It was so good to talk to the family yesterday! Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. That hour sure flies by pretty quick though. Then again, so did the five months since the last time we spoke. From now until Christmas, this will be the longest time that I've gone without speaking to my family. That's sure weird to think about. I know the time will go quickly. It always does. Dad I got your email and to answer a few questions, President Beck constantly reminds us about our deportment and demeanor. We're missionaries, not twenty-something college kids, but representatives of Jesus Christ. We need to maintain the highest standard of appearance. And for your question about the "levels," that's the result of a study guide that we do as missionaries. Once you finish it, or the sixth level, you have the opportunity to do a study session with President Beck and Elder Madsen, formerly a member of the mission presidency. I'm working on my level three right now. The different levels correlate to the new missionary training curriculum: "Fundamentals from Preach My Gospel: Teaching More Effectively." It's a great guide to studying, and you cover a lot of material.
This week has had its ups and downs, like most weeks do. Almost every day this week was over 100 degrees, which is a friendly reminder that the Arizona winter and spring have come to a close. No bueno. It helps that we're in a car, but that goes away once we step outside and hit the streets. Warm days a'comin'. We did however have a great Mother's Day Sunday. Between our two wards we had 13 investigators at church. 13!!!! Elder Angelos and I have never had that many investigators at church before. We'll hopefully be extending baptismal dates to some of them this week. There were even people who walked into Copper Canyon ward and asked the bishop how they could be baptized. Elder Angelos and I received a voicemail from on of our ward mission leaders saying, "Bro. ________ approached the bishop on Sunday and said that he wanted to be baptized...could you take care of that please?" We laughed when we heard that but we know that we'll have good things in store this week for us and the people we teach.
I apologize that this letter is so short this week. That and for not including any pictures. I had set my camera on my desk for a timer function photo and my desk got bumped. The camera fell to the ground and bent the lens, and now it doesn't work. No worries, I still have the receipt and I'm going to replace it after I send off this email. I just hope everyone knows how much I'm loving it down here. I say that every week but it's true. Even the days that aren't as glamorous are still wonderful learning experiences. My testimony grows day by day as I teach and live my purpose. Recently as a mission we've been magnifying our purpose by inviting everyone we meet to be baptized. Even at the door. You might think that would be kind of frightening to do, and it is at first, but you really feel the power and authority of your calling as you teach pure doctrine and invite everyone to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone who holds the Priesthood authority of God.
I love you all and hope to hear from you very soon! I know it's a few days away, but Mom, I'll wish you a happy birthday now! Let me know what you want. I'm still pushing for the idea of a saguaro across the yard from the ginko. Trust me Mom, it'll look great! Write back soon, take care and be good.Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner