Monday, November 24, 2014

Week of singing, hot pots and....feeling really tired. :)

Hola (: 

This week was great! I seemed to be really tired almost all of the time though! It's good I guess. It makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day when I can barely keep my eyes open. I feel like I need to take a 2-week-long nap after my mission! 

I had an awesome exchange with Elder Boyce! He is doing really well. He is a really solid missionary and I'm glad that I had the opportunity of being with him for the day! He is only on his 4th transfer, so he is like, less than 6 months out. It's so crazy that not very long ago, I was at that point.... Time has flown by. But we got to be good friends on our exchange! 

Don't worry, I'll be taken care of here as far as Thanksgiving goes! We've had many invite us over. We are going to the Ewing's home for Thanksgiving. They are awesome! Raquel, the daughter, got home from her mission like 3 months ago, and she has just been on fire ever since she got home. She worked a lot with Moorpark College and made our weekly table on campus happen. She is a solid member missionary! Her family is awesome, so we are excited to be with them for Thanksgiving! They have definitely become lifelong friends after spending time with them. We love them, because whenever they need anything (whether it's a car wash, or as simple as putting a new chair together) they call us for help! It's great (: We just love helping and not very many people take us up on the offer! 

Our area is doing so well! Our investigator Dee is so solid. She came to church yesterday and she seemed to really enjoy it! In this past week we were able to teach her the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She learned a lot, and we quickly learned that she is very diligent in her reading assignments. We asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 before our lesson on Thursday this past week, and she read it like 5 times! What?! She just soaks everything up! She just wants to know everything, it's great. She knows she needs to be baptized and hopefully we can help her set a date for baptism tomorrow in our lesson. It is interesting though, because Preach My Gospel doesn't necessarily mention anything about the Millennium, so in our Gospel Essentials class yesterday, we learned about the Second coming and the Millennium, and she asked us why we didn't teach her about that.... so we'll be teaching her about that tomorrow! Haha along with Temples and Family History work (: She is doing great though. Ryan is also doing really good. We are going onto Moorpark College campus tomorrow, and we are excited for that as always. Ben, our recent convert, and his wife, Anna, came to church yesterday and it was good to see them there. We taught Anna about the beginning part of the Plan of Salvation. Later on in the week, Ben texted us and said "we are going to have a hot pot party at my apartment. Do you want to join?" and when Elder Moser first read the text, he didn't see the word "pot" so he thought we were being invited to a "hot party" in his apartment... Haha! But we stopped by, and their apartment was full of Chinese people! YES! I love Chinese people (: We ate some food out of their "hot pot" (which is like a boiling bowl of broth and they just throw things in it and it cooks them), and I ate a fish egg! It was interesting... but we sang "I am a Child of God" to all of them, and bore our testimonies. It was so cool! 

So I was asked to sing the tenor part in a musical number this past Sunday, and we met up like an hour before church to practice it. My part was sooooooooo high! I can maybe reach the C that is an octave about middle C... and my part went to the F above that! It was crazy. So I sang in my falsetto voice in front of the WHOLE ward! Haha it was pretty crazy... But I think it went alright (: 

My testimony is doing really well! I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I love how simple it is. That is one thing that Elder Boyce and I noticed when we were studying for Dee's lesson to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so simple and it flows to smoothly. I know that it is the way Heavenly Father wants us to live! It brings us true happiness. It is impossible not be happy while truly living the Gospel.

We got a call from Sister Morrison, Sister Williams, and Sister Angimarou saying that one of the less actives they are working with needed help putting up a shower curtain, and they didn't know how, so they wanted us to go over and help her with that. The shower curtain rod that she bought didn't ANY instructions on how to put it up... but I think we did it right! After we did so, we used her guitar and sang "How Great Thou Art" to her and her dad. It was a cool experience and committed her to come to church! 

Thank you for all your love and support! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving (: You are in my thoughts and prayers always! Love and miss you! 

