Monday, August 29, 2011

struck. by lightening!

.. . but forreall. :o this week has been so crazy. We have been trying so hard to be the best missionaries we can be, because we're part of one of the most missionary-active Branches we could ever be a part of ! This past Monday, we had a Family Home Evening with 3 families altogether in this GORGEOUS park out here, and we played "Sharks and Minnows", I think it's called? Except for the 'shark' in the middle is Satan, and the kids had to try an run past me, the shark/Satan, to get to their parents in heaven ! haha cool huh. hah, earlier that morning too, we had gotten our laundry, and I was washing my purse and left my pepper spray in it. So I pulled it out, and decided to try and spray it in the laundry room and see if it was still working. So. We found out that it still works hahaha. Cuz the laundry room's enclosed and not tooo too big, so I just sprayed a liittttle in the trashcan, and seconds later it full-on fills our lungs to the point where we're coughing so much we're at the moment where we're about to throw up. Beautiful. hahah
  So ! The absolute craziest thing that happened to us last week. Mom don't freak out. We now have SUCH a testimony of prayer. So we live among a ranch, right alongside of the Rio Grande River. So when it thunders and lightnings, we're right on the dielines of it. So the other night, Hna. Jardine and I both woke up from this HUUUGE crack of lightning outside of house, at
about 2 a.m. And it freaked us out for a second or so, and we kept hearing thunder and lightning, less than a second one after the other. So I said, "I wanna see what this thunder looks like if it's so loud.." so I open the blinds that are right behind my bed, and out of nowhere we hear this HUGE shrieking crackle of lightning completely filling our ears, and everything in my face goes comPLETEly white, and fills the room and has a power that just shoots my face to my bed. It. was SO FREAKY. So we gathered ourselves together as much as we could, and got our pillows and blankets and got down on the floor, not knowing what else to do. The family that lives in the home below us was gone all last week, so we were completely alone. So we had nothing else to do but pray. It got so scary that we were praying in English, while the lightning was striking and shaking our house and losing the electricity. So. We said prayer after prayer after prayer, not knowing if we were even gonna make it through the night, because the lightning was so close to us. But after our 2nd or 3rd prayer, we heard the lightning start to distance itself, and we felt the most peaceful feeling come over us. So we're laying there on the ground in complete between the flashes of lightning.. and we just started talking about our favorite scriptures, or at least ones we could think of at that time hah. And even though the lightning was still close, and still crackling super loud right outside our house, we knew we were gonna be okay. And we knew that Heavenly Father was controlling absolutely every single thing around us. We couldn't sleep for awhile, and then we had to get up at 5 a.m. for Zone Conference. But I will never ever forgetthe testimony I gained that God truly does hear and answer every single prayer, and that He does protect us, even when we don't feel like it's possible. I never in my life have felt so close to death, but at the same time, I had never been able to say so much as I can now that every single moment that we have is a blessing.
  never thought I'd figure THAT out on a mission !
  Out here it's going wayyy well. We have an investigator, Lorena, who's absolutely AMAZING and is having so much opposition, so prayers for her would be appreciated! And out of nowhere, apparently this family just showed up at church a few weeks ago that we're starting to teach, and they came yesterday.. so we had 7 investigators at church! SUPER cool. Church is incredible. La Iglesia es verdadera. So. keep it real family! Be good. And help the missionaries out as much as you can. Ya'll truly make missionary work more than we can with our brothrs and sisters ! You don't realize how much power is in a simple family home evening with the missionaries and their investigators, or inviting your non-member friends to dinner with them.. or just someone who needs help in general. Do what you do. I love you !
La Iglesia es verdadera....
La Hermana B.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This week: hitting the 1 year! :o

