Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't Worry Bout Me

Alright you all seemed pretty stressed that I didn't email yesterday. Ya, the church email service was down ,but I am sure you will be happy to see that you received this letter as you were at the cabin. That will be fun. You can all read it together!

Ya, so I wasn't going to be able to email until tonight, but we got to Rome early today. (It is zone conference) and so we found an internet point and checked if the email was working. It was, so here we are writing our families and such.

Well a few details about living arrangements. Our apartment is old and dirty. We do our best to clean it but it still looks dirty afterwords, so that is sad. But we are only there like 3 hours during the day and to sleep so that is good.

My companion is great. He is from Long Beach Cali and a surfer dude. He is a basketball player too. He is good. We did some finding work playing basketball, beat a few Italians a couple of times and then got their numbers. So that was real fun.

We have three investigators that will probably be baptized this transfer. One for sure at the end of August, and then the two others we are just waiting to set a baptismal date. What a great blessing it will be to be able to baptize in my first transfer. That will be great. I guess we are in a great area. My companion said last transfer, he and his companion baptized four people, so that is awesome.

The ward here is thriving and there are some good members. There is one that has been inactive for 5 years and then he came back to church like 2 months ago and set his life straight. He has a really strong testimony now and he has been the cause of 6 baptisms through referrals and introducing his friends to the missionaries. We are currently working with one of his referrals right now.

It sounds like you all will be having a great time up at the cabin. Oh ya, sorry again for no pictures. We weren't expecting to be able to email right now, so I forgot my card again. I remembered it yesterday, but the server was down, so that is just life.

One of the great things here, foodwise, are the tomatoes. I love fresh tomatoes and they are in abundance here. Every meal with members we have tomatoes and it is so good.

A secret for cooking pasta. Adding salt to the boiling water makes the pasta taste so much better. And a simple sauce is to just take tomatoes and cook them in a frying pan with a little olive oil, basil, and a little bit of tomato sauce. Then when the tomatoes get a little soft from cooking them, then smash them. Then when you pasta is ready, just dump the tomatoes and sauce right on. This is something I never saw in America. And it is delicious. You should all try it. Then I will help you perfect it in two years.

So give Alex my condolences with his broken leg. That stinks. Sounds like there was a good time to be had at the reunion.

I love Italy, but there is no grass here. Green grass is a rarity. Their parks look like they once had green grass, but then decided they didn't want to take care of it. So it is all dried up and weedy. I hear that is normal for Italy though. Very few things they keep watered. Which brings me to my next point of amazement. They don't have green grass, but every tree and bush is green and thriving. Rarely do you see a dead tree. So things are still pretty green here.

So last Sunday, we got a ride home from church from a less active, and boy was that an amazing ride. First off let me tell you that it takes an hour and a half to get to our church building which is in Rome. We have to take the metro system to get there and then walk about 10-15 minutes. But by car it only takes twenty minutes cause you drive stright there. By metro you have to take three different lines to put us close to where we need to go. And no, we couldn't just walk there. It is pretty far. But the way Italians drive it only takes 20 minutes. But the way Simone (less active member) drives we got back home in 10 minutes. It was the craziest, fastest drive of my life. We were weaving through cars and around cars going 160-185 kmh. My companion said we touched a hundred mph a couple of times. So that was an adventurous ride.

Well, that about sums up the highlights of this last week, and I need to get going. I promise pictures next time. I love you all and you are in my prayers. I hope you all keep doing as well as you are doing. Pray for the people here in Italy. They need it.

Anziano Hatch

Monday, July 20, 2009


President and Sister Acerson with Elder Hatch

Elder Tuttle and Elder Hatch headed to Ostia

July 2009 group with trainers

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Safe Arrival of Your Missionary

Dear Parents,

I know this is a tender time for you. I know because we had our son enter the MTC on the day your missionaries arrived here. He is the third of our children now serving missions simultaneously. So this group will be particularly memorable to us!

