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, April 13, 2011

First Branch Meeting, First Blessing too!

Can't believe the miracles that God helps us missionaries do out here :)

 This was a very cool week here in Itabira. This is the first area I've been in where you can't flush your toilet paper, so that's been an adventure :D Also, this was the first week of going to the branch here. Man... talk about a different experience. I counted during sacrament and there was only about 25 people, counting investigators. It was fast sunday, so seriously almost all the adults in the room shared testimonies. Then crazily enough, I played the organ for the opening and closing hymns. What the? It was so weird haha. I of course could only manage the top hand, and it was full of mistakes, but they needed help with the program so I figured I'd give it a try :D I guess I shoulda learned piano better while I had the chance. It's amazing though how faithful these members are, even with only the few that are here. The testimonies were very powerful, everything was awesome about church. It reminded me of what you were talking about Mom and Dad, how people in the church, through families, can have so much more power to face trials and live life. We have an investigator that should baptise this week named Marcelino, and he's an awesome guy. He had yellow fever when he was 7 and so ever since then he has lived life without legs! He's a great guy and we're really excited for him this sunday. Opening this area has been an amazing challenge and I've had to grow so much from it, so it's been great. I also had my first opportunity to give a blessing in Portuguese! It was so cool. It really is amazing that the power in a blessing is the spirit, and not the words. The blessing I gave was very simple, and surly was bad grammer and poorly pronounced, but the power was so strong nonethe less. I've realized that one reason we have the opportunity especiall as missionaries to do that is to get a taste of what it was like for Christ to help all those people during his ministry.
I love the people here though. The members are super excited and we're even living in a little backhouse behind the branch President. They peope here are so willing to help, with lunch, with visiting people with us, with welcoming investigators, anything. I love that this gospel applies to everyone, and that regardless of circumstances, we can all have the joy and love that this gospel offers. I'm so blessed to be a part of this work here in Brazil, and so glad that it's going on all over the world. I hope and pray everything is well back home, with all my friends, on missions or in school or whatever it might be. Thanks for all you all do for me. I love this work, and I love the Lord. Hurrah for Israel!!!
-Elder Ballard

 Sorry for no pictures, this computers throwing a fit.

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