Vitoria

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)

Attention!!! We Are Not in California Anymore

19 October 2015

So, pretty basic week this week. It got down to -2 degrees C which equates to about 29 degrees F. So that’s definitely not what I’m used to since I don’t think I have been in weather lower than the 70’s in about a year thanks to beautiful weather in Southern California and my time at BYU Hawaii. Pretty gnarly to endure these temperatures with just a scarf and a windbreaker, but the Spirit of God burns like a fire so I’ve been warm. Just doing the usual missionary work, teaching the same people and finding new people. Trying to serve, but there isn’t a lot of opportunity for it. We did have a Family Home Evening with some Colombians. Nothing too exciting or anything to report – so sorry to all the faithful readers.

Well In my studies this week I read the parable of the laborers in Matthew 20:1-16. I don’t think anyone can explain it better than Elder Jeffrey R. Holland did. He said, “This parable–like all parables–is not really about laborers or wages any more than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it. However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines. His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there. So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time.”

I would just like to add my testimony that I know it is never too late to come unto, back to, or closer to Jesus Christ. He is always there, always has a hand outstretched for us to grab. He is there in those hard times, with us on His back, carrying us out of the ruts of life. Life is hard, but like I said before, every day can be a good day if you allow it. This is His church on the earth today. Love you all, keep it real.

Shout outs to my two cousins serving missions, Hermana Paige Terry serving in the Seattle Washington Spanish Mission and Elder Wyatt Turner who is serving in the Peru Trujillo North Mission.

Get Buckets

Elder Turner

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Perfect Overhead Trestles

12 October 2015

Super basic week honestly … Sorry to be boring again. The most exciting that happened this week was that we got a mini basketball hoop in the piso and we’ve been having pig tournaments at night. Needless to say I am the champion.

I had to eat some crazy mussels at a member’s house this week, so that was super fun.  He brought a plate of them out and my companion and I gave each other that look.  Elder Oliver couldn’t even eat one but I picked around one and got the meat and found some nasty hair/poop looking thing inside. I felt bad so I told him I would eat one at the end of the meal. He also brought out some cuddle fish smothered in olive oil and after eating that he asked if we wanted peaches.  We got super stoked … but it turned out to be canned peaches. I could have sworn everyone told me Spain was luxury when it came to the food … At the end of the meal, I ate that oyster and muscled it down. ;). (Get it cuz it’s a mussel). Ha, sorry missionary jokes aren’t that funny. After that we had to go home and brush our teeth.

Other than that nothing out of the ordinary happened. We’ve been working and learning, and we are about to get rained on for a week straight. I’m still getting barreled out here I guess?

Search for the wanderers. “Why is my boy wandering tonight?” There are people around us of all ages who, though they deny it, are hungry for attention, for brotherhood, and for an active life in the Church.  We as members of the Church are leaders. We need to let them know that we love them and the Lord loves them.

Luke chapter 15 verses 1-7 says:

1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3 ¶And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

There is a lost sheep in all of our lives. That sheep needs our prayers and our consecration, and nothing will bring us greater joy and happiness than to see them come back. I’ve heard it said that “not all who wander are lost” and I used to think I was super indie and whatever saying this back in high school. Don’t get me wrong I’m still indie, I’ve just now come to realize that maybe all who wander aren’t lost, but all who are lost got there by wandering. It is time for them to come home. And we need to go to them and bring them there. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

In my opinion the best way to do it is through sincere love.  We are all doors to God’s love and we don’t know who’s door we will end up being.  I love the story President Eyring shared this last General Conference. He talked about an Elders Quorum president that he met that had helped bring many men back into activity. He said “When we met, I told the young man I was surprised by what he had done and asked him how he did it. He shrugged his shoulders. He obviously didn’t think he deserved any credit.  Then he said softly, ‘I know every inactive guy in this town. Most of them have pickup trucks. I have a truck too. I wash my pickup where they wash theirs. In time, they become my friends.  Then I wait until something goes wrong in their lives. It always does. They tell me about it. I listen and I don’t find fault. Then, when they say, ‘There is something wrong in my life. There just has to be something better than this,’ I tell them what is missing and where they can find it. Sometimes they believe me, and when they do, I take them with me.’  You can see why he was modest. It was because he knew he had done his small part and the Lord was doing the rest.”

We must not give up. We are not failures if we have friends, children, or family that have strayed — unless we give up on them.

Get Buckets

Elder Turner

Mate er die

Mate er die

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Zone enfoque

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Taters

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Virgen Blanca Festival – Vitoria Week Five

August 10, 2015

Pues Nada….

Well this week was slow due to a massive festival that they had here. It lasted all week, and everyone just drank SOOO much beer, dressed up in traditional Basque wear, had parades, drank, threw wine on each other, danced, drank, and then there were fireworks. The only upside to it all was we could watch the fireworks from our balcony every night.  Otherwise our missionary work was slow. Nevertheless, it was a good week and I grew a lot.

One of my favorite scriptures of this week would be 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Over these past weeks I have definitely grown a lot and I have really seen the child I was, the man I have already become, and the man I will be. I can already tell these two years will shape the rest of my life and I know without a doubt it is the best thing that I could be doing right now. I have always been a member of The a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I have always believed that it was the true Church of God.  I never had a doubt, but I wasn’t converted to this gospel. I’m still not fully converted, but I definitely have started and have made progress in this endeavor. Conversion is a lifelong process and it is something that I know we all need to work on, and something I have been working on A LOT this last week.

My mom, Big Nance, is kind enough to send me an email every day with a thought of the day and I’m loving it.  She said she won’t miss a day, but we will see ;).  Anyway, she sent me a quote that I really liked a lot. It was:

“We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind. How can we do this? There is only one answer. We must rise above the evil that encroaches upon us. We must follow the counsel of the Lord, who said, ‘It is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places.'”

It is so very true that we are all going through both the same and sometimes different hardships in our lives, but there is one solution for all of us and that is to look to our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He is the best example for us.  He loves, cares, and knows each and every one of us by name. Even when we feel like we can be alone, we are not alone because he endured it all, and overcame the world, so that he could succor us and comfort us. He didn’t just suffer our sins but he also suffered for our afflictions and pains both physical and mental. It brings me great comfort to know this and know that it is through Him I can be cleansed from my sins and have all guilt and sorrow lifted from me. To be able to return to live with my family, Him, our Heavenly Father for time and all eternity. This gospel and church bring calm to my soul and can to all of us.

Well I’m out of time so I will talk to you next week. Love you all.

Elder Turner

Elder Turner often refers to the Hale Six Boys -- He forwarded this picture to me of them. All of them are currently serving missions: Elder Will "Texas" Callens Elder Carson "LarLarLar" Simon Elder Guy "Nug" Baxter Elder Kyle "Anklet" Kinnear Elder Sam "Simple" Turner Elder Chandler "Chindl3r" Brown Elder Shane "Gains" Massey

Elder Turner often refers to the Hale Six Boys, his friends from BYU-Hawaii.  He forwarded this picture to me that has most, if not all, of them in it. All are currently serving missions, and I’m pretty sure they are all serving Spanish speaking missions:  Elder Will “Texas” Callens, Elder Carson “LarLarLar” Simon, Elder Guy “Nug” Baxter, Elder Kyle “Anklet” Kinnear, Elder Sam “Simple” Turner, Elder Chandler “Chindl3r” Brown, and Elder Shane “Gains” Massey

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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

Always a Great Week When You’re a Missionary

20 July 2015

Heeeeeeeeey guuuuuuuys what’s uuuuup!? Yeah, it’s been another great week, but it’s always a great week as a missionary so what’s new. We’ve been seeing a ton of miracles out here, and I’ve been seeing the Lord’s hand in my life more and more every day. My companion and I get along super well – so every day is full of good times and laughs, but still a lot of hard work.

Our piso is amazing.  All four of us elders get along super well – and there are tons of classic moments. Vitoria is a beautiful place, lots of culture and interesting people. Spanish is a sick language, I love it so much.  I still can’t speak as much as I’d like to, but I definitely know a lot more than any class at Woodbridge would have taught me.

There are a lot of immigrants here from all over South America and Africa primarily. It’s very culturally diverse here and I get a taste of a lot of it every day. The Nigerians are the funniest though.  Elder Sedgwick talks to them in a Nigerian accent when they speak English so it always cracks me up. It is kind of stressful though cuz I have to learn Spanish and Nigerian English as well as all the little dialects of Spanish here in the north, Basque and Catalan.

I got to play guitar a little this week. It seems like every person knows the song “See You Again” by Wiz and they all get so stoked on it … It just reminds me of my Hale 6 boys though … #nubsquad #love.  It rained a few times this week when it was like 30 degrees (C), so it was kind of like Hawaii – it’s like I never left.

Yeah God is real, He loves and knows all of us. The Book of Mormon has the power to change your life if you let it. Baptism.

Missions are the sickest. Everything is super good here. I’m loving it. Miss you guys obviously, but I’m super content and happy here. I’m gonna start writing things down so I can remember what to email every week, so next week will be better.

Elder Turner

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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