Monday, March 9, 2015


Christmas in March!!!!!

We made fajitas!!

A German man we met in the woods made the Eiffel Tower way strange

Today I have been in the mission 5 months. This is so psycho. I don’t feel like it’s been that long. My mission is almost a third of the way gone!!!! Ahhh. I need to get cracking on my Spanish!   

Ok, so I didn’t tell you guys this because I felt it was too good to be true, but not this last Saturday but the last we had a lesson with Justina. It’s been really hard because all we had been hearing from our leaders was when to drop someone. They wanted us to drop Justina, well not drop but tell her we weren’t going to be coming to see her as much as before. So we were so sad but we asked an ex-missionary to come with us and he taught the priesthood authority like a pro and she understood and she realized she wanted to be baptized. Before she just loved the church but she never understood why it was necessary to be baptized again. So she accepted a date for this past Saturday!!!! We were soooo stoked. I thought it would be awesome to just come this week and shock you all with my first baptism, that’s why I didn’t tell you last Monday.  All this week we had been working with her to help her feel prepared. Her health has been really bad lately. She had been in the hospital for a week, her whole body seems to have different problems that are all new. Before she was super healthy. So any way Wednesday we had the pre-interview with her where we go over all the baptismal questions (which we have done before but she always had so many questions we never got through them all) but everything went so great. It was the most spiritual experience I have had on my mission. We were all crying. We told her that she is the example for her family, that she is the key for her kids to follow. That’s all she wants is an eternal family. It’s so sad because all her kids have so many problems. Her favorite thing is to hear about mothers who had kids that completely changed their lives. We are always telling her stories like this. She loves that in the church all the kids are in shirts and ties. She just loves seeing pure youth. It’s true, lots of the youth here have lots of problems. It’s common to see little girls with children or 12 year olds smoking, so to see kids in church singing and bearing their testimony is really special to her. She had a question about fast and testimony meeting. She wanted to know if you have to go up haha. We told her no, but when you bear your testimony it doesn’t only strengthen you, but everyone present. I told her my mom doesn’t really like going up either and doesn’t do it often, but when I left for my mission my mom went up and told everyone her testimony and that she wanted to send me on my mission knowing that my mom has a testimony of this church. Justina was so touched by this. She hates that we are so far from our families. I tell her all the time that my family isn’t perfect. We have lots of struggles, we just try to rely on the Lord together. She is so sweet. I love her so much and she is so ready for baptism. So Thursday Elder Denhalter came with us to her house and we had a member so she could really understand in her interview and everything went perfect. I had to be outside and seriously I was so nervous. I couldn’t believe we had made it this far. When Elder Denhalter came out he told us that everything was perfect. She remembered everything. She has a testimony and she wants to be baptized but she couldn’t do it this week due to health problems. She is scared to enter the water because of the pain in her legs. My heart was so broken because Elder Den doesn’t think it’s just that. They think she has more doubts and we need to work with her more, but she pasted everything. She is living all the commandments. We went in to talk to her. I was trying so hard not to look disappointed. We talked to her about the story of Job and how he was faithful through all of his struggles. She was so sweet, she said “Ya, I need to be strong like Job.” She accepted a date for this next Saturday if her health is better. So we need to pray for her to recuperate. It’s so frustrating. We wanted her to get a priesthood blessing. The second day she was sick the president came to her house but when he got there she had left for the hospital. After that we had a lunch with the elders and president and they were all bashing on us for trying to force miracles and that she needed to ask for it herself. She doesn’t know to ask. When Benazio the ex-missionary taught about the priesthood he told her about blessings and she said she wanted one. We planned for one after church last week, but she never asked again and we aren’t allowed to push it, so she hasn’t had one... They are really strict about blessings on the mission. It’s so weird to me. Hermana Escobar was struggling during my time with her and asked for a blessing of comfort and she was denied. It’s like a whole process in the mission, I don’t get it, but I have faith in Justina. I know that she is going to be baptized. The hardest part was I realized how selfish I had been. I want her to be baptized on my terms. I want it before I leave so I can write her the rest of my mission, if not I can’t write her. But I realized I hadn’t listened to my spiritual thought last week. I was telling God, “Ok, I have been patient. I have been working with her for 3 months. I’m done with this trial. It’s time for her to be baptized” but I guess that’s not how it works. So for now we are just praying and waiting and trying to be patient and loving. It was hard because this is the third time we thought for sure she would be baptized and in order to prepare someone you visit them every day the week of their baptism and she lives far, so our numbers this week were really really low. It’s hard to know where to focus our time.  

Other than Justina this week was about the same, really hot, lots of rain, lots of Spanish. We still had a baptism in our district this week. A hermano (brother) of a family that was baptized before. It was so sweet to see the whole family together. I bore my testimony at the baptism on family and the importance of growing spiritually together. This change has been really hard for me but I am learning a lot and I hope I am making a difference. It’s hard to feel like you are accomplishing anything when you never see the fruits of your labor. We keep meeting amazing people and then they never progress. They just like having us around, and then we have to stop visiting them and I feel so bad. But I have faith that one day they will be ready and they will remember “the blue book on their shelf from those friendly girls” and they will read it or their daughter or granddaughter. I have faith that no act of love and kindness is wasted, no attempt to share the gospel is unnoticed by our Heavenly Father.   I can’t believe this week is already week 5 of this change. Before I know it I am going to be leaving Cornonel!!!! or maybe I will have another change here, who knows!! 

I love you all. I received a million letters this week. It was Christmas in March. I am trying to write everyone back. The main problem is money. It’s really expensive for me, but I am so grateful for every letter and email I receive. I read and re-read and re-read every one. So thank you so much for supporting me and sending your love.  

Con mucho amor, (with lots of love)

Hermana Ball 

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