Two pictures this week. The first is of my flight itinerary, which
came in on Thursday. They call 'em trunky papers out here. Funny story
about that. They were sent to the wrong address. They were sent to the
address where the La Pradera Park missionaries lived over a year ago
before moving in with the Cathcart's. I got a call on Thursday saying,
"Is this Elder Turner? We have a letter for you that looks pretty
important. Sorry to tell ya', but you're going home!" They were
jokingly saying that I was going home, but they didn't know that in
actually it was my flight plan...to go home! The family was actually
the daughter and son-in-law of the brother whom the missionaries
previously lived with. He's out of town for the summer, and is letting
them stay in his home. This family moved from the West Point ward, my
last area! I didn't know them all that well because they were slightly
less-active. I do remember being in their neighborhood about a week
before I was transferred on conference weekend. We had knocked on
their door and she let us in. He was sick, and we gave him a blessing.
He thanked us and went back to bed. Fast forward to the other night
when I picked up my trunky papers. This brother commented on how
familiar I looked. When I told him about the blessing I had given him,
he laughed. Long story, but he had lost his job at the time and was at
the lowest point in his life when we had come by the weekend. The
blessing really helped him more than just overcoming a sickness. He's
now working a new, better job and coming back to church. He repeatedly
thanked us for coming into his home. It's funny how something like
sending flight plans to the wrong address can lift your spirits with
an experience like that.
The second picture is the softer side of my fearless, rugged, BYU
football-playing companion. Bunnies. The Cathcart's Easter bunnies
have grown, and Elder Nield has grown quite attached to the brown one.
Update on Cesar and Paul. Paul's still flaking on keeping
appointments, and Cesar texted us and said he doesn't want to be
baptized anymore. You know, that happens. We've been talking to more
people and have been building up our potential investigator list.
Carlos, the man we prayed with and his girlfriend found a job, says
more and more things have been happening to him that have lead him to
wanting to speak with us. To quote him from last night, "I can't even
explain it, but I've quit smoking and recently stopped drinking. I'm
trying to make some changes." How powerful is that? He's committing
himself to pray more, to repent and yet he doesn't know why other than
the fact that it feels right to him! We should be showing him and his
girlfriend around the church this week, which he says he won't do
unless she's there because it should be for both of them.
John, our less-active friend from a few months ago, is doing fantastic.
He's been to church every week for the past month. Last week he even
wore a white shirt, tie, and brought his scriptures! He had an
interview with the bishop, and the bishop told us that he's on the
right path. Our Relief Society President and her husband invited him
and us over to their home for dinner on Saturday night. What a fun
night that was! John's been meeting more and more people and is
fitting right back into the ward family. I told John when we started
working with him that I'd be there at the temple with him when he's
ready to go back.
During interviews we watched the movie "17 Miracles," about the Willie
handcart company of the Mormon pioneers. If you haven't seen it, please
do. What a powerful movie. I may or may not have been in tears the
whole time. I thought a lot about my experiences in our stake's trek
just before my senior year of high school. That was hard. I also
remember President Beck telling me at the beginning of my mission
that, "You can do hard things." Certainly our struggles are different
today, but the universal principle of the enabling power of the
Atonement helps us do hard things. I had a great conversation with
President Taylor about that during my interview. It's definitely
helping me set goals and make plans for the rest of my life.
Next week will be last last email home. Thank you all for your prayers
of support. Write back soon, take care and be good.
Elder Eric James Turner
|Elder Turner with his travel plans for coming home|
|Elder Nield....and a bunny.|
|Elder Turner sharing his departing testimony at zone meeting.|