Monday, November 24, 2014

Another General Authority Visit

Hey Family!
I hope everyone's week has been great! My week was pretty good, and it went by really fast so that was great. We had another General Authority come though. His name was Elder Martino. He said some pretty awesome things, and let me tell ya, we have our work cut out for us. He really pushed working with the ward council, and having the ward council find investigators. Being here on a mission (now I don't know how it was in Utah because I never paid attention) I've noticed the member missionary work needs a lot of work. Members are supposed to be the finders, but they don't do anything here (Nebraska) so it has been difficult. But we are excited to make a push to get something going. Some also that was really cool, is that the Church is launching a Christmas initiative called "He is the Gift". I'm sure you can imagine what that's talking about. Anyways they made a ton of cards to pass out and made a video and some other things. It should be really cool. You can visit to check some stuff out. The video is super awesome.
Well Mom to answer your question on Christmas presents, I can wait for most of the stuff. I just would really like some money to go to GNC or something and buy some stuff before I get home. I'll let you know if anything changes. A care package would be nice as well haha.
So as far as investigators go things have been great. We had an appointment with Chloe but that didn't work out, but the person I'm most excited about is Nealia (I'm pretty sure now, that's how you spell her name). He took her to the Trail Center, and showed her all of the Gingerbreads. I got a lot of pictures for when I get home so don't worry haha ;) Oh what the heck, I'll be nice and send you guys a couple of pictures today haha. Nealia said she "found her place" and that "this is where she wants to be". She'll be getting baptized sometime likely in December. Austin has shown improvement as well. He has been coming to Church regularly, with some member families picking him up, and yesterday we went over, and he was paying attention a lot more. I do thing he has ADD. But we'll work through that.
Just really quick, I'm glad Carsen had a great birthday. Happy Birthday, man! I love you. We'll have to have some wrestling matches when I get home.
Well I need to get going. I love you guys! Have a great week everyone!
Elder Ballif

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mission Tour and Investigators Doing Well

Hey Family!
Well this past week has been one of the fastest of my mission. We were super busy and didn't spend a whole lot of time in the area but we still worked hard and had a good time. We actually put up the Christmas lights at the Mormon Trail Center (the pioneer museum) which took us quite some time. So if you were to drive by and look at the building at night, Elder Pierce and I, were the ones that put them up, so that's pretty neat.
Well as far as investigators go, things are still going well, but not on fire. Neila didn't make it to church yesterday, because it was icy outside and she didn't want to fall and hurt her knee. She felt really bad though. She called and was asking us not to be mad at her, and she was crying. So yeah, I'm not really concerned as to whether she takes this seriously or not. She really is awesome. She is so accepting of everything we tell her. We actually got her baptismal date on the 30th of this month, but since she didn't make it to Church we'll have to figure something else out. 

So moving onto Austin, he is quite the puzzling case. I would never let my kids act the way he does. Sorry for saying this but he is a little punk. His grandparents who are members want him to get baptized on Friday the 21st but there is no way he is ready. I'll get into that in a second, but basically that's not going to happen. I think we can shoot for the 29th but he'll need to make some changes. I went over with Elder Markert, a new elder in the Zone that I was on exchanges with and we get along famously. We're super tight now... Anyways, we went over and he was being super disrespectful. When we would ask him if he wants to be baptized he would say yes and then a little while later he would say no, and we then asked him if he would like to go to Heaven and he said no. And then he ripped out the title page of the Book of Mormon and crumpled it up. Yeah we weren't too thrilled to see that. We took it and told him he needs to start taking this stuff more seriously or else he won't be able to be baptized. Obviously that is condensed but that was the jist of it. Hopefully he can get his act together soon. I mean I understand he's 9 but normal 9 year olds don't act like that. So anyways that's what's going on with that. 

