Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome Elder Michael Nield (May 21, 2012)

Hey everyone!

Well transfers were this week and Elder Kamissoko was taken from me.
Guess where he went? Avondale! Garden Lakes and Villa de Paz! He was
transferred to my first area! I told him he would love it out there.
He's going to be well taken care of, I know that for a fact. The work
is great down there. I'm very happy for him. I managed to snap a
picture of us before he took off after the meeting.

The transfer meeting was pretty fun. All of the trainers and trainees
met in the Relief Society room. They lined us up as trainers and
trainees against opposite walls, like middle school PE square dancing
lessons. President said a little bit about each trainee and announced
to the group who would be training them. My new trainee and companion
is Elder Michael Nield from Hillsboro, Oregon! I love the kid already.
We met in the middle of the room with a big hug and began to get to
know each other. He may be my tallest companion, over 6 foot (like
Elder Abel?), and he's quite athletic. He's big into downhill mountain
biking, and he absolutely smokes me on the bike! He has plans to play
BYU football post-mission as a free safety. After a round of morning
basketball, I figure I don't want to get in his way when it comes to
sports. He's awesome though, and reminds me a lot of me when I started
my mission.

The transfer meeting itself started awkwardly. We had to use the
bathroom really bad after we met. That's when trainers and trainees
enter the chapel to all of the missionaries singing, "Called to Serve"
and then we sit on the stand to introduce our trainees. I stepped out
of the bathroom and heard the second verse of the hymn and grabbed
Elder Nield. We went into a full sprint down the hall to get to the
chapel. We walked in just as everyone was still singing and taking
their places on the stand. That was a little embarrassing, but
definitely a unique start to our companionship!

I took a few pictures of the week already. The first day his bike
hadn't arrived, so we walked everywhere. Day 2 his bike came, so I
snapped him putting it together. As we were biking north on 39th,
someone drove by and threw an egg at Elder Nield. It hit him square in
the backpack, exploded, and yolk flew over his head and off to my left
in the street. He handled the situation like a champ. He gave a
fun-sounding, "Thank you!" after I heard the pop of the egg. We were
laughing about it, mostly. It was so hot outside that I told him not
to clean it off until we got to the house because by then it'd be
cooked and we could have a late lunch! You can't really see the egg on
his backpack in this picture, but it was all over the left side and up
on his shoulder. The last picture I couldn't resist. This weekend was
Pres. Cathcart's 50th birthday. Momma Cathcart special ordered these
for everyone to wear at the party she threw. Across the top it says,
"In dog years I'm dead" with a picture of his face. It's been a fun

I'm amazed at how quickly Elder Nield is taking to the mission. On the
first day I talked to the first maybe three or four people while we
were walking around. After that I told him he would talk to the next
person. He was beyond nervous. He stopped a few times while talking
and glanced to me if I'd help him. I just kind of smiled and let him
do his thing! He did just fine, and the man said we could come back!
Elder Nield's confidence just shot up in that one street contact. He
was so excited! Turns out the man gave us a wrong address, but I think
that was a good experience to show Elder Nield how fun it is to talk
to people about the gospel.

After that, I did the same thing with knocking on doors. About three
doors and then I let him take over. Elder Abel did it with me, and it
was necessary experience to help me learn how to teach and testify at
a moment's notice. Elder Nield took to it like a fish to water...which
may not be the best description considering how blasted hot it's
getting! Now he wants to step up at almost everything! I love working
with him already. He's not afraid to try new things and to learn from
those experiences. Companionship study is the best it has ever been on
my mission, thanks to the training program we have. I swear he's come
pre-trained! He's humble and excited, and he loves the work.

Thank you all for your support! I look forward to hearing from you
again very soon. Take care and be good.

Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner

With Elder Kamissoko at the transfer meeting

Nield assembling his bike

After getting hit with an egg

Bro. Cathcart's birthday button

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