Monday, December 13, 2010

Under the Weather

Hey, i had a pretty...... Ehhh week -- i am sick and so was one of my companions so we just kind of sat around and survived. i did read almost all of mark, and i started reading some of the Book of Mormon with reading the bible. that is about all i did that was productive to me..

hey, about my companions, my cool companion is getting transferred this week on Thursday. Not sure whether the other Elder in our trio will stay or not??

My GPS is working great.. i love it.. lifetime maps and lifetime traffic for a pretty dang good price is worth it. well..

I don't want any pretzel rods i am starting to gain weight again since everyone feeds us a big meal and then dessert so i think i am good on the sweets.. 
i don't got much to say.. but
i know that God loves us and that he restored his Gospel to the earth and if we keep his commandments and love one another as jesus did, we will recieve Eternal life in return. I love you guys and i miss you guys alot.
Have a great week.
your son.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Package and a GPS to help with the work

Hey Dad,
I got the package. I loved it. we had a good time together.
i already watched those movies that you sent.
I feel like Lehi was somewhat of an Insense trader.. they followed the reverse insense trade route getting out of Jerusalem.. (of course speculation) but the land bountiful that Nephi built the boat is said to be in the Green dot in the middle east in the south east of the peninsula. and the other movie was cool too.. MesoAmerica is the canadiate for the ancient inhabitants. i liked the one that you guys watched better but the only thing that it didn't have in it that the other one did was Truman G. Madsen. who i really admire. He is very knowledgable. 
I enjoyed the CDs and all the random disney songs.. i need my Hercules.. and my Mulan reflections and my phil collins tarzan.. i was hoping for some of that. but i did like the other stuff and i am so glad she put my Florence + the Machine song on there. i love that song. I also catch myself singing Beauty and the Beast theme while i am in the shower..? which i love that movie. i love Belle. I love Gaston. its great. 
Oh well.. i have been discouraged from reading as much lately. i was just busy with moving and a bunch of stuff. I am in Matthew 25 now and instead of reading matthews 24 i read JST Matthew.. which i really enjoyed because the 2nd Coming really interests me. And i watched the Christmas Devotional last night and Elder Utchtdorf (forgive me if i spell wrong) my favorite apostle, talked about his coming and how we need to be ready for it and he will come when it is least expected. is at least what the bible indicates. i could go for a while talking about it but i got other people to write and i gotta spread the love.
i got the letter from Bishop Balmer and can you just tell him thank you for me, that was cool that he actually wrote me a personal letter and most missionaries i know get a generic letter every month or so and so i was impressed that he would write a personal one and tell him it helped me out and i really enjoyed it and respect him for what his mission was like.
We aren't teaching the investigator with the birds anymore.. we found out that they live on our wards boundaries and if they would have lived on the other side of the street we would still teach them.. and even though we have been teaching them for like 5 weeks they had us give them up to the other ward. WHICH MAKES ME ANGRY :( 
i would like a Gps, and i found one at best buy.. for a great deal so i think i will just buy it here because we don't have tax here! so that is exciting.. and it has lifetime maps and traffic which i want.
anyways enough of this.. i love you and i miss you dearly but i gotta write others.

i will remember to call you guys around 3:15pm december 25th.
i love ya,
Elder Ballif

Monday, November 29, 2010

Baptism and Turkey Bowls

Hey Daddy and Mommie,
I know i didn't say much last week... but its all good right? I was able to baptize Zak. i will send pictures of it soon.  i forgot my camera and i don't have a way to upload it. i will figure it out. I had a good time on thanksgiving, played Xbox, watched Toy story 3, played Quarterback in a multi singles ward turkey bowl and i had like 25 touchdowns..(through the course of like 5 games).? which was alot... they were asking me if i played for a team back home.. I told them NOT YET!!! ahahaahaha we played tackle and i got rocked a few times but it was way fun.

