*Elder Hatch returns home from his mission the last week of February and he will report on his mission on March 10th. More details will be posted as it gets closer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I am NOT in Kansas anymore!

So much has happened this week i don´t even know where to start! it's crazy to think that a week ago i was still in regular old provo and now i'm seriously in a different world. Right after that last email I wrote all the new gringos went and played soccer on the sweet field and this elder, Elder Cochrane, had never played sports before... and that's where the problem begins. we were just playing a small sided game and he tripped over the ball and fell on his arm and his wrist completely snapped, like how harry potter's arm looks when he falls off his broom, and long story short, he went home the next night. total time in peru.. about 48 hours. I feel so bad for him! but he'll probably be able to come back soon. The best way to describe the ccm here is different. it's not better or worse than the provo mtc, but completely different. I severely miss the food in the provo mtc though and i should have brought my candy with me and ditched something else because candy is in short supply. but i'll give you a rundown of how most stuff goes here, there's so much to tell!

food: Every morning for breakfast we have scrambled eggs, two huge fist sized loafs of bread, coffee-flavored hot chocolate (nasty) and peach yogurt (fantastic). every morning. oh, and there's some version of frosted flakes and they have powdered milk and some sort of sassy juice always. lunch is the biggest meal of the day by far in Peru and you usually eat it around two or three but here it's at noon. you ALWAYS have rice. everyone sings this song that's to the tune of a hymn that's only in Spanish but the words are just mas arroz, or more rice. but anyway we have rice and meat and a potato with some sort of gravy. if  you eat too much rice you get constipated and if you drink too much juice you have diarrhea. there is NO balance , haha it's killer, but you learn to cope. except the elder who didn't go for seven days... and dinner is the same as lunch, but not as big. oh, and with every meal there's always a weird side dish that nobody knows what it actually is. sometimes it's unreal, sometimes it's killer, so you have to get it! in the middle of the week i started hating the food and dreaded every meal but now I'm getting accustomed to the food, and i actually really like it. the secret is to just pound it down and don't think about what it actually is. i've eaten so many of the weird dishes that i never ever ever ever would have eaten in the states because here it's severely rude if you don't completely clean your plate. so i'm no longer a picky eater because it's not allowed here!
Companions: since elder cochrane went home, elder morales and i got his companion added to us, elder almeyda. he's awesome too just like elder morales! eld almeyda is from the south part of lima, so i get a peruvian and a chilean and in my room there's also an argentinian, elder baez. i love the latinos, they are way over the top nice and are such good missionaries. having two companions is different but super fun!

Spanish: It's incredible how much spanish you can learn when everything you do is in spanish! if you want your companion to do something you have to figure out how to tell him in spanish. some things are super duper hard to communicate such as laundry stuff i found out today, because i definitely don´t know my laundry vocabulary. luckily i speak a lot more spanish than most of the norteamericanos here. my spanish has been such a blessing because i can understand what people are saying. i actually translated with a headset thing in a TRC the other day, that was a fun experience! oh, and i played the piano for the whole mtc while some latinos sang. and i played in sacrament meeting, which was a first. my comfort zone no longer exists. I have been teaching my companions some english but elder morales struggles with it, it's so funny! i taught him to say do you understand me? but he says you do understars me?

sports: the latinos live and breathe futbol. and if you play well and you're white they worship you. the first day i had a hat trick and the sweetest header goal of my life, so yeah now everyone knows my name and every time they see me they just say goal! or something like that. now i have to keep it up though. i didn't score today and they were all really disappointed in me. i'll have to pick it up tomorrow or they'll forget my name. oh and one day we played basketball because it was the day after elder cochrane got dominated and we weren't allowed to play futbol. anyway the latinos play basketball so funny! it was basically futbol with their hands but they looked so awkward!  

oh i saw the strattons today at the temple! and we got to go to the outside world today which was crazy! i'm like out of time now though. i'll try to send pictures next week.

i haven't gotten any letters yet, but i hear they take a really long time to get here, so just don't forget about me :) love you guys!

