For the purpose of administration and leadership missions are divided into Zones which are then divided into districts. There is one Zone in Greece and a second in Cyprus. This week the Greek Zone met together to receive counsel from the Mission President and have some training. Judging from the picture they think they are in "Grease" not Greece, we are reliably informed this is the Christos Xenophonos dance ??? So yes this is all the missionaries currently in Greece !!!
Q) How was zone conference and your interview with president?
"Zone conference was really good! You can read about the journeys there and back in my journal (6 hours on the train!)
The actual conference itself was great we learnt a lot! I made a lot of notes and I'll send you pictures of them next week. We always do lots of role plays so we can learn from one another, and we also had a lot of training from President. He wants us all to go back to the basics and be Preach My Gospel missionaries. He quoted the statistic that in Europe only 5% of investigators get baptised!
We can improve by sticking to Preach My Gospel, he said it was written in Heaven and translated on Earth. In my interview he asked me how I'm doing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and I explained that I'm great on all 3 fronts! I said I'd like to improve the sincerity of my personal prayers (they're good already but we can always improve), so he suggested that I go for a week without asking for anything in prayers, only saying that I am grateful for things. It's been interesting, and I think it's made me realise how much there is that I've never said thank you for before. That's what he said, he gave the example of one of the green hymnbooks that was sitting there in his office, had I ever said thank you for hymns? There;s so much that we have that we take for granted!
It was really good we learnt a lot! President Freestone was recently at a Mission President's Seminar in Portugal, so a lot of it was training passed on directly from the Area Presidency. There was also an exciting announcement about a Christmas campaign that church is running, that you'll find out all about soon if you haven't heard about it already!"
"Elder Potter and President Freestone in the birthday outfits (happens every zone conference for the month's birthdays)"
"Me with Elder Ferraz-Leite, who goes home today! He asked me ifwe could do something that represented Manchester in the picture, so I told him to pull a sad face and look kind of thick. Hahaha I was only joking though, Manchester is great, "
Q) How are your investigators doing??
"G. is doing great, HE HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE! The 27th of December! We still haven't taught Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity or Tithing yet though, but I'm sure it will be fine! He's really fitting in well into the branch, and he seems to really take a lot of comfort from the lessons. We're really excited We don't have many other investigators who are doing too well at the minute, we have a few potential investigators who we're excited about though, we just need to set up a first lesson with them!"
Q) Did you get the package I sent to Thess?
"Yes I got the package of Christmas decorations and the advent calendar, thankyou! I have't put them up yet, but when we do I'll send a picture!"
Q) Hows the Greek coming on?
"It's going well, I would say I'm comfortably fluent now, I can have conversations with almost anyone unless they have a really weird voice. Of course there are thousands of words that I don't know, but I can usually explain myself or get someone to rephrase something in a way that I can understand."
Q) Do you know any plans for Christmas yet?
"We will be in Athens from 22nd-24th December, then back in Thess for Christmas day. Transfers is not long after Christmas as well, but I'm not sure when exactly."
"We're not actually allowed to go to Kavala anymore because it's too far away,and there's no way that the people there can come to church. We need to build up the church here in Thess and then we will be able to build out from a solid base :)"
Our blog is reaching people we didn't expect and having an influence. This week we heard from a couple of sources about an American, who sought out the church after reading here.. (If you are reading this week thank you) Elder Teal had heard too..
"That's cool, and yeah I heard about the American guy as well, I'm famous haha! But yeah it was so funny, Elder Johansson came up to me at Zone conference and said how he met someone in Athens who said "Can I meet Elder Teal" but then said "Oh yeah he's in Thessaloniki, I won't be going that far North". And yeah the blog is how he found the church in Athens, do you have the address on there?"
I hadn't previously included the address of any meeting places in the mission, but I have know. Click HERE or on The Church in Greece/Cyprus tab at the top of this page.
Failed at finding
"We spent ages this morning looking for a bowling alley where we can go on a district trip. When we eventually found the address, it was a cafe with no bowling alley in sight. There was however one bowling pin just sat there on a box on the pavement, it was so weird!"
Our Weekly food spot
We know the mums out there like to know what Elders Lyttel and Teal are scoffing !
"These don't look great, but they were both really tasty. The first is spinach lasagna, and the second is enchiladas that Elder Lyttel and I made!"
Πρεσβύτερος Τειλ (Elder Teal)
If you would like to browser all of Elder Teals pictures they are all stored online HERE