Welcome to the blog of Elder Redge Ballard!

Redge has gone from planning to fly to the Brazil MTC, to driving to the Provo MTC, to the Houston Texas Mission, and now finally he has arrived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. We hope you'll enjoy following his adventures in sharing the restored Gospel to those he meets!

Friday, January 21, 2011

First letter of 2011

Happy 2011 everyone!! I still can't believe that happened already... So weird writing that in my journal and stuff. I think the weirdest part was just how close and vivid last new year's was in my head... Hanging out with Titan and Corinne and Jenna and all those other people, craziness.

Well, can you believe I've been in Texas for almost 7 weeks now?! AH! Time is flying like no other!! This has sure been a good week though. New Year's and all that was a joke out here. No celebration, no special anything really. I was actually on exchanges with the district leader (Elder Batt) as well as zone leader (Elder Stevens) and we just did our normal tracting and all that. Went to be like 10 minutes late... woopee. :) Anyways, this week has been awesome. We got in with Stan finally, and had a great lesson with him. We made him realize why he believes in the Bible, and then that those same reasons apply to the BoM. At the end, we told him to pray specifically right then for an answer about this church, and then afterwards just be silent and listen for a little while. He said a great prayer, and then we all just sat there for probably 3 or 4 minutes of silence and the Spirit was just crazy intense. After that he said he'd be out of town for the next sunday, but that we could teach him the next saturday, and that he'd come to church that next sunday. If we can get him to church I'm sure he'll love it. We met a new guy today named Tim and he is GOLDEN. Everything we teach him he just kinda does an, "Ohhhh, that makes sense. Ya, I believe that." Just extrememly prepared for us. I love it. He's actually so smart with the bible and with just life in general that I'm finding myself to learn tons of things just from him. When he was younger, (he's in his lower 30's prolly) he had a kid who was born on his 17th birthday. He has pictures of his kid RUNNING out to him after a HIGH SCHOOL football game... Crazy. Anyways, he said how at first he would pray every night for a natural miscarriage (because he didn't believe in abortion) but that now that his son is a 12 year old, he understands why the Lord didn't let anything happen. Just really helped strengthen my testimony about waiting to find out how God is going to answer our prayers. He also just instilled in me an amazing desire to be a dad someday. I've always wanted that, but he just said how he thinks the reason why parents have so much love is just so Heavenly Father can give us a taste of how much love He feels for us as his spirit children. I never imagined I learn that on my mission, and especially from an investigator, so cool how the Lord works. The downer of this week was with our investigator Janele. As we were teaching here, everything was going great. The Spirit was there, she was understanding, everything. When we were about finished, her mom walked up. She asked who we were in a rude voice, and ended up exploding at us for teaching Janele. Janele has some very minor learning disabilities, and because her mom is all "protective" she basically accused us of trying to take advantage of Janele's capacity and forcing her into joining a "cult" and all this jazz. What I couldn't believe about the situation was just how angry Janele's mom was... She literally just exploded at us and jumped to all these conclusions and it was unreal. We just tried to stick up for Janele without getting angry back, and it was a pretty difficult situation. We'll find out more this week of what's gunna happen, but definitely keep Janele in your prayers and ask that Janele's mom's heart might be softened. Yesterday, though, was one of the best days of my mission. When we go to ward council, we always have a progress record with all the investigators and how they're doing. Anyways, before now, they've always been somewhat, or half full of names, but yesterday we filled in EVERY spot!! It made me realize how many people we have that we're teaching right now and just how much progress we've been making!! SO exciting! Then, during sacrament, one of our investigators, DeShon, showed up to church! We've been trying to get him to come for about 3 weeks and he finally made it! And even better, he loved every bit of church. It was such a good feeling. Then during the very end of an extremely powerful testimony meeting, the Lord just spoke to me and told me how important this work is, and how important it is that I'm out here. I had been struggling a little bit with being happy this week and with getting answers to my prayers, and the Lord just finally said something to the effect of: 'Even though I haven't answered you right away, I am here for you. I love you and am so glad you're doing this. I love you.' I almost started crying and it was just the best ending to the week. I haven't felt the Spirit that long for a while and it just felt so good to have that realization within myself. I'm so glad to be here, and I thank you all for your prayers and support. This church is so true, and God really does love us so much more than we can tell. I love you all!

-Elder Ballard

No comments:

Post a Comment