Mission Map

Mission Map
Central Eurasian Mission: Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan


June 26, 2017

Week 70

Ailem! (parents)
*Thanks a ton for all of the birthday love, "I felt love from both sides of the earth, no doubt!" The Huntingtons gave a surprise birthday cake and everybody sang.
* Was NOT asked to translate yesterday, it just depends.
* The amazing friend is doing amazingly! We gave him a dunk date! It's down the road, but he will definitely get there
* Had to move into a new apartment this week! "The landlord didn't like us and wouldn't sign our rental contract haha so we had to leave the amazing view that we had BUT our new apartment is a lot nicer!"
*The expensive phone has been bought and now to replenish the bank account haha
*This is short, we have a TON of stuff to do on this preparation day
*Lots of Love and thanks so much for all of the pictures.

Ankara bolgesi (zone) 🇺🇸+🇺🇸+🇹🇴+🇮🇳=🇹🇷

June 19, 2017

Week 69

* The volunteers have the task of buying phones and they are very expensive there. Should have them bought by next Monday!
* Hard work always pays off, Listen to the Lord and be aware of when HE gives us tests, listen and He WILL help us!

Group Email:

Mosiah 4:11

(My New Favorite Verse)

Hey Everyone!
So, last week I got a call saying I would get a new companion in the same area I'm serving in. He's brand new and I'm training him, teaching him the ropes of volunteer life in Turkey! His name is E. Kanonogata'a. He's from Hawaii and is Tongan. He played rugby at BYU and eats a TON! He's hilarious too and I love him a lot already. His Turkish is pretty good for only being here three and a half days and since he isn't a white American, his accent is pretty good too. Yesterday I was blind-sided and asked to translate for our church meeting.  There were a lot of people who could have done it wayyy better, but I said, "sure I'll try." Oh man, it was sooo hard but I got through it and the Turks understood...mostly what the speakers were saying, haha. Last week in church we had a random guy show up and say that he wanted to learn from us.  We were like, "yeah, of course, take a Book of Mormon!" He told us he would read the whole thing before we meet up again. In my head I was like, "ok, we'll see." So, we met with him and he actually read the entire book in a few days! He also wrote the entire lineage tree of Lehi's family! And THEN during church yesterday, he told us he tried praying on his own and he got an answer and wants to be baptized! Well, we don't have a ton of time and we gotta get goin' but I love all you guys! Have a great week  ve Allah'a emanuet olun (and be entrusted to God)
Yasli Muncy
The Graffiti says "squirrel"

June 12, 2017

Week 68

Alma 5:26

Hey Fam Bam!
*Transfer calls came in Saturday night at 10:30, yes after bed time, haha. "President told me that I will be training a new volunteer and will continue to be District Leader. E. Earl is going to the other area in Ankara and E. Allen will come from Istanbul to be his comp."
*Dropped E. Brady off at airport, also said last good-byes to Blair and Nahle- gonna miss those three
* Yesterday at church just  before sacrament meeting, the branch president came up to me and said,"Hey, we're gonna sustain you as the 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum presidency. Sound good?" Caught off guard!
*Personal study at Mosiah 4
*More members have been showing up for now to translate in Gospel Doctrine thank goodness.
* Heading to Istanbul on Wednesday with Earl, Heil and Allen and will take a bus back. So, won't get back until like 11 p.m. since it's a 6 hour ride. Bus rides are cheaper than flights, so we might start riding the bust more often. (not overly excited about that haha)
*The fireside with Martino and Bingham was great
*Will get to meet President Davies on July 2
*Yesterday a random guy showed up at church and said that he wants to learn. "We gave him a blue book and said that we will meet on Saturday, and he said that as soon as he got home he would start reading it and will finish it before our meeting on Saturday." So much potential!
*Please pray-the one year old son of our friend is in the hospital, not sure why, he is very nervous
*Lots of love, have a great week!

