Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

Doctrine and Covenants 50:22

Monday, October 27, 2014

There are people here that I need to help!

Hello Family!!

It's been a crazy week! Having Sister Iniguez with us was so fun! Her flight left this morning for Cancun! Sister Britton and I both cried on the way home! :( She brought so much power in our companionship. But some good news: Transfers are tomorrow and we found out 1) Sister Britton and I are BOTH staying in the Big Cottonwood stake! SOO HAPPY! She has been here for 4 transfers (about six months) and lots of people thought she might be leaving. 2) Sister Britton is our new SISTER TRAINING LEADER!! I'm being trained by the training leader!! She is perfect and is so excited!! 3) We are permanently getting a 3rd companion for this transfer!! We pick her up tomorrow! So much power in 3s! (: We have been dancing with joy all morning!!
I  feel so blessed to be in this area. I know there are people who need me.
One of those people is Karina. She is going through some hard things and has had a hard past. I feel so much love for her. Please keep her in your prayers. The miraculous thing is she has already had 3 miracles happen because of the power of prayer and she recognized them. Her gratitude for the Lord is so beautiful. She is still in need of a few more miracles, but I know the Lord is taking care of her. 

We had a wonderful lesson with Michael yesterday. The spirit was so strong. He prayed at the end and asked God if He was there and that he hoped he was! It was beautiful! I love Michael so much and pray that he will see God in his life.

I'm also here for Donna. She is the coolest old lady I have ever met. She is a less active member but loves us to come over. We had a wonderful lesson with her last week. 

Martha is doing so well. She has wonderful friends in the church and her eyes are being opened everyday. I love Martha so dearly. I also feel like I am here for her. I know she can be healed through Christ and I feel I can help her come to know and understand that. Mom, you would love Martha. She is this spunky blonde lady in her late 50's and she is just fabulous. 

Teresa is another person I feel I am here for. She reminds me of mom. 

It is sad to be a missionary sometimes. You learn about so many people with these horrible trials. I am grateful every day that I was able to be born into the gospel and have the blessings that I have. I know I have them because of Heavenly Father and Jesus christ and knowing and living His gospel! 

Being a missionary in Utah also means, however, that we are celebrities. Haha, we get honked at everyday, and every member whose house we stop at thinks that, because we are missionaries we probably need as much sugar as we can get.  

Just last week we got a Christmas bag full of a whole package of licorish, toffee, carmel, two bags of carmel popcorn, 4 pieces of pie, a box of muffins, choclate covered twinkies, and I don't even know what else... at ONE MEMBERS HOUSE!! We couldn't stop her, it was ridiculous. We literaly just asked for a glass of water! We gave it away every chance we could get, but giving just means you get more. Donna has king size candy bars by her door and makes us take two every time we leave, usually along with some insanely delicious baked goods, like cashew cookies with butter cream frosting! Needless to say, it was a blessing to give up sugar to help Gina this week. Gina, by the way, is doing awesome. She gave up smoking, drinking, and coffee cold turkey! It's been 9 days and she is still going strong! 

I love my mission president, President Eberhardt so much and I am looking forward to getting to know him better! He is the kindest funiest man! I love the new Know - Do - Love: Be youth challenge!!! 

Sorry this is kind of scatter-brained. I am doing well and love hearing from you all. Thank you for your prayers and your love. I am so grateful for you! 

Oh, I just want to add a funny story: There must be something about Hatches that make us seem not American. SO many people think I'm from Europe and I don't know why. It's not like I am speaking in a foreign language really well like Braden did in Spain. Sister Britton says it's because of how I dress. I don't know what that means. haha I'll take it though. 

I LOVE YOU ALL!! keep on keepin on.

p.s. Everyone should watch Meet the Mormons. Invite everyone, it's so well done and so entertaining and also Sister Britton's home town is in it. She knows the football coach from the Naval Academy and his family in the movie! 

God is good, the Church is true!

XO Sister Hatch

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hola Familia!
It has been such a fun week! Sister Iniguez, (she reminds me of Jess) has joined our companionship! She was called to the Mexico Cancun mission, she is from Tijuana but was born in San Diego so she is a visa waiter. We came out together and we became really close just from all the new missionary trainings and such. Anyway, she was assigned to a Spanish-speaking branch in Wyoming but becasue she had to go to the Mexican embassy in SLC on Saturday, she gets to stay with us until the end of transfers! She is teaching us Spanish as we help her with her English. She has only known English for about a month. She is a convert of 3 years and her testimony and spirit is SOO STRONG!! She has already brought many miracles!

Gina (Anabel, Jasmine, and Angelo's mom) began her quit-smoking program!! She is SO scared but ready to do this. She said she needs our prayers and our strength, so she has invited us to visit her EVERYDAY this week! We asked when we come if we can teach her the lessons and she said YES!! Her testimony is growing each day, even though she is the grumpiest, funniest, human EVER right now because she hasn't been smoking. She carries around her grapefruit juice (it washes out the nicotine) like it's a bottle of strong liquor. It's so funny!

And, Martha is ALMOST on date to be baptized! She is praying about it! Sorry I don't have a lot of time today but I love you and I love being a missionary!

James Self and Caleb Layden sound like they are doing wonderful! And tell Micah and Levi they are my heros and I miss and love them!! I can't believe that the Phoenix temple is already built! You will have to send me pictures! I'm glad you got to see it! Easton is SO cute, tell him I miss and love him soo much! And that I am having fun and he will have fun like me when he goes on his mission!

We had dinner with a member who has a pumpkin patch and they said we could pick a few! It was so fun because I love doing that every year with you in Snowflake!

I am SOO EXCITED to go the SLC temple and see a LIVE session! All the members here go on and on about how wonderful and special the SLC temple is, both the members who just moved her and have only visited once or twice and the members who go and work there two times a week! I can't wait! Also, Sister Britton and I are singing a fun jazzy version of There is Sunshine in My Soul for the mission talent show. Elder Funfa from Brazil is a crazy good guitarist (he has plans to go to Juliard after his mission!) and he will be accompanying us! I'm so excited.

I love that baby Emma has the middle name Kate becasue there is this adorable young family here with three little girls who soo remind me of the Millers, they are about the same age, the one Lucy's age is also named Lucy and the older girl about Bella's age is KATE! It was so cute, Kate was going to eat at her grandmas and their mom said, "Grandma is going to have missionaries at her house for dinner!" But it was in a different area, so her mom told us Kate was pretty dissapointed when they weren't "her" missionaries. And then before Anabel's baptism Kat'es mom said the missionaries are going to be at the baptism and Kate said "are theeese ones 'our' missionaries?" (: They're such a sweet family. Their Mom, Sister Cutler is in the primary presidency for Anabel's ward and her and her husband did so much to make the baptism wonderful. So anyway, they just really remind me of the Millers (: I miss my nusery kids, I was just realizing the other day how BIG they will be when I return home!

Help out the missionaries in your area! You are the Lord's best tools! I love you mucho grande! Hhave a beautiful week!

Love, Sister Hatch

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anabel's baptism weekend - 13 October 2014

This week was full of miracles! I can't wait to tell you all about them! But first I’ll respond to your emails that I am sooo grateful for! Mom and Dad, you are such a blessing to me and I love hearing from you every week.

Mom- THANK YOU for the photos! (: Kelcie sent me some of beautiful Winona as well.
Oh and Kris Black's home always makes me think of you and Dad, the home is so beautiful! And she is just a beautiful lady, I wish she didn't have to move.

Tell Karson to remember to chew gum immediately after getting her braces tightened, then they won't be sore, spacers and getting your braces on are always the most painful part of the whole experience. Swishing hot water feels good also.

I love that my Select choir kids are looking better. Tell them I love them!

LOVED hearing from some of the primary kids! Especially sweet Amy! I am planning on writing back to all of them today.

SOO Excited about Scott’s and Karson’s duet at Nicole Lozano’s "Show Your Spirit Showcase"!!

On Halloween our mission is going to the SALT LAKE CITY TEMPLE!! I’m so excited! And, we are having a huge talent show afterwards, Sister Britton and I are planning on singing a song together. (: I love how often I get to use my voice on my mission.

I love the pants, Mom! Perfect! Thank you for all the fun treats as well! And, so grateful for Uncle Dale, I should be able to pick up my watch this week.

I hate to make you send me more things but its that awkward cold time where I’m kinda freezing but there isn't snow yet, so I was wondering if you could send me my brown boots, also I would love some fuzzy socks and my striped skirt just as soon as you can. Thank you so much for all you do!

AND, THANK YOU for your efforts with the whales. It makes me feel so good, I can't talk about them because I’d be talking about political stuff, so all I can do right now is pray for them ;)

Thank you for the conference quote. You are such an example to me of loving everyone no matter what!

Dad - To answer "is it starting to cool down"? YES!! Yikes, I’m going to freeze! But on a good note, I get to start wearing my beautiful coat ;) and up until now (besides the week of rain) it has been 75 degrees and sunny so the Lord has been blessing me! Many people have said that I brought Arizona with me and they were ready for Fall! So, the Lord is taking care of them now and I can't be selfish!

Also, I have been so blessed with not getting sick from eating meat, I haven't had any problems at members houses, although I think I’m gaining weight quicker because now I do have meat pretty much every night and that’s a big change for my body, but I’m so grateful I haven't had any problems as far as it being appetizing!

Our Spanish friend, Korina, is not doing well. She just found out a week ago that she has to move by the end of this month and she isn't sure where she will go. Please keep her in your prayers. But, she is an amazing Spanish cook! And, she recognized the necklace you gave me from Spain! She told me the whole history about it! They only make it in a certain place in Spain and she said they are very rare! I love her so dearly. I know the Lord does, too. Please just pray that everything will work out how it is supposed to for her.

Sister Britton just hit her 11-month mark today! So, you may be seeing her at the dinner table before you know it! She is so awesome!

I DID get to see the Meet the Mormons movie! The football coach’s family that is highlighted from Maryland is in Sister Britton’s home stake! The wife was her stake Young Womens president and she knows their family really well! The movie was so wonderful! Many people we teach have been going to see it! I loved seeing Uncle Wiggly Wings! It was funny because after we saw the movie, Sister Britton told our mission president, President Eberhardt, that her home town was in the movie and he said, "mine too!" haha - it was great.

Ok and now for this wonderful week!

Anabel was baptized! The spirit was so strong and she was glowing brighter than ever. When the bishop asked her why she wanted to be baptized, she said, “so Heavenly Father and Jesus can stay with me always.” She is going to be such a bright example to everyone around her! The primary and ward members did so much to make it beautiful and it was a full house! Standing room only! The ward was so welcoming and the spirit was amazing! Her whole family came to the baptism, which was a miracle and they were all so proud of her.

Angelo, her less active brother, gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and it made me cry. It was so simple and so powerful. His testimony was so genuine and the spirit was felt so strongly.
Afterward, I asked the dad, Nacho, what he thought. He said it was good and he was so glad that all of his children have chosen to be with God, no matter what church they have chosen. He said he was proud of all of them for making their own decision. And then I told him that he and his wife were a little out numbered now! They laughed and the mom, Gina, said, " I know, I know, HINT, HINT!" But, I assured both of them I loved them so much no matter what, but I have truly seen their family blessed through the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know their kids are going to be such an example to the both of them.

Yesterday, Anabel was confirmed in sacrament meeting, which was a really special day. Her ward has sacrament meeting last, so Sister Britton and I went to Primary and taught Anabel’s class about the Holy Ghost. Anabel said receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost was what she was most excited about. All the children in her Primary class shared experiences they had each had with the Holy Ghost. Sister Britton and I sang them the song we sang at the baptism, which was extra fun because they loved it so much. I sat with Anabel in sacrament meeting. She received a beautiful blessing along with her receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost when she was confirmed a member of the Church, but the most spiritual experience for me was after the confirmation when she came to sit back down. I could literally feel the spirit radiating off of her. It was AMAZING! She already has the sweetest spirit, so receiving that gift was so special. It was a testimony meeting and probably half of the testimonies shared were about Anabel. It was beautiful. I got to bear my testimony as well and I’m so grateful I did because that feeling was overwhelming and I had to share it.

