Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015 - Moncada, Paniqui, Philippines

Hahahaha, I can now start singing that song and it will be true! (re: subject line of "I'll Be Home for Christmas!")  haha but don't worry, i am not trunky yet.  Just SUPER India trunky! I leave tomorrow morning for india and i am so excited!

So because we skyped like 3 days ago i will  keep this email fairly short but want to let you know it was awesome getting to skype you all! I love and miss you guys so much! You are the best family ever!!!  I sent some pics on Dropbox by the way so go check them out!:0

Anyways so winding down my time in the Philippines, we didn't get a lot of teaching in this week because we moved on Tuesday, and on Thursday had the Christmas conference and curfew at 6, and friday was Christmas so everyone was busy and we were in a tri-panionship, and then good-byes yesterday.  JR Andres came to church again! He is the one in the red tank top in the pics i sent doing my "deuces" sign!  I love that guy.  Bryan finally came to church!!!!  He is doing better now and looks to finally be progressing!!!  Mari Nica's interview is today and she is so ready as she also came to church again, so saturday is her baptism!  Also Myrna and her husband Recto came again and are doing great!  Said good-byes to many members yesterday and i will really miss a ton of people here, but frankly i am ready to return to my India! I still have no clue where i am assigned yet though! haha.  

Sounds like you guys had quite the holiday with lots of fun!! Next year i will be part of that! Thanks for update on some of the fam! Tell Ryker i say what's up! I miss that guy.  Also mom if you could try and see if you can get ahold of Caleb again i would really appreciate that...haven't heard from him forever.  Glad the family is all doing well!! 

I love you guys so much! Sorry if i left stuff out of this email...but we just talked like two days ago right?? haha Love you!!!
Elder Ball

December 28, 2015 - Pictures, Moncada, Paniqui, Philippines

Indian Elders at zone conference while in Angeles Philippines mission. 
Four of the six are headed back to India soon.

Elder Ball & Elder Porter
President Peralta moving out
President Peralta
Kenneth, Emerson, Jericho


Taclibon sisters
Elder Ball with investigator, JR Andres
Tatay Dong Turqueza 
At Angeles Mission Christmas conference...

Elder Ball with his three companions in the 'pines...Elders Neri, Van Tassell, Oldejan.

Great friends!

December 24, 2015 - Christmas Skype!

Awesome to hear from Elder Ball when we skyped on Christmas Eve!  Not great connection or picture quality on this call, but he still sounded great.  He spoke to us in Tagalog; we loved hearing about his experiences; and Tyler sure squealed to hear Ryan's voice.  :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015 - Moncada, Paniqui, Philippines

Hey everyone!! Merry Christmas this upcoming week!!! So excited for Christmas!! So as for skype, i will coming to the computer shop to skype you at 10 am here or so here in the which would be about 7pm on Christmas Eve for you guys.  Would that be okay?? Ma, could you send my skype info again?? I can't find it...Thanks! Excited for our 3rd skype!!

So this week was a weird one.  We finally got stuff figured out for our new house so we are moving in tomorrow, so i will only live in it for a week.  it is right next to the church, so i will get basketball in every morning until i leave to my India!

JR Andres came to church finally this week and is doing really well.  I think he is really progressing.  He was quite disappointed though that i am leaving, but i am sure Elder Ordejan will take good care of him.  JR and Bianca Sibayan got confirmed yesterday which was great, but it was a little embarrassing because the member who was doing the welcome after their confirmation was blooper nation and couldn't figure out what to do haha, it was funny but super embarrassing.  Bryan didn't come again so we were super disappointed about that.  But Myrna and her husband came again which was great, and Myrna will be getting baptized on the 9th instead because of coffee but she is doing well.  We moved Mari Nica to the 2nd of January so i will still be here for her interview this week, so this would be my 13th baptism in the Philippines...crazy...

I got the package!! It is awesome! I am loving all the peanut butter products:) And the shirts are great, and ornament, but those socks!!!!!!!! AWESOME!!! Everyone is jealous of me for those socks;) Elder Ordejan loves the shirt but it is quite large on him.  He is only 5'3 is about two sizes too big haha but he still likes it:)  Thanks so much for the package it is awesome.  

This week is our Christmas conference which yes is pretty much our mission Christmas party so pretty excited for that, especially i get to see Elder Neri again!  I looked for a philippines christmas ornament here but haven't found one yet!:( I am looking again today so pray that i find one! haha.  I am trying my best mom!  Tyler looks huge!!!!  Wow Dad! Sounds like you are quite the popular guy! (re: updates from several of Ryan's friends he saw at MV bball game) It's because you are so awesome. What a social guy!!;)  Thanks for keeping up on my boys...not long before i get home and see those guys win state next year!;)  Sounds like they are doing pretty well!  

