31 Aug 2014

Family Thoughts - Leland Mayall

Its Sunday again ! These weeks are flying past ... 

To carry on the pattern, today we have another missionary parent sharing some thoughts. Leland Mayall serves on the Ashton Stake Presidency, he and is family attend the same Ward (Congregation) as our family.

Leland's son, Elder Mayall, is half way through two years in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. 

"It's always a been my dream as a father to see my son serve a full time mission for our Church. Having experienced it myself and knowing what it does for you first hand I wanted that for Nathan. The fact he made the decision for himself makes it extra special. That said nobody could ever prepare you for the emotional roller coaster you go through.
To see your son leave and then come home to his empty bedroom, knowing it will be 2 years till you see him is the hardest thing I've ever done. Crazy how the greatest things in life are sometimes the hardest to experience. Nathan has now been out a year and we have just loved reading and feeling of his mission experiences. Of the love he has for the work, for his companions and for the people of Zimabawe. We truly feel of his happiness serving The Lord. Elder Mayall has grown so much in so many ways. In being able to share his weekly mission posts we hope that family and friends have felt of his love and happiness in serving a mission in Zimbabwe."

Elder Mayall has a blog, it can be found HERE. Missionaries have so many varied experiences around the globe. But they all come home saying their's was the best mission in world.

27 Aug 2014

Week 4 MTC

Elders Eady, Teal & Dastrup

Elders Dastrup and Peel

Elder Peel

Question from DAD - How are you , highlight of your week?

"Hey! Just now when we were in the temple probably. I've really come to love my time in the Celestial room. I really feel like when I pray and ask for revelation and then open the scriptures I receive direct answers for me. Today I randomly opened to 2 Nephi 2, read the first verse and you'll see what I mean. 

As we left the Celestial room, President Murray asked me and Elder Heath (from Birmingham, going to Alpine Mission) to help with sealings. It was really good, and it was his first time so he enjoyed it a lot. 

I've become close friends with a lot of the German Elders, it's going to be so strange when they leave in two weeks time! One Elder, Elder Lyman has a section in D&C that's about his great great great grandad, which is quite interesting. There's also a line in the Prophet of the Restoration where Joseph Smith asks, "do you know how to use a hammer Lyman", so I've taken to asking him if he knows how to use whatever object he's using at the time. We have a lot of fun! 

Oh also, this week we had interviews with the MTC President. He told me I'm a great zone leader and that it'll be a sad day for him when I leave. He's so great, we had our Priesthood lesson with him on Sunday about the organisation of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve and the Seventies. It's great to be taught by someone with so much knowledge and experience. 

 I saw the missionaries from Oldham yesterday! Or it may have been Monday actually. They were at the temple and came over to say hi, it was good to see them, especially Elder Cueva! 

This week we had our first experience of a practice lesson where we had to do a door approach and actually get in the house rather than showing up for a prearranged lesson. They have rooms set up like people's living rooms, and the teachers play roles as investigators (Greek of course), so we use an Area Book and teaching Records and plan for them like we will in the field. It's really good actually, it's strange because Elder Kwok and I have gotten really attached to one of our investigators, Kostas. He's doing really well but he has health issues, and it'll be so sad if he cant make his baptismal date that we set. it sounds silly because he's not a real person, he's a character played by our teacher Brother Gibbons, but he's based off a real person that Brother Gibbons taught in Greece. 

He's such an amazing teacher, he's so sincere and loving. If you ever meet him (he's in the Leeds YSA ward), tell him how great he is from me. 

In the TRC rooms (Teaching Resource Centre), which are the mock-up living rooms, they have a camera that records the lesson, and we can watch it back afterwards to see where we could improve and what we did well. it's such a good system."

"I slew Goliath" - Elder Dastrup is 6'7" !

Sections of email to Mum

"We went finding on Thursday in Manchester on Deansgate! It was so weird being in Manchester as a missionary we met a few crazy people, some rude people and some nice ones as well, and we gave a Book of Mormon to a young guy who seemed interested in the church, but I think it was mainly academically." 

How are you getting on with your zone and district?
"Yeah we're doing great, we get along really well. Last week we organised a zone football match on P Day, and we're doing the same again today. "

How's the Greek?
"The teaching is going great! I'm at the point now where I don't have to plan the exact things I'm going to say beforehand now, I just go in knowing what we want to teach and what we want the investigator to know by the end of our visit, and rely on my Greek to see us through the lesson."

