Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week Ninety Eight - Let it Rain

Hey, sorry I didn't send a long email last week. I wanted to play basketball so I didn't have much time. I'm really sorry.
This week we had tonnss of rain, like more rain than Maceió has had in a really really long time. Like a lot of the streets got flooded and a lot of the stop lights broke down, and the rain caused the road to break and there are a lot of holes in the street because of the rain. The city is not that well built for rain. We had some buckets in our house catching water that was pinging from the ceiling. We had quite a few spots of droppage and a lot of the ceiling got wet and paint started to fall from the ceiling. But it was cool. We spent repeated days wet and the house smells like wet clothes, and wet elder.
We had a stake conference here at the church this weekend. It was great. The president of the Recife temple came and talked. He and the stake president both gave very powerful talks. The conference was really spiritual. I enjoyed it a lot. 
We are going to start working with this lady named Neide this week. She came to the conference because she felt inspired that she needed to be there. She has quite a few doubts and questions about religion and such. We visited her house once, she lives in a favela in a really humble house, but I'm excited to work with her this last week.
I don't know If I'm gonna be able to send email next Monday, there are lot of things scheduled for me to do and dinner with the president so I don't know, if not, see you soon!

Elder Batten  


Monday, May 15, 2017

Week Ninety Six - Mother's Day Edition

It was good to talk with everyone on Mother's Day. I forgot to show my planner that a sister in my district made for me. On the front is my plane passage to go home, and on the back she made like a collage with things for after the mission, it has the law of chastity, a picture of the temple, a cut out of a girl, and a little baby. It was pretty funny.

We spent some time this week finding new investigators. We found quite a few, but a lot couldn't come to church this Sunday "because of mother´s day". But we had Jadiel at church with his little daughter this week. I'll try and take some more pictures this week, I haven't taken any in a while. Where going to have a family home evening with the members tonight so I'll take a picture with everyone. 

3 more weeks. It feels like so much time but it is also so little time. Confliction. 

sorry I can't think of much else to say

have a good week ,
Elder Batten

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week Ninety Five - Pigs and Movers

Sorry I didn't send an email last week, we were kind of pressed with time because we had to do it on Tuesday since Monday was labour day. But last week me and my companion helped a member to slaughter a pig. My companion wanted to kill it. He had to give it the blow with a hatchet. He kind of looked like a clown doing it because he was too scared to hit it hard and ended up just kind of hurting the pig. This other guy who was there had to end up grabbing the axe and killed it. I helped skin it and do a few things. I also gave the pigs baths and put out food for them.
This week we are spent a lot of time trying to help Jadiel's family because the members got really excited to see a complete family go to church. It's been a while that missionaries have brought a complete family to church here. We helped them move their house on Tuesday and when we got there they were totally unprepared to move and we just started putting things on a cart and wheeling them to the new house which was like a 5 minute walk. They eventually called their "friend" who had a small truck who helped out. He was this 70 year old guy who surprisingly had a lot of strength and energy who just spent his time chewing people out. Except me and my companion who were actually helping. And we ended up getting a lot of rain. But I kind of liked that part. That entire day I was having reflux and I ended up spending the night throwing up at 1 in the morning. I think it was vinegar that I ate at lunch. But I slept the entire next day so it was cool and I feel better now.

Have a good week!
Elder Batten


Monday, May 1, 2017

Week Ninety Four - Itinerary

No email this week. Monday was a holiday and Tuesday he ran out of time.
But we got travel itinerary!
Elder Batten will be home on Wednesday, June 7th!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week Ninety Three - Last Transfer

This week we had some setbacks with Ronaldo. But his mom is progressing a little bit and Jadiel and Rita went to church on Sunday. :) That was actually pretty nice though seeing Jadiel and Rita at church.

Also Maria (who still hasn't been baptized because her mom won't let her) gave us a reference of her friend Luana who saw us walking in the street and Maria told her that we visited her. (we actually generally teach Maria in the home of our recent convert family because they are neighbors) Maria invited her to hear a lesson. And Luana went to church on Sunday. We're also gonna try and teach her family who are from some evangelical church I don't know which. 

So this week I enter into my last transfer, I will be staying in my area with my companion. We weren't transferred so I am excited about that. 

Also sometimes Davison (my eternal investigator from Gurguri) comes and visits somtimes here, and his pastor heard that he is going to the mormon church and he is almost undergoing church disciplin in the adventist church.

Have a good week.

Elder Batten


Monday, April 17, 2017

Week Ninety Two - Happy Easter

Hey, I had a great week. We had some great progress in our area. Also Easter was cool. We recieved some chocolate from the members.

