Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Riding the "Harry Potter's Night Bus"

Chopping wood to get ready for winter.  
We found out transfers and I am staying here in Osorno with Hma Johnson! BEST! I love Hma Johnson and this area!  And I wasn’t ready to leave. 

This week I just finished my second of thirteen transfers. Crazy right? And while speaking about numbers we realized my birthday is my halfway mark- crazy. September seems so soon. Boo. 

But I don’t have much time.   Sorry I didn’t write on Saturday- we changed our p-day to today so we could do an activity with all the Hermana’s- so we were all going to go bowling at the casino, then we showed up and it was closed. Boo. But maybe next week. 

Ok lets just get the bad news out of the way.
I got sick this week- like actually pretty bad. But momma don’t worry I tried not to complain at all ha-ha. Mainly,  I didn’t want Hma Johnson to worry.  But thanks to the nurse and meds I am back on my feet. That’s actually a funny thing to say because I also twisted my ankle. Which is not the best because my mission is completely a walking mission. But this one thanks to prayers and just trucking through, I’m doing crazy better. I’m able to walk- it really was a little miracle. It happened Friday night and it was bad- but then I just prayed and prayed and prayed and cried and prayed and now its much better- still really sore but all good. 


Ok this week was rough- some just strait up not good experiences, but with that also some crazy awesome experiences. I guess to have the super good you have to have the rough. It was a cool test of my faith.  And 2 weeks ago I heard a quote at one of our conferences ¨for some people any excuse will do. Then for others nothing will stop them from doing what the Lord wants then to do. ¨

I promised myself I was going to live this- to not be the one where something little comes up and let something else slide- then this week tested it. It was hard to keep going when I was in so much pain but I did and I was able to see miracles I otherwise would have missed. 
Ward Book of Mormon activity
One of which was with one of the girls we have been working with. Man she has it hard. And we were really progressing- when her dad just kicked us out of the house- we´re not allowed back, but we are allowed to teach her outside, which was hard. Because it started raining and getting cold. We´re working on getting a member to let us use their house- but it was so cool to have some very real and sweet lesson, humbling lessons with her out in the cold just explaining the pure love and the pure doctrine of Christ. 

Oh then yesterday I gave the lesson in Relief Society. This was soooo nerve wracking. The whole 50 min just me speaking in Spanish. But if I do say so, I rocked it. Ha-ha. I know I am suppose to be humble or something, but really. I kicked that lesson's trash. It was on hastening the work and I think I was able to pump the ladies up to help us with the work. Soooo good. I’m excited to see what will come of it. I'll write more about it in the letter- we had a really darling little experience where we took a little time to do what Alma 6 says and we gathered, prayed together and wrote down names and stuff for us to get working on. Wooohooo.

José and Guisse. I don’t even know what else to say except I love them so much. And their girls- there are sometimes when its been a really really hard night and having them hug and kiss and laugh with me just keeps it going and puts everything back into perspective. 

José got the Priesthood so we had a celebration.  We made empanadas and sang hymns. Their little girls love, love, love singing "I am a child of God"- so why they were prepping the food I sang with the girls while they gave me a hair-do make over thing- man I should have gotten a picture of the finished piece- what a gem.  But I love the spirit in that house.

Oh then we had a really sweet moment with this little grandma on the street. She was just sitting in her wheelchair in the shade and we stopped to talk and she just started crying, as we were talking to her.  So we leaned down and I was kneeling next to the wheelchair and she was just clinging to me explaining how we were angles and it was soo sweet. Seriously, what a darling, darling lady. Who has so much going on- it was humbling to hear her talk about life- so I asked if she wanted us to say a prayer with her. And she did- so I offered it and it was one of those moments where we were just on the side of the street and with this lady we didn’t even know, but the spirit knew what was going on and it was killer.

Oh this is crazy, so Venezuela is closed to missionaries for political reasons so they are sending missionaries this way and opening new areas- I’m excited to hear what’s a happening.

Oh, then the gangs here in Osorno are the "frogs" and the "foxes". Luckily, they are harmless unless you are in them- but we live in the area of the "foxes"-, which is good because it’d be lame to be a "frog". Ahhaha. I love how chill and safe Chile is- even the gangs are chill. 

Oh man, the food is wrecking me, but what is new right?  Just pray for me. 
Grandma sent cookie mix :)
I also love the random service we give- still chopping wood, we washed a dog and we got rid of a mouse out of a mouse trap- well, tried. I don’t know how to explain this experience but just imagine it being funny because it was. 