I love you guys so much! Enjoy like anything! (my indian grammar) i have practicing it and the head bobble because i kind of lost it...:/ 
Elder Ball

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Pictures, Moncada, Paniqui, Philippines

Elder Ball with his favorite Elders in the 'pines...Elder Van Tassell and Elder Neri.

Sibayan family
Elders Ordejan and Ball with Charmie and Bianca.

Elder Ordejan, Elder Ball & JR Sibayan

Elder Ball & Elder Ordejan

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Philippines - Dalawang lingo na lang...babalik ako doon

Subject line translation: "only 2 weeks...I am returning there"

Hello every one! 
This week was....let's just say an interesting one.  We had lots of stuff going on so didn't teach as many lessons as we had planned for but still had a successful week.

One of the things that happened was on Thursday, Elder Ordejan had a District Leader's meeting and Elder Neri's comp was also part of the meeting, so i met up with Elder Neri and i swear that dude is my best friend.  He has become like a brother to me.  So just to let you know if i or we ever come back to visit the Philippines it is mandatory that we bring him with us.  I hope that is okay.  I love that guy so much.  I really missed him and i don't know just like i can't describe how awesome it was to see him again.  He literally is like my best friend now.  So that was great.

On Sunday was Stake Conference and our branch was the choir and so we sang with them at stake conference, and of course they placed me in the middle and mic'd me up so that people could hear me.  I didn't really like that too much because it made look kind of prideful and show-offy:/ But it was okay.

On Saturday we had JR Sibayan's baptism (uncle of Bianca).  He asked me to baptize him and boy is he a big dude.  But i had the strength to dunk him so that was good haha:)  He is awesome and got super emotional during his testimony, and his mom Myrna now has an awesome testimony as well and is getting baptized on the 26th!!!  I sent lots of pics today.  One of them is random and is of a baby that looks like the baby off of Ice Age haha.  But lots of good pics from baptisms and stuff.  It is crazy because i only had 6 baptisms in India in 12 months, and now will have 13 in the Philippines in just 6 months.  Totally different missions.

Speaking of different missions......Guess who has  two thumbs, is 6'3", loves bball and got his visa this week??? This guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My batch got calls from President Clark on Tuesday night, and we got our visas and are going back in a week or two! Probably December 26 or  27 we will leave.  Super pumped!!!!!!!!!!! So excited!!! I am ready. 
Me and Elder Parks went on exchange again this week, and i translated for him again haha, but no more of that in a couple weeks! It was actually a miracle/blessing from a little thing called fasting.  I told our whole batch last sunday to fast for our visas, and we did and two days later we got the call.  Super awesome.  I can't even describe how pumped i am...  So that is pretty much the stuff going on here!!! Trying not to get too Indian trunky haha. 

I love the christmas cards! Especially my pic with elder neri and with John! 
I got some disappointing news though about Sandra  and Judai and  Inggo.  All three have had difficulties with the WOW since i left.  It devastates me because i really hope they are not missionary makes me feel bad.  Now i really know how God feels when we are struggling with a sucks.  I was quite sad about that the other day.

So anyways you guys better get on the India trip plans:)
Love you all! 
Elder Ball

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 7, 2015 - Moncada, Paniqui, Philippines

A pretty dang good week for Elder Ordejan and I.  The highlight though was definitely our baptisms.  We had two baptisms on Saturday.  Elder Ordejan baptized Charmie, and I baptized Bianca.  It was a great service and a ton of Bianca's family came! They are actually becoming progressing investigators now, as a lot of them came to church for the second week in a row.  One is sister Myrna, Bianca's grandmother.  She is super Born Again Christian, but the other day after the baptism we were eating at the branch president's house and Myrna was only eating a little bit.  Elder Ordejan asked her why...she said to become lighter for her baptism.....we were really shocked haha but it was way cool.

We taught JR Andres again, (the english speaker) and that was really good...he is slowly growing in his faith and is very sincere about coming to know of the truth before making any decision, and he promised us that he will come to church next week.  He is reading the book of mormon and praying so he is doing good.  He asked about baptism the other day too, so i think God is really touching him right now.  And of course it is always refreshing for me to teach in English:)

The other JR, Bianca's uncle, passed his interview on Friday, so we will be having another baptism this upcoming Saturday!! Pretty awesome.  Having lots of baptisms in the Philippines.  To be quite honest, the Philippines is a lot easier than India.  India is so difficult and challenging.  Plus the Philippines is pretty "ripe" from what i heard from President Clark from his Mission Presidents Seminar.  

