It's been a pretty crazy last week for Elder Allred. Thanksgiving Day was fun, we went to the Masanai'i's in Surprise 2nd ward. They were actually in Garden Lakes ward back when I served in Avondale, and they just moved up here! They invited us over, and we went for a good meal. Bro. Reupena was there too, and he helped us out a lot when Elder Malmberg and I were together. After that dinner we went to the Snyder's in Copper Canyon ward. Another Avondale connection, Sis Snyder is Bro. Price's sister! We had another dinner with them, and Bro. Price even came up to Surprise to say hi. That really meant a lot to me.
So you heard that I met the Homers huh? It's true! Up in Wickenburg I was on an exchange with one of our district leaders (which was one of the best exchanges I ever did). There was a family pizza dinner at the Hancock's, and they invited the missionaries. When I told them I was from the Tri-Cities, they said, "Oh that's where Hugh and Bev are from!" I met them and they said I might know their daughter and son in law, Debbie and Dana Anderson. As a matter of fact I do!! Pretty small world, huh? On that day, I also snapped a picture with Elder Juchau at the cemetery of Henry Wickenburg, the founder of the booming metropolis of Wickenburg, Arizona.
Other pictures from this week: Elder Allred and I did the Blazin' Buffalo Wild Wings Challenge. 12 of their hottest wings in 6 minutes. Can you see the pain in our eyes? The challenge itself wasn't terrible, but afterwards was. In all reality, I didn't actually complete "the challenge." I had all of the bones picked clean with 15 seconds left, but didn't actually swallow it all until about 6 mins 2 seconds. Pretty crazy though. the last two pictures are of the Surprise House and Elder Allred's last day before he went into the mission home. His last day was pretty intenese. He spent the morning packing, and with about two hours before he went into the mission home, we went tracting. We kept working until the last minute. We talked to some really nice people, and even filled a window of heaven. We drove him to the mission home, and said our goobyes. As I'm typing this, he's already on the plane and heading home to Ogden. I miss him like crazy. As far as transfers are concerned, I'm staying, and so is most of the zone. Elders Carter and Fluckiger are the only ones in the zone being transferred. Tomorrow morning I'll be receiving a new companion and I don't have the slightest clue or hunch as to who it could be...so you'll just have to wait until next week to find out!
In one of our district meetings this week, I had a very strong spiritual impression come into my heart. I bore my testimony about how the Lord expects me and Elder Allred to do something great that night--invite Sarah to be baptized. Sarah has been coming to church for a while with her husband (who is already a member of the church). She's been so prepared for so long and the Spirit was telling both me and Elder Allred what we had to do. It was why we were meeting with them that night for the first time in months. We visited their family, and set some expectations with all of them. By the end of it, we invited the whole family to act in some way. We invited the boys to lead in family prayer, the father to come to church more frequently and Sarah to be baptized. She paused for a long time and simply responded, "I don't know yet." I was perfectly ok with that response. Not the best ending to a story, I know. Elder Allred and I both knew what we needed to do to be a successful missionary: represent the Lord and invite her to act. We did it. It was Elder Allred's last lesson with an investigator, and we left with high spirits because we did what we needed to do.
The work is still a little slow but that doesn't mean we're down. I just love it here. Lots of changes are being made with quorum and auxiliary organization, so we'll hav the chance to get some fresh ideas how to strengthen the wards. Bishops want us to be working with more less active families, which is becoming more and more of an adventure every week. I love you all and hope to hear from you very soon. More Surprises next week, including a new companion. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner
|Visiting old friend for Thanksgiving|
|The Buffalo Hot Wings Challenge|
|Allred's last night at the Surprise House|
|Saying goodbye to Allred at the Mission Home|