Saturday, August 29, 2015

Miracles and Success!

August 24, 2015


This week was good! I feel like things are moving in an uphill direction, instead of  downhill. I am thankful for that and hope that it is a lasting better, and not just temporary. It was busy and stressful and I'm glad to start a new week.

After we finished emailing and doing everything last week, we sacrificed an hour of preparation day to go eat dinner early so that we could go to the church at 6pm for John's baptismal interview. We got in the car after dinner and checked the phone - BAD IDEA. John had called and texted to tell us that he was not going to make his baptismal interview that evening. So we went to the church anyway, where the Elders and our Ward Mission Leader were waiting, and gave them the extra ice cream sandwiches that were given to us after dinner. We found a jumpsuit that we thought would fit John and put it aside, and then went out to the car. I was very disappointed and discouraged that he had cancelled.

On Tuesday we went to House of Yaweh again to do service. We packed food into boxes again and I had a good time. Following service we headed home to go on exchanges with the STLs. I stayed with Sister Franks in our area and Sister Wehrhahn left with Sister DuPaix. We had a really good exchange, and I love Sister Franks! She is a really down to earth person, and I was happy I got to get to know her better, seeing as I had only ever met her in passing previous to the exchange. We were able to get 20 conversations, find some referrals for the zone leaders, and just overall had a good day. It wasn't ever forced or uncomfortable. We just went out and did what we know we needed to do. I learned a lot from her. We got to drive to their area to exchange back, and Disneyland is like 20 or so minutes from where they live (the easternmost part of the mission).

Then on Wednesday John was finally able to have his interview. Finally, they came out, and said everything was good! We got to work finding people to give the prayers, talks, etc. and then headed to our Ward Mission Leader's house to touch base and get everything ready to go. The next morning we made phone calls and somehow we were able to get everything figured out without too much hassle. I know that was definitely God's hand helping us out, because there isn't a lot of time between Thursday and Sunday. We kept seeing John as much as was possible all week to help him connect to heaven, and good thing too, because he brought up some good questions and a concern that we were unaware of. Thank goodness for the Spirit and for How to Begin Teaching! 

And of course we were super nervous on Sunday when John hadn't walked in yet and it was time to go sit on the stand (Sister Wehrhahn spoke in Torrance ward). Every time the doors opened I was all eyes trying to see if it was John or not. Then (again MIRACULOUSLY) John walked in when they finished the Sacrament. I was so glad. There were many silent prayers going up to God. Everything turned out nicely, and fell into place just right. We got him baptized, and next week he will be confirmed a member of the church. I am going to keep working hard to make sure that he has good support and that the transition from us to the ward goes as smoothly as possible, because that would be so sad if he just ended up less-active after a while. Hopefully we can help him have more spiritual experiences to add to his foundation of the gospel.

This was the absolute highlight of my week.  We didn't get a picture 
with him in his white suit, but I don't even care. :)

Now the trick is to find new investigators for Torrance ward. We've received a few referrals, but they end up being "out of our area" because they are older than Young Single Adult age. So we send them off and try to find new people to teach. Great fun (she said sarcastically, of course). 

Side note: John has a huge passion fruit vine around his white picket fence and he gave us one to try, and a strawberry guava too. They were different, but smelled good! Besides that, this week was good. We went out with our Young Single Adult  Ward Mission Leader to find a person that the previous missionaries had taught. There were miracles again because the gate to get in to the apartment building was open, and I found where I wrote down the apartment number (I forgot to write it when we planned for him again). Then we were able to find Ryan and have a lesson with him right there! He said it was a sign because everything was going well, and he felt like he was starting to forget God a little bit. That was cool when he said that. I have heard plenty of stories of other missionaries who had this happen and I would think "That is so cheesy - it won't ever happen to me!" But then it did, and we have a new investigator from it! YES!

