Monday, December 29, 2014

Short and Sweet

Hola Familia!
Welp, this past week was a joy. It was great getting to talk to all of you. And tell Carsen that I love him and that I'll see him soon enough. I'm doing my best to stay focused. I haven't given up. So Christmas day was fun. We had Christmas breakfast at our Bishop's house and then Elder Gardner talked to his parents there as well. Following that we spent most of the Christmas day at the Oltman's house and had a lot of fun. We even had a nerf war there which was awesome haha. Other than that not too much to tell about this week. We started taking the bus this week, so we've been doing a lot of walking. We haven't had much luck, yet. Tracting is not very effective. And even Less Active Members won't answer their doors haha. We had a pretty funny experience on the bus however. Some black chick called us Book of Mormons. I don't think she was all the way there but anyways she was like "Hey Book of Mormons!" and we respond with something generic, and then she followed with "Are Book of Mormons allowed to have girlfriends?" hahaha. It was quite the experience. Sorry, nothing spiritual or anything haha.
There are a lot of awesome members here so that is definitely a plus. Well I need to get going. I love you guys!
Elder Ballif

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hey Family!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! Well I was planning on doing the Christmas call just on Christmas night but since it has been made known to me that it would be inconvenient for you guys, I just texted the AP's. I'll let you know the results. We'll be Skyping at the Oltmans house so she'll probably call you guys or something to let you know what's up. If the Christmas Eve thing doesn't work out. We will be at the Oltmans like all afternoon on Christmas so I was planning on Skyping then, and I figured Mom would get home around 8 so I could talk to her for like 30 minutes but I'll try to make the Christmas Eve thing work. 

Well so far I would like to say thank you for the Christmas cards everyone. The extra funds were sorely needed haha. January 25th for my homecoming talk huh? Well that will be fun haha. Oh and I did get the Christmas package you guys sent me. Thank you guys! However I do feel like you guys are trying to sabotage my weight loss. Beef Jerky and HiChews? My only weakness. Those socks were pretty spiffy too. And I don't know if I was suppose to or not but I opened the wrapped present. Sorry. But I'm sure all of the ladies here in Omaha will appreciate it hahaha ;) 

Well as far as my scripture studies go, I have been really digging Jacob. Jacob 4 is definitely one of my favorite chapters right now. I have been reading a lot of conference talks lately as well. And listening to them. I decided for my last transfer all I'm going to listen to is Mo Tab, Hymns, and Conference talks. President Uchtdorfs most recent talk "Receiving a Testimony of Truth and Light" is super good.

Well as far as investigators go, there is not a whole lot to talk about. We did see Jeff and Erin, that investigator couple. They're super nice, but just have a lot of hold ups. She was asking a lot of polygamy and if we claim God doesn't change, then why did we change our doctrine on polygamy and what not, so we tried to explain, in the most politically correct way possible, that the doctrine never changed, just the practice of it did. But they're just going to need to pray about it. They want to logical conversion rather than a spiritual one so we'll have to work on that. Well guys, I need to get going. I love you! Talk to you soon! Have a great day!

Elder Ballif

Monday, December 15, 2014

Transferred to Elmwood with 6 Weeks to Go :)

Hey Family!

Well the news has already been spoiled I suppose. Sister Oltman keeps that facebook stuff current haha. Yeah I am in the Elmwood Ward in Omaha. It's about right in the middle in Omaha. In fact Center St. is in our area. I am pretty excited actually. Elder Gardner is a stud. He is so tight. He is in the running already for favorite companion. Things have been going great so far.

This is a interesting way to spend my last 6 weeks but I'm up for it. I was pretty shocked to get transferred but it has actually been nice. The area is not as depressed either. I actually see a lot of white people now so that has been an awesome change haha. 

 We've already hit it off with some members. The Pearson family, oh man they are so cool. We had an awesome dinner. She actually made that chicken broccoli casserole that Mom would make from time to time, and guess what? I actually like it now. Oh the things a mission will do for ya haha. 

Well as you may now we are whitewashing the area. The Elders here before us did not take good care of the area and let's just say we have our work cut out for us. We do have a dinner with an investigating couple on Wednesday though, so I am excited for that. Other than that, I'm not really sure what to do. We really want to work with the members so we have been trying to get to know them as much as possible. 

I'm trying not to check out, and I think I'm doing a pretty decent job. I wouldn't say that I'm trunky, but I would say that I'm pretty hubbed out. You can figure out what that means on your own haha ;)

So as far as the Christmas call goes, we are still working out some details. We can Christmas morning for sure, but I have yet to get permission for Christmas Eve haha. I will work on that and let you know next week. Speaking of Christmas, 

 Well I need to get going. I will email earlier next week, sorry for emailing so late. Well I love you guys! Have a great week everyone!

Elder Ballif 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Moved Apartments

Hey Family!
How's everyone doing? I hope well. My week was pretty good. It went by super fast, which is always good haha. It is transfer week this week which is pretty crazy if you ask me. Then the next one will be me. Pretty weird stuff. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm trying not to think too much about it, but sometimes that doesn't work out too well. I am definitely excited to talk to you guys on Christmas. I'm sure I can work something out with your work schedule, Mom. But that is pretty lame that they're doing that. If you guys haven't already check and what that video. It is so good. I have been very impressed with the Church's media campaigning lately.
That is pretty scary about Grandma but I'm glad she's doing better now. Seizures are very scary. Not that I know a whole lot about them. But I will make sure to send some extra prayers Grandma's way. I wish I would have developed a better relationship with the extended family back home. Hopefully I can make up for lost time when I get home.
Well as far as investigators go, Nealia is still doing awesome. Unfortunately she couldn't make it to church yesterday. She gave us a call the morning of and said she was in a lot of pain with her knee, and it was all swollen. She is actually having surgery today on her knee so keep her in your prayers. The surgery she's getting is orthoscopic so apparently she wont be down for too long. We still went over to see her yesterday, and taught her the law of the fast and the law of tithing, and it is just crazy how accepting she is. She was already doing the math for the 10% right after we told her haha. She is so awesome. Austin is still improving. The situation is a little interesting though. His mother is not living the law of chastity and like, I've said he just doesn't have a very good home situation, so we are still trying to figure some things out as far as his baptism. We need to make sure he really, really wants it. We have not been able to see Chloe either. She'll answer our phone calls, but we have had the hardest time getting things set up and actually working.
So before I forget we have now moved. Our apartment is a lot nicer and does not have the very pleasant smell of weed. The address is 2619 Nicholas St. Apt F, Omaha NE, 68131. So do not send anything to the Ames place. And to answer your question Mom, it would probably be a good idea to send everything to the mission office. 11027 Martha St, Omaha NE 68144. We frequently go there, due to the calling. Also just putting some money in my account would be awesome. I dropped a ton and I mean A TON of money at Costco, getting healthy stuff. But if you guys don't mind today I would like to buy something at GNC so if you could keep an eye out for that, I would greatly appreciate it. It will be an early Christmas present haha.
Well I hope you guys all have a great week. I love all of you and can't wait to see you guys on Christmas! Take care!
Elder Ballif