We are so grateful for your family's sacrifice so that they could come and serve the Lord and the good people here in Italy. We are impressed with each of them and know they will do good work.
After we picked them up at the airport (right on time with no luggage lost!), they went to see a little of Rome, had a good dinner, went down the street for gelato, had their first interview with President Acerson, and got a good night's sleep. On Thursday, they had training, saw the temple site, then had lunch with the trainers. After a little more training, they were matched up with their new companions and found out which city they were serving in first and are settled in there.

We always like to send pictures. Here is a group picture that will hang on our refrigerator with all the other missionaries for the next two years.

We have also included some mailing instructions that will help you keep in touch with your missionary. Individual pictures will follow a bit later. (We left the house immediately after transfers yesterday and will leave the house again now after only being here for an hour or so.) I know you will enjoy seeing them with their new companion and President Acerson and I. You should receive them sometime Monday morning.

Thank you again for your support and prayers on their behalf.

Sister Acerson

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rome It Is

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well I have arrived here safely in Rome. It was a great trip. Long and kinda uncomfortable but good. We were flying over Italy and I could see all the old cities and new cities that are built around the old cities. It has been a pretty long day.

We got here and our bags came and that made me happier than anything. Then we went out and met the Mission President and his wife and the two assistants. They then took us to the Basilica of Saint Paul or Saint Paul at the Gate I guess it is called. We ate at a pizzaria outside there and it was delicious. Then to keep us awake they had us walk around Rome and see some of the sites. We went inside the Basilica of Paul and it was amazingly huge! It was amazing and dark and dreary as usual. Then we hopped on a train and went to the Colosseum. That was really neat. Then we walked to the famous fountain. I can't remember what it was called, but it is the big white one. And we saw that big white building with all of the statues and everything, but you probably have no idea what I am talking about so that is ok.

I don't get a companion till tomorrow. So we are here at the Mission Home which is a three story Italian home. It is nice. Sister Acerson made us dinner and then we had some interviews with President Acerson. Tomorrow we have training and then tomorrow afternoon we will get assigned a city and our trainer. I can't wait. I got to go.

Love you all,
Anziano Hatch

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flight Plans!!!!!!!!!!!

This week we got our flight plans! They are as follows:

We leave here at 4:00AM Tuesday 14th. (One week from today!)
We leave the Salt Lake Airport at 7:10AM
Arrive at Chicago O'Hare at 11:13AM
Leave O'Hare at 5:25PM :(
Arrive in London Heathrow at 7:05AM 15th of July
Leave Heathrow at 9:15AM
Arrive in Rome at 12:40PM 15 of July!

I am so excited, except for our almost 6 hour layover in Chicago, but oh well. I mean, I am going to Rome right?! Man I am so excited to leave this place. We have been speaking a lot of Italian and yesterday was our last practice teaching day. Although we are doing some progressing investigators with our teachers. (Our teachers are the investigators acting as investigators they had on their mission.) So that is fun.

On to the next most exciting thing for me. I would like to congragulate (butchered that word) Justin and Ashley on twin girls! Wow, I didn't think I would see the day when I would have nieces. I guess I still won't. haha But you all get the point. That is awesome. I got that letter from Justin yesterday.

Also, I have missed a lot of birthdays and such. So I think Dad, Justin, Kim, and Jalayne coming up here in a couple weeks. To all Happy Birthday! And to Dad happy belated Father's Day! Father's Day really took me by surprise. We were sitting in sacrament meeting and our branch president announced that it was Father's Day and I was like "since when?" (not out loud of course). And then I forgot for a couple of weeks obviously. So Happy Father's Day POP!

On Saturday night, we got to stay out late and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks. I must say that I doubted that IF had the best firework show, but after seeing Stadium of Fire, IF does have the best firework show. It is really well done and a ton more fireworks. So that was fun to do as the 4th if one of my favorite days. Just a great day to have fun with.

Next on the list, I got a letter from Logan. That was pretty awesome. He sent a couple of pictures which was awesome. One was of his first baptism. So I am proud of the man.