You let the missionaries over for dinner!!?? thats cool.. I get treated alright here so i guess i'll allow it. Oh man sweet pork and tortillas! nice! lets just say i am not as picky anymore with food.. i just eat whatever now.. except if it is meat and it has a tendon in it or what not.. other then that. whateva!
Regarding my Trio... I am going to pull the "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all card"
I am not having a good time with it. Oh well.. God knows my limits better then me.

i had a pretty good week and i am trying to get over my homesickness.. but i love you guys and as long as you guys are blessed while i am gone and doing well, i don't need to worry.
Have a great week,
 -Elder Ballif

Monday, November 22, 2010

Limited time to write this week- Companionship Change-TRIO

hey dad,
this week was a little better, although we got a new companion so we are in a trio now............ and we live in a little room with 3 guys and one bathroom. 

The lord must know how strong i am better then me because me and this new guy clash. I am not a fan. but i will make an extra effort to befriend him. Talking bad isn't helping my public image. :) 

But i don't have much time to write this week. i heard about byu, i might get to see some of the BYU-Utah game next saturday and someone was watching the Jazz-Trailblazer game when i was there so i saw some of it!!!!! they were all rooting against me and my jazz and we showed them.. CJ was way sweet!! 7-10 three pointers. i don't like raja bell..... but i like the rest of them except Kirilinko or however you spell it.. he needs to toughen up or get the heck out!!!! 

oh well i love you guys have a great week! send me something like the disney greatest hits so i can party with my new parents!
have a great week!
-Elder Ballif

Monday, November 15, 2010

Moved and got a Little Homesick

Hey hey!!!
How are you doing my loves!?

Oh well, this last week got a little tough for me, because i am finally starting to really miss you guys. Well i have always missed you guys but this week i have noticed the reasons why---but i am growing and learning and that is why i enjoy it.

My week is going pretty good. the baptism got delayed.. i moved in with some members.. (414 Lonebrook Ct. SE Salem OR 97302) is my New Address!!!!
Anyways to answer your questions: I love the new investigator. Her name is Kimberly Caldwell, it is the lady with the two birds and three dogs. Her and her husband are way cool. Yeah, we went and visited them that last week and talked to her about her reading in the Book of Mormon and answered her questions, i enjoyed it.
The baptism got set back till the 27th of November.. we had a busy week and had to reschedule it.
We did move--we moved in with members and it isn't in their basement. its upstairs right next to them, we have the same entrance, the same kitchen, the same fridge, i don't know how it will work exactly. we moved in their saturday and are just feeling it out. I like the temperture in their house better though because in the apartment everything was damp and i was not a fan of that. the ADDRESS IS: 
::::::::::: 414 Lonebrook Ct. SE, Salem OR 97302 :::::::::::
I am staying somewhat active. the one perk that living with members has is i get to use their weights. but they aren't even that good. but oh well it is workout equipment and i play basketball on occasion.. i am the best player in my zone.. but that isn't saying a whole lot  :) but still their are alot of guys in my zone. 
i ride my bike quite a bit.. i am not sure how much i go per day but i would say about 5 miles a day.. but that is because anywhere it is too far we have some missionaries that have a full car area drive us there.
I eat dinner every night!!! we send a calender around every week and it gets around.. some of the experiences we have at dinner make me grateful for the blessings we have as a family.
I like the new testiment.. i haven't read as much as usual but i will get back on that.. 
That is crazy that Cameron would push his brother! why would he do that?! he wouldn't have done that if i was there and he felt the love from me. but i am glad Carsen is ok! i love them!
well... i love you so much and i hope you are having a good day and i hope you have a good WEEK!  Tell ryan next time he emails me, i don't want half of his vocab to be HAM DOG. he tells me very little--i want more info.
i love you and miss you dearly.
- Elder Ballif

Monday, November 8, 2010

Portland Temple and Two Talking Birds

Hey Hey..
This week was pretty fun! We met a couple in our area where the husband is less active and the wife is a nonmember. We are teaching them. I Love them, they are awesome. they have 2 birds that talk and it is pretty funny when the birds mouth off when we are teaching them and they were watching the elections and teaching us about politics and it was a pretty fun time.
We are going back over to teach them tonight and i can't wait to see them--cool people.
I DIDN'T know you had those Truman Madsen tapes!!! if i would have known that i would have just had you burn it for me and send it to me, i spent 12.50 for it and i ain't made of money! oh well. those tapes are awesome. It really personalizes the prophet Joseph and shows his personality and all that cool stuff. i love the story in discussion 3 about the loud pitched preachers coming over to talk to him and saying...... "DO I HAVE THE PRIVLIGE TO SPEAK TO A PROPHET OF GOD"..... "Maybe you do... do you wanna wrestle?." That made me laugh pretty dang hard.
Yeah i heard about the BYU and UTAH games, not a big deal. i hear the Jazz aren't doing so hot...? what is up with that -- D-Will needs to pick it up.
i went to the Portland Temple. It was a cool experience, the Portland Temple is alot cooler looking than the Medford in my personal opinion. i enjoyed it. i liked the Celestial Room--pretty cool experience.
i still have the upcoming baptism on saturday and i am teaching him a few times this week. it'll be fun.
i like how you put that scripture, Matthew 16:25 because i read that a few days ago and that was the verse that stuck out to me the most..
and i have been trying to apply it to my service and also trying to love the people i meet instead of just treating them like a number that makes you look good and that is hard because everyone here is trying to look good with numbers and i don't like that because they are PEOPLE.. anyways...
that is about all i got for this week, hopefully something crazy happens next week so i can tell you guys about it..
i love you guys!
thank you for helping me build my house on a strong foundation. because when satan sends his mighty winds, they don't phase me.
love, Elder Ballif

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another Baptism Scheduled

I am doing pretty good and having another fullfilling week:
  • Another scheduled baptism.
  • A visit from Elder Kikuchi (Seventy)...  
  • Finished the Book of Mormon
  • Started the New Testament
  • Started Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith just to name a few things. 
we played night games and uno last night at a members house for Halloween and we went to trunk or treat as well. it was pretty funny. Our bishop and his wife dressed up like bikers which was pretty good. And i got a little candy too, even though the candy you sent was probably enough for me??

I did enjoy the package you sent. just the fact that you sent it and i got something and no one else did. it made my day. I am telling you no one gets anything so it is pretty funny to look at when i got the package everyone started hovering over it like a swarm of bees and wanted to see what i got. I enjoyed it. i liked the candy and this time of year is the only exception to that. i was a fan of the stuff i got!

anyways i think those DVDS regarding Lehi and Nephi's journey are the ones--my comp was telling me about them and said that i would like them and we are also buying the Prophet Joseph Smith Tapes from Truman Madsen when we go to the temple for our TEMPLE TRIP!! which is in 2 days. i am pretty excited.. i hear those tapes are pretty sweet. so yeah just saying if you wanna hear some cool things about JS, you should get those tapes at Deseret Book.
(Dad, i just wanna tell you something based off of the way that I learn. I never realized how smart spiritually you must be and how much knowledge you have. i am not saying that i used to think you were stupid by any means... but i just figure me and you think alike, well slightly different in terms of humor and interests but similar.. and just going by what you must know and what i am learning and all the insights i am getting and things like that its just pretty cool not to mention how great of an example you have always been to me even when i was too immature and ignorant to recognize it. I love you!)

anyways if you wanna know what i learned from Elder Kikuchi, just find his talk "Opening the heavens" and read it.. i am sure it was similar. 
well i love you guys i want some Protein for christmas so i can get huge huge!!!!  :)
love, Elder Ballif 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Funny Old Guy

Hey Daddy, Mommie,

Yeah Oregon does look pretty rainy and chilly. but it is p-day so it is time to live it up!!!!!!!
thats cool that that Chicka from your ward got called here, i will see her because their are only like 10 girl missionaries here and 2 of them are in my zone. 

anyways, i miss you and i can't wait to get the package--i cannot wait to get it and i hope that there is some newspaper in it so i can get some info from the outside world.

My week was good and i did alot but for some reason when i email i don't remember anything so i don't really write anything special or specific. but it was filled with funny old people slamming the door in my face--i do remember that. this old guy saw us and when he opened his door and started yelling gibrish and slammed the door. for some reason it was hilarious to me. .
I am almost done with the Book of Mormon, i am going to read the New Testament right after i am done with the BOM, which will be cool. 

