Week 58- Sister Sao

Hello everyone! I’m just going to start off by saying I’m sorry. Again I will have no pictures due to the computer I am on.  It is not reading my card so you will just have to wait again.
This week we had a really great week in the Ida area and had a lot of success! We are still teaching Sister Sao (the blind lady from a few weeks ago).  Let me tell you guys, Sister Sao is one of the strongest people I have ever met. She refuses to miss one teaching appointment, she is always at church, she believes all that we say is true, and she told us its because of the way she feels when she’s around us or members in church. When she told us that me and my comp had the biggest smiles on our faces. She is literally golden! She is also preparing herself to be baptized on the 30th of the month and is so excited! She has seriously strengthened my testimony and has made me realize how lucky I am to have known the gospel my whole life!  If you have desire to do something don’t let anything hold you back!
This week in my studies I read in depth with the atonement of Jesus Christ and let me just say if you haven’t studied that topic in depth please take the time in your day and do it!  I would tell you some of the things I’ve learned but i want to let you learn for yourself. If you would like to talk more please shoot me an email I would love to chat! No matter who you are feel free to shoot me an email!!
I’ll just leave this week by letting you all know that I know Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know he loves each an every single one of us.  I know that because of him we have the ability to become clean and change.  He is the one who was sent to free us all.
I love you all and I hope you have an incredible week!
Say your prayers and read your scriptures people:)

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Week 57- Love Elder Radebe

​Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great week!! Sorry I know its Tuesday but yesterday the power was out all day so I couldn’t email.
This last week was a good one but we didn’t get too much time in our area due to some meetings and other things but it was definitely a good week!  We finally got a clear vision with the help of the District President of the things we need to work on specifically in all the areas of my district.  We are going to start setting some goals for our various branches!
As for me and my new companion Elder Radebe from Johannesburg, South Africa, we get along so good! He is for sure on the board for top comps on the mission haha!  He’s so funny, always cracking jokes, and we will learn a lot from each other I can tell!​
Sorry I don’t have a ton of time and I forgot my camera in the apartment but I hope everyone has a great week!

God is good people!!!!! Later! Love you all!!!

Week 56- “Elder Turner helped me turn my life around”

Hey everyone! This week was great! Another transfer down and I am now starting my 10th! This last transfer absolutely flew by and I know the rest of my mission will as well so I’m trying to make the most out of the next year! So I now have a new companion his name is Elder Radebe from South Africa.  I’ve met him before and he’s a super chill guy and I’m excited to serve with him and learn from him!! So to start off, sorry about last week!   I sent an email but you know the wifi isn’t the greatest in this part of the world and the message didn’t go through.  So I apologize.

So this last week we had a baptism! Tamba and Agnes’s were baptized!! It was such a good service! On Sunday when Tamba was giving his testimony he made everyone in the branch laugh! He said to everyone “If we take Elder Turners name and split it up we get the word Turn, and Elder Turner helped me to turn my life around!” (One thing you must understand is Africans laugh at very bad jokes so yeah….) Anyway we have recently contacted a blind women who is a total score!! She’s been learning so fast and coming to church every week and we are going to continue to meet with her! It is kinda difficult to teach her because she can’t read anything so we just have to read it for her and see what she understands but it’s okay she’s super good and understands a lot!!  But anyway we are still working hard and trying to find new people!!

I gotta go though so I love you all and I’ll talk to you all soon !!!

Week 55- Dogs taste better than Cats

 

 

Hey people this week was a crazy week full of some crazy activities and foods! It was a really fun week though! It started off with us getting tired of our pet duck so we killed it and ate it.  After that we went to our members house where she gave us some sweet stew! Just so happened to have monkey in it….. So that was an interesting meal.  The last interesting meal I had was dog meat.  The weird part was I actually thought it tasted pretty good.  Better than cat.   So I’m sorry for all the dog lovers out there I hope you aren’t angry and realize I love dogs too.

