Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hermana Mullett takes on Patagonia

Let me tell you a little story about how I became this missionary with a mullet. 

You know when you get a prompting from the spirit? For like 16 months telling you not to cut your hair and to just wait until you are back in the states. Then in a moment of not thinking you find a member in Coyhaique and she says that she will just trim the ends. Pinky promise. Then you tell her in detail just the ends- then you tell your Spanish speaking companion and she tells her as well just to make sure.....

Then when the said member chances her mind because I looked to ¨gringo¨ ha-ha and then she cuts 5-6 inches off. And it is butchered in 3 different places. Butcher. Like inches of difference.

Now I am just Hermana mullet. Oh boy. I was able to fix it a little. But literally I now can only use a half ponytail or my hair is pulled back into a bun because it is SO BAD.  I cried. And my companion cried. And one of the other missionaries almost cried because it was so ugly we didn't know what to do. And the other 3 missionaries just looked at me in silence as we all just thought of what to do. So bad. I sent home a picture after we did all we could to fix it and then my companion put a bucket load of makeup on me to make it better. And the photo really doesn’t show how stinking ugly it is.

But here’s the thing. It makes for a good story right? Ha-ha, now we can laugh about it. Like the other day we were walking and my companions all "lets change streets".... so we walk to the next block and she´s all... "because that street had way to many people with long hair." Ha-ha. 

She’s to good. Offered to go get her hair cut as well. But for real not just a joke. So cute. 

But I was thinking right? And I was all how can I make this a happy experience. What am I to learn, right? And I was thinking- honestly last week and part of this week was a bit rough. 

I hate how fast time is flying and honestly I was starting to doubt a bit on what I’ve done and if I could have done better. Which is terrible. I feel very, very happy with my mission. Oh boy, do I love it. But I got seriously doubting on myself and critical of every little thing. 

We were in a conference this week and the stake president explained how we have to support our brethren in their calling because Satan tries so hard to make someone feel unworthy to serve. How he will do everything possible to get someone to doubt. And in that moment I realize that that is exactly what I was doing. You know? It also happened right as this nasty haircut went down. 

And I kept thinking- why did I get it cut. If I had just not because I had felt not to do it before and was frustrated, oh boohoo boo boo. 

But long story even longer than it needs to be. Every time I look at my ugly hair I just think about how it happened and I've got to move on. Yeah there are times in my mission when I could have done one thing better or pushed a little harder but it's happened. And I've just got to enjoy it.  So here’s to pony tails and smacking away Satan and waking up every morning hitting the ground running because ¨ain´t nobody got time for that. ¨ Am I right dad? 

Also, we were able to have 2 super cool conferences this week. The first was with Elder Oaks- it was streamed in from Argentina- it’s for the youth but we made it right in time to listen to him and his cutest little wife. I loved it. It was fun to think about our one young man here, Diego, and take notes for him. But Elder Oaks talked a lot about keeping the Sabbath day holy. How Sunday is a day to ¨further the work of the Lord and love in our families. ¨ Love. I will definitely be teaching that one line to all the members and investigators here. Because how true it is. It so simple. 

Also, we had our district conference (stake conference) it was so cool because on Saturday we had 12 members and Sunday we have 17! So cool. It was awesome to see the sacrifice of our members to leave their families, work and bus the 4 hours down for two days. They were able to bunk with other members there and it was a super successful weekend. 

One of my favorite parts of the conference was that we were in the choir for the 2 days. And we were sitting on the stand and one of the little cutest grandmas got up to give her talk and she started talking but her head didn't pass the pulpit so they pulled the little stool for kids out and she was able to lay down the law about the Sabbath day. Ha-ha so cute. 

We also had all of Saturday on preparation. Things are getting pretty crazy here in Chile- I bet you guys have seen the photos of the other volcanoes that went off (its close to Rio Bueno- my last sector. Boohoo, why didn’t it blow 6 moths ago! ha-ha) but it was cool. To learn more about how to help the rama (branch/ward) be literally prepared for these things. But also spiritually. 

Get his then we had a bunch of meeting with the Elders and oh boy did I get a bunch of mail. Love. I got mom and grandmas Easter packages. So yummy and so cute. Also dad’s different letters from each of his offices in Asia. WAY COOL. And one from Haley Brunsdale and Andréa devore. Also postcards from jer, Nate, Meg and dad and 3 letters from grandma ball. Love, love, love. 

