Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aug. 18, 2014 Transferred to Malasiqui


This week was pretty crazy! 
On Wednesday I found out I was transferring then we found out that me and my companion and our house mates, the ZLs, would be working with the new missionaries that had just come from the MTC. So the APs brought 4 of them to our zone.  We worked for a few hours with them, then we had to take them back up to Urdaneta at 6 o clock. We ate up there then came back at 9 o’clock. Then we did the same thing on Thursday. I got to work with an American from Nevada. His name was Elder Garate. It was way awesome to see what I was like about a year ago! We had them eat Balut!!!:) (boiled duck embryo) I also ate my first Balut since I was with Elder Moreno back in October. Then we got on a bus and started going back up to Urdaneta, but this time I did something I have never done before and never thought I would ever do. I stood up and pretty much preached to everyone on the bus. At first, it was just a joke.  My comp Elder Hanneman was like "I dare you to stand up and teach the restoration" I was like "yeah whatever" but then I felt like I should. I put it off then felt like I should again. I was pretty nervous but I gathered up some pamphlets from the other elders on the bus so that we would have enough and then stood up and started teaching haha. I talked about families, and Christs’ Church and how it was organized before, and how if they would read the pamphlet, they would know how that Church was lost from the Earth and how the true Church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. I gave everyone on the bus a pamphlet, testified of what I had said and then sat down. Then to my surprise, Elder Garate in his new missionary Tagalog testified of what I had said! It was way cool. I don't know if anything will come of it but it was a cool experience and I think somebody will read and ask the missionaries about it! 

In a trike with Elder Hannemann

Then, I got transferred the next day here to the Calasio Zone in a small little town called Malasiqui. It is cool here. My comp is Elder Baldovino.  He is Filipino from Laguna where they speak pure Tagalog. But my area right now is a different dialect than where I was before. I was in an Ilocano area and I was actually getting pretty good at Ilocano but now I am in a place where they speak Pangasinan. It is so different and it’s a bummer that I can’t use my Ilocano anymore. It is way funny because it blows peoples’ minds when they hear an American speak Ilocano!!!:)
The Branch here is cool and I am very excited to be here. We are going to have success here!:) It was a pretty good week!:)

Also, Katie and Matthew are so lucky!  Those Cultural Celebrations look so fun!!! I wish I could have done one! 

And Katie’s joke about the collision warning system/alarms on that car being an electronic mom is hilarious! I shared it with my comp but he doesn't get it. I laughed by myself haha:)

I love you guys and hope you have a good week also!:)

Elder Ball

Sept. 29, 2014 Transferred to Aguilar

I transferred to the Lingayen zone and my Area is Aguilar. If you look on the map it is kind of in the middle. My new companion is Elder Pernia.  He is Filipino and has been only 4 months in the mission. It is the first time that my comp is younger than me in the mission. He is cool and I know we will have a great transfer. 
This is also my 5TH area! Crazy, right!!!!!:) 
I will hit 14 months in the mission tomorrow!!!!! That is crazy to me! 

Time really does fly!!!!!!! 

Sorry so short!!! 
Pictures of the Philippines.

Elder Bigelow and I

My old District

A snack and a drink for the boat ride.

Snack shop --->

Sept. 22, 2014 Flooding and Zone Training

 HELLO!!!!:) FAMILY!!!:) 

So this week was prett  good! There was a second baguio (typhoon) that hit here in the Philippines but this time it was in Manila! The flooding there was crazy!!!!  There is some pretty good flooding in the city we go to every p-day also but not in my area.  Mostly just lots and lots of rain.  The water comes into the tricycles every time we travel haha!:)  It is pretty fun. But we aren't walking through water while we proselyte so that is good!
We had Zone Training this week and it was very good! I like Zone Training.  It helps me see where I am at as a missionary and what I need to do to be an even better missionary! I am enjoying it here in Malasiqui. I will most likely not be transferring but you never know with President Monahan haha! 
Sorry this is so short. Nothing crazy happened this week other than the two storms haha! 
And I bought shoes....That was cool also ahaha!:)

Well hope you have a great weeek! Love you guys!!!!:)

Elder Ball

Sept. 8 and Sept 15, 2014

Sept. 8 –
Brown-outs happen all of the time.  The electrical infrastructure here is awful.  All of the computer shops didn’t have electricity so I couldn’t email.  Sorry!!!

Sept 15
So first off I am sorry! I have not been good about emailing lately! 

