28 Jul 2015

Week 52

What is the Purpose of a Missionary

"Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." (Preach My Gospel Manual)

Missionaries receive no bonus, rewards or status when someone accepts their message. Its interesting to note in the stated purpose, it says nothing about converting just inviting. Having said that, the greatest joy a missionary has, is seeing someone accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, because they know how much happiness it will bring that person. 

This week Elders Teal and Dixon mark their mission half way date and also had the privilege of being involved in the baptism of their new friend. The Larnaca Branch Mission Leader introduced his friend to the missionaries a few weeks ago and together they have been teaching him the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This marks an historic step in the Church history of Cyprus, as we believe it is the first time a Cypriot has baptised a Cypriot. 


Thanks to Elder Dixon's parents for their photo contributions to this weeks blog !

"My hand is pretty much back to normal now, it's a little stiff in the index finger and thumb but not a big problem! and I'm fantastic! I'm absolutely fantastic, not just okay!"

"The baptism on Saturday was great, and yesterday I did the confirmation in sacrament meeting"

This week Elder Teals best friend from home received his mission call to Poland.

"And Josef's call is amazing! I've just emailed him about it, he's s excited! It's perfect for him, he'll love it. We laughed about how between the two of us we'll have just about the two most useful languages in Europe!"

"We had ice cream sundaes using the stuff I received in the parcel last week and they were really nice." 

"I'm grateful for the fun we had today and also that P has understood our teaching and prepared himself for baptism." 

"We have some things to study and to prepare for the meeting with Elder Dyches next week. Including to ponder the difference between an exactly obedient missionary to a consecrated missionary."

"We had a lesson with A, the man who came to church on Sunday. It went really well, we weren't able to cover all of the material but he felt a lot more comfortable with us afterwards. We had P with us and he helped us in the lesson." 

"We went to institute so I could translate for P and we learnt about Porter Rockwell and also how in section 130 it talks about the relation between space and time about a century before Einsteins theory of relativity which is quite impressive to think about.  It was also quite interesting to translate it into Greek." 

"We had the second lesson with A and it went really well. He said he feels peace when he reads from The Book of Mormon and believes that it's true, and the same when he comes to church. He understood what we taught about the Restoration and we set a baptismal date  for August 15th. He is a really humble guy and willing to learn. I'm grateful for the opportunity to teach people that the Lord has prepared to hear His message." 

From Home
It is amazing how fast this year has gone for us as parents,. We put together a package for him that he received this week. Our Eldest daughter is our package and theme coordinator! In among the package was a set of pictures we took of family and friends, here are some of them...As always clicking on any picture makes it bigger. Elder Teal has had fun showing these to his Cypriot friends.

"I received the package for the one year mark this week! Thanks! We'll buy some ice cream to go with the stuff today haha! The ties are really nice! And the pants are nice too, but they don't have belt loops! I didn't realise until I had already tried them on, seen that they fit and taken off the labels, so I don't really know what to do with them now!
 And Panayitis and Georgia enjoyed looking through the pictures! It was really nice! It was a little bit strange as I've always being thinking of my time here as counting up (been here a month, been here 6 months etc.) and it was strange to see it from the other point of view, of counting down!"

Twelve months ago we thought that 2 years was an eternity, but surprisingly this year has passed really quickly. If you are about to send a son or daughter on a mission, we know just how hard it is, we have had those moments of missing our son, wondering where he is, which town, even which country he is in! We have shed several tears as we have prayed for his safety and success each morning and night. But even more we have been thrilled by his attitude and faith. There is no where we would rather he be right now, than serving the Lord and the people of Greece and Cyprus.

You can keep him for another 12 months, but then we would like him back please!

22 Jul 2015

Our Big Fat Greek Mission

Our Primary Children sing a song entitled "We'll Bring the World His Truth"

The chorus is 

"We are as the army of Helaman.
We have been taught in our youth.
And we will be the Lord's missionaries
To bring the world his truth."

Full time missionaries are often thought of as a young army serving the Lord. 
In the picture, along with 2000 young warriors we see their leader Helaman. This is a depiction of an account in the Book of Mormon. Soldiers are never "managed" into battle but they are "lead"

We admire our young men and women who sacrifice 24 and 18 months of their lives to serve. We marvel at the senior couples who once retired, choose to serve missions all around the world. Then there is an even more elite group of individuals and families. Those that are called to serve as modern day Helamans. We call them Mission Presidents. They serve for 3 years, leaving their homes and often uprooting their families to lead missionaries. Speak to any missionary, and he or she will talk in glowing terms about their Mission President. As parents, we have total trust that the President and his wife will love and protect our son, as they would their own. They are seen as Leaders, not Managers.

