Hello family and friends!
How I love you all so much! This will be my last email from California. I fly out at 10am on Wednesday back to Utah. I'm excited but will miss the wonderful people here. People keep asking me what mission I like better and they are so different and great in their own ways I can't decide. I am so grateful to have had both experiences, from the wonderful opportunities I've had being here I really know that the Lord wanted me to come to this place at this time. Through helping others I've learned a lot about myself and who I want to be. I know I will continue to learn while I'm on Temple Square.
Oh before I forget I'm not sure when my next p-day will be because of the transfer on Temple Square but it is possible that it could be this Wed, Thurs, Fri or Sat so you might get two emails from me this week. If not you'll here from me Mon or Tues of next week.
The Temple was so beautiful! I couldn't get over how BIG the L.A Temple is. I really loved being able to go and it was a really neat session because it was the ASL (American Sign Language) session and it was neat to watch them doing the sign language for everything. I love the Temple! I sometimes forget the sweet Spirit that is in the Temple when I haven't gone for a while and I just feel like something is missing, then I am reminded of the feeling when I go again. There is nothing quite like it. I'm grateful that I've been in areas where I can visit the Temple and especially on Temple Square where I can go every 6 weeks. Heavenly Father knows us so well and knows what we need.
I also got to go to the visitors center and it was really neat to be on the other end of the tour. I forget the sisters at the visitors center names but they were very sweet and gave us a beautiful tour. We went with Brother and Sister Bond, they are so awesome.
I'm so grateful for the experience I've had in the Arcadia mission. I feel like my time has gone by so quickly but at the same time I've been able to take in so much. There are a few main lessons that I've either learned or relearned while I have been here that I am so grateful for.
When we focus on others that is when we are able to become more like the Savior. When we become more like the Savior we are able to use more of our inherited Godlike qualities for good and we have more of a desire to do good and to be good.
Forget myself, go to work, and be myself! I don't know if that makes sense but essentially what I mean is realizing that I need to be myself and not what I think a "typical missionary" is. The more I am able to allow my personality to develop the happier I am and the more I am able to forget thinking about myself and focus on helping other people.
Humility is an attribute we need to continually work to be able to access the Atonement in our every day lives. Humility is not a sign of weakness but a sign of Spiritual strength.
I'm sure there is more I have learned, that is what I was able to think of at the moment that has really stuck out to me. More then anything I've learned I am most grateful to have been a small part in helping Peter enter the waters of baptism and to be able to witness his spiritual change. I love the people I've been able to help in anyway to get back into church and I am able to feel a small part of what the Savior must feel as he is able to see His lost sheep return to the fold of God. What a wonderful experience! I'm so happy I'm on a mission!
I love you all very much! You are always in my prayers
Love, Sister Turner
P.S Lyra's birthday looks like it was so much fun! Did you get my card Lyra? I love you! Amanda I've been thinking about you this past week, you are an amazing sister.
P.S.S I have the greatest family ever!
Hi Family and Friends!
They dropped the restriction on how much time we spend at the computer and my companion has lots of emails to write so I will have more time to write you today! The first presidency has also just lifted the restriction from only emailing family to being able to email anyone we want. The only problem with is that,depending on what companion I have, I might not ever have time to respond so I think I'll stick with only writing letters. If you want to add my email to my blog info you can just as long as people understand I might not have time to personally write each of them back every week.
I only have just over a week left in California before I head back to Temple Square, the time is going so fast. I have mixed feelings about going back, I'm really excited but I know I will miss the people I've met and the experiences I've had. I am happy to go back to my Temple Square family though, I love them and the work there. There is a very special Spirit on Temple Square and I knew it was there before but I don't think I recognized the difference until I left. Noticing that has helped me realize that going to the Temple at least monthly is a goal I want to have for the rest of my life, I realize I'm sure there will be times when that isn't possible but I hope to make it as often as I can. I can't remember who said this but it was referenced at church yesterday and I really liked it. It is that we should go to the Temple enough that it should be a sacrifice.
