Friday, May 30, 2014

Prayers Are Answered

Hey Family!

I hope all of you have had a great week! That sucks about Heather's ring. I will be sure to keep her in my prayers and I hope that situation gets resolved. 

So this week was good I was stressed out a lot during the middle of it but things have seemed to resolve. I was a bit worried about Pam, Eric and Spencer because we didn't hear much from them this week. We did some service for them on Tuesday and then they said they would like a take a little break from the visits, which is fine, but we tried to get a hold of them for some information we needed for the baptismal records and they would not respond, or anything. No texts, and they wouldn't answer the phone. So I was worried something happened, but come and they came to church and everything worked out. Eric and Spencer were ordained to the priesthood and Pam and Eric were called to be greeters. That should be good for them, to be able to meet most everybody :) 

Yesterday we went over to their house and had a bit of a "family home evening." We watched The Testaments with them and they enjoyed it. Pam said the last part made her cry haha. 

Christine and her kids did not show up on Sunday reason being Christine said that Aaliyah has the flu or is sick or something. We still have an appointment to see them either today or tomorrow. 

Also our Mission President and his wife made it out to our ward to speak. It was pretty good. President Weston is a very knowledgeable guy. I know I am sometimes negative about him, but I don't really feel that way. I sometimes get frustrated about something, but for the most part I really do like him. And no I have not brought up going home a month early with him. I figured I'll leave that to the professionals ;) 

So tomorrow should be fun. It'll be my first District Meeting as District Leader. And Mom it's not just every other week. 3 out of the 4 weeks of a month are District Meetings. So preparing trainings for them should be fun. This weeks topic is How can we more fully utilize planning to fulfill our purpose? 

And don't worry about sending me a Mormon Doctrine. I can wait till I get home to rummage though it again. Right now Brother Holmgren's copy is enough. This week with other investigators went pretty well. 

We finally taught Jessie. She seemed to be very receptive and I have high hopes with her. I mean she already has strong faith in Christ, and I hope she puts forth the effort to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We also had a pretty neat experience with a less active member. He has been less active for years. Probably like 12 years. He served in Iraq and lost all faith when he was there. He couldn't understand why God would allow so much suffering. Well anyways he has been struggling to find a job. He has been trying for months and nothing has worked. So this was when I was with Elder Chappell, but anyways I promised him that if he would make an effort to come to church, he would get a job very soon. And we also prayed that he would get a job. 2 days later he got 2 job offers. He didn't make it to church this past due to him having 11 teeth pulled, but he said that he will be there next week. He told me when we visited with him this past that he thought that I was a "fruit" for making a promise I couldn't keep, but he said "I stand corrected" and he knows it was God that answered the prayer so it seems his faith is growing again. 

Well I need to get going but I hope you all have a great week and stay safe!  I hope everyone has a great memorial day! I love you all!

Elder Ballif

All serving from Kaysville

Monday, May 19, 2014

New District Leader and Christine, Christian, and Aaliyah Came to Church

Hey Family!

I hope everyone has had a great week so far. Well it's only Monday so I couldn't imagine too much going wrong in a day. But rather I hope all of you had a great week last week. My week was pretty good. As you probably know, transfers occurred. So transfer news. I am still in Logan with Elder Scarpa. But there was one change. I am now the District Leader. So that should be fun. I am actually excited. Well other than giving training every single week, I am excited to go on exchanges and see the other areas of the district. And to get to know the other Elders in the district.

One weird thing though. The previous
District Leader is still here. He was demoted and I was promoted, so I don't know. It seems like he's been a little bitter about it and has said some things that have rubbed me the wrong way. Hopefully things will work themselves out. They always do, if you're doing the right things.

So anyways... Things went great yesterday at church. Pam,
Eric, and Spencer were all confirmed. The Bishop confirmed Eric, Scarpa confirmed Spencer, and I confirmed Pam. That was a good experience. That was my first confirmation and it wasn't so bad. The bishop's wife wrote them down in short hand so hopefully it doesn't point out how poor mine was hahaha ;)

So some good news about
Christine, Christian and Aaliyah. They finally came to church!!! Holy crap that was a relief. They had to leave early after sacrament meeting, due to some family issues but I'm glad they came. Christian and Aaliyah should be good for baptism on the 14th of June. The Bishop is a little hesitant, because he was worried that they left church because they didn't want to stay for the full thing and he is worried that they'll stop coming to church after they're baptized. I am trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and I don't think she'd be making up those excuses. Stuff happens, I understand that. I feel like Christine is being sincere about making it back to church.

So about
the conversion stories, I got stories printed out from Family Search. While they may not be ideal, I needed them before Thursday. We have Zone Conference this Thursday and I guess our Mission President wanted us to get these, because we're putting a big emphasis on families in the mission right now. I am pretty excited for Zone Conference. I'll get to see Elder French and have some fun with him. I hope everything is going well.

