Well, I'll start off with some interesting happenings from this week. Hitting the 1 year mark I realized that my shampoo, deodorant, and hair gel stuff, are finally running out after an entire year on the mission :D Suprizing isn't it? I had a ridiculous salad the other day at a member's lunch. Mom'll probably remember how I don't really like the weird salads with mandarin oranges and almonds and stuff, but this salad took the cake. The vegetable part was yellow and red peppers, tomatoes, cooked pumpkins, cucumber, no lettuce, and then the fruit part was kiwis, grapes, strawberries, raisins, and mango. What the? The problem was the veggie taste mixed with the fruityness and it turned into this weird... man i can't even explain it. Yuck is all I can say haha.
Alrighty, well this past week Yago (Helena's son and Ygor's brother) had been progressing wonderfully. He's already read a lot in the Book of Mormon, as well as all of the Strength of Youth. Him and his family, as well as another neighboor named Rui (Like donald duck's nephew, hooey (how in the heck is that spelled in english?)) all woke up at like 4:30 in the morning and all went to Sete Lagoas for Stake Conference. Everyone enjoyed it and the busrides to and from were awesome with all the members. We got back into curvelo and then that night Yago was baptized!!! It was so cool cuz his mom did the opening prayer for the baptismal meeting, and it was so beautiful seeing a mom pray with so much power that her and her two sons could stay firm in the church. Such a blessing... I absolutely adore helping out families. Now we're just trying to work on the rest of Rui's family... his parents need to get married but we'll see how it all goes.
Yesterday we had a talk with President and it looks like this friday we'll get like 6 new missionaries from Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, or something like that, and it looks like Elder Gaertner is going to split and go with one of them, and then one of them will come here to Curvelo with me. So, looks like yet another companion already! So crazy haha. we'll see how it goes cuz it'll be me, an english speaker, and him, a spanish speaker, using portugues (which is both of our second languages) to try and communicate :D What an adventure haha.
Well, these last months or so I've been having a really interesting experience, where I've been feeling like I've been experiencing that thing in the bible that talks about "Him who loses his life for My sake shall find it" or something to that effect. I feel like lately we've been focusing in so much, that it's almost like I've been losing my other life. I think about memories from high school or of friends from before the mission, and it literally doesn't feel like it was me, Redge Ballard, back in that life. And then I imagine what after the mission is going to be like, and it just doesn't work :D It's such a weird feeling, but I feel so much trust and confidence that if I continue to do this more and more... the Lord will put everything in place so that after the mission I will "find the life" that I've seemed to lose already. It's such an abstract feeling, but I'm finding that this year mark hitting so fast has kinda made me realize that I don't exactly have all that much time to serve in this form. I've been trying to learn what the Lord really wants me to do with the work, and piece by piece I feel like I'm learning a little bit. Whew... I love this mission :)
To finish out, I found a really cool quote that has totally changed the way I pray, and I've translated it from Portugues so it's not word for word. This was by Spencer W Kimball (if I'm remembering right...) "If we don't forget to pray, God won't forget about us. He doesn't leave us, if we don't leave Him. Why then, do men fall away? Why do they lose faith? Because they leave the straight and narrow, neglect their duties, and forget to pray and remember the Lord. This cause Him to remove His spirit, and men are left in darkness... This will not happen to the man that prays in the morning, at noon-day, and at night; who humbles himself before the Lord, and prays to the Lord in his prosperity as well as in his adversity. This man will never fall away." Whoosh, what power. I hope that all of us can pray like the Prophet says here. I've noticed a huge difference in my prayers as I've tried to pray like this, and I know that God does hear and listen to our prayers. Thank you all for all you do! Your prayers truly are felt in my behalf. Hurrah for Israel!!!