Monday, June 9, 2014

3 Weeks

So, I got a bit behind in posting Bri's letters and pics!  This post is three weeks of her letters.  I will include pictures in a separate post!

May 12, 2014

I can´t tell you all how good it was to see each one of your faces! Sure you were all a bit blobby, but I could still tell that everyone is super studly and ridiculously beautiful. And it was great to talk with Uncle Dan too! Bummed that I had just missed Grand Dad, but we´ll make sure to not forget this Christmas. Speaking of family, I got some letters from some awesome people this week--the Gilleys, the Karrens, Grand Dad, the Howards, and a package from the Beehives. Thank you so much!!!
As for this past week, not too much happened. We managed to meet some elects which was great. It´s incredible how the Lord prepares people to receive us. The other day, we were passing a lady sitting outside of her house, gave a 'boa tarde' and she immediately got up and led us into her house. A little bit later, we left with a new investigator and a lady excited to accept baptism! This week, we also took advantage of every minute we had with Sister Vieira and Sister Moraes. They left last night and it was so hard to say goodbye, but we made sure to have some fun before they left for good. That fun included the cinnamon challenge, glowsticks, trifle, pão de queijo, surprise parties and lots of laughs and tears too. I´m so grateful for the people I get to meet here in the mission and for the friendships we make that will hopefully last forever. It´s incredible how the Lord (I seem to like that frase), places people in our lives to help us improve our lives and strengthen our weaknesses.
Other than that, the work is going well. Our biggest problem here is marriage. Almost no one is married but everyone lives together. That complicates baptism just a bit. But miracles happen and the Lord is on our side. I love you all and again and so grateful we got to talk yesterday. I remember ending our call on Christmas and thinking that Mother´s Day would never arrive, but my oh my how time flies! And it will only fly again until Natal! Christmas! :) I loooove you!!! Hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

May 19, 2014

Noelle, CONGRATS on State! You. are. such. a. beast. Cam, sounds like you performed so well! It also sounds like you´re growing up wayyy too fast :). And Steven, as always, sounds like you´re whoopin´ booty on the field. Way to go! Also glad Mom got to see some good friends and David is being so good... and Dad is becoming even more genius... is that possible? I love my family! I was going to ask about the missionaries in our ward so I´m glad you mentioned something! That´s great that they´re trying to involve the youth more in missionary work. It sounds like what they´re doing isn´t super normal there but honestly, it´s completely normal here. I think the wards here are a lot more involved in the work which is super nice. That´s actually how it should be! I know now more than ever the importance of helping the missionaries. This work really is impossible without the members! The ward that I´m in now is great! The members are constantly passing referrals and offering to help. The only problem is the area in which I serve with Sister Costa, we only have three families that are members. The rest are people waiting to here the gospel. And our area is HUGE. To walk from the farthest point to our chapel should take almost two hours or so. Yeah, we walk a lot. The area of the other sisters is saturated with members so we have to steal them sometimes, but we´re working on figuring something out.
The weather here is interesting. When it rains, it gets a little chilly but before and after, the sun is super strong. And as for this week, it wasn´t a fantastic week but it wasn´t completely horrible. No one came to church, all our baptism dates fell through and no one wanted to hear from us, but it was also full of tender little mercies from the Lord. We´ve been working with an unmarried couple for some time now and we finally got them to really converse about marriage and pray about being married and baptized next month. That was a miracle in itself!
Sister Rodriguez´ new companion is one of my CTM friends´ sisters, so that´s cool. Sister Rodriguez and I ate chocolate and cried ourselves to sleep every night because we miss the others so much but that´s okay (brinks... we just ate lots of chocolate). But really, I do love this work and I learn new things every day. I want to improve every day so that when I finish this mission, I can be satisfied with my work here. I love the people here and I love being a servant of the Lord. And I love you! Have a great week and hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

May 26

As for this week, it was pretty tough. We´re trying so hard to find good, teachable people but no one wants to here from us or is super mole... and the people who do accept us and are super elect aren´t married but also aren´t willing to separate from their 'spouse.' And no one comes to church despite all the effort we put into making it possible for them to come. It´s been a bit tough. But we´re continuing in faith, with hope that the Lord´s elects exist. There´s a comparison that I love--we´re searching for pearls. We have a bucket full of 100 clams and among these clams there are 4 pearls that we´re trying to find. We´re obviously not going to give up until we find these pearls but it´s also not going to be easy and we´re probably going to have to open a lot of clams without pearls before finding the ones with pearls. So right now where in the process of finding all the empty clams ;). But I have faith that the Lord has prepared people to receive us and be baptized so that they can take that first step onto the path that leads back to His presence. I´m so grateful for all your support and love. I don´t like to ask a ton for favors, and I know you´re already praying for me, but please just keep praying. Not just for me, but for all missionaries. We need them more than people realize :). I love you all and hope you have a great week! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Pops and Tina! Pops, I love you and hope you had a great day and hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow, Tina! Hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

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