Monday, March 30, 2015

Picture Day!

 Behold the great California Los Angeles Mission from the southernmost sisters area. Awesome!

Cool quote thing we found while contacting one day
"Ugly is as ugly does and beauty, like groove, is in the heart."

Dad sent a news thing a few weeks ago about people selling raccoons in the market somewhere in Cali, so I braved going by the dumpster to take a picture of one. Sister Scott didn't like me for it :) She was a wee bit afraid.

Not the best picture, but proof that I wear my scarves and I am missing my Hawaii ;)


This is the Yaklyvich family at dinner last night. Sorry for the bad quality. Anton's birthday was on Saturday and he is the one with a thumbs up :) Left to right: Melissa, Anton, AJ, Steve (Anton's brother), Steve's girlfriend (don't know her name), Demitri, and you can't see Victoria, their foster daughter.

Me and Demitri doing crazy faces. Obviously not my forte HA!

This is Victoria. She is awesome! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mini Missionary

March 23, 2015

Hi Ma!  As far as the new stake presidency goes, I figured Uncle Charlie would be in there somewhere. I found out from Joseph actually, because he emailed me and told me about Palmer being the new president. That will be cool to report to him at the end of my mission. It is too bad that Uncle Charlie won't be able to be the mission prep teacher anymore though. I enjoyed being there with him for a few weeks before the real thing happened. 

What a neat day for the Larsen families for those kids to be baptized! I'm sure it was a really good day for them all. That is a good reason to have the family all together for the day.

Congratulations on finishing the Book of Mormon again! I set the goal to read it 3 times by the end of my mission, but have not had much time to devote to that. :/ Hopefully I will be able to make time during the day so that I can accomplish that goal. If you put your mind to it, you should be able to figure out a plan for the non-school days for prayers and scriptures. Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions for you at the moment.

Transfers are next week. I really have no clue how long people stay with each other. It all depends on what Heavenly Father tells President Weidman. I love the people here though. If I got a new companion every transfer, I will have had 12 companions by the end of my mission. President Towsey (MTC branch president) said that most missionaries average 10 companions, so we will see.

We set a baptismal date with one of our investigators named Jon. I have only met him a few times, which is why I have not mentioned him before. Hopefully it works out though. He didn't come to church yesterday, and we have not been able to get a hold of him since Saturday. I guess we'll see. We did have 3 other people at church though! And I guess now would be a good time to mention that I spoke in church yesterday too! Probably the first of many talks while I'm on my mission. They ran out of time, so Sister Scott didn't have to give hers. We sang in the choir yesterday too. It was good. I used to really enjoy Sundays, before coming on my mission. It was a day to just hang out. I could take a nap, write in my journal, and watch a movie with our family if I wanted to. Obviously I cannot do those things anymore, and Sunday as a missionary is busy. But Sundays are still good days, and it gives me something to look forward to in the future.

We had a "mini missionary" this weekend! We picked her up on Friday evening, and dropped her off yesterday. She is a convert as of November, and she wants to go on a mission. So she came to be a mini missionary. It was fun to have her for the weekend. Her name was Sister Richardson and it was cool to have her share her experiences as a convert. I look forward to having other mini missionaries in the future.

Well, I have reached the point in typing my email where I think I have told you everything I wanted to. Thank you for taking the time to email me each week and also write me letters too. I love you all a bunch and hope you continue to do well. I appreciate being kept in the loop and feel more connected through your emails. Tell everyone to write me or email me when they can! 

I love you!

Sister Lauren Hatch :)


March 23, 2015

Dear Dad,

I commend you for reading the Old Testament.  I think I tried for Seminary when we studied it, but I don't think I finished it.  The story of Hezekiah is neat and I admire the lesson you pointed out.

Here as a missionary I am constantly being reminded about humility and asking for God's help.  I have had many experiences and will certainly have plenty more on my mission that demonstrate the perfectness of God's knowledge.  He really does know just what we need.

