Monday, February 25, 2013

Pictures from Elder Ballif

Elder Ballif’s MTC zone:
IMG_0061[1]Elder Ballif and his MTC companion, Elder Scott:
IMG_0123[1]With Elder Vargas (New Jersey Mission), a missionary he became friends with in the MTC:
IMG_0093[1]Elder Ballif’s MTC district:

Pictures from Nebraska!

Elder Ballif’s apartment in Grand Island:
IMG_0198[1]IMG_0200[1]A Catholic church that is a few blocks away from Ryan’s apartment.
IMG_0203[2]Ryan’s companion, Elder Crozier (left); Elder Harris (right); Elder Jacobson (in back) at a member’s house doing laundry.
IMG_0204[1]The Winter Quarters Temple:

Big Snow Storm and Things going a little slow

Hey Family!
My past week was alright--there was a pretty big snow storm on Thursday so that definitely slowed the work down in what is an already slow area. Well pretty much a slow mission. People here are definitely content and if they already have a religion (they usually do) they usually don't really want to hear what we have to say. But I'm sure itll get better. 

Thanks so much for getting that stuff sent out to me! I'm excited. Josh Groban just isn't doing it for me right now. 

Tell mom sorry for not responding to here email personally. It's hard to email everybody cause I already take the longest for emailing. 

Well the thing that confuses me is that people are fine with how they are. I guess people just like living off the government here. I know I'll learn to like it though. My companion wasn't too fond of it when he got here but now he likes it. Well he says he loves the area but sometimes the people bug him. 

The area really is pretty nice. I hope you guys have a great week and don't watch too much TV ;) You certainly don't have to worry about that with me. Well I have seen some TV and about 20 minutes of Call of Duty (we just watched) at a part members house. Stay safe! I love you guys and miss you!
Elder Ballif

Monday, February 18, 2013

First Week in 1st Area - Grand Island

Hello Family.
Yeah Grand Island is about 2 and a half hours away from Omaha with a population of about 50000. It's split up into 3 wards. I'm in the first ward and the poorer part of town. Just in case you didn't catch it fully, my address is 1304 W. Anna Street #B, Grand Island, Nebraska 68801

Grand Island is alright. I mean I still definitely need to get used to it. There are a lot of.. how you say... white trash people here. A lot of smokers, and former or current drug addicts. Also rednecks I guess could be another term. I can't understand a word they say sometimes. There's an older member that sounds like that grandpa on Napoleon Dynamite talking about shishoni arrowheads so that's always fun to hear him talk. 

The lady below us in the apartments definitely smokes weed, because it smells pretty darn bad usually every night out in the hallway. But yeah my P-day has been pretty good so far I guess. Me and my companion, whose name is Elder Crozier, went to a members house and did laundry earlier today and then went to Walmart and got some tish for the week. Now we're at the Library so that's been a blast. 

Grand Island and Nebraska in general is a very slow mission. People are not very receptive here despite hearing they were before I came. I hear the average amount of baptisms is 8 for an entire mission here. And my companion already has 8 and has only been out 5 months. But it seems it's going to slow down for a little bit. We need to find some new investigators for now because the ones we have currently are not too great. 

We taught 4 lessons on my first day so that was good. But yeah this place is definitely a lot different than Utah. But I just need to get used to it. I like my companion a lot. He pretty darn funny and makes this mission quite enjoyable. 

I had a pretty strong spiritual experience the first day teaching the Restoration to this lady named Sam on my first day. She is going through some tough times both spiritually and temporally and just isn't happy and I had her read Mosiah 2:41 and she started crying and I felt the spirit pretty darn strong. 

I'm doing good. The Relief Society President here is awesome. Her name is Sister McCain. I'm going to go play some basketball soon at the YMCA here so that should be quite fun. Until next time.
Elder Ballif

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Leaving the MTC and Traveling to Nebraska Today

Ryan was able to call and talk to mom and dad briefly while he is in route to Nebraska today. He said that overall he had a good time in the MTC, although he is ready to go now and do real missionary work. He did not care for the long classes, but enjoyed feeling the spirit and really enjoyed teaching fake investigators--as he said he always felt the spirit as they were able to teach.

Of course he asked how the Jazz were doing and how some of his favorite players were doing.

He did have one neat experience he shared. He just received a new camera from home and another Elder in his district accidentally dropped it and it stopped working. I guess the Elder that dropped Ryan's camera comes from limited circumstances and would find it very difficult if he had to replace the camera. Ryan tried to fix it ( Ryan is very good mechanically ), but could not. His whole district felt bad about what had happened and they decided to pray that Ryan could fix it. Right after the prayer Ryan tried again and was able to fix it and they all felt it was an answer to their prayer.

 He is excited to get to Nebraska and get to work. He sends his love and thanks everyone for their support!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Second week in the MTC

Well I only have one week left here in the MTC. My flight is next Tuesday at 10:19 in the morning. I have about an hour and a half layover in Denver, but will arrive in Nebraska at about 2:45 Mountain Time. Be expecting a call anywhere from 8-9:30 in the morning. Thanks for that birthday box. The white shirts are nice. I just need to wash them which I will do after emailing. I'm learning so much here and it really hasn't been that bad. If people say this is the worst part of the mission I can definitely make it. I'd rather be in Nebraska right now but the MTC certainly isn't bad. I have classes for 6 hours everyday except P-day and Sunday. I'm pretty excited to get out in the field! I have gym (basketball) time everyday I have class time so thats been fun. It's going by pretty fast now that I'm getting the hang of it. I hope you guys are having a wonderful day. And I hope you've been having a wonderful 2 weeks. I'm sure this 2 years will fly by. I miss you guys.