June 5, 2017

Week 67

Omni 1:26

*Got the package and enjoying the Captain Crunch!
* Just had zone conference this past weekend and it was good! Flew in Wednesday and had to get residency permit cards (a story of its own) "After being here for over a year, I"m finally legal." Thursday was a sports day with all of the volunteers, and those are always fun. That night was a cultural presentation given by President T. Those are always wayyy awesome. "He is the ONLY reason I would even consider going to BYU just to take his Islamic/Arabic classes." Look up the parable by Nuri (Melvana) about an elephant. He was from Iran and fled to Turkey and died there.
*Last zone conference for Blair, Nhale, and the Torontos. They all gave AMAZING testomonies.
*New President arrives June 30.
* Elder Martino of the Seventy and president of the Europe East Area, and Sister Bingham, the general Relief Society president are coming to Ankara for a fireside!
* Cool experience yesterday- a less active guy that I've mentioned before came to church yesterday, for the fist time in a year!
*Love you guys SO much!

May 29, 2017

Week 66

Romans 8:24-25

* The story of the visit to the lady with cancer: "We got an email and thought it was another referral, but instead was from a member in Norway.  She asked us to visit her friend here in Ankara.  She has cancer.  We weren't sure exactly what she was wanting from us other than a visit, but we of course we contacted the lady we were to visit.  We were able to contact her right away, but didn't visit her until a couple of weeks ago.  She is from Kyrgyzstan and is married to a Turk. She has been living here for over eight years so we were able to communicate in Turkish just fine. For me, it was a very humbling experience. She had lost so much weight and couldn't have weighed more than 90 pounds and she couldn't sit up in her bed. Her mom had come from Kyrgyzstan to take care of her, and she only knew Russian.  We asked our friend if she knew why we were there. She didn't know and she said that a friend had suggested we came over to help her with bad spirits she felt in her house, which we were kind of confused about. We offered her a heart-felt prayer and stayed and chatted with her for a while. She is a VERY nice woman. although not interested in learning from us, which is totally fine of course.  We want to keep in touch and visit her once in a while.We also met her husband, who was one of the most hospitable and nicest Turks I've met. He even offered us a ride home, which was very far.  I really admired how positive he was, with his wife having cancer.  It's tender experiences like that I am so grateful for!. As  representatives of Christ, we are also supposed to be there for people because Christ was and IS there for everyone."
* More mission calls in home ward and he is very happy about that
* Digestive issues are fine now
*Personal study is in Mosiah
* Was asked to translate for Gospel Doctrine class. The lessons aren't available in Turkish yet. It was the first time translating for a group like that and it is very challenging! Hoping it gets easier or that some of the English speaking members will help out or both.
*It was a good week!
* Lots of love

May 22, 2017

Kocatepe  Camisi

May 22, 2017

Week 65

* An Istanbul member gave a surprise visit this week and they spent P-day with him.
* Personal scripture study: Jacob and Romans
* There have been some busy days lately, and it's been hard getting personal study in, 
* "Glad you heard from Sister Porter." (s he left me a voicemail after feeding the volunteers on Easter Sunday. I JUST got it this last week!)  "They are an awesome family!"
* To answer some questions: Turks love basketball.  "As a matter of fact, one of Turkey's best teams won the entire Europe League Championship.'  "invite friends over and fix cheese spaghetti haha"
* This week was super eventful. Unfortunately there have been some digestive issues brought back from "Antep" Tuesday E. Earl and he went to Istanbul on exchanges with the zone leaders. "I was able to work with E. Russel in Bakirkoy and we taught three lessons in one day!, which is CRAZY here. One of them was with our Nigerian friend that E. Nahle and I spent so much time with. He has progressed so much! It's great to see success in an area you (I) helped start!"
* A referral came from a woman in Norway. Her friend here in Ankara has cancer. She thought she could benefit from a visit and a blessing. She is actually from Kyrgyzstan but married a Turk and knows perfect Turkish. "We got there and it was so sad when we saw her. It was a really good experience that I don't have tine to write about, but I did write it in my journal, we hope to visit her again."
* Our friend had a pool party last Saturday! "She was so excited and nervous but it was great! We are very happy and excited for her!"
*I love you guys! Have a great start to summer break!
Keeping It Real in a Cami (mosque)

E. Earl is Camera Shy

Ne mutlu turkum diyene  "The Happy One Who Says "I am a Turk!"
Our Branch Pres. gave us a HAM STEAK and we also had some mashed taters!

May 15, 2017

Week 64

Dunyadaki butun annelerden en iyi sensindir

(For All of the Mothers)

*Skyped us from Gaziantep AGAIN!
* He and Volunteer Brady surprised all of the mothers in the branch with flowers for Mother's Day
*Volunteer Muncy looks GREAT--healthy and happy and so grown up now
* Also talked to his "Antep" companion, Volunteer Brady (one of our favorite Texans!)
* 'There is a member who is with us all of the time, he takes us to places that are best in the city.
* Talking about tender mercies, just a few: 1. being chosen to go to "Antep" and meeting all of the wonderful people down there.2. Volunteer Earl, he has let things in his life shape him into what God wants him to be, he's a great example. 3.All of my friends, all of the ones back home and the ones serving missions, all of them; they have all reached out to me and I have felt their love continually through my mission. 5. My awesome family.  "I have felt even more love from you all every single week. I have at least one relative email me every week and it's a huge blessing and tender mercy."6. The love and prayers. 7. "My testimony has grown since Christmas because of the small things that happen that I notice very single day, things that make me know that God is watching over me every single day. Coincidences are NOT a thing, especially this many!"
* Person study is Romans right now, not sure where at in the blue book
* Good story he didn't tell us on skype yesterday!  President Dogan took Volunteers Muncy and Brady out to eat on Saturday.  They ordered heart and liver, (don't know what animal they were from), they tasted pretty good!  Then President Dogan ordered something else and had them try it and didn't tell them what it was.  It ended up being ram testicles. " They were actually super good until I found out what they were! Brady had no shame and kept eating them. Just thought I'd let you know about that, haha."
*Have a great week, lots of love
Gaziantep Adventures

E. Brady and E. Muncy--"Antep" Conpanions


May 8, 2017

Week 63

*Volunteers are on Facebook now to get contacts, quite a change from before.  He is excited that many people have asked for his contact information and that he wasn't forgotten, has received a lot of emails this week and is very grateful for them all.
* EVERY bad source comes from Satan and "I'm gonna try and realize more when he is trying to get to me and not let him."
* Our examples help each other!
* Gave out Skype information for Mother's Day next week!!!!
* Members have fed them twice since in Ankara; not like the state-side elders, haha
* Personal study is in Jacob 5 and Acts 27 "Paul is my idol, mostly because he is a Turk and did a lot of his "service" here!
* Zone conference is once every transfer, and not the same time every transfer, but within six weeks.
* Not sure how President decided who went to Gaziantep, he asked and we WANTED to go.
* "Please pray for the drama to stop here."
* Deep cleaning went okay, we do deep cleaning twice a year
* Still enjoying Saturday morning soccer. We play with a bunch of people from around the world. "I haven't been getting any better at it, haha."
* "At the refugee center we unload a ton of boxes from a truck and they have  ton of food and things. We then gather the boxes and make hygiene kids and hand them out to the people there. Because there are SO many boxes and refugees, it gets hectic because there aren't a lot of people helping there."
* Lady friend's "dunk"date has moved up a week "Whooo!" "She is awesome!"
* Had a great picnic with some of our Iranian members, it was a great time!
* Lots of Love!!!!


May 1, 2017

Week 62
Alma 26

Email Summary:
* Skype time is coming up soon!
* April went by very fast, seemed like a minute, has been in Ankara for over a month now. "unreal"
* The smart phones are Galaxy A5. There is one in each companionship and each volunteer will be urged to buy one and then will be able to keep it after the mission. Honestly, the Samsung is not preferred, but for some reasons i-phones aren't accepted.
* Now able to use Facebook, and also use "WhatsApp" and everyone outside of the US uses it to text. Also included: their own volunteer area book and planner app (which is weird to not have  everything down on paper), language study apps, and a map app (the same one he used in   Germany, and it's nice)
* Uber is NOT popular here (Answering a question) Taxi rides are the way to go and they get   reimbursed for them.
*What areas are included in your zone? Turkey itself is a zone and Ankara is a district. There is only  one branch in each city and when there is zone conference, they fly to Istanbul.
* "I was able to do an exchange in Istanbul with a new volunteer.  He is from Italy, but way north,  the part that was Austria, so he's more Austrian.  He speaks Italian, German and perfect English.  He's a good volunteer.  His name is Volunteer Puff, pronounced poof."
* "We also had a really busy day at the refugee center on Wednesday.  Usually we are there for an  hour or two because it isn't a big place, but we were there for four hours!  A ton of refugees showed up and it was hectic but it was also awesome."
* The pool party friend continues to get better.  She came to church yesterday and we will meet with her tomorrow!
* The dress code has changed! They aren't supposed to match our companions anymore, only at  church 
* Cleaning the apartment today!

