Monday, May 16, 2011

Busy (May 16, 2011)

Hey everyone!
This past week has been pretty crazy. Elder Angelos and I have been really busy. It's been one of those weeks where you're running around at a million miles an hour but looking back on it you're not quite sure how much you actually got done. It just went by so fast is all. We had exchanges with a few missionaries, including two more this week. We had a district leader council with myself, Elder Angelos and the district leaders Elders Abel, Tripp and Custance. We've been meeting regularly because we have a plan to not only follow up with the three stakes' ward council trainings (roughly 20 wards), but to meet personally with each bishop to let them know of the zone's vision. Lately we've kind of noticed that the mission and the stakes aren't exactly on the same page, action-plan wise. We think meeting with each bishop for about 15 minutes as the zone leadership will set a good tone for the zone and for the goals we want to achieve. This week we'll be meeting with three bishops, and our goal is to meet with the rest of them by the end of this transfer cycle (June 12). It's going to be a huge project, especially with the zone being as large in area as it is. We'll be doing a bit of traveling over to Peoria North stake and up to Wickenburg and we really have to plan it out carefully so we don't miss anything in our own area.
Our busiest day was Saturday. We hardly had any time for proselyting. In the morning we did service for Patricia, a recent convert in the West Point ward. She had a tree in her back yard that had a limb that was snapped in a windstorm. She was afraid it would fall and break her window, so she asked us to trim it then cut it down. It felt just like helping grandma and grandpa with their trees in their back yard. Working from the ladder wasn't very effective, and I wasn't about to have a grandpa Goodey experience. Instead I pulled myself into the tree and did the job from up there. It was just very familiar! I felt like I had grandpa right there telling me what to do. I was using ropes, saws, makeshift levers and the problem was taken care of in under half an hour. The rest of the day was spent running errands and preparing for the stake meeting on Sunday morning. On Saturday evening, Ivan and Nicole invited us over for dinner. They're recent converts in the Copper Canyon ward and wanted to feed us before we helped them with service in their back yard...pouring concrete. Can't say I have any prior experience with that. It was definitely a learning experience for all of us. It was slow at first, but we found a rhythm and poured the first of 4 slabs they wanted. We'll be going back this Saturday to keep working. We came back to the house with concrete slop and powder all over our clothes and shoes (work clothes, mom, not missionary clothes). I slept pretty hard that night.
Last P-Day started off going pretty well, but crashed by the end of it. We had a great day playing basketball and whatnot. I even went to Best Buy to exchange my camera. They said they had to order a new one but it would be here in a week, which is today. Guess where I'm going after email? So yes, last week's P-Day seemed to be going great until we got out to work. We had an appointment with Jeff and Marcy, but that fell through. Without going into great detail, we found out that Jeff won't be baptized on the 21st like we had anticipated. Elder Angelos and I are pretty upset. The two of them are making such great progress! They were praying as a family and coming to church each week! Every lesson seemed to be a greater spiritual experience than the last. Like I said, we're not really sure what's going on and I can't really give details about the situation. If and when we hear from them again, I'll let you know. We have, however, had more opportunities placed in front of us.
When we experience trials or setbacks, we often tend to neglect the blessings that come in place. Yes, we won't be seeing Jeff for a while. But in the past week we've met 5 new investigators, including the husband of a part member family who wants to be baptized, and a referral from a youth in the ward whose friend has not only been attending sacrament meeting for the past three weeks but early morning seminary too. We didn't even know about them! I had the opportunity to go teach Bro. Masch, the past member husband on Wednesday with the newly called Bishop Smith of the Copper Canyon ward. Bro. Masch suddenly said that he wanted to be baptized! He had already had the lessons, but we wanted to teach them again to keep them fresh in his mind. His wife hasn't been active in years, maybe since her teens? We'll be teaching the two of them together to help them both. It almost seems like she will be the key in the conversion of that family, not him. They still have some things to work on but I see Bro. MaschMasch that there was an order to all things and that the missionaries were the ones who would be helping him prepare for baptism. Bishop told me after the lesson that he personally wanted to be the fellowshipper for the Masch family. I have no problems with that at all. We'll be meeting with Victor this week, the boy who has been attending seminary and church for the past few weeks. I met him yesterday at church and he's a pretty cool kid. He really wants to learn and I see good things coming there.
I hope things are going well at home for everyone! We're keeping busy down in here. This week we have a specialized training and a zone meeting, so we'll be making preparations for that and our meetings with bishops this week. I'm working hard, living my purpose and drinking lots of water! Write back soon, take care and be good.
Much love,Elder Eric James Turner

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