Troy’s Letter: October 1, 2011

22 10 2011
Trip to Illapel

Hey family!

It was great to hear from all of you. Crested Butte looks absolutely amazing. BYU sounds like it is awesome. I still can’t believe that Taryn is talking to Matt Potter—haha. I’m glad to hear that I have a place to live next semester! I knew that Weston was getting married. It’s still really weird to think about for me. My license came! It feels good to be driving again. I think Elder Briones got tired of always driving.

This week just flew by. We had Zone Council yesterday. Almost all day Monday and all day Thursday, we spent preparing and planning Zone Council. It turned out really well…one of the best councils that I have seen. Afterwards, we all played basketball together—even President Gillespie played with us. It was a great time. Good stuff. We had some amazing interchanges this past week as well. We went to Illapel on Sunday, a very very small zone known for not having much success. Elder Briones and I showed up with a lot of excitement ready to see miracles. I worked with Elder Villanes from Peru, we went out and found four new investigators and set three baptismal dates!! It was an amazing day—absolutely wonderful. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you are, the Lord is always preparing people to accept and follow his gospel.

I’m so excited for today and tomorrow. General Conference is pretty much like Christmas here in the mission. We spend so much time teaching and increasing the faith of others, so when conference rolls around, it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn and increase our own faith. It’s amazing that when I have had leadership roles in the mission, sometimes I worry so much about how to help the zone or the mission, that I have little time for personal study to take care of myself. Lately Elder Briones and I have made a big effort to look for time for personal study because we are constantly running around from the moment we get up. It’s amazing to think of bishops and stake presidents. They have to worry so much about the families in their ward and stake but they can’t forget about their own family relationship at the same time. We all learn by mistakes and experience, right? It will be really important to apply everything that I’ve learned here to future church callings.

Well I love you all,
Elder Teeples


Troy’s Letter: September 24, 2011

22 10 2011


It’s great to hear from you all and hear that everyone is doing well.  Sounds like a great week passed by.  I can’t believe that Taryn ran into Matt and  Matt!!  I would love to live with them if  it’s possible!  So, thanks mom, so much for  all of the work that you have done for my schedule at BYU.  The thought of studying anything but the  scriptures makes my head hurt.  Well,  maybe not studying, but doing homework and writing papers.  What a change.  Well, I’m just going to take advantage of the  time that I have left to do the most important kind of work.

This  week that passed by has been another ridiculous week.  Lots of traveling. As you know this past week  was the 18th of September.  It  was like one big party in Chile…interesting proselyting circumstances—haha.  Lots of barbeques, dancing, and traditional Chilean  food.  I think every missionary gained  ten pounds this past week—haha.  I loved  seeing the best part of Chilean culture in action.  I really have grown accustomed to Chilean  life and culture.  It’s going to be a big  culture shock leaving here.

Temple sealing….converts of Elder Briones

We  did a lot of interchanges this past week and four more training sessions.  Lots of traveling as well.  Elder Briones drove the six hours back down  to Viña while I tried to catch up in my journal.  I’m still two weeks behind…there’s just no time to do anything.  A really cool  experience happened yesterday during interchanges with the zone leaders in  Villa Alemana.  I was working with Elder  Quist, a missionary who got here to Chile the same time as I did.  We were talking to absolutely everyone in the street with a lot of excitement and energy but we just weren’t seeing many results.  We never got down though and two hours later we passed by the house of some future investigators.  We found a family of three, a father, mother, and son.  We taught an amazing Lesson 1.  The spirit was really strong and they accepted the invitation to get baptized.  It just goes to show that if we always keep the faith up, the miracles will come.  It’s weird knowing that everyone I teach now in the mission, I will never be able to teach again.  But just seeing the happiness of the missionaries and seeing their success is what makes me happy.  What a wonderful calling I have!!

Today we will be going to the temple in Santiago!  We will be seeing the sealing of a family that Elder Briones taught in Achupallas.  It will be the first time that I will ever see a live session of a family sealing in the temple.  I’m really excited for it!  Oh and I talked to Guillermo and Vanessa.  We set the date of going to the temple on the 19th of November, my very last P-Day in the mission.  I will be able to see the two of them and their two daughters be sealed for all time and eternity.  I’m so excited.  I feel like it was just yesterday when Elder Vargas and I were teaching them in Ovalle.

Well, I love the work here.  I love my mission. I love you all as well,

Elder Teeples

Troy’s Letter: September 17, 2011

19 09 2011


Hello family!!

It was wonderful to hear from you all again!  I very much enjoyed all of your letters.  Sounds like life is going on as usual…lots of school and lots of work.

Well I’m sure that my week was very different from your week—haha.  This past week we did a mission tour with Elder Corbridge, from the Quorum of the Seventy!  Guess what?  He was Cody’s mission president!  When I met Elder and Sister Corbridge for the first time, Sister Corbridge said, “ Hey, we had an Elder Teeples in our mission in Santiago Norte.  Do you know Cody Teeples?”  They were excited when I told them that he’s my cousin.

We spent the week traveling with Elder and Sister Corbridge and President and Sister Gillespie throughout the mission.  We held a conference in the South, the Interior, and yesterday we had a conference in the North.  It was a great experience…getting everything set up and ready for the conferences and learning from Elder Corbridge.  We were able to hear the same message three times.  It was amazing how every time his message changed a little bit according to the needs of the missionaries.  The life of the apostles and the seventy is amazing.  Every day, they have the opportunity to dedicate 100 percent of their effort and time to the work for the rest of their lives.  What a privilege.  I’m already excited to serve another mission with my wife in the future!

Right now we are up in the North.  If we have time later today, we are going to visit some of Elder Briones’ converts up here and we should be going to a ward activity for the 18th of September.  It’s Chile’s Independence Day week right now.  The whole country is going crazy.  Lots of meat and lots of red, white, and blue everywhere.  It’s almost as cool as the 4th of July, but not quite.  It’s weird to think that I passed my last 18 de September up here in Coquimbo.  A whole year has passed!

This whole next week should be a very busy one.  We have interchanges, training sessions, interchanges, training sessions, traveling back down to Viña, and then more interchanges and training sessions.  This week is going to absolutely fly by.  Oh and by the way, last Saturday we went sand boarding.  It was by far the coolest activity so far of my mission.

I love you all,

Elder Teeples

Troy’s Letter: September 10, 2011

19 09 2011

My companion, Elder Briones

Hey family,

This week has flown by fairly quickly. Tuesday to Friday, we had training meetings in the morning and then interchanges with zone leaders in the afternoon.  The training meetings were great.  Everyone has learned so much. President Gillespie and Elder Briones and I have been doing workshops with all the zones about how to extend more powerful commitments.  The goal has been helping the missionaries to realize the authority that they have to commit and promise specific blessings.  We have also been doing role-plays—my companion and me are the investigators and the missionaries teach us as if we were real families.  We then congratulate them for what they do well and give them suggestions to improve.  Everyone has left the capacitations really excited to commit investigators to act.  We’re here to declare repentance (D&C 6:9) and we don’t do it standing on a soapbox yelling at everyone to repent in the streets.  The only way to declare repentance to this nation is by teaching the doctrine and extending invitations to act and to change their lives.  Every time investigators read, pray, attend, or keeps their commitments, they are repenting because they’re changing their lives to become more like Christ (Mosiah 5:2).

One of my favorite memories of this week happened on Thursday when we did interchanges in Mirador, my old ward in Achupallas.  We were able to teach the Astudillo family.  It was so good to see them.  The father and son have both received the priesthood and the son, Juan, has already gone to the temple with the ward.  We taught them how to hold a Family Home Evening and committed them to do hold one every week.  They were really excited to see me and even more excited about the Family Home Evening.  They are such a good family.  I love them so much.  I’m really going to miss them. I know that is why I am here. We are here to invite families to come unto Christ.  Seeing this family that has been baptized, received the priesthood, and progressing towards the temple makes all of our hard work worth it.

This coming week, we are going to be going up north!!  Elder Corbridge, a seventy from Chile, is going to do a tour of the mission.  So next Wednesday through Friday, we will be traveling around with Elder Corbridge, President Gillespie and his wife.  It’s going to be a very interesting and busy week.  It’s possible that we won’t have our P-Day until Monday instead of Saturday, so don’t get worried if I don’t write next Saturday–haha.  I’m excited for today because we are going to go sand boarding!!  All six of us office elders are heading up to the sand dunes and you can rent snowboards and snowboard the dunes!!!  It’s going to be the coolest activity I’ve done in the mission–haha.