Elder hahch (the way they say my name)

oh and i would love candy packages in five weeks when i'm done here! oh and there's an elder who looks exactly like chancho from nacho libre and speaks really funny/good english! his name is elder paternina and he was reading this email over my shoulder and making fun of me just a minute ago.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

First letter from Peru

Hello! We get to write you today because it's our first day! Today we
basically have the whole day to chill and acclimate to all the
changes. First of all just let me sum up the last day. wow. From
Atlanta to Lima i sat next to a member of the church, who is a nurse
in the air force and he was going to lima to train some people. it was
really cool. and I met an old man who was Peruvian and Belgian who was
a member too. A guy named Moroni Torres met us at the airport and we
went in a huge bus through the most dangerous part of town at 130 in
the morning (sorry this is a Spanish keyboard and I don't know how to
do everything on it yet.) but the MTC here is so nice! it's in its own
little city with huge walls all around it and it's basically just
three buildings. The showers and bathrooms here are way nicer than the
ones at the Provo, MTC, and so are the rooms! The food is a little
weird.. we had cereal in yogurt for breakfast and scrambled eggs with
like breadsticks, then lunch was...liver... with some orange stuff and
rice, and like beet salad. I'm learning to just eat and not think
about how things taste because it's apparently really offensive to not
eat everything here. My companion is from Chile aka the fastest, most
incomprehensible Spanish ever, but i just tell him to speak slow and
he's teaching me a lot. his name is something to the effect of elder
something angel something something Morales, haha I'll tell you what
it actually is next week, i can't remember the in between parts. i got
another haircut today and now I'm completely buzzed. we all have
Latino companions and it's such a challenge to speak with everyone!
but elder Sorenson and i are the best at Spanish so we kind of
translate for everyone and I made pretty good friends with an elder in
my room named Elder Boez from Argentina, and he kept complimenting me
on my Spanish. it's awesome when you ask someone what a word means and
they don't speak English so they just describe it in Spanish, like we
were asking what a shadow is and stuff like that. The mtc is in a part
of town called La Molina which is the really rich part and there is a
pretty big mountain next to us with a sniper tower on top of it
because people try to bomb this bank by us apparently. there are scary
guards who wear black jumpsuits and ski masks all around, and lots of
wild dogs! Next Saturday we get to go and teach and shop in a place
called miraflores. my address is elder jacob hatch peru piura Av.
melgarejo 159 urb. campo verde la molina, lima peru. i don{t know if
that's the one you already have. i'm still figuring everything out
here and it's a crazy culture shock but i love it! the buildings all
have such nice ac in them and it's absolutely beautiful outside. the
Latino elders are all really nice and love that we're trying to speak
Spanish and it's really really funny when they speak English back. my
time's up so I'll write you in a week or so! I'd love letters while I'm
here :)
love you!
elder hatch

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last letter from the USA

Ah it feels so good to be able to be here right now and still be holding strong onto the hope that I´m going to Peru tomorrow! The terrible news of this week is that Elder Pritchett just found out like an hour ago that he won´t be going to Peru tomorrow anymore because his Visa didn't come through. It´s the biggest bummer, but on the bright side, I´m still going! :) Last week when Elder Bednar was supposed to come he didn't. But it was Elder Gavarret from the 70 who I think is from Peru which was really cool! His wife doesn't speak much English at all but she bore her testimony in English, Spanish, and Portugese extremely simply and it was so strong!

