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, May 18, 2011

Zone Conference, Baptismal Interview, and First Couple Baptism!!

   So a phrase that has always stuck out to me in my patriarchal blessing is something like, "You will learn that you are part of a plan much bigger than you ever though possible." And is that 100% true or what... This mission is seriously incredible. This past week I did my first baptismal interview, and that was a really special experience. I didn't know what it was going to be like so I was praying and studying really hard to try and know what I needed to do and how I could prepare. We got to the other Elders' church and it was a guy named Victor, about 21. So it was good that he was right there at my age and we could talk comfortably. Anyways, the interview ended up being an extremely spiritual experience. The spirit of discernment was so prominent, as I asked the questions it felt like the Spirit was magnifying the meaning of them so that the investigator would understand how important this stuff was. Even though I didn't see this guy before the process of conversion, it was amazing seeing someone that hadn't been baptized yet share such a strong testimony. It's so cool to me how the Gospel of Jesus Christ benifits EVERYONE involved. I simply was giving a little interview to see if this guy was ready for baptism and I ended up gaining a stronger testimony of the gifts of the Spirit! So amazing.
  Well, this past week we were trying really hard to prepare our investigators to go to church, and a couple of them to get baptized. The baptism was looking fine, but the other people to go to church all had problems come up. We were kinda distressed and bummed out a bit cuz we know that we always need to have new people coming to church if we want the work to continue. So on Sunday we went to the houses and walked with a few investigators to church. Our main people we took to chruch are all in a family together. Alexandre is the dad, Sabrina the mom, and they have 3 kids (Vinicius 7, Alex 5, and Miguel 3 months) and the changes we've seen in them are absolutely amazing. Sabrina has been elect since the day we met her. Alexandre used to be truly just kinda a couch potato, going to the bar every once in a while, coming home, sleeping, going to work, sleeping, etc. Sabrina is only 23 and had her first kid when she was 15, so even with the young age of 23 they've already had a lot of marriage time to have problems and experiences. Sabrina's told us that their marriage has had a TON of problems. Alexandre staying out with friends until 9 the next morning, never helping around the house, that kinda stuff. But since we've introduced them to the gospel, without us even saying anything Alexandre has started helping with the baby, comes home at like 9 at night. The Spirit does all the work in things like that and it feels like us missionaries just sit there and watch with dropped jaws :) Anyways, church was amazing for those two, and as it got closer to their baptism you could just see their excitement building. The baptism was amazing.... I baptized Alexandre and Elder Fávaro baptized Sabrina. As we walked back into the chapel after changing the two of them sat down on the bench and started holding hands. Up until then that was the first time I'd seen them show any affection like that... It was definitely a sweet moment. Funnily enough as well, when we were all sitting up in the front, Vinicius and Alex ran up and sat down on the chairs behind the sacrament table. Even though their parents motioned for them to come down, I leaned over to Elder Fávaro and said, "In eleven years, that's where they'll be sitting." Seriously such an amazing feeling to think about what will happen to these people in the future. 
  If that baptism wasn't good enough, somehow the Lord worked miracles to where we had 4 new investigators at church!! This girl we invited in the street came with her friend, a member brought a nephew, and an old investigator showed up too! We didn't do anything at all, and the Lord just placed that desire in their hearts to come and see what chruch was like. We started working with all these people, and it is just absolutely amazing what the Lord is doing. We always say that the field is white already to harvest, but I never imagined the reality of this. Sure there's a lot of tares in this white field, the the wheat is being led to the fold by the Lord Himself. I'm so blessed to be a part of this work... I can't believe how fast it's already going, but I love every minute here. I know the Lord lives and that he guides his church through The Prophet, and the other leaders of the church. The Book of Mormon truly is the foundation of this wonderful church, and I know Joseph Smith truly saw God and Jesus Christ. We are all so blessed to live and be a part of this great Church. Thank you all for you love and support, I truly have been feeling the power of all your prayers. Thank you those who have sent letters or packages or anything, you can't imagine the help it gives us missionaries. Hurrah for Israel!! This church is TRUE!
 -Elder Ballard

- I thought this was interesting. This is a brazilian cemetery, they all have like big marble or stone coffins and don't really bury the people underground.

No comments:

Post a Comment