Mark your calanders!

Mark your calendars so you can be at Sky Harbor Airport to welcome Jordan home. He will arrive:

Tuesday June 15th
, 2010
at 5:30 pm

on British Airways to Phoenix.

Everyone is invited to welcome him off the plane!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday, January 26th, 2009

Hey family i know we just spoke last night but here are some of the details from this last week for you and for others if they want to read, so Christmas eve i ate three dinners by the 3rd dinner i was hoping and praying that one of the gifts of the spirit is an expanding stomach but unfortunately it is not or else my faith was not great enough. in the early afternoon of the 24th i called up a less active woman who had just gotten out of the hospital and asked if we could come over and sing Christmas carols which she was very excited for. we showed up and sang a couple of songs for her and she broke down and started crying she thought everybody had forgotten her for Christmas and she was all alone so it made her day for us to show up and sing to her and than we visited with her and prayed with her. it really made me think how little acts we do can make such a big difference for others and how our heavenly father knows what everybody needs. we had been in the building with some other members and i just had the thought to call her pop into my head and all it took was 30 minutes of our time to make her day and Christmas season, so if you ever have the thought to do something good for somebody do it, it may seem small to you but it could make a world of difference for the other person.

The branch president had us over for Christmas dinner and they are an awesome family, they have three little kids and it was great to see them so excited for Jezisek to come (baby Jesus). The little boy got a Lego set which was pretty over his head and almost everybody but luckily my comp is a Lego expert so he was able to help him out and show him how to build his Lego car.

we went to Christmas mass and i saw some of our former investigators there from last transfer which probably surprised them quit a bit. Also Wednesday evening the assistants came out and dropped off packages for us and also for Ostrava from home so Thursday morning we got up and jumped in the car and drove to Ostrava to deliver presents which was fun, your reindeer horns came in handy for that mom. i would like to say thanks to all of you for the packages and letters you are great. and congrats on finishing Luke and hitting your goal. well that is about all for today that i can think of life is going well and we are working hard. i hope everybody has a great week ahead of them

Elder Hatch

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Hey everybody

Well the weather changed here this last week and it has dropped some snow on us last night when we came in it was -13 degrees celcius, i don't know what that is fahranhiet but it feels pretty cold.

Heres the cool story from last week, so there had been this family on the branch records that had been catching my eye because it said it was a family of kids baptized aged 18, 16, 14 so this last week i finally asked the branch president about it and he told me that they had parents as well who were really good people but who hadn't be baptized and that they used to come to church but their car broke down and they live about 30 minutes outside of town. So I decided it would be good for us to go out and visit them and we brought a member along, it turned out that they had lived in England where they met the missionaries and the kids were baptized, the parents weren't baptized because they weren't married so they were working on having a wedding but then had to move back to the Czech Republic before that could happen. They were like we still believe the church is true but we haven't been baptized because we aren't married. I was like well that's an easy problem to solve, we can have a wedding and have the branch president marry you... before that though we had a really spiritual lesson with some strong testimony and the spirit was strong and we committed them to work to baptism so now we are planning their wedding and a baptism at the end of January start of February.

Saturday we had an awesome branch christmas party with about 50 people there probably half of them non-members, we reenacted the nativity scene and then had a christmas quiz challenge and lots of good food and mingling all of our investigators loved it and are starting to really fit into the branch. One of the families we are working with is really close, the boys want to be baptized really bad as does the mom but the Dad is against it so we are continuing on trying to soften his heart.

So think of all of your questions that you want to ask me when you call on christmas, call me at 8 o clock in the evening on christmas day czech time. My new companion is from Pleasant Grove Utah and studied computers for a semester at BYU before the mission. So I have talked to Elder Monk a couple of times, I am his zone leader and talked to him on the phone his first full day in the country and than I saw him last friday in brno for leadership conference because his companion is district leader there in zlin, seems like a great missionary. Well that will probably be all for today ill just keep it nice and short since you will be calling on Friday, I hope you have a great christmas everyone and congrats on the A in biology Ian way to pull that out.

