Sunday, March 20, 2016

Golden Contact

February 22, 2016

Hello everyone!!

I should start by telling you that this email is really long, so get comfortable, because if you read the whole thing, it's gonna take a while. 

This week was really good! We started by going out after P-day was over to have a lesson with someone that we met on the street. They weren't home when we went, but we stayed around the UCLA campus to contact for a while, since we still needed our 20 conversations. We met lots of different people, and several of them recognized that we were Mormons. There were also a few who mentioned that they had friends who either were serving, or had recently returned from serving missions. I thought that was pretty neat. Also, while we were emailing last week, some of the sisters in our district from the Visitors' Center called us and gave us a really cool referral! We set an appointment for Thursday, and I'll talk about that down a little ways. 

Then on Tuesday, we started the day by going up to the northern-most boundary/border of our area: Mulholland Drive. That was a neat thing to do. We went to contact a new person who showed up on our ward list. We drove up through Beverly Hills and probably part of Bel-Air as well. We reached the top of the road, and saw a neat view of the valley. Then came the trick of finding the address we were looking for. Thankfully, there were several large mailboxes with the house numbers on the side, and we got in the gate to find the person we were looking for. The first 2 people who came to the door were acting kinda funny, and then the girl we were trying to find came and informed us that the house was her boss's house. So I don't know if we just happened to walk into some famous person's house or not, but we did find the girl, and we are going to figure out a time to meet with her! 

***SIDE NOTE*** The ride in California Adventures that was formerly known as Mulholland Madness was very accurately named. That road is like the Payson road and the road in Colorado (The one to Silverton, I think? Whichever one I drove when I just had my permit that was on the edge of a mountain and narrow). It was a cool drive, but it kinda made me feel a little woozy. Just like the ride! Hahahahaha. 

Anyways, from there we headed down to Hollywood and tried to visit some people before going to our dinner appointment. The girl we ate with is a singer/songwriter, and she is quite possibly the sweetest person I have ever met! She also has a really great testimony of the gospel, and the work that missionaries do. Her younger brother is currently serving in Ukraine, and the whole time she asked us a bunch of questions about how she can be a good missionary sister. I thought it was so neat. She took the time to have us over for a delicious dinner the night before she flew out of town, and was doing the best she could to be a good missionary sister, and a good missionary in general. It was really neat. She was one of the first people I met in this ward, so it was also fun to get to know her better. 

On Wednesday, we had interviews with President and Sister Weidman. We ate lunch at the stake center after our interview, then headed out. As we were driving to where we were going to be for the day, it started to rain! The rest of the day was really good though, despite the rain. We were able to go downtown and have 31 conversations. That was a huge tender mercy, because the last time it rained, we struggled to get our conversations. Then we had coordination with one of our ward missionaries (Our Ward Mission Leader couldn't make it) and then ate dinner with him and a couple of girls from the ward as well. During our meeting, the power went out, so we had quite an interesting time figuring lights out. Thankfully the apartment had a gas stove, so the girls were still able to cook. We were a little concerned about Sister Olson, but her friend came while we were gone, so it all worked out. 

We were privileged to be able to do service at the temple for a few hours before going to District Meeting. It was good. We matched and folded socks for almost the whole time. Then we headed off to district meeting and had a good meeting. Our training was about "Turning Investigators Over to the Lord" (the term we try to use instead of using "drop") and we might need to do that with an investigator that the Hollywood elders sent us. It was a timely training, to say the least.

My FAVORITE thing happened on Thursday night. We had a dinner appointment, and a lesson scheduled with a referral for later that night. I made sure to plan for enough travel time, since the appointment was across town, and our dinner was just south of the temple. Well, we made it to dinner earlier than planned, so we went out to contact for a little while before we ate. But then we got to talk to so many people, and we were just a little late to dinner. Then we left dinner on time, but there was AWFUL traffic and it took forever to get to the appointment. Thankfully the investigator was late leaving work, so she had only been home for about 10 minutes by the time we made it there and found a place to park. 

We had a fantastic lesson and found out that this person had been reading in the Book of Mormon, had read lesson 4 in Preach My Gospel, and wanted to get baptized!! One of the members of our ward brought her to church last summer and she loved it, but she was super busy at that time, so she didn't get into it. After releasing a documentary and completing an Iron Man Triathlon, she was finally able to put some more time into the whole church thing. One Sunday she was driving home from San Diego and had a thought that she should go to church. So she found the closest one in New Port Beach, (that's where she was on her way home) and that's where she went! She has been going there since mid-December. Yesterday she went there for a missionary's homecoming, since his mom was one of the first people she met in that ward. And she invited them to come to her baptism in March!!! SHE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being able to teach her is a huge tender mercy. I think that is definitely a timely miracle from Heavenly Father just for us, and especially me. We took her to the Visitors' Center for a fireside with Jenna Kim Jones (Narrator/host of Meet the Mormons), and she loved it. 

Then this morning she texted us and told us that she finished reading the Restoration Pamphlet, and the Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and that she knew it was true!!! She quoted the part from Joseph Smith that says "They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of Godliness, but they deny the power thereof." That was her experience, and her text said something about this living inside her, and that it was so good to reconnect. In her own words "This is something that rings so true to me and the reason why I left the other church." It was quite possibly the best text message I have ever received in my whole life. Tomorrow we have an appointment with her, and we are going to bring our recent convert, Emily, with us for the lesson. It is going to be wonderful! I am so excited! She said that she was thankful for us being a part of this journey, and I am so thankful too!

That's about it from the week. Saturday we had a good day, although I was having some serious allergy issues. (They hit me like the brick hits Marv or Harry in "Home Alone" - lol).  Sunday was good and we had the fireside and a good lesson about emergency preparedness. Now we are getting ready for another great week!!

I think that's about it! Plumbing issues are under control, and we are doing alright. Life's good! Have a good week! Thank you for all that you always have done and continue to do for me! I love you! 

Sister Hatch :)

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