Well, this area is wonderful! It's kinda fun going from a branch of 50 people to a stake center ward. The members here are super excited to help and we contantly are getting referals and everything. So like I told you last week, I talked to Elder Da Rosa more about who lives in Rexburg, and it turns out that it's his great uncle, named President Brassanini. At first this didn't ring any bells for me, but then he showed me a picture of him, and it turns out that last summer when I went to the temple with Titan and Jake Potter and were doing some sealings, I RAN INTO President Brassanini!!!! I remember vividly talking with him about Belo Horizonte and how I'd be going there and I'm 90% sure he told me about a great nephew that was serving there... What are the chances?! Pres. Brassanini was the Temple President and Porto Alegre, and now he's in Rexburg working as a sealer in the temple!!! I cannot believe how small this world is with the gospel!! Seriously... Elder Da Rosa's gunna send the house address for Pres Brassanini and a picture of us, and who knows, maybe he's already passed in the store or something before :D So cool. If this wasn't already ridiculously coincidental, when I was walking out of sacrament on sunday, a 22ish year old stopped me and said, "Elder Ballard!! As in, related to the Elder Ballard that served in Salvador?" I was already like what the heck? And it just so happens that this guy that goes to the other ward that goes to our chapel, is Elder F Santos, AKA a COMPANION of Austin!!! AHHH!!! I can't believe how cool all these connections are!! It's like the Lord just tweaks stuff to make it work out like this. I'll get a picture with Elder Santos next week and send it, but i am still in unbelief :)
Well, Elder Da Rosa and me have been gettting along really well. Our studies and teaching are as if we'd already been comps for a long time, so this transfer really is looking like it has some huge potential. This mixed with the great ward here is just gunna be some awesome times here. I don't have a whole lot to talk about but next week I'll send some pics of the area and explain more about it.
Quick spiritual thought that I found this morning that I wanna share with everyone. In the scriptures it talks a lot about how God gives and shows us our weaknesses. I got thinking about this and realized something very cool. God gives all of us trials and problems to SHOW us what we need to improve on. For example, at the first of the mission, I was homesick, thought a ton about my friends, animation, family, etc. and this mission showed me that I needed to focus more on the work of the Lord. At this point in the mission, I've overcome the weakness of focusing on home, and now I have the strength of focusing more on the work here. The situation didn't change, but the Lord showed me what was a weakness, he helped me overcome it, and now the same situation isn't a trial for me because I strengthened up to the point that the Lord wanted me. This applies with every single situation. If life was just easy and we never had problems, we'd never know what our weaknesses are. The purpose of this life is to become perfect, and just like Christ, we have to pass through the crud to know what we need to do to improve, and in the end passing under and through everything will allow us to rise above everything and fulfill our potencial! I hope this makes sense haha, but man it's amazing the stuff the Gospel teaches us. Thanks for everything you all are doing for me, I hope the summer's going good. I love this gospel so much, the Book of Mormon is such a precious gift of God, and so are the Prophets. I know that my Redeemer lives and that He loves all of you, me, and every single person in the world. I LOVE this work!!! Hurrah for Israel!!!
p.s. sorry about the lack of pictures--he's sending them in a different form and I can't get them to post :(