Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Golden Birthday

October 19, 2015

Editor's note:  October 20, 2015 is Sister Hatch's 20th birthday (her "golden birthday" since she is turning 20 on the 20th).


Our week was pretty good. As time goes on the weeks just seem to go by faster and faster. I am starting to get them mixed up! I didn't think that was possible, but apparently it is. We have been trying to work on 20 meaningful conversations and not letting people get by us without at least trying to have a gospel conversation. Some people still don't want to talk to us, but we have also been working on our persistence and boldness when inviting even people on the street to do something. We really are trying to be creative in our conversations and use different aspects of the gospel to approach people.

This week we got a referral from our district leader. They had met this girl while she and her mom were waiting for the bus, and I guess set a return appointment or something. They then referred her to us for the Young Single Adult ward, and we were able to meet her on Thursday. She is 23 and has had a rough life. She recently found out she is pregnant, and isn't sure who the dad is (that we know of). As we talked with her, we listened to how much she just wants to know what her purpose is and that there are people out there that can be her genuine friends. I could hardly keep myself from bouncing up and down and yelling that the gospel that we share is EXACTLY what she needs and is looking for in her life!!!! She comes from a Catholic home (if I remember correctly) and has really tried to rely on God throughout all of the struggles she has had. (DISCLAIMER: usually I am not really all that ecstatic when we find people who are so prepared. I probably should be, but that's just not quite my personality. That being said I was absolutely positive that this message is what she needs right now, in order to find what she is looking for in this life.) She did not come to church yesterday, but we invited her to family home evening later this evening to make chocolate chip cookies. I don't know how anyone could say no to that!! I couldn't. :)

Meeting her made me so thankful that we are able to bring this "good news" to people and help them find and see the light of the gospel for themselves. Our tender mercy that night was how much of a blessing it is that we have both been able to do the right things throughout our lives (and more specifically our missions) to be able to bring her the light of the gospel. It also made me so very thankful that I was raised in a home with "goodly parents" who have worked so hard to teach me the gospel. I consider it a huge blessing and privilege that I am worthy to represent our Savior and be his tool to bring people back to the fold.

That point brings me to another cool thing from the week. Yesterday at church, we had a great lesson in the YSA relief society. The girl we were going to eat dinner with that night gave a fantastic lesson entitled "Feed My Sheep" by President Ezra Taft Benson. I have heard that term a million times before, but yesterday that lesson stood out to me. We are called to leave the 90 and 9 - our families, friends, etc. - to go out in search of the 1 lost sheep. Now there are many definitions of "lost sheep". As missionaries, the lost sheep we look for are those who are not members of the church, those who do not have the gospel in their lives. We are often times involved in searching out those who are less active or literally "lost", meaning that no one knows where they are.

I realized how important it is to love people before we do anything else. I am guilty of judging others and their decisions, when maybe I didn't have all of the information. That lesson helped me to think about how important it is to genuinely love people in order to bring them back into the gospel. The same applies with non-members. We talked during the lesson about how you can totally tell when people are being fake and just going through the motions. Every person deserves to feel the love of our Heavenly Father and have the light of the gospel in their lives. I can and should do a much better job than what I am doing right now. I am here and it is my job to reach out and love the family members of other people. We all have a part to play in this life, and that almost always includes how we can reach out and bless other people. I have resolved to do better at being that ray of sunshine in someone else's life.

. . . This is how Sister Hatch feels!!!  Just Kidding!  :)

Sister Wehrhahn and our cute missionary owl at Young Single Adult family home evening last week.

I love you all and am glad to hear that you are doing well! Have a great week!

Sister Lauren Hatch 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Columbus Day

October 12, 2015

Dear Family, 

We had a pretty good week this week. We had the opportunity to go do service at House of Yaweh, which we didn't do the week before because we had the special assignment from zone conference.  It is always a good time there, and I love that we are able to focus on something that will benefit those who are struggling physically. I know that the gospel will help those people, but you can't really see it if they don't accept it. So I particularly enjoy going and packing boxes of food for other people. 