Ronaldo and his mom went to church with us on Sunday. It was really cool. They have a baptism marked for here in a week or two. 
On Friday Nadson got baptized. I'll include the picture. It was a really rainy day and we walked like a ton that day to resolve some things and we got super wet and it was tiring. But the baptism was great!
This week I stepped in esgoto and my shoes stink and I got my pants and shirt dirty. 
Happy Easter!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Week Ninety One - Goals

Hey, we had a good week this week. We found some new investigators. We are teaching a family now. Jadiel, Rita, and Ritas mom and brother Nena and Ronaldo. They seem to be really interested. They ended up waking up late and didn't go to church on Sunday, but this next week we committed them to go.

We had a zone conference this week. They talked a lot about the missions goal for this month which is 120. 
We have a baptism this week. Nadson is going to be baptized. I'll make sure and take a picture. Also Maria's mom maybe will let her get baptized here soon. We will have to wait and see. She's almost done reading 2 Nephi. 
I finnished reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese again this week. 
That's about it for now, have a good week!
Elder Batten

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week Ninety - A Good Week of Work

I really liked General Conference a lot. It was loaded with a lot of good talks. We had a good week of work. We've been having trouble following up with Ailton because his cousins who are members don't really help that much. Maria's mom looks like she will let her get baptized this month. We've been teaching the mother of our recent convert who is sick right now. She had chikungunya a while ago and she hasn't totally recovered. We're also teaching this guy named Isaias who is 19. He appears to be elect. He accepted a baptismal date, and committed to pray. He watched a session of general conference and seemed to like it a lot. We've got some really good investigators right now.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week Eighty Nine - Blessings and Cleaning

Hey! The secretary is close to buying my plane ticket home. He asked for the name of my airport this week, but he still hasn't bought the ticket. Only 10 more weeks XO. Kind of wierd that it is so close. I feel like I've only been here for a few days/ an eternity. Not really sure which one it's felt like. It's kind of a mix between the both.
We got called a few times this week to go to the hostpital to give some blessings. We gave a blessing to a members brother who was shot in the neck, shoulders, stomach, knee, foot, and side. It was a lot of flesh wounds (bad joke). But he was getting better and we gave him a blessing to heal entirely, he had a surgery the next day and everything went well. 
We are teaching the cousin of a woman we baptised. his name is Ailton, he is 16 and he has been going to some of the courses that they have here at the church, like english, and computer formatting or something like that. He has gone to a few of the activities at church, and seems pretty interested. We taught him for the first time 3 weeks ago, but we hadn't been able to follow up on him for a while now. 
Also last Thursday me and my comp went to clean the house in Trapiche for the two sisters that got transferred to there. The house was left filthy filthy filthy when the elders were ET´d. And the sister that was going to move in there I know and I felt bad so we went to clean the house. Also she was coming there with a greenie and I didn't want the newbie to get scared. Because my first house on the mission was absolutely destroyed and when I walked in and I thought to myself "what did I just walk into?" The house was nasty. So we cleaned it for like 2 hours. I filled a big trash bin full of trash and left it in the apartments dump. (they live in this super nice apartment on the beach). But it was nasty. 
yeah thats about it. have a good week love you
Didn't really take any pictures this week. 
Elder batten

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week Eighty Eight - Niki Manaj?

Hey! So we had 2 baptisms this week. Graziela and her daughter Gabrielle were baptized on Saturday. It was a pretty great experience. I'll include the pictures.
I did some baptismal interviews this week. I went to Coruripe, and the Barra de São Miguel. Coruripe was a cool city. The church isn't really settled there yet, they have to go the the Barra to attend church.  It was a really cool city and a lot different than Maceió. Like people stay outside at night and stay in the square at night. We had to spend the night at the Patriarch's house because it is kind of far. But I was with Elder Toma who is American. He has like 5 months on his mission. Before going to bed the Patriach asked him if he wanted something to eat and Toma looked super confused. I had to explain to him what he said. Afterwards Toma was like: I thought he asked me if I wanted Niki Manaj, and I was super confused? I laughed a lot.
Yesterday we passed the transfer. Elder Piagentini got transfered and me and Andrade are going to continue here in the area. 11 weeks left.
Elder Batten


