Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This week we had changes as you know and I have a new companion. His name is Elder Brown and he is from Oklahoma. He has 6 months in the mission. The adjustment has been good and he's easy to get along with but of course we are different. It's hard to make such drastic changes in your life like being with one person day in and day out for 3 months and then the next day your with someone else for the next few months. After the change meeting President Brough talked with my companion and I and told us that he wants my companion to learn the language and be ready to lead the area in 3 months, so we've definitely got some work to do. I'm excited and we are off to a great start. We have a lot of expectations to meet, but I know that it is possible with faith and hard work. As a mission we had a goal to baptize 204 people in January and we worked really hard to reach that goal, but we did much more than I had imagined baptizing and confirming 221 people. Sometimes we have to raise the bar and work a little harder and when we do the Lord will always bless us if and when we are obedient. This week we raised the bar in our area and knocked more doors than I ever have in my mission and had the least amount of success I've had. The Lord tries our faith before He blesses us. Satan was working very hard with me this week and many times I thought after each door got shut without getting in, Why? What am I doing wrong? Why am I here? Every question was reaffirmed with a calm feeling of love that told me that God is pleased with my work and I need to go knock another door. I had a cool experience where I was feeling down and wondering why it was so hard, but then a little moto-taxi drove by with a sticker on it that said "Dios te ama". I smiled and kept pushing on.

Well hopefully the boys will work harder than they have all year in these next few days because this is it, the season can't rewind and they've got to finish strong. Right now I am studying the New Testament in my personal study and this week a scripture really struck me and Kortland popped into my mind. The exact verse I don't remember, but Jesus is talking to Peter and says I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, and when thou art converted, strengthen thy bretheren. I know he will turn around.

Well about the whole college thing, that's great to hear that they have something that I can study that will get me closer to a PT degree, but that is quite a bummer that I won't be able to be in Arizona for the time passing. I will, like you said, need to pray a lot about it and find out what will be the best for me. I'm not exactly sure what the possiblities would be, but the thought has crossed my mind before that maybe Uncle Ryan could help me out with a job. If not I'll look for something there, maybe some family up there could help me out with finding a job.

Mom thank you for all that you are doing to help me out. You are such a blessing to me and I will forever be indebted to you for your love and care that you've given me over the past 20 (almost 21) years.

Elder Turner
Thank you for writing me and filling me in on all of the family activities and what not. It's always great to hear from you and to know how everyone is doing. I pray for you all and hope that you all are doing what the Lord expects. I'm doing my best to forget about myself and worry more about how I can help others, but I think that has been one of my biggest challenges here on the mission. As human beings we are naturally selfish and want the best for us before we want the better for others who surround us. I am trying my best to learn all I can so that when I get back from the mission I will not be who I was before because frankly I fear becoming who I was. This morning I watched a video/talk of Elder Holland that he gave last January in the MTC and something that really stuck out to me that he said was that when the Lord called me to be a missionary/servant it wasn't just for 24 months, He called me forever. That is my desire, to have my mission mean everything to me so that when it's all said and done, me coming home will be just the beggining. Many say it's almost impossible to do that when you get home, but like you said Mom nothing is impossible with the Lord. Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small people who would rather live in the world they've been given than explore the power they have to change it. I've been called not just to change lives, but to change the world.

My companion is leaving the area after 7 months here. He has spent half of his mission here in Santiago Atitlan and is a little sad to leave, but that's part of the mission. Tomorrow I will receive my new companion around 10:30 am and well head back to Atitlan to begin working hard. I'm excited for the months ahead because I know that they will be full of hard work and success. It's nice to get some fresh blood in the area and we'll work hard to raise the bar higher than where we've already raised it. This is going to be a struggle for me with the language because up till now I have been able to look at my companion and rely on him when I don't understand what the people say but now I can't do that. I have to rely 100% on the Lord and I know that He will use me as and instrument in His hands. It's pretty crazy how fast these last 3 months here in Santiago have gone by, but I expect the next few months to go by even faster.

