Book of Mormon

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

28 December 2015

Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Something funny that happened this week … well there was a lot due to the crazy times of Christmas and Christmas Eve. This week we did a lot of caroling. We got together as missionaries and took three nights to carol in all three of our areas. It was super great – especially getting to see a lot of different people and how stoked they got from a bunch of kids singing janky carols in both Spanish and English.  We ate at a few members’ houses and each one had their classic moments. I’d say the funniest, well one of the funniest, would for sure be our Christmas Eve dinner. We were eating together as missionaries and we were all trying super hard to eat all of the food and we kept trying to put food on each other’s plates.

This week in my studies … I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. The Book of Mormon is just too good. Highly suggest reading it to everyone. To me it is really cool how the Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of each other and together they are both working for the same result – to bring us closer to Jesus Christ Himself. So to any of you out there who think we believe in a different bible, or a different Jesus, or a different God, or worship Joseph Smith, sorry but you’re mistaken. You’ll know if you just read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is the word of God! Try it!

This week’s shout outs … go to the fam for being so cute on FaceTime, to the hale 6 boys for always keeping it real, and to my ward mission leader for dropping the hammer in one of our lessons this week.

The Elder of the Week … goes to none other than Elder Zac Parker.  Weighing in at a solid 12ish stones, this bloke from the outskirts of London is a solid keeper.  This Christmas Eve he thought it would be nice to decorate our bathroom. What you aren’t seeing in the picture below is that he put four full-size water-filled balloons in our toilet and flushed it, thus causing it to overflow all throughout our bathroom. He likes puffins, wing tips, and field hockey. In his free time, he likes to eat cucumbers by the kilo. He loves to receive pictures so hit him up at zachary.parker@myldsmail.net.

Well after a crazy week of fiestas it is time to settle back down into some solid missionary work.  Hope you liked the new email format.  Until next time, stay chill people.

Dance

Elder Turner

(videos of the “Christmas Eve Aftermath” and “Eating FuFu” can be found in Mission Videos)

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It’s a Beautiful Dog … It Looks Like Aslan

23 November 2015

So I’m here in the Deep South … of the northern part of Spain… and it is super cool down here. Actually, it is really warm here in Valencia so I’m way stoked on that. I’ve been told that my new piso is the most expensive one in the mission so it’s basically luxury. The shower is really small though and that’s a bummer. Another bummer about this area is that you can’t drink the water, so it is like I’m in South America, right? We’ve gotta buy water from the grocery story now – gotta sacrifice to be here. But it IS the best area in the mission, I swear. I’m super amped on it.

We had a good week this week but not a lot of time to write this so I will have to keep it kind of bland and take out all of the fluff. We have found a lot of good investigators – big things are about to come out of Valencia in the next few weeks!  Having fun, working hard and loving life. Valencia, Spain is where it’s at people.

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I haven’t said much about my new companion, Elder Moulton, but he’s super sick. He is from Seattle and he is just out of high school. He’s a hard worker and super motivated. He’s also like a bag of mysteries. Honestly, everyday something new and random comes out of nowhere. He says the funniest stuff at the most random times. Super classic. We have started two new traditions – movie night and Sunday night crepes. Elder Moulton makes boss crepes and he taught me how to make them so my future wife should be super excited about that. The crepes were amazing and while we ate them we watched a face-to-face event with The Piano Guys.

Eating ice cream with Elder Moulton

Eating ice cream sandwiches with Elder Moulton

We’ve had a bunch of dinner appointments with members which included a fan favorite – fufu. I love fufu. Maybe I was meant to go to Nigeria on my mission because I love fufu so much. JK – I was obviously supposed to come here … It is the best mission in the world after all (it actually is). El Faro for life!  Is that prideful? #oops.

Nigerian fufu

Nigerian fufu

I’ve been keeping up on reading all of the General Conference talks that are available online but I’m still just in 1971 because there are like 90 talks from that year.  I’m also reading the Book of Mormon (great book recommend it to everyone) and the New Testament. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and everything He went through so none of us have to go through it alone. When life gets too hard to stand, get on your knees.

"Californian" ice cream sandwiches

“Californian” ice cream sandwiches

Just a quick thing to all you members out there – you guys have no idea how much the missionaries depend on you. It’s not easy out on a mission and being allowed into a friendly house to have a quick lesson and maybe some good food is sooooo great. Also, the help we get from members is so important — references and all that jazz.  Please, just invite the missionaries in to your house this week, it could make their week, you never know.

Love you guys keep it real.

