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 7, 2012

Reality's starting to hit home... Hard.

Tis really weird thinking how conference is already just around the corner... Seems like we just barely had the last one in October.

  This past week we had 2 days of zone conference, and boy oh boy... It was kinda a startler. The meeting was pretty normal, super spiritual and very motivating. The thing that really took me off guard though was how first of all, looking around at the other missionaries, the ones that I know really well are becoming extinct. There are SO many new missionaries here that I'm realizing that I'm becoming an oldie on the mission, and I feel like it's a huge "already?" Sheesh. One of my good missionary friends Elder Costa went home on monday to go to college, and especially with these Brazilians that weren't ever my comps or anything, it's kinda sad realizing that I probably won't see them again :( At least for a very very long time... Who knows. But then at the end of our conference yesterday we all sang Called to Serve, and just hearing the voices of a good 70 or 80 elders belting "Somos hoje conclamados a servir" really touched me. I talked to the Elder Randall that Austin's friend knows, and he'll be finishing in 2 weeks... He was like one of the first american elders I saw here in Brazil so shoot... it was a wake up call that this mission isn't gunna last forever :( Thinking about how I've already been out for 18 months, it just kills me thinking how I won't have the time that I really want to just work my heart out. President Parrella gave a super strong talk about how important it is to live in the now. He explained how the past already happened, and yes we need to learn lessons from what already happened. He talked about how the future hasn't even happened yet, we don't even know what it'll be like. Then he explained how the NOW is what will determine how our past continues, and what our future will become. He made an amazing promise with us saying how if we stop thinking about what we'll study, where we'll work, who we'll become, who we'll marry and etc. and just focus on the now and how we can fulfill our purpose right now, that the Lord will provide studies, work, opportunities, the right wife, everything for us. It hit me really really hard just how important that is... And even though the way time passing scares me, I realized that nothings gunna change the way it passes, but for the rest of my future I'll always be able to look back on the past and remember what I did with my now. Haha, kinda confusing, but either way it just made me get a renewed fire to seek out and find God's children who are prepared and waiting for this gospel, because there are SO many out here. Even though i'm getting a little scared about my mission, I'm so determined to just burn it up out here. My desire to work is growing every day, and my little lazinesses that I used to have (ex. liking the 3 hour bus rides to Itabira cuz it was some time to sleep) have turned into a desire to simply work and save the Lord's sheep (ex. I HATE busrides now cuz it wastes time when I could be working haha) I love my mission so much... I couldn't ask for a better time of my life or a more miracle-full life in general. I love the Lord and His gospel. Things are great here and I hope that all is well for you all as well. Hurrah for Israel!!! Hurrah hurrah hurraaah!!!

   -Elder Ballard

bit o' Brazil -

  So I think i've done like 2 of these bits of Brazil... but I had a funny one this week. The peep holes that you put on your front doors, here are called "olho mágico", which being translated means "Magic Eye" Haha, peepholes are nice, but I don't think they're THAT cool. :P

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