Friday, February 19, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 15, 2016

Hey family!

I love you all this* much too!!
*Hug shown is smaller than actual hug :)

I feel like we were just here emailing you, but low and behold it has been a whole week! This week was really good! We had our Sisters Training and New Missionary Orientation #2, District Meeting, weekly planning and exchanges, and then a special Stake Conference Broadcast. There was almost always something going on and it certainly kept us on our toes. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sisters Training that we had. It was such a good meeting, and so great to spend time with all of the Sisters, as well as President and Sister Weidman. We sure have a great mission here, with fabulous sister missionaries. I love each of our sisters, even the ones that I don't really know. We are all focused on serving the Lord, and I think that really brings a sense of unity amongst ourselves. We don't really interact with each other all the time, but when we do I just feel like we really could conquer the world. It's cheesy, I know. BUT IT'S TRUE! I also think Sister Franks' statement about being "fearless and beautiful" was also quite appropriate. (She was one of my Sister Training Leaders and texted that to President the night before). The trainings and things that we discussed were just right for me at this time - I could tell that it was carefully planned and I thought it was executed very well. I can tell that I have grown and changed and I can tell that these things really are meant to help us become better. I'll talk more about that later.

On Tuesday we had the New Missionary Orientation #2 and we got there really early - like at 8:30 and I wasn't supposed to be there until 9am to play prelude music. We sat in the Krispy Kreme Doughnut parking lot and then texted President for permission to get some food before our meeting. I knew President would probably say "OK", and eventually he did, but I thought it was a test of our obedience - Heavenly Father was testing how deeply obedient we were. We carpooled with the Spanish sisters in our zone, and I think that it was a good experience for our 2 new missionaries. The sign saying "Hot Doughnuts Now!" was quite taunting, and I will have to stop at Krispy Kreme another time, but I am glad that we were obedient. It was so inconsequential, but it helped me. 

Thursday was rather uneventful aside from district meeting. We were supposed to have a lesson at Santa Monica College, but it cancelled, so we went up to the far reaches of Hollywood instead. Not my brightest idea, since it was around 3pm and it was rush hour, but we still made it and got our 20 conversations and had a good night. 

Then on Friday was when the fun began. We had weekly planning, and then had exchanges immediately afterwards. I stayed in our area with Sister Moli and Sister Green went with Sister Abreu to their area (SIDE NOTE: I LOVE that Sister Abreu is one of our Sister Training Leaders - she is so great and I love her to death!). I really enjoyed being able to work with Sister Moli for a while, and I always do. She is so great and I feel like we have become really good friends as well as missionaries. It is awesome to serve with her. We ate at this fun old school place near their apartment and it is 50's themed. (Cafe 50's). The food was really good! Then we were able to have a new member lesson with one of our recent converts and that was that. We talked a lot during the exchange and it was definitely needed for me to have exchanges for a while. I'll also get to that later. 

Exchanges:  Sister Green, Sister Moli, Sister Abreu, and Sister Hatch

One thing that I really enjoyed from the Stake Conference Broadcast was something that Elder Renlund talked about. He told a few stories about people asking them different questions that are not quite where you want to start a gospel conversation. Things like deep doctrine. Each time his wife would talk about the restoration, and then turn the tough subject over to him. I loved his stories. He said that it is so important to establish the concept of revelation in order to understand different things that we do, such as obey the word of wisdom or law of chastity, etc. It made perfect sense to me! Of course we need to help people understand modern revelation if we expect them to grasp the things that we have been taught through modern revelation. It was a good thing for me to learn. I am definitely going to work on applying that in my teaching. 

After the broadcast we headed home. Thankfully we didn't have any issues with LA marathon traffic like I thought we would. We spent some time on 12 week and ABP after eating lunch, and then headed out the door at about 3pm. Well, as I turned to walk down the steps after locking the front door, I noticed that the front planter at Sister Olson's house was almost flooded. We went back inside and asked if she had turned the sprinklers on, to which she replied "No, why?" That's when we knew that something was wrong. We went around the back and tried to turn off the water, and I even put some normal clothes on to try and figure out what he problem was. We called Elder B, and then he called the plumber, who then called us and told us that he was on his way and would be there in 30 minutes or so. We were finally able to get the water turned off, and then we waited and waited for the plumber guy to come. 

