(NOTE: Sorry I forgot to post this one when it came. Hence the reason why it's out of order. ~TT)
Glad to hear things are going well at home. I'm curious to see how the upstairs project will turn out. Hopefully it looks nice. Sorry about the whole Bomber girls basketball fiasco. I'm even more sorry about grandpa. Broken rib? Are you serious? Lotta' pain, nothin' to worry about as he always says. I hope he and grandma are doing well too. Is Marlee doing basketball for middle school? How's everything been going with her?
Things in Arizona are going pretty well. It's such great weather. This past week was in the 70's and 80's, and dipped into the 60's at night. The pictures this week are snippets from the ward christmas parties we covered. In the Garden Lakes party, they did a 12 Days of Christmas "Arizona Style" I thought was pretty funny. Day 8 is my favorite. At the Villa de Paz Party, they did a live nativity skit, and one of the ward members let the youth use one of his goats. I had to laugh when the narrator said that the shepherds made haste. The kids playing the shepherds walked across the yard trying to drag the goat with them, but the goat wouldn't budge. It planted its butt down and pulled its neck back. It looked a lot like trying to get Edgar to go inside the house through the side door, he wouldn't move at all. It took a good two or three minutes to move the goat. One of the kids tried poking it with his staff, and the goat just bit the staff. Everyone was laughing. I had to get a picture with the goat because it reminded me of one of my faovrite Saturday Night Live sketches, "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals."
This past week had its ups and downs with teaching. We dropped Bro. Webster, the husband of one of the members of the garden lakes primary presidency. He's stuck with his baptist church and has no intention of joining the LDS church, but he says he always enjoys us coming by to hang out...but that's not why we're here. We found out that Stephanie has now gone two weeks without smoking, and she's very excited to tell us about her progress. We're trying to meet with her to extend a date for baptism, but her work schedule keeps us from meeting regularly with her. I taught Scott a few times this week, a guy who was tracted into way back when Elder Hill was in the area, last March or so. We finally got to meet with him. This week we met with him twice, both of which were exchanges with ward members. We taught him the first two lessons, and he said he's willing to be baptized after he reads and prays. We tried extending a date, but he said he wants to study a bit more, which is going to be ok. He's very eager to learn, and already knows the doctrine pretty well. He's getting baptized, it's just a matter of when.
Elder Abel and I did a lot of tracting this week. Because our teaching pool fluctuates so regularly, we hit the streets and just start knocking on doors. This week was a little slow when we tracted, but I really got to have some fun conversations with Elder Abel. We told stories about stuff we did at home. For instance I told him about Baker, he told me about playing water polo. It was pretty fun and really helped soften the blow from all the grumps who yelled at us. On Friday I think we put in the most miles on bike in one day up to this point on my mission, at least 30. We rode from the bottom to the top of or area and bike probably twice? All of our appointments cancelled, and one of them moved! To Missouri!
Ok so mom and dad you asked about Christmas day. Yes, I will be able to call home on Christmas, and it doesn't really matter what time. We call from our mission cell phone, and Elder Abel and I don't have to call at the same time either. I'm fine with whatever, if morning works best then we can do morning. I'm an hour ahead of Washington time, so if you wanted to talk at 9am I'd call at 10. Whatever works best for you guys, just let me know.
I love you all and hope you're having a good Christmas season. I'm amazed at how fast time is going. We in the apartment are doing things to make our Christmas away from home as awesome as we can. We have three mini-trees, lights, stockings, and today I'm buying candy. Elder Abel even got a homemade recipie for eggnog which I want to try and make. The members here take good care of us and also want to make sure that we're doing well. No worries mom, we're all doing great. I miss you all and can't wait to hear from you. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner