Tuesday, August 26, 2014

26 Aug. 2014

Hi everyone!

Sorry this is getting to everyone late and that I don´t have time to do personal emails to everyone, but the internet here in Itacoatiara died as off yesterday so I don´t have much time to write!  
So this week was pretty normal here in Itacoatiara.  Monday, Elder Rodriguez and I built bunkbeds to put up into our rooms.  We took our two beds which were the same and drilled holes in the bottom and top of them to put in pegs of wood and then stacked them up.  It took a little bit longer than we thought b/c first, the drill bit that we borrowed turned out to be a concrete drill bit, not really built for wood at all, so we ran back over to the members house and traded out the drill bit.  Finally as we were finishing up drilling the holes, on the second to last hole, the drill it broke in half. It was a little discouraging to say the least, but using the two broken halves we managed to make the last hole and finish up the other, so it all turned out okay.  Tuesday was district meeting so I got to give a District Training about how to invite.    Wednesday was normal, didn´t have any huge that happened that day.  Thursday was divisions.  I got to spend the day with Elder Vergara who is one of the Zone Leaders here in Itacoatiara out in his area in Novo Horizonte.  It went well, nothing huge happened but it was cool to leave my area and see a little bit more of Itacoatiara. That night the assistents got to our house at 2am after making a 4 hour bus ride out to Itacoatiara from Manaus.  On the way their bus had broken down, and they managed to bring their bad luck with them when they got to our house.   The moment they got here  the power went out which has actually been happening quite frequently here.  Energy is not something that you can depend on here. It has a habit of leaving for about half an hour to an hour.  This time it was for about an hour and a half.  Saturday was the all awaited Interviews with the President and Zone Training.  It was one of the best trainings that I´ve been to on the mission and I really liked.  Talked a lot about the Atonement and the importance of our investigators understanding the importance of  the Atonement in their lives.  I´ve been able to do a little bit of study about the Atonement and it still blows me away of the importance of the Atonement in our lives.  It is incredibly important in the lives of everyone of us.   Super good training.  My interview with Pres. Castro went really well and he is a really good Mission President.  The Training went until 4:30ish so the rest of the day was running around to get everything ready for Sunday.  Sunday was pretty normal except for the Pres. and Sister Castro visited our Sacrament Meeting and each one gave awesome talks.  It  was an awesome week!  
  Hope that everything is going great for everyone back home.  Hope that everyone has a great week and hopefully next week everything will go right!

Elder Battraw

Monday, August 18, 2014

18 Aug. 2014

That sounds like things are going pretty cool back in IN!!! That sounds like fun that Matt has finally started up going to school!  Hopefully everything goes all right with Toms papers! Maybe I´ll be home before he leaves on his mission at this rate!   Thats cool !  Why is he applying to BYU-I?, I thought that he was already accepted there?   Did he apply to BYU Provo as well or just to Idaho?  Steak and Shake sounds like a lot of fun.  I miss steak and shake a lot.  Anything fast food american I´ve been missing a little bit.   I got the package this last week with the cookie mixes.  Those were super good.   The root beer cookies were a hit here in the the house.  We made them at night and by noon the next day they were already gone.  All the american missionaries were missing the taste of root beer!
  So this week in Itacoatiara was a little bit dull. Not too much happened.  P day we actually ran into 2 americans who were passing through Itacoatiara selling little trinkets.  It was really weird to talk in English again, like it was kinda of hard.  The americans were just traveling around Brasil so it was cool just to be able to talk to someone who speaks English and knows a little bit of whats going on back in America.   Wednesday morning, my companion started feeling sick and had a fever so we ended up spending a few days in the house while he was recovering.  We would leave the house a little bit, but it always had to be short little things b/c he wasn´t able to stay out of the house too much!   Mostly I cleaned up the house here, there had been a mountain of dirty dishes that I tackled and managed to get them all cleaned up and ready to use again.  So the house is really clean right now!   Friday was the first day that we managed to leave for a substantial amount of time so were able to make a few visits but we had to take a bit slow.  I did so baptismal interviews for some of the other missionaries here in Itacoatiara.  Saturday was normal, just going around doing visits.   Sunday as well was pretty normal.  When we got back . we got to see my companion firebend with light sticks.  Apparently he learned how to twirl fire before his mission using Youtube and apparently he was pretty good at it!  That was my week!
 Hope that you all have a good week this week ! Have fun with school starting up again!  Miss all of you!

