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!

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Joy is Now Full

Ironically, lunch fell through on my bday haha, so we made
 cuz cuz and ate cake! It was actually quite refreshing.
A member family here bought this ridiculously good cake for
my bday... Man it was perfect, members are the best.
Well my beloved family, it's finally come. After reading your final emails, and listening to your voices, I just can't believe that it's finally here. I honestly and truly can't believe it. This last week was the best last week I could have had, I can now honestly say that my joy is full. Fuller than it's ever been :)

   After over 700 days of the MTC in Provo, UT, Houston, TX, and the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil..... After 20 companions, and 11 areas not counting the MTC... After walking approximately 5,300 miles being made up of approximately 14,283,759 steps... The mission of Elder Redge Michael Ballard is finally coming to it's end. So many memories... So many miracles... It truly is a humbling experience to think of how much the Lord has allowed me to experience over these last two years. This last week was sincerely the best week I've had I feel. I'll explain more to you all in person, but sunday we were blessed with the opportunity to baptize the family of Solange, and her 3 children. This alone makes yesterday unforgettable, but besides that, Felipe once again blessed the sacrament, Ramon passed the sacrament, Maycon passed the sacrament, I was able to bear my last testimony at a Brazilian pulpit... It was an incredible experience. It was truly humbling to give that last testimony... The Spirit testified so strongly, at least to me, that my time is finally ending. I can't even believe how blessed I am to have the testimony that the Lord has given me... Truly truly blessed. I have a lot to do today with suitcases and all the annoying junk, but I just wanted to end my last missionary email home with my testimony that I've gained out here.
    I, Elder Ballard, know that this is the true church on this earth. I know that God is our Heavenly Father, and that he loves us more than we can realize. He is in control of everything that goes on in our lives, and we simply need to follow His counsels if we want to be happy. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer. He truly died and suffered for everything that we have passed through, and all that we still might pass through. It is only by Him that we may be saved, and it's only through His true church that we can serve and follow Him in the correct way. He is perfect, and He wants us to be perfect. I know that the Priesthood is a true power, and that no other power can hinder it, nor God's progress. He and His Priesthood are capable of causing miracles that we can't even imagine are possible. I know that the missionary work of His church is truly inspired. Every missionary's location, time that he or she came to this earth, and time that served a mission, is all part of God's great plan. I know that families can be forever, I have a certainty of this ever since the day that the Spirit testified of this when Brigham became an eternal part of our family. I know the Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon are true, because there is no way that the Spirit could lie about such important things, and there is no way that a 14 year old farm boy could come up with something a incredible and life changing as this gospel. I don't know if I'll ever be able to express my gratitude for this opportunity I've had these last two years to serve especially the people of Minas Gerais and Brazil. As I'm realizing that I'm finally going to go home, it truly is a sad feeling to know that I'll have to leave such an amazing people, but I know that the Lord will always continue to bless them and all of His children. I love this work, I love this Gospel, and I love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For the last time written in an email, I thank each and every one of you that has helped me in whatever way. Prayers, letters, emails, or even thoughts. This work is amazing, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it these last 2 years of my life. God be with all of you until we meet again, this week. I love you all from the deepest part of my heart. Hurrah for Israel!!!!!! Hurrah!! Hurrah! Hurrah!!

   -Elder Ballard
This is the family that bought me the cake, they're so awesome.
Definitely one of the families I'm gunna keep in contact with.
My district here made a cake and I made brownies to celebrate my bday-eve.
 This district was awesome. The two other americans studied at BYU-I :D

This is the incredible Rodrigues family. (Lissandra, Roberto, Jacksom,
and Solange. And me, who is destroyed haha)
 This is why my joy is full. I love these people so so so much.