Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Now, What Do We Hear (July 18, 2011)

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone's been having a good week! Last Monday after I emailed home, we had a zone activity where we had a badminton tournament. Elder Halligan and I made it to the semi finals...then lost. Bummer. Lots of fun though! I only included one picture this week, and it's of me and Elder Johnson. If I haven't explained it before, it's the Elder Johnson we met outside the temple in Provo just about 20 minutes before I reported to the MTC. We were in the MTC together, and we've been in the Surprise House together for the past 4 months. I absolutely love him. He was called as a district leader this past transfer and has been doing an awesome job. Yesterday was his birthday, and we made him a cake. We've made so many cakes for birthdays and HAP days, I'm surprised I haven't gained so much weight lately. In the middle of his weekly call-in with other missionaries in the district, we burst in the room, surrounded him and sang happy birthday. He loved it, and I had to get a picture with him.
Elder Johnson's Birthday
This past week has been pretty good for the most part. Lots of fun stories in our work. I went on exchanges with Elder Alvis in Surprise North, and the bike I borrowed broke. I was riding along Bell Rd. and the entire left crank and pedal fell off. Oops. Thankfully we were near the Surprise House, so I had one foot on the bike pedal and I scooted off the street with the other. Longest half-mile of my life. I switched out bikes with Elder Nelson's bike and was good to go for the rest of the day. Elder Halligan and I met a 70 year old black woman named Dorothy who holds church in her own house. We taught her on Saturday morning and it was quite an experience. While teaching the Restoration, she agreed with everything until we got to Joseph Smith, because she said that she was a prophet. After that she wasn't too happy. She went on to say that she had authority and said she'd use it to cast the demons out of us, which sounded a lot like threat more than a statement of her divine investiture of authority. Although she said she'd read the Book of Mormon, so that's a start.

We had a great experience on Friday with Mike and Becky. I think I may have mentioned Mike in a past email. He was referred by a member of the Surprise 1st ward, and we had a lesson with him a few weeks ago. He came to church last week, and stayed all three hours. We saw him again on Saturday and we invited Bro. Burrup, our Elders Quorum President, to go with us. Bro. Burrup said he'd be bringing his wife, which was a great idea because Mike's wife Becky was going to be there too. It went so well. We met the Burrups at Mike and Becky's place and we went to the door. For just a brief moment after Elder Halligan knocked on the door, I saw something that really made me feel good about the coming lesson. The Burrups were standing behind us, and they were holding hands. It was a very brief gesture of affection, but it was something that strengthened my testimony of how the Gospel blesses families, and how much Mike and Becky could benefit from the knowledge of eternal families. Becky answered the door and invited us right inside. Mike, Becky and the Burrups are all in the mid-late 20's and they hit it off so well. Mike told us dinner was almost ready, and we were a little caught off guard. We had no idea they were making dinner for us, they had no idea we were bringing extra people, yet for some reason Mike felt like he should put a few more burgers on the grill. It worked out! We didn't really have a lesson because Mike was in and out of the room getting dinner ready. We all got to know each other a little better, and then we went to the table for dinner. Becky said she had LDS friends growing up, and she loved their family values and high morals. Same thing with Mike, in fact he used to work down the street from the Mesa Temple as a teenager. Mike had a question about why nobody in the church was paid. We spent the next little bit talking about callings and why we serve within the church. That transitioned into a discussion about what kinds of things happen at church on Sunday. It was a gret conversation, and then Becky asked about temples. I took the opportunity to bear my testimony about temples and forever families. Becky had a look on her face that very much seemed to say, "I want that." Bro. Burrup stepped up and invited them over to their house next weekend for dinner and a lesson. Thank you Burrup family!

I know that back home, this is the week of Baker (leadership camp). Dad, my guess is that you're reading this up at camp, either in Sasquatch or the library would be my best guess. Send everyone my love. Give Marty and Andy a hug for me. If you have the chance to see the JC's or SC's together, tell them I love them, I miss them and to work hard. I hope they understand why I made the choice to serve a mission and the joy I feel in my service. Tell them to write! I know the week is busy but I want to hear how everyone is doing!

Time is short once again but I send everyone my love. The Gospel has been restored and families are forever. This is not the cliche of the missionary who says what he wants people to hear, rather it is the testimony of a never-deviating representative of Jesus Christ. It is truth.

"Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy." (Doctrine and Covenants 128:19).
Take care and be good.

Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

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