I hope things are going well back home and wherever everyone else is. Things are going pretty well down in Arizona. Sickness is going around. Elder Kear in our apartment has been down these past four days with the flu. I'm starting to get sniffly and congested. I think it's the start of a sinus infection or something. I've been getting stuff from the store and it's helping. Mucinex is a wonderful thing. Ok, so pictures from the week. The first is Elder Egan, myself, Elder Abel and our collection of candy from this past week. Of the three companionships in our apartment complex, we cover six wards, which in turn is six Fall Festivals of Trunk or Treating. The wards are nice to the missionaries. We probably have twice as much candy as there is in the picture. The second picture is a horse that was brought to one of the ward Fall Festivals. Too bad we couldn't ride it. The last is how we spent most of our Halloween evening. For safety, all of the missionaries had to be in by 6pm that night. We stayed in the apartment and made a chess board of candy. I know that a lot of the pictures I'm sending home are kind of goofy, but I promise you that Elder Abel and I are working very hard!
So this past week we've spent a lot of time working in the Garden Lakes ward. Because we have exchanges every day, we have to find more people to teach. We've been working particularly with less-active and part-member families. Sister Duncan, our dinner coordinator in Garden Lakes, does an awesome job of finding these kinds of families to feed us. One such family is the Medaglia's. She's a member; he isn't. He works for the Avondale Police Department and at first wanted nothing to do with the missionaries. Over the past few weeks he's let us share messages and now he offered to feed us. He's a big Italian guy who likes to eat and is happy when his guests stuff themselves. We pretty much sacrificed our stomachs to make him happy. Oh man was that food good. They have a huge mastiff that reminded me a lot of Ed. Very social dog. We shared a spiritual thought with them and invited them to the fall festival, and they showed up! They had a good time and made a lot of new friends in the ward. I'm hoping good things come of that.
We taught Monika this week for the first time in a while. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really seemed to like it. We know she's been reading the Book of Mormon because she had a lot of really good questions about it. She appreciated the answers and was ready to hear the lesson. We had to cut the lesson short because of time. In a few weeks she's going to Peru with her husband Freddy and will be gone for about a month and a half. She told us that she knows where the LDS buildings are down in the city she's staying, and plans to go to church. The missionaries helped her friends a lot growing up in Peru, so she's pretty familiar with the church down there. I was pretty happy to hear that.
My favorite experience this past week dealt with prayer. The Spanish Elders tracted into a woman we had met a few weeks ago in the Garden Lakes ward, but moved into Villa de Paz. They referred her over to us and we had a lesson this past Thursday night. Her name is Phyllis and we taught her the Restoration. She received it very well. She had lots of questions, and we answered them. She grew up religious and sort of fell away. She knows that she needs to pray, study the scriptures and go to church. At the end of the lesson I invited her to pray. She hesitated and said no. She said she doesn't know how to say what she feels in her heart. I took this opportunity to bear my own testimony of prayer to her, stressing the importance of this sacred communication between us and our Father in Heaven. When I finished I invited her once again to pray. She didn't say anything for a moment. She just kind of stared at me, then she bowed her head and offered a simple, humble prayer. It was pretty cool to see. She said she'd read the Book of Mormon and would come to church. Several of her neighbors are members of the ward, and we're introducing them to her. Phyllis enjoys the company and is excited to come to church.
I hope everyone's doing well back home. I look forward to your letters and I pray for you all each day. Until next week, take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner