Jesus Christ

Blue Jeans White Mate

17 May 2016

Hello everyone!  Monday was a huge holiday here so we switched our preparation day so that we could actually do things like get food for the week. Actually, we were basically told we had to. So, here we are on Tuesday.

The week was pretty interesting … filled with a lot of rain, sickness and miracles. It was raining all day Monday and Tuesday and the work was pretty slow because there was almost no one out on the streets.  Plus, all of our visits bailed on us. Then on Wednesday we had a pretty good meeting with our Branch President and talked about all the changes we need to make as a branch to improve our missionary work together (i.e. actually do our branch mission plan). The meeting was really good, the only problem was that I ended up leaving the meeting with a fever and a pretty nice flu. Then on Friday the Lord pulled through as He always does.  We worked a few hours with Francis in the morning and found a large amount of new people to teach and got to pass by (i.e. meet with) a lot of people.

Another miracle this week was when Bryan, our branch mission leader, came back from the United States – so we got to see his pretty face again as well as talk about the mysteries of God together. Sunday was good – I got a surprise invitation to translate a talk right as Otoo, a Ghanaian, was going up to give his talk. It was actually a pretty good talk about the Church of Jesus Christ today. Should be a crazy week this coming week, we are super excited though. The Lord is forever blessing!

Let’s see what else … advice for the week:  just be happy.

Elder Turner

Shoutsout Video

011a3fc4fd1c4898388e52c51eff541761001d77cd 018a0a942929c3c943fee90a111bd575073191dfd1 01367edefaf44c27f59fb4bdf465255c07e6d5f21c 01754daeaabc78e8b0c3cf796f1d0d5b231f7a4d26

Sorren

21 March 2016

Missionary life: The work is going great. We’ve got some really good people lining up and we are seeing lots of miracles as a mission. Elder Dunn and I are working hard to try and find new people to teach as well. The members here in Vic are really great and they organize a lot of activities, so we are hoping to be able to find a bunch of people from those activities. We have zone conference this next week and it should be amazing. Lots of good stuff coming up in these next weeks – the branch is coming together to make this branch into a ward. Miracles happen all the time.  Church was good. The Branch President gave a really good talk about missionary work. I translated sacrament meeting, then helped set up the computers and stuff for lessons with the t.v. We made it to class for a little and then went to priesthood and helped the Africans.

Normal life: it’s been raining a lot. I found some really sick graffiti – this guy works all day and into the night on a huge mural. It will be really cool when it’s done. We are working on getting a new apartment and it looks like we should be moving in the coming week. We went to go adventure today, but it started pouring so we ended up at Burger King and then just came back home. Dreaming of summer!

Studies:  This week I did a lot of studying about self-mastery. From what I found I concluded that the first step to self-mastery is love – to have a love for God and a love for yourself. I think that when we have this love we develop a desire to always be doing the right things in life. We learn how to control our thoughts and actions so that we begin to grow closer and closer towards mastering out very selves. We need to learn to gain control over ourselves so that we can really be the people we want to be – Christ-like people. The mind is a garden, the most fertile garden ever, so whatever we plant in our mind (thoughts and habits) are seeded immediately and begin to grow without hesitation. In order to gain mastery over self we need to have the courage to uproot the plants we don’t want so that we can replace them with the plants we do want. It’s not easy, but we all knew it wouldn’t be. The reward is far greater than the sacrifices we make. It’s never too late to change.

Elder Turner

Shout out to Elder Rusick

Shout out to Elder Rusick

Cleaning up after the previous elders

Cleaning up after the previous elders

Graffiti of the Week

Graffiti of the Week

The Rama – Transfer to Vic

March 9, 2016

Short email this week because of transfers but as far as missionary life goes, I’ve been transferred to a little tiny town called Vic that is just north of Barcelona in the Catalonia region of Spain. I’m with an Elder Dunn out of Orem so the Utah companion streak begins. We spent the first night going around to various members of the branch. The Branch President is super amped on missionary work and it’s amazing. The goal is to get the branch turned into a ward before I leave here, so around August. It’s totally going to happen.

Well I don’t really know much else at the moment due to my lack of time here.  It’s going to be a good area and a good transfer.