Oh my, the buses here- Chile might be safe and chill but the buses here are completely crazy. Remember the driving in Peru?  Yeah, it's like that but huge buses. We were on one yesterday and it was literally the bus from Harry Potter. So we are being pushed all around the bus and you have to stand up and walk to the front while it is going crazy and all over the place. Then you have to pretty much jump off while it is still moving a bit because they are not going to stop for anyone. Ha-ha it’s so fun. I love it. 
a Museum we went to with a bed of nails
Oh I got to run I am going to try and figure out the pictures and see if I can get some sent off. 

I love you so much- remember the quote above and don’t let anything stop you from doing the Lord’s work. So much love! xoxoxox

Hma Ball. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Baptisms, rain and fleas

Hey we are not going to use all our time up right now- then in a couple of hours we are going to come back and read and print off letters. So write me! alison.ball (at) myldsmail.net. Let me know what’s up- all the funnies of the week or what ever. (Especially have the kids write me- man I miss them)

Ok first off, I got mail this week! Best! A letter from Gma Ball, your package momma and a package from Gma Simpkins! The best- seriously! It is gold to just hold something, even something little from home. So thank you soooo much. And the candies are lifesavers. Seriously. 

Ok let’s get right into it. 
What a week. First, Jose was baptized. The best thing ever. It was so beautiful and the best. We had a huge turnout from the ward- everyone loves José and Guissa, so that was so good. Then it was darling to see them so nervous. The service was beautiful- seriously it was perfect. I said a prayer! Which was so scary- I don’t even know why because I say 10910982437897312 prayers a day- almost entirely all out loud.  But I was so nervous for this and I just said a little prayer in my heart before I said the prayer and I spoke Spanish and actually got to explain my true feelings and expressions and it was the best. But overall my all time very favorite part was when José was in the font and when he comes up out of the water and he just stood there for a couple solid seconds with his eyes closed just taking it in, breathing. Then he opens his eyes smiles the BIGGEST smile ever and hugs the bishop and oh my heart. It was sooo good. 

Then after that we went back to the chapel and we had planned a musical number- and it was the family singing "I am a child of God"- but they asked me to sing with them because its family singing- so yet again oh my heart and oh the little baby tears. Best. 

Then on Sunday he got the Holy Ghost. Best. Seriously this week. So I didn’t understand most of the words in the blessing- but I sure did understand the spirit. Holy cow. Then that night we went to their house and you could just see the difference- I don’t know how to explain it- and it sounds super cliché and stuff but really his eyes and his smile and everything just he was completely lit up. It was seriously like magic. The best it was just how he was playing with his little girls and everything. Best.

Oh man I love it. You know what else I love- wearing my missionary badge. I love it. Everyday putting it on and then seeing it all throughout the day. I know we wear it so others know who we are- but I love it and I love the reminder that I truly and a daughter of God and that I truly am a representative of Him. Best. 

Oh man this week- so I taught seriously a million lessons on the plan of salvation. But one of them was powerful- I just got real and was able to explain Gordon’s death and how hard it is, but how he is living. I was able to simply explain and testify it is true and I love the spirit and the gift of tongues because I was speaking. And I know I was speaking Spanish and it was real but the spirit man- it was crazy. It was powerful I love it. 

One more was with a young couple who is pregnant and I explained pre earth life and that their daughter is with God and they knew her before this life and knew each other and all the cool stuff- then asked them to pray about it- the next night we went back over and they had prayed and she said she knows it is true and that she received an answer and it was crazy- seriously so good.

This week has been focused a lot on the plan of salvation- with our lessons, with my personal study and with this week being the 2 year mark of Gordon’s death it has been hard but so full of joy as I have taught theses people they truly have a purpose in their life now and that they will continue to have that purpose after death. I love it. And I know its true- and oh man do I miss and love you guys- but I’ve gotcha forever so it’s all good. :)

I had a couple more power things that I will write you about later. Xoxo

Ok. So here’s the deal. This week was so spiritual but also so funny. 

So I guess I was praying with Diego and Pamela and kept praying for "pomela" and all this stuff about "pomela"- which means grapefruit in Spanish. So that was a good laugh. 

Then this is not good- I have been having some crazy allergic reactions because of the 1000 million dogs everywhere in the houses and couches and just everywhere. So lets maybe pray together that I’ll be safe and able to breath and such. You know? Now pops, don’t fret it really isn't that big of a deal -just some minor coughs and sore throats and itching and nose problems. 

