Madrid

Halfway Done With the CCM!

18 June 2015

Well, I am doing great.  Spanish is coming.  Weather is pretty perfect, I just wish it was more humid but up Norte it is humid so that’s cool.  I really don’t have much to say about myself. I love the opportunity to be doing this. Halfway done with the CCM! Three more weeks and I will be in Barcelona! STOKED.

My district - my comp, Elder Merrill is on the end. With President and Sister Lovell

My district – my comp, Elder Merrill is on the end. With President and Sister Lovell

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and learning over this period of almost a month. One thing that really hit me was this:

“I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally … exerting all my powers to call upon God… I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other –‘This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

I don’t know about you but I cannot read that without getting emotional. That is the story of a boy. A boy who would go on to restore the Church of God to this earth.

A boy who would later go on to translate the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith. My words will not do him justice, but I will try to get something meaningful down. First off, let me tell you what I know. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God. I know that he was a simple farm boy with a true desire to know the truth. I know that because he had real intent, a sincere heart, and faith he received an answer. I know that we all can receive answers if we have those as well. I have received an answer for myself. We will not all receive huge answers or even big answers, most of us will receive an answer as simple as an overwhelming feeling of peace or tranquility. I know that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith through the power and authority of God. I know that there is no way a teenage farm boy could make that book up, and if he did there is no way he could get so many people to follow him. Nor would he pay the ultimate price, even death, leaving behind his family, children, and wife to endure pain and affliction alone. The Book of Mormon and this gospel bring me the biggest amount of happiness out of anything else, because of it I get answers to questions, guidance, peace, and comfort through the hardest parts of my life. This gospel gives life meaning, and I promise you I would not give up two years of my life, two years away from my family and a normal life, if I didn’t believe with my whole heart that what I believe in wasn’t the truth. I know it is.

My first zone, 11 of these missionaries have left and we got 13 more missionaries into the CCM.

My first zone, 11 of these missionaries have left and we got 13 more missionaries into the CCM.

Joseph later wrote:

“It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself. So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”

I don’t even know what to say. Nothing I say could ever hold as much power as that. But I will just leave that with my testimony that I love this gospel and I love all joy it brings to my life. I don’t expect you to take my word for it, you should ask God for yourself.

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

“Shout out to all my haters #buckets #nubsquad”

I am grateful for the Priesthood and its power. Stop and think how cool that is. To all the 12+ year old boys – you guys literally have the power of God.  Those of you 16+ – you have the power to work miracles. God trusts you so much and loves you so much that he allows you to bless the sacrament. How sick is that?! Super sick. Make sure you always live your lives and sanctify yourselves so you may be able to utilize that power we have.  A deacon, a priest, and elder, whatever you are we all act under the same power of the same being, God.

Keep it real everybody.

Elder Turner

My two Portuguese speaking elders the night before they transferred. Elder Ferriera and Elder Erhardt. Love them. Serving in the Portugal mission.

My two Portuguese speaking elders the night before they transferred.  Elder Ferriera and Elder Erhardt. Love them. They are serving in the Portugal mission.

"You already know, Elder Simple."  With President and Sister Lovell

“You already know, Elder Simple.” With President and Sister Lovell

Talking to people in the park by the CCM

Talking to people in the park by the CCM

I’m Working Hard – Loving it All

June 4, 2015

So, I have an iPad! Starting next week emails will be better because I can write as the week goes on and I can read emails too – I can just only reply on Thursdays.

Um, for starters – this CCM (Madrid MTC) is LUXURY compared to BYU-H. Shout out to my Hale Six boys, get buckets! The travel over here was brutal – I spent almost a full 24 hours traveling in a suit by myself. I saw a bunch of missionaries, Elders and Sisters, but I didn’t talk to them until after we landed in Madrid and I got my bags. We got to the CCM, but didn’t do much on that Tuesday. I couldn’t sleep the first night due to time difference, so I spent the whole night lying in bed thinking about what I was doing here, how long two years is, and how badly I wanted to go home. I finally fell asleep for two hours. Woke up the next day super stoked and have been pretty chill ever since and sleeping like a baby.

Wednesday, I got to talk with President Lovell, the president of the CCM, and he made me a Zone Leader. Wow! There are only 23 missionaries here – 7 going to Russia, 1 going to France, 3 going to Portugal, and 12 going to Spain. Six of the Spain missionaries are going to Barcelona.

