Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Faith and Things

Hey Family,

I hope you guys are doing well, that is pretty crazy that Brock is home.. That feels like not that long ago.. but then again it doesn't really feel like I have been out for a year already. I feel like you guys should put a count down on the blog to when I come home.. which will be around July 5th or so of 2012. So that is pretty exciting, I hope people will actually be at my Homecoming. But I tend not to think about stuff like this right now... Just sometimes. I feel like I have accepted the fact that me thinking about home and the things I want to do when I return will not help anything right now and just make it worse. I just hope and pray that you guys are alright and I hope that I can be better than I was when I get back.. Because you truly "don't know what you got till it's gone" And I feel like I owe a lot of love to you guys for helping me grow up and helping me get out here so I can mature.

Everything is going alright, I feel as though I will be transferred this upcoming week so you guys will know next Monday If that comes to fruition. I am currently on alma 46 right now right after Alma the Younger (my favorite Prophet) gets taken up into Heaven. I really enjoy his teachings and all that he did for the people of the Church. I really like Ammon too he was a man of great faith and confidence in God that he did great things by Faith. Faith is definitely a key factor in anything in life.. It motivates us to do things.. Like I wouldn't read the scriptures if I didn't have faith that I would learn more and become more spiritual. I wouldn't pray if I didn't have Faith that God would help me with the current problems or good things going in life. I wouldn't work a job if I didn't have faith that I would get payed some $$$. etc.. etc.. 

Faith is a very big thing that we all need to have. And that is why the first principle of the Gospel of Christ is Faith on him. That will lead you to experiment on his words and try to be like him and follow his example. Which in turn makes you happier and makes the world a little bit better. If everyone was truly seeking the kingdom of God then the world would be a lot better than it is. But Satan has a great grasp on many people. As he is reigning on the Earth. But luckily that reign of the evil one will soon end. And the Savior will come and redeem his people, I feel sooner then we realize. I am not going to put a number on it because NO ONE knows except the Father, (take that Judgment Day on October 21st 2011- LAME) But we just need to make sure we are trying to be like the savior and constantly praying for forgiveness and help because we sure as heck need it. This world has become a terrible place, and the true saints of God are few in number. But that is where I come in! we have two people that have baptismal dates, Lacy and Peter. And we are also going to be setting a third possibly today. We are working with 3 main people right now that are non members, they are great people and they want to know how to go by God. And I am grateful to God for helping me find them. And helping me teach them. I have been very blessed as I have been out here to learn and develop quickly. As long as I have cast aside my stubbornness... :(

But family I hope you are doing well, I love you guys with all my heart. And I cannot wait for the day I can see you all again.

Elder Ballif

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pray for Lacy

Hey Fam,

I hope you guys are doing well and enjoying life. Life is definitely an interesting thing to me.. it feels like everything is good at one point, then comes a trial. And that tests your faith and obedience and in turn if you suffer it well your faith grows and your happiness grows. And when that trial goes and everything is good again, we start to forget God and grow prideful, This has happened to me many times in my life. And then God has to send another trial in your path to humble you again, and so on and so forth. Its a continual cycle, the reason I share this is because I read Alma chapter 5 yesterday. And that really kind of makes you feel unworthy.. even when you are content in life and you feel like you are not doing anything wrong. I feel like if your not trying to improve something to grow closer to God and if your thinking that your relationship is good enough, THEN IT ISN'T. We need to make sure we have God before anything else. Now, this is a hard task. And we have so many things going on in our lives that we constantly forget. I hate it. Because even for me serving God at this time. I forget that I am his servant at all times.. But the most beautiful part about us being imperfect is Gods Grace. In the church we don't really mention God's Grace too much. But we need to realize that we are not perfect and nor can we be perfect until the resurrection. As long as we are constantly repenting and striving to be better.

Sorry, you just got another Tangent of mine.. But things are going pretty well here. I cannot say that I am really happy being in this area for this long. I need a change but I am still trying to keep my composure. We set up a Baptismal date with Lacy, she is awesome and she is trying to quit smoking right now. We set a date with her for the 10th of September so if she gets baptized then I will not get to be the one to do it so I am trying to get her ready so she can get baptized on the 3rd because she wants to get baptized in the river and that would be sweet for me to do that. Especially because I have been working with her for a long time even like 6 months and I do truly care about her. Which I feel is rare for me. I have a hard time caring about people.... but I am praying for that to change a little. I am on Alma 6 in the book of mormon, I have been re-reading it.. I also wish I had more time to study because I love learning and growing now. I can't wait to get home so I can go to college. It is a weird thing that I used to hate school with a passion and now I am looking forward to it.. I am still unsure of what I would like to do with my life, but I have been thinking that I want to go into psychology or Business, or if I was to go to BYU there is a double masters program for the two. So I might want to try that... I dunno... But I am excited to get home to see you all... So I can catch some "gatas" with Cam and Carsen that video was pretty funny but you got to sneak video them catching them. I need the realism. But very cute non the less.

I love you guys and I hope you have a fantastic week. Pray for me and pray for Lacy and her baptism if you could. I need help. And I will do the same for yall.

Just to add to my email, Our mission had the privilege to have Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come and speak with us on Saturday morning and that was pretty cool we learned some cool things and I got to shake his hand.. so yeah it was pretty cool. Have a good week!