Ok, lets see here- oh yeah I risked my life this week. Seriously almost hit by a taxi. So there is this old man we are just chatting with and this taxi is a coming quick so we get out of the way, but this old man is not moving because he has this wheelbarrow full of stuff and just isn’t getting out of the street.  So I go and get him. Then I go to grab the wheel barrow but the car is a coming and I just get out of the way with the barrow, then I realized it was just chalk full of beer- so yeah that was a worthy cause to almost get smashed for. haha. 

Lets see, I was also almost mauled by a dog. It was the devil- I am sure of it.  So we are just going and one thing turns to another and all of a sudden this dog is full on barking and trying to bite my leg off. So I am screaming and swing my laundry bag at it- smashing it out of the way and it comes back, so I just take off running and it’s like biting and it was so scary.  We don’t walk on that street anymore. But the best part was the group of men just watching and laughing at the crazy gringas. 

Oh, and this was scary. So we were walking to church and these policemen stopped us and I was so nervous because I don’t have my visa so I am not actually legal because it is being processed right now. So they start asking questions but then it turns out they just want to know if we are giving English classes, because as policemen they get a higher pay for knowing English. So we explained yes and maybe the whole police force will come-. Which is super sweet and they were way cool. And as I learned from daddy, its good to have friends on the force. So that’s cool.

Oh man, the ward activity. So funny. So we having a stake activity where we are all reading the Book of Mormon in 4 months.  So this was the kick off activity. And we did this thing where we and the Young Women and Young Men dressed as characters from the Book of Mormon. So funny. Pictures to come (worst the computer wont process pictures right now so I will work on that.) but there are not many women in the Book of Mormon so I was simply representing the Lamanites as a whole. But it was so cute to see every one dressed up. Then we had a fashion show activity thing. So funny. Also in the pics me and Hma Johnson made the background. Pretty impressive eh mama? You’d be proud of my creativity :) 

Ok so flea update- I probably have 15-20 new bites, but it's ok because I’m not counting anymore.  It’s to crazy- but really it’s not bad, it’s just annoying- but I love it. I love the wacky stuff here. And it's weird because it is just becoming normal life- then I will be walking and be like "oh yeah, its not actually normal to have pigs just chilling on the street or cows just grazing in a play ground or 3 legged dogs everywhere."

Also, it’s starting to get cold.  And I love it. We get to make fires in our house and wear cool rain boots.  Well, the rain and cold part actually isn’t the best and I don’t actually love it. But I’m a here for 16 more months so, I love it. Ha-ha. 

Oh and your question momma- I will find out transfers next Saturday- crazy. But if I follow the pattern of the mission- and I mostly likely will- I will probably be here until mid July. Which is good because I love my area. 

Oh this week I got lost for about .2 seconds. So we were waiting for a taxi like we always do and I see one right as Hma Johnson says "there."  So I go to get in it. But she went to get on a bus- so then I have that little freak out of where am I and where am I suppose to be. So then I run and literally jump onto the bus and then it’s a gone and I made it.  But we both just look at each other and do that nervous laugh like "oh man that just happened." 

Ok I'm going try to figure out this camera thing. 

I love you. Sooooo much. xoxoox. 

Hma ball. 

P.s. momma, put my address right here
Hermana Ali Ball   
Chile Osorno Mision     
Casilla 7-0    
Osorno, X Region  
so then people will write me letters. Because seriously it is gold to hold a little piece of home. I love it. Ha-ha xoxo ok bye. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cow intestine spaghetti. Oooooh baby

Hola familia.

Wow. It sure was a crazy week. 

We don’t have much time today- crazy amount of work to be done for Jose baptism today!!! 

BEST. Seriously I have been giddy all day. 

But I'll jump right in-

Jose and Guissa and girls.
Ok, so I was thinking and each week I never really write the spiritual experiences because I am so bad at explaining them- don’t worry momma I’ve been writing them in my journal like a good missionary- but I was thinking I’m having these crazy experiences- seriously so beautiful and full on crazy and I want to tell you about them but we only have about 40 minutes to email and I don’t feel like I can explain them- so I think what I will do is write them on paper and send them home- you know. Then I can actually sit and explain it because it is way stressful writing home. I love it but the little Internet places in the capitol are really hot and loud and there is crazy music and buses honking. So I'm going try this out. 

But don’t worry I'll tell you some of the little spiritual things to get you through the weeks until the letters get to you. 