Also this week was awesome 

(Hey I am going to send this and finish in a second.) 

But it was such a great week. We were able to do a lot with the Hermana’s. Another one of those weeks out of the sector. But we kicked it hard in their sectors and found a lot of new people! 

Little gems. 

Hna Thatcher- I love her. We were in the same district when I was in Rio Bueno so it’s been fun to have her here. We are way good friends. And she’s from Cedar City so it will be fun. But we kicked it in Aysen. We had a seriously awesome day and had a couple of those experiences where I felt we were being set up because it was too good. 

One was when we knocked a door and it turned into one of "those" lessons on the doorstep. Full of a complete explanation of the restoration, reading the book of Mormon with her and being able to purely testify of the truthfulness. We walked away in shock just smiling and smiling at each other. So good. 

Then with Hermana Cheadle (she was roommates at BYU with some of the kids I know from Lone Peak. whaat?) well we are going to be dear friends when we get back. She´s also pretending to be a normal muggle missionary. You know what I mean. But we are able to teach a new investigator the plan of salvation and it was sooo cool because it was one of those moments when they get it. You know? When her eyes got all big and you could tell she was feeling it and then she got breathing really fast and opened up to us about her depression and how she isn´t sure if Heavenly Father is listening to her prayers- because she praying a lot but isn´t seeing any results. And all. It was so cool. So good. I love that moment when they get it and then open up. Love. 
Also I was with Hermana Pinto- she is from Columbia and new in the mission. It was so good. But it was cool because we had just had a meeting with the Elders and they made a new plan for us to find new investigators. So we went out to work and nothing was working. At all. No one was home, no one was in the street, and we tried visiting less actives- nothing. Even knocking doors wasn´t working. So it was really dark at night but we stopped under a tree and I offered a pray that we would be able to find someone who we could show the video to. (Part of the new program.) And we said amen and started walking and I asked Hermana Pinto want she thought- and I had a house in mind in the street and she said the very same blue house. 

So we walked over and knocked and a lady answered and we talked to her and explained it all and she said no.... then waited a second and said, but there is someone here who you can talk to... and walked inside and a man came out. 

It was so cool. Because we were able to show him the video recorded on my camera and it was even more interesting because he was really, really unreceptive. But we were able to share and testify and left. And as we were walking I could tell Hna Pinto was a little disappointed but I felt so good. Because literally less than a minute after our prayer Heavenly Father answered for what I asked. I never asked for someone who would be receptive. I just asked that we could find someone. We talked about this experience and how cool Heavenly Father is. After this my prayers have become more specific because I KNOW He is going to answer. It’s like the brother of Jared. I just have to make the plan. 

Well family I have got to run. But here’s just a little list of gems. 

-Hermana Norma is my best friend here. She is a member and we are helping her prepare for the temple next year and it’s the beeeest. Really. 

-We had a family home evening with our branch president family and ate a good ole fried cow tongue. With bread, tongue and spicy sauce. Actually bien rico. 

And then we did magic show while we were sitting there but they were actually things we had planned and were cheating. So fun. 

-Also we had the bus ride for all the members and on the way back I pulled a classic Hermana Ball, like on the way to Yellowstone..... Shoot. Ha-ha, so I yell that I have to throw up and the van driver shrieks to a stop- the branch president, pres ancamil, throws open the door... and while the van is still moving I jump out and slip on the wet grass. Ha-ha, I am sitting here in the library cracking up thinking about yesterday. But, I slip in the mud and grass. Slide but am still running and throw up behind a little bush. Hahahahha so funny. My companion was in the van and said they were just all ¨wooooaaaahhhh¨

Ha-ha what a week. It’s always an adventure in the Patagonia. 

xoxo mullet ball. 

On a side note, Ali's dad had a business trip to Arequipa, Peru.  The hometown of her companion, Hermana Rodriguez, and was able to meet up with her dad.  Two proud papas.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hermana Ball: theater promoter, rock star and missionary

First of all, awesome! I love Hermana Rodriquez. She is such a good friend. I mean really. We just sit and laugh and make plans and laugh and cry. It’s the best. We are working really well together and she´s a rock star. 

