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

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