Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello There! Well Christmas week this week was very unorthodox haha.  Pretty much everyone was so busy so we didn't do as much teaching as we would have liked to.  But we still did what we could and apparently were at the top of our zone so that is good.

We taught a 16 year old boy named Navaneet who is from Canada but is Indian.  We taught him and his friend the Restoration and committed Navaneet to be baptized on November 18 so we just have to get him to come to church.  That is the hardest part with everyone...Our church is quite a far distance for people to travel to because is another branch's building that we are meeting in.  Stephen did come to church which was great though and i think he is slowly and surely progressing so i think will focus on him a lot these next two weeks and try to set a baptism date for him.  

We also found more Africans...yes i said it. haha.  They are awesome.  Africans listen to us more than anyone anyways which is a little disappointing but honestly as long as we are bringing people closer to Christ and into his fold, it doesn't matter what kind of people they are.  These four guys are all from Angola so they speak Portuguese and French.  Their names are Mark, Paul, Jose and Antonio.  They are such cool guys and they seemed to have believed us and accepted what we taught about the Restoration.  Once again though, getting them to church will be the most difficult thing to do.  

So one of the best things that happened this week was on Sunday.  I got the privilege of conferring the priesthood upon and ordaining to the office of a priest, John and Simmy.  Our converts received the priesthood!! How cool is that! and that night we visited them and i was just talking to them and asking them how they feel about the church and how they felt getting the priesthood.  They both said they felt so awesome receiving the priesthood and that they are never leaving the church because they just love it so much.  They also asked if they came to the US or to a european country if they could find a church there and i told them it is worldwide and they were so excited to hear that.  John told me his experience about telling his parents about his baptism and he said they were so happy for him and that he found a good church with good people in it.  John just beams when he talks about the church.  John and Simmy wake each other up in the morning to make sure they both get to church! Even though it is so far! They are so awesome and when we saw john he told me he was studying a talk by President Packer called "The Witness." He said he loves it and learns so much.  Man these guys just bring me so much happiness.  I honestly didn't know how attached an elder could get to the people they taught and baptized!!  

So Elder Bandi and i are working really hard but still it is very difficult.  He is way nice and can be really funny sometimes.  He struggles with his teaching skills, but he tries so hard so i can't get upset with him.  I just really have to help him teach and practice and know when and what to say.  Basically i am training an elder who has been out longer than me...I have been doing a little bit better with my patience but it is so dang hard.  One funny thing he did was yesterday. We made rice and chicken curry with Elders Singh and Basil and he wanted curd rice so he got curd and then wanted salt.  So he asked Elder Basil for salt and Elder Basil said he could have some so Elder Bandi looked in the cupboard for like 5 minutes but eventually he takes a packet of washing machine detergent....So he takes it to his plate thinking it is salt and begins to mix it with some of his rice when finally we realize and tell him it is laundry detergent. haha.  But we are working hard and so i just try my best to think of the positives.  

So it was great talking to you guys on Christmas! It was so great to see you!! So glad Tyler still remembers his bro and loves him just as much haha.  honestly i keep having these weird worries and dreams that he won't know who i am and won't remember me when he sees me when i get home...but anyways i am so glad you guys are doing great and had a great holiday season.  To be honest, it did make me a bit homesick but i got over it pretty quick haha.  I did get to play ball today and man i actually killed it today.  I told you guys through skype that i am losing my game but today i was doing so good and shooting the lights out and my game was way good today. What a relief;)  

Well hope you guys have a happy new year, go broncos, go mavs, roll thunder, etc.   Scriptures: D&C 118:3 and 136:11
Love you guys chala much!  Will talk to you next year!!!
Love Elder Baller

December 25, 2014 - Christmas Day Skype!

Post by Mom...
We skyped with Elder Ball on Christmas morning, and it was awesome!  We loved seeing Ryan's smile, hearing his laugh, and hearing him tell stories of his experiences in India so far.  He's been out 5 months this week, and while letters say he's doing great, it was so good to "really" see that he is!  Tyler loved seeing Ryan on the computer, squealed and squealed, and before saying goodbye, kissed the computer screen.  We took a few pictures and brief video clips for Tyler's IPad, and he squeals again when seeing them.  These brothers do miss each other!

A few things Elder Ball shared...
--Received his Christmas packages; was wearing one of his new ties, and made pancakes for breakfast from Trena's package.  Liked the Christmas tree, ornaments, and notes from family.  Took picture of his presents under his tree taped to the wall.
--He's starting to lose his "English" and finds he says things the way people in India say them.  Some of the things Indians say differently: "on it" and "off it" for turning the light switch on/off; "hit you with the left and the right" for getting angry at you; we need to "went" somewhere; and saying "aye" after a statement with a little "head bob" mannerism.
--He wants to learn at least one language from India while there.  Has started learning the language of Elder Bunga (called ?), and so far can say what, where, how, when, why, hi/how are you, I'm fine/thanks.
--Since they don't have toilet paper there, he doesn't like it any more...prefers the 'water sprayer' option.:) He takes mostly cold showers.
--Realizes how good he has it at home...homes in India are pretty small.  Their apartment is small w/ 4 Elders in one bedroom.  He sleeps on a bed that is too short for him, but doesn't really notice his feet hanging off because he crashes so fast, since he's so tired every night.
--Went to play basketball this week and was awful; thought he was losing his game, but played for a couple of hours and seemed to not be quite as bad by the end.  Still weighs 10 lbs less than when he left the MTC.
--Singing by Indian members isn't very good; they have a hard time keeping the tune.  He plays piano for sacrament meeting, so has a hard time not laughing (at the singing), especially if he catches the eye of Elder Basil.
--Likes to hang out with Elder Basil and with Elder Martizez (from Las Vegas).  Likes to speak Australian accent to his Australian housemate, while Elder Basil speaks American accent to him.
--The Seventy want to create a stake in Bangalore by Spring 2015, so mission goal is to get 170 more baptisms (5 per branch) in order to create a stake...pretty aggressive goal, but they are working hard toward it.  President Berrett is pushing for it and obedience by the missionaries.
--It's important for all of us to read from the Book of Mormon every day.
--His visa will expire July 15, 2015, which is when he will leave India for the Philippines while waiting for renewed visa.  Time there could be few weeks to few months.  His MTC batch and the one after got visas timely; batches since then have been delayed or denied.  Similar issues with current missionaries waiting in the Philippines for renewal.
--Education in India is advanced...graduate from high school at around 16 yrs old, then go to college.  14-15yr olds have 'full-on' mustaches.  Girls/women in India don't shave their legs or armpits.
--Elder Bunga stayed with him all 10days while he was sick; feels better.  Misses Elder Bunga.  New companion, Elder Bandi, has good intentions and tries hard, so can't really get mad at him .
--No more incidents with the RSS.
--He LOVES Indian food!
--Cedrick helps the Elders a lot and is a great guy. (He skyped from Cedrick's home and IPhone.)
--Cedrick and Elder Bandi stepped in to say hello via skype.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everybody!!!
So this week went by so dang slow!!!!
Elder Bunga left on Wednesday and so i got a new companion.  His name is Elder Bandi and he is like 26 and has been out for 6 months....however, he has some struggles.  He is so nice though and loves to talk, so he helps a lot with door knocking and just talking to random people, but he doesn't know how to teach very well yet.  This week has been a little bit of a rough one mentally.  We did have some success though this week.  But as far as mentally, it is difficult right now because i am trying so hard to improve and keep my patience because he is really trying that patience.  He doesn't know how to do many simple things, but he is 26 and has a degree.  Plus Christmas is honestly a little depressing here because it is nowhere near as festive as the US, and it doesn't feel like christmas at all because it is still hot and there aren't hardly any decorations and we went caroling with the branch this week and they sing horribly haha.  I'm sure after christmas, things will go by a lot faster and better. So I miss Elder Bunga so dang much.  He was awesome. 

So this week we did lots of knocking.  He has been out longer, but i am senior comp so at least i get that opportunity.  But it is kind of rough.  So we did lots of knocking and found and taught 12 new investigators including two families so that was really great!!! So hopefully we can find success together and that will offset the frustration.  But overall, it is really rough right now haha.  Not overly rough but just i think i am going insane!! haha.  He is nice though so it is so hard to get mad at him...but i will talk to you guys more this week!

In answer to questions, no we go to a different building, and it isn't even a church building. it is a rented building that we hold our meetings in. haha That church building is the whitefield road branch building in our district.  I don't know my exact address because the addresses are different. but you can try typing in "purava park apartments, jai bharath nagar, jeevanahalli, bangalore"  (this was in response to our looking on Google maps and seeing an LDS church building in Bangalore near the mission home location)

Dad: What a great SC update!!! Meridian is killing it huh? Axel is tough to handle.  Mountain View doesn't seem to have a take over guy this year, so that will hurt a bit but hopefully they will be okay.  OKC climbing for sure! Kentucky number one? of course they are haha.  Jabari wasn't doing too bad then!! Ron Baker is a stud so he will do well leading that team.  

When Connor gets his call, let me know!! Brian is doing good? That's great!! Yeah keep an eye on my boys!!!
Scriptures: Alma 7:22-24, D&C 98:1-2

Well i love and miss you guys so much!! Have a great Christmas and i will be skyping with you on Thursday!
Love, Elder Ball

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everyone!
Another really good week this week! On Monday, though, we got transfer calls! So Elder Bunga is going to Chennai!! I am staying in the same Branch and will get a new companion on Wednesday named Elder Bundi who is from a place called Vizakapatnam.  I heard he is very nice, funny and a good guy so hopefully all of that is true;) So Elder Bunga and I spent our last week together this week and had a great last p-day together today.  We went with Brother Louis and Cedrick to a place called Nandi Hills which is just like a Bogus Basin like area but in a complete village haha.  It was so fun, and we went for a hike and just went for a nice drive.  It was a great time.  So i will definitely miss Elder Bunga!

So this week we were able to begin teaching Simmy and John the new member lessons and also taught their friend Claud again.  He is doing great accepting things, but we just can't seem to get him to church.  But we did teach Allan again this week and taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was another really good one.  However, once again, it will be tough and might take some time to be able to get him to accept the true gospel.  He is such a nice guy though and we will continue to try and help him out any way we can.  So this week we visited lots of members, and we have been really trying to emphasize/share the He is the Gift initiative so hopefully this gets members excited.  

This weekend we also had a missionary fireside again.  We showed a Plan of Salvation video and also showed Christmas Bible video and the He is the Gift video also.  Then we played games and ate biriyani and we only had 25 members show up, but it was still a pretty fun time for us.

I am still playing in sacrament meeting...haha and yes doing Christmas hymns now.  So no one sleeps under a mosquito net, but i guess if he wants to he can.  It makes me so happy that Tyler likes my pictures!!  And so glad that he is doing well with his behaviors especially because he is getting big!  Oh my goodness those are hilarious! Those things they said are PRICELESS! Especially Kinsley! And Kasen does have a point about Tyler's chair;)

Dad: I bet Meridian is doing well actually because i bet Axel is really tough to stop.  Thunder will start climbing now.  Now that they have MVP back.  Really surprised about Atlanta, Memphis, Denver! Where the heck are the Spurs???????  Who is number one in college bball?  Marks is turning it up huh?? That's great! Thanks for all those positive thoughts Dad.  You are awesome.  Thanks for the scriptures as well! 

Oh and thanks for the package! I am very tempted to open before Christmas but i will hold off and wait;)  So this week wasn't too exciting.  Still trying to look for more people to teach.  We did find a new investigator this week named Mark, so we will meet with him this week and also try and find even more new investigators.  The missionary work is very tough here in our branch, but i and my companion are working hard and doing our best to move the work along.

We have a district christmas party coming up on saturday so that should be fun!  Well i hope you guys have a fantastic week! Sorry for the short letter.  Couldn't find too much to talk about this week because we visited lots of members and focused on them this week.

Scriptures: 1 Nephi 13:37, 1 Nephi 14:7, 1 Nephi 15:23-25
Well i love you all soooooo much and miss you guys too!
Until next week!
Love Elder Ball

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everyone!
Another pretty good week.  Not quite as good as last week, but it is hard to get as good as a baptism week...This week we were trying to focus on some new people.  We did visit Christian and Stephen though.  They are both good except for Stephen likes drinking, and both he and Christian tell us they are coming to church but then don't get up in the mornings because church is at 8am.  However, we went to go to an appointment this week with Cedrick, but that person wasn't home and we still had time so Cedrick took us to one of his friend's house.  His name is Maurice, also from Congo.  He is a pretty cool guy.  Kind of weird haha but good.  I guess missionaries taught him for about a year and a half and he committed to baptism but he couldn't get baptized because he wasn't married and was living with a girl.  Now he hasn't been taught for a long time but we went and visited him and he is now married to an Indian girl named Mary, and he and his wife are both new investigators for us and if we can get them to church three straight sundays then we can baptize them. 

We also got a referral from the Pidugu family this week.  Her name is Aishwaria and she like 18 or 19 and pretty cute but is pretty weird haha.  She was committed to be baptized on December 21 if she came to church three straight weeks but this week she bunked church so we will have to postpone that date.  Plus Elder Bunga and i find her a little sketchy because she is engaged to a guy named Prashanth who is also a new investigator for us and when we visited her she was asking us if the church could marry her and him so we are thinking that she just wants to join the church so she can get married and have support.  This is because her family is Hindu and she used to be Hindu but this guy is Christian and most marriages here are arranged and her parents don't want her to marry him so we are worried she would just join the church for marriage support which would not be good at all.  But maybe things will change.  The gospel of Jesus Christ can change anybody.  It has changed me so much even.  I have become so much better of a person now and have come so much closer to the Savior than i ever have before and my knowledge of the gospel has grown tremendously.  It is amazing how a mission can do that. 

