This week was amazing. But before I talk about that I have to say how proud I am of McKay Hansen. It’s so crazy to see the 2nd wave of my best friends going out on their missions now. My mom told me a lot about his farewell and if anyone is going to be an awesome missionary it’s McKay. I love ya man and I know you’re going to be an awesome missionary.
This week started out with a lot of stress because we had zone conference on Tuesday. It was super fun especially because we combined with the O’Fallon zone so I got to see everyone that I was serving around for the last 6 months. It was so much fun. It was Elder Bullocks first time as a zone leader at a zone conference so it was a big change for him to be training and all that stuff, but it ended up going really well and it was a blast.
The rest of the week was pretty normal and slow until we got to the weekend and it was probably the best weekend of my mission. It all started on Saturday when John Reichle and the Medina's all got baptized. There were 5 baptisms, with 9 missionaries there, and President Clark. It was pretty much a mission party. I got to teach John quite a bit so it was really exciting to see him get baptized. The Medinas are in our ward but are taught by the assistants so I didn’t know them as well but I see them once or twice a week so it was still super exciting.
After the baptism we went on our AP exchange for the transfer. It wasn’t your typical exchange. I always learn something when I get to go on exchanges and this time I learned that I love hockey. After the baptism our ward mission leader Brother Firth told us he has season tickets to the St. Louis Blues and he had 4 tickets he needed to give away for tonight. How convenient that there just so happened to be 4 missionaries in his ward that day. So he gave us the tickets and we talked to President Clark and got permission to go. And this is where things got really interesting.
Saturday was our baptisms, the hockey game, and of course we can’t forget it was Mardi Gras. St Louis has the 2nd biggest Mardi Gras parade in America right behind New Orleans. We had to drive through the heart of St Louis to get to the Blues stadium and we saw some aftermath for sure. As we were driving through Elder Lewis started talking about how when Nephi looked into our day and said we were going to be super wicked we were probably driving through what he saw. It was kinda funny but kinda sad. There were people everywhere who had been drinking since like 8 that morning so they were long gone. The cops were all so busy doing other stuff that at one intersection it was super busy and we were lucky enough to have a drunk guy holding half a beer directing traffic. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. There were people all along this street just waiting for the next single guy or single girl with a car to come and pick them up. It was crazy. So everyone in St Louis was already wasted and then they all decided to go to the hockey game. We showed up and found out that our tickets were on the 6th row. There were 10 goals scored in the first 3 periods and 9 of them were on the goal that was about 20 feet in front of us. Hockey fans are crazy and it is great. The game ended up going into overtime and the Blues scored to win the game but they refs took it away because of goalie interference. The sold out crowd went from going crazy cheering to going crazy furious in about 5 seconds. The Blues ended up losing in a shootout but it was still way sweet to get to go. Probably the coolest sporting event I have ever seen.
We ended up getting home pretty late that night and had to wake up at 6 Sunday morning so we were pretty tired. But church was awesome and made up for it. 5 people got the gift of the Holy Ghost and 3 people got the Aaronic priesthood. It was really cool for us to get to stand in on so many circles that day and use our priesthood. It was one of the most spiritually rewarding and fun weekends I have ever had in my life. The only bad thing about having 5 baptisms in your ward is that your teaching pool gets destroyed. We don’t have any progressing investigators anymore and only a couple people to work with. We went out last night and worked as hard as we could in the dark cold and we set up 3 or 4 solid appointments for next week that will hopefully get us some new investigators.
I’m so thankful for all of the amazing opportunities I have to learn, serve, and have fun out here. I am so thankful for all of the friends I have who are making the choice to go on missions now. It’s going to be the greatest experience of your life no matter where you go. I love teaching people about this gospel and getting to see their whole lives change. There is nothing better than knowing you were an instrument in God’s hands and helping someone come to know that this is Christ’s true church back on the earth.
One final thought before I go. I have had an interesting experience over the last 6 months or so seeing some of the most solid members of the church I have ever met become inactive. Finding out about it shocked me and it scares me too. I know that Satan is always trying to get us whether we are a return missionary, recent convert, or 3 time bishop we can’t ever rest. I am so thankful for all of the good people in my life and how much they have helped me change and I encourage all of you to never stop changing. Always progress in the gospel and never settle for less than what God wants for us.