*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, March 23, 2011

Last letter from the Peru MTC!

first and foremost, the bets are off, i made it through the mtc! haha it's been awesome and now i have less than a week left! it's surreal to think i'll actually get to work in a few days!  elder cochrane (broken wrist elder) is back! president whetten just randomly told me he would be coming back in the morning one night last week, then he was here! they didn't release him and he got surgery and had to have a companion with him for like a month while he was recovering! bummer. but he has at long last returned! ok now i'll answer all your questions then write my stuff. i've had beans here twice, and when we do get them it's an absolute blessing! i haven´t gotten anything from the family in the real mail. the only mail i´ve gotten in the last week has been a letter from melg and a dear elder from lindsey.. i´m still waiting for the card, i hope it gets here before i leave or i´m kind of up a creek. oh cameron emailed me! i´m pumped for that! yeah i thought i wrote already about my interview! maybe not.. he interviewed me over a video conference thing with the president of international mtc's there and asked me all about both mtcs and comparisons etc, it was unreal. and i talked to an elder and sister in the england mtc. i was just chillin in some conference room with pres whetten for like a half hour chatting. that's like the definition of my mission, i would have never guessed i would spend close to this much time with the mtc pres. i have no idea how the interview will be published or anything, keep an eye out and let me know! all i know about going to piura is that i leave next tuesday and i´ll go on an airplane ( it would take 12 hours by bus). i assume i'll go with all the other 12ish elders who are going to piura! elder sims and i are the only gringos going there this transfer.

rod mansfield is getting the truck?! lucky. now it will just taunt me always seeing it and not having it.. haha. ok i forgot to answer this forever ago, but there are no guards with guns at the mtc. at night at some place across the street there are, they look like ninjas. but there are guards here all the time, but they´re just cool regular guys who run and open the gate when people need to get out or in. this week i translated sacrament meeting which was fun, but i feel weird translating.. this week i couldn´t remember the word atonement for like five minutes, in spanish it's expiacion and i´ve said that like 3000 times and totally forgot the word atonement! tell david that i did write him back like a month ago! in the provo mtc i think.. i sent it to his real house? and i've written everyone back whose letters i've ever gotten, so if you've written me and haven't gotten anything back blame the mail! (then write me again) linds did you accept a peruvian lady as my facebook friend?! it was hermana boza, my fantastic teacher and one day she came up to me and was like elder hatch we're facebook friends! but in spanish. which is basically the same. i´m so pumped because she's my favorite peruvian person ever. haha i loved the letter from lindsey, and i'd like to welcome the european and asian people who are apparently viewing my blog. consider yourself at home. keep the byu updates coming! news is scarce here! linds, the papa john's was great, almost the same as in the us. yesterday i learned how to do those obnoxious pen tricks that people always do, and i've never been so happy! the best one is the thumb one that casey can do! i got it down with my right and left hands, that's my major accomplishment this week haha. it's been fairly uneventful, just regular old studying and learning spanish. i´m loving it so much! oh yeah which mission in chile is david going to? and yes ask zach white about farewells or something! love you, have a good week! elder hatch

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Week 4 in Peru

First of all, i read that david is going to chile and started crying! that is so exciting! now he just needs to write me and quit being worthless! ah, congrats david, you better be reading this. as for the onions and fish, we had it again yesterday. i can't thank you for forcing me to eat onions, but i can almost thank you. so, kind of thanks mom. :) seriously the fish is my favorite meat here, and i like rice again. my food experience has been a roller coaster, but as for now i'm on the top of it. i made a goal to not complain about anything, especially the food, and it's amazing how much better everything has been just since i decided to have a better attitude about it. the day when just the three of us were here we made a bunch of goals to be the kind of leaders we should when the new group came in. haha when i greeted the new group coming in i put my alarm clock right by my bed but just turned it off and went back to sleep, luckily elder schomburg wanted to help me out and we woke up to his alarm a few minutes later. being a zone leader has been really fun, it feels really good to be able to answer people's questions and be the knowledgeable  one for a change. this week absolutely flew by. the new elder morales is awesome. elder schomburg's companion, elder iza is 25, he just got baptized two years ago and is on his mission now, what a stud! it amazes me how quickly people give up everyhing in their lives for the gospel. please tell the freemans to get cameron to write me! i want to talk to him! yeah send stuff to piura from now on, and i haven't gotten any of your regular mail which is weird because i've gotten a few from other people... i'm sure they'll come soon though. serpost is probably just being slow with them if they have more than just paper in them.. i'm sleeping a lot better now, and i´m not nearly as tired during the days. sorry this letter is so short and random, a lot of people emailed me this week so i've been reading them and now don't have very much time to write. three more minutes now! i can't remember much that has happened this week other than getting all settled in with the new group. i love it here so much, but am definitely ready to get out into the field. the church is so true it's almost funny, and i'm starting to get too into my fake practicing situations. we were teaching our maestra, hna dionocio, last night in a kind of progressing investigator thing and she said she had been obeying the word of wisdom and i got so so happy! i couldn't stop smiling, and then she accepted the baptismal challenge. haha it's great here. happy birthday everyone. i love you so much and love hearing from you all. enjoy all the comforts in america because i can't!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 3 in Peru

