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.
Elder Eric James Turner