Elder Hatch

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14th, 2009

hey family and friends

well transfers have come in and its not that big of a surprise but i will be staying here in olomouc and my companion elder roberts is leaving to be district leader in prague. My companion will be elder andersen, i dont really know much about him so i will let you know more next week about him, he had just been serving in liberec and before that in trebic so we have served in similiar cities.

Well the highlight of the week was saturday, i was allowed to go down to brno to see the ptakovi (husband and wife) get baptized which was amazing. It was my first time seeing a family get baptized together which is a remarkable thing. they have a very strong desire for an eternal family so they will be working towards that. The baptismal service was very well attended and it was great to see all of the members there, lenka gave a talk at the baptism which was a cool site to see and maminka gave the other talk. A cool thing about that was it is almost a year ago that lenka was baptized with maminka speeking at her baptism and now they spoke together at this one.

Friday was a little bit different experience, a woman in the branch died this last week from heart surgery she and her husband were baptized about 6 months ago here in olomouc and she was only 50. The husband wanted us to go sing at her funeral so we went and sang Be still my soul there, the husband was very sad that his wife died but he has that hope and faith that he will see her again. He was probably the most composed out of all of the family, their children are atheists and were completly devasted and mad at the world and he was the one comforting them. At the funeral service the branch president gave a talk on how milos and his wife will be united again which was really good. Czech funerals are alot different from in america and was quite the experience. I am so grateful for that knowledge that families are forever and that although these relationships will be seperated shortly by death they will continue again. Milos the husband told us one of the last things his wife told him was make sure you do everything you can to get to the temple to make sure that happens. The branch president and his family had us 4 missionaries over for dinner which was very kind of them they have a great family and treat us very well.

So this last week my companion and i were asked to help somebody move a big couch into their apartment up quite a few flights of stairs by far the best workout i have gotten in a while. I am glad to hear of your accepting my challenge and reading luke as a family and 3 nephi invidiualy that is great to hear. The work is going well here, we had 6 people at church and the work is moving forward, something funny was this one guy we had at church we havent taught the sabbath day to, and after sacrament meeting he went to a little grocery store and bought a container of ice cream and these plastic spoons and was giving everybody a spoon to eat the ice cream with and he bought a bag of candy for the primary kids.

well i hope you all have a great week and thank you for all of your love and support, its a great life to be a missionary and to serve others

elder hatch

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Hey everybody

I hope you all had a good week and that Alyssa and Mom had good birthdays. If it makes you feel better mom everytime i show people pictures of my family they are always like but where is your mom and when i show them they say that's not possible that you look too young to be my mom. Thank you for all of your prayers my ulcer is doing well and not hurting me at all, it sounds like the health problems fell on Ian this week with breaking his wrist.

We had a good week this week, the flu and other sicknesses are going through olomouc right now so quite a few of our investigators were sick this week but we were able to get some good finding in. We were able to get milan to church our man who got hit by the car, it was the first time since the accident and he was there with his son and daughter the wife couldnt make it for some reason. It was pretty funny he looks like he comes from mexico and there was this american woman at church on sunday and she goes up to him after sacrament meeting and starts speaking spanish to him coma estas? como se llamo? me llamo es nicole. and he gets all confused and i start laughing and am like he is czech not mexican and then translated for them while they spoke to each other.

we went to zlin on friday for exchanges, we forgot our gps in brno when we went there for the turkey bowl at the missionaries apartment so all we had was this map that wasn't too great, and to get from olomouc to zlin you have to take alot of little backcountry roads through little villages we got a little lost but we were able to adjust, it reminded me of when i was driving with kamille and nick to colorado to meet up with you at the cabin and we realized 30 minutes late we missed the turnoff. We had some really good success there i went tracting with a pretty new missionary and we were able to find them a really cool young couple to teach.