As far as normal life goes, I’m not really sure what to say. I’m just being all healthy and whatnot. Brush my teeth like there’s no tomorrow and barely eat any meat now – so that’s a change. Yeah, I guess you could say I’m a salad guy now because I’ve eaten like three salads that I actually prepared for myself. Other than that not much to report nor time to report it.

As far as studies go, I’ve been learning a lot. Something that I learned about recently is that this life is all about happiness, and not the kind the world gives, the kind the gospel of Jesus Christ brings. True happiness. We read in 2 Nephi Chapter 5 verses 5, 6, 10, 12, 15 and 17, 16, 19 and 18, and 27. In that order, strange as it might seem, we can find the little things we can use to reach happiness. Among those mentioned would be family, the prophet, scriptures, and making the right choices. Study this section this week to find more. Study the scriptures and pray daily.

Elder Turner

Wingtips

2 February 2016

We gotta switch it up this week due to transfers. I’m staying here in Valencia, but every companionship in our whole zone is changing.  Basically, it is going to be a whole new zone. My new companion comes in later tonight and his name is Elder House. He’s from Utah and I think that he was in the army before serving a mission.  I met him briefly in Vitoria a few times, but other than that I don’t know much about him. Just that he can do an insane amount of push-ups. Should be sick.

I saw the Lord’s hand this week … when we had an experience that was actually kind of funny as well as incredible. We met a kid this week that has moved here to be a nanny for a little while.  He’s from America and really doesn’t know much Spanish. We got to know him at church on Sunday.  Afterwards, he left to go find his car, that he had parked really far away. He didn’t know where it was.  Being new to the area, he had dropped a pin (in the maps on his phone) to mark the location where the car was, but his phone only had about 5% battery left. He called us and told us he was by a park and looking for his car and that his phone was going to die and shortly after he said that the call dropped and his phone died. The four of us set out to go find him. We went to where we thought he was and looked for him. I even stood up on a bench to try and see him, but I couldn’t see him. Then we decided to say a prayer together even though we all had said individual ones. We said the prayer and just after finishing, I stood back up on the bench and miraculously saw him for a split second before he rounded a corner. We booked it over to him, and after a lot of searching, we ended up finding his car. It’s kind of a funny story, but after we found him we all just looked at each other with disbelief. Surely an immediate answer to prayer – which is truly a miracle because answers don’t always come immediately.

This week’s shout outs … go out to Elder Moulton, the Fam, the snakes, and man buns.

Graffiti of the week …

019bdc8cc4db98028bd2b35000efa35c3043da741a

Stoked to be out here serving Jesus Christ, He is the reason I have everything in my life. He is my rock, He is my Redeemer, and He is the Head of this work and this church. The Book of Mormon truly testifies of Him and along with it, the Bible will bring us closer to God and Jesus Christ. Make Christ your partner and you cannot fail. Love you guys – stay sick.

Slippery when wet,

Elder Turner

01bfdeba36cb4235a80687d6f5467088a886a7bdf4

01fd9daf0294ca9cc456541e33b1818938593ca3a4

01a553b358459edcf4846a4afb45a539c46abf347c

018f96e07be72a03f6bd1e9d0fad6e78edfa980cdc

 

Do the Hamster Dance

25 January 2016

Cool moment of the week  … would be going to the “primera palada” or groundbreaking of the new chapel we are going to have here in Valencia. It was really cool to attend this meeting and hear the members (all of whom were converts) testify of the truthfulness of this Gospel, how it has completely changed their lives, and how much the Church has grown here in Valencia. It’s always amazing to see how the Lord’s hand is pushing forward His work. Also, there was a time capsule and a couple missionaries and I threw in our name tags. It will be cool to come back and see the new chapel after it is finished.

I saw the Lord’s hand … with Elder Moulton over these last 10 weeks. Loved my time with him. Sad it could be coming to an end next week. He is always positive and always on task.  Anyone who is serving or has served knows how much of a blessing it is to have a hardworking companion.

This week in my studies … I learned about the relationship between faith and trials. We all know that trials come. All trials are different. There are several varieties of trials whether they be physical, mental, or emotional. Something that has an effect on us today might not have an effect on us tomorrow, but something that has been effecting us since last year could have an effect on us through next year. All trials and challenges come in levels of severity. Just because we aren’t effected by something doesn’t mean someone we hold very near and dear can’t be effected by it.