This week has been mostly normal with not too many crazy experiences, etc. but it has been incredibly spiritual! I worked really hard at learning all the scriptures from the first few lessons and I've made some good progress there and I also memorized all the articles of faith in Spanish! I'm pretty proud of that because I didn't even have them all memorized in English. So, now I have officially memorized everything in Spanish I was asked to in 9 weeks and I did it in three! (First vision, D&C 4, Articles of Faith, and Baptismal Prayer) Not to brag but I'm pretty cool. One of our teachers, Hna Penalillo is pregnant so she took her hours down and got moved to another district, so we had a sub for a few days named Hna puziani, from Argentina who was the most intense person on earth! She spoke English faster than anyone I've ever heard and Spanish even faster, and somehow, (must have been the spirit) I could understand everything she said!) My understanding is really way better than I thought it would be this far into the mission, but my speaking is definitely behind where I'd like it to be considering I'm going to Peru tomorrow. When we first met Hna Puziani she made us door contact her by companionships and for Eld Pritchett and I she said she was an atheist and an orphan and hated life basically and I just started laughing and walked away, It was ridiculous, but teaching is so much fun! We started doing progressive investigators in our district this week and Eld Pritchett and I were teaching Hno Anderson as someone else, and we were teaching him the first discussion. I can't really describe it but it was probably in the top few most spiritual experiences of my life. We were teaching him in Spanish and usually we kind of struggle, but for a few minutes I could say everything I needed to. I was telling him about the plan of salvation and why we are here on earth, and I felt so strongly that I wanted him to know this!

The mission is amazing! I never would have thought I would be able to take a practice teaching situation that seriously, but you really get into them! I played the piano again in priesthood, even though our zone leaders changed so I thought i was safe from getting asked again, the new ones found me.

Mom, everyone loves your cereal treat stuff you made, it's so good! I have so many treats and candies that I share them with everyone who walks by our room and I really think it's boosting my popularity a lot. Thanks for the CD, candy, notebooks, and PICTURES, drivers license and valentines! That package was awesome! I'm so excited for the cd. We aren't allowed to listen to music at all here in the mtc though so hopefully I'll be able to listen to it soon. Linds, tons of people have been raving about the blog and how good it is! Thank you so much for using your time to do something for me! It really means a lot!

Remember when I watched the district movies before i came out? Well like half the people from those movies work at the MTC now and yeah, I get star struck pretty easily! it's so weird seeing them!

Brother Heaton spoke at our Sunday fireside yesterday, and they have a huge picture up of whoever is speaking in the auditorium right before they speak, but elder Pritchett and I were a little late getting there so we didn't see until last minute and I started freaking out and realized Shelley would be there and I had to go say hi to her, then I realized that I haven't talked to a girl in three weeks and I'm already SO awkward. But it was so cool to see someone from the outside world!

Now a little bit about my feelings: I have been so surprised about how this experience in the MTC has gone for me. Honestly, the first few days were the worst, and the rest of the first week was just basically getting through it. I expected that part. But I never could have expected how much better my relationship with my Father in Heaven has gotten. It's amazing how simple it is- If you spend your time trying to do what He wants, you'll feel the spirit so much more! I always just feel like His arms are wrapped around me and I constantly feel His love. Learning more about the Savior has been an incredible blessing for me. I have never really questioned anything about the church, I've just known it was true, but now that I'm learning to help other people find out it's true, my studying and praying and basically everything about me has changed for the better. I've been so surprised to find out what I miss from home. the only times I've missed my phone have been when I wanted to translate something from English to Spanish and when I wanted to look up a scripture really fast. I also weirdly don't miss music at all, which used to be a huge part of my life. I do, however, miss not being tired ALL THE TIME. I can't fall asleep until like midnight every night so I'm not running on too much sleep, (which has resulted in my eyes hurting really bad, so I'm not wearing my contacts anymore because they hurt too much even without my contacts in!) I love the changes that are happening in my life right now and I can't believe that I'll be in Peru tomorrow! Congrats to Corbin and his mission call! Anywhere is perfect to serve
Elder Hatch

Pictures from the MTC!

Jacob sent some pictures!  He leaves to Peru TOMORROW!  He gets to call home while he’s waiting at the SLC airport. Here are the pictures with captions included.Jacob 001I’m not going here thankfully, I’m ready for some warmth!


Elder Pritchett y yo, Los Peruanos! Apparently there are two other elders flying down with us who are both going to Piura too!


Elders: Hatch, Pritchett, Hadley, Anderson, Zobell, Welton, Monson, Toone. It was freezing this day!


We have a coatrack in our tiny little classroom and one day they were all lined up super perfect so I took a picture.  I thought it was artsy Smile


The sun was super bright and right in our eyes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week 2

To start off, last week seemed like an eternity and this week seemed like ten seconds. I can't believe I'm already more than halfway done here at the MTC, and that's actually for sure now! The big news of the week was that Elder Pritchett and I got our travel plans to the Lima CCM and we leave on Feb 16th just as planned! We were so blessed to get them just after our first week, because the visa business here is ridiculous right now. There is an elder who got reassigned for three weeks to St. George then they told him they had his visa stuff so he came back here but they really didn't! And even people going to the Peru MTC have been here for upwards of four weeks, so yeah we were super pumped to get our travel plans. Also this week the floodgates from heaven opened up and the mail started rolling in! Thank you everybody so much for remembering me, I appreciate it way more than I could tell you!
Our district is getting to be really good friends. We're all really different but the Gospel brings us together and it's such a blessing to be able to sit around in our little 10x15 room and talk about the simple truths of the Gospel every day. Lindsey- thanks so much for your letters and everyone's addresses, I'm excited to actually be able to communicate back to people now! Mom, I think if you send me any more food I'll have to start storing it in other people's rooms because mine space in the room is already overflowing. I'll try to send some pictures today, I'm not really sure how the whole picture deal works here at the MTC. We got to go to the temple today and that was a great experience. If you want to send me letters you still can use DearElder this week for free, but if you're sending anything after next monday you should probably send it to Peru, and it costs money I think. Also, I heard if I get any packages in the Peru MTC they'll make me open them and throw everything in the trash can because it creates inequality between the American Elders and the hispanic ones because they don't have parents who can afford to send them packages. But keep the letters coming! Also, please date letters when you send them to me and tell me if you do pouch or normal postage so I can see how long they take, etc.
I was sick pretty much all this week, thanks to Elder Pritchett :) but today I'm feeling almost all the way back to normal. I just barely got word that Elder Bednar is speaking tonight in the Fireside!! I'm so excited now! So we'll have to go like an hour early and get some decent seats. Mom and Dad, I don't think I need anything else before I go to Peru, and if you send me more food I won't be able to eat it haha. I love you guys! I don't have too much to say this week, it was just mainly spent studying all day every day. I have come to understand why everyone needs this Gospel, it can have such and amazing effect on their lives! We have been practicing teaching A LOT and Elder Pritchett and I dominate. We started this week at the TRC- Teaching referral? center where volunteers come in and we contact them in Spanish and get to know them then teach them a lesson in English. Ours went really really well and it felt amazing to actually teach a person we didn't know regardless of him already being a member and it being fake. I've been practing my verb tenses in Spanish a ton this week, and everything is starting to make a lot more sense now. I know I'm going to absolutely get dominated when I get to Peru though, so I'm not letting my head get big at all.
Lindsey did you get Toms? I just thought of that box...
Thanks for the sports updates, I'm so excited that BYU is doing so well! Elder Zobell gets some news clipping about Jimmer every single day and I have fun reading those. Oh, I saw Brother Patton in the temple today! that was fun.
My testimony is growing every day from studying the basic principles of the Gospel. I know that this message I have will bring so much joy to so many people! I feel honored to be involved in such a great cause, and I hope I can live up to Heavenly Father's expectations for me. I'm working hard and praying hard. I pray for you every day mom, I hope you start feeling better soon!
I love you all!
Elder Hatch
Next week when I write will be my last day in the US!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FIRST letter home!

Hola querida familia!

I only have a half hour to do email, so I'm just going to type as fast as I can and try to tell you everything that's happened this first week even though it's not even close to possible!

My District: My companion is Elder William Pritchett, he's from Oakland, CA, but more recently he has been going to school at a little school called MIT. yeah, so I'm definitely the smart one in the companionship. He's a sophomore there and majoring in Engineering. He rows crew for MIT and yeah he's pretty smart. Our district leader is Elder Welton from Arizona. He and elder Zobell are companions and they're both from Arizona and they're Sun Devils. Elders Toone and Monson are from Beverly Hills, CA and Draper, UT respectively and they're the comic relief for the district. Elder toone is super into hardcore downhill longboarding and elder Monson went to Alta and  BYU, and always threatens people by saying he'll tell his grandpa Tommy if they're bad. It's seriously the funniest thing ever because they're not related in any way. Elder Anderson and Hadley... they're from Oklahoma and Minnesota. Hadley went to BYU and Anderson just barely verbally committed to be a quarterback for the University of Utah when he gets back from his mission. Our district is super fun and we all have been loving our time here at the MTC.

