22 February 2016
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 …
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,
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 …
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 @ email@example.com.
Graffiti of the week … will resume next week because I forgot my pictures … Sorry. Stay tuned.
4 January 2016
Classic moment of the week … we were trying to get home from the other side of town on New Year’s Eve, but classic Spain – everything was closed for the festivities. All of the metro systems were shut down, and the buses as well. We started walking home and found these bikes that you can rent. I quickly convinced everyone that it would be the best way to end the year – riding these “Valen bi si” (get it cuz Valencia – I’m in Valencia, bici – what they call bikes, and si – as in yes … it’s clever I swear!) bikes back to our piso. With a little resistance, we decided we were going to do it until we found out that we had to pay 13€ for a week with the bike and we couldn’t do single trips. My idea was quickly thwarted. So we continued walking and then finally got a taxi and rode that home. Basically, that was our New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t as crazy as Christmas Eve but it was still classic.
This week in my studies … I was reminded that we all need a Savior because we all have sinned, are sinning, or will sin. It doesn’t matter if it is a large sin or a small sin, sin is sin. And God cannot look upon sin with the least degree. We know no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God, so we can say the only way we can make it back to the presence of God to live with Him again is to be perfect. As soon as we mess up once we completely lose this opportunity of being perfect. Seeing as how we are all humans, everyone who has walked this earth, we have all messed up – all of us except Jesus Christ. This is the beauty of it though, since Jesus Christ was perfect, this qualified Him to enter into the kingdom spotless, it qualified Him to perform the single greatest even to ever occur on this earth – the atonement. He took upon Him the sins of the whole population – anyone who had, was, or would walk the earth. He paid the price. Because of His grace we don’t need to be perfect to enter into the Kingdom of God. When we make Jesus Christ our partner, we become a team. On a sports team if one player scores the whole team scores. So no matter where we are or what we score, whether it be a 1 or a 10 or even -4, Jesus Christ’s infinite goodness and infinite perfection, added with our imperfection, will always equal infinity. (In math if we added any number negative or positive to infinity it would still equal infinity). He takes what we have to offer and adds His own, with great mercy and love, thus qualifying us to attain the perfection we need to dwell with God again, with our families again, and with our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ again.
Our service of the week … this week was actually received on our part. A member invited us over to eat on New Year’s Eve and graciously fed all six of us missionaries a “traditional American meal” of fried chicken and fries. Of course. she threw in that good rice with peas and chopped up ham or something. Whatever it was, it was amazing. It is always a sincere treat to be invited into a friendly home and take a break from the cold hard streets of missionary work. SO WHEREVER YOU ARE FEED THE MISSIONARIES! ; )
Our miracle of the week … was when we saw the Lord’s hand this week while at a baptism of a woman named Enci. She is a true miracle story and now her family wants to be baptized as well. It’s truly amazing to see how the Lord’s hand can touch someone’s soul and change them forever.
This week’s shout outs … brought to you by Elder Moulton (see the video).
The Elder of the Week … this week goes out to Elder Heymeyer. This young buck out of Heber “the heebs” Utah likes a nice warm glass of Spanish milk, nutmegging innocent bystanders, and getting emails. In his free time he likes to go down to the local diner and order himself a nice train track burger with a classic railroad shake. He carries 19 years. Let’s just say he is the J. Someone sponsor this young gun – firstname.lastname@example.org
more pictures and videos on the blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ll start with the important stuff. I got transferred. I’m going to Valencia (on the eastern coast of Spain, south of Barcelona). I haven’t met my new companion yet but his name is Elder Moulton and he is from Washington. The area I’ll be serving in just got opened up to missionary work last transfer. So it is a new area and new guys. To put it into perspective, all four guys in my new piso together will have a total of just 8 transfers in the mission. Super exciting. I’ve heard that there’s going to be lots of South Americans there and I’ll probably get fat because they always feed us, apparently. Oh well not much else to say because nothing has happened yet. Last week was just packing, cleaning and goodbyes, so nothing exciting to talk about. I got sick. So that was sick. I wasn’t allowed to go out one day — you feel pretty useless not doing anything honestly.
I met Elder Lieberum’s sister. Remember the missionary who served in the Oak Creek Ward? Haha. Small world. I got my stuff this week – thanks so much for all of it. The jackets are dope and so are the sweaters. Got the books too. Thanks a lot.
I just want you to know that I wash all of my dishes by hand and usually the other guys’ dishes here in the piso so I guess that is karma for never doing them at home. I have to say that it’s not that bad. But I’m still going to have my wife do them. : ) I still don’t make the bed, pretty pointless. Sometimes I fold my blanket in a square.
Anyway, I don’t have much time today but here is something that I liked a lot. So, in my studies this week I read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 – Mark’s account of it. I love this story because we can totally relate it to our lives. It’s amazing if we look at the details. They obviously didn’t have enough to feed the 5,000 but they gave what they had to the Savior. He gave thanks for it and blessed it, and then a miracle followed. There are two things I love about this:
- We might not always have a lot, but if we give what we can to the Savior, He can make it enough. After we give Him all that we have His grace takes care of the rest.
- Regardless of what we have going on in our lives or what our circumstances are, we always have a reason to give thanks. I love the quote from President Monson when he said: “My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.” I testify of this – that Christ’s grace is enough to help us after we do all we can do. He went through it all so we wouldn’t have to do it alone. When we live a life full of gratitude, we will indeed live happier lives. Of this I’m sure.
(Editor’s note: These pictures are from President and Sister Dayton’s blog. They are from Elder Turner’s first days in Barcelona before heading to Vitoria back in July.)