Wasn't General Conference amazing? I seem to look forward more and more to conference every session. It's like the Super Bowl to us missionaries. I honestly wish I could talk and talk about all of the talks that I liked and the few phrases I wrote here and there. Honestly, I'm saving all that for when the Ensign comes out next month. Most of my notes were simply personal revelation. I write bolded brackets in my notes every time I write an impression that comes to my mind. My notes have a lot of brackets! Elder Hallstrom started off conference with a bang on conversion to the Gospel, something we've been working hard on in weaving into our teaching. I'll briefly mention also that Elder Bednar's talk in the prietshood session was a spiritual smack to the face on priesthood duty. The story about his dad was very powerful. I have a feeling that one will be quoted by bishops, stake presidents and various other priesthood leaders for years to come.
Another great talk I loved was Elder Ronald A. Rasband's. I always look forward to hearing him speak. When I was a youth, he came and spoke to our stake in Richland. I had the chance to meet him and to shake his hand. He was saying hi to all of the youth and when he shook my hand, he looked me in the eye and said, "You're going to be a great missionary." That always stuck with me. Ever since then I've just had a special love for his messages. This one in particular sat well in my heart. I can't really explain why. It brought me to tears and I just sat there thinking about the blessing of this life and of our Heavenly Father's love for His children. If you haven't had the chance to hear it, I recommend it...and maybe a box of Kleenex too!
Chris is doing fantastic. We had dinner and a lesson with him this week at Bishop McLaws' house. We set up a baptismal calender with him and planned out how things would go up until and even after his baptism. The Spirit was very strong in that home. Chris was almost a little emotional as he was talking about how much this has been helping him in his life. Bishop is going to take good care of Chris after he is baptized.
I'm going to keep this email short, but I want to briefly touch on something that came to my mind as I was sitting in conference. I thought a lot in the priesthood session about things I had been taught as a youth. For some reason I kept remembering Bro. Tom Erickson always telling the young men to, "Sit up straight, feet on the floor, stick your chest out and smile! You're a priesthood holder, be happy about it!" I swear he said that to me and everyone else every Sunday from the time I was 11 (yes, still in primary) up until I was about 17 years old. It was never done in a threatening way or anything--always with a smile, and I've always remembered that! Even now I'll catch myself in zone leader council or in district meetings and I have to have my feet flat on the floor and roll my shoulders back a little bit. "Be happy, guys! It's a great day!" I know Bro. Erickson is going to read this eventually, and I have to openly thank him for that little lesson over all those years.
Well, transfer news just came in. I'm gone. Yup, after a good year of Surprise, I will be transferred. I can't lie, I'm pretty crushed. Then again I had to have seen it coming eventually. Not many zone leaders stay in their area for over a year. I'm a little upset, yeah, but I have a better feeling about it than when I was transferred from Avondale. Maybe it's a sign of maturity? I know and testify that President Taylor is inspired and that wherever I go, I'll be where I need to be. I'm sure going to miss this place.
Write back soon everyone! Have a great week. Take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner