Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! (Oct. 31, 2011)

Hey everyone!
I'm not sure where to begin this week. How about pictures? Elder Allred's birthday was on Friday, the big 21. The Del Vecchio's had us over for dinner and surprised Elder Allred with a new tie, and some large wine glasses and a few bottles of Mtn. Dew. It was a pretty awesome night. From past experiences with messy eating habits, the Del Vecchio's brought out their daughter's bibs for me and Elder Allred. Gotta keep them white shirts clean. The second picture is of us and the Lakes at the Copper Canyon trunk or treat. I almost didn't recognize Bro. Lake at first. Both of the wards' parties were a lot of fun. We met a few new people too, including a few friends that people brought (more to come about them in future emails!!).
I'll get the worst news out of the way first. Bonnie did not get baptized this weekend. We were told that she had smoked here and there, and we went over on Friday to talk with her about her baptism scheduled for Saturday. She told us how excited she was. She also mentioned how she had smoked a cigarette the night before, but now she's done for good...I've heard that once or twice out here. Elder Allred and I had planned on pushing her date back a few weeks to make sure she was really ready and that she was really repentant enough for this covenant. When she had told us herself, that made it easier to bring up the concern. We talked to her about it, and said it would be in her best interest if we pushed the date back. She said, "I was afraid of that." She broke down and started crying, and ran inside the house. Oh boy. We talked with Barbera, her friend and roommate, about the situation. We all knew it was the right thing to do. Bonnie came outside and was pretty hysterical, hyperventilating and basically throwing a tantrum. She kept saying how when she was growing up she was taught never to tell the truth because she'd get in trouble, and now she knows shy, how God doesn't want her because she's not perfect. It was terrible. Nothing she was saying was true, and she didn't understand. There was no getting through to her. She ran back into the house and continued to be upset. We eventually left, pretty disappointed in her reaction. Saturday afternoon we got a call from Barbera saying that Bonnie has made the decision to continue smoking. She wasn't at church yesterday, and has been pretty bitter to a few people who have tried to make contact with her. No we know that she for sure just was not ready for baptism. We'll let some dust settle and let her blow off some steam, and we'll try to pick back up again. Yeah it's no fun, but we know that we did everything we needed to do. We did our part. She used her agency and is now coming to grips that we are accountable for the choices we make. It really is best that she wasn't baptized only to continue smoking again, with no sincerity of repentance, and then have to work through the bishop to make things right again. This really was the best thing to do. I sure hope we can see her again soon.
With that out of the way, let's move on with the rest of the week. With our teaching pool as shallow as it us, we've been using every method of finding we can think of. Lately we've been working in the area book, trying to make contact with past investigators and potentials that have been recorded by past missionaries. That's how we met Tom and Donna. They were being taught by missionaries in the past, but Tom had an accident that completely wiped his memory of everything before said accident. He had to relearn who his family was, who he was, his interests, basic motor skills, everything. He's ok now, but there's still a lot for him to learn. He says mostly pictures will bring things to surface. When we knocked on the door, they let us right inside. I have never before felt such an immediate love for a family. They were so kind they have three sons, ages 2 to 13. Tom said that he loves the welcome feeling he gets when he comes to church and church activities. Plus his chili was probably my favorite at the trunk or treat party! Their middle son has a form of autism and Donna is easily the most patient woman I have ever met. She was in the other room doing something, and Elder Allred was talking to Tom. I got down on the ground and started talking to their son with autism. He had these wax sticks that could be bent and twisted, and he was making Halloween shapes. I asked him if I could make some shapes with him and he was really excited. I asked him which sticks I could use and what shapes I could make. He was calm and cool the whole time, and we made a lot of fun Halloween shapes like ghosts, pumpkins and bats. Tom and Donna were pretty amazed at what they saw. They said that their son hasn't ever made a connection with anyone that fast. I had always enjoyed working with kids in high school who had learning and mental disabilities, and I really enjoyed making these shapes with their son. They had expressed that they'd like to have us come over every so often to start teaching again. It may be a long process, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing this family more often.
The best part of the week happened yesterday after church. We had to be on the other end of Surprise for an appointment. On they way, we stopped at the other church building. We turned the corner, and saw a couple of Wes and Amber's kids turning the corner at the same time as us! I looked down the hall, and saw Wes and Amber walking the the rest of their kids out of the bishop's office and down the hall towards us. It's difficult to explain, but they looked different. Their countenances had changed. This was not the same family we began teaching back in May. Amber looked like she had been a member of the church her whole life. She was recently called to the Primary, and came up to us with a bag of candy she had brought for her class. She was just different! Wes was wearing a white shirt and a tie. His piercings were out, and told us he had just been received the Aaronic Priesthood. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He was tired from the hours he had been working, but the whole family just looked happy. Like I said before, this was not the same family we were teaching back in May. Isn't it amazing what the gospel does to families?
I know my emails aren't exactly saturated with principles of doctrine laced with scriptures and cross-references--trust me, I'm in the scriptures every chance I get. I just finished the Book of Mormon again this week! My understanding of the doctrine grows every day. What I'm trying to convey in my emails are the joys and emotions I've been feeling in applying what I've learned to those I'm teaching. It's difficult to do, but I feel that a simple testimony of how the gospel blesses families is more powerful than something I share from my personal study that morning. It's all in the application. I hope and pray that the Holy Ghost speaks to your hearts and confirms the truth of the experiences that have so greatly blessed my mission and my life up until this point, and in the experiences to come. Until next week, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner
Elders with bibs

At the ward Halloween party

Monday, October 24, 2011

Avondale Surprises (Oct. 24, 2011)

Hey everyone!
With transfers this past week, a lot has happened. Two of our four district leaders were transferred, one of whom was elder Johnson who was called to be a zone leader in Glendale with Elder Wilson. He'll do great, and I'll be seeing him at zone leader councils. In his place is Elder Pugsley with Elder Burden. That was the only change to the house. Elder Tameilau is training out in Phoenix North zone, and I'm pretty happy for him. I wonder what his trainee thought when he saw a massive Tongan walking towards him as his companion. The two new district leaders are Elder Nelson (who lives with us in the house) and Elder Juchau. Elder Nelson had a fantastic district meeting this week. For his first meeting, I was very impressed. My district meetings were always terrible, and it's good to see that new district leaders suddenly get it, you know? Elder Juchau was released as a zone leader from Prescott, and is now training and a district leader in the newly created Wickenburg district. He's just what that district needs. He's a solid leader.
The first picture I've attached this week is of me and Elder Brame. He was at transfers, and I had to send home a picture of a little Tri-Town pride. The next picture is of the MTC gang, Elders Johnson, Buttars, Turner and Bennett. I think this is the first picture of the four of us for the first time since the MTC 13 months ago. It's been so long since the four of us were together, so this transfer was a fun reunion. The third picture is of Wes' baptism this weekend. With the boundary realignments, the Sisters had been teaching him and preparing him for his baptism. He asked if I would baptize him. The picture is of me and Elder Allred, Wes and the kids, and Sisters Falke and Rohner. Amber showed up just before the baptism started, but we didn't get picture with all of us. The baptism had a huge turnout, with people from the old ward and his new ward. Amber and Wes looked so happy together after the baptism, it was definitely one of the highlights of my week. The last picture was a long time in the making. Back when I was in Avondale, I taught a woman named Michele. She had a baptismal date at one point in time, but it never went through. Eventually, her son Zac came home, and we started teaching him. Eventually he was passed to the YSA to be taught, and then I was transferred. Here we are at his baptism, Michele, Zac and me. I got permission to go back to Avondale to see his baptism on Saturday, and then permission to go back to Avondale on Sunday to confirm him in sacrament meeting. I couldn't believe it when I saw both Zac and Michele together. The both of them have really made changes for the better.
Bonnie's been having her ups and downs. Tuesday night she had a seizure in the middle of the lesson. Elder Allred and I knew how to handle the situation until the ambulance arrived, but I'm sure our member who was present at the lesson was freaking out the whole time. We called 911 and they showed up really quick and took her away. We're starting to get to know the paramedics by name, seeing as this was the second time we've had to call them...would you believe me if I told you that we had a third? Friday night she had her baptismal interview with Pres. Morris of the mission presidency. It was a good experience for the both of them. Bonnie loved the conversation with Pres. Morris, and he's always good at making people feel comfortable and eager for their baptism. After an hour of interview, Pres. Morris stepped outside and asked if we would grab her roommate Barbera (from the ward) and join us for a few last minute post-interview things. We all went in and sat down. Pres. Morris said that Bonnie was having headaches (which we now identify as the red flag for seizures) and wanted us there in case she had another seizure. Pres. Morris said that we (me and Allred) would give her a blessing. As Elder Allred was starting the blessing, she went down. She hit the floor and began to seize again. We both got down and started holding her, moving the table out of the way and then Elder Allred called 911. They showed up and took her away again. We met them out front and on their way inside I said, "Good to see you guys again!" A few of them chuckled at that. She wasn't at church yesterday but we saw her last night. She still wants to be baptized. We're both amazed at her faith. We talked with the Bishop and discussed what to do on the day of the baptism. We certainly don't want to risk a seizure in the font. We'll be seeing how she's feeling during the day, and if she still feels well, we'll have the baptism be very small, only a few families and we'll have our PA and RN in the ward there just in case. This whole situation is so crazy and confusing, but Bonnie's faith seems to trump all of ours. She's a pretty awesome lady.
Time is short but I want everyone to know that all is well down here. My heart was full as I saw Wes and Amber together at Wes' baptism this past weekend. Wes looked so tired from work but so relieved to have made it as far as he has in the Gospel. The rest kids are planning on being baptized soon, too. They are aware of the temple, and I told them that when they go it doesn't matter where I am, I'd walk back to Phoenix to see it happen. I'll admit that when we started teaching their family, I didn't think this day would have come. But now they have so much more in store for their family. I love it here.
Write back soon, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner
Elders Turner and Brame. Two Richland boys doing work in Arizona!

MTC buddies, reunited after 13 months. Johnson, Buttars, Turner, and Bennett

At the baptism for Wes. He asked Eric to baptize him.

At Zac's confirmation. He asked Eric to perform the confirmation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Marlee!! (Oct. 18, 2011)

