Monday, April 30, 2012

The Tie That Binds (April 30, 2012)

Hey everyone!

What an awesome week we had! The heat's been picking up. We broke a
hundred a few times from what I was told. One day it poured rain in
the morning, so that was a nice refresher. Elder Kamissoko and I have
been talking to tons of people on the street. Lots of people are
outside and it's been fun to talk with them. Our only lessons this
week were with Rob in preparing him for his baptism, and what a joy
that was!

Rob's baptism was certainly a spiritual feast. His step-son Shane
baptized him. The family is complete and you can see the joy in the
family's picture. The picture is of me and Elder Kamissoko, Rob, his
wife Darnell, and her sons Shane and Valentino. Rob came to the
baptism dressed in a clean suit and had on a white paisley tie. He
looked pretty impressive. He specifically asked if the closing hymn to
his baptism would be "Families Can Be Together Forever," because, said
Rob, "Isn't that what it's all about?" He was confirmed yesterday in
sacrament meeting and had great support. His father in-law confirmed
him and the Spirit was so strong in the chapel. After the sacrament
meeting was over, dozens of people came up to Rob and Darnell and
congratulated them. Rob's also been going on and on about all of the
stuff they want from Deseret Book. He wants artwork of the temple,
books and study guides. Now begins their countdown to the temple! I
may or may not have mentioned that a few weeks ago in stake
conference, the theme of the adult session was the blessings of the
temple. The next lesson we had with Rob, he told us that he and his
wife both felt very powerfully that the temple was the next step in
their family's life.

The second picture I've included doesn't pertain much to Glendale. The
only person any of you might recognize is Elder Wood on the left. It's
the picture of Chris' baptism back in Surprise the week after I was
transferred. I wasn't able to attend, but Elder Wood followed through
and sent me a picture of all of them. You've got Chris in the middle,
with his parents between him and Elder Wood. To the right of the
picture, you have the Crockett's with their two kids. Bro. Crockett
was the one who introduced Chris to us and to the church. It was a
great blessing to have had the lessons with Chris in the Crockett's
home. I thought you would all like to see that. Chris is a dear friend
of mine and I'm grateful that his baptism was a good

Last night was a cottage meeting held in the Cathcart's home. The
topic was the plan of salvation. It was taught by Pres. Bingham from
the stake presidency. He and Pres. Cathcart sang a few songs that
Pres. Bingham wrote about families and about the gospel. All of them
were beautiful in their own way. One of them just threw me to tears,
called, "The Tie That Binds." I wish I had a recording of it to send
to you. It was about a boy and his father who passes away when the boy
was young. The song went on about all of the times the boy felt like
he was alone, but how he had the assurance that he would be with his
dad again. The song itself was about sealing power that binds families
forever, hence, the tie that binds. It was very powerful, and as I'm
typing this experience, my mind is dwelling on the reason why I'm a
missionary--families! Look at the pictures of the beginning of these
eternal families and tell me that's not what this is all about. Worth
it? Is it worth all of the heat, sweat, mocking and sacrifice of time
and energy? Most definitely.

Thanks for all of your support, more to come next week from Glendale.
I love you, I miss you, and I look forward to hearing from you. Take
care and be good.

Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

Rob's baptism in Glendale

Chris's baptism in Surprise

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