Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Week 25 Christmas in the Mission Field

December 28, 2015 Family, It was so good to talk to all of you! Seriously, it was the best Christmas present I could have asked for. Sorry I didn't really send y'all anything... I don't know what to get or when to get it but if you guys are ever wanting anything from Cali let me know, I can hook it up. But anyways thanks for all being at the house so I could talk to everyone! It was so great. I didn't think that it would be so hard, but it was. I guess just seeing your faces and hearing your voices. Anyways this week was alright. We had a very bad week as far as missionary work goes. But I guess that's partially attributed to the holiday season. Monday we went over to a family in the wards house that night and just visited with them. Tuesday, we had district meeting, and we combined that. We did a fun relay race thing. That afternoon we did a hot chocolate finding activity with the zone. That night we had dinner at a Thai restaurant with a member. Wednesday we did our usual service at the library, and had dinner with a cool family in our ward. Thursday was fun too. We did a caroling thing with both zones at the Santa Rosa mall. We just sang songs by the food court then sang as we walked then went to the entrance and sang more. It was fun. President came and surprised us so that was fun. That night we ate with a family in our ward, at this random Filipino family's house that they know. It was strange but pretty cool. We had some really strange Filipino food, like on tail soup, and a really weird gelatinous rice dessert. The food was good but the dessert was nasty. Oh well, it was worth a try. Oh, I can now play the 4 major ukulele chords. So I can play like over the rainbow and stuff. So that's fun. Christmas Day we obviously skyped, and we also made some cookies as well as on Christmas Eve. We had dinner at a family in the ward with 10 kids, though they are all grown up and only 6 were there. That was interesting; we don't know them well so it was a little awkward. That night both zones went to the stake center and played sports and stuff which was also really fun. President showed up for that and was giving me crap about being so much taller and how it isn't fair. Haha it was hilarious. Saturday we did planning which was boring as usual. That night we are at a member’s house that fed us on Wednesday. They are super cool people. It was weird, their daughter was in town, along with another kid from another family, and they both graduated same year as me and Julander, so that was weird. Sunday was normal. At dinner a member kind of chewed us out for not doing our job. Just like showed us what we should do and stuff. I love that family but that didn't exactly boost my spirits. Oh well. Life goes on. Other than that not much has gone on. Thanks for everything everyone. I really do miss you all but I know I'm here for a reason. Love, Elder Hatch

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 24 All the Service!!!

December 21, 2015 Family, Well another week has passed and it's time to write again. It seems like the weeks are going slow but the months fast. It seems weird that in 2 weeks I will have been out 6 months, and Josie will be leaving! Pretty crazy but an amazing time for all of us. Who would have thought that we would be at a time when me, Josie, and Sam are all on missions! Very cool to think about. But, it is even weirder that I won't be with you all for Christmas and Christmas Eve, that I won't get to do the crazy nativity or bingo or things like that! But I know that it's ok, and that it's better that I am here and that I miss it, than to be home. Anyways, this has been a pretty long week. It has been raining pretty much all week with no snow. It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all with no snow but I can handle that. I never loved snow anyways. But Tuesday we had district meeting which I though went well. I don't like having to teach those but other than that I don't mind being a district leader. It really is like no difference other than teaching district meeting. I bet it would be different if I had elders in my district, instead of me being the relief society president(having only sisters in your district). So I haven't had to conduct exchanges or anything like that. Pretty sweet. Later Tuesday we practiced for our skit in the Christmas devotional. That was fun. I will send the video of our actual performance. That night we had a lesson with our recent convert at a pizza place. It was kind of distracting with a tv on in the background playing King of the hill. Wednesday we did service for the Salvation Army in the morning for a while picking out and sorting toys for kids. It was great. We then did service at the library as usual for Wednesday's. The rest of that day we did some finding that wasn't super successful. Thursday we had the Christmas party and devotional at the mission office building with a bunch of zones. It was really fun, every zone did a skit and it was hilarious. Afterwards we did a devotional that was also very good. It was a really good morning. After that we did the usual service at the food bank and then went off to dinner. We had dinner with a cool family in our ward. They took us out and the place we were going to go and that was closed, so they took us to another place and for 6 people total it was $250!!!! It was an alright place, like really good food but not worth that much! Called Mateos in Healdsburg in case you were wondering. We then went over to another recent converts house and had a little lesson with them. Mostly just a visit to check up and see how they are doing. Friday we did planning, then had a lesson with a new investigator. We did the restoration with him kind of. He had a lot of questions about proof archaeologically of the Book of Mormon and other sources and stuff. Also of any prophecies that Joseph Smith made that came true. We are going to see him next Sunday. We had dinner with a cool family in the ward and then had a lesson with the kind of weird guy in our ward that never comes to church or anything. Saturday we did finding pretty much the whole day. It was pretty rough. I honestly don't remember much from it. Sunday we had church, and we sang in the ward choir since it is so small. We also did sharing time in primary too. Afterwards we did studies and had dinner at 4! After that we tried to do some finding and were semi successful, afterward we had our Sunday night meeting which was good. Today has been a pretty good day so far. Also, sorry I don't send many pictures. I just always forget to take pictures haha I will try to do better. But here is the video of our skit. So pumped to talk to y'all on Friday! Love, Elder Hatch
Either Elder Hatch is really tall or those sisters are really short.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Week 23 Pretty Slow in the Mission Field

December 14 Family, This week was another fairly long week. It seems like it has been a while since I have sat down to write you all. But this week was filled with a little bit more success, but hopefully even more in the week to come. Luckily, we were able to pick up a few new investigators and hopefully we can help them out. It's weird how quickly Christmas is approaching. Even though the weeks are slow, it still seems as though it should still be November. But anyways, this last Monday was a pretty good P day. We had fun playing basketball as usual. We had our usual FHE at Sister Hands house. She is so awesome, she has that FHE every week and she feeds us a couple times a week, whether it be for dinner, lunch, or breakfast. She will feed us whenever we do service for her and she loves taking out missionaries to lunch if she knows them. She takes tons of pictures too, and sends them to her grandson who baptized her and is now on a mission in Argentina. Tuesday was pretty good. We went on exchanges with the zone leaders and I went with elder Green, from Alberta Canada. He is a really funny kid. He and one of the other elders in the zone have all seen Tommy Boy so we have a good time quoting that and other movies with each other. It's so funny. Also that day was our zone meeting which was good too, because I didn't have to teach district meeting. Also Tuesday was my 5 month mark! Super weird but it was cool to think that I have been out that long. Pretty soon it will be 6 months for me, and Josie will be gone by then too! Josie I know that you will do amazing. You don't have to worry about being a missionary, and the MTC isn't as scary as it sounds. Just enjoy the endless food there! Anyways Wednesday we went to the library and did service there, and later that night we went caroling at an old folks home. A sister in my district had surgery on her foot for an ingrown toenail earlier that day but was such a trooper and stood the whole time and didn't complain at all. I still haven't heard her complain once. So Christlike. Thursday we did our usual service at the food bank. Unfortunately we had to drop one of our investigators this week. He hasn't been keeping any of the commitments and we think he just likes the visits. So that was hard. Friday we planned, but that night we visited a couple people that said that we could come back again. So we are excited for that. Saturday we did finding most of the day, and we went up to Geyserville for the first time. It is a funky little place. Weird statues everywhere and in people's yards and stuff. That night was the ward Christmas party. That was pretty fun. Elder Julander talked to a nonmember kid and gave him a discussion while we were there. So that was cool. Sunday was pretty normal. And today has been normal so far too. I hope that the weeks go by a little faster and that we are able to do everything we can and not miss opportunities. Anyways thanks everyone for everything, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas season and I can't wait to talk to y'all! Love, Elder Hatch

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 22 Struggling with Investigators

December 7, 2015 Family, Well another week has passed by and it's time to write once again. It has been a really long week, but then again it seems like Monday was not too long ago. This week was a little bit better and me and Elder Julander are doing well. Monday was a good day. Pretty fun playing basketball. Although it's not as good as this week, because we just sat here and laughed for the last hour or so. Pretty awesome. But that night was good, we had our usual FHE at our recent converts house where a few people from the ward come. Tuesday was district meeting which I thought went pretty well. Then we had our PPI's with the zone leaders. That night we had a lesson with a recent convert and that went all right. We had one of our super cool members go with us to that so he made it better. Wednesday we went to the Badger Building(mission office) and had interviews with President Wright. Those were really good. I always love talking to him, he just calms my nerves and makes me not worry about what I am doing and how I do it. It was really cool. President Wright is such an amazing guy. We then had a last lesson with a guy that just isn't progressing at all. He is the one that we had to cast out the demon from his house. It wasn't going well with him. Later we had a lesson with another recent convert and that went well. They have more Legos than I have ever seen. They sort them into colors using tool boxes and stuff. Pretty crazy. Thursday we went and gave a blessing to another recent convert because he got his wisdom teeth out that day. Later that day, he called us as he was high as a kite. It was soooo funny, he was singing Firework by Katy Perry. It was beautiful. Friday we did planning which was boring. Saturday and a lot of Friday we did some area book finding. That's what we are going to do most of this week. Should be good, hopefully successful. Saturday and Sunday we went to a nativity thing that they do down at one of the other buildings. It is a really cool program. Sunday was good too, as we went to find a less active, we ran into his roommate and long story short we set up a return appointment with him. Hopefully it turns out well. He doesn't want to read the Book of Mormon but doesn't have a good reason why not. So that was cool. We then went to our usual Sunday night meeting that night. It wasn't a super busy week this week, but pretty good nonetheless. I am just so humbled by all of this, and it is amazing the things that the Lord can do and does do to help us, and also to help us grow. I am so thankful for all of you and am excited to talk to you on Christmas! Thanks for everything Love, Elder Hatch