Anyway, as for teaching, this week we had a pretty great week! I had quite a few baptismal interviews I needed to do for some other missionaries so that took up a lot of time but we did get to have quite a few lessons on the other days!  It was really cool to see some of the other areas in my district and go on exchanges with some new missionaries!  Not too much to say this week but God was good to us as he always is!!  We ended the week with a hike up into the bush where we turned back early because an elder in my district got attacked by some seriously massive ants!!   We all felt really bad for him, but at the end of the day we had a lot of fun!!

I hope you all have a great week!! I love you all!! Just a friendly reminder to count your blessings each day!! Later.

Week 54- Service Project

Hey everyone!! Well this week was a semi-successful one. Why I say semi-successful is because we worked really hard to get people to church and then when Sunday came it was raining so we had a poor turn up at sacrament.  That was a little rough on us but there’s always next week! So just keep going I guess!!  Maybe the blessings are just a little slow coming and they will show up to church next week, but either way we worked hard so I feel we had a good week!

Also this last week we got to do a service project. It was cleaning up and helping at a blind school here and it really was a cool experience!  Every branch from Kenema came and each had specific assignments.  We got the work done in about 3 hours and I believe everyone had a good time and the spirit was definitely there making everyone happy!! Service is sweet!!!
And just for a little fun here’s a picture of our church bathroom hahaha don’t be jealous people!!

Week 53- Ate a Goat

Hey people!! I hope everyone had a great week this past week and was able to count the blessings God gives you.  I promise you, even if you don’t realize them they’re there just sit down and think!
This week was one of the weeks with many struggles with investigators. We had so many dropped appointments this week it was ridiculous. One day every single one of our appointments that we called and set up the night before fell through so we spent the whole entire day contacting and visiting less actives trying to get them back to church. On the bright side we saw a bunch of our less actives at church this last week which was seriously such a blessing.  I said a few weeks ago our branch was struggling with not having enough men in the branch, we’ll come to find out we have quite a few men but all of them are less active!!!! So this week we got some and it was sweet!! A true blessing!!

Well with our investigators we had a good week!  Me and my comp had a few things this week that was frustrating us and it started to get in between us but we were able to sort some of it out and try to fix things.  I think we did pretty good!  At the end of the week we were able to get 10 investigators to church and we extended 3 baptismal dates to some of our top investigators!!
So kinda a cool story was today while in the market a man came up and tapped me on the shoulder and called my name and when I turned around it was one of the investigators I had been teaching right before I left Jui branch a few weeks ago!! It was a pretty great experience!!  He said that my old comp Elder Ragogo started teaching his sister and Elder Ragogo told me the sister is a golden contact!!  I was so happy because the last time we taught Amara (the investigator) we had a prompting to talk with the sister but as soon as we went to her she got a phone call.   I said we would get her next time but then I was transferred and I told Elder Ragogo not to forget her!! Well like I said she turns out to be a Golden contact and is super ready to listen! It’s a real miracle!
Anyway I gotta go but I hope you all know God is good and is ready to bless all of us if we are willing to obey him! I love you all and hope you have a great week.  Hope to hear from you all soon.

Week 52- One Year down!!

Well everyone one year has come and gone since I left the comforts and freedom of the United States for a country that I never in a million years pictured myself being in.  A country that has been absolutely destroyed by a raging civil war, stricken by numerous deadly diseases (Ebola being the most commonly known) and corrupted by its own government. A place where mosquitos carry the deadliest strand of malaria, the water and food are never truly clean, where death is no surprise to anyone, and black magic is everywhere.  There is no words to describe the country and the way of living here.  I never really understood how the people actually lived like they do until now.  Yet with it all these difficulties the people are still happy.  I never understood how or why until i met them!

