really wants to read the Book of Mormon and learn more about it.

We also picked up another new investigator named Luke. He is the one you met at the baptism on Saturday. He came to sacrament meeting pretty late, but he is really sociable, so he mingles with the young single adults pretty well. We taught him the Restoration and he mentioned how he would like to be baptized some day. We are teaching him this week.

Elder Welker, my new companion is doing really well! I have already learned so much from him by just serving with him for a week. He is SUPER obedient and he has a firm and powerful diligence in his heart that doesn't stop for the adversary at all. He is a strong missionary. I'm excited to learn more from him this transfer and to help him bring our brothers and sisters into the Kingdom of God!

In my studies I have been studying the story of Ammon in the Book of Mormon, and how I can become more like an Ammon-like missionary. Ammon did really good at serving wtih all his heart, might, mind, and strength, and he obeyed every command from King Lamoni with exactness. His is definitely an example to follow. 

Sorry again that this is so short!  Thank you for all your love and support (: Have a great week! love and miss you so much! 

Elder Teeples 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moving to Thousand Oaks

Hello (:
So... Transfers are here already! Holy cow... So nuts how fast time goes by! I am getting transferred to Thousand Oaks! I'm sad, but excited at the same time. I've been in this ward here for 4 months! So crazy how fast time goes by! I am going to miss the ward and this area! But I hear Thousand Oaks is pretty nice (: It's a wealthier area, so we will see how it goes. It will be quite a bit warmer too, since it is more inland. Elder Bate will be staying here with an Elder named Elder Watts. They'll have fun!
So we performed our musical number! It went really well (: It was a mash up of Nearer, My God, To Thee,  Guide Me to Thee (number 101) and Lean on My Ample Arm (number 120) and it was really good! I'll have to show you the video of it after my mission (: President actually requested that we play that number for transfer meeting tomorrow. We are excited!
Eric came to church this week! I am sad that I won't be able to continue teaching him... but he connected with a lot of the members in the ward. He is hilarious! Meeting him and teaching him for this short time has been a great experience. He let me borrow one of his ties to wear for today haha. We had a couple really good lessons with him and he seems really sincere of learning, so I'm sure he will progress.
A couple days ago we were walking through a couple apartment buildings in Camarillo and we had a feeling to walk in a certain direction, so we did and we ran into this lady named Nicole and her friend Krista. They each had young children, and Nicole was like "I've actually been wanting to talk with you guys! I want to know what it is that you do, and how you do it." Haha so we spent the next hour or so telling her about what we do, and about the Restoration (: It was great. We referred her onto the Sisters in her area.
But I'm doing good! I am healthy and I am doing well (: A little sad that I'm being transferred... but hey, what do ya do? A cool quote our President shared with us was "When we are no longer able to change a situation... we are challenged to change ourselves." So true! Thank you so much for all your love, support and prayers! Love and miss you (: Have a great week!
Elder Teeples!

The first one is a picture of Elder Gregory, one of the Elders we live with currently. He is hilarious! We walked into our apartment at like 9:20 pm one night and this is what I saw on the couch (:

Monday, June 16, 2014

We're preparing a song for Pres. Castro's last zone meeting this week.

This week was pretty good! We got to go on a couple exchanges this week, and I got to be with Elder Navarrete again (: that was a really good experience. We had a heart-to-heart conversation at the end of the exchange. It was good being able to work with him again to see how he has grown.
So have our final zone meeting with Pres. Castro before he departs. The assistants asked us to prepare a musical number, so we spent an hour or so preparing "God be with You till we meet again" and we got it down. Elder Bate, Elder Navarrete, and Elder Payne were singing while I was on the piano and it all sounded soooooooooooo good! (mostly because they are good singers, obviously (: ) and everything was all good. THEN!!!!! After we told the assistants what song we had practiced, they got back to us and said "Pres. Castro has requested that you change the song." Wh-what?): Oh well... Hahah so we spent some time together again and we might end up doing "Nearer My God to Thee" So it should be good, but I'll let ya know how it goes!
Hmmmm.... We got a new investigator this week! His name is Eric, who is YSA. Not yesterday, but last sunday he walked into one of the wards in Camarillo and attended sacrament meeting. Randomly. So the Elders in that ward went and talked to him, and he was like "somebody told me I could find Jesus here, so I came!" Hahah sweet! So they set up an appointment with him, and it just so happened that the day they set up the appointment was the day that we had an exchange with that companionship. WOOO! He is in his late 20's and wants to go to the YSA ward so we basically "swiped" him from the other Elders (: hahaha. He's great though, we had another appointment with him later in the week, and he had read Ether 12 out of the Book of Mormon, which was the chapter we had committed him to read a couple days earlier. So we are excited to follow up with him this week!
Our Bishops son just returned from his mission like a week and a half ago, and he invited his friend to meet with us. He said he would like to and that he really was curious. So we had a great lesson with him in the Bishop's home. We taught him about the Restoration and got to know him a little bit better, and he said he'd read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We are excited to follow up with him!
So I guess that is a short verson of the main things that happened this week! It was a good week (: Thank you for all your love and support! I'm so happy I'm serving a mission at this time and in this place! I feel the Lord's love through the blessings He has given me, which is so much! It only makes sense to give all we have back to Him (: Thanks again, and have a great week! Love and miss ya!
Elder Teeples

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nothing like being guided to the Lord's prepared children...awesome.

