I'm sitting here at the library typing my email and transfer news has yet to come through. Most likely it will be here by the end of emails, so sit tight and we'll see what happens in the next few minutes. Plus, the SHIFT key is a little jammed today, so I apologize for any typos.
It's been another really good week, especially with our investigators. We'll start with Tim. Tim is still set to try and be baptized on Feb 11. He's nervous because he feels like he doesn't usually reach the goals that he sets. We wanted to have a lesson this week on the Word of Wisdom to address the smoking concern early in his progression. When we got to the church for the lesson, he came in and sat down. We asked if he had anything on his mind, and he did. He said, "I've decided that I want to quit smoking, and that's my new year's resolution." We asked why he felt that way, and he said that the lesson in the church last week made him feel like he needed to change. Elder Wood and I couldn't believe what we were hearing. Here's a man who has been smoking since he was 14, and one spiritual prompting in the church last week confirmed to him that he needed to quit smoking. All of this happened before we even told him about the Word of Wisdom at all. I believe in a God of miracles. The lesson went so smoothly as we bore testimony about the Word of Wisdom and the blessings that come from obeying it. He said he's still trying to talk to his boss about getting time off to come to church on Sunday. Fast forward to Saturday night, when his wife calls us to ask what time church started in the morning, because Tim got time off to come to church this week. Like I said, I believe in a God of miracles. Tim came to church, felt very welcome and even enjoyed himself.
We had another lesson with Eric this week, and this time both of his daughters were there. We began a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, and invited both of the girls to join us. They did, and I'm glad they did. We asked where they thought that they came from before this life. Eric didn't have a clue. His 15 year old said she thinks we lived with God. We all snapped our necks as we turned to hear her say that. None of us really thought she was particularly interested, let alone listening and searching her soul for what she thought to be true. She was like this the rest of the lesson. As we continued principle by principle, she asked questions and said what she thought was true, which went right along side everything we were teaching. She loved learning about the purpose of life, that we're here to learn and to do the best we can to return to live with God again. I was amazed at the lesson that night. It wasn't particularly long or deep, it was simple and full of testimony. The three of them couldn't wait to come to church. Unfortunately, Eric got sick and nobody came. He apologized and said he's looking forward to next week's lesson.
The highlight of my week goes to the sisters of the Copper Canyon ward. We had an appointment with Kristen, a woman we helped move in to her new house just before Christmas. She has seven kids, so the house is always a party. We met with her this week and asked Sis. Alger to go with us. She herself has nine kids, and we felt like they would get along just great because of their fun personalities. We get to Kristen's, and Sis. Alger is nowhere to be found. We went inside, and then the doorbell rings. Everyone looks confused, and it's Sis. Alger! She said that we invited her, and we told Kristen that we wanted to introduce her to people in the congregation. She came inside and Kristen and Sis. Alger instantly hit it off. They became such good friends. We didn't really teach anything, we kind of just sat back and let everyone get to know each other. The two of them exchanged contact information. Sis. Alger invited Kristen to church, but Kristen said that none of her kids had church clothes. Kristen came from a family that understood "Sunday best" and she wanted her kids to learn that too. Sis. Alger with a smile on her face held out the paper that they had exchanged contact info with and said, "Here! Write down all of your kids' sizes and genders and I'll take care of it." Kristen had a pretty puzzled look on her face, but pulled out a pencil and wrote it all down. The two of them gave each other a hug, and then we left. Outside I thanked Sis. Alger so much for everything. She smiled again and said, "No problem Elders, happy to help!" My heart was just full the rest of the night. Everyone and everything was just happier after that. Sis. Mortensen, the Relief Society president, called us the next night and said that they have four bags of stuff to take to Kristen. Sis. Alger came up to us at church and told us that she and Kristen have been chatting during the week. I knew they'd become fast friends. She's in good hands. Thank you to the wonderful sisters all around me who are the examples of the charitable disciple of Christ I am trying to become.
Transfers news just came in--Elder Wood and I are both staying! By the end of this next transfer cycle (Feb. 21), I will have been in Surprise for exactly 11 months. I love this place!
Thanks for all of your support everyone, I love you all and look forward to hearing from you every week. Write back soon, take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner