Whew this last week has been busy, and pretty disappointing from what I heard about the BYU/Utah game. It was talked about a lot yesterday in the various wards. Bro. Haught, one of the stake high councilors, said, "It was like watching a puppy get kicked. I mean yeah, everyone likes to see a puppy get kicked but not for three hours!!" When I asked Bro. Evans (a brother in one of our wards who attended Utah) about some of the stats, his response was, "There's only one that matters, Elder!" Cold. One brother who was speaking in the Copper Canyon ward said, "I thought that the scripture of the month was section 54:10, but turns out it was actually the score of the game last night." Hey, it happens.
In all reality, the week has been pretty good. We had a training on the media campaign, "I'm a Mormon." Bro Watson, the director of proselyting from the missionary department, came to train all of the missionaries in the mission. What was funny about it was that the building we met in had little to no power. The morning session of the training was in a dimly lit chapel with no air conditioning (which was as pleasant as it sounds...). President Taylor invited everybody to spread out in the chapel, and to take off their suit coats. That made a huge difference. It wasn't that bad after that, plus the training was great. The church will be making a huge media push the next few months in a few major metro areas of the country, Phoenix being one of them. There will be billboards, commercials, ads, all featuring the mormon.org tag, "I'm a Mormon." The media campaign serves three purposes: 1) To clear up misconceptions and rumors about the church. 2) To make very clear that we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. 3) Invite others to learn more about the church. It's going to be a great! The missionaries are all in the process of training the members of the wards how to make a profile and appropriately share it with and invite their friends to learn more. To help member training take off more, President Taylor has spoken with stake presidents and will be stepping back on the dinner policy for 45 days, that way we can get into members' homes and more fully train them on how to use the site for proselyting purposes.
We had a great meeting with Wes the other night. He really opened up and we peeled back a lot of layers of the onion, so to speak. By the end of the lesson, we found a concern about prayer. He knew how, but didn't feel comfortable because it had been so long. He almost felt unworthy, but Elder Allred helped him understand that we should never feel that way. The little discussion we had set the stage for great lessons in the future.
The Surprise Stake president announced yesterday that there will be a new ward created in the stake, which will be revealed this Sunday night. In addition to a new ward, several other wards' boundaries will be realigned. We found this out yesterday morning in the stake coordination meeting, and he told us that he would be in contact with President Taylor very soon about missionaries' assignments to wards. Naturally, speculation is wild in the stake and among the missionaries. We may or may not be losing one of our wards, which is sad to think about. We know it will work out, it always does. President Taylor is inspired. We're keeping positive and trusting that the Lord will put his missionaries where He wants them. I'll be sure to let you know what happens in next week's email.
I can't wait to hear back from you very soon. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner