Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 63 Moving to the Big City of Honolulu

Aloha Family,

Well the big news for this week is that I am getting transferred. They are sending me into downtown Honolulu to the Manoa Ward. I will be companions with Elder Eteaki. He is a Tongan kid that is about 3 months older than me in the mission. I am really excited to work with him but also really sad to be leaving Elder Wootton. We have had a lot of fun together. I have really enjoyed serving in this area and to serve with Elder Wootton. I have met so many great people here and have built some really good relationships.

Well other big news is we had Tiara's baptism. It went really really well and she was so ready to get baptised. The whole program went really smooth and there were no complications. I actually got to confirm her in Sacrament Meeting the next day so that was pretty cool. The confirmation was amazing and the spirit was definately strong in the room. While we were at her baptism none other than Ni Fotu shows up. (ute football player) He was a friend of the person getting baptised so that was pretty sweet. Got to talk to him for a little while and encouraged him to go on a mission. He said he was thinking about it so we will see what happens.

Funny story...So we went to lunch at this families house yesterday and we were talking to there daughter and she said she served her mission in Utah. I was like oh yeah what part? She said Panguitch? I was like what! No way that is crazy. So we ended up talking about Panguitch for a while and stuff and talking about Pres. Tebbs. It was really funny I was so shocked that she had served there. She was like yeah there are a lot of Hatches there. I said yeah they are all my family. She was like woa that is crazy.

I think that is all to report on for this week. I loved the phone call home last week. It was a good boost and really good to talk to you. The time just went so fast. But before you know it is will be Mother's Day. I love you all so much. Have a good New Years!!

His new apartment is right across the street from the mission home. So he better be good being so close to the mission home. If any of you have any information on the Manoa area we would love to hear it. He has spent most of his mission in the country so he is a bit nervous to serve in the city. He told us that the mission had another 99 baptisms in December. That is so amazing. He seemed pretty excited about that. It could be an exciting week for him with a new companion, new area, and new apartment.

Life is good.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Here is a random sampling of our activities of Christmas 2009. Thanks to family and friends for a wonderful celebration. If you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can view it better. MERRY CHRISTMAS

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25 Christmas Day

It was so great to hear Zach's voice today. He sounds so good and made us all laugh. Life in the mission field is wonderful. He has been fed well today. He told us it is very rude to not have seconds. So I am sure he has put a few pounds on. I think the island people are feeding him well. He said when he gets home he is going to have to go on a serious exercise plan because he eats so well. He got our package on Christmas Eve at about 3:00. We were a bit worried he might not get it but alas it arrived. So glad he had a Merry Christmas.

He is anxiously awaiting trasfers this Sunday. He isn't sure where he might be going. He may even stay put. Just not sure what President Peterson has in mind for him. There is a group of missionaries going home next week and a new group coming in on Wednesday. So it could be exciting on Wednesday. He really loves Laie. The couple missionaries there treat him so well. Sister Eubanks even made each missionary in Laie a quilt. She made Zach's extra long. We know wherever he goes he will be blessed.

He wants us to thank everyone for their cards and gifts. He feels so blessed and loves all of you. So glad we got to talk to him. Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Random Family Photos

Week 62 Wishing you a Merry Christmas

Aloha Family,

Well this week was pretty good. Not too much to report on this week other than I am really excited to talk to you on Friday. It will be the best Christmas present I can get. Well transfers will be this up coming week. So by the time I email you I will know whether or not I am being transfered.
Well it was pretty funny earlier in the week we were at the visitors center and we are standing near the front and someone opened the door to walk in and this huge dog comes running in. I was like laughing, but freakin out. None of the sisters knew what to do. Me being so afraid of dogs, NOT, went up and grabbed him by the collar and drug him back outside and to the street and yelled at him to leave he kept coming back. This local guy that lives near by started yelling at it in this deep voice and the thing took off so fast down the street it was pretty funny.

Well we had two Christmas parties this week and I have decided that polynesian people know how to have fun and are a lot more fun than white people. Their parties are so much fun and they have so much food. They are not bashful and have no shame. They put themselves out there and don't care if they make a fool of themselves.

Well the big news for this week is that we are having a baptism on Saturday. It should be a really good one. It is kind of a funny story how we came across this girl. We picked up the Samoan wards and were visiting their investigators to find out if they were going anywhere. We were actually visiting this other kid at this house and she came out and was like I am Tiara I have taken the lessons. We were like cool. She told us she had requested sisters, we were like oh why? So we got talking with her and then she told us the other elders were really quiet and would never talk and stuff. She didn't feel comfortable with them so we were like oh ok here is our number call us if you need anything. The next day she called us and set up an appointment. The lady she lives with is a member and we were talking to her the other day and she was like ya Tiara came back in the house after you left that day and was like oh I am fine with these elders they are cool. So that was a success to us.