Saturday we left zlin went to uherske hradiste for this big young single adult activity, it was a volleyball tournament and we had a team from olomouc that we played on, it was great to see so many young people in the church together having fun. President and sister slovacek were there and played on a team it was fun watching them play. We left after a fireside after the tournament from the Slovackovi's but one of our recent converts who we are working with stayed for a dance and other activities and to spend the night, it was so funny calling him later that night before we went to bed, it felt like we were calling one of our kids to check up on him how his date went. He had the time of his life and thought it was amazing being with all of the people and cant wait for the next activity. We had a funny communication error with him, he didnt want to stay for the dance afterwards but we talked him into it and elder roberts was telling him how he needed to polish up his shoes a little bit and then lada the new convert said he didnt have a sleeping back but elder roberts thought he was still talking about polishing his shoes and was like just use a bunch of paper towels or wrap up alot of toilet paper, lada was pretty confused but we got a good laugh out of it once we figured it all out.

Today we got together as a zone and went to the kofola factory in a town called krnov up by the polish border which was pretty fun. It is kind of crazy that this is the last week of the transfer the time has just flown by, good knews is that 3 people that i found in brno when i was there will finally be getting baptized on saturday which was great knews to recieve. Since this is the last christmas of my mission i figured it would be a great time to come even closer to christ focusing on the true meaning of christmas, so i set a goal to read the 4 gospels and 3rd nephi this month, so far it is going great. Its amazing that even though i am reading things that are so familiar to me and that i have read before the spiritual power that comes from it and an even great appreciation for our Savior and i enjoy opening up the scriptures everyday and spending that time reading and coming closer to christ. So my challenge to all of you is to spend some time this christmas season to get to know your Savior even better and to not worry so much about the matieralistic and commericial side of christmas. I am not saying that you have to read the 4 gospels that is probably unrealistic for a lot of you time wise but just find your own personal way to come a little closer to Christ and i can promise you that it will be worth it. I hope you all have a great week and thankyou for all of your emails love and support

elder hatch

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Hey family

Well it was a very interesting week this last week full of all sorts of ups and downs. We can start with one of the ups, so Andrea our woman who was baptized a week ago had just about everything that could go wrong in her life go wrong this last week, problems with work with children with a former husband and she started getting scared that she had made the wrong decision to be baptized because all of these things were happening and she started doubting. Well then she had a dream where her recently deceased mom came to her and told her that everything was alright she had made the right decision and is on the right path and then her mom told her that she was also being taught now about everything on the other side. Needless to say that was a very powerful experience for Andrea and she has the faith to conquer all of these problems in her life right now. We were talking to her brother who lived in england with his wife for a couple of months and they told us that they had the missionaries over there but couldn't really understand them but they are reading in the book of mormon now too.

So most of you probably know about 6 months ago I had a stomach ulcer in trebic, well Tuesday night during a lesson I felt it coming back. By the time the lesson was over the drugstores were closed (they close at 8 here) so I figured I would just go home and tough it out until morning time to get my medicine for it since I had unfortunately forgotten my old medicine in plzen. Well it got worse and worse and about 1:30 in the morning my companion thought I was about to die because of all the vomiting and I was moaning like a little girl. So he took me to the hospital where they did their little tests, finally giving me the medicine after 2 hours to make it better. My companion was a true missionary though and while we were waiting he was talking with the nurse about the church at 2 in the morning. So we made it home at 4 in the morning hopped in bed for 2 and half hours and then we had to take off to brno for zone conference where we had to do a training. Surprisingly the training went really well, I didn't get too much out of zone conference however being so tired and with pain still in my stomach.

Everybody from slovakia and moravia (eastern czech repulibc) spent the night in brno that night to have the turkey bowl the next day. They all went out tracting that night after zone conference but my companion and i just went to one of the apartments to recuperate. The funny thing was right after zone conference maminka was there at the building and she was all worried about me and trying to give me all of these suggestions to get better, it was pretty cool she was still wearing the scarf i had given to her last christmas as a present. But there is no need to worry about me now I am all good now with no pain and I have my medicine to take, i guess i am supposed to eat more cabbage? they say that is good for the stomach. So Thursday i did a lot of watching at the football game but that is alright i would rather be healthy than play football. One mistake we did was we forgot our GPS in the zone leaders apartment in brno so right now we are having to do alot of navigating but it is going pretty well.

