Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

We had a great week this week. It was interesting trying to find new investigators though. We found people, but then realized that they are not ours, so we sent them off and tried to find other people. Our ward has been pretty empty these last couple of weeks, what with everyone being gone for the holidays. #YSAproblemsmuch. We spoke in church yesterday and actually had a few more people than I had anticipated being there. Anyways, our week turned out well and we were at least able to go out and talk to as many people as possible, which was good as far as conversations go.

Christmas Eve was a really great day. We had our district meeting, and from there went straight to the stake center for a baptism in the Olympic (Korean) ward. I had Sister Baek teach me some Korean so that I wouldn't have to just stand there while she did the missionary moment in Korean. It was very rough, very broken Korean, but they understood. Afterwards a man got up and told me my pronunciation was perfect (but it wasn't). However, as that guy continued to speak, he got more and more emotional. I was just sitting there trying to enjoy being still when Sister Baek leaned over to me and said that he was talking about my brief and simple testimony. 

All I said was that I know God lives and I know that the Book of Mormon is true. She said it had reminded him of when the missionaries came to teach them, and all they knew was very broken and rough Korean. He said that the Spirit touched him as I spoke and he was able to feel those same feelings and confirmations from the Spirit as he had all those years ago when he was being taught. I thought it was pretty cool, especially since I had absolutely no idea what was going on. We were able to enjoy dinner with some of the members after the baptism before heading out to work. (I even tried Kimchi, sp? and tofu!!) We had more than 20 conversations that night, and shared the good news of the Savior's birth with as many as we could.

Poor picture quality, but that is me about to try kimchi!! I used chopsticks the whole meal and I am proud because I did pretty darn good!

The district
Back: Sister Chavez, Sister Ericsen, Sister Ordaz, Sister Nikolaus,
Sister Meyer, me, Sister Baek, Sister Bergeson.
Front: Elder Staker, Elder Benimana, Elder Clarke, Elder Kuyoth

Then the next day was Christmas!! We had a busy day, and left early to go contact a referral. We were not able to contact him, but we were able to talk to the people around his apartment and share our Christmas message. It was so neat to talk to so many people who were happy on Christmas day. I enjoyed it. Early that afternoon we had a Christmas lesson with Anna at the Visitors' Center, and she LOVED it. She had read and learned about the Christmas story and told it to us, and we talked about the Savior and what a blessing that is in our lives. She enjoyed the happy Spirit that is there, and I enjoyed seeing her be so happy despite all of the opposition in he life. From there we went to our recent convert's home to Skype. It was so good! I loved seeing all of you and I was so thankful for the time we were able to spend talking to each other. That night we made dinner and ate with Sister Olson. It was a nice evening, and I think it was good to spend it with her. After dinner we sang a few Christmas songs together. 

Christmas Skype visit

Christmas dinner with Sister Baek, Sister Olson, Me 

Christmas dinner!!! We had fettuccine, Indian curry, rice and tortillas.

I didn't have time to open my gifts that morning (which turned out to be a blessing) so I got ready for bed, then opened my gifts. They were perfect, and I am good to go probably until the end of my mission. I also wanted to try and have that day be about the Savior, not me, so that is another reason I didn't worry too much about opening my presents that morning. 

I can't believe it was already Christmas and New Years. The months are going by faster and faster. Thankfully I have come to enjoy my mission more and more, and I am thankful for this time that I have to serve the Lord. I enjoyed spending Christmas as a full-time missionary, representing our Savior and sharing His glad message with everyone. It really was a unique experience that I am very thankful for.

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week and enjoy your vacation from school!!! I have a feeling that the next 7 months are going to go my super quick! EEK!

Sister Hatch :)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas in the Mission Field

December 21, 2015


This week was good! We had our area book planner training on Wednesday, so the goal now is to be paperless by the end of this transfer! That means that we get to put all of the information from the area book into the iPad.  It has been an adventure trying to get everything figured out, that's for sure. But it will be good once we get the hang of it.

Then on Friday and Saturday we went down to Torrance for the 2 Christmas devotionals for our mission. Sister Baek played the piano for a duet in the Christmas program part of the meetings so we got to go down on both days. It was a nice sunny day for the one on Friday, and we went to Chik-fil-a for lunch. Sister Baek hasn't ever eaten there before! But I got her well acquainted with the deliciousness of it all. She was full afterwards, so mission accomplished.  At the one on Saturday, I saw Sister Martinez from Torrance 1st Ward. She lived right behind us and made delicious food. It was good to see her. There are elders in that ward now. 

Sister Baek's first time at Chick-Fil-A!! :)

The Christmas program was really neat. We each took a picture with President and Sister Weidman and they gave us little ornaments of an etch of the LA temple, and the sisters got a little angel. It was good to have that brief time to reflect on our calling as missionaries and how that relates to this special time of year. I was able to read a part on the program and bear my testimony. Afterwards we has a really yummy "Christmas dinner" except that it was lunch time - ham and roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls, the whole 9 yards. And for dessert we had peach cobbler and ice cream. That was a special experience.

Sister Weidman, Me, President Weidman :)

This is Sister Bielamowicz :) She may be tiny, but she is pretty much the energizer bunny!

At our meeting, President mentioned that we will need to prepare for the wet weather that has been forecasted for the next 3-4 months, by acquiring wet weather gear. He said they would send some info out, but they wanted us to prepare to serve even though it will be raining. The funny thing was that it rained on Saturday, after he made that note. The problem with rain is that you can't see the lines separating the lanes when you drive. That could be a problem. And if you add all the ridiculous LA drivers, then the horns get going and it's a struggle to keep my composure. I am learning patience here, that's for sure!

Besides that, we have been working really hard on finding people to teach. Lots of conversations and finding. But it is good! Hopefully we'll find people soon!

I am really looking forward to Christmas here in the mission. It is definitely going to be a unique experience, and I am going to try to make the best of it. Since I only have this one Christmas here, I am going to work really hard and give the Savior everything I've got as a gift for his birthday. As a missionary, I have the opportunity to represent Him all the time, 24/7. That is a special opportunity and it is a blessing as well. What better way to spend my Christmas this year, as a full time representative of Jesus Christ sharing the glorious message of His birth to anyone and everyone. 

We met a guy on the street the other day who said "I'm not selfish enough to think that the Creator of the universe knows and cares about what I eat for dinner." I got a little offended, because I don't think it is selfish to believe in a loving and all knowing God. Rather I think it is such a blessing to know that the Creator of the universe knows me, Sister (Lauren) Hatch, and loves me, despite my imperfections. And it is for that very reason, because He loves us and cares about us, that we even celebrate this season of the year! It makes me SO thankful for the knowledge I have of this gospel and the Plan of Salvation. What a sad existence that would be. But I don't have to go about my life being sad because I know why the Savior came and I know that God loves me and each of us here. What a happy thing we know and share with people!

Side note: The guy I mentioned earlier also thought we had evolved from animals. . . . Needless to say we have a few very differing opinions. We kindly handed him a card for the #ASaviorIsBorn video and walked away politely. #ain'tnobodygottimeforthat!!

I am super excited to see you all on Friday! I hope you have a Merry
Christmas! Love you lots!!!! 

Sister Hatch 

A lovely view of the temple and a beautiful sunset!!

Moving Again and New Companion

December 14, 2015

Hey everyone!

This week was really good! We had transfers on Tuesday and then came back and moved into Sister Olson's home in Beverly Hills. It has been an interesting adjustment, what with a new companion and a new living situation. However, so far so good. We have our own bedroom and bathroom and have some space in the kitchen. Her nephew's dog lives there with her, so we have our very own guard dog. He is a good dog and watches out for us. Her house is a good size. Her family has lived there for many years and you can tell. She is sorta like a walking history book. It is working out well, so that's good. The only thing is that our room is an add on so we have a little electric heater that we crank up whenever we are home. I make good use of my long pants and socks!

