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

November 2, 2015 - DapDap, Isa Pang Lingo

Hello everyone (again)! Another week (the subject translated to english).  Not too bad of a week this week.  We had two days where we had to be in by 7 because of a holiday here.  They celebrate their "Halloween" differently by going to visit the cemeteries, sometimes in large quantities of people, many of whom are most likely wasted. Haha.  But it was still a pretty decent week.  

The best part was that brother Romel passed his interview this week, so we are having another baptism! This upcoming Saturday we will be having our 3rd baptism in four weeks.  Pretty awesome huh? We are really trying to get it done here.  Especially with all of the people we have on date for this month.  Speaking of Romel, i sent a picture of a plastic ring strung to a door.  That is Romel's 3 year old son's basketball hoop haha.  I thought it was awesome and reminded me of myself and doing anything i can to get some hoopin in.  Pretty awesome right?

We also taught Danica, Daisy's little sister and she committed to a date as well and she is a pretty smart girl.  We actually had been having a hard time getting her to listen when we would teach the rest of the family because she is so shy, but her mom told us this week that she said she wants to be baptized so we asked her and she said yes so November 21 is her date.  She is doing really well.

As for Brian, we might have lost him, but might not have.  It is a long story.  Long story short, a counselor in our branch presidency got him a job trying to help him out, and the parents got really mad for no reason.  The parents are really weird, so the step dad and brian got in a fight so he was gone for the whole week and wasn't able to come to church.  But there is still a possibility he comes back so we are praying for that.

Another highlight was moving to our new meetinghouse! It is really nice and is like a small chapel.  I sent some pictures of that.  Also sent some pics of last weeks baptism of sister Baby.  That was great.
 So we are still working hard here.  I am pretty exhausted actually.  Not gonna lie, i have been super exhausted lately from doing so much, but we just keep on pushing as much as we can.  We are still looking for new investigators because with all these baptisms it will diminish our teaching pool quite much haha.  Not too terrible a problem to have but we are trying to find new people to teach to prepare for December.  

Transfers are this week because it is a short transfer because of some meeting president clark has.  I really really hope i stay here.  I honestly do not want to leave Dap Dap.  The only and i mean ONLY situation i would leave Dap Dap right now is to return to india.  Not even to return home;) haha.  
Another funny thing.  I got invited by a guy to play for his team in a league that starts here in January.  haha.  Not sure if i will still even be in Dap Dap then...i hope so;) haha.  But on a serious note, things are really going well here, and me and comp get along great so we have been having great success.  

My tagalog is getting better and better every week.  In lessons i probably speak about 60 percent tagalog now and sometimes 75 percent.  In conversation, only tagalog.  I had a hard time speaking in english to the american who attends our branch sometimes haha.  I kept thinking in tagalog.  haha. 
Anyways the NBA started...i know.  People in the Philippines love the NBA.  We had a lunch appointment with Jayson today, and we saw some of the Thunder and Nuggets game there haha.  Doesn't make me trunky at all....okay maybe a little;)  And Dad i forbid stopping the sports updates.  It isn't distracting.  It is just a part of my life that no matter where i am at, it should have at least a little piece in my life.  So don't stop them.  

Well i love you all so much and time really is flying!
Keep it real!
Elder Ball

Joke lang!!! some pics aren't uploading for some reason.  Some made it through but i guess next week i will try again.  In the ones that made it through are our old, junk meetinghouse, our new one, and also the manipon family!