Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No ZL for a day...Pretty nice.

Hello!  We had another crazy busy week!!!!! Sometimes I feel like it will never slow down! This week, we had a couple exchanges with the district leaders, some paperwork, a day at Moorpark college, and a few other things, and with that, we have like no time at all! But we are still doing great and the work in our area is progressing (: 

Nothing too much to report on as far as our area goes. Ryan D brought a friend to one of the lessons that we had with him and she had some questions about the afterlife and we got talking about the Plan of Salvation, and read part of Alma 40 with her. It was really good! She said that she would read the Book of Mormon and would like to start coming to some of the activities we have, including ward temple night next month! So that should be awesome (: Ryan basically knows almost all of Thousand Oaks, so his baptismal service is going to be packed! 

We had a pretty successful time on Moorpark College campus! We saw a lot of the same people as last week, but we found a couple other people, and got their numbers, so we are going to start inviting them to things and see if they are willing to come out. The only thing about Moorpark College is that students from almost everywhere but Moorpark go there.... there are a lot from Simi Valley, and the surrounding areas, so we will basically be giving off lots of referrals if they ever become interested (: 

We had a couple "intense" lessons this week. With going on campus, there comes a lot of people who are strong Christians, or strong atheists, and they only want to debate their points of view. But it's cool seeing them having that intention, but our message is simply an invitation to learn more, and we bare simple testimony to them about what we know. They all worked out, and we still seemed to be on their good side by the end of the lessons so it was good (: 

For one of my exchanges with a new missionary, Elder Harper, I got to get away from the "zone leader" phone. It was soooooo great! I think Elder Harper and I got a total of 2 text messages on his phone the whole day! It was so great (: We had a pretty open day so we got to go out and talk to everyone we possibly could, and not worry about any administrative things that we needed to do. I loved it! Near the beginning of my mission these leadership positions seemed somewhat "desirable" but looking on them now.... It's so much less stress being a normal missionary companionship! But I love it at the same time. Heavenly Father is definitely teaching me valuable lessons that I need to learn! His purposes are definitely greater than my own! 

As goes for a Halloween package, yes, I am definitely still trying to avoid sugar! My companion and the other companionship living with us get enough candy.... So I'm good on that (: I'm not even sure what I'd want for a Halloween package.... I can think about it and let you know next week, because transfers is next week, and I'll know where I'm going by next Monday. We get our transfer calls this Saturday morning! I think President Felix is changing it from Monday morning to Saturday morning which is soooooo nice! But if you send letters early in the week I should still get them, so that'd be fine. And as goes for Christmas... I'm not sure? I'd say just save the money you would spend on me and wait til I get home so I know what I can actually use when that time comes. I would like to come back to California soon after my mission to visit, so maybe that could be part of my Christmas gift. I'll keep thinking and let you know! I hope all is well back home! You are in my thoughts and prayers always! Talk to you next week (: 


Elder Teeples! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

I love to see the temple....again! Sweet!

Hellooooooooooo (:   

This week was really good! Super busy... so it flew by!!!!! Wow. Anywho! We saw Meet The Mormons! You really need to see it, because it's so good. Elder Gerber's head is in it! He is part of the mission prep class that they show for the missionary leaving on his mission. You really need to see it soon, family! We also went to the Temple and it was so great! It was Elder Gerber's second time, so he was so relieved to finally go again. He hasn't gone for a whole year! And this was my 5th time in the field (: I've been blessed. I learned so much this time! We actually got there at 8 am, and we looked at the schedule and a session had just BARELY started... so we did initiatories (which was amazing!) and went to the 9:15 session. 

   The area is doing well! We have been trying to get onto Moorpark college campus more often, because that's where we feel we could be really effective in the YSA ward. Going through neighborhoods is always good, but it's not the most productive finding activity for us in finding YSA's. We taught a couple really great people from the college! We were able to teach a few other great people this week. We taught Ryan D and that went really well. He was at church last week. We also taught a guy named Lyndon from Moorpark College and he mostly just vented about things going on in his life, but that's alright. Hopefully we can gain his trust! We also taught Ben, and he had a question about what "taking upon us the name of Christ" meant, so we had a great discussion about that. We are truly being blessed in this area! 

    My companion is still doing great! We are still getting along, and still working great together. I love his work ethic and his diligence. That is something I am working on right now, and he has been a huge help. He is good at listening to the spirit as well. I wish I could follow the spirit as good as he can! He's so great at it. He definitely is really good at discerning the need of any situation too, which is great. 

