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