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