Monday, August 5, 2013

That’s so funny that everyone is talking about the new temple video cause everyone is talking about it out here! We are probably going to the temple like twice in the next week so I’ll get to see it a couple times before the transfers over.


It’s crazy that I’m 3/4ths of the way done. I talked to President Morgan yesterday and he has pretty much decided that I’ll be in the office for the rest of my mission, but I asked him if I could go out for my last transfer and he said that would be a good idea so hopefully that’s what happens. It’s still pretty far away but looks like that’s going to be my next 6 months. I have my fingers crossed that he will let me train even though I only have 6 weeks and training normally takes 12. He said I could so hopefully his mind doesn’t change over the next 4 months.


             President Morgan had a great quote this week that I think sums pretty much everything up. We were at the mission home and it was getting close to 11: 30 and I said, Well I’m going home and getting some sleep. And President Morgan simply said "what’s sleep?" I wish he was joking but I’m pretty sure we have all forgotten what a full night’s sleep actually feels like at this point.


We have had a ton to do this week but it has been so much fun. On Monday we went with the south zone leaders, my old companion Elder Anderson from Oakville and his current companion Elder Terrazas. And we found an old golf course in the middle of a corn field and it was so cool. We payed 5 bucks and we got to mini golf and use the driving range for as long as we wanted. We hit sooo many golf balls and my hands are still covered in blisters. Totally worth it.


The next 3 days were all interviews and I almost killed myself. (I also read a talk about not using sarcasm this week...I’m still working on it) But for real it was awful haha. Like always its super good to see all the missionaries but after sitting in a relief society room for 10 hours you are definitely ready to get out. 


            On Friday we got to go on our exchange with the Columbia zone leaders. They do their missionary work on Mizzou campus and there is no one there right now. So we drove to Jeff City and went to district meeting and then tracted for a while and we found some super cool Russian young single adults that we invited to come to the branch and they were really fun to talk to. It poured rain so even just running from apartment building to apartment building we got soaked. I was with Elder Boren who I really love being with so that made it a really fun day.


After that on Saturday we drove down to the North St Louis zone and went on exchanges with those zone leaders. That zone is the only zone in the mission right how that is under the rule no tracting. Their stake president and zone leaders decided that they think that would be best and it’s been cool to see the results. There are definitely ups and downs but they are getting some referrals that are super solid and things are looking great for them in that zone. 


            Church on Sunday was probably the highlight of the week. We were gone and didn’t see our apartment from Tuesday morning at about 7 until Saturday night around 9. By time we got home we were so exhausted we forgot to pick somewhere to go to church. Sunday morning we called some of the zone leaders and they told us to go to the Crystal City branch. We headed down there and we didn’t expect much because it’s a tiny branch. But when we got there we were blown away. They had a baptism that Saturday so they confirmed this super awesome lady in sacrament meeting. The whole time we were there the whole ward was begging us to not transfer any of the missionaries away from their ward. They love those 2 elders. Even though they have a limited priesthood they have members set up to go out with the missionaries 4 days this week and they always have at least 3 nights filled with members just going out and doing missionary work. It’s so awesome to see what even a tiny branch can do if they have some good members who are willing to sacrifice their own time and talents to help out the missionaries. I am so thankful for helpful members who are willing to do missionary work with us and help us out in any way that they can. This gospel really does change lives and when we really figure that out it becomes our only desire to share it. I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have of this gospel and how much it blesses my life. 


-Elder Banks


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