Monday, November 18, 2013


            The craziest/coolest things happened this week. It all started on Tuesday when Brother Donaldson came in from the missionary department in Salt Lake and went on exchanges with me and Elder Wunderli. It was an interesting night to say the least. He made us feel about the size of an ant and like we didn’t know anything about missionary work, but we wanted to just stay with him forever. He was teaching us so much! It was such an awesome night. We were blown away when we got home and we had just gotten way too much information to remember but we tried to get some of it down. Thankfully on Thursday we had a meeting with about 50 other missionaries where he trained us all for about 7 hours. We learned a ton. He taught us new ways to teach and new things to use in our missionary work. We have been getting texts all week from missionaries who have tried the new methods and just say why didn’t we know about this at the beginning of our missions?? It has helped us out a ton.

            The Brother Donaldson visit lead into a big change for me and Elder Wunderli. Brother Donaldson stressed that the assistants should have the best area in the mission, and in our current situation we weren’t even close. We had pretty much no time to work in our area and the time we did have wasn’t very effective. We had 2 visa waiters leave this morning so we had 2 open spots in the mission we needed to fill. After a lot of thought and meetings we decided that we were going to move the elders out of St Louis Hills to fill the visa waiter spots and that me and Elder Wunderli were going to go in and be the new missionaries in that area. St. Louis Hills just barely got their boundaries redone and it used to be called the Carondelet ward which I might have mentioned before. It’s in south zone right by Oakville and it’s about 25 minutes away from the office and mission home. It is my favorite area in the mission. I loved going on exchanges there so much! I am so excited to get to work there this transfer. We share the ward with Sister Fisher and Sister Lundskog. I’ve never really shared a ward before so that will be something new.

Also the Steve that I talked about last time who I taught in Oakville who is getting baptized is in our ward. I saw him at a baptism on Saturday and got to talk to him for a second and I’ll probably get to teach him a little bit again before he gets baptized, so that was really exciting. We have a little bit of everything in our new area. We have part of the old Webster Groves ward where Elder Wunderli served before so he knows some of them who are almost all college aged kids going to school. Then we have the biggest population of Bosnians in our area anywhere outside of Bosnia and we also cover the ghetto of south St. Louis so we have just about everything in our area.

            Getting a new area wouldn’t really do us any good if we didn’t have time to work in it, so we are making changes to our schedule too. After this week the assistants won’t go to zone conference or interviews anymore unless it’s for south zone cause that’s the zone were a part of now. All we have to worry about is doing our 8 zone leader exchanges and then helping President Morgan with anything that he needs a little extra help with. So pretty much we’re just normal missionaries with unlimited miles and instant access to the mission president. We pretty much have the best job ever. We aren’t sure what’s going to happen at the end of the transfer but I’ll at least get to enjoy this new area for 4 weeks so I am really looking forward to that.

            This coming week we are still going to go to the zone conferences to help everyone make some changes and adjustments so we will be going to Springfield, O’Fallon, and Champaign this week. Then we will do our zone leader exchanges in Champaign and Springfield. We won’t get to work in our area too much this week, but next week we pretty much have the whole time to work with.

            Also this coming week on Tuesday I get to go through the temple with Mary Crouch, who I taught in my first area. Me and Elder Anderson both get to go through with her and we are so excited! It’s going to be an amazing day.

I am so excited for all the changes that are coming for our mission. We are at 377 baptisms for the year which means we already have more than we had last year which is great. But we are still a lot short of 450. We have about 70 baptism dates between now and the end of the year and these next couple weeks are really going to be the do or die for the rest of the year. Hopefully everything goes well for the rest of the year! With all the prayers and fasting that’s going on around the mission we really hope that we can reach our goal. Keep us in your prayers!

-Elder Banks

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