Monday, August 25, 2014

Building a 'zion zone'.

Hey... (: 

This week was really good! It seemed to fly by! The weeks seem to be going by quicker and quicker as my mission goes on. It really is a joy though, to be living as a missionary all the time. I feel like at this point it has just become who I am! I am still the same Jared Teeples, just... I don't know... better? Haha a better me! When my mission ends I don't feel like what I do every day, as far as daily scripture study, prayer, etc. will cease. Training me to be a better person for the rest of my life! I'm excited for that day, but we are staying focused on the work in this great area. We had Zone meeting this week and it was awesome! We had input from almost the whole zone during our discussion of how to have a "zion zone." It was good to get everybody else involved instead of us blabbing the whole time.. It was also really cool to see everybody open up, and give their input. It was a great zone meeting, and we have heard a lot of good feedback from the missionaries here and how they liked it. We have zone conference on Thursday and we are excited for that! 

We have heard that the zone goals that we came up with a couple weeks ago are going really good. One of them focuses on helping people smile! Then the missionaries keep tally marks of how many people they make smile. We feel it is a good way to help them see how they truly are a "light" to this area, despite the rejection we receive. We also came up with a program to help the members do missionary work, and it is called the "Find a Friend: Be a Light, then Invite" program. We have heard some good feedback so far! It is 5 weeks long. We drew it up, and I'm so thankful that my legibility has improved, as far as handwriting goes! It seems to have improved on my mission (: A member in the Thousand Oaks 1st ward actually made a printed copy of it for us to use, so it seems that the members might enjoy it as well.

As far as the work goes in the YSA ward, our investigators Ben/Xinxing and Anna/Qianqian brought their friend Lily/Jingchong to church yesterday, and Lily loved it! She said she has gone to Christian churches before, but she really liked our church and said she would come next week. It was kind of cool how she ended up coming with them. She woke up yesterday with some sort of skin condition, and Ben texted us and said they wouldn't make it to church because they had to take Lily to the clinic to get it checked, but the clinic was closed, due to it being Sunday. So they just came to church and brought her with. I was talking to Lily during church and asked if she believed in God, and she said that she doesn't know, but if there was a God, He led her to church today by "closing the clinic" ha (: It was great. She actually lives in our apartment complex so it will be pretty easy to teach her. 

No update on Alonso... He couldn't make it to church yesterday and we didn't get to teach him, unfortunately. 

We taught Luke and that went really good. We brought a fellowship who did most of the talking during the lesson. It was more like a conversation that was being focused by the member. Luke likes to talk a lot, but we committed him to read at least one verse of the Book of Mormon everyday, and the member was going to follow up with him often, so we'll see how that goes. 

Ryan is also doing good. We plan to talk to his mom this week to see what she thinks about him being baptized. We feel he would make a really good contribution and addition to the ward, despite his disabilities. He really has such a sweet spirit and he is just a friend to everybody he knows!

We received a referral from some of the sisters in the zone to a girl named Micaela, and apparently she is super interested. We have an appointment with her tonight and we are excited to see how that goes (:

In my studies this week I studied a bit about humility and how that is a key thing to have in a "zion companionship." To truly be unified, at least for me, I need to almost eliminate the role of Senior companion and Junior companion and I have to see us equals. That is truly how I have found I can be unified and be humble to put my companions interests before my own. I have been noticing that a lot this week, and it is so true! Being humble makes things a lot easier, but it is hard to always be humble.

Thank you so much for all your love and support! You are in my prayers daily! Love and miss ya!

Elder Teeples (:
Elder Gerber and I

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