The year 2019 was a big one for Latter-day Saint Porter Ballard. He left home in Idaho to compete in the World Jump Rope Competition in Norway and joined an international jump rope team that competed on Britain’s Got Talent.
After such an exciting year, 2020 brought a time of decision for the young athlete.
“When it came time for me to decide to either keep jump roping or go on a mission, I prayed to God for guidance,” Ballard says in a video on Instagram.
He received an answer to his prayer while working on a landscaping job. He overheard his client saying that if weren’t for the missionaries, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
“I knew that was an answer to my prayer,” Ballard says. So, he filled out his mission papers and was called to serve in the Hungary Romania Mission, reporting to the missionary training center on February 3, 2021. And while a mission does mean a pause in competitions, Ballard soon learned there was a place for his special talent in Hungary.
“I thought I would have to give up jump rope to come on a mission, but God as provided a way for me to use my talents in my missionary efforts,” he says. “I’ve done shows, helped teach the teens, and built strong relationships with people here that has allowed me to share my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Ballard has also continued to share jump roping videos with gospel messages to his 19.5K Instagram followers. When he reached the one-year mark of his mission he wrote,
“I feel so blessed that my whole life God has prepared me to serve His children here in Hungary. Despite my short comings and mistakes, He trusts me enough to take part in the most important work in the world. How blessed am I to get to serve, teach, become friends with, and learn from the greatest people on the planet. … I'm so thankful that I have another year to give every effort to Him who has given everything to me.”
“I know that God answers our prayers,” Ballard later says. “He has given each of us talents that we can use to further his work.”