Hey everyone!
Right now it's about 10:30 am and we're in the library writing emails home. Transfer news still hasn't come in yet, and the suspense is killing everyone. All of the zone keeps asking us if we've heard anything and we haven't. The only news we know is who the new Assistant to the President is, Elder Henrie. We all saw it coming, and we're so happy for him. He's a fantastic missionary and he'll do a great job. News might come in by the end of this email, so I'll mention it when it comes. For a fun picture, Elder Allred and I had wings on Wednesday night. Pizza Hut has a deal on Wednesdays for 50 cent wings. Brenton bought us the hottest wings they had (not bad at all) and we chowed down.
This week has definitely been busy. We had two stake coordination meetings back to back on Sunday morning, and we spent the week typing information to take to the stake Presidents. Surprise Stake meets at 7 am and Surprise North at 8. It's too tough to have those meetings back to back. Last month we split for it, and this month we were together. Elder Allred and I both agreed that being together is much more effective when taking information and requests for help to the stakes. Bonnie came to church on Sunday and stayed for all three hours! She didn't have a seizure! Instead of sitting in the chapel, we went with her into the foyer, along with the Del Vecchio's and just walked around and looked at pictures for the time being. It was a good way to relieve some stress and just get her mind on other things besides her past two seizures she had in church. She still has a strong desire to be baptized, but it's going to be crunch time teaching her everything before her interview. I know it will work, she's so prepared. Halfway through whatever principle we teach, she teaches the rest to herself because, as she says, it makes sense. I believe she'll be ready for her interview...remember Victor? Also, speaking of church, Bro. Housari was released as our Ward Mission Leader. We were pretty shocked to hear it. He was called to serve in the high priests' group leadership. And as for our new Ward Mission Leader? Bro. Del Vecchio!!!! Elder Allred and I are downright pumped to be working with him more often. We've been meeting with them a lot already because they go to a lot of lessons with us as ward missionaries, and now this. We're definitely going to miss working with Bro. Housari. He's been such a HUGE help to the missionary efforts in the ward. A big thank you is in order.
Friday and Saturday were full of strange experiences. Highest of highest and most annoying of annoyings--we'll start with the latter. Elder Allred and I tracted on probably one of the most sufficiently hard-hearted streets of all of Surprise. One side of the street hardly anyone was home. The other side had many people home, but none of whom were either interested or polite about it. The first door was a man named Bill. He tried to be all nice to us at first before he tore into us with all of the lies and misinformation he had heard about us as missionaries, about the Book of Mormon and about the church as a whole. He claimed to have read the Book of Mormon and started bringing up "things he read" that we all knew just flat-out were not true. We had to be a little bold. I told him he had not read the Book of Mormon. Elder Allred told him the things he had heard were not true. He yelled at us. A lot. Was I a little frustrated with him and the situation? Of course. Yet we both knew his argument was wholly invalid because he had not heard the message from a reliable source, most certainly not representatives of Jesus Christ. I'm sorry he felt that way. Isn't it sad how misinformation and ignorance leads some to such foolish actions? The same statement is directed to the man at the other end of the street who called the police and kindly left us with a few derogatory statements which will not be repeated in this email. Tough crowd.
