Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jumping fences and giant empanadas

¨Ours is not a feeble message. It is the work of the Almighty God, and it is to change the world. ¨ - Elder Holland

How true it is! I love this message and the Book of Mormon and have seen how it truly has changed lives. 

The lives of my investigators, the members, our inactives and my darling converts. But mostly I have seen how it has changed mine. 

People always say that they are grateful for their challenges and trials (boo. ha-ha lies.) Those 2 weeks were hard, really, really hard. But this week I was able to understand, and be grateful for especially one part of this hard experience. 

This work has changed my life. Last week when I was sick I kind of went into a dark place. I was just hurting and felt so alone. I was frustrated with myself and I couldn´t figure stuff out. 
We found the dreamiest place-
empanadas the size of my face. 

But then this week- I came back. And I figured out why, its because I went from 9 months of straight studying the scriptures, from being on my knees praying about them and for this work, then leaving and testifying of this restored, true gospel and the Book of Mormon- to a couple days on and off of reading and studying- without testifying. To just being in bed unable to leave. 

I didn´t realize the effect of leaving these great habits until I started them back up again. Then I felt love, felt peace and felt guidance again. 

Before being sick I didn´t think I've really changed in the mission. I knew I had in different little ways. 

But after this experience I was given a little glimpse- really a hard week and a half to now understand how much the mission- the constant, real studying of the Book of Mormon and testifying of Christ has changed me. 

And I know why! ¨Ours is not a feeble message. It is the work of the Almighty God, and it is to change the world. ¨ 

This work is real. It is loving and it is craaaaazy awesome. 

Here are a couple little points from this week:

- A got a calling in the primary and loves helping the kids. While we were teaching her, her favorite song was "Come Follow Me" and her favorite scripture was in 3rd Nephi about becoming as a child, pure and following Christ. It was amazing to see the inspiration president received in helping her continue in these things that brought her to the gospel. 

- H is doing so good! He is a true convert. His first week after being baptized he got the calling to be a 2nd assistant to the presidente and he is rocking it. Seriously, a rock star. And president has been so good to him. Other than the 3 hours of church meeting on Sunday he also has 3 other meeting he comes to. And he loves them- he asked if they could have more meeting in the week. He is teaching with the elders and helping in home teaching. He is helping in all the quorum projects and passing the sacrament on Sundays. He is a missionary in his home and there are just a bunch of little things. Like in sacrament the person who was suppose to give the prayer wasn’t there so just at the pulpit president explained the agenda and he called on H to say the opening pray- something that really scared the members here, but H just ran up so excited and giving. I looove it. 

-We are also working a lot with the inactive here. Trying to help bring them back. Just in the last couple days we had 14 lessons with inactive where we focused on the Book of Mormon and restoration and it rocked. We had 2 of those people come back to church from the first time in a long time! 

Also I had a weird experience I have never had before. 2 Weeks ago we found out a member couple were talking and listening to the lessons from the Jehovah witnesses. So we had tried getting ahold of them to see what was up- you know? Then they didn't come on Sunday so we stopped by and actually interrupted their lesson with the testigos (Jehovia Witness). Crazy. 

They invite us in so we sat down at the table and it’s just the 2 testigos, the member couple and us. It was crazy. It was all very nice and very professional- but so weird. So they end and pray and leave. Then we are just real with them- like what are you looking for with the testigos. Then they explain the whole story. Long story short, he knows our church is true and she is so confused right now. So lost. 

But I was able to relate- not a lot because I have been so blessed to always have this knowledge and joy in my life. But I thought about the weeks being sick and those feeling I had of confusion with my what God thought of me and feeling so alone. So we taught about the restoration- why our church is true. The Book of Mormon- how it is the word of God. Then how she can do what José Smith did- and ask God. It was one of the most powerful lessons I have had in my mission- because I knew she had the truth- but was slowly leaving it. We were able to testify, and the spirit was so strong, that this message is true. That is the message of the Almighty God, and it will change her life.  If she but asks and acts. 