We are still continuing to find in this area. It is not easy but it is worth it. It is easy to feel discouraged at times but I know those feelings do not come from the Savior and that I need to learn to recognize how to be diligent despite what I see in the near future. President Gillette often speaks of seeing the long range view of things. At the time when I heard it I only took it to mean that we need to think beyond baptism to helping people get to the Temple. While yes that is true it is also true that at some points in missionary work you may only be able to talk to someone for a few moments or share a very brief message with them but the long range view is how that short message could have an effect on them even 10 years down the road when they meet another missionary and are ready at that time. All of the people I've taught and help to be baptized have had many encounters with the church before. I'm just the step they take to bring them closer to God. I'm learning a lot in this area and I know there are people waiting to hear the truth we just need to find them. It is through adversity that brings us closer to God. Trials make you stronger, it is hard to realize sometimes but if you take a moment to study and ponder and pray you realize the good that comes from trials.
Excerpt from my letter to President Becerra Hello President,
"Another good week in La Canada! We are still looking for new investigators but I know they are out there. We were able to teach quite a few Less-active members this past week. We are continuing to build the trust of the members by teaching them and offering service...
...I've been learning a lot being here and I'm grateful to have come into this area. I've began to learn the joy that comes through helping less-actives attend church, repent and follow the Saviors teaching. That is something that I've never really realized the importance of before. Understanding that has helped me realize that the work truly is about inviting "others" - including myself,companion and everyone we encounter - to come unto Christ . A realization I wish to take with me for the rest of my life. I know that we must continue to look for those who have not yet heard of the Gospel but while searching help those who have gone astray for what ever reason and help them know that Heavenly Father loves them..."
I love you all family and I'm happy to know you are well and together what a blessing to have one another!
Love Sister Turner
Hi Family and Friends!
I hope you are all happy and doing well :)
My week has been great. It feels like just yesterday I was writing you, I can't believe it's been a week already.
California is warming up again. The weather was cold when I first got here but it's nice and sunny again. I love it here.
I only have two p-days left here!! Where has the time gone! President Becerra gave me permission to go to the Temple before I leave so hopefully my companion and I will be able to do that this week. We just need to get a member to drive us. I'm so excited :) I didn't think I'd be able to go because the mission goes every 6 months and I wasn't going to be here during one of their trips but I asked President last week and he told me we could go! I've heard the L.A Temple is beautiful.
Have I told you how wonderful the people we live behind are? It's the Bond family and they have 4 children ages 4-11, two girls and two boys. Sister Bond lets us do our laundry there on p-days and this morning when we went in Sister Bond and her 4 little children were sitting at the breakfast temple reading the Book of Mormon. While we were in the laundry room I heard one of the little boys say, after his mom finished the chapter, oh I wish we could just stay home and read the Book of Mormon all day. Isn't that so precious! I'm sure it's not like that every morning but it was so nice to see such a great example of gathering the family together. THe gospel truly does bless families!
Oh I remembered what I wanted to say this week. We took around a 'mini missionary' for the day on Saturday. Her name is Kayla and we were with her from 10-4. It was so great to be with her and it reminded me of going out with the missionaries before my mission and how that impacted my decision to go myself. Kayla has already decided that she is going to go on a mission, she's known she wants to go her whole life. She is just 17 right now and already a great missionary. She doesn't fear talking with people which is a huge part of being an effective missionary.
I usually tell you what I've been studying this week but I always forget to ask you what you've been studying. I'd love to hear some of your insights and ideas of different scriptural passages or books you've been reading. This morning I was reading in Alma 15 about when Zeezrom gets ill and asks for a blessing. It again reminded me of the importance of humility. Alma and Amulek had been teaching Zeezrom for a few chapters at least and he wasn't repenting, it wasn't until he got very ill and was humble enough to ask for help and then he was converted, got baptized and taught other people. We have been teaching people this past week who are not humble enough to accept the gospel. They don't see a need for prayer or having a relationship with Heavenly Father. It was great to see that through diligence and hard work Alma and Amulek were able to see the fruit of their labor. Humility is a Christlike attribute that takes time to acquire but through the trials of life everyone will have a moment in their life where they wish there was something more to life then what they currently have.