After she was confirmed, she ran down the aisle in the chapel to give her dad, Nacho, a hug because he was sitting in a different spot since he came late. It was so beautiful to see him there. I asked how she felt and she just look at me and said so quietly with a big grin " happy" - the sprit was exploding!!!! AHH, I wish I could describe it better, it was just such a good day.

Another miracle of this week is that we got 2 new investigators! We have been praying for several weeks for them and then all at once - two! And, Karson - one of them is David Archuleta’s cousin, so that happened. ;) Haha, really its been such a wonderful week! I love being a missionary and I love you all! Keep smiling!

-Sister MaRiah B. Hatch

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Missionary Miracles September 6, 2014

Conference was AMAZING!! I’m glad we got to share that experience together of being in the same session even though I didn't see you, Mom and Dad. I had to respond quickly when Caleb said "do you want to tell me what balcony your parents are in? I was like NO! but tell them I love them ;)  It was amazing and so fun to see him and James. I also saw John Lane and Maggie Thature from BYU, that was fun. 

So the reason we got to go to that session was because of a conference miracle of accompanying a WHOLE FAMILY who are all sorts of places in the gospel. They were so excited to go and our Zone Leaders had two extra tickets for that session with them so we planned to meet them their. Unfortunately Satan is working hard on them and they weren’t able to make it and called to tell us just upon arriving at the conference center. It was really sad but the two girls  were at least able to watch it on TV the next morning. This family really is amazing, and their 11-year-old daughter Anabel will be my first investigator baptized on my mission! The mom and dad, Gina and Nacho (yes, his name is Nacho, he's just that cool) are not members, but after Anabel, all their kids are.

Their son Angelo was baptized about 6 years ago, but has been in active pretty much ever since. Their daughter Jasmine (17) was baptized just before I came into the area and is doing AWESOME! It was at her baptism that Anabel felt the spirit so strongly and let Sister Britton and Gilmore know that she wanted to be baptized, too! She is sooo sweet and progressing so well. Agh, she is just so filled with light, I love teaching children! We have really clicked, her baptism is next weekend and she asked me to give the talk on baptism!

There have been so many miracles in her lessons these last couple of weeks. The first miracle is that her brother, Angelo, sat in on one of the lessons a couple weeks ago. He was just on the computer in the same room, but as the lesson progressed he slowly turned around and became fully engaged, at the end he gave the most beautiful prayer! He is really excited for Anabel and has been talking to her about coming back to church! Last week we were planning out the baptism with Anabel and telling her all the things she needed to ask people to do, and as we were listing some of the things Angelo VOLUNTEERED to give the talk on the Holy Ghost!!!

Another miracle is about the mom Gina. She's not a member but has been more supportive than her husband concerning her kids being in the church. She is proud of them and wants to be an example to them. We didn't know she smoked, but she happened to sit in on the lesson for Anabel about the Word of Wisdom! She expressed how she has been praying for a long time for strength to help her quit smoking and drinking - for her kids’ sakes! She is going to do the missionary 7-day-quit-smoking program and we are hoping from there we can start teaching her!!

Nacho is a little more hesitant but that’s where miracle #3 comes in, Nacho tries really hard not to like us, but he actually loves us. He has been struggling with feeling like his family is leaving him out and not respecting him as the head of the house. When we went to drop off the conference tickets for the kids and Gina, he poured out his heart to us and we were able to say a prayer with him and comfort him and then get a ticket for him as well! He was really grateful for us. The Lord is preparing their hearts and I know the gospel will bless their family. Gina and Nacho keep having disagreements though, which is making it hard. Please pray for their relationship to strengthen with each other so we can help strengthen them in Jesus Christ! So many talks from conference made me think of them, I pray we can help them hear those messages since they weren’t able to make it! 