Well, I love you all and I’m excited to hear from you!
Elder Teeples

Troy’s Letter: September 3, 2011

3 09 2011

The Astudillo Family Baptims on August 20, 2011

Hey family!!

It was great to hear from you all.  Sounds like the school season is up and going again.  I heard from my friends from freshman year at BYU.  It’s crazy how all of them are back from the mission and living together at BYU again.  I heard from my trainer as well, Elder Blood.  He’s at BYU right now.  He told me that he’s about to propose.  How weird is that?  I can’t believe it.  Time flies by.  Well I have a couple months left to give it my all and then real life will hit.

Chilean Schools on Strike for Free Education...

This week was probably the busiest week of my entire mission.  Something I’ve learned here is the ability to be extremely busy and not be stressed—this will help me a lot in the future.  This past Sunday we picked up Elder Briones, my new and last companion.  I love Elder Briones.  He has a lot of energy and a love for the work.  This will really help me to finish strong.  We get along really well together and we haven’t had time to even stop and think this week—haha.  Right after he got here, change week started.  Tuesday was a crazy day full of coordinating changes, picking up and dropping off elders and sisters, training the trainers, meeting the new missionaries, getting them off with their trainers, changing bus companies because of luggage problems, and a million other things.

Wednesday and Thursday, we had no time for interchanges because we had to plan Zone Council, which we had yesterday.  We were up past midnight planning workshops, scheduling, and preparing the agenda for Zone Council.  I didn’t get much sleep or eat very well, so I ended up getting sick as well—haha.  What a week!

We had Zone Council yesterday and it went pretty well.  All of the zone leaders said that it was a really good one so I ended up feeling pretty happy about it.  It’s amazing how much planning and work goes behind each meeting.  Right after Zone Council ended, we had to start planning for the specialized trainings that we will be doing all this next week.  Every morning, Tuesday through Friday, we will be doing teaching training sessions and practices with four different zones.  Each afternoon, we will be doing interchanges with the zone leaders. It’s going to be a ridiculous busy change.  We will be doing this with all of the fourteen zones.  We have General Conference and another Zone Council at the beginning of October.  It’s obvious that the Lord knows how busy I like to be—haha.

I’m excited for this upcoming change.  It’s going to be a quick but efficient one. I love the work that I’m doing.  Even though I’m not in the streets every day, I know that what I do helps other missionaries to be as successful as they can be.  By the way, Juan Astudillo, the father that I baptized last week, asked me to ordain him to the priesthood! I’ll be ordaining him on Sunday!!!

I love you all,

Elder Teeples

Troy’s Letter: August 27, 2011

28 08 2011

Hey family!!

Thank you so much for all of the presents!!  I wasn’t expecting so much!  Tell Grandma and Grandpa Nolder thanks for the fifty dollars as well.  I’m going to buy some handmade Chilean leather scripture covers with the money.  They burn in church pictures and they just look amazing.  I loved the sweat pants—they are going to last me years as well.  Great buy…very well done.  I’m wearing the new tie now as well.  Good choice.  The peanut butter cookies and Reeses cups were a hit!  I made of batch of peanut butter cookies last night and put a Reeses cup on top of each one.  Everyone in the pension thanks you—haha.  I loved the note from the Choraks and the CDs are great as well!  Thanks for everything.  We just got back from eating lunch with a member family in Valparaíso.  They surprised me with a cake and a new tie.  Sister Gillespie just gave me a batch of homemade cookies, too.  I love birthday time—haha.

Beaches of Coquimbo

Well this week was CHANGE WEEK!!  Change week is always exciting, but this time it was a completely new experience for me.  Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we had interchanges like usual, but Thursday was one of the most interesting days of my mission.  Changes with President.  We got to his house at about 9:30 am and worked on transfers until about 4:30 pm.  It was intense. We were constantly putting missionaries in one place and then moving them around and opening and closing areas.  I loved it though, because we could make suggestions, give some insight about how certain missionaries or areas were that President didn’t know very well, and see the process of revelation.  It makes me think about how the members of the Quorum of the Twelve send missionaries to all parts of the world—changes on a much larger scale.  Great experience. Sister Gillespie also made us some Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Elder Jaquier and I were able to eat with the mission president and his wife.  Thursday night and Friday morning we spent a lot of time putting all of the information into the computer system…that was very boring—haha.

So Elder Jaquier leaves on Monday, and Elder Briones comes in!  Elder Briones will be my last companion.  I’ll be finishing the mission with him for my last two changes.  He’s Chilean!  It’s been a very, very long time, if ever, that the mission has had a Chilean assistant.  Everyone’s going to be really happy about it. I’m excited to train him as assistant.  We have a lot planned this next change but I’m not nervous at all. I’ll have a great companion and I feel pretty comfortable now about my calling.  Our week will start off pretty quickly.  We’ve got trainer trainings, coordinating changes, and zone council all coming up next week.  It’ll be a busy week but a great one.

Well, it was great to hear from you all, until next week.

Elder Teeples

Troy’s Letter: August 20, 2011

20 08 2011

Traveling to Illapel...

Hey all,

It was great to hear from everyone!  Just so you all know, my birthday isn’t until next week!  Haha but thanks for the Happy Birthday anyways.  My birthday package got here.  It’ll sit here in the office until I take it home next Saturday.  And about the class schedules, when do I have to sign up by?  If I have to sign up by September or October, it would be nice if you could send me the list of classes to choose from and schedule details.  I’ll find some time on a P-day. I can’t believe that you got my flight information!!  That’s ridiculous…three months away.  Well, I have three more months to dedicate myself completely to the work.  Oh and before I forget again, my drivers license is going to expire the 16th of September.  Is there any way that you could get that updated, Dad?  Could you let me know if there’s any information you need from me?  I’m going to need a new one as soon as possible.

This past week was absolutely ridiculous.  Today is the first day of rest that we’ve had in two weeks.  And it’s going to be an awesome day, because tonight at 7:00 p.m., I’m baptizing Juan Astudillo!!!!  The father of the family of four asked for me to baptize him.  Elder Mace called me last week and let me know.  I freaked out—haha. I can’t wait for it.  It’s going to be the best baptism service ever.  I love this family so much and I’m so excited for them.  I’ll send the photo next week!

So after we finished our three conferences last week, we had interchanges with the zone leaders every day this past week, from last Saturday to yesterday.  Exhausting week…on Wednesday we had interchanges in the north, drove back down to Viña, and then had more interchanges in the morning.  I was dead.  It feels great to be back in Viña again.  I really do love getting to go all over the mission, working with different missionaries, and meeting different members and investigators every day.  I constantly have to be an example because everyone is always watching me now—haha.  Elder Jaquier and I have to be able to adapt to every lesson, because we don’t know these people.  We just jump into their progress and we have to show the missionaries how to teach with the scriptures and by the spirit.  I’ve learned so much this past month about teaching, service, charity, and knowledge.  Great experiences.

When we were in Ovalle, I had time to go visit converts as well!!  I was able to visit Nicole and Luis, the Boyd Family, Margarita, and Guillermo and Vanessa.  Guess what!! Vanessa and Guillermo are going to be sealed in the temple!!!!  Their date to go with the district was the 26th of November, three days after I leave.  They told me that they would move it back a week so I can go too!  Can you believe it?  On my very last week of my mission, I’m going to see their sealing in the Santiago Temple.  I feel like it was yesterday that we reactivated Guillermo and he baptized Vanessa….what a dream.  There’s no better way to end your mission.

Next week will be my last week with Elder Jaquier.  He’s been in the office for six months now, so he’s going to end his mission in the field.  I’ll end my mission by training the next assistant.  I’ll finish my last two changes with him.  I’m really excited.  I already know who it is.  I’ll wait until next week to tell you because no one else in the mission knows yet.  This Thursday we are going to do changes with President Gillespie.  I’m so excited.  We get to see his process of revelation and give suggestions as to where the missionaries should go, whom they should be with, and who should move up to district leader, zone leader, trainer, etc.  It will be an amazing experience.

Well, I love you all.

Elder Teeples