I hope that I am able to get better at being a missionary/on a mission as time goes on.  It is easy to get discouraged and frustrated with myself and in general.  I want to be able to make Heavenly Father, and my family, and my mission president proud because I have served honorably and with everything I have.  Listening to your stories and experiences is motivation for me to work harder and do my best.  I thank you again for your example.

I am looking forward to General Conference in a couple weeks.  I am thankful for your letters and your testimony.  

Sister Lauren Hatch


March 16, 2015

Dear Dad,

This week was better.  We had our Sisters Training, my 2nd New Missionary Orientation, and we got to go to the temple.  It has been very hot this week too.  I am getting tan lines on my feet from my different shoes.  Instead of a "track tan", I now have a "Sister Missionary tan" which is equally as humorous if I do say so myself.

I am quickly learning that my statement about President Weidman before my mission is in fact very accurate:  "He doesn't mess around!"  He is so awesome, and I really love him and Sister Weidman too.  I am so glad that I get to serve (almost, depending on transfers and school) my whole mission with them.  They, like you, are wonderful examples of dedication and hard work.  I hope that I can also be hard-working and dedicated, like you and them.  I am still learning, but things get better little by little every day.

It has been neat to see how Heavenly Father is working in my life every single day.  I have always known that He is mindful of me, but sometimes I think my brain knows it and my heart tends to forget during my hard days.  I am thankful for the "Endure to the End" part of my missionary purpose, the 4th Article of Faith, the Gospel and Doctrine of Christ and I think there is one more but I can't remember it at the  moment.  They are all the same.

We have the opportunity to continue to learn and re-learn things for the rest of our lives.  That means that we can continue to grow in the gospel too.  When our hearts forget things that our brains know, we have the opportunity to approach our Heavenly Father and have Him teach us again, but this time specific to our current trials and challenges.  There is definitely inspiration behind this whole thing called life.

I hope that everything is going well for you as far as work, church, being a dad, and all that.  I sure do love you!  Can't wait to hear from you! :)

Sister Lauren Hatch 

Temple Trip

March 16, 2015

Hey! Its me again!

This week was kinda crazy, and I didn't get any mail again this last week, so I was feeling down and Saturday was just not so great.  But then yesterday we went out contacting after church.  Being out talking to people helped to assure me that things would get better. By the end of the day I was hot, a little sweaty, exhausted and very happy.  I am SO thankful for an all knowing and loving Father in Heaven. He really is great, in case anyone didn't know that already :)

The temple was beautiful!!!! And yes it IS huge. It was a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed being there. There were a few other sets of sister missionaries in our session and 1 man. HA! They took care of that in the Terrestrial room though. It was so cool to be right on noisy-horns-honking and sirens-wailing Santa Monica Blvd, and then walk into silence and reverence in the temple. Our session was good and it was a much needed temple trip. We sat in the Celestial room for a long while afterwards. We took some pictures outside (can't send any at the library sorry) and they turned out to be the ones where it is so sunny that everyone has squinty eyes, which is funny. Sister Seo (from Korea, and who has a brother serving in this mission too CRAZY!) has a cool camera that prints out the pictures after you take it, so I have that too. After we were done at the temple, distribution center, and mission office, we went to the mall down the street for lunch. There is a salad/sandwich place that an LDS lady owns, and she lets the missionaries come get free food after the temple. It was great. I sure had a headache by the time we got home though, what with the no eating in the car rules and all.

I have started reading the BoM again. I have made it a goal to read it through 3 times before the end of my mission. That may not seem like a lot, but when you only have an hour and lots of things to study, I think its reasonable.

As of today, March 16th, I have been in the CLAM for 1 month! Now the official countdown can start, since my ministerial license expires on August 15, 2016. This month has been long and short, and fast and slow all at the same time. I am starting to understand what missionaries are talking about when they say the days are long but the weeks are short! We only have 2 weeks until transfers. It really is so weird how time goes. I appreciate it though, because as I try to take things one day at a time, and focus on right now, time moves faster too.

Our Specialized Sisters Training went really well, and I had a good time. I also had my 2nd New Missionary Orientation and that was good too. I love President and Sister Weidman!! They are great. And I love seeing the other missionaries and learning with them as well.

We don't know what is going on with Josephine. We tried to go visit her and we have called her a lot of times, and she is either not home or doesn't answer. Too bad. Anton is doing well. We are using him for me to practice teaching all the lessons and stuff from 12 week. That's what we're telling him anyways, even though I really do have to practice ;) We are hoping that teaching him from the beginning will help him to gain a testimony and want to be baptized. We'll see.

My scriptures for you this week are Psalms 37:3-9, and D&C 101:14-16, 35-38 which are from the song "Be Still My Soul". They have provided comfort for me and I really like them.

I don't have much else to tell you..... Just keep being awesome! Things continue to get better little by little, which is all I can ask for. I sure love you all and am thankful for all that you do for me, even though I am not at home. I hope you are all doing well with sports and all of your activities! Keep working hard :)

Sister Lauren Hatch :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Saturday P-Day

Hello Ma! And Family too ;)

So Sister Scott and I made the trip up to Santa Monica yesterday afternoon. We got my Rx and headed to the Visitors' Center to use the bathroom. They have a new display up with 1,500 missionary name tags and the stories of the 8 District 2 missionaries. It is pretty cool. I don't know whether or not mine is up there, I'll have to look next time we go. After that we headed back down to our area. Except that it was 4pm=WORST TRAFFIC OF MY LIFE! It took forever to make it back and we almost missed dinner. That would have been bad. 

Brother Millet did show me the pictures, and YES! I think that one will be perfect for my plaque! He took us to his studio (which is next to his house) after dinner and he took a few pictures of me and then the 2 of us. He chose the one to send you, photo-shopped it, and emailed it all in about maybe 15 minutes. It was pretty fun. That day was a long and hot day. None of our set appointments were home/answered, so that was disappointing, but the weather was beautiful, so it was nice to enjoy the sunshine. And yes, I do put on sunscreen FYI :)

I had a bit of an AHA! moment this week. I realized that this is where I am in my life, and that it is where I am supposed to be. It is still hard at random times, but its all good. I am trying just to take one day at a time, and that helps. Time passes in a really weird way as a missionary. I am feeling much better about things and working different things to continue to help me.

We met with Josephine again this week. She didn't come to church last Sunday, but said she would this week. We had a training on binding God as missionaries when we promise people blessings [see D&C 82:10], and all I could think about was that Josephine couldn't see those blessings until she did something. There is always an action involved with faith and blessings. I hope that she will start to see that in her life.

We are also still meeting with Anton. I really want to help resolve his concerns, because really he should already be baptized. He knows the Bible like a pro, and prays and everything. He just still smokes and has his concerns, whatever they are. We are meeting with him tomorrow evening and hopefully that will go well. 

The people here take really good care of the missionaries, and it makes me want to continue that after my mission. It is awesome to be able to go to people's homes and just be in a home for a while. It makes things a little easier for me at least. 

WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!! It is going to be great. I really miss working in the temple and seeing all of my other Grandmas ;) It will be a neat experience and I am going to try and take some questions with me to think about and such. Ahhh! I tell everyone how great it is to work in the temple, and I will definitely be making that a priority when I come home. That is the best thing in the world. (Even though some might argue that missionary work is the best.... You'll have to ask me that next July/August. :) ) Speaking of which, this last Wednesday marked 1 month since I went into the MTC. CRAZY!  This month has flown by, as hesitant as I am to say that, because I probably just jinxed it. Oh well, its true. Weird how time goes on whether we know it or not. 