Then on Wednesday we had exchanges with the sister training leaders. They told us the night before that I would be going to Bell Gardens with Hermana Perez, and sister Franks would be coming here with Sister Wehrhahn. Bell Gardens is on the far east side of our mission, right in the flight path of all the planes going to LAX. I was a little nervous about going to the Spanish area. I only know how to say a few simple things, like ask for the bathroom, food, money or directions. But that day I got really good at saying "Somos misioneras de la iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los santos de los últimos días!" And then Hermana Perez would take it from there. It was super fun and pretty funny for us too. I bet all the latinos were wondering what the heck I was doing trying to speak Spanish. We ate dinner with an awesome convert family and then I went to their coordination meeting. It all worked out, and I was able to understand more Spanish than I thought I would. I can't say much to people, but I can more or less follow the conversation at least. 

We had a good weekly planning session this week too. We have been really trying to work on what we can do to help our area and our investigators. We have also been working hard to involve the wards as well. We love that the Young Single Adults are so willing to come out with us even though it is super hot outside. It is a little harder to get Torrance members out on days like the ones we have had lately, but that's okay. For them we try to invite them to set appointments if nothing else. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get in contact with those 2 people we set baptismal dates with. :( But that's alright. We are still working hard and doing what we need to. 

At zone conference a couple weeks ago we were challenged to find the tender mercies at 3 different times throughout the day. I enjoy finding the tender mercies during the day. Sometimes I have to think really hard about them, but then, I find one and that gets me started on all the blessings I can find just from that day. One tender mercy happened yesterday at church. A young man gave his "farewell" talk yesterday and the youth were going to sing a special musical number. In ward council the youth leaders mentioned that the youth were going to be sparse that day, since several of them were out of town. So they turned to us (of course!) and asked if we would sing with them too. We said sure and asked what song they would be singing. Turns out they were going to sing the "Army of Helaman" medley that we sing at all of our mission meetings. We thought it would be a piece of cake and went for it. There were maybe 4 girls before church to practice, two of them being us, and I was a little worried because the deacons weren't singing very loud. I was going to be disappointed if it didn't sound like it does when we sing it at our meetings. But then it came time for the special musical number and up walked a big group of people. We started the song and it sounded so good! I loved it. I could feel the power that was behind all of those voices singing those words, and also the power we as God's children have in this world. How cool is it that we get to witness that to the world! Heavenly Father has chosen us to be his army at this time, and I love singing that song as a reminder. 

It has been really hot and I am starting not to believe in the word cold anymore. It is so ridiculous. To make matters worse, the nights are still hot too! And the AC in the Relief Society room is no good, so we have to go somewhere else for Relief society each week. Good grief. The car said it was 104 the other day, and I tood a picture to prove it! 

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Sister Hatch :)

General Conference

October 5, 2015

Hi Mom and Family,

Our week was busy! We were able to have members out with us almost every day, we set 2 new baptismal dates (our goal was 10, but we weren't able to contact a few of the people behind that goal), we had zone conference and general conference, and have a new investigator with zero religious background. Crazy!

Us with a recent convert, Brandi from the Young Single Adult Ward and she is awesome!!!

On Saturday evening we were scheduled to eat dinner with a family from the Torrance ward, while their dad was at priesthood meeting. We were about to call and confirm/set a time, and we got a text from the mom that confirmed us coming, asked what time, told us her daughter wanted to give her friend a Book of Mormon and asked if we had an extra one she could have. It was so neat!! And that little girl is only 7 years old! I think the most I did at that age was invite a few of my friends to church. They are such an awesome family. Just a week or two earlier, their dad gave us a referral too. It was neat. 

Zone conference was really good. We talked a lot about charity and motives. We set goals for how we can gain more charity, and it has been good this week to have more of an emphasis and reflection on charity. I have been working on remembering my goals and have been trying to work on those. It is really hard sometimes. I included in my goals not commenting on other people's driving, and that one is a particular challenge, what with California drivers and all. This morning I also went through my notes from conference and plugged all of the answers to my questions into the blank spaces I left specifically for that purpose. It was good to take the time to ponder the words given to us this weekend when they were still fresh in my mind. I am so thankful that we are able to receive guidance and direction for ourselves and others as missionaries. It is such a blessing to us and for me.

                                                                 Torrance - Palos Verdes Zone

We have been working really hard to be exactly obedient and do everything we need/are asked to do. I feel that finally we are starting to see the "blossoms" of our labors - not the fruit quite yet, but the start of it at least. This week I have been dog tired by the end of the day, and then it lingers on to the next day, and the next and so on. I have been really trying to involve Heavenly Father in these struggles, but sometimes feel that it doesn't help much. I know that He helps me keep going every day, but man it sure is tough sometimes. It makes me feel like a wimp when I think about all that the pioneers suffered and endured, compared to the things that I am asked to do. They are hard, but in today's world, nothing like what they did to establish the gospel. How thankful I am that I live in such a blessed time to have the gospel and so much to help make our lives a little easier. I am also thankful for the guidelines established for us as missionaries in using this technology wisely. Heavenly Father is so smart and so loving to provide us these tools.

