Monday, June 3, 2013


            We had a really normal week this week but it was a fun one. Tuesday when our week really started we drove up to Springfield to do our exchange with them. That was really fun because Elder Christensen is one of the zone leaders there and he was the assistant for 7 1/2 months while I was a zone leader and we went on a ton of exchanges. It was really fun to get to be with him again.


The day after that we went up to Champaign and had our exchange with them. It was the first time I have been on an exchange with Elder Bellnap and we have known each other for like 9 months now. One of the coolest things that I have been able to do over the last month or 2 is really build friendships with so many missionaries. Right now I am looking at a board with 230 missionary faces on it and when I first got here I had no idea what was going on with all of those missionaries. But now I can look at the board and have personal experiences with every single person up there. I have learned that every person in the world has something that they can teach us. 


            Thursday we just planned out MLC all day which is always a party... Then Friday we had MLC. It’s always fun to get 20 of the best missionaries I have ever met together and see what kind of ideas they can come up with to help the mission. We have fallen into a slump recently and we are starting to fall behind our month goal for baptisms as a mission. We have a bunch of different ideas that we are going to try over the next few weeks and hopefully that can get things picked up again. 


            Saturday was a really fun day. We drove down to Cape Girardeau and went on exchanges with the zone leaders down there. Elder Bassett is there and he is probably our favorite person to go on exchanges with because he is insane and super fun to be around. The other zone leader is Elder Williams who I served with in Fairview Heights and he was the person that I got to go on exchanges with. It was so much fun to get to serve with him again for a day. We talked about how it’s crazy to think how long we have been out now. When we were together I was at 7.5 months and he was at about 9. We talked about the first ZLC that we went to together and how there are only like 2 other missionaries that were there who are still on their missions. It’s always fun to get to see missionaries after you haven’t seen them for a while and see how much they have changed.


            That night was a pretty crazy one. Down in Cape there wasn’t anything more than some clouds and maybe a little bit of rain but right when we were about to go to bed we started getting calls from zone leaders all around the mission about missionaries having to go to members houses so they could be in their basements and areas all over the mission were getting smashed by tornadoes. Thankfully everyone ended up being ok. There were definitely some close calls but no one was hurt. We can thank God for watching over all of us on that one. 


            This coming week is going to be a super busy one. Today we are going to the City Museum with South zone so that will be fun. Then Tuesday we have sister’s conference. That’s going to be weird. I don’t really know what to expect on that one. Then Wednesday through Sunday we have exchanges with zone leaders every day. I have a feeling that next week when I get to email again I am going to be very thankful that I get to sleep in my own bed that night.


With all the craziness and problems that come up in the mission I am still so thankful that I get to be here and serve here. Especially in the office, I have learned a ton. I was talking to a few missionaries yesterday and we were talking about when I get to go back into the field. I am so excited to get to go back into a normal area and apply all of the different things that I have learned here. But for now and for the next few transfers I am excited to serve the mission and the new mission president when he gets there. I am so thankful for all of the lessons I have learned and the blessings that I have seen in my life and in the lives of others. I love you all and will talk to you again in a week.


-Elder Banks



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