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

Doctrine and Covenants 50:22

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sometimes, ... that's just the way the cookie crumbles. June 15, 2015

And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—D&C 29:39

This week was hard, but somehow we got through it. Thank goodness for laughter and the light of the gospel. I honestly don't even know what happened this week. It was a physical, an emotional, and a spiritual ROLLER COASTER. But Sister Smith and I have been tasting the “sweet” all transfer, so I guess we needed an opportunity to grow and strengthen our faith through our trials. I learned this week that Satan is really annoying, he really does everything he can to destroy families and cause contention. It makes me cringe that in times like this he is probably laughing at us, but I also learned that no matter what Satan does to tempt us and cause conflict, Heavenly Father quietly whispers, "It is ok; I am still in charge; you are my children and I have a plan." Satan won't be laughing for long.

The Clarks’ baptism didn't happen – but, it will. They both still have strong testimonies and so much desire to be given the gift of the holy ghost. But, life and some evil forces really interfered this week. It seems that everything that could have gone wrong this week did. Our last attempt at resolving the issue the day of their baptism was to drop off a plate of fresh-baked cookies and to talk with them face-to-face to see if we could still make it happen. As we approached their door, Sister Smith picked up the plate of cookies and seriously by some crazy outside force, I swear, the soft cookies literally just crumbled into tiny pieces. It was unreal. Sister Smith just looked at me and said, "… and that’s the way the cookie crumbles." haha We couldn't stop laughing. The rest of the whole day we didn't know if we should burst in to tears or laughter. I'm glad we chose laughter.

We got moved in to our little, old (very old) house, finally, which took up way more time than we expected and turned out to be a real stress. But, we are there and things are starting to look up. We had the house dedicated by our ward mission leader, Brother Wall, and President Glather of the stake presidency. They did so much for us and we were so overwhelmed by that point that we finally had a breakdown. But, we were able to sleep good in our new place and got blessings the next morning. In both my blessing and Sister Smith’s blessings we were told that there are specific people here in Green River, waiting for US to find them and share the gospel this week. It was so powerful and we are doing all we can this week to find them.

I am sad that I won't get to be there for Grandma’s funeral, but I also feel very at peace. I know she is close by me and doing exactly what she needs to be doing for her mission right now. I will miss her hugs.

Denise and Joey are both doing awesome. Both have just quit smoking and are still going strong. Despite, the horrible week that Denise had, she still hasn't even looked at a cigarette! We are so proud of her. The Rapues are also doing so well. They came to church yesterday and Charlotte asked us to “PLEASE" get a Book of Mormon to her sister in Arizona. (: - We got one there. They have lots of trials in their life but they are really progressing now.

I know that this church is true. I know that God is smiling down at us often and always has an outstretched hand. I know that we can trust in Him. I know He has the whole picture and we can rely on him to know everything will be ok. I know He has given us the Book of Mormon and our beloved modern day prophet, President Monson, to look to for guidance and direction. I know that if we can be like the sunflowers the Elder Cook talked about in General Conference and "follow the Son of God as the young sunflower follows the sunshine" we will grow and develop to be the beautiful flower he intends us to be. I love the gospel so much. I pray you can each find a little more light in your life this week by turning your self more towards Him.

I love you all!

XOXO, Sister Hatch

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" Mark 12:30 June 8, 2015

This week has been a mission/life changing week and it is hard to put it into words. I love Jesus Christ and love bearing my testimony about him each and every day. I just want everyone to know that his Love is perfect, his Promises are sure, and his Atonement is absolutely 100% real.

I know that Heavenly Father loves us beyond measure and we know that because he sent us His son Jesus Christ to have a fullness of light and happiness today, tomorrow, and for eternity.  I have a testimony of this gospel. I am converted to this gospel. I am being converted each and everyday.

As I have been striving to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength (D&C 4). I have learned this week that truly loving, worshiping, and serving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30, 2 Nephi 25:29, and D&C 4) is a task that we must do "line upon line precept upon precept" (2 Nephi 28:30) through daily repentance and consecration. I have heard the word “consecration” throughout my life and especially on my mission. But I am beginning to understand what it truly means to consecrate ourselves. It is more than having a testimony and it is more than conversion. It is giving our life to our Lord and relying on His grace along with our faith and works to become to the missionary and the child He would have us be. I have SO much to change and so much to give up in order to consecrate myself, but each and every day I can repent and make changes to be who He would have me be, as I submit my will to His. "There are no sacrifices in the gospel, only exchanges for something better." ~ Sister Kent