Helloooo (:
Well, this week was great! We saw a couple really awesome miracles this week (: One of them was on an exchange with the assistants. I went with Elder Lee, and we spent the day working over in Oxnard (which in some parts is like 50% Spanish and 50% English speaking.) And luckily, Elder Lee is a Spanish missionary (: Haha so we were working in one of the more Spanish-speaking-dense areas, and we started talking to this lady and her husband outside of their home. We introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The lady spoke pretty good English, but the husband didn't speak very much at all. So we talked for a little bit outside of their home, and after a few minutes the lady invited us into their home, and she asked if we could speak in Spanish just so her husband could understand. So Elder Lee started teaching about the Restoration in Spanish and I could follow what they were saying, but I couldn't necessarily participate, obviously (: Me no hablo espanol... Haha but soon after we got in, Elder Lee mentioned the Book of Mormon and she responded in Spanish "Wait, you guys are Mormons??" and she had a somewhat skeptical look on her face... but Elder Lee taught a little bit more about Prophets, and how the same church that Christ set up while He was on the earth had been Restored in these days. It was really cool just being able to focus on the body language, and expressions of the lady and her husband, since that was all I could really pay attention to (: Slowly her countenance changed. With every principle that we taught (about modern day prophets, the Book of Mormon, etc.) she seemed to get so excited and she would be like "Really?! That is new to me! It makes sense!" By the time we left she wanted "bunches" of copies of the Book of Mormon for her household, and she wanted them the very next day. Needless to say, as Elder Lee and I walked away from their home, we had the biggest, goofiest grins on our faces that we couldn't wipe off (: Hahaha! Their name is the Garcia family. We passed them off to the Spanish missionaries in that area. People truly are being prepared to hear this glorious message!
Okay that was long... hahaha. I also went on an exchange with another Elder. He is one of the other missionaries in our apartment, Elder Gregory, and I was able to work in his area. We got to ride bikes! It was really good to ride a bike for a day (: We met a lady who was like, "I usually go to a Christian church.. but I have friends that are Mormon, and I'd rather go to your church!" Haha once again... people are being prepared to hear this glorious message (: So we got them a new investigator.
Hmm.... We officially passed Allie off to the other Elders.. Sad day. But I guess it there is a reason beyond our understanding! So I have learned to accept it (: haha and we still see her at church anyways, so it's all good. We went by a referral yesterday like 30minutes before church started, and he said he would come if he got a ride. So in the next 3 minutes, we got a member to pick him up! So he came to church (: haha his name is Tyrann. That was an awesome last minute miracle! He said he liked it and that he'd come back next week!
I'm running out of time... but yes, it was a great week! We also had our last mission leadership council with President Castro... I am so sad that he is ending his mission. I am really going to miss him and his family!
Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers! I love and miss you lots (: have a wonderful week!
Elder Teeples
Pres. Castro and I

This is a picture of Margi and Allie. (Allie's on the right :))

