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