*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.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I'm going to jump straight to the two highlights of the week.

#1. On the way to Cajamarca with President and Sister Risso, we were driving along talking about random things, and after about two hours things got silent, so i pulled out my scriptures and started reading a bit in Alma, when he talks with his sons after their mission to the Zoramites. I had been reading like ten minutes when Sister Risso pops in a CD. I was expecting regular church music, but it was The Carpenters greatest hits!!!!! I was so pumped! I don't know if i ever told the family, or anyone except Zach White, but like 6 months before my mission i randomly fell in love with the Carpenters and listened to them all the time. Of course my love for them sprung from mom and dad listening to them all through my childhood, and i told President Risso that my parents like this music too, and he was surprised, so that started an hour long conversation about 70s music. In conclusion, President and Sister Risso have the exact same music tastes as mom and dad. Very classy. Another great fact of president Risso is that he played in a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, so of course we listened to some of that too. Life as assistant is so different from being a normal missionary.. I would have never imagined myself listening to music like that in the mission... But i guess it's legal if your mission president puts it on and is singing along... 

#2. Also in Cajamarca..

We were going around with President Risso and the zone leaders of Cajamarca to different parts of the valley where we want to put missionaries and open up new family groups (that will eventually turn into branches) We were in one area called Moyococha when the zone leaders get a phone call from some sister missionaries in the zone saying one of them was sick and had fainted. So, we finished up there in Moyococha and made our way to Baños del Inca, where the sister missionary was sick. We get to their pension (where they eat, a little house) and go up to the second floor and the sister missionary was lying on the floor unconscious. we were expecting her to be dizzy or just feeling sick or something, so we all kind of went into shock, but knew we needed to get her to the clinic fast! They told us she had been throwing up and convulsing then went unconscious.. Everyone wanted to group lift her with a blanket under her, but that was just ridiculous, so one of the zone leaders and i picked her up and started taking her to the stairs. Now, mind you that i've been at sea level for almost two years, and Cajamarca is at 3000 meters above sea level, so i could barely breathe anyway, plus the shock, plus not ever exercising, it was rough. I was shaking like a leaf, everyone was all flustered and nervous, and when we got to the stairs we realized two people couldn't fit carrying her down, so we kind of had to pass her down the stairs (way harder than it sounds with an unconscious person on a cramped peruvian staircase) and then i carried her to the car. When we laid her down across the seat i was almost dead, but felt like we should give her a blessing. I barely managed to get the top off my oil container because i was shaking so badly, but we gave her a blessing to make it okay to the clinic. That was a tense drive.. She came to for a few seconds in the car and started to almost throw up, then her eyes opened up really wide and she fell back limp and unconscious. that was crazy. But we made it to the clinic, and a few minutes later she came to, but was in bad shape. They didn't know what the problem was with her, she was complaining of a really bad headache, but they gave her an IV and like two hours later sent her back to her house. ( i have no idea why they sent her away so soon) but apparently she was doing ok. We finished off the day working with the zone leaders,and when elder chuiz and i were finishing up our daily planning session at 10 at night our phone rings. It was the sister missionaries. she says frantically, "Elder Hatch, my companion is unconscious again" WHAT?! So we call president Risso and grab a taxi and rush back to Baños del Inca which is like 20 minutes away, and run into their room this time where the sister is there on the floor of the bathroom out cold. This time it wasn't as rough to get her out of the house because there was more room to maneuver, and we rushed her to the clinic again. This time they took the case more seriously and she stayed the night and they did a bunch of tests today, but i still don't know what the problem is.. It was NUTS!! 

The rest of the week was pretty normal, we did a leadership training there, and worked with different companionships in Cajamarca and a few days in our own area.. Today we played soccer for p-day and i'm realizing how seriously out of shape i am. I'm not fat anymore, just out of shape.

This week we're going to Jaen, the other far-away zone, to do the same leadership training and President Risso is going to do interviews with all the missionaries there. We're also going to the most remote area of the mission, Chachapoyas, again. It's so awesome there. I'll try to take some good pictures of the scenery! I didn't take pictures this week in Cajamarca because we were super busy and i totally forgot i had my camera.. sorry. 

Have a great week and enjoy the amazing blessings of the Restored Gospel!! 

