Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Week 3, 2015 First Area Crescent City

July 27, 2015 Hey everybody!

This week has been pretty crazy! Since you all last heard from me I have successfully left the MTC. Hallelujah. It wasn't that bad, but the freedom of being in the real world is pretty great.We flew to Oakland and then drove to the mission office for a bunch of meetings. When we got off the bus at the mission office everyone who was there for the transfer meeting was cheering us on. We felt like a bunch of celebrities. It got me pretty pumped. We spent the night in a hotel and then headed back to the mission office for more instruction. We got our ipads, found out where our first area was and who our trainer would be. My training companion is Elder Searle from Mesa, Arizona. He is actually a classmate of my MTC companion. Elder Searle is 6'4" tall so we are pretty tall. People have a hard time saying no to us because of our stature. When President Wright brought me up to get my picture taken he just had a big grin on his face like he always does. He told me I was going to be a long way away and at that point I knew I was going to Crescent City. I was ecstatic! I really wanted to go there before the mission and it is my first area. It is about a six hour drive from Santa Rosa. Almost every elder that I talked to said that Crescent City is one of the best areas. So I was super excited. I am in a car area and I am the designated driver. Well actually I get to drive one of the two trucks in the mission so I was super stoked about that.

The first full day was awesome! We taught a tribal member Arrain.  She believes everything I think, but struggles with modern day prophets. Her husband, Robert, tried to bash with us and say all this negative stuff. Elder Searle asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon, and he said he hadn't. Later in the lesson he said he would read it if he had one. So, I gave him a Book of Mormon! It was the first lesson I have been in, on the first day, and I handed out my first Book of Mormon. It was awesome. Later that day I met with the ward mission leader and he showed us the ward mission plan. The next day I met Velva, an older lady that had her records removed from the church like ten years ago, but her visiting teachers never stopped visiting her and she has been reactivated. She will be re-baptized as soon as her paperwork goes through. She is a really awesome lady and her home had a very special spirit. Later that night we met Ervin. He is a gangster that wants to be baptized but has a few issues he needs to work out. He reads the Book of Mormon everyday and is making the Atonement a part of his life.

We have gone tracting a couple of times, and let me tell you baby, they was open for business. Elder Searle jokes that I am a good luck charm cause the first day we went out we knocked on like 15 doors and like 12 of them accepted a the card and we set up return appointments with two of them. On Saturday, when we were tracting, we found a family on the street that lives next to the bishop that there exact words were, "we are looking for a church right now." It was like praise Jesus, Hallelujah, we can help with that. We set a return appointment with them and will have to see how things go.

I seriously am loving it here. The weather is great, the people are amazing, and my companion is cool. It is an adjustment period the first little while of course, but we get along just great and it will only get better I think. We drove through the redwoods on our way to Crescent City the first night and it was soooooo cool. The trees are HUGE and apparently I haven't even seen the really big ones yet. It really is crazy that I am here in Crescent City in the same ward the Nick served in and we are from the same ward. That definitely was not by accident. The Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes, and sometimes in very plain ways. I believe that this is one of those times. I am obviously here for a reason and I can feel the spirit of this city. I love being able to do personal and companionship study each morning. I am learning a lot, not quite as much as in the MTC but it is still good. The other companionship in Crescent City with us is Elder Waites and Elder Judd. Elder Waites was in my MTC district, so it is cool that we are able to be in the same apartment together.

