I"ll start off by saying we had four wonderful baptisms this weekend! At noon on Saturday was Amber and Zack, and they had great ward support. One of Zack's friends in the Deacon's quorum was really nervous as he gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, but it was so sincere and powerful. Amber asked if I would be the one to baptize her, and Zack asked if Bro. Stevenson (one of his young men's leaders) would baptize him. Because the next day was stake conference, they were confirmed at the baptismal service. Amber was confirmed by Bro. Van Tienderen, one of their good friends in the ward, and Zack asked if I would confirm him. Amber went to the adult session of stake conference and felt very welcome as she met President Allen, the stake President, along with President and Sister Taylor from the mission. Just an hour after Amber and Zack's baptism, we had Angel and Tristan's baptism too! Let me step back and explain how this all happened. Tristan already knew he wanted to be baptized, and we had pushed back his date a week simply because we had more to teach him. Well this past Tuesday, his sister Angel said that she wanted to be baptized too! We told her that we didn't know for sure if the two of them would be baptized together, but we'd see what we could do. When it came time for Tristan's baptismal interview with one of our district leaders, Angel came too. They were both interviewed and they passed! We hustled to coordinate their baptismal service and it turned out SO perfect. Bishop McLaws has been such a huge help for their family, and he had great things to say. Tristan was baptized by Rizek Housari, Bro. Housari's son, and Angel asked if I would baptize her. Tristan and Angel were both confirmed at the baptismal service by Bishop McLaws. They're both moving out to Glendale very soon and I'm sad to see them go. Their mom is very close to being baptized too. When that time comes, you can bet I'll be out there to see it.
|Amber and Zack's baptism|
|Tristan and Angel's baptism|
As joyous as the past few days have been, we had a few hard days too. One of the missionaries in the zone got really sick and President asked if I would bring him to the mission office for a bit. I spent the afternoon with him there while Elder Allred stayed with this missionary's companion for the day. He and President Taylor talked about it for a bit, and came to the conclusion that he needed to go home to get the appropriate medical attention he needed. He knew it was what needed to happen, but he didn't want to go. It broke my heart to see him so upset. The three of us were the only ones in the mission office, and we all went into President Taylor's office to plan out how the next few days would go. At the end of it, this Elder asked President for a Priesthood blessing. Numerous tears were shed by all three of us as President Taylor gave him the counsel he needed to hear. He spent the rest of the night packing, and we were to await orders from President Taylor. Elder Allred and I spent the night with the two of them to help them make the necessary preparations. President called and said that we were to take him to the AP's house the next morning. We sent him off, and his companion spent the past two days with us in a tri-panionship. His new companion will be coming in tonight and everything will continue to move forward as it did. We'll sure miss him though.
Some things I have been thinking about. Lately I've been giving myself to much pondering about the things that are happening to me. Personal revelation has occurred on many occasions. This past week has been very busy but very fruitful. Elder Allred and I tried to think why we were being so blessed. We hadn't spent much time proselyting because we were so busy with other things. Then we both thought back to something a missionary who recently went home had told us. He said that if he were to be in leadership again, he wouldn't worry about his area. He said he would do everything in his power to help those he was serving to better their areas and missionary efforts, and that the Lord would take care of his own area. Elder Allred and I both had a powerful confirmation that that was true. I got to thinking about how that will help me for the rest of my life. President Beck told us that when the time comes, there will be two callings in which we will never be released: a husband and a father. I then thought of President David O. McKay's statement, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." Clearly I am not a husband or a father at this time, but I soon will be (of course, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it). I'm starting to think that by magnifying my calling as a zone leader, my area will take care of itself. Now I think that years from now if I magnify my calling as a husband and father, any other assignments or responsibilities that I may have will be taken care of by the Lord, so long as I am faithful to the great charge I will be given as the patriarch of the home. Who knows, it might actually work.
I hope everyone's doing well back home! Write back soon, take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner