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,