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!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Zone Conference, Ups and downs w/ our Investigators

Twas a good week this past one. We've had some really good parts with our investigators as well as some toughies, but all's still great!

Well, this past week sadly no one that was progressing was baptised. That miracle guy that we had to get baptized ended up having his parents flip a lid at him and not allow him to be baptized. Super sad when stuff like that happens, his girlfriend who's a member even had to end the relationship cuz she knows she won't marry someone who's not a member. Super sad isn't it? I know that one day things'll work out for him though, the Lord doesn't let anything happen without purpose. The lady that went to church ended up travelling during last week and now is just all lazy and doesn't want to do anything "hard" to prepare for baptism, so sadly I don't think we'll be the ones to baptize her :( We do have a family to baptize this week though, the mom's name is Marta, and she has 5 kids, 4 of which will be baptized with her. After church on sunday we went there with some members and Marta really opened up and told us how hard her life's been and how the gospel's helping her, and it was amazing. Her ex-husband is super addicted to beer, and is trying to move back in with Marta, and obviously she won't let him. She told us how when she was pregnant with the second youngest kid, they were building the house that they live in now (ya... she was helping build a house being like 7 months pregnant...) and he was drunk, go ticked at her, and pushed her off the side of the house and she fell down the hill, and it caused the kid to get born early. Luckily no permanent damage was done, but it is insane the things that she's passed through. Can I please ask for you all to pray for them? This family needs this gospel SO badly. The protection that will come, the healing from the atonement, the Spirit to be in their house, they have SO many things that they seriously just can't afford to do without. We are doing absolutely everything possible to help this family, they are super special.
 We had zone conference this week, and it's amazing how much I'm learning. This time is a little different cuz it has 3 section, so I went monday, tuesday, and I'll be going again tomorrow. My teaching is improving a ton, and last night we put the stuff we learned to the test and already found another person to be baptized the next week... It's amazing how many people the Lord is preparing. My testimony has been growing a ton lately simply of the fact that us missionaries are literally the ONLY authorized teachers that the areas we're called in have to actually help people. Here in Brazil has SO many churches, seriously SO so many, but all of them are wrong. That's been another realization that's really sunk in deep here on my mission, when Christ told Joseph Smith that ALL of the churches at the time were wrong, He meant it. The commandment, don't take the Lord's name in vain, applies with EVERY other church. It's amazing to me though, cuz sometimes these other churches help these people prepare for the gospel cuz they at least learn the basics, but there are some churches here that are truly (just as the Book of Mormon says) an abomination in the sight of the Lord. These poor people that are tricked into following them... This one church tells people to "prove their faith" by selling their cars, even houses, and giving the money to the church. Then the dumb pastor-face drives off in a ridiculously nice car and just feasts on these people who are already poor.
  Even though all this is really sad, I am SO grateful to know the truth. This IS the ONLY true church on the face of the earth. If we truly follow the paths and instructions that the scriptures and prophets give us, we will truly gain eternal life. Sometimes I really like just imagining what eternal life will be like, and even though it's way above the capability of our minds to realize just how great it'll be, I have the faith that it'll be completely worth every single big or small trial or difficulty we all'll pass through. I love this work, I am SO grateful to be an authorized teacher and missionary of our Lord Jesus Christ. I love our Lord, and I love this church. Hurrah for Israel!!!
 -Elder Ballard

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