At one point in my mission I was really discouraged and was really tired of the people here and just all of it. But the more I look back and think about the amazing experiences that I’ve had and the stories I’ve been told, the more I realize how much God knows me and blesses me each and every single day.  I think about all the different missions in the world and think to myself  “what sent me here of all the places In the world?” The more I think about it the more I come to realize that theres no other place in the world that fits me better.  A few things I realized are:
1.  I’ve always been the one to look for excitement.  Here you don’t need to look for it because it’s there around you all the time no matter what!!
2. I’ve never been the sharpest knife in the knife drawer hahaha (neither are the people here……Trust me)
3. I absolutely love sports! The people here are crazy about football (soccer) now I know it’s not our football but hey sports are sports!
This place is torn down, crappy, and just all around not a first choice of living conditions. And yes maybe I hated it for a while but the more I think, I realize there’s not another mission in the world for me. This is it. I’m here and I’m already half way done. I’ve learned a lot and I just want to share some of the important things.
1. God allows us to struggle. The past year has been the biggest struggle of my life. The only way you could understand is if you went through it yourself. It’s not easy and I know it’s not meant to be. But what I’ve realized out if it is that God let’s things happen. Not because he wants to punish anyone or because he doesn’t like you as much as he likes your neighbor or friend. No. He lets us suffer to see if we will lay down and give up or if we will turn to him for help, stare the challenge in the face and conquer it.  Make something out of it and learn from it.  Life won’t ever be easy.  We tell ourselves “I just need to make it to _______ then I’ll be happy/satisfied” when in reality life will always be a struggle and it’s meant to be. We all must work out our own salvation!! Fight for it. This is your chance learn something from what is challenging you and move on to the next one!!
2. Happiness is a choice.  I spent some of my mission the past year just being tired, angry, and just done with everything.  But over the past few weeks I’ve really gained a testimony of choices.  Sometimes life gets you down, things don’t work how you want, plans change and things (appointments) fall through. Even a well thought out and planned day can go completely wrong. But the only time anger comes out is when we let it.  For me saying a prayer in my heart or singing a hymn or just thinking over what I studied that morning is what gets me through the frustrating times and I know God is helping me change that because he loves me and wants me to be better.
3. Change doesn’t and will not happen overnight. It cannot be forced. It’s through time and the little things we change. Whether through our actions or maybe how we talk. If we just put in effort the change will gradually come. When I look at myself I don’t see much change since I left home, well at least for me personally.  I’ve been told by missionaries, my mission president, and family that they’ve noticed a change (apparently the way I talk changed…?) And I hope they have noticed a change because I’ve been trying to change and I think everyone has something they can work on and strive to be better at.
4.Lastly, but definitely not the least, is I know that Jesus Christ is the son of God.  I know he willingly died for my sins because he loves me.  I love the fact that Jesus Christ, being the son of God, had the ability to sit up on that cross and never die. In fact he could have even avoided all of it.  But he didn’t. He literally gave up his life for all of us and I know and love that he has given me countless opportunities to repent and come unto him.  For that I will always be thankful.
I challenge each and every single one of us to use the great sacrifice of our Savior himself in our daily lives. We don’t need to make huge mistakes to make use of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We are all human and make mistakes every day. I promise that if we use the atonement in our lives every day even for the little things that you will feel of the love that God has for you.
I love you all and hope to hear from you!!

Week 51- First Week in Kenema

Hello everyone! So I’m now over here in Kenema! It’s a pretty nice place. More bushy than Waterloo.  I left the mission home last Tuesday morning at 3am and hopped on a bus to come here with a few other missionaries. We got here and I met my new companion, his name is Elder Wokoma.  He is from Nigeria.  He is a pretty cool guy so far.  So I’ve spent my whole mission so far in the area of the tribal language called Timinie but now I’m on the opposite side of the country they speak Mende, a completely different tribal language.  I know absolutely nothing about it so it looks like another learning opportunity for me haha!!

