It's been a quick but a very good week!! We've been really busy and we've been working hard. Thanks for the emails and letters. Glad to hear your trip to Vegas was fun, sorry about some of the disappointments. But hey, throw some plywood with the churros and that sounds like the best trip ever. Worked once for us at Disneyland. Mom, I'm happy to hear that things are going well in your new calling. I'm sure you're going to be wonderful in the Relief Society. Sis I hope that school is going well. I'm excited to hear that you're trying track! You'll love it, I know you will.
Let's see, this past week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with our zone leaders. I went into La Joya ward with Elder Rodriguez while Elder Giles came into our area with Elder Malmberg. Holy cow that was hard. La Joya is a Spanish ward and guess how much Spanish I speak? As President Beck would say, slim to none, and slim just left town. It was a tough day. I didn't get to teach at all. I just sat and watched Elder Rodriguez teach their investigators. I got very good at smiling and nodding though. Even though I couldn't speak the language, I was amazed at how much I could understand what Elder Rodrigues was teaching. I knew what lessons he was teaching and I could pick out words that he was saying. Not exactly manifestation of the gift of tongues, but you can definitely feel the Spirit regardless of what language the lesson is being taught in.
On Friday we had a specialized training/zone conference at the stake center. Both Peoria/West Maricopa and the Goodyear/Buckeye zones were there. It was pretty fun to see all of the missionaries from the two zones. Elder Bush was transferred into Goodyear and I flipped when I saw him. President and Sister Beck gave great talks on having the faith to find. President Beck focused a lot on attitude of the missionaries. He compared it to a pencil (which I thought was odd because President Beck doesn't usually use analogies). Our attitude can be the point, which sticks in the ground and shrinks under pressure. Lame. Or our attitude can be the eraser, or "pogo" as he put it, that bounces onward and upward over trials to keep working hard. He was pretty funny when he talked about the pogo attitude when disappointment presents itself. "Bob cancelled on us? Great! Let's keep tracting! That guy yelled at us? Wonderful! We don't have to worry about him right now! King Lamoni's wants to kill us? FANTASTIC! LET'S SEE THE POWER OF THE LORD IN ACTION!' We all laughed about it for a while, especially the part when he quoted Ammon from the Book of Mormon. We've been trying the pogo attitude more often and it's been fun.
On Saturday I went on exchanges with Elder Egan. He came into my area (bike area) while Elder Malmberg went with Elder Tameilau in their area (car area). Guess what the weather was like that day? Clouds and wind all morning, then epic rain all afternoon. It was pouring from the minute we came back for lunch until the evening. We sat inside at lunch and tried to figure out what we were going to do. We made up our minds that we'd get out to work. I put on my work suit that I got for free a few months ago. I wear it in cruddy weather so I don't have to worry about rips or stains and whatnot. I wrapped my back in a plastic bag and we got to work. It was nuts. It was three miles to our appointment and I was soaked to the core. I wish I had a picture of it. Mom you'd laugh if you saw how pathetic we looked. With the pogo attitude in mind, Elder Egan and I sang "There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today" on the way there. Nobody was outside, so we sang as loud as we could. We were laughing pretty hard by the time we got to our appointment. But guess what, she wasn't there! Wonderful! Hey, dinner cancelled on us too! No worries, we get to make our own food! Guess what else? It's still raining and we get to go back out in it for 4 hours! LIVING WATER TO A THIRSTY LAND!!!! Apologies if it sounds like I've officially lost it, but we had so much fun together despite everything bad that was happening to us. It really is about the attitude. We did get to end the day with a baptism, though. All of us Elders went to support Elder Nuttall and Elder Rivas' investigator, Abel, in his baptism. Abel specifically requested that Elder Bush baptize him, so Elder Bush got permission to come back for the baptism. It was a very spiritual experience and a wonderful way to end such a cruddy yet fun day.
I hope things are going well back home for everyone. I wish I could fit more stuff into emails but there just isn't enough time. I'll be sure to tell you all more in the future, be it in letters, phone calls or just fun stories when I come home. Until then, thank you for your love and support. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner