Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This is the second of two posts. Please scroll down and read Clark's letter from last week!

So in this week of Thanksgiving, I have decided to do just that...give thanks.

I am grateful for an opportunity to serve a mission, and for the health and physical capacities as well as the emotional and spiritual tolerance that have accompanied me on this journey. I am grateful for the blessings that I have seen in my life as well as the blessings that have come to those that I have had the pleasure to teach. I am grateful for promptings of the spirit and spiritual witnesses that testify to the people of the truthfulness of our message - of the message that Christ taught us almost 2000 years ago. I am grateful for eternal truths taught to us by tireless prophets and courageous apostles. I am grateful for the scriptures and modern prophets that bear testimony to those searching for the truth. I am grateful for the spirit that touched the heart of both Christina and Mariapia this weekend at Stake Conference and for their decision to enter the waters of baptism this Saturday. I am grateful for mission leaders, inspired mission presidents and their wives, and General Authorities of the Church.

I am grateful for "goodly parents" who have taught me in the ways of the Lord and about the scriptures. I am grateful for their example and for their loving support throughout my life. I am greatful for the thousands of miles traveled to attend football and basketball games. I am grateful for family road trips and reunions. I am grateful for happy, healthy parents. I am grateful for the example of a loving mom who has been an examplar of womanhood, motherhood, and being a wife. I am grateful for a father who faces each challenge and calling in an optimistic way with trust in priesthood power and wisdom to listen to leaders - and then humbly puts that wisdom into practice. I am grateful for my brother and my brother-in-law that, along with my father, have been examples of righteous priesthood holders. I am grateful for the example they have set for me. I am grateful for the love of sports and good competition embedded in my by my brother. I am grateful for the great wife that he found, the example that she is for me, and the great standard she is for the woman that I hope to meet one day. I am grateful for a logical side of me born by friendship with my brother-in-law. I am grateful for the health conscious and spontaniety of my oldest sister, and for her great example of motherhood. I am grateful for the middle child that has taught me the beauty of order and how to have good clean fun. I am grateful for the peach who, though smallest of all in age, is the spiritual giant of the family. I am grateful for nieces and nephews that teach us many things about life - to name a few: how to enjoy simple things, how to always be engaged in doing something, and how wonderful life is inside the arms of a loved one. I am grateful for wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins that fufill the statement, "it takes a village to raise a child." I am grateful for friends and their good examples, for righteous priesthood leaders and bishops.

I am grateful for chili potatoes and (I know you can't believe it) warm bowls of oatmeal in the morning. I am grateful for campfire smoke and stories of Herman the worm. I am grateful for shouts of "ah-ah-nic-a-shee" emphatically shouted in the woods. I am grateful for trampoline games and nights under the stars, for homemade shrimp salad, steak, potatoes, and chocolate cake. I am gratefuly for turkey sandwiches and chocolate pudding, for Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Wicked, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat, for snowmobiling and snow caves, for fishing, fresh air, and fishing. I am grateful for the grace of a bird and the blessing of powered flight. I am grateful for modern transportation and the beauty of the earth.

I cannot list all of the things that I am grateful for. Thanks to all who have influenced my life and for the love and help that you have offered. I love you all!

Anziano Hatch


Hello dear family! How are you all doing? Well, this has been a good week. Last Friday, we called a good number of people in our area book and set some appointments with some people that had stopped investigating for various reasons. We set a lot of appointments. Then we had branch correlation and a ward activity. It was karaoke...let's just say it rained. Not really any good singers, but fun was had by all.

Saturday was used visiting some less activies and an investigator, Mariagrazia. The Branch President passed by her house with his wife and shared a thought with her and talked with her for a while. Her husband died a couple of months ago, so times are a little rough for her. But the Branch President asked her to pray about whether or not it was time for her to get baptized or not. She has been praying and has been having positive experiences. She also got an interview offer for a job in Scotland. She was really excited for that. She speaks English pretty well and teaches English here in Italy. She was looking for some kind of work that she could do outside to improve her English. So things are shaping up for her. She also came to church on Sunday even though she told us that she wouldn't be able to come. Things just work out like that.

Monday, we did exchanges in Siracusa. That was good. We participated in their district meeting and got to see the whole district there. They are doing great work here. The thought came into my head while we were knocking on doors that either I am crazy or I know that this is true, because I wouldn't be walking around knocking on doors if it wasn't. I would be at home playing basketball. But nothing is more fun than talking to a sweet old Sicilian woman at her door, even if you get turned down.

Tuesday we had a lot of appointments. We taught three in the presence of members. We have been focusing a lot on that lately. Lessons with members are always better, well most of the time. All three lessons were with old investigators from the area book. They were all interesting lessons. If those people decide to continue taking lessons, they are going to need a little bit of work. But patience is a virtue.

Today we went and saw one of the oldest churches in Europe. It is 1000 years old. That is pretty old. It was a pretty good p-day. We went with a member and he fed us afterwards, so that was good.

Mom, as far as school goes right now, I know that I want to retake Chemistry 104. Maybe if you hooked me up with some generals, then I can decide. Thanks. And with the package, wait another week and then you can send it to the mission office. We are pretty sure that the company didn't get the order, because there wasn't the right amount of money on my companion's card. So another week, and we'll confirm.

Dad, I don't know if the training broadcast was in Italian or not, but they have the manuals. And I know that at least our Branch President is very fervent about making sure that they will be used.

