Monday, October 7, 2013

Well this week like many other weeks was full of lots of ups and downs but thankfully just like normal the ups were much better than the downs were. We did 3 zones worth of interviews so that was fun. People are always really excited to get to sit down and meet with President Morgan and we love getting to train all of them and have so much fun with that. So that’s what we did Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday.


Friday we were planning on having a full day to work in our area but, of course that could never happen, so we ended up having to drive up to Springfield IL and back. On the way back we took a road that took us over a ferry across the Mississippi river so that was a cool experience. That night we got to visit a few members and work with them so we were thankful to still get some work in. It’s been cool recently because we don’t have too much time to teach lessons so we can really focus on putting every ounce of spiritual strength into each lesson that we do have. We even got to have a lesson with the Morgan’s this weekend but I’ll talk about that in a second. 


            Definitely the highlight of this week was this weekend with conference. I love getting to listen to the prophet and apostles speak. There are always so many good topics. The range of topics this time was huge and I felt like so many of them applied to me. There are so many missionaries that struggle with depression so Elder Holland’s talk was amazing for that. The day before he gave that talk we took a missionary to the airport because he was struggling with mental health and it killed him that he had to go home because he wanted to stay out and try to fix it so badly but I hope that he heard Elder Holland’s talk and is able to move on with his life and stay strong in the gospel. 


             Another topic that really hit home for us was all the talks about the priesthood and the role of it in a woman’s life. One of our really close friends out here has some family back in Utah that is really heavily involved in the women and the priesthood thing that’s going on and so he was looking for some answers there and there were some very blunt talks that talked about how women don’t need the priesthood to enjoy the full blessings of the power of God. It’s far more important to live worthily of a temple recommend.


Of course we also loved the topic of missionary work. Elder Ballard made a promise that we could touch millions of people’s lives if we will simply reach out to someone between now and Christmas. We have been working with the zone leaders and the ward council since Sunday to try to get it as a goal in our ward to have every person invite someone (nonmember, less active, or part member) to take the missionary discussions. If everyone will do that our planners will be full of teaching appointments for the rest of the year. And we all need to remember that promise applies to all of us. Living in Utah or "not having any nonmember friends" doesn’t make us an exception to the commandment to hasten the work. 


            We got to watch all the sessions of conference at the mission home with the Morgan’s and some other missionaries and it was so much fun! We got good home cooked meals, got to go in the backyard and play games in between, and then the best part for me was to get to teach the Morgan’s a lesson after. We had never done that before and we figured that we are teaching member lessons and they’re members so we might as well teach them. The spirit was super strong as we taught the lesson and my favorite part was when we were asking them what they have already done with missionary work and what they were going to do now. Anna said that she had given out a couple pass along cards at school and without any hesitation she said that she was going to invite someone to take the missionary discussions. It was incredible to see the faith of an 18 year old girl. Most members pick very small and simple goals which for some people is great. But for Anna she was ready to share the gospel and she is determined to do it. I am so thankful for her faith and the faith of the Morgan family. They are an incredible example to me and all the other missionaries. 


            I am so thankful for conference and for great friends that I have out here. There are so many examples in my life of how to be a good person and get closer to God and I just pray that I can keep these examples in my life. I love this work and am humbled to be a part of the amazing missionary work movement that is happening right now. Thank you all for your prayers and help with hastening the work. I love you all and will talk to you again soon!


-Elder Banks   


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