Above is a picture of Elder Ballif and Sister Caci Rae Hunter, second cousins! In the same mission! Who’d of thunk? They met up at a Christmas Party for the missionaries.
This is Elder Ballif’s Letter from December 28, 2015
Buenos dias, senores y senoras!
Jk I ain’t no Spaniard lolz.
This week was awesome!! It was a really wacky schedule because of Christmas.
Monday we had a half P-day so we did all of our emailing and shopping and laundry in the morning then at 1’o clock we went and worked in our areas until it was time to turn in. Tuesday and Wednesday were normal days for the most part and then on Thursday we stopped teaching in our areas a bit early because, honestly, on Christmas Eve very few people want to talk to us. They want to be with their families, which is totally fine with me. So, we went to Christmas Eve dinner with the Hendrichsens and they made us an original Swedish Christmas Eve dinner with sardines, liverwurst and junk like that. It wasn’t too bad, I suppose. Definitely not the best I’ve ever had though. hahaha.
Christmas for missionaries is not what I expected. In the morning around 6:30 we got up and opened presents and then at 11 we Skyped our families back home (yippee!), and our mission president is great about giving us the time that we need. We were aloud to Skype for just under two and a half hours, which flew by fast… but it was really nice. The rest of the day we spent playing basketball with the other missionaries for a couple hours and then we went to Julius Shoaf’s house for Christmas dinner, which was a lot of fun. After that, we just kinda turned in for the night. Which believe it or not, made it a pretty great day. Its better to not be so busy on days like that, I feel like.
The rest of the week was pretty good we had dinner with the Fairbanks on Saturday and then on Sunday I gave a talk on faith. Hopefully, I didn’t shake too much. I was super nervous because I only had like half an hour to prepare for it since I got told the day before. But I think I did okay.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!
Here is the Skype session with Elder Ballif’s family back home in Dammeron Valley, Utah. Also, Elder Walton is the new companion who is from the land far away in Cedar City. That’s him in the car shot.
Note From Mom: The Skype session was fantastic. We talked a lot about a lot of things, from Star Wars (Zack told Nick about the big deal death! Nick insisted, so…), to new companion, to new puppy Rex, to how to stay happy and so on. Elder Ballif has struggled with the death of his Grandpa Carl. He needs connections and prayers. His Mom sent his Christmas presents early, at the insistence of the mission office because transfers were happening mid month. Evidently, he thought his Christmas presents were his birthday presents (December 13th) and his birthday presents were just, well, gifts. So, the poor elder had no presents to open Christmas Day from his family. Bleck! I guess one day I will get this package-sending thing down. Hopefully.
Life is a journey…buckle up!