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 16, 2011

Transfers already?! Longest lesson EVER, my first hot dog and coconut water!

This transfer absolutely flew past... I guess once per year they do a 5 week transfer so that the rest of the year can have 6 weeks, so that transfer absolutely rocketed past!

I drew some pictures for these two little kids. They loved me for it haha

Stupid cockroach got caught in E Fife's shoe tree :)


 Well, this week was definitely an improvement from what's been the norm here. We continued our habit of finding new people basically every day, but this week we actually had 2 come to church, and they LOVED IT!! Aw man, it was such a blessing. I was doing the math, and for some reason with this last transfer, we've had more or less 35 different people accept dates to be baptized, about 10 go to church, and out of those 35 (before these 2 this week) we NEVER were able to do a follow-up lesson after church. For some reason they would always just avoid us or make an excuse to stop the lessons, it's been so weird. That golden family of Eva, Ederson, and their two kids even fell :( I know that someday they'll find the light cuz of the things they told us and the desires they have, but I just don't know it it'll be with us or if it'll be with other elders or what. We might try and go back, but this is the 3rd week they "haven't" been able to come to church. Stuff like that's happening all around though... But, that's the lesson I've learned this transfer though is that really the only thing we need to worry about, (as missionaries as well as in our normal lives) is the things that WE can do, and leave the rest to God. Jesus Christ gave perfect examples of this. For example, when He rose Lazerus from the dead, He asked, "Where is the tomb that he layeth?" (even though he obviously knew, he wanted the people to use their own ability to explain and show him where) and then told them, "Remove the stone that blocketh the tomb" (even thought Christ could have commanded the rock to move, he knew that human strength was able to do it without problems) and this really shows us how it is in our own lives. Yes God could command all the elects in this city to walk to our apartment and knock on the door and say they want to be baptized, but God knows that us missionaries have the strength and desire to walk, knock door to door, and actually find these elects. It really goes right along with 1 Nephi 3:7. The Lord will never give a commandment, OR a trial, that we can't handle or complete. It reminds me of how even something as intense as the death of a loved one can be turned into something to make us grow. But, us in the church have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, which in turn gives us the strength to continue on and stay strong. The term that nothing is impossible with God sure has grown to be true with me out here. Even though this transfer's been hard and people have been using their agency to not go to church or to end lessons with us, us continuing and enduring through it allows us to keep finding news and really find elects. Elder Fife and I have gone back to Jonatan (23 year old who had problems with drugs, lost the confidence of all his family and friends, but now is an amazingly humble truth-seeker. Such a great guy.) and Vanha (62 year-old lady who hasn't agreed with basically all the other churches she's been to, but reeeally like church, and will be baptized this sunday if all goes well. And she can talk more than ANYONE I've ever met.) and been able to teach them and help them, and things are going great with them. Quick story, when we first taught Vanha the first lesson, it was literally the longest lesson I've ever been in. At least 2 and a half hours, just with the first lesson (usually takes 40-60 minutes.) and it was insane. She talks about the most random stuff EVER! Elder Fife said the first vision, and said: "...and said, pointing to the other: 'This is my Beloved S--" Vanha: "Oh good! But man, there's this place over in Ceu Azul where the people are so unhealthy! Seriously, people have AIDS, don't have food, etc. blah blah blah" It was RIDICULOUS! I've never seen anyone cut off the first vision like that! Luckily the lady understands stuff really well, so we're teaching her fine, but man she can talk... It's nuts. But anyways, with this short transfer, Elder Fife already got transfered! My new comp is Elder Kupp, he's 21, and a genious. He started college as a 15 year old (ya... that's not a typo. Fifteen.) And graduated college in mechanical engieneering before he came on his mission at 20. Besides the intimidating fact that he's a college graduate, he seems awesome! I'm excited to continue here in Justinopolis, and I can feel a change in the wind a comin' :)]
 This gospel is perfect. There's no way I could be surviving and enjoying this mission so much if I didn't have this amazing gospel as my foundation. Jesus Christ truly does know each and every one of us, each and every minute and problem of our day. I love this gospel, I love this mission, I love my life :) Thank you for you prayers and support, and know you all are in my prayers as well. Hurrah for Israel!!!
    -Elder Ballard

Do not
urinate in this area.

Green Mint
thanks you.

Bit o' Brazil:   Some of the people here have kinda interesting jobs that I don't even quite understand yet... One shop I passed was full of manicans, and a guy was sawing the legs off of one. Not sure what the final product was or anything :D As well, we saw a guy breaking an oven apart with a hatchet. Probably for parts, but just the fact he was using a hatchet made it funny for me :)

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