First off let me thank my darling mother for giving Sis. Price the recipe for sweet potato casserole. So good. I walked into their house on Christmas for dinner, and she was still cooking stuff and whatnot. I saw her making sweet potatoes, nothing out of the ordinary for me. When she started putting the pecan and sugar glaze on the top I knew something was up. "Hey, I've seen that before," I said out loud. Sis. Price said, "Good, it's your mom's recipe!" Mom, you'll be happy to know that it turned out fantastic and tasted just like yours.
Ok, pictures this week. The one of me in the chair is just when we got home from roaming around on Christmas Eve. I was pretty wiped because we did a lot of biking. For being 50 degrees outside, I was sweating pretty hard. I crashed in front of the tree. The other two of the tree is our setup for Christmas Eve--one of myself and Elder Abel in front of said tree before opening presents. Notice the stockings hung under the sink with care. The last one is of me holding a chicken at the Prices' on Christmas. They have a few chickens in their back yard for the kids to play with, and soon they'll be taking eggs from 'em. Of course, I needed a picture. Mom is very proud. I'll be sending home the full memory card sometime next week so you can get all the pictures I've taken since September.
Well, today started off with a bang. Elder Abel's being transfered. In fact he's opening a whole new area, PLUS he's training again. Straight up flush training. He's pretty sad to be leaving this area since he's been here for a year after all. I'll still be here, but I also got a friendly call from President Beck this morning with some interesting news...guess who else is training? Yup, me. Tomorrow we get a whole bunch of new missionaries fresh from the MTC, and I'll be training one of them.
I'll be honest, I'm pretty nervous. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on and whatnot. But I also think to myself that if the Lord inspired President Beck to have me train a new missionary, then the Lord will qualify me to do it. I'll send info and pics next week after I meet my greenie tomorrow.
This week was very simple, but very fun. Not a lot of people were home for the holidays, and not a lot of people were on the streets either. Lots of neighborhoods were relatively empty from people being gone. On Thursday we decided to take a shortcut through a dirt field to get to a certain neighborhood quicker. As soon as we popped out on the other side, an older gentleman named Mike with his grandaughter was passing by us. He recognized us. Turns out he lives in the apartment complex that the Elders lived in over a year ago, and wanted to know if we still lived there. We told him no, that we moved to another apartment complex. He said he always enjoyed talking to the Elders who lived near him. He said he had a friend who was LDS, Greg Parsons. As soon as he said that I lit up. Greg Parsons is in the Stake Presidency here, plus he lives in the Villa de Paz ward! We said that we knew him very well, and that he was a good friend to have. Mike told us about how the Parsons family really helped him out a little while ago with food after he lost his job. It didn't surprise me at all, the Parsons are an incredible family. Mike said he wanted to get his grandaughter coming to Church, and said that he himself had a lot of questions about religion in general. We'll hopefully be teaching him this week, and we're definitely going to try and have Pres. Parsons go with us.
On Christmas Eve we biked around giving little Christmas cards to some ward members and investigators. There were three in particular that stood out to me, Ray, Roger, and Joanne. None of them are even investigators, just nice people we know. All three of them seemed to know that we would be stopping by. Ray was very grateful to see us, and Roger was nearly speechless. Both of them have been out of work for a while, and always appreciate us checking up on them. Joanne is a Catholic woman who lives around the corner from a recent convert. She said she has no intention of coming to church, but each time we stop by the visits are friendlier and friendlier. We stopped by, and she was happy to see us. She doesn't have any family, but a few friends were at her home for the holiday. We said we wanted to give her a card, and a little something from the both of us. We gave her the card, and a DVD of "Mr. Kreuger's Christmas." She opened up her screen door and we could see tears in her eyes. She reached up and gave us each a big hug and thanked us repeatedly for thinking of her. She said she had been thinking about us and wondered if we had forgotten about her. How could we have forgotten her? Is not every soul precious in the eyes of our Father in Heaven? She was busy at the moment, but begged us to come back soon to see her Christmas decorations in her home. My heart goes out to this sweet sister. We're going to try and stop by tonight and see her. I keep thinking to myself a quote I had heard that said, "If they will not accept our religion, then they will accept our hospitality." Sometimes that's all somebody needs.
Yes, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. No, not everyone is ready to recieve the message of the Restored Gosel. But everyone is most certainly in need of the pure love of Christ, especially when hands hang down and knees are feeble. This has been one of the simplest Christmases I have experienced, but quite possibly one of the best. I hope you all are doing well. To my family, it was wonderful to speak with you. Thank you for your constant love and support. Write back soon. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner