Monday, February 4, 2013

He got to watch part of the Super Bowl!

            Pretty sure that I have the coolest friends in the whole world. My mom sent me a clip of Weston Gadd’s last email home and he is a champion. He always told me about how he wanted to have to chop his way through the forest with a machete on his mission so hopefully serving on a random island in Fiji is close enough. I miss him so much but I am so proud of my best friend for working hard. I have a ton to learn from him and I’m so glad I got to grow up with him. I have a feeling that he doesn’t have a basketball hoop in his church building so maybe I might actually be able to beat him in PIG when he gets home.

             This week was a lot like every other week and had a ton of good stuff happen with a ton of not so good. One of the biggest things I have been working on and learning this week and this last year is to take the bad with the good but to focus on the good. Thursday was a real trial and a blessing. So on Wednesday night we planned out our day and it was just awful. It was pretty much empty except for 2 potential stop bys. So we ended up planning for about 5 hours of tracting. I knew it was going to be a long day and when I woke up on Thursday morning I was just fried. I did not want to get out of bed and I definitely didn’t want to go out and work at all. But I just thought that because I felt like garbage hopefully that meant that it was going to be an awesome day. I got out of bed and did everything as good as I could. I worked out and listened to Mormon messages while I ate breakfast. I put a lot of thought into my studies so that they would be good and it ended up being a great morning.

The day went about as well as we had planned. A ton of tracting and then some people who ended up not being home when we went to see them. But it was awesome. Me and Elder Bullock had a ton of fun together and we have been getting along better and better every day. We never had anything against each other or any arguments but it has gone from a lot of silence and just being around each other to talking all the time and laughing and having fun. I think he is great for me to be more serious about things and I am helping him have a little more fun. It’s working out great.

So tracting was great. We found like 6 new potentials that said we could stop by sometime and if we are lucky one of them might even be there when we go for our next appointment. But the highlight was tracting into Mark Wozniak. He is a pharmacist and we knocked on his door and Elder Bullock was guided by the Spirit to pretty much not even do a door approach. We just pretty much said hey we are missionaries can we come in? And amazingly he let us it. We sat down with him and had a full first lesson. After he said ya I believe everything you taught except for Joseph Smith. But I’ll read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and find out if that’s true or not. We are going back to see him a little later this week and we are so excited for that.

             Later that night we had an appointment with some new investigators we had found earlier that week. We were trying to find someone to come with us and everyone was busy. We called a ton of members and none of them could come. Finally we decided to call this random priest we ate dinner with a few days ago. He sounded super surprised on the phone to hear it was us but said that he would come out with us. The appointment we had planned on going to fell through. But we took him to go see a recent convert family that is having some struggles. He seemed to really, really enjoy coming out with us. Then on Sunday he got up to bear his testimony. He said that he had been thinking about going on a mission lately because he is 17 about to graduate and he had done a ton of thinking. He was leaning towards not going and he pretty much decided to just go to school. Then he said that the Elders called him. He came out with us and he had an amazing experience where he got to help people and he had never gotten to do anything like that before. He thought that if a mission was all about helping people like that then he is going for sure and that now he has made up his mind the other way. He is going, and he knows that God wants him to go. So even though the appointments we had fell through that night we helped a priest make a big decision in his life and I am so thankful that I got to be a part of that. I felt like a million bucks Thursday night. Even though it was a super hard day of work and disappointment I loved it. I have based a lot of what I am doing now off of that one day. If I could feel like that every day I know I would be doing my very best as a missionary.

            Friday I got to go to Fenton to be with Elder Perkes for the day. He was a zone leader for the last few transfers so I already knew him pretty well. We had so much fun. Again we did a ton of tracting. We met a lot of super nice people even though we were freezing to death. At 8 that night we got to go out and tract a super, super rich area. It was this private area up on a hill with castles for houses. We thought it would be fun to try. It was really awful haha. Everyone except for one guy was super mean. It was really fun and we learned a lot and it was super interesting for me to get to see how unhappy, angry, and miserable these people were who had everything you can imagine. They had everything that money can buy, but still they were miserable. It made me so thankful for the gospel and the knowledge that we have of it. Oh and Elder Perkes taught me how to light my socks on fire without ruining them or burning my foot. That was a pretty sweet way to celebrate my 1 year mark.

            I am so thankful for all of the miracles that I have seen on my mission. I have been very spoiled, especially with serving in my areas. Oakville is interesting because EVERYTHING falls through. It’s crazy. About 5% of the appointments we make actually work out and those are all with the super solid investigators we have. But at the same time there are tons of blessings here. The ward is awesome. We live with a sweet member and we even got invited to a Super Bowl party for dinner. President Clark said we could watch it for an hour at our dinner appointments so I ate my pizza and wings and watched the Super Bowl yesterday and it was awesome. I got to know some of the members better and they are just amazing. It’s interesting to look around the mission and see that the awesome wards who do so well with recent converts have a ton of baptisms. The not so good wards don’t have many at all. The quality of missionary has very little to do with anything. The ward and their willingness to help people learn and grow is the biggest part. I love this work and I love getting to be here in Oakville. I hope things continue to go well here and we keep seeing the miracles pouring in.

-Elder Banks

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