31 May 2016

Week 96 Elder Teal Greece and Cyprus

"Our trip to Cyprus was good, we had good training and a really good exchange with the zone leaders there. It was strange weather whilst we were there, it was quite warm but during the training there was a thunderstorm outside! It had finished by the time we came to leave though, and the second day was nice weather. It was really good to see my friends in Larnaca and catch up with them. And yeah I think I'll be freezing when I come home!"


"H. was out of Athens this week so we've not been able to meet up with him, hopefully we will be able to this week. M. was in the Ukraine as well, so between those two being out of town and us being in Cyprus for a couple of days, we only had one lesson this week with A, but it was a good one.

The ZLs in Cyprus are Elder Szvoboda and Elder Scheltinga, I was with Elder Scheltinga and we had a really good exchange"

"Mission life is good! This week on Friday we have a specialised training here in Athens like the one we just did in Cyprus. We have them about once a month in each of Athens, Cyprus and Thessaloniki, apart from when we have zone conference which is one every 3 months usually."

"I miss the scenery of Uppermill and Greenfield and around there, I'm glad I'm from such a beautiful part of the country"

"I forgot to tell you, I did some family history work last week, and found some more details for names on the Teal line (Jonathon Teal who was born in 1758 for example). It has the option there to request more ordinances now, so if you have a look you'll see!"

"Cyprus : In the evening we went to see someone who wasn't in so I suggested to Elder Scheltinga that we would door knock the whole building before going home. At the last door we met a lady from Russia who said we could come back for a lesson. On the way home I was so happy to be door knocking in Larnaca again and seeing results. It's so strange that it was my previous area! I'm grateful for friendly, accepting people" 

"I've started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning again during personal study on a program that will have me finish on the day that I leave the mission. I thought finishing the Book of Mormon on the plane on the way home would be a nice way to end my mission, so that's what I plan on doing." 

"We went to the Praksis warehouse where we would be doing service. We were putting together clothes and shoes for people who had just come in from a shipwrecked boat and only had the clothes they were wearing. We had specific people to gather things for by gender and age. It's good to be able to help so directly and to know that there are people like "boy aged 8"  and others who now have clothes because we were able to put things together for them. I talked to another of the volunteers whilst we were there and invited her to the service project we will have at church next Friday." 

25 May 2016

Week 95 Elder Teal Greece Athens Mission

 We had short emails this week as P-day morning was spent running errands with Sister Heder, but as she takes better pictures than Elder Teal, we don't mind !

"It's been another good week, and busy as usual! We had an exchange with the Zone Leaders this week and I was with Elder Pereira so that was fun, it was my first time to have an exchange with him. We had a few lessons and it's been good to see new friends wanting to learn more."

"This week we're off to Cyprus again for training on Friday and Saturday, so it looks like it's going to be a busy day!"

"I do have a few pictures to send though from this morning. My hair is so long, I need to get it cut, it looks pretty silly at the moment I think!"

On your Mission Facebook account you don't use the title ΕΛΝΤΕΡ that is on your tag?

"Yeah the word on Facebook is πρεσβύτερος which means elder, and it's the exact same as the English word elder in that it means both "older", and is also a church title. It's from the word πρεσβύτερος (Pres-vee-ter-os) that we have the words presbytery and Presbyterian in English. The ΕΛΝΤΕΡ that we have on our badges is just a Greek rendering of the English word, and has no meaning in Greek."

Elder Teal and Elder Mead have been working on the official Greek church webpages and they have gone live this week... You can visit by clicking on the picture below

or click HERE to visit 

16 May 2016

Week 94

Only a couple of pictures this week so I have gone back through previous weeks. The one above is from Christmas 2015  It caught my eye, a "Tower of Power" Interestingly Elder teal has been companions with four out of the 5 other missionaries in this picture !


"It's been a really good week. We had the two zone conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a really busy day on Wednesday as we went to Cyprus in the morning and came back the same day in the evening. As usual we went to Panayiotis' house for dinner, and it was great to see him, Georgia and Pavlos, as well as Alexis and Sophia. They're all doing well." 
"It was good to see all of the missionaries as well, it's always fun to go to a zone conference just after transfers and see people with their new companions." 
"We have such great missionaries here, and it's always great when we get to meet up."

 Athens Zone Conference

Cyprus Zone Conference

"The flights were fine as usual, and this time it was more than ever just like getting on a bus, as we didn't have any luggage at all, just our normal bags with our scriptures and things in!"

"We have a new friend called H, who's not really a new friend, Elder Mead taught him in his first transfer. Anyway we had a lesson with him this week where we talked about faith in Jesus Christ, read from the Book of Mormon, and invited him to be baptised. He said yes, and we set a date for July 2nd! It was one of the most spiritual lessons of my whole mission, it was so simple and so focused on the Saviour. H. is great, he said he felt like something was missing in his life, and that he's seen a day where he's a baptised member and has brought all of his family into the church. It was amazing!"

