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, April 25, 2012

Miracle an entire year in the making!!

We don't have a real washing machine in this area,
 so these pants are so dirt-caked that you
 can 'draw' on them with your fingernail haha
Isn't life great? Haha, I think that's one thing I love most about the gospel is when you just step back and realize how immensely blessed we all are. Seriously, I don't think any of us should ever complain about anything haha. And no that comment wasn't sparked as a result of anything... Just thinking out loud :D

  Well, this last week was incredible to say the least. A couple weeks back a member gave us a reference to a lady named Eni (eh-knEE) who's daughter had been baptized about 6 months ago, and who'd been receiving visits from the missionaries for about a year up until now. The member (her name's Vera) is one of Eni's neighbors and has been mentioning the Church and inviting her to activites for about the last 10 years, but nothing has happened. Eni was going to church for a few months straight a while back, but she didn't get baptized cuz she was dating and basically living with this other guy for like 18 years. When Vera told us about this lady, she told us that she felt like now was the time that she'd be baptized. I don't know what it was, but when she told this, I as well felt that it was her time.
  We started teaching her and she accepted the visits but was giving the same type of answer. "Nah, I'm fine going to church every week but I still have this problem with the Law of Chastity, so with baptism.... We'll see." We taught her and taught her, and then during one lesson the Spirit put a scripture into my head that I'd read about 2 or 3 months ago in Sete Lagoas (I don't have my scriptures with me, but it's the one in Alma when he's talking to his son and says basically, "Bridleth thy passions, so that you might be filled with love."). This scripture was one that I'd randomly used in a baptismal interview that I'd done back in 7 Lagoas to help this other guy with some doubts he had about chastity. Anyways, I read the scripture and helped her understand it, and there was this moment when it just clicked, and without us saying anything or asking her anything, she just said, "What you both just told me is true... Even though I've been dating this guy for 18 years, I'm not happy." When that moment hit, she started crying and it was just so visible that the Spirit had finally opened up her understanding and she realized why baptism was so important. She accepted the baptismal invite and decided that she'd do what needed to be done with her boyfriend. This was 2 weeks ago, and she originally was going to be baptized on the 15th, but 2 days before she randomly called us up, cancelled her baptismal interview, and said she'd wait longer to make the decision. Honestly we were both crushed cuz we knew that the Spirit had touched and taught her. She didn't even go to church on sunday, so monday we headed back to see what happened. During the week before the baptism she told us that she'd been feeling great and super spiritual during the whole week, but on friday randomly she started having some doubts, and these doubts basically just snuffed out the Spirit. Without those good feelings, she started to be confused, and ended up opting to not get baptized. As we taught her and talked through things, she started crying again realizing yet again why she needed to be baptized. At one point she said, "You know what, last week I was feeling something that I haven't felt since the day of my marriage 35 years ago, or the days when my 2 children were born... And I need  that feeling. Mark my baptism for this week and I will be baptized." Man, it's been a while since I've cried out here, but man... Just feeling just how bad the Lord wants here to feel that hope and love was incredible.

   To make a long story short, she was interviewed the next day, and last friday, she was baptized as the opener for a Relief Society Dinner. Almost all the Relief Society was there, and the support was just amazing. It was just so incredible seeing how the Lord was working with this lady basically over the last 10 years so that that day could finally happen. Man, it's hard to even explain the feeling that comes after one of these experiences. I went into the bathroom to change out of my wet clothes and I just couldn't stop smiling... It was like this uncontrollable desire to just start laughing haha :) So, that was the highlight of my week, and man I love this work. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. Just hearing how things are doing makes me happy and excited haha. Love you all, have a great week, and soon we'll already be on mother's day won't we? Hurrah for Israel!!!!
    -Elder Ballard

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