Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baptism! (Feb. 14, 2011)

Hey everyone!
I'll start off by saying that we had a wonderful baptism this weekend! Stephanie and Jared Garcia were baptized on Saturday afternoon and then confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting. The baptismal service went great! There was a bunch of support from the ward. Stephanie's fiance and other son, Paul and Johnathon, showed up to support them. I attached one of the photos of us at the baptism. It was pretty powerful to see Stephanie and Jared sitting together all dressed in white. Yesterday I was pretty honored to hear that Jared wanted me to confirm him a member of the church. The Spirit was definitely strong during the remainder of sacrament meeting. Jared came up to me afterwards and said, "Elder Turner? Is it ok if the next time you and Elder Malmberg teach somebody if I can go with you guys?" I speechless! Jared's eleven years old, been a member of the church for less than a day and already wants to be a missionary. Simply put, the kid's a stud. Last Monday we were at Savers looking for a tie that we could give him. Elder Malmberg found a purple tie we both thought Jared would like. When we looked on the back, we noticed it was a brand new Jerry Garcia tie still with the tag on it! We laughed when we saw the signature "J. Garcia" and agreed it was perfect for Jared. Jared wore it to school, the baptism, and then to church on Sunday. He looks awesome.
Elder Malmberg, Stephanie, Jared & Elder Turner
 To my family, thank you so much for the Valentine package! As it turns out, Elder Nuttall and Elder Malmberg all got Valentine packages too! Needless to say there's plenty of chocolate and sweets for everyone. Dad, thank you for the Trader Joes goods. Always great to see. Sister Stanley, a sister in the Villa de Paz ward is a frequent shopper at Trader Joes and always has cookies and whatnot for us before sacrament meeting. Unfortunately the nearest Trader Joes is out of our area...darn. This past week has been pretty nuts with transfers and all. I included two other pictures, both of which are pretty goofy. One is of myself and Elder Davis, who went home this transfer. I was pretty sad to see him go, but he served very honorably. The other is of Elder Johnson, me and Elder Buttars at the transfer meeting. Both of them were in my MTC district, and Elder Buttars was my companion. Had Elder Bennett been there too it would've been all of us from our MTC district that particular transfer. As it turns out, Elder Bennett was not there, but he's doing great work up in Cottonwood right now. Such great missionaries, all of them. A lot of areas were split and lots of changes were made this transfer. Elder Malmberg and I are still together, and I've survived my first week as a district leader. It's getting a little easier each day. I keep frequent contact with the zone leaders, call-in's and whatnot. The new district is as follows:
E. Turner and E. Malmberg - Garden Lakes/Villa de Paz
E. Egan and E. Tameilau - Crystal Gardens/YSA
E. Nuttall and E. Rivas - Tolleson/Coldwater
E. White and E. McCarty - Independence/Agua Fria
A couple of the ward areas were split so that Elders don't have to cover buildings in different wards. Elder Tameilau was pretty crushed when he heard he was losing Coldwater ward, and Elder Rivas was a little upset to lose the YSA. Things are going well in both wards anyways, so there's a lot of good coming up for all of them.
Elder Turner and Elder Davis
Elder Johnson, Elder Turner, Elder Buttars
I had the opportunity to conduct my first baptismal interview this week. I'm a judge in Israel. No pressure. I'll admit I was pretty nervous about it. I've been praying all week that I'll have the Spirit with me in the interviews. The interview went very well. He's a great guy who has a very sincere desire to follow the Savior. I'll be interviewing another person tonight, someone who Elder Egan and Elder Tameilau have been teaching for the past few months. They're pretty excited for her. This next weekend is going to be good for the district, two more baptisms. Elder Malmberg and I have a lot of potential with a few families in Villa de Paz and we're eager to get to work.
Things are great down in Arizona! It's starting to warm up. The days and evenings are great, and lots of people are outside to meet. The work is definitely moving forward and it's fun to be apart of. It's so weird to me to think that 6 months have passed. People in the ward say they feel like I've been in the ward for hardly any time at all. I have a feeling I'll be in Garden Lakes and Villa de Paz for a long time, and I don't have a problem with that at all. I love you all and hope you're doing well. Keep up the letters, it's wonderful to hear how everyone is doing. Take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

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