Building the Kingdom of God

Hello, beautiful people!

Oh man. Wasn’t part of the whole missionary deal that the world wouldn’t change at all while I’m gone? Robin’s home, Cameron’s engaged (4 months on the dot!) and girls 3 grades younger than me are getting their mission calls? I don’t know that I’m totally comfortable with all of this change!

Okay. So. Last Sunday we got a new counselor in the Branch Presidency, Brother Chambers. And by a series of miraculous remembrances we figured out that his son, Scott, was Uncle Brian’s roommate and did the infamous Hanz & Franz skit with him, and knew my parents from the Singles Ward. It was pretty hilarious, Sister Chambers and I were exchanging Stanford 3rd Ward stories like we were actually there; everybody was looking at us like we were crazy.

Everybody leaves for the field tomorrow! Ergo today is P-day and I’m writing you on a Monday. This Wednesday I start my Visitor’s Center training, which will be conducted both here at the MTC and at Temple Square. I’m really excited! I found another Sister is my mission doing VC training, and she said that her friend just got back from our mission and spent about half her time in the Park City Genealogy Center. So that may or may not be the plan for me. That would actually be a huge tender mercy for me in many many ways. Plus I am a BOSS at Family History. So I’m excited to find out what’s in store for me.

This week I started reading the New Testament with everybody in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission. I’ve loved the Spirit that has accompanied me as I’ve pondered more on our Savior and wondered about my role in the grand scheme of His Gospel. I’ve been thinking about how building the kingdom of God is like building a temple. Christ is the rock of our salvation. He is the chief cornerstone of the gospel. But there are so many other stones required to build a temple of the Lord. There’s a Christian song called “Upon this Rock” that invites each of us to be a disciple of the Lord and build His kingdom. (Side note: Kristin Chenoweth sang this on her last tour and after the concert in Berkeley everybody was saying how it was their favorite song. The religious song. In Berkeley. It was that powerful.) There’s a line in the song that says “If you will give your life away with nothing in return, then you are where my kingdom will begin.” That’s what Christ’s disciples did, and that’s what missionaries do. We give our whole lives to the Lord for 2 years for little or no reward. But we are the beginning of the kingdom of God in the respective areas we are called to. And each missionary is like a brick in the temple. If I were to abandon my call and go home, a portion of the Lord’s kingdom would be unbuilt and there would be a gaping hole in the wall of the temple. The work I’m doing is so important. I am a disciple of the Lord. I have been foreordained to this work. Like Peter, I am a rock that builds the kingdom of the Lord upon the foundation which is Christ. And I will willingly lose my life in the Lord’s work so that others may be blessed.

Let’s see, what else? Oh, I pulled my first MTC semi-prank. I was in the cafeteria talking to the MTC President a few days ago and in the middle of our conversation I turned around, yelled to everybody in the cafeteria that it was President Brown’s birthday, and led the 1000+ people in singing Happy Birthday. It wasn’t his birthday. But now I’m his favorite missionary in the MTC. It was HILARIOUS.

T minus 9 days until I hit the field. Thanks for everything y’all do; you are truly the Lord’s hands!

Yours in Christ,
Hermana Ball


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