Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Dear All,

It's official. I will be transferred tomorrow to a new area. I don't no where or with who, but I know it'll be according to the Lord's will. Who knows, I may end up in the coast or in the mountains, or I may stay in the capital. I'm trying to not have any hopes or fears as to where I'm going, so I can better trust in the Lord and his plan for the missionary work here in Guatemala. As the hymn says "I'll go where you want me to go." There was one elder who was in my district in my first area who said something a little funny. Waiting for his mission call, he thought "I hope I don't go to Central America." He was then called to Guatemala. Being here in the mission, he thought "I hope I don't go to the coast, it's too hot there." He then was sent to the coast. Then he thought "I hope I don't go to Peronia, it's too dangerous there." He was then sent to Peronia. But he is one of the happiest missionaries I know and a very hard worker and bold teacher. It just goes to show that we don't know best, but the Lord always does.

My companion will be staying here, and receiving another senior companion. I believe I'll remain senior companion, because they haven't told me I'll be going back to junior.

I also believe that they'll ask me to play the piano at change (transfer) meeting tomorrow. Even though I don't really have time to practice in this area, I've improved as a pianist, I believe because I've been using my talent to serve. I've now played in a conference with a general authority, a zone conference, a zone meeting, and several training meetings. But change meeting is a little different because we all go into a certain chapel, and one of the assistants reads the changes (transfers), and announces the assignments, such as zone leader, district leader, trainer, retention secretary, etc. During all of this, there is someone playing the piano softly in the background. It actually becomes a very spiritual experience sometimes, and I always enjoy change meeting.

Also, I like it because the piano in the chapel where we have the change meetings is electric, and you can basically turn it into a functioning organ, so it sounds really nice, since organs are a rarity here. Usually there's just an acoustic piano, and some areas apparently don't even have that. Anyway, I imagine they'll ask me to play tomorrow, because all the other pianists President knows of have all finished their missions. There are others, but he doesn't know they can play. If they do, I'll probably be playing for just about an hour straight. It'll be fun!

As for Sonora, I'll really miss it here. The ward is fantastic, almost like a ward in Utah. The leaders are all fantastic, and very supportive, and the attendance has never dipped below 200 since I've been here. The members work really hard with the missionaries, which is crucial to be able to have success. Over half of the baptisms I've had in my mission have been here, and that's why. It's an amazing area, and I'm really going to miss it. The good news is that my areas have only gotten better and better with the changes, so I'm hoping that the trend continues.

Overall, it was a pretty uneventful week here in Sonora. The only thing we have to report is that the investigator who is absolutely awesome, Geisi (hey-see), didn't come to church this Sunday. Her member friend from work was supposed to bring her to our ward this week, but he went to pick her up and they went and did something else. She's amazing, and I know she'll be baptized, she just needs to come to church! My companion and his new companion will be passing by her house this week to get her to church. Her whole family is very Catholic, but her Dad left, and he was a member of the church, so she's had a little bit of exposure to the church. The family is nice to us and everything, they just aren't interested in the Gospel. I think that once she's baptized, the family will see the change in her, and it will be good.

Also, yesterday, I bought some fantastic ties, and got my new suit jacket back and tie from the sister who was repairing them. Everything is fantastic, and we're lined up to have a really good day today as well, starting with a delicious lunch after I finish writing this letter.

Just some lines from one of my favorite hymns:
"There's surely somewhere a lowly place, in Earth's harvest fields so wide,
Where I can labor through life's short day for Jesus the Crucified.
And trusting my all to thy tender care, and knowing thou lovest me,
I'll do thy will with a heart sincere: I'll be what you want me to be.
I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord, over mountain, or plain, or sea,
I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord, I'll be what you want me to be."

I love you all. Keep the faith, and never forget that you are a child of God, and no matter what may happen, He lives, and loves you to the end.

Elder Banks

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