Monday, May 2, 2011

Nine Months? Slow Down!!! (May 2, 2011)

Hey everyone!
Mom and dad, thanks for the emails this week. It was so good to hear from you. Sounds like a lot has been happening back home. I knew Marlee would love track, but then again she's such a natural athlete I'm sure she'd enjoy anything she does. So Sis. Williams sent you a text message, huh? That's cool! The Williams are a family in the Villa de Paz ward. We had dinner with them a lot and they were always very kind to me, Elder Abel and Elder Malmberg. Sis. Williams is the mom/wife of the family. The Williams have a daughter named Dawn. Every time we go over for dinner, Bro. Williams always jokes with us and gives us a hard time. I love that family. Glad to hear that they're doing well too. I really miss a lot of the families in Avondale, but I'm really starting to connect with the families here in Surprise. I actually know names and faces now, and people remember my name without having to look at my nametag! Families like the Housari's, the Lake's, the Barajas', the Maughn's, McLaws', Del Vecchio's, all awesome. That's one thing I absolutely love about the church, is that wherever you go the people are so loving and kind. To answer your question dad, the reason why we don't have a lot of dinners with members here is because of the mission dinner policy. President Beck wants us to follow the missionary handbook instruction for dinner policy which says that members are encouraged to have investigators, less-active or part-member families in their home for dinner with missionaries. When I was in the Garden Lakes and Villa de Paz wards, they did the best they could with that rule and just had active members feed us the rest of the time. Out here in Surprise, Elder Angelos and I just coordinate dinners with the members. We let them know about the rule and they do the best they can to set it up. For instance, those two Mondays that we had dinner with Bishop McLaws and his family, Jacqueline was there one week and Jeff and Marcy the next. We do fine with making our own food. We have occasional dinners with members, and they're always great.
A lot has been going on this week. As I mentioned in last week's email, this past week was full of trainings and conferences. We had zone leader council on Tuesday, leadership training on Wednesday, two district meetings on Thursday and an all-mission specialized training on Friday. Then on Sunday we had Surprise Stake Ward Mission Leader Training at 6:30 am, I helped with a Surprise North Ward Council Training with President Beck and President Morris of the mission presidency at 10, then Elder Angelos did the same Ward Council Training all the way up in Wickenburg at 1. WHEW! It was a very busy week. When it came time for Elder Angelos and I to do weekly call in's with the district leaders, we were exhausted. We were given new forms and paperwork to fill out in our call in's and it's not harder, just more time consuming. We crashed into bed last night and slept hard. Elder Angelos forgot even to set the alarm, but Elder Johnson came in this morning at 6:30 to wake us up. Begin P-Day!
Transfers are tomorrow and the zone is pretty much staying the same. Nobody in the Surprise district (where I am) is being transferred, which makes everyone happy. That means that the house is still the same and Elder Angelos and I are going to be together next transfer! I'm killin' him off! He goes home at the end of the transfer and he wants to finish strong. I think he'll be fine. One of the district leaders in the zone goes home tomorrow, and his companion is being transferred. That area's being flushed so we're curious to see who comes in and who will be the new district leader. Elder Abel and Elder Custance are still district leaders here, they're not leaving yet. Only one other Elder and one Sister in the zone are being transferred.
I don't have any pictures this week but we had another amazing lesson with Jeff and Marcy this week! Elder Angelos and I had some slow days this week, so we were looking forward to this lesson. Jeff had already accepted the invitation to be baptized on May 21, and now we're meeting with him twice a week to teach him the lessons. On Friday night we went by and finished up the lesson we had started on the plan of salvation. We started working on a calender for Jeff to schedule all of the things he needed to do and the times we wanted to meet with him leading up to his baptism. Elder Angelos started to schedule a few dates and I noticed something was up with Marcy. She looked confused or something and I couldn't quite figure out what was going on. I (lovingly) interrupted Elder AngelosAngelos and I both felt prompted to try and see Jeff and Marcy, because we had never met them before. We weren't aware of each other's prompting until we came to their street. It was that realization that prayers were heard and answered that filled the room with the Spirit and nobody could deny it. I'm sure I've said this before but I'll say it again. There are days when nothing goes right and you think to yourself, "How can I possibly do this for two years?" But when you have lessons and spiritual experiences that only last for an hour like that, I think "I can totally do this for two years." Jeff and Marcy came to church yesterday, stayed all three hours and loved it. Jeff's on track for baptism and we have another lesson with him tonight at 6:00.
Nothing new here, but I'm absolutely loving it here down in Arizona. Ask me that question again in about three's starting to get hot again. I'm sure I'll still love it. Mom and dad I'll try and figure out something for calling home next week. I don't know our Sunday schedule yet, if we have meetings or not. I might call in the morning just to say when I'll be calling in the evening. I'm not sure. Do you want grandma and grandpa to be there too? I'm not sure what you have planned. Whatever happens, I'll talk to you on Sunday! Write back soon, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

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