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, June 1, 2011

June.... wholly.

Really weird to think that it's already the 6th month of my black out year... (Term for the year you spend entirely on a mission) Jeesh. And even weirder that now it's winter here and summer there :)

Well, the miracle chain that happened last week gave it's fruits because Sabrina and Rayandra were baptized this sunday!!! It was kinda crazy because the two of them both had problems getting authorization from their parents to be baptized. They both told us, "My mom/grandma won't let me get baptized! Seriously don't even try talking to them... they'll just get mad." To make a long story short, we ended up "accidentally showing up" at the house of Rayandra's grandma, and after fixing some doubts about the church (such as that we are highly affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan... good heck.) she ended up authorizing Rayandra without any problems. Sabrina brought her mom to the Branch President's house, and after about and hour and a half of testifying, showing the positives of the church, asking her why she didn't want Sabrina baptized, singing hymns, the 9 year old child of the Branch Pres testifying, and a whole lot of other spiritual battles, she finally signed the form!!! Man, we got back into the house spiritually drained... but of course everything is worth it helping someone, especially a teenager in such a crucial time of life, make the decision to be baptized. It was funny cuz before getting authorization, we imagined the mom and grandma as super religious, practically scary, people that we were going to have to absolutely be perfect to get the authorization. But, as of right now, it's looking like Sabrina's mom and brother (who went to the baptism) will most likely get baptized, and Rayandra's grandma is already asking us to come back and teach another lesson. It is absolutely incredible how the Lord links all these people together to  not just help one person come unto Christ, but to bring families and friends and eventually massive groups of people unto Christ.  

 One thing that I'm learning a lot about here in Itabira, is about faith. There's not that many strong members here in this city, but seriously the faith that they have is incredible. One thing I'm realizing is that before the mission, I was completely full of doubts. Seriously, always justifying how something couldn't or wouldn't happen, but this isn't faith. The people here have told me about so so so many miracles that have happened in their lives. It seems like in the US these stories are practically unheard of, and I truly think it's just that we've gotten used to doubts. Not that I'm saying that americans are faithless or anything haha, mostly talking about myself. But seriously, a baby put his hand into a pot of boiling mashed potatoes, the mom washed his hand without looking, told the other brother to say a prayer, and she told the Lord that she wouldn't look at her baby's hand until the next day, and that she KNEW it would be fine. The next day, the baby's hand was flawless. Seriously, faith is a thing that we all can always better and improve. I'm learning so much about this as I try to never doubt that a person will get an answer, that a person will come to church, and ultimately that a person will stay strong in the gospel. Even though us missionaries are just tools in the hands of the Master, I can't express how grateful I am to be a part of this work. I know this church changes lives, and the life that's changing most of all is mine. I love this gospel and the Lord with all my heart, I encourage everyone who reads this to kneel down some night, and out loud express your love that you have for our Heavenly Father, and without doubting you will feel the Lord's love. There truly isn't a feeling more sweet and special than this. Hurrah for Israel, and may Heavenly Father bless you all as much as He's blessing me and Itabira.

  -Elder Ballard

Rayandra and Sabrina!


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