Elder Hatch  

Here is the picture of Anthony's baptism! those are the sister missionaries from our ward, Sister Lazalde from Orem, and Sister Melendez from Lima. In front are our zone leaders, Elder Cerrutti, and Elder Despain (he just finished his mission!)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012



This week was great. I probably say that like every week, but it´s true. I wouldn't be happier anywhere else in the world. I am coming to realize how well the Lord knows each one of us, and how everything that happens to us is for a wise purpose. Last Sunday we had a ward activity where we went out visiting less active members with other members of the ward. After the activity we received a referral of a woman who another missionary and member had contacted. We visited her this week. She told us she had lost her job because of a sickness, but didn't really want to tell us what sickness. After a little bit she gathered herself and told us she is trying to face her problem and decided to tell us she is epileptic. I could tell she was embarrassed about it and definitely in the "why me?" phase of her trial. We shared our testimonies with her and some scriptures came to me that I had forgotten about, that honestly probably strengthened me more in that moment than her. We all finished feeling the spirit, and she said she wants us to come back and keep visiting her. God knows what investigators need us, but He also knows what investigators we need! I love teaching, because when I really focus on the investigator and what they need, not just sharing a lesson, we all end up being taught by the Spirit. 

We're also teaching a 40ish year old lady named Leila who has a long story with the church. Basically everyone in her family are members of the church except her, and when i jokingly said to her that she escaped the missionaries before, she started thinking and said to us that it just wasn't her time before, but that she knows that now it is! She wants to be baptized soon, but wants her semi-rebel son to be baptized with her.. so, we're trying to trap him and catch his interest so they can both be baptized! She's gone to church three consecutive weeks now! 

Other great moments of the week: In our ward mission activity this week we had a family feud activity! I kept score and changed the team names from team a and team b to "team Gadianton" and "the Nehores" Only a few of them actually got it... I was secretly testing them to see if they are reading the book of mormon... :) 

We have had some problems with the computer system of the church when we do transfers for missionaries- they show up in wrong areas, so we spent a lot of time calling support people in the area, and i ended up talking with a guy in Provo! In English! It was so hard and awkward- I have gotten so used to talking on the phone in Spanish (that's basically all i do anymore) But after all we got the problem figured out and everything is working now. 

I am now the unofficial chorister in our ward.. 

We did an exchange with the zone leaders from the Dorado zone here in Chiclayo, and i got to work with elder Insaurralde! He was my second companion. It was awesome to be back together and remember the good old days, and see how much we have both progressed in this last year. I now have officially worked in every single zone of the mission! 

Sunday i played prelude music for sacrament meeting, directed the hymns (a sister missionary plays the piano-she's better than me :) and gave a talk. I talked about preparation- how the purpose of life is to prepare ourselves for eternity, and the church's key role in that process. It didn't turn out how i wanted it to, but it went okay.

Thursday we did a leadership training meeting for all the zone leaders and district leaders in the Chiclayo area. there were 60 in all, and that turned out great. I always got bored in those meetings when i was on the other side, so i try to make things more exciting for them. I like doing interactive activities and relating them to something. This time i thought of another game and related it to how we as leaders can help the other missionaries focus on their goals and achieve more than they would alone. We assigned other zone leaders to teach about district meetings, companionship exchanges, and reports. It's just a basic training meeting we do every three months mainly for the district leaders.  

And the best part of the week... I FINALLY got the card from mom and dad!! the second one with dad's name on it. Thank you so much for all the work that went in to that just for my silly mistake. But i love the pictures and scripture mastery cards too! I think i'm going to give one of the cards to Anthony, who we baptized a few weeks ago. 

A thought for the week from my talk on Sunday:

This week we received an email confirming that Elder Pino of the 70 was going to visit our mission, and that he was going to come to the office and also inspect some rooms as part of his tour of the mission. I immediately thought about how dirty our room is (six elders in a room is bad news) and i thought of how i need to read Elder Pino's talk from the last general conference and maybe fix up some other things to be ready for his visit. President Risso commented that a visit from a general authority really isn't any different from a visit from the Savior Himself. When he said that i started thinking about how i would feel if Christ were coming to visit the mission next week. And then, what would we do if we knew His second coming was next week? Would there be people to forgive, plans to change, last minute hopes of getting to know Him better? After meditating for a while, i realized the importance of ALWAYS being prepared for whatever comes. We don't know when Christ will come, or when it will be our time to pass from this mortal life, but we do have the church and the gospel to constantly keep us prepared so that in those great days we can be ready! I hope we can all live in such a way that we truly become the sheep of the Good Shepherd, and in the day that He calls us we can recognize the name by which we are called and be accepted into His fold forever. (Alma 5:38) Oh, and after all, Elder Pino isn't coming this week. It's going to be in October or November. So we're going to Cajamarca tomorrow with president and sister Risso!! Road trip! :) 

I love you, 

Elder Hatch 

PS I want to send pictures of Anthony's baptism but they're on elder Chuiz' camera and he's not here right now, so I'll see if i can next week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012



