Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sister Training Leader

April 18, 2016

Hi family!!!

It sounds like this summer is going to be full of adventures for us all because we got our transfer calls, aaaaaaaannnnnnnddddd I am going to be leaving to Lawndale to serve as a Sister Training Leader!!!!!!!!!!!!

But first let me tell you a couple of other things:

On Monday night we had a long awaited and much anticipated miracle happen! When I first came to this area there was a girl leaving on a mission to Minnesota. That was way back in November. Then another girl in our ward took her spot in the apartment she had been living in. Well, the girl she shared a room with is not a member of the church, the only non-member in the apartment. So for a few months we have been hearing about how we really need to teach Audrey, "you should meet with Audrey sometime", and so forth. We got all excited because these people telling us this were excited, but it just never happened. It made me rather frustrated. BUT then last week Liz (Audrey's roommate) signed up for dinner and said that we could do a lesson with Audrey afterwards!!! I was super excited. 

So Monday comes and after preparation day was over we had a lesson with Oscar at the Visitors' Center, and then walked down to their apartment (they live right by the temple - it's awesome). It worked out perfectly because they got home late from some audition and were still cooking, and then we were a little bit late getting there. So we ate some yummy spaghetti and salad, and ate cookies fresh out of the oven as we talked with Audrey about the Restoration. It was so great!! She had a lot of questions, because her dad is a Baptist pastor, but it was good! She almost always comes to church, so thankfully that and her good Mormon friends and roommates have softened her heart to our message. Hopefully the sisters can continue to help her learn the gospel!!

Then yesterday the guy who accepted the invitation to be baptized was able to make it to church!! He couldn't last week because he got a flat tire - darn Satan! But this week he came and our members did a really great job fellowshipping him and making sure he knew where to go and all that stuff. After church we were able to take him to the Visitors' Center for a little while and show him the Christus statue, the Special Witnesses and the Book of Mormon pods. We set a return appointment for this coming Friday, so I'll have to ask the sisters what ends up happening. 

Anyways, about being a Sister Training Leader. Remember back in October when I was still in Torrance with Sister Wehrhahn?? Well, she got a call from President Weidman in the afternoon after church the day we would be getting our transfer calls and he asked her to be a STL. So yesterday when President called right as church was starting, that's when I knew. Last night the Zone Leaders called and told us that I would be going to Lawndale with Sister Perez, and that Sister Green would be staying with Sister Okuhara, from Japan. I am somewhat nervous about leaving all of this to them, but I know that Heavenly Father always gets His work done, no matter who He is working with. It will all be fine. And I am excited for the adventures of being a STL!

It has been good to serve in this area.  I have been privileged to witness many miracles and countless tender mercies. Emily, Erin and Saray got baptized, and I feel like we are able to work better with the ward than when I first got here. I am so thankful for the things I have learned and the people I have met. They will always have a special place in my heart.

At the same time, I am also looking forward to the new things that lie ahead. I don't know how I'll handle the responsibilities of being a STL, and who knows how much I'll be able to help the other sisters, but I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn and grow and become better. I have been praying and telling Heavenly Father that I'll do whatever He asks of me. Looks like this is what he needs me to do right now. It is surely going to be a wonderful experience. 

I think that's about it for this week. I hope you all get time figured out and then get along :) Love you!!

Sister Hatch :)

Short and Sweet

April 11, 2016

Hey everyone, 

This email is going to be pretty short, but I sent out a few letters and specifically in the one to Reed you'll read (pun totally intended) about why. 

Anyways we had a good week. Nothing miraculous happened. Fast and testimony meeting was good, and I got up and shared my testimony. We have been working with Oscar still (he's the one who we taught with President and Sister Weidman. He has been working really hard to overcome his addiction and his depression, and we had a really good lesson with him yesterday after church. It will take some time, but he said he wants to work towards baptism. 

Besides that I am enduring to the end of this transfer. I am really glad transfers are next week - on Heather's birthday by the way. I don't care if I stay or go. That being said, I'll do whatever Heavenly Father needs me to do. 

I love you all a bunch and hope you are doing well!

Love, Sister Hatch 

This is what happens when your dinner appt. falls through, it's been
raining, and it's already 7:30pm - Little Caesars pizza in the laundry
mat next door = this is how we do it in LA. 

