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
Hello beautiful family and friends!
Well I'm here in Pasadena California and I love it so much! I have sooooooooo much to tell you and I was also going to send you pictures but I forgot my camera cord, I will have to remember next time.
I saw my first palm tree and can't get over how tall they are. It's so beautiful here. A little colder then I imaged going to California but it's still warmer then Utah :)
My new companion is Sister Fleming from Minnesota, she is very nice and I'm really happy that she is excited about the work as well. She keeps saying that she has never been so busy so I'm glad that the business of Temple Square has continued to stay with me. We've been contacting a lot of people and teaching everyone we talk to, it's so much fun! One thing that I really, really love is entering someone's home and noticing a difference as we testify and share scriptures. For example we stopped by a house last night that was on the ward list. The family of 5 haven't been to church in years so we thought it would be nice to go over and share a short message with the family. When we got there everyone was a little busy, on the computer or doing their own thing. The little girl (2 years old) who ran away when we got there ended up giving us hugs as we left. It was an amazing experience seeing the family all gather around as we read scriptures and prayed with them. The father told us his testimony of how he really knows this is the true church. It's so funny to me that I can be so happy and so filled with the Spirit as a little girl throws toys at my face yet as soon as we opened the Book of Mormon she came and sat still right beside us. I am so super happy and I love sharing the gospel with others. We are going to go over later in the week and hold a Family Home Evening with the family.
We also found a new investigator this week. Peter from Barbados, both his parents are members and he has seen a change in them as they found the church. He is going through a hard time right now moving to a new place and so he is very willing to learn more about the gospel. We did a church tour with him the other night and it was so good. The tours at the church building are conducted quite a bit different from Temple Square so I'm not sure if I threw in to many "new things" but Sister Fleming was happy and Peter and the members we brought with us felt the Spirit so it was good. He came to church this week too.
I wish I had time to tell you about all the miracles we've seen this week and the many ways the Heavenly Father is blessing us for our obedience and diligence. Sister Fleming keeps saying she's never seen so many miracles in a week so I'm really looking forward to next week to see what is in store. I'm happy that I don't know a difference and all I see is the constant need to engaged in a good cause.
I haven't met the mission President yet. I met Sister Becerra though and she is really nice. She was the one that picked up Sister Yoon and I from the airport. She took us out to lunch and got to know us a little better. Everyone had TONS of questions about Temple Square so I hope I am doing an okay job of representing the mission well. I forgot how before being a missionary on Temple Square how little I knew about what the missionaries did there. I feel like I have two homes B.C and Temple Square and I can't talk about where I'm from without mentioning the other.
The people here are really nice and we have a dinner appointment almost every day which I love! We share short lessons and scriptures with members all the time on Temple Square but there is something really special about being in someone's home, being able to take a bit of time to get to know them better and then really teach according to their needs.
There was one dinner appointment we had the other day where the wife is a member but the husband is not but he has a lot of questions that we can answer for him. We are going to go back and teach him this week, all he needed was someone to ask him if he wanted to learn more. I know that he can come to know that these things are true for himself. I love that as missionaries we don't convert people but that they come converted to Heavenly Father and that we are the guides to help them know how they can come to know that the things we teach are true for themselves.
Excerpt from my letter to the mission president-
"...This has been a fantastic week and I'm so happy that I get a chance to be a part of this mission for a few months. I've heard only good things about you from my companion so I am looking forward to getting a chance to meet you. I feel I am adjusting well to the few changes that come from being in a new mission and I'm grateful for the kind and loving companion I have to help me transition well. We have seen a lot of miracles this week, I know that Heavenly Father blesses his missionaries as long as we remain obedient and strive to do better each day. My goal while I am here is to make the most of it, to have faith and to "work, work, work because there is no satisfactory substitute especially in missionary work"(Preach My Gospel)...."
Oh by the way. If you have sent me a letter to Temple Square it will get forwarded to me but I don't get to check the mail every day. like on Temple Square, it's about every week or sometimes every 2 weeks the mail gets checked so if you don't hear back from me in a while that's why.
I love you all soooooooooooo MUCH also...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN
First announcement of the day... Next time I email you I will be in the CALIFORNIA ARCADIA MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited :) I leave very early tomorrow morning. I don't know when my next p-day is but it's probably going to be on Monday or Tuesday of next week. It's going to be very different and a big change but it's going to be so great!
Sister Emily Turner
California Arcadia Mission
170 West, Duarte Road,
We just had a meeting with all 27 sisters who will be going outbound so at the moment I'm super excited! President and Sister Gillette spoke with the assistants and got all of us very excited about where we are going and to remind us to be exactly obedient (just like we are on Temple Square) also to help us make the most out of our experience. A couple notes I took at the meeting
- Bloom where you are planted
- Appreciate the differences
- Learn how to bridge to anything around you (you probably won't have a temple to bridge off of at a door step)
- D&C 58:27-28
- Do good and Be good
- Be a strength and a light to all those around you!
I'm very excited to go and find out exactly where I will be in the mission. I just got my map and it's a pretty big area, although I think anything would look big after having a 35 acre mission :) I return to Temple Square March 20th. I mailed all my big heavy winter clothes to Sarah's house. It was sad to not be able to wear them any more because I love them but I'm also happy to leave the freezing snowy Utah and go to the sunshine in California! It will still be a little cold there 16-18 on some days but when I checked the weather the average was 20's. No more -8!
Did everyone have a good Christmas? It was so nice to be able to talk to some of you the other day. Day family I'm sad I didn't get a chance to talk to you but maybe on mothers day we can figure out a way to talk. Oh by the way mom and dad I'll be calling you tonight around 6 or 7 for 5 minutes to tell you about outbound. So we get to talk AGAIN!
Happy NEW YEARS!!! What did everyone do? I've been set apart as a missionary for exactly one year today :) Feels great! I still have a whole half a year left :) Last night the mission got together and we watched a video of some of the sisters being interviewed and pictures for the year. We all counted down (at 10pm :) and drank Martinelli's (sp?). It was fun but I was so super tired because we had woken up really early for transfer conference, which was in the Conference Center by the way. So much fun. I'm going to send you a couple pictures now before I forget.
I will miss Temple Square and the sisters here a lot. I know this is where the Lord wants me to go at this time and I will have many opportunities for growth and to help others to come closer to Christ. I feel so blessed to have the priesthood authority again on the earth.
I will miss Monica and Enoch and our other investigators so much. Two of the Bishop Family (Bishop being the last name) got baptized on Saturday. We got to talk to them and it was wonderful to hear of their experience. It brings me so much joy to see the positive change in the lives of others as they accept the Atonement and work towards enduring (well) to the end! Mosiah 2:41
Oh I forgot to tell you what Sister Hinton is doing next transfer, she was called to be the next assistant to the president and I know she will do such a great job these last two transfers she is here. I'm excited for her to be able to serve the mission and continue to teach our investigators I know she will do amazing! It was so fun to serve with her, especially at Christmas time. I don't think I've ever met anyone who loves Christmas and taking pictures quite as much as I do : )It was so fun being a ZL with her.
I have a really good quote from one of the Canadian sisters who will be going home this transfer " The harder the task is the greater potential for joy". I love it because it reminds me of this great work and how we are able to experience joy. I'm just so excited to give my all and serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength this year and all the years to come. Goals start at a one step at a time process and I know that as we all continue to strive to give our BEST each and every day that is where true joy is found. It has been so great to understand how we use the Atonement for much more then just sin but for strength and I'm looking forward to continuing to study and apply all that I learn.
I love you all so much! I look forward to telling you all about California :)
Love Sister Turner