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!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Craziest week ever, Transfer, Weird Bday :P and The least amount of sleep EVER.

Really sorry about the not writing yesterday, as I'll explain later, this week has been absolutely nuts! Seriously, I don't think I've ever had such a crazy week like this before.

  Well, this was such an insane week. Basically all of it started on monday with my bday. So we started by waking up early and heading to BH. I bought some cinnamon roll type deals to eat on the way, and that was about as close as I got to having a bday cake haha. Then I went into Belo and we had a training with some of the other missionaries of the mission. After that we had lunch which luckily ended up being Subway!!! (see picture) I'm not sure how they do it, but they pull it off to be about the exact same as it is in the US. Good stuff. While we were there, President just told me there that I would be getting transferred for an area called Curvelo. It's about 3 hours outside of BH, and I've already passed there a couple times to do interviews. So after the meeting we went back home and packed up all of our stuff in the apartment. Then we worked for a few hours, and then it was off to another crazy day. We woke up early once again at like 5, headed back to BH, but this time President invited me and another elder to go with him to the airport to get all the new missionaries that were arriving. This ended up being a huge group of 22 missionaries!!! It was crazy going back to the airport cuz it brought back all the memories from my first day in Brazil, and made me realize how fast these last 8 months has flown by. Sheesh. After that we went back to the center of the city and ate lunch at President's house, which (even though basically every missionary does that normally) was my first time doing since I arrived at a weird time when I got here. After that we helped the missionaries trek accross the city to a chapel so that they could be interviewed by President. It was really funny seeing the brand new, white american elders and how afraid they were to run across a busy Brazilian street :) I haven't realized how much I've ajusted to this culture until then haha. Staying there for the interviews took forever, and we finally got them put in their hotel and everything finished up at about 10 o clock at night, so then we caught a bus at 11 o clock at night, and finally got to 7 Lagoas at 1 haha... And by this time I was SO dead. Maybe before the mission going 5 in the morning till 1 the next day was doable, but as a missionary your body goes insane with a schedule this whacked out. When we got into 7 Lagoas, it got even worse haha. Elder Da Rosa realized that he'd left his backpack in the chapel in BH, meaning that we didn't have the key to the door of our apartment building... So, the key we needed was 2 hours away in a locked chapel, and it was already 1:30 in the morning. As we were freaking out not knowing what to do, the Spirit prompted me to look inside my backpack one more time, and I found the key to our individual apartment, but still not the key to the apartment building. We ended up calling a district leader that lives close to us and spending the night (or 2 until 4 o clock haha) sleeping in his house. From there we went back to our house and finally found someone else that lives in the building to open the front door so that we could go up and get inside to grab out suitcases. From there we headed back to BH and got there at like 8, and then transfers happened. We were still helping with the orientation of all the new missionaries and the people that'd train them, so all that craziness got over at like 1 o clock. To make a long story short, or at least shorter, we finally left BH at 4:30, and got to our house here in Curvelo at 9 last night. I slept like a rock and luckily President let us write today haha.
 Whew... I have never been so tired in my entrie life haha. This week was super weird though cuz of turning 20. Even though the day was kinda crazy, I still had some time on the bus to think about how a year ago I gave my farewell talk, had all my friends over that night, and took a bunch of the goodbye pictures and all that. Man.. Time is a weirdo. All in all though it was a good bday. Obviously not at all what I could have ever expected, but now that I've slept last night and am in my new area ready to work, I'm excited and happy. Because of all the stuff that happened this past week I don't have a whole ton to talk about with the work, but now I'm back with Elder Gaertner, and this is the last transfer of his mission, so we are gunna BURN it up here. I'm excited to finally just have a good solid 6 weeks straight of working our tails off. I've never been with an elder whose ending his mission like this, so it'll be an interesting transfer. Thanks everyone for all your bday wishes and letters and especially all the prayers :) I am so happy here and love this work. I am so excited to see what Curvelo has in store for me!! I love and miss all of you, but above all, Hurrah for Israel!!

 -Elder Ballard

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