Monday, September 29, 2014

Adjusting to New Area and Calling

Hey there family!

Well this past week was pretty good. I'm learning the area quite a bit better, and I'm starting to grasp being a Zone Leader a little bit. It is a lot different. But it has been a good learning experience so far. 

Well I'm glad everyone is ok with my going home in January. I just felt bad because all the nieces and nephews and everyone really was looking forward to having me home around Christmas and celebrating it together. Oh well, we'll have plenty of those in the future. 

Elder Edwards and I are still getting along fantastically. He's really into hunting and outdoorsy stuff so that's neat haha. He also looks like a model for Abercrombie or Hanes underwear haha. I tease him about it all the time hahaha. 

Things are going good in the ghetto. It's a rarity to see a white person here. I literally can count on 1 hand the amount of white people I've seen in our area the past week. Our apartment is on 49th and Ames. 30th and Ames is considered the most dangerous place in Omaha. I'll wait till after my mission to give you details so I don't worry Mom too much ;) 

Some old black dude, yesterday who lives in an apartment on 30th and Ames, started yelling at us when we walked in the building to knock on someone's door. He said in a really hateful tone of voice "Get out of my gosh dang house! I'll shoot you if I have to!" That was my rated G version. He sounded really angry. That was fun. We left pretty quickly after knocking the door haha. Ok sorry I just had to tell you guys about that, sorry for worrying you ;) 

We found this super cool dude, that lives in this random neighborhood called Miami Heights. It's on a hill, and there are like 8 houses that are super, super nice. Everything around it is dump, but that place is really nice. We talked to him for a good 30 minutes and he is super cool and invited us to come back. 

Well I need to get going. People are waiting on me. Oh hey so I got a question. I've had to throw away all of my shoes except one pair pretty recently. And this pair is little to big on me. So basically what I'm suggesting, is I am going to go the Goodwill today to look for shoes, but if I don't find any (I don't really want to, I'm tired of wearing old shoes) I was wondering if it'd be alright to buy some new shoes somewhere. I would love to get some nice ecco's but they're pretty darn expensive. But they last forever. Those dockers you guys got me before I came out got trashed in 2 months. I'll keep my eye out though. 

There is this ghetto dress shop here called Leflore's that I hear has sick shoes. Like light brown crocodile skin. I may have to get some just before I go home haha ;) 

Take care everyone! I love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Ballif 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Transferred to Omaha

Hey Family!
So I have some bad news and some good news. I'll start with the bad news. I'm going home January 21st now. Sorry. I feel like it was the right thing to do and it was an inspired decision. 

So moving on to the good news. I got transferred. I'm now serving in the Fontenelle Ward in Omaha, in the ghetto. Black people everywhere. I'm not giving any details about that but it's pretty freaking crazy. Our address is 4907 Ames Ave. #5. I wouldn't look up Ames Ave on google ;) Oh and some more good news. I'm a Zone Leader now. It's so freaking weird. I'm like a deer in the headlights right now. 

Elder Crozier, my trainer actually just was serving here as Zone Leader but his mission came to an end so I replaced him. Weird stuff. In mission lingo, I'm following my father's (Elder Crozier) footsteps. 

My companion's name is Elder Edwards and he is pretty darn cool. We're getting along fabulously. Probably my best since Crozier and Chappell. He's from Las Vegas and is a bit of a cowboy or rancher or what have you. Not annoying like other people though. Like the cool kind. He doesn't have an annoying draw either. We're having a good time so far. 

Yesterday was pretty fun. We talked to some less actives yesterday who are going through some trouble, and they were saying how they wanted to get back into selling drugs and wanted to kill themselves. Oh man, this place is so much different than Logan. Oh and their dog peed on me. That was grand. But what was cool, is we just bore testimony and talked about Joseph Smith, when he was in Liberty Jail and how he didn't give up, and their demeanor completely changed and they said they want to be picked up for church this week. 

Things are going good here. I'm very happy with my decision to stay my entire mission. Probably because I know where I'd be right now if I didn't change. Elder Crozier found out transfer information before he went home, and it ended up being different. I would be in Lincoln right now, which would actually be pretty cool, but I'd rather be a Zone Leader. So like I said, both options were good, but there was one option better than the other. 

Oh can I ask a favor from someone, anyone. Please send me a letter. I had to pay 2 bucks here to get on the computer, because I don't have a library card, and I need a letter addressed to here to get one. Freakin bull honkey. 

Thanks pretty sweet about BYU. I'm excited to get home and see some of the games, if you're recording them. 

