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