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, March 21, 2012

Finding families!!! And a massive religious scandal! Opa!

Another week and another step closer to Conference already!! Good heaven those 6 months passed quick.

The work this week was awesome. We were a little frustrated cuz a few people that were progressing to be baptized on sunday had some problems with addictions stuff, but amazingly saturday night we returned for like the 4th time to this contact that we felt we better teach, who was a 15 year old kid playing soccer in front of his house, but when we entered it was him, 3 siblings, and his mom and dad. We taught the whole family together and they were super SUPER prepared for the gospel! They had recently moved here to 7 Lagoas and the mom and 2 kids accepted to go to church with us. The dad accepted as well but sadly had to travel with one of the kids on sunday. We've been praying non-stop to find families, and the Lord blessed us at like the very last minute of saturday so that they could go to chruch :) They went to church and all 3 of them loved it, at the end the mom said, "This is where my kids need to be raised." We we so grateful to find them, there is literally no better thing on a mission than to find a family of mom dad and kids that are open for the gospel. I dunno when transfers are gunna happen but I sure hope I can stay here haha. I'll have more about them next week.

   On other news, it was interesting how our lesson in church this last week was about supporting our Church Leaders, cuz there's this news flying all over brazil right now about the leaders of this church called "A Igreja Mundial do Poder de Deus", which would be translated The Worldwide Chruch of the Power of God. Anyways, this pastor was filmed during one of there meetings talking to the congregation sobbing saying stuff like, "After some financial difficulties were are faced with the terrible fate that more than half of our church buildings here in Brazil will be closed.... (Remember that he was sobbing uncontrollably during all this) Brothers and sisters... we NEED to help these churches stay open! What I ask of you, what the Lord asks of you, is that 7000 people, need to each donate 1000 reais (brazilian money) so that we can maintain these buildings open and functioning..." The poor faithful people donated, and a couple weeks later the news showed that this pastor ended up using like 7 million reais to buy two massive farms, which in turn he did some business deal to get a whole ton of other money, and after some more investigation they found that this pastor secretly had like 15 cars, 2 yachts, 3 houses, and a whole lot of other junk, and with this huge scandall the police had to get involved, and ended up seizing like 500 million reais worth of stuff that this guy had bought with the basically stolen money of the members. Yeah.... HOLY MOLY right? It's a crazy story and it's calling a TON of attention everywhere here. Even though it's one of those, "got what you paid for" stories, it's SO sad that so many people were and still will be robbed like this. Anyways, all this made me so so SO much more grateful for the leaders we have. I think a lot of times we don't realized just how important and blessed we are to be able to actually have 100% confidence in what the Prophets and Apostles tell us. I love this church so much, now I just hope that the Lord can lead us to these poor people that must have had their faith all but destroyed with this scandall. Well, that's this week haha. Love you all and hope you guys have a good spring break!! (It's spring break right?) Hurrah for Israel!!!

   -Elder Ballard

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