Troy’s Letter: November 12, 2011

19 11 2011

Companionship ties that Elder Briones and I bought!

Hello everyone!

Great to hear from everyone again. I’m a little nervous to see Taryn’s hair—haha. Mom, I would love to volunteer in the school or do anything with any kind of English/Spanish translating as well. I’m glad that I will have opportunities to keep up with my Spanish after my mission. I was so excited to hear about the scholarship! Isn’t it amazing to see the blessings that come by serving a mission? I’m continually amazed. Time has passed by quickly. I’m really excited to see all of you, but to be honest I think I’m most excited to see Sparky—haha. Before I forget, are there any specific souvenirs that anyone would like me to buy next Saturday? I need to hear anything you would like me to buy before next Saturday in your letter—if you want me to bring anything home. I have a few things that I’ve picked up during the mission but I don’t plan on buying much. The best souvenirs for me are the pictures of families that I love.

Lunch with President Gillespie, his wife, their son and his wife who came to visit, and the office missionaries...

Yesterday was one of the most memorable days of my entire mission. We had a mission-wide conference. All of the 210 missionaries came down to Viña from all of their respective zones—the first time that it has happened in the history of my mission. We all had the privilege of hearing four general authorities: Elder Ceballos and Elder Richards from the area presidency, Bishop McMullin from the bishopric presidency, and Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve! We got to shake all of their hands. It was amazing to meet and learn from an apostle of the Lord. He talked a lot about our duties as missionaries—to establish the church (D&C 31 and 43). He talked a lot about building branches and strengthening wards. Missionaries aren’t just marketing for the church. We are here to strengthen the stakes and establish Zion wherever we are called. It was very interesting, because much of what he talked about was what Elder Briones and I have been striving to help the missionaries understand. There is so much more that we do as missionaries than just in the weekly numbers that we send to President Gillespie; reactivating less active families, helping members with callings, loving and encouraging young men to serve missions, getting families to the temple, and lots more. Like is says in Preach my Gospel, we should always ask ourselves if we are a burden or a blessing for the ward.

It was a little crazy coordinating the arrival of 210 missionaries, planning their lunch, a mission-wide activity after the conference, and getting them all back to their zones. Last night when we got to the pension, I was absolutely drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This week coming up should be very relaxed. We have a couple of interchanges planned and then we are doing changes with President Gillespie on Thursday. I can’t believe we are already doing changes again. Next Sunday we will be picking up my replacement as assistant. That will be a sad day. Monday the 21st we have our good-bye dinner/devotional with President Gillepsi and his wife and all of the missionaries who are leaving. We will be leaving Tuesday morning, on the 22nd, for Santiago. We’ll do a session in the temple and then board the plane. It will be a strange and emotional time for me. Oftentimes I get emotional during my prayers at night knowing that my mission is coming to an end. It will be a hard transition for me. I love my mission so much, but I know that there are other things I have to do. The time to get married is coming up—haha.

I love you all,
Elder Teeples

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