Area 3-week 53- Dothan, Alabama Starting the New Testament and 40 day fast

Dear Family,

I hope yall are doing great back home and have had a great week! sounds like things are doing pretty good. I am doing great and its been a really good week here in Dothan. the work is moving along, although we are struggling with finding new investigators. but thats universal with any area. we met with all of our investigators this week and they are all doing good. they are each at different points in the gospel and their willingness to accept it, but we have a good relationship with them all and we are able to keep meeting with them. we are doing great as a companionship, no real disagreements or arguments, and we are all really working on becoming more effective missionaries. there are both pros and cons to serving in a tripanionship. its super fun and there is never really a time when there’s not something to talk about, we also get 3 opinions or ideas on the work. its also been cool, we’ve been able to do a couple splits with members where one of us will go with the member to a lesson and the other two will do work somewhere else or try to find new investigators. but its also tough getting ready in the morning with only one bathroom in the apartment, we also look pretty ridiculous walking down the street with 3 people, but at least people are seeing us. Dothan is not really bike friendly like Pensacola was, so we mostly drive to an area of the city and walk to those that we are visiting. and we have fun when we have a long walk, a lot of times we will kick a hacky-sack around as we walk or other little games.
personally things are going much better. it was a struggle in Pensacola to remain positive and diligent, and for different reasons. but since ive been transferred things have been great. i enjoy and look forward to working each day rather than being a little negative about it. i feel like i can and am really changing and making progress on becoming the missionary the lord needs me to be, rather than sinking lower. i dont know why pensacola was so tough for me but it was for sure a very humbling 6 months and helped me realize how much i need the Lords help in this great work. my studies are doing great! ive started over in the book of mormon once again and along with it i am studying the New Testament and Preach My Gospel. im really loving my studies and learning a lot. i am enjoying most the New Testament, i have never read it before and am really starting to gain an understanding of Christs life and the man that he was. im moving a little slower in my studies, really trying to get the most out of them that i can and have been keeping a study journal each day which has really helped.
this week has gone by super fast as well as this transfer, its already week 5 and we find out next monday about transfers. Crazy! anyways, monday after p-day we had dinner with the Frickey’s and had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation with Ben and Elaina. they understood it really well which was awesome! they are smart kids and they are really excited to be baptized once their adoption papers are finalized. Tuesday we had Zone Training in the morning which was great, the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders shared some great things and these training meetings are always a great motivator for me to do better. we also had a trade off with the zone leaders after the meeting. Elder Hawker went up to Ozark with Elder Urquiaga and Elder Crook (Elder Blairs old companion) came to Dothan with Elder T and I. we helped out with a Family history event at the Library with the sisters. and played some basketball at westgate gym, where we had some good contacts with the people there. wednesday we saw Barbara which was fun and Brother Smith in the hospital. we also contacted a referral, Colton Reece who we hope will turn into an investigator. he’s a great guy with a wife and a new baby boy, and they’d be great to teach. we traded back that evening. Thursday we had another lesson with the Frickey’s and finished up teaching the Plan of Salvation. we had dinner with the Prigmore’s which was good, they are really great member missionaries and brother prigmore is always willing to go out with us. we played basketball at the church and had a lesson with Tanner afterwords. Friday was interesting, we had Clergy duty at the hospital in the afternoon where we did weekly planning. i left the hospital with the 1st ward Elders on a mini tradeoff, they needed a 3rd male to visit an investigator. so had a short visit there, because she was busy and then a quick visit with Wilmer before trading back. we also saw Jeff Hughey that evening and invited him to watch conference and he said he would so that was great. saturday we played volleyball and had a great turnout for that.
Sunday was great! church was awesome, some really great talks and lessons. it was also a sisters mission farewell, she’ll be serving in Denver Colorado. we saw Sister Rush and brother nunez and invited them to watch conference. and we had dinner at the Herring’s, who are a great young couple with 2 adorable kids. sunday i also started my 40 day fast, which the zone leaders invited us to do in zone training. its where you fast for a day and come up with a list of things that you’ll sacrifice or go without for 40 day and be more obedient and devoted to serving the Lord. so i did that and for the next 40 days i will concentrate on the list of things i wont do will do better at. things like being more obedient to mission rules, or avoiding negative thoughts or distractions from missionary work. so i look forward to seeing what happens.
mom i never did go to the dentist, back in pensacola but oh well. and my suits are good, although i think i may have grown because on one them the pants are way too short. im going to see if it can be lengthened by one of the members.
Dad transfers are in a week from wednesday, we find out next monday. I dont think ill be transfered but Elder Hawker and Elder T think i will be. im sure one of us will be though.
thats about all this week. it was great and i am really loving my mission. my testimony of the Gospel and my savior Jesus Christ is growing and life is good. i hope yall are doing great and that yall have a awesome week! i love yall! be safe.
Elder Balling
“Let us go to Dothan” – Gen 37:17
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