Monday, September 29, 2014

29 Sept. 2014

I remember going to the apple orchard! That was so much fun being able to go out there! Has anything changed out there? You guys got a lot of apples!  How much apple sauce did it all make? Enough to be able to ship some out to Brasil?!  Apple cider sounds so good right now.  Right now its pretty darn hot so that sounds really good!  Even though the band didn´t place sounds like they are doing pretty good though.  Just keep on going and I know that the band will do super good.  Zach will have a good time now in Deacons Quorum with david!
  So my week this week was pretty normal.  Nothing extremely out of the ordinary happened.   Monday was the normal p day.  Tuesday was district meeting which went really well.  Super cool as usual.  The rest of the week was a lot of just knocking on doors and trying to find more people to teach.  We have a couple that we are teaching and helping to get right now. Their names are Sergio and Amanda and they are pretty awesome.  Sergio was baptized about 10 years ago but hasn´t really been active at all.  He would show up at random church activities and participate, but except from this not really.  Hes living with his girlfriend right now  and we are helping to get them married.  They should be married this Ocober 11th and we are super excited for them.  Amanda wants to get baptized as well os we are helping prepare her for her baptismal date.  We are teaching this other man, his name is Jucileno.  He is a college physics teacher and is obviously super intelligent.   He is super fun to teach and this week he went to church for the first time! Its just awesome!  This week hopefully we´ll be able to start to teach his family as well!  Thursday night my companion and I got to have a cool little experience.  So right now on my cool foods list I´ve already put: Alligator, Cows Stomach, Piraucu (7ft long fish) and thursday I finally got to put on the awesome foods list:Bulls tongue.  It actually is not that bad, it just tastes like beef that is really chewy.  We ate it with rice and farinha.  I give it a 3.5 out of 5.  The fun stuff that you eat out here in the middle of the amazon.  The lady who gave it to us is the mom of a member and we are trying to teach here right now as well.  shes pretty cool.  My companion and I are super excited for this coming week to be able to watch General Conference! Its going to be awesome!  
  Hope that everythings is going great back home. Have fun making apple sauce!  Have a fun week and go marching band!  Miss all of you! 

Love Elder Battraw

Monday, September 15, 2014

15 Sept 2014

So that sounds like you all had a pretty calm week!  Yes, Fishers won! Sounds like that was  a crazy  evening though!  What movies did you watch? Any good films have come out? Keep on going marching Tiger Band.  Hope that everything goes well this week with the upcoming competition.  Keep on going tom with the mission funds! Are all of the interviews done and everything now? Is it just waiting for the call to come in?   Hope everything goes well there.
   So to answer your questions, the mission is going great! It is weird to think that I only have 9.5 months left out here in the mission field.  That part is really strange.  Time flies out here when you really get into the work.  So, my area. It is called Itaporanga (E-tap-or-an-ga), located in the city of Itacoatiara (E-ta-quat-chee-are-a) which is 4 hours away by bus from Manaus.  It is in the middle of the jungle located on the Amazon River.  Super cool here.  It is a little/a lot isolated.  Its super cool being here though.  And no, I´m not blind yet, we actually don´t take malaria meds here.
  This week was interesting.   Monday we got to have a district p-day.  All of our district got together to have a district party.  We all threw something in to make lunch and then just hung out a bit.  I was the drink master and used my companions Kool aid packets and made Kool-aid.  Super good.  Tuesday, I got sick.  I had an extremely sore throat with running nose and the works.  My voice dropped about 5 octaves, and lets just say, I could say I´ll be back better than Arnold Schwarznegger.  Fun times, I took some medicine and laid down and by the night, I was feeling better so we left to do some quick visits.  Wednesday was my companions turn to get sick.  He got some serious stomach pain and he ended up going to the hospital.  The doctors passed some medication and he felt better.  We figured out later that it had been caused by chocolate milk.  He´d bought a huge package of 27 chocolate drink packs.  Too much of a good thing.  Friday was interesting.  Friday night we were visiting the house of a member about 8:40pm ish we got a phone call from the other elders telling us that they had corned a rat in our house and they needed our help to kill it.  So we ran home, took off our ties, grabbed big sticks and ran into help.  After an exhaustive 30 minutes of intense waiting, dismantling of the oven to get to the rat, and about 6 minutes of combat, we vanquished triumphant, and we can say that there is officially one less rat in Brasil.  Sunday we got the phone call that my companion Elder Rodriguez, was being transfered to Manaus, Area Canaranas, which had been my first area, to be companions with Elder Acchura, who was also my companion.  Fun stuff.  I´ll be staying here in Itaporanga with Elder Brock, who is from North Carolina.  He gets here later tonight and I´m super excited.  
 So that was my week this week.  Pretty interesting.  Hope you all have a great week this week.  Have an awesome week, I miss you all!  