So on Wednesday we got new bicycles and have been riding them and man i am out of shape.  But they are not too bad.  Not too good either.  I have no problems riding the cycles the big distances that we do but the problem is riding them here in Bangalore.  The streets are insane and i feel like i am going to hit all the time. it freaks me out! haha but every morning before we leave i pray for protection throughout the day and i think i can already feel him watching out for me while we ride in the wild streets of India;)  But anyways we rode the bus home on Wednesday night from an appointment and i sat next to this African guy.  I just decided to start talking to him and he was super cool and told me his name was Allan and that he was from Ivory Coast like Frank.  He is so nice and as i spoke to him i asked him if we could come and teach him this week.  He said of course and to come see him anytime.  So the next day, on thursday we made an appointment with him and took Cedrick with us and went and taught him.  We taught him the Restoration and the spirit was so incredibly strong in that lesson.  I have been having a goal lately to testify more in my parts of the lesson rather than just teaching the people, and so during this lesson i testified multiple times and it was just so much more powerful and as i testified i could immediately feel my testimony of the restoration and His gospel strengthen.  It was incredible.  So after i described the first vision, i testified to him about knowing that joseph smith saw god and jesus Christ, and after he asked me how i can i know for sure.  I asked what the holy ghost does and he says guide and help us.  So i said yes and it also testifies of truth and how it is testified to me and that there is no way i can deny that.  That is something i probably wouldn't have said on my own so the spirit really guided me and he was like wow okay.  It was awesome.  We also gave him a book of mormon and he said he will start reading it.  He also came to church on sunday even though he had his church program he was in charge of at his own church at 11.  so he came and heard the testimonies and attended gospel principles class and then left early to make his service.  He is such a cool and nice guy and we are meeting him tomorrow so we are excited to teach him.  I know you are probably all wondering "why isn't he teaching indian people instead of africans" haha but a child of god is a child of god;)

I am soooooo glad Tyler is doing great.  I had one day this week where i couldn't help but think of him a lot.  Glad he still remembers me;)   Answers: In India they do celebrate christmas and some non-christians do as well but obviously it is not as big as in the US.  Not feeling too much like christmas right now, but our bml decorated his house all nice for it so it felt good to be in there and feel like home;)  On Christmas i do get to skype home:) oh real quick you should research the church's "He is the Gift" initiative if you haven't already.  It is so cool!! And about the transfer, we will either get a call today or next monday!

Dad: Sounds like people are trying to be like me by wearing my number;) haha Damen had 22 huh?? Nice! That's good for him! I think when they get to their conference schedule we will see how they will do.  Maybe the quickness they have will be really good for them.  I really miss coaching my boys! They will kill it this year! Timberline ahead of Capital?? No way.  Captial will repeat.  BSU in the Fiesta Bowl?? Nice!!! hopefully they get the W!.  And wow those playoff games sound dang good.  KD came back? Good hopefully they move up in the standings now.  They will for sure.  What are the standings looking like??  Your hand gesture in the picture is awesome!!!! haha i laughed so hard at that!! Looking great Pops!  I hope the young men in our ward are doing well.  Especially the priest quorum.  I hope they are growing a bit.  How are the missionaries in our ward??  And yes a mission is by far the most difficult thing i have ever done mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.  Always exhausted in all of those categories, but pushing through it really brings blessings and being on a mission is easily one of the best decisions to ever make.  Only me and the Jenkins??? wow we need more missionaries from the ward...

Well hopefully another great week ahead and the days seem like weeks but the weeks seem like days so i guess time flies in the long run! 
Weekly scriptures: Mosiah 4:12 and D&C 45:3-5
Love you guys so much!!! Until next week...
Love, Elder Ball

PS: Mom, i love that christmas calendar you gave me so much! It is awesome!!! It is the second thing i do every morning right after praying.  Love it.  Thank you!
Toodles

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 - Bangalore Pictures





Elder Ball with John at his baptism
Elder Ball with Simmy at his baptism
John, Elder Ball, Simmy
Elder Bunga, Simmy, Elder Ball, John
Elder Bunga, BML Brother Louis, Simmy, Elder Ball, John
Pre-baptism work of cleaning the font! Courtesy of Elder Bunga. :)
John, Elder Ball, Stephen, Simmy, Frank, Sister Shobha
John, Elder Ball, Stephen, Simmy, Frank, Cedrick, Elder Bunga
Elder Mulampaka and Elder Ball





Elder Ball and Ammon (young man in their branch)


December 1, 2014 - Bangalore

Wow it is December already!!! 4 months down and 20 to go.  While i am loving my mission, i still kind of hope that time will go by a little faster.  But nonetheless things are going very well! So i am going to reverse the order of my email today and respond to the temporal things first.  It sounds like you guys had such a great time for Thanksgiving.  I am so glad that Tyler was good.  Wish i could have been there to have mashed potatoes and gravy and turkey haha:)  We did nothing special for thanksgiving at all here as you might have expected.  Be sure to tell the family thanks for all of their support and love and prayers.  Tell Ryker to email me sometime! I want to hear how he is doing.  Sounds like lots of babies will be born while i am gone!! And what an activity;) I think i will probably enjoy it very much;)  I have gotten the emails from the family but i really don't have much time to email them back, but i will try to do a better job about at least responding a short something for them.

Answers: Best i will tell you later.  Worst was probably nothing really except something i will tell later.;) Funniest was probably Simmy in one the pictures we took with him.  On P-days we sometimes get to do fun things.  I have played ball a few times.  In our area though there is nothing really to do or see which is a bummer and everything good is so far away that it wastes our entire day.  Plus we are getting some new mission rules about P-day that will restrict us from doing much fun...

Dang Dad!!! you got to go with a bunch of guys to the game!!?! that is so sick!!! That would be so fun!!! Too bad i missed it! It's okay though because i definitely had a better Saturday than you did;)  BSU in the Fiesta Bowl huh?! wow! who is it looking like will be in the playoff for college football? And is college basketball started yet? That is my favorite so i need some updates on that pa;) Mountain View basketball is going to have a rough year i think.  They don't have anyone to lead the team and take over a game.  Will be a rough one i think but i hope they do really good.  Keep me updated on my boys too dad.. I need to know if my coaching is still engraved in their heads;)  Maybe OKC will start playing a little better now that Westbrook is back.  Hopefully KD can come back in time to save the season.  The SportsCenter is definitely not interfering.  I love it and it is a great destress moment for me to read about it.  Plus i liked the Sports Page that mom wrapped my last package in;) I must admit that i read it a couple times at night;)   

