Monday, February 24, 2014

Transferred to Logan Iowa

Hey Family!

Yep, I got transferred. Not to Woodbine, although that is in my area. I am serving in Logan, Iowa. It is a town of 1500 so that should beinteresting. I went from the city to nothing. The area is really huge out here so we cover a lot of ground. It literally is the middle of nowhere. I am a bit stressed (although that is mostly because I always am when something changes) but I'm trying to have a good attitude about everything.

The ward seems pretty nice and there are some
 spanish missionaries serving in the area as well. My companion's name is Elder Scarpa. He is from Vacaville, California and has been out for about 5 months. I don't really know how to describe him. He is a bit of a cowboy I guess. He also dubs himself as "a bit of a grease monkey" so yeah. He wouldn't be my first choice but anything is better than Mendel.

I'm really interested to see how long I stay in this
 area. I honestly have no desire to do another 9 months here. Or in any area. I need to get used to this area definitely. It's so spread out. It takes forever to get from town to town. Shopping should be a lot of fun. The nearest Walmart is in Council Bluffs which is 30 miles away. But there are some grocery places and a Shopko here where we are doing emails (Missouri Valley).

Before I forget, Happy Birthday Dad! I hope
 you guys have a fun day on Friday. A seafood buffet sounds pretty neat. I haven't had crab legs or lobster in forever.

Oh so one pretty
 neat thing about serving here, is Elder Chappell is now one of my zone leaders so I'm pretty happy about that. Oh and there are some more promising things about the area. The members seem to be a lot more proactive and involved. We have a team up almost every day and we have already received 2 referrals for some people that want to talk to us. And this area seems to have more service opportunities. We help a semi active member work on cars at his auto repair place (I don't do much) and we also do some genealogy work for a non member. Mostly just convert hard copies of things to soft copies.  So I don't know.

I was
 really used to and comfortable with Bellevue but I'm just going to need some time to get used to this area. I really just want to have a few months of success and then go somewhere else. So yeah I'm doing good.

Also on a random note, I heard Tyler is home? Which is weird
 because 2 weeks ago he said he was getting home in March.

Anyways I
 hope everyone is doing well! That's great Austin got a job.

Now I just
 would like to hear from him. Share Alma 60:6 with him as if I were speaking.

Well anyways, I love you all! I hope everyone has a great
 and safe week!

Elder Ballif

Danny Rameriz

 The District
 The Raymonds
 The Brysons
 Woodbine, Iowa

Logan, Iowa my new area

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Last week in Bellevue - Transfer week

Hey Family!

How are you guys doing? This past week was a little discouraging but whatever. I have, what? Like 3 days left here. The reason it was sodiscouraging is Tom Perry ended up dropping us. We saw him Saturday night and he said for a few days he was praying every morning andnight and reading and he didn't feel any different. And then we had a long talk with him and told him we think we should have a fast and if he would come to church fasting for an answer, he would get one.

 everything was going good. We were really excited and got some other missionaries and the Tyrrell family to join us in the fast so itseemed everything was going great. Then at 11:30 at night we got a text from Tom saying that he talked it over with his wife and that he would not be going to our church and that they don't have any intentions to become members. So yeah it was a pretty rough Sunday.

But there was a glimpse of light with another person we started
 teaching. His name is Tristan. He is the grandson of a convert of about a year and that convert is the boyfriend of a lady in our ward named Sister Bick. Tristan's family is living with Sister Bick so it is pretty convenient. Tristan and his 2 younger brothers have come to church 2 out of the last 3 Sundays and we just started teaching Tristan on Sunday night. We taught the Restoration and it went really well. He was really open to everything and said that everything just made sense. We forgot to set him for baptism (whoops) but still everything went really well. We are planning on teaching him again maybe tonight or tomorrow. We will set him for baptism when we see him next. So that was nice to have happen after a mostly crappy week.

 definitely excited to see where I go next. 2 more days and I'll know.

I'll now answer some of Mom's questions. :)

I've seen the "Like A
 Broken Vessel" talk a few times. It's definitely a good one. Elder Holland is definitely one of the more powerful speakers.

Well as I
 said earlier in my email Tristan came to church so I guess that's an investigator at church. And we currently have no one set for baptism. I don't know it has been kind of a rough few weeks. The Vigil's wont answer their door. The Perry's dropped us, so yeah.

Yeah I mean I
 would love to get out and tract but we aren't really monitored on it and our Mission President thinks it's a waste of time and I also hate doing it--not so much the actual doing it, but the getting the motivation to do it. :)

And we are not monitored on service either. It
 says in the white handbook to do 4-8 hours a week, but that rarely happens. We did help put up some drywall for someone this past week so I guess that counts. We did a lot more service in Grand Island. But there were also more opportunities there because it was more dysfunctional.

And about iPads. No we have not. I'm actually kind of
 bitter about it. Tons of missions have got them but we have not. I blame the Mission President. :).

I'm staying fairly healthy. Actually I was throwing up last
 night (don't know from what) but I'm feeling a bit better now. The weather here has been pretty nice as well. It's supposed to get in the 60's today. I'll take that any day over -30.

Well anyways I hope
 everyone is doing well. 11 more months. That's pretty weird. Well anyways I need to get going.

I love you guys! Have a great and safe 

Elder Ballif

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slowed by Sickness and Snow

Hey Family!

This week was an alright one. It was pretty darn slow
again. Nebraska had the first big snowstorm of the winter on my birthday. And I was a bit sick the beginning of the week and Elder Collins has been sick all week. So yeah there isn't much new with us haha.

Transfers are coming up on the 21st. So yeah I definitely expect
to be sleeping somewhere else on the night of the 21st.

