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