Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Hello Family ...

So basically I don't have much to say to y'all because we talked on Christmas. It was super nice talking to you, it has been forever and it is crazy to think that we only have one Skype call left and then I will be home.. it kinda blows my mind how fast things are going by but I'm enjoying it! :)

But ya on a kinda a sad note.. In this last week I feel like everything has gone super sour with the members and Elder Garner and me.  Right now the members aren't really signing up for meals or helping us with investigators because apparently the members in our ward think that we aren't friendly enough.  (Note from Jon's Mom -- This is very strange because normally everyone loves Jon).  Anyway, it's kind of sad because our ward members live in the other Elder's areas -- we have very strange ward boundaries -- and so we rarely visit them.  This week we were talking to one of them and they said "the other elders visit, why don't y'all visit."  So apparently we aren't the most liked, which is super sad.  Anyway, it is going to be super hard to gain their trust and friendship back, but it's all good -- I'm not scared about getting to know the members better, I am just kind of confused about the whole situation.  I am not sure why all of this happened this week, but it's all good, we are doing fine and feel very optimistic that we can fix this issue. :)

Other then that nothing really changed this week.  We didn't have any investigators in church, but we got the "G" family to come to church which was good because they really like going to church, they are just in the process of understanding the whole "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy" thing, and were almost going inactive because they go and shop on Sunday and stuff.  We are trying to help them understand, but its super hard because she mainly speaks Guarani and doesn't really understand us.  Sister "G" is such a good person and has such a huge testimony, which is incredible,  Sister "G" even pays her tithing which is really hard for her because she is doesn't have much money at all -- for the most part, people in Paraguay have a hard time paying their tithing because they have so little.  One goal that I am going to set with Sister "G" is to go to the temple, it would be so cool to go to the Temple with them. :)

So I really don't have much to say. Haha.  Elder Frost went home, and that was super weird because I saw him and Elder Singer a lot ... and even before that, I was with Elder Frost and Elder McClelland a lot, so we all got to be pretty close --  and so it's super crazy not to see Elder Frost at church, or in the streets, or on p-day and stuff. 

But yeah, so I don't have anything else to say.  Please tell Nonnie that I said "Happy Birthday", because I totally forgot.  I love her so much! :)  I sure love y'all and hope that you are all doing well.

Love Elder Turley

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Will and Joan Turley Family! What an amazing two days we have had filled with family, food, and fun! The highlight of Christmas Day was Skyping with our wonderful missionary, Elder Jonathan Turley!
Our joy is truly full!!! 

Pictures from our Skype Session with Elder Turley

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014 -- Christmas Email

Hey Family - 
So this week was a good one. We have good and bad news, bad news is that we still don't have the baptism of Anna which is kind of sad. She hasn't been to church in the past little while, which is kinda stressful because we have put so much time into her and  I don't wanna give up on her.  I know that she will get baptized I am just not sure when, all we can do as missionaries is to do our part.  I don't know what's holding her back because it should have happened by now, but it is best to know that as servants of the Lord,  it isn't our time to tell her when to get baptized.  We do our part and we just wait for the Lord to do his part. 

That's one thing that I have learned on the mission, that we need to just do all we can and let the Lord finish the rest. That's a good thing for me to know because as I read my Patriarchal Blessing, I have noticed that a lot of my blessings are going to come from me trusting in the Lord and knowing that He will come through on His part. It is so comforting knowing that we have a God who is looking over His children and knows us and knows everything that is going to pass.  It is crazy though to think that there are so many people who are out in the world thinking that they have no plan, and nobody to care about them. It is amazing as a missionary to be able to help these people change their lives forever and bring a light into their lives that they wouldn't have been able to find if We weren't here, acting as the Lord's representative. 

It's great being a missionary especially with the "This is the Gift" video.  It's great to see people's faces when they can feel the spirit of that video.  The church was so inspired to create that video.  I know that it has made me put in perspective the things I need to change and the way I need to think in this Christmas Season.  I shouldn't be just a grinch that doesn't like to set up Christmas stuff.  I need to be smart and think about the things that really matter in this life, like our family and the fact that we have the atonment in our life. ;) I know that I haven't  lived the best of lives, or haven't done the best of things, but  I am here now and that is solely because Christ came down and suffered for our sins. I honestly feel like the mission has changed me.  I am still the same Jon, the  same personality, just with a respect for the things that I didn't really take seriously before the mission, which is a pretty refreshing change for me! ;) 

I want you to know I am thankful for all your support, and I am happy that y'all are here for me and are giving your all for me. ;) You are honestly so amazing and that is what I am thankful for this Christmas season ... you all!  I know when I left, and gave my farewell, that I went kinda deep into what all of you have done for me and I cried a bunch and it got pretty sentimental, but that is the way I feel! These cards that I am opening everyday are such a blessing and I am so grateful for all of you and the things that you do for me.  I am grateful for all of you, my parents, my grandparents, my siblings, my nieces, even down to the little baby who is inside of Lindsay. I love each and every one of you a ton. :)  I am so grateful that I get to be with you all forever. Elder Garner and I taught that "families can be together forever" in the Gospel Principles class yesterday, and it made me extremely grateful that I can be with y'all para siempre (forever).

I love y'all so much and I am so grateful for everything that y'all do.  Thank you for all the support from my family and my ward family and from all of my friends. You are the reason I am here, and I am so grateful that I am here.

May god bless you and may all of you have a very merry Christmas. ;) 

Elder Jonathan Holladay Turley 
The 1st


District Meet with District Leader Elder Frost

Ward Christmas Party

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Hello Parents --

So this week turned out to be a little bit interesting.  As y'all know, we had planned for Anna to be baptized this past week, but apparently it wasn't her time because every time we go over to her house, we try and talk to the dad and ask him to talk to the mom, and he still hasn't talked to her. It's really sad because baptism is something that she really wants to do, and her dad just isn't doing his part.  Her dad says that he is down for her to get baptized, but he isn't showing it.  
 It's been a sad week as far as baptisms go.  So Friday we went to do service for a poor family who was going to be baptized on the 10th of December by Elder Frost and Elder Singer, but when we got there for our service project we saw that Elder Frost and Elder Singer where having a deep discussion with them.  So apparently that very night, they had gotten into a pretty big fight and they decided to call off their wedding and then their baptism.  It's super sad, right?  So we all ended up speaking to them and trying to get the wife to rethink the whole thing, because by them doing calling off their wedding and their baptism, they were all losing so many blessings --  like family blessings, Temple blessing, and so on and so forth.  It was super sad because this family, which has a lot of people in it, are now losing everything they have worked on simply because a few mean words were said.  It was just so hard to watch, because you could tell the wife was closed on everything that the husband had to say, and anything he was saying was just awful to her because she had already planned to leave him.  Anyway, this was just so super sad.
Other than the cancelled baptisms, we did do a lot of service this week.  On Thursday, we had a service project planned out with the Elders and the young men and women.  It was definitely interesting.  We entered the room and right when we got there they handed us sand paper and were like so ya we are going to sand off the old paint and then repaint the house.  So that was pretty interesting.  We ended up sanding about half the house by hand -- which was frustrating because there is for sure more efficient way of doing it.  Then it was time to paint.  So Paraguayans don't really know how to paint houses really well, it's all about "less is more" for them.  It was kind of crazy because it turns out one bag of paint works with two gallons of water, but this family decided that they were going to use that one bag of paint for eight gallons of water.  Basically the paint was way too watery, but nobody seemed to care, they were super happy with the way things were turning out.  So the missionaries kind of took charge of everything and told them they needed more paint and less water, but it turns out we didn't have enough paint.  So it was turning out that we pretty much had orange walls with a super watered down green coat of paint.  We ended up using a ton of coats of paint just to try and cover the wall up and make it look nice, but then the people were coming in and saying "You all paint like girls, go faster."  So we went into the room that they were painting to see what it looked like, and it looked like someone had had an accident all over the wall and then painted it in like green highlighter.  So ... this week I learned the importance of actually using correct measurements when doing house projects.  :)
So yeah, this week was quite eventful.  We worked hard and got a lot done, and helped people to come to the Lord.  Oh, one good thing I forgot to mention is that Gregoria and her family were inactive for a little while, but they came to church this week, so that was super cool.  We have been working hard with the menos activos (less actives ... there are 450 people in our ward and only 100 come), so it was nice to see our work paying off ... I love it, it's such a great feeling.

I sure love y'all and hope y'all are doing well.

Elder Turley

Elder Turley with Elder Luke

Elder Turley with Elder Martinez

Elder Turley with his Trainer, Father (and new Assistant to the President), Elder Gummersall

Elder Turley with his Trainer (Father), Elder Gummersall in the middle, and his Son, Elder Garner on the left.  

In Mission Terms -- Grandfather, Father, Son 

Missionaries Doing Service

Missionaries having fun!!!

Pictures of Elder Turley's area

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December 1, 2014