Monday, September 30, 2013

Another Baptism - Jaime and Chris received Priesthood

Hey Family!

I hope everyone is doing well. Our week was not bad. Not as good as last week but still not terrible. :) I've had worse weeks, is what I'm trying to say. 

Basically the only highlights I have are the baptism and Chris getting the priesthood. So the baptism. The girls name is Jaime and she has been investigating for almost 6 years. I don't know all the details but it was hard for her to finally make the decision. I think she has had a testimony of the Book of Mormon this whole time. Anyways I performed the baptism and let me tell you I was nervous. She was really scared as well and has a lot of anxieties. It took her a few minutes to finally come down into the font because she was so scared but she did eventually and everything went well. First try thankfully. 

I was praying so much that final hour up until the baptism for no mess ups and my prayers were answered. Even though more often than not the baptism is on the first try, I didn't have a good track record ;) 

But anyways yes she was confirmed yesterday and she was super nervous for that even though all she had to do was sit down. But hey I'm sure it was a little nerve racking. Elder Belnap and I helped in the confirmation. Well just stood there with our hand on her head but it went well. 

And then after church I was thrown a curve ball. I wasn't expecting it, but Chris wanted me to confer the priesthood upon him. So yeah I did that. I was pretty nervous for that as well seeing how I always am for things of that matter. Blessings are scary. I rely on myself a bit too much and I need to get better at that. But I'm sure I will. 

Well anyways those were the 2 main highlights. Nothing else has really stood out. That new investigator, Nixon, is planning on coming to church soon. Oh and Chan has come to church 2 weeks in a row so that is pretty awesome. I was not expecting that. 

We weren't able to see Annie at all this week since her apartment flooded, but we set up something for tonight so hopefully that works out. 

Robert is doing better and is finally starting to pray on his own and is reading and we told him to watch some specific conference talks. We'll see if he did, this week. Well suppose we could always text him. 

Hopefully this week things work out a bit more. 

That's good about the BYU game. Hopefully Hill can continue to improve on his accuracy. And I told you Dad. Hine is the man. ;) 

And I'll get there in the Bible. Eventually. It'll be awhile since we're still supposed to focus on the BoM. 

Well I haven't gotten Mom's email yet, and I need to go but that's alright. I'll get to read it eventually. :)

Well I love you everyone! 

Have a great week!
Elder Ballif


Stealth Bomber

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bellevue Picking Up

Hey Family!

I hope everything is going well for everyone. Things have been pretty good this week. In fact we hit 21 lessons which is now my new record for the mission. And may be for quite some time. But it was good. Everyone is doing well. 

Chris will be receiving the priesthood this coming Sunday so that should be pretty exciting. He says he is nervous but he'll be alright. That's so weird to me that he is only 3 years older than me and is married and has 3 kids. He just got started early I guess. But he is doing good. We're planning on taking him to the trail center soon (Winter Quarters) so that should be a good experience. 

And Annie. She is doing good. Well her apartment flooded and what not so that kind of sucks and she's still going through some trials but we taught her the Word of Wisdom and things seem to be going good on that. She was smoking a pack and a half a day but now she's down to 10 cigarettes a day. Which is a great improvement. 30 to 10 in a few days. I think. I'm not exactly sure how many are in a pack. 

And yes the baptism did go well. I'm going to be performing a baptism this Saturday as well. That should be a good experience. Things are picking up here in Bellevue. We got 2 new investigators this week and a few potentials. Oh and Chan finally came to church. It's about time haha. 

Other than that we're still working with all of our investigators but time will tell if they start progressing more. My favorite one, Dan George hopefully will start reading the BoM soon. I know that's what he needs to do but it has been difficult to get him to. Hopefully that'll change soon. 

  And yeah that is too bad about BYU. I was kind of half expecting it actually. Bronco sucks at getting his players fired up. And yeah I don't think it was so much that Anae was good than it was that they had some really good quarterbacks. 

And the voice recorder is great. I haven't missed a day for my journal now. I think you guys will appreciate that when I get home. I feel bad for not starting it earlier but what can you do? One thing though, my card keeps saying it's declined. But it has worked at other places. I don't know it's weird. I'll check it at an ATM or something and if insufficient funds aren't the culprit I can call that number and fully activate it or something if that's the problem. 

 I hope you guys are having a great anniversary! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Elder Ballif 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Baptism for Chris

Hey Family!
Things are getting better and better here in Bellevue. Things are going great with Elder Belnap and I'm really enjoying serving with him. I have been laughing a lot more since serving with him which I suppose is a good thing. 

Well I guess I'll jump right into talking about the baptism. It went great. I gave a talk on baptism which was fitting. Everything went well and he was happy. I was too. 

Well Chris is doing good. And I forgot to get a picture with his whole family but I did get one with him. I work on the family picture next week ;) 

And right after the baptism we taught a guy from South Africa (not Sudan) and we set him for baptism. He seems pretty solid actually. We're excited about that. He's set for November 23rd but that could change we'll see. 

And Annie wasn't able to make it to church but she had a legit reason. She got in a car accident and her car was totaled but and her parents got her a car so she went and picked that up. So things seem to be getting a bit better for her which is good. We are going to see her tonight so I hope that goes well. She has been reading the Book of Mormon so I'm excited for her. Maybe we'll get her set for baptism. 