Remember that super solid family I talked about a few weeks ago? Chloe was the name of the mom. Well anyways we lost all contact with them. And just when we were about the give up hope, she texted us yesterday and told us that there were some family friends that died recently and that these past few weeks have been crazy, but that she wanted to have us come over this week. I was really happy to hear that. I've been a bit worried because they seemed so awesome.
The Mission Tour was pretty dang awesome. Elder Nielson is a stud. He talked about a lot of different things but something that really stuck out to me is him talking about how the "ground always comes". He talked about the law of gravity and no matter how many times you jump out of a building, the ground will always come. Let's say it was a 5 story building, once you get to the 4th story, you're still feeling pretty good, and actually may think it's kind of cool, and so on with the 3rd. When you get to the 2nd story, you may have realized you've made a mistake, and then you realize that you've really done something stupid, and then the ground comes. He related that too how when we step off the building of chastity or the building of the word of wisdom, or whatever commandment it may be, we think we're fine. And then the ground keeps getting closer and closer, until we eventually hit it. Well anyways it was a great meeting. 

The leaders of the mission got to have dinner with him which was awesome. There are some nice perks to being in leadership haha. But anyways that was a great experience that I was very happy to be a part of.
Things are going well with Pierce and I. We are having a lot of fun. It's weird to think that he's probably my last companion haha. Well I hope everyone has a great day today, and a great week. I love all of you guys. Stay safe!
Elder Ballif

Monday, November 10, 2014

Short and Sweet.

Hey Family!
I hope everyone has had a great week! Our week was pretty great. We went on exchanges with a struggling companionship and they said they now want to make some changes and I have already seen improvement so that was really cool. 

We should have a great week this week. Brent H. Nielson is going to be here on Friday

Things are going really well with Neila. She twisted her knee so she couldn't make it to church but we went and saw her after church. She was so sad she couldn't come. We hard set her for baptism on December 20th so we're excited about that. 

Also Austin is set for baptism on November 21st but we'll see if he makes it. He's being kind of a punk but that alright haha. 

Hey Mom don't worry about sending me Hillsong. I got it taken care of haha. I did use 17 bucks on the home card so watch that ;) 

Well guys I need to get going. Sorry this is so short, but I'll make up for it next week! I love you guys!
Elder Ballif

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Companion Elder Pierce from Ogden

Hey Family!

Well I hope everyone had a great Halloween. My Halloween was pretty meh. Transfer stuff all day. I got to hang out with Elder French a bit though. Man that guy is easily one of the funniest guys I've ever met. But also one who isn't the best example. But I still love him. 

So my new companion is Elder Pierce. He is from Ogden Utah. He is a pretty cool dude. We have a lot more in common than Edwards and I did. We're are getting along great. I'm training him as a new Zone Leader which is a pretty overwhelming, because I myself don't know what I'm doing. I hope he turns out ok haha. 

Well this week as far as missionary work goes, was just a lot of mission business. I wasn't in the area until Friday night, because I was floating around with some other missionaries since Edwards was gone. But we still got to see Neila and Sheila. Neila is doing great. We had a super good lesson with them. We talked about Joseph Smith and the Great Apostasy. We committed her to come to church next week. She said she was going to go for sure. I was really happy about that because I saw that as a big obstacle. We are coordinating with the ward to find her a ride. 

Since Dad is asking and I forgot, the process for highlight the Book of Mormon is highlighting anything that is related to the atonement and highlighting anytime it mentions a member of the Godhead and circling or highlighting the word heart. Any color. I'm doing blue, yellow, and purple. And I restarted so I'm super far behind. 

And Mom it's up to you if you want to get me a Hillsong CD. I heard they have like 9 albums. Another missionary in the Zone had his sister send him a CD, and she sent the one called United. It has that song Ocean you were talking about. If you feel so inclined, you can research and find out what is accepted as their best album and send it to me. If you don't it doesn't matter to me. You can surprise me haha. 

Things should pick up soon. Elder Pierce is a great guy and a great missionary. Well I need to get going. I love you guys! Have a great week everyone!

Elder Ballif