Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thanks for the message Mother :) It's great to get emails from you, but talking to you was like you said the best Christmas gift I could have received. I know that it's hard to wait, but I'm excited to talk again on Mothers' Day. I felt the same way last year, I just wanted Mothers' Day to come to talk some more. I feel like I could have talked for hours but sometimes we don't get what we want. I'm so blessed to have a family as great as you all are to me, but I'm even more blessed to have a mother as perfect as you are Mom. I'm looking forward to 2012. It's all been kind of a dream this year. 2011 flew by and I can't believe we're coming to an end. You're right mom this is the last email in 2011 and I'm happy for that too. The closer I get to my 18 month mark the weirder I feel but I also feel good because then I'm closer to seeing you again. I'm still focused on my mission, don't get me wrong, but I know that you are all a reality and I'll be with you in August. 8 more months to go. :)

Not much has changed since we talked on Sunday, but I do love you even more. I'm so blessed to have such great support from a family as great as you. My companion was grateful for the chips :) He says thank you. That sounds great that you are going to Utah for a few days. Tell all of the family that i say Hi, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. If you see Andrew tell him to write me so I can have his email. Let the ward know that I am grateful for the letters they wrote me and their love was felt. Thank you for sending the family pictures in my package. Everyone looks so great.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was the translator of it. He received power and authority from on high to do so. I love that no matter who you are, where you live or what language you speak, the Holy Spirit can testify to you that the Book is true. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that by obeying his counsels we will be led down the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He died that we might live. Christ is the only way that we can find salvation. I am so grateful for the Atonement and the power that it has had in my life to allow me to change and become a son of Christ. I know that our family is an eternal family and we are blessed for that, and now we have to share that with others. I'm so happy to have been given the opportunity to serve. My mission means EVERYTHING to me.

Elder Turner

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thanks for writing me, Mom. Every week it's a blessing to get an email from you because I know that you are busy and it's sometimes hard to find time, but thank you for always making time for me. I just wanna say sorry for asking for so many things lately. I'm probably the one who asked for the most stuff this Christmas, but know that when I get home and get my life started, I'll repay you and Dad for all of the sacrifices that you have done for me. Just know that I'm so grateful for your support getting me out here on a mission. I try day after day to comprehend better the responsibility, authority, and power I have right now but to fully comprehend it might take a lifetime. I am doing all I can to be able to stand before the Lord and tell Him face to face one day that I gave it all I had, that I did all I could. For the call home, I'll be calling around 7pm or 8 pm Guatemala time. I'm not sure the exact hour yet because I'm not sure if we'll get to borrow two phones or just one. I hope you're all home so I can talk, and just remember I only have 40 min to talk so get the questions ready :) idk if I'll have time to tell you all the things I want to but I'll try to at least get the important things in. I can't believe that Christmas is here next week and that in 2 weeks we're going into 2012.

I still haven't gotten my Christmas package yet but that's because they haven't brought the packages out of the office. As far as I know I should be getting it on Saturday. I did get the package Deb sent me in August, and I had written her a letter about that same time, but I never remembered to bring the letter when I was passing by the post office until last week. I sent the letter to Deb last week along with a letter to Kya and Lacie. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'm so grateful for all of your support and just so you know I also got two cards this past week from Deb and Beth. Thank you!!

A funny experience that I had this week: I was with my companion at a member's house and we were talking with the Sister about the scof and stockings that she is making us and while we were talking her little 5 yr old boy walked out in the yard and started peeing. His dad got a little upset and hollared at him while he was peeing and told him that you don't do that. The little boy farted (which is extremely disgusting/disrespectful in the area I'm in) and both the parents were so embarrassed but my companion and I couldn't hold in our laughter.

Yesterday my companion and I decided to hike the San Pedro volcano in our area. We woke up and met up with 2 other people who were going with us. We got to the volcano at about 8:30 and as we went to a trailhead the guard there wanted to charge us 100 quetzales. That is just waaaaaay too much so we went and found our own path. After half an hour of hiking the trail, the trail disappeared so we made our own way up the volcano. That was one of the craziest thing I've ever done. We were climbing thru trees and vines, crawling on our stomachs and pulling ourselves up rocks by vines that were hanging down. We finally made it to the top at 2:30pm. It was such a long hike and we were not prepared. We planned for 2 hours up and 1 and a half hours down so we didn't pack lunch. I was so tired that on the way down my legs were shaking. It felt so good to get back down, and right when we got to the main road a police truck passed and took us back to our area. Great day! :)

Elder Turner
Bathing in Lake Atitlan

View outside the window in my house

Night sky in Guatemala

A scorpion I caught and decided to put on a string so now we have a pet scorpion!

Typical clothing of the men in Santiago. It's called scof.

Well this week was great. I started off with what I mentioned last week with the mission Christmas activity and that was a great boost for the rest of the working week. I love temples and I am so greatful that we have temples on the earth to perform saving ordinances not only for ourselves, but also for our loved ones and those who have passed on to the next world. This weekend the Quetzaltenango Guatemala temple was dedicated which now makes for two operating temples in Guatemala. The Guatemala City temple is going to be closed here in the next few months, or so the rumors say, to be remodeled. I'm assuming that after that it might be rededicated, but who knows, time will tell. On Saturday via Satelite we saw the cultural event for the temple and that was cool because the branch I'm in participated in the presentation. Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Anderson were here to dedicate the temple, but unfortunately I didn't get to see them. That would have been a cool experience. :)

I didn't get any packages at the activity, a missionary had mentioned to me that I have a package in the office. The way they did it last year was they brought the packages to the Zone Leaders' house a week before Christmas and so hopefully they will do it the same way this year and I can just go and pick it up before Christmas gets here. It was way cool to see the pioneer movie and to have one of our direct ancestors be one of the main characters, it's just a bummer I didn't realize who she was until way into the movie. Once I got home, I pulled out the pedigree charts and the information on Amy Loader and read it again because it had been a while and that was a neat to have seen the movie and get a depiction even more vivid about who my great-great-great-great grandmother is.

That's great to hear how the boys are doing in their wrestling matches. I hope that Kort can see now that he needs to be wrestling Varsity because JV isnt much of a challenge for him. Coach may have said some questionable things, but you aren't wrestling for him, you're wrestling because you're good at it and you want to be the best person you can be. Kort now has to prove to Coach that he is ready. I'd get feisty if I were you and show Coach that Zack Walton has no desire, he screwed up last season and he screwed up again. If he really wanted it he'd get his act together but Kort's got to step up first. I miss wrestling. I'm pretty sure I'm going to wrestle in college and fight after.

Congrats on the Messiah concert Mom. I miss hearing some great classical Christmas music. This Christmas will fly by and next year I'll be home but either way I'll be doing what the Lord expects of me. Who knows maybe I'll spend next Christmas with my fiance.

Well have yourself a merry little week. Let everyone know I love them.

Elder Turner

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Well this week was great! First off, thank you for the letter you sent me in the package. That was a great boost for me. And let Brooklyn know that I was glad to read her letters and that she needs to keep being great. This weekend two of God's children entered into the covenant of baptism in Santiago Atitlan. They are two young women who are already very active and one of them, although not a member finished her entire year of seminary.

I'm rejuvinated having gone thru the temple this morning. That was part of our Christmas activity that we did as a mission. We gave service yesterday in the morning and then we met up and played some games at a stake center in the capital. At 4 we ate dinner and began a fast for a mission goal of 205 baptisms in January which is a pretty high goal but we will accomplish it because we have put our faith in the Lord and that's what He wants too. We were on our way back to our zone leader's area at 10 and got here at 1. We had a testimony meeting in our separate districts and we came to the internet to write. My companion and I have to shop and then we will have another 2 hour ride back to our area.

That's great to hear about the boys' successes in wrestling. I saw the picture of Zack and the trophy. What a stud! It pumps me up to see them getting into gear and working hard. True success only comes when we apply the principle of sacrifice. Keep working hard boys. You've got a state championship to win this year.

That's great that everyone is staying busy this Christmas season. My companion and I are also staying busy and we are working hard to find the children of the Lord who are prepared to receive the gospel. Before I forget, in the activity we did as a mission we watched a movie called 17 miracles and it is about the Willie/Martin handcart company. It was a great movie and I recommend it for a great family night. I didn't catch it while the movie was playing, but as the credits were rolling I saw the name of Amy Loader who if I'm not mistaken is on our family tree. I don't remember if she was one of the main caracters, but anyways the movie was great.

