This week's picture explains the frustration of mine and Elder Barkers' Friday afternoon. We had planned an exchange that day so that he could get a little district leader training. We spent the morning at another district meeting to give him ideas as to how he would like to plan and conduct his own meetings. That went very well. After lunch we were all ready to get to work. We attached the bike rack to their car, fixed up the bikes and everything. All we had to do was shut the garage door and leave. Well, you have to hold the garage door button from inside the garage to close the door, then walk through the kitchen to leave. The kitchen door wouldn't open. We couldn't very well leave until the kitchen door opened, so that way we could close the garage and leave through the house. It was very much a twisted puzzle to figure out. We spent the next hour and a half trying to get the door open. The knob turned, but the bolt wouldn't move or anything. We tried everything we could think of short of kicking down the door (and that's not to say that the thought didn't cross my mind...several times). Elder Barker and I took out the door knob and tried to wiggle out the bolt. It wouldn't budge. By some miracle it eventually opened. We quickly took apart the rest of the doorknob and now there's just a hole in the door of our kitchen to the garage. It was annoying more than anything, because we had a whole afternoon to work. I think, though, that this experience taught me more than an afternoon of knocking doors would have done. I took the opportunity to point out to him what that experience taught us. I can safely say that I've added a few tallies of life experience to my board of problem solving, diligence, teamwork, handiwork and patience.
Saturday morning was pretty cool. It was Surprise's community day where people come together to clean the city. We went into old town Surprise to paint houses and clean up yards. Elder Wood and I tagged along with surprise 2nd ward as they went to a less active gentleman who lives in West Point ward. His house needed a bit of work, and we had been there earlier in the week to wash the side of the house to prepare it for painting. We didn't have a whole lot of time to work, but I managed to help plant a tree! There was a plot of hard dirt in the corner of the yard where a tree was to be planted. I dug some of it out and took a pick-ax to the dirt to loosen it so some little kids could dig it out with shovels. The bishopric came around the corner with the tree and dropped it in. It was a lot of fun to plant that tree. I wasn't used to that kind of work so I was a little sore the next morning. Elder Wood ad I drove by yesterday to see the house and it looked pretty good. Nothing like a little yard work to start off the weekend.
Eric's been really sick lately and we haven't been able to meet with him hardly at all. Elder Wood was able to teach Tim this week, but I was on exchanges that day so I wasn't a part of that lesson. We had an awesome church tour on Saturday with a woman named Robin. I had actually met her last May when I was still with Elder Angelos. When we taught her, it was like she just wanted to learn and had no intent behind it or anything. We've started teaching her again and a lot has changed. We took her on a tour of the church building this Saturday after the yard work and had two sisters from the Copper Canyon relief society with us. She loved the building. She LOVED learning about Relief Society. Every time we bring an investigator inside the chapel, the reaction is always the same. I love how they always comment on the peace they feel. We had a wonderful lesson and she had great questions. She began to piece together what it meant if she knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. What was really interesting was that she asked us a question that she had taken to her church. Robin told them that this particular question came up while talking with us. Not only did they completely ignore the question, but they pretty much chewed her out for talking to us. All she told us was, "I just want my question answered!" She commented how she's church hopping and how she feels like there's something missing in each one. The church tour was a great experience for all of us. She wants to come to church, but work is keeping her busy and she may not be able to come to church for over a month. I'm sure that the church tour had a great and lasting impression on her, and I hope to see her at church very soon.
We've got a really busy week coming up with zone leader council and leadership training, and I'll be sure to tell you all about it next week. Thanks for your letters! I hope all is well back home and I look forward to hearing from you again real soon. Take care and be good.
Much love,Elder Eric James Turner