I know I have been less than great at sending out emails and updating you on the happenings of Sister Hatch in LA, but you'll have to forgive me. These last several months have flown by and I just haven't quite been able to keep up.
With that said, I have reached the end of my 18 month assignment to serve as a missionary here in LA. I have grown and been refined in so many different ways, I couldn't even begin to describe. The Lord has blessed me with such a special experience as a missionary, which I am so deeply thankful for. I have had the opportunity through trials, frustrations, heartbreaks, joys, triumphs, successes and immense happiness, to draw closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. I have come to know Him. I have an even stronger testimony of the Atonement now than I did before. I have seen the miracle of God's forgiveness in my life as well as the lives of others, and I have played a small part in bringing my brothers and sisters back to the fold.
I can't think of anything else in my life that has been so fulfilling as serving this mission. I can testify that Heavenly Father knows us. He loves us, and He has a PERFECT plan for us. I have had countless moments during the course of my mission that have proven that to me. If it weren't for my Savior and loving Father in Heaven, I would not have been able to do anything I've done in the last year and a half. They have helped me to stretch and grow and become such a better me than I was. It has definitely been the hardest thing I have done thus far in my life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! I have been broken down by a loving Heavenly Father, who then helps to build me back up from the inside out. I have learned to take the Savior's yoke upon myself. From doing so, I have also learned that truly His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I testify that God loves each of us, his precious sons and daughters. I know that the gospel that I have preached for 18 months and lived even longer than that is true. I testify that the gospel has been restored to the earth by a modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith. Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet today. I testify that if we live the gospel and keep the commandments to the best of our abilities, we will be able to stand blameless before our Father at the last day. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the way through which we are able to become clean to do so.
I love the Lord, and I love being a missionary! I am determined to continue to wear the Savior's name on my chest long after I take off my badge.
Love, Sister Hatch :D