"Yeah I had an email from Aaron, that's exciting! He'll do great."
(A young man from home who has just been called to serve a mission in Kenya)

"Church was good too, I taught the joint Priesthood/Relief Society lesson as the teacher couldn't make it, and Heidi volunteered me (she said it;s because she has lots of confidence in me haha). It went well and it was fun to be able to share some of the things I've been studying recently in personal study. At the end Vassilis came up and said to President Karampoulas in front of me "He has a teacher in him! He has Jesus in him!". I took that as a compliment."

"The shirts didn't arrive yet no, the Perrys go to the PO box every Tuesday and Friday, so I'll probably get them tomorrow."

Another older picture, but we love pictures of Mars Hill

10 May 2016

Week 93 Mothers Day

Missionaries generally take two occasions to Skype or call home. Christmas and Mothers Day. Although in the UK Mothers day was a few weeks ago. We had mutually decided to observe the American date, as it splits Christmas and his return home more equally.
During the call we asked him to share his testimony in Greek.

Emails from this Monday..

"Yeah it's always strange to do emails just after Skype! It was so nice to see you all yesterday, and to talk to Rachel and Toby for the first time as a married couple."

"It's been a good week! We had a lesson on Facebook video chat with a man from the island Chios, and it was really good. He's learnt a lot about the church online and was very interested to chat with us. He had a couple of interesting questions (the usual, polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, the book of Abraham), but we were able to answer honestly, bear testimony and keep teaching, which was great! It was a really natural discussion and one of the best lessons I've taught on my mission, all through a webcam!"

"A. went to his village for Easter, and then in the States visiting a friend, so hopefully this week we'll be able to have lessons with him again!"

"Today Elder Mead and I watched Lion King 2 in Greek which was fun, it got a bit tense towards the end, but it was a happy ending"

Watching Disney movies in Greek is seen as a really good way to improve language vocabulary and expand it from just church connected word. 
Of course if you don't know Greek in the first place it doesn't mean a lot !

"And later on we'll be going to McDonald's with Elder Peel and Elder Pereira before FHE in the Acropoli chapel, so it will be a nice afternoon/evening. Yesterday we had Elder Gore and Elder Bramley at our apartment for lunch as they didn't have time to get home from Halandri to eat and then get back to the office again for their Skype. All 3 branches met together yesterday as there were some demonstrations planned in the city center, and it was really nice to have so many people at church."

In other news
 For several weeks Elder Teal has been the Greek Admin for the official Greek LDS Facebook page.
Last week Elder Teal and Elder Mead had church staff from Frankfurt visit and train them to rebuild the official Greek LDS Website. So the assignment of has been extended from Social media to Web developer.
The Greek country website has been "a little" out date for a while, so it will be good to have current content for Greek speaking members.

Thanks to my new Greek Facebook friend for sending us the opening picture snapped at chapel on Monday afternoon.

3 May 2016

Week 92

"It's been a great week yeah, and another busy one! We had another new friend to teach this week, so soon we'll be very busy with lessons, things are already getting busy now! We're also aiming for another two new friends to teach this week, so we're going to be struggling to find time for all of the lessons soon, but there are much worse problems to have!

Church was interesting, due to there being no public transport and most people having left town to visit family, we only had one member at church! We were the four elders, President Heder, and a lady called Ourania, and that was it! 
I conducted the meeting, and with President on the stand behind me and the other three elders doing the sacrament, I was stood talking to a congregation of one! However we had a really nice testimony meeting, and it was great to see how church still functions even with such small numbers! And it was a great reminder that the Atonement is for individuals."

"On Saturday we had permission to go to the midnight Easter service for the resurrection of Christ. There is a candle light which is brought all the way from Jerusalem and to every church in Greece, and then at 12:00 midnight they pass it out to the people who light each other's candles and take the light to their homes to burn for 40 days, until the Ascension. It was a really interesting experience, and it was nice to be part of something which is so important to most Greeks. We went with friends, and we had such a fun evening."

(Easter in Greece falls on 1st May this year as the Greek Orthodox church follows a different calendar)



 A short video Elder Teal took. The bangs are fireworks

"Well it's a bank holiday so none of the shops are open, so we have some time to get things sorted in the apartment and maybe to write a couple of letters as well." 

"Kipselli is an area with lots of immigrants especially from Africa and in the square they had a big celebration for Palm Sunday where they were singing gospel music and dancing, it was great. There were so many people there and it was great to see them expressing their their love and appreciation for the Saviour in such  an expressive way, and I kind of wanted to join in. 

Our district meeting was good, we talked about helping people make and keep commitments. 

We had our lesson with A. He had read about the church online and is a big fan of famous Mormons. He's never been able to find the church here in Greece until he found the Facebook page, so it was great to see that it's having a positive effect.  

We got the bus to the Praksis warehouse where we have set up for us to do service every Thursday. Elder Mead and I were assigned to put duvets and duvet covers into black bags in groups of 3 and 4. It's surprising how heavy and cumbersome things like pillows can be when you have to carry a huge pack of 50 or something and it was tiring work. We all worked well though and we got an awful lot done during our 4 hours there." 

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