So about this week....Elder Bunga and i got to teach Christian and Stephen again this week and we taught them about tithing, and they really grasped it and accepted it really well...We are planning to invite them to baptism this week.  As we have been teaching John and Simmy (mom it is John not Frank.  Frank is a member that comes with us), their friend Claud has been really interested as well and we think that we are close to committing him to baptism as well.  We also got a new investigator (female) named Aishwaria.  She is committed to be baptized on December 21 and we are going to teach her more this week and also began to teach her fiancee Prashanth.  We are planning this week to also bring Sister Amudha back to being committed to baptism.  We have some big plans coming up.  We also got a new branch presidency this weekend so hopefully they will be good. 
So on to the best and biggest news of the week: Elder Bunga and I had our first baptisms this weekend!!! the first in the lingarajapuram branch in about a year!  So here is the story, we taught them the Plan of Salvation and the Commandments this week and they grasped pretty well.  So on Thursday they had their interviews.  So John passed but Simmy is kind of an introvert and so the zone leader who interviewed simmy came to know that couldn't be baptized yet until he had an interview with the mission president.  So we were kind of disappointed because John didn't want to get baptized without Simmy.  However, we were able to get Simmy an interview with the first counselor in the mission presidency on friday and when they came out of the interview, President William said Simmy was ready and that we could baptize him as soon as possible.  So on Saturday, we spend two hours cleaning and filling the cold baptism font and then we baptized John and Simmy.  So last week i had a dream that Elder Bunga baptized Simmy and i baptized John...as we asked them this week who they wanted to baptize them, Simmy asked Elder Bunga to baptize him and John asked me to baptize him!!! The baptism service was so awesome.  The spirit was so amazingly strong.  I also got to confirm john on sunday.  And another experience.  On sunday john and simmy were supposed to get confirmed right? so they were not at church yet when the sacrament began. after the sacrament prayer i prayed so hard that they would make it for the sacrament and as soon as my prayer ended, they walked up the stairs into the building and partook of the sacrament and then we confirmed them.  They were so happy.  and during the talks, i look over simmy's shoulder and read his testimony that he was writing in his bible and it was so strong.  john also bore his testimony in gospel principles class and it was so awesome.  We think these guys are true converts and they will be great members of the church.  it was such an awesome experience. 
So our Branch mission leader brought his brother in law who is catholic to the baptism service by accident this weekend.  so on sunday, brother Louis, the bml, forwarded us texts from his brother in law that said when he was at the church for the service he felt something he had never felt before and that he didn't know what it was but he wanted to come to church again.  Brother louis said that the spirit at the service was so incredibly strong.  So tomorrow his bro in law will be at FHE with us at his house and we will start teaching him soon! it is so awesome.  

So the pictures i uploaded are these: there is one with elder bunga and i and all the africans after church last week.  the people in the picture from left to right are john, me, stephen, simmy, frank, cedrick and elder bunga.  i also posted our baptism pictures! John is the one with hair and simmy is the one with the eyes that look like they are closed.  The picture with us after the baptism also includes our BML brother louis.  i also posted a picture of me and elder martinez' companion elder mulampaka and also a picture of me and young man in our branch named ammon.  

So we had such a great week!!! I hope you all had a great week as well and i will talk to you again next week!
Scriptures this week: Ether 12:26-37, Moroni 6:8 and Moroni chapter 7
Until next week!
Love, Elder Ball

Note from Mom: I read on President Berrett's blog about a recent trip to Sri Lanka (country south of India that is part of the Bangalore India mission).  "We spent last week in Sri Lanka welcoming young branch builders again after 6 years.  We view them as 'branch builders' as their assignment is to work with people already members of our Church, but perhaps not attending, with relatives of our members and with good friends of our members.  Four Elders (native Sri Lankan) were brought back to work in their home country after each had served a year or more in the Philippines."  A senior couple also serve there, and Sri Lanka has three branches.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 24, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello my beloved family and friends!
So this week was a much better week.  I still wasn't able to go out due to still being sick with body pains until Wednesday, but right after i recovered we went out and really got stuff done.  

So we visited John and Simmy this week and we invited them to be baptized.  Once again we brought Frank and Cedrick and they were really helpful again.  So John immediately said yes.  Simmy said he would answer us on Sunday, but he actually answered us on Saturday when we visited him and said yes! So we committed them to be baptized on this Saturday the 29th!!!! So it is getting closer and closer to their date and we have to just finish teaching them a few things this week and get them interviewed and then proceed with the service on Saturday! Elder Bunga and I are really excited for this weekend.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly and they follow through with this commitment.  So in our mission we have a rule that investigators have to come to church 3 weeks in a row before they can be eligible to be baptized.  So this Sunday we weren't seeing them at church yet in the middle of sacrament meeting.  So knowing how important these guys are, we took Cedrick and left the middle of sacrament meeting and went and picked them up and brought them to church just in time.  So they are still eligible to baptized.  But it was great that they were still able to come at the last minute.  They had woken up late that morning, but we still got them to sacrament meeting.

This week we also finally got another appointment with Kishore and since he had been to church three weeks in a row, we were thinking to also have him be baptized on the 29th but when we went to his house, he didn't answer the door or his phone so we were unable to see him so that was quite disappointing.  Stephen (Cedrick's friend) came to church this after we committed him to come.  So that was really great to have him there as well.  We also have a new investigator that Elder Bunga met last Sunday when he went with another Elder while i was sick.  His name is David and i guess he is really interested so hopefully we can meet him this week and teach him.  We also met some of Cedrick's friends in an area so we are planning to go to that area and do some finding there.  

So our highlight of the week was definitely committing John and Simmy to baptism, so I have been really praying so hard to have them go through with this because we have missed out on some baptisms and that has been really disappointing so we have been really excited about these two guys.  They are very awesome guys.  We also got a really good referral this week and this girl lives next to the Pidugu family and she is already committed to be baptized December 21 and is really interested.   

So yes I am feeling better this week and no i didn't have the fever come back after it went away.  About the transfers....apparently transfers with us and a couple other Elders still won't happen until middle of December.  No more concerns yet about the RSS, but i definitely agree about getting sick.  While it was awful, i think it really was made to happen by God because it happened just after this and it made me sick enough to stay in for a week+. 
Yes, we actually can tract.  We have done some door knocking.  There are just certain areas that we don't do that in because they are Muslim areas.  We don't teach Muslims here.  Most of our teachings though has been to Christians.  We have taught a couple of Hindus, but it is very difficult to get them to just believe in Christ.  Most of them have no problem accepting Jesus Christ, but then they believe in both Christ and their Hindu Gods so it is difficult for sure.

Oh hey mom, can you send me a recent picture this week of you next to Trena.  When Elder Bunga found out that you have a twin, he wanted to see a picture of you guys:)  Sounds like Tyler is getting bigger and harder to handle these days but i hope he is being happy.  The movie was good huh? I'm a little disappointed i missed it;) and I am glad you liked the Indian food.  The food here is pretty dang good.  The only thing though is like all we eat is rice haha.

Dad: Better get working out some so you handle Ty huh? Sounds like Mountain View had a really good year which is really surprising but that is awesome! Great achievement for them to make it to the state final.  BSU on a roll now? That's great! Harsin a good coach? BSU bball lost to Wisconsin? did Wisconsin have that big center still? The NBA seems so weird these days...Thunder doing bad, i heard the Cavs aren't very good either...Dang Alabama back to number 1....lame....same old same old with that haha.  KD and westbrook out for a while still...dang it.  Giants are terrible again i guess.  That means next season Manning and Coughlin will be on the hot seat and they will win the Super Bowl;) Yeah i have played ball the last two weeks and this week i did with Cedrick, Stephen, Christian and Frank, the African brothers and it was pretty fun.  They aren't very good but it was still fun.