I'm thinking of calling Sunday night for Christmas, just so you put that in the plans but I'll confirm with you as we get closer.

Just a quick story. So last Monday when my companion and I got up, the electricity in the town was out and so the main water pumps were down which means that we didn't have water. We had to get ready and go to the district meeting and decided we'd shower after we get back. We got back and the water was still out which was quite the bummer so we didn't get to shower but our solution to the problem was a great one. We walked down to the lake and waded knee deep in the water and bathed by splashing water on ourselves, soaping up, and washing the soap off. It was quite the experience, and I think all of the natives that passed by on their canoes got a good laugh to see the gringos bathing in the lake.

Well have a great week and do what is right. I love you and pray for you.

D&C 11:20

Elder Turner

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thank you for the wrestling updates. That's is sweet that Zack won. I'm proud of him and I hope that he keeps it up starting the year with a great 2 wins. They may have been good wrestlers or chumps, but he won and now he has to push it harder. It's just not enough. The Lord will always ask more of us. That is one thing that I am glad that I have learned, that the Lord will always ask more of us and we've got to be prepared to give. I am reminded of a quote by Joseph Smith that says something to the fact that a religion that doesn't require the sacrifice of all things doesn't have power to carry us to life and salvation. Just when you think you're there, push a bit harder and you will be surprised what the Lord will do for you.

I've been able to put that to the test here in my new area. It's an area that has a reputation to be hard and to not have much success. Lately the amount of new investigators found weekly was a number very low to none. As my companion and I have contacted people with a stronger desire to share the gospel, the amount of people we are finding weekly has more than doubled and the quality of the people we find has also increased. Yesterday we had planned an hour to contact and when that hour came I wasn't very excited to do it but I thought to myself my purpose and I asked the Lord to help me fulfill my purpose and I gained a desire to find. I put my faith in the Lord and I knew that we were going to find and we did. We were able to find a family that was really nice and I pray that they will come to an understanding and knowledge of the restored gospel of Christ.

The turkey legs turned out great! We made some mashed potatoes to go with them and it was a great night. I used Grandpa's honey mustard sauce on one of the legs and it was great. I know that I probably shouldnt be thinking about it, but my companion and I talk about it everyday, about how we will be home this next holiday season. It's nice to know that I will be able to enjoy this time next year with everyone. I think that the best thing for me will be to wait so that I can work for a bit and prep for college and that will give me time to move to Utah if that is what I finally decide. We will have to talk about it as well over the phone.

Tell Johnny and Paula and Alexia and all of them that I say hi and that I wish them the best for these holiday seasons.

Well I have the package with me right now. I have yet to open it, but thank you so much for sending me all of the things you sent. I am so blessed to have a mother so amazing like you. I am pretty sure for the Christmas package they will get it to me as soon as possible. Could you send me some pictures, over email, of the house, like the front yard, boys room, my room and the backyard? I'd like to have stuff like that to show my companion and other people.

Well have a great week and know that you are in my prayers. Just so you know, from here on out I will be writing on Tuesday. President Brough changed P-day to Monday and the district meeting Tuesday and we write after district meeting. Next week we are having our Christmas activity as a mission and we will be going to the temple on Tuesday. It will be a great experience.

Elder Turner

Today my companion and I are moving houses because where we are living now the owners are kinda jerks and we have just gotten sick of dealing with them. They would never let us take our trash down and so we would end up with huge bags of trash sitting in our house and I just couldnt take it anymore so we started looking for a new house and we found one with some members that is a good size with a great view. It's kinda like being in a beach house, but to add to that we have a cleaning lady who comes to clean our house twice a week for 25 quetz (about 4 dollars). It's going to be great :) I love being a missionary!

That's so great that people are accepting the message. That makes me happy to hear that the work at home continues on. That's sad that Wes got released, but the Lord knows why. He did a great job and I learned a lot from working with him and going on visits. He's a stud. Tell him I say thanks for being a great leader and a great example.

The work here in Santiago is going great. This week we worked pretty hard and we were able to see the results in our numbers. I'm not here for numbers, but the Lord asks us as missionaries sometimes to represent His children with numbers so that we can measure our progress. I also have to help other missionaries reach their potential and so for that reason sometimes we must work with numbers. I am happy to be here in Santiago and I know that the Lord has sent me here for a reason. As I strive to better the branch I'm in, I know that the Lord will provide all the ways He seems fit to help me in my labors. The people here are great people, but one thing that really affects the success here is the simplemindedness of the people. They live day to day and it is a struggle to help them understand the importance of eternity. There are many many evangelical churches here that have a grip on the people because of the simpleness of the path. All you have to do there is show up, shout and dance, give money if you have a some and you're saved. It's like going to a concert. It's frustrating but I'm here because the Lord needs me to touch the heart of His children here and I am giving it my best shot. The language is coming along and I can understand when the kids call me "sac chu'"(white fish).

That's great to hear that the family is doing great. This is my last Thanksgiving that I'm going to miss but don't worry, my companion and I found some turkey legs and so that's what we're going to be having for Thanksgiving. It's great to be with someone who shares your culture and who wants to enjoy a good meal. It's good that Kya was a good sport and brought the turkey home for Thanksgiving :)

I pray for you all and I love you all so much. I'm stoked for the match results next week. Kort get better. I love you man and I want you to have the success you deserve. Zack tear it up. You've gotta be a machine.

Have a great week. Tbna kwentibi

Elder Turner

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I had to go to the capital on Monday and had to leave Sunday night to be able to get there at 9am Monday morning because I had to go with another Elder who lives on the other side of the lake. I am super excited to be here in my new area. I have always wanted to come here ever since I heard of it but when I went to Ciudad Vieja I figured that my chances of coming here were out of the picture.

This week I had an interview with President and he told me that I am here by no mistake and that the Lord needs me here to strengthen the branch and to liven up my companion. Elder Horrock is amazing and we get along great, I'm sure we were friends before this life. Thank you for your support and for your prayers. Please continue praying for me especially so that I can learn this language because it is pretty difficult, but like you said I know that the Lord will bless me to learn it if I put my faith in Him. I'll speak for you all on Christmas so you can hear. One of the members in the area told us that there was a survey taken in the town and they say that less than 50% of the people know how to speak spanish and those who can speak spanish have very poor grammar which makes it difficult to understand even their spanish. The people in Santiago are very traditional people which reminds me a lot of the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. Many of the people still wear traditional clothing called corte which is what the women wear and the men wear scoff. I want to get a some scoff by the way because it is pretty cool. It is like a pair of shorts that is decorated by embroidering birds into it and it is held up by a fabric belt that you wrap around and tie in a knot, the belt is called pos. The elders used to be able to wear that to work about a year ago, but the area presidency said that we couldn't anymore. The weather here is amazing. During the day it stays about 75 degrees and at night about 65-70 degrees. There are some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets here. It is a pueblo truly blessed by God.

Well I didn't get the box yet :/ I'm not sure what's up, but you should track it to see where it's at. Maybe it went to New York again. Well I tried to think about things that would be nice to have, but I could only think of a few things, Salt and vinegar chips, Flossers, Reeses BP cups, and then some ink refills to a ZEBRA ball point pen F-301 0.7mm, maybe some red hots too. I can't think of much else but whatever you want to send would be greatly appreciated. Music would be nice if you could send me more CD´s. I can listen to any music that is of the Church. EFY, Tabernacle Choir, anything from the church.

It was pretty cool to live 11.11.11, because the next time that will happen is in 100 years. Who knows maybe I'll still be up and living! That's pretty cool that so many people got married that day and I'm sure many many more throughout the world. But man I can't be thinking of that yet! haha although it is a thought that is always there. mawage. mawiage is what gaffers us here today, and wuv twuu wuv!

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers, support, and of course the packages! Keep up all of your hard work and the Lord will bless you.

Elder Turner

I forgot to respond about my assignment as a district leader but anyways, every night I have to talk to a few other missionaries and see how their day went and make sure that everything is ok with them. I have to, every Monday lead a district meeting where we talk about the work in the district and where I teach a bit about gospel topics and help with teaching situations. On Sundays I have to take all of the missionaries' numbers for the week and report them to the Zone Leaders. I also have to interview investigators for baptism which I haven't done yet, but hopefully will get to do that soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Well this week was great :). First off, I had changes this last Wednesday and I am in a new area with a new companion. I left my son in Ciudad Vieja to work hard and baptize those families we were working with. My new area is Santiago Atitlan, right on the shore of Lake Atitlan which has been supposed by many to be the Waters of Mormon, and my new companion is Elder Horrocks from Centerville, Utah. Elder Horrocks will be hitting a year in the mission tomorrow and he is a hard worker and a great missionary. In my new area Santiago, I have to learn a dialect, and this time it is necessary that I learn it because the majority of the people speak it, and they don't know Spanish very well. The dialect is called Tzutijil (pronounced Sutooill) and it is pretty difficult because there are a lot of sounds you have to make with your throat and just weird sounds, but I know that the Lord will bless me with the gift of tongues because He is the one who called me to serve here. I'll try to send some pictures next week.

