Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm Loving This Work!

I´m loving this work. Sure it´s exhausting and by the time Saturday night comes around, Sister Barratt and I are so exhausted that we turn into crazy hooligans and can´t seem to function correctly, but that just means that we´re working super hard during the week right? We really are though. And we´re seeing great results. Our investigators are starting to really progress and the members are helping so much with lessons and making friendships with our investigators. This week, I realized that I really wish I had helped more with the missionary work before my mission--that I had gone out on splits with the sisters or given more references to the missionaries or even simply sat with investigators when they showed up at church with the elders. When I get back, I´m going to be better about this for sure. So this week I learned that some people might not fully accept the gospel at first because they might be embarrassed that they don´t know certain things about it. Example: we were at an investigator´s home one day and the owner of the house was there too, so she decided to sit in on the lesson. We were learning about the Book of Mormon, and Claudia, the owner, was confused and at first a bit closed off because she thought that the reason she hadn´t ever heard of the Book of Mormon was because she wasn´t very learned. We told her that that definitely wasn´t the reason and after helping her feel better, she opened up more and was really curious about it. She really liked the idea of scriptures being written here in the Americas too and now we´re teaching her too! We were also able to mark the baptism of a young mother, Valeska, we´re teaching who just recently moved to the area. This lesson in which we marked the baptism was... with a member! I have a feeling that if Irmã hadn´t been there to share her testimony, it would have been a lot harder to commit Valeska to baptism. But her seeing an example of someone who already received the missionaries and now is happily living the gospel was proof to her of what she can have after baptism too. Her mom lives nearby and knows a bit about the  "mormons." We can see her testimony really growing and her sincere desire to know more and do what´s right makes us so happy. Every time we leave her home, we walk away smiling because she has such a sweet spirit! So now for some random, happy moments: this week, Sister Barratt and I came across Extra, a giant supermarket in our area. And we discovered that it´s Walmart. It´s ginormous and has EVERYTHING inside! A little slice of home :). One day, Sister Castro and I also picked up lunch from a member´s house and got to walk through a street fair. There I saw everything to eat from chicken feet to cow and pig hooves, to cow tongue. The smell was lovely :). Aaaaaand, quick side story: in the CTM one P-Day, Sister Barker and I bought a tie and named it the Miracle Tie. We started a "Brotherhood of the Traveling Miracle Tie" with the elders in our district where one of them would wear the tie every day and at the end of the day, record a miracle that had happened while dressed in the tie. Before leaving the CTM, we decided to pass it on to another district we felt worthy of the tie and told them to do the same. And this last P-Day, we discovered that it still lives! A new american sister in the mission had pictures of elders in her district wearing the tie! Oh happy day. As for McDonald´s. It´s super pricey (surprise!) so we only eat there every so often. Tell Sister Tingey hi for me too! Ahhhh I miss that family! I don´t have a ton of time left, but yes, the church here is wonderful. The members are super strong! Sister Barratt actually lives in Allen, Texas... maybe knows the Jacobsons! And Sister Castro and Sister Barker are doing wonderful. I love them all!!!!! And I love you all! Hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

P.S. Thank you to Missy´s family and Grand Dad for the letters! And Aunt Michelle, thank youuuuu for the package! I LOVED it! And I had been needing CTR rings for some kids here, so thank you so much! Love you guys!

a foto covering almost all of my area... we work past those buildings in the far distance and then some. Lots of walking!

 Care Package from Uncle Mark & Aunt Michelle!  Thank You!!!
 Acai, celebrating Sis. Barratt's 6 months 

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