We had a wonderful zone meeting about consecration, it was very powerful and it marked a new beginning on my mission. I am so excited for what the Lord has in store for me. I also know that He has something grand beyond comprehension for all of you! I invite you to learn and study more about consecration and become who our Father would have you become. It is better than anything you could ever plan for yourself, I promise. I would also love to hear what all of you learn! Please share (:

I know as we consecrate ourselves we can change our lives and the lives of those around us. An Elder said in our meeting, "as long as we are breathing, we have more to give".  ... The Savior laid down his life for US - for you and for me and for everyone. I pray that we can each be like the Savior when He came to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon; He did and taught all that He was asked to by His Father, but because of His compassion, He did even more. I hope we can feel the love of the Savior and our Heavenly Father enough to do a little more than what is required of us. I hope we will all do as much as we can, give until there is nothing else to give. It is the best and fullest way to live. (3 Nephi 17)

We continue to see miracles here in Green River. After a scary weekend of thinking there was no way the Clarks could be baptized, our Savior "helped our unbelief" and through fasting and lots of prayer, Adam has given up chewing tobacco and Gerri and Adam both came to church! We had their interview Sunday night and they are rock solid and so ready to be baptized. We were worried to talk about tithing because of their financial issues, but they were teary-eyed as they bore their testimonies of how they have already seen the miracles of tithing in their life through faithful tithe payers they know. They lit up as we explained that because they are getting baptized on their anniversary, they will be able to be sealed on their anniversary day a year from June 11th. <3 ohh the gospel is soo good! This two-year journey of coming to know the truth has sure been a beautiful one to be a part of.

So many are having a change of heart… In the last two weeks we have taught the “stop smoking” missionary program to 5 people! Two are our investigators. Denise is preparing for her baptism on the 27th; pray she will stay strong to resist the temptation of smoking! Joey is ready to turn his life around and has quit lots of things; pray for him to stay strong, too! We are meeting lots of people who have the prepared hearts and minds to be baptized.

The church is true! I love being a representative of Jesus Christ and servant of the Lord!
oh... and we found a house! A cute little single bedroom robin-egg-blue house. (: We have so many wonderful people taking care of us.

Love, peace, and the gospel; take luck.
XOXO, Sister Hatch

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men." Moroni 7:29 ~ June 1, 2015

Well everyone, there must be some serious angels helping us minister here in Green River because, HOLY WEEK OF MIRACLES!

Last week on Monday morning after emailing, I prayed to have my fears replaced by faith for this coming transfer and Heavenly Father out poured blessings!

1st miracle: My lovely new companion Sister Smith! She is from Seattle area and we were in the same zone back when I was in Salt Lake. She has been one of those instant friends and we have already had lots of fun together and most importantly, have seen some incredible miracles.

2nd miracle: Denise. She is our new investigator who has been dating a member for several years and just started coming to church with him. She has seen how the Lord has blessed her since coming so she wants to take the lessons. We had our first lesson with her on Wednesday when we invited her to be baptized to which her response was..., "I don't know any one in there right mind who WOULDN'T want to be baptized into this church!" She is so prepared! She "feels the music" we just have to "teach her how to dance" (: (See Elder Wilford Anderson - General Conference, April 2015)

3rd miracle: The Cook family. This is a member couple with four unbaptized children who we had been trying to contact all last transfer, and before I got here, too. Sister Cook has been to church the last couple of weeks and we finally talked with her to see if we could visit. She said she would call and let us know. On Saturday we had dinner at a member’s house. Their son came up to us and asked if we were busy Thursday at 7 and if we knew the Cooks.... he preceded to tell us that Sister Cook asked us to come over at that time, her kids are all ready to be baptized, and she wants it done within the next couple of weeks before her husband has to leave for work... that never happens! Four miracle baptisms this month. dang. The Lord loves his children.

4th miracle: Our potential investigator Ernest. We saw him outside with his family and he is an active Pentecostal who loves Jesus Christ. He has been taught a few of the lessons before and had lots of questions about the Book of Mormon. We answered them for him and he was very interested and took a Book of Mormon and said he would read it and we can come back next week. (: I love being able to bear my testimony about the Savior more than anything and I am so grateful that my testimony of the Book of Mormon has strengthened so much that it strengthens my testimony of the Savior. Testifying of the Savior and the Book of Mormon and the Bible truly go hand in hand. I am especially grateful that the Spirit testifies of truth.

Many more miracles were seen but these are the highlights… or the cliff notes. I could go on and on.

OH the Clarks came to church again. Gerri is on track for the 11th, pray that Adam can make it to church next week and can quit chewing tabacco!

