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.