On Friday I got mail! So many people that have sent nice things. And then there was a huge box full of enough food to last until at least Christmas from you! It was fun to open it up and see all the goodies inside.  All I have to say is that I will be doing better at exercising starting last Friday. . . . ;) 

This is what we ate for dinner the other night. With a Filipino family of all people. I was so excited!!!! I never had one like this is Hawaii, so I made up for it the other night :)

I think that's about it for the week. We are working on getting things rolling with the YSA and maintaining Torrance ward. It is neat to see how if I just keep moving forward, Heavenly Father helps me to keep going for another day. I don't know what I would do without him. I love you and hope you all have a great week!

Sister Hatch :)

Tender Mercies

August 17, 2015

Hi family,

On Tuesday we got to go to House of Yaweh for service.  We had a really good Zone Training Meeting, and afterwards we were surprised and delighted that President Weidman drove down to come visit with us. That day was a really great day, and Saturday was too (even though it was 90 degrees outside and we were roasting)! Those last few days of the week were especially good because I feel like my days haven't been so great lately. It was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father letting me know that everything will be okay.

I got home from an appointment and they had Sister Abreu all packed up for a mid cycle. We went to Santa Monica at 9 o'clock that night for the transfer. Thankfully it only took 20 or so minutes here and back. It's been good to be back to just 2 people. I do miss sister Abreu though. She was fun. Hopefully she does well in Crestridge.

Sisters Wehrhahn, Hatch, and Abreu the night we dropped 
off Sister Abreu for the mid cycle at the mission office.

I really enjoyed going to House of Yaweh to do service. It was such a good environment-all of the people were happy and appreciative of our service. It is a cool thing that they do, and we had a really great time helping them. This week we helped them prepare boxes of donated food for families that are struggling in the community. There was a ton of food and I'm sure those people are so thankful for it.

On Friday after our visit with President - and lunch of course - we went out to contact and try to find some potentials from our area book. We met a guy that said he wasn't quite atheist, but he was very skeptical about believing in God and religion and all that. We kept talking to
him and asked if he would be interested in the Book of Mormon. We got his information (turns out he lives in Long Beach :( ) and said a prayer with him, and told him that we would send the missionaries with a Book of Mormon to visit him. The cool thing about all this was that as we talked, he seemed to "warm up" to the idea that there is a God. At first he was not really talking, but as we kept being bold (and loving) we were able to talk to him a little more, and testify of what we know to be true about God, our loving Heavenly Father. That was a good experience for me and we both felt good afterwards.

The next cool thing was on Saturday. We decided to head to San Pedro (part of my last area) because there are lots of Young Single Adult potentials and less actives that supposedly live there, and we knew it would be fairly easy to get our 20 conversations. It was unusually hot that day too. So off we went in the 90 some odd degree afternoon down to San Pedro to find potential investigators. It was super hot, and we probably looked pretty rough, but it was so good. 

We were walking by a little hotel thing, and saw a man sitting on the porch. Naturally we
walked up to talk to him. He motioned to us that he was deaf, so we wouldn't waste our time trying to communicate with him. I was excited at that point because I took ASL, and learned different gospel signs. So I did the best I could to communicate with him and tell him about
our message. We found out that his name was Mike, and that he was a Jehovah's Witness. I didn't understand much besides that, and I'm not sure what he understood from us, but at the end I asked him if it would be okay to pray with him (I warned him too that I have forgotten a lot of my ASL, but could still try) and he said yes. So we prayed with Mike in sign language. It was a really simple prayer, but I was so happy that I was able to use what little ASL I remember to communicate with Mike. It made me feel good and I hope he felt good

(A funny side note to that story is that there is an ASL RM who moved in with a family from my last area, and he showed up to the YSA ward on Sunday, so I got to talk to him briefly as well. It is neat that I get to use that means of communication. I love ASL and am glad I have
had a few opportunities to use that here on my mission).

We were really bummed, because our baptismal date John didn't come to church yesterday. :( All throughout sacrament meeting I would look and see if he maybe just came late, but he wasn't there. We are super sad. He said he will be there this Sunday though, and we are planning the baptism for after church that evening. I just hope he understands just what all this means. We have gone over it several times, but sometimes I wonder what all he has grasped or paid attention to. We have worked so hard with and for him, I would hate to see it not end with him being baptized. It has definitely been a test of deep faith and high expectations, no doubt about it.