Elder Ballif

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When Ryan should Go

Hey Familohla,

It is good to hear from you guys ;) ... and by you guys I mean 2 of you.....

Whatever, I see how it is. I hope you guys are having a good week, my week was alright. Not much has changed.. except that we are going to be baptizing a 8 year old kid named Colby soon, it might be right after I get transferred.. Which is most likely going to occur on September 6th or 7th. I am not 100% sure on that but I have a feeling I need to go somewhere else.. because I have been here for a long time.

But for the most part things are going good for me.. I cannot say that doing this work is very easy for me, but I am very thankful that I came out here so I could grow. Because without coming out here I really would have been a foolish 21 year old next year instead of what I am now.. which is 10x better... and then some?

  Concerning Ryan's Mission or lack their of... I think he should think about it and decide what he should do.. its his life. But on the other hand, I would definitely like to see him for a little while. And help him better prepare... I would not be mad if Ryan even decided he did not want to go on a mission at all.. But that would be a very bad mistake if he chose not to. Ryan, from the feelings that I have gathered is acting a lot like I was before I came out here. And the only reason I am different and BETTER now is because I came out here and I stayed. Its not always fun or easy to be here and sometimes I wish I was home. But I am still growing and learning every single day I am out here and that growth would not have come without being here at all. So with that said, I would enjoy spending some time with Ry guy when I get back.. but it is his choice whither he goes before I get back or if he waits till I come home.

I love you guys a lot, I cannot wait to see you guys and hold you each very dearly. Especially MOM. She needs the lovin.

I don't know if I need anything.. I am doing well enough off.  I love you guys and I hope you have a magnificent week!

~Elder Ballif~

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Nieces and Nephews

Hey Fam,

Todays email isn't going to be super long.. but i hope you guys have had a good week, I enjoyed the pictures of my favorite little munchkins and little baby Brynlee I love all of the kids in our family, they are very cute and I just want to hug them and kiss them for a few days straight when i get home.. so i might have to kidnap them to do that.. but i will feed them and take care of them so don't worry about it.

Anyways, we are teaching a few families right now.. i don't really know how close they are to desiring to be baptized but we are working on it. There is a 30 year old named Lacy that we are teaching and she has come to church twice in a row and she is really cool and i think we are starting to progress with her, we had a special lesson with her and talked to her about how short this life is and how long eternity is and kind of the difference between the worldly people and the saints.. in terms of happiness (in heaven). and it was good because we had the lesson outside and the sun was setting and we told her that the sun is what we are aiming for. It was a good time.

Concerning my studies in the scriptures, i finished the NT, and started the D&C. I really enjoy the D&C... It just adds to me the proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God because when he was getting those revelations he was reciting them without pause and that would be impossible if not inspired. I am excited to read that then read the Pearl, then the old testament.. while i am reading other gospel books as well. I like reading now.. I am getting pretty good at reading and remembering what I read. And understanding it. The Holy Ghost is a wonderful help to me. I am learning quickly, This is a fun thing for me because I hated school and reading and having to put effort in to things to be able to come out with anything.. I have not been use to that my entire life.. so its a new and exciting experience for me.

Anyways i have to go,

But i love you all and pray and hope for many blessings in your lives.

hope all is well,

Elder Ballif

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Faith and Works and a new companion

Hey Family,

I hope you guys are doing well. I am doing pretty well, just living in the grind. Well, my week last week was a little slow... but that is to be expected with a new companion when you are getting used to him and vice versa. We are doing pretty good though.. we are teaching people and some are at least coming to church now! so that is good. I am almost done with the New Testament, I am just starting the book of James. I really like all of the epistles of Paul and the doctrine taught in them. And through out it says to abide in "good works" that are brought about by faith. So it also frustrates me because everyone believes all they need to do is be baptized and then believe in Christ and all is well. just like it states in 2nd Nephi chapter 28... which is like my favorite chapter...

 "3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the achurches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up bchurches, and not unto the Lord—
 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their alearning, and deny the bHoly Ghost, which giveth utterance.
 5 And they adeny the bpower of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is cnoGod today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;
 6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of amiracles; he hath done his work.
 7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
 8 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be bmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
 9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, afalse and vain and bfoolish cdoctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark."

  I couldn't have said it any better. The ways of the Lord have been perverted indeed, and I am so very blessed to have been born into a great home with a loving wonderful family that understands the truth and lives by the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I just wish that their was an easy way to get people to see these things. I love you guys and I hope and pray for your safety and well being. You all hold a very dear and special place in my heart. You guys inspire me to want to be better, I do desire to be an example for you guys, I wish for your eternal exaltation. (as I do for mine) But I feel as though we must strive to live as the Savior did. And this life is the time to choose whither we want to serve God, or serve the world. For one is full of patience and sacrifice now, but great is the Glory. And one might be fun and entertaining for a short while. But it has no reward in the much longer existence. I think I have chosen wisely. I hope and pray all of us can do the same.

I love you all more then I have been able to express, and in a short time I hope I can show a difference in what living as a disciple has done in my life and how I am a lot better prepared for my future but until then you'll just have to have faith and hope until that day shall come.


Elder AJ Ballif