Monday, October 22, 2012

              I totally forgot to talk about something last week so I have to start off with it this week or I will probably just forget about it again. So, we got an email from President Clark last week that was really interesting. We have 180 missionaries in the mission right now. Starting in January we are going to be getting 30 more elder and 30 more sisters. So our mission is about to get huge. We are going to open a bunch of new areas and even some new zones. The changes that are coming in our mission and just overall in the mission field are going to be amazing.

            This week has seemed like it was about 6 months long. I forgot my planner that has all my notes in it today so I am just going to have to try to do my best to remember everything but no promises because my brain is pretty fried today. So last Monday we got to go to Paint Louis which was really cool. It’s a 3 mile long wall of graffiti. It was awesome to get to see all of that but walking to the end and back was 6 miles so it wasn’t the most relaxing P-day I have ever had.

Then the whole middle of the week went really good. We got to work our area a lot more than normal and got a lot of lessons done. It was really good to get to go see so many of our investigators and help them out. Chris and George are two friends who we love teaching George is around 50 and Chris is probably in his 30s. They came to church on Sunday and it was so great to have them there. Saying that me and Elder Williams have only had 1 person at church in our time together having two in one day was great. Hopefully they want to come back and can start to change their lives.

            Another cool thing that happened in the middle of the week was that I got a letter from Elder Anderson in Jacksonville. When I opened it up there was a note from Terry and TJ in it and a CD from Brother Michael. It was so good to get to hear from them again and see that they are still doing so good. It is so amazing to get to see the changes that Terry and TJ have made and that they are still doing so well. I miss Jacksonville so it was really good to get an update on them.

            Saturday was a really fun day cause it was our exchange with the APs. It’s always really fun and we always get a lot of work done that day because we have four missionaries working the area. We had some sweet tech deck competitions so that made it fun too. I got to be with Elder Marshall who actually spent 6 months of his mission in Fairview. It was good to go around with him because there were a couple people who just weren’t quite ready to hear the message while he was here. So we went around and saw them and it was really interesting to see the humbling experiences they had been through. Most of them had something really tough happen and so they needed the gospel more than ever now. Then told us they were ready to talk and we set up times to go back and see them this week. It was a really fun and productive day.

            As always Sunday was a really good day too. Me and Elder Williams got the chance to speak in church about missionary work and sing in the choir. I can tell you right now there is no way I would be in the choir if Elder Williams didn’t make me but it’s usually a good experience.

After church we went down to Cahokia and met a guy named Trey. It was an interesting visit because he spends a lot of time at a house we teach someone at. Last time we went there he was snorting coke with his friends. But this time we caught him alone and got to talk to him a little bit. It is crazy to see how much peer pressure and worldly influences can change a person. Trey is a super good guy and wants to learn more about our church. We are going to do our best to teach him more but we have to get him away from all the bad influences that surround him.

Of course that applies to all of us though. It doesn’t matter if we are the best member of the church in the world if we constantly surround ourselves with stuff that we should be staying away from it is going to wear on us. We may not fall into the major sins of the world but the Spirit will be dulled when we are in those situations. The Spirit wants to be with us but can’t follow us into situations we know are going to be bad. It’s His job to help us to know they are going to be bad and stay out of them. Then it’s our decision to turn away and go do what we know is better. As we are all surrounded by worldly influences, we need to put ourselves above those things and follow the example of Christ. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to know the things that I know about this church and I hope and pray that I can always continue to learn more and grow closer to Christ.

Elder Banks

Elder Banks meeting the other Elder Banks

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