Monday, April 25, 2016

Week Forty One - Zone Meeting and a Warm Shower

So on Mother's Day I will talk to you guys via Skype. It might happen on Saturday but probably on Sunday. I will get it worked out. We have to find somewhere with wifi and get two computers together. I'll get it figured out. The secretaria has a computer. I don't know how well the wifi works. And yeah, LAN houses don't work for Skype.

The branch here meets in a house that is rented. This area is pretty flat. It is one small city. The members are few but mostly pretty firm. We have meals with members on Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Sat. The other days we do it on our own.

This week went well. We worked hard and got a pretty good amount of things done. We also had zone meeting and divisions with the zone leaders which was fun. I went with Elder Max to Itaporanga and stayed there with him for the division. They have a hose hooked up outside of the house, which they tied to the fence. It has hot water. It took a shower outside instead of inside with cold water. It's been a while since I took a shower with warm water. It was nice, but weird because I took a shower outside.

We have a baptism this Saturday which is good. The granddaughter of a recent convert. She has been going to church consistently with Neuza the recent convert for a few months now and we marked her baptism for this Saturday. It should go well. Also some of my investigators in Rio Largo have been getting baptized the last 2 weeks and the coming week. I got a little trunky/frustrated that I wasn't there. I still am a little bit, but I'll learn how to get over it.

That's pretty much it for this week. Love and miss you!
Elder Batten

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week Forty - Busy

It feels like yesterday when I sent a Skype message on Christmas. I don't know if I will be able to call you here in Tobias but if I can I will let you know.

This week was a lot of work. We lost a lot of time having to resolve some things. First, we have to change our house and we finally finished all of the documents and got it sent off to the mission office. So now we have to wait until we will be able to move. That will really blow some time, but that's ok. Also some sisters in my district had 3 baptisms this Saturday so we had to go there which is a two and a half hour bus ride. When I finally got all of the interviews done we had missed the last bus to return to Tobias. We had to get another bus to go to Aracaju the area of the LZ in another zone. But we were able to return the next day before 12.

Also, we lost Degenalda who was our investigator who was progressing the most until now. It was pretty difficult. She doesn't want to start attending a different church. It was frustrating because she didn't read or pray specifically to receive an answer. She went to church and liked it. She even cried during the testimony of a member but there is nothing I can really do about it. I did give a talk on Sunday about missionary work. I hope that someone felt something and will have the desire to change the branch.

We have been asking everyone in Tobias for references. Even when we make contacts in the street we ask for anyone who would maybe like to receive a visit from the missionaries. This week we received 9 references from investigators and random people. No one went to church but I have hope for the next week.

Transfers past yesterday, I will be staying in Tobias with the same companion.

Love and miss you all

Elder Batten

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week Thirty Nine - Tobias Barreto

My week went well. My new area is Tobias Barreto. It is in another state called Sergipe. It was a 7 hour bus ride to get here and an hour of taxi from Rio Largo to the bus station. Tobias is another small town kind of like Rio Largo but Tobias is a little bigger and a bit more complicated. There are more roads here and I still don't know the area all that well. I think that I will get accustomed in another two weeks, but that's all right. It is a branch here averaging about 30-35 members. Yesterday there were 30. The second counselor of the branch is younger than I am.

My companion Elder Custodio and he is from Fortaleza. Normally on Pday I just sleep, but my companion  has some things he needs to do during Pday, for example today he got his eyebrows done ... I'll leave it at that.

We have a baptism marked for 23 of April. Her name is Degenalda. She is our best investigator that we have been working with the last 2 weeks. She liked testimony meeting yesterday and even cried at the testimony of one of the members. So that was awesome. I don't have too much to report.. this week we made a lot of new investigators and taught a lot of lessons but many have already been cut off. So, it's pretty tiring work but I'm pretty animated to it's all good.

Love and miss you
Elder Batten

(Luke's District)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week Thirty Eight - District Leader

So I don't know exactly why I got transferred. All I know is that the mission president wanted to make some changes and I am a district leader now. I really wish I could have stayed more time in Rio Largo but it is how it is. I received the call at 12:00 that I was being transferred and I had to be at the bus station at 5:30. The bus station is an hour away from Rio Largo so I had to run home quickly to pack my bags and leave. I said goodbye to one of my converts and that was it. I didn't have time for anything else which sucks.

But now I am in an area called Tobias Barreto. It's another branch. Actually the smallest branch of the mission but that is okay. I am in a different state of my mission now as well. Before I was in Alagoas, and now I am in Sergipe. My district is all sisters... but one of them is a new sister that came on the mission a few weeks ago. She is actually Zach Newsom's friend. So that's pretty sick. During conference and interviews with the mission president I talked with her for a while it was pretty cool. This week I will take a picture at District meeting and send it.

General Conference was awesome. It was a lot easier to understand than the first time 6 months ago. I didn't have any trouble this time. The translators have boring voices but you just have to press attention and it's all good. I really liked Bednar's talk during priesthood session and also Holland's  and Elder Arnold's.

We had to go looking for a new house to live in this week. There were some problems with the owner and he is trying to pass off old bills for water for the church to pay. So we kind of don't have water in the house to do dishes. There is a little bit to take showers but I don't know when that is going to run out.

I sent pictures in another email.
Have a great week, love and miss you.

Elder Batten

(Pictures of Rio Largo)

 (Elder Ortiz and Victor)

(Family Home Evening in Rio Largo)