Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 - Bangalore

Well it is now a new year! 2015. The year i will be a missionary for the whole year.  This week was a pretty good one.  Very busy for me and my companion trying to find and teach more people.  This week we focused a lot on Stephen and i think he has really grown a lot, and we had one discussion with him this week where just asked him his concerns and what is holding him back from being baptized.  He just explained how he just wants to learn more and wants to be retaught the lessons, but he seems very willing to learn and progress so we are very excited about that.  He was also the only investigator for us that came to church on Sunday.  Which is unfortunate about the other ones but very good that stephen did come. 

It has been pretty hard for us four missionaries in lingarajapuram to not get discouraged about this branch and area.  The branch doesn't seem to be very anxious about the missionary work and to help us.  Which really we are working so dang hard and we really believe we are one of the best districts if not the best district in the whole mission.  And really we are teaching many lessons every day, but most of them without members present which is key so it has been really difficult.  We are trying our best to help this branch move forward.  It is hard not to be discouraged, but my companion is very positive so he helps me not to be discouraged.  We visited many members and less actives on saturday to get them to come to church but none of the less actives came...part of the difficulty is because the chapel is so far.  Many difficulties here in India so the work is very hard but even through all the difficulties and stuff i still seem to be happier than ever and love it so much.  I just find a thrill in teaching people the lessons.  It just feels so good and so right.  Anyways we are dropping a few investigators this week because they are not keeping commitments and not progressing at all, so we are going to explore a place in our area that we are unfamiliar with and try and find new people there.  also we are trying to meet with the actives a lot this week to strengthen our relationship with them and to get referrals from them. We have had some referrals lately but all of them haven't worked out.
A couple interesting experiences: we were walking down the streets looking for a member (we have to look for long time for members because the addresses here suck quite frankly haha) and some guy who speaks really good english comes up to us.  He was an older guy and he asks if we were the mormons so we said yes.  He said he was catholic which normally results in a potential bible bash or scolding for us but he told us to keep doing what we are doing and keep spreading christianity and was so nice to us.  he told us he lived in salt lake city for 30 years and loved seeing the temple so maybe sometime we will try and meet him and teach him.  another experience was also looking for a inactive members home and a guy asked if we were from the latter day saint church.  we said yes and then my companion went off and talked to some of our african buddies next to us leaving me to talk to this guy solo.  He was talking with these african guys while i was trying to explain to this guy about the book of mormon (he asked for a book of mormon).  It was very interesting because he was trying to get me to trip up on what i say and also trying to confound me, but he didn't know like anything so i just told him to read and pray and find out for himself.  

One amazing experience was with john last night.  we were visiting him at his home and i was talking with john and talking about serving missions and how he possibly wants to and so i was telling him if he feels he wants to and should that he should do it for sure.  so then he started saying how he doesn't want to serve in africa.  so i began to explain to him how we don't choose and that god sends us where we can find those people prepared for us and where god wants us to go and how most of the time, missionaries don't go where they want like for me i gave no thought to going to india.  as i was explaining this to him, i was telling him if i was allowed to go where i wanted i wouldn't have met him and shared the gospel with him.  and as i said that, i was holding back tears.  i struggled to say it because emotionally it just hit me so hard how much i care about john and simmy and how i was meant to find them and teach them and it was just so awesome to think about that.  John has an amazing desire to serve god so we just talked a lot last night and was just so uplifting.  

Their friend, our investigator, Claud promised he would come to church but didn't so that was rough.  we are dropping navaneet because he keeps bunking our appointments and doesn't come to church.  Anyways pretty eventful week.  Still trying to help my companion be more obedient and it is really difficult, but i am really trying because i have seen how obedience brings miracles.  and also trying to teach him how to do some things for himself because i am basically his mom because he still doesn't know how to tie his own tie or turn on the gas stove or basic stuff like that. 

Answers: funniest- the dumb stuff my comp does all the time...worst-frustration with branch and attribute-he can talk to random people so easily and his positive attitude...yes, i have given many priesthood rule that is hard to follow is probably the p-day one (having to proselyte at 6 on p-day).  Random fact: so many beggars come up and ask for money and many of them who are ladies that carry around a small woven basket that has a huge snake (cobra) in it....had lots of them come up this week.  Also gays who dress in sarees (the women dress in india).

Dad: Such a great espn update this week! Thanks! Way to go BOISE!! Oregon and OSU? go ducks.  thunder with kd will kill it for sure.  utah number 10 huh? how is isaiah doing? that is great about jesse!!! Thanks dad for the preaching.  i don't get it every day anymore so a little bit every week is okay;)  

Scripture: Jacob 3:1-2
Well wishing you all a great new year and love you all so much! Until next week...
Love Elder Ball

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