Monday, October 27, 2014

A Little Story ....

 Happy Halloween! Wow, I can´t believe Halloween is already almost here. That´s crazy. You´ll have to send me pictures of everyone all dressed up! I´m sad to hear about Helen. I know it was her time to go, but it´s always hard to lose someone so incredible. I wish I could have been there to see her one last time, but I know that where she is now, she´s free of all the pain that she was feeling and is helping the Lord with her extraordinarily sweet spirit. Praying for the Jeskes and everyone else who loved that wonderful woman.
This transfer is seven weeks long, so the next transfer will be November 11th... two weeks! I hope I stay, but I have a feeling that I´ll be moving on. Sister Lopez is Sister Bento´s companion and they live with us and work in the other half of the ward area. She´s from Oregon... yep, she´s American! haha We have a lot in common and decided that our families need to be friends... someone just has to move...
Mom, loved your story about the shepherd´s pie. You may not think that it was anything spiritual, but of course it was! So great that you listened to the Spirit.
So for this week, I just have a little story. Last P-Day I got an e-mail from an irmã from the ward saying that she had just read my blog and was inspired to help my companion and me. She told me loads of sweet things and that she was going to pray to find someone incredible for us to teach. During the week, she went out and made visits with us, introducing us to a bunch of people she knows and getting them excited about visiting the church and receiving us in their homes. On Friday, she told us that she had thought of the person we needed to visit. So we went with her that night to the person´s house, only to discover that this person had moved two years ago. But in their place was a super nice single mom with two adorable little daughters. Maybe it wasn´t who the irmã had thought for us, but it was who the Lord needed us to meet. I know He inspired her to think of this other person so that we could all go to that house and meet this new family. They´re incredible people and I´m so excited to see how the gospel changes their lives! I´m also so grateful for the effort this irmã made to help us and everything all the members here do to help out in the work of salvation. They understand the importance of their role in this work and it´s so great. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week and super fun Halloween! Stay cool and stay strong!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

P.S. Welcome home, Barbara!!!!
P.P.S. The computer isn´t letting me send photos today, sorry :(. Next week, there will be photos!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Time Flies ....

Christmas box... already?! Wow, that´s great because that means that Christmas is arriving! I guess you can put in there what I sent in the other e-mail to tell Nana. If it´s not too pricey, peanut butter is delicious too! Yes, I´ve gotten a few cards here and there, thank you! And tell Kylie that holy smokes, I´m so happy for her!!! That´s incredible!!! Hey! Do you know what time she reports to the CTM? Because I´ll be in Salt Lake City that day haha! I know she´ll do great speaking that language and warming those russian hearts :). Glad the primary program went well and that you kept the kids hungry with your tasty popcorn perfume. I bet they loved that haha! Keep on keeping on in your religion class. You´ll do great!
Yesterday was Stake Conference here in the Aracajú Sul Stake. I got to see almost everyone from Gragerú 1 and my oh my how people have grown! People who were pregnant have babies that are 7, 8, 9 months old. Babies that couldn´t even walk are now walking and talking. Little girls have already become beautiful young women and everyone is getting their mission calls. How did this all happen in less than one year? It just reminded me of how fast time goes by and that talk from two conferences ago about our 4 minutes here on earth. We need to live up every moment because everything´s going to pass by way too fast. Before we know it, we´ll be standing before Christ, being judged for what we did here. I hope that I can be happy and proud of what I did with my life. 
This week was just full of finding more people who are willing to accept us and accept Christ. We´re working hard. Really appreciate all your prayers and your love. I hope that everything continues to go well back home for everyone. Tell Emmalee thanks for the e-mail and that I´m praying for her. E-mail is being super slow, so I don´t really have time to go back and send her a message. But I love her and all of you too! Can´t believe that David Priebe will be home soon! My how time flies! :) Okay, stay strong, stay cool and keep loving everything and everyone with all your hearts!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

P.S. I haven´t heard from Elder Woodbury for a week now, but he was doing great and Elder Jones too! They´re great missionaries!!!! Miss them! And miss you!

 One day, we made lunch at home and decided to make Mexican food since there´s none of that here. We got to make it all from scratch and ohhhhhhh my goodness, we were in heaven!

 Eating açaí to celebrate one year in the mish for Sister Bento and Sister Barros

 Sister Lopez, Mouri and I completed 13 months in the mission this week!