I think that's all for now. Sorry, but no pictures this week. I hope everything continues to go well for you back in AZ. We start daylight savings tomorrow, so that will be interesting. My P-day should resume as normal on the 16th so I will communicate with you all then. Have a lovely day, weekend and week next week. I hope school is going alright and all the extra curricular too. 

I love you all a bunch!!!! 

Sister Lauren Hatch

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kind Member Photographer

Hi Sister Virginia Hatch,

We have your missionary daughter here in our ward.  Enjoyed dinner with them this evening.  Thought I would send you a portrait that I took of her.  She's doing great, by the way!

LaMar Millett

LaMar Photography & Video, Inc.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Now and Then

Hello Mom! And Family!

We had an appointment with Josephine this week, but she called beforehand and said she was sick so we couldn't meet. She has some hoarding issues, and I think some paranoia, which will probably be the biggest obstacles for her. Hopefully we are able to get things worked out for her soon.  Anton is another story. He smokes (and I think drinks too, but I'm not sure) and that will be an obstacle for him. His family did not come to church yesterday because his wife got sick. He knows the gospel very well, and has been through lots of missionaries. We are going to go meet with him sometime this week and talk about what is holding him back. Hopefully that will help us know how we can help him.   One of our investigators, Thomas, came to church yesterday.

As far as Spanish goes, I am able to understand things most of the time, but don't know how to respond. I know the important stuff, so hopefully I pick up the rest as I go. There are a wide variety of people here. The ward I am in reminds me of my ward in Hawaii. There are Filipinos (sp?), Samoans, Tongans, Mexicans, Caucasians, African American, etc. It was a little weird for me last week, but yesterday was better. 

Of course it snowed! Its track season! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I can't give you too much grief though, because it has actually been pretty cold here too. This morning we had a good thunder/rain storm, but now you can't even tell. Whatever. It is not very humid either. Like at all. I try doing my hair curly, but it doesn't turn out like it used to when we came here. We are almost as far south as our mission goes, and on a nice day coming down into Harbor City, you can see the whole mission. Supposedly you can see the Hollywood sign too, but I haven't seen that one yet.   

Now might be a good time to add that we have to leave our area to go shopping and do our laundry. We go to Albertsons and a laundry mat. It could be worse, but I have a new appreciation for having your own washer/dryer. Oh well.

We had exchanges last week with our Sister Training Leaders, Sisters Diaz and Gomez. Sister Gomez stayed with Sister Scott here in Harbor City, and I went with Sister Diaz to an area in Lawndale. Sister Gomez is 27 years old, but doesn't look like it. It was a good experience and I had a good time. We had Chick-a-fil (our family's name for Chick-fil-a) with a member on Tues. night in Lawndale and I got an Oreo shake. It was yummy. 

My next P-day will be this Saturday (March 7) because we are having an all sisters training next Monday and I have new missionary orientation on Tuesday. Just a heads up. Saturday is the day to switch to daylight savings so that should be fun. Then we will be on the same time schedule. That throws me off, because Hawaii and Arizona don't use that. 

This week was better, and this coming week should be better too. I really love you all a ton and am thankful for all that you do for me. So keep it up! Please and thank you :) I need all the help I can get. 

I think that's all for now. I have to send pictures one at a time, so be prepared for picture overload. Sorry. I love you all a bunch and hope you have a great week this week. 

Sister Lauren Hatch

My missionary map picture

Minnie Mouse Jammies for Valentines Day at the MTC! I like them a lot :)

The nice one of Elder Greenwood and me.

Elder Greenwood, Sister Hatch, our companions and random other people. 

Family pictures with the MTC district and matching clothes :)

My "greenie" meal. Everything was green! Green milk, gravy, water, beans, etc. :)

This is Sister Garrett and her granddaughters, who are awesome and fed me the green meal. Sister Garrett is our missionary grandma :) LOVE THEM!

Sister Scott and I and a beautiful California sunset :)

Sister Scott and me at Tasty Siam, a Thai food place