Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Hey Family.. 

So this week was a good one. I had another "crazy Chaco" experience this week but I'll tell you about that later.  
So basically things are super good out in the Chaco ... well they "were" super good because as it turns out, this week I have changes (transfers).  I am no longer in the Chaco ... or at least at this moment no longer in Neuland.  Right now I have no idea where I am going to be serving, but I guess that is the fun of it all.  :) 

Elder Luke has completed his mission and is going home, and so he and I traveled to Asuncion together so that I could find out my changes and Elder Luke could have his final interview with the President. I am hoping that I am going somewhere that is pretty close to the city, but I honestly have no idea -- there are a lot of places that I could go.  So ... I will let you know as soon as I can.  

But ya so this week was super cool. I kinda felt that I was going to be changed and so I actually packed everything up at night during the week.  It ended up being good because after I received notice that I was to go to Asuncion, instead of packing I was able to go out and do a lot of work. We visited with Adriano and his family, and they are doing well they are super stoked to get baptized which is super cool.  We did have to cancel their baptism date because they weren't able to come to church this week because of a death in the family, so they are going to have to re-schedule their baptism.

So ... now for the weekly "Chaco" craziness ... So first a sad thing ... our investigator, Narcissa, who we were going to baptize (and is the sister of the Branch President) actually died this week.  I'm not really sure what she passed away from, but her death kind of threw off the whole community.  

Anyway, the craziness of this is that my companion and I were able to attend Narcissa's funeral and I have to say it was one of the craziest things I have ever seen.  You know how on TV you see people going to funerals who just sit there and scream?  Yep, than happened.  There was a little sermon type thing and then they let everyone from the community go up and touch her body.  And when people would touch her, they would cry out and scream and fall over the casket.  It was pretty intense to be honest it, and was so super, super sad, but it was also super,super weird and super, super different at the same time.  A couple of times, I thought I might laugh out loud because it was so crazy, but it's all good because I was able to control myself.  But yeah, that is my "crazy Chaco" story from this week. 

But yeah, nothing else too interesting happened this week, just a lot lessons and then saying "goodbye" to the people of Neuland. 

But yeah, so this letter isn't the best, but I will have a good one for you next week. Haha :)

Love --
Elder Turley 

Questions of the Week:

1.  Who are your investigators?
I don't know at this very moment because I haven't arrived in my new area yet.  

2.  What was your church attendance this week? 

15, a lot of people missed because of the death.

3.  Did you make it to Paraiso? 

No, we are at the members' mercy to get there and it didn't happen.

4.  What was your most spiritual experience this week? 

The funeral.  It was sad and spiritual and weird all at once. 

 5.  What was your funniest experience this week? 
We had a lesson where none of us could stop laughing.  It was super hard because we tried to sing and we butchered the song because we were laughing too much. 

6.  What was your hardest experience this week? 

Leaving my area and saying "goodbye" was really hard.

7.  Did you get the computer? 

Nope, it has never come.

8.  Who is your favorite person this week and why? 

Adriano, he is super cool and is so ready to get baptized. 

9.  Do you have any crazy Chaco stories this week? 

The funeral which I wrote about above. 

10.  What can we pray about for you? 

That I can get along well in my new area. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

Hey what's up Family --

So I would just like to say "thank you father for all that you have done for us."  It was your birthday recently and so I want you to just assume that your birthday letter applies to Father's Day because you know you are a super good dad and stuff and I kind of love you. :)

But yeah, this week was super dope.  It went really fast because we were traveling so much.  On Sunday we went to Filidelphia in order to email and do church stuff, and then we went back to Neuland to pack, and then went to Asuncion.  We went to Asuncion because we had a mission conference with Elder Gonzalez.  The conference was really cool.  Elder Gonzalez spoke about a lot of really cool things and I have been able to implement a lot of what he talked about, such as being more direct with questions such as asking people to go to church and to read The Book of Mormon.  He explained that we are going to be inviting the people to repentance through our questions to them.  He said that repentance is a "yes or no" answer -- either they want to repent or they don't.  It was really kind of a cool way to put things because I had never really thought about that before.  Since the conference, I have noticed that my questions have been more direct, and we have been able to have a lot of success through just changing one simple thing, and so it was super nice. I haven't received the mission picture they took at the conference, but as soon as I get it, I will send it to you. 

