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, August 14, 2012

The truth keeps marching on!

Oh the joys of being a missionary! It's kinda weird having a pday already, my brain has been totally locked into the Wednesday thing for like 19 months or so, so it was kinda a shocker to wake up today for a pday haha. But, it's kinda a fun change to have for these next few weeks. 

Dad - I agree about the weird feelings you're talking about... I was talking with an RM here yesterday and he talked about how on the mission you end up feeling like time never stops flying by, but also you don't feel like it'll ever end. I can't get my head around the idea of stuff like, "A month from now I'll be doing---" cuz I honestly don't feel like it'll end still haha. So weird... But oh well, like you said, I'm just working on ignoring it all, cuz it doesn't even seem like anything is gunna change. With my new president, I'll try to explain how it's been. When President Parrella arrived here 3 years ago, there was a TON of rule breaking and literally a lot of sin. President Parrella had to really bring the hammer down with really strict rules, and over the 3 years he like purged the mission of all the crud that was going on. So now that President Fortunato arrived, the mission is in a very smooth and right state of mind, so he's been able to loosen up on a few things cuz he knows that the missionaries here are at least trust worthy. The changes he's making are gunna make incredible things happen... I just hope that I can experience some of the changes while I'm still here.

 So, news from this side of the world is that President Fortunato is putting a MUCH bigger focus on working with members, and wow it's been awesome. Members always seem to ask you how much time you have on the mission, and now that everyone knows that I'm gunna end my mission here in Aeroporto, they're all... let's say honored to be the "resting place" for a missionary, and the ward here is ending up as kinda a family for me. During the rest of my mission we haven't had that big of a connection with the members and all, so it's been a lot of fun to get to know the families here. The guy who was bishop before the current one went with us to visit members that he knows who had fallen away with time, and we ended up finding this awesome couple with 2 kids who hadn't gotten baptized cuz they aren't legally married (still... dang brazilian marriage costs and hassle ><) but we "reactivated" them and they went to church this week! They have a little 2 month old daughter, and as you can guess... It made me hungry to see Arlee hahaha... She's already so ridiculously cute, and to imagine here in a few weeks? Good heavens it's exciting :) We're still learning new techniques and changing the way we work a lot, but I'm really excited to see the results.

  In all honesty it's kinda crazy cuz I'm super excited to see how much better the work will go with these new ideas and rules and stuff, but in the back of my head I know that it'll take a while for these results to happen... And that "a while" will be longer than 3 or 4 weeks... It's a really bitter sweet feeling cuz I love helping the kingdom of the Lord be more and more established here in BH, but at the same time the Spirit makes me feel and realize that after these next few weeks, my duty is going to be different. It's really weird to imagine that stuff really will change here in the future. I'm dedicated and decided to work my tail off to the very last minute, but it sure is weird to know that I'm not gunna be able to do this amazing work for THAT much longer. I'm just trying to get everything out of every minute that I can... Just as Mom has said how Aust misses Brazil, I'm certain that I'm gunna have that exact same reaction. I love this place... I'm beginning to realize stuff here that doesn't exist there, that I love... And now I'm just trying to run around and get the stuff that I want to bring home haha. Kinda hectic, but luckily on days other than pday I can forget about all the little stuff and just go to work. Thanks for all your prayers, emails, and thoughts. I'm so grateful for these last 23ish months that I've had out here... It's just incredible to me how much I've learned, and I'm certain that I'll learn a lot more these next few weeks. Love you all! Hurrah for Mighty Israel!!!

    -Elder Ballard

This is our excitement of using 2 computers at the same time!

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