So that's our week. Things are going alright. Sort of starting to
maybe look up more permanently. We have exchanges this week, so
hopefully that goes well. I am working on looking at the positive
things and not worrying about things that are not in my control.

Sister Hatch :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dinners and Temple Trip

Sister Abreu and her birthday tart

Us and the Tomyn family

Me at the temple after temple day 

Sister Abreu and me after temple day

Dinner last Monday and a few other nights 

Me Sister Sato and Rachel - her daughter

Work to be Done

August 10, 2015

Good afternoon!

This week has been a little hectic and stressful, what with taking over the Young Single Adults and having Sister Wehrhahn join us, but we made it through! Thank goodness.

John came to church yesterday! We were super bummed because he didn't come till right after the sacrament, but then he and his son walked in! This week's appointments with him have been a bit flakey, but hopefully we can keep working hard and he will make his date. He has to come to church one more time in order to make it. That and we still have lots to teach him. But it's all good - it will work out. . . . I hope.

We were at church yesterday from about 9am to a little after 4pm. That was a little rough, especially since it was the first Sunday in our new ward and there wasn't enough time to eat something sustainable for lunch. (We were snacking as much as we could) . I really enjoyed the YSA ward, even though there are not many people that attend. Hopefully we can work throughout the transfer to change that. We have been able to meet with the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader, as well as the ward council. I am excited for the possibilities of what we can do and also for the plentitude of people who want to come out with us. That's always a bonus! It is neat to see the different dynamics of a family ward versus a YSA ward. I was also thinking about things brought up in the YSA that I thought might be useful to the family ward we cover as well.

Speaking of which, the one thing that I was worried about yesterday in particular, is not neglecting Torrance 1st ward. It would be really easy to let it go by the way side, since we have only 1 investigator that is only somewhat solid. But Sister Abreu and I have been working hard to build that ward over this last transfer, so I would hate to just stop working on it. That was one thing the APs mentioned when we called about how to plan and doing key indicators and all that jazz. So we made that a goal as a companionship during weekly planning not to neglect Torrance ward.

Having Sister Wehrhahn has been good. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve with her again. I am also glad that she and Sister Abreu have been getting along so well too. They have both helped me a lot this week, and they are fantastic examples to me. I am excited to make things happen this transfer and get things done. At first I was stressed about the amount of work we need to do, but then I was excited for the challenges and also excited that we have work to do, on improving both areas and ourselves, etc.

We had the wonderful opportunity to go to the temple this last week and do service there for several hours. It was different than being there to do temple work of course, but it was neat to be there to do a different kind of service. It was pretty warm (apparently they shut off the AC's for cleaning- I didn't know that) and we didn't eat for a long time, but I loved being able to help organize and inventory the clothing and things like that. I appreciated the care that was placed in making sure everything was just so, and neat and clean and tidy. I hope I'll have the opportunity to do that again sometime. It sure was a special thing. We even saw the Stake President's wife there as well! Maybe the scheduled maintenance will fall around this same time next year when I will be departing and that will be how I spend my last day. I sure wouldn't mind!

I think that's about it for this week. I am feeling/doing alright and have hopes for the future to be fine. I have things to work on and they will hopefully help me to improve.

Sister Hatch 

Mighty Prayer

August 3, 2015


The neat thing I have to share about mighty prayer this week is that yesterday after I ended my fast I was not really feeling very well. We ate some lunch and got ready and headed out to contact for a couple of hours before dinner. I was drinking water, but it wasn't helping like it usually does. Sister Abreu and I were pretty hot and not having much luck finding people to talk to either on the street or knocking doors. So I asked if we could stop and say a prayer for Heavenly Father to help us out. I prayed that we (Me more specifically) might be able to have energy and enthusiasm as we were out contacting, and that we would be able to talk to a certain number of people before we went home. We finished the prayer, got a drink and went on our way. Several minutes later we were walking and talking and I noticed that I was feeling much better and that it didn't seem to be so hot anymore. I know God answered that prayer, and that he was watching out for us. I sure am thankful too, because I really needed His help yesterday. God is good.