Um if i could ask for something for christmas i think i would ask for a movie. it is a show that kind of maps out nephi's journey to the americas and shows where everything probably happened and all that cool stuff. that stuff fascinates me.

i love you, Elder Ballif

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting acclimated to Salem

HEY HEY Poppy! 
things in Salem are going good, i have been here for like 2 weeks i believe and i am starting to get used to it. To be honest i would rather LIVE in medford but you know, its all good and Salem isn't too bad. just all the good stuff to do on P-Day is out of our mission so we can't do anything fun! oh well... it rains here like every 3 days, but i guess it is going to change in like a month and its going to rain every day till like feb--just the gossip around town. i enjoyed letters i got this week, from baby ellie and Kim and T.O. double D!!! Ellie looks so cute! i wish i could see her walk... but i guess i will when she is almost 3. 
I am teaching a 17 year old named Estivan (i think...) i don't know how to spell it. but he said he wanted to get baptized so i think we are planning that for november 5th.  

i am still learning everything and i am getting better at everything (SLOWLY) so i am progressing and that is what matters to me. i have also been reading alot of the Book Of Mormon, and i gotta say... i don't recommend reading it 10 chapters a day only because it is hard to remember all that i read, but i am working on it. i love Alma 32, and Alma 34.. i am on Alma 56 today so i will be done with the book i think next tuesday? so yeah that is cool, its definitely a powerful book and i don't know why but tears come out of me when i read it.. but its like i can't help it.. i am not crying.. i have only cryed on my mission 3 times... so not too bad--the first time was the day i left for the mtc when i was getting out of the car, the next was when i got the letters from cameron and carsen and Jenns letters of what they say about me.. i LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!!!! 
This mission is teaching me alot of things--mainly so far to trust in Heavenly Father and have Faith in him. To be honest i did not have a strong testimony of many things before i came out.. at all.. But that has changed and as i have been here i have seen some cool things happen that could only be explained as a miracle. i love Heavenly Father and His Beloved son Jesus Christ for his Sacrifice that he made so my life can be ETERNAL, and that if i prepare myself and work at it that i can have an eternal family. that is what i want and am so thankful Jesus atoned for my sins so i can have that.
Now i just gotta get others to recognize that.. thats the hard part.
LOVE, Elder Ballif

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunshine on Cold Rainy Days

HELLO! I'm in dang Salem now... and it rains all the time and its cloudy and it is the capitol of Oregon... big whoop. anyways, thank you for the letters. And to the cousins and extended family letters. i think i have started to feel bad for not talking in family home evenings.... but oh well. THANKS FOR THE LETTERS, they are a bit of sunshine in these cold cloudy rainy days.
Thats good that byu won. i was gonna jump ship and start liking Oregon instead. so its good that they actually beat another team!
Elder Matthews is pretty cool. i haven't gotten to know him too well yet but i am looking forward to, we are in an all bike area and everyone else has a dang 09 Corrolla--im quite envyous. i think i will get over it when i get mad skinny again from all the biking. 
That made me sad to know that Elen Belnap passed away, i never talked to her but reading about her life she sounded like an amazing woman. I only hope to have those things said about me when i go to rest in the spirit world.. she truly sounded like a wonderful lady.
anyways, i am going to play some basketball!!! so i love you guys and i would like some more emails from the rest of the my immediate family??? i am getting no love on the only day i can communicate with you guys?
well i love you and i miss you and i keep you all in my prayers.
-Elder Ballif

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2nd Area - Salem, OR

2nd Area - Salem, OR 

Elder Ballif was transferred today. He has now been assigned to serve in Salem, OR. His new companion's name is Elder Matthews. 

