Saturday, June 30, 2012

2 years has flown by and Elder Turner is coming home in 7 1/2 weeks! He will be released on August 22 and his homecoming talk will be Sunday, August 26. More details to come! We are so excited and proud of his service. He has done some great work and has shared his great stories with us. Great job, Elder Turner!
Thank you for all of the prayers and the support that you have given me in the last 22 months. I know that you have to take time out of your day to be able to write me, so know that your sacrifices are greatly appreciated. 

Haha I can't remember if you told me about dad's truck, but that's rough that the excursion and the truck both went out, but when trials come we need to look to the Lord. I love that we can communicate with an all knowing, all powerful being, God the Father, through a simple prayer and He is willing to speak with us and give us guidance and direction because He loves us. Something that I have been sharing with the people that I talk to is how God knows us and loves us personally. It is so true and I have come to know that though prayer and scripture study. I began reading the Book of Mormon again and my goal is to finish it before the 22 of August but in the short time I have begun reading it again I have found answers to prayers and guidance I had never before known. I love the Book of Mormon.

Max is doing good. We continue to work with him and help him receive answers to his prayers. He wasn't able to attend church this Sunday because he had to visit with his lawyer concerning a job deal that he is working on here. I pray that this next Sunday he´ll be able to make it. He is such a great guy. On the even better side my companion and I are getting along a lot better and we are working better together and due to that we were able to invite a young man on Sunday to be baptized on July 7th and he accepted. His siblings are all members, but he was the only one that still hadn't gotten baptized and we passed by Sunday night right before going home and we invited him to show his faith and take the step to be baptized.

This week my companion and I were able to work a lot better and have much more unity. I've been learning a lot about humility and patience as I strive to serve the Lord and please my companion. We come from cultures so different that it has been really hard for me to accept some of the mannerisms of my companion, but as I have prayed and asked the Lord to strengthen me so that those things don't bother me so much He has blessed me. It's hard to not get upset when someone spits on the floor of the house, but to correct that behavior you have to teach them that it's not ok to do that. Like I said patience is what is getting me through my hard times, and a good eye to make sure that I don't step in the spit haha. I love being a missionary because it exposes you to so many different things, but you learn how to trust in the Lord and rely on His divine help. I find peace knowing that I will have the blessing to choose who will be my eternal companion and that I will be able to love her before I make the decision to be with her. I'm so glad that I have had some tough companions because I've learned to rely on the Lord so much more even for the "small things" in life. I know that I'm going to look back on these hard times and laugh. I've already begun to do so.

The gospel is so real. I'm blessed to know that Christ payed for my sins and that all I have to do is be humble enough to fall on my knees and ask forgiveness and He is willing to forgive me. I'm blessed to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that as I prayerfully study it I'm guided day by day. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God called to restore the truth in these latter days. I know that Thomas S. Monson has been called of God and is guided and direct by the Lord daily as to how he must guide the church. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom here on the earth and through baptism we enter into God's kingdom. Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end are key to our salvation. What a blessing it is to know that repentance is still available for us even after we are baptized.

Elder Turner

Life is great here in Guatemala and the work continues to progress. I must say that miracles happen in the Lord's time and that things don't have to happen quick to be a miracle. I have been working hard for the last 9 weeks in my area and have seen, in my opinion, very little fruits for the amout of work being done but I do know that here soon many people will be more prepared to accept the gospel. Max is doing great! He came to church on Sunday for the second time and is anxious to learn the truth. Getting Max a Book of Mormon in chinese is quite the task and will probably take months to arrive here, but the miracle here is the internet. Max looked up things about the church and found for himself the Book of Mormon  on the church website in chinese and began reading. He says that it makes him feel good but isn't sure that he has received an answer from God that it is true. We are working with Max to help him receive an answer so that he can get baptized here soon. In our mission people who are investigating the church have to attend sacrament meeting 3 times before they can get baptized so this next Sunday will be his 3rd time. He has some challenges that we are helping him overcome, but I know that Max will soon be able to take the step to be baptized. I love the gospel and in all reality it is the thing that makes me happier than ever. It's true that I am far away from home and family and friends, but sharing the gospel is a feeling that can't be compared. Many people are out there working to find happiness, searching for what's right but for me I was fortunate enough to have it placed in my lap being born into a family who lives the gospel. Now I'm working to help others receive the same happiness that I have received. I love the gospel and I know that it is the road to happiness.

