*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 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

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