I made the executive decision to stay and wait with Sister Olson, since she was concerned about what was going on. We sat on the front porch and tried to figure out what had happened, and then just talked. Finally Brother Lamson came and looked at everything, including a much smaller problem we had encountered in the bathroom earlier in the week. We stayed with Sister Olson and sang as she played the piano. I knew we needed to go out, but I could just tell that Sister Olson was flustered and worried about the issue. That and we didn't have any water in the house, so I couldn't get cleaned up. I wasn't really that dirty though, so then we finally headed out for real, and had a good night. We had a dinner appointment to go to last night too, so that was nice. Those have been pretty rare lately. Needless to say, I was very thankful for running water and plumbers to save our house from floating away down the street!!!

A few weeks ago or so, I mentioned about improving my studies. Well, that has also translated into improving other things - contacting, planning, STEPP talks, etc. The things we worked on in preparation for the Sisters Training really got me thinking about humility and how we show humility. I especially loved a point that Sister Weidman made about humility being more than being humble. It means submitting our will to the Father's will. That has really stuck with me throughout the week, and I have also pondered and thought a lot about all the things in the "Beware of Pride" and "Empowerment of Humility" talks that we studied too. There have been moments when something happens either out on the street or in our home and something that I read/studied pops into my mind and gets me thinking. I have tried to recognize the prideful tendencies that I have, and also try equally as hard (if not harder) to correct them and not do them anymore. It has definitely been a humbling experience and I am so thankful to be learning more about myself and how I can improve. I feel like I have been learning so much on my mission, and I just keep learning every single day. 

Welp I think that's it. We received a really cool referral while we have been emailing, and we called and set a return appointment, so that was cool! I'll have to let you know last week how it goes! Love you all!!!

Sister Hatch :)

​A few of our wonderful Senior missionaries: Elder and Sister Bielamowicz, Sister Hatch, Sister Ellis, Sister Green, Elder and Sister Hunsaker :)

Conversations and Contacts

February 8, 2016

Hey Everyone!

This week was kinda long, but still pretty good. We have been doing pretty good at getting our 20 conversations every day, and I have been trying to remember to ask for referrals and return appointments. 

After preparation day last week, the coolest thing happened! We had some people to see around the temple, so after our dinner appointment, we bundled up and headed out! We decided to walk, even though it was super cold and really windy. We didn't get our 20 for that day, but as we were walking on the street just west of the temple, we saw a guy across the street. So we crossed the street to go talk to him. He said he didn't have a lot of time because he was cooking and trying to start his laundry, so we told him that we were the missionaries from that church across the street, and he said "Oh! I've been wondering what you do in that building." We were so excited to tell him about it! We told him about the visitors' center and the church building, he asked what time church was and committed to a return appointment! We also found out that he is here from Brazil doing some sort of internship or something of that nature to improve his English. 

At the end of the conversation he told us that he hadn't had the best day, but because we talked to him, he knew God was mindful of him. It was so great! Then, fast forward to Thursday, and we met him very briefly at the Visitor's Center and showed him the Christus and the Book of Mormon in Portuguese. It was neat to hear it in a different language. Afterwards we went over to the church building and showed him the chapel and talked a little bit about the sacrament. It was really neat, and we had a member with us too! He mentioned that it is pretty hard to be away from his home, friends and family, and we testified that God knew his situation, and that He would help him. I was so excited to find this guy, especially since there weren't a lot of people around, and the ones that were, were not too nice. This was definitely a huge miracle/tender mercy from Heavenly Father, reminding us that He knows who we are and what we are doing right this very minute. He can and will help us with whatever we need Him to. 

Thursday was also a good day because we ate dinner with a member - which I feel like is becoming more rare. . .  - and they made us home-made, authentic enchiladas!!!!!!!!!! I was so happy. I haven't had those in a long time, so it was great. Then we had that cool lesson with our street contact, so all in all it was a good day. It is often the small things in life that made a big difference. :)

This Tuesday we also were also able to go help a lady who moved into the Westwood 2nd ward a few months ago. Her family has lived in that house for a long time, but it was not taken care of well, and has presented lots of challenges for this woman. All we did was paper shelves for a couple of hours, but we also listened to her talk about her struggles and her desire to have the Spirit dwell in her home. We were able to also have a lesson sort of, and that was cool. She bought us lunch afterwards and that was nice. (I felt sort of weird about it though, because we were doing service for her. . . It did provide us with left-overs for dinner though, so that was good). 

I think that's it from here. We get to have a Sisters' training tomorrow, so that should be fun. It is super hot today, so maybe the rest of the week will be too! I sort of missed it, but then again I sort of didn't. Oh well, it is still better than Winslow ;)

Love you!! Sister Lauren Hatch :)

Look what I found the other day!!!  Who knew you could find Winslow in the middle of LA ;)


Groundhog Day

February 1, 2016

Hello Family!!

