Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pictures! :D


Fall has hit Arizona! In December! :D


This is us while we were out caroling with the youth. :) Please note that I didn't even have a jacket on. Welcome to Arizona.


This is us, our investigator Mike and his girlfriends kids. We went to the Mesa Temple Lights together this week! :)


Sister Hutcherson and I at the Temple Lights! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gone Postal

So, it's almost Christmas! Not sure when that happened, but suddenly I was like... "Woah. It's ten days away." Probably the weirdest thing about Christmas on the mission is the fact that I haven't heard much Christmas music. It's so bizarre! But one of our members gave us a Josh Groban Christmas CD (yes, that is mission approved) so that's what we've been listening to. :)

Okay, but really,, we have been so super busy. I will now attempt to explain to you what we have been doing. 

Monday was p-day. We chased down the mailman on this day. That's a story worth telling. :) You have to understand, we had written letters and addressed a LOT of envelopes that day, but by the time we were done we figured it the mail had already come and we'd just send them out on Tuesday. P-day ends at 6 PM, so Sister Hutchinson and I packed up and got ready and got on our bikes and opened the gate... and the mailman drove by, going up the street next to ours. The mail had not yet reached our mailbox yet. We looked at each other and unanimously made a decision at the same time: we HAD to get our letters into the mailbox before she came. This involved a mad dash back to the garage, accidentally knocking over our bikes in our haste, impatiently waiting for the garage to open, running into the house, collecting the letters in a flurry, running back outside and getting back on our bikes. We opened the gate... and the mailman drove by again. This time, she was heading for our mailbox. Sister Hutchinson let out what can only be described as a blood curdling war-cry and bolted after the mailman, leaving me in the dust. All I saw was the mailman round the corner, my companion almost directly on her bumper. I caught up just in time to see Sister Hutchinson skid to a stop right in front of the mailbox and breathlessly explain to the startled mail-lady that we had some letters to send off. She took our letters hesitantly and said "You know you can just leave them in the mailbox, right?" 

So yes. Now the postal service people think we're crazy. They're probably right. :)

TuesdayTuesday we filled some plastic bricks full of sand. No, we haven't gone stir-crazy, it was a service project for the city. They have an event at a local riparian preserve and they want to light the walkways with luminaries. So we filled hundreds and hundreds of plastic bricks with sand, so that candles could be put in them and create an aesthetically pleasing environment. :)

On Wednesday, we baked cookies for people. We also went caroling with the youth, which was a lot of fun. And we got hot chocolate. Except it wasn't actually cold enough for hot chocolate on that night. (Rain came by on Friday, and after it rained it got real cold. Like, 45 degrees)

Thursday we had a lesson with Gus, our recent convert and his family. Let me give a synopsis of Gus's story. Gus joined the church in July, met a mormon girl shortly thereafter and married her after 7 weeks. So now it's him, her, and between the two of them they have 7 kids. Which means we're trying to teach a group of nine people which include a recent convert, active members and non-members with varying degrees of interest. All at once. It is proving exceptionally difficult to prepare lessons on their needs in that kind of dynamic. :) But it is okay. It's hard, but I like that I am learning new things and new ways to teach. And I love that family a whole lot. 

Friday, Elder Allen F Packer of the Seventy came and spoke to our mission. He met with us in small groups, according to zones, so we all got to greet him personally and shake his hand. :) It was an incredible meeting and I learned a great deal. He talked about many different things, but what impressed me the most is how he explained that the Spirit has a language and a culture all its own, and whether we go foreign-speaking or not, we are all learning a language on our missions - the language of the Spirit. :)

The things I learned on Friday carried over to Saturday, when I had some deep spiritual conversations while sitting in a members kitchen over chicken pot pie. Suffice it to say... I learned about myself, and what God intends me to be doing for the rest of my life. Big things are learned in small, simple moments. 

Sunday was probably the busiest day I've had on my whole mission. Or maybe I've just forgotten the others, I don't know. :) But we had mission prep at 7:00 AM, and we accidentally set the alarm wrong so we didn't get up until our regular alarm went off at 6:30. Get ready for Sunday meeting in 20 minutes? Check. Then we had church meetings upon church meetings and they all seemed to overlap! After church was a lesson with Kevin, which was immediately followed by a lesson with Mike, which was immediately followed by our dinner appointment (it was much welcome, we hadn't had time for lunch) which then concluded the busyness. The rest of the night we knocked on doors that didn't answer. Real mission life right there. :)

So yes, this is the synopsis of my week. I hope you enjoyed that thoroughly and didn't get too bored ha ha. I love you all... So does Jesus Christ. His hand is in the details of your life. :) Thank you for your prayers, and your letters, and the many birthday and Christmas wishes. I love you all! And I love being a missionary. :)

Until next week, Sister Ball

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hope

So here be the highlights of my week:

We had interviews with President Nattress this week. This is a good moment in every missionary's life. Well, at least mine. :) He knew just the right things to say to hearten me and let me know that I am doing some good here.

On Thursday, it rained for a good part of the day. Which is the closest thing we're going to have to a white Christmas here ha ha. I like to think of the rain as pre-melted snow. :) It was a busy day and we were literally running from appointment to appointment. We got in contact with some part-member families that we'd been trying to reach for a while. We helped one of our wards set up for their Christmas party. They went all-out. I didn't even recognize the gym by the time it was finished. It was like Christmas Wonderland in there!

We met with Ariana, our recent convert. Learned that she is engaged, to be married in Febuary. Yay! I love weddings! And I love Ariana! This is a perfect combination, in my estimation. :) 

Friday was the ward Christmas party. Sister Hutchinson and I served food and I was happy when I was able to greet almost every ward member by name. :) Saturday was the day we met with a bunch of our ward and stake leaders to talk about the people we're working with. :) 

Sunday, Sister Hutchinson and I sang a duet in Relief Society. We sang "Away in a Manger" from the Children's Songbook. It was lovely, I believe. We got lost on the way to dinner, because the house was in a part of our area I didn't even know existed. O.o Adventures abound, I tell you. We also got to watch the Christmas devotional at our recent convert Gus's house. And we helped them decorate the tree. Happy day! :D

So yes. Our investigator Mike worked this weekend so he wasn't at church, but he's been reading the Book of Mormon every day without fail and he loves it! I just love teaching him. :) But he lives in Tucson, so we're getting the missionaries down there involved and he's probably going to get baptized down there. And we won't be able to attend, but that is okay. I'll just be happy to see him get baptized. :)

So... yeah. I just love Sister Hutchinson. I just love Gilbert. I just love these people and this life. Even if there is no snow ha ha. :)

I love you all... have a great week! :D

Cheerfully, Sister Ball

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving!!!

So this might be a hurried letter, but I wanted to give you all an update. 

My new companion is Sister Hutchinson from Twin Falls, Idaho. :) She is 19 and has been out for 3 months. I'm her second companion and this is her second area. :) She's a little fireball and she loves with all her heart. We get along splendidly.

Thanksgiving was fun. We had four Thanksgiving meals. Welcome to mission life ha ha. I never want to look at pie again. :) Oh, and it was like 80 degrees so one of those dinners was a picnic outside. Only in Arizona.

It's December! And we're getting excited for Christmas! We've been showing everyone the new video called He is the Gift. I love it. It brings peace to my overexcited heart. :)

I love you all. Have a great week!

Cheerfully, Sister Ball