Monday, September 30, 2013

30 Sept. 2013

I have gotten one of the packages, the one with the suit jacket in it! Thanks so much! Suit Coat season starts Monday after Conference where we can only wear suit coats or sweaters so that will be of great help to me!  The other package is probably at the mission office b/c it was sent priority mail so that will be a bit harder to get but I'm supposed to be going down to the mission office on Wednesday for a new missionary sort of training thing. I 'm not really sure what it is, but it will still be super exciting!
This week has been interesting. Saturday we had exchanges so my senior companion Elder Smith who is also District Leader exchanged with another missionary and it was weird to go through the day with Elder Shade who was from Mexico instead of Elder Smith. We mostly were just dropping off progress records so it wasn't that big of a job, but it still kept us busy! We did set up some appointments for this week to meet with less actives and investigators. Tonight we are teaching a man who is very baptist, but has agreed to let us practice the lessons on him. Hopefully he feels the spirit and we will be able to really teach him! Super awesome! 
Tuesday we got to go to the Boise Temple with our district and do a session there! It was amazing. The Boise temple is beautiful but not my favorite one in the world. The layout inside is a little weird, but it was stil cool. The Makenzies (the family we are staying with) also went to the temple and their car broke down on the way back to the house so we went inside Seagull books and Krispy Kreme while we waited, not a bad way to wait at all! Wednesday was supposed to be one of the wards chili feed, but it got postpoined till Tuesday b/c of rain so tomorrow we will be feasting on chill!
Today has been pretty good so far! We got our library cards so we can email from the library now as well. We've had to wait for mail to come in for us to prove the we do actually live in Boise and that has taken awhile but its finally come! We went bowling as well. 2nd time in my life that I can remember where I went bowling and I did decent. My first game with 10 rounds I scored a 93 and a 81 on the second. Its actually a little tiring playing. I did not realize that. We picked up some groceries, I got that package which made it even better, and then we are here emailing! We have a dinner set up for tonight and a lesson as well so we will be busy getting around today. General Conference is this weekend and I'm super pumped for it! I can't wait to see it!
Sounds like everythings going good back home. I wish I could see the marching band show! It sounds pretty cool, especially if Fishers is actually placing now! Hopefully they can still keep doing better!  Matt sounds really excited to be in Kindergarten! Nice braces Nathan! The work here is going really well and we are always busy with something! I got to talk portuguese to a brazilian lady this last thursday and I definetly have a way to go, but it was super awesome! Thanks for all the letters and emails!

Love Ben

Monday, September 23, 2013

23 Sept. 2012

Things are going really good here in Idaho! The people here are great! We do have dinner with people here almost ever night except Mondays and that's because it is p day! One of the members got us each ten dollar gift cards to five guys so we are going to go eat there for lunch today! At this rate it may be both meals! We get fed really well here and it was a little weird to have people asking for your contact info so they could talk about me. The food is pretty good though and it's been awesome!
This entire week has been contacting and teaching so many lessons. We taught about thirty different lessons this week and so it is never boring around here! My visa still hasn't come do I now need to go shopping for sweaters because apparently after conference all the missionaries meaning elders have to be wearing suits or sweaters so we are going shopping today for some warmer clothes.  It is actually starting to get chilly here already, but I don't want to spend too much on warm clothes and get my visa. I'll figure out some compromise.

This week is the ward chili cook off here  and we have a lot of investigators coming to it so we will be super busy, but it will be a great time! I can't wait. The members here are great and are so willing to help out with missionary work! We. Are always receiving referrals from people. This week we got nine! One of them is a man named Jerry Kramer who used to play for the packers and he is inactive and I our area! He hasn't the door yet, but hopefully we will be able to meet him! This week my district also gets to go the temple so I'm super pumped for that!  Hopefully the temple will be done in IN soon! They are actually building another temple here in Boise, super exciting!

Thanks for the pictures! Matthew already looks like he has already grown a lot! I need to really start taking picture. I haven't really been doing that since we are always on the move! Ill try to send some next week!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hi, Mindy,

We had your son over for dinner on Sunday along with Elders Crowley and Smith.  I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know what a delightful dinner we had!  He is in a wonderful companionship….and while I understand it may be brief since he is waiting for his Visa to Brazil, what a great experience for those three Elders!  Unfortunately, my husband and Elder Smith kind of dominated the conversation with golf; so I hope they will come back before your son leaves for Brazil so I can get to know him better.  But  I did feel the Spirit through him and he was so polite, thoughtful, and helpful that I know you raised him well!