Family! for some reason when you push enter on these computers it doesn´t go down to the next line, so just imagine that the formatting is good on this :) This week has been such an amazing one, so many things have happened and i´m loving it here so much! to start off, a bunch of random stuff so i don´t forget it. I have a wishlist now for things i would like when i get out to the field. i would like a calendar that i can hang up on the wall, and then for the next special occasion.. i don´t know what´s next haha the fourth of july? but i could really use some new glasses, mine are super scratched. you could send me pictures of some that i could get or something, i would just like some kind of basic ones.

ok, now my week. thursday and friday were just normal, nothing too exciting, so i'll skip to saturday, tracting! this week elder almeyda got switched to elder altom because elder altom's companion went home. so i was back to one companion, so we got to go out with another missionary from the lima central mission who was the most amazing i´ve ever seen! he was pretty new but just had the best attitude and was american so i was inspired to talk a lot more than usual and be really outgoing. that elder left to an appointment after like an hour so it was just me and elder morales and i decided to pretend i was that missionary, and it worked! i honestly talked more than elder morales did for the next few hours and i felt so good about it! we didn´t get into any houses but we taught a few lessons in the street and i was honestly more happy than i´ve ever been, i couldn´t stop smiling! then after lunch things got really hard, everyone was shutting us down hard core and we couldn't even get a street lesson in. so, elder morales suggested that we go into this little park ( these parks are everywhere, it's like a block size and has a circle in the middle with a raised glass case with either a porcelin statue of jesus, baby jesus, mary, or a pope in it) and pray that we could get into a house and teach a lesson. well, about ten seconds after that we walked by a little family sitting under a tiny tree in like four feet of shade in the park, so we started talking to them, sat down, and taught them about baptism. i shared 2 nephi 31 where it talks about following jesus and being baptized, then we committed the old lady, maria, and her neice, estefani, like 11 to be baptized and they accepted! it was such an aweosme feeling. then like an hour later we got into a guy named perci's house and taught him the plan of salvation, but like halfway through the lesson i felt like he needed to be taught more about baptism so i took it in that direction and he committed to be baptized too! three in one day!  not bad for new missionaries :) i absolutely know that we went into that park to pray because elder morales was guided there by the spirit. i was determined to knock every door in that neighboorhood, and if we had we would never found that little family. what an amazing example of being guided by the spirit! i hope they stick to their committments and be baptized, it will absolutely change their lives.

yesterday morning all the elders left to their missions except schomburg, sims and i, so we were the only ones here like all day yesterday. our teachers came and taught just us, then at lunch we ate in the cafeteria with pres and hna whetten, and got to eat a lot of extra desert: donuts that were so good! i had three. and then we had class in the afternoon with hna boza, who is my absolute favorite person in the world. she is so so so spiritual and her testimony could make anyone feel the spirit. she taught us an amazing lesson and we watched a movie about pres monson, on the lord's errand, which is so good! then she went out and bought us papa john's pizza and inca cola for dinner, but we still had to eat the cafeteria food too so i was so full, but papa john's was SO good! yesterday was an absolute tender mercy of the lord! we moved rooms last night and i found out that my new companion will be another elder morales, this time from guatemala though! he'll come in later today probably, i'm excited to meet him! this morning we did laundry and i wrote a few letters, and i got called down to president whetten's office over the intercom, so i went and talked to him and he called me to be a zone leader. i'm excited to get to be a leader here and hopefully i can help some people that are having a rough time transitioning into the mission.

Tonight at like 2:30 am the new shipment of 17 ish americans is coming in, and i get to be there to welcome them and give them all their info etc. so, tomorrow i'll be absolutely dead tired. elder sims got some soy sauce last week at tottus, the grocery store that's basically a target, and that has helped so much with the rice! i´m starting to like it again now! and all my treats i bought at tottus have really helped. today at 12:30 the three of us get to go on a tour of lima. we're going to the beach, a fancy park, and a huge marketplace downtown where we can do lots of shopping. and we get to have Burger King for lunch then pizza again for dinner i think! ah i just wish i could spread these two days out over my six weeks here, because the food here gets incredibly repetitive. regardless of the changes and differences here, i absolutely love it. i can feel the blessings of being a missionary in my life so strongly! i know by myself i could never understand spanish as well as i do, and waking up every morning i´m happy because i get to spend my time in the lord's work. oh and here's proof of my abilities being enlarged as a missionary. two days ago all they had left for dinner was fish, so guess what i ate? fish. and guess what i absolutely loved? fish. guess what else i now regularly eat? peppers and onions. mom, if you're crying right now, you should be, because i don't know how i'm doing it either. i hope my new companion is as good as my last one! this week i only got an email from dad, everyone write more! and it would take way too long to send pics here, i'll just send them once i'm in the field. i love you guys! the gospel is just as true here as it is in provo utah! haha love eld hatch

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2nd week in Peru

Familia! i´ll start off by answering your questions. no, elder pritchett isn´t here yet, they only send elders down every three weeks here, everything is on a three week schedule. they have one three week period where a lot of americans come down, and the next not many. elder sims, schomburg, and i are the only americans on our rotation right now until a few more come down from provo next week, which will include elder pritchett and elder sims companion and a lot more norteamericanos because they are on the on week. everything is unreal here, i love it so much! yeah that´s so awesome that corbin is going there! there´s a kid i know who is nate bridgewater´s friend, moose, who is there. yeah i´m getting your emails, and i got one batch of dearelders, from mom, dad, and casey, those only come on fridays here, but keep them coming! but a week or two before i leave send stuff to my mission. next wednesday us gringos (only three of us that will be here for four more weeks) get to go on an all day tour of lima while all the new elders are coming in, we go to the beach, a huge market, some parks, etc. good job to erik! oh and dad, thanks for the email, i read it but now i´m reading moms as i am writing this so i´m kind of responding to hers, but i read yours and loved it. thanks for writing me a lot, its always great to hear your mission stories. it´s nice to know you´ve gone through a lot of the same things i have. i never thought i´d say this but right now I HATE RICE. we have it every every every meal except breakfast, and it´s not a little, it´s like a half a plate and it´s so dry and yucky. oh well, i´ll get used to it :).

JIMMER!!!!! yes ahhh that just made my day. i hope byu actually makes it past the second round of the tourney. good idea from elder prina, i´ll have to start doing that. yeah all the water is filtered in the ccm, even in the showers, so we´re safe here. but out in the field everything has to come from a bottle. i would love a copy of my setting apart blessing, and maybe a picture of the outside of our house too, people want to know what american houses look like. ok now an accounting of my week. i'll just kind of copy what i wrote in my journal. this week i fell absolutely in love with the scriptures. every day i can´t wait to have even a little bit of free time so i can just read and learn. i can spend hours with just me, my english scriptures, and a highlighter. then when i find gems i highlight in my spanish ones too and i have tabs marking the ones that are used a lot in lessons so i can find them easier. i´m still working on memorizing references, i can think of what´s in the scripture but never what the reference is. if my whole mission goes by as fast as it has already, i´ll cry. i blink and a week has gone by! on friday night i got my dearelders from the family and after i read them i gave them to elder baez, morales, and almeyda to read out loud to practice english and it was so funny! elder baez is casi perfecto  but the others struggle a lot haha. i've learned a few spanish chistes (jokes) and i´ll tell you one. que hace el pez? nada. it means what does a fish do? and nada means nothing and swim. it´s the classic dumb joke here. dad would love it :) all the latinos are so loving and so touchy, so when i come home expect me to be like that.