His new address is:

Elder Austin Ballif
4840 S. E. Sunnyside Rd, #49
Salem, OR 97302

Monday, October 4, 2010

Transfer this Week

Hello, Parents. I have some news for you guys. i am getting transferred this Wednesday to another location. I do not know where i am going or the companion i will have. If you guys call the mission office you can find my address out and you guys can mail me stuff so i can get it a few days after i get there. if you guys were planning on sending me more letters like the tons i have gotten so far. ;)
Anyways, conference was very good. I watched every session of course. there were a couple of talks i didn't really get as much out of as i should have because i was eating. but i will be sure to reread all the talks i heard in the november ensign. So that will be good.
Father, i have been reading my P Blessing. I read it more then anything else that i have. Unfortunately i read all of it instead of just the part that deals with my life right now which makes me really anxious to get home and start my post mission life but i do read about my mission quite frequently and i get alot out of it. just letting you know.
I got the shaver and the newspapers i think that is awesome that Davis is doing very well, and enjoyed reading about their success and the other articles in the desert news about everything i look forward to continuing to recieve those in the weeks to come. its something to do before i retire for the night.
I think i will start to make my letters to the family in one email. that would be alot easier and i could just focus on the main things i need to say, and i think i tell everyone things that i don't tell anyone else. just to make sure you guys talk about me... :)
Regarding Ryans emails. i love them, i would love them to continue. I need my nerd fix every week. that is all i am going to say about that.
About Byu... i have lost all hope this year... they lost to UTAH STATE..................................................
but that is ok, i think utah state is the team i am going to walk on to when i play football for them... so we will see. :)
I also started running at night so my calves can get huge by the time i get back. so that is exciting. they will be bigger then yours. And i will play QB for USU. just you wait. :)
Anyways i love you all and its ok that i didn't get an email from anyone except you and jenn. i am just a little sad... but whatever you guys have lives and all. but i love you guys and i expect moms letter in my next Area later this week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Potential Baptism

Yeah, i heard about the byu game.. most of the members here are byu fans and they sort of fill me in. its hard when my companion hates them and loves Utah and shoves it in my face every saturday... :)  oh well,  in 2 years, they will destroy Utah so i am not too worried about it. 

It looks like i will have my first baptism on the 23rd of October, so that is pretty snazzy. His name is Austin and his friend is in the ward and he started coming and we are teaching him now. i have a good feeling about it--i'm not the best teacher but i'm slowly getting better at it. Austin and his friend both like football so i just play catch with them after visits to improve our friendship. i cannot wait till the turkey bowl on thanksgiving. i think i'm gonna have to play tackle--it will be awesome. 

 anyways i love you dad and i am working pretty hard and i am reading and understanding new things everyday. and i know God is helping me out because i am terrible at alot of spiritual things but its getting easier for me.
love you, Elder Ballif

Monday, September 20, 2010

Learning the Developing Missionary Skills

thanks for the advice dad. yeah i heard about byu--they are kind of frustrating me, and my companion is a hardcore Utah fan and he is a weiner about it. he frustrates me sometimes but he is a pretty good missionary and other then the utah thing he isn't too bad--he just rubs it in way too often. oh well i won't get sent home for punching him that is the good news :). 

i am working on my talking skills. i used to have them but now i just don't. kind of frustrating but God is gonna have to help me a little and im sure he will give me the opportunities to work on it and i just need to be ready to do it--which i will do. 

i am reading the book of mormon alot and i challenged ryan to read it, you should not let him play video games until he reads a chapter a day and you quiz him about the chapter. i think that would be good for him and after he reads it enough he will understand how important it is... just a thought. 

i am going to need to steal your shaver... my neck is hurting and shaving this much sucks!!!! just a few strokes with the electric and it feels tons better.. i need it. and i am going to buy a football.. today.. i really have the urge to get good and try out for snow college as qb...but those are just my immature hopes and dreams :) . but i do plan to get buff when i get home because doing it on a mission is too hard. but the good thing is, i am not really focusing on those things and i am mainly focusing on the gospel so that is good. 

i am progressing with my knowledge and understanding of the plan of salvation and all that good stuff and i realized that i didn't actually know a whole lot before i came, but now i do. so i am not too worried about it. now i just gotta become a master talker and teacher and then i will baptize everyone :) !!!!!!!
anyways i will talk to you next week, i love you dad--thank you for your wonderful example as a father. i didn't really realize it till i got here and i do love you guys and i realized how much you have done for me, just so you know. 
i don't have alot to tell you about interactions with investigators our area is like the one with all the members and it is tiny so its been tracted many many times. we are working with some stragglers that have made some wrong choices and we are trying to get them back to church and i have to teach family home evening to a family tonight--so that should be fun!!!! NOT  :) !
i love you, Elder Ballif

