Wednesday, April 28, 2010

H (I Don't Know Why, Just Run With It)

Dearest family,

This has been an amazing week. Last Thursday we had our President's interviews and he told us that two of the five members of our branch that are making strenuous efforts to return to full activity and standing in the church will be rebaptized this week. That is right. The Amendola family dad will be baptized tomorrow with his nephew who will also be rebaptized. I have been asked to give the Melchizedek Priesthood to the nephew. We are really excited for them.

We had lunch with the Amendola family after church where the mother was confirmed by my companion. They had been telling us of this family that they wanted to have us teach, but they never could come over to the house when we were there. So we had lunch at their house, actually. It is a man and wife conventiently named Giuseppe and Maria. And Giuseppe is already reading parts of the Bible.

So that is the big news of the week. We have been having an increase of lessons this week as we havebeen seeking to teach more lessons especially to investigators and less active members. That has been a rewarding experience.

A crazy experience from this morning. *Note that Italians are very superstitious and scared of the unknown.* So we were walking down the street this morning and a woman comes running down the street yelling "ragazzi ragazzi!" And finally after the message was relayed through two or three people, they got us to stop and turn back. She said that she needed some help and asked if we could help her. (It was a lady that we had met talking on the street.) We hesitantly said yes. She said she just needed some helping with something. "Five minutes," she said. We then proceeded to wlk to a dentist's office where she explained that she was really nervous and needed someone to accompany her while they did a check up. We then explained that we are not here to do stuff like that, and she said that everything was going to be all right. She would be fine. Then we left and discussed how weird the situation was. I think that that was the lamest thing that I have ever been asked to do while on my mission. But she is a nice enough lady and may one day accept the gospel.

So this last p-day it was a cultural week, and so all the museums were free. So jumping at the opportunity, we went to Pompeii to see the ruins there. They were pretty amazing. I'll send a good sack a pictures with this email and also another.

Well I can't believe that my little sister is getting ready to go to another dance. How time flies. I laughed really hard when I heard that the ugly couch is going to Jalayne. I'll miss it at the cabin. Good naps on the couch.

Oh and another thing this week. There have been a lot of Jehovah's Witness encounters that have been driving me up the wall insane. First, they don' let us talk. Second, all they bring is the spirit of contention. Third, some things are rather close to the truth or dead on. And some things are so far off I don't know where they made it up from. Although there are many that are nice and great people, none of them let you talk no matter what you are talking about. I thought I was pretty patient before the mission, but wow how my patience has grown this week.

Well, I love you all and yes, Mother's Day is coming up. But it is the last day of the transfer and so transfers are earlier that week so we haven't set any plans yet because we are thinking ( I am thinking) that my companion will be transferred this one cause he has been in this city for a while. So we'll see what happens.

Love you all again. Thanks for all you do!

Love, Anziano Hatch


Carnage from the eruption

A stadium that is in almost perfect condition

Elder Hatch among the ruins

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The week

Well this week has been an awesome week! On Sunday the baptism went down! It was such a beautiful experience as her and her son embraced in the baptismal font after the baptism. Not only was that great, but the father of the family has been waiting for a disciplinary council along with his nephew. And the district president showed up to the baptism to tell them personally that the council was going to be held on Thursday, which is tomorrow! It is so exciting because they have been waiting forever and have really made changes in their lives. It was an amazing experience.

Other than that we have been working the missionary work. That has been fun. I don't know why, but this week has been filled with really funny excuses at the door. For example, one was "Ho roba sul fuoco, mi dispiace" which is literally "I have stuff on the fire, sorry." And my personal favorite from this week, "Sono catolico, non credente." Which is, "I am a non-believing Catholic." What he meant by that my companion and I will never know.

While we were knocking houses the other day, we knocked into an investigator's house - which was amazing because for some reason, she comes to church and will be taught at a member's house but would not let us know her address. So we were just innocently knocking houses and she opens the door and was like, "Who told you where I lived?" It was funny, but she let us in and we taught a short lesson to her and her parents and a friend who might become an investigator soon.

On Monday I had my first exchange with a Zone Leader in my time as a District Leader. It was a really great day. We taught five appointments - two to investigators, two to new members, and one to a less active member. It was an amazing day. Then on our way to the train station we ran into parents of a member who is on a mission in England, but the parents have been "investigators" forever. And the mother of the member asked us if we could come over and give her a blessing before she goes into some kind of surgery. That was an amazing step for her. We think that she is close to accepting the gospel, but her husband does most of the talking and he doesn't want to "change his traditions" to use his words. It is sometimes shocking that people actually quote the Book of Mormon in that way.

Okay, picture time.

First is us with the baptismal candidate and the baptizer

Then second is the family that in a few weeks (we hope) will be a complete family in the church!