I love you all! Have a happy week and enjoy the day! (Psalms 118:24)
Love, Sister Turner
Hi Family and Friends!!!
I hope you are all well and happy! I'm super happy right now because we woke up at 5:30am and went for a hike with the zone! I loved it! It was so beautiful. I'm sad because I forgot my camera cord so I can't show you how pretty it is here. I so want to come back to California one day. I see L.A every day but I can't go because it's not in my area. There is one street we were driving up last night to go to a members house and on the way back down there was a beautiful sea of lights as far as I could see and then the skyscrapers of L.A int he midst of the twinkling lights. It was an amazing view! One day I will come back and go to L.A, the Hollywood sign is like 15 mins away but not in our area so we can't go.
It's a little colder up here because we are closer to the mountains than we were in Pasadena but it's still nice and we are enjoying it here. It is a little harder to find people to teach here because it is a very rich area but we are trying to reach out to the ward members. We want to visit everyone in the ward directory active or less-active and try to find people to teach. That is something that make me more grateful to be on Temple Square because the difficulty of finding people is cut in half. We still need to go up to people and start talking to them but on Temple Square they've already made the first step by coming to us.
We did a fun finding activity on Saturday. The other sisters in our district and my companion and I went to one of the main streets and drew the Plan of Salvation with sidewalk chalk and talked to people as they walked by. It was so fun! IT was a beautiful sunny day and we had a few people who were interested in what we were doing. There are so many more ways to find people then simply tracting. Actually I've seen more success talking to people on the street rather then knock on their door. The best way to find people to teach is when members invite their friends over while the missionaries are there for dinner.
I read "The Fourth Missionary" by Elder Corbridge again this week because I needed to refocus on my mission. Not that I wasn't focused but lately there was a lot of times I found my thoughts drifting to "what I would do when... " kind of thoughts instead of focusing on the here and now and the work that I need to be doing. There is a great work to be done as a missionary and I will only have this experience once. I don't want to waste any of it by focusing too much on the future. I'm here to serve and invite others to come unto Christ not to figure out my future. There will be enough time for that when I get home. Right now I'm in California, I have a great companion who is very sweet and loving with everyone and I can learn a lot from her. She has great charity for people, more than I've probably seen in anyone before I want to learn to develop that kind of Christlike love. I want to truly love people before I even meet them and when I do meet them I want to still be able to love as the Savior would and does. I don't want to judge or think negativity of anyone. I've never been one to enjoy gossiping or saying bad things about others to people but it doesn't mean I don't mentally judge people when they do and say things differently then I would. I know I can change and become more like Christ as I strive to develop this kind of love. I can change because that is what this life is for, we are always changing that is the process of life, if I let my will become the Lords will I will be able to change for the better.
We had a miracle this week! One of the less-active women in the ward who hasn't come to church in 6 months came to church this past Sunday after we visited her. It was so nice to see that our efforts as missionaries continue to progress. We have been really focusing on the less-active ward members and helping them understand the importance of coming out to church and partaking of the sacrament and going to other Sunday meetings.
Sarah thank you for the letter and delicious chocolate :) I was going to send a happy picture with it but it's already all gone. Hope your enjoying your new house. Happy (late) Birthday to Benjamin! I hope he gets my card soon. I wasn't able to mail it on Monday because our mailbox locks too and we don't have the key to it. What did you do for the party?
Lyra your birthday is coming up! What are you going to do?
I love you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo MUCH! I wish I could send you some sunshine but hopefully your February hasn't been too cold.
Love, Sister Turner
Family and Friends!!
Sorry I didn't email yesterday, it was a holiday and the library was closed.
Guess what! Yesterday was transfer day and I was transferred! I was so surprised, I'm excited that I will be able to learn a lot more from a new area but I also know I will miss all the wonderful people I've grown to love in Pasadena. I am in La Canada (said La Can-yad-a) with Sister Fogavai from American Samoa. She will be my second international companion, it's funny I had to leave Temple Square to get a international companion. She's awesome and very sweet I'm excited to learn a lot from her.
