Monday, July 28, 2014

Elder Uchdorf says..."You can do it now!" So....I guess we can!

Hello! (: 

This week, the work went really well actually! We didn't get to go out and do a lot of finding, due to attending to our assignment as zone leaders, but we still picked up 4 new investigators this week which was a miracle! It was great (:

We taught a guy named Arnold at our dinner appointment this past Monday night. He is a really great guy and he has read about "20%" of the Book of Mormon. He is really open to learning about the Book of Mormon and how it came to be. He lives with one of the stake representatives from our YSA ward.

We started teaching a girl named Stephanie. She lives in Simi Valley, but wants to come to the Westlake YSA ward, because all of her fellowship is here. She really wants to find out if this is true for herself, and not for any other reason. She doesn't have too much of a religious background, but she is humble and willing to learn. We taught her the Plan of Salvation at a dinner appointment and she seemed to learn a lot from it. We are excited to help her find this for herself! She has some trials as we all do, and we believe the Gospel will really help her.

We taught our investigator Xingxing/Ben about Temples and Family History. He understands that it is important and during the closing prayer, he mentioned to Heavenly Father that he wanted to be baptized for his grandfather, so that was a cool moment! He is such a great investigator to teach because he is so sensitive to the spirit (: 

We taught our investigator Luke. We taught him about scripture reading and prayer, and he understood it pretty well. We aren't sure what to do with him... He seems to be more interested in the social aspect of the church, and puts the spiritual part to the side. So we are trying to set him up with a friend who will help him to start reading and praying on his own.

We found a person named Gabriel, who had actually talked to Sister missionaries up at San Jose State, as he was going through the orientation program, and had a return appointment with him. We taught him a quick restoration lesson, and invited him, as the Sisters did, to read the Book of Mormon, specifically the title page. He was super chill! 

On Saturday we met somebody named Kira. She was out washing her car, and I admit, I was hesitant to talk to her, (as she wasn't modest...) but Elder Welker was pretty set on talking to EVERYONE. She was actually really open to learning more and hearing more and we will be teaching her again soon. We had a really good conversation with her just about the church, and what we believe will happen after this life. She doesn't have too much of a religious background either so it was all kind of new to her. She was really nice and accepted a Book of Mormon , so we are excited to follow up with her!

Lastly, we contacted a referral named Clay Boers. He is not a member, but his dad is, and he actually served his mission her in the California Ventura Mission. He doesn't seem to be active but we had a great conversation with Clay, and got a return appointment with him. 

This week I studied a lot about the Atonement. It was quite amazing. I reviewed the talk by President Uchtdorf "You Can Do It Now!" Very encouraging. I would share more but I am running low on time. 

Thank you for all your love support and prayers! It really means so much to me! I love and miss you tons! Have a great week (: I will keep the family in my prayers with their challenges.

Elder Teeples (: 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Becoming Christlike is a process.....not an event.

Hello! (:

It has been a really good week! We had two exchanges, one with Elder Kleinman and Elder Lee, the assistants, and one with Elder Rasband and Elder De Costa. Elder Rasband is a district leader in our zone, who we actually live with. They were both really good exchanges and I really learned a lot. I really love Elder Lee, and I feel really blessed that I got to go on another exchange with him this transfer! We went on an exchange last transfer and we saw many miracles, and we saw lots of miracles this past Wednesday. I have really come to be good friends with Elder Lee! He is a really hard worker, and he is such a solid missionary. We connect a lot, and we can be open with each other. We talked to a lot of people and had a lot of success. It was a really fruitful, and productive exchange!  I went with Elder Rasband on an exchange on Saturday and it went really good. Not as productive, but I got to know Elder Rasband really well. He's a really good missionary and he is fun to be around! He doesn't like being in awkward situations, so we talked about that a lot. We are always awkward as missionaries! It's great! I have come to know how to have fun in awkward situations, but I guess some other missionaries struggle with that still. We both learned that we could have an increase of charity for those that we interact with each and every day. 

Our investigator Ben came to church yesterday with his girlfriend, Anna! That was a huge miracle! She hasn't been to fond of him coming to church and being away from her. We were really excited about that! She was hesitant to stay for the 3rd hour, since she would be separated from Ben, and she doesn't know too much English, but the members just swarmed her and loved her, and she went to relief society and had a great time.  We taught him a couple times this week, and he is still setting his sights on baptism.

We taught our investigator Luke this week as well, the one you met at Mayra Clarke's baptism. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it went really well. He is fun to teach, because we have to come up with creative ways to keep him involved, so it's definitely a growing experience for us as well.

Elder Welker is doing really good. He really is so focused, and such a consecrated missionary. I am willing to say that he is probably one of the most obedient and consecrated missionaries in this mission. He moves quite swiftly, which is a good thing, but I feel at times that it is hard for me to keep up with him sometimes. I feel as if I am burning out. I love this work, and I love the Lord, but I just feel like it's hard for me to stay motivated... I really learning how to cope with stress, and just pushing through hard times. 

In my studies I focused a lot on Christlike attributes, because I feel like I need to work on those a lot. I love chapter 6 of Preach my Gospel. I love the little green box at the end of the chapter, "remember this," which basically is a little summary of the whole chapter. It talks about how becoming like Christ is a lifelong process, and that it can't be learned all at once. It is really significant to me that it is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we CAN become Christlike, and that it is a process. It is more of a journey than a task. 