                                  Elders Lyman & Jensen                              Elder Kwok

A couple of sections from a letter we received this week.

Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) section 88 can be found HERE

Note: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints read and study 
4 books that we regard as scripture:

24 Aug 2014

Family Thoughts - Julia Peel

As well as keeping you up to date with Elder Teals Adventures, you may have noticed we have been adding in other information. When a young man or woman goes on a mission, they are busy learning, growing and are occupied with a myriad of new experiences. Meanwhile the parents of missionaries find themselves with a little more time and a feeling of emptiness.
Over the coming weeks I have asked some missionary parents to share their feelings. There are over 80 thousand missionaries in the world now, that means a lot of parents are both dealing with and enjoying having kids on missions. Hopefully these "Family Thoughts" posts will:-
  • Strengthen you if you are in a similar position.
  • Prepare you if you are about to be a missionary parent.
  • Help you understand if you just want an insight.
At some future point I will write my own experiences as a missionary Dad, but first up is Julia Peel
We have got to know Julia quite well in the last weeks via social media, as her son Elder Peel is with Elder Teal in the MTC. They have become good friends, but it could be confusing if they ever served together with rhyming names !
Julia Peel
"As a convert, I know first hand the value of missionary work. Without the missionaries, I don't know that I would ever have had the opportunity of finding the life that I now have. A life of purpose, that helps me know where I came from, why I am here and where I am going. It's a knowledge that shapes everything I do.
As a mother, I want to do everything I can to help my children reach their full potential. I have taught them what I know and believe...that nothing is impossible for them if they have a relationship with their Father in Heaven and their Saviour, Jesus Christ. This applies to us all.

My son has always wanted to go on a mission and I have always hoped that he would. Neither of us pretended that 2 years apart from his family would be easy, but there are two main reasons why he made the decision he did.
Firstly, their is nothing of more value a person can do than to lead another soul to the saving power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. To give the hope of a joyful eternity, free from death and sin, with those we love forever. My son knows that making this a priority in his life for the next two years, will bring him and others insurmountable happiness.
Secondly, in those efforts to show others how to find the Saviour, he will be blessed with comfort, guidance, enlightenment, strength, peace, fulfillment and joy. These will be given to him by Holy Ghost who is sent from our Father in Heaven and he really will not miss our family as much.
This is what makes the difference between my son moving to another country for 2 years and my son going on a mission. For me personally, to see my son develop strengths that he never knew he had such as learning another language, developing greater compassion and greater self reliance, I feel that he is beginning to fulfill his potential and is doing so in a very unique way. There is a saying about losing yourself in serving others, it's not really losing in the way some might think. There is nothing lost in loving our fellow human beings. We are all created by one God, our Father in Heaven. We are brothers and sisters.
Whilst I will miss my son more than I can put into words, I will not begrudge the time I will miss with him because in that time he will be reaching out to people such as me. The experiences he will have over the next 2 years will stay with him forever and will shape the man he will become. What more worthy reasons could we have for the brief separation and how joyous the reunion!"
Julia's Family blog too, they can be found HERE


23 Aug 2014

Family Thoughts - Sophia Deighton

For every full time missionary there is a network of "support staff" at home called THE FAMILY.

As the mostly unseen face of missionary work, family members write letters of support, send packages of goodies and bore their family and friends about what "their" missionary is doing. 

Currently assigned to the Greece Athens Mission and at the MTC now with Elder Teal is Elder Deighton.
His very talented sister put together her thoughts about her brothers service. If you only watch one YouTube video today, make sure its this one !

Sophia Deighton..

20 Aug 2014

Week 3 MTC

The only thing that beats an email from your missionary, is one that has pictures attached !


Email day is a eagerly awaited by us at home We text each other to say when one has got an email and then end up stopping what ever we are doing. I found myself parked in a garden center car park to reply and read emails !

With Sending pictures it reduced time to write !

Some e-mail excerpts

How has your week been ?
My week has been good, if tiring. The days are long and busy, and it's hard to stay motivated all the time in long periods of self-guided study. I can converse pretty well now (at least about gospel topics) without cards or anything, so I'm really pleased. This week I learnt the first vision in greek, so now i can recite both that and the baptismal commitment!