The Greece Athens Mission has just said goodbye to President Freestone and his wife, I have never met him but those that have, including Elder Teal, speak highly of him. With his departure President Heder has been called. Typically the change over between leaders is completed within a single day and then the job of running a mission is left with the incoming President as he sees fit.

The following was the announcement of President Heder's call taken from lds.org

We were excited to learn that President Heder's daughter Alinda, is planning on blogging through their mission experience. We have already loved seeing pictures of the missionaries she shares on Facebook !




If you would like to follow along and learn more about life as the daughter of a serving Mission President in Greece, Bookmark her blog ! 

I asked Alinda to to share some thoughts to introduce her blog...

"It was October 1st, 2014 when my dad called us all together for a family meeting. He told us that he was being called to serve as a mission president for the LDS church, a calling that lasts three years. My sister and I knew then that our lives were going to change, but we didn't realize how much. He explained that he would be serving in the Athens, Greece mission, and we were going with him! So on June 29th, 2015, we packed up and headed off to Greece. This is the Heder family's story."


Now click the picture below to take a look !

21 Jul 2015

Week 51 Larnaca

Cyprus Zone Conference Week !

It was good, very different to previous ones, and a lot shorter, but good.
 We also had a lesson with P. this week with President Heder present which was really good, afterwards we had a meal at Panayiotis and Georgia's house with P and all of the Heders. They now have their son Brooks here as well, he finished his mission in Florida and flew straight to Greece to meet his family from there, must have been strange! It's good to have him here to share some experiences from his mission, he's a nice guy. He'll be with them for about another month and then goes back to America.

Below pictures shared with us on Facebook, by a member in Larnaca. The district out "white boarding" (street contacting with a display on a portable whiteboard) The members often go along and help find people to chat to.


Temperatures are averaging 35C in Larnaca at the moment, having just checked the internet the average rainfall in the area over the next 2 months is ZERO! Although the apartment has air-con, it seems Elder Dixon has found a better way to cool down when they come in.

"I thought I knew what heat was before my mission. I was wrong"

"We were talking about the difference between American and European ties, Brooks said that the mark of a good tie is if it stands horizontal when you hold it like that, but I think it's just the mark of a stiff tie ;)"

Sections from Elder Teals journals. Each week he sends us a picture of each journal entry from the previous week ( It saves him writing long emails! ) 
With his permission we pick bits out to share here...

"We had to be ready at 8am to be at church to help with a service project. Together with the sisters and The Jacobsons we tidied up the parking area behind the church and the drive that leads to it which had gotten overgrown with weeds and looked a mess. It only took about an hour and we did it in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day."

"In the evening we had a lesson with I and C, the couple we had met on Saturday during door knocking. We taught about The Plan of Salvation. They understood really well and had a lot of interest. C especially really grasped what we were saying and said at the end that he'd learnt a lot." 

"We finished the day with door knocking and we had an old man who tried to give us money when we came to his door but then settled for giving us a glass of water each, he was very nice. Then we had a conversation at another house where they had a big dog with the name Roger Moore, it was quite funny."

"We had another lesson with P and President Heder came along as well. After the lesson the rest of the Heders and the Assistants came and we all had a meal together in Panayiotis's porch/patio. It was a really nice meal and great company.
I'm grateful for President Heder and for the things we discussed today in my interview. I'm also grateful to have had the opportunity to have the lesson with him and meal with his whole family today." 

"We had weekly planning and it was the first time in my mission that that I've done the section of planning that deals with investigators to be baptised and confirmed in the coming week!" 

17 Jul 2015

Week 50 Larnaca

Highlight of the week?

Have you had much more contact with the new mission president? 
Is it zone conference soon?

"T is a teacher of religious student and has just got his PhD, he's like  Uncle Jimmy in that he has very similar work. As a result he has a great deal of knowledge about religion and a very strong personal faith in Jesus Christ. We taught The Restoration. It was a great discussion but a difficult lesson, he's a really nice guy."

"I'm grateful for the knowledge I have of the real nature of Jesus Christ and of my relationship with him. "

"Went to Panayiotis's house to have a lesson with P. It went really well, he understood everything and said it made much more sense then there being a hell with fire and brimstone. At the end P said he wanted to be baptised and we set a date for July 25th! It's every exciting."
"There were 10 of us altogether for a meal. Members from the branch and P and we had amazing food. It was such a good atmosphere and fantastic for P to get to know people a bit better. He is really excited for his baptism and doesn't see it as something that would happen but rather is something that will happen as he has made the decision."
"When we got to a petrol station my bike hit a bump that I didn't see and it slipped. I put the brakes on and for some reason the brakes are the wrong way round and the left hand does the front brake and not the back. So I ended up slamming on the front brake and went over the handlebars. I didn't really know what happened and was pretty dazed. A guy leaving the petrol station came out to as if I was okay. I had massive pain in my left hand and my head was spinning and I felt really ill. Elder Dixon rang the Jacobsens and they came to pick us up. My wrist looked pretty weird and my hand wasn't in good shape either. I was sure I had broken something. The strange thing was that I didn't get cut at all, just the impact injury to my hand. I could handle the pain but the dizzy/sick feeling was awful, but I said a prayer and it went away which was a relief. We went to the hospital where I had 2 X-rays of my wrist and hand. My wrist isn't broken but looks like a small fracture on the knuckle of he index finger of my left hand and my wrist was badly sprained. It could have been worse!! I came home and put ice on it on top of the elastic bandage that the doctor had put on it."