Monday, September 13, 2010

Elder Bednar visits the mission

Its Good to Be Tall. See Austin's head above his Mission President!
To Dad:
Hey Daddy, i hope things are going pretty good over there, the work here is going pretty well. i am working on becoming a good missionary and when that happens i will know for a fact that it is the lord not me--because i am really terrible at most the stuff we do. but i am getting a little better each week. now i can hold a conversation with someone that i do not know very well :) -- so that is good. 

That thing with the ward sounds nice. you guys definitely do need to attend the stake center because that new one was not really working out. but oh well, you guys should be fine now. 

Well yeah, i did hear about The Cougars and i was quite suprised... it definitely saddened me on saturday but that was after i heard from Elder Bednar for 3 hours! that was awesome. He definitely taught me a thing or two to say the least. he talked for about an hour then he switched it up to a 2 hour q and a.. so any missionary asked him a spiritual question and he and Elder Ringwood and Elder Maum answered the questions and they told us some awesome experiences. you probably would have loved that and would have got alot more out of it then me -- he pretty much melted my brain. but i think i got out of it what i needed to and that is all that really matters to me so i can help others from it. 

Anyways, dad i love you and i know that the Church is true and that the work i am doing right now is going to bless lives.. i dont really know how many or in what ways but it will and i have nothing to do with it, because the lord has given me everything.. and i owe him 2 years.. at the least.

To Mom:
My Dear Mother,
It is like Christmas morning this morning as i have recieved your email this Monday! haha i love you mom, my mission is going pretty well.. i am trying to just learn learn learn and trying to gain the ability to talk to anyone.. and be comfortable. that is probably my biggest issue.. but i know the lord is helping me not feel awkward or AS awkward and helping me start to open up and hop out of my shell.. so that is good, i still don't think i can talk to females though :) -- they are just scary. 

To answer your questions, i go to the family history center in the nearest stake center to do my email, and i haven't really wrote any letters because your the only one who has sent me any i believe and i am pretty sure that you can still dear elder me?? but oh well, i feel the love from my emails and that is good for me.. i mean the suprises letters do make me happy though. 

i got the money from your friend from work, tell her i said thank you, and that it means alot to me that she doesn't know me and she is willing to help me out--very Christlike. 

My shoes are pretty nice i think they will last for awhile.. i will tell you when they run outta of steam. hmmm i don't really think i need anything.... i mean i would love some letters and some healthy drinks or some slimfast or something like that.. and if you could get some really pretty girls to write me.. but those are just wants... im just kidding. i do not want girls to write me. i would be scared. anyways the only ladies i need writing me are the four i love the most. 

I had the privilege to be taught by Elder Bednar and all i know is.. he is probably going to be the Prophet in the future.. so that is cool. he taught me quite a bit but it was like a brain overload so we will see if i can recall anything later. the spirit was so strong in that room and him and his Companions elder Ringwood and Elder Maum both did a very good job. i think i liked Elder Ringwood more then Bednar.. but that is because i am weird like that, they taught me tons of things and Elder Ringwood stood on the stand and said to everyone, "Elder Bednar and Maum and I could be talking to you about the kitchen sink the whole time and the spirit is still going to teach you something if you try to listen" and i thought that was awesome and of course we didn't talk about kitchen sinks or anything but the spirit did teach me things that were completely different then what they were talking about and that is exactly what he was saying.. and that was pretty cool. well mom i love you, i am trying to make you proud as i serve, i miss you, but i know that you guys are being blessed because i am away.. so that is good.
I love you, Elder Ballif (aka) your eldest son.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Work with Less Active Members

Hello father, i did have a pretty good week...and i did go and pick up some ankle weights on one of our lunch hours last week so yeah, my legs are getting HUGE! no no they aren't but oh well. i realized i can already barely not dunk it though. so not much longer and i will be the D-wade of Oregon. but white and not very athletic :)

i loved the package very much.. but instead of candy and sweets i really want some jello packages so i can eat that and maybe some low calorie drinks like that stuff ryan drinks. just alot more healthy for my cause. i try to bust out with the AB Lounge almost every night, but its the diet i need to change. so i would much appreciate just for future reference.