What a blessing for us to have him in the Boise Mission before he departs for Brazil!

Mary Sue
Boise Idaho

Monday, September 16, 2013

16 Sept. 2013

First p day in the mission field. So much fun. So I got to Boise on Tuesday, picked up President and Sister Windor at the terminal along with 33 other missionaries who were also arriving. There is only 5 of us waiting to visas, 4 to Brazil and 1 to Austrailia. So we were picked up, got our luggage and headed over to a nearby chapel to get lunch and get introduced to some of the missionaries. We got assigned temporary companions, had an interview quickly with President Windor, and then were off tracting down on the streets of Boise downtown. We did that till dinner, but didn't have any success, nobody wanted to listen to us and would actually turn around when they saw us walking down the street. So we headed to the mission office, got dinner and had a brief testimony meeting with all of the new missionaries. Then some of the missionaries picked us up to take us to housing where we would spend the night. Wednesday was transfer day. I got assigned to my two companions, yeah I'm in a trio again, Elder Smith my trainer from Snowflake AZ and really loves to go golfing. Elder Crowley from Monticello UT who is doing ROTC as well is also being trained Fun stuff. They are both pretty cool, and we get along really well. So the rest of Wednesday was mostly getting briefed on the mission field area that I'm in. We cover 3 wards here so we spend a while at church on Sundays. But Wednesday was mostly just meeting families and trying to find bikes for us.
   Thursday was spent mostly trying to get bikes till lunch time and we actually got some that we are now able to use. Nothing special but they get us around. We spent the day going around meeting bishops and ward mission leaders and starting to coordinate with them to be able to really get the work moving forward. Lots of fun. Our area is 2 miles by 2 miles so its pretty big so we have to use our bikes to make good time. Only the ZLs and APs get cars, lucky them. 
    Friday was district meeting so the entire district met at the chapel, we had a get to know you activity since this was the first meeting we had as a district.  After that we had a lesson by Elder Smith, who is also the DL and then headed to Costa Vida where we had lunch, so good. I got a huge sweet pork burrito and it tasted delicious.  The rest of the day was planning for the rest of the week and then we went out and taught some investigators that we had.
    Saturday was mostly the same, going around and teaching lessons to different people. I got to meet Barb, one of our investigators who is super nice, but doesn't want to take the discussions right now, but still we drop by to say hi. I also met Peggy who is a grandma of a priest in the ward who is soon going a mission and we were able to teach her the first discussion with her family there (who are members). The spirit was really strong in that lesson.
    First Sunday.  So the first ward started at 9,but we got there shortly after 8 to help prep the building and to greet everybody. The 3 sacrament meetings were all pretty good, and one of them had a primary program, so a nice break from the norm. Next week there is another one as well. Peggy was there to see the primary program and we're teaching again tonight, so excited! I also got into my first bike accident.  I had draped my suit coat over my scripture case and it was sliding off so I reached back to correct it as we were going around a sharp turn and hit the front brake instead of the back brake and needless to say that I ended up on the ground, and now I need a new suit, b/c the suit pants have a hole in them about he size of a quarter. I was fine besides from that though, so if in your next package you could send me a suit, like the gray one I could probably use that, otherwise I do have some money to buy a new suit if I need to. 
  Otherwise from that everything is going good here and its so great to be out here in the mission field! We can listen to the Piano Guys out here and one of my companions has both cps so we listen to that at times. We're busy nonstop here and we never seem to have enough time to be able to do what we want to be able to do.  I've had people comment on my Portuguese name tag a lot too, b/c I don't get an English one and its a conversation starter Anyway I miss you all and can't wait to hear from you!

Love Ben/Elder Battraw

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Boise

Hey Mom!,
I was just emailing to let you know that I am here safely in Boise and am in a trio. Elder Smith from AZ is my trainer and Elder Cowley is also being trained as well. I did get the mission address, which is 1111 South Cole Rd. Boise ID, 83709.  That is to the mission office and if you send the packages by regular USPS mail, not prioity, the office can forward it to me wherever I am in the mission. Just emailing you to let you know that I got here safely.
Ben/Elder Battraw

Friday, September 6, 2013


Dear Mom,

So today I got my reassignment for my mission. We got them right before lunch and since we are able to email, I thought it would be a good idea to email you where I have been reassigned.  My district and the other district that is leaving this weekend gathered together and opened our reassignments one by one and read them out loud to be able to hear where we were going. I was in charge of recording all the assignments. Pretty cool. One other elder in my district is going to the same mission that I'll be going to. We have to report to the travel office at 2:30am on the day that we leave. Super early. But it'll be fun. We have a connecting flight from salt lake to oakland california to our mission. Hopefully I'll be able to get some sleep on the plane. Can you tell I'm just dragging this out.  Well, so I've been reassigned to the Boise Idaho Mission and report Tuesday! My companions are going to Detroit Michigan and the other the Scottsdale AZ mission#Jealous.I can't wait!

Ben/ Elder Battraw

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

3 Sept. 2013

Thanks for the email. Its is a little hard to believe that this is my final week in the MTC. Its kinda of nice, because I'm going a little stir crazy here. This week has been pretty interesting . On Saturday we found out that our district is being split and being merged into two different districts b/c the school is starting at BYU and it screws up the teachers schedules. I'm still with my companions,but starting tomorrow, I will be meeting with another district in our zone. My original district will remain intact, we just won't have class together anymore. Oh well, worse things could happen and we are leaving in a week. We also are getting new teachers as well, and I really don't like that b/c my old teachers were awesome. Irmão Gabriel and Irma De Campus were the best. Last Wednesday I got to host new missionaries coming into the MTC which was a lot of fun. Basically, you pick them up on the sidewalk, help them drop off their stuff, pick up study materials and get them to class w/o any major melt downs. Some of the elders were walking in the 3-4 suitcases and it was really funny b/c all of my stuff fit into one. I saw one sister with 5-6. One of the missionaries I hosted was from Noblesville and went to Noblesville high school. He's also in my zone and is going to Brazil. Fancy that.  it was really kinda of cool.  One of the Elders in my district was sent home this week due to medical issues.  It was really sad, b/c he was a great guy.  We all sang to him, " God be with you till we meet again" before he left. It was really touching.
Fun fact that I don't think I've mentioned about the MTC. All of sacrament meeting is in your mission language.  So sacrament meeting is all in Portuguese and whats really cool is that I can understand about 99% of whats being said.  You have to take into consideration that all the talks are given by elders and sisters who are at the same level of Portuguese as me, but it is still really cool to hear/see.  So Tom, if you go foreign, get ready to experience Sunday in your mission language. That reminds me, Teresa got her mission call she is going to Scottsdale AZ. I'm really jealous.  We get our reassignments on Thursday or Friday and I can't wait to see where I get to go. We figured out that the elders and sisters that reported this last wednesday, we'll be reassigned to the same missions that they are going to. I'm hoping for Tempe AZ, but my district thinks I'm going to Detroit. 

Yesterday was pretty interesting. We played volleyball out in the rain b/c it actually rains here about once every week to 2 weeks. Kinda of nice. Our teachers said all their goodbyes as well and showed us pictures of their missions in Brazil. None went to Manaus, but this new teachers not teaching us did and he got back 5 months ago.  Listening to him talk about his mission was a lot of fun. Apparently we'll be mostly staying in the actual city of Manaus b/c of the 3.1 million people in my mission, 2.8 are in the city and only the ZL and APs go outside the main city really. It is really hot about 40-50 degrees outside (100-112) with 100% humidity.  They have a lot of foods and fruits there we were told that we were supposed to try. Our mission president is really strict but really nice at the same time. He runs that mission kinda like a business and it runs really smoothly. I was also to never translate " I'm full" literally even though elders there will try to make you do that, b/c the meaning to other Brazilians is that you are pregnant. Good advice. 

Thats great to here that Fishers won the HSE-Fishers game. Its been awhile since I think we've won. It will be fun to get back and watch a football game. One of the things I really miss in the MTC is music. We're not allowed to listen to any music until we get out into the field, so the moment I get out I'm buying as much MOTAB as I can.  They do sell all the motab cds here in the MTC, so if I have a little left over and I'm going stateside, I might get some. I miss all you! Eu seu que o Livro de Mórmon e verdadeiro, é Jesus Cristo é nosso Salvador é Redentor. Eu amo meu missão!

Ben/Elder Battraw