Food: The food is basically the levtovers from the Cannon center that have been frozen and stored for like a week, and it definitely shows. They're loaded with preservatives which makes every day an adventure to see what will happen with your bowels. But we're never really hungry, and I'm eating more than I've ever eaten in my life.

Class: Every day we have like ten hours in our classroom with the eight of us, and it can definitely get long, but the stuff we're doing is really interesting and we all know it's important if we want to have successful missions, so we mostly stay on task :) I have been amazed at how much Spanish I actually remember. Our teachers, Hermano Anderson and Hermana Penalillo, speak to us in like 95% Spanish, and I understand almost everything they say. The problem is being able to say what I want in spanish. I have learned how to pray in spanish and that's really cool. We only speak Spanish in our dorm room and it's fun to try to figure out how to say new things all the time! This week we have been focusing a lot on how to tell what people need. In class we watch a bunch of movies that are basically personality profiles of people all over the world that are nonmembers and we try to apply different Gospel principles to their lives and see how the Gospel could help them. We also study Predicad mi Evangelio a lot (preach my gospel) and are basically just thinking about how we can connect with our investigators. This week, however, we are going to start learning a lot more Spanish which I'm really excited for. In class every day we have time when we have a teacher with us and time called MDT or Missionary Designated Time, where we plan the day before and have to use our time wisely and do Personal, Companionship, and language study. Usually that time is a four hour block in the middle of the day. Last week I memorized D&C 4, my purpose as a missionary, and Joseph Smith's first vision all in Spanish! We sing tons of himnos every day all in Spanish and I love them! Lots of the songs are honestly way better in spanish than English. We have firesides every Sunday and Tuesday where general authorities etc come talk to the whole MTC, and when we all sing together the spirit is so strong! That's one of the things I love the most about the MTC: how everyone here is trying their best to serve God and when everyone has such a unified, pure purpose, the Spirit comes extremely easily. We watched the Joseph Smith movie after our fireside on Sunday and the Spirit was so thick I swear you could have cut it with a knife. 

Gym: Every day except sunday and P-day we have an hour of gym time which is basically big kids recess. they have basketball, volleyball, a track, and four square. Lika all our district plays volleyball and it's really fun!

Answering Questions: I have seen so many people I know! and tons of people from my mission prep class at BYU. I see Elder Shumway, Mitton, and Henderson basically every day which is really fun. thanks so much for the package! It is always so fun to hear from the family, but i have a request. Please write me on DearElder.com because through that service, we can get letters everyday whereas with email, we only have our half hour to read and respond to all our emails! so please, everyone write me on dearelder and that way I can get them throughout the week and respond better, etc. Plus, letters are what really keep missionaries going. Our district leader picks them up in the morning and we can't read them until 9:30, so it really keeps you excited and motivated throughout the day. I need my priesthood line of authority and a hundred dollars mom! please send it quick so I can get it here and not in Peru. Speaking of, almost everyone's visas are delayed but apparently peru is still doing fine, so we really don't know where we'll be in a few weeks. Oh yeah, elder pritchett is going to Lima North, and all the other elders in our district are going to various places in Mexico. Yes, my missionary scripture is the one Dad said. Please somehow find out Rodney's address, like call austin saguibo and get it for me, because he writes me all the time and I'd love to be able to write him back. Also I need the address of my old dorm.

Friends: Please write me a letter so I can have your address! I want to write a bunch of people but i realized I don't have anyone's addresses!

Family, I love you and I miss you. I love hearing from you too! I am loving my time here at the MTC and I am so grateful for this chance i have to do the Lord's work. It's been the longest, and one of the hardest weeks of my life. But I love it here! love you all,

Elder Hatch