Area 1-Week 20 – Atmore Alabama-Ice Storm and a visit from Elder Perry

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Dear Family,

What a week! its been pretty crazy here this week and a lot of weird weather. i mean it snowed! and the temperature was below freezing for like 2 and a half days. what is this… its alabama of all places. but other than that its been a good week here in good ol Atmore. not much has changed as far as who we are teaching or what we are doing as far as the work. we are working with more less-active members to get them back to church and that its going well. we are still trying to figure out whats holding the area back and what we need to change. its hard to tell because as far as i can tell there are a lot of problems, and im probably one of those as well. but its all in the process of changing, hopefully for the better. we taught 2 lessons to investigators early in the week before the storm hit. we were finally able to get into Sister Genie Farrel’s house to teach her. we taught her the Restoration it went great! the spirit was definitely there and she committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We also taught Dwayne, we read the first chapter in the Book of Mormon with him and explained what we read, what the Book of Mormon is and how it relates to the Bible and what it means to him. we also meet with Brother Sizemore through out the week, and have been doing our best to give him the spiritual upliftment that he needs. from tuesday night to thursday afternoon we were pretty much stuck to walking. with the sleet and snow on the roads and where we were at on miles for the month, the car was out. plus there was as layer of ice on the car where we couldnt get in. tuesday we walked around for a little trying investigators, and knocking doors, but it was coming down pretty hard and no one was home or interested. so we had a snowball fight ( more like iceballs) with a couple kids on the street and then turned in for the night. President smith wanted everyone to stay in on wednesday because of the roads and to not risk anyone getting hurt. because these rednecks dont know how to drive on ice. so we cleaned the apartment but mostly just had the day to study. thursday morning it was still pretty icey because it froze overnight, but by late afternoon it was almost all melted. and by Saturday it was back up to 70 degrees. taught Chester Hadley on Friday and he said he would come to church, but he went out on saturday all night and slept in. we had tradeoffs on Saturday and Elder Parsons came down to Atmore. we had about 2 hours to work in the morning before we had to leave for Daphne. all the Stakes here in the south were invited to a Leadership Training Broadcast held in Orlando. Elder L Tom Perry along with Elder Rasband plus 7 other members of the 70 were there and the held a panal and gave talks to help the Wards/Branches have more productive council meetings. and it all had to do with Hastening the work, and every member being a missionary. it was very instructive and Elder Perry is a funny guy. it was also very powerful hearing from an Apostle of the Lord bear his testimony of Christ to us. i very much enjoyed it. we also saw a handful of less active members this week. but with the weather and miles we just werent able to get out to see the people we wanted this week. its like President Morris says, “It dont matter how you slice the pie, it aint gonna be enough”. it was good to see Adrianna and her kids at church on sunday, but the Spanish Elders will not be teaching them again until her and Richardo decide to get married. so we will teach them occasionally but they need to just marry each other in order to progress. we are still staying in touch with Josh, but hes been tied up at work a lot lately. we hope to see him soon. 
as far as everything else goes, im doing good. i actually worked out the other morning for like the first time in a month or two so im still sore. we have a zone training in mobile tomorrow and then next week we have a Zone conference with President Smith. so those should be good. but i can tell miles are going to be tight this month as well. oh well, we’ll make it work. i guess theres also supposed to be another cold front coming in soon… so im kinda getting tired of this. im ready for summer.
but it sounds like yall are doing great and have had a great week! happy anniversary mother and father! yeah we heard about the super bowl and it sounds like it was lame. where was spence at the truck rally? btw i doubt he will beat my times, yall dont even know what they are. sounds like malcolm will be a great missionary and thats funny that he got mad at spence. i dont think i need anything, but i would like a set of the standard works. just cheep hard or soft copies, doesnt matter. but id like a separated triple combination and Bible. for teaching purposes. ive also been wondering where i left my patriarchal blessing at home, so mom if you know where that is let me know. and one more thing, if you are sending a package include the mission map that my mission president sent. its in color and has all the areas. but thats all, Thanks. i love yall and hope yall have a great week.
Elder Balling

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