Everybody else is doing well. I need to get going so sorry guys. Kind of lost track of time since other missionaries came here with us.

Oh and Mom the weather here is great. It has been 60-75 this past week and today the high is like 70. It was 58 when we woke up and it felt great.

Well I love you guys! I hope everyone is doing well!

Oh and Elder Belnap is from Cedar Hills Utah ;)

Elder Ballif

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Companion Elder Belnap and Things picking up

Hey Family!
I hope everyone had a good week. My week was pretty good. Actually the best week in the Bellevue 2nd area. The moment when Elder Mendel leaves, go figure. 18 lessons. 9 since Elder Belnap, my new companion got here. So yeah I'm not training or anything, not in leadership, but still just serving. Belnap is actually going home pretty soon. 2 transfers. The same amount of time Mendel had when I got with him. But Belnap is a better missionary and I have a lot more in common with him so it has been much more enjoyable. And he actually talks. So yeah it has been good. 

We were able to see basically everyone this week except Robert but whatever we'll get him this week. Seeing Dan went really well. He was asking a lot of questions about baptism, which was really cool and we're hoping that things progress from there. He is really intrigued about everything and I'm excited to see how it goes. We got all of the things taken care of for Chris as far as his baptism goes. 1 on Saturday. It'll be good. The Ward Mission Leader is baptizing him, but I am giving a talk. It should be good. 

Steve is doing good. He is a little nervous to come to church but we'll keep working with him. Annie is doing well. She is planning on coming to church this week which I am excited for. We have a few potentials that we will see how they pan out. 

Oh and mom I was not able to get a voice recorder because my card expired. I cannot use the home card anymore. So if you can send me a new one or just order a voice recorder online from amazon or something and have it sent straight to my apartment (3804 370 Plaza #14 Bellevue NE 68123) that would be great. Or if we do the card route I can get one at Walmart or something. But I think it would be worth it. 

That's awesome about BYU! I wish I could've watched it. I believe Taysom Hill will improve on passing over time. Even when not passing well, it sounds like he's better than Riley ;) 

Thank you for all that you do! I love all of you! I need to get going. We're playing basketball as usual. I'll get pictures of the baptism. LOVE YA!
Elder Ballif

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Getting New Companion -- Training?

Hey Family!
How's everybody doing? I'm doing pretty good. I dropped off Elder Mendel to the Mission office this morning. It's officially over. ;) There were some good moments and definitely things I learned these past 3 months. Holy crap it's been 3 months. Anyways I was under the impression that I was going to be staying with the Cottonwood Elders whom I love dearly. But I guess they didn't get the memo and I'm with another missionary who's companion went home, for the time being. I wasn't too happy because I was super excited about being with the Cottonwood Elders but whatever it's only for 3 days. 

My temporary companion's name is Elder Smith. Seems to be a good missionary. He does seem to be a little bit uptight about things, but whatever it'll be good for me. 

So I'll found out who my new companion is on Thursday and I will be getting him on Friday. Chances are I'll likely stay in Bellevue but crazier things have happened. 

One nice thing about Elder Smith I've noticed already is that he actually talks! haha. It really is nice knowing that you have someone that will have your back talking in lessons and vice versa. I've been on my own for far too long. But it was good for me and I'm probably going to get more of the same if I'm training this next transfer which is what the word on the street is. I'll try to be prepared for anything though. Always expect the unexpected. Especially when you have someone that sees the bigger picture making the decisions. 

Our investigators are doing good. Chris IS getting baptized on the 14th at 1 PM. I'm actually pretty nervous. I have no idea what I'm doing as far as coordinating things go. But I'm sure I'll get help from the Ward Mission Leader and what not. Chris actually came and played basketball with us on Monday. It was really fun as usual. I wish I could play more often than once a week but whatever, one of the many sacrifices ;) 

We unfortunately weren't able to see Steve this past week but we'll keep trying. I'm pretty positive he's not avoiding us. He's a good guy. And Chan. We invited Chan over to Brother Harris' house, who is a recent convert, and we were thinking since Chan is not very well versed in the English language that it would be better if we could play the scripture stories made for children (haha) for him so it would be more simple for him and use a simpler way of talking. It seemed to go pretty well and we'll how he progresses. 

Something I'm really excited about is that we got Robert to come to church! It was great  to see him there. I hope he had a good time and a good experience. We'll be seeing him sometime later this week. 

Well anyway until next week haha. You guys are all looking great! Thanks for all of the pictures. I miss you all so incredibly much but I know I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do. 

And Jenn don't worry about not being so diligent in your writing to me because you're busy. Let me tell you I know how that is. I can barely get one email out here and it's generally not too detailed at that. 

Well anyways I love you guys! Have a great week everybody! That is disappointing about BYU. Hopefully some adjustments can be made but I know how that goes for BYU. 

One thing I wanted to ask for is a voice recorder. I have not been diligent in writing in my journal and it's something that I would like to have for people when I get home. Even for me. I would like talking how my days went a lot better than writing. Only problem is a fairly nice one is like 50 bucks. Just something to think about. 

Stay safe everyone!

Elder Ballif