 With a great group of members at lunch yesterday after Stake Conference

With some lovely sisters 

"On Wednesdays, we wear pink." We tried to spell pink, but this was our failing attempt haha

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Date Home Received

Bom dia, querida família! So my english is worsening... I guess that´s one of the sacrifices of serving a mission haha. One of the irmãs here in Eduardo Gomes likes to read my blog and always mentions the little words that I leave in português when I can´t remember in english. You´re not the only ones noticing a difference haha :). It looks like everyone had a blast at Green Bluff eating apple dumplings! I would try to make them here, but the last time I tried to make apple dumplings was at BYU and they just turned out horribly ugly... I think I´ll wait until I get home. Speaking of coming home, Mom and Dad, I forwarded a special e-mail with my flight information for March 10th and 11th! Ohhhh yes. So everyone back home is using glasses now? That´s cool. I might have to join you guys after this harsh sun on a daily basis. Maybe it´s just my brain playing with me, but it seems that my eyesight has worsened a wee bit. Not a ton, but just enough to maybe fulfill my lifelong dream of using glasses like all the other cool kids. Mom, I´m so happy that you´re continuing with your BYU classes. Keep it up! This week, I read a lot in the church magazines about continuing our education and striving to always learn. It´s so important! Dad, good luck helping with the marathon. That should be fun! And yes, they do a primary program here too... at least they did in Gragerú last year! I hope it goes super well there back home this next week!
This week, we spent most of our time trying to find new people to teach. To be honest, I got a bit disanimated (?) being rejected door after door and person after person, but everything changed on Saturday, when we woke up and decided to change our attitude. We did everything with lots of energy and joy haha. Holy smokes, did it make a difference! Everyone accepted us and we managed to put a smile on each person´s face with whom we talked. We also found some great people to teach, so we´ll see where things go with them this next week. My lesson of the week was this--a reminder that our happiness and success only depends on what´s within us. I love you guys and hope everyone is doing well! Send my love for the boys and Grand Dad!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

With Laércio, one of the polititians here in Sergipe... these past few months were filled with lots of political propaganda! Personally wasn´t rooting for Laércio but I liked his thumbs up ;) 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

General Conference

Hello Family! Mom, it´s great to hear that your getting used to your classes and enjoying your religion course. My Book of Mormon and Living Prophets classes at BYU were my favorite by far! Okay, Spanish was cool too. Steven sounds like a beast. Glad that kid is still loving soccer. Tell him congrats on the xc race! Cam sounds like she´s having fun too, enjoying the freshy fresh life! And Noelle, I hope she´s learning to love the college experience, but I´m sure she is :). David sounds as sweet as ever. I really do appreciate the fact that he´s always saying Mama Dutch is with me here in Brasil. That´s so cute and probably true too!
This week was wonderful, mainly because of General Conference. My love for this incredible opportunity we have to listen to the prophet´s voice grows every time conference comes around. I loved that everyone talked about learning to strengthen our testimonies and support the prophets and our leaders so that we can be true disciples of Christ. Sister McConkie shared a story that I truly enjoyed. She spoke of the prophet Elijah, when he visited the widow and asked her to feed him. She told him that she only had enough meal and oil to make a little cake for her and her son and then die because that´s all they had. But Elijah, being a man ordained by God, told her not to worry--to make a meal cake for him and then for her and her son. He blessed her with an unlimited supply of meal and oil, telling her that she would never run out. Imagine how hard that would be, knowing that you´d be giving a man you´d just met the very last of your food. She was already weak and fragile, ready to die at any moment! But with faith, she did as the prophet said and reaped the blessings afterwards. Are we too willing to give all we have to follow the prophets, who voice the will of the Lord? I hope so. I know that I have some work to do, but I´m excited to apply the things I learned during the last two days to my work and my life in general.
Speaking of the work here, we´re really trying to find new people to teach who are willing to accept the gospels in their lives. Please pray that we can find these people, that their hearts can be softened enough to recognize  the truth we have to share. I love you all and hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

P.S. Thank you so much Katie Ringger a.k.a. Koconut for the card! Love you!

It was a week of frogs, with the Lima's at General Conference, and a cake Marinalva made for me for my birthday during lunch at their house Sunday.  Love that family so much!