So Caleb got accepted to Utah State!!! He rarely emails me but he did last week and showed me his acceptance letter so i am really excited for/proud of him.  Maybe when i get home we will be able to hang out together.  Please talk to Aaron for me, tell him i am teaching a lot of Africans and to check out my blog because next week i will post pictures of all of them. haha.  Okay scriptures for the week: 3 Nephi 21:10, Mormon 7:7, Mormon 8:22, and Mormon 9:21, 27.

Thanks so much Dad for being proud of me.  It really means a lot.  You were/are such a great example to me, so it means a lot to have to say that.  I really wish i would have appreciated you and mom a lot more before because you guys did so much for me.  Love you guys so much!!! and miss you a little too;)
Until next week,
Love,
Elder Ball

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello my dear friends and family!

Soooo basically, as some or most of you may heard, i had a pretty rough week this week...I came down with Dengue Fever so from Sunday through Wednesday i had a temperature over 100 and it even got up to 104 at one point.  For those four days i was unable to do anything but lay in bed.  On Thursday and Friday i started feeling a little bit better so i was at least able to move a little bit but i still had a lot of body pains.  So i was either in the apartment, clinic or hospital for the entire time this week.  So we didn't get to teach anybody unfortunately.  On Saturday and Sunday we had District Conference (Stake conference basically) so that was good but i had to go without wearing socks because i got super bad rashes on my legs haha.  President Berrett was pretty impressed though that i made it.  Today i am just starting to get my energy back so this week should be better. 

Simmy and John did come to District Conference which was really good and are wanting to come to church next week again so we are really excited about them.  They are great.  Cedrick and Frank are really helpful because they are giving them fellowship and friendship which is key.  Either Elder Bunga or i should be transferred out of this area soon within the next week or two so we are really hoping that they make enough progress to accept the baptismal invitation this week! We are getting pretty excited about them so hopefully they can be our baptism before our companionship ends.  

So this week wasn't too good.  The RSS is against people that convert to christianity.  so basically against christians, but i was a bigger target because i am white.  So we had interviews with President Berrett this week and he said he was thinking about transferring me out of this area so that i wouldn't be a target.  So we will see what happens.  So only in Bangalore we don't wear tags and yes that is for safety.  We don't have a ton of other things but just if that happens to act and answer truthfully and confidently and if it seems to be a problem, then just offer to go to the police station with them because they have no authority anyway.  So before our personal interviews with the mission president we had companionship interviews so when Elder Bunga and I went in together, we found out that we are leading the mission in the three effort stats: member present lessons, recent convert/less active lessons, and new investigators.  So he was very proud of us for our hard work.  Now we just need to try and turn all of that into baptisms which we are working very hard to do.  

As far as Christmas requests i don't really have any! Just be creative i guess;) But we did get the package this week so thank you so much mom! You are the best.

Yeah Dad i felt terrible this week.  It would definitely have been nice to have my family PA to know what to do haha.  I guess i will have to deal without eem for another 20.5 months though haha.  I will read that scripture for sure this week.  I don't have one this week for you unfortunately so i will give you two next week.  Wow! so Mountain View is in the state championship?! Thats awesome! Go Mavs!  College football is sounding pretty crazy this year! Same with NBA.  Toronto will be good, not sure about Brooklyn.  Washington is good and KD's next destination haha.  Cleveland is second huh? and UTAH?! wow.  Crazy NBA.  Giants must be bad i guess.  and OKC without their studs.  Hopefully they come back soon so that they can get back into the playoff pic.  How is Jabari doing in Milwaukee?
Brother Heyborne is a great teacher it sounds like.  The Book of Mormon is so awesome.  It is incredible how much it can teach us and give us.  How is my Tyler bro doing? i miss that guy so much.  make sure you give him plenty of hugs and kisses from me okay? 

So yeah because of that Dengue Fever i had a pretty rough week mentally this week, so it was good to read these emails from you guys! Just please continue to pray for me as i need your help so much in India! Thank you for your many prayers and your great love and support.  i miss you guys so much. Love you guys! Until Next Week...
Love,
Elder Ball

Emails from Sister Berrett - Dengue Fever

11/14/14
Dear Brother and Sister Ball,

Your son called me this week because he was not feeling well.  He had a fever and nausea.  when he was not better a few days later he had an appointment at a clinic that is one of our approved facilities.  The doctor ordered some blood tests done.  Elder Ball learned the next day that he had Dengue Fever.  It is caused from a mosquito bite.  Because his fever responds well to Tylenol and his blood platelet count is normal they have not hospitalized him.  He does need to go in every day for blood work to watch for complications.  He said that he was feeling a little better today.  He did not have much fever and the anti-nausea medicine helped him to be able to eat.  Dengue Fever does cause a lot of head and muscle pain.  There is not much they can give to cure it but only to treat the symptoms.  Sunday was the first day he was sick and the worst part usually lasts about a week.  Hopefully after this weekend he should be feeling better and getting back to normal.

I will let you know if anything changes.  He is in relatively good spirits considering the circumstances.  He is anxious to get back to work.  We appreciate Elder Ball and the good spirit he brings to our mission.

Thank you for sharing your son with us.
Sister Berrett

11/16/14
Dear Brother and Sister Ball,


I can understand your concern about your son.  He is doing much better.  I was surprised to see him at the Saturday Evening session of District Conference last night.  He said he was feeling better.  He was also at conference this morning and looked like he was back to his normal self. 
He is quite a diligent missionary.

Warm Regards,
Sister Berrett

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everyone!

So my letter this week will probably be fairly short unfortunately.  I will explain why later.  So overall this week was actually pretty good.  We visited lots of members again and one of our tasks given to us by the Branch President was to start taking the huge copy Book of Mormons to members to give to them to start their challenge.  So we did that this week.  The members are really trusting us a lot more and more willing to come to appointments with us which is key because we are supposed to try and have a member present at every single lesson. 
Oh and so about Elder Bunga, we thought it would be another six weeks but our zone leaders told us this week that it will only be two weeks more because that is when the other new missionaries will be coming so Bunga will go somewhere else and i will probably be training a new missionary.  So i was a little bummed about it but i think Bunga was wanting a change because he has been in this area for 6 months.  So we are really hoping and praying to get one baptism before our companionship ends.  So this weeks i was struggling with my confidence as a teacher and was doubting if i was teaching powerfully enough or if I was adequate enough of a teacher.  So this week on Saturday, Elder Bunga answered my prayers and told me that i teach so good and that when i teach the Spirit is so strong there, and he wishes that he could always just listen to me teach because i do it so well.  I am not meaning to sound at all prideful about this because it was actually really humbling because i was having a hard time with that confidence.  Elder Bunga is so dang awesome.  I sure will miss him.  He might come to BYU for school after his mission so i told him that if he does we will hang out and go see my family and then he said once i come back to India that i could stay with him no problem:)  