Thank you for all your love and support! You are constantly in my prayers (: Love and miss you lots! 

Elder Teeples
Check out my mission's new blog here:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Great week to have a birthday.

Hello (:

This week was great! Thanks again for the package! It has brought much happiness (:

Ben came to church yesterday!! He is doing so well! He let us know this past week that nothing is going to stop him from being baptized. It is so cool seeing somebody who didn't really have a belief in God not to long ago have such a strong testimony of him. His prayers are so sincere that it makes me want to pray better! We taught him the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, pray often, study the scriptures, and keep the Sabbath Day Holy this week. It was a productive week for his progress! He has the missionary fire too. A member in our stake is housing two Chinese students for about a month and he wants to share the Gospel with them so bad. So we will see how that goes! 

We taught our investigator Erick. He wasn't able to make it to church today but we taught him about the Word of Wisdom and why it is important. We set him with a baptismal date of August 9th. He is doing really good. He has some word of wisdom issues, but nothing that can not be overcome. 

We came up with a creative way to teach our investigator Luke. He has a short attention span, so we had to keep him really interactive with the lesson. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we reviewed the lesson afterwards and he seemed to retain the majority of it. We also watched a couple videos that would keep his attention, so it went well.

Our investigator Nolan is doing good. We had a few lessons with him this week and taught him about keeping the Sabbath Day holy and reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday. We are mainly just trying to get him some friends that will consistently invite him out to activities.

My birthday was really good! We just continued to work hard, and we got a lot done! The other Elders that we are living with made breakfast and it was really good (: So it was a good birthday! And I forgot to mention what I did on the 4th of July in my last letter... haha it was spent doing a lot of paperwork... unfortunately! But we got to get out and talk to a few people so it was great!

This week I studied about receiving the spirit/light of Christ, and how we can receive that spirit/light through our righteous works, meet for repentance. I guess it all comes down to "by their fruits ye shall know them." If their works are good, that will definitely show, and not necessarily just their works, but their attitude toward their work. I figured that I could be exactly obedient, but if I didn't have a positive attitude about it, it wouldn't mean much at all. So I've been trying to have a better attitude about everything! It really helps.

Well! Sorry this is a bit shorter. But I hope you have a great week! Thanks for all the pictures of the fam (: Everybody looks so much different! Love and miss ya lots! Talk to ya soon (:

Elder Teeples!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Got another baptismal date..Wahooo!

Hello (:

This week went really well! We had a productive meeting with the stake presidency yesterday morning. We are going to start coordinating more with the high councilmen over missionary work every week by phone. We should begin to see good results from that. (: Hasten the work!

As goes for investigators, Elder Welker and I were excited to have our investigator Xing Xing, or Ben, attend church yesterday. He is a foreign exchange student from China going to a university out here. His baptismal date is for July 26th and he got up and bore his testimony in the meeting! What?!?! It was amazing! He can't speak much English which makes it even better. (: He uses such simple terms and bore testimony how he knows God lives and that Heavenly Father has help him overcome smoking. It was so great! We had a good lesson with him this week and he asked about the sacrament, and why everybody prays, and we explained to him what the sacrament symbolized, and he understood, and yesterday during the sacrament we looked over and he was folding his arms and bowing his head. Such a great experience!

We also saw our investigator Nolan. He is really great! We taught him about scripture study and prayer and he committed to praying and reading the Book of Mormon everyday. We are excited to follow up with him.

We had a lesson with our investigator Luke. Elder Welker and I are trying to find a new teaching style for him. He has a short attention span, and doesn't really soak in the lessons we teach. Regardless we read the introduction and the title page of the Book of Mormon and he accepted a baptismal date of August 9th.

We taught our investigator Justin. He seemed really grateful for the visit. He has had a hard past few months. He has read the Book of Mormon a few times all the way through, and he feels like it is true, and even defends it at points.
He also wants to get other members opinions on it. After the lesson our WML called him and invited him to the temple trip the ward was having on Tuesday. Our WML is so great! so on top of everything! He was really grateful for the call and is going to try to get Tuesday off work (:

We saw a miracle and found a pretty prepared person in Moorpark, who is from Bakersfield. It was cool, because Elder Welker had a prompting to go see this potential investigator in Moorpark after we had already started heading back to Thousand Oaks. The potential wasn't there, but his dad was there, and his dad's brother was interested in learning more. So that was a cool tender mercy from the Lord!

Elder Welker is great. He really does his best to be obedient in ALL things. Seriously. He is the most obedient companion I've ever had. He takes obeying with exactness to a new level. It is a definite strength, but he does seem to get down on himself pretty often though, and I am trying to help him through that. But he seems to be doing good. We are strengthening our relationship day by day. 

In my studies this week, I continued studying 1 Nephi 5 from an institute class we went to. It is where Sariah is scared that Lehi and her's sons have probably been killed or have perished after approximately a month, and she calls Lehi a visionary man. Instead of contending with Sariah, he shows humility, and says that he knows he is a visionary man, but because of that he knows he has "obtained the promised land." It is cool that he says that in the past tense, although at that time they were in the wilderness. I related it to my patriarchal blessing, and how I have already "obtained" those blessings if I remain faithful.

Well! Thank you for the birthday money (: I really appreciate all your love and support! Have a great week! love and miss you! 

Elder Teeples (: