Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012 Psych!


Psych!

One of my favorite TV shows before my mission was Psych. Psych always made me laugh because every episode seemed to be a compilation of the craziest things the writers could think of combined into a semi plausible, but very comical plot. Looking back at traveling here to Argentina, I feel like my journey here went much the same way.

I received a call two Thursdays ago telling me I was to leave the following Monday to Argentina. I was excited to leave, but also sad to be leaving the Syracuse Bluff Stake. After a hurried preparation, I was, once again, all ready to leave for Argentina. I was nervous so I asked one of the local bishops to give me a blessing. After the blessing, I felt all my fears leave, I was READY. On Monday, I went to the mission office where one of the couple missionaries made sure that I knew the number of the missionary travel office, so I could call if anything went wrong, and then a car picked me up and took me to the airport.

Long story short, our flight got delayed, and we were going to miss our layover in Dallas, so I called the mission travel office who told me to get my bags and they would schedule the flight for the next day.  So another bus came and took us back to the MTC (3rd time!! haha) The other missionaries in the group were pretty down about it, but I was just laughing about it. 2 months in the mission field has taught me to just let some things slide.

We stopped at the In-N-Out in Orem. It felt weird to be 2 blocks from my house, but I didn´t see anyone that I knew. At the MTC, the other Elders called their old MTC branch presidents. I decided to call mine too, and I was sure glad I did. Later that night he came with two talks printed out for me, some much needed advice and information, and a seven layer bar baked by his wife. I am so glad I got to see President Tyler again. I think I really should write a letter one of these weeks about some of his life stories. They are amazing and inspiring.

That night I went to sleep once more in the crowded MTC dorms. My sleep was interrupted by a pounding that came at 5 am telling us that our plane was leaving soon. I groggily ran and got ready. We had no idea we would be leaving again that soon! Our flight included a layover in Atlanta. I had the chance of talking with two people on my trip about the gospel. I invited them to go to Mormon.org at the end to find out more.

Our travel plan ended in Buenos Aires, Argentina with instructions to meet Alberto. We found him without too much trouble, but he took our passports and the papers we were told to give him and walked away. THAT’s when we started to feel a little nervous. Then some guy with a mohawk comes up to us and says, “Follow me.” We just stood there. Then a woman came and told us to follow him. We hesitantly started following him. The movie Taken started replaying in my mind. I was a little freaked out. Then we saw some missionaries waiting for their flight home that told us that it was ok and that we should follow them.

So we went, and were taken to another airport. From there we flew to Salta. There I met my mission president, and the adventure can begin.
DON¨T CRY FOR ME, I AM IN ARGENTINA!!
--

*Elder Taylor Ball*


Street Crossing


 The fastest way to send me mail is probably pouch mail or dearelder.com. Both will come in about a week. (I am in the Salta, Argentina Mission)

**POUCH MAIL: You only need normal US postage for this one. Post Card or Paper (using one piece of paper- fold into thirds with the blank side on the bottom, secure with two pieces of tape one inch in from each end, do not seal the ends. In the top left corner write your name and complete return address, Affix first class postage in the top right corner.)

Elder Taylor Ball
Argentina Salta Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City UT 84130-0150

** LETTERS: I personally prefer these the most, but they will take about 3-4 weeks to get to me, so your reply may take awhile . . .

Elder Taylor Ball
Argentina Salta Mission
Casilla de Correo 429
4400 Salta
Salta
ARGENTINA

** PACKAGES: Will be really expensive for you to send and I am not 100% sure that they will get to me. But a lot do. I have to pay 50% of whatever the government thinks it is worth for import fees. But hey, if you want to send something I won´t say no!

Elder Taylor Ball
Argentina Salta Mission
Los Eucaliptus 75 B° Tres Cerritos
4400 Salta
Salta
ARGENTINA

Telephone: 54 387-439-8119 (required if shipped with private courier)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mar 22, 2012 SALTA, ARGENTINA


Greetings from the Argentina Salta Mission!  

Elder Ball arrived safely yesterday afternoon.  
The new missionaries are being trained today, and tomorrow will head out to their first area.

 
Elder Ball with Presidente y Hermana.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mar 13, 2012 P Day - Preparation or Party Day? & The Funnies


Preparation Day . . . or PARTY DAY?!??
It is a hard life serving as a Utah missionary. Friendly people . . . a lot of freebies . . . a lot of random people who walk up to us and randomly give us money . . . and I am getting fat. :P

Preparation days are different in every mission. My sister Danielle in the Dominican Republic says she spends a lot of her time playing soccer on Preparation day. Here in Utah these are some of the things I have done:
Indoor Soccer: Last Preparation day we drove down to Ogden and played Zone against Zone. I felt like the only white guy . . . and I pretty much was.