So this week was pretty good. We had set several appointments to meet people, but most of them fell through. However, we were able to see a few people just from going to see them without a set appointment. We also have some appointments set for this coming week as well, so hopefully those work out and we are able to teach people!

One tender mercy that sticks out from this last week happened yesterday. On Thursday at district meeting I synced my ABP and a new progressing investigator popped up, named Gary. There was another person who showed up too, so we tried to call both of them. We didn't get an answer, so yesterday after church and dinner we decided to go find this Gary person. We found a parking spot (also a tender mercy) and found the address, but quickly realized that we only had the street number, not an apartment or unit number. We tried a few doors, and asked if they knew anyone in the YSA age range or anyone by the name of Gary. After doing that a few times, we finally found Gary! He had been meeting with the missionaries and they sent him to us. We were able to say a prayer with him and talk a little bit about how the missionaries found him, and then at the end we set a return appointment! It was really cool. Despite it being windy and really cold, we found this person and are super excited to see him this week. 

Yesterday it rained, after a lovely warmer week. Now it is sunny, but really windy and cold :( I am going to freeze next winter!!!

This is sister Green and me after P-day. It was windy and cold!!

Anyways, the only other thing I really have to say this week is that it has officially been a year since I was set apart and we headed to Utah to take me to the MTC. WEIRD! So much has happened and things still keep happening, and it is just crazy. 

I don't have much else to report for the week. . . We haven't had many member meals lately, so that's why there have been a couple of Ralph's purchases on my card. We are going to talk to Sister B about that. Life is expensive! Good grief. 

ALl is well here in the CLAM. I love you all a bunch and hope you have a great week! 

Love, Sister Lauren Hatch :)

Training, Training, Training

January 25, 2016

Hello family!!

We had transfers on Tuesday and did them a little different this time. Instead of having a big meeting with everyone who was being transferred, we had members give us rides to our new areas and companions. I said goodbye to Sister Baek at the patron apartments and headed down to the Artesia building to pick up Sister Green with a member of our ward. It worked out well and saved us miles. Score!!

Besides that the rest of our week went really well!! We were able to go out contacting each day as we were trying simultaneously to see less-actives and potentials and formers. We were able to meet lots of cool people and make sure we talk to everyone we see. 

I really enjoyed the world-wide missionary broadcast on Wednesday. They covered so much and I was trying to internalize everything and write at the same time, so some things got a bit lost in the jumble, but it was still good! I really enjoyed the fact that it was just for us and what we do as missionaries. It is great to hear general conference and such, but this one was specifically for missionaries!! That definitely made it more meaningful for me and I tried to really pay attention to what was discussed. 

On Thursday we had our trainer/ senior companion training, and I enjoyed that. You'll remember last time I trained back in June, I was SO nervous! This time I was way more calm and just took everything in. Sister Green is very sweet, so it will be a great transfer.

Friday's weekly planning went well. We went through everything and got some good work done!! We planned for a great week this week. 

We had a couple of set appointments for Saturday, but one of them fell through. For the other one we sort of just gave this guy a Book of Mormon and answered a few of the questions he asked us about. At our dinner appointment that night, we saw one of the zone leaders' investigators, because she lives next door to the member we ate dinner with. It was nice to see her for a few minutes. She just talked about how thankful she is for missionaries that help families. That was a neat experience. 

Speaking of that member, he is our ward mission leader, and we had a really good coordination meeting again this last week. We are getting the ball rolling on our ward's mission plan, and it is going to be so awesome!! We have some great members to work with, and several that have reached out to us about working with us, instead of the other way around. That makes me feel good. Hopefully it goes well. 

We had a short, but good lesson with a referral last night. She has a really good heart and we had a member come with us as well. We are going back on Wednesday, so hopefully it goes well!

My favorite tender mercy from this week happened at the end of the night last night. We couldn't find a place to park when we went to see some one from our less-actives list, and these 2 ladies that we saw helped us find a place to park! They were so sweet. One of them stayed to save the parking place, and the other one came looking for us. Originally they had said there might be a spot on the side street, so that's where we ended up parking. But while we walked back to the address, we saw them saving the spot for us. It was so kind of them and I was so thankful for them doing that to help us. There are some great people out there who are so kind, even to complete strangers. It was great. 

By the way, you telling me things about home don't really bother me much, because I read your emails and then go about the rest of the week. Having a departing missionary for a companion is hard though, because that isn't just on Mondays, but rather 24/7. They have their own trainings, temple trip and so forth, so it is harder to put it aside. But it's all good - just part of the experience. 