Contrast that with Briana. Briana is a woman we received a referral for who knows many members of the church, and even worked with one. She liked how he carried himself, how he had a positive outlook on family and relationships with others and the abundant amount of hope he seemed to have. She wanted to meet with us. A little while ago she was diagnosed with cancer, and so has her five month old daughter. Things have been tough for her family, to say the least. She's always had a belief in God, but she and her husband felt the need to reevaluate their lives because of their current struggle. They want to go to church. They want to teach their children correct principles. The first thing she asked us was if she could have a Book of Mormon. Our visit was brief but very worth-while. She was very kind to us. We bore testimony of the Savior. We bore testimony that families can be together forever, despite the challenges of this short span of mortality. She has a sense of respect and a level of open-mindedness and understanding that I don't think I have ever seen up until this point of my mission. We should be seeing her again this week.
Agency is a funny thing. I've been giving it a lot of thought lately. Elder D. Todd Christofferson last October quoted Elder Richard L. Evans saying:
“Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will. You are free to exchange your allotment of time for thrills. You may trade it for base desires. You may invest it in greed. Yours is the freedom to choose. But these are no bargains, for in them you find no lasting satisfaction.
“Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing.
“A prophet of God has said: ‘Men are that they might have joy’—a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil—an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—of its requirements and commandments.
“Only in these will you find true happiness, the happiness which doesn’t fade with the lights and the music and the crowds.”
I've been trying to use my time by making correct choices. Ten months left of my two years may seem like a long time, but the mission goes fast. I'm learning to love those who despitefully use me, and to be the better person. Recently I've been put in great situations where I had to make a correct choice. I think about Bill and Briana. Both Bill and Briana used their agency in a way that put me and Elder Allred in a position to act or respond. Option A) Bill's foolish choice put me in a position to choose whether or not to make the right choice in response. Trust me, the choice to respond is always difficult in Option A.     Option B) Briana showed quite the opposite emotion towards us. Humility. Her righteous choice put me in a position that not only made my response an easy choice, but nearly conditional. It would be foolish not to feel a great love for someone such as her. Light cleaveth unto light.
Transfer news just came in. Elder Allred and I are staying and I'm so relieved. We're going to finish his mission stronger than ever. However, Elder Johnson is leaving...I'm crushed. My friend from the MTC and the past 7 months of the Surprise house will be transferred. I think he's going to be a new zone leader, so I'll be able to see him still! That call may or may not come for another hour or so. More to come next week. Take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner
Hot wings at the Pizza Hut!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You Can't Make This Stuff Up (Oct. 11, 2011)