But other then that the week was super good.  We set up a couple of date for people to get married, like Adriano, and that was cool.  Adriano is super excited to get married and it is funny because we asked him "Hey, why is it important that you get married," to which he told us that it was important because he works and so he needs a woman to clean and cook and watch the kids.  It was super funny because the answer we were looking for was to complete and keep the commandments of God and so we can be blessed through our diligence in completely following God.  So he got it wrong, but it was super funny.   

This week we weren't able to connect with Adolfo.  We went by his house three or four times, but he was never there.  It actually was super weird that we weren't able to connect with him, but it will be okay because he is super prepared to be baptized and he did come to church, so it's all good.  So after we went by his house so many times, we were standing outside of his cousin's house and he walked out and said "Hey, I moved, sorry for not telling you."  Haha.  It would have saved us a lot of confusion. :)  But even though we weren't able to meet with him, he is doing well.   

But yeah, other than that nothing really crazy happened in the week ... just ordinary proselyting stuff  which is not really that fun ... at least for you all. :) 

I love y'all, and I am super happy to be a part of your family. 

With love -- 
Elder Turley 

Questions of the Week:

So how was your week? 
It was good. 

How are things going with Adolfo? 

Things are good but he cant get baptized for a while.

What about Adriano and his family? 

They are doing well. They are planning on getting married.

Have you been able to get back to talk to the guy where you were getting the USB ports from? 

Not with him, but with his brother.

Do you have any new investigators? 


How was your attendance yesterday? 


What was your happiest moment last week? 

Going to Asunscion.

Your funniest moment? 

Ummm I went to the batroom at like 4 in the morning at the Office Elders house and their toilet wouldn't flush.  Then the next morning I had to leave before they were awake, so I am sure they were surprised. Haha.

You toughest moment? 

One of my friends Elder Mcllelland went home with a concussion.

Your most spiritual moment?

The meeting with Elder Gonzalez 

How is your health? 

It's good, I'm not sick of anything. 

Were you able to get out to Paraiso this week?

No, the stake president went out without us

What was your favorite meal this week? 

I eat the same thing every day, but I was able to have Burger King. 

Who is your favorite person this week?

Mateo Vazquez.  He came to church for the first time in a while. 

What was your favorite scripture last week?

I really like Mosiah 4 about how to raise a family and to help other people. 

Any funny or random Chaco stories this week?

My companion roasted peppers and they hot-boxed my house and we couldn't breath without it burning our lungs.

 Pictures from Paraguay

Pictures from Neuland

Missionaries Having Fun

Mission Picture
(Jon is on the third row, third person on the left from the white wall.  Two people behind the Hermana in the red shirt.  He is standing two away from Elder Garner with Elder Luke in the middle of them). 

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Hey Family 

So this week was pretty interesting.  We for sure had some crazy things go down, but we are doing pretty well as a companionship and we have a ton of potential as far as baptisms in the future go.  We are currently preparing a family (not Adolfo's -- more on that below) for baptism on the 11th of July, so that should be really cool. They are super stoked to be baptized.  It's so interesting, it's crazy how much of a change going through the Temple has made on our Branch President.  Ever since his family was sealed in the Temple, he is so excited about spreading the  gospel and has given us a ton of references for people who are really ready for baptism!

But yeah, this week we prepped for our "Noche de Rama" activity (evening branch activity), and it was super cool. At the activity, we talked about love.  It was super good, and I feel like the branch members are finally starting to understand that they need to love other people, especially the church members.  We explained to them they need to have love for everyone because, truthfully, they are a family (a branch family) and God has commanded them to love one another.  We explained that it is really important that they love one another and that they have a bond with each other so they can help and encourage each other. 

So are far as the week goes, on Monday evening we went to Abundancia and didn't get in until 3 in the morning.  Tuesday was district meeting, and I was able to get all of the branch finances handled so that was good.  Then we hitch hiked home and got back to Neuland around 6:00 p.m. 

