Today's my last day in the MTC! I leave tomorrow morning at 5 am for the airport, and our flgiht is at 8:30 for Phoenix. I'm so excited. I love this place but I'm so eager to get to Arizona and get to work. This past week has been pretty good. Lots of people are getting sick which isn't all that good. I've been sniffly, sneezy and had kind of a sore throat the past few days but it's been getting better with the help of medicine, good food and sleep. It's been a week of lasts. We had our last gym on friday where we played volleyball as a district, our last sacrament meeting and today is my last Pday in the MTC. I've really enjoyed my district and zone here. Every week we get new Elders. It's funny ebcause even though I've only been here two weeks longer than them, they look at me and my companion like we're the most experienced Elders in the world. I laugh because I thought the same thing about the Elders who were here when I arrived. I had the opportunity to host the new missionaries this past week. On Wednesday, I stood out on the curb just like when I was dropped off. Families pulled up, luggage unloaded and lots of tears. It reminded me a lot of when I was dropped at the curb. Many of the new missionaries were excited to be here, as was I at the time. It was pretty cool to see the fire in those missionaries' eyes.
Thank you mom, dad and sis for the DearElders. Mom, I took care of your favor. My thoughts and prayers are with our dear friends. Give them a big hug for me. Marlee I want to tell everyone something you told me in your letter. You had said that your friends thought being a misisonary was "macho" and I couldn't agree more. I hate to boast, but being a missionary is quite possibly the manliest thing I could be doing right now. If you don't believe me, look in Doctrine and Covenants 35:13-14. Look it up now. Trust me, it's cool. Mom and dad, thanks for the calling card and I hope you'll be up bright and early tomorrow morning. We've been told that there is no rule about whether or not we can call our families in the airport (HINT HINT!!!!). I'll just say that my flight is at 7:30 Washington time, and I should be arriving at the airport at about 6 am (still Washington time). I'll do the best I can to stop and call.
I had another experience this week that I would like to share. Elder Langi, who is in the district below mine, walked out of the classroom building one night before daily planning. We followed him for a ways and he just broke down. Elder Buttars and I had no idea what was going on, but we just kept staying by his side. By the time his companion and two other Elders caught up, we were sitting at a table outside of one of the buildings. He kept crying. It was so hard to watch this wonderful Elder break down like he was. We asked if he would like a blessing, and he barely squeeked out a yes. We found an empty classroom, and he asked if I would do it. I still had no idea what the problem was. I felt impressed to bless him with the comfort and knowledge that his family loves and supports him and that they will be blessed and cared for while he was away. Immediately after I said this the tears continued even more than before, and I feel like I knew why he was hurting. After the blessing was given, another companionship pulled me aside and told me that he hadn't heard from his family at all in the week that he had been in the MTC. As we left, I kept a constant prayer in my heart for this Elder. Ok, now fast forward about half an hour or so. I'm back in my dorm and my door is open. I saw someone walk by. It was Brother Adams, the first counselor in our branch presidency. I ran out in the hall and he greeted me with a smile. I asked what was going on, and he simply said that he was checking up on the Elders in the zone. I told him about the situation with Elder Langi. His eyes filled with tears and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Well I'm glad that I chose to come by tonight. Thank you, Elder." He went into Elder Langi's room and spoke with him for a few minutes. He came outside, told us all goodnight, gave us a hug and told us to keep up the good work. The next morning Elder Langi chose to fast. He still seemed a bit down, which I completely understood. We invited him to join us in volleyball during gym. He said thanks but he'd rather not. By the time we got startedwith the game, we saw him join us. We could tell he had a good time. It got better. That afternoon, he got a package. It was from his family and there were tons of letters included in it. This all happened just a day or two after my last email a week ago. Since then he's been totally happy. He's been like an older brother to the new Elders and I'm so happy to see it. I know that our Father in Heaven is always mindful of his children and will always provide a way for them to be comforted in their time of need.
I love you all and the next time you'll hear from me, I'll be in sunny Phoenix Arizona!
Elder Eric James Turner