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, March 30, 2011

Neusa's amazing transformation, Apostasies taught at church, and the most unexpected change possible...

Well, we'll take this week from beginning until now. So our focus this last week was with Jonatan's mom, Neusa (pronounced Neo-za) She had a problem with smoking and drinking coffee, but with the Lord and the Book of Mormon's help, she went from like 10 cigs per day, to 4, to 3, to 1, and then stopped! It's always a miracle to me how people change so much with the gospel. I was thinking about the first day we met Neusa, and she was kinda a grump. Didn't really have much desire, was really a complainer, stuff like that. Comparing that to this last saturday, AMAZING change. She even laughed for the first time!! She's always smiling now, it is so cool what the knowlege and feelings of this gospel can do for someone. Anyways, Sunday came and we picked Neusa up and headed to church. Jonatan was supposed to be confirmed, but wasn't there when we arrived :/ So we were a little frustrated at first. We got to church late, but then luckily about half way through sunday school Jonatan showed up. Elder Kupp baptized Neusa, and it was a really sweet baptism. It's funny cuz Neusa has a really grumpy, almost like she's in pain, type of face. So it's kinda hard to read her sometimes. But, after the baptism she was getting her stuff, and I just simply said, "Parabens Irmã" (Congratulations Sister!) and she got the BIGGEST smile on her face, it was amazing. Her and Jonatan are both super excited to go to conference, and it'll be wonderful for those two to be in this gospel, help each other out, and really grow together to become strong members. I also just had to mention the apostasies talked about in church on sunday. It's just kinda funny when it happens here. In the last few weeks, it's been taught that: God doesn't have a body, that He's simply a spiritual being; and that Lucifer once held the Melchezidek Priesthood. Hahaha... It cracks me up when we step aside with our investigators after the meetings and say, "What she MEANT to say was etc. etc." haha, what an adventure.
  Anyways, yesterday was really the craziest day I've had out here. We started the week with no one that we could baptize, so we set off just looking for new people to take to conference. We weren't having much luck, but then yesterday, an investigator that had stopped lessons about 2 weeks ago randomly called us up, for absolutely no reason. She asked us why we had called, and we hadn't called. Through this odd little mix up, we were able to go back, and we found out that she had just been sick, and that was the only reason she stopped with the lessons. We reinvited to to be baptized, and she will be baptized this sunday! What a blessing!! But, things really got crazy last night at about 9:45. Elder Kupp (who's district leader) was doing a call, when he got interrupted by a call from President. He listened for a sec, and then handed the phone to me.... I was kinda nervous already at this point. To make a long story short, President tells me that 3 Americans were receiving visas and arriving today, and that I was going to be emergency transferred! To make things even more insane, he tells me that I'm going to be SENIOR COMPANION! My jaw literally dropped when I heard this... To make it even more crazy, he told me that me and my new companion (who only has 5 months on the mission) are going to be reopening an area that's been shut for over a year! WHAT?! Man... the Lord really knows how to humble you. I am super excited, super anxious, super nervous, basically all feelings are going through me right now. So, please pray for me :) I know it's the Lord's will, but expecially with the language, I'm feeling a little nervous. So right now, I'm sitting in the mission office writing this because we're waiting to find out if we have a house to live in in our new area! AH! This is truly crazy. I'll have more news about this new area next week though. But, I know the Lord guides his servants, especially President Parrella. This is going to be the biggest challenge of my mission so far, but I know that it's how the Lord will make me grow. Nothing makes us grow more than stretching us beyond what we thing our bounds are :) Thanks for everything everyone! I'm so excited to be watching conference here in Brazil and know that all you'll be hearing the words of the prophets as well! This church is absolutely true, and I love this chruch and the Lord with all my heart. Hurrah for Israel!!!
-Elder Ballard

Bit of Brazil - In Portugues there's two words, coco, and cocó. Almost the same but the accent is just put on a different part of the word. I was buying a chup chup (pronounced "shoop shoop" and translated means 'suck suck', it's basiclly a popcicle just made from a little sack filled with milk, peanuts, coconut, or fruit and then frozen) Anyways... coco means coconut. And cocó, means... well, dung, for lack of a more proper word. And as you can probably guess, I accidentally tried to order a dung chup chup >< How embarrassing right?

Neusa's baptism

My comp for only 2 weeks, Elder Kupp

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