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, February 29, 2012

Amazing downs clear the way for even better ups :)

Note from Wendi--I kept some of the family stuff on this week since I thought others might find it interesting.

Thanks for the great emails today... Wow I loved them everyone.

  Dad - Wanna know something funny Dad? Last friday I wrote down to ask you "What day is the hunt reunion?" Haha, what a coincidence isn't it? I sure am excited to have those belly busters with you guys again some day, I remember that time when you read about Grandma Bratsman giving a spoonful of honey to the girl who went into the ditch... Man oh man that was SO funny. Anyways, I'll be anxiously waiting for the answer to when the reunion will be cuz I hope with all my heart that it's the weekend after I'm home... I will die if it's the weekend before. In respect to the schooling deal, all's well in my opinion. I've seen so so so many times on the mission how the Lord has control over everything that if it was right for me to go to school during fall instead of winter Who knows what the Lord has got in store for me this fall haha. I'm stoked hearing that Trevor and Rhett'll work for ya! Those two guys sure are great, they'll do super well for sure. It'd be sweet if I could work with Rhett and lay down some portugues with him :) I sure liked hearing about the Patriarchal blessings... As a missionary I usually just deal with the first part of the gospel: faith, repentance, baptism, and confirmation, and a lot of times it's great to hear about the other steps in the gospel like Patriarchal blessings and the Temple and stuff. 

  Mom - Haha... Poor Tanner. I can't believe how big he is but it doesn't even matter what the age is, those stupid medicines totally wipe you out. I remember that getting my wisdom teeth out was an adventure in respect to consciousness. This area that I'm in now is the same area, same house, same ward, same everything as last summer. Sadly the five people I baptized are struggling quite a bit... The ward in general was passing through some difficulties for a while but luckily we're working a ton more with the members this time around and I'm hoping so bad that we can pull the less actives back. I'm excited for the time I'll have here. Random question Mom, any other friends or people I know that have gotten mission calls or married? I get random curiosities every once in a while, and at this point in the mission you don't get letters all that much any more :)

  Aust -. So about that list, I've actually been keeping a to do list since the first of my mission. I've realized that lots of times in the road a random urge or idea will go into my head of something to do, a place to visit, song to listen to, movie to watch, animation/drawing to make, etc, and the best way to rip it out of my head and focus back on the work is simply writing it down in the back of my planner, I instantly forget about the idea cuz I know that I won't forget it, and pronto! Haha, yeah basically it's a pretty decent sized list. I'm definitely not gunna be sitting around with nothing to do after the mission. Especially with drawing and animation ideas, that's why my desire to buy a new laptop rapido is really strong. I've developed a massive desire to learn WELL piano as well after the mission. Even though I never have time to play or practice here on the mission, if I ever have 10 minutes of free time during a baptismal interview of one of my investigators, I go into the chapel and mess around a little with hymns, and I'm miraculously improving my skill somehow... It's really weird but awesome I must say. Man Aust, I'm so stoked about your baby!! It's such a new concept for me to imagine that you're actually gunna be a dad and that Mom and Dad are gunna be grandparents... I'm so excited to know though!! I laughed about your 'baby being modest' comment haha.

  Well, today being the 29th of February, today's my 5th half birthday of my life!! Haha, and mind-blowingly enough marks 6 months until my last pday... Wow that scares the crud outta me... I really can't even wrap my head around that!! I have SO much more that I need to do! I love this mission so much and it feels like it's just slipping through my fingers... My President told me about 9 months back in an interview that one of the best pieces of advice he could give me would be "To never EVER stay in my comfort zone, ever. Not on the mission, not in my life." And I think the Lord has ways of doing that always. Time passing fast when you're liking the current situation, there's always a way haha. 

  But boy oy oh boy this week was crazy but great. I was able to readjust really well to the area and so the work is going great. This last week we had a lady, Sandra, that was progressing to be baptized last sunday but then saturday when she was interviewed she told us that even though she passed, she wouldn't be baptized until later. We were kinda confused cuz when a person passes the interview, it's totally normal to be baptized the next sunday. She went to church again, loved it again haha, and left the church really quick without us even being able to really talk to her... Hmm. Sadly sunday morning there was a confusion with our other investigators as well as with Jandira to be confirmed, and we arrived to church late and we missed the sacrament :( Wow, you never realize how extremely important the sacrament is until you go a week without it. Even living dis-attached from the world as missionaries do, you seriously just feel so much heavier and slow. Luckily since it wasn't our fault or anything, the Lord was really merciful with us and we got this amazing spiritual boost after church. We found three new people who accepted to be baptized on the 11th, and went back to Sandra and just found out that she wanted to learn more about a few things, and basically set her own date for the 10th. Since sunday, we have had these amazing miracles happen that have been purely the Lord leading our path. It's really interesting the way things work, cuz we always seem to pass through the cruddy low points so that we can realized how much we need the Lord or the Sacrament or whatever it might be, and once we're humbled, the Lord helps us return with even more strength and faith than ever before. These next weeks are gunna be great though, I'm super excited for the work here. Hope alls going well everyone, happy leap-day to you all! Hurrah for Israel!!

   -Elder Ballard


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