Monday, January 28, 2013

Mecauayan, Bulacan

I have had a very good week.  This area is awesome.  I love it here.  I transferred to Mecauayan, Bulacan.  It is still out in the province (country) but really close to the city.  My area is just below my last area.  Funny fact, I have only served on the west side of the mission.  Also I have gone 16 months without house mates, but it is ok I am going to have a lot of fun.  My apartment is pretty good, some elders hated it, but I like it.  My companion is and American, from Selah, Washington, it is close to Yakima.  We were together back in my first area (Caloocan).  We are the zone leaders of the smallest zone, there are only 12 including us.  We have all kinds of work here, less-active and investigator.  We are going to work super hard and try to help 10 people get baptized, if all goes well.  The ward is great.  I am really excited for this transfer.  I do have some one to do my laundry, thank goodness... Ha Ha. 

One of my mission buddies was transferred to the farthest and most beautiful zone in our mission, one is still in the office, and one is my companion right now.

I like to know what is going on back at home, but I usually don't have a lot of time on the computer.  This transfer I am going to have a lot of stories to tell so it might be better if you keep yours a little short, not super short, but shorter just so I can have more time to write.

Sorry for the short email this time, but next time it will be better.

Elder Hatch

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Transferring Somewhere

This week is Transfer Week and I am TRANSFERRING!!!!!!!!!!!  I get to go to another area.  I am going to miss my companion though.  We have had a great time and it doesn't even feel like we have been together for a whole transfer; it only feels like we have been extended Exchange.  I have no idea where I am going or who my companion is going to  be I won't find out until tomorrow (Thursday 24).  Ok, this is how we find out who is transferring and how transfers work.  The Saturday before transfers, the APs call the zone leaders (Me) and tell me who in the zone are training.  I then call those who are training so that they can go to the Trainers Training.  The Tuesday before transfer day, the APs call me and tell me all that are transferring out of the zone.  I call the district leaders and tell them who is transferring out and they then call the missionary who is transferring.  Our Pday is on Wednesday, the day before transfers, so we can pack without it cutting into the work.  Thursday is Transfer day.  Every missionary who is transferring and zone leaders have to meet at the mission office before 10:30 am.  We then have a Transfer Meeting, this is where we find out where we are going and who our companion is.  We then get mail and go to our new areas and start working as soon as you get home.  The ride for us to the mission office is about two hours, and we are the farthest from the mission office.  Most of the time Elders can tell if they are going to transfer or not.  It is kind of the game we play, guess who is leaving and who is staying.  About the temple, we don't go to the temple of transfer day, our temple day is some other Wednesday in the transfer depending on your zone.  The ceremony is in English, but they have the translating headsets that they use in conference and the MTC.

We have had a good week.  We received a referral from Elder Anderson about the middle of last week, so we decided to try and go and contact it.  It was a little hard because there was no address, but there was a phone number.  We texted him to try and find out where he lived.  He did not give us very good instructions on how to find his house.  We were just about to give up when we stopped to talk to some people and place a Book of Mormon.  The lady we gave to Book of Mormon to, told us that the person we were looking for should come to where we were at then take us to his house.   So we asked him to meet us at the house we were at.  He showed up a minute later and we started teaching him.  He his a golden contact.  He was taught by sisters missionaries back in Bicol and had a baptismal date that he missed because he moved here to Bustos.  We gave him a baptismal date for February 23. Of course I am now leaving ha ha.

The only thoughts I have for "Stand in Holy Places", kind of go along with what was said in the last few conferences about how it use to be enough to just go to church, but now we have to be active and alert in church.  With "Stand in Holy Places" it use to be enough to stand for truth, but now we must stand in the best spots, in the best activities, all the time.

That is all for now I will let you know how my new area is next week.

Could you ask Larry if he is still thinking of me running the farm when I get home or not.

Love you,
Elder Hatch

Monday, January 14, 2013

Story Time

We had a pretty good week this week.  So story time.
We had a few members tell us that we should go and teach their cousin.  They gave me the directions to get to their house, now of course I did not write them down.  They told me to ask for Shira Senoy.  I went to the spot where the directions started... I forgot them.  But here in the Philippines, somehow people know people.  Especially the little stores, they know everyone within a block.  So Shira was suppose to really close to the spot that I was at.  I ask an old lady in the store if she knew Shira Senoy.  She said no go ask the store down the road a ways.  We did.  They didn't know Shira, so we continued on our way asking if they knew Shira Senoy.  Finally, one guy says that we need to walk a little ways farther and there will be a huge house and a little ally.  He said that a Shira lived down there.  So we went.  Found the huge house and the little ally, we walked down and a girl called out "Elders", Now when some says "Elders" I know they know who we are, we asked them if they knew Shira Senoy.  They say yeah it is just down the road.  They take us to the house and ask if Shira is there and she is.  Shira come out and it is not the Shira I know.  I said, thats not our Shira.  Turns out that there are three Shiras in the area.  We saw an opportunity to teach and we did.  They are a very good family and very interested.  We are very excited to teach them.  I will keep you guys updated on them for the next week because transfers are next week and it is very likely that I will transfer.  There is my story for the week.