I love being a missionary. I love this work. I love changing the world and having this work changes me. 

xoxo Hna ball

- Then this picture of us on the fence is a funny story. We ended up jumping this fence to try and save the soul of one of the investigators and her son who is inactive. Ha-ha the member had passed by and was like I need to meet the Hermana’s up here and we will be back in 15 minutes for the lesson. They seemed so excited- but when we showed up they´d locked the gate. Ha-ha that doesn´t stop us- we've got souls here. So we just jumped the fence and the member just busted up. Oh boy, this work is so fun and so happy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Daughter of God

This week has been crazy. 

The hardest week of my mission. I had a lot of health problems this week- but I think it was the worst because for the first time in the mission I felt like I was failing. I felt I was failing as a trainer and as a missionary. 

I love being a missionary and I know its because as a missionary I feel I am completely fulfilling my purpose as a daughter of God. 

And this week I felt I wasn´t just failing, but I was literally disappointing Heavenly Father. Which is the worst thought and it’s hard to get rid of. 

But what happened was I have been in bed now for a long time. And this week it was bad- last week I had bronchitis with the nurse orders to chill in the house. But these feeling of guilt were so overwhelming I faked better and we went to work in the sector- which was a terrible idea because then I got Pneumonia. 

It got pretty bad and the nurse had me moved to Osorno- she then was going to have me admitted to the hospital. But instead had me move in with them. So I spent the first little bit on a little bed by the fire with my Darth Vader med mask on and off. 

Then my companion came down and went on splits with the nurse’s companion to keep working.  Oh my, the nurse here is amazing and really got me stabilized. I love her. 

But then I had to stay with them for a bit- so they built a cool bunk bed for us ha-ha. 

But this whole time with the medicine, the mask, resting and her help I really was feeling so much better. But still couldn’t shake the terrible thoughts about how I was ruining my new companions training, how the work in my sector was completely forgotten and how I just "knew" Heavenly Father was disappointed with me. I knew he loved me so much, but still. 

And it hurt. I tried studying the scriptures but I had to lie down and felt I was just spending my precious mission days lying there. 

But I had faith and that was the frustrating part. I knew He could heal me and I was so confused why He wouldn’t just help me. I knew how happy I was as a missionary and how happy I knew He was when I am happy. I didn't lose my faith, but I felt so alone. 

Then I had a bunch of little experiences to help me remember this is His work! That yes, He loves me so much but more than that- He is so proud of me and that sometimes when we go through hard things. It's because He trusts us to learn what He needs us to learn. 

I love the restoration video where Jose Smith says sometimes the Lord brings us down so He can lift us higher. 
The mission nurse, whom I love!

And that’s what He’s done- He has brought me down (and brought me down hard) but I know it was so I could have a couple little sacred experiences to bring not my body back to health- but lift my spirit higher. 

One of these happened in the sacrament when I read my patriarchal blessing and a new line was seriously amplified- one I haven´t ever really focused in on. 

With that, one other was very, very sacred. I will write you, mom and pops, about it but He answers prayers and He knows me so much. I was given an experience to see His love as easily as I can see dads for me. 

And the third was in a talk from Elder Bednar (who is a rock star and I am so jealous the kids saw him last week. sooo cool) 

But he talks about the Faith not to be healed. Which is crazy. Because yes I had the faith for him to completely heal my body when I received a blessing from president, then after when I prayed and prayed and prayed- but I hadn’t thought about if I truly had the faith not to be healed- but to just trust. 

Elder Bednar says,  ¨Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in moving mountains if moving mountains accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in healing the sick, deaf, or lame—if such healing accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Thus, even with strong faith, many mountains will not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirm will be healed. If all opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary purposes of the Father’s plan would be frustrated. ¨

So that is what I have learned- this is Gods work. And I am His so loved daughter and He´s got it. So I just need to trust. It's hard and I still would rather just "have the mountain be moved" so I could go back to giving 100 percent to this work. But like Bednar says "it's only if moving mountains accomplishes God’s purposes."

