Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I loved the letters. Family, I got the package this morning. It actually showed up on Saturday, but had to wait until this morning when the office opened up again to get it. I love the ties, I'm wearing one right now! Thank you for all of the pictures too. I had hardly any pictures of us as a family and none of the dogs. I laughed when I saw the ones of Joey playing Scrabble, Jack doing DevilDog and Edgar with the Reindeer antlers. I really appreciate the picture of Barth too! I don't know why, I just really like it. It really reminds me of home. My guess is it's getting to be about fall time at home. Let me know when the ginko gives up the ghost. I'm happy to hear that Marlee is enjoying volleyball! It's no surprise to me that she made A, she's a natural. I'm also glad to hear Richland football is doing well too. I hope the leadership kids are working hard and working what they've learned from Baker into what they're doing. So the BYU rumor is true and they actually left the Mountain West? Interesting. Sister Turville, a lady here who supports the missionaries and helps us with everything, called me on Saturday night to tell me that BYU got crushed by Air Force. We also heard that the Seahawks were playing the 49'ers this week too. Elder Tameilau from San Jose and I made a friendly bet. The losing Elder's team has to buy the winning Elder's team a carton of ice cream. He called us yesterday after church and said, "Tell Elder Turner I owe him some ice cream. He'll know why."
Sorry if I haven't been answering a lot of your questions. Dad, I live in an apartment with Elder Abel and two other Elders, Kear and Nuttall. Elders Egan and Tameilau live in the building behind us in the same complex, and they come over every night to visit. It's four to an apartment, but pretty much six because Elders Egan and Tameilau practically live there too. The members feed us dinner every night and it's always good. Yes mom, I'm eating well. You'd be proud, I destroyed a plate of green beans and cauliflower (and went back for more) last week, and a plate of broccoli last night. I'm eating just fine.
So, review this week. I had a birthday! The day started with a phone call from President and Sister Beck singing happy birthday to me. Sister Beck told me to tell Elder Abel that his stewardship was to make sure I had the best day ever. It was a great day. We had lots of appointments and just worked hard. On Tuesday the 7th, we met this kid named Edgar Ortiz on the street while he was walking home from school. We left him a card to call for a free Book of Mormon. He said he was going to call it right when he got home. Instead, I just gave him a copy that I had. We set up a time to go back on the next day, my birthday, to teach him. We brought a priest from the ward named Ross, who has a few classes with Edgar. The lesson went SO well. He said that he's had opther people talk to him about church, and it's just interesting to him. But when we taught him, he felt good inside. We invited him to pray at the end of the lesson, and he disagreed. I taught him a quick lesson on prayer and bore my testimony about its power, then invited him again. He said he would try. His prayer began as if though he were sort of lost which I completely understood and even expected. But as we waited, I noticed something. It was as if I were reading about Enos' experience. I could tell that Edgar's soul truly hungered to know that his Father in Heaven was listening to him. He began to ask for the safety of his family, and asking for help with things that were clearly troubling him at the time. He focused a lot on his family, which I know is important to him. He finished praying and the Spirit was so strong in the room. We set up our next appointment for a few days later to give him a tour of the church so it would be a little more familiar when he came to church on Sunday.
So now it's Friday and we're in the church. Ross came with Edgar again for the fellowshipping that Edgar needed. As soon as Edgar walked into the building he stopped and said, "Whoah." I asked him what was wrong. He said, "Nothing, it's just really peaceful in here." We showed him the classrooms and finished in the chapel. He kept commenting on how much he liked the peace and quiet of the building. We taught a short lesson in the chapel, and asked if he prayed about what we had taught him before. He said yes and he felt really good about it. Then I extended to him the invitation to be baptized. He said yes. Now, my heart was racing because I had never extended an invitation to be baptized. He on the other hand, was really calm and happy. We're planning on his baptism at the end of the month. We stopped by his house the night before church and saw his dad in the yard. What a nice guy. He was very supportive of us. We told him about his son's desire to be baptized and invited him to support his son at the baptism. He thought for a second and said, "Yeah that sounds good." We're trying to find a time that his dad will be in town to be at the baptism, because he's gone a lot for his work. Yesterday at church, however, Edgar never showed up. Neither did John Villa, another high school boy we're teaching. We don't know what happened, but we're going to see them soon. Perhaps they didn't have rides. That thought never crossed my mind. Come on, Elder Turner, think Maslow! Basic needs! We're really working hard with Edgar and John, I'll be sure to let you know how they are doing.
The rest of my birthday was great too. Sister Turville made a german chocolate cake and brought it to our district meeting. I love her so much, she's the best. It was Elder Kear's birthday too! After the meeting we went to Pete's, like we always do. Oh man, time out. Pete's Fish and Chips. So good. It's a lot like Dick's in Spokane. Think sketchy little walk-up counter and disgusting picnic tables. But the food is SO GOOD. I always get a triple monsterburger and a 44 oz horchata. Pete's is famous for their sauce, this ketchup and tobasco mix that's really good on their burgers. So yes, Pete's. Good stuff. Did I tell you the wonderful gift that the state of Arizona gave me?? A flat tire! Yeah, we got out of the appointment with Edgar and my tire was as dead as could be. We pumped it enough to get me down the road to the Ross' home where he said I could have some slime for my tire. When I put the slime in and started pumping it up, the stem of the tube broke. So, now I need new tubes. We're going to get some today so no worries.
I read an interesting scripture the other day which I am sure is often overlooked. It's in the Book of Mormon, Omni 1:9. One of Omni's sons, Chemish, is speaking. He says:
9 Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write, in the same book with my brother; for behold, I saw the last which he wrote, that he wrote it with his own hand; and he wrote it in the day that he delivered them unto me. And after this manner we keep the arecords, for it is according to the commandments of our fathers. And I make an end.
What I think is intersting about this is that this is the only verse in all of the Book of Mormon that Chemish writes. Pretty pointless, right? I don't think so. Think of the thousands of verses in the Book of Mormon, and this one is another testament to its truthfulness. It's a witness that what is being written is true. When I liken this to myself, I think of the thousands of missionaries around the world. Does it matter that I give my time to say what I know is true and what 50,000+ missionaries are saying what they know to be true as well? It most certainly matters. Like Chemish, I give my testimony that this record is true and that this work is the best thing I could be doing right now. I love this work, I love Arizona and I love these people. We're working hard and I'm being kept safe. Thank you everyone for your love and support, I can't wait to hear from you. Take care and be good!
Elder Eric James Turner