When we got back to Neuland, we went to visit Adolfo and his family.  Adolfo talked to us about how much he has grown and how much he wants to be baptized to be forgiven of his sins.  He said he wants to change, just like he has seen our Branch President and his cousin change.  Apparently our Branch President was a pretty gnarly guy before he got baptized.  According to some branch members, our Branch President drank a lot and had a bunch of different girlfriends and smoked a lot, but when he accepted the Gospel and decided to get baptized, he changed completely!  It's super cool to see what has happened because he is such an example to a lot of people.  It really is amazing how much things can change through the example of just one person. 

Anyway in talking to Adolfo, and without going in to detail, we realized that he is so prepared for baptism and is super "golden".  As Adolfo opened up to us he told us of an issue from his past, and told us that through prayer he feels like the Lord has forgiven him, and he can't wait to be baptized to be really forgiven.  After talking with him, we explained that because of the issue, unfortunately, his baptism is not going to happen next week like we had planned.  We explained that there is a formality that has to be taken care of before he is baptized, but we will continue to work with him until he is actually able to enter the water! 

An exciting thing, this week I hit 18 months in the mission field.  In some aspects I still feel like I have a ton of time left, but at the same time I feel like it is going to go by so super quickly.  I remember when Elder Frost went home and Elder Luke only had six months left and he was telling Elder Luke that his last six months would go so quickly and be done in "no time."  And now, when I talk to Elder Luke, who goes home this coming transfer, he is telling me the same thing.  I seriously have learned so much from the people of Paraguay, and I know that I still have things left to learn from them.  I also know that I have a lot of work still to do, and I am super stoked to do it! :) 

We are going to Asuncion this week because a General Authority is visiting our mission, so that will be cool!

Well, I love y'all so much and I am thankful for all of the support that I have received from you.  Y'all are so amazing and I know for certain that if we do the right things, and live the right way, that we can be together forever as a family! ;) 


Elder Turley 

1.  Who are your investigators
Adolfo and Daisy
Adriano and his wife

2.  What was your church attendance this week?
We had 27 people at church, our attendance number went up -- even in the rain!

3.  Did you make it to Paraiso?
No, it has been rainy here and when it rains, the roads are pretty much inpassable.

4.  What was your most spiritual experience this week?
The lesson we had with Adolfo when he opened up and shared his past with us, and bore his testimony to us!

5.  What was your funniest experience this week?
Playing basketball in Asuncion.

6.  What was your hardest experience this week?
That we had to delay Adolfo's baptism. 

7.  Did you get the computer?
Not yet

8.  Who is your favorite person this week and why?
Elder Luke -- he is just an AMAZING Elder

9.  Do you have any crazy Chaco stories this week?
No, not really. Haha.

10.  What can we pray about for you?
That I can be inspired to now who to talk to and when.

Working hard in the Chaco

Jonathan loves animals ... especially Dogs!

 It's fun to see this hard working Elder, have some fun too!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015

Hey how are y'all doing?

So this week was pretty interesting, for sure not a "real, normal" missionary week.

So my comp was sick all week so we had to stay in for the most part which was alright. It was nice to get a little rest and to be able to sleep a little more. Haha!  But it was kinda boring and it made it so we didn't really get to visit all the people that I really wanted to visit. We do still have 3 dates for baptism this month, which is pretty exciting! I am super stoked for the baptisms because as y'all know, baptisms don't really happen that often here in the Chaco.  The fact that we are having a family get baptized is super, super cool! ;)

So yeah, this week was pretty boring on the lesson side, but it was super exciting on the service side. We did a ton of service ... we went out and we built a house.  Yeah, we built a house for a family.  What happened is that we took their house apart and started building it again in a different spot.  Seriously, we spent a good like five hours digging the holes and getting it all ready, and we started building the house, but it was slow going because it was just my companion and I, and we weren't able to finish the house that day, so we made plans to come back the next day and finish it.  So the next day my companion and I show up to finish the house, and the dad had taken the day off of work to supervise and he told us that he wanted his house built in a different way.  So we had to take apart everything we had put together the day before and put it back up the dad's way.  So we were halfway through rebuilding the rebuild and the Mennonite leaders came by and told the man that he didn't need to move because they were marking the lots and the original location the man had his house was just fine.  Soooo we had to re-take down the house (that we had taken apart and built three times) and re-build it in its original form on its original lot. Haha! So, yeah, that was super crazy and another interesting "Chaco" experience.  

