30 Nov 2015

Week 70

"I'm doing great, it was an exciting week!"

"We had a trip to Corinth and Nafplio again, this time with Elder and Sister Doxey, who are relatives of the Heders. Then on Saturday we had a Thanksgiving meal and games at the mission home, which was really nice."

How's life with Elder Peel?
"It's going well! We get along really well as you know so we're having a great time serving together. We're also helping each other a lot to learn words, and our Greek is getting better and better!"

"We've not had much chance to get out really, but last night we did and it was great. We talked to a really nice lady in the street, and also visited a couple of addresses that we had. We have a lesson scheduled for tonight so we're looking forward to that as well!"

How are the new missionaries doing?
"Yeah they're all doing really well, they're a really good group of missionaries. And it's good to have so many of them here in Athens. Every companionship here is training apart from ourselves and one other, and it creates a really nice atmosphere in the zone.

In the mission we have about 40 missionaries now which is the biggest that the mission has been since I arrived, and it's great. Here in Athens we have 18, 6 in Thessaloniki, and the rest are over in Cyprus"

You might need to be a frequent user of Instagram to appreciate the humour above!

( A couple of friends have commented on the casual foot ware in recent pictures. When they visit places like Nafplio and Corinth they are advised to wear shoes that are suitable for the terrain)

Selected sections from this weeks journals

"In sacrament meeting I gave my talk. I hadn't really written anything down apart from a few scriptures and I ended up talking about a few different things, focussing on how we can share the gospel with our friends through our example and our love for them."

"We attended the 2nd branch and the meeting was really good. Elder Peel gave a beautiful blessing in the confirmation of M who was baptised yesterday. I always feel like the hymns are really powerful when I sing them in the 2nd branch, I think because it's really the only time I sing them in English in a congregation." 

"Me and Elder Peel talked about our goals. As were are good friends we are really honest with each other which means we know where we're doing well and where there's room for improvement. We got some good goals written down, and now need to get to work on making them happen." 

"We had a meeting with Elder Doxey. It was a great meeting and we learnt a lot from him. He is a very intelligent man and a powerful speaker. He spoke about the need to simplify the gospel and remember the important things and lots of other things that have application to our work." 

"I'm grateful to be serving with Elder Peel and how we can discuss how to help the other missionaries." 

"Later on in the evening we went out to make some visits. We had a really nice conversation with a lady in the street who was walking her dog. Her dog was 18 years old! She said she's been trying to learn English and the conversation was very natural and not like we were accosting her in the street like it often feels. She said she'd call us. 
It was good to be out doing 'normal missionary work' and Elder Peel and I worked well together." 

"I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who helps us when we need it." 

President and Sister Heder had the Athens missionaries over for Thanksgiving!

Sister Heder (aka worlds greatest Mission Mom)

We had so many pictures this week it was hard to choose which to use, 
but you can see the rest by clicking 

23 Nov 2015

Week 69

 Visit to the Mission by Elder Ballard and Elder Kearon

"I really like how outspoken and normal Elder Ballard seemed. You know how after the broadcast he just said "I'm too tired to shake all your hands"? He was like that all the time. No pomp or snobbishness, he was just there to get something done and wanted to see the missionaries whilst he was here. He simply told us to talk to more people, and then we'll be able to baptise more people. He had a referral from a worker at the hotel where he was staying and said that if he could stay for a few weeks and teach him we'd get him baptised, and we need to do that! 
It was a great meeting and we really enjoyed it."

Visit to Cyprus with The Heders for Zone Conference and District Conference.

Meeting Elder Dixon and Robin who was baptised in Week 60

Cyprus Camel Park


"We went to the camel park whilst we were in Cyprus with the Heders. We had P-Day (Saturday) with them whilst we were there as we hadn't had one all week. Our particular camel got extremely worked up whilst we were on it and started running around like crazy. The worst part of it was that the guide leading the camel looked extremely scared, and the camel was practically dragging him on the floor. I was pretty certain that I was going to die. The guide smacked the camel in the face and it got more angry, but then eventually calmed down. 

I don't want to ride a camel again."

This weeks blog is a bit of a mix of week 68 and 69. Emails were a bit limited last week due to the extensive traveling and meeting schedule. So the pictures are from various points over the last 10 days. From journals we have read that Elder Teal has been busy involved in ...
Sorting the logistics of transfers that happened on Monday. Moving furniture between opening and closing apartments. Translating at the Cyprus District Conference. Meetings and training's in 2 zones in two countries. Mission Leadership from Cyprus, with Athens and Thessaloniki Mission leaders participating via Skype. All of these attended by Elder Charles of the Quorum of the Seventy Then Training the newly arrived missionaries and their trainers.

Of the new missionaries he wrote "They were all tired when they arrived but still very excited to be here.. They are all doing really well with the language and we helped them with a few questions."
"We need to have these new missionaries that are coming out become leaders very soon. The average time-out of the missionaries here is less than a year, which is very unusual and means we will have to have quite new leaders very soon."

Elder Peel and Elder Peel !

Preparing to pick Elder Ballard up from the Airport

 Visit to an old Greek Orthadox church in Kiti (Cyprus) with the Heder family

Elder Teal always finishes his daily journal entries with at least one thing he is thankful for. Which is not a bad way to conclude anything. So today we are thankful for emails from Elder Teal. The strength Elder Peel gives our son and the great love President and Sister Heder have for their missionaries.