I'm super excited for wrestling season even though I'm so far away. I know that it is a tough sport, but there is nothing like it. There are very few who can make it thru the season, and even fewer who have the desire and will power to give it a little more. Wrestling taught me a lot that is serving me well in my mission, for instance, in the area I just arrived in it is known to be a hard area and in the last 2 years there are maybe 10 recent converts which is pretty low for Guatemala. My companion has some time in the area and the difficulties have gotten to him a bit, but now it is my job to push us both harder than we have ever worked in the mission and I know that if we do so the Lord will bless us. That is pretty crazy that the weight classes have changed, but there is a reason for everything and that just means that the boys will have to work a little harder to earn the glory. It's never gonna be easy. Elder Falabella of the Seventy said "The easy way makes men and rivers twisted." You´ll never come out the best you can if you take the easy way out. I love wrestling.

Well it sounds like the family is doing well and that everyone is staying active and that is great. Hopefully that letter comes soon from Kya because I want to hear what's going on with this Ryan kid. I have no idea who he is and I have to approve him considering I am her brother! Kort you have got to think deep inside and find out what you want. These years are crucial, they can and will make or break your life. Zack you have to learn now to listen to the counsels of your father, something that took me a long time to do and I wish I would have listened sooner because I'd be a lot farther in life. Mack stay "pilas" sis :). Don't do anything for a boy that you wouldn't do if dad was watching you. Brooklyn I miss you and I love you tons. Stay genuine :)

It is crazy to think that Christmas is coming up, but I am excited because I will be with Elder Horrocks for Thanksgiving and for Christmas and we will have such a great time.

I love you all so much and I hope that you stay firm in the faith because nothing else brings happiness. Live happy.

Elder Turner

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The first picture is of an active volcano in a town where we work called Alotenango.
The second picture is of the food we won from cleaning our house.
Picture number three I was making flour tortillas with some recent converts so we could eat burritos.
Picture four is me drinking coffee (morcaf it's "mormon coffee" made of corn, wheat, and idk what else, don't worry it's not real coffee)

This week my companion and I started to work more with the members and let me tell you working with the members is great! November and December will be great months because because the members have introduced us to their friends and I have faith that every new family we found this week with the help of the members are going to get baptized in these next two months. With the help of the members, missionary work will go forth with much more power. Thank you mom for working with the elders at home. I know that is why the members are helping here because you are helping there.

Well happy halloween too :) It doesn't feel like halloween that's for sure. The people here seem to think it is a night where gringos go crazy and so they don't really celebrate it here. Like you said they celebrate Dia de los Muertos. That's tomorrow and Wednesday, but mainly tomorrow the 1st of November. The people all go to the cemetery and spend the day there decorating the tombs of their loved ones with flowers, and eating Fiambre, a typical food from Guatemala and in all honesty the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. Take a minute and think of a type of meat. Put that in a bowl. Think of another type of meat. Put that in the same bowl. Another meat? Put that in there too. Think of some vegetables. Every vegetable that crossed your mind put that in your bowl. Throw some eggs in there, some hot dogs, and basically anything else you can think of into that same bowl. Now, because it didn't cross your mind when you thought of vegetables, throw some beets in there and you have Fiambre! It's awful, but the people like it. Another thing that they do here on November 1st is near the cemetery everyone flies "barrilettes" or kites. Lately all the kids have been flying kites but the cool thing is that just about everyone makes their own kites. There are competitions for the biggest kites and let me tell you they make some huge kites that are up to 10-12 feet and bigger and yes they fly. It's one of the Guatemalan traditions.

Well the work here in Ciudad Vieja is going great. I don't know how many times I have said this, but I love being a missionary. As you work to love the people and help them be the best they can be you learn what it means, and although very cliché, what it really means to say that these are the best two years. Many people say that they are the best two years FOR your life but in all reality they are also becoming the best two years OF my life. I made a goal at the beginning of my mission to make my mission mean everything to me and this week I wrote on a piece of paper and put it up on the wall in front of my desk "my mission means EVERYTHING to me". That is still my goal and I know that day by day I am accomplishing it. Ciudad Vieja is such a great area and I am so blessed to work here. It is a city on the base of a volcano and it is so beautiful. The people are some of the nicest people because everywhere you go people say "hi" or "good morning" even if you have never seen them before. The people in Ciudad Vieja are prepared for the Gospel and although there are a ton of Catholics they are receptive. My companion and I have been working hard and striving to work efficiently. There are many families we are working with and many investigators we have right now but we aren't settling with that. We have high goals, but we know that those investigators will be able to become converts if we teach with power and authority the doctrine of Christ. Thank you mom for teaching me clearly and simple the doctrine of Christ because I have become converted.

Have a great week. "Sí, os digo, venid y no temàis, y desechad todo pecado, pecado que fàcilmente os envuelve..."

Elder Turner
That's great to hear that the family is staying active and that everyone has their activities and are staying out of trouble. As we are doing things that are productive, Satan is kept away from us and we are able to focus on the important things and not allow for destructive things to enter into our minds.

I have gotten DearElders from a few people which are greatly appreciated namely Deb, the Morales family and the Merrills. Those are the most recent that I can remember, and I know that others have sent me letters and emails too which I am so grateful for. I don't always get time to respond, especially emails one because of the time limit and two because I can only email family. The question you made was a great question and to be honest with you I'm not exactly sure, but it is always great to recieve DearElders and letters. I did enjoy last year the cards from the different classes and quorums from the ward. Pictures from the ward would be nice to receive too.

This week was a great week! I love being a missionary. There is honestly no better time in my life that I have passed. I understand why they are the best two years :) This week I went on divisions with other missionaries in my Zone and I went and worked in their area, Chimaltenango. It was nice to get out of my area for a day or so and work with another missionary because since I got to Ciudad Vieja, I have worked there every single day. Sometimes routine gets boring and you don't grow as much. The following day we had a Zone Conference with Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy. This is the second time in my mission that I have had the opportunity to hear him, the first time was exactly a year ago when I entered the mission field. He reiterated the importance of working with the members and the importance of proper planning. In my entire mission I have been able to "get by" without really working with the members, but I am tired of just getting by. Like I said, routine gets boring. This week we have already planned a few appointments where members are going to invite a nonmember over or where we are going to go with the members to the non members house. I have faith and i know that as my companion and i work with the members more we will find a lot more success. Elder Martino talked about the importance of planning well. Chapter 8 in PMG talks specifically about planning and how to plan well, setting goals and measuring your progress. He made us the promise that if we can master the principles that chapter 8 mentions we will make 100,000 dollars more in life. Yes, 100,000 dollars more. I am really working to understand and put in practice the principles of planning well.

Well the rainy season is officially over after almost 10 days straight of rain. It's nice to be dry :) It's amazing what the sun can do for your soul after not seeing it for 10 days.

Be safe and be smart and be obedient. "...Ciertamente al obedecer es mejor que los sacrificios..." - 1 Samuel 15:22

Elder Turner

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This week was a great week. I love serving the Lord and have so much joy in knowing that there is nothing better that I could be doing than serving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

My day: I am always tired. Every day I wake up, look at my alarm clock and wish that it's only 3am so I can sleep a few more hours and I think of how nice it will be to get back in bed when the day is over. I say a prayer and put myself in the Lord's hands knowing that only He can give me the strength to work another day. I do some push ups and sit ups, some curls and a little bit of bench press with the weights that other missionaries have made and left in the house. I get in the shower and get ready for the day. I eat breakfast and lately it's been banana pancakes because we've still got a lot of pancake mix so I haven't bought anything else for breakfast. At 8am it's time for personal study and right now I've been studying the Book of Mormon. I am reading in the book of Mosiah and I am reading about Alma and how he repented of his sins and was able to bring many people also to repentance. I love stories like his. Then I have companionship study from 9am to 11am focusing on teaching the lessons in Preach my Gospel and learning how to be a better teacher. I have become a great fan of chapter 10 because it really shows how to be a master teacher. It is hard sometimes having a new companion and teaching him, but it has helped me revert to the basics and when we get back to the basics everything goes better and we come closer to Jesus Christ.

