Monday, February 23, 2015

Que mon pays est beau (Bora Bora - week #19)

Ia ora na!

It's been another great week... in spite of another round of sickness. This time it was just a flu virus for both Elder Duncan and I. We kicked it's butt. Took us out momentarily but not enough to keep our hopes down. We had some great experiences this week and Elder Duncan and I are more unified than ever before, we've been starting to teach super well together! And to add to that I've started exercising again in the morning to keep me nice and in shape for the biking that we do. It's such a good start to the day and it makes life so much more beautiful!

Because of our sicknesses, and because of their work schedules, we didn't really have the chance to see C-- and K-this week, but C--was able to come to church, and we had a quick lesson with him on the Holy Ghost. He talked about how whenever he reads he feels God's presence, so all he ever wants to do is reads the scriptures... then he testifies to us how he knows that the Book of Mormon is true, and he just starts crying! Such a sweet, powerful moment, and the Holy Ghost did it's job.

Things are still going well with T-- and T--. My love for this family is truly starting to grow, and they've been super good with reading the Book of Mormon. We just pray that the Holy Ghost will touch their hearts and tell them that all these things are true. Apart from the lessons that we do, we have a really good relationship as well. From the start we managed to break the ice with them super well and we were laughing and joking with them. They always offer that we eat with them, and they even took us home after their lesson with them in their truck. Such and AWESOME family, I want the best for them!

This week our DMP found a house for us on the other side of the island! We were stoked, so we went over to check it out... such a beautiful house, right next to the ocean, smack dab in the middle of our area... but it's 3 bedrooms, and 1200 bucks a month. We called President Bize praying that it would be good, and when we explained it to him I could tell that he was shaking his head. He told us to find another one... go figure. That house is probably best with another family anyway. Today another member called offering us a house a little smaller in the same neighborhood, so we might go check that one out today. God's starting to be a little merciful to us!

Things are going well, my outlook on the work this week was bright, and I have a lot of hope and love for the future. Don't stop praying for us! I love you all and have a great week.

Elder Ball

Monday, February 16, 2015

Aue na tamataraa (Bora Bora - week #18)

Ia ora na tatou!

Another super quick week that has passed by. Things keep picking up in our area, and were finding more and more people who are interested in the Gospel. For the past several years our area has been the most untouched on the whole island because its so far away from our house, so it hasn't been until the new ward creation two months ago when Elder Duncan and I came storming in looking for those souls who have been waiting. Now we've found a good amount, but in all honesty we're tired... because of the distance of our house, we bike between 15-20 miles a day and have yet been unsuccessful in finding a new house in our area. It's not very likely that we'll be getting that car that President said could be coming, either. Well, gotta make do with what you got!

As for the news on the transfer, we've found out that there will be no transfers on the island, so Elder Duncan and I will be staying together. So it looks like Bora Bora will be my burial ground! I'm totally fine with that. This area is awesome, and just maybe Ill see the day when we actually live in our area. 

We love the friends in Tahiti who post pictures of Casey using social media.
This one is a selfie by Leen Nauta during a church service project this week.
C-- and K-- are doing better and better, in spite of the trials and temptations that come their way. With their marriage in a month, they've already started to respect the law of chastity, they fast, they pray, they read the scriptures all the time and they've been coming to church regularly. They are just about ready to enter into the waters of baptism. It's just so amazing to see how far they come, and how God has really blessed their life. Their family relations improve from day to day as they strive to keep the commandments and be ridden from the guilt of their past mistakes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They acquire so much new knowledge in their learning of the Gospel. It's been a privilege to be teaching them, and they are coming along great.

We had an awesome lesson with T-- and his family as well. We taught the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invited them to baptism. Unfortunately they didn't accept yet, but they sincerely want to search further and read the Book of Mormon. T----, his wife, and their two daughters M-- and M-- came to church as well Sunday. T-- didn't come because he was embarrassed that he didn't have the right clothes to come. The poor guy! This family is just super sincere and honest, and they feel so bad when they don't keep a commitment that they accepted. We just assure them that even if they don't keep a commitment, if they have a desire to do better than they'll be able to do it the next time and move on, and that we're not gonna yell at em or anything. Haha I'm just impressed by their integrity and their real intent to do the right thing.

That's what I got for this week. Keep cheering me on until the buzzer, its the end of the fourth quarter now and I gotta keep going in spite of the fatigue! I love you all, and I love this work, and have a great week!

Elder Ball

Monday, February 9, 2015

More exotic disease (Bora Bora - week #17)

Ia ora na!

Well, not much to report on this week, except the fact that I caught yet another rare exotic virus called coxsackevirus. It was basically a fever and a ton of blisters on my hands and feet, which was pretty painful. Luckily it only lasted about three days, unlike chikungunya. Apparently its rare in adults and more common in children, but the doctor said that because of chikungunya my immune system was weakened, so I was able to catch this new virus. How awesome. But I'm over it now, ready to move on!

This picture was emailed to us (Casey's parents) from a sister who was at that neighborhood concert.

We had an awesome time at a neighborhood gospel night that we put on in the Matira neighborhood. Elder Duncan and I taught a lesson on our relationship with our Heavenly Father and how he gave us his son, Jesus Christ. The Spirit was strong, and it went awesome. Matira is known to be a serious party neighborhood, and surprisingly enough we had a ton of teenagers come listen, and a good number of them accepted the lessons in the future. After we had finished the lesson and started eating the refreshments, out of nowhere two guitars come out, and of course Elder Duncan and I start getting ideas. The rest of the night turned into a mini concert by us, and people loved it. When you show your fun side as a missionary, people become so much open to you!

I'm grateful for the talents that God has given us all. It makes me remember the counsel that the Lord gave in Doctrine & Covenants 60:13. "Behold, they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked; wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, thus: Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known." We might as well use our talents to uplift and edify others and help them to come unto Christ than be ashamed.

That's the short email for this week, more to come next week while I'm no longer sick. Love you all, and have a good week!

Elder Ball

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bleh (Bora Bora - week #16)

Ia ora na tout le monde. Unfortunately I got the flu so I don't really feel too much like writing a huge email, so I'm sorry. But the week was pretty good. We found quite a few new investigators as well and we're hoping to help them into the waters of baptism soon. Things are looking good, there's plenty of work to do.

A touching moment of the week: yesterday I was asked me to do a baby blessing for the baby of a less active member. This would be the first time that I do a baby blessing. But when we took the baby in our arms, she was so calm and just looked up at me the whole time as I was saying the blessing. It made me realize how amazing it will be to be a father someday, as I bless my own children. It was a sweet, loving glimpse into fatherhood.

Well, that's the news. I'm hoping that this flu wont last too long, but luckily it's P-day and we don't have to do anything. Love you all, until next week!

Elder Ball
Photo emailed to us from a kind Tahitian mother, Stephanie Teuira, who takes good care of
 missionaries there in Bora Bora.