I gotta get going. I love getting all your emails. Love you all.
Elder Hatch

Sunday, July 26, 2015

President and Sister Wright

McKay made it to California where he met President and Sister Wright. He then traveled to Crescent City to serve in his first area. This is on the coast right below the Oregon border. His training companion is Elder Searle from Mesa, Arizona. We are excited to hear from him tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Week 2 The MTC Experience

July 20, 2015 I can't believe that I am leaving this place soon, it doesn't seem like I have been here for as long as I have. The first few days here were soooo long but they have been getting shorter and shorter. I am really doing well now and am having a rather good MTC experience. I don't love it here but I am learning a lot and having a lot of fun. My companion and I joke around all the time especially with the other guys in our room. They are all great guys but sadly two of them are going to New York. I am also sad because I love my district so much and only four of us out of twelve are going to Santa Rosa, the others have been called to serve here in Provo. I will honestly miss them a ton  and have grown really close with all of them over the days and past week and a half. It's just shame that you get close with all these people then go your separate ways for two years.

We are able to have a lot of fun here and enjoy ourselves. I am being myself so don't worry. On Sunday during sacrament meeting Elder Brooks and I were asked to pass the sacrament, and our district had the musical number. Two people were randomly chosen out of the congregation to speak, which meant that everybody had to prepare a talk on faith. Of course I was chosen so I felt like I was super involved in our sacrament meeting. Later that day we heard from Richard I. Heaton about prayer and how you can ask Heavenly Father to renew your testimony, if you still believe but it is becoming commonplace, that you can ask him to renew it and he will be happy that you asked. After that I watched "Character of Christ" and MTC talk given by Elder Bednar and I'm not kidding it changed my life and my whole outlook on missionary work and just being a member of this church in general. He talked about how Christ would always turn outward to help others, even in his times of greatest suffering, and that having a testimony was good, but that we need to develop this character of Christ to truly be converted to Him and His gospel. It isn't enough to believe in Him, but that we need to act on it and help those around us and stop turning inward. FOcus on the ultimate goal of eternal life. It is hard to explain in words, and you can only hear the talk in the MTC, but it was truly the best talk I have ever heard.

We have been teaching an investigator for the week we have been here. We aren't told if they are an actual member or not. It is to give us practice teaching the gospel. She had some deep doctrinal questions about how John the Baptist got the priesthood to baptize Jesus, and if the women in the Old Testament had the priesthood or not, like Esther and Ruth. We came back the next lesson and answered her questions and finished the restoration lesson. I don't know if sh is a real member or not but I asked her to be baptized and set a date and she agreed. So, if she isn't a member I am way pumped. But it makes me excited to to into the field. We have our last lesson with her today so I hope she is getting something from our lessons regardless.

The ipads are great, we have everything on them that we need so we just carry them around a lot of the time. They have this cool thing in gospel library where you can tag scriptures with like "atonement" or "trials", really anything you want then you can go and look at all the scriptures and segments of talks and stuff under that tag. I use it when I need a quick scripture for a certain topic.

Well I love you and miss you all and I will send you a few pictures from this week.

Elder Hatch

Friday, July 10, 2015

Week 1 First P day...He sounds good!