20 Nov 2015

Week 68

It has been a busy two weeks in the Greece Athens Mission. As a consequence Elder Teal only got a brief moment to drop us an email. We have pieced together events as best we can and are grateful to all those who have shared pictures on Facebook.

A flight up to Thessaloniki two weekends ago started the hectic time. 
Elder Klestrup and Elder Teal accompanying President Heder.

Then last week, training at a Zone Conference in Athens followed by repeating it at a Zone Conference in Cyprus. As the church in Greece and Cyprus is organised as a district that the mission President presides over, we assume that the assistants would have been involved in arrangements for the District conference held last Sunday in Cyprus. Elder Charles of the Quorum of the Seventy attended all three of these meetings

"I'll just let you all know a little about how the week's been!

First of all we got back from district conference over in Cyprus on monday night. It was so good to see everyone there, especially Robin who was looking smart in his suit and tie!

On Monday we had the training for trainers in the morning, and in the evening the new missionaries arrived. They're all great and we had a good time getting to know them.

On Tuesday we had training and coordination with the new missionaries, and they made such a great impression. They all seem so excited to be here, and are all doing great."


Cue an opportunity for silly pics, its a missionary get together thing !


Family ..Elder Teal with his sons and grandson.
(A second grandson will be trained by Elder Burton)

On Monday of this week a new group of missionaries arrived from the Preston MTC. 
So more training opportunities


With the new missionaries arrival comes a new assignment for Elder Klestrup to train. So as of Monday Elder Teal had a new companion .. Elder Peel seen here in the centre with Elder Teal. 
For those who have not been following along, Elder Teal has been great friends with Elder Peel since the MTC and our family have had the privilege to get to meet and know his family

Finally, today we have learnt that Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 apostles 
has visited the mission.,. But technically that is a story for week 69 !

12 Nov 2015

Week 67 Athens

Today we've been busy planning next week. Tomorrow we have zone conference here in Athens, on Thursday in Cyprus, District Conference in Cyprus Saturday and Sunday, and then on Monday the new missionaries arrive! And Elder Charles of the Quorum of the Seventy arrived today. He will be here until the end of the District Conference on Sunday. So we've been busy!

And next week I'm not sure when we'll get to do our emails as P-Day will be on Saturday (as the new missionaries arrive on Monday), and we will be in Cyprus on Saturday. We'll find some time during the week to do emails, it will probably be on Tuesday night at the earliest.

The logistics of 10 missionaries arriving all at once, and then sorting out transfers across two countries and 3 areas which are a flight apart, over two days, are just crazy!

Yeah it is exciting!

Attached are my journal pictures, and some pictures from the photo-shoot I had in the apartment with Elder Klestrup this morning. I realised that I hadn't taken any photos whilst in Thessaloniki and wanted some to send home!

It was so good to be back in Thessaloniki, it was like going back to my home branch. They were all so happy to see me and I to see them. I love that place! I'm pretty sure that I'll serve there again before the end of my mission

It's pretty cold now! When you've spent the summer at 40 degrees, a day that would seem nice in England is absolutely freezing! (It was 19C the day he wrote this!)

By the way, I made the banana bread, it went really well and it was really easy too, I think I'll do it more often

3 Nov 2015

Week 66 Athens

Sister Heder shared this picture on Facebook
"Dinner on the run, in between meetings, Greek class, and a baptism"

"It's been a good week, busy!"

"I've really gotten to love Gospel Doctrine classes whilst I've been on my mission. I think a big part of it is that we're studying the New Testament in Greek, it's great. And here in Halandri the teacher is really good, and I'm learning a lot of new words as we go as she speaks extremely good Greek.

We didn't get to see Robin and Edward last week in Cyprus unfortunately, but we'll be over there for District Conference soon so we'll see them then. From what I've heard they're doing well!

We've been busy this week planning for lots of upcoming training's. This weekend we'll be going up to Thessaloniki, and I'm really looking forward to seeing all of the members at church there on Sunday. Then after that we have District Conference in Cyprus and zone conferences in both zones, as well as leadership council, and then the week after that (2 weeks today) we have the new missionaries coming in! So busy busy busy! But it's good, and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to use my studies to learn things that will help the other missionaries.

We didn't have any lessons no, although our investigator E was at church so that was really good!

Oh wow I didn't realise that no! Only nine months left? Crazy!"

An insight from Elder Teals Journals 
(The understanding gained from reading the New Testament in its original Greek)

"I had really interesting personal study this morning, where I read from John 21, in the ancient Greek Text. It was particularly interesting where Jesus asks Peter 3 times, "Do you love Me?" in the Greek its not the same question 3 times. The first two times Jesus uses the word for reverential love, a word which at that time was only used as the love between man and Deity, or love... inspired by Deity. It is the word that is translated as 'Charity" in the King James Version. 
The third time he asks, Jesus uses the word for the love between friends. and this is when Peter realises the full meaning of his question and is saddened, as he remembers his denial. It brought a new level of understanding to the passage which is a little strange in English, and I really enjoyed it."

And an email entry about study using LDS Bible Videos 

"Recently we've been watching the Bible videos during our meal times. They're really well done and really bring it to life. I really like this one:"

"I think it shows really well Jesus' desire for them to change, and despair that they won't listen to him. It must be so discouraging to preach to people when you can discern people's thoughts perfectly, and know they aren't going to change.

"Why can ye not understand my speech?" that's a powerful line

"And I think a big part of is as well is that the Saviour can discern the thoughts of everyone present, and it may be that He speaks to a huge group of people who He knows will not listen, because there's one person in the crowd who will"

Another Facebook picture shared by Sister Heder

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