Week 21 First Thanksgiving on the Mission

November 30, 2015
Family, Well another week has passed and time to write once again. I hope you all had an awesome thanksgiving! Our thanksgiving was pretty fun, we went and helped set up the crèche festival at the Yulupa chapel at 7, and its 40 minutes away so we were up at 5:30 to be there on time. It was cool though, both Santa Rosa zones were there so it was super fun. A whole bunch of missionaries. After that we went over to the Toupins, who is a super cool family in my ward, and had cinnamon rolls with them. Unfortunately that meant that we didn't get to play in a turkey bowl, which is too bad but oh well. It was awesome being at the Toupins, they have 6 kids, 5 of which are boys so it was super fun. Later that night we were back at their house for dinner, so that was waaaaaayyyy nice of them. But Tuesday was pretty slow, but it was weird cause we had to say bye to the other elders that were leaving. We went out to brunch with a member in our ward for their departure so that was nice. That's where the pictures are from. So me and Elder Julander are now in an apartment with just us. Wednesday was about the same as far as the work goes, we had one lesson with our investigator but it is frustrating, because he hardly ever keeps commitments, and we do things with him that he should feel the spirit, but just doesn't, or doesn't recognize it or something. It's so frustrating we don't really know what to do. Thursday we don't really do much on holidays, so we were at the Toupins for a while during the day and at night. Friday we had one lesson, so that was good. Kind of the same situation with this guy as our other investigator too. Pretty frustrating. But that's ok. We also had district meeting and unfortunately I still have to teach district meeting. But it went ok. I have another one tomorrow and haven't done much for it but it'll all work out. Saturday was pretty casual too, we did weekly planning and not much else. We are trying to find people in our area book but have been largely unsuccessful thus far. But we will keep at it. Sunday was pretty good too. We actually managed to meet some less actives that we have been trying to find for weeks. It was helpful after not finding anyone all week. We then had a stake meet and greet with the stake presidency that night with all the Santa Rosa missionaries. That was pretty fun too. Other than that not much has been going on. I am looking forward to a much busier week this week, hopefully. Thanks for everything everyone, I love you all and hope that you have a good Christmas season. One thing with the new Christmas season is the new Christmas video, #ASaviorIsBorn which you can find on Christmas.mormon.org . It's a really awesome video, and I would encourage you to all watch it. Anyways have a good week! Love, Elder Hatch

Week 20 Transfers..Am I staying or going?

November 23, 2015 Dear family, So transfers are tomorrow, and we got the info on Saturday night. But president has changed it up, so instead of sending us a document, the zone leaders just call us and tell us whether we are staying or leaving, and they don't tell us where we are going if we are leaving. Then, at transfer meeting on Tuesday, president announces where everyone is going and who is companions. But you only go if the companionship is changing. So me and Elder Julander are both staying for another transfer, so we will both be here for Christmas and the transfer ends on January 5th. So it should be fun. The big news though, is that the Spanish elders that live with us are both leaving, and their area is being absorbed. So, me and Elder Julander will be living with just the two of us this transfer, and I haven't done that so far on my mission. So it should be interesting. But anyways, Monday we went to the beach and it was FREEZING. Like 50 degrees with a 20 degree wind chill. It was a good idea in theory but it was way too cold to be any fun. I will attach a picture of it, because it was beautiful. Later that night we went to a few FHE's which was cool. One of the super cool families in my ward has a daughter that was companions with Jonny's sister Liz Ricks in St. Petersburg. So that's cool. They have a picture of their daughter and Liz and their other companion on their wall so that was cool to see. I need to tell Jonny. Tuesday we had district meeting and we combined it so that it was the whole zone. It was pretty bomb, we did a lot of fun activities and I think everyone had a good time and learned from it. That day was pretty good too, we had a couple lessons and were fairly productive. Wednesday we did service for our recent convert which was fun. We also got a church headquarters referral so we went over and had a lesson with them on Wednesday, and she is a member and he is not. He's kinda ghetto but I think it should work out for the best. That night we also had another lesson with a recent convert. One thing about Tuesday and Wednesday, is that Tuesday night we had Round table pizza for dinner. Wednesday afternoon, our RC took us out for lunch to round table pizza. For dinner, we had round table pizza at a members house, and later that night we ate mountain mikes pizza. So I am pretty sick of pizza at this point. Plus we had little Caesars on Saturday. So yeah. Thursday we drove down to Petaluma. We then drove straight to the food bank for our usual service, which we then rushed right to our appointment with our semi-progressing investigator. He hasn't been showing much signs of progress but we had a very good lesson with him and I hope that he starts committing to more things. That night we had a lesson with our recent convert who is a weirdo. Luckily he was better this time than last, but he is still an interesting guy. Friday we had planning and not a whole lot else. We ended up eating with and staying at the ward mission leaders house a lot of the night. He is a crazy guy. Saturday we did service for some members in the morning, then passed out flyers for the food bank at Safeway for like 3 hours. Then was the fun part. We went with the zone leaders to cast out an evil spirit from one of our investigators house, so that was fun. It was very weird but interesting. That night we got our transfer info, like I was saying. Sunday, we spoke in church at a homecoming for Jake Carnation. Their family is way cool and they took up most of the program. That was good. That night we had our Sunday night meeting and my STL is going home so that's weird. She was my first STL up in Eureka too. Other than that not much going on. The zone is changing so that's weird but not much else. Just keep on keeping on. I love you all so much and pray for all of you every night! Thanks for everything Love, Elder Hatch

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 19 Best Bowling Game of my LIfe

November 16, 2015 Family, Well it was another good week here in Healdsburg. It has been a pretty fast transfer here, with only a week left. My guess is that all of the elders in Healdsburg will stay here, and that I will be with Elder Julander for another transfer. But we find out on Saturday. Also featured is all my subject quotes are from Zoolander as of late, seeing that I am basically companions with Zoolander hahaha. But Monday was fun, we went bowling and I had the best 2 games of my life. The first game I bowled a 134, and the second game I bowled my all time high score, 151. And I got a strike in the last frame of the 10th frame, so I would have won the $20 too haha. Too bad it wasn't at home. But that was pretty fun, I was shocked at how well I did. Tuesday we had district meeting, which went well. The curriculum for that week was on the restoration, so I could think of no better way to teach it than to watch the restoration movie. The new, really good one. It was actually a very spiritual district meeting as well. Tomorrow is the last district meeting of the transfer and it should be a good one. We are combining and doing some fun stuff as a zone. But Tuesday afternoon we went and taught a really old couple, the wife is not a member, but they are sooooo stuck in their ways. The sisters wrote some stuff about how they are blind in rejection to commitments so we tried to do it in a roundabout way but it didn't work much. But Tuesday dinner was really cool, we ate at the church, it was a high priests/youth dinner where both come, the youth serve, and then they mingle. It was awesome, we met some good people there too. Tuesday night we went to try and meet a former investigator that had a baptismal date, but ran into his dad who spoke primarily Spanish. He told us to come back the next morning at 10, so that's what we did. Now Wednesday, that was an interesting day. We started off the day going to that guys place, and we find him there peeing off of the porch of his double wide. So we are like hey what's up and it was kind of awkward but eventually we asked if we could share a message with him, and he was like "yeah let me just go and grab my sandals real quick" so, that's what he did. He came back out with his sandals, but that wasn't all. He had a receipt, and a bag of wholesome herbs if you know what I mean. So as we are sharing the video with him, he proceeds to roll, lick, and smoke his own joint. All while we were showing him a video. It was soooooo funny. I'm not really sure what to do with that guy but that was sure funny. On of the weirdest things that has happened to me so far. Haha you just gotta laugh at stuff like that. But after that we just went and did some finding. But what was cool was dinner also. So our recent convert, Zach Rettig, is a senior in high school. His mom and dad are both extremely Catholic, but they really supported his decision to be baptized and they love the church, but they both work for the St. John the Baptist school in town, so they aren't interested. But anyways, the school was putting on a Veterans Day dinner(mostly put in by Zachs mom) in which Zachs dad was pretty much the MC of the thing, doing the announcing and stuff. So Zachs mom being the awesome lady that she is, invited us to the Veterans Day dinner that night, which was in the auditorium of the St. John the Baptist school. So we spent the night at a Veterans Day dinner at the catholic school. It was a really cool event, just a little different. There was a bar there and stuff which just seemed a little off to me but it was very nice of her to invite us as her guests. The food wasn't bad either, plus a cute little program put on by the little kids. Like a mix between the Veterans Day thing at Woodstock and the primary program haha. So that was awesome. Plus she gave us a bunch of leftovers, like enough to fill our whole fridge. Thursday we had our usual service at the food bank which is always fun, since both Santa Rosa zones are there. We then had a lesson with our semi progressing investigator, who we found out has read anti in the past, which is mainly why he hasn't been baptized or super interested. But we are working with him. That night we ate with a lady in our ward who is one of the best cooks ever so that was sweet. Friday was planning so not much there. We went to our recent coverts house and she just talks your ear off, but is super funny. Saturday we had a car appointment in Santa Rosa so we were there most of the day, except for dinner. Stake conference was Saturday night and Sunday morning also. Our stake pres. Is moving to Utah thanks to a series of events of which involved his father in law being the MTC pres in Argentina. So we got a new stake president! The first counselor was named as the new stake president, but what is cool is that a guy from the laguna(Spanish) ward in the stake was called to be the 2nd counselor. I'm also excited to see who replaces president Olsen. My bet is Dan Adams or Bill Baker. But it could be anyone, even any of the bishops..😏 haha but seriously that will be exciting. But President Olsen has been awesome, and I'm sure the stake will miss him. It was cool, we had Elders Zackary Smith and Jorge Zeballos at the stake conference and they both spoke to us. So that was awesome, plus President Wright spoke at both sessions as well. All in all it was a pretty good week. I really am learning about the doctrines of line by line, precept by precept, and also of the fact that Heavenly Father gives us struggles sometimes, but only to help us and make us better. To show us how we can improve. To make sure that he is molding us into perfection, one experience at a time. Because he knows how to do it, not us. One of my new favorite Mormon messages is "The Will of God". It's elder Christofferson speaking, and he is amazing. I'd encourage you all to look that up, it has really helped me out and also some people we have met. But anyways I love you all and love hearing about life back home. Hope you all have a great week! Love, Elder Hatch