Hey everyone!
You would not believe the week we have had. It's certainly been worth recording in journals and emails, so I'll do the best I can to get in everything that happened. Libraries were closed yesterday for Columus Day, so that's why emails are on Tuesday this week. They'll be on Tuesday next week too, seeing as next week is transfers.
Let's review pictures, shall we? The first is of the day I went on a Tri-panionship exchange with Elder Trussell and Elder Fluckiger in their area. The outskirts of their area are in the middle of nowhere and this sign of a "lost tortoise" was posted. Couldn't have gone far, could he? Pretty funny though. Elder Allred hurt his ankle pretty bad last week in basketball, and it's been swelling and bruising. The past few days have been better, but we're still playing it safe. The next two pictures were taken at the dinner appointment that we went to on that day I was on the exchange, the Bobo family. I asked where they were orginally from, and they responded Washington state. I asked where and they responded, "A little town named Richland." I nearly spat out my water! Richland, Washington?! You've got to be kidding me! One of them grew up on Stevens, the other on Johnston, and when they were married they lived on Mahan. I said I knew exactly where all of those streets were! The whole dinner was spent talking about Richland. We talked about Zips, Uptown, Spudnut Shop, the site, government houses, golf courses, the Jadwin building, and good old Richland High School (or Col-Hi for them, graduating class of 1956). By the end of the dinner, Jim Bobo said he had something to show me. He went into his closet and pulled out his letterman jacket/sweater from the 50's. It has a big R and "Columbia High" embroidered on the side. He bought it in the 50's at Dawson Richards, which he was happy to hear was still there. Grandma and Grandpa, Sis. Darvis Bobo's maiden name is Darvis Bergam, and her parents' names are Paul and Emily. Do Paul and Emily Bergam ring a bell? She says she thinks that her parents knew the two of you. The pictures are me in the jacket with Bro. Bobo and with Elder Fluckiger (left) and Elder Trussell (right). Talk about small world. Go Bombers!
Elder Allred and I didn't knock a single door this week. Absolutely zero tracting. We've been busy with district meetings and exchanges, and it's been going pretty well. We received a new sister from temple square who will be proselyting here until February, and we ran a few errands to get things for her so she'd be situated in the field. On Tuesday we decided to bike it so Elder Johnson and Elder Burden could use our truck. We came outside and the weather was nice and cool, and pretty cloudy. About two minutes after we started biking, we hit Greenway and the hit came. By the time we got to Reems (quarter mile down the road) it started to drizzle. President Taylor put out a text message to the mission that said, "To APM, Caution, National Weather Service issues severe storm warning for now (5:45 to 6:30 pm) for Maricopa County. Thunderstorms and winds up to 60 mph. Careful!!" When we crossed Reems, the rain slammed us. We were soaked form head to toe, and still on bike. We had another three miles to go, there was no fighting the fact that we'd get drenched. Boy was it a wet one out there. The one day we decide to let Johnson and Burden use the truck, epic rain.
