Monday, April 16, 2012

Adventures in Glendale (April 16, 2012)

Hey everyone!

Two great pictures this week. Remember Angel and Tristan from
Surprise? They were baptized in August. A week after their baptism,
they moved out of Surprise and to Glendale. This weekend was stake
conference and they crept in with their brothers and sisters. They
live in the Black Canyon ward, but it's still the same stake! It was
so good to see them! I pulled them aside to say hi and get a quick
picture with them They're really involved with the youth and just
doing great. I'm going to have to print a picture or two of this and
send it to some people in Surprise! The second picture is of me and
Elder Kamissoko at our dinner appointment last night. The family has a
two year old son named Nathan. He LOVES the missionaries. He sang "I
Hope They Call Me on a Mission" for us at dinner and it was so funny!
He's a sharp little kid. Two weeks ago, Elder Kamissoko and Elder
Brame were having dinner over there. The parents asked him who they
wanted to say the prayer. He pointed to Elder Brame and said, "The
white one!" Elder Kamissoko still laughs about that one.

Things are great out in Glendale. The area is really small, only about
4 square miles. Being on a bike is the best! There's so many people
outside all the time! I printed myself a little map and I think I know
where I'm going now. This week was stake conference but after only one
sacrament meeting in the area, I feel like I've made connections with
a sufficient number of families that will be able to help us with the
work, especially our ward missionaries. Living with the Cathcarts is a
hoot. They have Tanner's old room set just for us. We sleep and study
in there, and have our own bathroom. They said, "Our home is your
home." We're open to any food we want, and we can get any extra food
we want with our own money. That's still really weird for me. Foir the
past 20 months I've been buying and eating my own food. It's been good
though, and I make sure not to pig out. For morning workout, Kamissoko
and I usually go run, and then stretch and whatnot in the living room.
Preston, Devin and Nathan are always fun. The other day at lunch we
got into a Nerf gun fight before we took off to work. We only cover
the one ward, La Pradera Park, and that makes the work so much easier
when you only have one ward council, one area book, one ward mission
leader, etc. You don't have to worry about balancing out how much work
is going on in what ward.

Speaking of the work, Rob is doing awesome. Because of a few
scheduling conflicts, his baptism has been pushed back to the 28th so
his step-son Shane can baptize him. He's already been calling family
members about coming. We meet with him almost every day. The lessons
are short, but very powerful. Every time he just keeps bearing his
testimony about how he's a changed man because of the Gospel. They
came to the adult session of stake conference and the stake presidency
focused on the blessings of the temple. The next day, Rob was saying
that he and his wife loved the talks and have been talking even more
about going to the temple once he's baptized. They make frequent trips
up to the Deseret Bookstore on 59th and Greenway to look at artwork,
music and study books. The man is converted to the Gospel.

We picked up another new investigator this week, Juan. He was referred
to us by a member from the West Point ward back in Surprise! Bro
Burrup even came out to Glendale for the first lesson with Juan. After
an awesome lesson, we set a date for May 5th. Juan loves reading from
the Book of Mormon and wants to get to know more people. One idea I
had was to bring Juan to a family home evening with Rob and his
family. Rob's in-laws are all members of the church, and every Monday
they have a huge family home evening. We explained family home evening
to Juan and he looked beyond confused. "Wait, so, your family
just...hangs out? Just for the night?" We said yes, and he followed up
with, "And do what?" We told him how different families do different
things, like read scriptures, watch movies, tell stories, have dinner
and ice cream, play games (like Turner family Scrabble night, Elder
Turner reigning champ!!). His face lit up and he said, "That's sounds
cool! I've never done that before!" We called Rob and he said that we
and Juan are more than welcome to join them tonight for dinner and
family home evening. I can't wait!

Glendale is just an awesome place! Elder Kamissoko and I have a blast
together. Seriously, he's just the coolest guy in the world. Playing
basketball is tough because he swats every shot you take. There's a
park near the bottom of our area that always has soccer games going
on, and he loves soccer. I'd be afraid to play him in that,
considering how good he is at basketball (even though he never payed
it until he came to the states 3 years ago...). His English is getting
a lot better, and a lot of our conversation while tracting is how you
say or interpret different things in English. Slang has especially
been fun to explain. There's never a dull moment in our companionship.

Write back soon everyone! Take care and be good!

Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

With Angel & Tristan (see Aug 15, 2011 entry for baptism photo)

With 2-year-old Nathan

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