We also did service in Filadelphia, where we helped the Mennonite ministers cut trees and grass with machetes.  It was pretty cool!  The coolest part is that as we were leaving, one of the ministers who runs Mennonite radio station, which is always bashing the "Mormon" missionaries, said that they were going to announce on the radio that the Mormon missionaries came out and worked hard and helped clean up the community!  That was some huge progress we had with them because in Filadelphia the Mennonites hate the Mormon missionaries.  In fact, they hate us so much that they go on the radio and tell their people that they shouldn't listen to the Mormon missionaries because all the Mormon missionaries want to do is baptize their daughters and take all the Mennonite "virgins" to America. It really is a lot of funny business that is not that funny! ;)  So the progress we made with the Mennonite ministers was huge, and it was all because of doing service. 

But yeah, so today we were in Asuncion because my companion received a call that he would need to go to Asuncion to do some immigration stuff.  It was kind of sad because for five months straight  I have been having my p-days with Elder Luke and this is the first one that I haven't been with him. The struggle is real. Haha.  I guess I need to get use to the fact that he's not going to be around because he goes home next transfer.  Haha!

But yeah, today I had to go to the dentist because a little while ago I realized that I had a cavity.  Honestly it kind of scared me because there isn't the best dental care here and so I wasn't planning on going to the dentist and I was worried that I would have like ten cavities when I got home, and that would cost a lot for mom and dad. But I talked to the Hermana McMullin this week and told her that I had a cavity and she said that the insurance the mission has covers cavities and so I went to the dentist today.  It really wasn't too bad, they filled my cavity in 45 minutes so that was cool.

Right now I am at a bus terminal waiting for a bus that will take us to Abundancia for our district meeting tomorrow.  This is probably the longest bus ride I will ever take to get to a district meeting. Haha. ;).   

I just want to say Feliz Cumpleaños to my father!  Thank you, dad, for being the best dad out there and for always being there for me when I needed it.  I love that you have always supported me in whatever I wanted to do, even if you knew it might not be the best thing for me. Haha.  I love you, dad, and will always be grateful for you!  Oh and I am pretty sure my future wife and children will be super grateful to you as well because you have shown me the way that I need to treat my family and my wife.  I could not have asked for a better example than you! 

I love y'all and hope y'all are well! 
 Elder Turley

Questions of the Week:

1.  What was your happiest moment this week? 

Going to Asuncion

2.  What was your hardest moment this week? 
Staying in the house all week ...  and not being able to be with Luke on p-day 

3.  What was your spiritual moment of the week? 
A lesson we had with Adofo when he said that he had a dream that Jesus Christ told him he needed to join the church 

4.  What was your funniest moment of the week? 
We found some leggings and put them on .. you probably had to be there. ;)

5.  How many people were in church? 
We had18 this week.  I think we would have had more if we would have been able to visit everyone this week that we wanted to visit.  

6.  Who are your investigators? Right now we have a baptism date set for June 26th for a family ... Adolfo, Daisy, and Nidia.

7.  Who is your favorite person this week? Probably Aldofo.  He progressing like crazy and has a real desire to change his life. 

8.  Did you eat any crazy food this week?  What was your favorite meal? 
I never eat anything crazy.  I did eat at Burger King this week and that was really good.  

9.  Do you know I love you more than life itself? 
Yes mother, I do.

Building the House ... three times!!!

Having some good old "Missionary" fun!!!
(Don't worry ... he's got shorts on under the panty hose)!!!

Doing service (and having some fun) in the Chaco

Having a cavity filled in Paraguay!!!