A story I like is found in chapter 17 of 3rd Nephi and it illustrates this point. Great strength can be found in the words from verses 7 and 9. In verse 7 Christ asks that they bring the “sick and afflicted” so that He might “heal them.” To this, their response in 9, “ALL the multitude … did go forth.” We all face challenges. And then then the phrase: “that were afflicted in ANY manner.” All of us can identify, can’t we? Whether it is x or y or d, everyone has trials and challenges. The only thing that is the same about the trials and challenges that we face is the method we use to overcome them. The sure fire way of beating our challenges, is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This faith is what will save us when we are beaten down lower than we have ever felt was possible. When the weight is too heavy, nothing else can ease the burden other than this faith, a trust in God. We need to always remember that through struggles is how we grow, and that there is still much in life to be hopeful about and grateful for.

I really liked what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said on this subject, “Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters–mental or emotional or physical or otherwise–do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are ‘like a broken vessel,’ as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.” I like the last sentence, maybe the most, this life is hard enough as it is. We don’t need to make it harder in ourselves or others. We need to be “of one mind” and have “compassion one of another” and to “love as brethren” to help overcome these struggles so often placed before all of us.

Faith is principle of action and power. It is more than merely a belief. Through faith all is possible, even faith “as to a grain of mustard seed” still has the power to move mountains – physically and metaphorically. Faith brings hope. Hope that we can make it through whatever lies ahead, that we and our loved ones will, no matter the circumstance, be restored to a perfect state in the next life. If we have this faith we live knowing that this isn’t the end, that there is something more, that happiness is just ahead. That because of Jesus Christ we too will be resurrected. In this resurrection we know that that which “is sown in corruption” will indeed be “raised in incorruption” and whatever “is sown in weakness” one day will surely be “raised in power.” And that is good news.

I hope that anyone going through a hard time will seek out the help they need, from God and from whatever outside source (doctors, therapists, parents, friends, etc.). To you who feel alone in your trials I would offer the words found in John 14:18, 27 when Christ says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” You’re not alone. You never were, and you never will be. Hold onto the faith you have, and if you have lost it, find it and never let it go. I also hope that we will be more aware to the people in our spheres of life to be able to discern their needs and help them in any way we can. We need to actively seek them out and help them. Remember that just saying, “Let me know if I can help,” really is no help at all.

My writing time is running out, but I hope that from this you take away this simple message:  lift up your head with a faith in Christ, press forward, and you will make it through. Seek to lift others and you will receive the help you need in your life. This I promise, as a representative of Jesus Christ, and one who has used this in my life, in His name.  Amen.

** If you find yourself asking “why is this happening to me” go read Hebrews 12:6-11 (the whole chapter is good). **

This week’s shout outs … go out to Elder Moulton because it is probably my last week with him. See the video.

The Elder of the week … goes out to Elder Tyler Vickery. Last week in the mission. Coming out of St. George, he will be returning soon. Ladies hit him up @tylavick on insta. Lots of love for my boy. Tragic death. #elfaroforever

Graffiti of the week

01dc9c215a03daaae684bf1fcc983d52fb09219ccd

Wedge

Elder Turner

0136d877fcefb10e22ccb2a1bb3ce3d59c85f7a859 01ee5dc6799c5180d567785a8c7d4a51b8723b57f1 01ebc91b19be8117991ca09fd1b76040301b56f4dc

Chicken and Rice

18 January 2016

Classic moment of the week … happened at church after Elder Moulton and I finished planning our lesson for an activity. We had just finished planning our lesson on patience and we wanted to find a game or object lesson we could incorporate into it. Elder Moulton went to the Church magazines, I believe it was the Ensign, and while looking for the games found a “bible puns” section. He read them one by one to me and even though they were so so bad, and we were just cracking up until our activity started. I can promise you none of the puns were actually funny. It was just the combination of being a missionary and the way Elder Moulton delivered them.

I saw the Lord’s hand this week … in a man named Samuel.  First of all, that’s a really good name. He is from Ghana, and when we met him he said that he had never seen missionaries like us before so he said he would “try it out.” So, we met with him the next day, and he’s amazing. When we asked him if he would be baptized when he came to know that our message is true he said, “I already believe it’s true.” I testify that the Lord places people in our paths for specific reasons. I also know that the Lord doesn’t just make things easy for us, He lets us grow by going through hardships. He doesn’t give us more than we can handle in both successes and trials. It’s all a wise purpose in Him.

