Monday, March 25, 2013

Sick this Week :(

Hey Family!
I don't have much to talk about since me and my companion were sick for most of the week. I'll go into details I guess but put it into the blog at your own disgression. So we were in and out of the bathroom every 15 minutes - 1 hour and yeah that was just miserable. But I'm over that. It sucks.... But other than that I'm doing fine. 

 I'm about halfway through Mosiah so that's good I guess. We ended up salvaging a decent week and taught 5 lessons on Saturday. 

 But as for Daniel, it's not as easy as he thought, quitting tabacco cold turkey, so we postponed the baptism 2 weeks and I think he can do it. And no we teach them at this place called Resident Suites (really trashy but I think that's where the church pays rent for church welfare people) so yeah it's where they live. Daniel and CC are in their early to mid 30s. Resident suites is a dump though. A lot of drugs and prostitution supposedly and I think it gets raided quite regularly but I haven't seen anything too crazy there. 

 That's great that TDKR came. I'm excited. Sorry for buying those soundtracks on amazon but I do enjoy them quite a bit. The Inception soundtrack is so darn awesome! Transfers were this past week (only 15 more to go!) and they came fast. Elder Harris got transferred unexpectedly to be Zone Leader in Sioux City and I was really chapped about that because I really liked Elder Harris. 

 As for Austin's quote he most definitely did not make that up. Every one says it here haha ;)
Elder Ballif

Monday, March 18, 2013

Setting a Baptismal Date for Daniel Tonight

Hey there family!
My week has been alright. It was a bit slower than last week but it still ended up being not bad. Daniel (Stake President's daughter's husband) is not a member so we are going to set him for baptism tonight! We see them about twice a week and we're still working with him with the tobacco but I know he can do it. 

 I got the music and ties so thank you for that! The Lord of the Rings ones aren't very good quality (my favorite song sounds like it was recorded in a tin can) so yeah I'm going to, if it's alright with you, order them on amazon. Like now. And The Two Towers included. And Inception.Sorry for spending so  much money but it's hard to have some money left over since our members don't feed us often so we have to spend more than we would like on food. I'll be set for my mission with these soundtracks I promise. And if I want something else I'll just get it with my mission card and skip some meals. I'm sorry. But the Dark Knight soundtrack and X-Men are great! Thank you so much for them. And I can't wait for TDKR. It's too bad it's taking so long because I could have just boughten it at Hastings very easily. But whatever I can wait... But not for LOTR ;) 

 I finally got to Mosiah in the BoM (which I hear from my companion is awesome especially with missionary work) so I'm definitely excited to read through that. All of the Isaiah parts in Nephi were really confusing but I got through them haha. 

 I love you guys so much and I'm excited to probably have a baptism soon! It'll be fun! You guys are so amazing and you help me out so much and I'm so grateful for that! I know this is where I need to be and I'm learning and growing so much out here! I'm sorry for being kind of a butt head about church stuff before I came out. I definitely did not have a testimony but out here it's growing everyday! I love you guys!
Elder Ballif

Monday, March 11, 2013

Taught 13 Lessons

Hey Family!
Yeah my week was pretty good I guess. We had a 13 lesson week which is pretty darn good for this area. But of course that involved some less active visits but whatever they need help too. Well the stake president's daughter and her fiancee I told you about last week are actually married now as of like 2 weeks ago (yeah it was really quick) and I think I included that detail in the email last week ;) Things are going really well with them though. Daniel is a really good guy. If we find out he's not a member which I think is likely, then I'm pretty sure he will get baptized fairly soon. He needs to quit chewing tabacco though but he is already aware of that and I know he can do it because he'll have the Lord helping him. We watched the Restoration video with them last Monday and talked about it with them and we're meeting with them again tonight so that should be fun. 

We also soft set a guy for baptism named Gary. He's a little older and we're not quite sure if he's all of the way there but whatever I guess that doesn't really matter. And we have a baptism on the 20th of April for a lady that couldn't get baptized with her husband because she was on parole but that's going to be taken care of on April 12th I guess. 

I still haven't finished the Book of Mormon, but I'm getting there. When I was in the MTC (I didn't like the MTC very much) I just read it to read it but just recently at a zone training we had a part that strongly emphasized being "passionate" about The Book of Mormon so I've tried to actually read and take in the words instead of just having them be forgotten right after they're read. I really liked 2 Nephi 29. It was really cool to me as I read it. My companion is really into deep doctrine also so I hear some of that which is really cool but I won't blow your minds just yet. My companion is really smart. I guess he was Valedictorian (or whatever) but he also knows how to have fun with I definitely really like. Having fun out here and laughing has been super important for me at least because I don't know if I could have really made it this far without the companion I have. 

This has been very tough for me but I'm getting the hang of it now and I am improving as a teacher but I also need to speak up a little more. I still have a lot of work to do and I still have a lot of time left and I'm going to try to make the best of it. I love you guys! Stay safe!
Elder Ballif  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Starting Bible Study With a Less Active Member

Hey everybody!
I've had a pretty decent week. We had Stake Conference on Sunday and found out that in the future there will be 2 sets of missionaries per ward now in every mission (or so they made it seem) I don't know how I feel about that and my companion isn't too happy about it. I mean it's already hard to find things to do here and having more missionaries will make it even harder. But whatever I'm sure it'll all work out. I just found out why we don't go to rich neighborhoods here a few days ago.  (surprisingly there are 2 pretty nice neighborhoods but we don't go there ever). NO ONE cares what you have to say if they're already doing well. And even then not many people care here that do need help. There are a lot of people that think they don't need to hear from us because they already have a religion. And the members also could definitely help us more. We don't really get any referrals but whatever tracting isn't too bad. It's just really ineffective. And we try to stay away from doing tracting too much here because of that. There are A LOT of less actives here so we drop by and check on a lot of them since the home teaching situation here is not that great. But it is improving. The Ward Mission Leader is working hard to help us out and it's slowly getting better. 

I guess I do have a alright story. The Stake Presidents daughter was not making the right choices and was not in a good situation. Anyway she met this guy (he also wasn't making many of the right choices) but they just got married (after like only a week but he's a really good guy and much better than who she was with) But he got her out of her situation and they want to meet with us every week and have a "Bible Study" and work with them on getting them off tobacco, alcohol and smoking and they want to eventually have a temple marriage which is cool. I'm not sure if the guy is a member cause he's really vague but we would be happy to baptize him haha. 

Anyways I hope you guys have had great weeks. That's too bad that the music didn't get sent out I was pretty excited to get it but I can wait a bit longer. And yes mom I got the shoes and thank you so much for sending them. Oh and If Austin wouldn't mind that would be awesome if I could get his GPS. But only if it's already with him. Stuff here is so confusing because there's nothing to base your direction off of since there isn't the luxury of mountains. I'll get the hang of it though. I love all of you guys!
Elder Ballif