Weeks 77-80 | New Companion, Baptisms, and Important Mission Preparation

Great week. Lots of really rad stuff going on and surprises.

To start off we got the changes yesterday and well, I’m staying here in the central zone for another month and a half. It’s actually way weird because Elder Garrison is leaving and going back to Casa Grande, Where he came from. My new companion is going to be Elder Cantos from Guayaquil, Ecuador. He is way cool and looks like Mr. Bean from that “Rat Race”. Oh yeah, we also have the same time in the mission so we will be going home together in October. Other than that, I don’t know much about him other than he has been a Zone Leader for a couple of changes in the Guadalupe Zone. It will be my 5th change (7 and a half months) here and he will be my 4th companion in this area.

Elder Turner and Elder Cantos

Other than that we have had a ton of fun and success this past week. We had two interchanges and got a ton of work done. The first interchange I got to be with my old pal Elder Mendoza from Cajamarca. He is a way cool missionary and taught me how to always find a way to connect with the people on some level. The other interchange I had was with Elder Melendrez, another way cool mssy. He taught me to teach with simplicity.

This week I have been studying a lot about faith and I was brought back to study a parables that I love. The first is found in Alma 32 and he compares the Word of God to a seed with great potential but in need of nourishment. The second is the parable Christ taught to his disciples found in Luke chapter 8, the Parable of the Sower. I love these two parables and the connection they make between seeds and soil, the Word of God and the hearts of men. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is and always will be a good seed. What makes the difference is the fertility or receptiveness of our hearts. Kind of cool to think about.

Also this week, we had the baptism of Melissa. A super rad girl that we have been working with. I don’t have any pictures because her baptism service was held up in the mountains where her family could be there to see her get baptized. But it was still way cool to get to help her.

Melissa’s Baptism

To answer your question, some things that helped me get ready for my Mission and would have prepared me better if I had been more diligent were 1.) doing hard things before like more work and tougher things physically, 2.) being more diligent in my personal habits like reading scripture and saying prayers and building my own testimony and 3.) studying and teaching from Preach My Gospel more. I have been studying a lot this week in Chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel about teaching so that investigators understand and it’s been something key that we have applied with one of our families. I love the part that says, “Expounding the gospel means that you explain the meaning of doctrines and scriptural passages simply and clearly, relying on the Spirit to guide what you say. You use dignified but conversational language to help people understand the doctrinal principle. You ask questions to help them think about the principles and to see if they understand and accept what you have taught.” As we have used this method in our teaching this week especially with Domitila and Ana Lucia we have seen their understand of the message of the gospel grow. I wish I had understood this better earlier.

Ha sido una semana chevere.

Seebs til next week.

PS. Happy birthday Mom I love you.

More pictures on Site.

Weeks 74-76 | Rains, Floods, and Our Source of Peace

Okay so I finally got some time this week to sit down and actually write out a letter. It has been a hectic but cool last couple of weeks here in Trujillo. It’s been weird to be a missionary here these past few weeks because straight up, a natural disaster hit and well we haven’t done much proselytizing.

So yeah about 3 weeks ago hard rain and what they call, “huaicos” started to hit Trujillo. It never rains in this area of Peru, so you can imagine how hard rain can be a problem for unconditioned adobe homes. Many homes fell and were destroyed. Almost simultaneously, “huaicos”, which are pretty much just big muddy flash floods, started to hit as well, taking even more homes with them. Luckily all the missionaries were safe, however our effort was shifted from teaching to service. Everyday for this last half month has been service in every conceivable form. It’s cool not to be on the regular schedule, but definitely different. I like it because I get to walk around with a Book of Mormon in one hand and a shovel in the other. I’ve learned something in this time, that though they may be very different, service and teaching are inseparably connected and in the end are basically the same thing.

Knocking down adobe walls of homes.

It’s hard for anyone to see their home and essentially all they have be destroyed and left behind, however I have found that even in times like these, one come to have peace. I’m not saying it’s easy and joyful to cope with trials, However I truly believe we can always find peace if we look to the right source. (John 14:27)

But yeah that’s my sermon for the week, hahaha. It’s also been fun too. Pushing down walls and getting to be with a ton of missionaries. I would be lying if I said these trials haven’t brought opportunities and blessings.

One of those blessings was being in a trio with Elder Petersen, who was left alone in his area, and getting to meet and teach a nice little old lady named Maria from his area. It was cool because at the end of those three weeks and our last day in the trio, Maria was baptized. It made me laugh to see this little old mountain woman so excited for her baptism. The spirit was definitely there.

To close my letter I want to share and invite everyone to rewatch and reread my 5 favorite conference talks from this weekend.

Que tengan un buen semana.


Elder Turner

A lot more amazing pictures on site- click here.

Extras from Elder Turner:


    • I’m doing good and I sent you a letter from this week too and it explains a lot. Here’s a little more:  “This past Friday we organized with the Central Stake and some local community leaders to do some service in Buenos Aires.  After completing the assigned task we decided to just walk around looking for those in need of service.  We were able to help two people whom I will never forget.  The first was an 8 month pregnant woman we found trying to shovel away all the dirt that had come into her home alone. We asked her to help and she gladly accepted. She talked for a sec about how her husband was away working to provide for the family and how she was left alone everyday to struggle to get the dirt out alone.  We helped and she asked if we could come back some day to visit her and teach “what else Mormons do”.  The second was a man whom we asked if he needed any help.  He seemed convinced that his home was to destroyed for any young missionaries to be able to make a difference, but he accepted our offer.  His home had completely fallen in. We began to slowly uncover the family’s belongings and to do our best to clean the home.  The man changed during our time with him.  He went from being stern and reluctant to being humble and grateful.  As we pulled out an old family picture that had been ruined because of the rain, I saw tears in his eyes.  He opened his heart to me and shared how hard it was to see everything ruined.  He explained how he really wasn’t unable to clear these belongings out by himself but just saw it as too heart wrenching for him to have to do alone.  He talked of memories and raising his children in that home.  He told me something key: that our help was able to give him hope!  Alone, though he was physically able to clean the mess, it had seemed emotionally impossible and told us that he would never have been able to do it without our being there.”
    • Also, some recent pictures from baptisms.


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