Three pictures for everyone this week. (And three from Sister Taylor's mission blog.) The first one is of me and our awesome temple square sisters. Sister Lautiki and Sister Rohner left for temple square this week and they will certainly be missed. On Tuesday morning we went to pick up their car and send them off. Friday was our Zone Leader Council and it was the day before my 18 month mark. Before we left that morning we went to Walmart and bought a brownie cake and some icing for a HAP-18 cake for Elder Johnson. He didn't even see it coming. After the meeting was over, I asked someone to go get him for me. Johnson came around the corner only to see me jumping up and down, hooting and hollering the little song we sing at the Surprise House whenever we give someone a HAP cake. I told him he couldn't eat it until the 4th. A big grin shot across his face and he said, "Hey, it's yours too!" I heard Elder Bird (who also came out into the field with our group of missionaries) say that he wanted in too. The three of us got together for a quick picture before we all took off for home. I'm totally going to get Elder Johnson for his/our HAP-24. Not sure how yet, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. The last picture is of the end of my exchange with Elder Trussell. He's a pretty tall guy and his bike is pretty big too. I tried to ride and it my legs had to be completely extended to reach the peddles. Elder Wood laughed and said I looked like I belonged in the circus.
Tuesday was a slow day. Our kitchen faucet snapped. Elder Wood had a little experience helping his dad building homes, and I've been around our broken faucet back home enough times with dad to be able to replace a faucet on my own. Neither of us wanted to run the risk of ruining something in a house that wasn't ours. We called Elder Kiggins, our housing coordinator, and he said it couldn't be fixed, that a whole new faucet needed to be put in. No problem. Later that day our brick of a phone broke. We drove out to the mission office to replace it, and spent over an hour there trying to transfer all of our stuff to the new (same but better working) phone. The day was pretty much over after that. These days happen, but we keep positive and work hard. Now we have a better phone to keep up on helping the zone, and a better faucet to keep the house dishes nice and clean!
Lots of our appointments fell through, but we met a bunch of new people who are really interested. A woman named Amy expressed a great interest in coming to church. Unfortunately her son woke up Sunday morning with a temp of 101. She called us and repeatedly apologized for not coming to church because she was taking care of her son. He said it was fine, and offered her a church tour later in the week. She loves the idea of it and we'll be calling her tonight. We also had a lesson with Eric too. We taught a rather bold lesson on the Word of Wisdom. He agrees with it, but says he doesn't feel like he wants to quit smoking yet because it's his only stress reliever. Meanwhile his older daughter had great concerns with the term "sin." Every time she asked if something was a sin she immediately started beating herself up over it. The problem is she doesn't understand the principle of repentance. Sin is sin, yes, but the duration of the repentance process is different for various sins and mistakes, and she doesn't understand that. I hope she doesn't feel a sense of guilt in the gospel, because the gospel of Jesus Christ is supposed to be happy! There's great hope and reassurance in knowing that all of our short-comings can be cleared up through repentance and the Atonement of the Savior. We'll be going back to faith and repentance this week for her to make sure she understands it a little more.
Copper Canyon's fast and testimony meeting was awesome. Victor was there! The Alger's brought Victor to church with them. He always has a big smile on his face whenever I see him. I love that kid!!! Bro. Stringam said he spoke to a few people ahead of time and invited them to bear testimony about the missionary experiences they have had. The first person to bear his testimony was Victor. He stood up and Bishop Smith had a smile on his face. Victor introduced himself as a former member of the ward (because he's in the new ward), and bore his testimony about how the gospel has blessed him even though he is the only member of the church in his family. He was a little emotional as he expressed gratitude for friends who wear always good examples to him. He shared an experience about how he brought a friend to an activity the youth were having the other day. They were early, and went into the church. Victor showed him the chapel and his friend said that he felt very peaceful. The remainder of his testimony was about how we can be good examples to others and how our friends can feel what we feel, just like he did when he joined the church. My heart was so full. After that, many more testimonies followed about missionary work, including a 13 year old girl who said that she wants to invite her friend to church. It was a very spiritual meeting as the Copper Canyon ward started to catch a small fire of member missionary work.
Time is running out and I wish I could go on about what's happening. Last night we had an experience where I felt strongly that we were an answer to someone's prayers. She came to the door in tears and thanked us for stopping by. As I continue on through my mission I realize more and more that one of the greatest skills we can acquire in this life is the ability to recognize, record and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That feeling is even sweeter when you learn that you were the answer to the prayer of someone in need. I don't know what will happen now with this particular situation, but my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father who knows our needs and hears our prayers is growing stronger each day.
Write back soon everyone, take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner
|With Sisters Lautiki and Rohner|
|18 months in the field. 6 to go.|
|A tall person's bike!|
|Lunch at the zone leaders training|
|Lunch with the zone leaders|
|Celebrating 18 months with Elder Johnson|