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!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Bishop! Crazy Training week, Halloween and early Christmas presents haha :)

'Appy 'Alloween this last week! Just as you said Mom, yes it was lame, but that's alright, halloween never was the best holliday in my opinion :) As a kid, blast and a half, but now being an old 20 year old... just one more day on the mish.

  Well, this week has been super super crazy. We've been running around a lot cuz this past week has had 3 trainings... The first one was on last pday (kinda lame, but it was worth it), one on monday, and one yesterday. I sure enjoy hearing from President, he is such an inspired man. We also received a new missionary couple into the mission yesterday, and they are from Boise! Sister and Brother Gooding (if I remember right) and I think he served a mission here way way back, and she's learning portugues for the first time. Aust, you better start teaching Karen portugues now so that she'll be set to serve in brazil here in 40 or 50 years :D We also at this point have recieved missionaries from like all over the world really. Elders from Chili, Bolivia, Uruguay, Agentina, and even a Sister from Portugal. It's awesome having people from all over like that all doing the same work, really brings a cool feeling of unity.
  Last sunday, our old bishop was released and we got a new one, and it was crazy remembering way back to when Dad was called as bishop. This new bishop is SO young, I think he got back from his mission like 3 years ago, and only has a 2 year old, so he's probably 25 at the maximum. He's an awesome guy, and I'm excited to see how he does, cuz seriously, SO young. How old was Dayne when he was called as bishop? Anyways, it was kinda interesting cuz the old bishop was being put into a different ward cuz of some boundary changes, and he's been bishop for the last 2 years or so, and so like half of the ward was bawling when he was released. It was really touching though cuz the family of the old bishop (he has kids that are like 14, 9, and 6 or so) was all crying really hard and members would like get up, even though the meeting was still going on, and sit next to them and hug and cry and stuff. I think the church being smaller here lets the church be a lot more like a family. Obviously in the US it's a family as well, just in a different way. But it was really touching seeing how all these people have SO much love for one another. I'm excited about this new bishop though, it's gunna be great working with him.
  So I did another division this last week, and went to another area in Belo Horizonte. We had lunch there with this SUPER rich lady, and it was a way interesting experience. She says that her husband does something with the government about foreign affairs, so he takes a plane every single day to all over the world, so it's like me taking a bus here, except that it's a plane haha. We ate lunch in "one" of her houses, she says she's got like 7 or 8 all over brazil. In her house it reminded me a lot of Grandma and Grandpa Bratsman's house, cuz it had like a pot from China, and statue from India, a thing from Russia, etc. I remember how Grandma and Grandpa's house always had cool little trinkets from other countries on top of their tv or cupboards. Anyways, as we were leaving, I guess she liked me cuz she was like, "Here, I have a present for you." went in the other room, and came back with none other than a jar of PEANUT BUTTER!!! She said that her husband always brings a ton of it home every time he travels, and that I could have my own jar!!! I was absolutely stunned and thrilled haha, I've missed peanut butter so much. I was so lucky with the day I did that division :P

  Halloween on monday was a training, but i did fest-it-up a little bit with following Austin's example and making little jack-o-lanterns out of passion fruit. I also dressed up as a normal person with glasses (inside the house at the end of the day of course) and then ate pancakes with peanut butter and maple syrup. It wasn't THAT different of a day, but in comparison with the other days on the mish, it was decent :) I also wore an orange tie to top it off.. pfft haha.
  This next week has some awesome potential with a few people that went to church last week, I'm really excited for them and they are progressing wonderfully. I'll have a full report about them next week, but just keep them in your prayers and I know the Lord will help them enter in the gate of baptism as Mom said. Their names are Wellington and Enia (pronounced just like the Enya singer) I love this gospel and I love Brazil... This time is so amazing, and I feel like I'm growing a ton. Some days are hard, but the ends of the days when I just think about all the good things that happened, it's all worth it. Never forget that everything we pass through, IF we keep strong to the iron rod and the gospel, will be worth it in the end. Hurrah for israel!!!
  Elder Ballard

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