Thank you guys so much about everything you do. Sorry for switching the plans up. It was the right thing to do though, so you guys shouldn't fret too much, if you were going to. 

I love all of you guys so much. Have a wonderful week everyone. If I missed anything that you guys would want clarification on, let me know. I'll still be on for about 20 more minutes emailing other people. I love you guys!
Elder Ballif

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Transfer this Week - Leaving Logan ?

Hey Family!

So I hope everyone has had a great week. My week was just mediocre. Nothing too crazy. I'm ready to leave Logan and it's starting to get to me. We had Stake Conference which was really good. Our Mission President and his wife gave talks as well as the Temple President and his wife, and of course, the Stake President. 

We have been pretty short on miles so we can't go driving a ton of places. Oh but something really cool that I forgot to mention last week, is that in Fast and Testimony Meeting, Michael (the guy that was less active for 12 years who we promised would get a job) was there and he actually got up and bore his testimony. It was so freakin sweet. Very inspiring. From Atheist to bearing his testimony, in just a few months. So other than that, I don't really now. 

Jeff and Tina are doing well. We haven't heard from Christine, even after leaving messages. What can you do? 

So transfers is this week. That should be rather interesting. I am so ready to leave. The Zone Leaders say they're positive I'm gone. But anything could happen I suppose. I thought it would be pretty neat to become a Zone Leader, but honestly I think my decision to go home 4 weeks early screwed my chances for that, so it has made me second guess my decision to do that. 

I don't even know anymore. It just hit me yesterday at Stake Conference, not to mention I went to it fasting, not really for anything in particular I just did and it just hit me there. I would like some input from you guys. While coming home the 27th would be awesome, I just want to follow the Lord's will on this one. Which could be going home and starting school but I'm just so unsure of it. 

They could have already bought the plane ticket so It might not be worth it but that's a might. Oh and by the way Mom, my release date is the 27th. I was referring to the Skype phone call on Christmas. I feel either way would work out, but there is always a choice that works out better than the others. 

Oh and by the way Dad, you're going to need to continue to spot me money for the rest of the month. I have good reasons as to why am I out, but I don't feel like explaining myself. I spent 9 bucks at Walmart earlier and will be spending a bit more at Subway after this. I am starving. I've had 2 bananas today and that's it. I freakin love bananas though haha. Especially with peanut butter ;) 

That's pretty sweet about BYU. This sounds like it could be a great year for them. And yeah I heard a little bit about Dad's new TL, which I asked him to send some pictures of, but he must not have gotten around to it ;) The issue with the Acura is that Acura doesn't spell Audi ;) I only tease. 

You guys need to figure out when the deadlines are for applying to BYU for the Summer and Fall semesters. I wouldn't be opposed to going there in the Summer. I just need to make sure I buy an all sports pass, so I can go to all of the games. I think it's like around 100 bucks for the year. Also knowing more info about Weber would be good. I need to make sure I'm all ready to go, before I get home and find out it's too late. I can't imagine it would be that hard though. 

Things are going good with the Book of Mormon reading. I'm on page 105 or something. It's pretty neat. Apparently you're supposed to highlight anytime it mentions Jesus Christ as well. It's pretty neat. Every single page. Well I'm am going to close this up. 

I hope all of you have a fantastic week! Stay safe everyone! I love you!

Elder Ballif

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jeff and Tina's Baptism Went Great!

Hey Family!

I hope everyone has had a great week! My week was pretty great. The baptisms were awesome and everything went well. There was one minor issue. So I guess something happened to the hot water heater at the church. So it was a cold baptism. That was pretty unfortunate, but they made it through it hahaha. It was great to see Tina's dad baptize her. That was the first baptism he's ever done. We had to have him do it twice though. The first time he omitted some words in the prayer, but the second time everything was said perfectly. 

The confirmations went great as well. We're still going to have to figure out something with their kids though. They're a real handful haha. So here's the deal. I will send pictures of the baptism home. After this I will not be sending any more pictures of me home. I do this for a wise purpose, a purpose which ye know not. Sorry if this upsets anyone but I'm sure you can wait till my release date. Actually the25th of December. That will be an interesting phone call haha. 