As for me, tomorrow is transfer day and we are going to be in a trio with Sister Wehrhahn again! We will also be taking over a Young Single Adult ward, so that should be interesting. It is always fun to figure out furniture for 3 people... At least this time we already have the bed. That's half the battle. I am excited to be in a trio again with Sister Wehrhahn, and also kind of excited to take over the South Bay YSA. I'm sure it will be plenty of work, but I have a little more confidence in myself, and Sister Abreu can do anything, so it should be good. We'll figure it out and I am looking forward to the transfer. I told Sister Abreu that she is following my footsteps, because I was in a trio with Sister Wehrhahn my 2nd transfer. She said "I better not! I don't want to train so soon!" I thought it was pretty funny. I think she could and she would do great. I guess only the Lord knows.

Forgive me for referencing this the last few weeks, BUT. As of today, I have been out for 6 months and I can hardly believe it. I feel like I was the new missionary that just arrived, but here I am 6 months later with my own brand new missionary. It has been an adventure, and I am sure glad to know that I still have another year to get everything figured out, and also to complete all the things Heavenly Father needs me to. I thought I would never make it to this point in my mission, but here we are. It is somewhat comforting to know that I am making progress. It may be small but at least it's something!

Happy anniversary this coming Saturday! I hope you have a good day and
get to do something fun!

I love you all and hope you have had a good week. I LOVE YOU and am very thankful for the prayers and love and support, I can tell that it helps. I am so glad to have such a great family.

Sister Hatch 

Weight Lifting

July 27, 2015

Hello family!

It is weird to think that you are already back in school. Weird. But I'm glad to hear that everything has gone well.  Hopefully everything continues to go well.

This week was pretty good. We were able to work on some things together in an attempt to improve the productivity of our area. It sure needs it! One of the things we have been working on is having members come out with us. We don't have too many set lessons, so usually if we get sisters out with us we try to find some potentials and go contacting. It has been good so far. A newlywed returned missionary just moved into the ward and she is awesome too, so that helps.

Our big miracle for the week was that John D, our baptismal date came to church yesterday!!! If he didn't we would have had to turn him over to the Lord (in other words drop him, but we don't talk like that). And he even brought his son with him too. That was awesome!!

We also had a really good meeting with our bishop yesterday, and seem to be building a better relationship with him, which I am happy about. He and our ward mission leader have asked about our dinner calendar, which has been pretty empty since I got here. Hopefully they will be able to reach out to the ward and have us get more dinners, since I have found that is the best way to get to know the members. We made progress with that too, because bishop and his wife signed up for dinner tomorrow night :) As far as I know, they haven't had missionaries over in a while. Slow but steady progress!

I am going to include the following from my email to President Weidman:

Before I finish my email, I just wanted to let you know that I finished reading that book you gave me "Believing Christ" this morning. I really enjoyed reading it, and am thankful to you for giving it to me. It was very helpful to read all of the different perspectives that were mentioned, and several of them stood out particularly to me while reading them. The one that I remember best right now is the one about members of the church thinking that we are expected to do too much/ there is too much expected of us. The author uses the analogy of lifting weights.

If I were going to do bench press, I would lie down on the bench and then my spotter would stand ready to catch the bar if they needed to. I would proceed to do the number of reps. When finished, instead of racking the bar, my spotter would say "One more! Just do one more!" or something like that. I would give my very best effort and keep doing "just one more" until I could physically do no more reps. Then the spotter would take the bar and I would be done. In much the same way, the spotter is like the Savior telling us that we can keep going, we can do "just one more" and he encourages us and wants us to go above and beyond. It is only in this scenario that we are able to improve - when we push ourselves past what we think we can do. But then when we really can do no more, the Savior is there to take the bar. 

