Friday, November 7, 2014

This is it !!!!

Boa tarde a todos,

Wow I am just in disbelief that this is my last time emailing home. I feel like everything is just going to continue how it has been all these months but deep inside I know change is coming! I can't believe it though! And I can't thank you guys enough for the support that came from back home the whole time I was out in the mission. I love you guys.

First off thank you mom for doing my registration this week and getting that all taken care of! We are thankfully all back to health and back to work! Kayan on Halloween looked too stinking cute. :) Our Halloween was silly and I will show those pictures when I am home... NEXT WEEK! That brings me to the main subject of my email.

I feel like Jacob by saying that the time passed away with me, and also my mission passed away like as it were unto me a dream. (But not lonesome and solemn like the people of Jacob!) Honestly though it went by so very fast.

These last moments I have been reflecting a lot on what happened and what I learned and what this experience truly means. I will try to be brief and share some of those thoughts.

One of the biggest things that I came to understand better is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a checklist to be completed. It is the process that we must use to become more like our Savior. I can't say that I was a perfect missionary. Or that I had a perfect mission. I know though that serving a full time mission was perfect for me! This was what I needed. Oh the struggle was too real sometimes. But I know that the spirit was always with us to humble, teach, strengthen and show the way. Along the way I had some experiences teaching people in penthouses filled with all the world's luxuries. More often though I had experiences sitting on a small wooden stool, an overturned water bucket or even a cinder block and testifying of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And what I realized is that truly all of us are children of God. From the faith inspiring members to the drunks in the street, God has a plan and loves every single one of us. I was able to feel that love so much. I am so grateful for having served here in the Cape Verde Praia Mission. I had so many wonderful companions (all I can't list here!) that helped me more than they possible know. More important than the places I visited, or the souvenirs I bought, is what I learned as a missionary and who the Lord helped me become. And how I truly realized how much more I still need to do and be! I have hope that this will help me to continue progressing on the path for the rest of my life. I know that God lives, so does his son Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost testified this to me countless times. The restored church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only church that has the prophets and priesthood power to officiate the saving ordinances of the gospel. I love this gospel and the hope it brings us!

Thank you everyone for your amazing examples of faith. I love you all so much. I can not wait to see you all in the coming weeks!!!

With soooo much love,
Sister Turner

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Surprising week!

Boa Tarde!

I have to preface that this is going to be short for a few reasons.
Soooo I am going to be home and see you guys in 14 days!!!!!! We are going to being flying a total of 18 hours that day but it is going to all be worth it!

The world really is so small! That is neat tim-tim works with the brother of elder jarvis. We used to be in the same zone but now I am not so sure of where he is serving if he got transferred... either way still cool!

Myself and my two daughters from the mission! Sister Brock came to do divisions so we took a family picture with our awesome ugly $5 shark t-shirts. Haha the chinese stores here sell the most random stuff!
This is our investigator Angela. She is seriously soooo kind, just a great lady. 
                 View of the island of Fogo and the volcano at sunset!

So about this week ... I think I caught the cold that tim had. (I hope he is doing better!) Yep while he was sick I too was really sick this whole week! I was actually worried that it was going to become bronchitus like I had in March. I am on an anti-biotic now and am improving! It was not east being in the house so long especially when I want to be working hard here at the end. But I tried to not get frustrated and I learned a little lesson about humility. One of my goals for this last month was to develop that Christ-like attribute of humility. And so while I was sick I thought why am I sick right now at the end of my mission?? And one of the answers I received that this was an opportunity to be humble. Being humble includes being willing to submit to all things the Father sees fit to inflict upon us. He knows what is best and I just need to trust that! That being said we were blessed that the week passes quickly and sister coelho and I didn´t go too crazy being cooped up in the house! We are really excited to get back out and get working!

I know that God loves his children and we need to follow that example by loving them too!
I love you all so much and can´t wait to see you sooooo soon!

Sister Turner

17 months! And a long email!

Good afternoon from here in Cabo Verde!

Sounds like the week was good and that the house is coming along nicely. I can´t wait to see it and even more so all of you! This week had some interesting experiences not of all which I will share right now. Seriously you all might get tired of listening to me talk when I get home!

On wednesday I got to do splits with my old companion Sister Valenzuela. Yep it was great time and we had tuna kru for lunch! What are the chances that also wednesday was our 17th month mark?? Crazy how fast it has gone. We had a good time teaching and reminiscing about old times!

Irma Das Neves left for Portugal this week to get medical treatment and we are surely going to miss her! Her testimony is amazing and we are so excited she wil get to go to the temple in spain. One of the humblest people I have ever met.