   My testimony was strengthened a lot this week. Yesterday morning, I was praying and right in the middle of my prayer, doubt entered my mind, and I thought to myself, "am I just some crazy person kneeling on the ground talking to myself? Is God even there? Is He real? And if He is, does He even have time to listen to me? He must have so much other things to do, that He wouldn't have time to listen to my constant prayers." Then I prayed sincerely asking Heavenly Father if He was there, and if He heard me, and loved me. I asked Him if He knew my name. Then I went about my studies yesterday morning like usual, and I randomly started reading this Ensign from January 1994, and I read the first Presidency message by President Hinckley. And there was a quote in there that goes something like, "... let us never forget to pray. God is real. He is near. He is accessible to us." And I just felt the spirit so strongly at that moment. Then the talk in sacrament meeting was all about how God answers prayers, and during lunch we listened to a talk by President Monson from October 2012 about how God answers prayers, and it was just really powerful. So now I know even more so that He does! 

    We didn't get any chance to serve this week.  But we helped out a little bit with the foodshare up at the Moorpark Institute (where the institute has free produce and gives it away), and there was a girl named Jesse that we've seen there the past couple months. She seemed like she was going through a hard time, and she pulled us aside, and asked if we could say a prayer for her. That is huge because in the past she said that she is athiest! She expressed her appreciation, even to tears, for us giving away free produce, and making it available for those in need, because she was in need at the time. It was a really cool, spiritual moment! 

D&C 112:10 "Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers." 

Thank you so much for all that you do! The love, support and prayers are definitely felt. I also got the letters from Mark, Luke, Korissa, and Joseph. Thank you so much! That's the first letter that I've got in a while now (hint hint (; ) Love you lots! You'll be in our thoughts and prayers! Talk to you next week! 

Elder Teeples!
Me and Elder Gerber at the LA Temple

Monday, October 13, 2014

Good times at Moorpark College

Hello Family! (:

This week was awesome! We kept really busy, and we've got another busy week ahead of us. We get to watch Meet the Mormons tomorrow! We are stoked! You should go see it (: I'm sure it is showing in Utah. Then we have President interviews, a temple trip, setting up tables on Moorpark College Campus, and a few other things. We are so excited! 

  The area is doing really great. We got to proselyte a quite a bit this week and we had a good time at Moorpark College participating in the club rush there. (Where all the clubs set up a table and get people to sign up) So the institute there had a table up, and we talked to a lot of YSA's and it was really successful! We are excited to follow up with those people. Ryan is doing good, he came to church again yesterday, and we had a pretty good lesson with him this week. Ben bore his testimony about how he wants to share the Gospel with ALL his friends! He is so great (: I love him to death! He also received the Priesthood which was amazing. Such a great example of what Elder Bednar talked about in conference. We taught a new investigator this week, who's name is Ryan B. He has really been prepared! He's had a lot of friends get baptized within the past year, which is a great influence on him. We also had a couple really intense lessons this week with people who just wanted to debate, but it all turned out alright. The bishop of the Thousand Oaks 3rd ward invited their daughters friend over for dinner last night and had us over. Their daughter is on a mission in Honduras, and we were celebrating her birthday although she was gone, and we got to teach her friend, Colby. She committed to read the Book of Mormon last night, so we will follow up with that. 

   My testimony was definitely strengthened this week. During one of the "debates" we were in, one of the people we were teaching, John, asked this question: "If God really wanted everybody to believe in Him and follow Him, why doesn't he magically show up on all the TV channels, or appear into everyones' mind and tell them straight up?" I've thought about that question a lot, and there are many answers that people could come up with. We then asked him, why would you remember that? What would be so significant about that experience? Then we discussed how we forget what things look like, and we forget what things sound like over time, but we will remember our feelings for much longer. If God were to appear to everybody, it would be a great experience, so much that we would remember perfectly how we felt. But why would God do that, when He can give us that same exact feeling through the Holy Ghost, and through prompting others to do good? That way we have the choice to follow Him by faith which causes us to grow in the process. I know that the Holy Ghost teaches us all truth and it can be just as powerful as a knowledge as if we saw God Himself. 

Sorry this is shorter than usual! Thanks for all your love, prayers and support (: I love and miss you lots! Talk to you next week! 

Elder Teeples! 

PS Brother Leatham, thank you so much for being such a great example to me of humility and charity. It really has changed the way I act and respond to many situations. I always appreciated your willingness to go out of your way to minister to me and my brothers. I will always consider you as such a great friend. A new missionary just moved into our apartment with us, Elder Alexander Harper. I was looking at his pedigree chart and I think his grandpa or greatgrandpa's name was Alexander Leatham. So maybe you're related? Pretty cool though! I have definitely learned though that the Lord's Will will always be done. Whatever happens is for our good! Thank you again for your stellar example of love towards me. Love ya! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

God be thanked for our dear prophet...oh how I love him!

