Monday, January 23, 2012

Surprise Baptism Last Weekend (Jan. 23, 2012)

Hey everyone!
Pretty great week, if I don't say so myself. We've taught more lessons this week than we have in several transfers. We've been busy! We had a great lesson with Eric and his daughters again. We finished the plan of salvation, and they all seemed to understand and accept it. His fifteen year old continued to surprise us with her questions and thoughts of the gospel. This family is so prepared! Unfortunately they didn't come to church! Ugh that was frustrating, and we had the one gospel principles lesson that Eric needed to hear! After Bro. Stringam's great gospel principles lesson, we both felt sad that Eric wasn't able to hear that for himself. We'll be having a family home evening with Eric tonight at his neighbor's house and I'm really excited for that.
I had a really great experience on Thursday afternoon. We had a gap of time with absolutely nothing going on in our area. Bummer. So, we decided to help some companionships in the zone with the work in their area--a blitz, as we call it. We talked with Elder Nelson and Elder Duke to see if we could help them in their area. We set aside about three hours to just get to work and see what we could do. Wood went with Duke and I went with Elder Nelson. I asked what we'd be doing, and he said we'd be tracting. I'll admit that I was hesitant because the area we were going to was one of the wealthier parts of Surprise, if not the wealthiest. The first whole street was nothing but rejections or slammed doors. Woo. We cut through a park and found another street.
Along the way we had a great discussion about how to fire up wards to be better member missionaries. We came to the new street and knocked on the first door. A woman, probably mid 20's, answered the door. We introduced ourselves, and she introduced herself. Her name was Amanda and she said that she had a lot of friends from high school who were members of the church. Elder Nelson asked her if she had ever read the Book of Mormon, and she said no. She continued on by saying, "It's funny how you say that because recently I was just thinking about your church and how I'd like to actually read the Book of Mormon for myself." Just then she had to run inside to check something. Elder Nelson and I just looked at each other like, "Did she just say that?" While she was inside I picked out a card and began to write down our phone number and location of the church. I was thinking about which video portrait she would like the best. For some reason the profile of a woman named Shawni came to my mind. She's a mom, photographer, blogger, I thought it would work. Before I could write anything down, Amanda came back outside. The conversation somehow switched to football, no idea how. Probably because she's a huge Packers fan and seeing as they just know where I'm going with this. I changed my mind and wrote down the link to one of the former NFL players, Rob. It's a cool story about football and his family, and I thought she'd like that one instead. She saw the card and said, "Hey I've seen those commercials! I saw one the other day about a woman who talked about her kids and photography. I liked that one because I like photography and I wanted to learn more about her." It was Shawni's profile. Of the three dozen differnet commercials, she saw Shanwi's. I asked her if she wanted to see that one too, and she said that she'd love that. I wrote down the link, and felt slightly guilty that I hadn't followed that prompting the first time. I know something like a name isn't worth making a big deal about, but wow. We were so led by the Spirit that afternoon. I don't doubt that we were being guided every step of the way that day, even just to talk with Amanda about the Book of Mormon and a woman named Shawni.
Saturday night was quite the night, one that I didn't expect to see for a very long time. Scott was baptized. We were teaching Scott back in the former Copper Canyon ward way back when Angelos was here and we had lessons twice a week with them. Part-member family, Scott was not a baptized member of the church. Missionaries had been working with them for years. We had a few instances where Scott accepted the invitation to be baptized, but for one reason or another, he wasn't ready. It was kind of frustrating at the time, I cared about him, but I think my pride was saying, "Come on and get baptized already, you know it's true!!!" We lost them with the split of the wards, and they became part of the Sisters' area. A couple months or so after the split, the Sisters started working with them again. At transfers last week, Sisters Falke and Rohner leaned over to me and said, "You know Scott's getting baptized next weekend right?" I freaked. I immediately put that in my planner so I wouldn't forget it. Saturday night was so great when I walked into the church and saw Bishop Pottle and Scott standing next to each other dressed in white. Their whole family was excited for them. Scott came over to me, gave me a hug and said, "It's sure good to see you here!" It was a different Scott. Bishop Pottle and Bro. Tanner (formerly in the Copper Canyon ward but have now become quite good friends of mine) told me that his wife just stopped pushing. If he wanted to do it, it was his choice. It took him some time but after reading and some serious praying, he was ready. It was a wonderful feeling to sit in the church and hear the bishop bear testimony about the temple and eternal families.
Write back soon everyone, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

Eric with Scott and his family

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