Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015 - DapDap, Angeles, Philippines

Hey everyone!!
This week was a pretty average week.  A little bit of a struggle actually.  We weren't able to teach as many lessons as usual, and also we were expecting many investigators at church but only 5 came which i  guess still isn't bad but we were expecting like 17.  The Manipon's said they would come but didn't, so that was disappointing.  a sister named Julie and a new brother named Lawrence and sister Baby and Danica didn't come as well as Inggo so it was a little bit frustrating.

We are a little bit confused about the Manipon's.  They are still super nice and we think they believe what we are teaching and they immediately began following the word of wisdom and quit coffee as soon as we taught them, but they still are struggling with the idea of getting married.  Things like that are weird here because there is no such thing as divorce and it is super hard to explain.  We are really hoping we can figure out how to get them to exercise their faith.

As for Sandra, we moved her baptism date back to October 17th.  Only one problem is she drank this week, and technically she could still get baptized on the 17th but we aren't sure if she is ready, so we are really asking for some help from the Man Upstairs to know what to do.  But also one of her friends came.  Her name is Judai.  She is super crazy at times and never really sincerely listened to us, but this week she said she wants to be baptized so we will try to work out things with her as well.

Another brother we are teaching named Romel actually came too.  We told him that some members would come and pick him up in their trike, but when they went he wasn't there.  So we were quite disappointed because he seemed so sure he was going to come.  But as we were waiting for sacrament meeting to start, he walked in the door so it was awesome.

I think i know that sister that moved in.  Did they move in from a different ward in our stake because i know a kirkman girl that is serving in minnesota.  Not sure if she is the same or different.  Check if her name is Taylor.  If so, i know her.  Sounds like mom had quite the fun time.  But BYU didn't have much fun, haha.  That program is so weird. 

As for all your questions mom...Yep i got my package and it is great so thanks a lot!!! I didn't get the bday cards yet.  My tagalog is okay.  I can understand pretty well and slowly slowly learning more things to say in lessons and conversation.  Yes all meetings are in tagalog.  We don't speak much, but we teach priesthood sometimes.  General conference will happen the same as in india.  Not much sight seeing yet.  Not too much time to except for maybe next week we will go to some falls near our area.  Heard about Elder Scott.  Lots of turnover happening recently!!  Yep will pray for Michelle (Dubois) for sure.  Shout out to her for her amazingly positive attitude. She is a trooper it sounds like.  Great for Susan/fam as well!!

That's about it for the week!!  Love ya!
Elder Ball

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015 - DapDap, Angeles, Philippines

Well another week has come and gone, and it was a pretty normal week i would have to say...not too much new going on here.

Inggo and Daisy got confirmed this week so that was great.  They are really doing awesome and love the gospel and the church.  But what is even cooler is we have been teaching Inggo's wife, Baby, and she has been doing really well also.  she came to church again along with another daughter of theirs named Danica who is 12.  That has gone really well so far, and last night we invited her to be baptized also, and she committed to the 17th of October so maybe another baptism in that family!!!! That would be so dang awesome.  

We are still teaching the Manipon family, and Elder Van Tassell and I absolutely love them.  They still haven't committed to being baptized yet only because they aren't married and are waiting until Sister Olive's parents come back from the US which is probably in like 5 years.  So we have been trying to get them to know for sure that the church is true and to convince them they should get married and then get baptized as soon as possible and not "procrastinate."  So it has been a super long process and they still haven't committed, but they are super awesome because they are very real and sincere with us and ask lots of questions and are like the nicest people ever.  They even fed us once this week which was super surprising.  They are so nice.  They weren't able to come to church this week because Olive is pregnant and wasn't feeling well, so hopefully next week she will feel okay and come to church. 

We are teaching some other families and people but not too many progressing investigators.  Sandra is still doing well as far as her Word of Wisdom effort and she came to church again, but we had scheduled her interview for this upcoming Thursday.  we aren't sure if she will be ready by then, so we might have to move it back a week or two but we will see.

So some pretty good stuff going on here, but DapDap is a pretty crazy place haha.  Really weird but kind of cool though.  But i have been praying so hard to get back to India.  I miss it so much.  Like 5 visa waiters in the states got their visas this week, so not sure what that means for us as well.  I really hope it gets here by the end of this transfer.  As far as i know mine hasn't arrived yet so i have no clue who would have leaked info and if it is true then i would like to know myself because i have no clue...

And Dad, you never cease to inspire me!!!!:)  You'll do in a pinch.  You're a hall of fame Pa in my books.  Mom, you're pretty awesome as well.  Not sure exactly what us boys would do without a ballin mom like you.  Sounds like my little bro is a teenager yet...getting into mischief and what not hahaha.  

Well love you guys a ton! Please keep praying for my visa...i'm doing fine here, but there is just no place like home in India and i really miss it a lot.  
Love you!! 
Elder Ball

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 14, 2015 - DapDap, Angeles, Philippines

Hey you party people!!!!
That sounds like a dang awesome game (BYU vs BSU) and an awesome time!!!! That is so crazy.  Can't believe it.  Mangum must be a stud.  And mom you are super lucky that you get to go to michigan for that game! You are going to one of the largest sporting stadiums in the whole world and the largest football stadium.  The Big House is what they call it, and i will tell you it will be insane, but you will have a lot of fun for sure you lucky thing!  Cool that you guys also got to see Jim and Carolee.  How are they doing?? 