Its fun. The lessons are awesome- more to come. But also, the little things. Like we have to cook lunch on Sundays- so I taught her how to cook a hotdog in the fire and her first taste of smores. So good. 

Then the next lunch she teaches me how to cook Peruvian. We´re a good team. Or our little adventures always. Today’s p-day adventure was cracking up laughing or crying together over the Mormon messages. So fun. 

Oh, but this week was awesome because 8 of our members were able to get their patriarchal blessings! We had talked with our mission president at Christmas to try and get a patriarch to fly down, but nope. Then this week yes! It was amazing. It’s the first time a patriarch has been here and a couple of the members have literally been waiting 10 or more years to get one. We were able to go to each house and teach and get them excited and testify and it was wonderful. 

The branch is rocking. There is still a lot to do. Shoot. But, its really, really good. And between me and Hna R we have about 100,000 ideas. The first is, we are planning a movie theater night in the church. 

There isn´t a movie theater even close to here- the closest is a 4 hour bus ride.  So we think it will be a big hit. We´re looking in to a projector and all. We´re going to show a Mormon message and then a family movie. A Mexican animated one that should be fun and we are going to invite all the families. Then we are going to teach them all and convert all of Puerto Cisnes. :) Hopefully it’s successful and we´ll do it every couple weeks! 

Also this week we taught a lot about the plan of salvation. Oh, I love this happy plan of happiness! We had a couple really great lessons. One was with M. We are teaching her and her children and they are receptive. Down to the little ones, it´s so, so cute.  The only problem is no one is married around here and it’s quite the legal deal. But it’s all-good. 

Also, we were able to teach a less active couple. They are really struggling as a couple. It was interesting and an interesting lesson- because she is kind of just done with the marriage and he is fighting. It amazing to teach with the spirit because as Ali, I have no idea about marriage or how to teach the doctrine specifically for their needs. But its crazy cool being Hermana Ball. I love it. I love, love, love teaching and love the spirit. 

We finished the lesson and more just listening to them and walked out and just looked at each other- the first thing I said was just how completely grateful I was to have grown up in a gossip principle based and a loving home. And my companion said the same. It’s amazing to see how perfect, down to the details, the church has it. Just how happy of a life we can really have. 

Also, we are still teaching that one investigator who has been meeting with the missionaries on and off for over 25 years. Ha, when I was just typing I accidently wrote 235 years- but it could practically be the same because she knows it all. And yet, just no. But here’s the thing. She is awesome. So we have completely changed it up. We are planning and teaching the lessons in a way we know she hasn´t seen it. With the proclamation to the family and videos and everything. So cool. Yesterday we taught about the prophet, prayer and revelation. So cool. I am really excited to see in this next week if it will make a difference and if she will feel it! 

Ok, the "cool" missionary lessons of the week. Sometimes we have these different lessons where I ¨feel like a missionary.¨  You know? Well ours was when we were walking and I remembered a door we´d knocked a bit back so we went to stop by and ended up having a sweet lesson outside of the house. One of those where she is sitting their smoking the whole time and sitting on the door step and we teach her and her kids, all of us singing and all. It was cool. We ended with a prayer right there and it was good. I am not sure how much she will progress- but it was one of those cool street lessons where we finished feeling like rock stars. We are going back to teach tonight- so we will see! 

We had a couple problems with our woodpile and ended up having to move 4 by 4 meters of wood. We were in our shed and it was torrential rain and so crazy. We also ended up moving a broken car- pushing it all soaking wet with our rain boots and all in the mud. Ha-ha the mission is such a crazy adventure. 

But more adventure to come because this week we are traveling again. Shoot. But it will be cool. Intercambios, then we are going to have stake conference and we are renting a bus to take all the members with us! Woohoo. Roadtrip! 

I love you! Have a happy week! xoxo 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The craziness that is Patagonia

Tacos with the Hermanas
¨Don´t have fear. Get rid of fear and change the mission. ¨ -Hermana Obeso, the mission president wife. 

My week in Coyhaique was crazy. I had so many opportunities to testify and serve- it rocked. I had 6 different companions so it was good fun! 

I was able to have a couple really great lessons or things with the Hermana’s (sister missionaries) - because with so much time with them I was able to be a little part of every part of the mission work. 

