Monday, August 12, 2013

            This week was a nice change of pace for us. We have transfers this week so we spent this whole last week transfer planning. It was a whole new experience with President Morgan. It was pretty cool because we ended up with the same result but the way we did it was a lot different. With President Clark he knew the people really well and as we talked about who to put where he would simply say yes or no and we would move on. We worked on it for like 4 hours or so each day and would go through the whole mission 5 or 6 times before we were done. With President Morgan, we sat down and spent 9 straight hours in his office the first day and we were about 1/4 of the way through the mission. We talked in detail about every person so he could get to know them a little bit better. At the end of the week we still have a new board with lots of people going to new places and getting new companions, but we only went through probably twice instead of the normal 6 or so. It has been really cool to see all of the differences between President Morgan and President Clark in the way they run things, but to see and feel that it is still run by the spirit and all the decisions they make are inspired. 


            We got to do a couple random fun things this week. We had dinner at the mission home with the 4 sister training leaders. We are going to have 6 next transfer and one of the 4 goes home this transfer, so it was a goodbye dinner for her and we had a really good time.


Saturday was our day off for the week and we got the opportunity to go with the South Zone leaders to a soccer game. Elder Terrazas is a huge soccer fan and the two teams playing were Real Madrid and Inter Milan so he really wanted to go. We found an investigator to take with us as well so it was a really fun experience. We got to see Christiano Ronaldo score a goal and he is one of the best soccer players in the world, so that was a once in a lifetime experience. The best part of the whole game was when it got to be 3-0 for Real Madrid and the game got not so interesting anymore. We were in the Edward Jones Dome and 55,000 soccer fans started to try to entertain themselves. Mostly it involved random cheers in languages I couldn’t understand and kids running onto the field and taking pictures with the players. Besides the fact that Elder Terrazas decided to wear the rival team’s jersey it was a great day. Lots of people yelled at him but I don’t know Spanish or Bosnian so I didn’t have to worry about it haha. 


            This coming week is going to be another insane one. I’m super thankful I actually got to sleep in the same bed all week last week because we are going to be so tired this week. We are picking up 35 new missionaries from the airport tomorrow and then sending 18 home the day after that. I am not looking forward to Thursday at all. That morning we are taking the returning missionaries to the airport and a lot of my best friends are in this group. Elder Loveless and Elder DJ Anderson are 2 of the best friends I have made out here and taking them to the airport on the same day is going to be so hard. This is the group of missionaries that mostly became zone leaders at the same time as me so I have learned a lot and "grown up" with these elders so it’s going to be a rough one for sure. I was in the MTC with Sister Crandall and she goes home this week too so I’ll take that as my official 18 month mark. I’m so thankful for the many opportunities that I am going to get this week. Picking up the new missionaries and sending home the old ones is always a great learning experience. I am so thankful for all of these cool experiences that I get to have that very few other people ever experience. I am so blessed to be out here doing this work and I love every day of it!


-Elder Banks


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