Elder Turner

New trainer meeting/dinner

New Trainer meeting/dinner at the mission home

Ecuadorean food

Ecuadorean food

Platano

Platano

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Streets of Valencia

Vanilla Pudding

2 November 2015

This week was a ball. We had a Halloween party for our ward, put on by the missionaries. It was pretty good, I guess. There should be some photos and videos coming soon, thanks to Big Nance. I am not really sure what happened, but I guess I got a little crazy during the party (especially the karaoke part). I am going to be a legend in Vitoria for a while …

Transfers are next Tuesday and we will find out if there will be any changes on Saturday night.  I’ll probably be leaving, but who knows, maybe I’ll stay for another transfer. I’ve been here a while honestly.

Last week we snuck into a really nice field to play soccer, it was pretty cool. We play a lot of soccer here, but I’m still not a fan of it.  What I am a fan of, though, is tortilla de patata. I can make a pretty mean one if I say so myself. My wife is in luck.

We returned to the scene of the crime on Sunday, but thankfully there were no more mussels that we had to eat this time, just a tortilla.

I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon like a fiend.  If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest it. : )  All of the stories in it are interesting.  I’ve also been reading the Bible, which is pretty amazing too. The Bible and the Book of Mormon totally support each other and it’s cool to see all of the similarities.

One thing I read recently that I really liked is found in Matthew, chapter 14.  It reads:

25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

I like these verses because sometimes our first step in coming to Christ is scary. Sometimes we don’t even recognize that the thing that scares us is the thing that is going to save us.  Jesus was familiar to his disciples, yet they recognized him not. One of the grand ironies of the gospel is that the very source of help and safety being offered to us is the thing from which we may, in our mortal shortsightedness, flee. People run from the things of the gospel, the things of Christ all the time because they are scared or they are too worried about how it will make them appear. Too often too many of us run from the very things that will bless us and save us and soothe us. Too often we see gospel commitments and commandments as something to be feared and forsaken. Too often we see these things as something that will tie us down and hold us back from having “fun,” when in reality those are the very things that are going to help build us up and honestly help us have the most happiness in this life and in the life to come. So, if you are currently running from gospel commitments or covenants, if you are afraid that it will be too hard or it won’t work for you, stop.  Stop, take a step back, and analyze how it is going to work for you, because it will.

My dad sent me a quote this week that I love and find comfort in. It’s is from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, from this past General Conference.  He said, “Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you [or won’t work for you], I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you.” I’d like to invite you to do the same thing. Don’t get it twisted, keep it simple.

Get buckets!

Elder Turner

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(More pictures and videos on the blog)

I’m Living in Spain!!!! – Vitoria Week Eleven

21 September 2015

I’m living in Spain!!!!

Things that happened this week … Not a whole lot … This week was shorter due to conferences and things so there wasn’t much that went on, but it was still an amazing week!

We ran into this African guy that hated America because the Americans won’t help Nigeria unless they sign something? I’m not sure what he meant, and I definitely don’t have time for world affairs out here.  Anyway, he already knew Elder Sedgwick and knew he was American and he wouldn’t let Elder Sedgwick say anything since he was from America unless he told “his people” to fix Nigeria and the problems there. So, I told him I was from Australia and he told me I could preach to him. So, I gave him the good word of God. Pretty classic.

There are tons of Nigerians here and they are super fun to preach the gospel to. We always try to throw on Nigerian accent when we talk to them.  Mine isn’t that great, but Elder Sedgwick’s is super good. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t convinced an African or two that I’m from Nigeria.  It’s a perfect way to start a conversation and it is super funny. Of course I always ultimately claim my Southern Californian roots because, I mean, Southern California is the Promised Land.

It seems like every Spaniard and their dog feels obligated to try and speak to us with as many English words as they can – which is usually like three words. Elder Sedgwick and I always reply in Spanish – could be a pride thing, idk maybe we should fix that?!?

My spiritual thought for the week:

We all have talents given from God. I think we get too hung up on the talents we don’t have instead of the talents we have been given and the talents we can acquire. We aren’t supposed to have all the talents.  There are some we may never acquire, but that’s ok. That is why we have families, spouses, companions, friends, church groups/leaders and all forms of relationships. So we can work together and use all of the talents we have together to help and aid each other. If you think you don’t have talents you’re wrong. You’re looking in the wrong places.

A lot of our talents, or gifts from God, are taken for granted, over-looked, or may not even be be viewed as gifts. Some of these less-conspicuous gifts are: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring and lifting up of others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; the gift of listening; the gift of positivity; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost.