Also, we picked up the new Hermana’s and it was cool because I was talking with one of the new girls and I asked her how much time she had in the mission. She said 4 months and then asked me- and when I said 15 it was a crazy dejavu moment. Ha-ha her face was priceless and just completely in shock. And I remembered when my Hermana lider, Hermana Nielsen told me she had 15 months and I was the very same. Sometimes it’s the little things like this when I forget how fast time is going by- I still feel like the youngling!!! 

But it is so wonderful to be a Hermana lider (sister trainer). I honestly was hoping to be a trainer for the last couple months of my mission- but Heavenly Father answers prayers in interesting ways. Because, now I get to train a new Hermana lider! She is really great. Super happy. I am excited to see what’s going to happen these next couple of weeks. 

Ok the crazy news from the Patagonia. There had been a crazy strike that has been going on for 3 weeks. The kids don´t have school, the hospital is only open to emergencies and all government buildings are closed. Its crazy. Just the other day we found ourselves next to a street ¨parade¨ of protesters of about more than 500 people. The good thing about Chile is that is waaaaay tranquilo, super chill, so we aren´t in any trouble. But it really is crazy. They have blocked off all the roads and we have had to buy a 2 week storage of food because they don´t let the trucks in. Ha-ha its fun. 
Beds at 1:00am
But here’s the crazy thing is when Hermana C was suppose to fly out they almost couldn´t because the roads were all blocked. Finally they found through a member a way to get out of the city to the airport. Then the next day the other missionaries where suppose to fly out, but couldn't.  So the Elders ended up calling us past midnight explaining that they were taking the missionaries out of Aysen and that we needed to make room for them to sleep. Ha-ha crazy. They had to pretty much sneak them out in the dead of night to get past the bridge. So I turned into Lyle Ball and made beds for us all. It was a crazy night with a bed of jackets- we were up until who knows what hour and again up at 7 to prepare for them to fly out. 
Girls from Aysen
Ha-ha to be the only Hermana leader with the girls was like herding cats. So crazy. So fun. 

But then all was well and we bused back to Puerto Cisnes. My new companion I think is in a little bit of shock with how tiny it is and that I know lots of town members by name.... :) but its going to be great. Grandma asked if I think I am going to ¨die¨ here. (Finish my mission) I really don’t know. But am up for anything. We will see. Because it can be I am here for this cambio then change or I can be here for the next two. 
Us on the bus while everyone took a smoke break
Fun fact about our zone. It's crazy huge. Literally half of Utah. Ha-ha one of the members googled it to tell me. So that’s why traveling here is so crazy long. 

But it is good to be back in the sector. I love this branch. I told you guys about the branch a couple a letters back, but messed up--- every single person I wrote about is a convert. It’s so cool. I never get over it. 
My family here in Coyhaique

But it was cute when I got back because we entered the house to a big warm fire our branch president made, a big bag of fruit from my ward mission leader and my cleaned clothes with a hidden Easter basket in it. They are so good to me and oh I love them. Its literally home here. Just serving with family. 

These last cambios were hard. And it hit. To know I really only have 1 more normal cambio then it’s my turn to have all the crazy I have seen with Hna Segura and Hna Contreres. Shoot!!!!  But thank goodness for the Priesthood. I was able to receive a really sweet blessing and I know it's all good. It hurts to think how fast it is going. But I am just trying to live it up! We had a cool meeting with all the leaders of the mission and Hermana Obeso said, ¨Don´t have fear. Get rid of fear and change the mission. ¨ which I love. 
I am going to eat corn on everything when I get home!
We had one of those little changes here! We had a fast as leaders here in Puerto Cisnes for the missionary work. In the middle of our fast we literally saw the hand of God. For the first time in mooooonths we had 2 investigators in the church..... :) 

It was S and her mom. We are going to try again with them! :) Today we are going to see if it’s for real or not! FHE lesson and baptism and repentance. Woohooo. 

I love you! xoxoxo Hna ball

Friday, April 10, 2015

El Vive

¨I testify of Him. I know His voice. ¨ Elder Cook

I love Easter and especially love Easter Sunday and conference combined.

We had quite the week. Lots of rain and Hermana Confreres goodbyes. We had a bunch of great little lessons with the churche video "Gracias a que él vive." (Because He lives)  It’s wonderful. But we have shared it with almost every single person. 

