Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 8, 2013 - Sunrises

Hey cuties.

This week was MONEY! One of my favorites of my mission. We worked really, really hard. Tons of finding, which I always love. It's so cool to knock a door and be in a little bit of someone's life with them for a few minutes. It's even cooler when they wanna hear ze gospel!

Transfers are this week, and my mama (in missions, they do this whole creepy family tree lingo. I like it. Mama=my trainer) is headed up north to Duluth to be a Sister Training Leader, and I'm headed to Shingle Creek to finish my training with our area's Sister Training Leader. President called us this morning and talked to me about needing to be ready to train after these six weeks and be ready to be a leader. I was prrrretty horrified, but even as I look back on my brief mission, I can see the Lord's hand in every bit of it. I am going to miss Sister Q so badly. My setting apart was absolutely right - it was like finding another half of a whole. And we will be lifelong friends. But I know the Lord is in this change, too. I know He is hand-crafting the experience I need, and I'm just really grateful. I'm around so many good people, and it's really humbling to be in their presence. I'm learning so much.

Also, K was baptized! That happened. But also, it feels like it didn't. It was so surreal. No hiccups at all. His interview went awesome (are you surprised? Gash. I love him.) and as we taught him about temples and being able to be baptized for his late father, he almost cried. He was quiet for a long, long time, staring at his weathered hands. When he looked up, he looked steadily into the eyes of each person in the room for a moment. And then he sighed, like the first exhale he'd breathed in 72 years. He said, "I feel very happy."

When he walked into the kitchen on Saturday (we were baking cookies for his baptism, cause cookies are his favorite) in his suit, just grinning, it melted my stinking heart. We got him his jumpsuit, and as we showed him the baptismal font, he just whispered, "Beautiful." Ah. He was so ready. It was the most incredible, quiet spirit of peace. We read with him for a while before ward members started filing in. It was a small service, but he is already SO loved by the ward. Afterwards, by the cookies, we asked him how he felt after he came out of the water. He got emotional and nodded. "A new life."

His confirmation on Sunday was incredible, and he said he feels different - he feels light. I've never seen him so happy. I have no idea why or how we got so lucky to be able to learn from him and with him these past five weeks, but it has been beyond a privilege to participate in a very small way in his conversion. I admire him for his faith and his quiet love of God and desire to do good. More than I know how to say. BEST way to end a first transfer.

Also, he brought cookies to his own baptism because he was worried we would have to make too many. WHO IS HE?! My gash. Heavenly Father has been so kind to us.

Fourth of July was the weirdest, also! We went to an awesome barbecue in the woods that some ward members throw. Stinking Minnesota. Fetchin' best brisket I've EVER had. DAD. The sauces. I can't even talk about it. It was such a good day... just when the sun went down and we were chilling at our apartment while we heard fireworks go off.. Perrrrma stank-face. I want that. Seeya in 2015, fireworks. :/

But also. The nice thing about fireworks is that they come again. But opportunities like these 18 months don't. So. Heeeey.

Couple other highlights this week: We had a really good companionship study with one of our ward members this week. She's a returned missionary married to a non-member. She's from Chile and served in Columbia, and I love when she talks about her mission. She's an amazing example to us. She is so faithful and loving, and powerfully obedient. She worked SO hard on her mission. Every time we go, I want to be better. We actually do FHE with her and her son every Monday night, and it's the best thing ever. (Her 4-year-old son is my favorite brown-eyed cutie in the world.) I always admire her testimony, but my heart just breaks for her. Her husband is so uninvolved in her life and her goals and ALL she wants to do is build a home like she built her mission. She talked to us a lot this week about the importance of having a good companion - on your mission and after. Broke my heart. (Future hubs. Be a good one.) I'm so grateful for the people who share their wisdom and their experiences with us. I have loved this area and these people with my whole heart. Minnetonka will always have a special place in me.

ALSO. There was this kid named Z we talked to. Just got kicked out, really arrogant, really angry. He cussed me out muuuultiple times. But we read him some scriptures and prayed for him and with him. He kept saying how God was doing nothing for him, etc, etc. Wellllll. We've seen him like eight times since. And this last time we saw him, I remembered that we had our Costco TRAIL MIX from mama and some water, so we hopped out and approached him. He started to cuss me out again and said how God did nothing for him, and we gave him the food and just said, "He did this." He just got really quiet and took it with greedy hands. He wouldn't look at us as he thanked us. He'll make a good investie someday. When he's ready. I love him, though.

And finally, this week was a week of sunrises. This morning we woke up at 5:30 to go watch the sun rise over Gray's Bay. Had some good cereal and even better study. (We did this because my companion turned to me last week and was like, "If you weren't a person, you'd be a sunrise. That's what you're like." Then I made her repeat it to herself and we were like.. that was the WEIRDEST. Hahaha. I love her.)

But really. With transfers, with K's new life, with our new knowledge, everything just feels like a beginning. Like a sunrise. :)

I like those.

And you! :) I love you all.

With all my heart,

Sister Ballif

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