Monday, May 18, 2015

Already done...? (Papeete)

Ia ora na!

That's my last ia ora na after 2 years. Dang. Well how can I explain my feelings? I don't know if I can really, I'm sad because this morning I left Bora Bora after a 7 month stay. Honestly the last stretch of my mission has been extremely difficult, but extremely memorable. I've never gotten closer to members of one of my areas than I have in Bora, and I miss them a ton. At the same time, I'm stoked to get back home! I'm ready to continue life... but a part of me wants to continue it here. Well we can't all stay in paradise forever!

This week was quite a week. I wish I could say everything but I actually do not have a ton of time, I'm in Papeete and we got a ton of stuff to do before we head back. But when I do have time (at home...) I'll end my blog with a good wrap up of the mission. I love you all and have a great week, I mean, 2 days... crazy!

Elder Ball
Ward members in Bora Bora say goodbye.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Comin up on the end (Bora Bora - week #30)

Ia ora na tout le monde!

Another good week, and just one more to go. It doesnt really feel like I'm leaving yet, so I guess when the moment comes and I leave it'll hit me. But not yet. I'll just enjoy the sunshine while I still got it! Though it was good to talk to the family yesterday for Mother's day, I love you all and can't wait to see you all again!

Well, what to say about this past week. We had a good lesson with our new investigators, T, T and E. No alcohol included this time! It was maybe the best lesson that Elder Swartz and I have taught together, and you could totally tell that they felt the Spirit, and that they understood the lesson. They accepted the commitments that we gave them, and it looks like that they could really be baptized. Again, it's another unmarried couple situation, so the marriage is something that has to be taken care of first. But I have great hopes for them.

The works been pretty tough, all in all. In the past few weeks we've found many new investigators, but they've been dropping out as quickly as they came... Pretty much sorting through the wheat and the tares, those who are ready and those who aren't quite so serious. A lot of them have been the latter. But it's not stopping us, we'll just keep trying to have the same efforts in working well with our members in order to find new investigators.

I'm hoping for a strong last week, we're gonna be working hard. I love you all, have yourselves a great week!

Elder Ball

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day call (Bora Bora - week #30)

We had a nice call with Elder Ball on Mother's Day.  His brother, Thomas, Skyped in as well from the University of Oregon.  We received the happy news that Thomas has been called to the Maryland Baltimore Mission, Spanish speaking and he shared it with his brother Casey.  One Elder Ball  is coming home and one Elder Ball is leaving.  We are so happy for their service to the Lord and dedication to helping our brothers and sisters in the world.

Casey is doing well.  He is a little frustrated that he will be leaving beloved investigators not yet married and baptized as he had hoped. He loves the people so much and wants them to experience all the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.

I'm not sure if we'll get another email from him before he is home (in 9 days!).  I'm sure he will provide a last blog entry and testimony when he returns.

For those who are local, he will report on his mission at the following place at 9 am on May 24th:

875 Quince Ave
Santa Clara, CA

Thanks everyone for your love and support to Elder Ball!

From his mother, Beth

Monday, May 4, 2015

The wheat and the tares (Bora Bora - week #29)

Ia ora na tatou!

Another week passed... and another week left. A little over 2 weeks left before I see all your lovely faces again. Things are going by quickly, but I'm just doing my best not to pay any attention and just work, cuz it's not over yet. 

Elder Swartz and I had another solid week of work, work, work. Last week we had found many new investigators, and the same has been for this week. The members have been outstanding and motivated in the work. But unfortunately, we've had many investigators, new and old alike, decide to turn away from our message... So it feels like we're just sorting through the wheat and the tares. We see that there's a lot of field, but is it really white already for the harvest?

Three of these new investigators were a couple named T and T [note from Casey's mom: sorry, that almost everyone's name in Tahiti begins with T], and the mother of T named E. They were a reference given us by the RS president, so we went over to contact them. We were greeted by a cranky E, who just started drinking and was already slightly tipsy. She was upset that we didn't call before coming, and we said sorry we didn't know we just wanted to meet them! We were going to propose to come back another day, but she insisted that we come in (after all that fuss...) and T and T were happy to see us. We learn that they are all inactive Adventists, haven't been to church in a while. As we start teaching, E asks a bunch of questions and making objections to our teachings, and we respond with the Bible, but you know you cant get far when teaching an intoxicated Mamie. But T and T were loving everything we were teaching, and T just tells her mother to hush up and listen a little to our message. All in all it worked out well, didn't get super far in the lesson but we fixed a return date and plan on calling in advance this time!

We had other new investigators as well, such as H, a woman who was walking down the street as we were teaching another new investigator of ours, T, next to the road. She's a good friend of T and she was interested in what was going on, so she came over to listen. We taught about the Restoration, and it was awesome! They were both psyched to receive a Book of Mormon and read it, and then test Moroni's promise, especially H. I truly feel that she has much potential, and maybe we were in the right place at the right time and Heavenly Father led her right to us. It helps me remember that as we do our best, God takes care of the rest.

Those are just a few examples of the experiences of this week. We've been taking advantage of the awesomeness of this island every P-day, and we have some pretty great photos. Enjoy. Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Ball

We caught all that fish ourselves. Booyah

Beautiful Bora Bora, Casey's final area.

The district