Wednesday, January 1, 2014

30 Dec. 2013

Tom is driving now! Thats got to be exciting!  Its weird to think about everything going on back home with all the college kids, especially to think that I would be a college kid if I wasn´t here on a mission. But I don´t have to wait too much longer, just after my mission. Pretty cool that a lady from the Tabernacle Choir came and talked.  I´m kinda of envious. It was awesome talking with you guys as well. A little weird to see the house after been gone for so long, but it was a lot of fun to talk with you guys.
  This week has been interesting. Monday, p day of course.  Mostly just hung out around the house, cleaning, buying food for the week. Tuesday, was Christmas Eve, and Christmas Eve here is the big day for celebrations b/c people will party all night and then rest the 25th so they can work the 26th, so the 24th we were running around trying to talk with everyone that wanted us to pass on by. The morning was Zone Training. That was pretty awesome. We had a Amigo Secreto (Secret Friend literally) and I ended up getting a journal and address book.   Later that day we did a service project in the afternoon helping to hand out some toys to little kids pretty awesome but a little crazy at the same time. They had a big moving truck with the back completely loaded with toys, all cheap plastic toys, but still cool none the less.  We blew up balloons for a little bit to decorate the truck, and the rest of the convoy. They had a truck up in front with Santa and his helper, with a whole bunch of cars trailing the moving truck playing Christmas music.  My companion were in the back of the moving truck as the convoy went through the neighborhood to help hand/defend the toys, because we would have kids come running up and ask if they could have the toys right then and we said, ´no you have to wait with everyone else in the front of the neighborhood´.  Finally the convoy stopped in the front of the neighborhood after going the whole neighborhood to alert everyone what was going to happen.  It was crazy.  We were parked behind santas truck helping keeping a steady flow of toys to the truck so he could hand them out. But people would gather behind the truck and try intercept toys, or try to come up to us and trade. It was nuts. After that, visited 7 houses in about 3hrs. Started about 7pm and by 9pm  were running to make it to the others. When we got home that night, we were laden down with food and were exhausted, but feeling pretty good. Fruit cakes are really popular here, every house had a fruit cake. We ended up with 3 by the end of the night and more the next day. The 25th was pretty laid back, just going around visiting with investigators and members. Called you guys at about 4:00pm here.  Made cookies with the family we were skyping with, and they turned out pretty good. 26th went to the temple, and my companion and I discovered the where the distribution center is.  I ended up getting two MOTAB CDs, Praise to the Man and Called to Serve. You can guess what we´ve been listening to all week. 27th was back to work, and we ended up having a baptism that night. That was pretty awesome.  Saturday and Sunday were both very normal, nothing extremely unusual. 
  My companion and I are both extremely excited for Tuesday and Wednesday, b/c of New Years.  Tuesday (tomorrow) is my 5 month mark on my mission! and Wednesday we can officially say that we are going to be going home next year!  Only 2 more weeks in this transfer.  This transfer has gone by really fast.  Have a great week this week and Feliz Ano Novo! 

Love Elder Battraw
I forget to mention these.  There are two mormon messages, Our Temple in the Amazon, and Mountains to Climb which feature the city of Manaus. Mountains to Climb doesn´t say that the city is Manaus, but it looks exactly like Manaus, so I think it is.  Have a great week. Feliz Ano Novo!
Ben/ Elder Battraw

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