Monday, November 28, 2016

Week Seventy Two - Sleep Deprivation and Vanessa and Pitoca get Baptized

Hey, thanks for the pictures! I liked them a lot. I actually didn't even know that it was Thanksgiving this week until like 9:30 at night when I was talking with a sister on the phone and she said Happy Thanksgiving. But yeah. 
This week was extremely tiring. We ended up stressing a lot with Davisson and returning home really late at night a few times and afterwards waking up early and having to leave to resolve or do something. On Friday we left early in the morning to do baptismal interviews and I just kind of woke up put on clothes and left without taking a shower. I forgot to put on sunscreen and it ended up being really hot that day and I burnt completely. I'm still a little red in the face. 
We had two baptisms on Saturday. Vanessa and Pitoca were baptized. It was really great. They have been participating in the ward activities. I'll include the pictures. 
This temporary church to rob peoples money was opened close to our house this weekend. They made tons of of noise and were always playing music, with some crazy women screaming things that aren't even written in the bible. I lost a few hours of sleep. The bishop here is super cool, and he also served a mission. I joke around with him a lot about the things that people always say to missionaries like "in the gospel of Thomas Jesus said" or "once the prophet Titus said to the people"... These kinds of things are pretty common. Especially "In the bible Jesus said that church signs don't save anybody." Really??... Could you show me that scripture...?? Haha it's funny but I really wanted to sleep. 
I'm really loving this area. We've been having a lot of success, and the ward has started a plan for a future division to have two wards here. 
Have a good week, love and miss you
Elder Batten

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week Seventy One - The Seventh Day Adventist

So my adaptor broke and I wasn't able to send the pictures last week but they are all included in this email. The pictures included are from a Zone Meeting, and the baptisms last week and this week.
We had a multi zone meeting on Friday, which basically was a giant chewing out from the AP's and President about "apostasy in the mission." I liked the meeting but it was a little harsh. But me and my companion are baptizing like almost every week so whatever, haha. And the zone has a possible 8 baptisms this week which would be really sick. 
We have marked this week for Vanessa and Luis to be baptized. (They are the two children of Lane and Ana) who were baptized this last week. Which should be really great.
Also we have this investigator named Davisson who has been an investigator for 9 years. He is a Seventh Day Adventist. He has almost been baptized many times but always got cold feet and backed out because he can't "prove" many doctrines of the church, which he can in the Adventists. (There is proof of everything but he just doesn't want to accept the Sabbath) And he doesn't accept "good feelings as a response from God." But we have been working with him recently. It started because he appeared out of no where at our house offering to have us for dinner at his house one day, but didn't want to talk about religion. So we annoyed him enough into talking about religion. It was funny because he one time in the car was like "I don't understand why you guys want to talk about religion so much, you do it everyday." I was like "Dude I haven't been able to kiss a girl in more than one year and 4 months. Do you think I'm going to talk about normal things." and he had a good laugh at that. But at church on Sunday he came. And during the sacrament meeting the boy who is leaving for his mission this week named Junior gave a talk during sacrament meeting. It was very clear that Davisson felt the spirit very strongly. He got up and went to the restroom, and returned a little while after. He told me that he can't understand why he feels so strongly to be a member of the church but doctrinally he feels the other way. I told him that there are answers for all of the doctrines. And I asked him if he was only feeling good things or if he was feeling the spirit. He couldn't deny it. We had him talk with the bishop afterwards, it was really great. So we've got some work to do with him this week. He is thinking about being baptized on Saturday. It really was a miracle.
But I love you all, have a good week
Elder Batten


Monday, November 14, 2016

Week Seventy - Baptisms and Such

This week went well but was a little bit stressful. We had tons of work to do and had to follow up on our investigators who were baptized this week. Also sorry, but my adaptor isn't working to send in the pictures. Edineide and Livia were baptized on Saturday. The baptism was great. There were tons of members there watching the baptism so that was really awesome to see.

Sorry I've got kind of a jumbled head because of the transfer. I can't really think straight right now because of a lot of the changes that happened in the zone/mission. We have another baptism for this week as well, a woman named Lane has a baptism marked. We have to follow up with her and teach the commandments still though. And her sister and daughter will maybe be baptized on the other Saturday 26.
We learned that Antonio had assassinated someone like 10/15 years ago so for now he will not be able to be baptized. We are going to have to resolve that.... I left that lesson wanting to sleep for like 1501522 hours. 
But I'm doing well. I'm happy and loving this area. Just a bunch of splits/baptismal interviews/change/transfer/emergency transfer and having to go to the bus station at midnight to pick up missionaries was stressful today but all is well.
Have a good week, love you
Elder Batten

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week Sixty Nine - Dreams, the Pentecostal and a Baptism

So I didn't have time to  film the video that I said I would do so I guess  I'll  just write out what I wanted to say:
So we are teaching this women named Edinade. She has two sons who were baptized a few years ago but now are less actives and don't want to return. She was invited to a ward activity by a member and we grabbed her address and started visiting her. On the first visit she told us that she had this dream/vision. Basically she dreamed/visioned that she was in the place where everything was white and she was able to see her family. (Mom, sister, brothers and others who have already passed on.) They were all dressed in white and all happy and talking. She wanted to talk with them but wasn't able. She felt as if there was a glass wall or a veil (exact words) between her and her family. She said that she wasn't able to feel the presence of her children. She wanted to go talk with her family but wasn't able to, and then it ended. We explained to her about the spirit world and about the plan of salvation. She told us that she wanted to go to the temple, and explained that her friend (sister Dorinha who is a member) had taken the names of her family and done the baptisms and endowments for them. We explained to her that her family had accepted the gospel and the only way to take down the veil/ glass wall was to be baptized. And through her example one day she would be able to bring her sons back to activity in the church. She has a date set for the 12th but we will she if she is able to stop drinking coffee before then.
We have another investigator named Antonio. He went to church the other week. He knows the Book of Mormon is true, knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet. He has been ripping through the Book of Mormon. In less than 24 hours of recieving the Book of Mormon he read 15 chapters of 1 Nephi and was able to recount everything that happend and through his own knowledge he identified the Catholic church as the prostitute of the world. That was pretty funny. He found the 1 hour film of the restoration on youtube and watched the entire film. He was able to recount that Joseph went to jail, recieved two seperate visits from angels to receive the entire priesthood, also from Moroni to receive the plates, that he built a temple and that Joseph was murdered in 1844 sealing the testimony of the Book of Mormon with his own blood. He spoke of these things so profoundly that he didn't have the appearance of an investigator. In Principles of the Gospel two weeks ago the teacher was explaining about the spirit world. A member was explaining about how salvation being a personal thing is a lie that other churches teach. Because if Salvation was personal therefore we would not need Christ as our Savior. Antonio started to talk saying that he agreed, that in his church (quadrangular which is the Pentecostal foursquare church) they teach that salvation is personal and he doesn't agree because that isn't taught in the scriptures. The only thing impeding him from being baptized still is that he is heavily involved in his church and involved in an upcoming activity there and isn't able to leave completely his obligations just yet. He is a deacon in the church there, which is basically president of the quorum. But he will be baptized.
Also Clebson was baptized on Saturday. It was great. He is the 21 year old who moved from Sao Paulo recently to come live with his dad. He told us this week he had thought a little bit about serving a mission one day. That would be so sick. I'll send the picture.
Also on Sunday we had Stake Conference. Elder Perroti of the area seventy was there. He gave a good talk.

Have a good week, love you
Elder Batten

(Same shoes from last week, back from the shoemaker!)