Pictures sent to me from Elder Turley.
Monday, November 30, 2015
This week has been pretty awesome but sad to say I got news that I am going to be transferred . I'm getting moved up even more north to Omak Washington. My companion is going to be Elder Colunga-Flores from Texas. Yet again my companion is from Texas. From what I am told it is going to be even colder there in Omak but It is very pretty up there. Hopefully I will not freeze while I am up there for the winter. I'm getting a little used to the cold here but it is still not enjoyable. Good thing I am able to layer up and at least be warmer. It's crazy to think that it's already time for another transfer and that I'm getting moved. It feels like just yesterday Elder Mercado got here and we started the transfer. Time really does fly. And Christmas is right around the corner. I can't believe it.
As you can tell by the pictures we got to start this past week off with a bit of snow. I think we got about 3 inches of snow and it was awesome. It's cool to see snow because that stuff doesn't fall much down in good Old Texas. We got to throw a bit of snow around before we had our District council. It was a bunch of fun. Speaking of district council we had a really good discussion on the topic of the fourth missionary. There was a quote in the fourth missionary talk from C.S. Lewis. The Lord is speaking to us saying, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart shall become your will." (Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, p. 167) I really love this little passage and how it tells us that we need to give all of our desires and wills to the lord. It is something that is really hard to do but it is defiantly worth it in the end. When we are able to orient our desires with those of the lord we will be better off and become more like him. We will be more in tune with the spirit and better able to follow its promptings. I thought I would share it with you since it can really apply to anyone. It may apply a bit more to full time missionaries but, it still helps anyone see how to become more in tune with the spirit.
This week has been a bit interesting as well having to walk everywhere in the snow. I think I can now say I have had to walk up-hill both ways in the snow. It's a little warmer walking in comparison to the bikes because we aren't rushing around in the wind but it also means that we had to walk everywhere we had to go. Made things a little harder and we had to watch the time so we wouldn't be late to things. The walking is a bit tiring but it is all worth it.
Thanksgiving was really good. We had one meal with the "H" family at 1 and then after that we went over and had another Thankgiving meal with the "G" family. We were so full and yet Elder Turley still insisted on us eating more food while we were at the "G". It was a good time to enjoy being with some of the families here in Othello. After dinner with the "G" we went and walked around for the rest of the night trying to find people we could talk to and visit. We ended up going and visiting two less active families and sharing a message with them. It was defiantly an enjoyable day.
With it being Thanksgiving week most people were spending time with family or were out of town. This made it a bit harder for us to find our investigators and actually teach them. We kept trying though and used most of our time these past 3 days trying to set up time we can go and see people within the week. It got a little tiring and discouraging to not be able to get in and teach anyone but we tried and that's what counts. A successful missionary is not measured by numbers or the amount of baptisms but instead by his devotion to the work and the will of the lord.
Yesterday () Elder Mercado and I gave talks in the Spanish ward sacrament meeting. I was a little worried about covering the 10 minutes I was given but from what Elder Mercado tells me I covered it rather well. We both were given the topic of keeping the commandments and more specifically the law of tithing. It was good studying and preparing for my talk and taking time to learn about gods purpose for commandments and why he asks us to pay tithing. I based the larger portion of my talk on the teachings of King Bennjamin in Mosiah 2:22-24. They are really good scriptures and help us see the blessings that come from obedience to the commandments and why we should keep them. I think it also helps us see why we need to pay tithing, although it doesn't specifically say anything about tithing. I wasn't looking forward to speaking but looking back I'm glad I was given the opportunity.
To answer some questions. I'm only able to read my emails on P-day and likewise only respond as well. It is getting a little cold but as it drops below 20 there isn't much moisture in the air so it isn't a very stinging cold. Still not fun to be out in but I'm glad its more of a dry cold.
Glad you had a good Thanksgiving back home and I hope all is still going well.
P.S. Elder Mercado shared a song with me that was awesome and I was wondering if you could find the group for me and get me some of their music. He said the group is a womens version of BYU Vocal Point. That would be awesome if you could. And I'm always open to some new ties.