All thanks to our awesome Ward missionary Mark. 

General Conference Report

April 4, 2016


This week was good! And Conference was so good!!!!! So let me tell you all about it :)

All week I wasn't really feeling all that great (physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually), but I knew that we needed to go out and work, so that's what we did. As the week went on, I was feeling really not great. So then Thursday came around and we had Zone Training Meeting. It was a really great meeting, and we talked about getting back to the fundamentals of the gospel and missionary work. We read part of President Uchtdorf's talk from October 2015 General Conference and had a really good discussion about things that weigh us down or cause us to lose the love we have for missionary work. It was helpful and insightful for me to remember that missionary work is a joyful work. I sometimes tend to put more pressure on myself than is necessary, and it was really good to remember that Heavenly Father just wants me to keep moving forward, not do everything perfectly all the time. It was a very timely reminder for me that this life is about progress, not perfection. And what with preparing for miracle week, it was just what I needed. 

Elders - Low, Wassum, not sure, Griffin, Solano, Laudermilch, Barker, Bair.
Middle row Sisters - Hirst, Lopez, Bergeson, Abreu, Steed, Craven
Bottom row Sisters- Smith, Castillo, Green, Hatch

General Conference was so good!! I really enjoyed watching and listening to our church leaders and their inspired counsel. This was my 3rd and final conference in the mission, and I definitely think it was perfect for the point I am at right now. I especially enjoyed Elder Holland's talk at the end about how tomorrow will always come, no matter how much we wish it won't. That is exactly how I felt this morning when our alarm went off. But then Sister Green reminded me about that talk yesterday, and it helped me to have a little bit better of an attitude about embracing the day.

Last Sunday our ward mission leader, Angel, told us about this really cool guy who had shown up to his home ward that morning, and that we need to baptize him. So we of course were excited. Then we got his info through the referral system on ABP the next day. We called him up and set an appointment for the next day, which ended up falling through. So after Conference was done for us on Saturday, we went to try and contact him. We couldn't get into his building, but we did call him on the phone and he said he would come to conference! AND HE DID! And now he is our newest investigator, and in the tender mercy a little later in this email, I'll tell you another miracle about him. :)

Also on Saturday, we went out in between sessions to contact another person, who wasn't home and didn't answer the phone. We decided to stay and work in that area anyway. We were walking back to the car, and met a lady from Africa (I think, that's what her accent sounded like anyway) who asked us if Jesus was going to come again. We said "Yes!" and she said, "Well he needs to come NOW because this world is awfully wicked!" or something to that effect. We took that right into living prophets to help us prepare for the second coming, and that they were speaking to us today! So we wrote down the address for her and the times, and then when we got to the stake center for the afternoon session, there she was to watch! She told us she loved it! We hadn't gotten her info, so yesterday in between sessions we went to the house we initially found her at, and the lady there gave us her phone number. Now we'll have to call her up and see if we can send the missionaries to go visit her. It was awesome!!

A cool thing happened during Conference weekend for me personally. Elder Hales' talked about the Holy Ghost, and that has been a topic that gets me thinking a lot. I have struggled to recognize the promptings or impressions from the Holy Ghost throughout my life, and that has been a rather large stumbling block for me at times, especially as a missionary. But yesterday I think I was starting to realize that I do know how the Spirit works with me, even though I might not immediately recognize it as such. For example: After the last session of General Conference, we had a lesson with Will, the guy who came to both of the Sunday sessions. We did some simple "how-to-begin-teaching", and I kept thinking I should mention that we will invite him to be baptized. So I did. Then a few minutes later I had a thought that I should invite him to be baptized, so I did! AND HE SAID "YES, OF COURSE!!" That was so cool!!! I just had this really good, really happy feeling inside, and it was at that moment that I thought to myself, "I listened to the Spirit!!!" That was a tender mercy all of its own, being able to recognize the Holy Ghost. Then combined with Will committing to be baptized was another huge tender mercy! 

That's about it for this week. . . . I can't believe it's already April - time just keeps plugging away. But this week is going to be good, and I'll tell you about it next week!

Sister Hatch 

Sister Green and Sister Hatch on a very sunny day at the LA stake center

Happy Easter!

March 28, 2016

Hey there!