So last week I mentioned how we met Bonnie. Pretty incredible, huh? We met with her almost every day this week. She's so prepared and absolutely wants to be baptized. Elder Allred invited her to be baptized on Oct. 29, and she thought about it for a minute. She said she thinks she could do it. He gave her a solid invitation after that, "Bonnie, will you prepare yourself to be baptized on that date?" She responded with a firm, "Yes." She said she had a gut feeling that it was something she needed to do. On Thursday we did a church tour and set a baptismal calender right next to the baptismal font (West Point ward now meets at the stake center, and having the font in our building is very helpful). She's SO excited to be baptized. She attended a baptism on Saturday and asked all sorts of questions about what will happen at her baptism. She came to church on Sunday and was eager to mete as many people as she could. She sat in the chairs in the back of the chapel, but on the front row so she could talk to people as they walked by. It was just perfect.
We get through the opening hymn, announcements and all that stuff. Just as the sacrament was being finished, Bro. Harbertson, who was sitting behind me, stood up and walked over to Bonnie. We were sitting to her left aobut 6 or 7 chairs because she had so many ward members sitting by her. Bro. VanTienderen gets up to go to her too. I look to my right and I couldn't believe what I saw. Bonnie's head was back, jaw open and fists clenched--she was having a seizure. While still trying to keep the chapel reverent, a few of the men in the ward picked her up and brought her into the foyer to lay her on the couch. She continued to seize and I called 911. The paramedics came, fixed her up and took her to the hospital. This was definitely a first. I was busy trying to talk to 911, but others were making sure she was ok. This was so weird, because this wasn't a first for her. Two weeks ago, she came to church and we hadn't known who she was yet. After the sacrament back then, she went to the restroom and had a seizure in the hall. That's twice now she's had a seizure within five minutes of the sacrament at church. Two nights ago we went with the Del Vecchio's to see her in the ER. She seemed to be doing ok, but it was just so hard to see her like that. We spoke for a bit, and she expressed that she still wants to meet with us and be baptized. We continued the conversation, and then somehow we were talking about food. Bonnie suddenly slumped back in her bed, rolled on her side and slipped into another seizure, just like that. A nurse was right outside the door and ran inside to take care of her. After a few more minutes, Bonnie was sleeping and we left.
Why is all of this happening? I know one thing, she's sure in the right place when it happens. What if she was home alone when she had her seizure this Sunday? What if she was dismissed from the hospital that night like she requested, and had another seizure ten minutes after she was released? She couldn't have had her seizure in a better place than she did on Sunday. In the chapel alone were over five med students at Midwestern, an RN and a Physicians Assistant (both of whom are in the Elders Quorum Presidency). Everyone was there to help her until the ambulance arrived. The PA, our Elders Quorum President, made some calls so that she'd be in good hands once she got to Del Webb Hospital. When Bonnie came to at the church, the first thing she recognized was the painting of the Savior appearing to the Americas, one of her favorites from when she was on the tour of the church building. It's funny, that's where I am in my personal study in the Book of Mormon. I believe in a God of miracles.
More to come next week. I love you all, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner
How far could he go?

