Monday, December 1, 2014

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 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.

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