So our week this week wasn't too bad.  We tried really hard again, but not too much progress except we did have two baptisms!!! That was awesome.  Domingo (Inggo) and Daisy (his 18yr old daughter) both got baptized and they loved it.  Domingo when asked to give a testimony, he instead gave a prayer in Kapampangan haha. it was pretty cool though because he was super happy and cried, and it was kinda different seeing this emotionless guy cry tears of joy.  And Sister Daisy is so dang awesome.  Yesterday she worked with us and our BML, and when she gave her testimony and helped teach and stuff it was so awesome.  She is so solid.  So our baptisms went great.  We went to the Capas Ward building because obviously we don't have a font and those elders had a baptism also, so we had three convert baptisms between us two companionships.  It was great.  

As far as the other families....Manipon family is doing quite well.  They are very genuine and sincere and want to learn and are still contemplating baptism, so hopefully this week we can get them to recognize an answer and commit to a baptism date.  Oh and Domingo's wife came to the stake conference broadcast yesterday so she seems to be progressing also.  

However, as far as the other family, a huge disappointment.  They were only interested in us for our money, and we went to them yesterday and taught them from 3 Nephi 13:32-33 and told them that if they heed our message and follow the commandments they will be blessed with the things that they need.  at the end we asked the brother to pray but he walked out, said he was used to being poor and doesn't need any blessings.  Even though they spent the first 15 minutes of the appointment complaining to us about how they are poor.  Their situation is very difficult for sure, but i guess the best way to say this is that they aren't doing too much to help their situation, so we are very sad about this, but i guess just now isn't their time and hopefully in the future they will be ready.
We found a new sister named Vilma this week and she is great so far.  Very willing to learn and she loves "the Mormons," so she is committed to a date.
Sandra is doing so awesome right now.  She didn't drink this whole week, and she came to baptism service and is excited to be baptized on October 3.  That is if she doesn't drink between now and then so hopefully she stays strong.  

As far as our area, yeah it is pretty poor living conditions, but that is because we are in a tiny village.  It is interesting though about these people.  They obviously were not taught good money management and are pretty lazy, and it just makes me count my blessings about living in America, but India is poorer.  As far as Bangalore it was about the same in terms of living conditions except maybe a little better, but the conditions here are better than in Rajahmundry.  We live in a tiny house that kind of sucks but is better than most of the houses we teach at so that is a plus:) haha Yes there are about three times as many missionaries here than there are in India.  And no not a chance at all of going to the temple.  The missionaries in this mission get to go if their converts go.  So Elder Van Tassel may get to go.  And they get to go at the end of their mission, but i have no chance of going.

Yeah I am doing great but prayers always help.  I really want to get back to India but no word on visas yet. :(  Thanks for the package! :) It is here yes but it is with my zone leaders, and they are quite far.  We were going to get it today but don't think we will have time, so maybe later this week or next Monday.  Hopefully!  And i don't feel too much different actually (20yr bday on 9/13), but i guess it is super weird not being a teen anymore! 

Thanks for the quote Dad.  Sometimes when i feel like i have an impression i doubt it sometimes and think it was just a random thought, and this quote really helps me.  Thanks pa.
Love you guys so much! Keep partying there back home! 
Elder Ball

Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015 - DapDap, Angeles, Philippines

Well this week was kind of a disappointing week overall, but i guess it is hard to compare any week to last week haha.  We only had 5 investigators come to church this week, which i guess i still actually pretty good, but when you compare it to last week it sucked! haha.  The Dela Cruz-Castro family didn't come and neither did the Manipon family.  Apparently the Dela Cruz-Castro family was only listening to us because they are super poor and thought we would give them money...but we are trying to mend our relationship with them and help them to know that we have something much more valuable to share with them than money. 

As for the Manipon family, they are actually doing really well.  They didn't come because sister Olive was sick, but they are getting more and more interested and i think very close to accepting a baptismal date.  Sister Sandra came again, but is still having a lot difficulties and trials in her life which causes her to resort to drinking.  It is kind of sad but we are really trying to help her. 

The best news of the week is that Inggo and Daisy came to church again and they passed their interviews this week, so we are going to be having a baptism this saturday!!!  Both of them are getting baptized.  It will be Elder Van Tassells first baptisms in seven months so he is super excited, and we are excited because this area has been the weirdest and maybe even the hardest that either of us has served in.  But we are super pumped for Saturday.

Still really missing india though.  I fasted for my visa yesterday and i am hoping God get my visa here this week as a birthday present.  haha i think that would be cool.  However, i am grateful for my experience in the philippines.  I discovered that the reason i came here was to learn how to better recognize and follow the spirit when i teach.  because in our little village area no one can understand English, and so in order to get them to feel good about what i say they have to feel the spirit.  so this last couple of weeks i have felt the spirit testifying a lot stronger through me and guiding what i say more and more.  I have been saying things in our lessons that i never thought of before and never would have thought of to say without the help of inspiration, so i am super grateful for that.  Now i just can't wait to get back to india and do the same but with the people who can actually understand English, haha.

So with the pics.  Well the pictures that are the same looking are after church after the branch conference.  But the other set of people is inside the meetinghouse at a branch home evening.  not sure if that helps haha.  Will send some more pics next week.  And no i haven't met Elder Ward or Armstrong yet.  

Thanks for sharing that experience Dad.  It is so true.  When we do things we don't want to do but know we should do, that is when the Lord pours out his blessings and knowledge upon us.  Sounds like some awesome counsel from some great leaders.  Thanks for the fast as well.  Can always use prayers and fasting in missionary work!! 

Love you guys so much! You are the best fam!!
Elder Ball