I have to be honest that it has not been all rainbows (we only saw one!) and cherry blossoms here in Assomada.
Thankfully things have been really well with my companion sister coehlo, she is awesome and she gets funnier every day. But our ward is having struggles right now. It seems that a similar concern has arouse amongst several members. I can´t even imagine how bad it must be in the states, but even here in little tiny cabo verde people are coming across lots of material that is causing them to question their testimonies. I have been reflecting a lot these past couple days. All the persecution and rumors don´t make me doubt the truthfullness of the restored gospel, it makes me believe even more. There must be oppositon to righteousness. Are these not the words of the prophets being fulfilled? From General conference in April Elder Andersen shared this:
"..the world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming of the Savior." The scriptures declare that “all things shall be in commotion.” Brigham Young said, “It was revealed to me in the commencement of this Church, that the Church would spread, prosper, grow and extend, and that in proportion to the spread of the Gospel among the nations of the earth, so would the power of Satan rise.”

More concerning than the prophesied earthquakes and wars are the spiritual whirlwinds that can uproot you from your spiritual foundations and land your spirit in places you never imagined possible, sometimes with your barely noticing that you have been moved!
And that was the same conclusion that I was led too. These people and organizations are not fighting to destroy the church, they will not will win that battle. But as Pres. Monson said- "the war for the souls of men is raging. And Satan will use any and every tactic possible to mislead the children of God from reaching their diving potential". I feel that we as members of the true church have to turn that phrase around a bit. Are we doing everything and using all the tactics possible to stregthen our spiritual protection that is our testimonies? If we are not then we need to make changes. Not necessarily huge things but it is the small things that make the difference. And thinking about this I personally have realized areas that I need to improve.

I can not say it enough times. I know for myself through the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ is the son of the Living God. Both of them appeared to the young Joseph to iniate this great work in these last days. Everything good in my life has stemmed from the fact that we are members of the true church. I am so grateful for your examples mom and dad, and I only want the very best for everyone in our family. I love you all so much. Please keep fighting every. single. day.

Love, Sister Turner

Monday, October 13, 2014

Another great blessing filled week!

Buenas tardes!

Sounds like you guys had a busy but good week! The house and especial Kayan are looking too cute, still weird to think we are coming up on Halloween. Cornbelly´s is awesome for FHE I hope tim-tim is liking working there again!

This week was Sister Coelho´s birthday and we had a great day! We made a super delicious Portuguese ´cake´ that you make out of crackers and frosting and it was soooo good. I got the recipe so don´t worry!
So our assomada nhagar area had a lot of good things this past week! We were really blessed to receive lots of references and have several more members working with us. Our frequency at church was the best it has been in a few weeks and we were especially happy with all the less actives and recent converts that were there for testimony meeting. Our testimony meeting was a especially awesome when Da bore a great sincere testimony! Also we did a family home evening with Adi and Neia´s family and talked a testimonies so the kids can learn and bear testimony in there FHE every week. We got a little 3rd world creativity going and made this chart out of a cereal box some tape and pictures cut out from the liahona! It is nothing too special but the family really liked it and it will help them be more independent and organized.
I love visiting a woman named Maria who we are teaching. Her son is a mission right now in cabo verde and their family has gone through some really rough things this past year. She is not a member but the bishop asked us to just visit her once and a while and see how she is doing. We started doing that last transfer and then were able to start teaching her too! She has been taking great steps in saying sincere prayers and is always so happy when we come by. We delivered a letter from her son and she was SO happy and said she is going to come to church sometime. The spirit has really been working with her because what we learned at the beginning is that she was very anti! I know this is the work of the Lord and that this is the only true and living church of Jesus Christ that is led by a prophet of God.

Hope you all have another great week!!

com muito amor,
Sister Turner

I love conference!

October 6, 2014

Boa tarde,

Yes the calendar says October but the hot African sun is saying July! The heat is TOO real on the island of Santiago. Carrying our groceries home today was like a race against time just to get inside of our apartment and out of the sun! But we made it okay and then I enjoyed my lunch in front of the fan, it´s the simple things.

We also had interviews with President Mathews today. My interview went really well and I received a lot of instruction on how we can keep working and helping our area. It is always great to see him and Sister Mathews!

Funny story real quick- So Sister Coelho speaks English. Well technically we speak Portuguese in the morning and English in the afternoon so that we both get to practice our second languages. Anyway it is so funny sometimes when I pretend I don´t understand what she is saying and she goes through the struggle to explain. So today I was eating a cracker and she said ´lamber´ which means to lick. Her definition of it was ´when your tongue goes out of your mouth and sends saliva to the cookie´ hahaha what? She wanted me to assure you guys though that she is from Lisbon and not from the country side! We have a lot of laughs!