So things are going pretty good.  We are still struggling to try and find new investigators for January and we lost one of our investigators this week, because if her catholic school finds out she is learning from us they will take away her scholarship and possible expel her.  Bummer.

But anyways life is good.  Our batch fasted for our visas this week so hopefully something comes of that:)

So happy for Michelle (Dubois)! She really is something.  Such a special person.  Especially her and Tyler seem to have a special bond as well.  So happy for her.  Truly a miracle.  God definitely had everything to do with it. 

We are probably going to move this week into our branch president's house because he is leaving on the 9th...crazy but we will be closer to the church so i can play ball every morning.  This morning i played with about 7 young men.  I love the young men here.  They are awesome and it was fun playing ball with them.  Christmas is huge here.  They start it in joke.  Crazy.  But they love it.  Will share more as it gets closer.

Of course really missing india now.  If i was in DapDap with Elder Neri still, honestly i would not mind staying here for longer haha.  But i am ready to get back now.  

Love you guys so much!
Elder Ball

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015 - Moncada, Paniqui, Philippines

Hey fam!!!
A pretty great week for my companion and I.  We are continuing to work hard even though it is super hot haha.  But things are going quite well.  Not only are we finding success with some of our investigators but also with some of our less actives, as we have had one less active attend 3 times in a row now and two others attend twice in a row so that is going great.

As far as our investigators...Bianca (11) and Charmie (13) both passed their baptism interviews this week, so Elder Ordejan and I will having two baptisms this upcoming Saturday, and on that same saturday we have an interview with another one of our investigators, JR. JR is doing great and has left smoking and is awesome.

We had 8 investigators attend church yesterday including almost the entire Sebayan family which was dang awesome.  Myrna and her husband, JR, Bianca, JR's brother and his wife.  Also Charmie came of course and even another investigator who we have been teaching but hadn't progressed yet named Mari Nica.  she finally came and she has tons of friends at church, because she is 17 and there are a ton of girls her age in our branch.  Our branch gets like 130 attendance every week, but it isn't a ward yet only because there aren't enough active full-tithe paying melchizedek priesthood holders.  But there are tons of members and we have a chapel.  It is an awesome branch and the Branch President is amazing.  Such a great branch president, but he is moving to Finland sadly in a couple of weeks so we might move into his nice big house with two A/C's :)

We taught a new guy this week named JR Andres, and he is from here in the pines but lived in Australia for 23 years so his english is awesome.  The first time we contacted him we were speaking in Tagalog but he spoke english to us.  This was when me and an american elder were on exchange, and Elder Teasedale said that my english changes as soon as i start speaking to a brown person haha, it was kind of funny.  I thought i was speaking normal english but apparently not.  I still have the broken english.  But i teach this guy in english and boy is that refreshing.  Things flow so much easier for me in english haha.  But i really feel the spirit working with me in tagalog because i really have no thought before what i am going to say except for a few things and the tagalog just flows out like a miracle. 

Speaking of tagalog.  I got to know what it felt like to be Elder Van Tassell.  Elder Parks and I (yes my batchmate from India) went on exchange this week and we are pretty sure it is the first time it has ever happened in this mission...two indian elders together.  I led all the lessons and translated for Elder Parks...that was interesting.  Everyone in our district and zone was super surprised to hear about that but it went really well, so i really have been blessed with the gift of tongues and it has nothing to do with me.  It is all God.  Everyone is telling me how great i am at learning a language and stuff, but i have nothing to do with it.  It is all God just blessing me in that way.  He blesses some people with good looks and good people skills, he just chose to bless me in a different way...Tagalog haha;)

But things are going great.  Word on the street is the visas are coming pretty soon so really hoping that happens for sure. Mom if you haven't sent the package yet i thought of a couple things to possibly add...a new gatorade water bottle, peanut butter, and a thing of shaving cream.  Mine exploded the other day because of the heat so all of it is wasted now. haha.

Sounds like things are great at home and christmas is coming up soon!!!Crazy!!!  On to month 17 now...what the heck...   Dad keep an eye on my boys for me during the ball season.  Don't let them slack off...

