Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 27, 2013 On the Road

On the Road

Today I wanted to talk about what we do most - teaching. It has been a good week. We´ve talked to Evangelical Pastors, found two new families, and two families of recent converts.  The Branch I am working in - Villa Saavedra, is working hard to grow.  We have a big activity this Thursday in the church.  We are going to be watching Joseph Smith - Prophet of the Restoration!

Our President has been encouraging us to commit people more powerfully by having them sign a baptismal record when they accept a baptismal invitation.  We did that Monday night with some kids. The 8 year old is super cool.  He is always asking when we are coming over and reads everything we leave.  Us kids are so open to the gospel.

Tuesday, we were contacting a house when a lady we didn´t know came out.  The person we were trying to contact wasn´t there, so we tried to speak with her.  She asked if we were protestants, I explained that we aren´t.  She asked what the difference was, I told her we would love to tell her that if she would let us in to share our message.  She let us in.

Wednesday we were visiting a lot of recent converts.  Sadly a lot of people have stopped assisting church after they were baptized.  We taught all of Lesson 5 in a quick overview lesson.  I like teaching the lesson that way, because it gives a clear ´´what´s next´´ to the new members.  We did have a less active member come to church this Sunday who hasn´t come for several years. Later in the week I was talking to a less active member.  I was a little frustrated with him.  He was raised in the church, but left in his teenage years and never came back.  I was really bold in telling him that his salvation depended on him going back to church. I was reading about how frustrated Nephi was with his brothers today and that made me feel a little better for getting so agitated about people leaving the church.

Thursday we had a branch activity where I gave the lesson. We made a list of the ideal family, and read some stuff about that.  Then we talked about how Family Home Evening, Scripture study, and prayer bring the spirit.  Then we read Galatians 5:22.  One of the investigators there gasped as she saw the same list we had written describing the ideal family found in the scriptures as fruits of the spirit.

The rest of the week was a mad dash to help people come to church.  Elder Lippold and I are going to be focusing on commitments and the way we invite people to make changes in their lives.  I am excited for another week!

Well, Times up!  

The Gospel is true and I love you!

*Elder Taylor Ball*

2 years ago there was a big flash flood here.  There is still a line on a lot of the houses here from where the water got to.

Today we made Garlic Fries and Milanesa.  Milanesa is breaded meat (kind of like chicken nuggets, but not)  

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013 Not Too Cool for Cat Food

Not Too Cool for Cat Food
Preach My Gospel says that we should learn more about the culture of the places where we are serving, so here is Elder Lippold and I eating Picadillo.

Picadillo is a canned mystery meat that is eaten with crackers.  It’s rather salty and actually not that bad.  Elder Lippold calls it cat food.  It smells like it. He he

It was awesome talking with my family last week.  It feels like that was forever ago.  I missed seeing Marie and Jennifer, but it was great seeing Danielle after almost 2 years.

Life is awesome here in Tartagal.  We had interviews with President Levrino on Friday.  I came prepared with questions.  One of them was how to pray with all the energy of my heart (Moroni 7 Charity).  He suggested that I read Joseph Smith History before the First Vision.  I am learning a lot about meditating over a gospel subject and about how I need to constantly learn and improve.

We have a mission challenge to read all of the Book of Mormon in 60 days.  I started in Alma 32 because that is where I was.  But today I just finished Ether.  I think it is interesting how Moroni focused a lot of his account on the destruccion of the Jaredite people.  Maybe that is because he felt a connection to all the destruccion he had witnessed.  The Gospel really is the only solucion to global conflicts.

We have been doing a lot of finding these last few weeks.  I love sharing the story of Joseph Smith.  I feel the spirit so strongly as we share about the first vision.  

We gave talks this week in church.  I focused on reading the Book of Mormon.  

The work keeps on moving on!  Next week I will have to talk a little bit more about our teaching experiences!
We have to cross this bridge to get to church.


 At night they actually have the fountains going here.  All the cities I have been in have really beautiful plazas

*Elder Taylor Ball*

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013 But If Not

But If Not

I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  They stood up bravely to a king and told him that they would not do something they knew was wrong.  They had faith that God would save them.  They said
 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to adeliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will notaserve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Of course in the end, the Lord did bless them and save them.  I love the story because to me it teaches us two things.  One, if a king ever asks you to bow down to his golden image, don´t do it! (Actually kind of a problem where I am serving . . .) Second, God is not the one being tried here, we are!

Sometimes, I feel like I am doing everything I should be doing to help people make correct decisions and be baptized, and we don’t see any immediate blessing from that work.  There are times when we dedicate ourselves to something like we never have before and don´t see the results.  I have never followed the Spirit as much as I did this week, I have never had such powerful scripture studies as I did this week, and I am very exhausted from the effort.  We didn´t have any baptisms last week, the work is very frustrating at times, but I am grateful for it.  

The Lord is helping me learn things that I might never have learned if the outward signs of success came easier.  Real success is found in our inward dedication to the Lord and this work.  I have great hopes for this next week.  I know that we can see more outward fruits in our labors here, but if not, that’s OK.  I am going to keep on dedicating myself and doing what the Lord expects of me.

I am sorry that this week ended up sounding like more of a Sunday School lesson.  I have been learning a lot.  

I love you all!  Talking to my family was amazing!
Elder Ball

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 5, 2013 Will You Marry Me?

Will you marry her?

One of the funnest things to teach to people is the law of chastity.  It is hard to teach it in a way that is not awkward.  Most people here in Tartagal are not married.  It´s just something that most people don´t do, so it's usually something on our mind when we begin teaching people.

Jess is an amazing investigator.  We met her when a member told us to go and visit her mom.  Last night we had ´´the talk.´´ Elder Lippold and I have seen a lot of progress in her, (She has read the entire illustrated Book of Mormon that we gave to her brother, all of the lesson papers (folletos? I cayn´t spreak Englersh?)  and walks miles to get to church with her baby in her arms.)  So needless to say, Elder Lippold and I put special preparation into that lesson.  We told her and her boyfriend that we would be talking about the family the following lesson, and told them it was really important that they both were there.

As we prepared for the lesson, we felt guided to focus more on the home, and raising children.  We found the principles of successful homes in the Family Proclamation and made a cute little diagram of a house where the foundation is the teachings of Christ, the walls are the principles of a successful family, and the roof is happiness and family unity.  
We get the the cita (Lesson) all excited and prepared and BOOM  the boyfriend isn´t there.  So we teach about the family, but don´t mention anything about marriage because we want to teach them both about it.

We didn´t see him all week until last night.  And I didn´t say the words, ´´Will you marry her?´´ (Although I have before . . . I don´t think it went over so hot).  But I did explain how having a unified marriage brings the blessings of heaven to them and their family.  I invited them to pray about it.  Jess’s mom is convinced that she should get married now though . . . haha.  

Please pray for me and my investigators to progress every day.

The Gospel is true and I love you!

Elder Ball