We have tons to do in our new area because the Sisters that used to be in the area were both pulled out because they used to be covering two areas and now they are just covering the other one. It's a little overwhelming being in an area where you and your companion both don't know anyone especially since I still feel like I don't completely understand what is going on outbound. I know I will learn a lot though and I hope that I will be able to help others in the process. One of the Sisters that used to be in this area came over this morning and explained a little bit about the people her and her companion were teaching, that helped a lot and it made me more excited about the area. There is a family that we get to meet this coming week and few other less active families they've been working with.
We live in the most FANTASTIC house! We actually live in a back pool house that is so beautiful. I forgot my camera today but I will have to send you the pictures soon. It's spoiled me for all other missionary houses. The members that live in the house in front are wonderful. We had dinner with them last night they have four children ages 11, 9, 7 and 4 which are so cute! I know I will learn many things from their family they have a very sweet spirit it their home and they are so excited about missionary work. I also live up the street from an actress but I forget her name. California is sooooooooooooooo BEAUTIFUL!
I was sick this last week but I got a blessing and I'm feeling much better now. I was a little worried because I couldn't breathe out of my nose and I had to go get the second root canal. But right after the blessing I felt so much better and the dentist went well. I still have 3 appointments left with the dentist which seems like a lot but it's not that bad once they put the freezing in. I drink tons of water and the freezing seems to come out pretty quick.
I had a great last week with Sister Fleming. She is so much fun and we will be friends forever! It's different being transferred in this area. On Temple Square you know you will see the Sister you left even that same day because the mission is SO small. She gets home like 2 weeks after I do though so it will be easy to stay in contact with her.
Love Sister Turner
We had a really good week and the best part about it was that Peter is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! It was a wonderful day and a great experience to see him get baptized and hear his testimony after his baptism. A lot of people came out to support him and it was a really wonderful weekend. I had a realization while I was sitting watching him get baptized of the importance of giving him the continued support he needs in his Gospel progression. In Preach my Gospel it talks about those we teach and how we need to always remain worthy of their trust and that each convert is a serious and important responsibility. Leaving Temple Square I had been really hoping for an opportunity to see someone get baptized and see their conversion from start to finish. Meeting Peter and teaching him with Sister Fleming continues to be a great experience and an honor. I've learned a lot from him about trusting the Spirit and trusting God.
I'm a bit sick today but I've been drinking lots of emergen-c and grapefruit seed extract. I guess my body has decided to just get all my illnesses over with before I return to Temple Square, not too much fun now but I am grateful that I'm not at Temple Square because it is not as convenient to 'take it easy' there. I hope this little cold is the last of my aliments. Good news that my tooth hasn't been hurting at all though!!! I did what you said a tampered off the ibuprofen and I haven't needed to take it at all this week. I go to the dentist again on Wednesday which I'm not necessarily looking forward to but I'm also grateful for the results it will have so that I don't need to be in pain anymore.
We had a great day on Saturday. We went to go find some former investigators that were in the area book and one of the doors we knocked on the man we were looking for didn't live there anymore but a really nice girl lives at the house now. Her son was so happy to see us and brought out the cutest puppies for us to see. They were so little and cute they just barely had their eyes open. Both Sister Fleming and I love puppies and so we had so much fun talking to Meggy and her son and playing with the puppies. We taught her a little bit about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she said that she hasn't found a religion that fits her right but that she would like to have guidance in her life. She has gone through some tough things in her life and it is her faith in God that helped her overcome. We are going to go back and teach her and her son more on Saturday.