Posing with the Branch President ("he's awesome")

April 24, 2017

Week 61
Email Summary:
*Another friend is progressing toward a pool party, Yasli Muncy will keep us posted
* He talked about how the volunteers sang a few times in sacrament meeting while he was in 
   Istanbul.  Also that the hymns aren't translated into Turkish very well and that it would be nice
   if they could just start from scratch and make them
* Still isn't speaking Turkish on the level he wants to be, but is understanding it quite well now.
* Speaks highly of Yasli Earl and another volunteer who graduated early so he could be on his
   mission (props to him)
* Enjoys the Saturday morning soccer activity.  He claims his ball handling skills are weak but his 
   defense is good
* Encouraging mom to fix Turkish food and to try to find his favorite brand of Ayran.  Claims that he
   will probably be drinking buttermilk here in the states if we can't find it, because it is compared
   by many to buttermilk. (Eker) Almost all of the volunteers really like and drink it.
* The events of the week: Taught some lessons and got invited to the home of an Iranian family(who
   are in the branch) and they had some good Iranian food!  Also played Saturday morning soccer 
   with everyone and had an awesome branch activity.  We played more soccer and had a 
  Turkish/Iranian/American BBQ.  Almost the whole branch came and it was so fun! "Some kid from
   Israel was there and I was getting to know him and we were standing next to the grill. He asked if 
   he could take one of the sausages and I was like, 'wait, you're from Jerusalem aren't you? aren't you
   Jewish?' And he's like, 'yeah, so what?' And as he was about to grab it, I slap his hand and I'm like,
   'bro, that's pig!' He freaked out to say the least."
* It also snowed Sunday, quite a bit and it's pretty chilly here now.
* We get our smart phones this week!  We are the first mission in the world to get smart phones
* Jacob 3:1: "But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart.  Look unto God with
   firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your 
   afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your 
* Lots of love and have a great week


April 17, 2017

Week 60
Email Summary
*Happy Easter!
*Watched Conference!  Favorite talks by Pres. Eyring 
*Got the package and letters
*Went on exchanges with the zone leaders. "So the exchanges with the zone leaders went very well.  That was the highlight of our week.  We all four went and taught a lesson to a less active Iranian girl, then we we went and performed service at the refugee center. I worked with Volunteer Havens from Ft. Worth.  I love the heck out of that guy!"
*Had a great Easter dinner at an American member's home, all in caps: HAM, CHEESY POTATOES, ROLLS, and BANANA CAKE!. "If I served in the states, I think I would get fat."
*I asked him questions about his trip to Gazientep (Antep as he calls it) and he answered them:
*What were the members there like?
*The members there were amazing; so welcoming and kind-hearted and their faith was so strong.
*What kind of building do they meet in?
*Right now they meet in a hotel conference room like in Izmir. But, they recently bought their own building and will use that soon.
*While you were there, did you see any "iffy" people? People that frightened you?
*Haha, No, I haven't seen any "iffy" people my whole time in Turkey.  There aren't terrorists walking around the streets everywhere.
*Knowing how close you were to Syria, did you still feel safe?
*Yes, I felt very safe, not nervous at all
*Since you were that close to Syria, could you see it in the distance?
*No, we couldn't see Syria in the distance because we were in a city environment, so not really much of a view.
*Is it more like a desert there?
*No, it it isn't very deserty, but it's a lot hotter.  Syria isn't deserty either.  It's only Iraq and parts of Afghanistan that are like that in the middle east.  All of it's extremely hot, though.
*Did President also go to Antep?
*Yes, President and Sister Toronto went to Antep too. It was branch conference.  We saw them at church and then they went back to Istanbul while we stayed another day. We left Monday afternoon.
There really isn't a sabbath day in Islam. On Friday, everyone goes to the camies and does the namaz, but after that, it's a normal day
*"I'm not sure if anyone is informed about the election that just happened here. If not, please look it up.  It was yesterday and well...I can't say much about it but everyone is saying it will change the history of this country a lot.
Thanks for all the support.  Love you!

Gaziantep (Antep)

Gaziantep (Antep)

Gaziantep (Antep)

Gaziantep (Antep)

:)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)


April 10, 2017

Week 59

Rab'den erekelter (Bounty From the Lord)

Volunteer Muncy and I have been talking about the tender mercies that the Lord has given to us, trying to realize them all and be thankful for them.  These are just a FEW of his, there are too many to write about!
*Every single of  my companions so far has been the biggest example to me.  I've learned so many things from each one of them.  That actually goes with every volunteer in Turkey.  I'm very blessed to be with the cream of the crop.
*There isn't a time when I read the scriptures when I don't want to mark the entire page, or chapter, or book :)
*My Turkish isn't where I want it to be, but it's pretty good.  It's all because of the gift of tongues! I understand things I don't study and am able to say things I've never tried saying before. Kendimin gucumle degil (I surprise myself)
*I've been able to continue eating WITH a smile on my face, and I didn't have the capacity to do that before. hah
*My patience for other people has grown.  That in and of itself id a ginormous blessing.
*The Spirit is with me even when I don't feel like I deserve his presence.
"I could keep going but I am out of time, gotta go."

Group Email:Alma 26:12

Gaziantep. Fistik Gibi
(So Beautiful!)

Hey Everyone!
This week was great!  Last Monday we got to ride bikes with some people at a super nice park with a lake.  Lemme tell ya all, Turks do not know how to ride bikes very well.  Some of the guys were trying to stand up on the frame like Pee-Wee Herman and they wrecked themselves.  It was hilarious. Tuesday we had a lesson with one of our friends.  We had her read James 1:5-6 and Joseph Smith's first vision.  She started crying and told us she had seen it all in a dream and she knows it's true! It's one of the coolest things I've seen in a lesson.  We also found out a little bit ago that we will be getting smart phones and access to social media.  We don't know much of the details.but this is a pretty big deal. It will help out with our work a ton! I'm pretty excited! Sooo for even way bigger news-Last Sunday President Toronto came to Ankara and interviewed the volunteers.  He asked Elder Brady and me if we would like to visit Gaziantep and teach some of the members and investigators down there.  It's kind of a big deal because there haven't been volunteers there in over one-hundred (100) years.  I didn't say anything about it until now for a reason; once you figure out where Gaziantep is, you'll probably understand why. ;) So, I had my weekend of service down there.  We went to church and saw the branch there.  We taught and met a lot of amazing people, heard their stories, and just had an amazing experience.  We also got to look around the city and buy some stuff, although we had to have a member of the branch with us at all times when we were outside, haha. I bought some pretty cool stuff (uh,huhhh). There was even a huge Kurdish engagement party going on next door to the house of one of the members in the branch.  In that culture, it's a huge deal!  Hipe you all are lovin' life. I sure am.  I love you all as well! Have a great week.


April 3, 2017

Week 58

Important points in email:
*Asking us (dad) if we know what "labne"is (lebne in Arabic). It's a middle eastern cream cheese, 
  asking us to look for it here in the states and try it!
*He's happy to hear that people are liking the prayer rugs and the gifts he has sent.
*There is an English class here, but it's smaller than the one in Istanbul
*For service, they were working on translating advertisements for a children's hospital but that has
  stopped, and they are continuing to distribute boxes of necessities to refugees. The senior couple
  here who does the humanitarian service is trying to find more service opportunities fot them.
*Will be able to watch conference on the 16th of this month, then we can compare notes and thoughts
* He's doing fine as far as $ is concerned
* Asking questions, wanting to know how members of the family are
Directly from the email:
This week was pretty good. We have a less active member that we are working with on coming to church.  He has been looking at anti literature on the internet. We can tell it's eating at him, but he won't admit it.  He's a great guy, though..  Oh! I meant to tell you every Saturday morning we play socer with a bunch of guys from all over the world that work at embassies or are generals stationed here.  Our branch president works for the US embassy, so that's how we were invited. It has brought a teaching opportunity, he is a German diplomat!.  It is really fun playing with all these guys and establishing friendships with them..  


