Monday, February 24, 2014

24 February, 2014

That sounds like a pretty cool week!  Kutler, Grant and Ben all got their Eagles, thats pretty awesome!  So its finally starting to stop snowing and warming up now. Sounded like it would never end there.   I personally haven´t received a list of names, but I will check again.  How is work going for Tom?  I hear most people work at McDonalds for a few days/weeks and then quit because its not very good.  First camping trip for Zach, pretty awesome!

  So my week, well,  monday we went downtown to visit the elder who was in the hospital and he was doing way better. Got to see the flood waters down  by the river.  Its really starting to flood down there.  They have a muesuem down by the river that I guess they thought would be fine, but ended up having a half foot of water flooding the building, meaning that the army got called in to clear out all the artifacts.  My area is still very dry and far away, so everything is still good here. Tuesday was Zone Training, which was awesome. Learned a lot.   Afterwards, we traded companions with the elder who has in the hospital, so that I stayed with him for Tuesday and Wednesday morning, while his companion and my companion went to their area to work.  Was really nice to be able to just relax and talk with the other elder.  The next morning we ended up doing a service project with a local catholic to organize donations for the people who had been displaced by the flood.   Problem is that its still flooding and will continue probably until April. Was really cool to be able to help out.  Afterwards, traded back companions and headed back to Tancredo Neves.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were all pretty normal, going around teaching people talking with everyone. Saturday we had something really cool happen though.  Saturday night we stopped by an investigator  that had been learning about the church for 5-6 months already.  We´d actually stopped teaching him, b/c he only wanted to talk about the United States and was keeping any of the commitments we´d given him.  Stopped by his house b/c he´d stopped us in the street 2 days before and asked us to swing on by his house.  Started talking to him and just chatting. We asked if we could leave a message with him so we ended up teaching the Restoration to him again, and at the end we asked if he would be baptized.  He said yes, and floored the both of us. We asked if he´d understand the question, just to make sure.  He said yes he would be baptized.  So invited him to church the next day and after church, he was baptized.  Just goes to show you can´t judge people, he was honestly one of the last people we thought would join the church.  After church had lunch with some of the members, Brazilian pancakes! Pancakes here and more spongey and they roll them up like tortillas with meat or chicken in the middle, pretty good.  Got transfer calls as well!  My companion and I will be staying here in Tancredo Neves, while a big portion of our zone is shipping out to other places.  Had 4 other elders in our house last night and they all flew to Manaus early this morning except for 1 and hes staying with us till his companion arrives here in Porto Velho. 
  That was my week this week. Pretty excited about this next 6 weeks.  Will be pretty awesome! Hope everything is going okay back at home!  Miss all of you!
Elder Battraw

Monday, February 17, 2014

17 February 2014

Thanks for the letter! This week has been pretty good!  Valentines Day sounds like a lot of fun! Never seen Romancing the Stone though.  Still really cold there huh, well here its the start of the rain season and its gotten a little interesting, but I´ll talk about that later.
  Monday was pretty normal, just hung out around the house, cleaning it up.  We haven´t had too many problems here, the only real problems is that my companions bed broke so this week we´re going to try and fix it! Tuesday was supposed to be our district meeting, but when we got there, we found out that the other companionship was going to be at a doctors appointment and would be leaving shortly (one of the elders has hemorrhoids).  So we watched the district meeting of the other district and then returned back to our area.  Was a pretty good day, but a little tiring.  Wednesday we came back to the chapel in downtown Porto Velho to have our district meeting which was a lot of fun.  We did a lot of role plays for door approaches and was good practice, and we got to joke around a little bit doing it!  When we got back to our area, we caught the bus again to go to the neighborhood Marcus Feireas to do visits there.  Was really good and found a whole bunch of people to talk to!  Was a great time there,but while we were there the power cut out for the whole town so we got to catch the bus back in the dark! Thursday, the elder with hemorrhoids went into the hospital for surgery, so we spent a lot of the day calling back and forth to make sure everything was going okay and walking. Porto Velho also declared a state of emergency Thursday.  The city is situated right on the river and Thursday, it over flowed and began to flood Porto Velho. The problem is that it will continue to keep on flooding the city until about April b/c it will keep on raining.  My area is on the opposite end of Porto Velho so we won´t be affected, but the downtown area is going to be having some issues soon. Friday, I got to check a food off my list of things to try. Alligator. The sister we were having lunch with brought out a small bowel of alligator it a kind of sauce all chopped up and it was part of lunch.  Tastes like chicken. Saturday we taught English Class in the morning, but this was really fun, we taught the class how to order from McDonalds.  We put up all the necessary phrases up on the board, and then they had to approach us and place an order.  At the end, my companion and I showed them what it was like when people speak fluent English.  Kinda of funny!  Saturday, I spent the day in transit b/c we went downtown to do an exchange with the companionship who had surgery, and then left downtown to go their area, got to their area about 5pm, worked for about 2 hours, and then had to make the return trip downtown, trade back companions, and then come back home. About 3-4 hours of sitting on the bus. Sunday was normal though, visited families after church until it was time to head back home.  Really good week! This next week will be transfers and I´m really hoping that I stay with my companion b/c hes pretty awesome.
  That was my week this week! Have a great week this week! Happy Late Valentines Day! Miss you all!
Elder Battraw