Elder Teeples 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nearer My God To Thee


   This week was really great! Really tiring, but really great. We had a good first lesson with a new investigator named Dee! She was the one who came to church a couple weeks ago and is dating a member in the Westlake family ward. She is so prepared! She goes to church in the family ward every week! She has a lot of knowledge about the church. In the lesson we talked about the Book of Mormon, and asked if she had prayed about it at all, and she replied with,"well... I don't really need to, it's true!" She also had an experience a while ago where she prayed for a week straight if she should be baptized or not, and she went to church on Sunday and during Sunday school, there was a scripture read that said, (how she described it), "if you want this, then be baptized. If you want that, then be baptized," so she knows she needs to be baptized! She just needs to take that step. She didn't mention that it is hard for her to commit, but we feel as if it will be just a matter of helping her see that she has already committed, she just needs to step down into the font! So we just spent the whole lesson getting a feel for where she's at, and helping her understand our purpose as missionaries. We have a return appointment with her this Thursday after zone conference and it should be really great! 

   We also met with Ryan a few times this week. We taught him about Adam & Eve and how they lived in a perfect garden. It's so fun teaching him, I feel like it is preparing me to be a father in helping me learn to teach the gospel to children. I'm definitely going to continue loving Ryan beyond my missions end! 

   Elder Moser is doing really good. We are really getting along well, since we already had that foundation of a friendship before we became companions. I feel this week we did a really good job at teaching in unity, especially in zone meeting. We had so little time to prepare, yet it turned out good because I feel like we were on the same page, regardless of how scattered our notes were! I really love Elder Moser and we have fun together. We sang in sacrament meeting yesterday along with an Elder named Elder Law, and a member accompanied us as we sang " I know that my Redeemer Lives" It was really cool! That was the first time I had sang in sacrament meeting! So I was nervous but nobody said we sounded terrible so that's good (: We were singing to a member of the bishopric and his family after dinner this past Wednesday and asked if we'd be willing to sing in sacrament meeting the next Sunday and we did it! 

   I realized more than ever this week that the sacrifices we make as missionaries is soooooooo much less than what we receive from our "sacrifice" to come on a mission. I don't feel like it should even be called a sacrifice. Christ suffered so much for us! He made the ultimate sacrifice. I feel I am just expressing a small portion of my appreciation for His and Heavenly Father's real sacrifice by giving two years to the Lord, when in reality is truly a blessing. Relating that to obedience, it just gives me more reason to be obedient. His sacrifice enabled all of us to learn to be obedient, so why not take advantage of that blessing and learn to be obedient sooner? I love my Savior, and I love my Heavenly Father. I heard a cool scripture this week, it's 3 Nephi 5:20. We can truly use our agency to "bless [our] God and [our] Savior Jesus Christ" by choosing His will. 

   For service this week, Raquel, a member in our ward called us up just at the right time as we were in their area, and asked if we could help them put together a couple chairs that they received in the mail from Target, or somewhere like that. We had a good time strengthening our relationship with the members as we helped them with these chairs. It was cool talking with them and doing our best to build their faith in anyway possible. I love serving others! It's always a good experience. Always.

   We have zone conference this week, and we are doing a musical number for that too! I am playing and a companionship of Hermana's and Elder Moser will be singing! It's a medley we came up with of Nearer My God to Thee, and I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go. It is soooooo good! I wish you could hear it! But I guess it'll wait til after my mission. I'm going to record it in one of our practices this week! I also have hilarious videos of Ryan that you'll need to see. 

Thanks for all your love and support and all the prayers! They are definitely felt each and every day! Have a fantastic week (: 

Elder Teeples!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kickin' it with Elder M. in Thousand Oaks....How great is that!