Español is coming. I can say I have learned more Español here in these few days than my years of Spanish at Woodbridge. I’m still not fluent but I can converse and I can understand a whole lot, I just can’t always get my thoughts out completely. Pretty frustrating – but it has also only been a week. So I had been learning/speaking Spanish for just three days and then on Saturday they took us to the park to proselyte in Español. Wow. Needless to say, I didn’t baptize anyone yet, but it was a super cool experience. My companion was an Elder that is from Brazil going to Portugal. He speaks almost no English other than “Steph Curry, MVP” but we communicate super well, and he is one of my best friends here, along with an Elder from Australia – you all know my obsession with Australians. All three of us sit next to each other and actually we can communicate very well with the Elder from Brasil.

The Elders in our two districts, the Spain districts, are way sick. Not as sick as my Hale Six boys, but still all great guys. My companion graduated from high school less than a week before we got here. He is from Utah – I still love him, though. Side note: even girls here tell me I smell good … shout out Old Spice Aqua Reef.

Sunsets here are something else. The only way they could be better if the beach was here. Hopefully I get transferred somewhere where I can see a beach sunset. They’re still way sick. They happen at like 9:30 – it gets dark so late here it’s pretty sick!

Sunday was super sick. One of the most spiritual days I’ve had! I’m so stoked on the temple. We got to go last Thursday and we get to go tomorrow as well.

This has easily been the hardest thing I have ever done. Pretty much everything else in my life has been super easy and kinda handed to me. I’ve been super blessed. It’s crazy how seeing or hearing a thing can make us think about a person or place. I’ve noticed how much that happens being out here away from all familiarity. I thought I would come out here and forget everything back home and it wouldn’t be an issue. That is not the case. Sometimes it gets really lonely out here and I’m grateful for that because then I really notice the comfort I receive from my Heavenly Father. Just like the “Footprints in the Sand” says, when I am at my lowest I feel myself being lifted up out of the darkness. It’s incredible. It is in our human nature to feel surrounded by darkness sometimes. But God promises that he will never leave us.

Three things that I want to touch on are prayers, the spirit, and covenants. All of which are very cool. Prayer is awesome. It is literally having a conversation with God. You can tell him anything and he is listening. You can ask for anything and he is listening. Prayer brings great peace to my heart and praying allows us to have the spirit stronger in our lives.

The spirit is AMAZING. I get so so so so so so sooo much help and comfort through the spirit. The spirit is what helps me to make it throughout the day. I’m so grateful for the presence of the Holy Spirit, God, and Christ in my life. In John 14:18 Jesus says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” I can honestly say this is the truth. Another cool scripture on the subject is Galatians 5:22-23. It talks about the Spirit and the ways we can recognize it in our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” I think we sometimes expect huge signs and feelings when it comes to the Spirit. That is not the case. Doctrine is simple. Doctrine is fundamental. Doctrine is foundational. These fundamental truths seem to get obscured, that is why we need to read the scriptures. Having the spirit has helped me develop a huge love for everyone – people here, people at home, people I don’t even know. I just love them all because we are all children of God.

Finally, covenants. Covenants are sick because they are straight forward. They are a two way promise. God will not break his promises. If we do what we say we will do, He will do what he says He will do. I know this because I have asked Him for things knowing that I am following through with what he asked and I have seen, felt, and experienced those things coming true.

There is no way for me to send pictures yet which bums me out cuz I have taken some classic ones. I will work on that for next week. Grandma – I got your letter.

I’m working hard. Loving it all. Love and miss my family and I hope you all are doing well. I know you all are. Keep it real. Email me whenever, everyone. Thanks.

Elder Turner

Spain-MTC-Basketball-Courts

Madrid Spain MTC (CCM) Basketball Courts

Spain-MTC-Madrid-Temple2

Madrid Spain Temple

 

ATTENTION I AM NOT IN AMERICA!

26 May 2015

Hey so I don’t have a lot of time. I get to email not this Thursday, but next Thursday.  I’ll write more then. Thanks for those email addresses. Not gonna lie – that flight was awful.  Thanks to my Arian looks the flight attendant thought I spoke German … but yeah the flight was long, I was super bummed, but once I landed in Germany and made it to the right gate I haven´t stopped smiling since.  MADRID BABY!

Love my family.  Love my Savior.  Love my God. This church is SIIIIIICC.  Email you in 9 days familia.

Elder Sam Turner

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Spain Missionary Training Center

Spain Missionary Training Center

He’s on his way!

Elder Turner left today – flying OC to Denver, Denver to Frankfurt, Germany, and finally, Frankfurt to Madrid, Spain.  He will be spending the next six weeks in the Madrid, Spain Missionary Training Center –  learning to speak Spanish – then, on to Barcelona.  We are hoping to hear from him when he lands in Germany tomorrow – or get an email from him when he makes it to Madrid.