July 13, 2015
Well its my P-day today! Love you guys so much and I can't believe that I am out here. It is pretty hard and the days are long, but it doesn't seem like I have already been here 2 days. I know its where I need to be and that is what matters, but I am also very excited to be able to go out into the field. There is so much to say and I don't know what to say really. I am thankful that I was not called to be the district or zone leader in my zone or district, and I am the junior companion for the first little while, which is fine by me. So much to tell. My companion is Elder Brooks, from Mesa Arizona. He is a year older than me in school but he is still 18. He is a good guy and we work together fine and get along fine, but we are still getting used to being around and with each other all the time. Luckily there is no major riffs between us so far. In my district there are four of us going to Santa Rosa, and the other 8 are "going" to Provo on their missions. Haha its weird and there is a kid in my district from North, South Carolina. Bahahaha. Anyways my district leader is Elder Bayless, and I found out yesterday that his father passed away a month before he came into the MTC. I can't imagine having that kind of faith, and trust in the Lord to be able to still come out after that. And he is still very happy and sociable too. I think in all of the people I have encountered, there are 18 of us going to Santa Rosa English speaking, 5 sisters ad 13 Elders I think. The first day was kind of crazy, but right when I went in at first there was a bunch of ushers there to help. Apparently there were over 500 of us that came in on Wednesday, so I know that at least 499 other people that are feeling the exact same way as me. The first full day was also quite long. I saw Hagen once in the morning yesterday and I thought that it was like 3 days ago. Anyways thanks for everything you guys do, and for everything you have done. Anyways How are you guys doing? Are you handling it ok? How is it to not have anybody in the house, ya empty nesters? I'm sure that not much has changed in 2 days but I am excited to hear what is going on. On the first night, we were supposed to have some zone leaders come and show us around the campus and tell us some stuff and show us some stuff, but they never showed up, so me and Elder Brooks went and got some people from a few rooms over to show us around. Then the next morning we were supposed to have some teachers or something come and help us but nobody came so me and Elder Brooks were running around to the front desk and the scheduling department trying to get it all figured out. We eventually did and it was just a video we were supposed to watch but whatever. We got our iPads yesterday and it is weird, we actually have a lot of freedom on them. There are some apps we cant download, but we have access to our mail app and message app all of the time. We also have access to the safari app, and we are on the "missionary" wifi here so it shuts off at 10:30 and we aren't sure when it turns back on. I haven't gotten emails from anyone except you guys, and I don't know who to email first, so I am just going to wait it out for people to email me first. Tell Zach that I wore the tie he gave me yesterday, and I was wearing his badge yesterday and today to help me if I get discouraged. Luckily that hasn't happened yet too bad, and I am just hoping to make it through these 2 weeks until I get into the field. I am thinking I will like the field better, but if not it might be a long 2 years. I can't wait (no offense) until the time comes when I don't want to come home. Sorry I am just rambling here I'm not really sure what to say so I am just typing things as they come to my head. The food here is alright, not amazing, but I can't complain. For feeding 2000 missionaries 3 meals every day it tastes pretty dang good. I am still getting used to eating dinner at 5 at night, and praying before every meal right before we eat, but I'm sure I will get used to it. Sorry I don't know quite what to say, and I don't have a lot of time, but I just want you guys to know how much I love you guys, and appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for me. It has only been 2 days since I last saw you, so I can't say that I am dying of homesickness yet, but I still miss all of you back home, and love you all so much. I love you guys, I know that through asking the lord we can accomplish anything. I know that these 2 years seem long but they will fly by.
Thanks again for everything, 

Love, Elder Hatch

A couple of selfies he took for his mother.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week 0 Drop Off Day...Just the Beginning

July 8, 2015 Well today was drop off day. It was a teary occasion, both for happy and sad. Saying goodbye is never easy. We know McKay will be a great missionary and meet some wonderful people. It is just hard saying that final goodbye. But now we have to trust he is in good hands and will be well taken care of. His email and snailmail addresses are on the side. Can't wait to get his first letter. :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Temple trip

Salt Lake temple trip with Maddie and Stephen. Then a great picture with McKay holding the flag from the great state of California. He is getting excited. Four more days.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Preparing for Santa Rosa

McKay is about to be off on the adventure of his lifetime. He has been called to serve an LDS mission in the California, Santa Rosa mission. We are all so very excited for him and are look forward to hearing his experiences. We are just about finished purchasing all of his supplies and getting it all organized. It is going to be a task fitting everything he will need into two suitcases. But, I am sure with his father's mad packing skills it can be done. Thanks to Bob Lawson at Mr. Mac for helping us out with everything a missionary might need. A big thanks also to all his amazing friends for being so supportive and encouraging. You guys are incredible and we love you all. We are trying to do all the fun things as a family that he won't be able to do for the next two years. He actually mowed his many lawns today for one last time. Thanks to Josie for taking them over for him. Also a HUGE thank you to everyone who has given him encouraging words, financial support, and remembered him in your prayers. We are very blessed to have so many great people in our lives. So here's to McKay or Big Mac we love you and know you will be in good hands.