Yona is still making up excuses not to see him so i think we are going to lay off of him for a little while.  we haven't been able to get a hold of Chris lately either.  As far as Raju and Yogita from Nelamangala goes, they were busy this week so we are planning to visit them this week.  We visited John and Simmy with Cedrick and Frank again and it was such a good meeting.  They had lots of really good questions.  They speak and understand english but it was great have frank and cedrick there because they can answer them in french.  They are so interested and Simmy already accepted the Book of Mormon as the word of god.  We think Simmy could be our baptismal candidate.  He and John also came to church on sunday and really liked it and had lots of questions afterwords.  So i don't have my journal with me today so this all i can remember about this week.  The reason i don't have it is very interesting as i have a very interesting last few days. 
So saturday evening were headed to give something to the Ramamurthy nagar elders and as we were waiting for a bus, this guy and group of guys (most drunk) came up to elder bunga and asked his name and then came over to ask me mine.  So this guy comes up to me and was trying to take my picture and and video so i told him no about taking that picture.  So i was drinking juice and he ripped the juice from my hand and threw it on the ground and asked my name so i told him.  Then elder bunga came over and this guy began to ask me so many questions about where i live, where i am from, if i have a visa, what i was doing here, etc.  So bunga told him we are students and so the guy said that Sunday morning at 9:30 or 10 they will find out if we really are students and that they had something nice for us.  It turns out this guy is a head of the RSS which a Hindu extremist group.  So that was super scary so we spent the night at the other elders apartment.  Apparently everything will be fine but i was very nervous about this.  So that night i only slept for 10 minutes and it was because i came down with a bad fever.  so i have been really sick for the past two days.  so it has been a really rough past couple days and nights.  

Answers: so the address you sent the package to was one to use.  i still haven't gotten any birthday cards except from you nor have i got anything from grandpa still.  So about the christmas package...peanut butter would be good;) haha but actually i don't really know for sure what i need.  i will think about it this week and tell you next week okay?  Best thing this week was John and Simmy's interest and coming to the church and worst was the RSS incident and getting really sick.  Best thing i ate was probably the cream bun snack i told you about.  I hadn't had them in a while so tasted great to have them again.  And i can't really think of something funny i did.  It is probably in journal which i don't have so im really sorry about the not so good email this week.

Sounds like the thunder are terrible right now...did you find out how long westbrook is out? Perkins should be stepping up more that is for sure haha.  So the Jazz beat the Cavs good huh? how are the cavs? who is impressive in the NBA so far.  That's awesome about the football team! 

Once again sorry for the crap email this week.  I am still not feeling well so i tried to make this email quick enough without leaving you hanging.
Scripture of the week: James 1:22

Well hope you all are doing well and will have a wonderful week this week
Love you all,
Elder Ball

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4, 2014 - Bangalore Pictures

Elder Ball & Elder Bunga (riding to teach investigators in Nelamangala)

Cedrick, Elder Ball, Arun

 



The District before Elder Kesterson leaves for home (WY)



Elder Ball, Grace, Nique, Elder Bunga
Sister Barathi's birthday
FHE with the Vasanth family




Vincent David's daughter, Jaromia and grandbaby

November 4, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everybody!
And first of all...Happy Birthday to the best mom in the world! This is a day late because of transfers, but if there weren't transfers i would have said happy birthday on time! Hope your day was great mommy:)
So my week this week was pretty dang good again.  Except i randomly came down with a cold for a couple days which was really weird.  

But this week we did member visits and taught investigators as usual.  So those two investigators we inherited from the Ramamurthy Nagar elders names are Raju and Yogita.  So we planned to go and visit them and meet them and teach them.  So we decided to ask Cedrick if he could go with us so he took us along with a member named Arun in his car.  Those are the car pictures i uploaded.  So we traveled and traveled and traveled and these people live clear out of our way haha.  It took us two hours to get there and the place isn't even in Bangalore.  It is in a town called Nelamangala.  But apparently it is still in our area.  So we got there and they are soooo good.  They are very interested and were very receptive and willing to learn.  They only have one problem....Getting to church every sunday. So they told us they will come twice a month.  First and last sunday of every month.  Which is kind of a bummer because in order to be baptized, investigators have to attend three sacrament meetings in a row.  So we will probably talk to President Berrett about this one and see if we can make an exception because they live so far away from the church.  But it was a good time and we taught them about the Book of Mormon and challenged them to read it so this week we will see if followed through with their commitment.   And Cedrick really opened up to us.  Cedrick has always kind of been a quiet guy but with us this day, he really opened up and said he is always free so to call him and let him know when he can come with us.  So we took him a few times out this week and he is so awesome and has such a strong testimony and we are so glad that he opened up to us.  We also taught his friend Stephen again this week and Stephen is i think making very slow but very sure progress.  

We saw Sister Amudha and her daughter Jaromia last Monday and Jaromia had her baby so Vincent David is now a grandpa.  The baby is so dang cute so i uploaded some pics and thought mom would love newborn baby pics:) We are going to reinvite sister Amudha to be baptized this week to see if she is still willing and ready.  November 1 was a member named Sister Barathi's birthday and they are such a nice family to us so they invited us over to celebrate her birthday so that is whose b-day it is in the pictures.

On Sunday we had a really productive day.  So after church we asked Cedrick if he could come with us to Kothanur and he said yes and we also brought another African named Frank (from Ivory Coast) with us.  We went and taught Logo and he is really good and wants to come to church but his brother Yona hasn't been waking up to come to church so Logo hasn't been able to come with is a bummer.  But then we taught Grace and Nique (Pictured with Elder Bunga and I).  We taught them about prophets and had a really good discussion.  Toward the end it kind of turned into a bible bash because Frank (who is a return missionary of two years) was pulling out scriptures left and right and Grace and Nique were having a hard time accepting them even though they were in the bible.  But nevertheless, the discussion was still pretty good and they were willing to let us come teach them again so i guess that is good.  Then we went and taught Simmy and John and they have still been busy with exams so they haven't started reading the BoM yet, but they promised us that they will start on Thursday after exams and then that they would come to church on Sunday.  

So we have really been gaining the trust of the members and really trying to become close with them so they are more willing to help us so that has been good.  The Pidugu's are such a great family and they are so nice to us and feed us every once in a while which is nice;)  We went last night to brother Vasanth's house for family home evening (pictured).  It was a really good family home evening.  Our Branch President got an assignment in Chennai for his job so it is a bummer that he can only come to church twice a month so we are wondering if we will get a new Branch Presidency soon.  

So a good week for us and on to transfer news: so Elder Bunga and i will be together for at least another 6 weeks! We are very excited about that and really hoping we can get a baptism before our companionship ends.  The assistants said that they are keeping us together because we are doing so well together.  So that is really good.  The picture with all the missionaries is our district.  It was our last meeting with Elder Kesterson as our District Leader because he is going home on Thursday.  The elders are Martinez, and Mulampaka.  