Well I will keep it short because I will be talking to you this week. I love you all so much.


Zach is doing very well. He loves the work, his companion, and our Savior. We are all so excited to talk to him on Christmas day. It will be good to hear his voice and share in the holiday spirit. We are so grateful for this time of the year and the spirit it brings into our home. We love all of you and appreciate your support. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and your lives are filled with the true meaning of Christmas. May Christ be the center of our thoughts and actions.
Gary and Mary Ann

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week 61 - All is calm, all is bright

Zach is still in Laie and LOVING it. There are a lot of members of the Church there because of the proximity to the Temple and BYU Hawaii. It is so gratifying to see Zach's growth and the deepening of his testimony as his mission progresses. May we wish each of you who have prayed for him, thought about him, sent money, cards and letters to him and supported us as a family during the past 14 months a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A few thoughts from Zach.
We helped an investigator make Lau Lau this week. It is a small piece of pork with some fat wrapped in tarrow leaves and tea leaves and then cooked for about 4 hours. Really good! We made about 100 of them because they were selling them that night. Our investigators are progressing well and we should have a baptism with Tiara on December 26th and our great Samoan investigator, Jody, on Christmas Day. I am so excited to be spending Christmas in Laie. I have so many great friends and memories here. I feel so comfortable here. I have an excellent companion and a family that loves me. What more could I ask for? I have so much to be grateful for this holiday season. I truly am blessed so much. Looking forward to talking with all of you on Christmas Day. With much aloha. Zach

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 60 Vision 100 was a big accomplishment.

We've had a very eventful week here in Laie. First, Elder Wootton and I taught about 18 lessons which is alot especially considering all of the other Zone Leader stuff that we have to do. Most importantly our mission hit the Vision 100 goal which was to have 100 baptisms in the month of November. Pres. Peterson was so happy! It had been 7 years since our mission had done that in a single month. He was very emotional in our Zone Leader Conference on Monday and told us that it was a goal he had set but had not been able to reach in the 2 1/2 years he and Sister Peterson have been serving. On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference and the Pres. focused on the Atonement of Christ and how without it there would be no reason to celebrate Christmas. It was a great talk. We also have been able to commit 2 more investigators to baptism dates: Tiara on the 19th of December and a really stubborn and intimidating Samoan guy that Elder Wootton and I have been teaching and have had a couple of really amazing, spiritual lessons with him and so we challenged him to be baptised on Christmas Day and it looks like it will happen. What an amazing Christmas gift he will be giving his wife and family. Even though it is hard to be away from family at this time of year there is no place I'd rather be than spending it in 80 degree weather in Hawaii teaching the gospel to people who need it and sharing in the greatest gift ever with them. I have also been able to give a few blessings to Sisters in our zone who have had some sad things happening at home. One of them was such a neat experience and really made me cry even though I had no idea what she had been struggling with. I look forward to talking with you all on Christmas Day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Week 59

Elder Hatch and Elder Wootton

Laie Zone Conference

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope that you all had a good Thanksgiving I know that we did here. We ate 4 different meals through out the day. I felt like I was just going from meal to meal all day. We actually had to turn a few people away becaue we had so many invites. We had a lot of fun though. Elder Wootton got a package form his parents and it had Christmas decortaions and Utah/BYU stuff it was a lot of fun. Some of the sisters came out of the woodworks when they heard BYU won but whatever it's cool.
Well this week was really fun. We were able to go on splits with the APs. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it and we got a lot done in their area. I got to drive their truck for the day and I was in absolute heaven. I was loving it. I will have to talk the Pres into getting me one of those full time because I fit so much better. ANYWAY I was in heaven. Too bad it didn't last longer.
Well big news for this week is that our mission reached its goal of 100 baptisms in a single month. Elder Wootton and I were so excited and the new goal is to have a white Christmas and have every companionship have a baptism in the month of December. So hopefully that will happen and it looks like our zone is on track to do it so that is good. Elder Wootton and I should be able to add our portion to it as we have a couple of baptisms lined up for the month of December.
In other news we had a baptism this weekend. It went really well it was for a 12 year old Samoan girl. Her name is Sam. She was baptised before but her records were lost a couple of years ago so we had to reteach her everything and baptise her. She was way smart and really prepared. The whole thing was in Samoan so I couldn't really understand a whole lot other than the words that were similar to Tongan.
Well I think that is about it for this week I love you all so much and hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 58 Meeting L. Tom Perry and Good Bye to a good friend

