Monday, October 11, 2010

Email from 10/11/10

Hey everyone!
Dad and sis, thanks for the DearElders this week. I'm glad to hear that Marlee is enjoying volleyball. Sounds like she's doing well too. Mom, thanks for the email, it's great to hear from you. The yard looks AWESOME! I still can't believe there's grass! If and when a fence goes up, you should let the dogs run crazy in the yard. Remember when Joey was running around grandma and grandpa's back yard? So funny. The pictures I attached today happened last Tuesday. We left the apartment and saw tons of clouds. It was maybe in the low 70's and it felt great. There was a breeze in the air, which really felt like autumn. We were biking along in upper Villa de Paz when we felt a little rain. We went to a park with a gazebo and ate the lunches we had packed while an intense thunderstorm was going on around us.

In the middle of the rain I ran outside to embrace it (the kid from Washington, who would've guessed?). The rain was so refreshing. It cleared up after a bit and we went back to work. When we left the porch of a certain house the rain started again, only much harder. It rained harder than any other rain I've ever seen, a straight up monsoon. We had to be across town for an appointment and so we biked in it. We got to the appointment, it fell through, and we were soaked. Literally soaked. It was as if I had jumped in a pool in full proselyting clothes. I took off my shoes and poured a small pool out of each of them. I wrung out my socks, pants, shirt and tie. We went to the church to dry off, and I put my socks in the oven. Yes, the oven. I hate having wet socks and I couldn't think of a better solution! It must have been a last minute summer shower, because last Monday was rainy too. We played football in the rain for PDay. It was just like the rain I had explained beforehand. Soaked. So yeah, freak rainstorms this week were pretty awesome.

The week's been going well, not a whole lot of craziness. We're still working with Michele, it's going slowly but surely. She came to church yesterday, and even had a dress! She left after Sunday School because she wasn't feeling well. Edgar's been sick too so we haven't been able to see him much either. On Tuesday, however, we met a woman named Stephanie while she was walking to work. We told her about the church and she said that she passes the building on a regular basis, and that it "calls to her" for some reason. She invited us over to share a lesson with her family. She has a boyfriend, Paul, and two sons, John (13) and Jared (10?). Each of them have had spiritual experiences in their lives, and certainly believe in something, they just don't know what. Paul has had multiple forms of cancer in his life. He says he feels God's love for him every day despite his illnesses. Both of his brothers are ministers in separate churches, and he's being baptized into one of them next month. Even though he's choosing to join a local baptist church, he was VERY into the lesson. He asked great questions, didn't bash, and agreed with everything we taught. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he began reading it immediately. We left them with two copies. Jared grabbed the other and wanted to read it together as a family the minute we left. So. Much. Potential!

We've had a lot of people telling us to be safe. I heard that  a lot from home, but I hear it more out here. Not just from members, but random people on the street too. We tracted into a guy in upper Villa de Paz the other night who thought we were crazy for being outside after dark. This guy flat out told us he had recently come home from prison, read up about the church and totally respected what we were doing. He just told us to be safe out there and that he doesn't want us getting hurt. We may not be seeing him again, but I appreciated his respect. He's got a point though. Upper Villa de Paz after dark is sketchy. I don't like staying there long, but it's hard when we have appointments. The stake president just said that he wants members going on exchanges every night with the missionaries, which Elder Abel and I aren't too thrilled about. We don't have much success at night. But I think that I was just typing that I realized that it's probably to keep us safe with members in a car rather than being so vulnerable on a bike? Who knows. Mom, don't worry, we'll be ok. We're making smart choices. Multiple times we've left areas because of mutual bad feelings about the situation.

We had a zone meeting this week. Oh! Remember the Elder I met at Taco Bell at BYU the day I reported? His name is Elder Cheadle and he's here now! He was learning Spanish in the MTC so he was there a little longer than I was (9 weeks total for him). He's in my zone and I see him every once in a while. We saw each other a lot in the MTC and it's cool to see him out here too. Anywho, back to what I was saying. After the meeting was over, we went to lunch at a sandwich shop called WhichWich (new favorite). While we were there, Elder Abel said we had a new voicemail...from President Beck. I didn't believe him until I heard it. He said he wanted to call us and tell us how much he loved us. Apparently Bishop Johnson of the Garden Lakes ward called him espousing the wonderful virtues and talents of the Elder Abel and Elder Turner companionship in his ward. President Beck called to tell us that's what he likes to hear and to keep up the good work. We felt pretty good about that, but didn't believe it so we could stay humble (Elder Rodriguez always tells us that with a smile: "You're a great missionary. But don't believe it.").

I love you all and thank you for your support. I love hearing from you and hope you're doing well. Until next week, take care and be good.

Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

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