11am to 12pm we study language and then we are out to work. Normally we don't have a lot of lessons early in the day, but it is a great time to share the gospel and so we knock doors and look for families in the street and sometimes visit members to help in the missionary work.
We eat lunch at 1:30 and by 2pm we are up and at 'em again. The best thing about missionary work is being able to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ and that He is Everything for me and my life. There are many people who reject the message but that makes it even sweeter when people accept it. We walk a lot but I know that all the walking we do will be repaid (I'm going to have a beautiful wife!) 9pm we're in the house planning for the next day and getting ready for bed. I write in my journal a bit and eat something and then to bed. 6am (the following day) we do it over again. 14 months have gone by quick and I am savoring every minute.

I can't believe that it is still 100 degrees. I haven't felt heat like that in a long time. Guatemala really is a promised land. The weather here is so great for the most part. I haven't seen the sun for over a week because it has been raining everyday, except for yesterday, since last Monday. On Wednesday I thought that a hurricane was passing through because it was raining so much and super windy. The rain was falling at a horizontal direction! I love my mission :) Supposedly we are at the end of the rainy season so hopefully it will stop here in the next few days.

Elder Turner

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This week I had a good experience applying what the prophet said to one of the 70, "It's better to look up." Those words helped me this week as I faced the challenges of missionary work. I love being a missionary. There is no better calling. Thank you for helping me get my life in order to serve the Lord for 2 years, bearing His name on my heart.

It's good to hear that you got the pictures of the contest winners :) I wasn't really sure that we would win because I was hearing what other missionaries were doing to clean so that they could win (such as cleaning with acid) but I figured that we would give it a shot. We stayed up a little late the night before the inspections trying to make sure we thought of all the things Sister Brough would think about, and doing the last minute mopping. We woke up in the morning at 630 and got a call from the district leader that they had already stopped by his house to inspect it. We looked over the house again and it seemed clean enough to pass. We waited and they finally came. The cleanest house was between the Zone leaders and us. We won by one point. It was great, we got a ton of pancake mix and we are enjoying eating tons of pancakes. I remember before the mission that I didn't really like pancakes, but when you're hungry, you'll eat what's there and sometimes you'll grow to like it. Today I ate banana pancakes with strawberry jelly and orange juice for breakfast. Life is good :)

That's great to hear that the family is doing well and that the kids are on break this week. I love you all and pray for you. Sorry that this letter was so short, but know that I love you and that the Book of Mormon is true. How great is it that we have Another Testament of Jesus Christ?!

Elder Turner

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference was awesome :) I love General Conference. Being a missionary, Conference is like Christmas when I was a kid. You have it marked on your calender and you wait for it anxiously knowing that it is just going to be amazing and when it actually comes you are so excited you wake up early so that you can make sure that you are there for all the good stuff. You listen to the speakers and that's like opening the presents, you are so excited because you don't know what you're going to get, you just know that it's going to be good, something that will make you happy. Then when it's all over your a bit sad because the presents are opened and there's no more anticipation and you gotta go back to the normal things. That's how it is for me at least.

I loved Conference and cherished every moment as the Lord took time to teach me thru the words of his servants here on the earth. Elder Callister is a great speaker and provides great insight. I read a talk he gave as a mission president entitled "A Consecrated Missionary" that really helped me change my mission a few months ago. It really gave me a better perspective as to how to be more obedient and a more effective tool in the Lord's hands. The talk he gave about the Book of Mormon and the Bible was great and the example he used was very simple and clear. The example made me smile a bit for two reasons, one being that my trainer taught me that example and two because about 3 months ago we had a Zone conference and the Assistants to the President talked to us about the use of examples and how we ought to not teach with so many examples but rather just teach doctrine. The key is that we ought to use the Spirit in discerning what our investigators need so that they will be able to progress.

I really liked the talk by Elder Quentin Cook because it talked a bit about pride and I think that it is good that we all take time every so often to re-evaluate ourselves to be a bit more humble. It helps to read Alma 5. I liked the reference he made to the Titanic and how the claims for the ship were so high. Unsinkable, The Biggest, The Best, The Most Luxurious. Often times we think that of ourselves and then when we are sailing in troubled waters, we fall. We must always be prepared to defend ourselves when Satan strikes. I especially like how he made mention of a group of missionaries who were to travel on the Titanic but were not able to make it because one of them wasn't prepared to leave the day of the embarkation. One of those missionaries was Alma Sonne. Alma Sonne is in my Line of Authority right above the person who gave the priesthood to Grandpa Turner. I felt a cool connection there :)

My companion is doing great and we are working hard. I'm trying to teach him English and he wants to learn, but it's a struggle. English is a lot harder than Spanish and the rules are way different. He is adjusting great, but I have learned that I have to be perfect with him. I can not let even the slightest thing go. I have to be a bit hard on him sometimes, because I have to do all that the Lord expects of me so that my companion can achieve the same. I love my companion. He is a great person that has made a great impact on my life.

Life is great and I am loving every second of it. I'm working as hard as I can. I know the Lord is pleased with me and He is blessing me so much. The gospel is such a blessing. Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of God. Joseph Smith was the first prophet after Christ and by the direction of God restored the truth to the earth. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know that it is true. I know that I will be with my family forever as we all strive to live the gospel and become perfected through the Atonement of Christ. Temples are such a blessing and I know that they are sacred buildings of God.

Have an AMAZING week.

Elder Turner

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well my week was a good week and I am feeling a lot better than the last. My companion and I worked hard this week striving to surpass our goals that we put for the week and we were worn out, but I know that the Lord rejuvenates our bodies as we work hard to bring His children back to Him.

That's crazy to hear about the changes happening there at Sureño. I can't imagine what it would have been like to go to school with a uniform but I am sure that it will be a good change because if we want to prepare for the future, to have a better future, we have to begin with the kids. It might be a bit more rigorous, but to improve the results, the expectations must also improve. I have really gained a testimony of the importance of goals and setting realistic yet high goals so that we can stretch ourselves to reach higher. It's interesting that they will be implementing uniforms, because here in Guatemala every school uses uniforms, from preschool to high school and so I have gotten used to seeing kids who wear their uniforms everyday to school.

We haven't heard much of anything here about Mormon.org and I am assuming for the same reason you mentioned, not that many people here have their own computers. If you want to use a computer, you have to go to an internet cafe and so it isn't as easy as just being in your house and going to the computer and pulling up the internet. I think that it is a great idea that the Church is going more public and trying to help people understand and know who we really are.

This week I had an experience knocking doors where we were able to clear up some confusion that a lady had about the church. We were knocking doors in a place called Alotenango searching for a few references that we had received and at one of the doors a lady answered and so we asked her if she knew the people we were looking for and after going back to ask her husband she came back and showed us in the direction we needed. We mentioned to her that we were looking for this family to share a message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that we would like to share it with her. She went to ask her husband if we could share the message, and she came back and told us no thanks. We were persistent and asked if she would just allow us a few short minutes and again she said no. We asked her why and she told us that she had heard things about us and that she didn't want to hear the message. We persisted and although reluctant she let us in. We followed her to the back yard and there we saw her husband, a very stern looking man who seemed upset that we were in his house, so I quickly walked over to him and offered to help him clean up the weeds that he was pulling. He said no thanks, but we asked him to join us for a few minutes and he said ok. He sat down and crossed his arms showing absolutely no interest. We shared with them a 15 min lesson of the Restoration and finished the lesson sharing about the Book of Mormon. We asked some questions to see if they understood and asked if they had any questions or comments for us. The husband who had sat down with no desire to listen to us said "Wow. I had no idea that you believed in Jesus Christ. I thought you adored Joseph Smith but you don't adore him at all, he is just God's chosen servant. I know that you bring a message from God because you didn't tell us what we are doing wrong or what to believe, you just want us to ask God if it is true." It was a great experience for me, and a testimony strengthener to know that when we share the truth by the power and authority that God has given us, we can truly get rid of confusion and bring the light into the lives of many.

Right now my companion and I are working with a sister who is preparing for baptism, her name is Claudia. She came to church yesterday and she mentioned to us that she is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and that she is praying everyday to know if the Book of Mormon is true. I know that God is responding to her petitions and that she is very close to recognizing her answer.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ´s church that He has restored through His prophet Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I love it with all I am. I know that God loves me and that He is my Father. I know that Christ lives and that he is my Savior who has redeemed me from my lost and fallen state. I love the Gospel. There is nothing better. :)

Well I am equally excited for General Conference this weekend and I know that the Lord will have many great things to tell me and to tell you through His beloved and chosen servants. ¡Aprovechela! I can't believe that this is my 3rd of 4 Conferences. Time is cruising!

Elder Kasey Marshall Turner

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This week was.....interesting. But everything is good and I know that the Lord loves me. I got pretty sick on Friday and Saturday and basically didn't leave the house. I think I ate something that didn't sit well and that's what made me sick. The good news is that I am up and working and I have sufficient energy to do all that the Lord asks of me. On Friday night I got a call from the Zone Leaders that the President was going to come work with us on Saturday afternoon. I got a little worried because I was super sick and I didn't want to have to tell President that I was sick, but it turned out the President wasn't able to make it because he got stuck in the capital with some baptism. I am pretty sure that is how the Lord answered my prayers. I have been trying to put in practice the things that I learned in my training meeting, but I know that I need to do better.

We didn't have a ton of working time this week cause I got sick, but this week will be better and I will strive to do better because I know it's what the Lord expects of me. In Ciudad Vieja there aren't that many people who speak english, but I am about 15 minutes away from Antigua Guatemala and there are tons of Gringos (white people) who are visiting as tourists and they speak English. I try to stay away from them because the majority of them are weird hippie people who like to joke about you and I prefer not to waste my time. That's just how I feel. Plus it's gotten a little harder to express myself in English without using Spanish words. My companion is adjusting great and I am doing all I can to teach him and to love him. I want more than anything for him to learn the importance of obedience and so I am striving to be as exact as I can. I know he doesn't like it sometimes, but I know it's what the Lord expects of me.

That's so great that Dad has work because right now times are hard, not only in the states, but all around the world. It's a blessing to have a job with the way the world is now because there are a lot of people who resort to stealing and other types of iniquity because they can't think of what else to do. It's sad, but it's the truth of things. There are a lot of people here that are trying to get out of that lifestyle so they sell just about anything and everything they have to make a bit of money. It's a hard life, but like you said mom, blessings come from following the counsels of the prophets. Speaking of, the Conference is coming up and I can't wait! My goal is from a year from now attend conference in the conference center.

I pray that the boys will keep up the desire and work hard this up coming wrestling season. I miss wrestling and I know that it helped shape me into a "man". It helped me get over the little bumps and bruises and not worry about little things. Although I do regret not listening to Dad sooner. When I decided to take his advice my high school career was coming to an end and I had missed my shot. I know it's hard to admit it sometimes, but the truth is that Dad was right. You have to listen to him now before it's too late.

I know that the Book of Mormon changes lives because it changed mine and has changed about 14 million other people's lives.

Thank you for all of your love and support. You all mean so much to me. True to the Faith.

Elder Turner

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Every Monday is looked forward to to be able to read the emails and to see how life is back at home. This week was an interesting week to say the least. I only had one full day in my area and with that being said, it might be understandable when I say that only 2 investigators came to church when normally we have quite a bit more than that. On Thursday morning I had to go to the capital which is about 2 and a half hours away in bus and my companion stayed with 2 other missionaries. I went with the companions of the missionaries who stayed with my companion and we were in the capital from Thursday morning until Friday afternoon when we arrived back to my area, Ciudad Vieja, at 6pm. In the capital I participated in a meeting with President Brough and received instructions and inspiration on how to better the missionary work in my area and how to be a better companion. A lot of the teaching in the mission has changed, as far as how to teach better, and that was a lot of the instruction given in the meeting Thursday and Friday. It was a spiritual meeting and I learned a lot. I am grateful to be serving in this day and time when the Lord has provided so many tools to help the missionary work go forth with more power and authority. I know that the Lord has called me to be a representative of Him here in this mission and I am striving each day to be better because that's what I am here for. I know that tough times might pass, but in reality they aren't that tough if we put in practice the Christlike attribute of Hope as you mentioned. Hope is a lifesaver and it really helps when there are challenges in the mission. I know that the Lord loves me and He wants me to succeed and so He prepares me with the way to do so, His Spirit.

Elder Davis and Elder Deering were good missionaries. I never really knew them, but I know that they served well. Yes it is true that Elder Hatch is married, he got married on May 13th and I'm not sure if he has a kid on the way yet, but if I know him the least bit, I would say that he does. He was a great missionary and loved what he was doing as a servant of the Lord. I am striving to take all of the good things that he taught me and put them to use knowing that I have the blessing to be one of the most remembered companions my companion will ever have. I want to be for my companion what Elder Hatch was for me. I look up to him a lot and I know that he has a testimony of the truthfulness of this work and that is why he strived to be the best he could be. I know that the Lord expects a lot of me and I know that I have a lot of repenting to do each and everyday, but because the Lord Jesus Christ suffered for me, I can be forgiven of the mistakes that I make.

One of the things I have to be better at is contacting/talking to people on the bus. I don't really know why, but I have never really been a fan of talking to people on the bus, but this week I had a great experience with talking on the bus. On Friday, on the way back from that meeting I had, I decided to talk to the man sitting next to me and I shared with him a short message of the Restoration. He told me that it would be fine if we passed by his house on Sunday and so I put the appointment with him. Sunday came around and it was time to go to the appointment I put with the man I contacted but I wasn't feeling too excited to go, because it was a little ways away, about 20 min walking fast, and I' didn't want to go all the way there and find out that he wasnt there (because yesterday was elections and a lot of people were outside). We went and to my surprise he was there. We taught him the message of the Restoration and he and his wife had a lot of positive questions. I know that the Lord provides the way if we are faithful and do as He asks. We challenged them to be baptized and they said that if they know the message is true and the Book of Mormon is true, they will accept the invitation.

D&C 60:2-3

Elder Turner

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I understand that there is much to do around the house and someone has to keep the kids going or the work will never get done. I miss being able to help around the house, I really do because I know that even if it wasn't expressed, it meant a lot to you. But I guess right now I'm not helpiong around the house rather I'm helping around the world. It is such a blessing and a privilege to be here in Guatemala and to be able to bless the lives of God's children in this part of the world. I'm far from home but I feel your love each and every day and I know that you are ok because you are living the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing that quote on repentance. It helped me reflect on my personal study from this morning which was focused on faith and hope. If we truly have faith, we know that Christ suffered for us and we can have hope that although we are not perfect His suffering will allow us to enter into the presence of our Father again. I'm so grateful for the Atonement because were it not for the Atonement I wouldn't be here on my mission. I was thinking the other day that if I am going to be asking people to commit to repentance, I need to be repenting everyday. It is the same with any commitment I might ask someone to make, I must be living it first to be able to ask others to do the same.

Yesterday I finished for the 2nd time the Book of Mormon in Spanish and as I finished the last few chapters in Moroni, the desire to ask God if the Book of Mormon is true filled my heart and so I knelt down and asked. What a blessing it is to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that we have the fullness of the gospel restored unto the earth. I am so grateful that God loves us enough to be able to allow the Book of Mormon to come forth in our day and time to add another solid witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of mankind. I love the Book of Mormon. There is no other book greater than the Book of Mormon on the face of the earth. I would ask all who read this letter to read the Book of Mormon and then ask God if it is true, even if you have already done so, so that you can know for yourself that it is true. After having done that in the morning before church, I was filled with the Spirit so strong and wanted nothing more than to assure everyone that I talked to that day knew what I believe.

Yesterday we had a contact with a man in the street who was a Jehovah's Witness and we began sharing the message of the Restoration with him right there on the spot. He politely said no thanks that he was busy and didn't have time for us to share the message, and by this time we had arrived to the doorstep of his house. We persisted and he began to tell us that he was Jehovah's Witness and that he was in the correct church and that he didn't have time. I told the man "thank you for your sincerity, but the message we have isn't just to share the word of God, but to share with you the truth. This message will make the difference between whether or not you will obtain salvation." His facial expression quickly changed. We were all silent for about 30 seconds and he responded "never before have I talked to or known a missionary like you." We walked away as he declined the message again. I was hurt because I did all I could and he still rejected. I was happy at the same time because I did everything I could. I am not ashamed of this gospel.

Have a great week :) I love you all.

