Saturday, May 29, 2010

This One's for the........Family?

Since I wrote last, we have had an amazing Zone Conference and a few good lessons. Zone Conference was really good. You could tell (since this was President Acerson's last conference) that they were worried and stressing the fact of staying focused and working as we have always worked as the new president, President Kelly, gets situated. One common theme throughout all the trainings was cleaning the inner vessel. It was really inspiring and eye opening that when things are going well, there is always something that you can be improving. One of my goals is to use my time more effectively while at the apartment. I have started a side study of Jesus the Christ. This will be my second time that I have read it. After Zone Conference, we went to Branch Council. They were really focused and fixed on their purpose. We got a lot done.

Friday we played some soccer on the beach that is kind of dirty. But they have been cleaning it so it wasn't too bad. We played with young men from our branch and some investigators. I like to play soccer and appreciate the game more. And it is a good way to have investigators meet members. That was really fun.

Haha, I laugh before I write this because it is funny. In church, as we stood to sing the intermediate hymn, I noticed that I was the tallest person in the sacrament room. It was weird and funny. I feel like a giant sometimes with Italians because there are a lot of short ones. I am only just over 6 feet and 85 kilograms so I am not that big. But I felt like the BFG in church last Sunday.

Monday was a day of lessons and a form of a District Meeting. Since there are only two people in my district, we only do half of the things that are done in a normal one. Maybe even just a fourth of the things. The lessons went well. Although it is frustrating to hear people over and over again say that they will read and then they don't. Or that they will come to church and then they don't. It is hard, but maybe we just aren't helping them to see the blessings that come from it. We should be better at that.

We have started to go running every other day. That has been going pretty well. I am out of shape as far as running goes, but this is something that will be good for me. I am sad because I get tired after only twenty minutes, and we run along the street that is right at sea level. So that translates to like 10 minutes in Idaho right? I got some work to do. Although we run about a mile and half every time. So that is good.

I am going to withdraw the last of the money on the card today. We are going to Sorrento. So that is just an update.

The picture this week is from zone conference. This is the zone.

Well that is about it for me this week. I love you all!


Anziano Hatch

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Week Under the Sun

Dear Family,
This week has been a good one but also a strange one. It started out with various finding activities and things like that. We have been trying hard to get people to come to our English class, but just like with getting investigators in church, people have a hard time getting themselves down to the church which is about a half hour out of town on foot - usually the normal mode of transportation, but it seems that everyone has a car or a motorized scooter so I don't see why people can't come. But from that class we have taught quite a few 1st lessons, so it is still a good thing to do.

In church on Sunday, the branch received a letter from a missionary that is out from this branch. And something that he said hit me and made me think of most people I have taught so far on this mission. He said that if you want to see a miracle, don't wait but act. It is very true. Too many people get caught up in waiting until they see a miracle before they act, when really the miracle happens when they act. And sometimes it is a miracle IF they act. All in all it was a good thought.

Then I was thinking about how missionary work is on the Lord's time. We as missionaries can "create success" as it is called in a talk given by Elder Russell M. Nelson, but ultimately "the divine attribute of patience is required" (Pres. Monson). I have been thinking about a few of our inestigators and how they just don't seem to be progressing. They like the missionaries, but they won't come to church or read in the Book of Mormon. As missionaries, we do all we can to present the message as powerfully and spiritually as possible. But ultimately and finally, it is the choice of the individual. I thought I was a patient person before the mission, but boy have I learned it in the mission.

The last two days have been rather uneventful as I was struck with a fever and was a very weak boy. But don't worry mom, I am one hundred and fifty percent better. And grateful for it. I have that sickening feeling like I wasted two days of my two years. But we will make up for it this week. Tomorrow is Zone Conference, and I am excited to hear the instruction that our mission leaders will give.

I loved your talk dad. It is so true. Especially the part at the beginning. As members of the church we sometimes think that we can't have the spirit with us always even though that is completely false. The Lord has promised that if we keep the commandments, take Christ's name upon us, and as we always remember Him, we will have the Holy Ghost with us. The Lord has said, "I the Lord God am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." So we can think of it like this. When we do those three thing, God HAS to bless us. He has no choice. He is bound and cannot do otherwise. He is forced to bless us. Luckly though, he loves us and WANTS to bless us. But he only can if we obey the natural laws of the Celestial Kingdom.

Julie's weekend sounds pretty crazy. The more spaced from high school I get, the more ridiculous I feel day dates are. Anything more than getting together and playing a game or eating lunch at someone's house is too much and there is just too much teenager to do those things. (Sorry Julie, but I was one too). Too much stupidity in a high concentration to do stuff safely.

Well that about does it for me this week. I have some awesome pictures. The first two are obvious why I sent them home.

We saw this bus on the street and I had to take some pictures.

This last one is mostly for Julie. I thought it looked like a good "The Rocket Summer" or "We Shot the Moom" album cover.
Love you all!!!!!!
Anziano Hatch

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Plus 3

Dear Family,

Well there isn't much to report about from the last two days although I will try to make it interesting, seeing that we talked only a few days ago.

So on Monday we had three appointments. One with an investigator named Niccola who is a law student. He is making progress slowly but surely. He really understands the concepts except for the fact of why it is important that there is a prophet on the earth today with the authority from God. But slowly that will come.

Then we had a less-active lesson with a woman whose father is basically dying. He has a heart condition that prevents her from leaving the house for more than about a half hour at the max. She was less active before and kind of lived a riotous life before, so it is hard for her because she wants to come back to church, but at the moment she can't leave the house. She is great and will come back to full activity soon.

Then we went to the Amendola house to teach some post-baptismal lessons. I am really proud of that family. Two weeks ago in church, the gospel principles lesson was on missionary work. We taught that lesson and there is a list of ideas of how members can do missionary work. We invited them to pick one and do it. They have all done something. The daughter has her teacher at school and one of her friends asking her questions about the Book of Mormon and our religion. It is really exciting to see a family go from black to white and live the gospel with all of their hearts.

So that was Monday.

Then yesterday we did publicity for our English class trying to get some more students. I think what we did will benefit us. Then we had another new member lesson. She is doing really well. Better than I thought. She doesn't come to church as often as she should, but she recognizes it and wants to do better. She accepted the challenge to read the Book of Mormon in three months. It will benefit her exponentially.

Sounds like everyone at home is doing well. That is good. Lots of things to keep you all busy. I like busy life. It does make one tired but it is good. Because as we all know, "the problem with doing nothing is that you can't stop and rest when you get tired." Thanks for that one Grandpa!

Well that is about it for me this week. I love you all! Thanks for your prayers and love!

Anziano Hatch

Biscuits that I made

A pretty view of the city

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow!

Sadly I didn't see any rainbows this week, but it was a good week.

Well I will get the big news out of the way first. I will be staying in Castellammare for another 6 weeks at least and my new companion is the MTC companion of my current companion, if you followed that. His name is Anziano Christensen. I am pretty sure he is from Utah, if I remember correctly. That will be good. I hear he is mighty good with language because he lived here for a year before he got his mission call. So we won't have to worry about any language difficulties and we can just go and do the Lord's work.

So this last Thursday we had two rebaptisms. President Acerson called me two hours before and told me to tell the branch president that the confirmations and ordinations to the priesthood should be done after the baptisms were performed. So I had the opportunity to give the Melchizedek Priesthood to one of the new members. That was a great experience. As I gave the belssing, afterwards I could really feel and I really understood how much the Melchizedek Priesthood is the authority to give service more than anything - to bless the lives of others. He is really excited to get going. He has a small list of inactives he wants to start working with that fell in their activity to church after he fell. He is really earnest and focused on repairing the aftermath of his choices. The other person received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained a Priest. Then on Sunday, according to my companion, was the first time in at least seven months that the branch distributed the sacrament without the help of the missionaries. It was a beautiful thing. I love helping the Church grow and see how blessed the members are.

This last week has kind of been a rough one in the fixing appointments with investigators realm of things. We had only eight lessons this week and none of them were fixed appointments. All our appointments fell through and we were really guided this week to pass by investigators at certain times to be able to see them and continue to help them on their journey. I saw this written on the walls in the subway graffiti: "Tutti i brutti momenti iniziano per finire." Or in other words, "All bad moments or difficult times start so they can finish." That touched me.

To answer some questions, the money is to just buy some souvenir type stuff. I just didn't want to make an overwithdrawal again. About Pompeii, we just wandered around cause it was the third time my companion had been there and so he was kind of a tour guide. I thought that the city was amazingly preserved and that they weren't followers of Christ, because they lived extravagant lives for that time period.

Those are some pretty crazy news stories, dad. Crazy. Ya, the Italians are feeling the debt load. The city here provides jobs mostly from a dry dock where they build ships. But not many companies are building ships right now, and they just finished a ship. So a lot of people don't have work right now. I didn't know that so many European countires are in bad debt. It makes sense though, cause they definitely live lives worthy of debt.

This Sunday the branch is expecting 30 Americans that will be coming from the Disney cruise ship landing in Sorrento. So we have no idea how we are going to handle that cause our building doesn't have a microphone system so we don't have overflows. And our chapel is small. But we'll do it somehow.

And now for news about phone calls. President said that we shouldn't make phone calls this Sunday. I don't know why. That is just what he said. I am just kidding! We will probably be calling around 7:30pm here. Give or take a half an hour. So you do the math. But the call will come.

Well I love you all!

Anziano Hatch