I'm glad you guys had a great week as well.  Answers: Highlight of the week was probably not getting a transfer call and finding out Elder Bunga and I are still a team because we are doing so well.  Lowlight: probably getting a cold or having zero investigators at church. New about the culture is that it is bad to yawn at someones house or while talking to them because that means you think they are boring.  Really surprising was not getting a transfer call because it isn't that common that comps stay together for longer than three months especially comps that are in the training program.  Oh and no i didn't get grandpa's letter...

Dad: OkC will really have a hard time without KD and Westbrook....NFL seems weird this year though...Cowboys, cardinals lions all doing good...weird.  Sounds like Kole is having quite the year! tell him i say "Atta boi" The college football top ten is weird too! Mississippit St.?! Mississippi?! TCU?! what the heck is going on?! haha.  Thanks for the great SC update.  It was awesome.  So it is also beginning to cool down a bit here but by cool down i mean to 70s and 80s haha.  Bunga thinks it is cold but i think it is perfect haha.  Thanks for the reminder about my call.  I read it a few times since i have been out but probably could read it more.  So yes i am starting to gain back some of my weight.  And getting a little bit of a rice belly at times haha.  Don't get too trunky Dad;) It's okay to get a little trunky but pretend you still have 21 months left like me haha.  You're awesome pops and a great example to me.  Thanks for words of advice.

So scripture of the week: Alma 26:11-12, Alma 37:46  Well I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week! Thanks for you love support and prayers.
Love,
Elder Ball

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014 - Bangalore Pictures


 
Sister Shoba taking the Elders to all-you-can-eat dinner.
Elder Bunga, Daniel, Elder Basil




Elder Ball, Stephen, Cedrick, Elder Bunga
Cedrick, Tresor, Stephen, the Congo boys 

October 27, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everyone!
This week was a very good week for us.  We had a lot of teaching opportunities this week and had a good time.  We didn't have power for three days this week because i guess the financial office elder didn't pay the bill so we were roughing it for a few days;) 

This week we went to a member's house.  His name is Brother Suresh Chinnapa.  He has a sister whose husband is a non-member and while we were meeting with Suresh and his sisters, we learned that that husband wants to take lessons from us after he finishes his big project with his job and then wants to take, finish the lessons and get baptized in our church in December or January! So that was really cool for us and we didn't even do anything.  His family was just a great example to him so we are grateful for that.  

This week was also found out that a couple that some Elders in our zone are teaching are actually in our area and they have committed them to baptism, so we just have to continue/finish teaching them and set a date and then baptize! So that is really great also! It was nice to get a couple gifts from God after we have been working so hard but haven't had success in terms of baptism.  That is the thing with us though.  Our companionship keeps reminding ourselves not to get discouraged about not having baptisms because we are doing our part by inviting others to come unto christ and just introducing them to christ.  Plus others have their agency and as long as we work hard, we can be satisfied with the results.  

This week was Diwali festival in India.  It is a Hindu holiday and they celebrate it pretty much the way we celebrate the 4th of July.  They set of lots of fireworks and fire crackers but they do it for three+ days and they do it all night and it is so loud.  So because of this festival, we had to be in by 6 on wednesday and thursday.  

Our African investigators haven't been able to read the book of mormon much this week because they were all having exams so they didn't make much progress but they are still very much interested.  Except for Yona, sadly he has been bunking our appointments and making up excuses not to see us so we might leave him alone for a little while.  So that was a little disappointing.  As far as Vincent David goes, we aren't allowed to visit him for one month so we will probably visit him in his rehab after that time period, but we are still teaching his wife and daughter, and we may be able to baptize his wife in a couple weeks if she is still willing.  His daughter just had a baby boy this week so we are really looking forward to seeing this new born baby! 

This week a member named Sister Shoba took us out to eat at a really nice place called Barbecue Nation, and it is an all you can eat place so we ate so much! It was really fun and she is the one in the pictures at the restaurant that i uploaded.  The other Elders were with us and the other guy is Shoba's nephew who is one of our investigators named Daniel.  

On Sunday we had a really good day.  We only had one investigator at church though which sucked.  But we went to Cedrick's house and taught him and Stephen.  They are the Africans in the pictures.  Cedrick is the one right next to me.  We taught them about the Straight and Narrow path being through Jesus Christ and read some of Matthew 7.  It went really well and those guys are so awesome.  Sister Reshmi is still reading the Book of Mormon everyday which is so great!!!! 

So after our really good PEC meeting last week, and after Elder Bunga and I told them the members aren't reading the Book of Mormon and how that is a problem, the presidency agreed and is going to buy every family a big book of mormon and challenge everyone to read it by December 31! It is such a great plan and i think it will really increase the branch's faith and especially help us missionaries out.  

Please tell all of our family members how much i appreciate them and their prayers.  And give Tyler lots of hugs and kisses from me okay?  That is cool for Mrs. Kearns' husband! He is a really cool guy.  Yeah you better watch some BSU games!  I'm glad Asher and Josh and doing good! Speaking of my friends, please tell Beth to have Aaron email me sometime.  I want to know how he is doing.  I worry about him.  So the people like music, but to be quite honest, they are bad at singing and keeping tempo.  It is so hard to play the piano for them in sacrament haha. It is kind of funny.  

Dad i hope your trip was/is good and that you are safe.  It disappointed me to see such a weak email from you though;) haha and you better step up your game as far as SC updates go because all i got this week was that BYU got whooped haha.  jk i understand.  Yeah it has been three months! crazy! It is weird though because it seems like it has gone fast but also it seems like i still have so long... haha. 

Well this might be my last full week with Elder Bunga because transfer calls are happening this week and possibly today.  So we will see what happens. Anyways so last week i forgot the scripture so sorry! i will give multiple this week: Omni 1:26, Mosiah 3:17, Alma 5:14-16,19,27-28; Alma 7:11-12  Sorry about that!

Well great week for me! Hope you guys have a great week this week as well. I love you guys so much and appreciate all of your love, support and prayers. Until next week!

Love,
Elder Ball

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014 - Bangalore

Well, a pretty decent week.  It was kind of a weird week because everyone in the apartment except for me got sick this week so our numbers were down this week but overall, it was still a pretty decent week.  

Tresor is really improving in his English so that is great because then we can take him more on some exchanges with us.  On Tuesday, we taught Christian and Stephen and it went really well.  If we could just get Christian to church, we could easily get him to accept baptism.  Stephen is a little harder to teach, but he is still a nice guy and we are still working on him.  

So a disappointing thing this week was Vincent David....So we didn't visit him for about four days and so on Friday we went to his house to visit him and found out that all four days he drank and smoked....It was so devastating and then he said the reason he did those things was because we didn't visit him.  So basically we found out that the only reason he doesn't do those things sometimes is for us.  So he isn't trying to change for himself.  So that was kind of upsetting...And then to top it off, on Saturday night, we called his daughter to see how he is doing and found out that his family admitted him in rehab for 5 months....so that was a bummer.  But we will still visit his wife and daughter and occaisionally him in rehab.  

On Saturday we got a training from President Berrett...he was telling us that we have 192 more baptisms to go in Bangalore to make it a stake so that we need to work really hard and as obediently as possible to achieve that.  We also had a missionary/member fireside on saturday where we helped some members get excited about sharing the gospel and helping us missionaries.  We helped them learn how to introduce the gospel in simple, non-threatening ways.  It was a pretty good activity.  We did role plays with them just like we do as missionaries haha.  