Monday, March 13, 2017

Week Eighty Seven - Elder Christofferson Visit

Hey! This week was cool. We had some good work. Also Elder Christofferson came this week. It was kind of good for me because recently I've been getting a little lazy. It's not like I don't want to do anything, but I don't have the same motivation that I had when I was in my first year. So having an apostle coming this week was good for me. 
We had a meeting with Elder Christofferson on Saturday. It was cool. Elder Robbins and his wife, Elder Basset and his wife, and also Elder Antunes from the area seventy were also there. They shook hands with everyone. He just answered questions for the training. It was cool, I asked a question about the spirit, which elder Antunes answered and then Christofferson talked a little as well. He gave some pretty lengthy responses to our questions. After the meeting Elder Antunes stopped and gave me a hug and started talking to me about my question. Everyone got jealous and wanted to know what he said afterward.  
There was a moment where I had some self reflection. Elder Christofferson gave a pretty detailed and lengthy testimony. He started by saying something along the lines: "This may be the last time that this specific group will be together, so I want you all to know that I was here. From someone who knows that Christ lives you heard my testimony. I know that Jesus lives." And he bore his testimony and it was a different experience. It left a strong mark on me. Many missionaries return home and end up falling away from the church at one point or another. Statistically not all of the missionaries will persevere until the end, and not all will qualify for exaltation. Christofferson left the spirit and the witness of the truth, that no one will be able to deny happened. And that will bear witness in the judgement one day. And I reflected and looked at myself. Looked at my weaknesses, and what more I need to do. I also thought about what I know. I've studied and learned a lot on my mission, but if I fall away because I stopped doing the things that are necessary it won't mean anything, and my own knowledge will bear testimony against me in the last day. 
That was basically my week. I also did a division to perform a baptismal interview. We have some baptisms coming up this week, so that's gonna be great!
Take Care,
Elder Batten

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week Eighy Six - Nicholas

We had a baptism this week, Nicholas was baptized. So I guess I'll tell you a little about Nicholas. He is 15 and his parents died when he was very young. He lives with his grandmother. He had been going to church for many years now, his aunt and uncle are members of the church. His grandma never let him get baptized. She thought he only wanted to go to church to mess around and stuff, which is partially true. He went to FSY which is basically EFY and he returned a lot different, more spiritual, and we went and talked a little bit with his grandma and she let him be baptized. He is a pretty good example because he never had anyone to help him or get on his case about going to church. He always went because he wanted to and he knew it was the right thing to do.

This week we are going to have a meeting Saturday, with Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and he will also be here on Sunday for Stake Conference so that will be really cool!

I'm doing great. Hope all is well.
Elder Batten

Monday, February 27, 2017

Week Eighty Five - Pictures

Carnaval started this week. So theres been a lot of block parties and things like that. I did some divisions and stuff this week and took a bunch of pictures. Spent some time looking for a new house for some elders in another area close by and took some pictures close to the beach. 
(Beach pictures were taken while on a division in Trapeche)
 (Maceio in the distance)



Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Eighty Four - More Baptisms in Prado

So we had another great week. We worked a lot and had a lot of great experiences. We also had a baptism on Saturday. 
I went on a division this week but I forgot to bring my camera. 
I'm really sorry this is so short, but I'll try and make up for it with more with pictures. 
Elder Batten


Monday, February 13, 2017

Week Eighty Three - Off to a Good Start in Prado

So I love my new area, also I'm in a trio. Me and Elder Piagentini (his trainee) and also Elder Andrade, the other zone leader. So I'm not alone as a zone leader, I'm still training and my other companion is the other zone leader. Our zone had 8 areas but now it only has 7. A missionary went home this week and they had to shut the area. But this mission has like 5 trios so I don't know why they don't open some of the areas. But it's kind of a difficult zone, areas that are broken, some wards with a frequency of 40 50 60.  So it's a little difficult. Our area is great but it underwent some re divisions to help out the ward closer and lost some members. Christofferson is coming in March. It sounds like they are going to erase all of the lines and redo everything. It really does need it. They need to undo some wards and maybe even a stake or two.

The area wasn't closed. They just switched the missionaries who were there. So we had to re learn the area. But we baptized 5 people this week and we have baptisms for this next week as well. We got off to a good start. We spent the week getting to know the members and this area. Luckily Andrade had served in the neighboring area at the start of his mission and already did tons of divisions in Prado.

And yes, we heard the broadcast. The broadcast said we could wake up at 7:30 and go to bed later. But our mission will continue waking up at 6:30 and returning at 9. The sun rises early and sets early here so it doesn't make sense to wake up later. It gets dark at 5:30/6 here and at night some areas can be dangerous, but we can do companionship study whenever we want to.

Also I did a division this week in the Barra de Sao Miguel. soooo sick, look it up on google!

Elder Batten

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week Eight Two - Transferred

I hope that story last week didn't scare anyone, I just thought it would be interesting to share.. 

