|Elder Ball & Elder Basil|
We had our last skype session with Elder Ball on Mother's Day. He looks and sounds great! They had two baptisms on Sunday, Shanthi and Prathapan, which makes a complete member family. The work in their current area is quite challenging. In the past the APs traveled quite a bit and had other responsibilities and didn't have much time to spend working the area, so it is taking some time to build the relationship and get members involved in missionary work. Now there are office Elders who do office work as well as a set of couple missionaries. Ball/Basil said they are working hard and are up late most nights taking calls/reports from the zone leaders, handling issues, etc.
This week is transfers, and Elder Basil w/ a new companion will go to Goa to open up the area for missionary work! Elder Ball and Basil were thrilled about that! They were so impressed with the branch members while there preparing for the recent open house, and said there are people ready to get baptized soon there. Elder Ball will stay in Bangalore to transition the new Mission President the first of July. He's getting a new companion, Elder Thompson, which is exciting because they were companions for a short time in Rajah last year and got along well. The mission isn't getting any new or returning-from-'pines Elders this transfer, but next transfer they are scheduled to get 10 new Elders from the USA. Due to visa issues, the mission has ~80 missionaries right now with about 80/20 mix of Indian/Americans....as compared to when Elder Ball got there the mix was about 50/50. Not sure how many are still visa waiting in the 'pines.
The city of Bangalore is now officially changed to Bangaluru, so the mission name has also changed. Ball/Basil traveled to Visak last week to check on the missionaries there; they travel to another area about every month. He's now been to all six of the cities/villages of his mission and has enjoyed seeing the other areas, especially since he has spent so much time assigned to work in Bangalore.
President/Sister Berrett just got back from Sri Lanka, and one set of Elders there just had 10 baptisms! The work could grow much faster if more Elders were available in Sri Lanka, but visas are very difficult so the missionaries have to be natives from Sri Lanka.