Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Finally a bit of Sunshine

Hola familia. 
What a week. We had a little sunshine, we had new investigators, we had transfers (no transfers for me and Hermana Rodriguez. woooohoooo) and we had a whole lot of the spirit. 
We are working a lot with the members and had some golden lessons this week. We also are working with a program called "el rescate" (the rescue) where it is completely focused on less actives. This mission has so many less actives’- just about everyone here is Mormon or has a brother or mom or sister in law or a dog who is Mormon- but isn’t active. It’s seriously crazy, and seriously sad. But we have seen some true miracles from these part active families. 
This week my two favorite random or other lessons were with first R, we had one over the phone that was so powerful- we were just in the street and she was in her house, but it was scriptures and prayers and so wonderful. I love serving with Hermana R because we really find new fun or new spiritual ways to serve- not just the same old same old knock doors or the simple lesson. And I love it.

One of these lessons was this week where we were with little chickas (young girls) and it was a ¨princess class¨ all about how these little gems are daughters of god and what that means and it was so cute. Oh I love the kids here- a lot of the times we will teach the lessons to the kids of our investigators- but with our investigators in mind (the parents) but when we teach it this way we are really able to keep it simple, keep it really easy to understand and keep it interesting. Then we will have the lesson with the parents more in-depth with the doctrine once they understand it.
This week was focused a lot on prayer. Lots and lots of prayers and lots and lots of answers. I'll get back to this in a minute. 
We had a little sunshine and were able to do some service (oh I looooove service.) We were able to get a little dirty in the mud and plant raspberry bushes, dad would be proud I pretty much re built the shovel with nails and a hammer and these big wooden things and it was sweet.

 Then the amount of times I find myself in a tree with a saw or axe- hacking away. I love it. Its sweet for us and missionaries because when there is sunshine there are people in the street and this week I was up in the tree and the little old lady is barking orders and I’m climbing higher and higher and all the people in the street are laughing or pointing at the gringa missionary in the tree with the axe. Ha-ha mom I can already hear you and the grandmas- no stress, it’s all good and safe. Ha-ha
But we were able to talk to a couple more people because they saw we were normal doing yard work and all- people have a lot of wrong ideas about us as missionaries and sometimes its real funny. 
Futbol- full swing and I love it. We were in the city after the game with Chile and Spain (crazy.) this is where the bars and the dance clubs and all and the city square are and it was craaaaaaaazy. We had an appointment and it was so fun- I loved walking through and seeing all these crazy Chileans. 

Oh dad, I love hearing about your calling as ward mission leader. So good. You’d be proud- I think all the party planning in high school was mission prep- we have some roooockin ward activities lined up. These kids aren’t going to know what hit them. 
Mail this week- a package from grandma ball. Woohoooo. yaya muffin mix and lots of little gems. For district meeting we switch off who cooks the treats and these are perfect. 
So I still have some little problems with my mouth- its a bit painful and all. I have an appointment this week with a throat specialist- really don’t stress- all is well and good we are just trying to figure out. I wouldn’t mention it at all but I could use a couple prayers this way so that we can figure it out. Xoxo
Also ha-ha the rain- my boots broke (I’ve only had them for 2.5 months but all day every day I think is a bit much.) they broke Sunday and we can only buy new ones on p day (today) but it was an interesting week with the transparent duct tape stuff and trash bags. 

Oh Spanish update: as of this week I am able to brush my teeth and chat with Hermana R and she can understand me. Wooohooooo. It’s a coming. Its hard and very simple but I am pretty much able to explain my thoughts or at least the idea of my thought and almost understand a good chunk maybe not the details but oh boy I love it- still the men with out teeth? Nope. 
Oh this weeks study. Gold. I don’t know I really kind of figured it out. Mom your quote book and scripture- love. One of the scriptures was John 21:15-17. 
The part where jesucristo asks ¨me amas? ¨ Then do you love me. Then again, me amas. Then the third time- me amas? Then feed my sheep and follow me.

I remembered a quote from elder Holland about this- its when elder Holland is paraphrasing jesucristo and explains something along the lines of ¨when I asked you to follow me it was forever. When I asked you to be a missionary- it was forever. ¨ He continues with how we can’t go back, how this right now, my life here is Chile, is real life. How if I go back to how it was I will literally break the heart of God himself.

Through these lessons I am learning, the person I am becoming here. The confidence I have, the amount of love I am learning to have for these beautiful people.