About UVU, thank you for all of your help trying to figure that stuff out. I know it's a hastle, but you are being blessed for it. Once you get the info necessary, just let me know what I need to do to sign up for school, whether it be UVU or a community college and I'll ask permission to do most of that here to give you some slack.

I'm stocked for the boys wrestling, it's great to hear how they are doing. State should be coming up in about 3 weeks or so if I'm not mistaken right? I never heard the results of the tournament in Minnesota. How did it all turn out?

Just to tell you an interesting story, and hopefully I have shared this with you, but if I have, bear with me. So about two weeks ago my companion and I were knocking doors in a small alley type street where we hadn't contacted in my time here and we came to a door where a man who was a bit drunk told us to come in. We entered and got to know him and his family a little and then we began to share the message of the Restoration with him. We did a brief overview and shared the Restoration pamphlet with him telling him that we had much more to share with him and we'd like to come back. He told us that he already had the pamphlet and went to bring it, but he didn't bring back a pamphlet rather he brought back a Gospel Principles book. He began to explain what it was and we told him that we knew and that it was from our church. He said that he bought it in the Capital in the Distribution Center. We went back with him yesterday and saw that he had placed on an altar in his house that same Gospel Principles book on top of his bibles.

Elder Turner

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You're right, I had no idea that it was MLK day, but thank you for letting me in on that! Here in Guatemala you don't hear about those "smaller" holidays but it's good to remember those. That's great to hear that you all had a great long weekend and that you were able to enjoy it with the family. School started here in Guatemala yesterday. Their school year starts in January rather than in August like the US. On top of that the mango season started and I have to take advantage of that because it's my last one here in Guatemala. Saturday I ate my first mangoes and just so you know, mangoes are way better than prunes! I ate the mangoes at about 530pm and by 930pm I was getting rid of them. Almost better than Xlax!

Well I'm super excited for Kya and Ryan, and even though I'll barely miss it, I know it's for the better that they get married as soon as time permits because that way they can continue progressing in the gospel and begin their road to exaltation. I'm not going to lie I'm pretty excited to start that road too, but we'll have to see when the Lord sees fit. I wish them both the best of luck and that they be blessed in these great decisions. I definitely want pictures though, that's the least they can do since they're getting married TWO months before I get home.

So this week was a great week and my companion and I are working really hard. We are having a lot of success, success that can only come from the blessing of the Lord. Sometimes we forget how merciful the Lord has been in blessing us, but remembering the greatness of the Lord is one of the keys in order to receive answers to our prayers as it says in Moroni 10:3. This week we found a great amount of new investigators that the Lord led us to and most of them were found in our last day of the week. We were trying hard, contacting and opening our mouth. We have troubles and trials, those are inevitable, but when we humbly work through them we are blessed. I like the quote that you sent me about attitude. When we decide how we feel and what we think and what we want, we will always be on top if we are focused on the Lord and fulfilling His will. The language is coming along great. I find it essential to pray for the gift of tongues just about every moment I can. This past week I have seen miracles in my progress and I know that the Lord is blessing me in my speech and understanding. I may not be able to have a full on conversation with the people yet, but I am able to fulfill my purpose as a missionary teaching the restored gospel. I have a lot to learn still but I know the Lord is providing the way. Next Monday we will know if my companion is staying or going.

Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers. I need them. Always remember that there is a more excellent way that Christ has prepared. Have faith.

Elder Turner

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First off let me just tell you how grateful I am to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to have been born into a family where both my parents knew the inportance of righteousness and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to have been taught by goodly parents the ways of the Lord. Parents who trust more in the Lord than in themselves and parents who taught me that the Lord loves me. I know that it was a struggle with me and I am grateful that you have forgiven me of the mistakes that I made in my youth. I promise that my mission has changed me and that day after day my mission means more to me. I know the Savior loves me because He gave his life for me and he has forgiven me as I have prayed to Him sincerely and as I have confessed myself unto the Lord's responsible servants here on the earth. I have such a strong testimony of repentance. I have learned a lot over my time in the mission and one very important thing is confessing our sins unto the Lord's representatives. Sometimes we make mistakes and we feel like if we confess to the bishop maybe the biggest thing that we have done that we are covering all the little stuff too, but that's not true, in fact it is a way that Satan pulls us down with him. Satan also tries to tell us that we can just say a prayer and that by telling the Lord that is good enough. Again, another lie of Satan. I'm glad that I have grown enough to be able to understand that doctrine. I pray that repentance will become a very crucial point in everyone's life. We can't be saved without true repentance.