The first
night we were really able to get out and go do something was night. I mean we still tried to do some things earlier in the week, but with the snow and Collins being sick, we weren't very effective. We weren't even able to see Tom and Sylvia this week. We were going to, but as we walked by we saw they had company over so yeah we didn't end up seeing them. We are going to try to see them though. And a few more times throughout the week so hopefully that works out for us.

At this point all of our investigators are
ineligible for baptism by the time I'm probably leaving so that definitely has taken a shot at my motivation haha. Whatever I just need to keep working for 11 more days. Hopefully my next area is in Lincoln or even South Dakota. I hear there are some nice places to serve in that part of the mission.

So yeah I did enjoy the calendar
for my birthday. I like how it is a calendar for the rest of my mission and not just 2014 haha. And I also got the picture thing that Jenn put together. Thanks for that. I definitely enjoyed it and it was nice to see some birthday wishes from some people I didn't expect.

yeah 11 more days (probably) in Bellevue. I am excited for my time here to come to an end. I can't believe I've been here for most of my mission. I wonder how long I'll be in my next area.

Well thank you for
all of the birthday wishes. My birthday wasn't too fun haha. I mean I am on a mission. I did have lunch with some other Elders at China Buffet haha. It's a pretty decent Chinese restaurant. It's comparable to Asian Buffet or whatever in Layton. The reason we went there is because if it's your birthday you get to eat there free, so that was nice.

Other than that not much happened because the snow. Cars were
grounded and yeah Collins wasn't feeling well so for the most part we didn't do much.

Oh did you hear that Tori passed her NCLEX and is now
officially an RN. That's pretty awesome if you ask me. Well anyways well anyways I need to get going. I hope everyone has a safe week.

love you all!

Elder Ballif

Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Ryan

Hey Family!

So this week was a little slow and there isn't much to talk about. So this will probably be short but I will do my best to make it a decent email. So I got the birthday package. Thanks for that. And I opened it up right when I got it of course. The Jazz shorts are pretty neat. I'm wearing them today at basketball so we'll see if they make me play any better haha. I also ate about all of the beef jerky already. You know how I love my beef jerky. Oh and I wasn't expecting gloves but thanks for those as well, they seem to work better than the gloves I was
using. The ties are pretty sweet as well. I'm wearing that basketball one right now and I think it's fitting seeing how I'm going to play basketball after this. Oh and the $50 doesn't hurt haha :) Thank you everyone. 

Like I said this week was a pretty slow one. I did catch a good amount of the superbowl at a part member home. The kick return by Percy Harvin was sick. I was rooting for the Broncos but I honestly didn't care much. I was happy for the Seahawks. The NFL doesn't mean too much to me. 

So we were able to have that movie that thing with the Tyrell's and the Perry's. We did it at the Tyrell's home and it went very well. We haven't talked to the Perry's since (they couldn't come to church because they were having friends over for lunch) then but I sure hope they liked it. We'll just have to see when we see them this week. I think it helped paint a picture for them on how the restoration came to be and how it all happened. I mean we have talked about it obviously but movies can do a much better job then we can at explaining things. 

As far as other people go, the Vigil's won't answer their door but we haven't given up. We should be setting something up with a investigator named Neil Kingston for this week. He's really busy and travels a lot so hopefully it works out. He's really good friends with a guy in our ward so that should definitely help. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone. My next one will be at home. That's pretty cool. 

It looks like the kids had a fun time at Disneyland. Especially Brynlee. She's getting so darn big. Oh and happy birthday to her as well. And this is super late, but I forgot to say it when it was relevant but happy birthday Heather. 

So anyways I hope all is well with everyone. I haven't heard from Austin in a while. Whatevs. I'll act like I don't care. Honey badger don't care. See. 

Well have a great week everyone! I love you all!

Elder Ballif

Sunday, February 2, 2014

And Walked and walked and.... walked

Hey Family!

How is everyone doing? Our week was pretty good. Probably about as good as you can get without a car. Eh not really but it ended up not being too bad. We did a lot of walking so that was fun. We met Dean's wife. She seems pretty nice and she wants to start taking the lessons as soon as the their apartment is cleaned up a bit. We've offered to help out with that but haven't heard much back haha.

Other than that I
don't know. We just walked and walked. We were able to see Danny Rameriz again and he gave us a ride to church and so he stayed the entire time which is something he hasn't done in a long time so that was good. He's a pretty awesome guy. He also has an Xbox One and has shown it to us. It's pretty neat. I haven't played it though ;) I will definitely be looking into one when I get back though ;) So the best part of the week was that we ended up seeing Tom and also Sylvia sat in. We talked to both of them on Saturday and had a pretty good discussion. It's kind of weird how much my knowledge has grown over the past year. They're very logical and intellectual about things and it's neat to see myself be able to answer most of their questions.

Anyways Tom came to church yesterday!!! And brought his whole family.
Sylvia couldn't come because it was her friend's birthday and she was going to lunch with her but we'll get her there next week. We are planning to do this movie/game night with the Perry's and the Tyrrell's. We plan on playing Settlers of Catan with them and then after we are going to watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. That should be fun. I'm really happy that Tom was able to make it to church. I don't know what his boy's taught of primary but I know his daughter really liked it. It was great that they were able to stay for the whole 3 hours.

This week we've really focused on being more
obedient. I mean I don't think I was ever too bad to begin with but it was just a lot of little things that I feel we're holding me back. This week has been a really good one as far as that goes, and I feel more happy. And now I'm just praying that Tom will receive a witness by February 8th.

Well anyways I hope everyone
has a great week! We're getting the car back so we definitely should.
I love you all!

Elder Ballif