Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pictures

Elder Ballif's district. Elder Mendell is to his left.

Elder Ballif titled this picture "my bros". :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Investigator Activity Picking Up

Hey Family!
Well my week was alright. It was transfer week this week and as you probably could have guessed I am still in Bellevue haha. Which is alright with me. 

Robert the atheist is doing well I think. I didn't get to see him this week because I was on exchanges. But apparently he changed his views to agnostic which is a start. We'll keep working with him and he keeps inviting us over so we must be doing something right. Dan is doing really well. He still is getting more swords and things for us to look at when we go over haha. He said next time he'll have to show us his assault rifles. We won't be shooting any though don't worry ;) We're going to try and watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with him so I hope that works out. We talked to him mostly about the Book of Mormon last time. He's really open to it which is great. He wants to read it all the way through and I think he will because he's read the Bible like twice, which is not all small feat so I have high hopes. 

The weather here has been pretty good the past week. It's like 60 today. Which is great because before it was hot and humid. Last year I heard was awful. I think it hit 118 with something like 80% humidity. But this summer has been better thankfully. 

 We still haven't found an apartment to move into but we haven't given up. The ones we have found that would be good don't have any open but I'm sure it'll all get straightened out. The reason why we have to move is because the apartments we're in now require everybody to go through background checks and stuff and that's just not gonna work with missionaries and what not so yeah that's why. Kind of stupid but whatever. 

Hmm well I'll probably go back through parts of the Book of Mormon but right now I really enjoy reading the Bible Dictionary. A lot of cool information in there. 

Oh and we were just informed and part member family wants to start taking the discussions. The Brosman family. The wife is a member but no one else is and they have 3 kids I think. We have an appointment on Saturday so I'm pretty excited. Oh and we received a referral from some other missionaries and they taught him the first lesson and everything went really well they said but they're going to have to turn him over to us so that should be nice. Hopefully things will start going our way haha. 

Well I love you guys! I am really excited to see how BYU does as well. Keep me posted. Oh and I bought the King Kong soundtrack. Last one I promise haha. But seriously it will be. That was the last one I wanted to get. Well that and Star Wars but I think I can live without it. 

I love you guys! Have a great week everyone. 

Happy birthday Jenn!
Love,
Elder Ballif

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Car and Working with Investigators and Splits in Omaha

Hey Family!
My week was pretty good. We don't have any new investigators but we got a car (2013 Toyota Corolla), that was exciting. 

Anyways things have gone pretty well. We didn't get the see Robert the one we gave a blessing, but I'm hoping that we will be able to this week. Holy cow this week is transfer week. Time flies haha. The person I'm still the most excited about it Dan. We watched the Doors of Death talked given in 1992 by Russell M Nielson. He really liked it. He also could start coming to church and he wanted to take us out to lunch and stuff. And not to mention he has a ton of guns and swords that he lets us look at haha. And these aren't cheapo swords either. They're the term that he used "battle ready" so they're super sharp and sturdy. Really really sharp. I was holding one and he said "Yeah that could chop your head off" haha. Yeah anyways we watched that talk and he really enjoyed it. On his teaching records it says he told the missionaries we wasn't interested in converting but I have high hopes. 

And Robert the atheist we have been seeing every Tuesday and he always enjoys having us over but I just hope he can stop thinking everything in terms of science. Well as Bruce R McConkie stated "True science is true religion" I don't think a lot of people understand that. But anyways, we've been seeing him and and he hasn't shut us down or anything. Hopefully we can get to him. Well hopefully the Spirit can. We're seeing him again tomorrow. Well actually I won't be able to since I'm going to Rockbrook (basically central-almost downtown Omaha) on exchanges tonight so that should be fun. Hopefully the meeting with him will go well when I'm not there haha. And Omaha is pretty darn big. Mostly because it's sucked in all of the surrounding places. But yeah the population of it is about 500,000 so it's good in size. 

And yeah the gorilla was awesome. He only charges if you wear a white shirt (silver back) and turn your back (silver back) to him. So yeah if we ever come through here as a family we will have to wear white shirts if we go to the zoo. 

This Pday we're playing basketball again so I'm pretty excited. I love playing basketball and you definitely get a good workout. I need to get a basketball pump at Walmart though but they should be pretty cheap so I think I shouldn't go over. And Dad before I spend money I always check at an atm first now. 

