Monday, January 19, 2015

"I can honestly say that I needed my mission more than anyone else"

While it just snows more and more there, the sun gets hotter and hotter here. Don´t be too surprised if I return home a bright red tomato! But I´m really hoping all that snow sticks around. The Lord knows how much I´m praying for this wish to come true haha. Yes Mom, I still have so much to learn, but here on the mission, I´ve learned things that I wouldn´t have discovered any way other than being a missionary. I can honestly say that needed my mission more than anyone else. Of course, I came here to serve the Lord and His children, but the person who has been most benefited is me. I´ve learned what my strengths are, but most important, my weaknesses, and how I can change them. The mission is an incredibly eye-opening experience, one that I´d never give for anything in this world.
Noelle, thanks for the e-mail! I hope you get better... I´m proud of you for choosing to work on a church lesson over going to a fun-filled party. Woohoo! Sounds like Steven´s basketball team is going to rock! And glad that Uncle Dan is getting to spend time with Grand Dad. I´ve already written a Happy Birthday card for him, along with a bunch of other letters, but it´s just always a matter of when we´ll get around to visiting the post office. Speaking of cards and letters, tell everyone thank you so much for sending Christmas cards! I got some from you guys, from Nana and Pops, the Priebes, the Fagans, the Kelly fam aaaand the Karrens! I love you all and am super grateful that you remembered this gringa here in Brasil. You guys rock.
I guess it can be a bit hard to give talks because of our 'training', but to be honest, we don´t really have a strict way of teaching the lessons, so it´s a little easier to expand on what we want to say if necessary. I don´t really know how to say what I´m trying to say. Basically, in the CTM, they trained us to teach the lessons in a super short amount of time, if necessary, but we also learned how to teach the same lessons during a longer period of time. Giving talks isn´t too hard... I think the hardest part is just the fact that we don´t have access to all the same materials as everyone since we don´t have computers to use the church website whenever we want, or church manuals. Does that answer your question, Mom? And there are a lot more colorful houses here than there, that´s for sure! Not every house is as cool and colorful as Bispo´s, but there are a lot of red, orange, pink, blue, green, and yellow houses here :).
As for this week, we didn´t get to spend as much time in our area as usual, but the Lord blessed us and made up for the time we missed. We saw many mini miracles that happened throughout the week! We had a leadership meeting in Maceió on Tuesday with an excellent training on our desires and how we can make goals and plans to acheive those desires. Our greatest desire as the Lord´s servants (which is all of us!) should be the same as His--the 'immortality and eternal life of man'. To accomplish that desire, we need to make goals and plans to reach those goals. We talked about how God created everything spiritually before He made His creation physically and how we need to do the same; we need to create our weeks and our days spiritually by planning so that we can carry out those plans physically by actually doing. I also went on exchanges with Sister Gama this week and, even though it was to help her, I learned a ton. Through her example, I was reminded of how important it is to testify of Christ in all we say and do. At every opportunity she had, she testified of Christ and His gospel and the happiness that she has because of Him. I´m going to improve in this and hope we can all do the same. I love our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. I´m so grateful that they have blessed us with the opportunity to experience true joy together with our families throughout the eternities if we simply live the gospel. I love each of you and hope you can all have an incredible week.

Com amor,
Sister Ball

 An area of Maceio

 A wonderful Sunday lunch with a wonderful family

Our serenading, accordion-playing Sergipiano friend  :) 

With a caju downtown

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