Snow about 3 inches, not fun walking in
I got my new stocking, thanks Mom and Dad
I'm going to miss the "C" family
Our faithful companion
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
It's just about time for Thanksgiving. Our mission President shared a scripture this week with us and I thought I would share it with you. This scripture comes from the teachings of Amulek in Alma 34:38: "receive [The Holy Ghost], and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye may humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye may live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." I really like this scripture because this is the kind of attitude we should have at all times and especially as we enter into this holiday season. We need to be humble and give thanks unto the lord for all that we have been given.
We have had a really good week here in Othello even with it starting to get really cold. we have been starting to see a lot more miracles as we have been trying to talk to everyone. Sometimes it can be hard and seem a whole lot easier to just keep walking. The blessings from taking time to stop and talk to those we see on our way to other places is well worth the time. As we have done so we have found more people that are willing to listen to us and learn more about the gospel. More people are sincerely asking us to come back and share more with us and we have been able to find those that have been prepared. us having this focus has been a great way to really show our love for those we serve around.
Up to now we have already had four thanksgiving meals. We had onefor the 3rd ward dinner and one for the 4th ward dinner. Then we had a thanksgiving lunch with the Jensen Family. We were talking with some of the "J's" kids and a daughter-in-law of theirs is a"H" and her brother is Houston from our ward. It is so cool when you are able to meet people that have connections to you. We talked about it and one of them said we get tender mercies like that so the Lord can show us that we are not alone in the work. Then they took a picture of us and sent it to Houston. I see that you got to see said picture. They are also going to be heading to Melissa for Christmas and I can send somethings there to you when they go. We also had Thanksgiving dinner with Bishop Villarreal and has some awesome pasole. We still have another two thanksgiving meals that we know of this week.
With all of the ward activities around this time of the year it is such a great time to meet those people the members invite. I hope for the ward activities back home you are inviting friends and especially those that are non-members. It's a really good for them to get to know the other members and be more comfortable talking about the church.
We had and investigator that had gotten offended last Sunday at somethings that were said. We went and visited her this pastand talked to her about it. We discussed how everyone is imperfect and just because members mess up and say stupid things doesn't mean that the church is not true. We also talked a lot about how heavenly father gives us trials and problems to test us and that he knows that we are capable of rising above those challenges. We invited her to pray about coming to church again and she came . She has so much potential and even though she has opposition in her home she still tries her best to learn more and search for the truth. We are so thankful for the blessings the lord gives us when we put in the effort.
I hope all is well back home.
P.S. I would love to get some more recipes. Maybe even the recipe for the lasagna soup.
We were teaching an investigator and kept hearing this sound coming from the kitchen. We asked what it was and he told us that it was a bunch of living fish.
We haven't gotten snow where we are at yet but every morning everything gets frosted and it looks like snow which is cool.
Picture sent to us from Sister J
Sunday, November 22, 2015
We are the G family and your son is serving in our ward! And we have invited them for thanksgiving dinner. And we wanted to send this message demonstrating our love and appreciation to your family and for him. He is a great Elder that works hard and has a strong spirit. We appreciate your sacrifices for serving the Lord. We appreciate his work and all that he does. We also appreciate your love and support. We will be sending some pictures and again we really appreciate your Elder and all that he does for the Lord and this ward.
The G Family
The G Family
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
We just went to the temple today. There was a ton of winds and it formed a big dust storm here in our part of Washington. The cool thing is that above and around the temple is clear skies and not dust. It was a really cool experience. Columbia River Temple is awesome.
Our district at the temple. Sister Hirshy's hair was all over the place because the wind was so strong.
Monday, November 16, 2015
This week has been pretty good. I don't have as much time today since it isn't actually p-day today. Tomorrow is going to be p-day since we have our temple trip tomorrow. And we have to get to a lesson here soon so I'm going to make it a little shorter this time.