Tell Ana and Pat and all the kids that I say hi and that I love them, and good luck in the race! That's crazy to hear about the missionaries in the ward because that made me think of when I was starting my mission. It's crazy to think that I was there about 17 months ago or so. Time goes by so fast. I know I always say that, but it's so true. I'm coming up on my last 7 months and then we will be together at least for a few months :) This week I got a letter from Tisha and she told me that UVU has a Physical Therapy program. I remember you telling me that UVU didn't have one, but maybe you could call Tisha and find out more info.

This last week my companion had a pretty cool experience. I don't remember how, but we got onto the topic of how we aren't here to help those who are healthy, and the Lord said, we are to help the sick, those are they who need the Doctor. Later that same night we were knocking doors and one of the doors we knocked there was a man who let us in. We got talking to the man and he said that he has had a lot of problems in his life mainly with drugs, which we later found out that they were very hard drugs. He told us that he had been doing them for the past 15 years and that he really wanted to get out of the addiction. He on his own has stopped for the last two months and said that our visit was timely and that he has been looking for better friends and people to surround himself with. Yesterday we went back and I haven't seen anyone happier to see us at their door. I, in that instant, felt a true love for the man as he recognized us as people who could really help him find a better life.

I am doing my best to look up. Thank you for the reminder mom. :)

Elder Turner

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This week was a great week and my companion and I stayed pretty busy. In spite of the fact that Saturday was New Year's Eve my companion and I had a great day as far as visits go and we were able to find new investigators also. I feel blessed to know that if we put our confidence in the Lord no matter what the circumstances are, He will bless us and always help us to have the success that we desire.

Today I was touched by a scripture in D&C 100:3-6 about how there are many people all around us, and as a missionary I have been assigned by the Lord to a specific place to be able to share the gospel with his children, all I have to do is open my mouth and the Lord will put into my mind and my heart what He wants me to say. On Saturday my companion and I were knocking doors about 8pm which isn't the most effective hour, but we still needed to find new investigators and have one more visit to reach our goal for the day. We were walking towards a restaurant to get dinner before we had to be home and we walked by a little house with the door cracked open and as we passed by I saw a man sitting down talking to another man, but we kept walking. We passed about 3 more houses and I told my companion that we had to go back and talk to those men and so we did. They let us in and we were able to share a brief message about the restoration and one of them accepted a return visit. Who knows what will come of Francisco who accepted a return visit, but I do know that the Lord always prepares the way when we are doing what is righteous and when we follow the Spirit. I'm glad I listened to that still small voice because when we got to the restaurant it was closed.

New Year's night was normal for my companion and I as far as the parties go. We were home at 9 and in bed by 1030. we did wake up to see the fireworks which was a way cool because we see the whole town from our house and there were fireworks everywhere.

That's great to hear about the fun you had on your Utah trip. I can't wait to be with everyone next year! I can't believe that Sean is already entering the MTC. The only advice I can give Sean is to consecrate himself. That's where the difference is made. How about Bryant? Is he preparing? That's crazy that Kya's engagement is official! I can't believe my sister is going to get married. It's going to be a race once I get home. I can't be left single. I gotta keep progressing! btw congrats sis. How'd it happen?

Well my time is running short but know that I love you and that I'm excited to come home this year! The Lord loves you. Be obedient and you will be blessed. The Book of Mormon will be a treasure this year as we study it in church. May we all read the Book of Mormon this year with a desire to grow in our faith in Christ.

Elder Turner