The View From Our Apartment

The Outside of Ataturk Memorial

March 27, 2017

Week 57

I Love Ankara

Hey Guys!
Don't have time for a group email this week.  Ankara is soooo different from Istanbul, it's insane. The differences include:
* The streets are almost bare
* You can hardy hear the camis (mosques) when the call to prayer goes off
* It is so much cleaner haha
* Our apartment is way nice- the nicest one I've lived in so far. We are on the top floor of our building
   and we have a sweet view!
* The church building is different too, it's like a small mansion.  Its the old Portugal Embassy.
It was so hard saying good-bye to all of the great people in Istanbul, but I love the branch here.  We have a ton of American families who are either here for the embassy or military.  Turks are actually a minority in the branch and that's why we're here. :) We have a ton of Iranian members, due to there being some volunteers who were called to speak Persian. They are all refugees too. Volunteer Earl is great too! He's from N.Ogden, Utah and his Turkish is pretty good! I'm glad you all liked my package and I meant to tell you that there are some of those things I'd like to keep. Today we went to the Ataturk Memorial and that was pretty cool.  We learned a little more about him and the battles he led for independence.
Items sent in the package:
* prayer rugs
* tesbihs (Allah beads)
* skull cap 
* a couple of Turkish shirts
* magnets
* change purses
* Islam literature
* Arabic Qur'an (Kur'an)-- Please keep it off of the floor
Thanks for all of the love, support and prayers!

Last Day With Volunteer Nahle, Eating My Favorite Durum


March 20, 2017

Week 56

Summary of email:

*Hebrews 12:1-2
* He found out about being District Leader on Saturday
* Everything is okay, no need to fret over why he was stressed last week, it was about a dreadful
   trip to the airport (isn't allowed to explain)
*He leaves this Wednesday and hasn't started packing yet, will do so all day today and tomorrow he
   and Yasli Nahle will be split up.  He's going to miss him--refers to him as a brother!
* He has a lot of stuff to pack, so we will be getting a lot of it in the mail in a package!
* His new companion will be Yasli Earl
* He still loves us!

Group Email:


Hello, everyone!
So, Saturday we got transfer calls and I'm getting shipped to Ankara, which is wayyy different than Istanbul. It's in the middle of the country, only 6 million people and a lot less volunteers. I'm sad to leave Istanbul, but excited to see what Ankara's like. I've been with Yasli Nahle ever since we got back from Germany in October. Today is my last day with him.  I've learned so much from him and we've become like brothers. It'll be weird having a new companion, but I'm so excited for what's ahead! Not much to report for this week. Although, we went back to that Syrian refugee place and helped them with their boy scout program. They have a Turkish guy who is a volunteer and we were helping him with those crazy Arabic boys haha. I wish I could stay for that.  Arabic kids are so cool! They fight all of the time, but it isn't because they're mad, but like they're baby cubs playing around. We gave our Nigerian friend a baptism date--so sweet! Also our friend who had his pool party two months ago gave his first talk in sacrament meeting and he killed it! It was super sad saying good-bye to him. Well, I love you all!
The Grand Bazaar

Loving the Turkish Life!

Email From President Toronto

March 19, 2017
"Elder Muncy is a District Leader!"

Dear Muncy Family,
This Tuesday is the beginning of a new transfer. Elder Muncy has been asked to move to Ankara (where it's cooler) and to serve as a District Leader.  It shows the amount of faith Heavenly Father has in him.  He will do an amazing job. We love and appreciate his great work and positive attitude. You have raised a fine son!  The address for the packages is the same. The church has an address in Ankara, but if noone is at the church, the packages and letters go to some building far away. So, we have all packages and letters come to the Istanbul address.  We understand that he was worried about going to Izmir- it's 10 degrees warmer there than in Istanbul, and Ankara is 10 degrees cooler than Istanbul on most days. So, this Colorado boy should be happy with the cooler weather.
President and Sister Toronto

March 13, 2017

Week 55
Summary of Email

Volunteer Muncy now wants me to give summaries of the emails he sends, with the exception of the group emails when he sends them.  These are the things we wrote about this week in his SHORT email:
*Changes he wants for this blog
*Sunday night was stressful and sleepless, but he didn't say why (ugh!)
* He's going to the Grand Bazaar today with Volunteer Nahle and some volunteers from Sisli
* He accepted the challenges I gave him: to start prayers with 5 things he's grateful for and to
   notice every time Heavenly Father blesses him with a tender mercy.
*Tomorrow is zone conference and he's very "stoked" for that
* 2Nephi 25:29, a scripture we shared this week
* The refugee place where they delivered the hygiene kits has a scouting program and he and his
   companion have been asked to help out 
* No group email this week


