Monday, July 16, 2012

Caught Being Reverent (July 16, 2012)

Hey everyone!
We did a lesson in Primary this week. Mom, you'll be proud to hear that I was caught being reverent. I got to be the singing time helper and while we sang, I got to pick someone else who was being reverent too. And yes, Elder Nield was very jealous!
Quick follow up on Cesar and Paul. The dinner with Cesar last week was great. We brought Shane from the ward too. Two days later Cesar went to mutual with the other priests and seemed to enjoy it. Cesar didn't come to church yesterday, and wasn't home when we went by to check up on him. Paul wasn't home the day after we met him. We went by a few days later and someone said he doesn't live there? Huh? A day or two after that we went back, and he was there. He said he's been waiting for us to come back. We said another prayer with him because we didn't have time to have a sit-down lesson. He asked us to come by the next morning at 9. Since we had something else going on, we asked if 10 would work. The next morning rolls around, and he wasn't home. That's what's going on there.
Three weeks to go and I'm working hard. I wish I could say that we are finding people left and right who are ready and prepared, but that truth is we're not. In fact, this week may have been one of the slowest weeks of my mission. Not to mention the freak-humidity we've been having too. We spend so much time biking and trying to contact people we've met, but nobody is interested or home.
We have had great experiences praying with people. About two weeks ago we met a man named Carlos. He asked us to pray for his family, and that his girlfriend would find work. We saw him again a few days ago and this is what he said: "Can you explain to me how after months of looking for work, my girlfriend happens to find a job the day after you guys prayed with me?" He continued, "I want to come to your guys' church this Sunday." We prayed with another man named Anthony a few days ago for his brother, who has been addicted to hard drugs and needs help. The next day his brother went into rehab, and Anthony thanked us by saying, "I feel like that prayer helped." On Saturday night, we were walking through an apartment complex when a door opened and a woman poked her head outside. Elder Nield quickly asked if there was anything we could do for her, such as a prayer. She said yes, and asked to come over right then for a prayer. After a brief prayer for this woman Connie, Elder Nield asked what the both of us were thinking, "Why did you open the door?" Her response was that she doesn't feel safe. She's a single mom of two kids and feels like she needs to get all of them out of there. We asked if we could come by to share more about families and about how to find peace. She said she would appreciate that.
These prayers have been helping me get through the rough days. It's been very hard. It's tempting to think to yourself, "Wow, 23 and a half months into my mission, and we're not teaching anyone. Am I rusty? Under-utilized? Wasted and worn out? Put out to pasture?" You don't need to worry mom. We've been busy praying and serving so those thoughts don't linger. Lots of service, just little to no teaching appointments. Then again, perhaps our service is the best teaching appointment. We helped an older German woman clean her yard and she was beyond thankful. She asked for President Taylor's contact info so she could thank him personally for our service. Another woman was very distraught over her teenage son's poor choices. She wept on the doorstep as she explained how she just wants him to think like she thinks, and feel how hard it is for a parent to see her child making these choices. She thanked me and Elder Nield for listening to our parents. She asked us to tell you thank you, mom and dad, for what you've taught me about faith.
Elder Nield and I did a serious evaluation of our obedience and set some goals. The past two weeks we've shown a great amount of discipline with smallest things. We've been happier and worked longer days. We're exhausted, but the service is easier because of the added strength that comes from obedience to little details. This Thursday we have zone interviews with President Taylor. I feel confident that I can look him in the eyes and say that I may not have taught more than three or four lessons in a week, but I am an obedient missionary.
The work moves forward. Until next week, take care and be good.
Much love,
Elder Eric James Turner
Guess who got caught being reverent?

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