How is everyone doing ?
The homesickness has worn off for most now, its just starting to wear on people with the busy schedule and long days. It's crazy that we have another 6 weeks yet! We get on really well with the german districts as well 

What did you think of your results?
I was so happy with them, I didn't expect to do so well! I was hoping to scrape 3 As!

Letters, a couple of excerpts from letters we have received this week.

All the pictures we have received have been uploaded to a Onedrive account that you can look at. 
Click on the "Photo Album"picture link below. This link is also on the right hand sidebar for future reference. We will keep adding to it as time goes on.

photo album

16 Aug 2014

So why do young Mormons serve Missions ?

Why would young people want to give up two years of their lives to become a missionary representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The best explanation I can think of is found in the moral behind the classic story penned by Mary Mapes Dodge. "The Story of  Haarlem", in which a little boy discovers a leak in the sea wall. He selflessly puts his finger into the hole, to plug the leak until help arrives.

In a similar way these young missionaries choose to serve, without thought for themselves. They have found something of value in their lives and desire to share. They gain no monetary reward, in fact they pay their own way. They gain no increased social standing in their congregations and willingly put their lives on hold for 2 years.

So what can be so important as to motivate at present 80,000+ young people to share.

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us where we came from, why we are here and where we are going. Knowing the answers to these three basic questions puts a whole new perspective on our lives. In fact the miracle is, IT CHANGES LIVES.
          Pre-earth Life Birth Life on Earth Death Spirit World Resurrection Judgement Judgement Plan of Happiness

Imagine a world where everyone understands and accepts every other living person as a Spirit brother or sister of a loving Heavenly Father. A world where everyone grasps that we were sent to this earth by a caring Heavenly Father to learn and grow, much like parents here send their children to school. Imagine life knowing that we can see and be with our loved ones after our time on earth.

The missionaries you will meet can tell you how to find out all these things for yourself. Their greatest joy is seeing the joy in others. There are not many groups of young people that can say that!

It’s hard to move forward when you don’t know where you’re headed or why. God’s plan gives us the answers to life’s most basic questions like, "Where did I come from?" "What’s my purpose here?" And, "What happens when I die?" Knowing the answers gives us hope and helps us find peace and joy. 

Click HERE to learn more about this plan

So next time you bump into a pair of Mormon missionaries, have a chat and remember,
they could be thousands of miles from home.

15 Aug 2014

Week 2 MTC

From an email sent on Wednesday in response to the question:
What was the highlight of the week ?

"This week's highlight was on Sunday evening. We had a Zone Devotional with a broadcast (not live) of Elder Anderson at Provo. The actual devotional wasn't amazing, but afterwards I lead a discussion about it. Nobody really had anything to say, so I had to come up with loads of stuff to say myself to fill half an hour. People started to raise points and it was really good, there's such a strong sense of unity in the zone, and camaraderie between the greeks and germans. Afterwards I bore my testimony in greek and i was able to say everything that i would want to say in a testimony, based on the 5 key things. I felt really pleased with it afterwards, and the MTC presidency all came to me and said what a good meeting it had been."

Two sections of letters sent home during the week

In response to telling him we had links to Elder Peel and Sister Huby's blogs on here 
(see to the right)

Although Missionaries in the training center only get to email on their Preparation day (P-day) They get time to read and write letters during each day. We have really noticed a change in Elder Teal already. His experiences are bringing out the best in him. There have been times when his responses and comments have come as a surprise.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog. It is different than the other blogs we have a hand in, as this is more editorial, rather than it being published emails sent home.  We are picking out bits to share and adding our experiences too. This may change over the months.

14 Aug 2014

A Care Package from Home

No we haven't gone mad as a family and started to learn Greek.
 Elder Teal may be learning Greek, but it's his third language as Maths is his Second! 
For those not conversant in Maths allow me to explain, from the top.

The square root of -1 is i
2 cubed is 8
S(Sigma) is Sum
p is Pi

Put it all together "i 8 sum pi and it was delicious"

This week we sent Elder Teal a Cherry Pie, his favourite, bubble wrapped and boxed, with these pictures in the package. He should have receive it in time, to celebrate his A level results that he got today.