That is so great to hear about your experiences with the Sorensens. I love that family a lot and I'm excited to be able to see them again. The friendship that Alexia and I established 5 years back has brought families together who will be friends for eternity because the gospel is being shared. With faith miracles will happen and the steps that they are taking although small to the human are great to the spirit because they are beginning to reconnect the dots that were connected in the premortal life. One day that family will be a strong family who loves and lives the gospel. We as members have to do what's right and share the restored gospel applying it to the needs of those who are searching. Thank you for sharing the gospel with the Sorensens mom. It's something that I needed to do 5 years ago but never realized the importance of it until I was here in Guatemala. I'm glad that things are done in the Lord's time and in the Lord's way because I missed my shot, but yours is right there mom. We have to pray like everything depends on the Lord and work like everything depends on us. They may not want to hear much about doctrine, but if they want to feel more peace and love in life they will achieve it through the Book of Mormon. I know that, because I live it. Let them know that I'm praying for them and that I love them. They have helped me in ways they may not know but they will soon receive many blessings for all they did to help me get on the mission.

The work will continue and as Elder Maynes taught me on Tuesday, we must teach people of the Celestial traditions that we do in the church. Although you might be super busy you ought to invite the Sorensens over for a family home evening. 

I love you so much Mom and all those we read this. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's Kingdom here upon the earth and that is where true happiness is found, in God's Kingdom.  Never Give Up. Never back down.

Elder Turner

Today I am writing early because this afternoon we have a fire side with Elder Maines of the 70. This week seems like it will be a bit more busy than normal for me because Wednesday and Thursday I will have a training meeting which only happens every 3-4 months so it is a bit out of the normal, but I'm looking forward to all of the inspiration and spiritual guidance that I will receive. 

This week we began to change our way of working with the members and so far it seems to be working well. I pray that we will see the fruits of our labours and that we will soon be able to bring God's children to the waters of baptism. We began to visit the  members of our ward and share with them a very brief message of the restoration of the gospel and then we ask them to think of all the blessings that they have received from the restored gospel and after doing that we ask them who they can invite over to their house so that we can share with them the message of the restored gospel. We have some visits set up with the members to bring their friends over for a family home evening where we will share the message. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks and all the blessings that we will receive from the Lord. 

Yesterday I saw what to many might be a small miracle but to me it was great because I saw the hand of the Lord work quickly and I felt my faith increase as I put my faith to the test. Yesterday was preparation day and we had an activity planned as a zone where we went to the institute building and played soccer, ping pong, foosball, and air hockey and we ate lunch and had a great time. When we were playing soccer I got into a little scrabble with another missionary as we were both trying to get the ball and I pulled my foot back to kick the ball away and I ended up kicking him as hard as I could in his leg sweeping his feet out from under him (that's what happens when you don't know what you're doing). Luckily he caught himself and didn't fall and we just kept on playing. Later in the afternoon my foot started hurting me because I had kicked him with the outside of my foot, the part that's soft, and it made it difficult to walk. I couldn't put a lot of pressure on my foot and was walking with a funny limp. I was really worried because we needed to go out to work and we had a lot of walking to do so I took some ibuprofen and said a little prayer. As my companion and I were leaving the house we prayed as normal, but I asked that the Lord would heal my foot so that I could walk. We left the house and as I was walking down the street the pain was gone and I was able to walk normal. From the time I said the prayer to the time I realized that I didn't have anymore pain was a matter of 2 minutes. No matter how small the situation might apear to humans, to the Lord it is important and He truly does care for each one of His children and He does hear and answer our prayers. I know that miracles do exist.

