Not cool that it's been two weeks since I've written :( Last pday we got to our area really late and it was also a brazilian holiday so no lan houses were open to send email... Lame wasn't it?
Whew, annoying when I get backed up on emails like this, but I'll try to type my fastest possible haha. So, sunday (the 9th) was a huge miracle. We'd been teaching a family of 4 (grandma, daughter, and two grandchildren) and things were going great until the baptismal interviews. When the grandma, Maria, came out, she said she still had a few problems, and everyone else had been relying on her. If she would baptise, they would too, type deal. So we went back there to their house later that day, fasting and praying non-stop, and tryed to help her resolve her doubts. Nothing seemed to be working and finally the Spirit popped a promise into my head. Instead of just blurting it out, I looked at my comp, and Elder Cancino proceeded to make the exact promise that I had had in my head. We promised her that if she baptized the next day, her health problems would heal, and her entire household would be blessed. She went from being completely worried and anxious and making excuses, to a huge change of heart where the Spirit left her completely calm and peaceful about the decision. The next day proceeded to be the best sunday of my mission. We got to church, and Rui and Fernando were both confirmed. Then, Yago proceeded to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, and his mom Helena recieve a calling as the young women's 1st counselor. I was blown away with gratitude to see all these people staying so firm in the gospel, even with only these few weeks as members. If all this wasn't good enough, after church, Maria, Odete, Vitória, and Fabiano were all baptized. It was such a sweet spirit there seeing 4 people (6 counting us) dressed in white, it actually brought back memories of being inside the temple. It was so amazing... I am so grateful for the change of heart that the Spirit can bring about. What a blessing to be a tool in God's hands.
The next week I was transferred yet again for a city called Vespaziano (veh-spa-zee-ann-oh) with my new companion Elder Cavalheiro (translated means gentleman haha) and he's awesome. It was honestly very hard leaving Curvelo, I developed a love for that branch and those people so quickly, it was hard to just get up and leave all of the sudden like we did. Anyways, Elder Cavalheiro is from Curitiba (look up that temple on the church's site, it's a spitting image of the Rexburg one) and has 8 or 9 months on the mission . We've been able to work really well together so far. Our teaching has meshed perfectly and this next sunday should be great. As people we're basically total opposites, but as a companionship we amazing work great together. The ward here is really strong, and I'm loving this city. Our area is one of the biggest on the mission cuz it covers about 3 or 4 cities, Vespasiano, Lagoa Santa (Sacred Lake) Morro Alto (High Hill) and a few others. It's a TON of people to take care of, but we are super excited to work together and things are going great.
Sorry to be so brief on the email, but everything is going great here. I love the area, my companion and I are doing great, the only problems is that it's hitting the rainy season which I hate, cuz even with rain it's super hot and a sweat like a cloud. And the water here is TERRIBLE, so we always have to filter the water or buy mineral water. Oh well though, I love this adventure regardless of the difficulties :) I love this Gospel, every day I see changes in other people as well as myself. Thanks for you prayers and support! Hurrah for Israel!!!
=-Elder Ballard -