My box of sunshine from my Aunt Elaine :) (NOT my best picture, but I needed the box :P)

GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so good to sustain the new general authorities and hear the inspired words from Heavenly Father through our wonderful leaders. I didn't have a particular favorite talk, but I think that what stood out for me is that the gospel is simple. If we go to church, read and study the scriptures, pray attend the temple, etc., we will be okay. It was so good to hear also that this church is led by a living prophet who holds all of the priesthood keys necessary to carry forth the work of the Lord and church. It seemed like that was something that people mentioned a little more than usual this week.

I am so thankful for my testimony of this gospel and the things that we testify to people are true. I don't want to think about where I would be without it! It is so neat that Heavenly Father inspires our leaders to say just the right things to all of us as the church, and then uses the Spirit to personalize it for us individually. (If I remember correctly, that was mentioned in a talk this weekend too).

I think that's about all for the week. I love you all and hope you are enjoying fall break!

Sister Lauren Hatch :)


September 28, 2015

Dear Family,

The miracle of the week is that John finally came to church yesterday to be confirmed!! It was about time. He brought his wife and son too. *whew*

Things this week went pretty well. We went out with members/had member present lessons more this week. One day we had 2 members out for a few hours and we had a new investigator, a couple member present lessons, and 16 conversations by the end of it. That was good. It was a hot day and I think without them we would have struggled a bit. They helped us have deeper faith and get things done. Another day we had another sister out with us and she took us to get a treat afterwards. We were not expecting it, and certainly didn't ask for it, but she insisted that we get an ice cream or something cool. She was really sweet and has a really strong testimony. It was neat to get to know her better.

Us with another Young Single Adult Raisa after she got us a treat :)

The day of the women's conference was really good. We have been working extra hard on 20 conversations, and we went to the church building with 20 already that day. I'm sure we were looking pretty rough, but we did it. I have been very thankful for Heavenly Father helping us these last few days especially. Then that night we were able to stop and see a few people to end our night. The women's conference was really good! I am excited for general conference, and new general authorities.

So that's my story. Besides that I don't have much else to report on. I'm looking forward to zone conference and general conference this weekend.

Sister Lauren Hatch

Heat Wave

September 21, 2015

Hello Family,

This week, and the others that have gone by, have been very HOT. I'm pretty sure by 3pm (after being out for only 3 hours) it looks like I've been in a sauna or something like that. And since we don't have AC in our apartment, I don't even use any covers when I sleep. That will probably be the first thing I send home when I get ready to finish my mission. It seems that Air Conditioning will always be near the top of my thankful list, seeing as it was in Hawaii, it is here, and will be if I go back to Hawaii! Good grief. Anyways, on to the week.

Getting Handel's Ice cream on p-day. We'll have to go there someday- it is so yummy!!!!!

Yes, Transfers were on Tuesday, and Sister Wehrhahn and I are still here together. We had a pretty good week this week. Sister Wehrhahn and I sat down during companion study on Wednesday and set some goals for ourselves, our companionship, and the area that we want to accomplish this transfer. I felt really good about it, and feel that it has already helped us and it hasn't even been a week yet. We had a great day the day we set our goals, and the rest of the week went very well also. I haven't ever done that before, so it was a new thing, but I wanted to give it a try. It is good to start off the transfer with that. We've been working hard and are really trying to help each other out however we can. I am glad to have the opportunity to continue to serve here and improve myself as a missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ.

So one thing we have been struggling with is members coming out with us. We were doing pretty good, but then we kinda weren't. The excuse these last few weeks is "It's too hot out!" Which is a tad frustrating, because I know it is very hot myself. I go out and work in it and then look like a mess before it's even 3pm! But I guess it is a small price to pay, given everything I have been blessed with. It makes me somewhat curious as to what missionary work down in the Valley (Phoenix, Gilbert, etc.) is like. I am half tempted to try it out sometime. HA!