We haven't been tracting in a long time. Usually we try to contact less actives that the ward doesn't have any information about. Since the target age group we are looking for are somewhat hard to come by, we just go contacting and try to find new people as we go see less actives. We do get kinda a lot of referrals as well. It is just a toss up with Young Single Adult wards though. We'll see how Christmas goes.

My new companion is Sister Baek, from Korea. This is her last transfer and that makes me a little sad. She is a great missionary and it has been a good week. She is a go-getter and isn't afraid of anyone. I'm afraid last transfer I didn't work as hard as I would have liked. But I have repented and have resolved not to let that happen again. We are going to kick butt this transfer and I am going to try to learn as much as I can from Sister Baek before she leaves. It should be good! We have a few lessons set for this week and hopefully everyone leaving for Christmas doesn't put a damper on our work.

It has been cold this week. Granted cold here is still only 50 degrees, but still! I have been wearing my scarves and leggings under my skirts. Last night it rained and we had to have our recent convert Justin to come jump start our car. We are sitting in the car dealership right now wishing for them to change the battery in our car. We drive a 2014 Chevy Cruze ;) it is pretty funny.

This week should be good. We have a training for the area book and planner app for our iPads = no more paper. That will be weird, but also good, because we will have all of our map information in one place.  Then on Friday and Saturday we will go back down to Torrance for our Christmas devotionals. Sister Baek will be accompanying a couple of elders for a special musical number, so we get to go to both. It should be good. I am looking forward to Christmas.

I hope you have a great week! I am really excited to see you next week over FaceTime! It should be good. Things here are going well and I am enjoying being a missionary. I am so thankful for so much love and support that I receive from you and so many others as well. I love you all very much and am so thankful for you and all that you do for me.

Love, Sister Hatch :)

Me and a cute Christmas tree at a member's house after dinner. We
don't have one, so I wanted to take a picture with this one :)

This is me with Mary and Hayley Bateman from South Bay YSA ward. They
came and attacked me at the departing missionary fireside and it was
so good to see them :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

So Blessed!

December 7, 2015

Happy Monday!!

This week was good. I came down with a fever on Friday, so we stayed home. I spent most of the day in bed. I do NOT like being sick, and especially not as a missionary. I felt better on Saturday, so we did our weekly planning and went out, but I didn't fast this time. On Sunday I woke up feeling fine, then not so fine, until finally at church after Sunday School I went to the bathroom and got sick. :/ But the good news is that afterwards I was feeling much better, and this time, there was no appendectomy involved. ;) I think this is the first time I've been sick since all that went down a few years ago. 

Yesterday was a good day. Erin got confirmed, and we were able to go to the departing missionary fireside (that's when all the departing missionaries bear their testimony and sing, and the people they have worked with are invited to come and say goodbye). We went with Erin and Angel, another investigator from the SMC Institute. I got to say goodbye to Sister Wehrhahn and a couple of the other missionaries who are leaving, and also see some of the people in my previous wards! It was so good!! It made me feel good when Bishop Duncan (Torrance 1st) walked up to me and said hello. Brother and Sister Magalhaes (they are from Brazil, also Torrance 1st, he is in the bishopric, she's the RS pres.) did that too, and they brought me some little Brazilian chocolate ball things that I tried to make once upon a time for a school project (mine didn't turn out so good, but these ones are delicious!!). It was great! I sure do have a lot of great people here that I know and love, and it will be exciting to see them at my fireside in August. It was pretty sad to say bye to Sister Wehrhahn though. She looked really good, and I am sad that I won't be able to see her around anymore. We became companions when she had just reached her half-way/9 month mark, so that's kinda crazy! 