Monday, June 2, 2014

the missionary's gift of love

Helloooooo (:
Elder Bate and I had a really great week this week! We spent quite some time preparing a report for our meeting with the stake presidency yesterday, which we feel went really well! We gained some insights and improvements for our work which was great! President Castro also was in attendance to the meeting and it was so good to see him! It may be "bitter-sweet" for him and his family, but it is nothing but bitterness for us... Or so it seems :/ I've come to love that man so much and I look up to him a lot. I'm sad to see him go!
We were able to find a new investigator named Hank! He is in the coast guard, and he had a friend who was LDS when he was growing up. We had a great lesson with him about the restoration when we went back for our return appointment, and he seemed to be pretty open to it, and was willing to learn (: He mentioned how it was a lot to take in, but he woud definitely ponder and pray about it, so we are excited to follow up with him this week!
We also had a couple last lessons with our investigator Allie this week before we "hand" her off to the other Elders.. It was sooo sad! As a missionary, you naturally love everybody we see, even just people on the streets and we desire their happiness. But when you get to know somebody, like we have with Allie, that love grows and it is so hard to let it go! But at least we will continue to see her at church on Sundays (: The lessons we had were really powerful though and we feel good about them. It's such a privilege to have the opportunity to bare our testimonies with others! It's such a blessing!
We also got to see Joseph this week! We had the lesson in the church building and a member came with us. It was a great lesson talking about service and a little bit more about what he had read out of Mosiah 1-4. It was a really good lesson and he is still preparing to be baptized on July 4th, so we'll see how that goes (:
We had a cool miracle this week! We went by to see a less active that a bishop wanted us to see. So we finally made it a point to get all the way out there to where she lived, only to find out she didn't live there... So we decided to work in that area, and we walked around a huge block. After we got around the whole block, we were like two houses away from our car, and a guy walks out of his house to his car and we got to talk to him for a little bit, and we came to find out he was a less active! He isn't on our records but we found him (: He said he'd make it to church yesterday, but we didn't see him there... but it's amazing how we can be true instruments in the Lord's hands to finding his lost sheep!
In my studies I have been reading through Genesis. I read this morning in chapter 24 when Abraham's servant is sent to find a wife for Isaac. It surprised me that when the servant got to the well, the first thing he did was pray that the Lord would help him find the "damsel" that would be appointed for Isaac. It wasn't just a general prayer, but it was specific. He told the Lord specific signs that he would look for to know which woman was the right one to bring back, and before he finished his prayer, Rebekah cam out and followed the same actions that the servant asked for. The principle is so true, if we want answers to our prayers, we need to ask for specific things so we know what to look for. It also reminds and amazes me in this story about how God's timing truly is perfect! Love it (:
Thank you so much for all your love, support and prayers! I miss you! And yes, the fruit snacks are amazing (: I love them! Thank you again! Have a great week (:
Elder Teeples (:
oh and this is a picture of my current district (:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Helloooooo (:

I'm a little short on time this week, being Memorial Day! The public library where we usually email is closed.... so we have member here at the family history center and we are trying not to keep her for long. (: I had totally forgotten about the family reunion! I sure took those for granted before my mission. I had a great time playing guitar/piano at the youth center in Richfield (: and the sawdust... good stuff. 

So! This week was great! We got a hold of a less active named Arjay that we have been trying to contact forever! But we got an appointment with him last week and we have one with him tonight (: we are excited for it! He was baptized in the ward I was in in Newbury Park a couple years ago. 

We set our investigator Joseph with a baptismal date of July 4th! In my head I thought that would be a Saturday... but it's a Friday. and baptisms usually happen on Saturday, so we are going to discuss it with him. But Joseph is so great! He read Mosiah 1-4 and he LOVED King Benjamin. He was talking all about it, and we asked him how he has applied it to his life and he was like, "I find myself wanting to be around my friends more just so I can serve them! and I want to be at work more so I can serve the people there." Ahhhhh! We are just trying to commit him to come to church, which is hard for him, because he works the night shift on the weekend at his work. 

We had a great lesson with our investigator, Allie. that was the one where the member, Margi, asked if we would teach her and her friend the lessons. She seemed to be a lot more attentive this week to the lesson and was a lot more open to it. We talked about the first half of the Plan of Salvation and she seemed to take it in pretty well. However, she lives in Ventura, so technically the other set of Elders in the YSA ward are supposed to be teaching her, so we are going to be handing her off soon. We have just been teaching her and Margi at the church.... so that's a bummer. Oh well! 

We went by what I thought was a less active, named Eliana. We caught her home and found out that she wasnt a member! Sweet (: I guess her mom has just been investigating for like 20 years.... super crazy. But yeah we are trying to set something up with her this week. 

We also saw a lot of opposition this week... A lot of people trying to tell us that we were wrong, that we believe in a different Jesus, etc.... all this garbage. it's so amazing to me how this opposition just comes in waves. But it also surprises me that everytime we do come across a "basher" it causes me to really think, and it causes doubts. Which I have found to be a good thing! It has really helped me to realize that the Book of Mormon is either true, or it is not. Period. It is either of God, or it is not. And each time we face opposition I always reflect to the scriptures I read in the Book of Mormon when I first, I guess, sparked my testimony, which were sections of Alma 32 and 2 Nephi 4. I know that the Book of Mormon is from God. It helps us come closer to Christ. Even if I saw and handled the golden plates, I would not have as strong as a testimony today if I didn't feel what I felt when I read those scriptures. People can try to persuade somebody that they didn't see what they saw, or heard what they heard, but they will never be able to take away the feeling in my heart that I can always reflect on, which I have now come to know that is the spirit. The Book of Mormon is true. I know that with all my heart. 

How's that for a mini sermon? (:

We found a couple other new investigators this week ad we are excited to follow up with them this week! One of them was last night in a member's home. He had us over for dinner and invited his friend and it went soooooo good! Member missionary work is the way to go! That is where we see the most success!

Thank you for all your love, support and prayers! I can feel them each and every day! You are always in my thoughts and prayers! love and miss you lots!

Elder Teeples (: 
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