Sister Alcorn, from Torrance ward, isn't she cute :)

So sad about John, the guy who got baptized a month ago. We have been seeing him during the weeks, but unfortunately, he hasn't come to church since his baptism :( We went to his house an hour or so before church to make sure that everything was good to go. He answered the door so we knew he was up, but then he said he wasn't sure if he would be able to come or not. Then 2 minutes before sacrament meeting started, we got a message that said he wouldn't be there. I was pretty disappointed, but feel like we have honestly done just about everything we can for this guy. He knows that his baptism isn't complete until he is confirmed, and all of those other things, but for whatever reason he still chooses not to come. It really makes me sad. He is missing out on so many blessings and seems not to care. I have been praying for him a lot. The problem is that he says at our lessons during the week that he will be there, and then Sunday comes and for whatever reason it's not going to happen. This even happens on Saturday nights! Hopefully we can get him there next week. I will still pray for him, and for us to know what to do. Stinkin' agency!

{Side note: Sister Hatch's mom received a text with the following picture and the message, "We are having dinner with your beautiful daughters.  Thanks for sending them on a mission."  This was Sister Hatch's response.} We ate with Chelsey from the YSA last night, and her mom took that picture. They live on Palos Verdes and have a really nice house- it's huge!! But we ate yummy fajitas and had a good time :)

Well, that's about all I've got for this week. . . I hope you are all doing well and enjoy your break coming up. I love you very much and am so thankful for you too! 

Sister Hatch :)

Quick Picture

September 14, 2015

Hello family!! All I have time for this week is a few updates and some pictures. Sister Wehrhahn and I are both staying here another transfer, which I am excited about. I get to spend my "golden birthday" with the Young Single Adult Ward and Torrance 1st Ward. :) 

Tina, Me, Sister W, Milika, John - Tongan family from my last area, but Milika is in Young Single Adult Ward :)

Have a great week and I love you all :) Sister Hatch

Labor Day

September 7, 2015

Dear family,

I'm glad to hear that you all are enjoying your Labor Day. Next year I will too! Haha.

This week was pretty good. After emailing last week we just went home and hung out. I went through some things and tidied up and wrote you a letter. I didn't realize just how stuck you are in a place like LA. But it worked out fine and we got to sort of relax. We got our loaner car on Wednesday and that was good. It had squeaky breaks though. Grrr! At least the air conditioning works well. I'm just glad to have a car at this point. Going from place to place as we need to is nice.

My fast yesterday didn't go quite as well as I had hoped. I tried to drink plenty of water and eat a good meal and all that sort of stuff to help me prepare. I was kind of on my way to not feeling good all day. After church we stopped to try and see a few people, but only made it to 1 before I really needed to eat something. So I broke my fast a bit early and ate something to hold me over until we got somewhere and I could eat something more substantial. I felt bad because I was crabby from hunger and different things (which are not good excuses), but there were things we needed to get done, so I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me and help me work hard. I was especially thankful for the plates we made from the Young Single Adult ward break-the-fast that day. (We made them and then left). We had breakfast burritos :)

Yesterday we were able to go to a baptism for someone from my last area. Her name is McKaylah Tafunai, and she is 9. Back when we were a trio in Harbor City, we went with the Relief Society president to find some people whose records had been sent into the ward. We got to the address for the Tafunai family to find that there were multiple units, but we didn't have a unit number. So I thought "why don't we try at the end and work our way back to the front?" (where we had parked). So we go knock on the door, and there is the family we are looking for. Then they came to church a few times. (Then I left the area.) Then Sister Wehrhahn and her companion started teaching them and then the 3 older kids decided to be baptized! 

Me, sister Tafunai, McKaylah and Sister W

This is the Tafunai family. Left to right: Sister W, Tanya, Andy, McKaylah (the one who got baptized), Me, the twins on bottom are Marcus and Mathias (not sure which is which) They made us candy leis!!!

It wasn't going to be till October, but one of the Zone Leaders is leaving (they took over that area because the wards combined) so they moved it up. And they asked Sister W to give a talk so I got to go too! They had me say the opening prayer ;) Their family sang a couple of songs and it was so pretty! It was so neat because they remembered me! And even gave us candy leis!! I was soooooo happy and glad to see them. I really enjoyed going to McKaylah's baptism. It was cool to see the fruits of my labors in the past. Their family is so awesome and I love them a lot. It is so neat to see how something so small as knocking on someone's door can turn in to something so big. Definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father to let me witness that. It went in my special notebook for tender mercies too. 

I think that's about it for this week. I hope you enjoy your day off of school and have a good week! I love and miss you!