I love you guys. I hope Kim is doing well. I can't wait to meet Clara in 1.5 years. 

And about selling the boat I don't know. It's a fun thing to do but it's not used a whole lot and it is a lot of money. But here's something you guys can do. Pray about it! 

Well I need to get going. Sorry my emails aren't too long. But I don't know at least I get them to you every week ;) I love you guys and can't wait to see you again! Have a great week everybody! 

Oh and one more thing. I finished the Book of Mormon. It's true that's all I know. Love you!
Love,
Elder Ballif

Monday, July 15, 2013

Funny video of the Elders at the zoo


video

Zoo Aftermath and Teaching Experiences

Hey Family!

I am doing pretty well. The Zoo was pretty fun last week. Spending 15 bucks to look at animals was a little much for a missionary but whatever I figured it was something I should do at least once on a mission. The gorilla was awesome though. 

The work is getting better slowly but surely. The lesson with Robert the atheist alright. We got a return appointment for tomorrow so something good must have happened. It was hard though because he didn't have any questions or anything. But whatever we'll be seeing him tomorrow so hopefully he's thought about what we told him. 

Anyways the kid I arm wrestled. He lives in the Bellevue 1st boundaries so we don't get to teach him :( I was excited. But things will work out I'm sure. His name is Joshua but he's native so I guess it's pronounced or maybe even spelled Jesooah. I have no idea. 

But things are going well with Dan. He is in his 40's maybe 50's and we read with him out of the Book of Mormon on Friday. And this Thursday we're going to see him and we're probably going to teach him the Plan of Salvation. He has a lot of questions about seeing loved ones again and it's hard to show him scripturally because it's not mentioned often. 

Speaking of scriptures I am now in Moroni. I'll be finished by next week. 

Anyways I think Dan could have some great potential. I think his wife is Catholic and isn't too fond of Mormons but she's nice to us and everything but she doesn't sit in on lessons. But maybe that'll change. I don't understand how Catholics can say they believe in the Bible when their doctrine has so many contradicting things with it. But whatever people who are religious by tradition probably don't care. 

Oh and we also started teaching this Sudanese guy named Chan Wol Majok. He is super nice but a bit hard to understand. There are a lot of Sudanese people in Nebraska. Chan has been taught before but he kind of fell off the map but we got in touch with him and retaught the Restoration. We also soft set him for baptism so we'll see how that works out. 

And about the guy who we gave the blessing. His name is Robert. He is probably in his 50's and he's awesome. On the night we gave him a blessing he talked to us for like 2 hours haha. He's pretty funny. Anyways he told his Sister who is a member that he really enjoyed and I mean REALLY enjoyed talking to us and wants to talk to us again. So he's coming back to Nebraska (he's doesn't live here I don't think) and is going to see us. 

And Mom thanks for the offer with money and everything. Maybe I'll go buy a soundtrack today if that's alright with you. So just keep an eye out for that. Hopefully there is something good at Walmart haha. I already got the Man of Steel soundtrack so don't you worry about that haha. Well I hope you guys are doing great. 

Things are getting better and I'm definitely getting more comfortable with everything. I love you guys! I'm going to play basketball today so I'm excited! Take care and have a great week everybody!

Love,
Elder Ballif

Monday, July 8, 2013

Going to the Zoo and working to build Investigator Pool

Hey Family!
I have had a pretty decent week. Things are getting a bit better with my companion and I. I'm definitely adjusting. And Dad I'm sure he'll make a change as well seeing how he's going home in 2 months haha. So at the very most I'll be with him for another transfer. And it's getting better so right now I don't care I'm just trying not to think about it and I feel by doing that, my mission will go by faster. 

As far as broadening our teaching pool this week it didn't go so well. But we did set up an appointment with a less active member's son who isn't a member for tomorrow. We'll see where that goes. She says he's atheist but he's 17 so yeah. Also we're going to see Dan again this week so I'm excited about that. And no we not allowed to go on the base. And we're not allowed to proselyte in base housing. Separation of church and state or some stupid thing. But we can still go there if we have an appointment so that's good. 