Elder Battraw

Monday, August 11, 2014

11 Aug. 2014

That sounds like you all had a pretty busy week out there.  Thanks for all the pictures of the band and the construction.  Its really weird to see the school changing so much since the time that I´ve graduated.  Its super weird to say the least.  I always thought that the school we just stay the same:) Exciting for Tom, lets hope that he passes all the interviews now so that he can send in his call!  Why did Liam faint? Did he lock his knees or something.  Payne will be driving Sam to school...........  okay.  I haven´t been getting any letters from Jake so thanks for sending them to me!  Its cool to be able to hear from him.  Hope you get all your hours in!
  So this week has been pretty interesting here.   So to finish out from Monday, after i sent that letter from Manaus, a little bit later me and two other missionaries boarded a bus to be able to get to Itacoatiara which we found out from the long trip that is about 4 hours on the bus to get there.  Itacoatiara sits on the Amazon river and literally is a city in the middle of the rainforest.  If you look out the window, usually can see the rainforest not too far away.  Its pretty cool.  I´ll send pictures.  We left manaus about 3:00pm and got to Itacoatiara about 7:30ish.  We were all pretty tired when we got there.  The other missionaries picked us up shorty afterward and took us to the house.  The house where we are living in has 4 elders living there including me. My new companion is Elder Rodriguez from Ohio, who actually lives about half an hour away from one of the zone leaders here. Hes pretty cool.  This week was my first week as District Leader which meant that Tuesday morning after traveling all of Monday I gave a training on how to work with recent converts.  It went pretty well.  Itacoatiara is pretty nice, but its pretty darn hot at times.  From about 11:00am to 3:30pm you don´t really want to be outside b/c its gets HOT (and there is lots of mosquitoes) .   This week was really just going around getting to know the new area which is pretty nice.  The Branch President here is pretty cool and the other members are pretty nice.  Highlights from the week are that we, and when I say we I mean my companion made pizza with some investigators which was awesome.  Sunday was Fathers Day here in Brazil so the Branch here wanted to do something original so at the end of the three hour block they called all the fathers together and gave all a mug with a pen and then to top it off, a pizza with soda.  I thought it was a brilliant idea! Sunday night we also got to have a baptism of a girl whose ´uncle´ (he is only 5 years older than her) was baptized the last week.  It was super cool!   Hopefully this week will be pretty awesome as well! 
  I hope that you all have a great week this week! Have fun with school starting up again!   Have an awesome week! I miss all of you!

Elder Battraw

Monday, August 4, 2014

4 August 2014

This week was pretty nice here in Tancredo Neves.  Nothing really major happened except this Thursday was my 1 year mark out here in the mission field which was pretty cool.  Saturday we managed to have a baptism of a girl with 9 years of age.  Her family is less active except for her sister and brother who will always go to church.  We dropped by their house to see how they were and found out that Brenda hadn´t been baptised and this week we managed to arrange her batpism.  It was pretty cool, and afterward her mom told us that that she wanted to be baptized as well, but that will have to wait a little bit b/c they need to get married, were living together without being married.  Its super cool to be a ble to see the progress of this family. 

So the big news is finally out! I´ve been transfered!  I´m going to Itacoatiara which is located in the state of Amazonas, about 5 hours of bus riding to get there.  Yesterday I got the big phone call about 3:00pm.  Yesterday was a pretty good day, I got to say goodbye to a bunch of people back in Tancredo Neves and took some pictures with some of the members there.   It was a pretty cool day and it was a little weird to be packing up my bags after 7 months of living in that house in that area.  This morning I left the house about 6:00am, well, we tried to leave the house at 6:00am.  The Elder Quorums President had volunteered to take us to the airport and had managed to find our house just fine, the only problem was that when he went to start the car, the car wouldn´t start at all.  My flight was leaving at 7:20 so we kinda of had to get going.  He ran to a nearby gas station, got some gas and still the car wouldn´t.  He made an emergency phone call to his wife which got another car and drove up to pick us up, while she stayed with the broken down car.  The following 15 minutes of my life were some of the scariest.  First while we loading up the car (It was already 6:30) the  Elders Quorum President glances at his watch and with a determined look on his face said to me, Elder you will make this flight, I will drive like its Formula 1 to get you to the airport.  When we got going, I don´t think that the speedometer dipped below 60 km/hr.  To get around cars he would serve into the opposing lane, gun to get around people (try to remember that this is rush hour in a city), Red lights, no problem.  He would serve around the line of cars to get to the front and if nobody was in the intersection, gun it to get across.  He made the usual 25-35 minute trip into a trip of 13 minutes. We managed to ge to the airport in time and ran to get checked in and through security.  Thankfully I didn´t have any problems there and managed to catch my flight with the other missionaries to Manaus.  Right now I am waiting to catch the bus  to be able to go to my new area.  I´m pretty excited.  I am going to be the District Leader there which will be a new experience for sure.
  How is everything going on at home?  Anything new and exciting happen this week?   Hope that everything is going okay! Have an awesome week! When does school start?

 Elder Battraw