This week in my studies … I learned about peace, so I’ll tell you a little about it. First, there are two types of peace – inner and outer.  They both stem from other factors. Inner peace leads to outward peace.  If we don’t have inner peace, we will never be able to bring the peace we want to see. It starts with us. We are all familiar with Gandhi and his famous quote, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”  It’s very true.  If we are harboring grudges, carrying burdens, or hanging on to the envy we feel, we will never be at peace. Peace – real peace, whole-souled to the very core of your being – comes only in and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing and applying His teachings in our lives. I know He is the way, as I have seen so many people’s lives change due to practicing the teachings of Christ, since I have been on my mission. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is the author of the peaceable things of this world. Before departing He told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). These words apply to us as well. I love this scripture because I can truly testify that the things of Christ – love, family, the gospel, service, etc. – really bring a more lasting and deep peace and happiness than the things of the world – drugs, anger, alcohol, pornography, etc. We know that wickedness never was happiness, and it never will be either. Real happiness is found in the teachings Christ has given us. In John 16:33 the Lord says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace,” He continues. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The Lord urged His followers to be “peacemakers” and taught peace in many parables. Just to name a few that I’ve found: “Agree with thine adversary” (Matt. 5:25), “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44), “Judge not” (Matt. 7:1),  “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:39), “Condemn not” (Luke 6:37), “Forgive” (Luke 6:37), “Love one another” (John 13:34).  If we do these things we will, “live in peace” as the Apostle Paul said, “and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11). If we are living in peace we will surely have the inner peace we desire. When we have that inner peace, it will drive us to want to share it with others. We will have an overwhelming outer peace, as Christ will be in our countenances, and others will see it and strive to develop it. Don’t let the world or things in it get you down, don’t let anger push you away from those you love, don’t let remorse hold you back from achieving what you can be, and don’t let yourself get in the way of you being what someone else needs.

This week’s shout outs … go out to: Jeff, Kevin and Simon, everyone who writes me, Waimea for being cherry, the boys for serving the Lord with me, barrels, sleep for helping me not be tired, and air cuz without it we wouldn’t be alive.

The Elder of the week …  serving in the Promised Land of Paraguay and sponsored by Dre Beats … is none other than Elder Guy Nug Baxter. He loves chili lime seeds, barrels, and Dear Johns – ladies help him out in that department. When he isn’t getting dunks in the font or taking care of Daniels, you can find him at the local cow grounds trying to make sure all the creatures on earth hear the Good Word of God. As an honorary member of the Nub Squad, he gets buckets and gains. You can find him in a night pipe barrel in 1.4, but until then send this tender elder a Dear John @ guy.baxter@myldsmail.net.

Graffiti of the week … will resume next week because I forgot my pictures … Sorry. Stay tuned.

Square

Elder Turner

Elder Baxter teaching in Paraguay

Elder Baxter teaching in Paraguay (Elder Baxter was Sam’s roommate at BYU-H)

01162dea8f9e37aca133f32a603327fabcefeedc3b0161e7fd68399c3a47b71479184a1066ec4b8b9296016e01c0bc25a81d15799cdbf6a68e4f6a7ef1fdbf01440261a227d3b23c3fae1c0504866f72e300bd91

What’s What

January 11, 2016

Classic moment of the week … so our sink wasn’t draining at all – water wouldn’t go down even a little bit. I’m not sure why they haven’t caught on to the garbage disposal yet here in Spain – those things are money.  #firstworldproblems.  Anyway, I’m sitting on the couch eating and Elders Hemeyer and Parker got the task of unclogging the sink since I did it last time. They decided to unscrew the drain from beneath and let it all go into a bucket. Well let’s just say it was basically a scene from Dumb and Dumber …and I knew what was coming, so I immediately grabbed another large bowl and ran to the kitchen. The first bucket was just about to overflow, the Elders were screaming, so of course I started screaming as well, put my finger in between my lips like Yaya does in Sandlot right when he sees “The Beast” and slapped the other bowl down there as the rest of the water gushed out. Then the fun began.  All of the food that had been clogging the drain was still in the bottom of this little filter thing (I’m guessing … I’m not really a plumber so I don’t know much about sinks), so I flipped the filter over and the madness just poured out. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what was clogging our drain, but I can tell you that after whatever it was crawled out of the pipe, all of us let out the most classic movie scripted gasps and cries. Needless to say our sink is now working properly.  We aren’t exactly sure if we put it back together right because sometimes it leaks on our pots down below, but hey, water goes down the drain now. I will probably attach a video of the animal that crawled out of our pipes, if I can.