Well it was fun to have L. Tom Perry in town this week and be able to meet him and shake his hand. Although the Prophet had to stay back we were still able to meet Elder Perry so that was pretty sweet. He is a really nice guy and he looked at me and said, "Well you're a small lad aren't you?" He gave a really good talk and talked about loving your companion and continuing to work hard. President Monson did a satellite broadcast and talked about rescuing the lost. It was really cool. This meeting was just for missionaries. It was cool because it was 100 missionaries and Elder Perry in a chapel. Pretty amazing. There was another conference on Sunday for all of Hawaii and we did have some investigators at that so hopefully that strengthens their testimony.
Well we had transfers this week and got a couple of new sisters in our zone which is exciting. Oh so I have a funny story, so we were at the mission office and they had a brand new car with 7 miles on it for our zone. Yes I said 7!! And so Elder Wootton and I were like huh that would be sweet to have the new one and the assistants were standing right there and they were like just go talk to Elder Miles I am sure he would assign it to you. So we were like ok so we did and we got the brand new one and one of the sister companionships got our other one which was still pretty new so we have yet another new car.
Well other big news for this week, we were talking to the Samoan ward bishop and he was like ya there is this girl who we can't find her records let's get her baptised. So we were like ok sounds good we will do it. So we went and talked with her and her mom and set a date for Nov. 28 so that should be pretty good. Her name is Sam and she is 12. She is really smart and is really excited to get baptised.
So this week we have interviews and also the Ap's have decided to come on exchanges with us this week. Hurray, some elders to be around instead of all of these sisters. Interviews should be good and I always enjoy any time I can have with President Peterson one on one. It will be a nice break. Then Thanksgiving is just like any other work day so we will do the best we can to make appointments and things like that. Well that is probably long enough for this week. I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you next week.


A fond farewell to the Buckholz family who are moving to Utah.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just some fun pictures

Elder Hatch, Elder Ngatuvai, Elder Wootton
Hump Day Camels


Recent Convert
Recent Convert and his roommates

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 57 Special Visitor

Aloha family,

Well things this week were good. Not a whole lot to report on. We had transfers this week and I found our that Elder Wootton and I get to stay here together for another transfer so that should be fun. We will be here through the holiday season. We are both really excited for this up coming six weeks. So this week we will have a chance to go and hear the Prophet. It should be really neat. It will just be President Monson and 100 missionaries so that will be exiting. In other news our baptism got postponed to January but we have to do things out of respect for the family. Elder Wootton and I almost hit our goal of 20 lessons this week and had 18 lessons. So close. That is quite a few lessons for one week here so we are going to keep uping it and keep improving. I really can't belive it is the holiday season already again. It seems like it was just last Christmas but I guess time flies when you are working hard. I love my mission so much. Well I think that is it for this week. I love you all so very much and appreciate all of your support.


We found out he broke his hand when he was moving a few weeks ago. He didn't go in right after he broke it. When he did go in they gave him a splint to help keep it stable. He said it didn't last long. President Monson, Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Richard J. Maynes will spend two hours with the missionaries in Oahu on Friday. That is going to be an incredible experience for the missionaries. I told Zach not to forget his camera.

He told us it has been raining a ton there and he is constantly wet. He said he never feels like he is completely dry. He wants us to tell all the ward members thank you for their letters and packages. He really appreciates it all but has no time to write back. Somehow he ripped a hole in a pair of his pants. I guess Sister Eubanks is trying to repair them but they may be beyond repair. He also told us their apartment had a case of bed bugs. They had to spray the beds for several days to kill them all. He said it was pretty grose.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 56

Well another week has gone and I can't believe it. Well this week was pretty good. We taught a good amount of lessons and commited someone for baptism. Her name is Jayce. She is 12 years old and is really neat. She will be baptised on Thanksgiving Day so that should be a really nice Thanksgiving gift. She is really into it and she usually takes notes.
Not much else to report on. Transfers are next week so we will see what happens. He has been there for two transfers now so it is possible he will get moved. We hope he stays put for the holidays. He and his companion are getting along really well and are making a lot of contacts there. We got a small package with some pictures in it, a camera chip, an audio tape, and some hawaiian memorabilia. He can't believe he has been out 13 months. The time goes so fast. He really loves his mission and all the great people he is meeting with. There is some big news but I can't spill the beans until next week so stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 55