How all of this. How the days with the rain when it’s really hard and the days with the sun when it’s really joyful are real life. And I love it. I love being a missionary- I don’t know how I am so lucky to be so happy all the time. 
Elder Holland ends with ¨may God bless you on the greatest adventure of your life. ¨ and how true it is! 
I am on the greatest adventure- and I LOVE it. 
I love spending my days studying, testifying and living His way. I am so grateful for this gift, this gem of an adventure I am living. How talking to all types of people, old and young, very very poor and humbling poor or well off, evangelic, catholic, atheist or crazy Chileans, kind or crude, loving and door opening with hot tea when its raining, or crying with strangers in the street about the plan of salvation. - How this, this is real life. 
xoxo chi chi chi le le le Chile Chile xoxo
Hermana Ball

Hermana ball

Friday, June 20, 2014


Hola familia- 

What a week. Crazy. So much rain, so much of the spirit, so much service and so much futbol. 

To start us off- my two favorite lessons this week-

My favorite was one we taught to a sweet Peruvian family about ¨Who is Jesucristo? ¨ We went through with photos and explained the whole life story of him, his ministry, his death and the fact that he lives today. It was so simple and I love being able to testify of him. After we taught them how to pray and they committed to all pray to know if he really knows them. Oh I love it. 

The second lesson was with a new mom- we visited her and she is a little bit sick, and her new born is a little sick from it being so cold (right now everyone’s got to little something) but we taught her about the 2000 stripling warriors and their mothers. The role of a mother and the sacred opportunity she has to raise her child, so when trials or wars come- she can explain I know what to do, and I know what is right- because my mother taught me. It was so pretty and we all ended up on tears. Mom- I miss you so much it’s sometimes hard to read this scripture with families or think about you to much- but I love it. Because am able to testify of the power of mothers and women in this church. I am able to testify of righteous mothers- because I´ve got the best example. I´m able to testify of the 2000 chicos and how they don´t doubt their mothers know it because with out a doubt I know you know it. 

Man I love you. 

This week was really hard. Things were a bit rough with a couple people; the rain was relentless (only 1.5 days without rain all day and all night). But it was also really rewarding and I was able to grow a lot. There was one day specifically hard we had been trying to teach for hours- we´d visited about 10 houses and no one would let us in or listen. Everyone was a bit harsh- and it resulted in Hna R crying under the umbrella, which made me cry. So we are just standing there with the dogs with little tears when I say the prayer- just about how we didn't need people to accept us, or let us in, but how we just needed a little help and a little comfort and an opportunity to be good missionaries. 

Literally the minute we opened out eyes we saw a lady not even 8 feet from us trying to walk with tons of bags. I actually laughed because it was so perfect and so immediate but we ran over and helped her with the bags- chatting and all. When we got to her door she took the bags from us- and saw we were Mormon- had a little freak out and ran away. Ha. But none the less Heavenly Father had answered my prayer- for another long bit of time no one listened or let us in. But we were able to serve and honestly just laugh about the situation and continue on. 

I think this week that’s the main lesson to learn- laugh it off and keep on keeping on. I´ve tried doing that all my mission but especially this week we were giving many opportunities to cry it off or laugh it off- and we laughed it every time. 

This week we also had intercambios (changes with other missionaries)- I headed off to a different sector for the day and taught there. It was our only day with sun and it was glorious. Truly sunshine in my soul. 

Oh man but the rest of the week- it was raining men. No. But the streets were a crazy- another one of those just laugh it off moments were when we literally couldn’t get more wet so we just went for it with the puddles.  

This weeks mail. One package from the mommacita. With the gems leggings from auntie Debi. Oh are just the coziest. I am living large in my plush cozies. Stuck them by the fire- warmed me up and ooooh baby. 

Ok the picture- what’ve we got here. One from the train tracks where we walk to church every week. Love. 

Then Hna C. she is the best. She has been going with us for lessons lately and oh my testimony- we really have an amazing ward and a lot of support. But this little gem is her being me and me a being her. She’s a teaching me all sorts of stuff in broken Spanish. Ha-ha

Oh we decided to do what Jesus would do. And make American gems for the neighbors. Rice krispies. They loved it. 


Oh crazy- so its hard to talk to people with all the futbol- no one wants to let you in and its a wasteland when it's Chile playing. Literally all the stores close, no taxis, no people, somehow even the dogs disappear. No say. But we have permission to watch the parts of Chile if we are with an investigator- so yesterday I got to experience my first crazy futbol game with a house full of crazy Chileans. I looooove it. Before I wasn’t into futbol- at all. But oh man here it is so fun. And intense. Ha-ha I didnt take videos or pictures until after when it was just a couple of us. But what a gem experience. Looove. And Chile won 3 to 1 with Australia. The streets were crazy. Love. 

Well family I just saw your emails streaming in from Ireland so I'm going to jump off to read them. 

I love you so much. I’m not sure if I made this week sound like a bummer- because it really wasn’t. I learned so much. I am so grateful for the rain because I really am being humbled and really really learning to rely more on prayer and listening for the spirit because I need help knowing where to go. Pray for more rain because I always have the best experience! 

xoxo chi chi chi le le le Chile Chile  (the song of the street) xoxo
Hna number 1 futbol fan ball. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Volcanos, futbal and RAIN

This week was crazy good. My favorite part was R's baptism! Woohoo! She called us the morning of, explaining how excited and nervous she was- but how excited s
he was to fiiiiiinally be Mormon! 
The baptismal service was beautiful and my favorite part was seeing her in the water all in white, with her son, J, who got to baptized 2 months ago. To see my J, and my R- truly the best part of my mission so far. I love seeing the love that has strengthened their relationship through this gospel. I love the joy of seeing a family completed in Christ. After the baptism we were waiting for R at the door of the font and she and J were just smiling, and hugging and he was giving her a little kiss on the head and it was so darling. 

The next day was fast Sunday and after she received the spirit she was so excited to bare her testimony- she got up twice to go then finally she just charged right on up to the pulpit and it was so wonderful. She simply explained how she knew she was a daughter of God, how she knows of His love and the love she feels in the church- with the services and the people. 

I am so grateful for R- to be able to go through this journey with her- as we have taught her; I truly feel I have learned more than she has. She was ready for this- and I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for giving me this dear experience. 

I love this gospel and I love how it changes people, and families. 

And right now she is reading the entire Book of Mormon. The amount of love I feel from her and from the spirit as she reads the words of the Book of Mormon, of the prophets and of Jesus Christ himself is amazing. 

This week we also left for citas (appointments) with one of the young women in our ward-Y- who is preparing for a mission right now. While we were walking we gave her one of our rain jackets and an extra name badge and it was so cute to see how excited she was to have the badge- to ¨be a real missionary¨ I love working with the youth. The beeeest. 

One of my favorite ¨different¨ lessons was one with Y. We were visiting a youth and we couldn't go in the house, so she just opened the window and talked to us from there. We ended up using the cell phone light to read the scriptures and the spirit was so strong as we talked about difficulties in life- and Heavenly Fathers love. I loved this lesson- standing on the porch and the dark with tears and the spirit- as I just felt again that this truly is His work. And sometimes things don’t work out how I expect it- I would have expected this lesson to be much different. But it’s His work and this lesson was perfect for her.
Hermana's in the District
Then today, soooo good. We went to the volcano Osorno (the most famous volcano in Chile) except the bummer was we weren’t actually able to see anything or really do anything because the rain and the crazy fog and different complications. But I got to see this crazy thing that shoots out the lava. So that was cool and super adventurous. 

Then we went to ¨los cascadas¨ so cool. They are waterfalls. So we went to the biggest first and I hiked up to the top with one other Hermana. So good. To hike and breathe. It reminded me of you all soooo much. Then while all the other girls did photo-shoots (por faaavor!) I went on splits with one other Hermana and we found 5 more waterfalls. To hike in the mud and rain and sweat and drink from the waterfall. It was home. Seriously.  My spirit and soul are so happy. 

Then futbol is in full swing- and it is crazy here. Seriously. Chile stuffs everywhere. Chile people everywhere. Futbol stuff everywhere. Crazy people in the streets. Crazy. And I love it. The photo of me, Hna R and Hna C is of us planning the futbol activity for the ward- I’m so excited. 

Ok, then the rain this week. Can we just talk about it for just a minute? Rain rain rain. The only thing
I can compare it to is in "parent trap".  (When it’s the crazy rain in the middle end part and it’s so sad because they are separating the twins.)  Well that’s how it is here. So much rain. I think we are officially in winter and everyone explains it just gets worst. UGH!

This week I had a little but of a cold- I think from just being cold and wet a lot. But I am much better- keeping warm, building "Lyle Ball" fires all day and all night, changing my clothes half way through the day and all so don’t fret. All is well. Just a little crazy. But the streets have been flooding just a bit- nothing bad where I am. But 15 min away- crazy. Look up the you tube video- "creciden y desborde del iorranhue en rio negro." Ha-ha the pigs. But this is where C works and its crazy. 

Oh, also to keep warm we moved our beds downstairs next to the fire and all week it has been the coziest ever. 

Oh, then I got a special little treat from a drunk this week. It’s usually a little adventure- but this week it was a ride to church in his carriage. Ha-ha! I didn't let him really drive it because I am a missionary and that would probably be inappropriate. But, it was funny for a couple minutes. And he is going off about the Mormon plague and that José smeeeeth. 

Yay for mail this week. 2 from grandma ball and 1 from Emily Jorgensen in Taiwan. (Did she ever get your package?) And also just all the news that you are in Ireland. What? Anyways, I expect a grand letter with all the adventures. 

Well family I got to run- we´ve got a Family Home evening tonight with a family that is gooold and I have got to change outta these wet clothes. Yay Chile. 

Keep praying, singing, loving, laughing, hiking, n´reading and I'll do the same. 