On Sunday Brother Pidugu, who is a non-member came to church.  It was great and he said if we don't pressure him, he will take baptism when he is ready so that was great.  We also had a great lesson with him and his family that night.  Also a really good PEC meeting where Elder Bunga and I found that our hard work is paying off because the members and especially the aux leaders and branch president is on our side and willing to help and live with our results.  That was really comforting.  
So not much to tell this week sorry!

So mom......you are easily the best mom in the whole world and nobody can tell me otherwise...the package was way beyond anything i expected.  I cannot thank you enough! I have already broken into the candy and i gave Elder Bunga his bottle and bag.  He loves them.  I love the stress relievers and the pictures and book markers and the talks, oh and the socks with a picture of a crippled guy on them;) haha (KD) just kidding, the socks are so sick!  Thank you so much Mom!!! You are the best.  I definitely am blessed with parents far beyond that i deserve.  You both are so amazing.  So yes please try the biriyani.  It probably won't be as good there as in India but still good;) Sounds like Kiehl is awesome just as i expected...

Answers: Weather the last few weeks has been super hot in the day times and then pouring rain at night.  You guys have no clue what rain is until you come to india and find sheets of rain and floods every night haha.  It is crazy.  You take one step outside and immediately are drenched.  The most spiritual thing this week was probably just reading the book of mormon like always.  I read so many good things.  Since my call i have already read it twice and i am on pace to finish it again before the end of november.  it is sooooo dang good and the most important thing to read.  Most gross was probably seeing a bunch of guys who dress up in sarees (what girls wear) and they act like girls and are gay.  They are so weird and when they see a white guy, they all try to talk to me and flirt and stuff and it is so weird and freaks me out hahaha. The most fun was probably just being with Elder Bunga.

Dad: I hope you are safe this week in Cali. I'll be praying for you just like i always do.  And yeah we have 12 week training haha.  Play some ball with Kody and Carl, haha that would be great...show them how to ball! I will ask about that book.  Great sports center update! BSU may be improving huh? Giants going downhill again? Who is really good in the NFL??? Go Mountain View! The experimental NBA thing is weird, but may work actually.  The ROYALS????? What the heck? who made the playoffs this year in the MLB? If D-rose is healthy, it will probably be the bulls and cavs in the east...and hopefully Westbrook can keep OKC afloat until mah boi returns.  I love you too dad. You are the best dad i can ask for.  And hopefully one day i can become as great of a dad and as faithful as you are.

Well love you and miss you all! Hope you have a great week! 
Elder Ball

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Bangalore Pictures

Bunny, Pidugu boy 










October 13, 2014 - Bangalore

Well a much better week this week.  I was so heart-broken about Vincent David and Kishore. A mission is super hard, especially a mission in India. By far the hardest thing i have ever done.  But i keep thinking that after doing this, other things will probably seem a lot easier. I am taking it one day at a time.  But I am actually doing really well this week.

So on Monday, we went to a family named Pidugu and we had family home evening there.  Because they have been struggling lately financially and have money for food, we made pasta and because they wanted veg things and we had no idea what else to bring, we brought Dominoes lol.  But we had so much fun at FHE playing games and eating and then having a lesson that i was able to give about the foundation of the church being on prophets and Christ as the chief cornerstone and how we get to listen to the prophet and church leaders talk about Christ this weekend.  It was such a great night.  On Tuesday after district meeting, for lunch, we went to Pizza Hut and had unlimited pizza and that was really good.  I ate so much though.  We were able to teach Cedrick's friend Christian again this week too and we taught him about 3 Nephi 11 and he understood really well and is making some good progress.

This week we also began teaching Tresor English. It is so hard to teach English haha.  It was funny too because we were going so basic that we were drawing pictures on the board and labeling them and asking him what they were and how to say them.  It was kind of funny and fun but very difficult.  He is already getting better though, so i think our classes are helping him.  We taught Yona this week but he seems to be slowing his progress but his interest is increasing a little bit more again.  So something funny also is this lady named Chantee texted us the other morning and told she wants us to come see her because she has been having bad dreams lately....and that someone did "Black Magic" on her so she was feeling sick and was scared.  So we went over to house and talked to her a little bit and then i gave her a blessing and while i was giving it, her head was shaking.  It was kind of a weird experience.  

We gave Simmy and Ferdinand a French Book of Mormon this week also and they were very excited to receive one so that they could understand better.  This week was a week of giving blessings i guess because on Saturday before conference, we went and Bunga gave one of Brother George's relatives who is having a baby soon a blessing and also last night, i gave a blessing to our Branch Mission Leader who has been really sick lately.  

So about conference.  On Saturday, we watched conference for 6 straight hours from 2-8.  Long, but it was very good.  Boyd K. Packer's talk awesome as were both of Uchtdorf's talks and Elder Robbins' talk.  So dad! How did you not see Josh Eastman?! He appeared 4 times in the choir man! I saw him in the front row.  I saw him in the first song, then in the medley they did, then in congregational song, and then the last song....I also saw twice Brandon Navarro! The kid from Vallivue that i played ball against.  Sunday we also watched conference and i really liked Hales' talk, Hamula's talk, Eyring's and also Scott's.  Chris, from Tanzania, Vincent David and Amuda, and also Cedrick's friend Stephen came to conference on sunday so that was really good.  

So basically that was my week this week.  I love the pictures of Tyler and Dad on the four wheeler! Answers to Qs: Funniest thing this week was probably either Sister Chantee's encounter with "Black Magic" or after we ate Pizza Hut, Elder Bunga and I were leaving to go to an appointment and so we were kind of going down the stairs real fast and Bunga was in front of me.  So doors in India are random.  You never know which way will be pull and which will be push.  So Bunga ran down the stairs and continues running forward thinking the door was push, so he runs right into the door and smacks into it and bounces back.  It was pretty funny.  The best thing i ate was probably the Pizza Hut.  Or the Chicken Biriyani i ate last night.  Or the cream buns which are a snack i am obsessed with now.  So i haven't had a ton of interactions with the kids but they all think my name is funny so all come up to me and say my name and then laugh and repeat my name a bunch haha.  The kids are so cute.  

Dad: KD is out?!?!?!? Crap.  Well until he comes back, the Thunder are really going to struggle.  Yeah without Hill i guess BYU will have a rough time.  Is their backup really bad or something? Sounds the Giants aren't doing too bad.  Mountain View doing well also eh? Very good.  Keep the updates comin;) they are awesome so thanks pa!

Scriptures of the week (there were three that i couldn't choose between): 2 Nephi 2:6-9, 2 Nephi 31:18-20, Jacob 4:7.  Oh and PS, i have lost about 10 pounds in India.  I was 183 when i left the MTC, and now i am somewhere between 170 and 174 haha.  Anyways, good week this week and hopefully another one to come this upcoming week for you all and i both!
Love you all!
Elder Ball