Oh I have a cool story about being in the right place at the right time the other day. We were driving to an appointment to teach one of the little girls in our ward who will be getting baptized next month. Normally we wouldn't teach her because she is 8 but her family is a part member family and so her mom asked us if we can teach her. I love her and it's so fun to hear her pure testimony about God and prayer. I learn so much from children and their example. Her name is Ruby and she is so much fun. I feel very blessed to be given the opportunity to teach her, it's so important to teach the children and youth of the church because they are the future missionaries and leaders of the church. Alright I'm getting side tracked. So we were heading to our appointment to teach her and there was a women on the side of the road with a sign that said "Help I need a jump start" right after we passed her both Sister Fleming and I felt like we needed to go back and help her. We called Ruby's mom and asked if it would be okay if we were a bit late. She was okay with it so we looped around and went back to help the lady. She said she had been stuck for over 2 hours and no one had stopped by to help! She said she was reading the Bible and praying that someone would come help her. It was a wonderful moment for me to realize that God hears each of us and guides his willing children to help those in need. It reminded me of when President Monson talks about never disregarding a prompting and how we need to always be instruments in Gods hands. It was a blessing to be able to help her.
I just sent you some pictures from last couple weeks. I love you all so much. Thanks for your prayers and love :)
Love Sister Turner
Hello Family and Friends,
I love you all so much!!!! Mom it was so nice to talk with you these past couple days. I was praying so much that somehow I would be able to get advice from you because you always know what to do and I was so relieved to hear your voice give me the exact council I needed. It was such a miracle to have you call me. I am feeling much better today, exhausted but I can think a lot clearer. I don't think I realized how bad the pain really was because it came on so slowly and so powerfully. It feels so good to be on the upside to my pain. I'm not close to 100% better but I'm getting there.
I learned a lot from this experience and I am grateful to have trials so that I can profit Spiritually from them. Something that I was just thinking about that I learned was that I stress too much. There are a lot of things that are easy to stress about as a missionary and as I went through the normal morning routine today I realized how much I already would have been stressed had I not been able to consciously notice myself and my thoughts. I've decided I need to find the balance between calmly dealing with challenges and taking initiative and dealing with problems that arise.
Oh I have some wonderful news. Peter bore his testimony at church on Sunday. It was one of the greatest moments on my mission. I'm so grateful that I have been able to witness a change in someone from the first contact to their baptism. It's so neat being here, I love Temple Square but you don't really get to see a change in someone as clear as you can when you look them in the eye. Hearing his testimony was also really neat because right when we met him I had asked him what was something he really wanted to gain out of our visits and he said that he wants to be able to say, like others he has heard that he "knows these things are true". As he got up to bare his testimony one of the first things he said was that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that he has come to know that the things he has been learning are true. We had asked him just the night before if he has come to know the Book of Mormon is the word of God he said that he had because of the way he feels when he reads it. Seeing his courage as he got up in front of the ward to bare his testimony was wonderful to see and a great experience for me. His baptism is Saturday. Please keep him in your prayers.
Oh another thing I realized from my study this morning was how important it is that we do missionary work and make it a priority in our lives. It is is the Abrahamic covenant that we need to spread the gospel to all the world. I have been born into a covenant and I know that if I live my life in such a way I will be greatly blessed for eternity. I need to be a better missionary and I need to be an ever greater missionary the rest of my life because this is just the start of my eternal progression. I don't know if this makes perfect sense because I have a lot of thoughts floating around in my mind today. I felt like I should share it with you today so I hope you were able to take something out of it.
Speaking of missionary work how has that been going for you this week? I always forget to ask but I would always love to hear any missionary moments you've had in the week. There is an amazing talk in the Ensign this month about missionary work and how it is in even the smallest acts. The gospel should spread throughout our countenances, we can radiate the light of Christ. I think the talk was written by Elder Uchtdorf and I think it's the first article in the Ensign.
I feel your prayers and your love continues to help me every day of my life. Thank you for your example and advice you've given me and continue to give me. I love you very much.
Love Sister Turner
Hi Family and Friends,
Hope you are doing well. This has been a busy week but it is so much fun! Thanks so much for sending me the package! Sarah thank you for sending me my scarf and boot warmers :) The day I got the package was another cold and rainy day and so it was so nice to have some more warm clothes. The weather is moody here. The treats are super yummy. Sister Fleming and I didn't have a dinner appointment the other night so we went to the Mexican market and bought some yummy bread and ate it with the clam chowder you sent. It was sooooooooooo GOOD! We also got a Mexican doughnut that was so cheap and so yummy.