This has been a really great week to be honest. We have been able to meet a lot of new people and have even started teaching some of them. We have been working on turning every opportunity into a teaching opportunity. It is really helping us find new people to teach as we help them feel of the spirit and having it testify to them. It helps when we are able to bring the spirit to them because that feeling is what they will associate the church with. Even if they don't start taking the lessons now and learning of the gospel they will start being prepared to learn of the gospel at a latter time. I think that's what people mean when they say you will plan many seeds in peoples lives. It relates to Alma 32 when he is referring to the gospel as a seed. We are able to bring it unto people and let them hear it and feel of its light. And as time goes on they begin to feel a swelling of it in their hearts and a desire to learn more. There are many people who have been prepared in this way and the fruits are ready to harvest. This is what it means when in the scriptures it says "the field is white already to harvest". I think as members we should be working to help plan those seeds and find those that have already been prepared. We can all do our part in this work and help bring people to the gospel.
We have had a really good week full of teaching and finding alike. Being able to get into a house and teach the gospel is such a great blessing. Being able to hear peoples stories and see where they come from is pretty fun. Then we get to share the gospel and help them come unto Christ. We have a few people we have progressing and we hope to invite a few of them to be baptized. I hope as they feel of the holy ghost they will come to realize the importance of it in their lives. And when we show others how important it is to us it will help hasten that progression.
I hope all is well back home and that its not tooo cold for all of you back in Texas.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
This has been a pretty great week for me. I haven't frozen just yet so we are all good. The weather is starting to get colder and colder and the rain doesn't want to stop for us. I think the weather likes to mock us since we are riding on our bikes and walking everywhere. It no big deal though I just got a big wool jacket and some sweaters from goodwill today and then the jacket I'm getting sent to me should mean I'll be warm for winter. Talking about our bike we have had a crazy week in that regard. Some one let out the air in our tires one night while we were out walking around and we weren't very happy to come back to flat tires. Elder Mercado was just able to fill his back us and I was able to patch my tire. The patch only really lasted a day but it will be fine. Elder Mercado also got chased by a pit-bull while on his bike and had to pedal for his life.He didn't get eaten by the dog so all is well. I also crashed my bike while trying to hop up onto a curb. I just scraped up my knee a bit which isn't too bad. Bikes are a lot of fun other than the fact that we don't have heaters and windshields to keep us out of the elements.
I went on exchanges again this week with Elder Call. We had a good time and got to talk to a bunch of people. We also got to talk to one of the less actives who is from Nigeria. He is really cool and wishes he lived in the city. Sadly he is pretty far from the city. We shared ponderizing with him and his wife and challenged them to give it a try. We are going to be visiting them again this week and we will be able to follow up with them. Elder Call and I were able to work on making every opportunity a teaching opportunity. It's so much better and effective when you try and teach something when ever you talk to someone. Helps them feel of the spirit and understand what our purpose as missionaries is.
We had Zone Training Meetingand it was a great learning experience. We discussed accountability and our role in the conversion process. It's really important to realize that our accountability is to the lord and that as long as we are doing the things he asks of us we are successful missionaries. That also ties into our role in peoples conversion process. As long as we do our part, are worthy, and do our best to help our investigators we are successful. Our success isn't measured by the number of baptisms or any other number although it may seem that way. We have to remember that everyone has their agency and they are free to choose what they will do. We may teach an amazing lesson and they may not believe a word we say. But as long as we are doing our part and are able to tell the lord that we are giving it our all we are successful. Sometimes it is hard to look at it like that but its so true. Some missionaries never baptizes but are still some of the most successful Elders and Sisters in their mission. We also discussed asking inspired questions which is something I think I can work on. We need to be asking questions that prompt though and soul searching and lead them to asking questions of their own. Asking questions is a key part that helps the investigator better understand how things apply to them.
Our investigator in the English ward came to church again this week. She is really progressing and she is really starting to grasp what we teach. She enjoys theschool class as it gives her a change to ask questions and learn more doctrine in a simple way. We invited her to be baptized and she declined saying that she had been already baptized. I was going to explain why it needs to be by the proper authority but she went off on a tangent and we were not able to pull it back. We are hoping to get a baptismal date for her this upcoming week and keep her progressing. We also want to get her into a members house for a lesson to help her progression.
We have a few other families we are trying to work with as well. We have also been trying to find some more people who have really be prepared by the lord. We know that as long as we put in our part we will be able to find those people we are looking for. We have been talking to just about everyone we see and it is starting to really pay off. We are looking for some more Spanish people to teach so we can help the Spanish ward here grow.