I think that's about all I've got this week. . . Nothing crazy to report on my end either. Love you and hope you have a great week!!

Sister Hatch 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18, 2016

Hello dear family!!

This week was pretty good. We were rather busy with different things going on, but all in all, it was good. 

This week I had my 2nd quarter (9 months or so for sisters, even though it is almost time for my 3rd quarter training) training and I really enjoyed it. Although it was really weird to think about the fact that I have already been out for that long. . . Anyways, we talked about the person we are going to be when we step off of the airplane after our missions. It was really good for me to think about what kind of person I want to be when I get home and for the rest of my life. Since my companion for the last 6 weeks is going home, I have had lots of opportunities to think about that. She set a great example for me though, and I am definitely going to do my best to follow her example when its gets to be time for me to go home. 

We have a new ward missionary and he is in charge of transportation. On Wednesday night we had an awesome coordination meeting together with our ward mission leader. We talked about what we can improve on in the ward, and what we can do to help the members and move this work forward. It was good. We have some great ideas and some things that we are going to put into practice right now, not just over the whole year. I am really excited to do some new and different things and see how it helps the ward grow. There is certainly a lot of potential, and we are going to channel that into wonderful new things!! It will be lovely. 

On Thursday we had our normal district meeting and all of those things. Then we went out to see some people before going to dinner. We had planned to meet our recent convert to eat dinner with her and then go do some work in the family history library - things like create an account for her and prepare to go to the temple - then do some other things before the end of the day. But she ended up getting to the temple earlier than expected, so we went early too, and had her out contacting with us!!! It was really great. Sometimes she is very nervous and doesn't like talking to people, so we weren't sure how she would respond when we asked her, but she said "Yes!" and off we went. We went out and had about 30 conversations by the end of the night!!! It was so neat to see how she wanted to come with us and share the gospel. She did a great job at saying hello to people, and we were able to talk a lot with her about missionary work at the same time. I really enjoyed it, and I think she did too. 

Friday was the first of 2 mini-exchanges that I went on this week. I went to Hollywood with Sister Moli and went to their district meeting as well. It was cool to be in another area and see different people. I always enjoy being with Sister Moli - she is a good missionary. We went out contacting after lunch while we were waiting for our companions, and we had several conversations with people, so it was good. Then on Saturday I went to Lawndale with Sister Roy while our companions were at a baptism in Palos Verdes. It was also good to be with Sister Roy for a while. That area is VERY different than the area I am serving in right now, and it is so small! The conversations are not as rushed, and the people are much nicer down away from the city. I also enjoyed breathing fresher air for a while. It is much less crowded down there and not as populated. It was a nice change of scenery. 

Last night we got transfer calls, and I have been called to be a trainer again!! This time I am not nearly as nervous or worried as I was last time. I am more calm and confident in my abilities, that's for sure. It should be interesting to train a new missionary, especially what with all of the changes and things that have happened in the mission recently. It will be a great learning experience, I'm sure. 

The changes I am referring to are that we don't have transfer meeting anymore, and we don't have departing missionary firesides anymore, and the area book planner, and yeah. 

The other night, Sister Baek made a comment that really struck me. She said that I was trunky! I was a bit offended at first, honestly. But then after I got thinking about it, I realized that it is true! (The guilty taketh the truth to be hard!) Having her as a companion and departing missionary brought up plenty of thoughts about home. I am so jealous that she gets to go home and sleep and not have such a demanding schedule, and the list goes on. She is jealous of me because I get to stay here for another 7 months! It is silly really. But I did think a lot about what I think about and not missing things about home to much. The 2nd quarter training helped a lot too. I enjoy my mission a lot more now than I did a while ago, but I do find myself wishing that I could be at home so that I can eat in the car, or sleep in, or whatever. It takes a minute for my brain to kick in and realize that I am supposed to be here and that I am doing what Heavenly Father wants me to. But things are good, and I am working on not being trunky. HAHAHAHAHA!! #thestruggleisreal! 

There are lots of good things in store for this transfer. It will be a wonderful time to be a missionary, there's no doubt about it! Thank you for your love, prayers and support!!

Have a great week!! 

Love, Sister Hatch :)

The sunset as we left the mission office last week :)

This is Sister Baek's first trip to In'n'Out :)

This is Erin, Pisey, me, Sister Baek and Sister Escobar after church yesterday.

We all know how impatient I am, and this is us with our wrappers, after we ate them! #IMPATIENT :D (We get snickers if we get a 10 on our car inspections at zone conference.)