Troy’s Letter: July 4, 2011

11 07 2011

Elder Mace and me...ready to baptize!

Hey family!

HAPPY AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY!!!!  It’s kind of a weird Fourth of July for me…just another day of working—haha.  It’s weird thinking that last year at this time I was in Coquimbo with Elder Bohorquez.  Time really flies.  It was great to hear from everyone.  Sounds like a lot is happening in Pennsylvania and Alaska, and not much in Colorado (haha..Dad).  This was another great week here in Mirador de Achupallas…an amazing week.

So I’ll start with the two baptisms!!  Aris and Sebastian both got baptized on Friday at 4:00 in the afternoon.  The bishop baptized both of them which was absolutely amazing.  I love our bishopric.  It was a pretty entertaining baptism. Aris and Sebastian invited their whole class to their baptism so there were about twenty 15-year-old kids who showed up.  Our bishop is actually their language teacher in the school, so it was really weird for him to have all of his students show up to the chapel—haha.  Elder Mace confirmed Sebastian and I confirmed Aris in Sacrament Meeting.  Alexandra also passed her baptismal interview on Saturday!!  She will be getting baptized this coming Saturday at 8:00!  Her testimony is so strong.  She likes to think of herself as a member already—haha.  In the Gospel Essentials class for investigators on Sunday, she mentioned in her prayer “for all of the investigators to feel the truthfulness of the gospel.”  We had to kindly remind her that she’s still not a member till next Sunday—haha.  She’s already talking about going on a mission and getting the rest of her family baptized as well.  In every single prayer, she prays that her family can get baptized as well.  She’s amazing.

We also had three other families with baptism dates show up to church: Gabriela and her child, Rosemary and Andreth, and Matías Maritza and his son Matías.  About a third of the congregation was full of investigators, converts, or less actives that we had brought to church.  All of the members have been commenting on how many investigators are going to church.  I love seeing the excitement of the members towards missionary work.  Every week we have about fifteen or sixteen lessons with members—lessons with investigators where the members accompany us and share their testimonies and develop friendships.  I’m absolutely positive that the work is progressing so well because of the help of the members.  I really feel like it is a team here and not just the missionaries doing everything.  What is says in Preach my Gospel is true.  When missionaries and members combine efforts, miracles happen in the missionary work.  I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do to help the missionaries when I get back.  I plan on getting a list of every less active member in the ward from the secretary and visiting each and every one of them with my free time.  I’m totally going to find the missionaries some baptisms when I get home.  I hope they’re ready to baptize.  By the way, who is the ward mission leader in our Miramont ward?

So, I have really been studying the April Conference talks along with the scriptures and there was one talk that really hit me—Elder Lynn Robbin’s talk on what manner of men ought we to be.  He talked a lot about the qualities of “be” and “do”.  When we see a problem with our children (or investigators), our main concern and focus should be on the “Be” and not the “Do.”  Understanding the doctrine leads to a larger change of heart than trying to change someone’s actions.  That’s why it is so important that as we teach investigators, we don’t just try to change their habits to correspond to a list of rules we live in the church (changing the “do”).  We teach and invite them to gain a testimony of the restored gospel by prayer and study.  When they learn for themselves and develop testimonies, the “be” changes and not their “do.”  This leads to a true conversion in the church.  That’s why Alma taught that the word of God has a more powerful influence on the children of men than anything else, even the sword (Alma 31:5).  So true!  We can and should apply that to every aspect of our lives (Love the sinner and hate the sin).  I love the mission.  I love the scriptures, and I am forever thankful to my Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you all,

Elder Teeples

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