Wednesday, November 14, 2012

             The beginning of this week has been pretty crazy so far. We obviously didn’t get to email the last couple days but they were filled with awesome stuff. Starting on the not so spiritual side yesterday after days of getting pushed by Brother Kremer to get my ribs fixed my stubbornness finally gave in. A guy in our ward popped all my ribs back in and it felt great. But I was especially thankful because he actually realigned my neck too and told me that was the source of the pain I was having. Turns out instead of having a S shaped spine mine is flat so that’s why my ribs pop out. It’s genetic so thanks mom and dad haha. But I am so thankful to have people who are looking out for me because he told me I was either going to have pain for the rest of my life, regular doctors’ visits for the rest of my life, or I would have to take care of it myself. He taught me how to stretch out my neck and I have to do that 3 or 4 times a day for about 6 months and it should get things in the right place for a while. Having people around me who can bless my life in random ways like that is a huge blessing.
The other stuff we have done these last few days are, we went to the City Museum and had mission conference. They were both awesome. The City Museum is like a huge playground and it was sweet. There aren’t really any rules so we pretty much just ran around this huge 11 story building and did whatever we wanted for a few hours. Me and Elder Williams are both super sore because of it now but it was totally worth it.

 Then yesterday we drove out to St Louis again and had mission conference. It was really fun to get to see a bunch of missionaries again. Elder Jensen was there are I got to talk to him again. It blows my mind that he is coming up on the end of his 2 years. He hit his year mark right at the beginning of training me and it’s going to be a tough day when I have to see him go home. I also got to see my companion Elder Anderson again and that was awesome. I haven’t gotten to talk to him much recently so it was good to get to be with him for a while. Elder Choi from the Seventy was there to talk with us as well. We learned a lot and laughed a lot too because him and President Clark are both hilarious so it was a really good day.

             I am getting a little ahead of myself though so I will back up to what happened last week. Last Pday we went to St Louis and something kinda random happened. We were driving in downtown towards a goodwill to buy more ugly clothes that missionaries don’t need but we love to have, and Sister Shutt pointed out a plaque on the side of a building that said something about this is the site of the very first church in St Louis for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So that was really cool to see, and the funny thing was it was about 10 steps away from the hotel that I stayed in last summer with my family when we came on vacation here. That was just a kinda cool little random thing I learned this week.

                        We had leadership last Tuesday and it was a great meeting. I got to do my training and it went really well. It was one of those things that made me really grateful for the Spirit. I didn’t really know what all I was going to do even when I was sitting in the room watching other missionaries come in. But I had prepared as much as I could and the Spirit took over from there. I gave the training 3 times and it was different all 3 times. But each time the Spirit was there really strong and I learned a ton. I hope that the other missionaries learned as much as I did. Then later that night President Clark gave us all permission to watch the election so that was fun. I don’t really care about politics right now but it was fun to watch I guess. I liked that the first presidency released that message about praying for Obama and America. I think that is really cool and truly the only thing that can help our country.

                        The rest of the week was pretty normal until Sunday morning. Sunday morning is easily my least favorite part of the week. Always Satan stresses us out and causes a bunch of trials because he knows that church is going to be awesome. This week we got hit with a few bombs. Brenda who we were hoping to get baptized this month had a tooth that pretty much broke in half so she was in so much pain she couldn’t make it to church. Archie who is the older lady we swept the porch for was planning on coming to church. When the Kremers went to pick her up she told them about how her son was getting a divorce and crazy stuff was going on. But the hardest one was the very first phone call we got that morning and found out one of our best friends in the ward Danny Allen Sr had died that morning. I have never had anyone close to me die before except my great grandma when I was barely old enough to remember and my dog, which kinda counts. So it wasn’t very fun to lose our friend. Sr. was probably in his 40s and the craziest guy ever. His house is pretty much a bunker and full of weapons and stuff no one should ever need. Going there was the greatest thing ever. Never before have I been so happy to hear someone call me Elder Blanky or Sister Banks. He was a really great guy who loved the missionaries like his own kids and we will definitely miss him.

            So even though before church was tough just like always once we got to church it was a great experience. Archie got to come and it was so great to have her there. She loved it. Getting to be around so many of the people that I care about and learn about the gospel that I love so much is always a great experience. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be out here on my mission and sharing this message with the people out here. Even though 99% of the time was are stressed, frustrated, and tired the 1% of the time we get to see the results of all of that make it so worth it. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have and I know these 2 years are going to change me and others for the rest of our lives.

-Elder Banks

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