Monday, February 10, 2014

10 February 2014

Wow, its still snowing there?  Its already the middle of Febuary!  Thats pretty crazy thats its still snowing!   They have the Lego Movie here too!  Along the sides of the streets they have long shelfs that are just pirated movies and I´ve seen the lego movies and Hero Factory a few times!  Nothing more has shown up package wise.  Little jealous Sam got to go paintballing!
  This week has been pretty crazy.  Monday was p day but we also got to have a baptism as well.  His name is Anderson and he didn´t want to be baptized Sunday but decided he wanted to be baptized that Monday.  So got to the chapel and held a baptism for him!  Tuesday was District Meeting and went really well!  Our District Meetings consist of us and one other companionship, but they´re always great!  Tuesday was pretty normal after that though.  Wednesday, nothing really exciting happened, just moving forward and talking to everybody that we meet.  Thursday was crazy though.  We had Zone Conference with President Klein the next day, so all the missionaries in the state of Rodonia were coming into Porto Velho and we had to make arrangements for our Zone, and another Zone for places to stay!  We ended up have 8 other elders in our house, all crammed into the one room in the house with AC!  Was a lot of fun though, ordered pizza and talked.  The next morning we had to get up at 5 to have enough time for 10 people to shower and get ready to catch the bus at 7.  Caught the bus and got to the stake center pretty early though, about 7:20.  Got there and were just hanging out, eating breakfast, and waiting for President and Sister Klein to show up when suddenly the power in the Stake Center went out!  The assistants and the zone leaders held a quick conference and called President Klein and decided to move the conference to the Tancredo Neves Chapel, which was the closest chapel to the stake center, which is ours.  So, about 30-40 missionaries picked up all of our stuff and started marching for the bus stop.  Kinda of funny when the bus showed up, 30-40 people all trying to cram in and catch the bus!  But we all fit, and headed down to our chapel, got everything set up and running and the conference was really good! President and Sister Klein both talked about obedience to the mission rules and how it will help is achieve our mission goal for baptisms in the year.  I don´t know if you already knew, but Missão Brasil Manaus is the highest baptizing mission in the world!  Pretty cool.  After the conference cleaned the chapel, and prepped for our baptism the next day.  Saturday was normal except for the baptism we had in the afternoon.  We baptized a family of four who are just plain awesome.  We had a little bit of fun trying to get baptismal clothes for all of them!  When we got to the chapel with them, we started to hand out baptismal clothes, but 2 of the 4 didn´t fit!  We did some rearranging and managed to get 3 people clothes, but one of the members who was going to be baptizing as well, didn´t have clothes! Made some quick phone calls and managed to get some more over to the chapel in time.  It was an awesome day.  Sundyay, I gave my first talk in Sacrament Meeting, which went really well.  I talked about the importance of members being involved in missionary work and truly members are so important to missionary work!  Had another baptism afterwards for a man named Wagner and went really well until we changed clothes.  He changed faster than I did so he left the bathroom first.  When I got back to the room where we held the baptism, everyone was sitting around except Wagner.   My companion and I started searching around everywhere for him, but he was gone!  We figured he thought that after the baptism that was it and just left.  Definitely made it a memorable time.  
   This next week should be a bit calmer.  Don´t have any big events planned for this week but it still should be good!  Hope you all have a great week this week! I miss you all too!
Love Elder Battraw

Monday, February 3, 2014

4 February 2014

Yes i can finally say that package number one has finally arrived here in Porto Velho! Thanks so much for the twinkies and pancakes.  It was a little bit of an adventure trying to make them on a gas stove for the first time, but they turned out okay with th help of my companion!  After looking at the package, we think we finally figured out why they took so long to get here.  The package had been opened and inspected by the Brazilian government.  The value on it was marked so low and not enough contents were listed that they figured something was up and opened it up and inspected it.  I don´t think anything was missing, but that probably contributed to why it took so long!
  So this week has been pretty good. Monday was p day and we had two other companionships in our house b/c they had to travel for the zone training the next day. One area was an hour and a half away and the other was three hours by bus. Tuesday was zone training and was pretty awesome. Got there and had the whole zone there and got to listen to the zone leaders as they taught the training, and I got my package.  So pretty awesome. Wednesday through Saturday was pretty normal.  Nothing really extrodiniary happened this week.  One of the  big excitements was that on of our sink faucets broke and we had to get it replaced.  The nice thing about our house, is that b/c nothing in it is really expensive, its all pretty easy to replace.  We ended up spending 5 reais and getting a little wet, but it no longer leaks water and works better than the old one. Hopefully nothing else breaks as well Sunday we were able to get one of our investigators confirmed, pedro, an eight year old.   He´d been baptized the week before and now it was time to get confirmed.   Pretty awesome. Got to eat my first fish where you picked all the meat of it.  It was sunday for lunch and the member just plunked down this huge maybe 5 pound fish in front of us, almost completely whole and told us to get eat.  I don´t know if I´ve mentioned this already, but the members here feed us A LOT.  Always when we have meals with members or anyone really, they always say, pode come elder, pode come ( eat, elder, eat)Never leave a members house hungry unless you want to be hungry. 
  Today, we actually got to have a baptism on p day.  His name is Anderson and he is 21 yrs old.  We´ve been teaching him for the past two weeks and today he got baptized!  Was pretty awesome.  The week will be pretty awesome as well! President Klein is coming to Porto Velho this Friday as well to do  Zone Conference as well as  do a series of meetings with all the local leadership.  It´ll be really awesome to hear from him!  Thanks for the package!  Hope to be able to write more next week!  Have a great week this week!
Love Elder Battraw