Week 18 Oakland Temple and Lauren's Baptism

November 9, 2015 Family, Well it hasn't been long since my last email, only since last Wednesday. Not much has happened here really, just the same old same old missionary work. Some conferences and stuff like that. Still trying to get the area going and figuring out where thugs are and stuff like that. The best news from the weekend is that Lauren got baptized! I am sooooooooo excited for her! I wish so badly that I could have been there but it's ok I know it was awesome anyways and that it was a really good moment for her. But anyways it has been a fairly good week. What is weird is that yesterday was my 4 month mark! Some other cool news I heard about was that Emily Taggart got her mission call to Malaga Spain! There is a kid we went to high school with named Sam Hirst that is in that mission right now so they know each other and will see each other there no doubt! I want someone from Cottonwood to come to this mission. That would be so cool. Anyways, last Wednesday was the temple trip as you know. Super cool, the Oakland temple is awesome. It was an awesome view from the temple balcony thing of pretty much the whole Bay Area. Super cool. You could see almost all of San Fran and Oakland and stuff. Thursday we had a lesson with an investigator that has been taught a lot and dropped a lot by missionaries. We decided to go and try again because we don't have any other real investigators so we are going to see if this time, with us he accepts it. We will see. Friday we went down to Petaluma and had a zone conference with both Santa Rosa zones and both San Rafael Zones. All in all there was probably 60 or so missionaries there. It was really fun and there was some really good training done there. Saturday not much happened, just planning and whatnot. Yesterday was pretty good, we impromptu sang in the ward choir which was funny. Then we did sharing time in primary which was also awesome. And until the. I have never really known what people talk about when they say they go in primary and love it because the spirit is so strong, but I understand now. Before it was our turn, we snuck in the back and they sang the "Army of Helaman" song and the spirit there was incredible. We sang it with them from the back just kind of joining in, and it made me think back to the first night in the MTC. We sang that song there and usually it's "we will be the lords missionaries to bring the world..." But in the MTC it's " we are now the Lords missionaries to bring..." So from then on I sing it like that and it brings the spirit very strongly. The primary kids really do have a special way about them. There was like 8-9 kids in the whole primary but they sang it with so much enthusiasm that almost made me emotional. It was a super awesome moment. I understand now what people mean when they talk about primary that way. It's also funny, I love telling people that me and my companion are both 18 year olds that just graduated high school. Lots of people seem surprised but also I just love the reactions from people. They can't believe it. Also that we have less than 6 months of experience between us. But Sunday night we had dinner with the Carnations, and Mom I think they sent you some pictures. Their son got back from his mission less than 2 weeks ago and she said she loved getting those pictures do now she does it all the time. She is a crazy lady. But at their house they have this massive fountain in the front yard and an insane homemade swimming pool in the back. That's what the husband does, is make swimming poo,s and fountains and stuff so he just made this insane one in his back yard. I think just the fountain in the driveway is bigger than our whole apartment no joke. It was a cool place, but unfortunately they aren't finished yet so there isn't any water in them yet. But they look super cool. Anyways thanks for everything everyone. I love you all so much and appreciate families so much more now on the mission. I hope you all are having an amazing time with whatever it is that you do. I pray for all of you daily. Love, Elder Hatch

Week 17 Halloween in California

November 4, 2014 Family, Well first off let me apologize for not telling you last week that I would be emailing today rather than Monday, as we had our temple trip today and our p-day was moved to today. But also, I got to go to the temple today! It was awesome, we went to the Oakland Temple and it is sooooo beautiful. It is a pretty big temple and it is pretty in the middle of nowhere, you are just driving on the freeway and then all of the sudden on the right hand side it's like, "oh hey, there's the temple" which is super cool. So that was awesome. A really cool recent convert in our ward, Zach, who is a senior in high school right now gave us a ride to the temple which was way cool of him. He is one of the coolest members in the area. Anyways, this last week was a pretty good week, it went by faster than the last couple, so that is good. It's weird to think that later this week, I will have been out for 4 months! So weird! But it does feel like the first 2 weeks of the transfer go way slow then it starts to pick up. This week should be fast too, because today is temple trip and P-day, tomorrow we are going to Petaluma, and Friday we have zone conference, which is also in Petaluma. So we will be in Petaluma a lot in the next few days. So last Tuesday we had zone meeting, which was way nice because for one, I didn't have to do district meeting, and second, we got the new music rule, which is that we can listen to any music as long as it follows the white handbook standards. So that is waaaay nice, especially with bands like vocal point and piano guys, stuff that is really good but still uplifting and spiritual. Tuesday we also had exchanges which was pretty nice and I got to go with Elder Hastings, who is one of my zone leaders, and has been my whole mission so far. It was pretty good. We had a lesson with a recent convert name Nate Legakis, who is soooooo strange. He texts us all the time, and he would do it to the sisters too. So when we went to his house, we were already kind of scared, because this guy is pretty infamous in the Santa Rosa area as far as missionaries go. So he opens the door, and the first thing we notice is that his 4 year old son is butt naked. And he was for the whole lesson... We didn't really know how to react. We just kind of let it happen cause I mean, what can you do. The worst part was that halfway through the visit, his son tries to get something out of the fridge, and spills Parmesan cheese all over the floor, but the dad doesn't pick it up, he just leaves it there and his son just starts playing in the cheese, butt naked still. It was horrible. Soooooo awkward. Me and Elder Hastings always have the strangest experiences together. Wednesday, we ended our exchange, and then just did some finding and did service at the library. Thursday we did our weekly zone service at the food bank, which was good as usual. After that we were trying to find a guy that formerly had a baptismal date, and we actually did end up finding him and teaching him a lesson. I think that he took it well, and we are meeting again with him tomorrow. Friday we had planning which is lame, ate dinner at the bishop's house, and did more finding that night. Saturday was interesting, we did service for a lady that lives in another wards boundaries for a big chunk of the morning, and after that the members that knew her, which are in our ward, took us all out to lunch, which was way too nice of them. After that we went to our ward party at the bishop's house, and carved pumpkins and things like that. That is where the random horse picture came from. The bishop has 2 horses and one of the other elders just happened to be by me at that time, because all four of us were at the party. So yeah, that's where it came from. So I hope y'all enjoyed that random picture. I saw and enjoyed yours from the game as well. That night we ate with the same family that got us lunch that day. So they were waaaaayyyy to good to us. But because of Halloween we just had to stay in the rest of the night. Sunday was pretty cool. We had a baby blessing for a baby of a nonmember dad and recently returning less active mom. The dad has had a lot of missionaries work with him, and we will try to as well. I hope that because this is his first baby and whatnot, that his heart will be softened and that he will be more receptive to the message and have more of a desire to change. But we will see. The rest of the day went well too, we were actually able to see some of the less actives that we planned to, which was sweet cause a lot of the time the less actives aren't home or something like that. Monday we were allowed to go shopping and do laundry thank goodness, but other than that it was just a normal missionary day. Just the usual stuff, as was Tuesday. But today was definitely really cool. Plus, I am beyond excited for this Saturday because it is Laurens baptism!!!!! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh I am just so happy for her and pumped that she is making this awesome decision. I think that she understands it all too, like she gets it. She isn't just doing it because she is, she actually knows that this is a huge step and is ready to take it. But anyways, thanks for everything that each of you do! I love getting emails, and especially pictures, things like that. I also have worn the Gameday shirt like 5 times already. Thanks Maddie and Stephen. Thanks also for the pants mom and dad. I haven't had Sister Wright fix them yet but I'm sure she will and I will see her on Friday to ask her. But other than that I am doing well, still trying to do things the right way and figure out how to talk to people and approach them and whatnot but I realize that it's more of a constant progression rather than an all at once kind of a thing. So I will, keep working on it and everything else that I can do better. But one thing that I have learned over the last little bit is that you don't have to be perfect right away. God doesn't expect you to do things perfectly, or he wouldn't have called you to do it. Also He is aware of our progress and is mindful of us. That is something that is really cool to me. Lastly I just want to share my personal testimony on the power of example, and what it can do for people in our lives. There are always times that we need to say something, or are prompted to go up and spontaneously say something or write something, call someone, whatever, but most of all how we are prompted to help others is by being prompted to do the right thing, so that we can be a good example to everyone around us. We might not always do the right thing, but that's ok, because as long as we are trying to do the right thing, people notice and want to do it as well. The most important thing that we can do is just choose the right and do what we know is right, so that we can set the right example for others. Because without our example, what are we? We are pretty much just an empty bag of words that mean nothing. But, if we are righteous in what we do and also use other spiritual gifts that God has given us, then that is when we become truly powerful, and become more like the savior. Thanks for everything everyone, I love you all and pray for you daily. Love, Elder Hatch

Week 16 Emergency Transfer

October 26, 2015 Family, Well this week was another interesting week. Monday I finally got to play some real basketball, with real people, on a real wood floor, not carpet! It was way fun. There are some really good Elders in these zones. Monday night I prepared the final preparations for my district meeting. So that was good. Tuesday was an interesting day. So we had district meeting, and that went well. I thought I did a decent job. What was interesting was the last 10 minutes. With 10 minutes left, I had just turned the time over to one of the zone leaders to teach the last 10 minutes, and I got a call from President Wright. He was like hey Elder Hatch are you at the Peterson Lane chapel? I was like yes I am and district meeting will be over in 10 minutes. So he said that he would be there in about 20 minutes and that he wanted to talk to me and my companion. I was like sure thing president. So he came, and met with the AP's first, then he called me in and I was suddenly in an interview with president. So he asked me if there was anything that he could do for me to help relieve some stress, then he told me of the situation he was there for. There was another missionary that had just come out that was struggling, and he thought that if he switched him to be my companion in Healdsburg that he would do better. He told me that he felt really good about it, but that he would pray about it and let me know later that day if they were going to make the switch. So we then had a meeting with the two of us and Elder Flinders and he told Elder Flinders the situation. After that we went and got some lunch, and President Wright called me and said that we were going to make the switch. So we met the other elders at the church building after Elder Flinders packed all of his stuff up. We made the switch and now Elder Julander is my companion! So Elder Julander is from Enoch, Utah, and the funny thing is that his grandpa has a car auto shop in Panguitch called Paul's Auto. So that is way funny. Its pretty sweet, he is about 6'4" so we are pretty intimidating. Other than that, this week has been a little slow. We have names of people to go see, but a lot of the time when we call them or try to stop by, they never answer. It sucks. But we have talked to more people lately, so that is good, and we have been doing a lot of service. Wednesday, was just pretty much all of that, service, trying to find people. Thursday we had a little more service, and we also went to Petaluma. One of the Spanish Elders that lives with us was sick like all week, and so there were some nights that I stayed back with him, so that his companion wasn't stuck inside all day. So that got a little boring. Friday, we had weekly planning, and then dinner with this spanish lady in our ward. Pretty much she just spoke spanish to the other elders the whole time. That night we went over to a recent converts house. Saturday, we did some more service, we fixed a tarp for a sailboat. That day, we met with a bishop from middletown, because he somehow knew elder Julander. That night we ate with a family and they were soooooo funny. Probably the funniest dinner on the mission so far. Sunday was pretty cool as well. Church went good and we went around doing some less active contacting, although it was not that successful. But that night we had dinner at President's house, which was pretty cool. President is such a cool funny guy. He had two of his kids there with him as well, one that is in high school, and one that is in college. It was a pretty funny dinner too. That night we had a meeting at the Peterson Lane Chapel. It sucked, I found out that My car was almost all out of gas. So that was fun. I had to bum some rides and say some prayers haha. But that night I learned that some of the sisters in my district that I thought were doing well, were not doing well. I was just totally oblivious. Dang. But I think that they can work it out. One is brand new this transfer, graduated in 2015 and all, which is nuts. Anyways, the whole Emergency transfer thing made this week pretty crazy. But I am still trying my best to help him and help out my district. I know that I will get better, and I am learning that I need to have realistic expectations of myself, and that I wont be able to do everything at once. But I really am trying to rely on the Lord and I hope that I will continue to do better at that. Thanks for everything, for all of your prayers and everything that you all do. Love, Elder Hatch

Delinquent Mom

I have been delinquent the past month. I will try to catch up on his emails. Watch for the news from the past month.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week 15 Whitewash, Trainer, DL

October 19, 2015 Family, Well first off this was definitely the longest week of the mission so far. All this new stuff was so weird and it has been quite the adjustment. So much different stuff than before. Anyways Monday night we drove to Arcata, and stayed in the smallest apartment in the mission with the two missionaries there. Tuesday morning we woke up there and drove 5 hours to Santa Rosa. We had transfer meeting and it was great to see all of the missionaries from my generation, or when I was in the MTC. That night the 8 trainers all slept at the apartment coordinator senior couples house, the Porters. They are super cool and it was a pretty fun night. Wednesday morning we woke up there, went to the church and waited for the meeting to start where we got our companions. So that was weird, it was like totally backwards from what it seemed like. So anyways my companion is Elder Flinders, from Kaysville, Utah. He went to Davis High and graduated in 2015 as well. It is nice; he is basically a pretrained missionary. I haven't had to do much to train him. I have been trying to set the best example I can but it is kind of hard. I hope I won't ruin him, but he will be good no matter what. That night we met with the bishop, Bishop Hart, who is a great guy. Thursday we did service at the food bank with the whole zone, which was weird after only seeing 4 missionaries always my first 3 months. It was cool though, later that day we saw a recent convert, Zach, who is a senior in high school right now. He is super solid. It's been kind of hard because I don't know really what to do much of the time. That night we met with the ward mission leader, brother Le Brett. He is an interesting guy, he knows EVERYBODY in Healdsburg though. It's sweet. One other great thing about Thursday night, is that we had the first district meeting Friday, and we didn't get the curriculum for it until Thursday night, which is also when I got my DL training. So that was fun, because the next morning me and the other DL in the zone and the STL(sister training leader)all got together and discussed what we would do for it, since it would be later that day, in like 1 hour in fact. So it was super short notice so it was kind of stressful. I think it went well though. That day we all went to Jimmy Johns, it was actual real Jimmy Johns. It was amazing. That night, we met up with two other recent converts, who are both super awesome. Saturday, we did service all morning until like 2 pm, so it was 4 hours’ worth. The rest of the day we didn't have much planned, we went out and visited some members, and tried to get to know the area. It's weird here too, there are actually people out on the street, super weird. It's nice though. It's much easier to see people to meet, but everybody is super rich or touristy around here it's a pretty wealthy and touristy area in Healdsburg, so they don't want to talk to us. Luckily there were some nice people that talked to us, and one guy invited us to come and give a short teaching thing before they all go out and run. It should be good. Sunday we had church at 9, and it was cool, a member brought some nonmember friends to church with her, and the two kids seemed to really really like it. I hope something good can come of it. That night we all were at the church for a stake meet and greet with the stake presidency, Anyways it was a super super long week. I sometimes feel like I am not doing all that I can, or that I don't know what I'm doing, but I know that the Lord can mold me and that eventually I will be an OK missionary and be able to help some people. I hope that all of you are having a lot of fun back home and that mom and dad had fun in Canada. That was a super cool story, pops. But I love you all, pray for you each every night, and miss you all a ton, but know that I need to be here and there is a reason for me being here. Love you guys, Elder Hatch

