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!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

 Well this week has been another great week in Minas Gerais! This week I really have been able to adjust to Elder Fife's teaching and we've begun to work off of each other really well, so it's been really good. This past week we continued working with Stefany (the 11 year old sister in the family of Douglas and Iony) and she made an amazing change. At first she had seriously no desire to be baptised. With some teaching about faith and how it can grow like a seed, she has completely changed. Before her baptism interview she was just dying of excitement about being baptized!! I had the opportunity of baptizing her in some freezing cold water (the heater broke at the church haha) and she just absolutely loved it. Huge smile, she was just glowing. It was so cool to see her with her two brothers and mom afterwards, and Iony was just beaming having 3 of her kids be member with her. Last sunday Douglas passed the sacrament, and that was such a sweet experience for me. Since he was really the first person I've been able to be here to see the total transformation, it was such an amazing thing to see him worthily use the Priesthood and pass the sacrament to his family. We had 6 investigators at church which is a lot more than we expected, and it was really cool helping all 6 of them find their way around and learn about everything. It's been a little tough though cuz I  don't think any of them are used to the 3 hour church.. Here the kid's school is only 4 hours a day, so it was definitely a change for them. We're working really hard with them, and if all goes well we'll be able to get Sonya (the 6 people consist of two parents, 3 children, and then the neighbor Sonya) baptized this sunday, because the other family is hard to teach and we haven't been able to catch all 5 of them together much. The Lord has really guided us these last two days though. Monday we found Adriana, a 30ish year-old single mom who's husband died a few years ago, and then yesterday to a man named Joaqim. He is completely elect. We knocked his door, and without us saying anything he told us to come in and sit down. When we gave the baptismal invite, he almost interupted saying "Com certeza!" (With certainty!) And we are really excited to work with these people this week. One thing I wanna share really fast is from Jesus the Christ. In one part it says, "Jesus was all that a boy should be, for His development was unretarded by the dragging weight of sin; He loved and  obeyed the truth and therefore was free." Reading this i really realized how much of a literal hinderance sin is in our lives. We're here to prepare to return to God's presence, and really sin is the only thing holding us down. Another thing i learned is that Jesus set an example for us, because yes He was tempted just like us, but He NEVER sinned. This is obvious, but then I realized that with some sins, us as members are the same way. There is no way I will EVER drink beer, smoke a cig, or do drugs. It's not cuz I can't, it's because I've put up a guard and protection against that sin that can't be penetrated. It's not cuz I can't, but because I won't. This is how we can seriously be with all our sins. Yes, it will take a lot of time and determination, but if we have this protection against drugs and beer, why can't we have it with all the little things? This life really is a journey, but just like Christ showed us, we can fully develop and find our purpose if we shed the chains of sin and truly develop and rise to our full potential. This church is so true, and is such a blessing in our lives. Always strive to share the gospel through word, and especially through example. I love this church, I love Jesus Christ, and I love our Heavenly Father. They are our friends, and WILL NEVER leave our sides. Thank you all for you love and support, may the Lord bless you all like He has blessed me here in Brazil!
Hurrah for Israel!!
 -Elder Ballard


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