On a more adventurous note>> Sister Smith and I are now homeless, but we think "sister gypsies" sounds more cute. haha Anyyyway. Friday night, the lady we live with, Madeleine, comes down stairs and says, "Sisters, I don’t really know how to tell you this but my son is coming to live with me this summer, so you need to find somewhere else to live." She said no rush, but like its June so probably within the next two weeks.”...perfect. Best part is, we called our housing coordinator Elder Gordon in SLC and told him the situation. He said it was no problem and asked for our address. When we said Green River, Wyoming he goes, "OHHHHHHHHH... sorry, Sisters, you are on your own." HAHAHA So it been an interesting couple of days keeping our eyes open for a place to live. But like you know, we have an awesome stake so they are helping us out. And Elder Gordon will take care of the financial part when we find something. Sister Smith goes home in 3 months, so I was thinking I would be safe from packing for a transfer for at least a few more transfers, but I guess not. haha.

So that’s our week. We are headed to Flaming Gorge for our P-day, so it’s a short emailing day, but I love you all and I know the Savior does too. His Atonement is real.
XOXO, Sister Hatch

At dinner after we concluded with our spiritual message we asked if there was anything we could do for the family, their little boy, about 6 or 7 shot up his hand! I said, "Yes, Atticus, what can we do for you?" He looked around the room like he was searching for something to say and goes, "um...follow the Savior." <3 I love kids!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Lord, touch me with your healing hand." 25 May 2015

I absolutely cannot believe this week happened. It came and went in a blink! I am so mentally, physically, and spiritually DRAINED. But of course, the Lord NEVER ceases to pour out blessings and miracles, and this week was definitely no exception. I will try and update you on some highlights and remember all that happened.

Miracle #1>> Gerri and Adam Clark BOTH went to church! We had a visit with Gerri earlier last week and she basically bore her testimony about the Atonement for about an hour and a half. She has been taking the discussions for about a year, but even in these last 6 weeks, the Atonement has literally changed her and her life. It is incredible. With all of the mental and physical health challenges she has had and all the hard things she and Adam and the kids have been dealing with, she finally feels at peace. She tells us her prayer everyday is, "Lord, touch me with your healing hand." She said, "IT WORKS" and we said, "WE KNOW, ITS THE ATONEMENT!" Ahh so good. They said they would be at church but when we reminded them Saturday night, Adam said he was in lots of pain and not sure if he would be able to get out of bed tomorrow. We assured him that if he had faith, the Lord would help him to have the strength he needed to come to church. Gerri woke him up in the morning and he was in too much pain. Gerri usually doesn't push Adam but she told him, "Adam, we NEED these blessings, we HAVE to go to church." So they both got up and came. Adam texted us after church and told us how grateful he was that the strength we promised him was the strength of us and his wife to get him to church and after church was over his back felt so much better. I love that the Atonement can heal us in all aspects. They are verry excited for their baptism on June 11th.

Miracle #2>> The temple. I had a question I have been really been pondering going in to the temple. I asked Heavenly Father to help me have an open heart and open mind. I got my question answered and also learned so much. More than I ever had learned in the temple before. I always feel peace in the temple, but i loved ti and gained the testimony that it truly is not only the Lord's house, but his school for us to learn. I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple.

Miracle #3>> The wards in Green River are a testimony to me that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. They truly showed us this week that they are willing to bear one another burdens and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. They answered a huge prayers of Sister Kent's this week. Sister Kent is going home. Heavenly Father told her that she needs to come back to Utah; so, that is her plan in July. But there were lots of holes in that plan. She just kept having the feeling that it will work out. She doesn't really have her family and she doesn't really have a place to start. She doesn't have a whole lot, just a whole lot of faith. Last night our ward mission leader asked us to come to his home. We got there and 2 of our bishops were also there. They thanked Sister Kent for her service and handed her 3 large enveloped filled with donations from 2 of our wards to help her get started when she goes home. She was also donated frequent flyer miles to be able to come back to Utah if she needs. Many of the donations were given by less active members who truly had a desire and willingness to serve. The spirit was so strong and Sister Kent was so overcome with gratitude and joy. She was just sobbing. Heavenly Father really is mindful of all of us. He always takes care of our needs. Sister Kent is amazing. My favorite thing she taught me is that there are no sacrifices in the gospel; you only exchange things for some better things.

Miracle #4>> We made it through the week. As always, I am terrified about my new companion. Lots of prayers that it will be what I need.

Yhank you for all your prayers. Love, love, love you!

XOXO, Sister Hatch