Monday, January 25, 2016

Week Twenty Eight - Three Questions

This week I asked Luke three questions:
How is your new companion?
How are your investigators progressing?
What do you do when you get discouraged or frustrated?

My new companion is great. His name is Elder Rui. He is from passo fundo in Rio Grande Do Sul. But he is short like me, normally quiet but we joke around a lot.

None of our investigators are progressing. For me progressing isn't receiving an answer about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith. That is easy. Anyone with an open heart and mind who is humble enough to pray to God and ask with sincerity will receive that. It's only a matter of being in tune with the spirit and recognizing how the spirit works within us. But there are many people who even after receiving a testimony about the truth of our message, about the Book of Mormon won't go to church, won't be baptized and won't change their past habits or life. That is a lot harder. So we've been cutting off a lot of investigators and making new ones. We do have one who is doing really well though. But he twisted his ankle really badly and couldn't go to church. He's been staying in bed and taking a lot of medicine but he should be better this week. Making new investigators is easy. Just talk to people in the street, get their address and start making visits. A lot won't progress though. It's a lot easier when someone already has a friendship established with a member. And we don't receive anything here from members so it's difficult.

Whenever I feel discouraged or frustrated I just remember why I'm here on a mission. I always remember my Savior and when He suffered for my sins and gave His life for me. He died so that I can live. And that is why I am serving a mission. Because I love Him and He asked me to take care of His sheep. There isn't any justification in staying negative or sad when I know Christ suffered a whole lot more than me so that I can have salvation. I don't look at a mission as a big thing that I have to get over. I look at it as a blessing to serve Him and better myself so that I can be more like Him. There doesn't exist a higher calling than serving God, and serving our neighbor. That's what I remember when I feel discouraged.

But everything is well and I am happy.

Elder Batten

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week Twenty Seven

This week went well. It was a little difficult, but we worked hard. My new companion is great. Elder Rui. He is from Rio Grande do Sul. We started teaching well together the first couple of days so that was good. He's pretty quiet, but I like him a lot. We worked hard this week. We made 10 new investigators through contacts and family of previous investigators. I had high hopes for Sunday, but none showed up to church. Josefa as well... She has already received a response from God that the Book of Mormon is true and that she needs to be baptized. But every Sunday she faults out. Also we left early Sunday morning to walk a family to church but something came up and they couldn't go to church. It was pretty rough. But we are entering this next week animated to find an elect family to help the branch. We have one pretty good investigator that we plan on focusing on for this week.

Elder Batten

(Elder Batten with his previous companion, Elder Ilg and Liete who was baptized recently)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week Twenty Six

The weather has been pretty odd here recently. It's been raining a lot. I would like to feel snow again, but I will have to wait a few years. Also, I am having a lot of trouble sending the pictures. The wifi on my camera isn't working in the church and I am not able to send pictures over wifi. I had an adaptor from another Elder but to send all the pictures over the adaptor would take more than 3 hours.  And I don't have 3 hours to stay on the computer sending pictures. So for now I don't know what I am going to do, but just sit patient. Eventually you will see all of the photos that I have taken.

My companion got emergency transferred. He is going to be the financial secretary of the mission. Which kind of sucks because it was going really well here. I'm going to stay here in Rio Largo, I don't know for how long. I think it will be for a while longer. But my new companion will be Elder Rui. I'm writing this from the mission office right now, because I'm waiting here until 5 for my new companion. It will take a while because he is coming from Sergipe.

We had a baptism on Saturday. Liete was baptized. It went really well. The water of the building was cut off, and we almost didn't have enough water to fill the baptismal font. We had to continue returning to the building a lot this past week to get the font filled. But everything went well.

I hope everyone is doing well and have a good week.

Elder Batten

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week Twenty Five - New Years Eve

That's cool that it has been snowing there.  A lot of people ask me if there is snow where I live in the United States. It's funny because they all say that they can't even imagine what it would be like to see or feel snow. But the weird weather of rain and storms wore off and it's back to normal now. This week was difficult with all of the partying and stuff around New Years. On New Years Eve our neighbors played music from 9 at night until 11 in the morning.  It was a bit difficult to sleep. There was a lot of partying and drinking so it was difficult to find anyone home. So yeah this week was hard in respect to work, but that's to be expected around this time of the year. This week will be back to normal. We spent New Years Eve at the house of a member. We ate and talked and returned home afterwards. It was good, we ate turkey which was nice.

I don't have too much to say about this week. Liete is our closest investigator to baptism right now but she doesn't have the desire to be baptized. She's been to church 4 times now and has received all of the lessons.  She is too preoccupied with her daughter to do much. She told us she will be baptized if we get her daughter to be baptized.  And her daughter lives in Jatiuca and is only here sometimes.  So it's going to be difficult with her. But we are praying a lot and working hard.

I hope you all had a good New Year!

Elder Batten