Bountiful Temple: AMAZING! I love the temple so much! We don't have a car so a member of the stake high council offered to give us a ride.

Layton Classic Fun Center: Missionaries play laser tag?? I guess we do! haha. We got unlimited tokens . . . which was weird cause all we could do was Skee ball and Bowling. It was fun though! And we went skating. It was really kind of weird. Polendo didn't tell me we were going there, so I arrived in my suit. But that's cause I am super righteous.

Make Bread: One of the local couple missionary pairs used to own a bakery. So we asked them to teach us how to make bread. It turned out WAY good!

The Funnies
ERNEST AND FRANK - Sometimes I say one thing when I mean something else.
Me: "It's cause I have the power of desertion."
Other Missionary: "Do you mean Discernment?"
Me: "Oh that too!"
BELIEVE IT OR NOT - We were out meeting with families and we met this Peruvian who was a member. After asking for referrals, we handed him a mormon.org card with our number on it. He paused and looked at the many faces on the card and said, "Hey . . . That's my cousin!"

ZITS - So sometimes Polendo doesn't believe that I am funny. One day we were walking and we saw some girls from track running behind us. Being the funny man I am, I said "Don't look now Polendo, we are being Chaste!" Polendo didn't get the joke. Another example - We walked passed a sign that said “Free Vacuums.”  "Don't go there," I told Polendo, "I heard they suck."


Have a Great Week! Sorry no quote cause I got to go! I am still here in Syracuse! It's a party!

--
Elder Taylor Ball

Mar 6, 2012 Saved by the Bell


Saved By The Bell *
*(Notice the hideously colored title, that's my homage to the styles of the 90's, which are thankfully over.)

One of my older siblings, David and Danielle's, favorite shows from the 90's is Saved by the Bell. I don't really remember much from it besides a really funny, nerdy character with suspenders and thick glasses. And since I am super funny and know people who are nerdy, wear suspenders and glasses, I feel a connection to nerd man. His show title (refer to title above) is also a perfect lead into for what has been one of the most AMAZING things to me as a missionary. And that is timing. We somehow are able to catch people the ward can't and find people at the perfect time.

Good Timing -
- I felt the prompting that I needed to focus my study more on Preach My Gospel one day rather than in the Old Testament, which I have been reading with a fury. So I studied yesterday morning about the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost,* which really helped me explain to an investigator the difference and made me more sensitive to the prompting to ask if we could bring another member to the visit the next time. The Investigator said yes. Later that night, I felt like I needed to call and ask that member that very night if she could go with us to the next visit. So I called her up and she said she could. Towards the end of the conversation the member suggested that I give an Argentine member of the branch a call. I asked why and she told me that she was moving back to Argentina and was very nervous and unsettled about the whole thing. I said I would think about it, and we both said goodbye. I was hesitant to call because phone calls in Spanish are not my forte. But I felt like I needed to, so I called her. During the phone call I could really hear how nervous she was about going back and she asked that we would pray for her** because she had a lot of layovers. I then told her there was a reason for everything and that God loves her and understands everything that she is going through. She thanked me and said that was exactly what she needed to hear.

I am so thankful that I followed that prompting and decided to study more about the Holy Ghost. I was led by the hand from thing to thing, so that I could call that night to comfort someone who really needed it. If I had delayed, I would have been too late because her plane left this morning. Satan tried to delay me by playing on my weakness, but luckily I did not heed his sinister call.

- One of our first days here we were going through the old lists of former investigators. We went to a house where the family had just barely made the New Year’s resolution to become active in Church again. We came at the perfect time to encourage them and give them the little boost that they needed to accomplish their goal. We have since been back many times to support them.

There are so many experiences that I could list here if I had the time, but I need to go. Waiting for my Visa I have learned a lot about the importance of patience. There really is something 'Divine' about the timing of things in our lives. There really is a reason for the way things happen. There are a lot of wounds that only time can heal and opportunities that can only come with time.
--
Elder Taylor Ball

"When we are unduly inpatient we are questioning God's omnipotence." Neal A Maxwell
(Not exact quote, to see the real wording go to BYU Classic Speeches and read his talk 'Patience,' it will be worth your time. I promise. 

* Do you know the difference? If not, it's worth the study. Maybe start with the bible dictionary definition of the Holy Ghost.

** I am sure she would be blessed by your prayers as well. If you pray for the Argentine lady, I am sure God will know where to direct those blessings.