That's crazy about the Jazz. I did not see that coming. But that makes me excited. Alec Burks finally will have a chance to shine. And Troy Burk sounds like a baller like you said, Dad. 

That's so awesome about Clara! She sure is chubby haha. Too bad I won't get to actually meet her till she's 1.5 years old. But whatevs, the same thing happened with Brynlee and Austin and that seemed to work out. 

Sounds like you guys had a great Independence Day. I wish I could've lit some fireworks but whatever there will be the rest of my life for that in 1.5 years. 

And no my companion is not the DL haha. No way. The Mission President is aware of him. In interviews he told me "I want you to keep a very detailed journal of this time. And when you have as much time left as Elder Mendel I want you to look back on it and look what he did. And don't do that." Hahaha President Weston is a funny guy. 

My reading has been going very well. I'm in Ether and I'm on chapter 6. I really liked the last chapter of Mormon. Moroni. That guy. 

We're going to the Zoo today so that will be loads of fun. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures. And Elder Crozier is going too so I'm going to meet him there so that will be fun. 

Hey guys how was Man of Steel? It has a phenomenal soundtrack that's all I know. 

This week was my first week that I ran into someone that was rather anti. Well I didn't run into he is married to a member. It's so amazing how many things people twist and when they tell you their beliefs, they don't make any sense, whatsoever and they tell you they make perfect sense and that ours don't make any. I kept my cool and it didn't get too heated so that was good. 

And Mom as far as the cool experiences go I don't know. I don't have too many haha. But last night we did give a priesthood blessing to someone that was sick. He wasn't a member but his sister was. Anyways he said he immediately started feeling better and is going to read the Book of Mormon now. It was pretty cool. He was really funny. He hated liberals and just when on an on about it haha. 

 Anyways I'm doing good. I love you guys and I hope you have a wonderful day and week. Love you all! The Redwoods look huge!

P.S.

Oh and here's another experience.

A guy came to Church yesterday (he's my age) and it was his second time coming and he sat right behind us. Anyways he was going to leave and we asked if he was coming to class and he said no. Then I said if I beat you in an arm wrestle you have to come to class. He said ok and guess what? I beat him. And he came to class and actually enjoyed it. And he's going to start meeting with us now! Haha that's a new missionary tactic that I've been working on. He was actually pretty strong and did martial arts come to find out but I someone beat him. Strength of the Lord haha. But he probably will end up not being in our area so we'll have to turn him over :(((((


Love,
Elder Ballif

Monday, July 1, 2013

Things Picking Up in Bellevue

Hey Family!
I hope you have had a great week. Our week hasn't been too shabby. We had met some new people and got in touch with some formers that could possibly work out, I don't know time will tell. And about my companion. It's not that we argue or anything. He just doesn't do anything and I basically have to do everything. It's just pretty stressful. 

And our ride situation has gone to crap because the Zone Leaders are being ridiculous and won't let us ride with the Bellevue 1st Elders because they're not in our zone so I'm having to deal with that. We have interviews with the Mission President so I'll mention something about it. 

But today other than that hasn't been too bad. Yesterday while walking home I found a pair of those headphones that I had that Austin lost, on the ground. Tender mercy haha. I was pretty happy about that. They still work too. 

We met a guy yesterday named Jimmy and he's a brutha. We talked to him for a little and mentioned the BoM and he said no thanks I believe in the Bible. And we talked about how both the BoM and Bible are both the word of God. He seemed pretty interested and took the BoM and invited us back next week. 

 We also have an investigator named Dan and we (I) taught the restoration. He was really open and seemed really interested. He said he should probably read it all the way through. That would be awesome. The lesson went really well and next week we're going to see him again and teach the PoS which should be good because his son died in a shooting mishap not too long ago. He was about my age. So yeah I feel like there is some potential there. 

This week has been a little rough without a car. Hopefully we can get a permanent one soon but if not we're burning some cals. :)

That's awesome about the Jazz. It's about time they do something in the draft haha. 

I'm in Mormon now in my reading so I'm getting there. I'm really hoping these investigators work out. I see great potential with Dan. Hopefully Jimmy will come through as well. 

I love you guys so much! And miss you! Have a great week! And that's exciting about the baby! Tell Kim and Todd congrats. And you better send some pictures!
Love,
Elder Ballif