Answers to questions:
Did you get to teach any lessons this week?
Yes, we taught 10 lessons this week.  That is an okay week for Bustos.
Did you get a new camera?
Yes, it is a Cannon.  It is really nice.  I think that it was about $110 and I got a discount.  I am taking a lot of pictures.
What did you have to sew on your pants? Did you use the sewing kit we sent you?
Because our clothes get washed by hand, they take a beating.  I had to sew the cuff on pants.  I don't really  have any idea what I did but it is still holding.  Yes, I used the sewing kit, first time.
Have you used any of the medicine or vitamins and stuff like that that we had to get you?
I have used all of it at least once, some stuff more than others, but I have used all of it.
What do you think a new missionary really needs to pack?
Thin Socks (sports socks), desk toys, you can never have too many basketball shorts and church pants, and I'll keep thinking about it.
What do you plan to do today for P-day?
We bought food this morning, a lot from the wet market and a few things from SM.  We can up to San Ildefonso, because we needed to pick up some shirts we fitted.  After that we are just going to sit around and talk about the week.  That is our plan.

Love you all,
Elder Hatch

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rice, Rice, Rice

Ok sorry this is going to be a little short.
Answers to Questions:
What is your normal Sunday dinner?
My Sunday dinner is Chicken Adobo and rice.  The only Filipino food I know how to cook.
Do you still have a rice cooker at your apartment?
Yes, I would die if I didn't.
Do you eat rice every day? 
Yes, most of the time twice a day.
Do you have more than one ward where you meet?
No, and we are a branch.
Do you have to worry about church times?
In some area there are two wards in a building, but everywhere I have served there has only been one ward in a building.
What time do you have your church meetings?
9 am or if there is another ward 1 pm.
Did you get letters from anyone? 
No, I got some emails from all the guys, but that is about it.
Did you like the stuff from the ward in you package?
I loved it, it was a really nice surprise.

Real quick, today I am going to buy a camera if I can find a good one.  I will probably spend about $150.  Also I am going to buy some insole for my shoes with the card.   I will probably spend $20.  I also had to sew my pants.  It took forever but I fixed them myself.  Last thing, and again sorry for the short email, but could you tell me how to plant potatoes and what I would need to do to help them grow and how long it would take before I could harvest them.  Our neighbor would like to grow potatoes, but I don't remember exactly how to do it.  Thanks again for all of your support and prayers.

Elder Hatch

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sweet experience

Ok first off sorry for the call, there were a lot of people in the computer shop and I wasn't feeling very well.   Don't worry I am good now.  For me being in Bustos...well I'll be ok.  Even President Sperry was a little worried about me for being here for so long.  This area has been a trial of my faith and patience.  Don't get me wrong, I love the members and it is beautiful, but no one progresses and we teach very few lessons.  About it being beautiful here, my camera is acting up.  It keeps saying that the battery is dead when they are fresh batteries.  I am going to try a few more things this week to find the problem, but I might have to buy a new camera.  Which if I do buy one it will be in the next two weeks, so just a little heads up.   Also kind of about the area and the credit card, I thought that shoe insoles weren't that expensive but they are, I will be buying some shoe insoles on Monday with the credit card, another heads up.   One more thing about the credit card, within the next few months I am going to go to the dentist for a cleaning.  Now the cleaning should be fairly cheap, but I will probably use the card.  Now if I have cavities, do you want me to get them fixed here or just wait until I get home?  I don't know which will be cheaper.   About the shirts, it will be easier for me if you just send them to me.

It does not feel like I have been out for 15 months.  The real crazy thing is that Shayla will beat me home haha.  I am starting to feel really old in the mission.  A lot of new elders coming in, I don't know any of their names.  All the old elders that were here just a few months ago, the younger elders have no idea who they are.  Time has flown and it is only going to get faster.

I have heard about the new youth curriculum, but it doesn't effect me so I don't know too much about it.  What I am looking forward to is the area broadcast on January 12.  That is were we will find out what our focus for this year will be.  I am pretty sure that it will still be about less-actives.  It will be a good to hear how we did this year with less-actives.

My companion and I are doing great.  We have a lot of fun.  We talk about the investigators, the area, home, his girlfriend, if there is anybody he can introduce me too when we get home, pretty much we talk about everything.  If it wasn't for him I would be in rough shape right now.  We only eat out once a week and that is on PDAY.  We are good on the peanut butter for a bit, thanks though.

I had one of the sweetest experience I have had on my mission yesterday (Jan 1,2013).  I can't tell you everything because of time and because of what happened, but I will tell you that Heavenly Father knows, loves, and listens to each of his children.  I learned a valuable lesson in following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  I also learned that if we live worthy then the Lord can use us in marvelous ways.

I love you all
Elder Hatch