So there actually is some information I need for the paper you guys got in the.... and never mind I used my noggin, and figured out I could just get that information on

So there is something I want to bring up and possibly get your input on. School. I've done some thinking, and in the long run I want to end up at BYU. But I was thinking I could go to Weber State for the winter semester, and then transfer to BYU for the fall semester. So I don't really know what I need to do to apply on a mission so if you could get that figured out for me and just tell me what I need to do, that would be sweet. I want to do my generals at Weber and potentially take an intro to Computer Science class, and if I'm able to transfer to BYU, if I'm still liking that I'll stick with that and have that be my major, or potentially venture and see if I could get in the law program or something else. I'm still not entirely sure. I'll have to do a lot of praying on this subject. But I definitely want to end up at BYU. 

So our mission president has committed us all to read the Book of Mormon by the week of December 8th, while highlighting in red everything that has to do with or has relation with the atonement and circle in red every time it says "heart." It has been pretty cool to see how much you're highlighting and circling. We've been doing it for 2 weeks so we're on page 70, but any of you guys that want to do this, I would highly recommend it. It would only take 5.5 pages a day starting today and you'd be finished by the week of December 8th. It is super easy to do. It  takes me at the most 20 minutes each day. 

Oh there was an interesting development this past week that was halted, but Christine had made it to church 2 weeks in a row and came to the baptism and everything was looking great for her kids. We actually were going to baptize them this week. We got everything figured out. See the crazy part of the situation is, Christian is going to start chemo, and he needs a port put in and after that he can't get wet for 6 weeks so we got ok'd to do it this week, before he gets the port put in. Well they missed church yesterday, so that's not going to happen unfortunately. Hopefully it'll happen soon, but with chemo, he'll probably be pretty sick. It'll all work out. 

But aside from that, we've been teaching a few new people. Nothing really super noteworthy, because the library is going to close soon, and I need to finish up, but things are going great. I'll be sure to let you guys know what happens with transfers. Well actually I'll email you again, before transfers anyways haha. And that's pretty sweet about BYU. I am super excited to see some of these games when I get back. 

Have a great week everyone! I love you guys!!!!

Elder Ballif 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

All Set for Jeff and Tina's Baptisms

Hey there Family!

Well this past week was a pretty good one. We went on a ton of exchanges, one with Denison, one with Atlantic, and one with the Zone Leaders in Council Bluffs. The latter was for the baptismal interview of Jeff and Tina, which they passed! Everything should be good to go. We went over there last night and got the details of the service figured out. Tina's dad will be baptizing her, and the stake president in Omaha will be baptizing Jeff. I will be confirming Tina, and Stubbs will be confirming Jeff. So I'm glad we got that stuff, along with some other things, figured out. 

There still are a few things we need to get in order but I think everything will work out great. Jeff is doing good with the smoking so far. I have the faith that he'll be good to go. We're going back over there on Friday so hopefully he's still good then. If not that sure would complicate things, but he can do it. 

Christine came to church again, but left early, not really sure why, but I'm not too concerned about it. Two weeks in a row has got to be some sort of milestone for her haha. So if all goes well her kids should be baptized within the next little while. 

Oh someone else was able to make it to Church. You guys remember Michael? The guy who didn't have a job and we promised he would get one and he did. Well anyways, he's been struggling the past few weeks, and we were able to have a nice discussion with him last Tuesday with the bishop. Well anyways he made it to Church. It was great to see. And the talks were very well themed for what he's going through. They were about being happy and not worrying about the things you can't control. I hope it struck a chord with him. 

And what, Austin didn't go the open house? That kid. I'll try to whip him into shape when I get back ;) That's pretty sweet about BYU. I was super anxious to find out what happened. You guys better have that game on DVR when I get back. And that's sweet my boy Taysom balled it up. Was he able to connect on any bombs? That would be sweet. I heard he's a Heisman Candidate this year. I am excited to hear about the Texas game. BYU all the way! 

Yeah I'm pretty positive I'll have one more area before my mission is over. Transfers are on September 19th and I think it's very likely I'll be getting shipped somewhere else. I really hope I go to Lincoln or something. That would be so freakin awesome. 

Well anyways, have a great week everyone! That color run looked like it was pretty spectacular. Oh and since I have addressed this yet, I'm kind of chapped you sold the boat. I've had a complete change of heart on my mission, where I want to have a lot more family time.  

And if your going to buy any sedan you have to get an Audi. Never get before 2008. They had some bad years between 97 and 04 or so. The new Audi A3 is legit. It's their new car that has won car of the year and it is only $30000 starting price. I say only because that's pretty good for a luxury sedan, that goes 0-60 in 5 seconds. Not to mention the car is beautiful. 

 Anyways I should get going. I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Talk to ya later! I love you guys!

Elder Ballif