Monday, October 15, 2012

          We had a great week this week. Last Monday we got to have a nerf war like I talked about and it was way fun. It is always really cool to get 30 missionaries together and just have fun every once in a while. Especially to see a bunch of missionaries dressed up and out of the normal shirt and tie for a change.

Things got a little bit crazier after that but it was still good. Monday or Tuesday night we got a call at 2 in the morning that an elder needed to go to the emergency room. So we drove up to get him and of course by time we got to him he had taken some pills and everything was back to normal. We were glad we got the opportunity to help him out, but it made the next day a lot longer to miss out on that few hours of sleep we lost.

After that but still early in the week I had a really cool experience though. A couple of the Kremers were feeling not so great earlier this week and we went over to see them. The reason it was so cool for me was because I got the opportunity to give Sister Kremer a blessing. Nothing really spectacular happened but it was just one of those things where you feel so good during it and the Spirit from that moment doesn’t leave you for a long time.

            I want to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes and stuff. It was different to have a birthday away from home but it was great. To be honest I am not a big fan of celebrating my birthday at all. For my entire life I just spent my birthday doing what I do every other day with family or friends. So I tried to keep my birthday pretty quiet this year. But of course when your companion and the Kremers know it’s your birthday instead of nothing happening you end up having two restaurants full of people stare at you and your birthday announced by the bishop over the pulpit in church. So needless to say it wasn’t anything like I wanted it to be but it was really fun. I am probably going to want to die over this next couple weeks because of all the candy I have now. Thank you to everyone for sending it all and I will do my best to control myself and make it last more than a couple days, but with me and Elder Williams there aren’t any promises.

            This may seem like a pretty little thing but it has actually ended up being a pretty big deal for the last couple days. So my back was bothering me a little bit more than normal recently and it was starting to get really hard to sit in lessons for a long time and lay down in bed. But on Saturday we went to do service down in Cahokia and brother Nance was there. We asked him to come to the lesson that we had right after with us and he gladly came. After it was over I remembered that he was a doctor and asked him about my back. Turns out that he actually wants to specialize in that kind of stuff. Turns out I had a few ribs out of place and that was kinda messing up the alignment of everything so he grabbed my back and popped them back into place right there in a ladies driveway. I love the little things like God allowing me to have a doctor willing to go to a lesson with us. My back has felt so much better over these last few days and I am so thankful that God would help me out with that.

            Of course I can’t finish up this email without talking about sports. Of course the Raiders lost on my birthday because that’s just what they do. But they only lost by 3 to the only undefeated team left in the league so I guess that’s not too bad. At least it’s not like my birthday 5 years ago when the Raiders got killed by the Chargers.

The Cardinals sure had a good weekend though. At dinner on Thursday I think it was I looked over my shoulder just in time to see Jason Werth hit a walkoff  homerun to beat the Cardinals so that was rough. And it got even worse when we went to bed knowing the Cardinals were down 6-0 in the elimination game. But then when we woke up the next morning everything got better from there. We found out that they came back and won 9-7 and now they are in the NLCS. Then last night they beat the Giants so that was exciting too. After finding out that my favorite basketball player is hurt and the Raiders are still horrible it’s nice to get to cheer for a team that actually wins. Oh and Matt I am way jealous that you got to go to the Cardinal’s/Giants game. You better have pictures.

            On the more spiritual side of things, I noticed something really cool this week. I have talked about conference with a lot of people, and a common theme with everyone is that they always seem to tell me what they think the overall message of conference was. The reason I think that’s so cool is because not a single person has told me the same thing as someone else. It is amazing to me that even though we are all listening to or reading the exact same words over and over again, everyone gets exactly what they need out of it. I am so thankful that God knows me and knows all of us and exactly what we need when we need it. I feel extremely blessed to be where I am right now working with who I am working with. Elder Williams has been great to have as a companion. Our teaching pool was like 6 to 8 when he got here and now we are teaching 15 to 20 people each week. It is great that even though we don’t have much time to spend in our area we can work our guts out and make that time as useful as we possibly can. Even though most of you aren’t on full time proselyting missions right now we still all have the same work to do. You're a missionary from the second that you come out of that font full of water. We all need to use every second that God has blessed us with to the fullest of its potential. Whether that’s sharing the gospel with your friends and family or strengthening ourselves and our loved ones in the church, we should always be doing something to further the work of God.

Elder Banks

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