These are just some of many gifts/talents that you may have. The thing is these talents really are gifts which are given to us by the Lord. The word “gift” is of great significance.  A gift may not be demanded or it ceases to be a gift. It may only be accepted when proffered. Spiritual gifts are just that. We don’t get to choose them nor the conditions in which we may receive them. The conditions are established by our Heavenly Father. Spiritual gifts cannot be forced, for a gift is a gift. They cannot be bought, or earned. We are to live to be worthy of the gifts and they will come according to the will of the Lord.

Well until next time my good folks of America. There is no better life than the mission life. Super stoked to be out here and I’m really honored to be serving my Lord and my God. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and if you read it, it’s going to change your life. And if you don’t believe me, I’m not asking you to, go straight to the source and ask God himself through humble prayer. I dare you. Because I know without a doubt if you do that you will receive an answer, and if you follow this answer you will have the happiest life you could ever have. Love you all, keep it real.

Get Buckets!

Elder Turner

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elder Turner, elder Sedgwick and Luis, one of our stellar new members

elder Turner, elder Sedgwick and Luis – “one of our stellar new members”

The Bee’s Knees – Vitoria Week Seven

August 24, 2015

Not too much happened this week… Just the usual, nothing major to report. I’m still with elder Sedgwick in the same place and everything, but we got a new elder here in the area though like I said last week. He’s elder Cifuentes and he is companions with elder Jones.  Elder Cifuentes is from Argentina but he has been living in Madrid because he plays for Atlético Madrid.  He’s ridiculous … He’s a super good missionary too, I hear one of the best in the mish. We only speak Spanish in the piso so my Spanish will get better obviously. Our piso is nice – we have a study room for each companionship and a bedroom where we all four sleep – there is only room for our four mattresses on the floor.  We have two bathrooms, a living room with a couch and set up for a huge tv but we just put Books of Mormon and pamphlets there, and a small kitchen.

We eat like meat rice or pasta for every lunch and sometimes add fries and veggies of course. I like onions, who knew!? We don’t do dinner here which is pretty lame of Spain to do – we are the only mission that doesn’t get an hour at night for dinner, so sometimes I have some cereal at night.

Hmmmm not much more I can think of …. yesterday we drove out with the bishop to visit some recent converts at their house about 30 minutes away in a pueblo, and the sunset was ridiculous. Oh, there was a gnarly storm one day this week.  Out of nowhere, a 35 C degree day turned to a lightning storm with gnarly winds.  We were with a member, so I felt bad. It got so gnarly that I went to buy an umbrella, which the member ended up making me let him buy it (6€), and it broke like 10 minutes later…oh well.

I really started stepping up my prayers this week, so that’s one thing I have been focusing on. Reading the Book of Mormon like a fiend too. I also read a great talk, well a few, but the one I like was “Let Him Do it With Simplicity” by Elder L. Tom Perry. I really like the beginning part about him and his wife. One thing that has seemed to be in my studies a lot this week was families and building a happy home type things.

Apart from that it was normal week here. We have a lot of investigators and stuff, but nothing super cool yet.  A huge problem here is the jobs. People have to get jobs and they work on Sunday so a lot of our investigators and members can’t come to church… Which brings up a topic that elder Sedgewick and I were talking about which is faith/God’s will. Is it possible to be over confident in your faith?  God’s will is for us to baptize and he has the power to help our investigators (who are doing all they can) to come to church, but he doesn’t seem to be helping us right now – so what is he trying to teach us?

So, I’ve been doing a lot of pondering, but basically when it comes down to it I know whatever needs to happen will happen if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, this applies to later life as well.  Basically I’m just learning things every day and growing so much.  Missionary work is so good and I love it so much. Every day is honestly a good day, one thing I learned this week along these lines was that the storms of life are inevitable. Everybody is going to go through hard times and have bad things happen to them, there is no getting around that. What we need to do is endure those trials, but we cannot simply “endure” them and think that it’s ok, we need to endure them with happiness. This is why I say it is possible to only have good days.  Yeah there will be hard days and there will be days you can classify as bad, but you can choose to look at the positives of that day and ask yourself what God is trying to teach you through the trials and challenges of that day.

On the contrary we can also have amazing things happen and have a lot of success, but something that we cannot do is neglect that it comes from God, we cannot think that we are the amazing one. He is. We cannot get prideful.  We see the “pride cycle” many times in the Book of Mormon, and every time the people get prideful, they lose their peace, they go against themselves, then their enemies overcome them, and soon everything they “had” is gone. Don’t let it take horrible things to humble you, stay humble through trials and triumphs. I hope those thoughts weren’t too jumbled.

