Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Well I have to start out this week by saying congratulations to Kaylee and Ryan! My companion was pretty weirded out when I opened up a letter with a picture of a girl with a pregnancy test haha. But once he knew it was my cousin it made more sense to him. That’s awesome I can’t wait to meet some new little ones when I get home. Do Matt and Anne have any special news yet? Oh and happy birthday to Teagan and Mailie as well. All of you little kids are growing up!

So talking about that reminded me of a cool experience that I had this week. We go to a family’s house every week for breakfast named the Myers. They cook the best breakfasts ever. And when we were over there on Wednesday there was 5 generations in the room with us. It was crazy to see a family like that all in one room together. I didn’t even know it was possible to have 5 generations alive at one time.

I hope everyone had an awesome Easter! Thanks to mom and Hannah for the awesome packages! Especially thank you for the awesome hymn book Hannah :D So i got my Easter package on Wednesday and Elder Jensen got his last week. So our Easter Sunday was pretty normal. We had a delicious dinner of frozen burritos and Jell-o.

Not just Easter but the entire end of this week has been really interesting. Like I said last week we lost 5 investigators, and also we have visited with most of the members in the ward to share a message at least once. So we have a lot more free time. We did a lot of faith walks (contacting) and tracting this week. I fully expected it to be awful but it actually ended up being pretty cool. Maybe it was because it was around Easter but everyone was way nice to us and we gave out a ton of copies of the Book of Mormon.

One of the coolest meetings we had didn’t actually end up with us teaching a lesson or even giving away a Book of Mormon. But it was the most drastic change I have ever seen in a person in 5 minutes in my life. So we were walking around yesterday and just trying to give stuff away. There is a cool poem that Elder Jensen’s mom sent him about butterflies and it sounds way lame but everyone we share it with loves it a ton. So we were walking and there was a lady on her front porch and this is about what Elder Jensen’s conversation was with her from the sidewalk. "Hey how are you?" "fine" "Happy Easter" "..." "could we share a message with ya?" "Nope" "Are you sure? It’s really good?" "Yup" "It’s a poem my mom sent me, you will really like it" then he just walked up onto her porch and started reading it to her. He started reading it to her and she looked like she wanted to smack us. But apparently something in that poem really hit her because when he finished reading it to her she was a completely different person. She talked to us a ton and thanked us so much for sharing that with her. She introduced us to her husband and told us all about her family. We gave her a copy of the poem and also a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. Odds are we will never see that lady again. She wasn’t to hot on the idea of learning about our religion. But she will always talk to the missionaries I can almost guarantee. She loved us by time we left. So if nothing else some future companionship will get in the door of someone who wouldn’t have even opened it for them before.

Another interesting thing that happened at the end of this week is that we got a call from Pittsfield which is the other area that is in our district. Elder Adie was Elder Jensen’s companion right before I was and they are way close, so they loved being in the same district. But Elder Adie was actually calling to tell us he is being transferred. He was having some problems in Pitts and decided that it would probably be best for him to leave. So he called up President Clark and on Friday he got sent to the farthest area away. It is crazy that out here you can go from being so close to a missionary and such good friends with them, and then the next day they are 2 states away. It sucked to hear about it but I am proud of him for making the right decision to head to a new area. So now we have a new elder, Elder Cooper in our area. I have never met him before but we are going to do exchanges tomorrow so we will have at least 24 hours to get to know each other.

So going back a little bit I want to talk about tracting again. So we were just walking about tracting and we stumbled onto a house that Elder Jensen and Elder Barney had tracted into on exchanges. We knocked and a 16 year old black kid named Larry answered the door. He was way nice and told us to come on in. I was way distracted right when we got in cause Lord of the Rings was playing on his huge tv and it was my favorite part of my favorite movie. So thankfully he turned it off or I would have been pretty much usless. But we talked to him a little bit and gave him a Book of Mormon. His mom has been trying to get him to be baptised into any church. So it’s weird that she is a different religion but she loves us coming over and teaching him. A few of the girls in our ward already know Larry from school so hopefully they can fellowship him and get him to be more interested.

All of our investigators were kinda frustrating this week and none of them came to church. But we had a few good meetings this week so that was nice. Shelly is still on track to get baptized but she can’t miss church again. She fell and hurt her knee Easter morning so she couldn’t make it. Its way frustrating cause she has a ton of health problems that keep her from being able to leave her house but they have to be to church 3 times before they can get baptized. Hopefully she can still make it.

But at least there was some good sports news this week. I heard Kentucky won the national championship. But that might be wrong cause i can’t remember who told me or when they told me haha. But I will have to talk to Bro. Michael cause he is my sports hook up. We go see him about once a week and after the message we always have to talk about the week in sports haha. He is one of the greatest guys I have ever met. There is also a super old like 85 year old lady who we work with at the food pantry once a week. And she is a huge Cardinals fan. She can tell me the stats and everything for every game so that is awesome. I talked to Brother Hart about it last night and heard the Cards are 3-1 right now even though Wainwright got the loss so that’s a good sign. It’s great that everyone loves the Cardinals our here cause it’s so easy to talk to people. Either I tell them how awesome the Cardinals are or I tell them how awful the Cubs are. Even if they want to punch me at least they are willing to talk to us after that. It’s amazing how much more open people are after you make them laugh. Once they see we are normal people they just like talking to us. Sometimes talking bad on someone’s favorite baseball team is just what they need to hear.

Thank you so much for all of the letters and emails! They are awesome and it gives some awesome motivation for the rest of the day. It sounds like you are all doing really well. I don’t know when school ends but it must be sometime soon cause there is graduation stuff everywhere around here. There is prom stuff everywhere too. Yikes... But it’s crazy that so many of my friends will be graduating this year! It seems like just barely that I was the one wearing the dumb little hat and gown. I can’t believe all of you are going to college too. All you guys better be getting ready for your missions soon haha. If any of you ever have any questions or anything you want to know about missions write me and I’ll do my best to answer anything you're wondering about. If you aren’t planning on going, change your mind. Cause its hard. It is so stressful and people won’t even look at you walking down the street casue they are afraid you will talk to them. And even on the nights when all you want to do is go home, all you have to do is think about why you're out there and what you have gained from it. And you won’t want to go home anymore. It’s impossible to explain. But you will know once you're out here. It will be worth it for all of you, and it has definitely been worth it for me.

-Elder Banks

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