It's a beautiful sunny day today and we already have cleaned the house, washed the car and written a couple letters. Next p-day we really want to go to the Zoo so hopefully that will all work out.
I was going to bring my journal again to remember all the fantastic things we did this week but I forgot it again. I'll do my best to remember.
Dad Happy Birthday for the 31st! I wrote you a card today but I'm sure it will get to you late! I hope you have a fun day! Thanks for the email. It's great to have updates from you and mom. You're both in my prayers as always:)
Speaking of prayers, family you are always in my prayers. I love you all and I know Heavenly Father is watching over you. Continue to trust in Him and he will give you guidance in all things as you strive to be obedient to the commandments and to love God. I have gained my testimony of obedience since being on my mission. I didn't really understand how obedience is a commandment before my mission because I just figured no one is perfect and neither am I or am going to be. We can't change anyone but we can change ourselves and sometimes that is the hardest thing we can do. The Atonement allows us to change when we strive to understand and follow The Saviors teaching. I hope that makes sense. That was my random train of thought for the day.
Oh I gave a talk in church yesterday. The ward mission leader, Sister Fleming and I all spoke about missionary work. Because we weren't assigned topics other then missionary work I chose to focus my talk on how we don't need to be a full time missionary to be an instrument in God's hands. We often speak of how God is preparing His children to accept the gospel one day but it wasn't until recently that I took time to think about that and realize that God prepares His children by prompting us to do something to help them progress in the Gospel. I talked about faith and how it is necessary to do God's work here on earth. I don't have my notes with me right now but there is a verse in John that Jesus tells us to "not let our heart be troubled neither let it be afraid" fear and faith are opposite and when we trust in God he will give us the strength to overcome our fear. There is no commandment that does not have a blessing predicated to it. There is so much joy that comes through sharing the Gospel. I have never been so consistently happy in my whole life, I based a lot of my talk off of Alma 26 because that is when Ammon is sharing his joy of missionary work with his brother. It is good to boast in God for in His strength we can do all things.
We have a baptism coming up on the 9th and I'm looking forward to it. Every time we teach Peter I can just feel he is so prepared and ready to accept the Gospel. His responses are great and it's really helped me understand that when someone is humble and willing to learn the Spirit blesses them with great knowledge. I feel blessed to be able to have been given the opportunity to teach him.
We had a cool miracle this week! We were walking through Mexico (that's what Sister Fleming and I call a certain part of town because everything is in Spanish and almost everyone that lives there speaks Spanish) on our no car day and we were dying of thirst so we went into this tiny little roadside store to buy a bottle of water. While we were in there this boy came up to us that we looked familiar and he didn't know where he had seen us before. We had never met him but we told him we had been out walking around the area for a while and that we were missionaries. We taught him a little bit while we were in the store but he had to go and didn't want to give us his number so we gave him a card for a "Finding Faith in Christ" dvd. Then the other day we went to stop by a former investigators house who had been taught by Elders in the past. She wasn't home so we talked to her brother and set up a time to come back and teach the family. As we were leaving the same boy that we met in the market came into the house! We talked to him again and this time he had questions for us. He said that when we come back and teach Elizabeth ( the former investigator) he is going to come listen to the lesson! Isn't that cool. I love how the Lord puts people in our path in the most interesting ways.
I love you all very much. I think of you often and pray for you daily. You are a great example to me and I'm grateful for each one of you :)
We couldn't email yesterday because it was a Holiday and the library was closed! We had a really fun day yesterday, we went for a hike and I got sun on my face and dirt in my hair and it felt so normal and good! It's been about a year since I've been that sweaty and dirty and surprisingly I was so happy about it :) I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder :) I took some pictures that I will send you right now so I don't forget.
