Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy 4th and Welcome President Taylor

Hey everyone!

A lot of change has happened this past week. Last Tuesday was our last Zone Leader Council with President Beck. The meeting was very simple, and President and Sister Beck had some departing words of wisdom for us before President Taylor arrived. I snapped a quick picture with President and Sister Beck before they left, and a quick picture with Sister Turville too. President Beck is now home and released from his calling. The day after he got home, he baptized a good friend of his. This isn't a surprise to any of us, the fact that our mission president may be released but he's still baptizing.

President Talyor arrived this past week and we were all anxious to meet him. The AP's kept calling us for little stuff, and always added how awesome President Taylor was. He called me and Elder Halligan on Sunday night to say hi and to get a feel for how call-ins with the zone leaders will be going. We had our Monday morning call in with President Taylor and he had some great things to say about the work within the zone. I'm definitely looking forward to meetings and trainings with him. Yesterday morning we had an unofficial zone activity, and President Taylor came too! We played basketball and volleyball a the stake center, and President brought his 16 year old son, Braden, with him. President walked in and identified each of the 22 Elders in the gym by name, even though none of them were wearing their name tags. He greeted them by name, with a smile and a hug. That sure was a great first impression for me. Braden's a nice kid, and we wanted to make him feel welcome especially during this big change for him, moving to Arizona and whatnot. Braden joined on of our teams and played volleyball and basketball with us. President Taylor took off his shoes and joined us in volleyball. The first thing he asked was, "We trash-talk here, right?" We all just laughed because immediately after that question, Braden served a ball out of bounds and President said, "Well son, at least you kept it in the gym this time." President Taylor's going to be an awesome mission president. We have our personal interviews with him this Friday and I can't wait.

Yesterday was a great 4th of July! I hope everyone back home had a good time. We had our sport stuff this morning, then the house went on a Goodwill run. Nothing really all that great, except I think I may have found the most missionary find: a rotating tie-rack. You attach it to the clothes hanger bar, and hang the times. Flip the switch, and it rotates. There's definitely some tie-envy in the house (which shows exactly how exciting our life in the house is right now). We bought some IBC root beer to celebrate the 4th and just relaxed in the house. For safety reasons, all missionaries had to be inside their living quarters after 6 pm. We still had an hour before that time, so we went back to the stake center to play more basketball until 6. I was exhausted by the end of the day. We came home, relaxed, made dinner, played a few games, took some celebratory America pictures and then sat in the back yard and watched the fireworks that were being launched from down the road.

We've been having great experiences lately with prayer and windows of heaven. We set a window of heaven on Sunday night in our tracting efforts. We picked the area on our map, and said we'd be there at 6 pm. We get there at 5:45 and noticed that of the one of the two streets we had picked to tract had no houses on it. Uh oh. We went to the second street and it only had about ten houses, with few cars in their driveways. Hardly anybody was home. We remembered we made a promise to be there at the right time, and that the Lord would put someone in our path. As soon as we step out of the truck, and dust storm picks up and winds are really strong. I kept getting dust in my eyes and the wind was a hot, humid wind. We started knocking doors until we made it to the end of one side of the street--nothing. Not one single person answered the door. Across the street we see a 20-something man step out of his house and rush to his car. We walk across the street and talk to him, and he says his family are members. We asked if he was too, he said, "No, not yet." We noticed the "yet" and started talking with him. He says he wants to be baptized sometime, he just doesn't know when. We have a return appointment with him this week. I couldn't believe what had just happened! I didn't think anyone was home on this street. The next house we knocked, a native-American woman answered the door. She was very nice to us, and was very interested when we told her about the Book of Mormon. We'll hopefully be seeing her next week too! It was a very cool experience, and similar window of heaven have been happening every day this week! We've boosted our finding efforts and we're slowly starting to see the fruits.

Elder Halligan and I have been doing very well. The work is moving forward and the mission is headed in a great direction with President Taylor. If my figuring is right, Spencer Brame enters the MTC this week and will be joining us out here in three short weeks. We're looking forward to seeing you, Elder Brame! I hope everyone back home is doing well and I hope to hear from you soon. Take care and be good.

Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner
With President and Sister Beck at their last conference before being released.

With Sister Turville

4th of July Human Pyramid!!

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