Sunday, January 31, 2016

February 1, 2016 - Bangalore, Whitefield

It's February!...Crazy.  
Well this week was pretty dang awesome i have to say.  I have probably never been more frustrated with a companion than i was this week with mine as far as teaching efficiency and focusing, but we got some great work done.  

First of all, Reena did get baptized! It was awesome, and she even invited like 5 of her friends to her baptism!!! She is awesome and her baptism was long overdue.  She has such a strong testimony and is super humble so it was awesome.  

Also that young man named Thanush...He came to church this week again, and he brought his mom.  His mom was in tears in sacrament meeting because of the spirit she felt there, and Thanush also attended the baptism service because he said: "i am going to get baptized next week so i have to see how it works."  How awesome is that? He is super pumped to get baptized next week.  What is even better is that i am pretty sure they told the father how great they loved church, and before he said he would only come on alternate weeks.  but yesterday they invited us over for lunch and a teaching appointment after church, and he said next week the whole family is coming.  So we are pretty confident that right after Thanush get baptized, so will his parents!!! How cool is that!!!!  They are an awesome family.

Also sister Preethi, Bavitha's daughter, came.  Bavitha didn't come again, so we are basically dropping her until Preethi gets i say that because of another awesome thing.  We introduced a member to Preethi yesterday at church, and the member did awesome fellowshipping.  Preethi absolutely loved church and told the member her testimony of the book of Mormon, and she told the member without even being asked that she is getting baptized in February.  We have her on date for the 14th, So we could have back to back to back baptisms!!!! The member even told us to baptize her next week because she is so ready, but she still needs to come to church next week and the following week to qualify for baptism, but so awesome to know that she is ready!  

A couple other random investigators that didn't show much interest before came to church as well which was awesome.  We found 9 new investigators this week.  Thanush and his parents, a father and his two daughters, and another family of three so we had an awesome week.  The work is really progressing and we have been working really hard.  So the Ravi Kumar and Ramesh Babu families are struggling a bit, so last night we retaught the Restoration to the Ravi Kumar family for better understanding, and i think they understood better this time as they committed to reading the BoM and coming to church next week.  Ramesh Babu just basically tried to Bible bash so we will see what happens with them. 

Yes, Elder Basil will leave at the same time as me, which reminds me of one point.  i think we should cancel the you guys coming to India thing...for a couple of reasons.   after i finished my ecclesiastical endorsement with President Berrett i talked to him about that.  he said it is discouraged for that to happen, but if the parents come anyway then they can work with them on it.  However, another thing is my mission has been extended a week to August 2, so as far a timing goes, i am not sure if coming to India would leave me much time before going to college.  a couple more thoughts...Elder Bunga is Zone Leader in Vizak, and Elder Bandi is Elder Bandi still haha.  Nope not teaching any africans but Elder D'Vaz still is in Lingarajapuram.  I guess they are the only interested ones in that area, but one of these days i might go there and show him some of my former investigators that weren't contacted after i left.  John is doing good.  He is teaching a French class now and is coming to church.  The members love him. 
I am getting up in the mornings a little earlier to go play ball.  Not every morning but most mornings.  Elder Basil doesn't have much interest in playing with me anymore though which kinda sucks.  MV is struggling huh?? Dang...seemed as though they were doing really good to start but i guess their schedule was also pretty easy to start.  

So yep we went to Mysore which was cool, and i uploaded quite a few pics.  I uploaded pics at the Manila temple, pics of Mysore, a pic of a random old lady just doing her thing right in front of some houses, and some others.  Hope you enjoy them.  

Haha "look upon the ball" (scripture he likes). Sometimes i joke with members and read them the scripture that says "and they did follow the directions of the ball." and then tell them that the scriptures teach people to listen to me haha.  Kinda funny.  They all get a kick out of my name haha.  Well I am glad things are going great there!

Love you!!! 
Elder Ball

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25, 2016 - Bangalore, Whitefield

Hey jokes! i get to email today actually! Sorry about that.  False alarm.  So i will explain why we didn't get to email yesterday.  The reason is because yesterday for P-day we got approved to go to a place called Mysore for a zone activity.  Mysore is a really cool place with lots of sights to see and places to go but it's a 3 hour drive away, so we got back too late to do anything yesterday.  But Mysore was pretty dang cool.  I will send some cool pics next week of it.  

This week for me and Elder Singh was quite honestly a little bit of a disappointing one.  I was going to say discouraging because we worked so hard and didn't see the fruits of our labors, but this is just how India is so it is just a test from God.  And we are not giving up and are planning to have a killer week this week.  It was disappointing because we tried so hard, but didn't have much member support and only Reena came to church, which actually she is being interviewed as i type this, for her baptism on Sunday so are excited for that.  We also found 0 new investigators despite door knocking some more as compared to 10 the previous weeks consecutively.  But we have some good potentials that we found, so this week we should have some good new investigators so i am pumped for that.  