I wish I could remember what the hike was called but I have no idea. It was about an hour up and 45 minutes down and my legs feel like jelly today but it feels great. We went with our district which consists of 4 Elders and 2 Sisters (us) they are very nice and it was a good p-day activity. I also had time to write a couple letters. Oh and I found shoes yesterday :) . My feet will be much happier as we walk and walk and walk and walk and walk : ) THANK YOU!
DAY Family, CONGRATULATIONS on the house :) I can't wait to see pictures. Sarah thanks for the letters this week and I wrote you back yesterday. Also if you haven't sent me the warm clothes I asked for already please don't send them. It's so much warmer here now and apparently the warm weather is much more normal.
It feels like quite a while since I last wrote to you. This week has been great. I can't remember if I told you last time or not but we are on a car share with the Elders now so we don't have a car 2 days a week. It gives us many more opportunities to talk with people on the street and find more people to teach. Today we will be teaching one of those the people we met a couple days ago. It's so fun to just go up to random people and talk with them about the church. Being a missionary is awesome. Oh my companion is amazing by the way. I'm not sure if I told you or not but she's great and we have tons of fun together. We get on laughing stints as we walk. It's so nice having a companion you can laugh with. It is hard work being a missionary and it could be easy to get discouraged as people repeatedly reject you but it is important to have a positive attitude and smile at the little things and not dwell on the bad.
Speaking of that last district meeting I was asked to give the Spiritual thought and so I focused it on the Atonement and how we are able to use the Atonement for our mood and the choices we make in order to be happy. I had used the same idea for a Zone meeting we held before I left Temple Square so I used the condensed 5 minute version but it was a great reminder for me. Before I came on my mission I really had no idea what the Atonement could help us with. I thought it was only for sin and to be used when we make a mistake. However I've come to understand that the Atonement is so much more then that and that we can rely on the grace (look up "True to the Faith" "Grace") from our Savior for the strength we need to overcome the natural man and be a happy son or daughter of God. We will still feel sorrow but the feelings can be eased so much as we pray to access the joy the Atonement can bring into our lives.
Oh I have to tell you about how Sister Fleming and I got to play lava monster the other day :) So we live in an apartment complex with the parking lot as our only access to the street. The other day we received a notice that the parking lot was going to get re-done and they were going to put fresh tar on top of the old parking lot to make it nicer. We disregarded the notice because we knew we didn't have a car that day that we would have to move. To our shock and surprise on Thursday morning when we stepped outside to go to District Meeting the entire parking lot was covered in sticky black tar. We looked at each other for a while and then started to think of a plan of action. First we asked for suggestions from the guys who were doing the job, they didn't speak English very well, eventually we got the point that the tar would ruin our shoes but they didn't car if we stepped on it because they could easily fix it. Well that wasn't going to work for Sister Fleming and I as we liked our shoes the color they were and didn't want them to be coated in tar and possibly stuck in the middle of the parking lot. Then came the brilliant idea of putting plastic bags over our shoes and walking across the lot that way. Unfortunately we are in California and every store we've been at only has paper bags. I wish I had a picture of what we ended up doing :) We tore pieces of paper bag and put them as stepping stones as we crossed the parking lot, placing and hoping from one piece of paper bag to the next. I'm sure to anyone we looked absolutely hilarious. It worked out well for the workers too because they just went along and blow torched the bag stepping stones :) I hope you were able to visual this wonderful and hilarious scene :)
As you can see I'm loving my mission and enjoying every moment of it :) I love you all and you are always in my prayers. I'm out of time.
Love Sister Turner
HI FAMILY & FRIENDS!!!
Thanks so much for the adorable pictures!!!
Sarah did you get the box I sent to your house? I super regretting sending half my winter clothes. It is COLD in California! My companion is super nice and so she lets me borrow her sweaters when it's freezing! The weather is weird here sometimes it's warm and we are wearing light sweaters and sometimes I walk down the street shivering because of the freezing winds. Anyway I know this sounds silly but if you could open up the box I sent to you and send me back the grey infinity scarf, boot toppers you made (I miss them so much) and I can't remember if I packed a grey sweater in there or not. Half of my clothes are packed in the box at Temple Square. That should probably be good though because I already packed my suitcases to the max when I came so I don't think I could bring very much with me and I don't want to leave stuff here. It's not the end of the world if you don't want to search for that stuff though. I keep thinking it's going to warm up and I will regret asking you for those things back but as of right now it's COLD!
