Monday, November 11, 2013

Parker with President and Sister Morgan at the St. Louis Temple.
With transfers happening this week it was another hectic week. We did a whole new transfer schedule and it was nice but just cause it was the first time we had ever done it, it was pretty crazy. We had the departing missionaries come in on Monday evening. We all got together and went to a park behind the Morgan’s house and played football for a while. Then we came back in and did all of the normal stuff. We had a testimony meeting like normal and I always love doing that with the departing missionaries. They have all changed so much over their missions and it’s amazing to see that change. Especially with some of these missionaries that I have known and seen grow for almost 2 years now. It was cool to look around the room and see that I had been on exchanges with every single missionary in the room and had good memories with each of them. We left at 9:00 that night (instead of staying up all night) and that helped make the week a lot better.

The next morning we took all the departing missionaries to the airport and then had just a few minutes to have some down time waiting for the new missionaries to fly in. It was nice to have the new missionaries come in last cause that’s a lot more fun than sending the departing missionaries home. We had a nice normal night at the mission home with all the new missionaries and then headed home to get ready for transfer meeting the next day. Transfer meeting was normal and everything went smooth. It was a lot less hectic than normal. 

             This coming week we have a lot of stuff coming up that’s super stressful but it’s going to be good. I was just thinking the other day about how I used to get so stressed out when I had to go on exchanges with zone leaders and the assistants and other missionaries and I was so happy because I hadn’t been very stressed about an exchange for a long time. Then President Morgan decided to tell us that Brother Donaldson from the missionary department is coming to our mission to train us and he wants to go on exchanges with me and Elder Wunderli to see how we teach. So ya, I’m nice and stressed out about exchanges again. But it’s good to be stressed out sometimes, it makes you work harder.

Yesterday we went around and we are trying to figure out a way to fill our Tuesday evening with appointments to teach with this guy when we don’t have any investigators and we don’t know anyone in the ward very well. We went around and met with as many people as we possibly could and set up a few return appointments so it should be a pretty good night. On Thursday, after we go on exchanges on Tuesday, we are bringing in about 55 missionaries to sit down and have a meeting with Brother Donaldson. He’s going to be training the missionaries on something that we really don’t know. All we know is that he said that when he leaves the missionaries will probably be thinking what in the world just happened. We’re hoping that that’s what happens cause everyone can always use a change. It adds just enough stress to make people perform at their best. 

            We’re pretty far behind on our mission goal of 450 for the year. We are almost 100 baptisms away from reaching our goal. As a mission we are shooting to have a baptism in every area between now and the end of the year. It’s been really cool because we have been fasting and praying to reach our goal and we have seen the amount of baptismal dates just skyrocket recently. We really are going to need some miracles but they are already starting to come in, so we’ll see how it goes between now and the end of the year. 

            Earlier this week we went to the St Louis Hills district meeting. They are right next to the Oakville ward that I used to serve in. The St Louis Hills sisters were talking about one of their investigators and how he was waiting for first presidency approval on baptism and all these different things and we thought it sounded kind of funny so we did a little more research on it and found out that he was good to get baptized as soon as they could get a service set up for him. It was cool to see how excited they were cause that will be the first ever baptism for that area because it’s pretty new. It got really cool for me though as we learned a little bit more about this guy and I finally got his name and realized that they were teaching Steve Millheim who I taught in Oakville. When I taught him he had a baptismal date but then broke up with his girlfriend and things kind of fell apart and we never saw him again. The Sisters still don’t know how but someone sent him as a referral through and they found him and started teaching him again. And now he is getting baptized in a week or so. It’s fun to see someone that I taught in Oakville getting baptized cause I worked my brains out in that area and we never saw anything come from it. That was a really cool thing for me to get to see. 

               It’s going to be a crazy end of the year and all the missionaries are going to be working as hard as we can to reach our goal and more importantly help as many people as we possibly can to come to know that this church is true and can bless their lives. I love being a missionary and this is a super exciting time to get to be one. I love this gospel and am so thankful that I get to share it.

-Elder Banks


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