It's been great hearing from you all. Dad, thank you for the DearElder. I'm glad you got to hear from Bro. Peck, he's a pretty incredible guy. Did you meet him at all? Mom, I got your email this morning. Yes I can print out emails at the library, but it costs 50 cents per page. Plus I'd have to wait until Monday to check email anyways. You can most certainly email, but sending letters and DearElders works just fine too (plus it's exciting to see mail on my desk when I get home at night!). You can do whatever, I'm not picky, I just want to hear from my family is all.
I've attached a few new pictures. One is a leaning cactus, and I tried the whole "Tower of Pisa" thing where it looks like you're pushing it up. It was funny when Elder Abel and I tried taking the picture. The other is the side of a building with the huge mural thing on the side of it. It's across from Pete's so we went and took the picture after lunch one day.
This week has been pretty interesting. I must have been a tad bold in my last email because I sure got what I asked for. That night as Elder Abel and I were walking to an appointment when we saw two older men talking with each other. We politely asked if we could give them a pass along card and the bashing commenced. Turns out they were both ministers at different churches. For the next half hour they yelled at us, mocked us and tried to rip us to shreds. It didn't get anywhere. We couldn't say anything without them throwing false doctrine at us. It really makes me sad when people do that, when they tell us what we believe (or rather, what they think we believe). It happens though. Elder Abel and I weren't shaken in the slightest bit. Unfortunately it was a half hour that we could have used enlightening them or even just leaving and talking to other people. Once again, it happens. You shake it off and keep going. The worst, however, was Joe. We met Joe a while back and he had questions, ones that we could easily answer. However, the answers we gave weren't the ones he wanted. We asked if we could set up a time to go back and maybe clarify things. We went by on Saturday afternoon. He's a nice guy and welcomed us into his home. But just like our friends on the street from the other night, we couldn't say a word without him bashing and arguing. It was pointless. He threw out misinterpretations of scripture, false doctrine and contradicted everything we said. It was an hour wasted. He had no interest at all in anything we had to say, he just wanted to break us. It really made me sad how much he twisted the plain and precious truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ to fit what he believed. We left with a testimony and nothing else. We could have easily fought back, but it would have been pointless. It would have only led to more arguing. We are not here to bash. We are missionaries, and we are here to teach.
Enough with the contention. Michele is doing fantastic. She's smiling now. Originally the bishop told us that he didn't want us teaching in her home anymore because it could possibly be hazardous to our health. Michele took mild offense to this and immediately began cleaning her house. The dishes were cleaned, the furniture was organized and the floor was even vacuumed. We went by and said that it was safe for us to come in. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it all made sense to her. She's been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and knows it's true. She straight up told us, "I know it's true and it makes me happy. I want to join the church. Tell me what I have to do." Elder Abel and I were kind of caught of guard. We invited her to be baptized and she gladly accepted. It's scheduled for the last week of October! It's really amazing to see the Spirit work in this woman. She's great. She wants her husband and kids to hear it too. Bob, her husband, even sat in on part of the lesson. Her daughter is somewhat interested but wasn't home when we stopped by. Michele loves coming to church and looks forward to it every week. She said she even bought a skirt. She wasn't at church yesterday because she was sick, but the ward made an effort to go get her and see if she was doing ok. Way to go Villa de Paz ward!
We're still working with Edgar. Things are getting difficult because his parents are arguing with him about his desire to go to church. His dad is very nice to us, but Edgar says his mom is being hard to get along with. We've yet to meet her, but we're happy to answer any questions she has. The main thing we want to say is that the message we share blesses families. Our Father in Heaven blesses us with families. The world is trying so hard to tear families apart, and a home based on the gospel can be a safe place for families to learn and grow. Edgar knows this and wants to tell her. Thankfully Ross is still being a good friend to Edgar.
That's mostly what's been going on this week! I'm really looking forward to general conference this weekend. We are so blessed to have the technology to make it possible so that we can hear from a modern day prophet and apostles. I love conference. Twice a year we get to hear from these incredible witnesses of Jesus Christ. I've found that whenever I go into conference weekend with specific questions, I always get specific answers. I encourage everyone to listen to some of conference, even if you're not a member of the church! It streams live from lds.org on saturday and sunday morning from 9-11 am and then in the afternoon from 1-3 pm. Four wonderful sessions of conference! Here, I've included the link to one of my favorite talks (hopefully it works!). It was given last October. Click the link, and go to "What Have I Done for Someone Today" by President Thomas S. Monson under the Sunday Morning Session. I hope you enjoy it!
The things we hear during general conference are true and applicable to everyone, and I know you and your families will be strengthened. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner