November 2, 2015
This last week has been completely different than any other week of my mission. I don't even know where to start. Things here in the LAYoung Single Adult area are going to take some getting used to . . . I was told that this ward is full of "hipsters" and "aspiring actors", and quite honestly I was not sure what to expect. I was thinking that this ward would be a bunch of snobs who are trying to make it in the world from LA. But much to my surprise and delight that is not what I found.
Yesterday was one of my favorite Sundays of my whole mission. (That's not a whole lot of Sundays, but definitely enough to make a difference). We had a great fast and testimony meeting, and there were plenty of people who got up to bear their testimonies. The theme of the day seemed to be that God loves us and the church is true. We then talked about that with regards to faith in our gospel principles class (that was bigger than I expected it to be) after sacrament meeting, and that was great too! Then to finish off our church meetings we had a great lesson in Relief Society about Leadership. It also helps that we had an awesome break-the-fast afterwards too! I think my favorite thing was that we had 5 non-members (4 investigators, 1 soon to be) at church. We had Emily (baptismal date of 11/21), Erin (baptismal date of 12/5), Taylor (baptismal date of 11/14-we'll have to move it though) and Drew (I didn't meet him, but apparently he is an investigator). The 5th person was a friend of Lindsey Stirling named Afsheen (SP?). He said he loved church and he was glad that he came!!!
Yes, the cute little red headed violinist Lindsey Stirling is in my ward. She is one of our ward missionaries, and she is so cute! And TINY! She got up and bore her testimony yesterday and it was really neat to hear. She has a great testimony and I thought is was super cool that she brought a friend. Another of our ward missionaries mentioned to me, "Sister Hatch, I am not intimidated by many people, but I am intimidated by Lindsey Stirling". I thought it was pretty funny. I can see how he would be, but she is really nice and quite personable. I gave her a hug and told her that I enjoyed her testimony and she welcomed me to the ward and all that. So I have officially met a famous person ;) I have the potential to meet more, because anything cool that there is to do here is in my area, so we'll see. Hopefully we'll be able to hike to the Hollywood sign soon. Adventures!!!! :D
So yeah, that was a bit of a slap to the face about casting unrighteous judgements and what not. But I already love this ward. It is full of missionary opportunities and member power to back it up. I think that is my favorite tender mercy this week. I really am so thankful that I have the opportunity to serve with all these young adults who have walked their own paths and still take the time on a Sunday afternoon to attend church. It is a testimony to me that this church really is true and it is for EVERYONE. No one is exempt from the blessings of this gospel and the joy it can bring to our lives. It takes some work and effort on our part, but it is so worth it! All week we went out and found people that were willing to learn more about this message, and judging how the last 9 months of my mission have gone, I was not expecting that to happen. But that's Heavenly Father's way of reminding me yet again that this is HIS work, not mine (as much as I sometimes feel or think that it would be better that way). I am looking forward to this transfer and being able to serve here in the heart of this city.
With all that being said, I do really miss my last ward. There were so many amazing people there too, who are/were working through different personal struggles. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to serve there with them, and look forward to many life long friendships there. Three of our ward missionaries there are preparing to serve missions - it is the best! And they were so willing and ready to help us out with anything and everything we needed.
It sort of feels like a vacation to be up here so close to all the mission stuff. But it is better than I thought. Super weird though. I could easily lose my hard work ethic if I don't watch out. But it is great to be around all the senior missionaries from the Visitors' Center and office - they always get so excited to see us and give us big hugs.
Lastly, I do feel like I am doing a lot better now, and finally getting the hang of all this being a missionary stuff. It feels good and I think I am seeing things differently (it is still a work in progress, but it is progress!). I am enjoying this and am okay with everything that happens. That's not to say that everything is easy all of a sudden, but I have been learning and growing. So that's good to know that you see it too, and it isn't just me being a little prideful :)
Besides that, I don't have much to report. I am going to buy a GPS when we leave here so as to help us maneuver the ridiculousness of LA a little easier - if that's even possible. It should be great!! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Sister Hatch :)
And don't you forget it!!! :)