Elder Turner

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It is so great to hear from you and to get your emails, today I also got a letter that you had sent from dad Mack Zack and Brook just after the family reunion. It was so great to hear about your experiences with the chickens and roosters. I got a good laugh out of that because that's an everyday thing here in Guatemala, at least outside of the capital. I also got a Dear Elder from Wyron Morales and it was so great to hear from him. It surprised me that they had moved so far away, but U know that they are enjoying the changes. It was funny to read the letter that he had sent because he was naming a bunch of food and fruit of the which I have tried many and just about all of them I really like especially Jocote when it is ripe. I wasn't a big fan of the Chicos, but it was good to try. I have become an addict to Mangoes. I also got a Dear Elder from the Merrills and it was good to hear that Sam is loving his mission. There is no time better. I didnt know that Sean had gotten married until about a week ago when you wrote about going to his reception, but that is great to hear. Im proud of that guy because that's what you have to do after the mission :)

I love the Gospel. I can't express even the slightest bit of joy that I have gained by becoming converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by helping others do the same. It is so great to be helping the children of God enter into the covenants that will take them to Salvation. Mother I admire you and your efforts to serve as a ward missionary. It is a great calling, in fact there is no calling better. In my opinion it is a hard calling because you are called to be a missionary, but you just don't have a name tag. That means a lot because you have to live the rules of a missionary without being recognized for it. I love you and I look up to you for your service that you are giving to the children of God.

Today we had interviews with President Brough and they went well. It was quick but powerful and I know that He has been called of God to preside over this mission, to help every missionary in this mission achieve what the Lord expects of them. I feel the same way in my assignment. I have to help my companion achieve what the Lord expects of Him, and it's hard. Sometimes you feel like he doesn't like you but you know you have to do it because it's the only way to help him be better. I think I am getting a tiny taste of what it's like to be a parent. You just want the best for them but sometimes they can't see that. You love them and would give everything so that they can have a better life than you. You pray for them in everything and ask Heavenly Father to help them understand. One day they will understand, and that day usually comes after you let them go, after they leave the house and experience the real world. Training is tough but the Lord calls us in our weaknesses and qualifies us for His work. All we have to do is be obedient and the Lord will provide a way. I hope for success and I have faith the the Lord will answer my prayers.

This week was a tough week but a great week and it all turned out great. I gain a stronger testimony of the Atonement everyday as I see God's children repent and come closer to Him. A family called us last Monday night, a family who had recieved the missionaries about 6 months ago, and they asked us to come visit them again. We visited them Friday and they said that they are ready for the gospel and that they want to change. They weren't able to make it to church on Sunday due to a work problem that came up but I have faith that they will make it to church on Sunday. We have 3 families that we are working with and if they make it to church on Sunday that will be 3 families with whom we will put baptismal dates for the 24th of September.

Life is great and it couldn't be better. The days pass by faster and faster and I know that one day my mission will end, but until then I will work hard every minute of every day of every week of every month of this last year and I promise that I will focus on my purpose to help God's children enter into the covenant of baptism. I pray that Kort and Zack will also work hard in this wrestling season, even harder than the last season so that they can achieve what they deserve. Don't let yourselves down by going halfway. Be Go Gettas!! I honestly miss wrestling. Sometimes I thought that I would never say that but it's true. It is the best sport ever.

Live obediently with no regrets.

Elder Turner

"One Year Older and Wiser Too (well in mission terms)"


Mother, I hope that all is well and that you are enjoying your busy life as a mother who is striving to teach her children what they need to do to gain salvation as the Mothers of the 2000 stripling warriors did. Mother I do not doubt because you taught me what I need to do and I promise you that I am doing all I can to obtain those blessings promised by the Lord in 2 Nephi 31:19-21. I love you and I know that the Lord loves you too. :)

So this week was an interesting week and a very successful week too. Starting with Monday, my companion and I had a decent day with nothing out of the norm. We had our district meeting in the morning and when we got back to the house we had to study because we have to follow a very strict program of studying and we can't afford to miss a day (unless the mission president tells us other wise). Tuesday was P-day and we spent the majority of the day in the house cleaning (because it had probably been 6 months since the elders had cleaned) and resting for a bit. We also went to Antigua about 15 min away and bought groceries. Wednesday was a completely normal day as far as the schedule goes, we didn't have any meetings and we were able to work the full day. We woke up at 630 and I exercised while my companion Elder Carrillo kinda just wnadered around the house sleep walking because he hasn't gotten used to the missionary life yet. Everyday he is exhausted and waking up is a chore for him. He reminds me of Kort. :) We studied personally from 8-9am and then as a companionship from 9-11am. This week in our studies we had to focus on lesson 1 from Preach My Gospel because they aren't teaching the lessons in the MTC or CCM rather they are teaching a program called Simplified Study which focuses more on following the Spirit. From 11am-12pm we study the language and he helps me with my spanish while I help him with his english. After that we leave the house and proselyte for an hour and then we eat lunch. From 2pm-9pm we are out working, looking for people to teach, giving service and knocking doors. 5pm is the best hour to contact and we usually always knock doors from 5-6. The best hours to have lessons is form 5-9pm and so we dont eat dinner until we get home. That is a normal day of a missionary here in Guatemala. Thursday we had a meeting with the Mission President and all the new missionaries in the mission office and we had to leave our house at 630 to be there by 9am. The meeting was great and it called me to repentance in a lot of things that I need to do better. We got home at 530pm and got to work helping our investigators prepare for baptism. Friday I was on companion exchanges with the District Leader so that he could do the baptismal interviews for our investigators. Saturday is a great working day and we went out working but had very little success. This week will be a lot better. Sunday we had 3 baptisms and completed 2 families. There is nothing sweeter than helping the children of God enter into the waters of baptism especially after many missionaries have passed thru the home of these people to help them and they still hadn't taken the step. I am so blessed to be in Ciudad Vieja working for the Lord reaping the harvest. There is NOTHING better!! :)


Elder Turner

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I think that I might be just as exhausted as you are. This week was a crazy week for me too. Last Monday night we got the phone calls for changes and I did not expect what they told me. The mission is organized as other basic church organizations with leaders and people called to direct the work such as Assistants to the President, Zone Leaders, District leaders, Senior companions and Junior companions and for my whole mission I have been junior companion enjoying working hard and living the mission life. I got comfortable. On Monday night when we got the calls they told me that I was staying in the area but that I had an interview with the President on Wednesday morning. I was shocked and could barely sleep that night. I was called to be a trainer and so my new companion is really new. It is such a big calling to be a trainer because the future of my companion depends on the example I give him. Sometimes I don't feel worthy to have this responsibility but I know that the Lord calls us in our weaknesses and that He qualifies us for His work. My companion's name in Elder Carrillo and he is from Nicaragua. He a great missionary and is willing to serve the Lord. I love this mission and I know that nothing better has happened to me in my life than my mission.

It's crazy to think that the kids are still growing while I am here and I know that they will continue to grow, but sometimes I feel like time at home is stopped because I'm so far away. Life goes on and so does the work of the Lord. I know that if we continue faithful the Lord will bless us with great treasures. I am working as hard as I can because I know at the end of the day the Lord will give me the strength I need when I am tired. The area I'm in is great and my companion and I are harvesting the work of many missionaries that have worked in Ciudad Vieja. This coming weekend we have planned 3 baptisms which will be completing families and I don't think that there could be a better welcome to the mission than this for my new companion. I think that it might be difficult to keep up the same rhythm of finding new investigators because my companion is new, but I know that through faith and prayer and hard work we will be able to achieve what the Lord expects of us. The ward and my area is great and the members are very nice, we just need to find a way to get more member support in the work. There are about 140 members that come to church every Sunday plus we have a little town that is part of our area called Alotenengo and they have church meetings there every Sunday where about 20 people attend. The church building in Ciudad Vieja is too small for our ward and so they will begin within this next year to build a new Church Building. When we had our ward conference about 4 weeks aago more than 200 people came and they had to set up a camera in the sacrament room to show the conference to the members who didn't fit in the sacrament room. The ward is growing a lot and I am grateful to be a part of the growth in the ward.

I hope all is well and I pray for your safety and success in all things. I know the Church is true and that Jesus Christ guides and directs it thru His profet Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book of all and that anyone can get closer to God by following its precepts than any other book. I know the work in the temples is essential and that we must fight for the work to continue forth because like you said Mom, Satan is attacking the families and he does not want us to succeed.