From Rio Rancho ! haha this area. is SO different from my last one. Everything is so glamorous up here. There aren't HARDLY as many broken lives as my last area. Everyone lives in houses that are so completely gorgeous. I haven't seen one bulldog, I haven't seen one drug addict. It is such a complete change. But I've come into a Branch that is SO incredible. I have noticed even MORE the importance of members in missionary work. We have so many investigators that are ready to hear the gospel, and it's because these members are the ones that are sharing it to get them excited. Ya'll have something we don't when it comes to your friends. Like. Friendship. haha. So they're the ones inviting their friends to dinner appointments that we happen to show up at-because they had signed up for us too haha ;) and it's so incredible, how willing they are to give rides to investigators, to give up their lives for even 5 minutes to take an investigator to an appointment, or to invite them to family home evening or take them to church. What ya'll can do as members makes all the difference in what God can do with His children. What ya'll decide to do with who we are teaching determines how much more we can fill our potential as missionaries, and how much more successful we can be. Of course, we have our own things to do to help us be successful, but everything is SO much better when we have your support, and everything runs so much smoother.
  Sooo where we're living. We are living with a member, in an apartment above the garage of a member in the English Ward here. The husband is a doctor and a member of the Senate..? I believe ? So ths house is gorgeous haha. We live on a ranch that's amazing, with horses and camels and lamas everywhere, and the sunsets out here are SO PRETTY. It's so fun. I even got to pet a horse the other day :o ! ..hah. that was too excited. anyway. It's so funny, because the water here. We're right next to the Rio Grande River, and I guess we get their water. And there's a GRIP of vitamins and minerals in it still, so. 1, it's not good to drink. and 2. It makes our clothes yellowish when we wash them apparently hah, and 3. It smells like metal whenever we go to brush our teeth or take a shower or something. haaahah cool. :p it's so fun.. it's so different though, seeing how well these families are living, because they're holding on to the gospel more. I feel like that is all that it comes down to. We'll only be as good as we allow God to help us be. But if we keep justifying our actions, and our sins, and the reasons for living the way we live, we will only live according to means we set for ourselves, if that makes sense. We'll only have God with us as much as we let Him be there.
  Umm. What else has been happening. W've noticed that Satan has been working. SO hard on us to try and keep us from getting out and working. I feel like he knows how ready these people are to be helped, so he's trying with all he can with everything materially to stop us from doing what needs to be done. We got here on Tuesday and got working, and at our first visit, Hna. Jardine started feeling sick, which turned into her been out sick for the next 2 days, Wednesday and Thursday. So on my first full day of work here, we went on splits so that I could go out, and I was with Sister Horsford, an English missionary. And so we go to our appointments and visit and try and teach these people I had never before met in my life.. we go to our dinner appointment, then to an English appointment for Sister Horsford, and. hah so weird ! Sister Horsford doesn't know Spanish, so with all of these 'strangers', I had to try and figure out how to fall well with them in our very first visit.. completely alone hah. But. It went well for the most part. I always remember how Gina told me that 'it's only awkward if you make it awkward'. hahah. On Friday our phone dropped in the water, and we couldn't go out without arranging our lessons and getting addresses to everyone.. but this happened to me before. So I knew to soak the phone in rice to soak up the awater. So we just planned and planned, and prayed and tried our faith.... and our phone started working ! And then yesterday we realized that we hadn't filled up on gas, so normally one could just not go out. But the English sisters picked us up ! And we still got to go out. It's so lame, Satan tries, and he just looks dumb when he realizes that when we're with Heavenly Father.. we're a step up from him hah. Heavenly Father always comes through, and ALWAYS. has our backs. As long as we have His.
  But this e-mail is probably long enough. I'm still trying to figure everything out here, but it'll be a good ride. You wanna hear something a lot of missionaries have out here ? It's called the Moleskin. It's a little notebook, and in them we just make a grip of lists of things to really get to know ourselves. Elder Palomo hooked me up with one before he left because I was so excited about them haha. So here are some of the lists we've come up with:
The 'not cool' list
List of future baby names we like
list of baby names we don't like.. hah
what makes us happy
our list of personal beliefs/'affirmations'
bucket list
our will
people that have changed our lives
list of family members/how they've changed you
ALL this cool stuff ! and it's so cool, because you can do/write/draw absolutely whatever you want to in it. and everyone's is so different. SO everyone. Get the moleskin journal. it'll change your life. hah
En cada dia, hay una prueba y una bendicion. en cada momento, nosotros podemos escoger si estamos felices. Nosotros podemos escoger nuestra felicidad, y como vamos a reaccionar hacia cada prueba.. si queremos buscar la leccion. y como dijo Brigham Young.... "Aqui estamos, y aqui vamos a estar."
Ok. No se para donde me voy con todo eso, pero mucha suerte a todos ustedes, querida familia mia. Portense bien. Y gracias por TODAS las oraciones !
Con amor y estilo. jaja ya ok.
La Hermana B.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