Week 14 The Lord Qualifies Those Whom He Calls

October 12, 2015 Family, Well folks, it was a slow week here for lessons, but good nonetheless. We were able to have a lot of cool finding opportunities, especially as a result of our lessons falling through. I guess the big news is transfers. I will be............... Headed off to Healdsburg English Speaking Area. I will be training a new missionary, and as a direct result of that, I will also be whitewashing, which means that both missionaries are new to the area, and there is nobody that knows the area or has any idea where anything is, that sort of fun thing. So basically neither one of us will know what to do for the first little while. And, while they were at it, they went ahead and made me district leader as well. So that should be fun too. So basically this is a ton of stuff that I am in no way shape or form ready for, but am excited to see what happens. I take a lot of solace in the quote from conference, "The Lord qualifies those whom he calls". I sure hope that that will be true for me, because I have no idea how to train, whitewash, or be a district leader. Oh and while they were at it they went ahead and made me the district leader over the Sister Training Leader(basically a sister zone leader) and the Zone Leaders. Oh and the AP's too. So that should be fun. Basically this is gonna be a great transfer. So yeah, there's that. I'm gonna need your prayers for this one. I just hope that I don't screw up my greenie too bad. Oh and another thing, the guy that is taking my spot up here in Crescent City, is my MTC companion, Elder Brooks. Pretty nuts. I wouldn't want anyone else taking my spot here though. He can look out for it for me. Oh and I think that my apartment that I am moving to is a new apartment so that will be nice. A nice fresh apartment Anyways, this last Monday was fun, we went to trees of mystery, which you all got the pictures from. That was way cool. That night we had a preach my gospel lesson with a guy that has recently started coming back to church, quit smoking, and is trying to go on a mission, so that's why we are reading preach my gospel with him. He turns 26 this year though so I don't know if he will get to go but it is cool that he wants to go. Tuesday, we went all the way down to McKinleyville, and that was fun. It was a good zone meeting, the last one for a few of the sisters in the zone. My companion only has one transfer left so he should have a good last transfer as well. That night we also went to see Ervin. I love that guy, I hope he continues to progress and help his family progress. Wednesday, we went up to Smith River, unbeknownst to me for my last time. We did service for that same guy, but weren't able to have a lesson with him. He did want another pamphlet though because he said that he was reading it with his son. We had dinner with the Jansens, a super cool family in my ward. That night we had all of our appointments cancel on us so that was great. Thursday, we had a ton of our lessons cancel, but we had some cool street lessons and really awesome finding, two people in a row that were way nice and told us to come back, all after like 2-3 weeks of people slamming their doors on us. It was great. One street lesson was with these two guys that were working on the yard of a lady that had slammed the door on us about a week prior. It was ironic but it was a cool lesson. Friday was planning, ugh. No fun, just 4 hours of straight nothing but sitting and planning. But its ok because we always go to Dutch Bros Coffee and get these delicious hot chocolates before for planning each week. After that we had dinner and our lessons cancelled on us that night too. It was a bummer but we managed to fill the time. It was rough because we were supposed to get the transfer info on Friday, but we got a text from the ZL's that it wasn't coming until Saturday. Saturday was kind of a rough day. Everything cancelled on us basically, it was raining, and they waited until like 5 at night to send us the transfer info. But we were able to go to this cool car show at the park across the street from us. And we went over to these cool young families house as well. They aren't members, and seem pretty cold on the gospel right now, but they like us and like us coming over. They even wanted us to come over again Sunday. So Sunday we had church, it was a good day, I bore my testimony because I was leaving, and I had a few members that were sad to see me go. Although they were sad it made me happy to know that I had some kind of impact on them. After church we went to the Fluds again, which is the young family we visited Saturday, and he was talking with us for a bit. Still not much about the gospel but we are just trying to BRT with them(build a relationship of trust). It was pretty cool. Overall a good Sunday. So basically to sum it up I am freaking out. I hope President knows what he is doing. I really have come to love the people here and it will be hard to leave them, but I am excited for a new adventure in Healdsburg. It will be a great time for me as I learn and grow, and can hopefully pick up a few good tricks from the ZL's and AP's. One last thing, is that I recently got a missionary facebook account. I had to delete some friend requests from people back home, because we are not allowed to be friends with people we knew at home, but, you can follow me to be updated on what is going on. Thanks for everything everybody, and GO UTES. How about them? Anyways thanks for everything! Love, Elder Hatch

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week 13 What Lack I Yet?

October 5, 2015 Family, Well it was another great week of missionary work here in Crescent City, one in which I am extremely grateful for General Conference. I have never looked forward to a general conference so much in my whole life. For one, with the 3 new apostles that was super crazy! Rasband was kind of expected and Stevenson wasn't too out there but I have honestly never even heard of the 3rd guy. He seems like a very spiritual guy though, and can't wait to hear from him in the upcoming general conferences, as well as all of them. One reason I was so excited though was it just seems different now. I seem to actually understand that Jesus Christ himself has prophets and apostles on the earth today that he speaks through, to each of us directly. It was just weird to think that there are actual apostles on the earth right now. Also fun fact, Elder Stevenson's son is in Hagen's mission, and is his zone leader. Pretty cool. Hagen got to go on exchanges with him a few weeks ago. Anyways last Monday was cool, we got to go bowling, and that was pretty fun. The place just reopened or we would have gone earlier. That night we had dinner with a family that the grandpa is a college football fan and I got to talk about the Utes with him. It was sweet. I haven't had the chance to do that much. Speaking of which, GO UTES!!! Dang I can't believe it 5th in the country?? Plus Gameday coming as well? Holy cow. Maybe we can sneak into the playoffs. Tuesday we went down to McKinleyville and had interviews with President Wright and also a training from him and Sister Wright and the Assistants. It was awesome, it really helped me out. I just love President Wright as well. He is such a jolly guy, always has the biggest smile on his face and you can tell he genuinely cares about each of us. While we were going to McKinleyville we stopped by this tree that is called 'The Big Tree" It is 21 feet in diameter and over 300 feet tall. Pretty magnificent and humbling. They say it is around 1500-2000 years old or something like that. Later that night we saw Ervin and his family. Man I love that guy. His stories are the best. It was great, when we told him there was no church because of conference, he was like,"so what am I supposed to do about all that stuff I did this week then if I can't take the sacrament? You know cause I really enjoy taking that every week I feel like it really helps me out" I was so glad to hear that he enjoys the sacrament so much! I just told him that it would still work the same for him if he took it the next week. He was very glad to hear that. Wednesday we went up to Smith River, and we were able to see Jonah, the Egyptian former Jew. That was good, and we also did service again. We got to put the bottoms on the eves of a roof that a guy is building on his trailer park. It was just on a mobile home so I wasn't on any roofs or anything. Thursday was a very good day. We had 4 lessons, and 2 of them we had members at. One, we had it with a progressing investigator that I firmly believe will end up being baptized at some point, we taught the word of wisdom and she expressed her desire to quit smoking and drinking coffee. She doesn't think that quitting cigarettes is possible but she is trying to get off of coffee this week so we will see how that goes on Thursday. I really hope that she didn't slip up on that, because then we can get into the cigarettes next. It was quite a good day. Friday was a good day as well. I got to wear the tie that all of me and my friends have because that is the day we chose to do it, first Friday of every month. Anyways our appointments fell through on that day, which sucked, but luckily most of the day was taken up by weekly planning. As for Saturday and Sunday, we mostly watched conference. We watched all the general sessions on the computer at the church as a district, and me and Elder Smith watched Priesthood session at Brother Tinsley's house, who is the Ward Mission Leader. Today, we went down to Klamath and went to a cool place called Trees of Mystery. I have some good pictures that I will send. Not quite as good as last week but pretty good. Anyways in other news we will find out this Friday whether we are staying, going, and all that. It will be exciting to find out if I will get to stay here longer, or have a new adventure somewhere else. I am excited either way, but I am thinking that it is more likely that I leave. We will see though. My favorite talk in conference was by Elder Larry. R. Lawrence of the seventy. He spoke of prayer and of the spirit, and how the spirit really does give customized responses to honest questions of, What lack I yet? I thought along with it being a very funny talk, it also had a very good message. I really liked that he promised that if you ask the Lord with a humble heart, "What is keeping me from progressing?" he will give you an honest, clear, and personal answer. I challenge all of you to do this so that you can know how you can better be a member of this church and a servant of the Lord. I love all of you and thank you for your love, support, and prayers in my behalf and those in this area. Love, Elder Hatch