March 6, 2017

Week 54


Hey fam!
We had to stay the night with the Sisli Volunteers last night and Volunteer Grover had some American cereal sent to him.  He was a doll and let us have some:) Mom! Thank you for send me that picture of you three.  Also, that's really cool that one of your students likes the Century Trail(Cameron's Eagle project at a therapeutic horse riding center)That kinda made my day! Please don't worry about sending more Gatorade, I'm very satisfied drinking ayran and apple tea:) We sing "O God the Eternal Father" almost every week for sacrament here haha. Whoever picks the hymns really likes that one. I don't even want to see your break-up-a-fight mode, Mom. haha, that seems pretty sketchy. I would've loved to see the look on your students' faces. Dad! I totally thought you meant that people were spray painting 2Nephi 27:11 on rooftops or something, but then I looked it up and it made sense.  That's pretty cool, though. Thanks for the thought! I'm thinkin' of goin' to either UVU or USU and major in something like political science or international relations and then try to go for the US Department of State. I've had tons of different ideas since being out here, so take that with a grain of salt. That's the thought right now. Thanks a ton for all the pics you guys are sending! I should be sending more but not a lot of cool things have been happening. kusura bakmayin(forgive me). Dad, you can go ahead and send me Baseballism pics, that's cool you like them so much! To answer Dad's question about families (and this is from my perspective)-In Islam, families are just as important as in our church.Although, they wait a little longer to get married and even longer to have kids, just so they can earn enough to be able to support them. In the Middle East, children show respect and obedience toward their parents wayyyy more than in America! I've realized some traits since being here. The women usually do work, things like that aren't different here. Also, older people get the right of way for everything here. I don't remember how older people are treated in America, but here they are VERY respected. They're all super nice too. I haven't met many grumpy old people here, which is super weird. No group email this week, because not much happened. I love you guys so much! Thanks for all the love and support.  Have a good week!


February 27, 2017

Week 53
Sevgili Annem :) Hello Dear Mother

Hey Mom! I'll just start again with your questions. -- I got a package of Gatorade powder a few weeks ago.  I just finished it all last night :).  Is that the one you're talking about?--We, of course, sing the hymns in Turkish in Turkish sacrament meeting.  Sometimes we sing in Turkish for district meeting, but other than that, it's English. --I am eating fine:) no other place in the world has food as good as Turkey!-- A powerful scripture I found is in Jacob 3:1!  Speaking of that, I just reached 2Nephi today! Sorry about your terrible day, but I'm glad that you have things to help you manage through, and me being one of those things is a big honor:) Thank you so much for all the love and supports and prayers and long sent hugs! Also thank you for all the great things you tell me in your emails! I sent kind of a long group email today so I don't have much time today.  I hope you like the pictures though.  They are with Yasli and Sister Neilson.  I love you a ton Mom1  Hope your kids stay chill this week. Oh! have you taken your students on a bus ride somewhere yet?  Have they earned it yet? haha I love you momma bear!

Group Email

Evlerimizden Ograndigimiz Seyleri Surekli Bizimie Kalir
(The Things We Learn From Our Homes Stay With Us)

