Tuesday, January 22, 2013

He's getting transferred

           This week has been full of crazy stuff. Our weather has gone from being 65 early in the week to 14 on our way to email today. It’s freezing now. And to answer one of my mom’s questions, I have wanted to Ravens to win the super bowl since the playoffs started so I’ll be cheering for them for sure a week from Sunday. Sorry Matt.

This week started out with a few really cool things happening. I mentioned a guy named Ali in my last email and he was doing amazing. We were teaching him and he wanted to get baptized and for the first time in the 6 weeks me and Elder Anderson have been together, we had an investigator at sacrament meeting, with a date, and progressing. We were really excited about that. After we met with Ali a couple times the rest of the week really slowed down. We only met a couple people who were interested at all this week and of course they were all in other people areas. So we had a long week of rejection but it was still way fun with Elder Anderson and we learned a ton from it. Then we had a really cool thing happen. Brother Nance was going to come with us to a lesson and he pulled up into our parking lot and we went and got in his car. He was wearing 2 pairs of sunglasses and laying down in his chair. He told us that he was having some kind of headache that only a doctor like him would actually know what it was. It’s about 10 times as painful as a migraine but without a few of the symptoms. He asked us for a blessing because he couldn’t drive us anywhere because his eyes hurt too badly from it. So we walked him up into our apartment and gave him a blessing. Within about 5 seconds he took off the sunglasses and said he felt great and was ready to go. It was a really cool thing to get to see. Then the lesson we went to wasn’t home so we went to his house and had him realign our backs instead. It feels great to be all popped back together again.

            Going back to Ali for a second. He came to church and loved it there. Then in the middle of sacrament meeting we got a text that we definitely weren’t expecting. Turns out Ali is already a member... He got baptized in 2000 and just doesn’t remember it. We are happy because he is still coming back to church and he lives with a few people we are hoping to teach soon, but it was still a little demoralizing to find out our only solid investigator is actually a less active member. Definitely a turn that we didn’t see coming. But it was just another humbling experience in the mission field that we can learn and grow from.

            Saturday night we got transfer calls. I got the call that I am leaving Fairview Heights and heading to be a zone leader in the south Saint Louis zone and I’ll be staying in a city called Oakville. I am so excited. Oakville is probably about 20 minutes from the arch so we are right down town. The Saint Louis zone is awesome because it covers pretty much all of Saint Louis. Almost all of the cool things to do in the city are in south zone. I love Saint Louis and can’t wait to actually live in the city now. From what I have heard in Oakville we live with members. There are 3 different members that have places for the missionaries to stay. I think we will be moving shortly after I get there to a new members house but I’m not really sure. But I have heard it’s the 2nd nicest place to live in the whole mission so I’m way excited about that. Also I know that south zone has 24 baptismal dates right now which is insane. Anything in the double digits is great so 24 is amazing. I am so thankful and humbled to get to go into such a good situation.

Of course it comes with mixed feelings from having to leave Fairview Heights. Leaving here can’t even compare to how hard it was to leave Jacksonville, but there are still a lot of things I am going to miss here. There are a lot of good people who I have grown to love. On Sunday night me, Elder Anderson, and the Assistants all went and ate dinner with the Kremers and Sandy at the Kremers house. It was fun to get to all be together but of course it was hard to say bye to the people who have become some of my best friends. I am going to miss being with Elder Anderson SOO much. He has been an awesome companion. We have had so much fun together and put into a situation that could have been miserable I was able to have probably my favorite transfer of my mission so far.

I am going to serve with Elder Bullock in Oakville and I am really excited to do that. I don’t know him too well but I have heard nothing but great things about him and I know he is from Canada. That’s pretty much all my information on him right now. I am extremely excited and nervous to be making this change but I know that God needs me to go to Saint Louis now and work hard there.

             I got to call a few missionaries the night of transfer calls and talk to them. Elder Williams in staying in Champaign and getting a new companion. Elder Jensen’s companion is going home, so he is going to get a new one for his last transfer in the mission. And Elder Anderson (the one I served with in Jacksonville) called me at 10:00 and we talked for about half an hour because it was so good to talk to each other again. I am so jealous of him because he is going back to Jacksonville to open Jacksonville 2. He is so excited and I am probably just going to have to beg and plead president to send me back there to serve with him again. It’s worth a shot. And also one of my best friends in the mission, Elder Loveless, is in South zone so I will get to see him again and I am way excited for that.

I am so thankful for all of the amazing blessings that I get to see every day as a missionary and I am thankful for all the great experiences that I have gotten here in Fairview. I’ll miss everyone, but I am headed out to the next part of my mission and I am so thankful for the opportunity. I love this gospel and know it’s true. No matter where I go, or who I am talking to, I will always know that one thing.

-Elder Banks

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