Sister Hatch 

Thursday, October 15, 2015


August 31, 2015

Happy Monday!

I feel like we were just here last week, but as fate would have it, another week has already come and gone. This week sure was interesting for us, but we've made it through and are glad to be starting another week. We did a lot more driving to places in our area that we hadn't been to before, and found out that it takes a little more time to get from place to place, and we have been working on improving our conversations. Hopefully we'll be able to continue to work on things.

There aren't nearly as many plumeria trees here as in Harbor city - so of course we picked some and took a picture :)

This week we worked with members a lot. There was one day when we had 3 different members out with us! We ended up with only 1 member present out of it, but still we were pretty happy. One was the Torrance ward RS president and it was last minute, but worked out great. That day things worked out just right. Our plans fell into place in such a way that we were able to make spur of the moment changes without it being a problem, because it just improved our plans. That was a tender mercy for sure.

After planning on Thursday we each got a blessing. I had mentioned some things in companion inventory that I have been struggling with. Then in my blessing Heavenly Father addressed every single concern I had voiced. That was an especially neat blessing to me, what with each specific concern being mentioned, and also Heavenly Father letting me know that I'm not doing as awful as I sometimes feel I am. 

Here's the story: (SIDE NOTE: we were traveling North, and the kids we saw were on the side of the street going the other way - South. There were 3 lanes going each way- 6 total. Hopefully that makes sense).  We were with a member headed to a lesson with John (The guy that got baptized last week) and were going down a main road = busy. I saw some kids starting to cross the road on what looked like skateboards or something, so I started to slow down. They were on the opposite side of the road where there wasn't any oncoming traffic so they went. They didn't slow down as they got to the middle to cross traffic in my direction, so I slowed almost to a complete stop so as to avoid hitting them. Then out of nowhere CRASH! We got rear ended. Pretty badly. Like the-car-might-be-totaled pretty badly. It was a 2014 with barely 10,000 miles that we had just put on it that week. *SIGH* Talk about a sad day. So we got out our nifty "What to do if you have an accident" packet and filled it all out and called President, and the nurses, and the vehicle coordinator, and the other sisters for a ride home. It happened at about 8pm, and we got home after 9:30 that night. It was a little ridiculous. BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT IT WAS NOT MY FAULT. That is all. ;) 

The other lady's car was hit pretty good too. Thankfully no airbags were deployed (surprisingly), and no one got hurt (minus a little whiplash the next day). The other lady was nice about exchanging info and all that jazz, so it could have been a lot worse. 

We've just been without a car for a few days, and will get a loaner on Wednesday morning. (I have never been more thankful for AC!!) We were doing better at exercise too, and of course now that's out the window! HAHAHA! I felt really bad when Elder Hunsaker mentioned that the car might be totaled, because we had just barely put those 10,000 miles on it! There really wasn't anything I could have done differently, but still. Who knows, maybe we'll get a brand new one?? :) Anyways, I'm thankful that it isn't more serious.

There is an upside to the accident story though. We have awesome ward missionaries, and one of the YSA ward missionaries took us out pretty much all day on Saturday. We ate lunch with one of the Bishopric members and his wife, and then she picked us up and off we went. (She is the one that was with us in the accident). We were able to find out that a lot of people from the potentials list we have are gone, but towards the end of the day we found one that is still there, and he became a new investigator! That was also a blessing, because the day before we hadn't had any luck with finding the potentials we had planned for either. So this coming week we will go see Juan and teach him the gospel. Once we had tried to see all of our potentials we took the member out to dinner and got ice cream since it was so hot that day. Thankfully she has a car, so we didn't fry too much!

On Friday we had a really good district meeting. I feel very unified with our district and we communicate with them more frequently, so we are able to talk about the people we are working with during accountability and remember who people are. It was different for me at first, because we have had so much to do and being asked to send in conversations each night and other things like that stressed me out a bit. Then as we have been getting into the hang of it more, we get things done and it isn't so bad. We've started a "game" of sorts to help us with 20 conversations: whoever gets 10 first gets to ask someone in the district what they are thankful for, and whoever they ask sends it out to the whole district. It's pretty cool to hear what everyone is thankful for. Then on Saturday we got blessings again as a result of the accident. That was also a neat blessing, in a different way than the one before. I sure am thankful for the priesthood!

So that's the news of the week in the life of Sister Hatch :)

Love, Sister Hatch :)