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

Doctrine and Covenants 50:22

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My companion was T-boned by a Semi

I wish I was kidding. . .

Let me start from the beginning.

But before that I just want everyone to know that angels are real and Sister Hill and Sister Isernhagen are alive and well.

So Tuesday Sister Hill and I drove down to Lyman to do exchanges. I stayed in Lyman with Sister Lisonbee and Sister Isernhagen and Sister Hill headed back to Rock Springs.  That night it snowed and the roads were very bad. We didn't think they were all that bad until Sister Lisonbee and I started our drive to Evanston to watch the Worldwide Missionary broadcast and got stuck on I-80, which we found to be closed.

We finally got there about half way through the broadcast and went with the Evanston sisters to go eat lunch after it was finished. Our car in Rock Springs has more miles to spare and so Sister Hill and Sister Isernhagen were going to meet us back in Lyman.

Sitting at the restaurant in Evanston, we get a series of phone calls and find out that Sister Hill and Sister Isernhagen have been in an accident. I immediately broke down. I felt awful because I gave Sister Hill the ok to come because when we checked the roads after the broadcast they looked clear.
So, this is what happened: our district was watching the broadcast from the Rock Springs stake center which is located just outside of a belt loop. After the broadcast they all went to go get lunch. Sis Hill checked the blind curve 3 times before pulling out onto the loop, but as she pulled out an 18-wheeler-semi was coming at an incredible speed. Sister Hill tried her best to pull herself into the other lane but she slid on the ice. The semi driver had the same thought. Both vehicles went to the same lane and Sister Hill’s side of the car, right at her door, was hit head-on by the semi.

The Elders behind said the car flew into the air, slid about 15 feet, and spun twice. They sprinted to the car expecting to find 2 dead sister missionaries, but found both of them sitting straight up and conscious. Sister Isernhagen lost her eyesight for about an hour and both Sister Hill’s and Sister Isernhagen’s neck was hurting, so they both went to the emergency room and each was found to be fine. Sister Isernhagen got her eyesight back and Sister Hill just has a sprained neck and some pulled muscles.
Sister Lisonbee and I went as soon as we possibly could back to Rock Springs to greet the sisters at the hospital.

So, needless to say, it has been an eventful week. We are without a car, so as Sister Hill says, "Rock Springs is now Walk Springs!"

I just want to bear my testimony that God has a plan. The miracles that have come out of this tragedy have been not only miraculous but so eye-opening. God protects his servants and he helps the work roll forward in mysterious ways. I'm so grateful to be a part of this work and feel so blessed for the life I have been given. I don't know why I wasn't in that car when the sisters got hit, but God knows all. Both Sister Hill and Sister Isernhagen have blessings that give specific details that this would happen on their missions and that they would be watched over. What a testimony builder!

This experience has helped our wards grow closer together and has impacted our investigators, so in happy news, cute old man Jim will be getting baptized this weekend, instead of February 13th and Eric has finally picked a date for baptism and is set for February 6th.

I want to thank all of your for your prayers and thoughts. We wouldn't be here with out you.

I love you all! Have a happy week. (:

Monday, January 11, 2016

"And thus ended the twentieth year" (Alma 50:16) ~ 11 January 2016

Hi Family and Friends. (:
So this week was way rough but definitely a growing week. Change equals repentance. We had some great spiritually uplifting meetings on Sunday so I am looking forward to starting a fresh week.

I am so grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who literally councils with us and guides what to do and what to say and where to go. He is so real.
This week our stake revised its boundaries. I had no idea how attached I was to the people we are working with until we lost like half of them to another ward. It was like transfers all over again! ha ha But the spirit there was so strong and I know this is an opportunity for improvement and growth. We went from 11 investigators to 4 and lost most of our less active members who we have gotten really close to. :(  I know that being sad by change is not a bad thing because it means we put our heart into something or someone. The harder thing is having an open mind and an open heart to embrace the change and make miracles happen. I loved what a member of the stake presidency said: "If next week all you change is your building and the time you meet, then you have missed the message." What a blessing it was for me to look inside myself and realize what changes need to occur in order to submit my will to the Lord and accomplish His work, not mine.

