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!

Monday, January 17, 2011

October 1st, 2010

Hello again family!
Thanks Austin and Nat for the Dear Elder mails, I got one from Grandma Bratsman as well and that was a huge pick me up to have hard copies to read :) And Mom it looks like yours aren't going through on Dear Elder, but I guess you should just ask Aust and Nat how they did it because theres went through fine. That story about the bat totally cracked me up by the way... aww man I can't wait to see that movie, sounds awesome. Tell Brigham that's so cool that he's learning to read! It's weird that he's learning to read and I'm here trying to learn to read and speak portuguese. All those verbs you gave examples of I've been trying to solidify for myself here, how awesome. So funny little fact for you older three, I went to the temple last pday as well as earlier today and what a surprise, I still haven't seen the brunette Eve. So if I'm counting right that's 11 times in a row now :D Oh well, I still love going there. We have such a cool district and it's super unifying to all go together and feel that spirit together. So for some reason I can't figure out how to do the stupid pictures on the computers here so I guess I'll just send home hard copies with the letter I'm writing you all. That just reminded me of another funny thing here, our mission president talked to us the first sunday we got here, and told us to use the term: "Elders and Sisters" rather than using terms like dude or guys because it'll make us sound more like missionaries and less like teenagers. But let me tell you, it is SO hard to change a habit like that... It's kinda drving me crazy just because I keep catching myself saying it without thinking.
Firstly I remembered I never answered your question about Titan last week. The day he was leaving he actually talked to someone to let me come and chat with him before he left. Luckily he seemed to be in really good shape, didn't seem like he was being too hard on himself or anything like that so that was good. I guess you're right about the OCD stuff or whatever, I sure just hope he can maybe get some counciling or something and hopefully come back out because I know he would do great if he could get that sorted out.
Well, life here at the MTC is going really good. I've seen my friends Elder Kiser (poor kids been in here 14 WEEKS because his visa didn't come and right before it came he got pneumonia... such a bummer) Elder Berry, Elder Davis, Elder Powell, Elder Burgener, Sister Remmington, plus about four or five from my provo ward. It's really cool to watch and see how many people from rexburg end up here. I really like noticing how all of us combined are going to end up all over the world, super exciting. The food here is already getting a little old which is pretty annoying... I use the bathroom about 7 or 8 times a day... and usually half of those arent number 1 if you know what I mean. Austin will laugh to hear that a phrase I've made popular among the elders in the districts is "minho bunda!!!" because really, none of ours are feeling all that great :P The Spirit just continues to be amazingly strong here though, last sunday we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie after devotional and it was SO good. That show makes me cry a ton... The whole family should really really try to go and watch it down in IF or something because it seriously is such a huge testimony builder about Joseph Smith. It's one of those movies where you walk out at the end and just wonder how anyone could deny the church. EVER. Another really cool part I realized on that show was as I watched it, certain parts that would show family or little kids or something would remind me of you guys, and after being sad for a minute or two I realized that those feelings of missing you all can actually be extremely benificial, because I realize the joy of having such an amazing family and then I redirect that into my wanting to share that with the families in Brazil. The Lord works in such interesting ways and I just see it more and more every day here. So and time I say I miss you guys, just take that as: I miss you guys, but love you and know we're going to be together forever. And since we get that privilege, I need to share that with the people down there that the Lord is preparing for me to teach. I can already tell that the Lord has shaped my testimony of families to be one of the strong points of me being a teacher out here.
I'm in the process of writing you guys a hard letter which I'll probably send out tonight or tomorrow, but while I'm thinking about it, I just want to double check to make sure my mailing address is right on facebook. No friends have written me which doesn't mean much but I just wanted to double check to make sure that's not the problem. My actual address is
Elder Redge Ballard
MTC Mailbox #263
Bra-Bel 1115
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
I'm assuming that's what i put on facebook but just double check for me if you wouldn't mind. By the way, I have realized there are some things I might need soon, so I'll just write those down in my letter. Times up here but now I'll just get to work on the letter. Thanks again for the letters and I'll have better responses soon!

Miss you all and love you all so much! The Church is absolutely true and the Lord loves each and every one of us so so very much. Always strive to strengthen your testimonies in EVERYTHING you do :) Love you family! Talk to you again soon!
-Elder Ballard

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