We enjoy sharing Elder Teal experiences on our blog and Facebook page, it's especially nice when we receive feedback and additional info about what he is up to ....



"Hello! My parents, who are not members, live in Cyprus. We were going to visit them and Elder Teal's blog was instrumental in helping us find the Larnaca ward building. It was wonderful to go there the one Sunday we were there. The feeling in the building was very sweet. It was such a relief to be amongst members for a few hours. Imagine our surprise when the missionaries introduced themselves and one tall blond one said, "Hello, I'm Elder Teal." Brilliant! We said we'd found the building due to his blog and his companion said, "You'd be amazed how often that happens." ........
We didn't get to talk to Elder Teal for very long, but he seemed happy and healthy when we spoke. I wish we could have stayed longer. Cyprus is a beautiful place."
We also had a picture taken and shared on Facebook by our friend in Larnaca,

6 Jul 2015

Week 49 Larnaca

"We didn't have interviews with the new President yet, but we had a meeting where they spoke a little about themselves, and then mission leadership council. President Heder spoke about being consecrated missionaries and putting everything on the altar of sacrifice. They're great, they have a really funny sense of humour and have a lot of energy about them. And then later on, President Heder came out with Elder Dixon and I to do street contacting! Elder Dixon and I took him to the square where we do the whiteboard and we talked to quite a few people He speaks good Greek, and he's keen to learn more, he was asking us lots of questions"

"We had 3 investigators at church this week!!! Panayiotis left just after sacrament started and rushed to Y's' work to bring him, in time to see most of the testimonies. We also had Pe. again, as well as Pa, who is one of Panayiotis' friends from his old church, and is absolutely fantastic! They all really enjoyed it as well!"

"We had 4 new investigators this week! We are most excited about Pa, as he seems really keen to learn and loved it at church yesterday!"

"It's so hot! I'm so tanned now, it's like my skin is from a different person haha! And my tan lines are absolutely incredible, a sight to be seen"

"Elder Dixon is great, we're having a lot of fun together!"

"And yesterday I conducted sacrament meeting for the first time and it went great, I really enjoyed doing it"

We are hoping the picture was for fun and the melon didn't meet an untimely end!

"We went to Lidl and bought a big watermelon for €1. They're really cheap now because they're in season and they're really nice. And some of them are huge, like beach balls!"

"We spoke to one guy who was sat in his garden who invited us to sit and talk. Just as we were going in his friend arrived. We had the first lesson and the first guy didn't like it too much, he said there are no prophets after Jesus and that no-one can see God gave to face and live. But his friend really enjoyed the lesson and said he would like to learn more." 

"I realised that I often focus too much on it being the 'church' of Jesus Christ, but the title of the lesson in PMG is 'The message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' I need to focus more on the fact that the truths Jesus taught were lost and restored, not just the church He set up." 

"I really like that a lot of people here especially in some neighbourhoods, are very open and friendly and will offer you a drink and a sit down before you've even explained why you're there. They have a really good community spirit" 

"In the evening we had a lesson with Y with Panayiotis and Georgia as members present. We talked about tithing and fast offering which was easy as it was the Gospel Principles lesson last week and he had enjoyed it. He has now learnt about all of the commandments and has accepted them which is fantastic. All he has to do now is come to church for sacrament meeting and soon he will be in a position to be baptised. I'm grateful for Y and his willingness to learn and progress and also for  Panayiotis and Georgia for all of their help." 

"We had a great time street contacting with President. Afterwards we sat and talked about his mission, this mission, the language and other things, it was great. We're very excited to have him as our new mission president and to get to know him and his family better over the next year or so." 

Missionaries can sleep anywhere ! As Elder Dixon is proving.

Some links you may like. 

The Parents and Friends of Greece Athens Missionaries have a lively Facebook Group with lots of pictures of missionaries added each week. Click the picture below to visit / join

President Heder's daughter has started a blog and we are sure it will offer some great insights into life in the Greece Athens Mission in the coming months. We are already enjoying the pictures shared. Again click on the picture below to visit. We have also added a permanent link to the blog in the sidebar to the right 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...