Hey, everyone!  Sorry I missed a couple of weeks.  Things are going great here!  We're just chuggin' along and loving every minute of it! This past tuesday we met with a member who doesn't live in Istanbul but we was visiting here for work. His hotel was super close to us so we paid him a visit and gave him a little spiritual upliftance ;) He stayed in a five star Radison and gave us a tour haha. He is a really cool guy.  Other than that, the weekday part of the week was pretty normal.  Our weekend, though, was really special.  Our humanitarian senior couple serving here has been coordinating some service projects to help refugees. They gathered up and put together hundreds of hygiene kits and had the volunteers distribute them to organizations in their (our) areas. The people in one of the places were so grateful, they invited our senior couple and four of the volunteers to a dinner.  The Lemmons( (the couple) invited US and two other volunteers. The place is run mostly by Australians and Americans  We were able to meet some of their volunteers and they had some of their Syrian friends fix us an authentic Syrian dinner. It was so good and the people were so nice. Saturday was the day for Yasli Nahle and me to distribute the kits in our area.  It was hands down one of the most humbling and special days of my life.  We had to take two separate taxis because there were a ton of kits to deliver, and the place was super far from the church building, so we figured it would be hard to find taxis willing to drive for that. But, we prayed that morning that we would have no problems in regards to that.  The first two taxis we found were super cool and willing to take us there.  They both happened to know each other so communication was a lot easier while traveling there  There are a ton of details that I'm leaving out that aren't important, but believe me when I say that these two taxis were an answer to our prayers.  Anyway, after we got to the first place, we went to a refugee school and it was all girls.  They were very thrilled, to say the least, to see two American boys, haha, so that was interesting.  The second place was a cami (mosque). All the kids there were so welcoming to us and so grateful for the kits.  It made me realize how I took so many things for granted as a kid. They have almost nothing that I had as a kid and are probably more grateful than I was.  Another thing I have to mention- One of our taxis stayed with us all day and helped us distribute the kits to all of the kids, and even took us all the way back to the church without a cost.  Unbelievable!  I love what I'm doing here so much, and all the things I'm learning.  I love all of you as well and hope you are all happier than ever.  Have a super duper dandy week!

Very Special Conference With Elder and Sister Neilson


February 20, 2017

Week 52
Egri Baslayan Egri Gider

Sevgili Ailem,(My Dear Family),
Man, I don't know what to say about Pete. I remember when I was a kid he tried to teach me how to play rugby.  If/when you go to the funeral, give Eric, PonTip and Bea a big Turkish hug for me (they hug both sides of the neck here). Well Dad to answer your question (Are there traditions for celebrating your year mark there?) No, our volunteers don't do traditional stuff like that. Any typical thing like that is highly frowned upon in Turkey and Kazakhstan, which I'm grateful for, haha. Second, most of the people that speak English are where all the tourists go--like the Grand Bazaar, the mosques, and a lot of restaurants. They know just enough to give people their food.  Other than that, not a ton of people here speak English. Your gas station analogy was actually pretty accurate. Our pool of people we meet with is either completely empty or insanely full. That's how it is for all of the volunteers here. Mom, I'll continue with your questions: Zone conference was soooo good, better than when Yasli Katcher came! Yasli Neilson (in charge of all "volunteer" work in the church and a Seventy) and his wife went to Izmir, along with all the volunteer presidents in the Europe east area, and had a seminar. They came to Istanbul Friday and held a fireside for the branch. A ton of people showed up. He spoke on the Plan of Salvation and how asking the WHY question is a good thing. Then Saturday was zone conference. I don't have my notes with me, but he ans Sister Neilson were great.  Sister Neilson emphasized the importance of unity with your companion and how it reflects after the service. Yasli Neilson spoke a ton, but the main thing I got out of him was that I felt the love of the senior brethren for us. I couldn't count how many times he said how much he and the other apostles and general authorities pray for and love us. He also had us kneel and then offered a prayer at the end.  It was very special. He asked us if we feel safe here all of us almost shouted "Yes!" haha He was happy to hear that and wanted us to remind our parents of that. I HAVE NO WORRIES HERE. Volunteers in New York are at a higher risk than any of us. Don't worry that I'm scared or anything like that out here. Second, the exchanges we went on actually ended up not being for us. So, not much to report. Oh! actually I did have a three hour exchange with Yasli Yazzie. He is from AZ, 100 percent Navajo, and was in the Air Force ROTC before this. I talked to him a lot about that and he kinds made it sound like a nice gig, kinda made me think about that. Third, in my studies, I am 1Nephi chapter 16; really taking it slow. (Tell me how the Priesthood has helped you, strengthened your testimony, and changed your life since you've been on your mission) During my service I've had several opportunities to give blessings. One of them was in Germany my first week there.  It was for a member who had a really bad pain in his arm. We offered the blessing, and right after it, the member stood up and started waving his arm around like nothing happened. I was dumbfounded. I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys about that, I'm sorry. But yeah, that was sweet!  Not a ton of happy news this week, huh?  Next one will be better, Mom and Dad.  Sounds like Alli had a good week though, haha.  I love you all so much! Thank you so much for your love and prayers. Yasli Muncy

Yaski Muncy, Yasli Johnson