Love you guys! I uploaded some pics but i didn't get to upload all of them because of a slow internet connection that caused us to switch shops and this current shop doesnt have a place to plug in my card reader so more coming next week!
Elder Ball

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 23, 2015 - Moncada, Paniqui Philippines

Hello everyone! This week went by kind of slow for some reason.  But it was still a pretty good week.  We have still been working with our investigators.

This week we found a new family that was really awesome.  It was kind of a miracle actually.  We went street contacting the other morning and found a potential so the other night we went to go a teach this contact, but for some reason we couldn't find/remember where his house was.  So we were returning to a different area, and on the way we just did some contacting again.  So here, you go up to the house and in a loud voice you say, "Tao po!" Which means, "people" haha. Like there are people outside basically. so we went up to this one house, did that and immediately this 24 and 21 year set of siblings let us in just because.  Normally people ask what we want or something, but they didn't ask any questions and just let us in.  So we sat down, got to know them and shared the Restoration, and they are awesome.  Hopefully they are as prepared by the Lord as we think they are haha.  But they seem great.

We have a couple of baptismal interviews this week for two of our investigators, so we are pretty excited about that and they are doing really well.  Another brother named JR is doing really well.  He is basically a member haha.  He comes to church every week and to all the activities and everyone knows him haha.  But he hasn't been baptized because he has had a problem with smoking, but now, he has quit! so awesome.  We have a couple other progressing investigators but those are the ones that are doing the best right now.  We teach lots of recent converts because there were a lot of baptisms here in this last year.  

One of the days this week the branch president asked me to come and help their "choir" to practice one of their songs.  so i was like leading and teaching all these people how to sing and how to arrange the song and stuff haha, it was kind of cool.  Different opportunity to serve i guess.  They tell me my voice is awesome, but i think is more like theirs just aren't very good haha.:)  

Thanks for the article mom, but it actually really bums me out!!! :( I know like all of those elders in the pics, and Elder Bunga is in one and Elder Chettimalla and dang it is a bummer i wasn't there!!!!!!!!  (Church News article and pictures of President Nelson's visit to India last month)  Apparently though president clark said there is some actual conversation going on right now between our representative and india's, so maybe the visa will come soon...? no clue haha.

Yes I am still keeping a journal.  Some weeks i am better than others but this week i did awesome;)  Awesome this week was...the new investigator family.  Disappointing was some of our progressing investigators didn't come to church:( and seeing that article mom;)  Funny was just being on splits with a couple of the young men yesterday.  They are awesome and pretty dang funny.  My comp is from somewhere in the Philippines;) haha middle section of the pines.  In common, we have not too much actually.  But we still get along quite well.  i guess one thing we have in common is we really like to get close to people and worry about them instead of worrying about the numbers we get each week.  I always found that to be much more successful when you go and do your best, you don't have to worry about the number of lessons taught as much as the number of people helped.

Dad, you are awesome, still got that missionary spirit:)  Goodness yes i am way behind on my sports knowledge.  I will get home and not recognize much huh? haha.  Oh well i will probably pick it up pretty fast.   As far as talks for you to read, i can't remember which session or the name of the talk but it was the one where President Monson really struggled to stay standing.  I just remember feeling the spirit so strongly during that talk, so i would recommend to read that.  And we are studying gratitude here in this mission so research some about gratitude.  I have loved reading about gratitude, and it has really changed a lot in me.  It is an awesome topic.  We could all use more of gratitude.  

Well Mahal Kita talaga! "I really love you guys"  
Elder Ball

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 16, 2015 - Moncada, Paniqui Philippines

Hello sa pamilya ko!!! Hello to my family!! Well another week has just flown by and time is really fast...

Elder Ordejan and I had a pretty darn good week.  We taught lots of people and really helped a lot of people to progress.  On Monday one of the investigators we have been teaching passed a baptism interview, so this week we had his baptism.  His name is Asi Bahian.  He is 12 years old and is a really good kid.  His sister is a recent convert so he already had pretty good exposure to the missionaries, and this week he was baptized and confirmed which was great.  Also, Elder Neri just gave me news today that Judai, Jenni and Danica all passed their baptism interviews this week and so are all getting baptized on this upcoming Saturday!! I am so excited for them!!! 

But this area is going pretty good.  Of course i am still bummed about not being in Dap Dap for all the great things happening there, but still working hard here and we are having some good success here as well.  we should be having a lot of baptisms coming up soon as we set a lot of people with dates this week.  My companion is really awesome and is super nice.  We get along pretty well except he pretty much wants nothing to do with sports.  I played ball with some young men from our branch this morning and he just watched because he is terrified of any type of ball.  (hope that doesn't include me as i am also a Ball).  But he is a great missionary and is actually quite happy that i am speaking tagalog haha because his last companion didn't even try.  

So as far as the tagalog goes, it is going really great.  Of course i can't be too confident in it though because as soon as i say i am really good at it, i will probably encounter something that proves me wrong.  But to give you an idea i am teaching in pretty much full tagalog.  If i ever don't know a vocabulary, i just ask my comp during the lesson or if it is a verb i taglish it which a lot of Filipinos do, which is taking the english root of the verb and adding the tagalog conjugation.  It is quite fun to "taglish." for example, if you wanted to say "the last thing we shared" you could say "ang huling shinare namin." Share with the "in" tagalog conjugation thrown in.  My verb vocab is really good but still trying to get the other vocab.  The members are pumped though that i am speaking tagalog haha.  Yesterday we went on splits and the two young men that came with me were super happy because they didn't ever have to translate like they did last transfer haha.  It was a lot of fun yesterday going on splits.  I will try to send some pics next week of the area and the people.  

Tell Michelle Dubois i think she is awesome and a real trooper.  She truly is an amazing person.  Sounds like Curry is tearing it up!! good thing he isn't a junk fellow;)  Dad don't worry i just laughed pretty hard at your humor that you displayed to Kasen.  I appreciate your humor;) i quite miss it actually!  BSU struggling sounds like.  
How are the grandparents doing? How is grandpa's health? i really miss that guy.  We sure had some good times together. i was thinking about him this week and hoping he is doing well.  Also grandma erickson too.  She healing up? Grandma Ball? She still sweet as ever? :)
Anyways love you guys! Hope all is well and enjoy life!
Elder Ball

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015 - DapDap & Moncada, Paniqui - Ayaw ko lumipad

Hey everyone!
First is a shoutout to the number one girl in my life, my mom! Happy Birthday last tuesday mom!! You are the best and sure did/do keep us boys alive.  Hope you enjoyed.  

So my heading means i don't want to transfer.  So basically....i got transferred.  I was absolutely heartbroken.  It tore me up.  I literally cried on Thursday leaving.  Because these four baptisms in Dap Dap all wanted me to baptize sad.  This might have been the hardest area to leave.  And also, Elder Neri was my favorite companion so far.

So i am now in a place called Moncada, Paniqui.  We are in a branch and a home group, so still no ward for me.  My companion is Elder Ordejan also from the Philippines. Very very nice guy and has been out about 11 months. 
Still not familiar with my area, but Tagalog is going really good.  I almost speak 100 percent Tagalog.  My comp and the people here are really pleasantly surprised.  I switched places with the elder who was previously here.  He was also from india from the other mission and he never spoke tagalog and is now in DapDap, and Elder Neri is struggling with him which makes me sad.  i am sooo devastated about being transferred.  I really miss the people there.  So that is about all i have to say this week about that stuff. 
In answer to questions...As far as the (Christmas) package...i will think about it this week and then let you know this week:)  The baptism with Romel went through and i heard it was really cool.  Will send you pics that elder neri sent me next week.  Filipinos go (on missions) here, the states, guam, australia and lots of places.  We went hiking today for p-day as a zone up a mountain it was kind of cool.  Got to see elder parks and elder porter as they are in my zone.  Yep got jerseys.  Quite a few of them.  So cheap here.  getting good amount of sleep and eating decent.  Just hot and draining.  Elder Basil didn't have to leave because he has indian family so he is an overseas citizen so no visa for him.  Lately i had been praying to stay in dap dap but now my prayers have gone back to asking for my visa.  haha.  

Thanks for the home update sounds great there!  Pretty cool about the handbook update.  I am sure the media is eating that up.  The Meridian temple looks awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So beautiful.  

So for me, basically new area, new companion, new feelings (a bit depressing haha) but doing good.  just adjusting to a new area and still waiting for the visa....
Love you guys!
Elder Ball
PS: sent lots of pics!

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2 & 9, 2015 - DapDap, Philippines Pictures

DapDap old, "junk" place to meet

DapDap new meeting house!
Elders Neri & Ball in the new meeting house

Sister Baby's Baptism

Elder Ball & Elder Neri

Hungry after some bball in new, cheap jerseys

Elder Ball & Elder Bundy

Alvin and family
Jenny, Sandra, Judai
With recent convert, Sandra and friends
Investigator Bryan

With Brother Romel and family

Brother Romel's 3yr old son's basketball hoop