I love you more than all the volcano’s, waterfalls, baptisms (maybe this one not sure), rabid dogs and crazy Chilean futbol fans!

xoxo if yer had the chance to change yer fate, woodcha? xoxox
Hna Ball

Sunday, June 1, 2014


What a week!
First of all and the most important- R is getting baptized tonight! Wooohoo. Details to come.


Then we had an earthquake! It was crazy! All is well, I’m just a little ¨shooken¨up (ha). But really- we were sleeping and the first hit was so big it woke me up. But I just thought I was shivering because it’s so cold. But then the second part hit and it was the craziest feeling. They have been warning us an earthquake was coming- so after the second part hit we jumped up and got our backpacks ready, tennis shoes by the door, I moved Hna R bed away from the wall and then we said a little prayer and went back to bed. Luckily another didn't hit. But it was crazy. Nothing bad- honestly mostly just cool and weird. 
Then the miracle of the week- we have been working a lot with R- trying to teach her how to read. We started very simple, teaching the alphabet, teaching sounds with the letters, then reading words that were se-pe-ra-te-d like this. But then this week we wrote out scriptures in really big letters and she was able to read it after a couple times. Then the miracle, we open up to 1 Nephi 3:7 and she read it! And I love that the first scripture she read was "I will go and do."  It was so beautiful and crazy and I still almost don’t believe it. Then we continued on and read more and more then went to the introduction and read it- and she’s doing really well. And we know it's a little miracle and gift from Heavenly Father because she really wanted to be able to read the Book of Mormon before her baptism. 
But the part that was really sweet and tender and all for me was a couple weeks ago she was very frustrated about not knowing how to read and she had been crying with us and we were in the street and we stopped and I just looked at her and promised her, as a representative of Heavenly Father and with the authority of this calling, that if she would continue to prepare for baptism- she would be able to read. Afterwards I was a little scared about what I have just promised and such- but I felt the spirit so strong. And to see this promise come true-very humbling. 

The other little miracle is another about being obedient. It was raining- hard. It was dark, no one was out and no one was letting us in. It was so cold and it had been a really long day of a lot of rain. And we had 10-15 minutes before curfew and I was a little bit done with the day. You know?  It had been really successful and really good- just long. So we were heading up to the house and then I just thought "come on Ali. Its only 10 minutes more just one more door." So I just stopped right there and knocked the door- and it turns out to be a young (24 ish) girl who is wonderful. I am so excited to get to know her. We only talked for a bit because it was so late but we are going to return. I’m learning my lesson. Slowly- but I’m starting to learn to just try to be obedient in it all. And I love it. 

Rain, rain, rain

Oh my sweatshirt arm caught on fire this week. I was making muffins for the district meeting and we have our sketchy oven- the same that burned my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes (yeah they are still kind of nasty. But only the hair and its easy to cover it.) But it just had a little gas explosion thing- nothing bad. I only caught a little bit on fire. 

Oh this week was J’s birthday. A couple weeks ago grandma ball sent me a cheesecake pie mix so we cooked that up and had a real nice little fiesta. Man I love this silly little loving family. 
Oh then, we were walking on Thursday night and it had been raining all day. And the streets were a little bit flooded. So we are walking and all of a sudden I see the bus and I see the flooded street and right to late I realized what was about to go down. This huuuuge wave of water, not even a wave, a wall of water is heading for me. So I do the only logical thing and try to jump over it. So funny. Hna R got nothing and I am standing there soaked through. Completely. It was like a movie so funny. 

aftermath of the "water wave"
Oh this week I felt the love. Let me tell you. I got sooooo much. Thank you, thank you. 

On Sunday I got letters from auntie Steph (best surprise), gma simpkins- the Easter letter, mom- with the talk from Brad Wilcox. Gold. And dad’s postcard. This made me laugh so hard. Oh my- you kids. Always know what to do. Then I got a package from gma ball- with lots of yummy treats and a biscuits mix that we made pancakes with. Best.

(Oh and speaking of food I am doing much better. Ate chicken heart mush thing the other day but I also went on a little shopping spree and bought lots of healthy really yummy food)

And I got a package from mom- with the downeast gems. Thank you, thank you.  I love the skirt and it is the perfect size. Then at zone conference I got more! A package from Marilyn- hooray! And her relief society. Tender mercy to the finest. Then more postcards- one from mom, dad, jer and 2 from Meg. Oh these are so embarrassing. But I looooove them. hahahaha the elders faces. Oh brother. But I love it. 
I have seriously 12ish really really sweet pictures from the week- but the stinking computer isn’t working. But I'll just keep a trying. 
But oh man- I can’t even tell you the amount of love that was in this week. I am so excited for R. I really want you guys to know her-one day! But she truly has completely changed her life and its gold.

Well family I got a baptism to get to! I love you. Keep trucking, hiking, mostly keep a praying. 
xoxo bacan bacon xoxo
Hermana ball