The Ravi Kumar family wants to feed us like all the time, which is a little bit difficult because i feel so bad about that.  So today we are going there for lunch, but we are going to have to wait for another one until they actually come to church so that it doesn't look like we are just taking advantage of them.  The Ramesh Babu family was difficult to get ahold of this week and we only taught them one, but today is a holiday for everyone so we have appointment today with them.  We got so bunked this last week which sucked but hopefully this week is better.  Also sister Bavitha couldn't come because she had to work last minute, and her children didn't some so we have to extend her baptism date...kind of a bummer but this week we goaled for 10 baptism dates and 14 investigators at church so we are putting our faith to the test!!!

One of the skype families is doing AWESOME! They are so interested and progressing so well.  The other guy in the other skype appointments has so many legal problems as he is a refugee and pretty much has had super bad luck with his time in Europe so it seems as though we won't get too much further with him.

So Mysore was pretty cool.  We went and saw a really old palace and had a good time with the zone.  But the best part, Dad will be really proud of.....and it's funny because he mentioned it in his email to me haha.  I RODE AN ELEPHANT....No joke.  i have photo and video proof.  Yes, pa, i rode an elephant for you.  Dropped 200 rupees to do it which was quite the dent in the wallet, but it was worth it.  Way cool.  So ha. Did it.  Maybe you will have to come do it with me next time;) Speaking of which, yeah i actually do think it would be way cool if you came to india at the end of my mish.  I am good with that.  

By the way, thanks dad for the college bball update, i was actually dying inside waiting to hear about joke i was wondering last week what was going on haha.  Sounds like you guys are doing great though! i am very glad for that!!! And yeah i am still learning some Hindi.  These Indian languages are pretty dang difficult, but i am getting to understand a bit more.  Really hard to find time to learn it though is the problem.  So i have a book i am using and also i am teaching that english class to sisters who know absolutely zero English, so i am learning hindi as i try and communicate to teach them english haha.  English class is awesome and i realized how honestly, english kind of sucks haha.  It is so hard to teach and i am sure even harder to learn.  

So from what i am hearing i might finish my mission in Bangalore because registration issues haha.  So...not sure, but that is what it is looking like.  But yeah because of the weather i can't complain too much.  Hoping to get back to Lingarajapuram some time soon and show Elder D'Vaz some of my old stomping grounds..  

Anyways i love you guys and sorry about the late email!!!! Love You!!
Elder Ball

Sunday, January 17, 2016

January 18, 2016 - Bangalore, Whitefield

Hello everyone!!
So this week started off super slow...the reason being because we went door knocking the first three days, and we literally found almost no success.  We went to a place where missionaries had never been and it was for good reason...pretty much only hindu and muslim homes...but we were diligent in continuing so we found some potentials.

Then in the second half of the week, we exploded with awesome stuff.  We found 10 new investigators again! We found a new family of 5 that is awesome, thanks to Rithik who introduced them to us, because they are his family.  we found a guy who recently moved here and is looking for a church to go to, and another guy who is having a leadership position in his church, and then a few part members and stragglers.  It was awesome!  We also had 5 investigators come to church this week.  Bavitha didn't come, but her son and daughter came with was awesome as well as Rithik, and a new guy named Anish and also sister Reena the Hindi sister.

As far as hindi goes i am still learning but is hard...but what might help is i began teaching an english class which could get us more new investigators.  And also most of the people that attended only speak hindi, so i will learn hindi as i teach English, so it is pretty cool.

Other than that this week was pretty routine.  We ended up having some pretty good success.  We taught a couple skype lessons, and those investigators are doing really well so that is great.  We taught the Ramesh Babu family once, but they didn't come to church because they went out of town to Chennai, but they said next week for sure they are coming. so next week we could have like 10 investigators at awesome would that be? 

So yeah, my comp can be frustrating at times, but i try to have as much fun and roll with it as much as possible and it helps.  Sometimes i have to take over a portion of the lesson and help him out, so because of that I am improving my teaching as well.  but we are improving hopefully and our lessons have been pretty effective lately.  It is pretty fun being with the assistants also, because president berrett expects their area and our area to be the best two in the mission to give an example to the rest of the mission.   We really have to improve on teaching less actives though, as we didn't teach any this week which was a bummer, so we are going to try and work better with the less actives and the members.  

Sounds like a great week for you guys as well which is awesome! Glad you are doing so well! My emails are also getting a tad short haha, but that is because i don't know what to say anymore! i hear this happens to pretty much every missionary who has been out for almost a year and half...

Love you guys!!!
Elder Ball

Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 11, 2016 - Bangalore, Whitefield

Hey fam!!!
This week was a pretty good week for us.  We had a couple of unproductive days due to me going to get foreigner registered and also splitting the area and sorting out a bunch of member list stuff.

But other than that we found 10 new investigators this week as we did door knocking and finding, so that was awesome.  One of our investigators Reena, is doing really well and is either going to get baptized this upcoming sunday or the next sunday, but either way she will get baptized for sure.  

