Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Well the first thing I have to do is ask forgiveness for not wishing you a happy birthday last week mom. I am sorry and I swear that I remembered it was your birthday, but not until after I got off the internet. I love you so much mother and I hope that you had a wonderful birthday. I was thinking and praying for you like always :)

Well this past week was Semana Santa, Holy Week. The entire week is celebrated here by what is called processions. I explained a bit of this to dad last week. But so that all know a bit better I will explain in this email. A procession is when the people get together, the Catholics mainly, and they make a "carpet" in the street with flowers and sawdust and pines needles and stuff like that. The people or members of the Catholic Church then pay to carry a big thing that is basically a parade float without wheels. By carrying this float, the sins are forgiven of those who are carrying, or so they believe. The people pay a big sum of money to participate and carry this float, up to 100 quetzales. Can you imagine giving 100 dollars to have your sins forgiven? The people truly believe that a remission of sins comes from carrying this float. You might be able to find something on YouTube about it by searching Semana Santa Proseciones. It's quite crazy too because no one works Thursday thru Sunday.

Wow that is so crazy to hear about the ward news! Ashley and Adam are both serving? I had no idea at all but that is so amazing to hear! I read that and got the biggest smile to hear that Adam is going to serve. I know that the Lord will bless him so much as he has now taken the decision to serve his Father in Heaven. Tell him that I'm super proud of him and that I am super happy for his righteous decisions. And Sam is entering Wednesday!? The ward is going to be so blessed to have so many missionaries serving. If you get a chance, tell Sam that I say hi and that the one thing I recommend is to choose from this moment forward to be exactly obedient.

I'm jealous to hear that you all spent time together this week, but I know that I will have my chance when I get back. I had a dream the other night that I was home, and I asked you mother why I was home and you told me that I had finished my mission. I started crying and then I woke up. It was more of a nightmare than a dream. I love serving a mission so much and I know that it is the absolute best decision that I could have ever made in my life. I have experienced so much in this short time that has changed me for the eternities.

As I was reading the part about the Easter Bunny bringing chickens I though it was a joke but you really do have chickens. I'll chime in with Kya by saying I hope that the Arizona heat isn't making you all go crazy!! Well just so you know, you can feel a bit closer to me with the chickens because it is a normal Guatemalan thing to have chickens. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see chickens. That is very intelligent to be more self reliant and to have a way to provide some more food into the household. The Lord will surely bless you as you try to save money and be intelligent in the things you buy. I am proud to have a mother who has taught me to be thrifty with my money because I have learned how to spend my money wisely here in the mission so that I will have a bit left over at the end of ever month to put away into an emergency fund. You are a super great mother :)

I am assuming that I will be calling from the same phone for mothers day, but is Mothers' Day the Sunday the 8th or when because here it is Tuesday the 10th? I will do the smae thing I did for Christmas and call you because I'm sure it is cheaper and it seemed to work out well. I do have to ask a favor, that when we talk that we don't talk for more than 40 min because I need to be more obedient and with your help it will be easier to obey.

I love you all so much.

Love Elder Turner

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This week was a good week and I feel privileged to be able to write you today. In my part this also might be a short letter but I pray you will understand. I love you all and I know that the Lord is with you trying to help you down the path that leads to eternal life. I had a great week this week, probably the best week that I have had with my companion because we were finally able to sit down and talk about our differences. I explained to him some of the things that dad had mentioned to me on the topic of obedience such as, if the spirit tells you that it is ok to break a mission rule, then it is not the spirit of the Lord. He seemed to understand and I felt great that we were able to talk. One of the most important things that we must also recognize is to be humble so that the Lord and His spirit can truly work thru us. I know that if we truly have a desire to be obedient, the Lord will sustain us and help us to overcome whatever challenge we might face.

This week was a blessing to me and I know that it was what the Lord knew I needed to help me become more like Him. This week I was informed that one of our recent converts who had fallen into a past habit of alcohol was able to stop drinking after a long spree of 3 weeks straight of drinking and he also made it to church. I was not able to see because he now lives in different ward boundaries due to the reorganization of the stake. I know that the Lord is willing to forgive us and help us if we but just find the desire within to say no. We need to learn to tell the enemy, the father of lies, NO. The word no will make us stronger in times of temptation.

