Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am totally beat. Missionary work is really tiring! haha. Especially when you have to run to and from appointments.

Yesterday I went on splits with Anziano Acerson. It was fantastic. In the morning we went to the beach to teach Cristian. Even though it's warm out, it's still too cold for Sicilians to go swimming, so the beach is fairly empty. We went on top of a hill of sand that looks over the sea, and we read a talk from the last General Conference. Nature is a great place to feel the Spirit. Sitting on the sand, listening to the crash of the waves while reading the words of an Apostle is incredible. I felt very edified from the lesson we had, and that same Spirit stayed with us the entire day. One thing that we did at the end of the lesson (Anziano Acerson's idea) is we each made a list of what we can do to serve God this week. It was great. I hope that I can put into practice all the things I wrote because that will help me stay a lot closer to the Lord. I recommend that you do the same activity.

In the afternoon we went to teach Nicola. We taught him about the Holy Ghost. Once again, we had a great lesson. Right after we sat down Nicola got up to go grab something in his room, and I noticed a hymnbook on his bookshelf. I thought to myself, what better way is there to invite the Holy Ghost than sing a hymn! I grabbed the hymnbook and flipped open to "Let the Holy Spirit Guide" I hummed the tune to him, and then we all sang the hymn together. It was great. We used the new Gospel Principles manual (which I love) and there we read a great quote from President Joseph Fielding Smith about the Holy Ghost. Basically it says that if someone has a visitation from an Angel, or even sees God, over time that experience will fade away from his mind, but if he feels the Holy Ghost that pierces his soul, it's very hard to forget. I love remembering all the times that I've really felt the Holy Ghost because reflecting on your testimony makes it stronger.
That night we had English Course which was also a blast. I taught advanced course. It's so chill. This time I had them practice translating questions because Italians get really confused when they ask questions in English (rearranging words like "you will" and "will you" and also using "do"). Then we just did some conversation.

The reason my day was so tiring is besides the fact that Anziano Acerson is a fast walker, we also had to run around a little bit. Right before English Course we decided to go by a lady we had met in the past, and even though she wasn't home, her family was and they invited us in. We taught them about the restoration, and then we had to run to English Course because it was already time to start.

Anziano Acerson and Anziano Alvarado (from Peru) slept over, and then the next day (today) we were able to do P day together. That was really a blast. We took lots of awesome photos. We also played some soccer, and that was a lot of fun. After the mission I definitely need to play more soccer. It was really great playing for the couple months that I did right before. I love sports. I really like playing almost all sports.

This week is going to be crazy. This Saturday we are going to be cleaning the beach again and there are going to be tons of people. Saturday night is when we get our first session of General Conference here at 6 pm. On Sunday we have priesthood session at 11am, then at 2pm we have a session, and at 6 pm we have another!

I know what you're probably thinking, isn't there another session of conference?

The answer is yes. There is another session of General Conference, the Sunday Afternoon Session. Here in Italy the wards and branches are supposed to record it and then show it at another time, but almost nobody does it. In other words: We're not going to see the Sunday Afternoon Session (which is usually the best).

The good news is that it makes reading the Liahona afterwards a lot more interesting.

We've been inviting everyone to come to conference. We tell people, guess what, there's a living prophet called of God on the earth today. Everyone goes, who is it? Thomas S. Monson. Then they usually say, I've never heard of him. Well surprise! If you come this weekend you can here what he has to say! He receives revelation from God that we need to help us nowadays.
I'm incredibly excited for conference this weekend. I loved the last conference. I think I'm more excited for this conference than any conference before. This is going to be my last conference on my mission! The next one hopefully I can be there in the conference center!

To get pumped for conference we've been reading a lot of talks from past conferences and like I said, talking to everyone about it. I'm also trying to think of a good question I can go to conference with. I definitely recommend that you do the same. Go there looking to get an answer about something. Pray that you'll receive it, and you will.

Have a great week! (How could you not? It's conference weekend!)

Anziano Banks