i did hear about the Cougars winning and boy was i excited about that. i did see a little bit of the end of the 1st quarter at a members home, the safety and the botched return. anyways, things here are going very well. i don't really have a ton of investigators but we are trying to get less actives more active in our ward. our ward has alot of members but about 200 or so are less active. so we try to encourage them to come to church and to help them endure to the end!!! -- which they must do to return to heavenly father and all. 

i miss you guys alot and i am kinda feeling a little bit homesick now but i think i will get through it. i just really miss the munchkins... no one here calls me there best friend--but i did meet an awesome less active family and all there kids love me because i let them "beat me up" and i lift them up and one of them has me lift him up and he just turns and knees me in the stomach. so that is pretty fun--they are awesome.

i am just trying to learn the scriptures better and pray alot better. i started the book of mormon over again like 5 days ago and i am already in jacob. so i am proud of myself because i am a really slow reader--oh well. Preach my gospel is definitely helping too. Make sure you have ry guy read the book of mormon every night before he plays video games--a chapter a night.

Anyways i gotta email the rest of the fam, but i love you dad, and i love the rest of our family and you did a good job raising us up and i think it was good we grew up in utah.. i love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and i just wanna say i have felt the power of God and i know that what i am doing is the right thing and reading the book of mormon is the key and if we read it and try our best to live its teachings we will be blessed and return to heaven.
-Elder Ballif OUT!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

1st Week in Oregon

hello father, yeah, that was my first dinner in the area so that was pretty fun. oh and another thing.. i would much rather you guys send me stuff directly to my address.. this way i can get your mail like 4 days faster.. alot less depressing that way. so my direct address is:
2051 Campus Drive apt. #4
Medford OR 97504
I will probably be there for a while so i will write you the saturday that i am informed of being transferred so you can contact the mission office and find out where i am going before i know where i am going, which i am sure will be nice for you guys...
Ok, well my first week was pretty fun, met my investigators and had my first Sunday and now my first P-day in the field. Elder Geis is pretty cool, he went to BYU before he came out and studied acting so that is pretty snazzy, he has been out for 17 months and i am his first baby.. Hmm, Medford is a pretty fun cute little area. reminds me of Utah but more rainy.. Tell ryan to rewrite me a letter because the one he sent doesn't make sense whatsoever.. he just answered all my questions without explaining what he was saying.. so i am a little confused but its all good.. I am having a pretty good time here, my daddy is teaching me alot here. I got that bike from the elder returning home so that is nice, it is a pretty good bike.. i need to get a big butt pad because the seat is teeny tiny but other than that it will do very well. I believe I will be able to attend the temple here.. like once a month. Well i love you all and look forward to more mail and or email.
to Heather- i love you like a fat kid kid loves cake. i miss you, Attend church as much as your work allows.. you will be blessed because of it, i promise. And i can't wait to see you in 23 months..
to MOM- i miss you, i love you and i wish you were here so i could eat good food.. but i just make sandwichs all day. can't wait to read your letter. And i hope i got some top of the line ankle weights..
to dad- thanks for this huge email.. it took me like 15 minutes to read so kudos to you. I miss you too, thank you for the scriptures and byu news... i wanna know more next week.. when they actually play!!!!! Jake Locker better get hurt by Jordan Pendleton.. i can't wait to hear about it. i love ya. :) p.s. it doesnt matter how long my tie is.. i look GQ.. PEACE!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letter from Member -- Sister Kay Bragg

This morning I received a very nice email from a sister in Oregon who had two missionaries over to her house for dinner last night.

Her message:

We had dinner with your sons last night, wonderful missionaries and brought a great spirit into our home. Elder Ballif taught us his first spiritual thought on Faith, it was well done. Thanks for raising such good boys to serve us here in Southern Oregon!!

Sister Kay Bragg

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1st Area - Medford, OR

Elder Ballif arrived in Oregon yesterday and has been assigned to serve in Medford, OR. His trainer's name is Elder Geis.

