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 8, in which Redge tries to fake us out in the first of the letter

Hello everyone,

This past week has been kinda a toughy for me. For some reason i've just been having a hard time and really missing everyone. I dont know why but i've just been getting random urges to do stuff like play computer or hang out with my friends or go on dates, stuff like that. It's been really hard to stay focused and stuff and I dunno... I've tried to re-zone in on my purpose and everything but it just isn't working for some reason. Blarg.. I don't know what to do. NOOOOTTT!!! Haha! Totally joking about every bit of that :D Sorry I just felt in the mood to mess with you all a little bit, probably isn't that funny :P This has actually been my best week so far! Last monday was a little tough on portuguese because I went basically all of General Conference without talking in portuguese so it was taking me a while to get back into it. Tuesday night we had a devotional about becoming a better missionary, and that night we had a district review where we all just talked about our favorite parts and stuff like that. I just love my district because the Spirit became SOO strong as we did this. It made me realize that there were some minor things i needed to change. For instance, i wasn't being completely obedient on the 10:15 to 10:30 quiet time, just some stuff like that. Anyways that night I prayed for probably 25 minutes or something and thanked and prayed for each person in my district by name, and that was probably one of the most spiritual experiences I've had in the MTC so far. It made me refocus in SO much and ever since then I've been growing even faster than before. I learn SO much from the Book of Mormon now, it leads me so much more than it did before. It's beginning to guide me in so many aspects of my life and I love reading it. After refocusing I've been able to do a lot more with portuguese as well. It's been coming a lot faster and even my teacher says she noticed a big difference in my progress over the past week. Yup, I am loving it here and am so happy to be able to serve the Lord.

Before I talk more about myself, there's a few things I need to make sure I get said.
-Could you somehow print out some little 4x6's of some of my artworks that I did? Just stuff like the wizard i did and the heck horse, that kind of stuff. A elder in my district is big on art too and I wanted to show him some of my stuff I used to do.
-So this is a long stretch, but I had this friend I met on facebook (weird i know) that lives in California, and i remember her mentioning that she heard about missionaries a long time ago, but that's all she ever said. Could you go on my facebook and look up Victoria Samuelson and see if she has an address posted or something? I really want to write her and just bear my testimony or something. I dunno, like i said, its a long shot for sure.
-Austin, i was writing a talk in portuguese and had a smell-induced dejavu because i was laying on my stomach and writing with a Bic pen, you should try doing that and see if it takes you back to WAY WAY WAY young years when we had tablets and stuff. It was so weird to have that memory come back so vividly... i never realized how unique of a smell the ink from those pens have.
-I thought you all might laugh to know that the songs that been getting stuck in my head are totally ridiculous. A few have been pop songs or whatever but i try to replace thiose with hymns. But besides that i've been getting the stupidest songs like : Run the twelve.... oh dear haha. Goodnight ladies (from the singing bush on 3 amigos) and the elementary multiplication songs from Mrs. Poole's class (four eight twelve sixteen tweeeeenty.... twenty-four-twenty-eight-thirty-two-thirty-six foouuurdyyyy, fouuurrrddyy) they crack me up so bad every time.... So random.
-Dad, your letter made me laugh so hard multiple times... thank you :D

Alright now onto some other mission related stuff. Concerning my Visa, I have found out some stuff. We found out from a Brazilian that right now they are having elections in Brazil, so it's totally messing up the visas because they're so busy with elections. So the elections are over october 30th, so that'll prolly be about when I get it. BUT, just yesterday, somehow 25 PEOPLE got visas!!! So i honestly don't even know what to expect. No one from my district or anything but still that's a pretty big number. I'll get 5 minutes to call you and tell you when I do get it, so I guess we'll find out when it happens soon maybe? Who knows. Concerning the Priesthood choir, i probably missed getting into that by like less than a week... I was so angry that I couldn't get in... You had to try out and stuff and knowing my luck I could have right as I got here and just didn't hear about it or something. Ah well... It's all good I guess.
Well, like I said the Spirit is just continuously getting stronger and stronger as I go. The other day in class we had a 35 minute personal prayer... and it was so amazing. I did the praying for people specifically again, but this time with all of you :) And let me tell you, you are all amazing. Every single one of you. Brig, Teag, Shand, Tan, Keat, Nat, Aust, Mom, Dad, you are amazing. Thank you for your prayers and letters and support. I'm trying my best to become who you all and who the Lord wants me to be. Thank you all so much, I couldn't ask for a better family. The church is true!!!

-Elder Ballard

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