I brought my journal today so that I can remember all the great things I did this week! Each day is so different, it's fun, sometimes discouraging but I'm learning a lot! I finally met with the Mission President of the Arcadia mission, he is so nice and made me feel very welcome here. He and his wife are very loving and I'm excited to be serving under them for a few months. I know I will learn a lot from their example and teachings.
We've had a great week of meeting lots of new potential investigators. Sister Fleming and I both love taking every opportunity we can to talk to as many people as we can each day no matter where we are. It's neat to see the people that Heavenly Father puts in your path to contact and talk to. We find people in the most ordinary to most unique ways. The other day we spent a couple hours tracting, it's not the most effective way to find people to teach but since I've never really done it I really wanted to try. We didn't find any people that way but as we were driving to our next appointment with a less active member we both really needed to use the restroom so we stopped at a laundry mat. We didn't end up using the rest room there because you had to pay to use it but as we were walking back to our car we met a few people who were very interested to learn more, one in particular that gave us his number so that we can call him and arrange a time to meet with him and teach him more. It's so fun being a missionary and being able to see the way the Lord leads you to certain people.
Peter came to church again this week and we taught him lesson 1. He is so great. We brought one of the sisters in our ward who is 19 and will be leaving on her mission in March to go to Argentina. She is so excited and did a great job helping us with the lesson. Peter is so willing to do what ever it is the Lord asks of him. He reminds me so much of Enoch and has that same true desire to learn. He set a date to be baptized and we are looking forward to helping him come to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ better so that he can understand the importance of baptism and what it means for him.
Going through my journal entries and on Jan 10th it's starts " We were chased by a chihuahua today! Haha my first interaction as I missionary with an evil dog" It was during our morning run and we had gone down a different road the day before but we heard a big mean sounding dog across the fence to we were scared to go down that road again. We picked the next road over and this vicious little chihuahua came running out of the house like a crazy dog. We picked up our pace and scooted away really fast (it felt the same as being chased my the rooster when I was little with Raven). Sister Fleming was just about to turn around and boot it but he stopped chasing us as we went around the corner. We laughed so much about it afterwards. I'm really happy its legs were a lot shorted than ours.
It's different being a missionary here. On Temple Square the people we talk to have already made a step of faith by entering the gate. Here we not only need to invite people to learn more but that they also need to make the first step. I'm learning a lot though and I'm so grateful for the experiences I've been having here. It's neat working with the members of the ward and I get to see a whole new side of missionary work. One thing about Temple Square is that you never see the same members twice but here we need to help them and strengthen them daily.
Speaking of members the ward here is great. Mostly they are excited about missionary work and our willing to come teach with us. I can't remember if I mentioned in my last email or not but Sister Fleming and I are hoping to be able to do a ward fireside soon to help the members get more excited about introducing their friends and family to the church and not even necessarily inviting them to meet with missionaries but to go to mormon.org or even just to let them know they are members of the church. I know it can be hard, I wasn't always a missionary, but I know it is a lot easier than sometimes we think to just invite someone to come to church. Nothing happens in missionary work until we act. I'm so grateful that I grew up in an amazing family that taught me to never be shy about what I believe and that they taught me the importance of being an example to those I come in contact with. I hope I will be able to continue to live the things I teach even when I'm not a missionary anymore. My time here is so precious because I learn so much every day.
Also the members of the ward here are so nice and feed us all the time. Good healthy food too. The citrus fruit and avocados are AMAZING here. It's so much fun going to members homes and eating with them and sharing a gospel message with them. I love being a missionary! There are so many different types of people in the world and we really get to notice that as we go in their homes and eat with them. It's wonderful.
I love you all soooooooooooooo MUCH!!!! Oh and Happy Birthday Noah!!
Love Sister Turner