Hello! :D   

   This week was really great! We had another successful time on Moorpark College campus on Wednesday, and we will be there again tomorrow. It's such an awesome opportunity for us! I really feel like it is effective, more than most other things we do, in a YSA ward. Elder Moser seemed to like it as well! It really hurts the first few times you greet somebody as they are walking by, and they just ignore you... but after the first few times it doesn't hurt so bad anymore (: So it's great! We had a few good lessons with Ryan D and that was really great. He was able to come to church yesterday. Xinxing's wife, Anna, came to church yesterday as well. Xinxing passed the sacrament for his first time yesterday! Oh it was so great! But it was really good to see her there! The non member that was going to feed us last night, Tianna, wasn't able to make it, unfortunately, but we are going to try to set something up with her soon. Due to coming up with zone goals we weren't able to meet with a lot of our investigators this week, but we were still pretty productive. We are planning on handing off our investigator, Trevor, to the Simi Valley Elders, since that's where he lives. 
   Elder Moser is doing great! We were able to catch up on how our missions have been going. it's great because we have come to be pretty good friends over the course of our missions. He expressed a lot of his feelings to me this week about he hasn't been around somebody who he feels completely comfortable around until he became companions with me, so it was a relief for him. We shared some of the strong spiritual moments, and some of our learning experiences with each other this week. He is doing great and he is going to love the YSA ward! We also talked about a few things, about how we think our next/last transfer will play out, whether we'd be training or not, etc. But we both agree that it's all up to the Lord's will, and we are willing to do whatever He knows is best!
   My testimony is doing great as well. Coming up with zone goals is always such a cool experience! After we had thought about them, and come up with the ideas and started writing them down, we were talking to Sister Guthrie and Sister Higgins on the phone and we asked for any last suggestions for zone goals. Sister Guthrie gave a suggestion for a zone goal and, almost to a T, was the first zone goal that we had already come up with. It is just so cool to see how through the spirit, we can know what we all need to work on. So my testimony has been strengthened this week in that aspect, that if we are in tune with the spirit we truly will be unified!

Sorry this is shorter... But I hope you have a wonderful week! I love and miss you lots! Talk to you soon (: 

Elder Teeples

Also, also! Luigi, one of the investigators I taught in Ventura is being SEALED! Valentines day 2015! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

I get to stay! Thousand Oaks ROCKS!

Hola!!!!!! (: 

We got the transfer calls!!!!!!!!!!!! They did it differently this transfer and we got the call on Saturday, rather than this morning! It was really nice knowing before hand. Definitely a lot less crazy. BUT I AM STAYING!!!! :D Which was a surprise because Elder Gerber was here for 2 and I have been here for 3. But Elder Gerber is going to Camarillo, where I came from! He'll love it (: I am going to be with Elder Michael Moser! The Elder I went to high school with and the one I was in the MTC with!!!!!! It's going to be so great (: But I will miss Elder Gerber so much! 

The area here is going so well! Like really. We are going to see a lot of progression this next transfer! We have a couple non members that came to church yesterday, and they are baptisms waiting to happen. One of them is named Dee, and the other is Tianna. We are excited to start working with them! We have also been finding a lot of success from going onto Moorpark college campus. That has been really good for us. We get to talk to so many people! Ryan D has been doing really great. He has been so good at coming to church and coming to all the activities that we have for the ward. He has really been a blessing in my life. We also taught Xinxing's (Ben) wife, Anna, this week. She doesn't have an "interest" in being baptized right now, which is sad, but we are going to do all that we can to help her! Elder Gerber and I studied a lot about desires this week, and we feel that we have a good idea of how we can help her.

My testimony has strengthened a lot this week as far as doing the Lord's will goes! He definitely has a plan. I thought I was going to be transferred this transfer (I know, I got into that mindset when I really shouldn't have...) and I was so confused, and I was feeling as if I hadn't really accomplished what I needed to in this area yet. Especially with Tianna who came to church yesterday. We met her going to the very small institute class at the beginning of this transfer, and she is from Santa Maria. Her best friend growing up that lived down the street from her was LDS, and Tianna had gone to girls camp quite a few times, and even knows "I am a Child of God" by heart. Now, as you may recall, my first area in the mission was in Santa Maria 3rd ward, and when we first met Tianna, we came to find out that I knew her best friend because I served in her ward. It was just a small world, and it "broke the ice" really quickly, and it took a while to get the ball rolling with her, but now that it is, we hope to start teaching her soon. She and another member are feeding us dinner next Sunday and we hope to have a good discussion about her.

For service this week we actually got to do some service! We got to help an investigator being taught in a different ward move stuff into a storage unit in Moorpark. She was so appreciative of the service and her heart really softened! We also got to serve a couple members by washing their cars. It was so amazing! I absolutely love serving people so much! We did 3 hours of service this week. 

Thank you for all your prayers and support! I love you so much and miss you tons! Have a great week (: 

Elder Teeples 
I met Alex Boye!!!!
Here's a side picture of him (: A last minute fireside was set up this weekend where him and Abby Andersen, a 17 year old singer from Texas, spoke and sang for us. Super cool!