Not to much to report on this week. Our mission is doing really well right now. We currently have 115 people with a baptism date, 11 of those are here in the Laie Zone so that is pretty sweet. Also we have 4 people baptised in our zone this week so that was good as well. We are actually planning to commit one of our investigators tonight.
Well Halloween was pretty exciting well actually it was quite crazy. They love Halloween here and everyone goes all out for it. People thought we were BYU students dressed up like elders for Halloween and we were like uh no we are the real deal we do the work and everything so that was pretty funny. We actually saw the Mission President because his son goes to BYU and has a kid, so Pres was out trick or treating with his grandson. It was pretty funny. We had a goods time. We had dinner with this family and taught them a lesson and then we went and spent some time with Buckholz. They are really amazing people and have been so good to me. I am really going to miss them. I know I will see them in Utah though so that will be good. I think he is actually going to try and sell cars. Our new place is great and the members are nice and take care of us but its just not the same as the Buckholz. I love you all and will talk to you next week.


In his google mail he told us that he and his comp are getting along great. They play tennis about 3 times a week. The tennis coach said he would give them lessons if they would work with his kid on piano. He is really enjoying working in Laie. Mark Eubank gave him some ties so he tells us he is wearing TV famous ties now. Wow, two months until we get the Christmas phone call and get to hear his voice again. It will be so sweet. He is working hard and seems to be doing well. Thanks for all your love and support. If you want to send him a holiday package it is best to use the priority mail boxes. It will save you a bunch of money. There is no weight limit and they come in all sizes. Anyway until next week. ALOHA

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 54

Another week here on the mission and I couldn't be any happier. It sounds like you had a good time at Elder Ngatuvai's homecoming. By the way mom the mission Motto is " We Are grateful to be in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. The Aloha mission. The atonement of Jesus Christ is our message love of God and others is our motivation and obedience to the commandments and mission rules is our strength. By sharing the Gospel with others we can give them the HA the breath of life even Eternal Life A-L-O-H-A!

So life on the misson is good. Our teaching pool is a little low right now but we are going to try and find a few new people to teach this week. Elder Wootton and I are getting along great. He is an awesome kid and we have a lot of fun playing tennis together. I have missed playing so much. Oh big news with us is that we had to move this week. Our land lords are moving back to Utah so we had to move to the place where the other elders used to live. It is pretty new but they didn't take very good care of it. Elder Wootton and I had to spend a whole day cleaning it so that was not very fun. We were sad to leave because we really enjoyed staying with them. This new place is good though because we live with a part Tongan part Samoan family. We live on a street calle Iosepa so you can look that up if you want.

Oh the mission tour was cool. It was Elder Johnson of the Seventy. A british guy. It was really neat. The best part is I got to see a lot of my mission friends like Nau and Doane and Sister Fiavokiamoana. I really enjoyed it. Well I love you all so much.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 53

This week was a pretty exciting week. We had lots of stuff going on and once again tons of meetings to go to. We were able to have a baptism on Saturday and it was really amazing. I had the privalige of baptizing him and I was so grateful to have the oportunity to do it. Drew is an awesome kid and I will definitely stay in contact with him for the rest of my life. I am just so grateful for all of the amazing experiences I am having on my mission and know that I couldn't be having them anywhere else. I know if I hadn't come on my mission I would have regreted it for the rest of my life. It is just so amazing to see so many people make life changing decisions for the better. I see these people we help and they are so much happier and are so positive about life.

Well Elder Wootton and I are doing great. He is a really awesome kid and we have a lot in common. All except for the fact that he is a hard core BYU fan. But I catch him humming the Utah fight song every now and again thanks to my alarm clock.( Thank you maddie) We love playing tennis together and we are both on about the same skill level wich makes it even better. It is awesome we came out in the same transfer so we will be going home together. I hope we get to stay with him a couple of transfers but who knows.
Well other big news for the week is that we got a new car. It is SWEEET. It drives really smooth. Its a 2009 corolla so not much change and I still don't fit very well but it is a really nice car. We also got a new phone this week. My comp had our old one in his pocket when we were playing frisbee one morning and landed right on top of it and broke it in half. It was kind of funny actually. So they sent us a new one and we got it the next day. Other latest news is that we will be moving this week. We have to move into the other elders old apartment.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Well I can't believe it but HUMP DAY is finally here. One full year of service and now it is the down hill slide. Thanks for all of you that are checking up on Zach. He is really doing well and loves what he is doing. Stay tuned for another year.