Area 1-Week 14 – Atmore, Alabama-Christmas Zone Conference


Dear Family,

Hello From sunny southern Alabama, where its over 70 degrees at 6:30 in the evening (4 days before Christmas) and peoples cars have large tires. its been a great week and Elder Payne and I have been doing well together. we have been working hard and we have seen a little success. also this week was the Christmas Half mission conference, which was a blast. then sunday the branch had their christmas party, so its been a great week with a lot of fun things going on.
the Christmas conference was great! we drove down to Pensecola Florida in the morning and spent most of the day down there. it was great to see everyone, cause it can get a little lonely when theres only us in Atmore. i saw Elder Jackman as well as Elder Collett, so that was a fun little reunion with all my Companions. for the conference, there was a christmas program that sister Smith put together. we sang songs as well as those who were blessed with musical talents played instruments or sang solos. sister smith narrated the Nativity story in between each song. President Smith also talked to us. then we had lunch, and exchanged gifts. we were each assigned an Elder to give a gift to ( we were to fill a stocking they gave us with things that we thought would be nice) i had Elder Spencer, and i gave him an action figure, a teck deck, a bunch of army men, a bible stories coloring book, a couple of ties, and a whole ton of candy. i sure he loved it and it was probably his best christmas gift ever. i got some slippers, candy and the Elder gave me 10 bucks. i wear the slippers a lot around the apartment. it was nice and really funny, one elder gave someone a bowling ball, and someone else got a giant stuffed bear. thats about it, i enjoyed the conference and it was nice to kinda relax from regular missionary work. 
the branch Christmas dinner was great too. it was right after church on sunday and there was a ton of food. really good Southern food. we did have a couple less active members come to church because of it, but if thats what it takes to get them to come to church, maybe we need to have food every sunday. all the families did a little christmas skit or something, either funny or serious. Elder Payne and I didnt know we had to do something until that morning, so we had to throw something together. we sang 12 days of Christmas ( missionary style) which they enjoyed, then we gave out wrapped Books of Mormon to each family and challanged them to give them to someone before christmas. 
as for our investigators, we dont have many real solid ones. and a lot of them are just interested in learning what we believe just to have the knowledge. others its just hard to get a time or appointment that works with them, especially during the christmas season. most of them have told us to come back after christmas. so things have been kinda slow but we are still doing good, and teaching those that we can. but things are pretty much the same with all of them, not much progress or effort on their part. we did give out like 10 or so books of mormon to just people on the street though so that was good.
im looking forward to the coming week, especially for christmas and to call home. even though it hasnt been that long since i left. im excited to help anyone we can and help them to feel the saviors love for them through me. im excited to see the gospel change peoples lives as we continue to teach them. we dont really have many plans for christmas, we will probably try to see some members and investigators, but we will probably end up knocking doors and stuff.
sounds like everything is going great at home and that everyone is enjoying chirstmas time. if you have a skype send it to me and we will arrange to go to a members to skype. if not then we can call on the phone. it will probably be at 9:15 utah time, (so 10:15 here in Alabama). thats when we are planning on doing it. we email at the library and it costs money to print stuff. thats about it, if your still online let me know what will work for the family. yall have a Merry Christmas and i Love yall!
Elder Balling



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