I love you so much. Don't worry about me- I am back in Rio Bueno and taking it very slow. But my spirits are up and I am happy (especially because we have our first lesson tonight!)

xoxo the amount of times I said *pshh pshh Parkinson.. I am your mother* :) in the breathing mask like Darth Vader to my companion xoxox 

Hna Ball

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I´ve got bronchitis-ain't nobody got time for that

¨Fill your mind with truth; Fill your life with service; Fill your heart with love. ¨ -President Monson
Mind with truth:
This week we studied and taught a bunch on family history. We had one lesson in particular that I loved. It was with L and her husband A. We have been teaching them quite a bit, they are both very evangelical- and he is actually a bible professor at a high school. When we started teaching them I was so scared because he really, really knows and loves the bible. But as I started teaching I just remembered that truth is truth. And I just need to stick to the truth and we´ll be good. Which is what we have done- and it's been amazing. This week we taught them these things about family history and showed them different scriptures in the book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Family history is the best and a really wonderful truth our church has! The spirit was so strong and oh boy, I love family history. 

Life with service:
As a missionary- I really am living a service dream. We go all afternoon and night just trying to teach and give what we love and know is so true. However, as sisters in skirts usually people don´t allow us to do the hands on fun service- so we have gotten a little creative on how to serve the people. One of this weeks’ little service acts was my favorite- we doorbell ditched sticky notes with drawings or pictures or quotes that applied to a scripture to keep our families in the book of Mormon. It was so simple but so fun- then when we entered the house they were always on the fridge or wall and they´ve kept the collection. Yeah for filling all the days with little service! 

Heart with love: 
This week for English class we switched it up a bit. We did the main two things we love. Testified of the Restoration and ate! We watched the video of the Restoration (with English subtitles) and ate completos. (Chilean hotdogs) Then we had a quiz about all the food names in English. So much fun and actually a solid activity because it was with our 2 converts and 4 investigators. I love missionary work! 

You know what else I love- these sick diseased sheep everywhere. :) Yay for el campo. 

Oh, this week we also had interviews with our mission president,  President Obesso. We got to the church and it was all locked up then got a call from the zone leaders explaining they were running a little late- but if we´d like to join them and president for lunch! Duuuuh. So we went and had the yuuuuumiest food with just president and his wife and my pals the zone leaders. It was so fun and so nice to get to sit and just chat and get to know president! Then we had the actual interviews and they were rocking! Oh, how I love president and the joy he has for my personal success! 

So as you can see this week was pretty good. However, here’s the bummer part- this was all the first part of the week. 

This weekend I came down pretty hard with bronchitis. It’s been terrible. I had 4 days without sleeping at all but we were still just doing work like normal- but then I got a hacking cough, pretty bad- so they Shipped me to the city and had the mission nurse look at me- she got me meds and put me on ¨house arrest¨ and it has been the worst. I hate it. I am going crazy- but so sick that there is nothing to do. She then came to visit yesterday- and I am now on meds and doing much better. 

But just pleeease pray for me. I got to get out and work. 

But don´t stress too much about the health- especially grandmas ha-ha. I really am on the up side of it all. 

Well family. I love you like crazy. I have loved this week because we have had some crazy experiences and then 3 days to study all of preach my gospel, and work on the 12-week program. I am excited to get back to work this week and put all the studying to use! 

Also the other photos; 
Playing jenga to keep up sane. I love Hna p. We are really, really getting along crazy good. She isn’t just a companion but a real, true friend. We have the spirit and the giggles todos los dias. (all the day) 

Then these random kids saw us walking down the street and asked if they could take a picture with us! Ha-ha it’s actually funny how much this happens! 

I know this church is true. I love the book of Mormon so much. I am so happy to have this loving, guiding book. I looove testifying of it and I love, love, love being a missionary. 

xoxox I´ve got bronchitis-ain't nobody got time for that xoxo 
 Hna Ball