Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jan 5, 2014 There and Back Again, An Elder’s Journey

There and Back Again, An Elder’s Journey

A lot of people asked me when I got home, ‘’So did you like your mission?’’ ‘’How was it?’’ ‘’Are you glad you went?’’  To be honest I wasn’t ready to answer their questions, because I was taking the experience as it came and hadn’t yet had the chance to consider it as a whole.

Traveling home provided an opportunity to reflect a little.  We had a few delays, I lost my backpack with all of my journals and scriptures, but it really didn’t stress me out.  I knew that it would work out.  The mission has helped me to develop more patience and has made me able to put things in better perspective.  I knew I would get to see my family, and I was even able to invite someone I talked with in the airport to listen to the missionaries.  I was super excited to call up the bishop of the ward that he will belong to and pass on the contact information.  But as I talked with people in the airport, I felt that my role was changing.  Every member is a missionary.  But the way I help in the work of Salvation has to be adjusted.  I want people to feel my love and acceptance, and I don’t have to force a gospel spin on everything.  I have to take advantage of opportunities and look for ways to help people ‘’ask the missionaries.’’

I heard a lot about missionaries crying as they took off the missionary name tag.  I didn’t.  I was praying that I would be able to still feel the spirit strongly, and thankfully the Lord has helped me keep on feeling that.

Scripture study, preparation, and planning were very important on my mission.  I found that if I could do those things well the day would go well.  But if I was a bit slow to engage myself, outside the same thing would happen.  If I got lazy towards the end of my studies, the night would be long because that night a lot of plans would fall through. 

Those small things are still important.  My family got me an iPod touch and I am planning in it every night and setting goals.  I bought a new hardback Book of Mormon to study and mark.  This morning I was reading about Lehi traveling into the wilderness with his family.  After he had worked so hard to preach the gospel, being rejected, being commanded to leave his possessions and go into the wilderness, etc.  . . after all that sacrifice that he did, he builds an alter to offer up sacrifices and give thanks to the Lord.  He thanked the Lord for the opportunity he had to sacrifice and to give up things, status, friends, relationships with family members, and to travel into an unknown land.  

I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to serve a mission. The Lord allows us to be involved in the lives of others.  What a sacred privilege we have to invite others to come unto Christ. My goal is to continue that sacred mission.

Taylor Ball

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dec 16, 2013 2 Years on the Mission

This Saturday marks 24 months on the mission.  Wow.  I really feel like I have so much to improve and learn.  I feel more humble than when I started my mission.  I want to give everything I have these last two weeks.  

I just wanted to remind everyone about Elder Ballard's apostolic invitation to invite someone to Christ before Christmas.  If you have already done it, then you can do it again.  There are some amazing things we are promised if we participate in this.

I love you all and wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Next week because of Christmas, I won't be writing on Monday.  I may write a little on Christmas day.

I will be praying for you that you may become even more dedicated to Christ this Christmas.  I hope that your prayers will be with me and my family too this Christmas season.

I know that the Book of Mormon is True.  It changes lives and destinies.  Christ lives.  Joseph Smith is His prophet.  The Lord loves each and everyone one of us.  This is His Church.  In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

*Elder Taylor Ball*

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dec 9, 2013 My Birthday Was Great

My Birthday was great!  What did I do?  Weekly planning and missionary work!  YEAH!  really no difference from any day.  

It was a fantastic week.  The girl who was baptized three weeks ago is in 2nd Nephi chapter 6.  We are super excited with how consistent and dedicated she is.  She is going to endure to the end!

Monday night my comp was sick.  He had a fever and felt terrible.  We bought some medicine, and because I couldn't find anyone to stay with him and work with me, I stayed and cleaned the apartment.  It shined afterwards!  Elder Oyarzun asked for a blessing that night.  And the next day he was much better.  So we were able to work.

Later in the week we felt like we should pass by a less active family.  So we went and they were super excited to receive us!  I was very impressed because before they didn't want to hear anything.  Then we found out that the Grandmother (who isn't a member and is in her mid 70's)  was praying that we would come that day.  She wanted to listen to us.  We gave them a Book of Mormon, and the next day they went to church with us!  BINGO!   (But not really, because missionaries don't play Bingo)

Sunday night we had a big surprise in that we received permission to go to the Christmas devotional.  It started at 10 pm local time and ended at 11:30 . . . but President gave us permission to go.  We went with a less active brother.  It was wonderful.  Very different from past devotionals.

Have a great week!  I have to go to work!

*Elder Taylor Ball*

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dec 2, 2013 Don't Be Trunky

Week one of this transfer was a long week.  Mainly because I remembered that it was my last transfer.  This week was better but there still were constant reminders.  Last night as I put Dec 1 in my Journal, I realized how easy it was to know how many days I have left knowing that I leave the last day of the month.  UGH!

Don't  Be Trunky

Haha.  Today though I was impressed by one of the missionary `giants`that we have in this mission.  He extended his mission and is super determined to give 100% to the end.  I want to be like that!

That being said . . . 

This week was fun.  After a long door contact where the man repeatedly denied letting us enter into his home, I told him ``Usted esta equivocando feo no aceptando nos``  (You are making a big mistake in not letting us in).  He didn`t like that answer too much.  But we got to be sincere right?
haha yeah . . . kind of lost my patience.  But it felt really good to say it.

Anyways, This is going to be an exciting week!  We have Christmas Zone Conference!

Have a great week!

*Elder Taylor Ball*

Letters get to me in about 3 weeks.  I am in Salta so I get things when they come.  But that being said, this week should probably be the last week you send me anything by mail.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nov 25, 2013 Baptism and Surprise Hike

Well I have like no time . . . Surprise!

Today my companion suggested we go to a see a famous monument (Monument to General Martin Miguel de Guemes) here in Salta.  So we did, and while we were there I saw a trail.  And we followed the trail.  And we followed the trail.  And we followed the trail.  About half an hour later we got to the top of the hill.  Super cool view.  Don´t know if it was the best idea to hike in the middle of the day without water or planning.  But it all turned out great, we rode the ski lift down.

This week we had a baptism!  E was baptized.  The cool thing is that the ward is already fighting over what calling she is going to have.  Hopefully she can be interviewed and get a calling soon.  

She didn´t want to listen to us when we first started going and were teaching the rest of the family.  But when she came, she prayed, received her answer and followed it.  She is constantly reading and invited a bunch of friends to the baptism.

Have a great week!

*Elder Taylor Ball*