.. I'm working on dignifying my language. haha, one day in District Meeting, in front of the Zone Leaders and Assistants to President Miller, my friend Elder Bird said, "Ya, it's like what Sister Batchkoff says.. what do today what you can put off til tomorrow?" . .... I DID NOT SAY THAT hahaha . But it was still funny. anyway. :)
  Sooo I'm getting transferred ! To Rio Rancho/Corrales, NM. I have been there a couple of times for exchanges and stuff like that, so I kiiind of know what it'll be like. But still, not really haha. It is all in comPLETEly trusting in the Lord on this one. He has taken me to places I never knew I needed to be ..the biggest one being a mission. haha. But it really does not matter what we want, if it's not what we need.
  So we ended this past week with a BANG. On Thursday, we were packed with appointments in the afternoon and night, but we were going from one appointment to the next one that we had at church, and I thought. We need to visit Salvador. We hadn't been able to visit him all week because the nights had been so busy, and we had like. 10 free minutes to spare. But it was so strong that we needed to visit him. Sooo we go by there, and we're all talking, and a van pulls up. And he's all, "Oh, son los Testigos de Jehovah.. les dije que pudieron venir hoy." ...meaning..'Oh, those are the Jehovah's Witnesses. I told them that they could come by today." because Salvador is naturally a nice person. Soooo. They come up to all of us while we're talking to him, and we said hi and they sat down and stuff, and it was a father and son. And so we kept answering the questions of Salvador, and then Salvador offers the father a pamphlet to read along. He couldn't accept it, and we started talking about our differences. We were listening most of the time, but the father was explaining how they don't add on to other books, and Salvador pulls out this pamphlet of Joseph Smith's testimony that we had given him the lesson before, and he's all, "Oh no! But Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon with the power of God too! Here, you can have this pamphlet about him if you want, and see!" because Salvador is so innocent. Hahaha Salvador :D even though the man couldn't and didn't desire to take it. It was so insane though, because the entire time I was thinking. WOW. What would have happened had we not come by when I felt like we should have? What would have happened had I not said anything ? So if something is right, we have GOT to speak up, no matter what the opinions are of others. And if something is wrong, we should speak up. We just need to speak up in anything. Because I have learned that in doing so, we're learning how to not be ashamed of ourselves, and how to be true to ourselves.
  Another thing that happened this past week .... at District Meeting on Friday, a meeting with us and like. 3 or 4 other companionships of missionaries that we have every week, Elder Naumann, our District Leader, had asked us the night before to bear our testimonies on the Plan of Salvation. So. There are SO many things that we could talk about, and I hadn't planned anything to we go up there, and immediately it came not my head that I needed to talk about the deaths that have happened while I've been on a mission. From Abraham, our investigator, to Uncle Bob, to Charlie, all in a transfer or so. Sooo. I started talking about that, not knowing what to say, but saying it. And I was looking at the missionaries as I was doing it of course, and this one Elder in particular's face was, and there were tears streaminggg down his face. And so I just kept talking, trying my hardest to help in the best way that I could, and after I was done, this Elder keeps looking over at me, with the sincerest smile I think I have ever seen in my life. I thought that I may have just been over thinking it, but he texted us that night to say, "Thank you so much for your testimony Sister Batchkoff. You said the things I really needed to hear." going on and on about how much he needed it. And I became so overwhelmed, and so mind blown. Finally seeing that I have truly truly helped someone. Because we know that we are always helping somebody, whether it be us or someone else. But I never really knew who I helped. But that was one of the first times I felt most effective as being God's hands, in saying what He wanted me to say to help another one of His incredible missionaries keep going, to be able to save others' lives. I'll take it. I just wanna help someone.
  That happened on Friday. Andd then on Saturday, we went with the Young Men and Women to go do service in this homeless shelter. And it was like the ones in the movies. We walked into their MPR, and there was this woman who may have been a druggy who was making us all smile as we go in...and we were there to serve them lunch. And while we were doing it, I was looking around at these people, who were braiding each other's hair, who were with their families without a father. There were so many different circumstances, and it was so sad seeing them all like that.. just living in a homeless shelter. I don't know how they can do it. I just wanted to know every story, and what happened exactly. Because these people I'm SURE weren't planning on being homeless. But it's interesting. Our choices really really DO map out our lives.
  Sooo. So much more has happened, but this is already way long. Hugo, our investigator, has had a complete change of heart for the better over the weekend. He's going through a hard time, and was questioning whether God was with him, or if He even exists. But he knows for a fact now. Allll of these incredible little things that keep happening. It's amazing.

  El ser u miembro de la única iglesia verdadera es algo que yo no puedo comprender. Lluvia o sol, a fuera o adentro, vamos a tener la esperanza del Evangelio de Jesucristo. Y si nada mas, El esta con nosotros. Si estamos en un mundo extraño con extranos en nuestro alrededor, todavía vamos a tener a nuestro Salvador. El ha vivido lo que vivimos día tras día. El ha sentido lo que sentimos, y ha enfrentado lo que enfrentamos.

me faltan 1 1/2 semanas hasta el 1 ano de esta misión :o!! Hasta el Lunes....

La Hermana B.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Transfer week whatt!!!

