Monday, December 30, 2013

Great To Talk on Christmas

Hey Family!

Well I'm glad everyone had a great Christmas. I definitely enjoyed talking to all of guys even though it made me slightly homesick. But I'm over it haha. Well not to say I don't miss you guys but I am back into the swing of things. ;)

The rest of my week went pretty well. We
 were able to take Tom to the trail center and walked around the temple grounds so that was very nice. He seemed to enjoy it but he's a fairly hard guy to read. But we did commit him to baptism on the 8th of February and he committed to read the entire Book of Mormon by that time. We got him the gospel library app as well, which I think will expedite the process. The ball is in his court.

There also has been
 this less active member we've been trying to see the past several months and we have a few times but it seems like avoids us, but we saw him this week and he opened up. He said usually when he doesn't answer the door it's because he's drunk and he thinks it's disrespectful to subject us to that. We also had a good talk about church and the gospel and his friend who is agnostic was also there. It was a very good discussion and I had a good time. His name is John Peoples. I think he has a bigger testimony than he thinks. And he also said he knows he needs to make it to church and he said he plans on it very soon.

We also got on the subject of basketball and he said he was an
 all state point guard in high school and that he had 48 points in the State Championship game and he said he can also dunk it. And he's 5'11. And white. ;) Anyways he said he is going to come play basketball with us today. So that should be a treat haha. If he is that good, hopefully he doesn't make us look that stupid.

I miss all of you guys!

Going to play some basketball, soon. And still have some other emails I need to work on. I love all of you guys even though I may not show it always. Sorry for that. Have a great and safe week!

Much Love,
Elder Ballif

Monday, December 23, 2013

Elder Collins Sick, Excited to Talk on Christmas

Hey there family!

I hope everyone has had a great week. My week was alright. Elder Collins got sick for a little bit of it so we didn't get as much done as planned. But we were finally able to see Annie this week. For some reason it's very hard to do so. That was the first time in over a month. Things have improved for her but it's still not perfect. But it never is. She still is smoking 1-3 cigarettes a day but it's still a big improvement from 1-2 packs a day. 

And we were going to see that guy where we accidentally knocked his door thinking it was someone else this weekend but that's when Elder Collins was sick so we did not get to do that. But we definitely will see him this week. 

So to answer some questions I have no clue as to what the exact time will be for Skype. I can probably give you guys a call when I know more. 

And thanks for getting the memory stick. That'll be a lot nicer having all my music on that. And yes my shaver did arrive. Thank you guys. It seems like a pretty nice one. 

And thanks everyone for everything else you've sent. I did get some cards including your card. And I will be going to Subway several times now haha. I still need to think of something to use that money you sent for. 

All the kids are looking cute. I can't believe Cameron is already 7 and a half. That's pretty darn crazy. 

But yeah our investigators are doing good I suppose. We didn't get to see everyone we planned on, Tom included so I'll probably have more information on all of that this upcoming week. 

But yeah I'll keep this a little shorter as well. We may go help someone move but they're not responding to texts so I don't know. And I'm definitely playing basketball today. So that's always fun. 

I'll see you guys on Wednesday! Have a great week everyone! I love you!!!

Elder Ballif

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another New Investigator Yay!

Hey Family!

How is everyone doing? Things are going well for me. Elder Collins and I are doing good. We are getting along quite well and it's been fun the past few weeks. This week wasn't the greatest teaching wise but it still was good.

We were able to see Tom again and had some good talks
with him. He still is struggling with the whole faith thing but he is more willing to pray now so that's good. Hopefully he can start praying on his own now.

Joseph and Celeste went to New Mexico last
week and will be coming back at the end of this week so we have not seen them lately.

Yes I will be able to Skype on Christmas day. I
don't know when. We still need to work out the details. I'll let you guys know.

And you guys don't have to get me the 2013 Edition for
the scriptures. I've thought about it more and I don't really need them. And they'll probably get beat up a little being out here.

Oh and
Mom I don't know if you made a mistake on the order for Costco or not but I did get a package from Costco but it was not a shaver. It was a couple of boxes of candy. Just letting you know in case that wasn't what you intended on ordering.

So one thing pretty cool that
happened this week was we were going to see someone that we gave a Book of Mormon a few months ago and we went up to the house and knocked on the door and a different guy answered and he took a Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with us again so we set up an appointment for this weekend. So as we were walking away I was thinking "That was weird" and then realized it wasn't even the guy we were planning on seeing's house. I swear it was at the time but it turned out to be his next door neighbor. So that was pretty neat. New investigator! Yay! And it was from my stupidity. But who knows maybe the Spirit made the other house appear to be the other one in my eyes ;)

This week we're
going to emphasize finding a lot more. I might even do some of that dreadful tracting people talk about. Tracting really isn't too bad it's just getting the motivation to do it. But whatever we'll do some this week.

I'm glad your job is going well for you. Booz Allen sounds
pretty neat.

Well anyways I'm going to get going. I love you guys!
I'll see you on the 25th! And I'll still email on the 23rd.

Have a
great week! Sorry if I forgot to answer any questions.

Elder Ballif

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pictures of Downtown Omaha

Pictures from the Gingerbread Festival Near the Temple

Training Going Well and It is COLD

Hey Family!