Jon bought a Natavity Set which was handmade in Paraguay with wood specific to Paraguay!!!
(He bought me one too)!!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

Hey what's up?
So life is good but this week was kind of a little bit hectic. We didn't get back to our area until Thursday because we went to Filadelphia to email and send our reports and stuff, and then we went to Abundancia to have our District Meeting.  Our District Meeting was super funny because our DL is super strict and apparently he didn't like the fact that Elder Luke and I wanted to have some good old missionary fun and so we switched their closets in the middle of the night while they were sleeping.  He specifically asked Elder Luke and I how we thought we were doing as far as obedience goes, and we told him that we are doing great and working hard, we just like to have fun and like to keep things interesting too.  Anyway, it was super funny, maybe you had to be there. ;)

After District Meeting, we had Zone Meeting and interviews.  It was great to talk to President McMullin and to tell him about some issues we were having in Neuland.  We still haven't received our computer. President McMullin then made a couple of phone calls and things started getting fixed!  It was super cool!  Haha! So good news, we should receive the computer in the next couple of weeks, and if we don't, President is going to "drop some fat Cain" on some people.
This week we were able to visit a lot of people, and it's been super cool because we have been having a lot of success with contacting families that the Branch President has given us.  It has been super amazing! I have been super motivated to give all of myself to my last four transfers.  It's going to be super hard, but I can already see the fruits of the work that I have been putting in.  

So yeah, this week was super cool ... Amazing!  We were able to commit Adolfo and Daisy to baptism and that was exciting.  They committed to baptism the first time we met with them, and they have come to church two times.   Their baptisms are set for the 26th.  Aldofo and Daisy have really liked church meetings.  For class this week we were talked about the First Vision and they really felt the Spirit! It was really an amazing lesson! ;)

I have been reading my P. Blessing and it talks about how I will have success as I serve people, so I have made a goal to do as much service as I can. It is cool because I have read my blessing many times, but this time that part really stood out to me and so I have been trying to put a lot of focus in service.  Yesterday after a lesson, we saw a lady cutting down a tree for firewood and so we went over and I cut the last couple of branches and then we carried the firewood to her house.  After we had served her, we were able to teach her a lesson.  There are so many activities that we can do to find new people to teach, and I am super excited for the opportunity to serve!

Well family, life really is good.  I sure love y'all and hope you have a good week!

Elder Turley 

1.  What was your happiest moment this week? 
Just finding the people and being able to put dates with them to be baptized

2.  What was your hardest moment this week? 
The missionary that just came home early has started drinking.

3.  What was your spiritual moment of the week? 
We had a good lesson with Julie, our Primary President, that was super cool.  Julie saw her baptism photo and she started crying, she really felt the Spirit.  She really is so great and is so committed to be doing the things that she needs to be doing. 
4.  What was your funniest moment of the week?
 I gave one of the CTR rings to a lady and she thought I was proposing to her. Haha!  Also, I took a tick out of a dog during a lesson and it exploded all over one of our members from Abundancia.

5.  Did you get our package?
Yes. Thanks for the CTR rings.  We have been visiting less actives and talking to them about making better choices.  Then at the end of the lesson, we have been giving them the rings

6.  How many people were in church? 

7.  Who are your investigators? 
Adolfo and Daisy.  They are going to be baptized on the 26th of this month.  

8.  Who is your favorite person this week? 
Julie Alvarez, she is super cool and is getting a lot better with her conversion.  She was wearing her CTR ring when she came to church this week!

9.  Did you eat any crazy food this week?  What was your favorite meal?
 I didn't eat anything too cool.  We make all of our own food and it's nothing too cool.

10.  Do you know I love you more than life itself?  Yes mother, I do.

 Jon received his Package -- Yeah!!!

Jon asked for cookie mix so he could make some cookies!!!
(I am a little disturbed by the uncleanliness of the cookie sheet. Haha)


 It's Winter in Paraguay
and raining in the Chaco!!!

Jon and his companion found a fun pond ... Really???
I am so thankful he didn't fall in!!!

Jon and Elder Luke having some
good old Chaco fun!!!