This church is the true church of God on the earth today. There’s not much more that needs to be said after that, it means everything the church stands for is of God. I know the Book of Mormon has the power to change lives, it has changed mine, and I see it changing others all the time. I know that it can changes yours, wherever you’re at in life, the hardest times or the best times, not a member of the church or member of the church, reading the Book of Mormon will help you and change your life for the better.

Have a great week. Get some buckets!

Elder Turner

"Shout out to all my haters #buckets #nubsquad"

There Are No Bad Days

3 August 2015

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad day because I’ve learned something from every experience I have had.” Elder L. Tom Perry lived his life by those words. He said that he never had a bad day in his life. I admire him greatly. I also have really taken those words to heart. So far on my mission, I have not had any bad days, and I don’t plan on having any. I don’t plan on having any after my mission either. I don’t know why anyone would. True, there are hard days and there are hard times in our lives. I have experienced hard times on my mission probably every day; but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s been bad. Trials, challenges, and any type of difficult times have been placed in our lives so that we may grow. It doesn’t matter so much as to what happens to you in your life, but more what you do with what happens to you. We read in Hebrews that God chastened who he loves. He also tries us so that our faith and love can grow exponentially.

One way to get through hard times is to turn to Him and do what He would do.  What would he do? He would turn outwards. He would go help people and not think of himself. I know that through helping people we can, deep inside, feel better about ourselves. When we help people we help ourselves, and we can find true joy. I know this to be true because so far on my mission it has been all about other people. That is the reason why I came out here, to help people. To help them come unto Christ. I know that the moments where I think of myself are the only times I get down, and I realize it and change my thoughts and actions to someone else and I completely forget my silly little worries and experience joy.

There are so many great people here in Spain. The culture here in Vitoria is very diverse, and I’ve mentioned before that there are people here from all over South America, Africa, Spain, as well as neighboring islands. Elder Sedgwick and I have been having some really good times, and working very hard. The Lord has been blessing us immensely and placed a lot of very good, very ready people in our path.

This week I had one super sad moment when I thought I lost my chappa (his first missionary tag). Definitely the saddest on the mish so far – but I found it later that night . . . well other elders did.

Our water heater has been broken since Tuesday so I have been showering out of a pot of boiled water everyday . . . or just washing my hair, face, etc. with the cold water.  The water is colder than the Wedge in the winter.

We went to this restaurant owned by an investigator de Mex, authentic Mexican.  Got a pic I will send after this.  Oh, btw, I have no problem eating any foods anymore – mission blessings.

Oh yeah, one more thing . . . I made a life decision with Elder Sedgwick . . . We decided and made a pact that we will be New York Knicks fans for life. We bought jerseys to seal the deal. So, any Knicks news that comes up – keep me posted.

There is power in the Book of Mormon because it is the word of God, it truly testifies of Jesus Christ, and it is the truest book on this earth. It is the key to our religion and the key to happiness. If it is true, which it is, everything else is true. Jesus is the Christ, He lives, and He is the head of this church.

Elder Turner

Turto

Vitoria – Week One

13 July 2015

People of the United States,

So I am finally in the field.  My first area is Vitoria, which is a very, very nice place.  I love it already. My companion, Elder Sedgwick, is a baller. He is from Southern California as well, great missionary and just an all around beast, I guess. The two other elders we live with are great as well.

We had to take an eight hour bus ride to get from Barce to Vitoria on the first day.  Here we are doing a lot of work, and a ton of walking.  We teach and look for people pretty much all day and it’s crazy, but I’m loving it.  We have to be in our piso (apartment) by 10:00 p.m. every night.  One night, we were teaching on the opposite side of the area and we were supposed to take the bus to get home.  9:30 – no bus, 9:50 – no bus, 10 – no bus.  By that point we realize that there is a festival going on and there are no buses that night. “Put your running shoes on Elder!” So, we ran back to our piso.  It was easily over two miles – more than I’ve run since lacrosse season senior year, honestly, and boy am I out of shape.  I’m still cute though.

Missions are the best!  For anyone not sure if they should serve, just do it. It’s the best decision you will make. Not much to report this week since mostly I forgot a lot of it but also most of it was just traveling. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and the Son of God. He is also the head of this Church and guides it today through Thomas S. Monson.

Love you all. Keep it real.

Elder Turner

Just trying to fit it - Elder Simple and Elder Sedgwick

Just trying to fit in – Elder Simple and Elder Sedgwick