So I got transferred.... I'm going to Prado which is an area really close to the beach (just great to help with the trunkyness! just kidding)  I'm kind of disappointed but it could be good for me. I'm mostly disappointed because we have a couple Laise and Vageanio who have a baptismal date for this week. I've worked my entire mission with the goal in mind to baptize a complete family. And finally when I had it... I'm going to be transfered. It's not that I'm not happy with the baptisms that I've had... but I don't feel satisfied until I baptize a family. I'm still determined. I know I found an entire family in Rio Largo that was baptized but I wasn't there to see it. I got transferred before. 
But I've always liked opening areas. It always brings new experiences. Also I may be zone leader alone which will be interesting. 
Sorry time is short today, hope you have a great week!
Elder Batten

Monday, January 30, 2017

Week Eighty One - In the Bairro

So the week was good and bad. We were able to find some good new investigators and are progressing to have some baptisms this next transfer, but on Sunday no one came to church. So that kind of sucked. And most of the people didn't come because they were sleeping or other useless excuses. And we are going to have to leave Ednilson for a little while because he has stopped progressing for a while now. We did get this lady who hadn't been to church in a long time to come but her husband who we are teaching didn't come. 
A crazy thing happened this week. So we were going to enter into this place called Sorriso 1. It's a bairro which I don't know how to translate. Just like an area you know? But when we got there, there were a bunch of police cars and stuff and we saw a bunch of people circled around this sidewalk corner. We were going to descend the hill and enter in to talk to Ednilson but this member saw us and frantically stopped us. People were only going down in large groups because there was a lot of gunfire and some shoot outs between police and criminals. People were circled around the street corner because there was a head on the ground. yeah... a head. Turns out these guys were stealing mangas or cocos during the night and this farmer shot one of them and they returned to kill him but found his son, killed him and put his head on a post, then someone took it off and threw it on the street corner. But someone covered it with a plastic bag. And so we left and went to another part of our area and during the lesson this neighbor frantically entered telling our investigator to shut down her store because there was going to be a shoot out, which never happened. I doubted that it would actually happen because there was so much police there. And everyone was frantically running around to shut down the stores and stuff. So we decided to go home because it was so crazy. There wasn't really any present danger but every one gets worked up when things like this happen. Don't worry though, it's not like I was ever in any danger. But the next day everything was back to normal.
So that was our week. Hopefully yours was better.
Elder Batten

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week Eighty - An Awkward Bus Ride

We had a baptism this week. Mikaella who is the granddaughter of a member was baptized. We had 3 baptisms marked but the other 2 fell through. One will happen this week and the other I'm not sure. We've been working hard with him but he hasn't been fulfilling commitments recently. We did have some investigators go to church for the first time this Sunday which was really great. 
Also we passed the week without water in our house. We didn't realize that we were having a water shortage and we used all of the water from the reserve in our house. Then we were without water to shower, wash clothes, rinse dishes, and flush toilets. So we spent the week filling up buckets and water gallons at the church and taking them home to shower and wash clothes. Taking showers with buckets wasn't all that bad though. What kind of sucked was not being able to wash dishes and flush toilets. The problem is that flushing a toilet requires like almost an entire bucket of water and we had four buckets and 2 of those 5 gallon water jugs. So we would use the bathroom at the church sometimes. It definitely tested our patience a little this week.
If you want to hear interesting things that happened to me this week.. one, I killed a scorpion.
Also yesterday on the bus I was returning to the chapel from a commitment far away. The bus got really crowded and I ended up standing next to these 3 girls who were seated. They started talking about me and I just kind of got all awkward looked and smiled and said thanks... they then told me I looked like the Ken from Barbie and one touched my hand which was dangled over the seat. They asked a bunch of questions so I told them about the church and invited them. Then when the bus got really really crowded and I had no where to flee she started touching my hair and put her head on my shoulder and asked if I wanted to sit on her lap like 5 times which I said no I'm fine 5 times in response. Then we got to the stop and I said see you at church next sunday and one grabbed my hand and held on to it but then let me go to descend the bus.
So you asked for interesting stories, at the moment I really only have things like that. 
Hope you all have a good week
Elder Batten
enjoy the pictures, there are a lot

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week Seventy Nine - Divisions and Work to Do

We had a good week. It was a little difficult with some meetings and stuff but we got some things done. We had a little trouble accompanying some of our potential baptisms but this week we have some possible baptisms for saturday. So we've got some work to do this week. We´ve been working a lot with the members and going after family members and references that they have.

We did some divisions this week. There are a couple of missionaries that are having trouble opening an area so we went to work there one day. One of the elders is new and the other is not exactly inexperienced because he has some time on the mission but doesnt know too much. So I grabbed the newbie and left with a list of members making contacts and stuff. 
One of the investigators that I was teaching before we divided the area was baptized on Saturday. The other that we have could be baptized on saturday if he can stop drinking coffee this week.
Have a good week, enjoy the snow
Elder Batten