Apparently it is already Monday again, and apparently it is also going to be April in a few days. . . . I don't know how I feel about that, but here's the rundown of our week!

First of all, Saray went to do baptisms with our ward on Tuesday!!!!!! That was the cherry on top of this whole amazing experience teaching her and helping her to be baptized. It makes me so happy to see her walk in to church and just mesh right in with the ward. She has blended very well with everyone, and has a few special friends as well. She is going to be an incredible asset to the Lord's kingdom here on the earth. I am so privileged to be part of her journey. Teaching her and helping her learn this gospel has been one of the most joyous things of my whole mission. She is so great to be around and I love the way she has totally and completely embraced everything about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I still don't even have the right words to describe how much I love and admire her. It is going to be so great to be with her on her journey throughout this life and on into the next. I love it!!

I am so thankful for the temple in our mission!!!!!!! We were blessed to have the opportunity to attend the temple ourselves this last week on Thursday. It was much needed and I really enjoyed it. We had some time to just think and be quiet before even going upstairs, and it was nice to be still and alone with my thoughts, despite the fact that we were sitting by several other sister missionaries. When the time comes for us to go to the temple again, it is always just in time. Like how General conference is just in time, or how Sunday is just in time, etc. Temple day never comes a moment too late, nor a moment too soon for me. What a blessing it is to be able to serve there.

This is a picture of us at the temple trying to keep our eyes open even though it was very bright when we walked out of the temple. 

On Friday, we had exchanges, and boy this exchange was also just in time. I went to Sister Moli's area with her, and Sister Heller came to our area with Sister Green. I'm not going to lie, it was really nice to give over the keys and just walk away for a while. Me and Sister Moli spent a lot of time talking to each other. Just having a normal conversation was comforting to me in so many ways. I have come to love and respect Sister Moli so much, and it was really a great experience to have exchanges with her this weekend. She helped me a ton and I think I was able to help her a bit too. We also made plans to have a really great road trip at the end of September. It is going to be a blast! 

Later that day after exchanging back with our normal companions we were able to watch the Women's Broadcast, and it was so good!! I definitely got the message that Heavenly Father intended just for me, and I am going to work hard on doing what I felt that I needed to do. I am definitely looking forward to General Conference this week!

Lately I have been pretty hard on myself (or self-critical) of things that I have forgotten to do, things I wanted to do differently, or things that I have felt I need to do better at. I'm pretty sure that is what prompted Sister Moli to tell me not to be so hard on myself. Unfortunately that is easier said than done, but I'm working on it. I expressed these things to her in a little more detail, but that was only from different situations that happened during the week. Life goes on though. 

Yesterday our ward had an "open house" of sorts. We had a normal Sacrament Meeting, with all of the talks and musical numbers centered on Jesus Christ and the Atonement/resurrection. There were several non-members there, and we had the opportunity to talk to many of them. We didn't set any return appointments at that time, but we are going to follow up with them during the week to talk about it a bit more. After Sacrament Meeting we had a brief Sunday School lesson that built off of the things covered in the previous meeting. It was really good. 

Our bishop mentioned that the account of the apostles returning to the empty tomb records the fact that the Savior's burial clothes were neatly folded and lain in their proper place. I hadn't really paid much attention to that detail, but then Bishop said that the Savior of the whole entire world, who had just overcome sin and death - and so much more - for all mankind, took the time upon reuniting his spirit with his body to fold the clothes that he had been buried in. I have never thought of it in that way. Heavenly Father and the Savior are more concerned with the much bigger, eternal picture. But they send us little details each and every day that remind us that they are there for us and that they have not forgotten us. We call those details "tender mercies" and oh how I am thankful for those! I have determined to write more of these things down in my little notebook that I always carry in my bag. I do pretty well at recognizing the Lord's hand in my life through tender mercies, but I don't do very well at writing them down. 

I am so thankful for a God who knows each and every detail about me, Sister Hatch, and who knows perfectly what I need in my life today and every day to press forward with faith. I have had such happiness come from reviewing past tender mercies that I have written down, and I can't wait to be able one day to think of all the miracles Heavenly Father has wrought in my life as a missionary. This experience in and of itself was a tender mercy and also personal revelation for myself in my time of need. As a result I am going to try to pay attention to being specific in my prayers, both for the blessings I have received and the help or guidance I need. 