My sweet companion is leaving me on Wednesday! :(

Transfers are tomorrow, and I will be staying here. My new companion will be Sister Baek (said like Beck). I think she is almost done with her mission, and she is a super cute and sweet Asian sister. It should be a good transfer. Christmas time in a Young Single Adult ward is pretty sparse, especially here, where everyone is a transplant from elsewhere. But that's okay. I am looking forward to it! And yes, we will be moving tomorrow. This time we really will be moving to Beverly Hills, and I can say that confidently because Elder Bielamowicz gave me the keys! HAHAHAHA!!!! But really though, it should be good. And not having to drive to far to everywhere will be nice on Mondays too. 

I'm moving up in the world!! We stopped and took pictures here last Monday :)

Welp, I think that's about all this week! I don't think I will be able to get Christmas presents for all of you this year, so forgive me. I did get you 2 gifts last year though, so that counts! HA! But really though. I hope you don't all hate me for it. 

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

Sister Hatch :)

WE GOT TO WEAR PANTS TO GO DO SERVICE! The good news is that they still fit :)

This is my zone from this transfer.

Just for fun.

LA and CLAM (California Los Angeles Mission)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Another Baptism!

November 30, 2015

Happy Monday!! 

Elder Kim B. Clark came to visit our mission! We had a Zone Conference with him and his wife on Tuesday and it was really good. We also got a preview of the new Christmas video, #ASaviorisBorn. It is a really neat initiative and it will be even better now that we have iPads to actually be able to show people the video on the streets. Anyways, Elder Clark is super funny and he and his wife are great teachers and examples. We focused a lot on the importance of Faith in this work and how we can strengthen/deepen our faith, thus raising our expectations and increasing the Spirit's influence in our everyday activities. (CLAM Culture - Deep Faith, High Expectations and Mighty Prayer) It was insightful and helpful to be taught from someone else whose everyday calling is to be a representative, and who understands the necessity of having the Spirit. Without the Spirit we can't do squat! We also talked about how Nephi and Laman and Lemuel had such different perspectives on the things that they were asked to do. I've always noticed that, but this time it was especially eye-opening because attitude makes all the difference, and what with everything going on lately, that struck me. 

Elder and Sister Clark and President and Sister Weidman

Our Thanksgiving was good! Lots of people were gone, which meant less traffic-YAY!!!! We ate 2 delicious meals and had a good day. That's about all I have to report on that one. 

Clockwise around the table: Thanksgiving #1
Alona, Joseph, Amanda, Steven, Christine, Hawk, Sister Abon

Thanksgiving #2: on the couch- Jason, Dennis, Jessica, Wesley, David, Sister Abon, Me
On the floor, Kelly, Kalia, Andrew

You might be asking, "What is everything that has been going on??" Well. . . . . . . . . . . . . Yesterday Erin got baptized! Her date was scheduled for this coming weekend, but her grandfather's funeral and a stake service auction are on Saturday and the Departing Missionary Fireside is Sunday. So we got a call on Saturday morning from the Zone Leaders asking us if Erin would want to be baptized tomorrow-Sunday. We had a lesson with her that afternoon and asked her, and she said "Yes!" so we got busy planning a baptism. It was more than a little stressful, considering the fact that some people that we need to work with are a little particular about how they do things, and thus Sister Hatch gets more than a little irritated while trying to plan someone's PERSONAL SALVATION, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But everything worked out and she will be confirmed next Sunday. That was also nothing short of a miracle. Thank goodness this isn't my work, because things would not work out so smoothly. 

Sister Abon, Erin, Me

Transfers are next week, and Elder Bielamowicz informed us 30 minutes ago or so that we will most likely be moving next Tuesday, or sometime around there. More adventures to come! I've decided that no matter how tired, frustrated, upset, embarrassed, etc. I may get, I am not going to complain. The Savior did much more than I will ever do, and he did not complain. So I'm going to try not to either. 

That's about it for this week! I love you and hope you have a great day!

Sister Hatch