My area is pretty weird when you look at it.  It looks flat but when you’re walking through it it’s rough!  It doesn’t go up hills but the amount of times it drops down and then you gotta hike back up is crazy!  It’s also rainy season so we have got caught having to run quite a bit but hey, being from Arizona rain isn’t such a bad thing!!  And the house I’m in isn’t too bad.  Our room is huge but our bathroom is like a 3×5 closet.  If I had a shower I could shower and use the restroom at the same time haha.  Haven’t had a real shower yet!!
So everything was going smoothly until I got to church on Sunday. My branch was filled with children and women and barely any men.  When I counted during sacrament we had 35+ women with a total of 10 men including the branch presidency…. Soooo that’s a problem.  Looks like me and my comp have a goal now.  We need some freaking priesthood in the branch!  The people here are awesome and I love them already but we need some men haha!
A little fun fact is Kenema is one of the big diamond places here in Sierra Leone so when you drive down the street they have stores to buy diamonds on like every corner! It’s kinda ridiculous actually, but it’s pretty cool!
Anyway, I hope you all have a blessed week and make it better than the last! Say your prayers, read your scriptures, go to church, and be good people!   Love you all talk to you next week!!
Sorry again for no pictures I forgot my camera in the apartment… I’ll make it up to you all next week I promise!!! No vex mom I beg…..

Week 50- Transfer to Kenema

Hey everyone!! Well this week I’m going to get straight to the point! It’s transfer week!!! My companion is staying here to work in the Jui branch and he is getting a new companion from South Africa!  I’m super stoked for him, he’s really a great missionary!! I’m glad I had the opportunity to train him and watch him progress!  As for me I am being sent to Kenema!  My new companion is from Nigeria and we will be working in the Ida branch where I will be the district leader.  We will be living with 2 other missionaries.  I’ve heard some good things about Kenema and I’m so stoked to see what it’s like.  I’m excited to see the new people and missionaries I get to meet on the other side of the country!!

I’m currently in the mission home and I head out to Kenema tomorrow morning around 4am so that should be fun.  It’s a 5+hr bus ride and let’s just say that part I’m not so excited about.  This morning I played football, packed, and took a bucket shower. They also gave us some pie they baked that was bomb!  Anyway, that’s he update of what happened this last week! Sorry I don’t have pictures today but I’ll make sure to get some for next week!! I love you all and miss you like crazy! I hope all is going well for everyone back home.  I’ll update you more next week!

Elder Turner

Week 49- 10 Baptismal Dates!

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a great summer and is enjoying their vacations wherever they are!

You know the humid sticky jungles of Africa is a pretty sweet vacation if anyone would like to take a trip and visit….. It’ll get you out of Arizona heat and put you in humid heat so why not!! Just kidding dont waste your money…..
 I’ll get to some of the things going on around here this past week!! Me and Elder Ragogo worked hard this week! We found one part member family at the beginning of last week that we started teaching and they are now all wanting to be baptized!! We also have two more investigators with baptismal dates so total this last week we gave out 8 for a total of 10 investigators with a baptismal date for August 5th!!! I’m so stoked for them!! The only sad part is I might not be here to see it all happen but hey that’s okay I got to be a part of their spiritual journey and progression and that’s all that matters!
We did some contacting as well and we found 8 New investigators this week and we are hoping to get them to church and progressing as well but we will see how that goes!!
There was some crazy things that happened this week that will make good stories when I get home so I think I’m going to save them but one thing that happened on Monday we got to go to the beach!  Our whole zone went, about 20 of us. We played some American football, soccer, and even some frisbee and overall had a ton of fun!!  I did however get fried which I found super unusual because back home I never got burnt.  That African sun will get ya!!  So if you’re ever looking for a good tan for the summer just fly on over I’ll show you a good spot!
We have transfers coming this next week so you all will find out next week if i go somewhere else or if I stay in the Jui branch for longer. So stay tuned.
Anyway that’s how this last week went and for those who only care about pictures don’t worry I got some for you! Love you all!  As usual if you need something shoot me an email!  I mean you probably have someone you could call and talk to in person and that’s probably a better option but I’m here too so feel free!   Later!!