Love you all and thanks for letters and things. That makes life even more fun!

Love, Anziano Hatch

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baptism Week

Well sorry if I was misleading. The baptism is this Sunday not last Sunday. She is very prepared and super excited. After she is baptized it will just be her husband who is waiting to be rebaptized and then the whole family will be members. It is a really touching story.

They are a family of six - four kids and two parents. The father was excommunicated many years ago for starting a family outisde wedlock. They moved to a town far from the church, but the dad knew what he did was wrong and always taught the children that this church was right. They moved back last summer and the dad found the missionaries. They began to teach the family. The two oldest sons were baptized last September and the dauther in october. The youngest is seven years old. So he will now be baptized. The ad and mom (the one getting baptized) were married two transfers ago and she stopped smoking three weeks ago. The oldest son will be doing the baptism of his mother on Sunday, and the other son will do the baptism of their father in the next month or so. It is so amazing how the gospel blesses families. So amazing how the atonement changes lives.

Yesterday was zone conference. We had some really great talks about how we are endowed with power to do this work. President Acerson talked about how there has been a prophecy by three different prophets that Italy would flourish in time. President said that "it falls on our shoulders to fulfill prophecy." That hit me really hard how I am the Lord's instrument in bringing some souls back to the fold of God.

Last week we went to the top of Mount Faito. It is right next to the city and there is a ski lift type thing that takes you to the top.

Those crazy Catholics built a church up there, so that is what the pictures are of this week.

We taught a really spiritual lesson to a less acctive member who really wants her son to receive the priesthood, but they both need to come to church. We talked about how only by keeping ALL of God's commandments can we be blessed. Then God has to bless us. He no longer has a choice if we do what he says. He is bound (D7C 82:10). But He wants to bless us anyway, so we are lucky in that respect.

Well that is it for me family, friends, and strangers who find my blog and read it cause my pictures are so amazing *wink.

Love, Anziano Hatch

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Rather Great Week

This week has been rather great. Thursday was a living example of 1 Nephi chapters 16, 17, and 18. The morning was very, very, very trying. No one seemed to even so much as look at us as we were doing some tracking. Lots of doors slammed in our face and lots of people yelling at us. We went home for lunch kind of angry, but realizing that we could turn it around. We worked hard and met with a new member and an investigator. Got some good contacts. Made a new investigator and had a lesson with our investigator with a baptismal date. She is doing awesome and her baptism will be next Sunday.

Then on Saturday we did some finding work and worked our way toward Puzzuoli for General Conference. That happens to be on the other side of the Bay of Napoli. There we watched conference at the church building. As a surprise to us, it was broadcast in English, so we got to enjoy it a bit more. The talks that I think hit me the most were Sister Beck's talk and Elder Rasband's talk. They both really hit me. We stayed in Napoli at the Zone Leader's apartment and then went back to Pozzuoli for Sunday. On Saturday, we only get to see the Saturday morning session. Then Sunday morning we see the Priesthood session, Saturday afternoon, and then watch the Sunday morning session live. By the time the Sunday morning session finished it was 8pm and time to travel home. But being Easter, there were no trains from Napoli to Castellamare Sunday night. So we slept in Napoli again and then headed back to our area Monday morning. So conference was quite the exodus.

The last two days have been really good. I feel like we have both been reenergized from conference and we are just talking with everyone we see. We have had some rather good success doing some finding work. The highlights being a family we found doing house and a young couple, the woman of which is growing to popping level, that had known the missionaries some time ago. So things are looking very promising.

This morning during personal study I was reading in the 58th chapter of Alma, the last chapter of Helaman's recount to Moroni. I especially liked verse 11, "Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him." How often that happens in our life.

Sounds like you all had a very good week in D.C. That is awesome that you were able to make it to see T.C. Williams High School. Then you all returned to a lot of snow?! That is weird, but not as weird as that one year when it snowed on April 16th something like 18 inches of snow. I remember our assignment as kids home from school was to clear the driveway so Aunt Evelyn, who was coming up later that day, could pull into the driveway. It was really tiring.

So Duke won the tournament? Man, the two most hated teams in the country won their respective leagues this past year. The Yankees and Duke. How weird.

Welp, that about does it for me. Oh, I am thinking about you all maybe sending me like a one year mark package or something, cause I could use some new socks and a couple new pairs of garments and some toothpaste.

Love you all!!
Anziano Hatch

Me and Vesuvio (Mount Vesuvius)

Sunday morning in Napoli

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Promised Pictures

Here are the pictures that accompanied Clark's most recent letter.

One last picture of the Tower

A picture on the streets of Castellammare

This one is specifically for Justin. I call it, "Call the school nurse. I had an accident in shop. Call the nurse!"

Happy Easter!