Eric Lidel has committed to baptism for this month which was a huge miracle! We committed him to the 16th and he was very nervous about it. We prayed with him and he said he was going to need to pray some more. A couple of days later he texted us and said he knows it is right but is very nervous. He doesn't feel ready but knows he can be. He fell off date for the 16th because of scheduling conflicts and now isn't sure what will work. He feels overwhelmed but he knows this is right. Please keep him in your prayers.
Sister Hill and I have prayed and know that God has prepared 3 people this month to be baptized. We just need to find the other 2. We are excited to find them and have been praying super hard! More prayers would be greatly appreciated. I know you all are praying for me. When things get hard I think of all the prayers on my behalf and I get immediate strength. So, thank you.
So, I turn 21 this month. The time I have been here seems so short and yet how crazy is it that I left as 19-year-old and I have been doing missionary work all the way until my 21st year!? Crazy. But I was really excited to share that verse with you all ;)

Looking back some years down the road, this is the time I imagined myself leaving for a mission. Now if am almost done and feel so very blessed for the person God has helped me, and continues to help me, to become. He knows best. I love Him with my whole soul and wouldn't trade the relationship I have with Him and my Savior for anything else. I love being a missionary. (:
Have a good week and a cake for me.
XOXO, Sister Hatch

"Because of his loving kindness..." - 1 Nephi 19:9 ~ 4 January 2016

The New Year has begun and things are rockin' and rollin' here in Rock Springs!

The weather has dropped to minus 20. A piece of advice for the wishful Wyoming travelers: hold your breathe. When you breath the air in, it caused you nose hairs to freeze and causes pain and discomfort. It’s amazing what cold feels like in comparison though, I never thought I would be so pumped for zero degree weather! #missionarymiracles

haha Anyway, we sure have had some miracles here. I love the new year and evaluating my year and how I can be better. It’s crazy to think that last year I was looking forward to my entire year of missionary work. It has flashed before my eyes and it made it little different for me to set goals because I only have a few months left as a missionary and then I will be back to normal life. however I concluded that I want my goals to be the same as last year, I still want to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Changing from a full time missionary back to a member missionary will make that a little different but through Jesus Christ we can continue to change and become.

I have thought these last couple of days about how to be more charitable. That is something I want to become this year, along with the other Christ-like attributes. Jesus Christ atoned even for those who despised, ridiculed, scorned, mock, spat upon, and crucified Him and He did it solely because of His unwavering love for those individuals. Because of His loving kindness my soul has been redeemed, my hurts have been healed, and my weaknesses have become strengths. I pray as we approach the new year we can each be a little better because of his loving kindness.
Lots of love<3

XOXO, Sister Hatch

"From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves" ~ 28 December 2015

What a week of Christmas miracles!

After finally being out of and unstuck from all the wintery weather road closures, we are actually in Rock Springs in our assigned area! That is a miracle in its self, but on top of that, God has blessed us with so many merry things!
Christmas day we made a goal to have 5 lessons and invite someone to be baptized. The 5 lessons goal was actually a lot easier to achieve that I thought. We were able to share lots of Christmas messages with many of our investigators and less active members and member families.
The greatest miracles was when we went to Vlad's house, he is a reactivating member and his fiancé, Miamuna, is the investigator we started teaching last week. We now call Vlad's house the miracle house, because we found 2 new investigators when we went Christmas day and were able to invite one of them to be baptized!
We came in and Miamuna lit up when she saw us! We shared a Christmas message with just some of the people there because they were all busy cooking a Christmas feast, but after the message we invited everyone to join us for a prayer. At the end of the prayer, Vlad's cousin William looked at us and said, "I want to be a part of this." He said he used to be close to God and it was time to be close again, and he really likes our church. We invited him to be baptized and he willingly accepted. We will be teaching him this coming Saturday! :D His daughter Dianca also said she would be willing to learn more.
Saturday we had an AMAZING miracle. 100% lead by the Spirit. It’s a crazy story, I might have to save it for my homecoming talk. lol But, it resulted in another investigator, Amad. He is completely prepared by the Lord to be taught. The Spirit is so good.
Sunday was great. One of our wards had a really great sacrament meeting. They do it every year on the Sunday after Christmas. It's called favorite hymn Sunday. It is kind of like testimony meeting but you just go up and introduce yourself, say your favorite hymn and the page number and then you explain why it’s special to you, bear your testimony about it and then the congregation sings a verse or two of it! So fun! I bore my testimony on “Scatter Sunshine” for a few more reasons besides the fact that it is minus 15 degrees here....
Then Sister Hill and I were able to give talks in another ward about the gifts of Christmas. I love speaking. I always learn so much. I spoke about the gift we can give to the Savior, the gift of giving our hearts. Truly all we give to the Savior is just returning what He has already given us; what the Lord does not have is our hearts.

I got a Maya Angelou quote from sweet sister Lynda Fraley - it says, "Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, be better."
I know that as we rely on the Savior to constantly be a little better, we will be able to give our hearts to Him, and by doing so, He only blesses us more.
I love my Savior. I pray we can ever follow in His light.

XOXO, Sister Hatch