Week 12 Learning to be a Leader

September 28, 2015 Hello family, Well we are already here at the start of another week, and another Monday. It is weird how quickly the time is going by, pretty soon I will have been out for 3 months. Crazy. Also a happy birthday shoutout to Zig, Stephen, Jim, and Andy. What a birthday loaded week. I wish I could have been able to celebrate with you guys! But I am really enjoying my time here and am still loving Crescent City. I have really come to appreciate my bishop, Bishop Ralphs. He is such a great guy and is such an exemplary servant of Jesus Christ. My Ward Mission Leader is also a great guy, Brother Tinsley. He can be a bit over the top at times but he means well and I have heard he is one of the best Ward Mission Leaders in the mission. The ward is awesome too. We have got several members of the Elders Quorum and High Priests that are very willing to go out to lessons with us. I don't want to be transferred I love it here. But I also can't wait to see what the rest of the mission is like. I have heard that it is different up here than every other place in the mission. I don't know what that means, but apparently it just is. I don't know how often you guys see Nick Foster but I would love to hear if he has anybody up here for me to teach that maybe he has taught in the past. Anyways, Monday was an interesting day. I have some good pictures from it. We went down by Klamath, and went to the drive through tree. Yup, the drive through tree. It was so sweet. We drove a car through a tree. Pretty nuts. These Redwoods can get pretty dang big. Pretty cool. We also tried to go to a thing called trees of mystery, and they had a giant sasquatch statue that we got sweet pictures with. It was crazy. Pretty funny stuff. On Tuesday, neither ward really had much to do during the day, so we went tracting in the other wards area right by our house. Pretty uneventful but it is right by the beach so that was cool. Tuesday night we went over to Ervin's again. Everytime we go over there he has a funny or awesome story for us from his "Thug Life" days. I love going over there. I just love that guy, I can't explain it. I'm sure those of you that have served missions know what I am talking about. Wednesday we went up to Smith River and I took Elder Waites. I took him up to the Oregon Border and got some good pictures there. We also gave Velva a blessing while we were up there. She has something wrong with her and the doctors can't figure it out. I hope she is doing well. We also had a lesson with Jonah, the former Jew who is Egyptian. He is a cool guy but not progressing at all. Apparently he had a baptismal date when Nick was here so I don't know when that will be reinstated. That was a long time ago, almost a year ago. We also did service again for the same people, and it was awesome, like a little mini miracle. While we were working we talked about the Gospel with him, as we have the last few times. And near the end, we were pretty much finished doing what we were doing that day, and he said come on lets go inside and have a soda and talk about this for the last 15 minutes or so. It was awesome. He is very critical and cynical about it while we were talking about it, but knows that he is, and is still willing to talk to us. He says that he is very interested in it and so far it seems to him that the church runs a lot on common sense, and that he hasn't found any flaws in it so far. I really think that with due time and studying it out he will come to know the truthfulness of it and be baptized. We gave him a restoration pamphlet and he said he was going to read it and that we can talk about it next time, which is this Wednesday. I am excited for that lesson. We were also supposed to have a lesson that night with a lady that is of the Wiccan religion. It is some different religion thing but she is very nice and is willing to listen to what we have to say. We didn't end up teaching her though, because she was sick, but we are hopefully having a lesson with her on Wednesday. I am excited. Thursday, we had 2 member present lessons, which is pretty dang good. Usually we get about 1-2 during a whole week, so 2 in one day was awesome. Turns out those were the only ones for the week, but it still felt pretty good at the end of the day. One was with our investigator that is progressing well, but we haven't seen for almost a month. She is still doing very well, and is praying about and reading the Book of Mormon consistently. I think she will be the ward's next baptism. She just needs to quit smoking though, but we haven't taught her the word of wisdom yet. That will probably be the next lesson with her. We then had a lesson with a woman that we met at Walmart that came to church last Sunday, and that went well. We had 3 members there helping us out and it was awesome. Some of the members, the Fultons, used to live in Richfield and they say that they used to be in Richard's ward. I wonder if he knows them. Friday, we didn't have much to do during the day. We did a bunch of the district leader stuff that Elder Smith had to do, which was boring. That night we didn't have much to do either, that seemed to happen a lot this week. I don't know if it is me not planning things well enough, or what but it sucks not having anything to do. Cause then you have to just go tracting which is not effective, and you can't street contact here, because nobody is ever on the streets here. It doesn't do much to street contact. Saturday we did a bunch of service. We did almost 3 hours in the morning for a ward community service project down the street, then in the afternoon we went with Ervin and did service for his boss. It was fun doing service with him. He is hilarious. Such a gangster, he was showing us his sweet stereo system in his car. It was bumpin. Sunday we had church as usual. It was a normal Sunday, except we ate dinner outside because the husband was off doing volunteer fire calls, because he is one of the volunteer firefighters for the area. He is a cool guy too. Overall it was a fast week, but the work was semi slow. I don't know if there is something I need to do better, but I am going to keep doing by best and hope to receive answers at general conference. Also, I am betting on the new apostles to be Clayton, Rasband, and Causse, the french dude. Anyways it will be exciting to see who it is. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you all again. Love, Elder Hatch

Week 11 Be Happy to Serve Christ

September 21, 2015 Hello Family! Thanks for all of your emails and everything as always! It was a really fast week this week it seemed like. The weeks go by very fast now and the days even faster. On Monday, we didn't do much fun stuff, but later that night, one of the members in our ward, the one that was living out of the tent with his dog, called us and said he had someone that wanted to take the missionary discussions. So we met them at Taco Bell, and it is his cousin that took the discussions like 5 years ago. She is currently homeless and her husband works at Taco Bell, so that is why we met her there. We ended up teaching her the whole restoration right there in Taco Bell. It was pretty weird. On Tuesday we went out to Hiouchi and taught 2 less active families. One of which we have been going to see for a while. I have some pretty cool pictures from being at their house that I will send. We also saw Ervin and his wife, and that is always good. He is so funny and awesome, I will never forget him. On Wednesday morning, the zone leaders came up and surprised us. We weren't expecting them but they are both really cool guys. We ended up teaching 2 unplanned lessons that day, just random people letting us into their house that were previously in the Area Book. It was pretty cool. Thursday we went on splits and I got to go down to Klamath with Elder Waites and the third nephite, Brother Bates. It is always awesome being with him. He knows everyone in town so we always have people to see which is great. He is such a cool guy. Friday was kind of a disappointing day, because we had 4 lessons planned, and all of them fell through except for 1. One of our "progressing" investigators cancelled on us for the 3rd week in a row. It is so frustrating. Saturday we were interrupted in studies to go help clean the church, then to help the guy living in a tent move a mattress up to his new house. We weren't allowed to so the Elders Quorum president helped us out. It turned out that he had to get a bunch of stuff at walmart too that he didnt tell us, so it ended up being like a 3 hour ordeal, and we weren't able to have the lesson with him that we had planned. I felt like us and the EQ president were being used, but the EQ president was really cool about it, and totally understood what was going on. He is a really good guy. While we were at Walmart we talked to this lady, and then the next day at church she showed up! I don't even know how she found it cause we forgot to tell her where the building was and when. Also church was crazy. It was the primary program so there was a bunch of visitors. Anyways a spiritual thought for the day, is in Acts, 9: 16. It is the Lord talking to Paul and telling him that he must suffer for His name's sake, but he says it like it is a good thing. And I have come to realize, it really is. If we can but suffer any little trial or hardship, as long as it is in the name of Jesus and trying to lift up his church, it is a privilege, and we should know that if that is happening, that we are doing good things and Satan is trying to get us. I hope that we can all suffer for Jesus sake to try and lift up his church. Love you all, Love, Elder Hatch

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 10 Feed His Sheep

September 14, 2015 Hello everyone! It was another great week in Crescent City! I really enjoy it here and I am loving the weather, although it is getting sort of chilly up here these days. The ward is great, and the people in it are awesome. There are a few families that feed us like once a week or every few weeks and they are all awesome. There are some really great people up in this area. I will be sad once I have to leave. Also I don't have hardly any pictures this week... Sorry! So Tuesday we went down to McKinleyville for Zone Meeting and it was good to finally see the new members of the zone and the new zone leader. It’s weird not seeing anyone in the zone ever except in Crescent City and it is a rare occasion that we do, so I always love going to those meetings. We got 3 more brand new greenies this transfer in this zone, just like me and the other 2 last time, so we have a bunch of greenies up here. It was nice not being the youngest ones in the mission anymore. Although I am pretty sure that I graduated the same year as most of them. So that is cool too. Wednesday we were up in Smith River and did some more service for people up there that we have been doing service for, and we were helping them clean up this nasty mobile home thing and there were tons of black widows, grey widows, brown recluses, and pumpkin spiders plus a bunch of other ones too, it was crazy. Luckily I wasn't too scared of them, not like I was a few years ago. I just killed them when I saw them for good measure. But as we were doing service for the people they were asking us questions about the church and stuff and I cleared some things up for them. Like that Warren Jeffs isn’t Mormon. Hahahaha I was glad to clear that up. They just asked some basic questions about the church and things like that. He said that maybe we could tell him a little more about it later though, and that he is open to trying new ones right now. He seemed kind of joking but there is always a little truth to things like that. Who knows maybe he could be baptized somewhere down the road. They are already great people, and have 7 kids so they said that people would always joke around with them and thought that they were Mormon for that reason. Hahaha. Thursday we didn't do much, just tracted a bunch and cleared out our area book. Friday we planned, then were going to have a lesson with one of our progressing investigators, but she wasn't there, so we went along to our next appointment. Later that night we had another set appointment drop, which always sucks to have 2 drop in the same day. Seems like that has happened 2 weeks in a row now. Frustrating, but there’s nothing we can do about it now I guess. Saturday we went up to a place called Gasquet that is in our area, but I haven't been to before. It is a beautiful drive up there, just past Hiouchi. We did a blitz up there (which is just taking everyone in the district to one place and tracting the heck out of it) with the first ward elders, and didn't see much success, but there has been a bunch of fires up there in Gasquet for a month or so now. All of the fires in California are nuts right now. Some sisters in the mission were emergency evacuated out of their apartment this last week, although I’m not sure where exactly. Anyways the population of Gasquet is about 600 and there are like 400 firefighters camped up there fighting fires. It is pretty big news in Crescent City. Later Saturday night though, we had a guy in our ward that has been here like a month call us and tell us that he had a prompting to get on his knees and pray, and right afterwards had the prompting to call us. So he did and we met up with him later that night. It was so crazy, there was like miracle after miracle after miracle that happened when we were with him. A bunch of his concerns and thoughts were answered during our meeting. At one point his flashlight stopped working(he is staying at a campground because he doesn’t have a job or money to pay for a place) and his flashlight is really important for him there, so we said the closing prayer and when we started the flashlight was dead, with the bulb part facing down on the table, and when we finished with the closing prayer, we could see a little light creeping out from between the flashlight and the table, and sure enough we grabbed the flashlight from off of the table and it was working. It was just enough for him to be able to see for a little bit, and we took him to the store that night too. We actually took his dog with us too, which is not technically allowed, but Jesus healed people on the Sabbath right? Anyways I just try and not let the rules overrule common sense. So bottom line the work is getting a little harder up here, but I still love it and love the area and ward. It is a cool place. I am excited to see where my next area will be and who my next comp will be. I know that's a ways down the road but I always did like surprises. Also MAJOR congrats to Josie on the mission call!!! That is sooooooo cool Panama is such a cool place to go! It’s kinda funny, before I got my call I was thinking that Panama would be a really cool place to go!! Congrats and love ya Josie! I know that you will do amazing work there! A quick spiritual thought for yall. I was reading in John today about when Peter and the other apostles go fishing after the Savior has been crucified and resurrected. After they come in, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him. Peter responds that of course he loves him, to which the Savior says, "Feed my sheep". Jesus and Peter then have the same exchange 2 more times, to which Peter was "grieved because he said it unto him a third time". I really feel bad for Peter here, but the fact of the matter is, it was his own fault. It was striking to me how the Savior asked the same question 3 times with the same response. He helped Peter to realize his own faults and see things as they really are. I think that's how it is for us in our lives today, we often don't realize what the best thing to be doing is, or how things really are, but from help by Christ, we can realize that helping get God’s children back to him is the most important thing for us to be doing. While there are other worthwhile endeavors in life (like fishing) we must realize that we cannot sit idly by and forget our duties as soon as someone is not keeping tabs on us. Just like with Peter, who quickly forgot his purpose shortly after the Savior left earth, we often forget our purpose shortly after Sunday, or our missions, general conference etc. We must always seek to "Feed [his] sheep", and set aside worldly goals for a more worthwhile goal, helping those around us. I pray that we will each find time to "feed [his] sheep" and constantly strive to be more like Christ. Thanks for all that each of you do. I love and pray for each of you nightly. Love you all, Elder Hatch

Week 9 New Companion on transfer number 2

September 7, 2015 Well, to start, it has been a little bit different with a new companion and another new guy in the apartment with us. Just as you get used to one companion and roommates, you get new ones. I do miss Elder Searle, he was a good missionary. Lately I feel like I have been more stressed, because I am now leading out the area and I have to come up with things for us to do now. I feel like a lot of the time I can't remember what we would do when Elder Searle was leading out the area. But besides that it was a good week because we had a baptism! More on that later but it was just a different week than I have had so far on the mission. So on Monday night Elder Searle and Elder Judd left to go to their new areas, and on Tuesday Elder Waites and I were alone in both of our areas. Our companions got here at about 11:30 at night so we were waiting up for them most of the night. My companion, Elder Smith, is a good guy. He has been out about 21 months and this is his second to last transfer. So the chances are that he will die here and that I will be leaving here at the end of this transfer. I am sad about that but have realized that it is basically inevitable. I really do love it up here though. I love the people in my ward, and I am really comfortable around them now. But anyways my companion is from the San Antonio area, a little place called Poth, Texas. He is 21 years old and graduated in 2012. Pretty weird, I never thought that I would be companions with somebody that age. But apparently there are some pretty old elders in the mission. The other new missionary in the other ward is Elder Sherman, who has only been out one transfer longer than me and Elder Waites. He is a good guy, and he is from somewhere in Texas too. Wednesday was our first full day of missionary work together, and we had a lesson with Velva Allen, the woman who was baptized this Saturday. We also were doing some service for people, putting on a metal roof on this little house thing they were building in their trailer park, when a guy from the state pulls up and tells them they have to have a permit for it. They got into a big argument while we were there and we were just there trying to help some people out. After a while we left, but the one family ended up getting stuck like 800 bucks for the roof and a deck fine because they didn’t have permits. Too bad. On Thursday, it was kind of a rough day. I got kind of stressed, because we didn’t have any lessons that day so we were just out doing a lot of finding and I was trying to find things for us to do and people to go see, like some inactives or things like that. I was struggling to find things to do so it was pretty stressful. I didn’t have Elder Searle to lean on to figure that stuff out. Also I hate tracting. I wish there was more street contacting to do, because I haven’t seen much success from door knocking so far. Hopefully we will though. Luckily later that night we were able to have 2 lessons so that cheered me up a bit. On Friday we had like 2-3 lessons fall through, so that was frustrating. Not only was it frustrating because we missed our appointments, but then we didn’t really have much else to do. I was again left to try and figure out stuff to do. Hopefully we will have more lessons this week. On Saturday, it was a good day for the most part. The baptism was AWESOME. It was a very very spiritual experience, as she was formerly a member that removed her name from the records. She has had a very long road back but seemed so so so so so happy to finally be a member of the church again. Her son-in-law baptized her, and apparently it was him that encouraged her to take the missionary discussions again in the first place. He got choked up as he was saying the baptismal prayer and it was just very spiritual overall. The speakers were two of her good friends in the ward and afterwards they had her daughter, son-in-law, and best friend bear their testimonies and that only added to the spirit. She had a visiting teacher that visited her every week for like 8 years or something like that, and when she moved, she basically threatened the relief society with death if they didn’t keep visiting Velva. And they did keep visiting her and look what happened! She is such a good lady. Unfortunately, Saturday night we also had set up an appointment with some potential investigators that we met on the street that said they were looking for a church (this was over a month ago) and we set up the appointment on Thursday night for Saturday at 7, but when we showed up Saturday at 7 there was nobody there! I was way sad/mad/disappointed. But they had a baby like a month ago and he works a lot so it is understandable. I was just really looking forward to this lesson, and then they weren’t there. But it is in the Lords way and the Lords time so I hope that it all works out. On Sunday, Velva was confirmed and she finally got to take the sacrament. She bore her testimony at the end of the meeting and it was very special. She has been wanting to take the sacrament for a very long time and finally was able to. She was also emotional during and after the confirmation. That was one thing that she was looking forward to a lot as well as taking the sacrament, was having the spirit with her all the time. I am so happy for her and her decision to be rebaptized. So it was a good week up here in Crescent City. I am always just striving to be the best missionary I can be. One thing that I like that one of my mission prep teachers said (President Gibson) was that "You don't have to be the best one, just the right one". I really like that. Not every missionary is going to be the same, and you can't compare yourself to others, just be the best missionary you can be and be prepared when the Lord puts you in a situation that he has prepared for you, and you specifically. Not only do I think that this applies in missionary work, but in regular life as well. The Lord has set up the church so that it is a missionary church, so that every member can actively participate in the Lords one true mission- bringing salvation to his children. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I hope each of you are always looking for missionary opportunities and if you can, going out to appointments and lessons with the missionaries. Full time missionaries are temporary, but the members are full time missionaries. Anyways I'll leave yall with a scripture. 3 Nephi 18:32. A great message about the worth of souls and missionary work all in one. Anyways thanks for everything that you guys do! Love ya Love, Elder Hatch

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week 8 A True Missionary Experience

August 31, 2015 Well it was another successful week here in Crescent City. It is so awesome up here. We are pretty isolated but I like it, the distractions are taken away I feel like. It is weird to facetime into certain meetings though, but it’s all good. I just never thought that I would facetime zone leaders on the mission. But I do have some bad news... My companion got transferred down to Vacaville, and he is going to be training again! Kinda sucks for him, he has to be the district leader, a trainer, and he is whitewashing an area. It will be hard but he is a very good missionary and I know he can handle it. I'm sad to see him go, we got along well and we had some good times. I was blessed to have such a good trainer, and district leader Elder Judd and his companion Elder Waites in my first area. Elder Judd is going down to be a District Leader in Dixon, which is in Davis. He is also training again, and is whitewashing too. Luckily Elder Waites is staying up here with me. And my new companion is going to be Elder Smith, and because there are so many Elder Smith's in the mission, each one gets a prefix to their name, and this one is "Elder Awkward Smith". So I actually haven't met him yet so I will have to see. I have heard that he isn't super awkward just quiet. So maybe being with him will help me get out of my shell more and talk to him and others more, since apparently he doesn't talk much. I think we will have a good transfer. I have heard that he is a good missionary so I think that we will get work done. He is also the district leader so I will have a lot of time to sit and read scriptures or something while he is in his district meetings. Anyways Monday we went Frolfing on a course right in front of our house, it was super fun. I haven’t done that in a while. While we were frolfing a guy started talking to us and he was talking about the "white salamander incident" where apparently Joseph Smith licked a salamander and got high or whatever and that’s how he saw the first vision. It is all a bunch of bull crap but it was funny to hear someone actually say that and believe it. On Tuesday, we had exchanges, and towards the end of the day Elder Waites and I didn't have much to do, because we had already had our lessons for the day, so we went tracting. While we were tracting, we knocked on a guy’s door that told us "You are in the clutches of a cult and you don't even realize it" and "I hope you wake up one day" it was funny. When he started saying that I was just like alright have a good night sir, and he said "I will, better than you that’s for sure" It was so funny, this guy was so mean about it and actually thinks we are a cult. People like that obviously have not had any actual interaction with the church. I think people like that are super funny. I was glad that I finally had an experience like that. I feel like a real missionary now. Wednesday was normal, but Thursday the other ward up here was going to have a baptism, but like 3 hours before the lady got cold feet, and it was cancelled. They are still going to teach her and probably set another date but it was still disappointing. Later that night we met a one armed man named Richard Richards, who has had a beard for 40 years, because he says that it reminds him of Jesus. But he isn't Christian, which is interesting. But he knew a lot from the New Testament and talked with us about religion and he really liked us. He actually came out of his house to talk to us. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read the passage that we gave him, which was 3 Nephi 11-20. He was a cool guy, really nice. He also told us that in about a month, he was heading out to the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, because that’s what Jesus did. He won't be fasting but it is still kinda cool. That night was kinda crazy too. We had like 4 more lessons and dinner with these awesome people in our ward, who we actually have dinner with again tonight. She is making me a cheesecake because that’s my favorite dessert. It is a blackberry cheesecake but I am super excited. I don't think it will be as good as your cheesecake though, pops. Friday we went up to Smith River, and while we were there we went to the Oregon border. Later that night we met some kids on the street and later gave out a Book of Mormon to a guy on the street that approached us. He was talking about some weird stuff like the constellation Pleiades, but he seemed interested in the church. Unfortunately he was only in town for that one night, and then he was leaving. He was in town for a disc golf tournament. So cool. Yesterday at church we saw one of our investigators, Velva Allen, crying. She is a woman that took her name off of the church several years ago, but has since come back and wants to be baptized again. We have been teaching her since I got here, and the missionaries have been teaching her for a while now. But at church when we saw her crying she had just been in her interview with the bishop, and had passed and was just so happy. Later that night we got a call from the ward mission leader, Brother Tinsley, who said that she is going to be baptized very soon, possibly even this weekend. But we aren't sure, so I will keep y'all posted. It was weird being with Elder Searle as he said goodbye to everyone since he is leaving. We saw Ervin on Sunday night as well and Elder Searle got some departing pictures with him. It was cool, they are pretty close now. Ervin is such a cool guy. He bought a white shirt to wear to church and surprised us with it when we came over. Anyways it was a good week this week. I look forward to every day. I'll leave you all with a scripture I found in my personal study. It is Luke 22:32. It is Christ speaking, and I love the message that he shares in it. Very simple, but still awesome. Just like Nephi, I glory in plainness. It is the best way to share the gospel Love you all, Elder Hatch