I think that's it for this week! I love you all and hope you have a great week this week. 

Love, Sister Hatch :)

Weapons of Rebellion

March 21, 2016

Hey Family!!

On Monday night we were able to have a lesson with President and Sister Weidman. We took our investigator Oscar. He has had a pretty serious addiction and is working on overcoming that. He also has some depression and anxiety issues, from what I understand. We talked about obedience and the Word of Wisdom. Oscar really wants to change his life, and he has been participating in the ward's activities and things. He must have had a depression spell or anxiety or something, because on Saturday night we stopped by and he said he wasn't able to see anyone right then. We texted him afterwards and he replied saying he isn't going to be okay for a while. We were able to share a scripture with his parents and leave them a Spanish #Hallelujah card, so hopefully that brought some peace. 

By the way, I love the new Easter Initiative, #Hallelujah. It is really good- you should watch it! And the world's largest hallelujah chorus is neat too. They are on followHim.mormon.org.

The rest of our week went really well. It was pretty hot, and that was hard, but otherwise we were alright. We had some really great member meals this week, and one member gave away a Book of Mormon to her friend, and invited another friend to our Easter open house this coming Sunday. It should be good! 

Thursday we had a good weekly planning, and a productive companionship inventory. We had dinner with a couple of members, but there was traffic so they were late getting home and starting dinner. (Cool tender mercy: we got to their neighborhood right when they told us they would be late, so we got out to talk to people. We went down the street and met a lady and her little boy who had met with missionaries a few months ago, but stopped because of transfers and all that jazz. She has the gospel library app, but asked us if we could give her a hard copy of a Spanish Book of Mormon. So we took her info down and now have a great referral for the Spanish missionaries in that area. And we made it back right when the members did - it worked out great!). We helped with dinner, scarfed it down real quick, and headed out to a transition lesson with those members. We had an interesting lesson with a guy who is super excited about the prospect of girls in a singles ward (>.<) 

Moving speedily forward, President Weidman was with us at zone conference on Friday. I really enjoyed this zone conference! We talked about burying our "weapons of rebellion" and focusing on what we are already doing well. It was different than normal and I felt that I was able to internalize the things that I can work on and improve in a different way. I also felt that the atmosphere was overall one of building on the good foundation we have started and continuing to improve little by little, so it felt somewhat empowering as opposed to bringing to mind all the things I do wrong. That tends to happen, as you are aware, what with me being quite self critical and all. So I enjoyed that. 

In doing a study beforehand to prepare for zone conference, I really was impressed with the people in the scriptures we read, and how quickly they accepted the gospel. They didn't turn back or just bury their weapons within a shovel's length beneath the ground. One of the talks in church yesterday was about not looking back, but looking forward and seeking to improve- the story of Lot's wife. That was good to hear following our zone conference, because it got me thinking that those people buried their weapons of war and then DID NOT LOOK BACK. I also appreciated the comment that was made, by President, about how long it took to dig a hole that was big enough and deep enough to qualify as "deep within the earth". It doesn't happen over night, even if you stay up all night with a shovel or a backhoe or what have you. Even with all the tools given to us, it will still be a process. Furthermore, if it is a particularly "potent" (for lack of a better term) weapon, then it will take even longer to bury it sufficiently deep. But the promise is always there, that Jesus is here to be our helper in burying our weapons and moving forward. 

Throughout my mission I have been burying different weapons of rebellion and have seen the changes that have come from my efforts to do so. It is quite the process, but I appreciated your comments about the things you recognized about the changes I have made and the better person I am becoming. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to work especially hard on patience and diligence moving forward. Not just patience with my companion, an investigator or those sorts of things, but the kind of patience that it takes to wait for God's timing, blessings and guidance in my life. There are still plenty of things that I need to bury, and I am so thankful that Heavenly Father has given me this time to work on them.

Another cool thing about zone conference was the new app we got to download - the 7 minute work out app!!! It is so good!! We all got up on Saturday morning and did a work out, and Sister Olson walked in during the middle of it and started laughing at us. But we did it again this morning and it kicked my bootie! I've been trying to do better at exercising, so this will definitely help!

We had a mini-missionary this weekend! She was only with us for a day, because of a scholarship trip she was going on. But it was so fun! She is super sweet and we had a good time. 

Sister Soriano, Sister Green and Sister Hatch

So that's what's been up in my life this week. I am struggling to grasp that it is already towards the end of March!! Yikes time is moving quick!! But things are good and I am doing well. I appreciated your comments on how I looked in the pictures at Saray's baptism. It was so great, I can't even tell you. She's already got a calling too! ;) I love her a lot and she is amazing! Anyways, I hope you enjoy the last week of the spring break!! Love you! 

Sister Hatch :)

D&C 18

March 14, 2016

This week was really busy, but really good! We were able to get everything ready to go for Saray's baptism, meet with a really great referral from the Visitors' Center, have exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders and more. It sure went by quick!

This weekend was Saray's baptism and it was AMAZING!!! Everything was perfect, and I am so glad we were able to be there. We were not able to meet with Saray face to face each day, but we did have some sort of contact with her during the week, so I wasn't worried about anything once Saturday came around. We showed up to the church, the font was being filled, and we were having a baptism! There was some minor stress involved, but over little insignificant details. She had gone out and bought a super cute white dress and white heels, and she looked beautiful. Once she changed into her jumpsuit, she kept the heels on and we kept laughing about it. She pulled it off though. 

Sister Green, Saray, and Sister Hatch

She had a couple of the ladies from Newport Beach come and give the talks, and they were so sweet! I was really impressed with how well they did fellowshipping her and helping her in whatever way they could. And they came up to LA just for her baptism. Anyway, she had to be dunked twice, because her friend that baptized her didn't quite get the words to the prayer right. However, he paused before he said the prayer and you could tell how special that moment was for him. Come to find out, that was his first time baptizing someone. He was asked to bear his testimony after the baptism, which I thought that was really neat. He is the one that originally brought her to church too, so it was perfect. 

Saray's friend who introduced her to the Church and baptized her, Saray, 
Sister Green, and Sister Hatch

After her baptism a couple of people from the ward wrote a song inspired by her story, and they sang it as a special musical number. It was soooooooo GOOD! They prefaced it with the scripture of the Prodigal son coming home to his father and the joy they shared in that moment. Her testimony at her baptism was fantastic and very heartfelt. You could tell that she had a sure witness from the Holy Ghost and knew the truthfulness of the gospel. Everything about this baptism was just right for Saray and it was a very happy day. I loved every minute of it. She just blows me away and makes me speechless.

 Saray (center, holding the baby)
Sister Hatch and Sister Green bottom right

Then yesterday she was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting. She called us about 30 minutes before church started, and she told us she was going to be late. Normally that would worry me, but at that point I knew that nothing would stop her being confirmed. She showed up right as we sang the opening song, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost without any problems. Now she is officially a member of the church!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She looked beautiful and I can't wait to see what Heavenly Father is able to accomplish with her and through her. 

As I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, I couldn't help but feel so happy and content. We were sitting next to our new investigator and his member friend who gave him a ride on one side, then a less-active girl on the other. One recent convert was right behind us, the other a couple rows in front of us, and Saray also a couple rows up. Then after the meeting Bishop told us that another less-active guy was sitting just behind us, and he is one that many people have been trying to have come to church for a long time. He came to Family Home Evening last Monday as well. I was happy that our people came to church, especially our recent converts, without any help from us. I just don't quite know the right words for the way I was feeling, but it was really great. 

That goes for Saray's baptism as well. The Spirit was definitely present during that baptismal service, and I know everyone could feel it. I had the biggest cheesiest grin on my face, and I'm not even embarrassed about that. It puts a little smile on my face just to think about it. Saray's baptism was a huge tender mercy and miracle that I am so thankful and humbled to be a part of. My joy was so great, just like it talks about in D&C 18, hence the subject line. 'Nuf said.

I received my letters from the last 3 weeks this last Saturday (Things have been pretty busy lately). I was very thankful for Courtney and Dad's comment about how my emails have changed over the course of my mission. I have found myself thinking about how different I am now than I was when I came out. It makes me feel good knowing that I have been able to be broken down and built back up again. We'll have to see how the finished product comes out in August ;)

Love you!! Sister Hatch :)

P.S. You should look up Gladys Knight and the SUV choir. They are coming to our mission in April, and it is going to be good! I don't know if we are allowed to go or not though :/ It's still cool though.