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 16, 2011

Zone conference, turning 5, MORE miracles, and green corn ice cream :D

Hello everyone!! What a great week and adventure I've had :)
Elder Fife and a massive pot of rice!

Being translated, "Please don't smoke marajuana here." Bahaha :D

Lots of amazing things have happened this week, this mission never ceases to amaze me. We've been teaching a girl named Joice these last couple of weeks who is Jonatan's little sister and is 11. At first she was kinda scared of getting baptized, but after watching him get baptized she got SUPER excited, it was so cool to see. Also we've been teaching a lady named Neide. She is hilarious. She's a short, round, super talkative, very flamboent (i think that's the right word) woman, and is about 60. She is hilarious. She's one of those ladies that's always calling us, "My child" and always has painted nails, that kind of lady. Anyways, they have both seriously been elect. Joice is amazingly smart and just has loved learning about the lessons. Neide was already baptized several times but talked all about how the other times were just preparing her to eventually arrive at this church. So amazing how much God prepares some people. So after church Elder Fife and I had the opportunity of baptizing them, and it was amazing. Every week it seems to get more special for me as I get a stronger grip on the language, and am able to interact more and understand what's going on. The primary children came in and sand the "I like to look for rainbows" song, but in Portuguese of course, and I really had to fight to hold back tears. So amazing. I baptized Joice, and when she came up she had the biggest smile and therew as such a special spirit there. Before I go on, Elder Fife! Elder Fife is from California/Utah, and he's great. He's taller than me, but we look quite a bit alike. Both have blue eyes and dirty blonde hair, and EVERYONE asks us if we're twins or brothers! It's actually getting a little annoying already :P It's been really nice for me to have an American companion. We try not to speak English much, but it's helped us get a better friendship a lot faster than with Elder Fernandes. It's been kinda weird adjusting to a different way of teaching and all that, but it's been really good for me to learn. The language has started to come quite a bit more lately, and that's helped me out a ton. This last monday I had my first Zone Conference. It was really cool cuz I probably understood about 85% of what was said, which is quite an accomplishment for me :D I learned a lot about how we really need to enjoy the time we have here, and just how important the work we're doing is. It's funny how it's so obvious how important this work is, but sometimes our vision just gets a little blurred or lazy. That really seems to be how it is in our everyday lives with this gospel. Anyways, we focused a lot on the aspect of inspired questions, and it's been really cool the rest of this week to really strive to help these people as people, not as students or numbers we'll write in our planners. It was also kinda funny since it was on valentine's day. The american elders that I wished a happy vtines day didn't even remember that it was. Ha, holidays are such a joke out here. The rest of this week has been really cool, especially yesterday. After lunch we got ice cream, and I finally tried the milho verde (green corn) ice cream! So weird :D It was actually surprizingly good, but reallly weird. Anyways, we had a lot of appointments and marked 3 new people for baptismal dates, but at about 1 o clock I started getting a really bad stomach ache. I tried to ignore it cuz I knew we had a LOT of work to do that day. We were walking all over and finding lots of people to teach, but my stomach was not happy at all. During 4 first lessons yesterday, without fail right before the First Vision, my stomach would feel like it needed to throw up. Since this part of the lesson is so crucial, I really really didn't want to ruin the spirit by running out of the house or something. So every time this happened, I would pray my heart out that Heavenly Father would stop the sickness. And, every single time in all 4 lessons, He stopped it. It was so cool for me. Last night was horrible trying to sleep while my stomach went crazy, but the fact that Heavenly Father didn't let the sickness get in the way of the lessons was so cool to me. And from those lessons we found a family of 6 that are all excited and wanting to be baptized!! The Work of God truly will go on un-hindered by ANYTHING that tries to stand in its way. That was so cool for me to see, talk about miracles. Well, yesterday I hit 5 MONTHS!!! 150 days on the mission!! I still can't even believe that!!! There's a sister finishing her mission on the 28th, and it was crazy to hear her talk about how fast missions pass. I'm trying to make every minute count cuz I can tell this mission is already flying. Thanks for everyone support and love, I really do feel it out here. This church is so true, and God loves each and every one of us so much, much more than we can realize. Thank you all and I love and miss you!
Hurrah for Israel!!
-Elder Ballard

Joice and Neide! Que benção! (What a blessing!)

When garbage men go on strike

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