We asked the ward YW president, Sister Ricks, to invite Jasmine and Anabel to watch with her family at her house Sunday morning. Later we got a text from Sister Ricks that said Jasmine told her they weren't coming because their mom decided to make breakfast for the family so they could watch ALL TOGETHER! It was amazing that that was even a thought, even though Gina and her husband ended up getting in a fight and not watching, Anabel and Jasmine still got to watch and they loved it! And Gina asked us to pray for her and her husband, so we know good things are going to happen. The Lord is preparing them!

Here are a couple more miracles I remembered: Kris Black, is a lady in her fifties who decided to remove her records from the Church back in her twenties. She has her doctorate in theology and did her dissertation on the LDS religion and has just decided to be re-baptized!!!!

Also, we just got in the door of a potential investigator who we have been praying about for weeks! She invited us to come back on Tuesday! So many miracles! 

We have three people who are considered investigators: one is Anabel, one I haven't met, yet, because she is so dang hard to get a hold of, and the other is Dr. Quinn who is an 80-plus-year-old retired botany professor, who introduces him self as an "advanced thinker" and a "agnostic atheist". He LOVES learning but has no interest in actually practicing what we teach him. He is so sweet and we are really sad that we're going to have to drop him as an investigator because he doesn't follow his commitments. He is also "close to perfection" so he doesn't feel he needs to. HE IS A CRACK UP! But, please also pray for him that his heart will be softened and he will recognize the need for the atonement and the plan of happiness. We are still searching for new investigators so hopefully I will have more to report on soon - (hopefully Gina and Nacho!)  OH! Martha is hopefully soon going to be a progressing investigator who I guess was dropped a while ago. She is single lady in her fifties who suffers from PTSD. She has lots of mental and depression problems, but is considering her spiritual journey. We have been serving her since she broke her shoulder and loves hearing our messages, it really helps her calm down. Oh, love her to death. She has these crazy episodes some times but always loves us, so she keeps life exciting and a little funny. ;)  

Sister Britton continues to be the best trainer ever! We are so alike. Also, she is a foodie just like our family so that’s dangerous, together we are working on temperance. She said she is grateful for me because I’m the first person she has met on her mission who doesn't think its weird to put jam on grilled cheese and apples on pizza. We are soul sisters – haha – also, she has 8 months left so she will be home for Thanksgiving 2015. I often talk about our Thanksgiving meals - so don't be surprised when she shows up next Thanks giving. ;)

Back to General Conference: I LOVED Elder Scott’s, Elder Bednar’s, and Elder Kacher’s talk! I agree, there was so much inspiration in this session and it gave me lots of comfort and answers to things and people I have been praying for. Oh, Elder Bednar is perfection. That was a talk I’m sure ALL MISSIONARIES were praying for. When he got us and said I’m going to speak directly to people who are not members of the church, I was like, YESSSS!!!!!! So Im sure we will be using that lots!

When I was preparing for conference I was hoping to get clear direction on how to balance strengthening my testimony for myself and focusing on my investigators as I teach. I leaned they go HAND IN HAND and it's ok to focus on my own testimony, especially as a new missionary, because as I do, my desire to share will grow and as I share, my testimony will grow. Its scary to be a missionary. A focus we have in our mission is to invite people to be baptized in the FIRST LESSON! It's crazy but I know it works and that my fear to invite God’s children the first time I meet them will disappear and strengthen my own testimony and come to better understand the effect it has in my life. I know any fears we have to be missionaries in every stage of our life will become small as we recognize our purpose in life and the effect the gospel has in directing us personally! Not only will our fear disappear, but we will be EAGER to share it with EVERYONE!

Thanks for your testimony and your prayers! I would love to hear some of your favorite insights and quotes from conference! Actually, I would love to hear EVERYONE’S insights and conference! Tell everyone to comment on my blog or Facebook or Instagram about their favorites! Oh, and that they should share their favorites also with someone needing love and encouragement... let us ALL press on in the work of the Lord!  (:

Have a beautiful week!! (: LOVE YOU!!

Love Sister Hatch!