Love you all!
Anziano Hatch

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This week went well. (Seems like I say that every week.) But with the end of last week, it truly did go well. Last Friday, we did our weekly planning and then we took off for Catania to do a baptismal inteview. It was my pleasure again to interview the baptismal candidate. He is Lucca and is 17. He has a strong testimony for a 17 year old. He has lived a little in both worlds - that of living the commandments and that of , well, not. And he had decided that the one of obeying the commandments is best. Good choice. He will be baptizd this coming Saturday. Then we drove back to Messina after the interview and attended Branch Council. That was really good. Our Branch President is a really amazing guy, and we are now in the process of reactivating three priesthood holders. With that addition to the branch, the branch can become a ward next year. So that is awesome. He is doing a really good job.

Sunday was a really spiritual day at church. The lesson in priesthood was taught by the Branch President, and he talked about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. Then in Gospel Principles, we talked about talents, and then in Sacrament meeting, we had a nice testimony meeting. There were no thank-a-monies, and the spirit was strong. Good sacrament meeting to have three investigators in and two potentials.

Mariapia's baptism has been moved back to the 27th because of Stake Conference. Therefore, we will have a double baptism on that day, and there will be two more baptisms on that day in our district and two more in the zone. So that will be a great day in the zone.

On Monday, we had the assistants here with us, and we did some exchanges. We went to Reggio to have a district meeting and then came back. One of the assistants almost got kinda sea sick on the boat. That was pretty funny. Then in the afternoon, we left for Milazzo where we taught a couple of member families. Then yesterday was Zone Conference. We had to go down to Catania very early so that we could pick up Pres. and Sis. Kelly from the airport. Then we took them to the church, and then we played shuttle system for the missionaries from the station to the church. We got everyone there, and then we had a great Zone Conference. We talked about improving our prayers, working to fulfill what we pray for, and being more obedient. It was a pretty good training. Then we played shuttle again after, and got Pres. and Sis. Kelly back to the airport. And then we were able to arrive back in Messina with enough time to enjoy a pizza. So the night ended well.

Today, I went to the post office to pick up the package from mom. Thank! I already enjoyed some Jelly Belly jellybeans. Those are good. If I had to make recommendations for the next package, it would be tootsie rolls (original) and Reisens. Yummy, yummy.

Well that is it for the week. Love you all!

Anziano Hatch

Friday, November 5, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Well, minus the trains, we hit two of the three transportation options this week. But to answer some questions about the work first. We are still teaching Mariapia and her son, but not his friend yet. Mariapia and her son are still scheduled to be baptized on the 20th of November. I am sure that Mariapia will make it. But I am not 100% certain that Mario will make it by that day. They are both doing great, and Mario is still working his way through the Book of Mormon. They both came to church on Sunday and had good experiences. Also, there is Cristina that should get baptized on the 27th of November. So we are looking at three baptisms in the near future.

Well, time for storytime. So Monday afternoon, we set off for Palermo. The office decided to fly us out of Palermo this time, because it was cheaper. So we drove there and arrived amidst the rain and wind in peace and safety. But after almost 4 hours of travel, I remembered with this great memory of mine, that I forgot my passport in Messina. So we called President looking for advice. In the past, I had been fine just using my permesso di soggiorno which makes me a legal "citizen." But it is expired. So we decided to try it. If it didn't work, I would stay with the missionaries in Palermo and my companion would go with the other zone leaders from Sicily to Rome. Well blessings came, and I was able to get on the plane with no problems.

We had a great conference and have set a goal as a misison to get 40 baptisms by the end of the year. Right now, we have 30 dates just for the month of November. So I believe that it is a reachable goal. After a good conference, we were left to ourselves for pretty much all of the day on Wednesday, because our flight wasn't until 6:35pm. So we took a little "tour" around the city, led by me. And we went and saw a few of the sights again in Rome. It was nice. I love that city. Here is where the story gets sticky.

So we get to the airport at 4:30 and go to check in. I show my permesso and they say, "Can you fly with just this?" After a bit of discussion, they decided that I could. (I already knew that, because I had done it twice before. It was just that this comapny had some problems and was very mean. Maybe corporate came down on them or something. I don't know. But customer service was pretty much at a zero). It wasn't the permesso thing that got me uptight, because it is true, I forgot my passport and it was expired. So that is my fault. But what happened next was uncalled for.

So we go to security and the man that checks to make sure that you have a ticket before you get to the scanners made me put my bag in the little bag size checker. It was too big by 3/8 of an inch. He said, nope you can't take that. You have to check it in. So amidst the grumbles of me and the inconvenience of paying another 22 euro to check in another bag (I wasn't the only one that had to do it), the same man let a woman go through with 4, that is right, FOUR bags AND a purse. I believe the requirement is ONE bag, and that is it. But nope, she got through nice and fine. So after calming down from that, and the fact that there were some really inappropriate advertisements in the airport (I mean how can you advertise for clothes when the models aren't wearing clothes. REALLY, they were just wearing their hands!), we were about to board the plane and the lady checking tickets decides that it is her time to shine. She does ANOTHER check of the bags and their sizes, makes my companion move stuff around again, although it had already been put through a very tiring test. Then she stops me because my permesso was expired. After talking with her, finally, with all the evidence that I was the person on the card, (there is a picture of me on the permesso) plus showing my driver's license and telling her that I was in the process of renewing my permesso, and telling her that the man who gave me my ticket had already checked with superiors, she grudgingly let me pass - almost as if she was promised a raise if she stopped someone from getting on the plane. What frustration.

That night was not that fun. But we did get to Palermo safely. And we drove back to Messina in safety, so I don't have too much I can be angry about. The blessings outweigh the inconveniences. So I am happy. Jalayne congrats on the temple trip. The first time is like you are drinking from a fire hose, but as you go back it becomes more and more beautiful. I miss it.

Well that is about it for me. Love you all!

Anziano Hatch