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!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last Zone Conference w/ President Parrella = Incredible experience.

Let me just say that zone conferences are extremely inspired to happen exactly when missionaries (namely me) are needing it :) Man this week was amazing.

- The last picture with President and Sister Parrella. I sure love these guys.

This last week we had our last zone conference with President Parrella, and wow was it incredible. I'll show everyone my notes that I took some day, but I'll just share a few highlights here. Probably the biggest lesson I learned last thursday was about the nature of this mission. Lots of times with the day by day worries and schedule and all, this mission starts to be come "normal" for me. Obviously you still see miracles and love helping people, but after a while you just start getting used to the way it all works. President Parrella was talking again about that prayer he had and felt the Spirit explain, "This isn't your work, it's mine. Go to work, work until the end, and then go home." Even hearing it again it still called my attention and I started realizing what the really means. I started realizing that a lot of times, me, and other missionaries as well as our families, think of this mission as some sort of a trade off. Obviously a very righteous trade off, something like, "If I work my tail off and help a lot of people and families be baptized and stay firm, the Lord will bless me with a great wife, good studies, good work, life will be awesome!!" And yes, all these desires are awesome. But, as I was thinking about it, I'm not on this mission so that I can have a good rest of my life. I'm on my mission cuz God is allowing me to take part in this great work. There's a scripture in the new testament that says that if we don't open our mouths to teach the truth, God will send the rocks and stones to do it for Him. So I realized that just as President felt, this isn't my work, and the Lord is blessing me with this opportunity. I'm not doing Him a favor, He is blessing me with these two years. I also realized that this applies for our lives here on the earth. If we think of this life as a trade off to gain eternal life, I don't think we'll be able to get the most out of it. As I was thinking, I realized that the purpose of this life isn't to gain our own exaltation, the purpose of this life is to help others gain their exaltation. That's why missionary work, temple work, home teaching, service, the Priesthood, all of this is focused on others! It's not that we'll forget about our own personal salvation, but if we focus on helping other people gain theirs, our personal exaltation will be an automatic consequence!! It's something so simple but made such a big difference for me. So in the same way, I'm not on this mission to help myself have a better rest of my life, but focusing on helping others will automatically help me become a person that will be able to obtain the kind of life that I want. Man this gospel is so beautiful in such a simple way isn't it?
  I'm running out of time so I'll have to share some other insights next week or something, but boy was this week good. President Parrella will end his mission on the 30th of june, and during conference they showed us a video of President and Sister Fortunato getting their mission call, and explaining how excited they are to come to this mission, and they look like awesome people. I also finally got your guys's package, so thanks a ton, it's all the stuff that I was needing :) Well, I love this gospel and I love you all! I'm so happy and grateful to be on this mission, it's such a precious time for me to grow. Thanks for all your prayers and support!! Hurrah for Israel!!!
   -Elder Ballard

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