So the majority of our new investigators is an awesome family.  So this is how we found them: we were walking to a members home when behind us i saw a kid with a christian school uniform, so i started talking to him and as we talked we found out his whole family is Christian. we asked if he could take us to his home and he did.  so Wednesday and Sunday we taught his whole family, and they are so prepared and awesome.  This kid's name is Ranjeet.  So Ranjeet, his brother John, and his friend Rithik all came to church, and next week the whole family will come.  Also they are introducing like a bunch of their friends and family to us so we can teach them! It is so awesome.  It is cool because most missionaries haven't worked much in this area because it is predominantly Muslim, but because of that all the Christians know each other, so they are very close and friendly so a ton of potential.  It was just evidence that God prepares his children and also places people in our path every day for a reason.  

But other than that we are doing a ton of finding because we split our areas.  We are in the same ward as the APs so we just split the areas so are kind of whitewashing the areas.  Also Elder Basil is the AP so i am living with my aussie mate again!:)  It is pretty fun.  

Yeah my comp is quite the experience haha.  He struggles with teaching and is just an interesting I will be learning a lot of patience.  He is teaching me Hindi though which is nice, but yeah it is going okay.  

I am really growing a lot on my mission, and i can really feel the spirit testify through me as i teach.  I still can improve on a lot but lately as i have been teaching, i am more and more feeling the spirit literally fill my mouth with the words to say, and also can feel it testifying to people.  It is such a great feeling.  

The stake is not bad, still young so it will take time to blossom but still nice (was created November 2015); the stake leadership is full indian.  The Americans that are here are living here for a period of about 3 years most of the time.  They are here for their work, and they do actually live far from us and the chapel in a place that literally feels like America from what i have heard.  

The Manila temple was awesome...i loved it so much, very small on the inside. how is the meridian temple?? the sessions in manila are in English. and speaking of manila, a member from manila just attended our ward yesterday because she is here for work, and i can still speak tagalog:):) I spoke with her in tagalog and it was awesome.  

I don't know Elder Dille and i don't know any Bares...
Yep i received the family calendar:) i love it!:) 
As far as why i like the mission culture is because they care more about the people here than the numbers, and in the Philippines it just seemed like everyone was going for leadership and recognition.  Here the missionaries care so much about the people and i love it.  But i am so happy to be back in India!!! 

Love you guys!!!
Elder Ball

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January 4, 2015 - Bangalore, Whitefield - main Barat se piyar kartha hoon

My heading means "I love India" in Hindi :)
How is everyone???? I am now back in India, and boy am i happy to be back!!! I really do miss the Philippines, but India is my place.   It was great getting back to the chaos and the Indian English (which sounded like music to my ears) and the tradition, and also just the culture of the mission and the missionary work here.  And i do have to say that the Philippines missionaries have it pretty easy...i totally forgot how hard the work is here.  It is so difficult here because of the Hinduism and all the people are not nearly as nice as the Philippines people, so it is much more difficult to get a smile out of people and stuff.  haha but it is home.

So i got assigned in Bangalore again....i am in Whitefield ward which is the ward where the mission office and stake center is.  My companion is Elder Singh from Delhi and he has been out about 14 months and speaks Hindi, so he is beginning to teach me some.  The area is pretty good.  India is so poor it is is just so third's awesome:)  So my comp knows the area okay but he doesn't know the names of many people or the names of the places, so it has been a little frustrating so far and also is has been a patience trying week with Elder Singh.  he is a good guy but can be very irritating at i am sure i will really grow in my patience.  

So we taught a few investigators and most of them are not really progressing.  We have a couple sisters on date for the 24th that we just set them with the other day, but they didn't come to church so they have to come the next three weeks in a row.  also another brother was supposed to get baptized yesterday but didn't come to church, so still confused about how this area is going.  We are actually also working with some elders in Germany through skype to teach an Indian guy in Hindi so it is quite the interesting experience.  The members here are good and there are tons of Americans in our ward.  Most of which are actually staying here.  One is the young men's president, and another is in the bishopric and it is crazy.  I get nervous talking to them because their English is so fast and mine is so broken.  i got the broken English and the head bobble back pretty quick haha.  And the India food is delicious.  took me a couple days to readjust to it but i am good now.  The first plate of biriyani was a little spicy but so good:) 

Yeah President Berrett was surprised and happy to hear about Paul Belnap haha:) also i didn't know that Trena is his banker....haha is like i am related to my mission president because he knows everyone haha.  the travel was good back to India.  the best part about the pines was the people are so nice there...and they love ball:) but the hardest part was the mission culture.  I wasn't too big of a fan about the mission culture.  i am still trying to stop saying Tagalog things to people here, haha it is hard!!!  I loved the people in the Philippines and i especially miss Elder Neri and dap dap.  but very happy to back here in India.

So another week coming up and getting back into the swing of India.  Love you all!
Elder Ball
PS: i got to go the temple (Manila) on Tuesday:):):)