This is a picture of Elder Ballif before he was called to minister as an elder. He is photobombing a picture being taken by his mom of Grandpa Carl at a visit to his family home in Dammeron Valley, Utah a few years ago.
Here’s this week’s letter:
Hey everybody! We had a fantastic week out here in Columbus Indiana!
The week always starts out great on Monday since that,s when we get to email family and de-stress from the week. But, of course, nothing is greater than doing that work of inviting others to come unto Christ.
This week we saw many miracles as a companionship, and on exchanges with our Zone Leaders. We are teaching two families of four right now and they are both progressing very quickly. They seem to just understand that basic message of the gospel very well. They both have had struggles as families and have been looking for a path to take that can help them and their families in this life and the next. One of the families, Tessa and Nick Harber really emphasized that point before we even got the chance to tell them about the plan of Happiness that God has for us! It all seemed to just fall into place as we taught our investigators this week.
There were trials that came this week as well, which is hard (see Mama’s Note below). But as we know, there must be opposition, but this work will roll forward as a stone cut without hands because it is Jesus the Christ that directs it. And he is the only way and means by which the salvation of men can be accomplished. As missionaries all we do is provide the path back to him and invite others to find out for themselves and choose to take that path.
I heard about a billboard out here in Indiana that was anti Mormon and said, “Don’t pray about the Book of Mormon, that,s how they get ya!” Well in a way, I suppose they are right, but it is not us that ‘gets them’ it is the light of Christ and the Spirit that we are born with that testifies of truth as we diligently seek it.
The mission is and will continue to change me, and this work changes families and bonds them for time and all eternity. I have a testimony that THIS IS NOT IT! Life continues after we die! We are sons and daughters unto God and He will not forsake us. He loves us dearly and desires us to return to him and be united as families. If you have not found out for yourself already that this gospel is true, DO IT! Do as James directs and ask God if it is true, “ask with all diligence of heart nothing wavering, then he will manifest himself unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.”- See Moroni 10:4-5.
I love you all, friends and family, and I hope the best for you all this week.
Mama’s Note: You wouldn’t know it from his post, but Elder Ballif’s beloved Grandpa Carl Boyer passed away from Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphonma this last Friday, Nov. 13 and I had to make a call to the mission president, President Cleveland. Wow, what an amazing conversation the two of us had. He counseled me how to tell my sweet elder son about the experience of the death of Grandpa. He told me that it needed to center on the Atonement and on the promise of eternal life and the reality of the everlasting life of the spirit. You can totally tell from his letter this week that that conversation with Nick went well. We spoke for 22.5 minutes (we broke the 10 minute limit by a little) on the phone. My son cried a little, but not much. I kept pretty cool, too. I bore my testimony to him and he to me. I cannot express how spiritually bonding that conversation was between mother and son. I think about it now and my eyes tear up and my soul rejoices! I love that boy of mine. When I hung up it seemed like I had only been talking to him for three minutes. I sobbed my eyes out! What an excruciating day of death I had experienced, and what an exhilarating day of the manifestation of the spirit came on its tail. I am grateful for this experience. I know we are being led by the spirit of God when we are humble. He is aware of us. I love him, too.