Things are going good here in Bellevue. It has been very cold here as well. Right now it's about 6 degrees and this morning it was below 0. A couple of days ago it got to like -5 and that's without the windchill. And there was a big snow storm yesterday that lasted all day. The roads do not get plowed very well here but so far so good. We actually saw something pretty funny last night. Someone was coming over a hill and lost control of their car and drove onto the side walk and ran over a street sign. And then they drove off. We were laughing pretty hard. Potentially dangerous, yes but it was still funny.

Celeste is doing good. Actually Joseph invited us over for dinner, but Celeste wasn't there since she was babysitting but it was still good. And then yesterday we were able to see Celeste and Joseph and visit with them for a little. We mainly talked about baptism and what not but the good part is she is set for baptism for the January 25th. That will be a nice year mark present.

Thanks for getting the shaver, Mom. And about the 2013 edition of the scriptures. They revised and changed the scriptures for the first time in 32 years. All of the ones we have been using were the 1981 edition. And this year they redid them. The print is nicer, they changed some typing "errors", have more information in the chapter headings more so for D&C and added more pictures and better ones and some other things. So yeah that's why. The 2014 will be the same as the 2013. That's why people made such a big deal about the 2013 Edition is there haven't been any changes since 1981. And the leather on them feels awesome. Actually like real leather--because it is! ;)  Even though mine say "Genuine Leather" they feel like butt compared to the new ones. They are nice, trust me.

Things are going well with me and Elder Collins. We had a pretty good week and we're getting along. Definitely my favorite companion since Chappell. This week went by really fast as a result I'm sure. Collins is still adjusting to the cold since he spent the last 8 months in Carlsbad, California. He was at BYU for 2 years on and off before that. Speaking of Carlsbad, if you want to look up his parents that would be great. But yeah don't worry about me and Collins, we are having fun. We also have a very similar sense of humor so that has been nice. Belnap was a nice guy but our personalities didn't mesh as well so it made for some crappy days. But yeah anyway things are going good.

We had a chance to see Tom as well and it was probably the best lesson we've had with him. At first it started out a bit rough. His main underlying concern is if there is a god that is all powerful and all knowing why does he allow bad things to happen. That's not a very easy question to answer. But we said something along the lines of free agency and also the influence of Satan and chastisement. But at the end of the lesson I really wanted him to just pray because that is honestly one of the only ways to gain a testimony of God. So I asked if it would be alright if I prayed and then right after he prayed. He agreed and we did just that. The Spirit was definitely there and he said he felt good and I really hope he felt what we felt. Well I'm sure he did it's just a matter of recognizing it. And we did go over that with him after as well. I really hope things progress from here. Well I need to get going. I'm going to play some basketball. I love you all! Have a great and safe week everyone!

Elder Ballif

Monday, December 2, 2013

 Chan with Ryan
 Elder Collins - Ryan's first trainee 12/2/2013

Still in Bellevue - Training Elder Collins

Hey Family!

I hope everyones week went well! That dinner at the Little America sounds awesome! Is it only on Thanksgiving? My Thanksgiving was alright. It was hard to get any work done but we did have the traditional thanksgiving food. A lot of desert. I did gain some weight so I'm hoping to shed it back off and more in the coming weeks.

My new companion should help with that as well. :) His name is Elder Collins and he's from Carlsbad California. He's into working out and nutrition so that should help me out--and also he's brand new so yes I'm training. Pretty stressful but I am getting adjusted and each day is getting better. Elder Collins is pretty good as well. Haven't gotten into any arguments but it's always an adjustment when you get a new companion. For example I didn't care for Elder Chappell the first day or so but he ended up being my favorite companion so far. I'm still learning what Elder Collins is like and so far I like him. He's a pretty funny guy.

One problem is he's not into sports at all but he's willing to play some basketball today so that will be fun. The Perry's didn't end up going to the trail center. The cancelled like 5 minutes before. That kind of sucked. We were already at the trail center at the time so we stayed for a bit and looked at the Gingerbread displays. There were some pretty cool ones. I also spent some time in the Lake Cunningham area this week. Up in the ghetto of Omaha. That was fun.  A little different from Bellevue but it was a good experience.

We did end up getting a new investigator on Saturday though. We got a referral from the mission office and I have no idea how he flew under the radar but he is a less active member that has been in the ward for about 4 years and isn't on the ward list and from the sounds of it a friend referred him. So anyway we went over there and his wife who is not a member was there as well and we taught the restoration and she said she wants to be baptized and he wants to come back to church. That should be pretty cool. Hopefully things will work out.  Joseph and Celeste are their names.

Other than that it was a pretty slow week as far as missionary work goes. We did see the Perry's though. Tom is doing good and he said he's going to start reading the Book of Mormon a bit more. Like I said last week they went to church and everything but Sylvia apparently thought it was really boring. She likes churches with rock bands and stuff and I don't really think she understands the purpose of church. I mean I'll be the first to admit I think Sacrament meeting is slightly boring if the spirit is not as strong, but like said she doesn't understand the meaning of it.

That is pretty cool about the Jazz. I figured they'd suck but it's good to see the youngsters show promise. And while Jabari Parker is great and all I'd rather have Andrew Wiggins ;)

Well I need to get going. I love you all!

And about Christmas the 2 things that come to mind are an electric shaver and a 2013 Edition of the Scriptures. 

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Ballif