Go Bombers! Eric Turner (2009) and  Jim Bobo (1956)

With Elders Fluckiger and Trussel

Allred's sprained ankle

Monday, October 3, 2011

Our Leap of Faith (Oct. 3, 2011)

Hey everyone!
I've had a lot of things to review in my emails this week, I'm short on time so I'll blaze through this email as quick as possible. Conference these past few days was incredible. My BYU roommate Elder Mike Henderson (England London South) put it best when he said that "Missionaries look at general conference like most people look at Christmas and birthdays." Conference this weekend was incredible. I always get excited for conference. I honestly have a hard time pinpointing my favorite talks, because I loved almost all of them! Elder Holland spiritually smacked everyone in the face again, which he needed to do. Step up, young men. I loved President Packer's poem of the old and young crow, and his direction to the youth. I hope Marlee gets to read that one. Push through his raspy voice and it's actually a pretty amazing talk. Lots of 70's were released, which was interesting to hear. 70's like Elder Hinckley, Elder Costa, and even Elder Samuelson. Not Cecil! So does BYU have a new university president now? I think all of the 70's who spoke stepped it up too. Elder Yamashita's talk about the missionaries in Japan really gave me some personal revelation I had been seeking for as a missionary in Arizona. Elder Cook of the 70 spoke about how "It's better to look up" and I loved it. I thought Elder Cook of the 12 talk had a different approach than he normally takes. His talks are normally so upbeat and positive, but this talk dwelt on why bad things happen to good people. I was curious to see how the Spirit would direct his thoughts and words, and it answered a lot of questions that people have asked me on my mission. I loved it. I think President Eyring was my favorite overall speaker this General conference, and his talk in the Priesthood session about Priesthood preparation meant the most to me. Like Elder Cook's talk, it gave me the perspective of how I was prepared to be where I am right now, why I'm here, and how I'm being prepared for my future as a Priesthood holder. The phrase that stood out the most was, "I need your help," probably the most powerful invitation anyone could receive to prepare to become a better Priesthood holder.
I'll admit, the week was tough. We're still being hit by the boundary realignments. We lost everyone in our teaching pool in one ward, and we dropped our last investigator in the other. I know what you're thinking, "Why would you do that? Now you don't have anyone to teach!" Trust me, it wasn't my idea. Let me explain. Thursday night we went to Randy's house for another lesson. On our way, Elder Allred brought up the concern that we're kind of wasting our time over there, which I agreed with. The family knows the doctrine, knows what they need to do, but because of their agency and other complexities we can't be tied into, it's not efficient for us to be over there anymore. Neither of us wanted to drop him. We pulled around the corner and talked about for 15 minutes. I offered to pray about it, so I said a prayer, asking if we needed to drop him. We thought about it, and it felt somewhat ok. Just to be sure, Elder Allred offered another prayer. Halfway through that prayer the Spirit hit us so hard that we absolutely knew we had to drop him. We didn't want to, but we were comfortable with doing it. We went inside, told them about what we felt, and they were ok with it. Then we left, all within about 3 minutes. We left wondering what in the world we had done, but we both had the reassurance that the because of that great leap of faith, the Lord would prepare someone else for us...but who?
We found her.
Two nights ago we were planning our Sunday evening. We wanted to get right down to some good old fashioned tracting. We established a window of heaven from 4:30-4:45, so the Lord could put someone in our path. A girl named Lauren answered the door, and we ended up giving her a Book of Mormon, and we'll be stopping by again in a week. We thought, hey, maybe that was our window! At the next house, at 4:29, we approached the door and knocked. Nothing. Rang the doorbell, nothing. We turned around and a car pulled into the driveway. The woman who stepped out of the car was a sister from the West Point ward! We had no idea she lived there. She said to us,"Elders, good to see you! Come on inside, my friend Bonnie is here and she wants to meet with the missionaries." Our jaws nearly hit the floor. She had a friend renting a room from her and she wanted to meet with the missionaries. This sister had been meaning to contact us for a few weeks, but had been so busy she just forgot. We went inside, met Bonnie and it was a great little experience. Time was short because we had to be to an appointment, but she told us that we were an answer to her prayers. We told her about the window of heaven we set and she began to cry. We have a return appointment with her tomorrow night.
All of the amazing stories we hear from General Conference are real. They are very real, because I'm experiencing them every day. I hope we can all carefully study the words of our prophets and apostles and apply them into our lives. I can't wait for the Ensign! I love you all and hope you're all doing well. It's fun to hear about your adventures back home. Write back soon, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Follow-up to Last Letter (Oct 2, 2011)

We got this message on Eric's Facebook page after last week's letter (Sept. 26).

This one made me cry! I was touched at how much he loves Victor and Amber and Wes. Elder Turner is a great missionary and it shows. He is always happy to help out anyone in need and eager to share the gospel. He is a joy to have in our ward and we are glad to be in the half of the ward that gets to keep him. Be proud of your fabulous son!~Stephanie Alger

Also, Sister Taylor posted some photos on the mission blog and Eric is in one from the Zone Leaders Training Conference.