Thank you for all of your love and support. My prayers are with you.
Elder Turner

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I tell you what, it sure is a great joy to hear from you and to know how the family is doing. It brightens my spirits to know that you are all safe and that for the majority you are trying to do all you can to follow the Lord. The mission has truly changed me in a lot of ways and the great thing is, is that I have changed for the better. I feel as though I am becoming a true disciple of Christ with only one purpose in this life, to serve those who surround me. I have been in Patzicia for about 18 weeks or 4.5 months and i will be here for another 6 weeks. At the thought of being here for another 6 weeks I was a bit frustrated, but I knelt in prayer and Heavenly Father confirmed to me that it need to be here and I need to be with the companion I'm with because the Lord needs to teach me still. In this past week I felt loved. Loved by the Lord, loved by the people and loved by my family :) I know that you are praying for me and I can feel your prayers.

This past week as we worked and worked and worked, it was difficult. We didn't have as many new investigators as we had wished and we didn't have tons of success as far as lessons go, but we did give a lot of service. I felt very accomplished as we served others and showed our love for the Lord as we served His children in need. On thursday we did some service, but it was real service. I didn't know what I was getting myself into until we got there and started working, but what we were asked to do is to help a member cut down 2 trees in the forest. These trees were just regular little trees, they were well over 60 feet tall and at the bottom, the widest part of the tree was about 3 feet wide. We started at 6am and finished loading the wood into a truck at 3pm. We had to haul the pieces of the tree about 30 feet, not too far, but they weighed a ton, probably 70lbs each. I felt accomplished and as though my efforts were worth while. The man is going to use parts of the trees to build a house made of sheet metal (we would call it a shack) and the rest of it for fire wood because thats how they cook. It will last him about 5 months for 2 people.

The work continues and the Lord blesses us. There is no better place to be than here on the earth in the service of our fellow men. The Lord knows us personally and He is here to succor us in our times of need. I enjoyed the talk in conference about the gardner who cut back the currant bush (made me think of grandpa Ron) and how he expressed his thoughts of the currant bushes felings after being cut down. Feelings of sadness and lonliness because he looked so beautiful and the gardner wanted him to give fruit so he had to trim the bush. The Lord is the Gardener and He will cut us down as He desires so that we can become fruitful servants of His. We must be willing to accept change and to accept critisism or we will never be able to be the person that the Lord knows and wants us to be.

Elder Turner

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

General Conference was such an uplifting and motivating experience and I am so glad to have come on the mission and been able to experience General Conference as a missionary. These last two conferences have been some of the most spiritual and uplifting experiences that I have had in my life. Now that I have put my life in tune with the Spirit I have been able to be edified and enriched by those men and women who have been called of God and who speak to us in conference. I loved the talk given by Elder Robbins also. It was great and helped me to "check" myself and my willingness to obey the Lord and look inside to evaluate who I want to be and what I need to do to become that, or rather allow the Lord to mold me into what He wants me to be. I don't remember who gave the talk but I remember a line that really stuck out to me that, the furnance of affliction will bring us closer to perfection. I also enjoyed greatly the talk given by Elder Bednar in respect to revelation. I have been struggling with myself in the feeling that I think that I don't receive revelation when my companion and I are working because I don't know where to go specifically or I don't know exactly what door to knock, but thru Elder Bednar's talk I realized that I have been confused on my concept of revelation. Most of us, and most often, we receive revelation line upon line and precept upon precept until we are filled with the love of Christ. I have been waiting to receive revelation as though I were going to turn on a lightbulb, instantly, and I have missed much of what the Lord has been giving me since I have been 8 and had the Holy Ghost.

I also got to watch conference in english and that was a great blessing, just the 4 north americans in one room. Some of our investigators came to conference and what was great was that 2 families were able to attend :) That's what it's all about, the families.

That's so great to hear that Mack did well in her talent show. I'm super impressed and super proud of her; I just wish I could have been there to enjoy it with you all. That's great that Brooklyn is having success with soccer! I'm jealous of her because I'm still not that great. We played soccer last p-day on a synthetic field in my area and it was good but I got sunburned pretty good because the sun is super deceiving here. It is often really cloudy so the thought of sunscreen didn't pass my mind. I promise I will wear sunscreen next time mom :)

This week as far as the work goes, was a bit under average because we missed about 2 full days of work with General conference and we also had a Zone meeting about 2 hours away from our area. We were a bit low with the data but I'm not worried because it's not the numbers that make us who we are, although they do help to show what we have been doing. I am grateful that the Lord blessed us with people in General conference and that we were able to be nourished by the good word.

I know that the Lord is pleased with me when I strive to be obedient. I know that obedience is how we show our love for the Lord. Today in the district meeting I had some thoughts come into my head on the topic of obedience that I would like to share. "Do I love the Lord? Am I obedient? If I'm obedient I love the Lord. If I love the Lord, I am charitable/I have charity. If I have charity I help others. If I help others, I follow the second commandment. If I follow the second commandment, I follow the first commandment. To follow the first commandment, I must follow all other commandments and rules that the Lord has given me."

Elder Turner