Elder Turner

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Well this week was a great week, just like every other week I have had on my mission thus far and I'm sure that next week will also be a great week because I'm in the work of the Lord and there is no other thing I need to be doing in my life right now. The baptisms we had last weekend went great and I was so happy to have been able to help those kids make a change in their lives that they will never forget. I know that they will remember that day for the rest of their lives. This week in church, as far as investigators go, wasn't as numerous as the past weeks have been but those who did come are those who can really progress to baptism here in these next weeks. Today we are going to visit one of the families who came to church yesterday and we are going to put a baptimal date with them for a week from yesterday. Another family that came is super close to getting baptized and the dad says that he is going to get baptized but when we talk about a specific date he gets uncomfortable so we are looking for the way to get to his heart and find out why he doesn't feel so comfortable with baptism. And yesterday another investigator that came to church was a man who we found about 4 weeks ago and he also got baptized yesterday. The work in Ciudad Vieja is moving along great but the members are just a bit cold and that worries me. If there is ever a baptism in the ward or if someone you know gets baptized you have to promise me you will go to the baptism and support them.

On Saturday we got to give service to Brother Mario, the man who got baptized on Sunday. He works in a river shoveling out sand for a living and he gets paid very little to do so and so my companion and I decided we were going to help him. This job consists of shoveling the sand out of the river on to one platform which is the shore of the river, where it is then shoveled to another platform about 3 feet high. After getting the sand to the second platform it is shoveled to the last platform that is about 5 feet high and as the sand adds up you have to shovel it higher and higher. once the sand is on the third and last platform the truck comes and you have to shovel the sand again into the truck. The work is hard but someone has got to do it and he is the guy. Not to mention he is 50 years old. Can you imagine being 50 yrs old and shoveling sand 6 days a week for 12 hours a day? I can't. I was dying after 15 minutes!

I hope that you all enjoy your week and that you stay safe. I love you all :)

FYI this week we have changes again and all of the missionaries (credible sources, such as leaders) say that I am leaving the area. Who knows! I find out tonight so I'll let you know on monday what really happens.

Have a safe week

Love and Prayers,
Elder Turner

Friday, August 5, 2011


The same feeling came to me as I woke up this morning and looked at my agenda and saw that it is the 1st of August. I will, in 17 days, have been a missionary for a year and the thought boggles my mind. I look back sometimes and think about things that I was doing and people that I was with and that was almost a year ago. I think as a missionary the Lord makes time go a little fast because it seems as though some days there is no such thing as time. It's not necessarily the fact that I don't want to think about it, in fact I can't help but think about it, because it's the truth of things that I'm almost to the half way point but the best part about it is that I'm never going to be going "down hill" because I'm on a journey to the top. It's uphill until I'm done. Something that Elder Hatch, my first companion, told me was I came in running and I'm going out running. I will never stop running in this race to eternal life, I will get there no matter what I have to do.

As you have seen from the other emails the work is progressing in my area, Ciudad Vieja, and as a result of that, yesterday we had 3 baptisms. They were all children, but they come from a family that has been inactive for over 15 years and we reactivated their mother. The step father is not a member but we will continue to work with him (he has to get divorced before he can get baptized). We are also planning baptisms for the next 2 weekends. Both are parents who are widows but they are willing and ready to accept the gospel. The Lord has prepared them through their trials and the best part about it is that they will have the opportunity to be sealed to their spouses who have passed away. What a great blessing it is to have temples and to be able to do temple work for those who have passed this life without the gospel. It is amazing to me, like you mentioned mother, the power of the Atonement. I know that without the Atonement no one would be able to do saving ordinances because they wouldn't matter. But because the Savior suffered for all of us, the Atonement takes effect in our lives when we repent. I came on the mission because of the Atonement. I know that it is real and I feel like the sons of Mosiah when they expressed that they couldn't stand the thought of anyone not receiving the gospel and so that is why I decided to serve the Lord. I have grown in my testimony of the Savior and His sacrifice as I see people repent and change. I grow in my testimony each Sunday as I partake of the Sacrament. I Love the Savior and I know He loves me. He died for each and everyone of us so that we could repent and he retook His life that we all might raise again and live with Him forever in our families 2 Nephi 25:26.

I got the pictures that dad sent me :) Thank you very much. I can't believe how grown up everyone is but it's inevitable. I have also grown, just not so much upward as I have outward :) I can't believe that the kids are starting school again. I thought they just got out? It amazing being on the mission and not having to worry about that. I feel so blessed that I am serving because it is not so stressful as school. My biggest worry is if the mission secretary is on top of things so that I'll have my money for the month. I know that if I am doing all I can to be obedient the Lord will take care of the rest. The mission life is the best thing ever. I know that I have it good :)

Thank you for all of your support and for all of your love. I feel your prayers. I pray for you all too and I hope that the Lord answers your prayers as He does mine.

Soul Heart and Hand to God's Command.

Elder Turner

I want you to know that I love your emails and I look forward to hearing from you every week. Knowing how you are doing and how the family is really brightens my day and my week and gives me a bit more energy to do what I need to do to serve the Lord. I'm excited to get some pictures and I hope that you will have some for me this coming week. I need some more recent pictures of the family to share with people :) You might not believe it but you are all known even down here in Guatemala.

This past week was a pretty good week and we were blessed with another great turnout in church. On Saturday night we were thinking about all the people that we could go by and bring to church and we sat there thinking and only a few people came to mind. We thought that it was going to be a rough turn out, but we knew we had to give it a shot so we got up on Sunday morning and went out to bring people to church. The lady that we had a baptismal date with wasn't home and so she didnt make it to church and she won't be able to get baptized this week but today we are going to talk with her and help her refocus on the goal that she has set to be baptized. I know that she will get baptized, but it will take a bit more effort on our part and a bit more faith in the Lord. With that having happened, my companion and I were a bit upset but we had done all we could. We got to church and had about 3 investigators there waiting before we started and that didn't help our "let down" but we didn't lose faith. We knew the Lord would lift our spirits and one by one the investigators showed up. 12 investigators showed up and 2 families were included in those 12. I know that the Lord is always aware of us and our needs and desires and as we put our faith in Him, He will answer our prayers.

I have to be honest I am a little jealous of the vacation you guys took but I guess it always happens like that to missionaries. We as missionaries live a great life. We don't have too much to really worry about and we are in the service of the Lord. It can't get any better :) and while we are doing this great work, the girlfriend writes the Dear John and the family goes on vacations that they never have done before. What a life :) I love you guys so much!

I had a feeling that when you mentioned the "home repair class" in the letter last week that dad was going to be the one giving that class. I have to be honest, I am grateful for all of the things that dad taught me and believe it or not I have put some of those things to use, one of those things being repairing a toilet and doing some electrical work. I love you dad for showing me how to be a self sufficient person. At the same time I wish I didn't know some of the things I' know because it is so hard to watch someone do a job here and not do it well. I always remember the phrase you said dad "when a task is once begun never leave it till its done. whether big or small do it well or not at all" and it reminds me of your work ethic. I feel that I have picked up some of that work ethic and I am doing my best to show that to those who surround me because the majority of people work to get the job done, but not to do it well. It may be fault of education and I know that I need to help others to be better by my example. Thank you for showing me how to be a hard, effective worker.

I love you all and I know that you all will be blessed as you serve the Lord.

Alma 17:11

Elder Turner

Monday, July 18, 2011

This week was another great week for my companion and I. We are really working hard and I feel that the Lord is pleased with me and my efforts. I am striving each day to work harder and I know that if I do so the Lord will bless me with all I need in my life. I think that it will be best to wait until January to start school but with that being said I'm still not sure where I want to study. BYU is a great school and I wouldn't mind studying there but they don't have wrestling and I really miss wrestling. UVU is also a great school and they have wrestling, but I'm not sure if they have the classes I need for Physical Therapy. I know that I want to study physical therapy/personal training, the question is where.

I hope that next week you have some pictures for me :) I'll be waiting for them. And just so you know next week I will be writing Wednesday because there is another meeting on Monday so we won't be writing that day. It sounds like you have a great week planned out and I know that you will enjoy it, just be safe and remember the things that are most important. I'm jealous that you are going to the temple because I don't get to go that often and with the new president even less often, only 2 times a year. That's great to hear that Kort got his license and that he has his little beauty up and running with a/c. Hopefully he will understand the responsibility of having his own car now and I'm sure you and dad have already talked all about it with him.

