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, January 25, 2012

SO many blessings... Where do I even start?

Oh boy was it an amazing week or what... Seriously, this one's going in the record books :)
Well I'll try to explain everything that happened this week, if I can haha. So last sunday, I got a call from the mission president telling me that he had gone to a stake conference in the BH Lest (Beautiful Horizon East) stake, which Vespasiano makes part of. He said that at the end of the conference he was able to meet Jorge, who was that guy that I found in like November when I was there w/ Elder Gonzales. I think I already talked about him, but he found a Book of Mormon miraculously in on of his cross country truck driving duties. Anyways, Jorge told Pres Parrella about the story, and that he would be getting married and soon after baptized on the 21st, or saturday. President called me up to authorize me to go back to vespasiano for that night to baptize Jorge and Helena!!!!!! I have never gotten such an amazing phone call EVER!!! I seriously couldn't sleep sunday night, and then this last saturday I was able to go back, and see Jorge and Helena all over again. They're the ones who fed us lunch on Christmas day, and we have just had a super super strong bond with them ever since we've met. It was such a massive blessing for me to be able to go back and baptize them, and most important just see them finally make that step in the gospel!!! They've been waiting since like mid november for their marriage to finally happen, and this last saturday things FINALLY worked out!!! I was and am so so happy for them... You could just see in their eyes that they already have a huge desire to stay firm in the church and one day go to the temple :) I LOVE working with families!!!

  To top the week off, sunday morning we went to Euler's house to talk with him and see if the doctors had taken out his IV thing. He said that they still hadn't, but then he said that he'd just decided to trust in the Lord, and accepted an idea we'd given him a few days earlier of just wrapping plastic around his leg so that water wouldn't go in. Earlier he'd been scared to do so cuz if even a little bit of water entered in, it'd get infected and he'd have to be put into the hospital to recover. But on sunday morning, he had a totally different attitude. He just said, "Alright I've been waiting for this baptism long enough. Let's wrap my leg, put it into God's hands, and everything will work out fine." So we went to church, the meetings were awesome, and throughout all this he was perfectly calm and confident. We ended church, went into the bathroom, and wrapped his leg with a ton of saran (I don't know how that's spelled) wrap and packing tape (sophisticated isn't it =D ) and then did his baptismal meeting. Just to help with his leg and everything the two of us entered the font with him, but as he was about to decend the stairs into the water, he paused for a second, bowed his head, and said a silent prayer. Obviously we didn't know what he said in that prayer, but you could just feel him telling the Lord, 'I know that by entering into this water that there is a chance of me getting extremely sick, but I trust you Lord. Please let everything work out ok.' Man it was a touching moment... It just made it all hit home just how much confidence he was putting in the Lord. Elder Cerutti said the ordinance, Euler simply said, "I'm ready" And then he was baptized. There's been few times when the Spirit was so strong at a baptism like that. As he climbed the stairs to change his clothes and check to see if the IV had gotten wet, he said, "It doesn't even matter if it did get wet! The Lord is in control. Even if I do get sick, the Lord is in control." Can you believe how much faith he has? I did kinda a self evaluation and have thought of how many times I am willing to put my complete trust in the Lord like that. Man, I can't even express my gratitude for that day and that amazing man's baptism... This mission is such a blessing.
   Well, that's about all the blessings I can express in the email today haha, but things are just amazing here. I am absolutely loving every minute of my mission... I am learning so much and even though I still have 8 months left, I have such a strong feeling of urgency!! Even though 8 months seems like a decent chunk of time, I have SO much more that I want and need to do!! This gospel is so great... I am so grateful to be out here and so grateful that the Lord is blessing the lives of all you back home. Hurrah for Israel and até February!
    -Elder Ballard

- I made doughnuts for a ward activity. I finally found
powdered sugar so I was able to frost them!

Look at the size of this hill... it's madness :D

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