I was thinking about how great it would be to have an ipad- so I recorded it on my camera and we have taken it to the street, and its better because my camera is waterproof so rain or not we can show it to everyone. We have had a couple very cool experiences sharing it with the members, the less actives, our investigators and random people all over Puerto Cisnes!

We had a cool experience with one family. We showed them the video, "en media lluvia", ( "An average Rainfall") and then testified of the plan of God for the families- we have a lesson with them this next week! 

I also found a box of plastic Easter eggs in our house – so I turned into Jill Ball and made little gems for our investigators, less actives and members. But the best were these little ones for street contacts or knocking doors. It was so cute to see how excited adult strangers would get. Ha-ha. Down to the bagger at the grocery store. I told them there was a treat for their stomach and a treat for their soul then explained the website for the churches video. J

We had a lot of success this week. We bused down to coyahique (where I am writing from now. In all, I will be here on this little business trip for 7 days. Crazy.) But we had a rocking activity. We rented out the one movie theater here. It’s like the sticky shoe in American Fork, little and perfect and with only one screen. 

We had a huge tomb, just like Jesus's and the people had to walk in to see a video of Jesus Christ and the video from the church. It was cool. We had popcorn, and all took shifts with flashlight helping people to their seats. Then we all went out and did contacting and invited everyone. Just in those 3 hours my comp and me talked to more than 70 people in-between our shifts. We also went out with some of the youth and helped them do the contacting- especially focusing on families and other youth. 

So cool. We ended up having more than 120 people come. Way cool.
I have really enjoyed these days in Coyhaique. It’s great working close to the missionaries and being in intercambios (exchanges) with the Hermana’s. We have been in intercambions almost every day. And it’s been incredible.

It’s cool because right now we are in a house with me, a Peruvian, a Guatemalan and a Mexicana. It’s been a party. On Saturday before conference Hermana Lagua, the Peruvian, taught me how to cook lomo saltado and then today I learned REAL Mexican tacos. So yummy. The kind where we had to have tissues on the table because of the spice. Mmmmmhmm so good. 

Tonight I’m going cook up peanut butter and chocolate oatmeal cookies.
Seriously the best way to spend Easter!  I love the photos from rock-climbing in Moab. But you guys have got nothing on me. … J I love testifying of Him. It so cool to be working with dear sisters from all over the world just working and working in what we love. 

Here a lot of the people are Catholic. But it’s in "their way" that really just means they believe in God, love their families and live. Its so cool to explain to people that the resurección wasn´t just a story that happened a long time ago, but an event that is today. To help them understand the true importance of the plan of salvation, this grand plan of happiness that is specifically for them.

It was wonderful to watch all of conference in Spanish. Super cool.  When they announce that the Elder was going to speak in his native language of Spanish I accidently gave a loud ¨woohooo! ¨ That made rows around us in the church building laugh and my companion explained, but it’s all in Spanish? But its so cool to hear a general authority speak in his language- the translation is perfect.  And it was fun to hear a Chilean accent! 
But like Elder Cook said ¨I know His voice. ¨  Its interesting the difference of a voice. Oh how I missed hearing the brethren. Especially our dear prophet. We heard in English ¨My beloved brothers and sisters¨ and then the translator jumped in. And it was wack.

I couldn´t help but think about the saviors voice, how I am trying to learn what His voice sounds like. And the thing is I can feel it when I am feeling the spirit. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am so happy for the resurrection and that we are going to be the happiest family forever.

I love you guys so much. Xoxo Hermana Ball

P.s. we found out cambios. My new companion is going to be Hermana Rodriquez! (This time from Peru not El Salvador!) But it’s cool because I know her. We entered the mission together- but she ends the cambio after me. 

Two crazy ¨what a small world stories.¨ First, months ago Elder Bradshaw was the zone leader where her boyfriend was serving and figured out that we were both serving here. Then explained it to us and we were chatting. So that was cool. And way random.

Then get this. She is from Alejandro’s ward or stake in Peru! So cool. So that means when we were in Peru we visited her church building. The crazy funny thing… she wasn’t there because she was visiting Utah! Crazy. Like a little switch and now we´ve figured it out. Cool. But she flies in on Wednesday. So stories to come.