This week in my studies … I found a quote that says, “there is a vast difference between viewing my sins as enemies that I’m trying with difficulty to separate from, and viewing my sins as old friends that I am reluctant to leave behind.” I feel like this quote is so real. Something that we get blessed with, being out here as missionaries of Jesus Christ, is a different way of viewing things. The things of the world lose their importance, the smallest sins and transgressions become rather large, and people are seen more for their potential that who they currently are. Like I said last week, none of us are perfect and we all sin. Whether it is a large sin or a small sin, it still makes us sinners. But that doesn’t make us bad people. A few people have said quotes that I’m drawing from, but I don’t remember who exactly what they said, but to paraphrase, they say a saint is just a sinner who keeps on trying.  To look at it from another viewpoint, a sinner is just a saint who messed up. Or how I like to see it, a saint is a sinner who is repenting, who is fixing themselves, but just can’t quite do it perfectly. We all have addictions, or problems, or vices, or challenges, or whatever word you want to use to describe sins. The difference is some of us view them as enemies, and some of us view them as friends. When we view our sins as friends, we find “comfort” or “happiness” in them, or worldly pleasure, a pleasure, comfort, or happiness that will not last. We get pulled back into them time and time again. Once we have that desire to change and are trying, really truly trying to change, we can start to see our sins as enemies and treat them as enemies. I’m not saying that this change in perspective makes it easier to overcome our sins. We aren’t going to be able to separate ourselves from them instantly, and it is always going to be an eternal battle to separate ourselves from them.  The difference in how easy it is to avoid and get rid of our sins depends on how we see them and how we treat them.

My miracle of the week … I see the Lord’s hand so often out here. One way that I see it time and time again is when He lifts me up. Missionary work is no small task, and it is not always easy, nor fun and games. Trials still come, and heartache comes along with it. So far on my mission so far I have been blessed with a lot of trials and heartache. Whether it is days going by where no one will give us even 30 seconds of their time to talk, or people that are progressing that for some reason or another cannot continue taking the lessons, or something basic like getting sick – hardships come. Perhaps the hardest thing is when someone doesn’t accept the message that you hold with such great importance, especially when you know that this message will indeed change their life. Whatever it may be, I know these hardships happen for a reason, that I’m supposed to learn something more important out here. Whatever the reason is, I have learned without a doubt that My Savior loves me, that My Father in Heaven listens to and answers my prayers, and that the Holy Spirit is always here for comfort. When times get hard, He lifts me up. I know without a doubt I wouldn’t be able to do this everyday and I couldn’t even wake up in the morning without His help.

Our service of the week … this part of the email is always really hard to think of because the people here are very independent and kind of stubborn. They don’t want to be served. It is honestly quite a frustration. We had a contest in our piso to see who could help the most people with their grocery bags and none of us were able to help any all week. Finally, after getting rejected and experiencing several weird looks and awkward moments, I got to help a lady carry her suitcase up the metro stairs. This might come off as a joke, but that is the service story for the week.

This week’s shout outs … go out to: the boys in my piso for trying to wash all their dishes, Maria for feeding me more food then I can possibly eat, Hawaii, the haters, big Nance for always washing my cereal bowls after I would leave milk and cereal in them all day, and to water for being so good.

Elder of the week … is THE Elder Moulton.  A solid 19 years-old and coming out of nowhere else but Seattle, WA, this Seahawk loves eating cheese at the cabin, Star Wars, and puns. In his free time, he can be found running in the mountains of Washington. There is never a dull moment with this guy around, honestly. If you ever need a laugh just ask him for a story, or point your video camera at him. You can write him at Tmoulton@myldsmail.net.

image1 (1)

Elder Moulton

I’m going to start a new thing as well each week – Graffiti of the Week.

image2

Simple

Elder Turner

Pictures and videos on the blog showing the missionaries Crepe Night activity at the Church Building.

0134952cd1a30541aa7a85deb7034397efc75cde71

01792090ae38aa28cba922108aa9823add5b243d0d

Nigerian scones

0152722917ce64ebacf07a30a81308a2bb1f5d9ddb