It's been a pretty good week! I'll explain the two pictures. Recently a lot of the cotton fields around the city have been blooming, flowering, whatever the proper term is. We decided to go take some pictures in one. I like the first one of me because it reminds me of the TV show "CSI Miami." Dad and I always made fun of the main character, Horatio Caine, and his cheesy lines that began each episode. I see this picture playing out something like this.
"Horatio, why is that missionary standing in a cotton field?"
"Apparently... the field is white...(puts on sunglasses)...already to harvest."
I figured any CSI Miami fans would get a kick out of that, especially Dad. The second picture is of the six Elders in our apartment complex. From left to right it's me, Elder Kear, Elder Nuttal, Elder Abel, Elder Egan and Elder Tameilau. There's two other Elders in our district, Berry and McCarty, but they live a few miles away.
Mom you don't need to worry about my eating. The families down here are taking good care of us. At times it feels like a little too much care! Every night we have dinner with members of the ward and they stuff us. I'm trying to work out every morning so I don't gain (too much) weight. Thankfully we're in a bike area, that has to help a lot.
Transfers are tomorrow and I just now heard the news. Elder Abel and I will still be here together, and so will Egan and Tameilau. Our district leader, Elder Berry is being transfered, and Elders Nuttall and Kear, who are companions, are being flushed out of their area and are being replaced by two new missionaries. We don't find out until tomorrow who the new missionaries are. That came as a surprise to me. I'm pretty glad that Elder Abel and I are still together and in the same area, too. We had a great week this week and I want to keep working with the people we taught.
On Tuesday we taught Stephanie Garcia at the church with Bro. Farnsworth from the Garden Lakes ward. She really liked the building. We taught a good lesson and Stephanie committed to quit smoking by the weekend. Stake conference was this weekend, and she went to the adult session on saturday night. She loved it! She enjoyed the testimonies and met some really nice people from the ward, including Bishop Johnson. The next day (yesterday) was a stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake covering multiple stakes in Arizona. It was a lot like the one we had back home a few years ago when President Hinckley spoke to us. This time we heard from Bishop H. David Burton, Sis Barbara Thompson, Elder Quentin L. Cook and President Monson. It was really nice to hear from them all. We were sitting and listening when we saw Stephanie walk in with her two sons. They were late because their car wasn't working and they walked. They walked a pretty good distance and I was amazied the see them there. She really wanted to go to church and really wanted her sons to start going too. After the broadcast was over, lots of the youth recognized her sons and said hi. I think they have a pretty good group of youth fellowshippers, which makes Stephanie happy. We're going to meet with her again on Tuesday night.
On Saturday we had the opportunity to teach Julius, a man we tracted into last week. Brother Price, the Garden Lakes ward mission leader, went with us. We taught him the Restoration and he loved it. It looked as if though something clicked when we told him about prophets, that there was a prophet on the earth today. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes without any hesitation. He knows it's true. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he had said he had always seen one at work but never had the opportunity to read it. He asked how much it was and was a little surprised when we said nothing, it was his. He laughed and said, "You know I'm going to read this the moment you guys leave my house, right?" We laughed with him and said that's just fine. He thanked us graciously and said we were always welcome in his home. We have another appointment with him next Saturday.
Things are still going with Michele. She's trying to quit smoking and isn't doing so well. She's been seeing her daughter more often though! She's been really happy because she's been able to see Ashley. She even saw her mom yesterday, which was odd because they've had a lot of fights the past several years. We taught her mom last night and she seemed very open and respectful to Michele's desire to learn about the Gospel. We'll keep working with her.
It's really been an awesome week. I still feel like I can be working harder. I'm amazed at how fast the weeks are flying by. I'm reading the Book of Mormon quite regularly and I enjoy every page. Elder Nuttall is lightning quick at referrring back to any doctrine, story or reference in the Book of Mormon. I'm trying to get there. Elder Abel and I are still working hard and talking to everyone. The wards love us. Brother Smyth said last night that the two of us together remind him a lot of when he was working with his favorite companion back when he served his mission. I'm thankful for such an awesome companion. We work well and get along well too. I've realized that I should always be the kind of companion I want to have, and that seems to be worknig out quite nicelike.
I love you all and miss you. I hope you're all doing well, especially with holiday season around the corner. I hope the turkeys are burried and cooked to your liking. Write back soon, I can't wait to hear from you all. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner