*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.

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

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