Anyway. First off our work right now is going good! 3 weeks ago on Sunday we received a referral from a member here in our branch. We had an appointment the following day on Monday at 5 o’clock to meet with them. I was a little bugged at the time because we took a while to get back home from getting our groceries and when we got home, it was 4:45.  We had to rush so we could make it to our appointment by 5. I was a little bugged because we didn't get any time to chill or relax....Selfish right.....But now I am so grateful!  Grateful because the family we were referred to is ELECT!!!! ELECT means they are prepared to receive the gospel! They are the Salinas family. It is a mom, a dad, and 3 girls.  They have another who is a boy, but he is working far away so we haven't met him yet. But they are awesome! The mom and 2 of the daughters went to church the following Sunday and they always have such awesome questions! I enjoy questions because it lets you know they really are interested and are really searching for the truth. The father has not been to church yet but yesterday he said he would come this next week. If he does all 5 of them will be baptized on Oct 11! We committed the mother and 1 daughter to baptism and in the next lesson we will commit the rest of them!!:)  So I am so grateful we cut our P-day short that one day and went to them because they truly are prepared by God!!!!:)
Other than them, the work is good! But this area has a curse. Everyone we find or people that are receptive are not married yet. There is this thing that I don't think I have ever mentioned before.  There are a ton of live-ins here. It is because most people here are very poor.  They want to have a good wedding so they start living together with the intentions of getting married. Then many years pass by, they have children, and are pretty much husband and wife; just no papers to say they are. So it becomes a problem for us because they can't be baptized unless they get married or separate. So, we have about 12-15 investigators at church every week.  4-5 families and a few individuals but they aren't married yet. It is super awesome to see them at church but super frustrating because they aren't married.  We are working with them. 2 couples have dates but they are in October and November so hopefully I am still here haha.

As for this last week
MONDAY: Really strong storms.  So strong we weren't able to go out.
TUESDAY: District Meeting then we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Have I told you that there is an Elder Jamison Walker here? He went to Layton HS.  He was a year older than me but we played football and soccer together. We were both goal keepers. We went on exchanges and it was cool to talk to someone I knew in high school haha.
WEDNESDAY: We got rejected a lot but had a good lesson with one of our IBDs. DanDan is 9.  His mom was a less active so he never got baptized.  Now he has to be taught the missionary lessons before he can get baptized.
THURSDAY: Taught an IBD named brother Denver.  He hasn't gone to church since we gave him the IBD. We told him if he doesn't go to church this week we will not be able to go back to him.  Guess what we did.  H didn't go to church. So, it was really sad and now we can't go back to him.  That was a not very cool part about the week.
FRIDAY: We had exchanges and I went to that Island again!:)
SATURDAY: We got rejected a lot again. And it rained hard sooo it was a frustrating day to say the least but one of our investigators that we taught gave us dinner!:)
SUNDAY: Were fed dinner again, by a member!:) We taught our Elect family!:) Then the Typhoon started.  
When we got home our roof was leaking and there was a flood in our house! It was crazy!

Well that was my week! It was a pretty good week even though it rained a lot and we weren't able to teach as much as I would have like to, but it is okay. We will do better this week!:)

Elder Ball

Sept. 1, 2014 Island work and basketball uniforms

Ok, so last week there was an activity at the church and a young man needed some socks because he forgot his, so they asked for mine.  I took off my shoes and socks and all of the youth and leaders surrounded me because of how white my feet were.  Some even took pictures haha!!!!!   You haven’t seen white legs until you have seen mine! Just think how white my legs were before and then think that they really haven’t seen sun in a year!!  I am like a zoo animal here haha!!

Also I got to go on a boat to an island.  I went on exchanges and I got to go there for the day and work!!  The waves were pretty big and more people die crossing where we cross than people die getting hit by cars here…crazy right!   Haha…joking.  It is a very small section of very calm water.  And, I am immune to the bugs and viruses water now!
We play a lot of basketball on p-days.  The green basketball Nikes you sent me in the MTC I gave to a Filipino house mate when I was in Urdaneta.  He wore through his shoes all the way, like a ton of holes and he didn’t have any money to buy new shoes and he loves basketball so I gave him those green shoes.  I then wore my blue addidas until I wore all the way through the soles on those.  I am now wearing my Vans but those are getting close to being “done” also.  I may want to get another pair of shoes for basketball.  There is a mall not too far away and I can get them here which may be cheaper than buying them there and then trying to send them to me through the mail. Thank you SOOO much for everything you do and have done for me!!!

Katie and Matthew…here is a letter for each of you.  K    M  J

Have a GREAT week!!!:)  LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!:)

Elder Ball

Aug. 25, 2014

Hello po!

Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat! Astig yung week namin ni Elder Baldovino!  Medyo normal lang yung week namin pero sobrang astig yung branch namin! Sinasuportahan nila kami at gusto nila tulungan kami! 

As I said in Tagalog, our week was pretty good! The Branch is awesome! But I think that I am only here for 1 transfer because of something President Monahan said. Quote "One thing that is great about your transfer there"…  He said that in his email to me this week. Therefore I perceive that I will only be here for a transfer, but we will see. Maybe he miss typed but I don't think so. Other than that, we just had a good solid week of finding new investigators. We found 13 new investigators this week and had 13 investigators at church so it was awesome. I think it is the most the branch has ever had. They were way surprised when they saw everyone haha. To tell the truth so was I!

Anyway, it rained a lot this week and we walked an hour and a half in the rain and lightning and thunder......IT was AWESOME! The lightning here is way cool! I hope you guys get to come here and see it! It is quite awesome! Well nothing much more to report on this week. It was hot when it wasn't raining haha and I have started washing my clothes by hands! It is not too hard. It just takes a long time! I will send some pictures of it next week!:)

 I love you guys and hope you are having an awesome time being awesome!!:) 

Elder Ball

Aug. 11, 2014 "Exactly Sister!!"

Well after we had those baptisms about a month ago our investigators started dropping like flies. None of them would come to church.  They would read sometimes but they wouldn't come to church and they can't progress to baptism if they don't go to church. So right now we are actually having a pretty hard time haha. We have investigators, just nobody really progressing right now. So we are in a finding mode. We average about 22 lessons a week. From the little I know about your mission, dad, that is very different. The hard thing here is to get into rich peoples’ houses. It is no problem at all to teach a poor person because they just want to talk to a white person. But it’s the rich people’s homes that are hard to get into!

We actually had a great success this week. We were walking down this road in this Barangy which is like a neighborhood that we rarely work in because there are no members there. But we were walking and decided to preach by the way at this huge, very nice, house we saw. 
We yelled from the street outside the gate "tao po" or "People" haha a girl and a guy came to the gate. (The trick to get into rich houses is to speak English to them so they want to show off their English to you) :)  They opened the gate and I simply said "Hello, Me and my friend here are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We would like to introduce ourselves to you and to your family" The girl instantly said (in very hard to understand English) "yes of course"  Elder Hannemann and I were so surprised because it is NEVER that easy haha. 
So, we went in and when you get inside the gate of a big house they usually just have you talk to them outside and you usually won’t sit down. But here, they invited us inside.  It was the nicest house I have been inside here in the Philippines.  It really was a beautiful house! The first girl left and went and got an older women or a "Nanay" who was the best one in the house so she could talk with us. As we were talking she had on of their house helpers get us a "merienda" or a snack which is rare at investigators houses let alone a rich house. 
We talked for a few minutes and she was very nice and then we began teaching. She was SO AWESOME! She said she was catholic but then said. "But I am kind of confused because in this church we are baptized by sprinkling but Jesus in the Bible was baptized by immersion, so I am a little confused" Elder Hannemann and I were stunned, then said “Exactly sister!” We talked to her more about the church and our message. We committed her to be baptized and she accepted it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was AWESOME! 

I have had many people accept Baptismal invitations on the first visit but she is so elect and she will definitely be baptized. She didn’t go to church this week because she had to go to Manila but she promised to go this next week! We are going back to her tomorrow!:) 

So, even though our work is struggling, that one experience was very cool and I got to go into a big house!:)

I love you Mom and Dad and Katie and Matthew!!!:) And Moonshine if she is still around!:)

Elder Ball

Aug. 4, 2014 One year ago I was in the MTC

It is crazy to think that this time last year I had been in the MTC just a few days and now I have been a missionary for a little over a year! I have learned so much and am excited to learn so much more! I have changed in more ways than I can count and have seen many of the reasons why I needed to come on a mission! I really cannot imagine my life leading to anything good if I hadn't come on a mission! I have life goals now and things that I want to do that will help me on an eternal perspective! Not just what I want right in the moment! I am still far from perfect but I am trying to do everything I can do so I can return back to my Heavenly Father with all of you!:)

I know that what I am doing is the work of the Lord. Yes, It is hard sometimes but it will all be worth it!:) 
I am so excited for this next year. I have reached the top of the roller coaster! Now is where the real fun begins!!!!!:) I hope I am ready to continue on the greatest roller coaster of my life!:)


Your son and Brother,   Elder Ball

July 28, 2014

For this week, after Elder Arrington and I had a killer transfer with lots of baptisms.  We are now left in a rut. We are working to find more investigators but the ones we have are not progressing and the ones we are finding are definitely not elect.  But, we are continuing to work and to do our best.