Elder Battraw

Monday, September 8, 2014

8 Sept. 2014

Advent calenders, thats pretty cool.  f they send them off soon, it´ll probably get here in about 3 months, about Christmas time,  just make sure to label the boxes with Christmas on them and then I won´t open them till about Christmas time,  I won´t make any promises about waiting until Christmas day..;)   Thanks so much though!  Sounds like sam is having a great time with marching band and now being a priest! Way to go Sam!  Hope that the band does well this year! Make it to State!  If they go to the concert, I need pictures.
  So this week in Itacoatiara was interesting.  Monday was the normal p day.  Just hanging back and trying to relax with the little time that we had.  Tuesday was District Meeting and my companion actually managed to make apple pie.  The sisters had managed to locate brown sugar and Tuesday morning, my companion actually to pull off the miracle that is apple pie.  It wasn´t as good as normal american apple pie, but it was still pie.  Super good.  Wednesday was pretty normal.  Thursday began what is called Fecanni here.  Basically it is just a party that goes on for 4 days straight and beats just about any college party that I´ve ever heard about.  lots of drinking and singing and music.  Needless to say, we stayed far away from it, but it was difficult at times b/c after about 5pm, everybody would just start going to fecanni and not be in home so it got a little interesting at times trying to find people to teach.  Friday we had a really cool experience with a lesson.  We went to teach the mom of a recent convert, who is already a member of the church but its been 10 years that shes been to church, so its kinda of been awhile.  So we got there and talked for her for about two hours just trying  to teach her and answer here a lot of questions.  She is super smart, and had lots of questions like, how is the god of the old testament the same as the new testament if they are so different, how can god repent if hes perfect, continuing this way.  So for about an hour we tried to answer her questions, but we were getting nowhere, she just didn´t want to accept it.  Right when we were about to get up and walk out of her house, I don´t remember how or why but we started to teach the Plan of Salvation and the spirit entered into the room and made all the difference.  She started to actually listen and things, as she put it, started to make sense to her.  Everything we said started to really make sense to her and by the end of the lesson, she said that everything that she had doubted had started to make sense to her.  We taught her again Saturday about the family and the Book of Mormon and the same thing happened.  It is amazing to see the power of the Spirit working in these peoples lives.  When we try to convince a person without the influence of the spirit, we get nowhere, but when the spirit enters into our lessons, then it can testify and we can witness true conversion happen.  You can never truly teach and testify without the the spirit present.  Super cool experience.  
  That was my week this week! Hope you have a great week this week .  Good luck at the invitational this week Same.  Hope that you all have a great week! Miss all of you!

Elder Battraw

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

1 Sept. 2014

Last week was a little bit crazy with the internet b/c literally
everywhere here in Itacoatiara did not have internet and if it did, it
was coming in spurts and not consistently.  Really kind of frustrating
at times but we managed to get emails out!  Happy Birthday to
everyone!  The birthdays are all coming to a close right now right?
Super cool.  When is tom going to get an appointment with Pres.
Kinard?  This is kinda of taking a while.  Maybe he´ll go to
California along with all the other people in the ward.   Taht sounds
like a cool fun opening night thing to do.  I wish I could see the
band perform.  Its kind of weird to think that the band is performing
and I can´t see the show.  Huh, I´ll have to wait until next year.
Keep on going though Sam!  Sounds like you have some interesting
stories about working at the hosptial!   you are back in school? Thats
  so this week in the mission field was pretty normal.  Tuesday was
district meeting which went well.  I´m starting to get used to giving
trainings and being district leader now.  The sisters here in
Itacoatiara managed to get hold of a recipe for apple pie and so now
its being a hunt to track down all of the ingredients to be able to
make.  We were finally able to track them all down, but the hardest
definitely was the brown sugar, which is not a normal thing to have
out here in brasil.  This week was managed to find a cool new family
to teach.  The son has been going to church for some time but has
never been baptized, so we rea trying to teach him right now and his
family.  They are all super cool.  Its a mom with her 4 kids and her
17 year daughter has a daughter as well, but they are all  super cool.
They didn´t go to church this week because everybody got sick, but
hopefully this next week they´ll al be able to go!  We also had Sunday
a baptism of an 8 year old who has also been going to church for more
than three months all alone.  We acutally thought that he was a member
already but  2 weeks ago we asked how was his baptism and he said to
us, but I´ve never been baptized!  So yesterday was his baptism.   His
mom is actually a member but its been years since she has been to
church so we are trying to get her reactivated!  Its been super cool
to talk with her. She is actually trying to major in English so she
has been practicing her english with us a little bit.  Getting the
baptism ready was interesting to say the least.  We got to the chapel
about 2:45ish to get everything ready for his baptism and found out
that the font had not actually drained out all of the water and that
there was about 2 inches of water on the bottom of the font that was
really dirting, which started a hasty effort to get everything cleaned
out.  I rolled up my pants, got some buckets and we got to work.
After about an hour of bailing out the font and cleaning, we were
ready to fill!   it filled a little bit then we had to leave to get
everything else ready and go some other appointments and had to turn
it off.  We didn´t get a chance to turn it back on again till the
acutal baptism so it was running back to the chapel and sweeping
really quickly and filling the font as fast as possible so it made
life a little bit interesting but everything turned out okay!   This
week is going to be interesting here b/c the biggest music festival in
the northern region of brasil will be held here Thursady until Sunday
so it will definitly be interesting trying to teach, but we will find
a way!
  Hope that everyone will have a great week!  Miss all of you!
Elder Battraw

The many pictures of Itacoatiara.  A baptism, cleaning out the
baptismal font,losing all the power in the house.  Fun stuff.  hope
you all have a great week!
Elder battraw