Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Final Email From Sister Ball

Mom, math is foreign for you? Imagine a blonde in Brasil trying to do calculus problems with a mathematics genius after not studying for three years. Now that´s foreign. Ahhh I was waiting to see when Time Out for Women and Girls would be! Have fun and learn lots for me, okay? Hope everyone starts feeling better too, os bixinhos. :) So this week was exactly what you imagined--full of service, laughter, good food, but lots of tears. I still have this week to finish strong, but I´m already crying like a baby haha. I´ll be going to Maceió on Saturday and from there, home is my next stop! So this is my last e-mail to you guys as Sister Ball. During these past few days, I´ve reflected a lot on my mission, the people I´ve met, the lessons I´ve learned and the love I´ve developed for the gospel and the people I serve. These 18 months have been the best year and a half of my life until now. And I wouldn´t trade anything for them. I´m so grateful for everything I´ve been through--the laughs, the tears, the love, the pain, the joys and the sadness. One time, Dad wrote me saying how the time we serve a mission is a lifetime of experiences because we´ll never pass so much time dedicated to the Lord. So all these spiritual experiences I´ve had really do make a lifetime. So much has happened that I don´t even know where to start. I´ve learned so much and I hope that I´ll be able to apply what I´ve learned to the rest of my life. One of my favorite parts of my mission was seeing the change that happens when people live the gospel. Maybe those changes are simple, but it´s the simple things that bring the greatest joy. Nothing made me more happy during this time than seeing simple people make life-changing decisions--people who barely know how to read or write actively participating in church classes, seeing a man who decided that he never wanted to drink again receive the Aaronic Priesthood and help pass the Sacrament, seeing a woman gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon during months of reading and finally deciding to be baptized, seeing people I used to teach as investigators become active members of the church, serving faithfully in their callings and helping the missionaries, receiving a letter from a recent-convert expressing her joy for receiving her patriarchal blessing, helping youth prepare to serve missions, reminding inactive families and members why they were baptized and seeing their testimonies being rekindled, receiving endless help and love from amazing members and incredible investigators. During this year and a half, it was through the small and simple things that I was  able to feel the biggest joy. I now have a testimony that it really is only through the gospel that we can experience true joy and happiness--through our Savior´s Atonement and His unconditional love. Never before have I felt so much of that love. I´m so grateful that Heavenly Father trusted in me enough to send me to the Brasil Maceió Mission to help His sons and daughters receive the restored gospel in their lives. Even though I was called to the Brasil Maceió Mission, I spent all my time, except 6 weeks, in Sergipe and I´m so grateful that I had the opportunity to love and serve these people. But as much as I may have tried to give them my best, the person who was benefited more than anyone else was me. It was them who helped me learn and change what I needed to change to become who I am today. The people I met here are people who changed my life, people for whom I will be forever grateful. Luckily I still have one more week with them and I hope that I can take advantage of every moment. I know that this work is the Lord´s work and that His plan is perfect. I know that through this plan, His children can experience all the blessings He has in store and live happily ever after as eternal families. I think that during this time, I was able to feel just a bit of that eternal happiness that He´s prepared for each one of us and, if that´s the case, I can´t imagine how incredible it will be to feel that forever. I love you all. I´m so grateful for all the suppport, the cards, the letters, the packages, the fasts, the prayers that I received during this time. I´m sad that I have to leave this mission, but I´m excited for the next chapter in my life and to continue with the friendships I´ve made while here. Thank you for everything and... até logo :).

Com amor,
Sister Ball

Saying Goodbye

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brianna, I was just called to Maceio on my mission and found your blog when I was googling some questions I had about things to bring. If you get a chance I would love to ask you about a few things about your experiences, so just shoot me an email at courtneywalker58@gmail.com. Thanks so much!
    -Courtney Walker