Stick Shifts and Safety Belts

27 June 2016

Fellow countrymen,

So what happened in Vic this week?

: )  The biggest fiesta in Catalonia

: )  “We are serving the right God”

: )  “I Nephi”

: )  Barbecue

: )  Siete Fuentes

This week Catalonia is having two of the biggest fiestas, well I guess it’s just one, but they basically celebrate New Year’s on Thursday and then on Friday nobody does anything until the night and it’s like the Fourth of July on steroids. What does that mean for missionary work? Well, not much, everyone’s leaving for Barce for the weekend, or sleeping all day. There are a bunch parents of little kids’ buying fireworks and letting the kids run amok, doing whatever they want with them. It’s like we are in Nam out here. The whole week there have been kids lighting off fireworks in all the streets.  It’s all fun until the “wise guy” thinks it’s funny to throw them at the two Americans dressed in white shirts and ties. I guess it’s some kind of karma for the times … I would drive around Irvine throwing firecrackers out of the car (sorry mom and dad). Things go full circle don’t they? The positive side of this fiesta is that some people who don’t have work on Friday actually agree to meet with you, so that’s nice.

This week started off with a nice tender mercy of the Lord. We had a lady come to church with us last Sunday, Cinthia, and she had been having ear pains with severe headaches and could barely hear because of it. So, after the services we gave her a blessing, explained to her what we were going to do (use the power of God to invoke a blessing of healing upon her) and that we knew it would heal her if she had faith as well. After the blessing, she went home. We finished up at the church and decided to head to Cinthia’s to see how everything was going. We asked her how her ear was as she was setting up chairs for our lesson.  She stopped, looked back chuckling with childlike joy in her smile, and said “since that moment, the headaches have gone away and I feel no pain.” She then went to grab another chair, I was stoked out of my mind and I couldn’t help but blurt out “thank you, Lord.” She comes back with her chair still with that same smile and said “I know we are serving the right God.” I was speechless, the only thing I could muster up was, “me too” and give her a big smile.

We had a barbecue at a member’s house, which was good. We were helping set up everything while waiting for President to come with the meat. As I was sitting in the house making some calls, I hear a huge boom. Because of the fireworks I was expecting it to just be some kids outside, then I see elder Cook’s face. I thought the chimney barbecue had fallen over (It’s not a normal barbecue it was like a chimney type thing set up in the corner of the patio). I step outside to see the tray with the fire moved a little bit and coals from the burned wood scattered everywhere. Godofredo, maybe the funniest man I’ve ever met, steps outside and asked “what happened?” I told him I had no clue. His response was, “well it’s all set up well now,” in reference to the coals being spread out. We put the coals back in and start cooking and realize that the tile of his patio beneath the tray of coals had exploded. Science. We put some stuff underneath the tray and began cooking, I was left to man the meat. President came out to inspect how I was doing, and somehow my meat flipping skills got his approval. President Merchan is maybe one of the wisest men I’ve ever met, and everything has to be done perfectly, so to get his approval was a miracle. He went on to teach me how to know when the meat is done. Lookout world, in 2k17 I’m going be having some mean barbecues and you’re invited.

Friday we went to a place called siete fuentes, for a hike through some small mountains and what not. We had two families come that weren’t members, and they loved it, so that was even better. This world is a beautiful place, how lucky we are to live on it!

This whole week has been pointing me back to 1 Nephi 1:1. “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.”

How incredible is this scripture?  I’ve always loved this verse and I could talk for hours about all the different points of this verse, but I will select just two.

  1. “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents,” I have been born of goodly parents. It’s because of them I am the person I am today, if they had not raised me with the morals that they did, I promise you all I’d be a lot worse off. More than anything, out of the thousands of things my parents did, they taught me through example and for that I am forever grateful. I have been born of goodly heavenly parents. Of this I am sure. God is my Heavenly Father. He is yours too. There is no way he isn’t goodly, he’s God. He’s perfect. He has done more things for me that I remember, or that I have even realized. He loves me perfectly. Perfect love. Think about that for a second, because he has it for you too. And as if that wasn’t enough, he gave His Only Begotten Son, a perfect son, to suffer everything (pains, sickness, sin, temptations, addictions, etc.) so that we can have everything (happiness, eternal life, a friend who knows us exactly, a way out, etc.).
  2. “Having seen many afflictions in the course of my days” For those who don’t know the story of Nephi, and for those who do, he was called and chosen of God, he was obedient with exactness, he was a leader, he was a follower, he was always faithful, he did not complain, he was a servant, and he saw many afflictions in the course of his days. Nephi went through harder things than any of us have gone through, he did them without complaining, without the “why-me’s” and he did them even if he was standing alone. Why? Because he had the perspective, knew the promise, the outcome and the final project.

Going back to my parents, they are great parents, but I can also say they brought me much “affliction.”  I put it in quotes because sometimes it seemed like affliction, but in reality I was just a teenager. There were things they did, or rules they had, or whatever that I sometimes wondered about and tried to understand “why.” On the contrary, there were a lot of things they did, or rules they had, or whatever that I didn’t need to wonder about to know the “why.” And now looking back I understand it all helped me become who I am today.  Now, sometimes we think “why?” or “why me?” When an unplanned affliction comes into our lives. A lot of the time, those questions are directed towards God and we blame Him for the things that go on in life. “Why are you doing this to me?” might be a common question asked. Instead the question we need to ask is, “what am I supposed to learn from this?” Or “what are you trying to teach me?” Even better yet, than these questions would be, “Father help me be patient enough to learn what you want me to learn.”

Shoutsouts go to:  Anna for sending me pictures, Godofredo for the barbecue, Rama Vic for being so sick, and the Hale 6 boys because they’re the boys.

Rock easy people

Elder Turner

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