Hello!!!! (:

Wasn't general conference amazing!?!?! It was sooo good! I feel at multiple points the speakers were looking into my eyes and talking to me and saying exactly what I needed. It was truly a great experience (: I loved every second of it! I'm sad, though, that it is my last general conference of my mission.... I will miss watching these as a missionary!

I should be hearing back from President about my departure date soon. I have been keeping myself surprisingly focused and I don't usually think much about it during the week, but yesterday in between sessions I was talking about it with Elder Gerber, because I couldn't get it off my mind during the first session of conference. Then in the afternoon session, there was a talk given and it was an answer to my prayers. I can't remember his name, but he is the one who spoke in Portuguese. He talked about receiving answers to prayers to make important decisions in life! I also learned that if we can take care of it ourselves, Heavenly Father will trust us to work it out on our own. So that was cool!
The area is doing really well. We saw Ryan this week, and he is doing great. His pet lizard died this week and he was really sad about that... but a few days later, he bought a new pet chameleon and he loves it! He just thinks its the coolest thing in the world when it changes colors. We weren't able to see Ben because he was busy with school. We had an exchange with the assistants this week and it was amazing! Elder Lee and Elder Gerber worked so hard. They went on Moorpark College campus and talked with soooooo many people! Elder Wallace and I worked really hard too and we found a few really great people, and we saw some great miracles! Answers to prayers truly do come (: One girl named Hailey we found is really great! She has truly been prepared and we are trying to follow up with her.

Elder Gerber is still awesome. We are still getting along super well and I learn a lot from him. I really admire his desire to apply what he has learned from conference, and basically any instruction he receives. He's really humble in that aspect!

My testimony has definitely been nourished after general conference! I was just uplifted all weekend by the spirit. It's such a great privilege for us to hear from a living prophet! I love general conference! I definitely learned a lot about receiving and recognizing answers to prayers, especially in important decisions that we all have to make, like I mentioned before, so it was very helpful. It was so good to hear from President Monson! There are some rumors around that he isn't doing too well, so we are keeping him in our prayers.

We don't usually have any big service opportunities, but last night we were walking through and apartment complex, and we saw this young married couple trying to juggle their 16 month old boy, loads of groceries and a stroller out of their car. So after some persistence they let us help them in carrying in their stuff. It was great! They seemed to be really appreciative afterwards, and they had smiles on their faces as we walked out the door, so we feel it made a positive impression on them! It just felt so good to help out even in a small way!

Thank you for the shirts! They fit great and they are WHITE! They look great (: thank you sooo much for that! I hope all is well back home! Love and miss you lots! Talk to you next week (:

Elder Teeples!

2473 Visa Wood Circle #13
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Best Week Ever!

Hola! (:

This week was soooooooo great! Ben got married on Friday, baptized on Saturday, and confirmed yesterday!! It was such a great experience! It all went so smoothly, our ward mission leader was such a huge help, and we couldn't have done it without him! He truly is the best ward mission leader ever! So helpful in everything. Ben is doing great and he said that he felt "glory" when he came up out of the water. He had a lot of his Asian friends come with him to his baptism and to his confirmation at church yesterday! It was such a cool experience finally seeing him make that step! Elder Garns, the area seventy for this area, was at our sacrament meeting and he stood in on Ben's comfirmation. All in all, it was just a lot of tender mercies from the Lord all right in a row. (:

Ryan came to church yesterday as well. We had a lesson with his mom this past week, and she let us know that her therapist told her to not make any big family decisions until next year... So since we are treating Ryan as a minor, we have to do as she asks, but we are going to see if we can maybe dig a little deeper on that, if the spirit directs. So we are going to move his baptismal date to next summer. 

We spent a lot of time this week working on goals for the zone to work on, and we put a lot of thought and prayer into them. It took up a lot of time, but we feel really good about them! We also met with William, the guy who came to church not yesterday, but last week. We are excited to start working with him! 

Elder Gerber is so great! I'm so glad that we are staying together for another transfer! We really work well together I feel, and we get along, which is great. We've become really good friends, and we are unified in most things, which is great. He is very humble in seeking out the Lord's way in all things, which is something I need to work on. He is a great leader! 

This week, my testimony was strengthened a lot. During one morning of studies, I was meditating and I took a "trip" into my premortal life, traveling through my life in reverse until I got there. It was a really cool experience, and I even imagined myself there supporting, in spirit, dad while he was on his mission during the hard times he might have had. It really made the premortal life feel more real, which was a really cool experience. 
I'm still working with President Felix on my departure date. I'll let you know as soon as i know! Have a wonderful week (: Talk to you soooooon! Love and miss you! 
Elder Teeples!