We are now working hard to "weed out" the families that we found last week so that we can focus on those who are really going to progress and help them get closer to baptism. One of the families that we found is super positive although they profess to be Catholics. This sunday 3 of the children came to church with us and we had 11 investigators total in church. I feel that with the parents it is going to be a bit of a challange but the fact that they let their children come to church is a great sign. We are also striving to help a lady who has a baptismal date progress so that she will be able to get baptised at the end of this month. This past Friday my companion and I were contacting, knocking doors, to find new families and as we finished talking to a lady we saw a young boy walking away from the store and we started talking to him and he led us to his dad. We shook his dad's hand and asked him how he was. He asked us if we were the Mormons and when we replied yes he said "follow me to my house. we need to talk." We got to his house made of sheet metal and he invited us in. As he opened the door the door fell right off its hinges. We walked in and sat on a mattress which was the only thing that he had. We started talking and found out that 2 years ago the sister missionaries were teaching him and his family but the sisters both got taken out of the area and he lost contact with the missionaries. In the course of the last two years his wife got really sick and died of cancer. He told us that he wanted to go back to the church and that he really wanted to hear the message again. He came to church on Sunday and today we have an appointment to teach him. I know that had my companion and I not been prepared spiritually and had we not been worthy of the spirit we would have ignored the young boy that was walking out of the store and we never would have found this man.

The church is true and is the only church that has the priesthood authority. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know that the Lord allowed for it to come forth in this the fulness of times to guide us in these dark times. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I know that He is my Savior. He died for our sins and was resurrected for our eternities. Serve Him with all your heart.

Elder Turner

Monday, July 11, 2011

Digging a septic well for a family

Elder Turner's old companion

Elder Turner's current companion

A volcano Elder Turner can see from his house
I am loving my new area. It's weird to think this or maybe even believe it but I already enjoy this area more than my last but I know that it has a lot to do with the success we are having. I feel like in my new area, Ciudad Vieja, the people are much more prepared and willing to hear the gospel. I liked what you said about the spirit, how we must have the spirit to be an effective instrument in the Lord's hands. This week was a testament to me of the truthfulness of that statement. It all begins in the companionship and my companion and I are getting along great so the spirit is able to be with us. We are able to work more effectively with the Spirit and I saw that in our dates for this week. My companion and I set a mission record this past week in "new families found in one week" with 20 new families. We found 54 new investigators. How did we do it? By the guidance of the Spirit. I feel like this week was a fulfillment of the scripture I chose for my mission in bringing thousands of souls unto repentance. I know that all was possible as we put our faith in the Lord and as we set goals and strived to reach them. This week we also put a baptismal date with a sister that we are teaching named Aura. The Elders have been teaching her for a while and it was an entire family, but the Sunday before I got there her husband passed away. We have a baptismal date with her and her daughter for the 31st of this month. Keep them in your prayers :)

That is a crazy experience you had mom with the dust storm and thanks for always being an example and looking on the bright side of things. I am glad that I don't have to deal with that or the heat, all I have to deal with is the rain and the streets that turn into rivers when it rains. This week it rained super hard on Thursday and we had to get to an appointment that was down a hill and the only way to get there was to walk in water up to the middle of my calf. I got completely soaked, but I loved it because I know that it was all for the Lord. I know that He has felt worse.

I'll be excited to get pictures and to hear about all the fun you are having in Utah. I hope that your vacation goes well and that you all stay safe. I'm sure it will be good to get out of the heat and enjoy some weather similar to Guatemala just without the rain :)

Mom are you crazy ? :) I can't believe that you are mentioning me coming home!!!! I still have 13 months left. But I know that preparations need to be made. I have thought very little about what I'm going to do but it has crossed my mind to wait until January to start my classes for the reason of finding a job and working to save a tiny bit of money before I go to school. What do you think?

I love you all and I hope that all goes well this week.

Elder Turner
From July 4, 2011

Well I don't know if you have been waiting to find out if I had changes or not, but I have been waiting to tell you. I left Patzicia this past week. It was a bit tough to leave because I had really gained some great friends and relationships with the members and converts, but it is what the Lord wanted and it was my time to go. I was there from the 1st of December 2010 to the 29th of June 2011, 7 entire months. That's quite a long time, but the Lord was working with me and forming me into who He wants me to be. Patzicia was a tough area. In my last 6 weeks there we didn't find a single new family to teach, but in my new area, from Thursday to Sunday we found 7 new families to teach. That's just to show you how hard it was to work in Patzicia. My new area is called Ciudad Vieja (Old City) and it is located about 30 min outside of the biggest tourist city in Guatemala, Antigua Guatemala. My new companion is Elder Ruiz and he is from Nicaragua. Before being his companion I was a bit nervous because everyone says that the Nicaraguensians are pretty crazy and disobedient, but he is one of the best latinos that I know. We get along super well. We have a lot of things in common and one of the happens to be that we both love pitbulls. It's kinda crazy because we get along so well but I'm not gonna complain. He is a great companion, very obedient and loves to serve the Lord. He is a very hard worker and in that sense we mesh well. We are always talking to people and he has a gift of creating a bond of confidence with the people very quickly which allows us to find new people to teach very often.

This week we also got a new mission president, President Brough. He is a young guy, 39 yrs old, and he is very compassionate. On friday we had a meeting with him and we were able to get to know him and his wife and daughter better. He loves the Lord and he loves missionary work. He was called to preside over this mission and the Lord will guide him as he serves the people in Guatemala. This coming Friday we are going to have interviews with him and be able to get to know him better.

Brooklyn, How are you? How is summer?
Mack, How is summer going? are you ready for Aprende?
Zack, How is summer school going? How is wrestling?
Kort, How is the Workout program coming along?
Kya, How is summer? Are you studying? how are the guys?
Mom, How is work going? How is the missionary work goingin the ward?
Dad, How is work going? Are you doing any summer wrestling?

I hope that all is well and that you continue working in the service of the Lord so that He will bless you according to your obedience.

Elder Turner

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It is so great to be here in the internet cafe reading your email. I look forward to every Monday to see how you are and to find out how that family is doing. The summer is flying by. We are finishing up June and that means that I am running out of time. I hope that your summer vacations continue to go well and that the visit to Utah will be a great time to enjoy with the family, all I ask is don't forget to write me :) The great part about Alex coming home is that Adam is leaving a week later. I'm so happy to be serving the Lord and I know that Alex is also and Adam will be.

The baptism this week went great:) I'm so glad to be a part of helping Ruth make covenants with Heavenly Father and to find real joy in this life and hope in the life to come. She has passed some pretty intense experiences in her life and now having been baptized she will be able to be sealed with her parents for time and all eternity. I know that serving a mission is the least I can do for my Father to be and instrument in His hand to bring His children back to Him. This very well could be my last baptism in Patzicia because this week we have changes and it is rare that missionaries stay 7 months in one area in this mission. My companion is Senior companion and so it is most likely that he will stay and I will leave but I will let you know next Monday what the turn out is :) President Baldwin will be coming home this week and if you would like to find out about the homecoming here are the email addresses to him and his wife: rich.baldwin1@gmail.com/cheryl.baldwin1@gmail.com

That's great to hear that work is going well and that you are enjoying your work. Whenever you are thinking that it's too hard and that you don't enjoy it, just think about all the people that don't have jobs, or are working making minimum wage who would trade you in a heart beat. The Lord has blessed both you and Dad with work and an income and He knows that you will do all in your power to support your family and so never lose the vision of who has really provided you with the blessing to work. I pray that all will continue to go well with work and that you will always enjoy working and serving the Lord also. The house will work itself out in the way neccesary if you will put your faith in the Lord and do as He asks you.

This week was a good week and it has helped me to enjoy even more being a missionary. This first and most important event of the week was the baptism of Ruth and that was great to help her make covenants. She has progressed a lot in the past few months that we have been teaching her. The second event that marked this week was that Deborah, our eternal investigator had her baby. It a bit weird to have arrived in the area and not even being able to tell that she was pregnant and then seeing her son, Travis Aaron Cua, born. Ever since I met her I thought that after she had her baby, she would get baptised and so now according to my prediction we are getting closer than ever to her baptism :) The third event that marked this week was a service project my companion and I did with the Elders' quorum in one of our wards. We went to a house where a family needed a well dug and so we went to dig a well on Saturday morning. We dug about 4 meters, close to 12 feet deep and we still didn't finish because we haven't reached water yet. I was the last one to dig and so to get me out of the hole, they lowered a bucket down to me and pulled me up as I tried to do my part to climb out of the hole. The best part is that this isn't just any ole' well, it is a septic hole that we are digging for them.

Well that is how my week went and I'll send some pictures of the week :) I love you all and I pray that you will continue faithful in the work and service of the Lord.

Elder Turner