Monday, November 25, 2013

            Tuesday this week was amazing and it started off the week in an awesome way. We went to the temple with Mary and it was incredible. It was super simple and nothing spectacular happened or anything like that but just to see her and talk to her again was a ton of fun. And just knowing that the decisions she was making are going to change her eternity is a cool thing to experience. I am so thankful that I was able to have that opportunity with her this week. After the temple we went to O’Fallon zone conference and trained. It was super normal but it was fun.

             The next 2 days were Springfield and Champaign zone conferences. They were both good but Champaign’s was awesome. It was probably the best zone conference I have ever been to. It was a blast.

               After those 2 days we had our exchanges with them. Saturday I was with Elder Norton on the University of Illinois campus and it was freezing. It was about 25 degrees which isn’t too bad really, but there was wind all day long that just felt like it was cutting you in half. Thankfully I forgot all of my winter clothes except for one jacket in St Louis so that made things awesome. I was so cold haha. We walked around and talked to college kids for about 4 hours and then after that we went to the institute building for a lesson and I had to go warm up so I could talk again cause my face was so frozen. But we had an awesome lesson right after that and talked to a ton of cool people that day so it was definitely worth it.

             Sunday was our first day in our new ward and it was great. We have the best ward of all time. It has everything you can imagine in it. We have lots of black people and tons of Bosnians. We have an apartment complex that we call little Provo cause it has like 20 your families straight from BYU in it that are all in our ward. And of course, being in the city, we have lots of crazy people too. Sunday was probably the best church block I have been to in a long time. We had an investigator there named Troy Outlaw. We talked to him on the phone throughout the week and the other elders who we replaced told us a little bit about him. He comes to church with his wife and 2 sons and the wife is a member. They have heard the first lesson and we have 2 appointments this week to teach him a couple more times so hopefully all of that works out.

  The best part of the day was right after church we sat down with Sister Fisher and Sister Lundskog the sister missionaries in our ward and they gave us a list of 7 people to go contact that have been coming to church over the last couple months but for some reason no one ever asked them if they want to take the lessons. We have a few people to go contact this week and hopefully we can have a few solid investigators by time the week is up. We are so excited to work in our area!

             This week we have a few fun things. I’ll be in Fairview Heights with Elder Smith on Tuesday and then on Wednesday me and Elder Johnson will be back in St Louis Hills. After that we have Thanksgiving and then MLC the next day. Elder Jenkins and Elder Furlong are coming to our area the day after MLC to do some work there with us. We are way excited and everything is going so well! In the mission as of today, if every person with a baptismal date got baptized we would be at exactly 450 for the year. Now some of those are obviously going to drop, but we hope that over the next 2 or 3 weeks we can set a few more dates and reach our goal for the year! It’s going to be close. Keep us in your prayers.

 -Elder Banks


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