I am excited to see you guys again in a pretty short
amount of time. And that is pretty crazy about Carsen. I am glad I've never had to deal with any real serious injuries. I hope it all heals properly and that he doesn't grow up shooting a basketball like Ronnie Brewer haha.

Speaking of basketball, I heard the Heat lost, thank
goodness. They can't win another championship. I won't allow it.

Oh by
the way Dad, I'm just curious. Do you have the book Mormon Doctrine? The members we live with have one and I read it all of the time. I would like to get a copy of my own but to my understanding they don't make it anymore. Oh well. True to the Faith is cool and all but it's too... mainstream. Chappell found a MD in super good condition at a thrift store for like 15 bucks and I was so jealous. What a random thing to be at a thrift store. Well I guess that's thrift stores for ya. There is still that RLDS Doctrine and Covenants from 1976 here in Missouri Valley. I almost bought it but then I realized I would never read it due to the fact that I don't really care what is in there after what we already have.

Well anyways I should get going.  Have a
great week everyone! I love you all!

Elder Ballif

Monday, May 12, 2014

Crazy Weather, a wedding and baptisms

Hey Family!

So this will probably be fairly short since I talked to you guys yesterday. But this past week as been a good one. The baptisms and wedding went very well, and they should be confirmed on the 18th. 

So this past night was pretty crazy weather wise. There were several tornadoes in Nebraska, and the storm that was producing them was headed right for us, but it ended up breaking apart and lost some strength when it got to the metro of Omaha, and we still got some pretty gnarly thunderstorms and green skies, but no tornadoes. I was slightly chapped but whatever. I heard there was a tornado that touched down in Bellevue but I don't know if that's true. There was a place called Sutton, Nebraska that got hit pretty bad. Central Nebraska, had several tornadoes and some baseball sized hail, and there was also snow. But we didn't get a whole lot. Just a lot of rain and lightning. 

We are still working with Christian and Aaliyah, and they're planning on getting baptized in June, but they still haven't made it to church, so I don't know what the deal is with their mom. 

really enjoyed talking to you guys last night. It was fun. That could very well be the last time I talk to you guys on my mission. I wish I could've talked to dad for a bit longer and actually talked to Austin without seeing a video of a video, but it was good. Brynlee is so darn cute now. I can't wait to see all of the grandkids when I get back. I am very excited. And seeing everyone again will be great. Only 7 months! I'll do my best to stay focused and to be successful, don't worry! I love you all! I hope you made it safely to Baltimore, Dad. I love you. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Ballif

Pam's daughter was able to make it from BYU so that's pretty neat.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Baptisms and a Marriage

Hey Family!

I hope everyone had a fantastic week. 

My week was a pretty good one. It was very long though. Hopefully this next week will go by a bit faster. So Pam, Eric and Spencer should be good for baptism on the 11th. That is the plan. They will also be married on Saturday. So this week should be a fun one. 

I hope it all works out. Pam had to go to church in Des Moines, because she had to take their dog to the hospital for kidney failure or something in that nature. Which we 'ok'd' with the AP's so everything should be good. Eric, and Spencer went to church here yesterday so that was good. Eric had to take off after Sacrament because he needs to keep an eye on the hotel but he left Spencer for all 3 hours. To my knowledge he enjoyed it. 

Last Monday was a stressful one. We went to see Pam and Eric and they ended up calling the Mission President to see if they could plead their case to still get baptized on the 10th after the marriage. That didn't go over so well. Our Mission President ended up saying something that upset Pam and Eric. Something along the lines of "you don't get baptized for fun"... So Pam after that conversation said "Let's just not get baptized then" so as you can imagine it was very tense in the room. We were able to talk it over with her and Eric, and salvaged the situation. 

One of the reasons that was so stressful, was that I had no backup. Not a word from Scarpa. But the show must go on and it did. The baptism will be on the 11th. 

Oh so transfers are coming up next week, and I'm praying for something to happen. But if not then I'll try to make the best of the situation.

 So with Christian and Aaliyah. They still didn't come to church. I don't know what their mom is doing, but hopefully she doesn't cancel 2 appointments on us, like she did last week. The first lesson went so well. Hopefully these are legit reasons for canceling. And to her credit she did call us both times.

 We met a lot of less active members this week so that was good. We also got a new investigator named Jessie. She is super nice. We talked to her on the doorstep and talked about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and she took a copy. She seemed pretty interested and said that we could come back in a week to teach her more about the Church. She works for the Red Cross, so that's pretty neat.

 I make sure to get pictures of the marriage and baptism. That's pretty awesome about Cam's baptism. I'm proud of him. That must've been a cool experience. I wish I could've been there but I'll be there for everyone else's. Tell him congratulations, and Tori told me how he wanted to send her an invitation even though he knew she couldn't make it. Cam is the man. I'm glad he and the other kids like her so much. 

And Dad why didn't you tell me about about the Portland game?! I heard Damian had a pretty spectacular buzzer beater to win it. I wish the Jazz could've gotten him. 

Oh well. Well anyways I need to get going. Have a great week everyone! I love you guys!

Elder Ballif