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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I got my package on Thursday because the assistants to the President came to Patzicia to take us to a meeting that my companion had to go to. Thank you for all of the goodies that you sent :) I've already put everything to use, especially the candy. Thank you Mack and Zack for sending me letters :) Brooklyn and Kortland should both be getting their letters sometime this week because I sent them about a week and a half ago and fyi it's one envelope with each of their letters inside. Thank you for sending me the CD player that will be very convenient because it reads mp3 discs and so I am putting the 12 CDs that I have on to 2 discs.

Ruth is still on for her baptism next Sunday and they had her interview yesterday and so all is well :) It's so exciting to be a part of the conversion of people. I know how hard it can be although I was born into the gospel to become converted because I had to become converted before I began my mission. I know that it can be difficult but the Lord is on our side. This week we finally got our copies of the General Conference of the Liahona and it has been great to review those talks. I am in love with the talk that Elder Bednar gave about revelation because that is the talk that helped me recognize how I feel the Spirit in my life.

An experience that happened this week also strengthened my testimony of how important the Spirit is in the work. We had a lesson with our eternal investigor who had really begun changing and has been getting close to receiving an answer of the truthfulness of the message. We went there a few days previous to teach and to share about the History and Testimony of Joseph Smith and we had left her the pamphlet of the Testimony of Joseph Smith so the she could read it and pray about it. 2 days later we had a return visit and we had planned to read the talk by Elder Bednar that I mentioned above. My companion asked me if I could carry the Liahona in my backpack because his backpack is super tiny, just a small camelpack, and I agreed. When we got to the cita I had relized that I forgot the Liahona because we hadn't returned home since 1030 that morning. We didn't know what to do, but we just decided to finish reading and talking about Joseph Smith History. We got in and sat down and the husband who is a member had a Liahona and so we thought that we should do as planned. Before we started the lesson I felt that we should read Joseph Smith History. I ignored the feeling. We read the talk by Elder Bednar. The lesson, although nothing bad happened and we in fact read something of great worth, was a waste because the Spirit was not there. As we left the lesson my companion and I both felt empty. We both had felt the prompting of the SpĂ­rit to read Joseph Smith History, as we had left for our investigator, and we both ignored it. I learned that although you could be doing something good, if you are not following the Spirit it will not be worth it. Let me just tell you that what I felt after that lesson was one of the worst things I have ever felt in my life. I felt as though I was worthless. The Lord trusted in me to teach His daughter and I failed Him by not teaching what he told me. I can't express how important it is to follow with exactness the promptings of the Spirit. We lost the Spirit by such a simple little act of ignorance. We quickly repented and worked hard all the rest of that night to gain the confidence of the Lord so that we could continue to work effectively.

The Lord loves you all and He wants your happiness. True happiness in this life comes by having the Spirit with you always and that is possible as we make the covenant of baptism and as we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Each week through partaking of the Sacrament we renew our covenant and are promised the Spirit always. Be faithful to your covenants and show your love for the Lord through your obedience to Him.

Elder Turner

Monday, June 13, 2011

This week was a great week. You might be asking why, and I'll tell you. Because I am a child of God :) I love knowing that no matter what happens in life, no matter how many people tell me I'm wasting my time, no matter how many people don't want to hear the message of the gospel, no matter how many people shut the door in my face, I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and is supporting me every step of the way.

The other day I was thinking to myself why is it so hard for me to recognize the Spirit and then something told me to think about my facial expression, I was smiling. I have been trying to discern what the Spirit is and how it works in my life, but I have been looking for an answer in specific and I wasn't feeling that answer. As I teach people how to recognize the Spirit I often use Galatians 5 which talks of the fruits of the Spirit and one of the fruits is joy. I have never been happier than I am now here on the mission. I have felt the Spirit in such abundance in the last 10 months that I think it is now easier to recognize when I don't have the Spirit. I have been able to strive more to have the Spirit and to be happy and smiling. Sometimes I just can't help but smile because the Spirit is so strong. I love serving the Lord with full purpose of heart because he always keeps His promise to bless us with His spirit.

That's so great to hear that the cousins had a good week and enjoyed their week in AZ. I miss being able to swim, but I'm sure the kids have done their fair share of swimming for me this past week :) I'm glad to hear that you got to spend some time with your sisters and nephews and chat. It's nice to have days like that and to be able to share your feelings with others. We can never begin to doubt in the Lord because when we doubt we allow for Satan to enter our lives. There is a difference in doubting in the Lord and wanting to know the truth. I know that if we put our faith in the Lord and do what He asks, we will be guided in our life. Reading the scriptures every day is a commandment and we ought to follow it because that is what strengthens our testimonies and helps us to build our protection against Satan. I feel that the daily reading of the scriptures is our vitamins and our medicine to keep us standing in this war. This is war. It is a war that has been going on ever since Satan fell from heaven. He is trying hard and he is not dumb. He has thousands of years of experience and he is using it. I know that he wants us to be miserable like him, don't allow him to pull you down because he will never be satisfied. I pray that you all will have the strength to resist the temptations of Satan and that you will all be virtuous and righteous. There is a great lie going around that a man can become too righteous and it is all a lie. You can never become too obedient or too righteous.