Physics A*
Chemistry A*
Maths A
Further Maths A

This means he has the results he needs, to accept his deferred place on a Aeronautical Engineering, Masters degree course at Manchester University. We are proud of his success and impressed he has decided to put a promising career on hold, to follow his heart for 2 years.

6 Aug 2014

Week 1 MTC

Wednesdays become special days for parents of missionaries at the MTC. It's the day that missionaries get to email home. With lots of emails in his inbox that had collected over the last few days, the time was quickly gone. So it is our job to compile a selection of things to share with you from what he has emailed home. We also have been asked to apologies to those he didn't get time to reply to.

When asked about the zones and districts and his role as a Zone Leader?

"I love it! Its great to be able to go around the other districts (there are 2 Greek and 2 German) and to get to know the elders and sisters. I've been trying to learn everyone's names and to be friendly with everyone, and its going well! Our responsibilities include making sure the district leaders are okay, assigning prayers and musicians for devotionals, and other general jobs. There are no AP's in the MTC, so we kind of take on that role for the MTC pres sometimes as well.

There are 2 zones. Kimball zone is for second language missionaries, and Hinckley zone for English speaking (or 2 weekers as we call them haha)

There's a running joke that German is much easier than Greek, and that the English speaking missionaries are just here on holiday to mess around for 2 weeks."

What has been the highlight of your week?

"The highlight - either a devotional from Provo MTC (not live) with Elder Bednar, or a lesson on invitation to baptism.

The devotional was from June 2009 and it was about recognizing the spirit, you should try to find it. He talks about how the spirit usually isn't a big burning sensation, but when we are being obedient and being a "good boy" or a "good girl", we are always acting under the influence of the spirit, whether we realize it or not.

We had a lesson about inviting people to be baptised. As you know I was always quite dubious about invitation to baptism on the first lesson, but I really have a testimony of that now. It's so important to set the investigator's mind on the future and our goal for them. We learnt that everything we do as missionaries is directed towards our Purpose, which is fundamentally the same as the Doctrine of Christ as found in 2 Nephi 31. I'm sure you have before, but study that chapter again, its amazing."

Any messages for the blog?

"Please tell everyone as well that I've read all of their emails, and it was a nice surprise to have 17 in my inbox!
Please get people to write. I wont be able to reply to everyone, but its so nice to get letters in our little pigeonhole."

 So here is his address :

Elder Jacob Teal 
(Greece Athens Mission)
England Missionary Training Centre 
Temple Way 

Missionaries can write and receive postal mail any day so I am sure he will be happy to see something from you in his pigeon hole.

In addition to emails today we also received 3 letters that he had written over the past week, a highlight from each of them..

Don't forget you can sign up for email notifications each time a new blog entry is added. just add your email address to the "Follow by email" section to the right of the screen.

Email Notifications

If you would like to receive an email to let you know there is a new post on Elder Teals blog, 
you can now do that !!

Drop me an email at johntealon30@yahoo.com and simply say you want notifications.
Inbox me on Facebook with your email address.
Or just stop me in the street and tell me your email address.

Do any of the above and I will add you to the list of special people who get VIP notifications 
straight to their inbox !

Or even easier, enter your email into the "follow by email" box on the right hand sidebar of this blog !

2 Aug 2014

The Missionary Training Experience

The England Missionary Training Centre (MTC) has its own Facebook page to keep families in touch with there Missionaries.

On day one, this picture was uploaded by the MTC with Elder Teal obviously happy and enjoying himself.

Later in the evening, after this was taken the missionaries were assigned into companionship's.
The missionary to Elder Teal's left, Elder Kwok, is now his companion.

Mission life is structured so that missionaries are always in twos,
this provides a constant support system and also protection.

2 - 3 companionship's form a district, with one of the Elders assigned as the District Leader.

A few districts form a Zone, with a companionship of Elders assigned as Zone Leaders.

In the "Real World" A Zone is defined as a geographical area, in the MTC it is slightly different with the Kimball Zone being defined as all the missionary districts learning a new language (Greek and German)

Today we received a brief letter from Elder Teal reassuring us he had settled in and was enjoying himself and explaining that Elder Kwok and he, had been interviewed by the MTC President and assigned as the Zone Leaders for Kimball Zone

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