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 7 First Baptism and Several Blessings

August 24, 2015
Well it was another eventful week in Crescent City, Orego- I mean California. It seriously feels like Oregon up here, especially with being so close to the border it might as well be. Anyways it was a great week this week, and a lot happened. First of all, on Tuesday, we were going to have district meeting from 10:00-12:00, but right after companionship study (which ends at 10) we got a call that there were people in the hospital that we needed to go see and give blessings to. So we go to the hospital and we see this couple, which was on their way to see their family members who were, weirdly enough, in a different hospital. While we were there, we saw one of our potential investigators that had seemed super excited to have our lesson. He had had his appendix burst. We found that out on the Sunday before, but luckily we saw them at the hospital and I was able to give him a blessing. It was super awesome, and I can't wait to have an actual lesson with him, he is super enthusiastic about learning the gospel and has been coming to church before his appendix burst. Anyways while we were at the hospital we gave blessings to the couple that had been in the accident. He only had a broken finger but she was in a neck brace. We had to leave before she got her results so we aren't sure exactly what all happened to her. I was able to do the anointing for both of them, and it was a really awesome/crazy all around experience at the hospital that morning. So we went on with our day, went to Hiouchi, which is about 10 miles away from Gasquet, right next to where all the fires are, and had some lessons. Later that night, we get a call from the bishop and he said that there is another guy in the hospital that we need to go over and give a blessing to. So we went over to the hospital and I was able to give this guy a blessing, and he had had something happen with his diabetes, I can’t remember. Anyways we were at the hospital twice in one day, and gave four blessings total. On Wednesday, we had dinner with a family that has like 20 people living there, they are all related somehow but only like 4 of them are members and 2 active, one of them being the grandma of the house. While we were over there, they wanted us to give a blessing to a baby whose parents are inactive. We didn’t have consecrated oil. So we took some of their oil, consecrated it there on the spot, and gave the baby a blessing. It was kind of nuts, especially since we didn’t have our own oil. On Thursday, we had the baptism. What made it crazy, was that my district leader who is one of the 4 of us in Crescent City, wanted to do exchanges that day as well. So Elder Waites and I went to Smith River. Right before the baptism, a lady in the other ward wanted us to come give her a blessing, so Elder Waites and I went over and she proceeded to tell us her whole life story, which was quite crazy/shocking. So we did that then went to the baptism, which was amazing. Ervin is such a cool guy, and it was an amazing experience to see him be baptized. Words can’t describe how weird but awesome it was. Never in a million years did I think I would see a baptism this early in my mission. On Sunday, Ervin was confirmed a member, and I had the super super cool opportunity of doing that. It was so awesome to be able to do that and to help Ervin on his way to the Celestial Kingdom. What is cool, is that at his baptism, a member of the bishopric challenged him and his family to do nightly scripture study and prayer, and we saw Ervin the night after his baptism by chance and he told us that they were already doing that. He also told us that his son wanted to know what he had to do to be baptized, because he wanted to. This was SO out of the blue, because the son is always so quiet and seems angry all of the time, so it truly is a miracle that he now has that desire. The Lord truly will provide miracles and blessings to willing hearts. So all in all it was a crazy week, but a great one. It’s so awesome being out here. I already feel like it is going by too fast. The weeks are like one big day. Anyways I love you all so much, and thanks for everything. Love,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week 6 Stout's Grove

August 17, 2015 div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
Remember he has a 7' wingspan.

Smith River

California Redwoods

Well it was another good week in Crescent City. I feel like the days just blur together into weeks here and at the end of the week I can’t remember what has happened. It’s weird even though I have only been in Crescent City under a month, it seems like I have been here forever. In a good way though, it’s not like the days drag on forever, instead it’s like every day is really long but in a good way, like we get stuff done. Also if there is anyone else in the family that wants to get these emails I will start adding them in just let me know?

On Tuesday, we went down to McKinleyville again but this time it was for zone conference, which is usually with 2 or 3 zones, but since our zone is so isolated, it was just ours. But President and Sister Wright both came up, along with the senior missionaries and the AP's. It was good to see and hear from all of them but especially President and Sister Wright. President Wright is pretty much the jolliest guy in the world. Maybe more so than Santa Claus, honestly. I love it, he has always got a huge smile on his face and it is very contagious. Sister Wright is an awesome lady, as well. She is a little more serious than President, but I think everyone on earth is. He is still serious when he wants to be but is still happy even when he is serious. It is kinda rough having to go an hour and a half south to even see any other missionaries but I kind of like the isolation as well. I feel like I can just focus on the work and not worry about anything else going on.

On Monday after I sent out my email, we went to Stout's Grove, which is this awesome place in the Redwoods where they filmed a part of Star Wars, on Endor with the Ewoks. It is such a cool place. The Redwoods are so big that it is insane. You wouldn't believe how big the trees are here. I will send some pictures in my picture email after, but it is hard to capture how massive the trees actually are in a picture. But it was cool the trees are big and the Smith River runs right next to it. It had this tiny little bridge going across it that moved if you walked on it. The Smith River is so gorgeous though, it isn't super deep, but it is so clear you can see right through it.

On Wednesday I had a super cool experience. There is a lady in our ward that lives in Hiouchi that was in a major car accident like 3 months ago. We went to see her husband like my first week here and she was still in the hospital. She broke her back, both ankles, and shattered a knee. Anyways we went over to see them on Wednesday and she was back from the hospital. She was doing ok, as good as you can in that situation. She was in a wheelchair and was talking to us a bunch. But before we left her husband asked us if we could give her a blessing of comfort. One of the zone leaders was with us on exchanges that day and he suggested that I give the blessing. It wasn't a high pressure situation which I was thankful for, but it was cool to be able to give my first blessing. It was a super cool experience and I hope that I will have the opportunity to do it again sometime soon.

We taught one of our progressing investigators, Arrain Villegas, who struggles with modern day prophets other than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, because none of the other modern day prophets have done any "Moses like" event. We feel that we are so close to helping her understand, and I feel like she will get it any day now. She has been taught by the missionaries for over 20 years now, since she was a teenager. But I feel like since she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and that she is so close to understanding, that I might have the opportunity of seeing her be baptized. It would be super cool, as she comes to church almost every Sunday and seems to enjoy it. Another investigator we have that I have talked about named Sarah Ballard. She is progressing well, too and I feel like she is very close to baptism as well. We have a member of the ward that she is a friend with that comes to the lessons with us, and he is a great influence on her. His name is Brother Berg, and every time I say his name it reminds me of the Seinfeld guy, Alex Beeeeeeeerrrrrrrgggg. Nobody in my apartment watches Seinfeld though so they don't get it. It’s a dang shame. Anyways she smokes, but I think that she is very close to knowing that the gospel is true, and once she knows that that quitting smoking will be easy for her.

We also have baptism this week!! I am SO pumped, this guy Ervin is super cool, and it’s amazing to see how the Gospel has helped him in his life. The baptism is this Thursday at 7:30 my time. I think that I will be privileged enough to be the one that confirms him. I am pretty nervous about that to be honest. I don't really know how that will go. It will be very humbling though, that I know. The other ward has a baptism this week as well, on Saturday. It is very exciting to see the fruits of our labors. It would be hard for me if I had to be like Abinadi and not see any fruits from my labors. But I take comfort in the fact that even though he didn't see the fruits of his labors, because of his conviction and testimony of the gospel; he was able to help convert an entire nation, though he didn't realize it.

Anyways hope you all are having a fantastic time in SLC or wherever you may be. I love all of you guys so much and appreciate everything you all do. Until next time,
Love,

Elder Hatch