Ok, this week has been so good getting José ready for today! Best there has just been a crazy spirit with us and with him every single time we are together. He is so ready. 
Wedding Party
Then José and Guissa got married this week! Beeeeeest. Oh my, seriously. So the ceremony itself wasn’t spiritual- it’s interesting and oh my, I love the temple. But afterwards when their little girls ran over and gave them and us hugs and kisses- that’s when the spirit set in and just testified to me that families truly are forever. It’s so crazy and beautiful- and that’s what keeps me going when it gets hard here. I miss you kids like crazy- but to see people like José and Guissa completely change their family’s lives and get on track for the happiest life- I LOVE IT. 

This week we also had my first zone conference- I loved what I understood of it- ha-ha. But part of it was in English with a translator and again it was just a little tender mercy from Heavenly Father to get instruction and inspiration- that I could actually understand- gold.
My Zone
Then last night we had an YW activity with 2 wards- it was such a good turn out- we had 5 YW and 2 investigators!!! Best. Seriously it was so cool to see that many YW together. We watched Mormon messages. Killer. I could understand the first part because it was in English with a voice over- then the 2nd I couldn’t understand at all- but holy cow the spirit was crazy. Seriously, I didn’t need to understand the language to understand the beauty of the message. Then the 3rd there weren’t any words at all and again- strait up killer. Then I just bore testimony that even though I don’t understand the language I understood what was going on through the spirit and the investigators were able to connect with that because they don’t understand the doctrine and such but they understand the feelings they got. It was so cool.
Some of the YW.  
So in the middle of relief society- we are just chilling listening to the lesson and one of the ladies is like "pss- Hma ball." Then she pulls out this thing of sunscreen and has it passed across the row to me, then points to my face then to hers and pretends to put sunscreen on. But the funny this is she was dead serious. Ha-ha I died. Seriously, I had to bow my head and look down because I was giggling so hard. 

Then when we were doing the stuff for the wedding the day before the wedding- they asked hma Johnson and I to be the witnesses- but I couldn’t do it because I am not actually legal- my visa is still being processed. So we were all a bit sad. So I made the joke that I am the witness in spirit. So when they had to sign 76 papers and hand over their visas I signed a sticky note and gave them my UT driver’s license. - So were like cracking up laughing- José crying he’s laughing so hard and the grumpy legal lady is not impressed and is just full judging us-which just makes the whole thing funnier. 

Ok, then another time, I said this very beautiful prayer about the ward and the people in the ward and how much I love the ward. Ha-ha, but there is a little difference- two words barrio and barro. barrio is ward. barro is mud. So I was praying about the mud and the people in the mud. Ha-ha 

One guy asked if we wanted to live with him- he would pay for everything. So we told him that’s not allowed or good. Then he was like "I'll get baptized! I'll do anything. I'll be a Mormon." Nope. Got to love the little drunks. But really- they keep it interesting and funny. 

Ok we have been chopping wood like mad women. I love it. Seriously- everyone here heats their houses for winter- and winter is long and cold so we need a lot of wood. So we have been chopping our own wood then chopping wood for service. But my body is wrecked. I love it and I love the hard work. -It’s a good change up. But my shoulders and back feel it. And I messed my hand up something nasty- all bruised and a little bloody and stuff. But it’s the best. 

Also, mom did I get my tetanus shot. Just wondering, ha-ha

Chilean BBQ
Ok next, so Carolina is my best friend here. Seriously- she is 20 and the best. She is inactive and she is helping me with my Spanish and I get to practice the lessons on her and its so good. We are also giving her piano lessons. Best. Seriously, and on p-days we go out to eat and she shows us the happening places. And she is the best. It's the best because she is a real friend- some one I can just talk to about how it is and I love her. 

Oh so the other day we were at her house and when we walked in they had been watching harry potter in Spanish. So I got to see and hear about 30 sec. of it while they found the remote. So funny. But the best. Loved it- and loved my little nerdy love for it. 

Ok food of the week- cow intestine spaghetti.  Oh baby. What a treat. 
flea protection
Then fleas. Oh man this week I literally got eaten alive. I have so many. I counted- 38 just on my stomach. Then with the rest of my body I have over 50 bites. But don’t worry mama, I bought spray and hma Johnson mom sent flea collars so we put them in our beds. 

Ok got to run. There’s work to be done! Can't wait to tell you all about the baptism. 

Xoxo. So much love. 

As cheesy as it is Meg, Jer and Nate- just think what would Jesus do with every though, action and word. Its what I’ve been doing and I love it. I’m so happy here. 

Love you muches.

Xoxoxoxo wwjd xoxox 
Hma ball