Elder Mercado and I are getting along great. We are both from Texas so there aren't very many problems. We both bought some cheap tennis rackets today and are going to start playing tennis in the mornings during our workout time. It's going to be a lot of fun.
I hope all is well back home. Remember every member a missionary and it is easy as being friendly to everyone and sharing the gospel when you can.
Monday, November 2, 2015
The beginning of this week was pretty hectic and really busy. Elder Mercado and I have Doctrine of Christ training and Trainer/Trainee training down in Quincy. We were away from our area from about in the morning to at night. The meetings we had were great though. I really enjoyed them and had a great time learning from President and Sister Lewis as well from the assistants Elder Archibald and Elder Carter. Both training were full of things to learn and it made for a great day. We talked a lot about applying what we have to share to our investigators and making sure that we are teaching to their understanding. I always think back to how if we don't pay attention to what words we use when we talk about the gospel people can get lost and confused very easily. We need to go down to their level of understanding and pull them up. We can't expect them to just understand everything the way we do. I think that's part of why we ask everyone to read in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon speaks to our own understanding and we are all able to apply it to our selves. In between meetings I got to talk to Elder Smith some and then I got to meet our new Assistant to the President Elder Carter. I'm gonna miss Elder Smith. I also got to meet a bunch of other missionaries and spend some time talking to them. I also lead some role plays for the trainees during the portion of Trainer/Trainee that was just for the trainees.
I was on exchanges with Elder Tanner in my area. We had a pretty good day and were able to get to know each other a little better and learn from one another. We had some awesome lessons and were able to put some on on-date. His name is Pedro and he was telling us about how he wants to change and get rid of the habit he has. He had asked us as well when and where church was so he could go. He didn't end up going to church which made us sad. We had tried finding him later but we couldn't get in contact with him. Hopefully we are able to see him this week and teach him so we can get him progressing towards the baptismal goal we set for him. Elder Tanner and I also got to teach a part member family and get to know them better. The wife is a non-member and is very religious. She said she has questions regarding the things we believe so I hope we are able to answer any questions she has and get her baptized. We think she has the potential for it if we can figure out all the things that are holding her back from accepting all of the gospel.
was a pretty fun day as well. We got to teach Linda who is one our progressing investigators in English and we committed her to reading in the Book of Mormon every morning after her morning prayer. She has come to church the past 3 times which is awesome and maybe this week we will be able to put her on date. She really likes church and likes gospel principles class. Before we had to head in for the night we went to the ward trunk'or'treat for 30 minutes. It was cool and most of the members gave us a bunch of candy. I ended up giving away the candy I got to the only people that came by our apartment. We had a good night of carving pumpkins and snaking of food. I realized that I hate carving pumpkins and the only part that is any bit of enjoyable is the actual carving of the pumpkin. Elder Mercado went for the easy route and I just made little silhouettes and shined light onto the pumpkin to project the design on to it instead of free handing it all. Elder Turley made a pretty cool spider-man pumpkin but I don't think it compares to Texas and the Temple.
We are still continuing our recent convert lessons with Elaine. She knows so much about the gospel and already understands the purpose of just about all the doctrines and commandments. We were teaching about tithing and when we brought up the topic she asked us how she is supposed to pay it because she had been wanting to start. We had a good lesson on the blessings that came from paying tithing and why Heavenly Father wants us to. We are working on getting her to the temple for some baptism trips so she can feel of the spirit that is there.
I a week we shoot for 20 lessons but we are not always able to reach it. We are working on building up our area so we can get in and teach more lessons. In our English ward they have scheduled days when either a High Priest or Elder will come out that day with us. It helps us build up trust with the ward and gets the members more comfortable to give referrals. And referrals are the bomb.
I hope all is well back home. Make sure that Riley writes me and tells me all about his golf tournament.
Hi Sister Boren, this is Elder Turley and I just wanted to write and say thanks so much for including me in Elder Boren's package! I definitely enjoyed the bag of sweets that were there:) You have an amazing son and I've learned so much from him. I'm super sad we're not companions anymore, but at least we still work closely! Thanks again:)Love
I had to add this thank you note from his companion. How nice of him to say Thank you.