i love the culture here and everyone is so accepting! which leads nicely into saturday, my first day of tracting ever! saturday mornings we load onto busses and they take us to a capilla where we plan then we tract for six hours with a lunch in the middle. there was one other norteamericano on my bus, and like 50 latinos, so yeah i was pretty scared but i knew i could do it! so like 20 of us were walking together to get to our areas to tract, and this lady working at a little street vendor thing starts screaming bloody murder at us that we´re a sect and that we´re all going to hell and we´re satan´s children, not a bad first encounter with someone on the street.. but then once we got to our area with just me, elder almeyda, elder morales, and an elder from the mission, before we split up into two companionships we knocked my very first door together. we got in and taught the first lesson to an old lady and her granddaughter, the granddaughter was pretty interested, and it was super scary when my comps would be talking then just look at me to continue, but i can honestly say that my mouth was filled when it needed to be. so after that first house, elder morales went with the other missionary and it was just me and almeyda alone in a super ghetto neighborhood called barrio rio blanco in downtown lima peru. one week in country, time to dominate. so we contacted like everyone we could. i´m so blessed to be able to understand as much as i do already. i couldn´t answer much but elder almeyda did a really good job and said what i was thinking, and we gave away as a companionship 6 books of mormon and a bunch of pamphlets. we taught an 11 year old less active member a lesson about keeping the sabbath day holy and i committed her to going to church the next day, and i actually said a lot during that lesson. she was really shy and whenever i made eye contact with her she like sunk into her chair. we ran into a really drunk guy with a huge cut on his thumb that was bleeding really bad but the spirit told me to talk to him! so i did and he spoke english and would like only talk to me in english and not my companions, which was so awesome because i had just prayed to be able to contribute more and feel like i was helping out! that was such a strong, quick answer to my prayer! but i basically bore testimony about prayer and told him his father in heaven loves him even though he´s made a lot of mistakes, which he said repeatedly, and he shook my hand and got blood all over my finger which was gross, but i gave him a restoration pamphlet with the church info on it! ok i'm almost out of time but i haven´t told the best story yet! we got set up with two awesome referrals from a member and she made us food that i was so full and couldn´t even eat, but we taught an 11 year old boy named norge and an older pregnant lady about the restoration. long story short i taught a good amount and said the first vision in spanish to them! i have never felt the spirit that strong on my mission and it was so unreal because i wasn´t scared at all, completely calm, but my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. it was like pure truth and i really feel like norge wants to learn more! i love actually doing the work. today we went to tottus, a store after the temple and got a lot of good normal food!

Saturday tracting was awesome! i learned so much on that one day and i get to go three more times still! i love it and it tests me and stretches me in every way, and that's why i learn so much. sunday we watched a talk by elder holland about missions that he gave at the provo mtc last august that was unreal, elder holland and bednar have given some awesome missionary talks that i could watch a hundred times and they make me want to be better and i get ideas of what i can do better every time i watch one of them! on monday like 12 of us went to interpol and we took taxis through town. la molina, our hood, is the nicest part of lima, and we drove through the nicest part of la molina. there were tons of bmws and mercedes, etc. i saw a hard top z4 on my first day here too! the contrast between here and where we tracted is staggering. there is trash piled on the streets there and dogs everywhere, but theyre nice, and poo everywhere on the streets. here is like the disneyland of peru. but at interpol we basically filled out a few forms and got pictures taken and they did a bunch of fingerprinting, and on the way back we saw the us embassy which has got to be the biggest, nicest, building in peru. it was awesome to see a huge american flag flying over this gigantic nice building! in our taxi american music was playing, the song that goes.. i saw the sign, i opened up my eyes and saw the sign... that one. and elder taylor and i were singing along in falsettos and the driver turned it up, it was so funny! oooh last night we had an attempt at pizza and spaghetti for dinner, and i have honestly not been that happy since i've been here. no rice for a whole meal! in class we've been working a lot on winning people's confidence and getting into houses. the term "doorstep scene" has taken on an entirely new meaning for me now :) haha. oh did you  hear there's a new mission in peru? they just announced it like two weeks ago, it takes away part of trujillo and piura, i think it's going to be called the chiclayo mission, and it will definitely affect my mission, i could maybe, very tentative maybe, end up serving there. who knows! the sunsets are beautiful here every night and the weather is always a balmy 70-80 degrees. whenever anyone hears i'm going to piura they immediately say ahhh mucho calor. aka ohhhh super hot! bring it on. i'm already sweating half the time here. and there's actually really good ac here. oh i forgot to tell about driving through lima. imagine brick two storie houses with rebar sticking out of the top so they can build higher, all of them with laundry hanging on the top level which doesn´t have a roof, and absolutely millions of those houses. as far as you can see. there are billions of busses in lima that are more the size of astro vans which are only 50 centimos to ride, the equivilant of under 25 cents. things are really cheap here except for american things. the presidential election is going on which is crazy here and there signs and its printed on the mountains in white writing. over and out