Monday, July 8, 2013


            This week was different than any other week I have ever had on my mission. We drove about 1000 miles last week and we thought that was a ton, but we put that to shame this week. We had all of the “meet the president” meetings so we drove to all 8 stakes in the mission in 4 days. It was really cool because we got to spend who knows how many hours with the Morgan’s and we feel like we really got to know them a lot better. Something that I learned while we were on all of those trips was some sad news from Jacksonville. Georgia Mast who is Shelly Masts mom and Kody Saurby’s grandma, and Booker Griffins friend passed away. I spent countless hours at her house teaching lessons and getting to know her and her family. But when I texted Elder Anderson who I served there with to let him know I really liked his response when he said "Well at least she can finally go to church again." I am thankful to know that now she isn’t suffering with any of the physical pain that she had here on earth. I will always be thankful to her and all the different things that she taught me.


            Besides that news, the “meet the presidents” were great. We got to briefly see every missionary in the mission and get to know the Morgan’s really well. They were so happy with the state the mission is in right now. We have so many good missionaries and they are walking into a great situation. At the final meet the president they put me and Elder Facer on the spot and asked us to introduce them to everyone and you can definitely tell we had heard what they said 7 times because we got it pretty much word for word haha. It was really fun though.


            A little bit about them, President Morgan grew up in Layton Ut and he owns an asphalt company like I think I have mentioned before. He is a really, really hard worker and he doesn’t put up with stupid stuff from anyone which I love about him. I think more missionaries need a kick in the pants and President Morgan isn’t afraid to give it to them if that’s what they need. He is very emotional and loving to the missionaries he has met so far. Instantly people have respect for him when they find out that he loves doing anything that gets your adrenaline pumping. He skis and sky dives and scuba dives and everything else you can imagine. He is going to be a great leader for our mission. 


             The 4th of July was this week. The Elder who had eye surgery recently wasn’t able to leave the apartment for the beginning of the night so I stayed with him and starred at the ceiling for a few hours. But then we drove to downtown and watched the fireworks at the arch so that was really fun to do. I think the missionaries really appreciated a few hours off to relax and have fun. 

             Of all the things that happened this week the one that sticks out to me to most is the opportunity that we had to give so many blessings. I was thinking about a week or 2 ago that it had been weeks, if not months, since I had given a blessing. We don’t have sick investigators or members of a ward to help so we don’t usually get to do that. But this week I got the opportunity to be part of a blessing every single day. It was a really powerful experience, especially one in particular. It was me President Morgan and Elder Facer standing in the circle and I had the opportunity to give a blessing to a missionary who has been struggling for the first 6 months of their mission. Struggling probably more than anyone else right now. We gave them a blessing and then left and it was no huge deal. The coolest thing was a few days later when we got a text from that missionary that explained the rest of the story. They said they were writing in their journal about the blessing and it was the first one they had received since they came on their mission. They could count on 1 hand all the blessings they had received in their entire life because they didnt have the faith that it would do anything. They then continued on and told us about how the last few days since they got the blessing had been completely different. It didn’t fix everything and make it perfect, but they could feel a huge difference. It was really cool to see the blessings come from the priesthood to that missionary’s life. 


            We are really excited for this week because we don’t have very many meetings so we are going to be spending a lot of time in the field working instead of sitting in a car or in a meeting. We start up interviews in a week or two which are the hardest thing I have had to do as an assistant by far. Giving the same training 30+ times and driving everywhere sounds like it’s not that hard but it is exhausting. So we will really enjoy this week before that comes up. I am so thankful for the strength that God gives me and all the rest of the missionaries to make it through the hard times we go through. It’s so much fun out here and the good times far outweigh the bad. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve and I am going to work as hard as I can for the time that I have left. I love you all and hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon.


-Elder Banks

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