Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jan 28, 2013 Exciting Week...

This was an exciting week! I am learning a lot! Super hot!

We have air conditioning.  We don´t have a door to the bedroom, so we just put a mattress in the doorway every night to keep in the cold air. It is very comfortable.

Elder Flores is a Priest.  He is cool. He wants to work hard. That´s super nice. It is a lot of training, but I am learning a lot too this way too. A lot of things end up being my responsibility though . . . Like contacts and stuff, but I am working on giving him lots of opportunities too. He knows his scriptures very well. And he is learning a little bit of English! Schools have their summer breaks right now; he will be heading back end of Feb or start of March.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jan 21, 2013 The Best Part of the Roller Coaster

The Best Part of the Roller Coaster

Remember that giddy feeling you got the first time you were on a roller coaster and it picked up speed as it went down the hill? That is the way I feel right now. I LOVE the mission So much.

So . . . THE NEWS . . . Elder Cárcamo is headed to my birthplace Santa Ana. And so after 2 weeks getting to know my area I am now in charge of deciding where we go. My new companion is Elder Flores. He is a member of a branch here in Tartagal that got baptized about a month ago. He is super excited to be a member and to be here on a ´mini´mission.

This week a wonder lady was baptized! It was an amazing experience! I have never taught someone so prepared. She had been taught before by other elders more than 10 years back. Elder Cárcamo and I celebrated the baptism by buying a HUGE milanesa Sandwich.

I think one of the coolest experiences I am having is focusing on teaching by the spirit. This week I had the opportunity to give a talk in church. I had been thinking a preparing for it, but I really couldn´t decide exactly what to talk about. I really didn´t know even as I walked up to the stand. The words did come though. I talked about suffering and its relationship with life's purpose. I quoted Lehi in 2 Nephi 2 about opposition in all things, and the importance of following the Lord while we suffer. I shared the example of Joseph Smith´s leg infection and how all he wanted for the pain was to be held in his father's arm. I was inspired to say that in our afflictions, we too should turn to our Heavenly Father´s open arms. I know that He is there waiting to help us. Several people came up to me and thanked me for the talk afterwards. I thank our Heavenly Father, for saying what some people needed that day.

I think the biggest thing that I am learning is just to rely on the Lord to make the changes in these people. I do very little as a missionary to help people convert. I think I am mainly just here to cheer people on and to let the spirit teach.

1 - Baptism

2- Sandwich

 3 - Elder Cárcamo leaving

4 - Elder Flores and I

*Elder Taylor Ball*

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jan 13, 2013 Welcome to the Jungle!

Welcome to the Jungle!

Ok, so maybe that picture is a bit dramatic. But I was bored on my 8 hour bus ride to get to my area. Tartagal is a burning jungle! It has been raining a lot! I love the area! It is super cool. The members here help a lot and the Branch Mission Leader is super funny. Our first conversation consisted of him telling me I can’t be an effective missionary if I don't drink Coca Cola. Haha oh dear.

We had a baptism this week! Genesis is the nicest girl in the world! We didn't really need to teach her anything because she has been going to primary all her life. She is super smart though. We asked her to answer all the questions at the end of a pamphlet and she filled them all out super well!

 Like I said, Tartagal is like a Jungle. We aren’t very far away from Bolivia. The people here are very accepting. We found a former investigator. We started to teach her the first lesson when it became obvious that we weren’t teaching what she needed. She mentioned that she had been looking for the true church for a long time. So I asked her about that. She told us about an experience she had where she said that God showed her that our church was true. We then invited her to be baptized this coming Saturday. She accepted. I love Tartagal!

We played soccer this morning.  It was super hot, but very fun. I got my hair cut. Then I made pancakes on the pizza cooker I bought in my last area. So amazing!

Well .. . that’s a lot of pictures, but I am now in a place that has a lot quicker internet! I love it!!! Well I have to go out and work now, but I love you all! The Gospel is all about being truly, and completely happy! I love being a missionary!

*Elder Taylor Ball*

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan 7, 2013 Crazy Awesome Week!

This last week was a LOT of fun, work, and spiritual experiences. We started it off right with playing soccer with a less active kid and his friend that came to church this Sunday. (Walter the kid who taught everyone the 10 commandments)

After playing we taught them the plan of salvation using the handy dandy pictures my family sent me. We then gave them both photo copies of the plan of salvation pictures and they are cutting them out and coloring and laminating them too! They are super Capo! (Capo means cool)

Elder Ipsen and I found an amazing investigator who read the entire first lesson pamphlet and then prayed and got her answer. She was SO excited to be learning about the gospel and asked amazing questions.

I really appreciated the first lesson in the Lorenzo Snow book about always being sure to read the materials before class. I did that, and even though I missed part of the first class because we were out looking for investigators (Sacrament Meeting is last). I very much enjoyed the next class and had a much more nourishing Sunday.

Sunday night the other Elders got a call about 10 pm telling me that I was being transferred to Tartagal about 8 am the next morning. Elder Ipsen and I were very surprised, but I am excited for my new area. My new comp, Elder Carcamo from Honduras

Well I will tell you all more next week! I love you all! The Gospel is so true! Missions are awesome!
*Elder Taylor Ball*