Monday, February 24, 2014

I've Found Home

All right, I´m going to try to type but this week, we´re in a different lan house and this keyboard is super sticky and a wee bit annoying, so typing is hard and I´m running low on time here. This week was a bit so-so, but I have hope that this coming week can only be loads better! There isn´t a ton that´s worth talking about... Mom, you wanted to know more about the ward. They´re amazing. This next week is transfers and our ward isn´t making the fact that I´ll probably leave any easier because I love the members so much. It´s a very chique ward, but very loving and helpful with the missionary work. Baptisms are difficult, yet the members never give up on helping us! Everyone in this ward is super organized and smart too! Everyone is being accepted into the UFS, the federal university that´s super hard to get into. Lunches are huge and made with love. This is why I´m so fat (I´ve accepted that) :). The most important thing is that here, I´ve found home. Obviously, nothing will ever replace my real home, but I honestly feel like this is my home too. I guess that´s what happens when you pass five months with an incredible ward. Now that I´ve said that, I´m bound to be transferred, darn it! As for customs here, I´ve already written about the basics... the food, the warm, loving people, how they just let strangers into their homes without a word (happens every week!). One thing that I haven´t mentioned though is everyone´s obsession with smell. Almost everyone here is like a walking Hollister shop. Everyone smells so good! And I don´t understand because it´s so stinkin´ hot! I´m impressed every day. I also love how focused everyone is on families. Families and religion here are all that matter which is how it should be. There´s one family that we visit in the ward every week to help the husband stay strong in the gospel and I can´t get over how great their love as a family is. Their little son chooses the song "Families Can Be Together Forever" for our FHEs every single time. It´s adorable. I admire this so much. This week, we did have zone conference. I can´t tell you how good it was to get to see Sister Custódio and all our other friends in Sergipe! We all got lots of training and I was reminded of how amazing Presidente and Sister Gonzaga are. I love them so much! I also got letters! Thank you to the Priebe family, Mom (for the postcard), Elder Jones, Aleesay, Grace Konen, Olivia Wilson, Hannah Jolly, Kate Gatten and the young woman who made the mystery yellow card. I loved every letter and every card so much! I know that despite these difficult times, this mission is the best thing I could be doing right now. I love my mission so much. It has truly helped me come to appreciate Christ more. I know that without Him, we have nothing. But through Him, we have life. We have joy and we have love. I´m so grateful for my family and for their love. And my friends too! I love you all so much! Have a beautiful week and hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

Sister Custódio would probably be a bit horrified that I´m sending this, but she understands the rules with my pictures and the blog... if you don´t want it on the blog, don´t make the face :)

The view from an irmã´s apartment window... love Aracajú! 
-With our ward missionaries and mission leader. They´re all too great! 
With the incredible youth of Gragerú 1! And some lovely young women from Gragerú 2 too :)

In my area after lunch with Sister Barker 
With Sister Barra and Sister Baldomir, our sister trainers

-All my companions from Day One until now! Love each one! 
Our wonderful District Gragerú! Best district in the mission! 
Sister Gonzaga! 
With Sister Barker and Elder Davis, 5 months in the mission for us. Woohoo!!! 
With Elder Rossetto, an elder who arrived with us in the field and knows Jess!
With Sister Barker, my other half... don´t know what I´m going to do without her! 
Zone Conference with Sister Custódio!!! We missed Sister Ferreira, but it was good to have almost everyone together again!

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