He is in an area where he will share a car. He and his companion have the car M-Th and F-Su they will be on bikes. The Elder just leaving Medford gave Austin his bicycle so he is good for now as far as his bike needs! :)

It was great to also find out that the 2nd Temple built in Oregon is also in Medford.

Crater Lake is only about 30 miles from Medford.

New Arriving Elders

His P-Days are Monday.

His address is:

Elder Austin Ballif
2051 Campus Drive
Apartment #4
Medford, OR 97504

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

7 days left until i'm off to Oregon!


Today marks the day that i only have 7 days left until im off to Oregon and teaching the people the true gospel. I can't wait!!!!.. I'm just glad i don't have MTC goggles on..

My email isn't going to be super long but just know i plan on writing a letter to all of our family individually so don't worry. But i just want to tell all of you that i love you and i'm glad you guys keep writing me and all of that good stuff the only thing is the candy............ WHY ARE YOU GUYS TRYING TO GET ME FAT!!!!??? I have already gained 11 pounds... but oh well it is good so i guess i won't complain..

Next wednesday i will be at the mission home, there, my address will be 55 w 29th Ave Ste A, Eugene, OR 97405 so if you wanna write me some sweet letters you can by using that address..

I'm loving the support and i am working hard and trying my best so don't even worry about me, just hold up the fort while im gone.

Elder Ballif

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1st Handwritten Letter from the MTC


Whats up family? My P-day is Wednesday in the MTC and it will be Monday when I get to Oregon. My district is pretty cool. They teach me things and I teach them. My roommates are sweet, one is a pro wake boarder, one is a big huge funny Tongan kid from Glendale, Utah and my companion is black and he is from Payson, Utah. We are all going to Eugene and it is fun talking about things when we are falling asleep.

 I feel the spirit so strongly here and learning how to teach is good, too. I love all the things you guys have sent me and I am definitely feeling the love! I would write back but I do not have any envelopes or stamps!! I miss all of you and tears come to my eyes when you write and say all the sweet things to me.

 I need all your addresses so I can write everyone specifically. Since they don't let me email for very long I don't have time to do everyone, but I have quite a bit of free time to write letters, so send them.

 Well, I love you all and though it is a challenge here I know the Lord is helping me and will bless me as I strive my best to do his work. Keep the letters coming, I get the 3rd most in my district and it is awesome.

Love yall, Elder Ballif

P.S.  Cameron's picture is real cute. It is hung on my wall.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Hey Family,

How is it going with your stud son in the MTC? I miss all you guys all the time except ryan.. you gotta write me a dearelder letter before I start showing the love to you man.

I am learning alot and having alot of fun. My companion is black.. and he doesn't know a thing about black culture, so I nicknamed him Elder Oreo.. I thought it was appropriate.

I have been learning alot the past week and I have been feeling the spirit almost all the time, which is great. I am very thankful for all of your love and support. (Donuts and Candy) Its has been really nice to know I have people praying and thinking of me at home and I feel it with all the letters.

I don't have much time left they limit our emails to 30 minutes every week so this will not be very long but I just want you to know that I love you all and I miss you all, but I am thankful I get to serve the Lord and find the people that need the gospel in their lives. I get really nervous when I am about to teach an investigator but I know that the spirit is with me and it will inspire me to say what they need to hear. Praying is so good so so good. I pray tons now and have been reading the scriptures alot. Well times up but I love you all and thank you for the love!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Entering the MTC

We dropped Elder Ballif off at the MTC yesterday afternoon. It was quick, curb-side style, but we managed to snap a few pictures...
Elder Ballif will be in the MTC until the morning of August 24. Feel free to drop a quick letter to him! He'd love to hear from anyone!

Farewell Lunch!

The family all got together right before taking Elder Ballif to the MTC and went to lunch at PF Changs in Orem. It was fun to get everyone around the table for the last time for 4 years (Ryan will leave just before Austin gets home!) Here are a few pictures of Elder Ballif with the grandkids. It will be fun to see how they've grown when he returns home in 2 years.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Called to Serve

in the
austin will report to the mtc on august 4th!