Last Tuesday I was with my companion talking to people in the bus stop sharing the gospel. Like normal I had my poster of the first vision on one side and other gospel pictures on the other and was contacting someone when a chinese man got close to me and in english asked me what the first vision was. I began to explain to him what it represented and he responded saying "but you're not Catholic so why do you have that image?" It made me laugh, but then I told him that it was a representation and we by no means adore the image nor do we pray to it. I began to explain more about the gospel and the blessing that I have received through the gospel and asked him when we could stop by to visit him. To my surprise he told us that he lived in our area (the majority of the people we talk to at the bus stop don't live in our area) and he said that maybe Wednesday, the following day. I wrote his number down and when we got home that night I called him and set up the appointment for 12 noon on Wednesday. His name is Max and he is a very cool guy. He wants to know more about the gospel and he wants to read the Book of Mormon, but it will take about 2 months for us to get one in Chinese so for now we will have to explain and read what we can in English. We invited Max to church and he showed up. Max has been a blessing and a miracle in my life. At church on Sunday Max said to me in his chinese accent  "Tank you Tuney. You teach me lot."

I love the Gospel of Christ. I know that it is true and that the Lord Christ lives. 

Elder Turner

I'm glad that all is well and that the family is good. It is crazy how fast time is flying and that this is Kya's last week as a single woman. I'm super excited for her and I know that this is going to be the happiest and most important time of her life up until now. What a blessing to know that she is going to begin her own eternal family and in that way help God to continue His great and eternal plan. I love the gospel and I'm so happy that you and dad had the strength to continue on and teach us the principles that would truly bring us happiness. It is real. Thank you. I will be praying for you all on the great weekend that lies before us.

Thank you for your great support and for you prayers and love. I wouldn't be able to make this happen if it weren't for your prayers. I love you so much mom. Thank you for everything that you do for me. I love being a missionary and giving these two years. Like you said, and I know, I won't regret these years because I have grown more now than I would have doing anything else. I have become something I didn't know was possible and I will continue to change throught the years. I know that I can become the diamond that God sees me as and it is through these rough times that I'm having that I will be turned into that diamond.  I was writing in my journal last night about some things that had happened and as I thought what it would be like 20 years down the road reading my experiences, it just made me laugh.  Sometimes we just have to laugh about things to let them go. This will be but a brief moment. I love the time that I have spent serving the Lord and I see that my time is running out and that is why I am working harder now than I ever have. 

This week my companion and I were knocking doors in our area and at one house a man came to the door but when he saw us he tried to hide, but we caught him and began to talk to him about the gospel. He was a very interesting person and had a lot of questions and so we aksed him when we could come back and he said that he wasn't sure because he is always busy, so we just asked him if we could come the following day and he said sure if I'm home we can talk. I told him that our time is very precious and that if he isn't going to be home it'd be better if he just said no and in the end he said yes Sunday at 4. We passed by and sure enough he was home along with other members of his family, about 6 people. I was super excited to teach all these people and so he invited us in and we sat down. He told us to talk with his family and that he would be back in a second. He went to his room and put his jacket on grabbed his car keys and walked out of the room. As he walked out of the house he told us to have a good afternoon and to try and convince his family because he was already convinced. He got in his car and left. In the end only 2 of the 6 people stayed but we have a return visit with them today. Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways to help us find His chosen children who will accept the gospel. I know that miracles exist and that when we have faith we can be the driving source of these miracles. If we want to have success we have to have a yes attitude and we have to want to have success. I know that the Lord lives and that He is my Saviour. I love the Book of Mormon and I know that it is true. I love my companion and I know that he is a child of God. I know that we are an eternal family. That's what this is all about. I love you so much mom. 

Have a great day/week. I'm excited to hear this cool story from the camping trip next week.

Elder Turner