Never forget about what the Lord has done for you and you will always be strong in the faith.

Elder Turner

Monday, June 6, 2011

That is so great to hear about how everyone is doing although sad to hear that Mack got sick. Hopefully she will recover this week and be able to enjoy the rest of her summer vacation. Hopefully that cousins will enjoy their time in AZ. Let them know that I say hi and that I love them and miss them.

This week has been a good week, although very busy but good. I am so blessed to be with my companion Elder Corbett because I am learning so much from him. We are working hard, but most importantly we are working smart. We are contacting a lot and we are knocking doors a lot but we have been striving to visit at least one active member daily to have their support in the work. After having been in the area so long you get to know the members really well. It is cool to be walking down the street and have people call you by your name being a missionary because normally to the members, you are just a passerby. I have gained such a great love for the people here in Patzica. There are many who I feel are like my family, especially the family Per who feed us everyday. Sister Per said that she has many children, but I am her first white child. :)

Right now as far as investigators that are progressing, we only really have one, her name is Ruth. She is 16 and normally we try not to work too much with younger people because we need priesthood here, but she is super great and this Sunday (yesterday) she told us that she got an answer to her prayers and she knows that the Book of Mormon is true. We put a baptismal date with her for the 26th of June and so we are working with and praying for her. Patzicia is a tough area and many missionaries don't want to come here, but I am glad I got sent here when I was young in the mission so that I wouldn't have a bad mindset about the area. I learned that Patzicia was one of the last cities to give up in a war, a 30 year war, that was going on between the government and the indiginous people and that has a lot to do with why they are such a closed people. I find that many people are "stuck" in their churches because they learned in the war that you can't trust anyone. Many people feel and say that all churches are good churches and that they are all going to the same place so they don't need to change churches. Our message is completely different. God himself told Joseph Smith that all churches were wrong, that all creeds were an abomination and that Joseph should not join any of the churches. We know that the only true church exists now with the authority of God restored. I know that Christ's Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because He himself restored it by sending John the Baptist and Peter James and John, 3 of Christ's original apostles.

To be completely honest in what I wish I would have done to better prepare, I wish I would have paid closer attention in seminary. I know that I was rebelious in my youth, like Kort and Zack are right now, but I recognize that if I would have payed closer attention in seminary, I would be a better teacher from the scriptures. I also wish I would have gained my own testimony of the Book of Mormon sooner in my life. The Book of Mormon is the key to our religion and if the Book of Mormon is true, everything else we do in the Church is true also. The Book of Mormon is essential to a lasting conversion.

I love you all. Be safe and serve with all you heart and a willing mind. Serve like John Tanner.

Elder Turner

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hello Mother and all others,

This week has been a great week and I can feel myself progressing better as the Spirit is in my companionship. Elder Corbett is a great missionary and I am learning so much from him as to how I can be a better missinary and also a better and more obedient child of God. In the first week with Elder Corbett I realized how bad I had slacked as I tried to be "nice" to my last companion, and I realize that I should never let anyone pull me down even if it helps us get along better. I have repented and I am trying to be better than I was. I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to repent in this life so that we can constantly become more like the Savior Jesus Christ.

To explain why I am writing on Wednesday and not Monday, on Monday we had interviews with President Baldwin and so we had to change our day that we write to Wednesday this week so that we wouldn't waste time on Monday when we could be working in more effective hours of the afternoon. Interviews went great and I feel that I am doing what I need to be doing because President Baldwin told me that he was very proud of me and pleased with my work. He told me to keep doing what I have been doing and to keep being obedient and my mission will impact the rest of my life in great ways. President Baldwin is done with his mission on the 28th of June and will be returning to his home in Chandler, Az in Fulton Ranch.

This week was a good week as far as the missionary work goes in Patzicia. My companion and I have really been focusing on the Book of Mormon and helping the people gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon because if you gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, you will also gain a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and that Joseph Smith was His prophet and revelator in these last days and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is that word of God and as I have testified of its truthfulness over these past 9 months I have grown in my love for the book even to the laying down my life if necessary. I love the talk, Safety for the Soul, that Elder Holland gave a few conferences ago because I share the same feelings as he does about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

I love you all so much and I am so blessed to have your support. I know the Lord loves you and I know that you are His children. Be firm in the faith. Live for the truth and never let the world pull you into its traps.

Elder Turner