This week was nuts. Monday and Tuesday we were in the middle of all the transfer stuff, and when we finished that we had to plan the zone leaders' council. That took an entire afternoon, but after all it turned out well.  One of the things we talked about was the area book, where the missionaries write down all the information about their investigators, etc. Elder Chuiz and I have been checking the area books of a lot of companionships when we visit different zones, and we've realized that a lot of missionaries aren't updating anything in their area books.. so, I thought up a cool example. I got a box and put a bunch of random little objects from all around the office inside. When the zone leaders were going into the meeting i had some of them look at what was in the box for ten seconds and immediately write down what they had seen. Others had to look at what was inside the box for ten seconds, but i told them not to write anything down, just remember what they saw, and other  missionaries didn't get to see what was inside the box. When it was time to talk about the area book later in the program, i had the missionaries who had only seen-and not written down what they saw, write what they could remember. Obviously it was less than the people who had written in the moment they saw what was in the box. Then we did an example. the first group of missionaries who saw and wrote down immediately are like the missionaries who update every day what they do. the second group are like missionaries who update their book every week or so, and obviously some things get left out. The third group are like missionaries who get to a new area and don't know anything that has been going on before because the missionaries before them didn't update the area book. then we talked more about it, but it was a cool example- i remember doing something like that in elementary school, and that's where the whole idea came from. 

Friday we went to one of the kind of far away zones, Chepen. It's about an hour and a half in bus south of here. We went to their zone meeting, had a killer lunch of octopus and onions in lime juice (yes, i ate it) and then went another hour south to an area called Pacasmayo to work with a companionship there. We slept over and in the morning came back to chiclayo. 

Sunday was awesome. when we got to church, Elder Hooker, the area 70, was there! A sister missionary in our ward is really good at the piano, so she played the electric organ we have there, and i led the music. elder hooker gave an amazing talk that answered a question I've kind of had on my mind for a while. he taught that when we take the sacrament we renew ALL the covenants we have made. I wasn't sure if it was all the covenants or just the baptismal covenant. That was cool. And he also talked about one of the devil's tricks. He said that the devil tries to make us think there are three options in our choices: What God wants, what the devil wants, and what I want. he tries to make us think that we can neither follow God nor Satan, and find the middle ground. That´s one of his many little tools he uses. He said that every choice we take either makes us a slave of God or a slave of the adversary. (I had never thought of being a slave of God..) But he used awesome imagery and i was very, very edified.

Sunday afternoon we went out to rescue some less active members with members of the ward. I went to a house where a little boy was sick and whining in his mother's arms. His dad (an active member) anointed and asked me to give the blessing. While we were giving him the blessing he went quiet, and i felt that he would be healed. When i finished the blessing i looked down at him and he was smiling and totally calm. The parents were amazed at how quick he had calmed down, and it just felt so good to be there. I love seeing the Priesthood authority working. I'm so grateful to have that authority and see it work to bless others. I know that God is watching over all of His children, and when we need it most, His tender mercies are made apparent in our lives. 

I love you!

Elder Hatch  

PS. My clothes are holding out really well! Some of the shirts are coming unsewn slowly, but i think they'll make it! 

And as for school... If i can hold out until October to make the decision, i think i'm going to wait. I'm praying and thinking about it, but i still haven't felt anything very strongly either way.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012



This week the letter is going to be short because i don't have much time! The Monday of transfers is always crazy here in the office! All the missionaries who were finishing up their missions were here in the morning, then they ate lunch in the mission home and at four we sent them off in the airport and now they're in Lima! It's weird for me sending off missionaries, knowing that each time is a little closer to my time... But i still don't feel the need to go home. There are some missionaries who obsess with going home, all they think about is how awesome it's going to be to be finished, but i feel bad for them! They don't realize how important this work is and how valuable the time we have here is. Tonight we receive the brand new from the MTC missionaries here, take them to the mission home and have dinner with them. Tomorrow in the morning are the transfers for the whole mission and we're hoping everything turns out well with the missionaries who are coming here from far away areas, etc! And President Risso and we made some last minute changes to where missionaries are going, so i hope we didn't mess anything up and that we informed everyone, and that the zone leaders don't forget to pick up the missionaries we assigned them to pick up in the middle of the night from bus agencies! There's lots to think about for transfers! Then, tomorrow after the transfer meeting we have the meeting where we assign the 13 new missionaries to their trainers and then have 2 hours to give them an introduction to the first 12 weeks program for new missionaries. It's a crash course on how to be a trainer and how to be trained, it's the second time i'll have done it now. 

Saturday was Anthony's baptism and Sunday was his confirmation- everything went perfectly, i even played the piano and sang a special musical number in the service. It was cool. A returned missionary who accompanied us to teach Anthony all the time baptized him. Sunday we participated in the confirmation, and a member family we're really good friends with asked us to participate in the blessing of their grandson, that was a first for me! 

After all, Elder Hooker didn't end up coming last week, but this weekend he's scheduled to come. It's going to be another busy week with lots of planning and thinking with my companion about what we should talk about in the Zone leaders' council.  

I love you family! 

Elder Hatch