This Saturday. It's goin. DOWN. haha not really, I'll probably be here until March 14th, 2011. Leave day haha. But I'm okay with that ! So this week has been a really good one. It's really all about finding the balance of work and life, I've realized. If you have too much of one or the other, something will NOT feel right. Because we all have this potential that God has put in us, and we have one life to use it. And how disappointing will it be looking back on our lives if we can't look back on them with a smile. If we can't look back and say that we lived it up while still doing all that we needed to. Hermana Perez told me earlier, "One of the most handicapping things that one can do is treat someone for who they were yesterday." And I sat there and thought. .. ..... ":O!" How often do we look back on ourselves instead of not looking at what we have become ! If we are constantly looking back, it'll be so much easier to become who we're looking back on. Because it is so hard for the world to accept new people, and changed people. But the incredible thing about the gospel is that it changes us so much, to the point that it makes everything in the world seem so unimportant.
  On Tuesday we had a Zone Training with President Miller and all of the missionaries in our Zone. And our Zone Leaders felt inspired to teach us about how to 'learn, apply, and Endure'. I'm guessingg. That it's been tough for missionaries to be happy, generally. So the Zone Leaders said they were going to ask a couple of the happiest missionaries they knew to share what THEY do to make them the most happy. They called on 2 Elders, and then they say, "Sister Batchkoff. What is it that YOU do to stay as happy as you are on a mission?" And you know what. I had absolutely NO clue what to say haha. So I agreed with Elder Dunnington, when he said that we need to seek out the little things that keep us happy. And I also said that when we have our hardest days, when we're tracking in the sun or when investigator after investigator drops us in one day, it always ALWAYS helps me to think. "k. A year from now. this will be funny. but today it's not." hah ! It keeps a perspective, and also realizing that our lives are not nearly as hard as the ones who we are going and visiting. A perspective is what helps any one of us keep on keeping on, and also ! Finding what truly makes you happy and holding on to it. The simplest things are what we all need to do to keep us from getting caught up in a not-simple world. We just have to put the gospel in everything we love to do. And we'll love life! Haha. Another thing I realized is that all of the 'examples' of happiness came from the Spanish missionaries. I'm just saying :x. hah j/k. The English Elders are incredible too :)
  Another thing I realized, though. is that we never ever know what is going on deep down with every single person we talk to. People see us missionaries as such happy people, people who are untouchable from the world..or so I've heard. How crazy :o but we have so much deep down, that nobody deserves anything less than the most love that we have.
 Anyway. I have a scripture for y'all that I read! Well. A scripture and some chapters.

Luke 7:44-47, Luke 8


La iglesia es verdadera. El amor es lo mas necesario si queremos tener una vida feliz.

Hasta el Lunes !

La Hermana B.

Monday, August 1, 2011


WUDDUPP fam !! Sorry.... We've been at da aquarium all day long, so we're just getting e-mail done right now :o
  But hey!! Salvador got baptized on Saturday!! It was SUCH a cool baptism. Apparently, after he got out of the water and went to change, Elder Naumann asked him how he felt and he said all happy, "I feel like a new person!" haha he. is SO incredible ! He seems so much happier, and I feel like HE feels like he's somewhere where he belongs now, which people who really truly care about him. Cool huh. :)

  So! Salvador's baptism happened. It was so weird, the service started at 3 p.m., so we had the morning to get ready with everything. And Satan was working so hard on us! He was trying so hard to get into our heads, so we were trying to keep ourselves from being stressed out, because the rest of us felt absolutely calm, but he was just trying to get into our heads so much, and give us a reason to stress out, or freak out. But everything went way well. And it was so cool, because Salvador was a referral from the English-speaking Elders.. they had knocked into him, and they were SO excited to find out he was getting baptized, so them along with sooo many other missionaries were there for him. HOW amazing. :)
  That has been what we have been working on all week long, so I don't really have much more that's that interesting. But LUCKY. We have a GRIPP of cool pictures to send ya'll's way ;)
  One thing that I have been learning so much about myself lately is how unbelievably weak I am! It's not fun at.all having it thrown in your face constantly, but Heavenly Father gives ou just enough to chip you off and keep you going. All my life I have been a people-pleaser.. and because of that, I have always looked for ways to relate to others, without being able to truly trly be myself. So after the baptism, us and the Elders went to this El Salvadorian restaurant to have pupusas, and I asked the simple question.. 'what are your dreams?' ..and when it came to it being my turn, I had absolutely NO idea what to say. Everyone knew who they were so much, and had their distinct answers picked out. And when it came to it being my turn, I didn't know what to say. I just want to be happy. So as long as I'm happy, I would imagine that that would be the dream. But that was nothing specific. So I went home, completely crushed. And I started going through Ensigns and Liahonas, looking for what I thought was beautiful. Getting absolutely no other outside opinion but my own, so that I could truly decide for myself. And I put all the pictures I found in a notebook.. and this is some of what I came up with..

-special needs children
-interracial couples
-prisoners who listen to church speakers who go to prisons to give firesides
-happy fathers with their children
-children laughing
-how people look when they cry
-women with no makeup

the simple things like that. so what's beautiful ? and who ARE we really, rather then defining ourselves by what we wear. what do we want to do with ourselves, and the beauty that we all have ?

Anyway though. That's what I got for this week. I have A LOT of pictures to send y'all.. and not a lot of time. So the Church will ALWAYS. be absolutely true. On the flip side.. 

La Hermana B.