December in the Ghetto

December 5, 2016

Hey everybody!

Just wanted to send you all a random update on how Jesus has influenced peoples lives here in the ghettos of Indianapolis. 🙂
Lately, we have met people interested in changing their lives, starting to show desire to do so.. aaand then they fall off the face of the earth… But we’ve also found people like Joe, or Jose who not only want to come to church, change their lives to follow Christ but who actually do the things that lead down that path that God has for all of us to be on. That has been cool to see for sure. More than just seeing them change and wanting them to change so we can say we had success but because we have grown to love them and we know that change will bring them closer to God and allow them to receive His grace.
I won’t make this a big ol’ long winded update like I have before, but I wanted to make sure that you all knew especially during this time of the year how necessary it is to “line up with Christ” I say line up because we are not at His level. But, as we focus on Him and align our will, desires, actions, passions and love with His. The only direction we can go is onward and upward. That’s what the Christmas season is about, not only remembering His birth and all He did but letting it affect us, mold us into who He knows we can become. The Love He has for us is incomprehensible. It can’t be measured. Can our love for Him be measured? Something to think about.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to see the Christmas Devotional last night I encourage you to watch it. And remember let’s #LightTheWorld this Christmas season and all year round. We can all make a difference and be a light for others in this often times dark and dreary world we live in. Love you all! Merry Christmas
Mom: I sure do love you! We want to know what you need/want for Christmas. Is there anything I can do for you today?
Elder Ballif: Can you let me stay out here another two years for my present?…
Mom: Ok. 😉

But, it’s not up to me.
Do your best with what time you have left!
( Who knows, maybe you’ll get an extension!)

Elder: I know, that’s what I would like the most. They don’t do extensions very often anymore haha.

As far as anything else for Christmas, well. I could use some warm (not big and puffy) winter gloves. Could always use a sweater or two. Ties are great to get. That’s all I can think of right now. I’m pretty set for the most part.

December 12, 2016

Hey mom!

That’s crazy CJ is back already, didn’t seem like he left that long before me but I guess it was about 6 months. Weird. That’s cool how much he changed, I feel like I’ve changed a lot too. Moving to Bloomington would sure put Bro. Gray closer to work so that’s good. What kind of job is Zack hoping to do at Wilding Wallbeds? Haha .As far as the moving in thing I dunno. Not sure if I should stay in the area or move up north after I get home. Depends on a couple things. I’ll definitely take a few months (not too long) to figure it all out and make some plans. It mainly depends on where the Law enforcement job ops are. Last I checked St. George and Washington County don’t really have any openings. Where does Alex hope to go? That stinks about Weston! He’s just breaking himself all over the place! Tell Dad that until I figure out my life, that I would be happy to work for him on that business to help it keep going/get it started. That would be cool if you taught journalism or creative writing.
The investigator we just started working with last week, Jose, started out here in Indy homeless and has been that way for a few weeks. But after he met us, went to church and met some members he is now living in a hotel paid for by the church (doesn’t happen often for non-members) and works for a homie named LD who is living in Indy for  a while buying up houses and starting a real estate company. Jose’s change is night and day. Before he came to Indianapolis, about three years ago, he was in prison and came to change his life around. He wants to write a book, it would be super good and it would be cool if you helped him edit it eventually when life calms down a bit for him. 🙂 As far as the package goes if you get it to the mission office by the 21st, I will be able to pick it up. If you can’t for some reason send it to Bosart.
Love you all! Thanks for the birthday wishes. 🙂

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December 15, 2016
So I just found out that I am going to be transferred back to the Greenwood Second Ward here within a few days. Just thought I would let you know so you don’t send any packages or whatnot until I give you the address. 🙂
December 19, 2016
Mom: Alex got in a crash with Brent. They were in the Outlook.
Elder Ballif: Wow, you trusted that child with the car?? I’dve given him a skateboard and said good luck haha
So we will be Skyping on Sunday around 12. Will that work for you guys? I guess it would be about 10 am your time.
Mom: Sweet! Can’t wait!
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