Hear is a picture of Adi and Neia´s family after one of our family home evenings. 
 Sister Alvarado died this week. So weird that she is gone she has been here my whole entire mission! 
 And also a picture of our area achada gomes. If you just switched the cement house for hobbit homes it would be just like the shire!
Another conference has come and gone. Sounds like you guys enjoyed it as well! We started watching ours in the church on just a laptop and then they got the projector to work. Last conference in Portuguese! Kind of sad ... kind of not. haha I love conference in English! Wow it was so inspiring and I have so much to review and study again. Seriously was the high light of the week and maybe even the month! I was too excited and it was worth all the hype. I loved that the seventies gave talks in Cantonese, Spanish and of course PORTUGUESE! Plus I really enjoyed Elder Godoy talk aside the fact that it was in port. Maybe in like 30 years a talk will be given in creole?? hahahaa just kidding. ka ta da. But in all seriousness I received lots of wonderful direction from conference as I am sure you all did as well. I know that the messages were inspired by our loving Heavenly Father. He wants the best for his children and gives us divine direction through his appointed servants. And I am so grateful for that wonderful blessing. I am just grateful for all my blessings- my family, my friends, ward members, my mission here in cabo verde, my companion, and most importantly our Savior Jesus Christ who is our source of peace and light in our often turbulent lives. I love you all so much and will write soon! Have a great week everyone!

-Sister Turner

The first of the lasts...

September 29, 2014

Hello everyone!

I will try to not get too trunky but the fact of the matter is that today is the first p-day of my last transfer. You will receive probably 5 more emails, and then you will receive ME! haha!

I hope we get rain like you all got! These days have also been in the 90´s and now I will wait to follow the pattern that happened there!

Not a lot today but we ... HAD A BAPTISM in Assomada!!! Yesssss! Da (the one with the tie) was a reference of his cousin Danilson (the one without the tie). We have been teaching him most of the transfer and he has been taking a lot of steps to live the gospel and keep the commandments. This week he took the step of baptism by immersion and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. He really is a great guy that has tons of desire to keep the commandments and follow the Lord. Now he just needs to continue on the path! He is off to a good start and has been participating a ton in church. He loves that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints everyone can contribute and learn together. Not just a pastor preaching like it was in his previous experiences. We have a lot of hope for him that he will be a good priesthood holder for our ward. Please pray for him!
The rest of the week was pretty trial packed to say the least. Sister Coelho and I are really just trying to work and learn from these challenges and experiences we are having!

Today we downloaded and listened to the general woman´s conference from Saturday. I loved it! All the talk of temple preparation and covenants gets me excited to go to the temple with you guys in 6 weeks! I have to say too that I loved President Uchtdorf´s message especially. I highly recommend it for any woman who missed it! Also the messages got me even more excited for general conference this week. I LOVE the fact that we have inspired leaders who´s messages can help us receive personal revelation. I think this is one of the biggest blessings of the restored gospel and it often goes uncounted. I have been praying so much these past weeks not just for myself but for guys too that you also will have a powerful spiritual experience this weekend. I know this is the only true and living church on the earth. Like Tim-Tim always says - ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you. When we earnestly seek the Lord and his counsel we will be guided by the Holy Ghost. I know this is true. 

Much love and prayers!

-Sister Turner

p.s. this banana is about the size of a index card. So cute!

Rainy week. Finally!

September 22,2014

I will just tell now that my thoughts will be scattered today...

I forgot to tell you all that Sister Goss told me some wonderful news from Boa Vista. You remember Nilton and Indira? Well they are getting married and then baptized!!! YES! I am so happy for them and I know that Sister Goss and Sister Yeater kept taking good care of them after I was transferred. I will forward pictures when I get them from Sister Goss. Thanks again for all the prayers that were offered in their behalf, they paid off!

I also forgot to ask, is Brandon getting married before or after I get home? I hope I will be there! Oh and I am just dreaming about Thanksgiving!

This week has been rainy and stormy and I love it. I am all for anything that is a break from the hot African sun! But since we are so high in the mountains the clouds are really low and when it rains sometimes it is so white it looks like a snow storm. And yes I still love my tiny grandma sweater!

Our week was a little cuh-chunked as sister Coelho said. And its true. Our ward is going through some trials right now so that has been a learning experience for the both of us. We were immensely blessed this week to have the opportunity to teach 3 (THREE) families. It is honestly a pleasure to teach families the gospel. The gospel really does bless families! They are essential to God´s plan for us, and Cabo Verde really does need more strong families. And speaking of that we are helping this couple Adi and Neia with their 5 children prepare to go and be sealed in the temple. We just love that family so much! Also our investigator Da is progressing well towards baptism. He has date marked for this Saturday but we are just going to follow the Spirit to know if it is better that he be baptized in a couple weeks. He is an awesome guy but we just really want him to be solid and really be showing fruits of repentance so that he will not fall quickly and become inactive. I will keep everyone updated!

One last piece of news. I bought a couscouseira? ... A type of pan to make cuz cuz! Well I made some today and it turned out GREAT! We sisters made it disappear in about 5 minutes. And then you know what I did? I made another one just because it was TOO good. I am bringing that puppy home and am going to make cuz cuz for the rest of my days on the earth! haha I hope you guys like it. :)

Well that was super scattered to say the least. BUT I hope everyone are having a good week and are also taking advantage and learning from the unique trials that everyone is enfronting. I know God loves each one of his children and like Elder Eyring said he has devised a plan to try and save everyone of them so they can return to his presence. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and for my wonderful family and friends who are helping me along this path. I love you!

-Sister Turner

p.s. A flower that I am pretty sure is a type of lily! It is interesting huh?!