It's been another pretty good week. No new pictures, sorry about that. With transfers this past week, there's been some changes in the district. In our apartment we have two new Elders. Elder Browning, our new district leader, is from Bountiful, UT and has been out about 21 months. He's training Elder Bush, from Boise, ID, and they're both great Elders. Elder Bush actually is friends with a few people that were in my ward back at BYU last year. It's cool that we have a few mutual friends. Elder Berry left, and now Elder McCarty has Elder Davis with him. Elder Davis is from Portland and he's awesome. He's so goofy but can go mega-missionary in a heartbeat. We've got a pretty awesome district. Right now our district is built like this:
Me and Abel - Garden Lakes/Villa de Paz
Egan and Tameilau - Coldwater/Crystal Gardens
Browning and Bush - Tolleson/YSA
McCarty and Davis - Agua Fria/Independence
I miss the other Elders, but I'm sure they're doing well wherever they are.
This past week Elder Abel and I did a lot of tracting, more than we normally do. As a mission, it's not required for us to spend a certain amount of time each week devoted to tracting. We didn't have a large teaching pool, so we started knocking on doors. We keep running into a lot of interesting people. All that tracting certianly paid off because this past week we found 14 new investigators! We have appointments with all of them coming up, so hopefully that will go well. A few of them cancelled last night, but wanted to reschedule because they're still interested. We did a lot of work this week. By Saturday night I was exhausted. I was more tired than I think I've been up to this point, but it was a rewarding kind of tired. One of those tireds where you know you earned it. My legs are sore from the biking we're doing. Elder Abel and I were pretty happy. We know that these results are possible, so we're just gonna keep working hard!
Church went very well yesterday. Between the two wards, we had five investigators show up. I was most excited to see Stephanie bring her sons Johnathon (13) and Jared (10) to church. This past week when we taught them, Johnathon said the closing prayer to the lesson. He prayed that he could play well in his upcoming football game, that we could score a touchdown. He told us after he prayed that if he scored a touchdown, he'd go to church. I saw him yesterday after sacrament meeting with a goofy smile on his face and all he said was "I scored." I laughed and showed him to sunday school with his friends. Jared told me he loved primary, especially singing time. He said he wants me to give him more scriptures to read because he already read the ones I gave him. He's a bright ten year-old. Stephanie came to gospel essentials and loved it. then she went to relief society and had a good time too. She wants to be baptized, and we have Tuesday as our designated day to teach her family. Tomorrow we're going to invite her to be baptized on a certain date, so she has something to work toward. Her biggest hurdle is smoking. She wants to quit and she knows it's bad for her. Since she's been coming to church she's been getting better at resisting those cravings. Every once in a while she slips, but we jsut love her and keep helping her. She's doing so well, I love working with her and her sons.
Michele's been sick as a dog this week. Her whole house has the flu and they sound terrible. We stopped by to see how they were doing. She loved to see us but didn't want us to come inside her house. We only stayed a few minutes, and asked if there was anything we could do to help her. A little while ago we taught her about the Priesthood, and she had expressed interest in receiving a blessing. We gave her a blessing the other day and she really appreciated it. Bob didn't care for one, but he likes that Michele is happy. Progress is slow with them, but it's still there.
Last night I went on exchanges with Villa de Paz ward, and I went with Bishop Hopkins (current VdP bishop). We had a good time driving around teaching people. We didn't have much luck, but we did get to talk with a part-member family, the Crosby's. Nice family. He was drafted by the Cardinals back in the 90's, but went to school instead. He's completely inactive, and hsi wife isn't a member. She has a lot of questions, and he doesn't know how to answer them all. We invited them to church and they sounded pretty interested. It really helped having Bishop Hopkins there. As we were driving around talking about baseball, mission experiences and whatnot, I was telling him who lives where and whatnot that we were seeing. I joked that since I was starting to know the area so well that I'd probably be transferred. Without hesitation he said, "No way." He told us that he loves all the missionaries, but he's had a string of odd Elders in the ward for quite some time. He said that Elder Abel and I are very good with people, and we know how to work. He said that we're the first normal companionship he's had in his ward in a long time, and that he trusts us to teach his family and friends. I was pretty flattered. Elder Abel and I are sure working hard, and now we can see that we're really gaining the trust of both of our wards. I love this area, and I love these people. They really trust us and they take care of us.
Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm thinking a lot about home. Not in a trunky, homesick kind of way, but I'm just thinking about all of the things I love about the holidays. We have numerous families inviting us over for dinner this Thursday, so we're balancing that out (Thanksgiving is our P-Day this week and today we work). Members ask if there were any traditions that we did that they could do for us. Sadly, nobody puts their turkies in a pit like we do! I explain it to people and they say it sounds good. Good? It's delicious. I think about all the pies, football, and so on. I think about just being together as a family at grandma and grandpa's house. As soon as the long tables all went away, the grandsons all set up the Christmas tree. The holidays are going to be a little different being away from home, but I look forward to making it one of a kind. I hope everyone at home is doing well and they're as excited for the holday season as I am. I love you all and I wish you a happy thanksgiving, and go seahawks. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turkey
(or something like that)