This analogy struck me because I did weights in high school and college. It helped me stay in shape for sports, and was something that I really enjoyed (and miss too). It pumped me up whenever my spotter - usually a friend or teammate - would say "One more! You've got this!" or something to that effect. It is when I tried to do more than I needed to that I was able to improve myself. So naturally this analogy helped me to understand that the Savior is my "spotter". He is there to look out for me, help me go above and beyond, and then when I can do no more, he takes the bar and helps me rack it. I LOVE THIS! I think I tend to get in the mode of thinking that the Savior is disappointed in me or not on my side or things like that. But in reality he is on my side and he is always there spotting me to make sure that I don't hurt myself, and also to encourage me to give my very best effort. 

I am going to try to think of the Lord in this way from now on. Maybe not in the weight lifter perspective, but as a friend that is on my side and who wants to help me. I am pretty sure I have always known this. It just took a while for it to click in my brain and have an AHA! moment.

So that's one good thing I got from that book. The end are other things I "learned" or rather forgot that I knew, but it was a really great book for me to read and helped me. 

Tomorrow I have my first quarter training- the training you have at 6 months. I know it's a bit early, but I have already been out for almost 6 months!! That is so crazy to me. 1/3 of my mission is over, and we get to have trainings to celebrate (ha-ha). But it should be fun to see the other 2 elders I came out with. It will be interesting when it goes from who I came with to who I will leave with. Weird.

I love you all a bunch and hope that you have a great first week of school!

Sister Lauren Hatch


July 20, 2015

Dear Family,

This week was pretty good. We had exchanges on short notice this last Friday to Saturday and those were really good. I stayed here with Sister Nauta and Sister Abreu went to Santa Fe Springs with Sister Moli. It was a great exchange and I learned a lot. This week was better, although I do still have my moments.

Also, IT RAINED ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LIKE A LOT OF RAIN!!!!!!!!! The kind of rain that makes me think "Why on earth does no one have huge barrels out in their yards to catch the rain water instead of letting it run down into the ocean drains???? I mean come on people! Aren't we in some sort of a really bad drought that I am reminded about ALL THE TIME!?!?!?? But no. People sit inside and let the water go out into the ocean. Californians are GENIOUS! (She said sarcastically). But its all good. After next year it won't be my problem :) I loved the rain, but it sure was muggy and I was sweating up a storm. It was like being in Hawaii all over again! YUCKK.

But we had some good contacts this week and some new investigators that we will hopefully see this week, and one tonight. We had more member meals this week, which I am always thankful for. Usually we have maybe 1 or 2 a week. But yesterday at church the Bee family signed up to feed us last night, and we walked in to them making home-made pasta - from scratch! And there was peach cobbler and fruit and brownies and chicken and I even ate a shrimp! (You should be proud of me) It was so yummy! But like I said, the rain made it super muggy and it was HAWT! Thankfully, I survived. I will forever be thankful for Air Conditioning. :)

We had a lesson with John, and needed to reset his baptismal date because he hasn't come to church! It is pretty frustrating. Anyway I pulled out the calendar on the iPad and had him pick a date, and he chose August 22. Hopefully now he will be more committed, because he picked it and we asked him what he thought about baptism and kind of more or less put everything on him to see if he is serious about all this. So that's where we are with that. We have done lots of finding, as per the usual, and hope to have some more success this coming week.

Good thing school is starting so that you can have something to do now! Hahahahaha, as if there was absolutely nothing to do before. It is so weird that you will already be starting school again! It seems like just yesterday you were finishing up the school year. Crazy. Good luck with everything and yes, everything will work out. THANK GOODNESS!

I hope you all have a great week and are doing well. I love and miss you all a bunch!

Sister Hatch :)

Temple Trip

July 6, 2015

We had zone conference on Wednesday and it was really good. We talked about the importance of mighty prayer in this work. It has definitely helped me do better at prayers and really taking time to talk WITH God and not just TO him. It has been a work in progress, not that my prayers were horrible but they could always be better. That among many other things was something we discussed at zone conference.

The other cool thing is that we get to go to the temple on Thursday! Our session is at 6:45 am though, which will be tough, but at least we won't have to worry about traffic! That's always nice.

