Well, let's see, what's new to update since Wednesday? It seems like I was just here emailing everyone. No new pictures since then, but mom and dad you may want to check out Sister Beck's blog. She took a few pictures at last zone leader council (last week) and there should be some good ones in there.
We've been working real closely with Sandee in the West Point ward. She was referred to us by her sister in law in the ward and has a baptismal date set for June 25th. I'm confident she'll be ready by then. We sat down with her and planned out a calender of things she needs to do and lessons that we'll be teaching. She came to church yesterday and Bishop McLaws was really happy to meet her. Her sister in law even took her to the nearest Deseret Book to look at picking out her own set of scriptures. Our next appointment is tomorrow at the church and we'll be helping her even more to get ready for her baptism.
On Friday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Brase, one of the AP's. Just like the zone leaders go on exchanges with their district leaders, the AP's go on exchanges with us. Elder Brase and I spent the day in our area while Elder Angelos went with Elder Perkins in the AP's area. We had a really good time together, which isn't anything surprising. We spent most of the day just visiting potential investigators and tracting. We met a few people who were, for lack of a better term, sufficiently hard-hearted. It just irritates me when some people can be so difficult and horrid to us, especially when they claim to be Christians. Would a follower of Christ seek to destroy the faith of another, especially in such a hostile manner? He would not! All of that frustration was gone when we met with Julia and Ingrid, a mother and daughter who haven't been to church in probably twenty years. They have a strong desire to come back into the fold and to make some changes in their family life. They were very sweet and I'm eager to meet with them again. It's so nice when you have experiences like that to make a difficult tracting session seem so small and not worth worrying about.
Saturday was the groundbreaking for the Phoenix Temple!!! After three years of planning and compromising, construction is finally underway. I wish I could have been there to see it live, but it was by invitation only. The groundbreaking was broadcasted to stake centers around the area and I got to see it there. Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the 70 was the presiding General Authority at the groundbreaking. When it came time to break ground, the stake presidents in the area all had the chance to help. President and sister Beck got to go out too, and it was cool to see them on that broadcast moving dirt to make way for the temple. Now I'm curious as to when the actual construction will be done. I'm hoping it will be done by the end of my mission, but I'm not getting my hopes up. It's possible though!
This is Elder Angelos' last week in the mission. Next Tuesday he flies back to Columbus, OH. Since he'll be leaving, I'll most likely be taking over the zone. Three zone leaders are going home this transfer, which means three more will need to be called. I'm curious who my new companion will be. They way it's looking, I'll probably become senior zone leader and will be training a brand new ZL just like Angelos trained me. It's all just happening so fast. This will be President Beck's last transfer meeting as our mission president before President Taylor comes in. I'm sure President Beck wants things to be in good working order for the new president. I know he's inspired, and I'll sustain him in whatever decision he makes. Taking over the zone will be very interesting. As far as responsibilities, I'm not worried, but it's still weird to think about. Within the next month it will be an entirely different mission as far as leadership is concerned. Change is good, right? I'm spending a lot of time in prayer and study to learn how to become a better missionary and a better leader.
That's what's new down in the APM! Not a whole lot has been happening since I last emailed on Wednesday. Mom and dad I'm looking forward to your package. I'm happy, healthy, hydrated and loving the work! We now have four baptismal dates in our area and we're working really hard to help them be ready. I love you all and hope to hear from you again really soon! Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner