Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 - Rajamundry

Hey everybody!!
So yeah the first half of this week was actually not that great because i was sick pretty much through Wednesday, but now i am doing much better and we ended up having a pretty good week.  

The main highlight of this week was the progression of our investigator Neeraja.  We helped her to pray and she actually prayed for us.  She also has just a good memory and has remembered everything we have taught and she said she is ready for baptism!  So Thursday is her interview and she is being baptized on Sunday!!! And today is transfer calls so this is probably me and Elder Chettimalla's last week together, so it will be awesome to end our companionship on a baptism.  We will have had bookend baptisms.  One our first week together and one our last week together.  We are really excited about that because we have worked so hard and have been so close with multiple investigators and finally one is being baptized.

So about Sophia...we found out she isn't coming back to Rajahmundry but she will be going to Hyderabad, so when she does we will give her info to those elders and pass her to them.  then when she gets baptized, because she was ready to be baptized yesterday, then in our hearts we can count her as our convert;) haha but no it will be great for her to still be able to be taught, and she will most likely get baptized there in Hyderabad.  She really progressed well before she left.  She quit coffee and was reading the book of mormon and was coming to church every week and doing so well.

So as an apartment and as branch elders we discussed something this week.  We decided to shift our main focus from investigators to what we already have in the branch.  We felt that we were inspired to build up what is currently there and that will bring more success and results in the future for us or for future elders who serve here.  So we will no longer go finding in our area by our own efforts, but will more so be going to members and recent converts and less actives, and if they give us a referral then we will teach of course, but our main focus will be to reactivate, gain more trust from the members, and get the more active members even more converted.  We are very confident with this decision and feel that God inspired us to do this.  While the baptisms will be less for us most of the time, we are okay with that and really looking forward to building the kingdom that has been established so far, which will lead to growth of the numbers in future days months and years.  

Okay mom so my answers for your two questions about Joseph smith:
1) I gained a testimony of Joseph by a couple of ways.  A big way is actually teaching people about him and about his vision.  But i would have to say the biggest way is split between two. My testimony came as i read the book of mormon.  That is the best way to strengthen our testimony of him.  Because if the book of mormon is true then he really was called of god as a prophet, and everything he taught and learned is true also. The book of mormon is the keystone of our religion and also of our testimony of the prophet joseph smith.  A good resource i think you should use is to watch "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration." Also you could use in your class a video from Jeffrey R. Holland about the Book of Mormon.  He talks about it being his source of peace right before his martyrdom and it is so dang good.  I would watch that for sure.  
2) The people we teach gain their testimony mostly from reading the book of Mormon, but another way is a pamphlet we have that contains the testimony of the prophet joseph smith.  Ask the elders in the ward for some copies of that because i have come across multiple members who have read that and it really strengthen their testimony because much of it contains the words of the prophet himself.  
Hope these are helpful for you.  I don't know if you wanted more than this but if you do let me know and i will do my best. 

Answers to other questions: P-days here in Rajahmundry are pretty boring as there isn't much to do but yes we have gone to that river a few times.  Mostly we just email and go get a nice lunch and go shopping and just chill and hang out in the apartment.  Not really any new foods.  I do really like some of their sweets though including Gulab Jamoon, and Caja.  They are so good.  The best thing that happened this week was the great progression of Neeraja and General conference. 

Speaking of conference, my favorite talks were from Perry, Holland, Renlund and Burton.  Seemed like a huuuuggggeee theme this time was about families and it was awesome.  Holland is so dang powerful i feel like he is chastizing me every time he speaks haha but his talk was great.  Renlund's was great too because none of us are perfect and we all have to keep trying.  Burton's was great because it seems like the women usually speak about women and teaching children in the home, but she changed it up this time and spoke on the importance of men and the priesthood in the home.  Now that i am on a mission, i actually love conference and don't want to miss a single talk and now i can't wait for october haha!  

Boy dad it is sure is great to have a doc as a pa.  I don't trust a lot of the docs here to be honest haha.  And your SC updates are on point every time:) I also love the cards you gave me with your advice and quotes and scriptures and stuff.  You are the best dad, and honestly i think i took you for granted and probably didn't show you enough respect or listen to you enough.  But now i realize you were always right.  Even when you were right, you would still apologize to me after an argument we had, or if it was my fault still you would take the fall for me and be the first to apologize.  That's why you were the man and the dad.  I was just the son.  So i want you to know that now i think the world of you and really appreciate everything you did for me.  While it may be a lot later than it was deserved or should have been, i guess better late than never...Love you Pa!

Oh and about the contacts.  I still have some but i want to start wearing them more here which would make me run out quicker so i guess they don't need to be sent yet but eventually i will need more.  Maybe like 3-6 months worth.  Mostly because it is so darn hot that it is difficult to wear glasses.  Although the last couple of days the climate has been a lot nicer.  We might actually get some rain! 
Anyways love you guys so much! Hope your week is wonderful!
Until next week,
Love, Elder Ball

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