So as a trainer you learn a lot about every single thing that you do wrong. It's rough and there have been several days where I am just not feeling great about things. It doesn't help when you don't have any set appointments or all of the plans you have fall through, but I'm learning to trust Heavenly Father more. That is also a work in progress. President Weidman gave me a great book called Believing Christ, which I would encourage you to look up. It is a really good book that has helped me understand the Savior more and has helped my point of view. This and reading in the New Testament about Christ is helping me to improve my relationship with him (I hope).

Also, this week there was a weird storm, and a random loud, huge thunder and lightning! We only saw and heard one, but apparently farther inland there was a big storm. That was neat because I haven't seen any of that in a long time. Also, there are train tracks in this area, and I have seen a couple of trains! Also something I haven't seen for a long time.

This week we are going to be doing a lot of finding and visiting members to get them out with us to work. Tricky sometimes when there are young moms and old ladies :/ but we will figure it out. I am so thankful that for once, I am not the boss of this work. Heavenly Father only knows how much of a train wreck that would be! HAHAHAHAHAHA. But really though.

I love you all very much and am so thankful to have a wonderful family like you. I hope that your week goes well and that you are enjoying your summer break.

Love, Sister Hatch :)

New Companion

June 29, 2015


Things are going much better than I had anticipated, thanks to our district leaders coming to give us each a blessing on Tuesday afternoon. I think I have knocked on more doors in the last week than the whole rest of my mission! But my companion is Sister Abreu from North Carolina. Her dad is from the Dominican Republic.   She is just a few months older than me and she went to BYU Idaho for a couple of semesters and now she is here.

We were able to meet some people this week who I hadn't met yet, so that's good. I also spoke in church yesterday, on 48 hours notice. It went better than I thought it would, that's for sure. We have zone conference on Wednesday, so that should be good. I have seen President Weidman a lot lately, which is cool. He told me today he wanted to just give me a great big hug, which made me feel good. He told me a little about what it was like when they got to the mission. He is awesome, and we will have to go to Provo for you to meet him and his wife.

My sweet friend Amy Brown sent me an aloha box! It was awesome! Too bad there aren't any plumeria plants around here!

Things are going well, all things considered. I am doing the best I can to be a good example for Sister Abreu and we are working hard!

Enjoy the fireworks and food for me! I'll be in my apartment weekly planning :|

Love you all- have a great week! Sister Hatch :)


June 22, 2015

Hi everyone!

So transfer meeting is tomorrow aaaaaaaannnddd....................... I will be staying here and training a brand new missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SUPER NERVOUS AND FEEL VERY UNDERQUALIFIED AND AM MORE THAN A LITTLE WORRIED.  And Sister Montgomery leaves on Wednesday = sad face. We went up to Santa Monica twice this week. Once for the departing temple trip and for the departing interview. I was in the Visitors Center for the afternoon on Friday. There were no people until right before they came out of the temple.  And on Saturday there were TONS of weddings going on. Lots of people at the temple/on the grounds. Her departing missionary fireside was last night and that was cool. Lots of people there too. But it's okay I guess. I am glad I got to be her companion and I know she will do great! I only hope I can be as good of an example to others as she was to me. I have a looooooooooooooooonnnngg way to go.

As far as dinner goes, we come home and have 1 hour to cook/eat and whatever else. We haven't had many appointments since I have been here, but hopefully that changes soon. We have a super sweet investigator named Adriana and we had a great lesson with her on Saturday too. We are trying to get more appointments with people that they met before I got here, but everyone is sick or doesn't answer when we call or stop by.

It decided to get VERY hot this week. I am lathering the sunscreen and downing the water. We don't do too much walking, thank goodness. But it's just enough. I am thankful I am not in Virginia like my MTC missionaries.

I think that's about it for this week. It should be an exciting and interesting week. Pray for me! I know you do, but I'm going to need all the help I can get to train a new missionary. I hope I don't ruin her! 

Sister Lauren Hatch :)