We only find through members now!  Proselyting has pretty much been done away with but every once in a while we will preach by the way, but not very often. 
Me and Elder Hannemann are happy and endure this time of trials.  
I am sure we will start to have more success soon!!!:) 
 I know that you are all having a great time!  Have a great week!

Katie and Matthew I love you and Miss you! And it would be okay if you wrote me also.
Just a thought...:)

Elder Ball

July 21, 2014


Haha I am a missionary so I am going to give you the same commitment I give every person we teach....Will you read the Book of Mormon every day?  It doesn't have to be a long time but at least read every day!:)
When I was with Elder Bigelow in San Leon, back in April and May, we found this investigator. Her name was Sister Leah Tadjar. We taught her until we both were transferred and left. After we left, the Sisters that replaced us continued teaching her and last Saturday I got to go back up to San Leon and baptize part of the family! It was awesome seeing investigators that you had to leave still progress to baptism. And I was also able to baptize some of the family! So that was way cool! 

Love you guys!!!! :)

Elder Ball

July 14, 2014 We were punted for a reason


This week was pretty good as all of the weeks are!!!:) It was full of a lot of stuff like on Wednesday one companionship of Sister Missionaries in our district moved to a new apartment, so we had to go to their house on Wednesday morning and help them move which was fun. They were actually in the same apartment I was in in San Leon. The house was awful and they finally found a new apartment which we moved them in to. Then, on Saturday E. Hannemann had some interviews in the same place, San Leon. It is about 30 min away from our area and so we got there around 2 pm.  He had interviews and each one was about an hour long and then there was paperwork that had to be done after, so while he was interviewing for 3 to 4 hours I sat outside and talked and sat and talked and sat until 6 when he finished with all of them. It was a super boring day haha but 4 people were interviewed for baptism so it was also good haha. That is the only thing I don't like about being the comp of a district leader is when they interview there is nothing for me to do but sit. Haha Only my trainer, E. Moreno, is my only comp who wasn't a district leader when I was with them. So, I have sat through many interviews haha:)
So, later that day on Saturday we got back home and had an appointment set with a member to go meet their friends and find more people to teach. But, when we got there they said they were too busy and told us to come back on a different day. This appointment was supposed to take us to the end of the night but now we had nothing to do.  Then a thought popped into my head from something one of the APs had said. It was that we are punted for a reason; to find others and teach them. So I told E. Hannemann that we were punted for a reason and we just need to go find that reason/person. 
We had maybe been walking 5 minutes and this old Nanay saw us and said "Hello Elders" so we approached her and started talking to her. She was actually a less active member who had been waiting for Elders to come to her house, but she couldn't find them.  She said we were an answer to her prayers. We went into her house, had a wonderful lesson and she asked me to give her a blessing to help her feel well enough to go to church because she had suffered a stroke and was now pretty weak. So we gave her the blessing and the next day, yesterday, we saw her walking just fine and with a super big smile! She came to church for the first time for a long time. I was so happy to have had that appointment canceled so we could find that Nanay and help her return and show her that Heavenly Father is listening and is still here for her. It was a great week!:)
Then yesterday, Elder Hannemann and I got stranded in our 2nd farthest area from our apartment and had to walk 2 hours to get home.  We got home at 1030 pm. It was super far and we were rather tired after haha but it is now a great story haha:) 
I had a great week and hope you did too!!!:)


Elder Ball

July 6, 2014 "I will miss him..."

This is a bitter sweet transfer week haha because Elder Arrington transferred. I will miss him but my new companion is pretty awesome as well! His name is Elder Hannemann and he is from Hawaii! He is a crazy surfer haha. We have had fun the last couple of days and so I think we will have fun this transfer.  But I think I will probably transfer after this transfer ahaha.

L -> R: Elders Arrington, Bigelow, Ball, and Wait

So this week was the 4th of July. I totally forgot about the 4th of July until it was at night on the 4th when one of our house mates remembered. Then, the other 2 Americans in the house and I sang the star spangled banner haha. It was funny but I guess I can say I am lost in the work......Or there is just nothing here to remind me of the 4th of July haha but it is alright! Nothing too big happened this week because of the transfer day but it was a good week. All my house mates are different.  They all transferred and I got left, but my new ones are pretty cool also! The work is progressing and I am having a good time. I hope you all are also!:)

Elder Ball