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!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Transfer time! On to Varginha!!

There goes another area and another companion already haha... President sure likes to juggle missionaries :D 
  Mom -I have heard gossip as well about elders using ipads in the future instead of the good old fashioned Area Books, and we'll see what happens. Ha, it's obviously years and years away from happening here in Brazil, but maybe it'd actually work out with american elders who have cars and stuff. I did in fact understand what you retold about Satan shoving obedience on all of us. It was his plan in the pre-existence, and continues until today. Everyone always thinks that obedience will tie us down, and if you aren't doing it with the right mind set or open heart, it really does feel like it holds you down. I've really learned that with the rules in this mission. This mission is super strict with rules and I love it haha.
    Well, this last week was a great one. That family that we were working with is progressing really well. The son, Carlos, went to the EFY dance (the youth had EFY like a month ago, so he went to Belo Horizonte with the ward youth) and really liked it. Lamely enough, the dad had an emergency at his work place so he had to take Carlos and Beatrise to work with him, so the baptism didn't happen on sunday. It was a bummer that it didn't happen, but we remarked them to be baptized on the 1st, in between the two sessions. Everything was going as planned, they are all reading the Book of Mormon, stopped drinking coffee, and then out of nowhere on Monday, President calls with yet another transfer call :P Haha, told me that I'd be getting transfered to a city called Varginha (Var-JEAN-yuh) which is about 5 hours by bus away from Belo Horizonte. E. Carneiro was also transfered so we had to pass this family on to the two new elders that would be coming into our area. Even though I would have loved to stick around and watch them be baptized, I'm just happy that they WILL be baptized. When we said goodbye to them they were super firm about saying that they will be getting baptized and they'll send me the picture.
   So that's why I didn't send email yesterday, we got to BH from Sete Lagoas at like 9 in the morning, went to a training session, went back to the bus station (it's the bus version of an air port haha) and sat around until 2:30, grabbed our bus, and arrived here in Varginha at 8 pm. My new comp is named Elder Leite de Sousa (leite means milk btw haha, cool middle name eh?) and he's from São Paulo and is just barely starting his mission. It's kinda funny as we talked on the bus and up until now, cuz it's so crazy to think that since Brazilians only stays in the MTC for 21 days, a month ago he was still a normal person sitting in his house with his family :D At the point where I'm at, that pre-mission life thing is SO distant feeling. Family, home, the US, Austin probably knows what I'm talking about that it all just feels like a dream. I'm really excited to work with him though. He's got a super strong desire to be obediente and work hard, so we're gunna just work our tails off and start his mission off good. This morning was the first time we saw out area in the daylight, and I'm really excited. Tons of people, tons of houses, the Branch President told us there's about 120,000 habitants, so it's gunna be an adventure!! It's also a branch which I absolutely love. With conference being this weekend, the rule here is that saturday you can only watch the sessions if you have investigators, so keep me in your prayers that we can take a LOT of investigators to church this weekend :) Especially with the scandalls and crud going on with other churches, I'm so excited to help these people have the relief of hearing true Prophets and Apostles. Well, I don't have a whole lot else to report, I don't really know much about the area yet, only that this city is always called "The ET City", it appears that years back there were alien sightings here or some garbage like that haha, they even have a big UFO monument in the middle of the city, I'll try to snap a pic. Well, love you all! Hope that you all enjoy conference and have a good rest of March. Hope Shandee had a happy bday! Can't believe she's already 12... Thanks for your prayers and love everyone! Hurrah for Israel!!!
    -Elder Ballard

(picture of the family): Sadly the mom of this family was working so we didn't even get to say a real goodbye to her :( But man I loved this family. If they could speak english they'd be such a perfect match for our family :D The dad, Alysom (Al-ee-son) is 42 and works with furniture restoration (Dad's match), the mom Eliana (Ell-ee-anna) is 40 and is like a spiritual power house (even before baptism haha), Beatrize (Bee-uh-trees) is 17 (Nat's match), Carlos is 15 (Tan and Keat), Alice (Ah-lee-see) is 12 and reminds me a ton of Shandee, and Danilo (Dah-knee-low) is 6 (Brig)... Crazy how that all turns out huh? -
This is Elder Leite de Sousa. He's like the first
 brazilian I've seen with reddish tinted hair

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