A couple of other things about me shipping out of this place. 1. I'll be sending a package home of stuff I don't need and stuff that I want to keep but not take to Italy. There isn't a ton but enough that it would be a burden in the suitcase. 2. Mother if you could check my debit card and make sure that there is plenty of money on that that would be great. 3. If you are going to write a letter for this week, write it on Dear Elder so I am sure that I get it before I leave. Then once I am in Italy you all can email me and I'll write the family at least and maybe a short newsletter to anyone else what wants to hear from me every once in awhile. 4. Julie, I would like Sam Storm's address so if you could get to work on that and get that to me this week that would be fantastic. Just call Allyson or something. You are creative and I know you will be able to come up with something.

Alright, a little personal revelation for me this week. Last Thursday night, I had, for the fourth time, a dream where I was back from my mission and everyone was asking me about it. All I could do was say "...I don't know how it went...I can't remember anything." I would look in my journal and nothing was there. Then I was reading in Ether, after the Brother of Jared sees Christ and receives his great revelation. After that the Lord tells him to go down and write the things he has seen. My mind immediately reflected on when the Lord tells Nephi to write his vision at the beginning of the Book. Also all those that wrote on the small plates were commanded to keep a spiritual and temporal history of the people. The Lord, Jesus Christ, commands the people of the Americas, when he comes in 3 Nephi, to write what they had seen and heard. He made sure that the writing of Samuel the Lamanite was written and his prophecies. Also other things which had been spoken. Along with that, the Lord commands Moses after his great vision to write the things that he had seen. All in all, keeping a record is important to the Lord. I have only missed a couple days in my journal writing - three to be exact. So this is urging me to keep up the good work cause records are important to the Lord. And that was a testimony to me this week.

I wanted to save the biggest surprise for last. Sometime during the hours of 11:30AM and 4:30PM Central time (or whatever time zone Chicago is in) I will be able to give you all a call at home. So you will get to hear from me by phone the day of my travels to Rome. I am pretty excited about that. I think that will be cool. I'll try to make my call in the time area of 1 to 1:30PM Chicago time. So that narraows the gap a little bit.

Anywho, thanks for all the letters and packages mom and family. They are greatly appreciated especially as time winds down here at, as Justin proclaimed, the church-run penitentiary. That isn't what it is like, but I thought that was funny. Anyway, I am almost out of time. Love you all!

Anziano Hatch

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just Another Week in the Compound

Hello family. Well, I don't really know what to write about this week. New Mission President Seminar was a let down because of our swine flu history. The apostles and the First Presidency were all here, but they could not mingle with us because of the swine flu. However, we did have a great devotional last Friday. Elder Holland spoke. He talked a lot about teaching in unity, with your companion and with the spirit. Also in attendance were Elder Perry, Oakes, Bednar, Cook, Christopherson, and Anderson. So there were a lot of apostles for this week, but they didn't get to mingle with us that much.

As for how the Italian is going, it is going pretty well. We are speaking only in Italian these days except for an English word here and there. It really helps and makes it a lot easier to speak and teach. Yesterday we taught a dynomite lesson. It was the second lesson and we didn't start at the beginning. We started with the investigators needs at the Mondo degli Spiriti and the Risurezione. The lesson went really smoothly, directed by the spirit. It definitely wasn't in any kind of order, just the order that was the need of the investigator. Our teacher was observing via camera and microphone in another room. He said when he tuned into our lesson he had no idea what we were doing. We told him we didn't really know either, just doing it. What a great thing it is to be led by the Lord.

By the way, last Wednesday I got my last shot and guess who gave it to me? I don't know him, but he said he knew grandpa and mom. His name is Brent Horton. If that rings a bell, cool, cause he sounded like a neat man. I need to send you some billing information, but I forgot it right now. I'll go back to my room later and email it to you.

I don't have much else to write about this week. The MTC is getting very monotonous. But only a couple of weeks to go. We should get our travel plans this week which means I'll let you know all about how we are going to be getting to Italy.

Thanks mom for the package. My gym time will be a whole lot less stinky these days. Thanks to everyone who are regular writers. It is fun to get the mail and it has been neat to see who the real writers are outside of my family. A few people said they would write me a lot, but only one letter from them. E bufo (it's funny).

Anywho, love you all. Sorry there isn't much to write about. If you want more detail about what my weeks are like here, just read a previous letter.

Anziano Hatch