Other news, our investigator who got hit by a car is doing good. He has some broken ribs and ispretty beat up so he stayed home from church this week with his wife but two of their sons came for the whole 3 hours all on their own.

It sounds like Thanksgiving was a good laid back time for all of you at home and that Jenni and Mason enjoyed coming in from Texas. Has Ian got any of the stuff that i have sent? Sorry Alyssa and mom your stuff will be coming late but i hope that the both of you will have great birthdays this week, eat an extra piece of that cosco cake in my behalf. I hope everybody has a great week and pray for me to be healthy if you can, I hate being sick as a missionary.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 24th, 2009

hey everybody,

well myldsmail is down so I am writing from gmail, I wasnt able to get any emails from anybody, if people can just start writing me from now on on my gmail account it would be a lot easier since myldsmail has a lot of problems.

Well we had a good week this week, we baptized Andrea on Saturday and confirmed her on Sunday at church and everything went great with that, Josef junior wasn't quite ready his parents want him to be more prepared so he will probably be in a couple of weeks. Andrea is already getting started on missionary work she had us meet with her friend yesterday after church and she brought her brother to church which he really enjoyed and he kept on telling us how great the talks were at church and how inspiring it was to be there and her cousin was at the baptism and church and wants to be baptized now so things are progressing along well here.

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Ostrava going on exchanges there to help teach the missionaries and help them find people and we had some good success there, there are 25 missionaries going home in the next 3 months so we are working hard to help the younger missionaries out so they can step up. We have some good young missionaries here which helps.

Friday we went to Brno for a zone leaders council which was very inspiring, President Slovacek is a great mission president and he always knows exactly what the mission needs to take the next step forward, plus we got a good ol' American lunch from Sister Slovacek consisting of pork chops rice and peach cobbler which was definitely a meal i hadn't had in awhile. Coming back to Olomouc after that there was a ton of fog and we got stuck on the highway for a long time but we made it home.

Some crazy news, I called the dad of one of our families to set up a meeting and it turns out he was riding his bike and got ran over by a car and got pretty messed up but he is out of the hospital now and doing alright we are going to go try and visit him today, today is a different p-day it is just to email and shop because we have zone conference on wednesday and after that we are staying and on thanksgiving we will have a turkeybowl like last year.

I hope you will have a good 18th birthday Ian i sent you a package last week and i just dropped off a letter in the mail to you so hopefully you will be getting those soon, I will be sending home my picture chip so hopefully you will get that some time soon, the BMW M3 is pretty good looking i am pretty sure it is quite a bit faster than our Skoda Fabia with its 1.4 liter engine, I was looking in the manual for it and it does 0-60 in about 13 seconds but gets great gas milage which is perfect for us. Well that is about all from me this week sorry I cant respond to any of your emails hopefully next time have a great week and a great thanksgiving eat an extra portion of fried turkey for me and don't worry about me, I am doing great

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 19th, 2009

Hey family and friends

i enjoyed hearing from you today it sounds like you are doing well. Things are going great here, we had 11 non members at church yesterday which was great and we got some more we are working on coming next week. So i have a calling here in the branch in olomouc i am now the official branch pianist, my fingers are a little rusty but we show up early to church so i can practice some of the songs and it hasnt been too bad the last two weeks and you may be surprised but i havent even had to bust out a rendition of sweet hour of prayer which many may remember as a classic of mine when i played in priesthood.

Funny/cool news of the week we have this 22 year old guy who is investigating the church and also this 18 year old girl who is investigating, and they didnt know each other at all but they met at church and now they are dating which is a first for me but so far it is turning out pretty good and as a plus we were a little worried she had more interest in us as missionaries then the gospel but now we dont have to worry about that which is always good.

Another funny story we are teaching this family with three boys who have been at church twice, this last sunday they were coming back from brno so they couldnt come to church but at the start of priesthood i saw one of the boys come in, his name is milan and he is almost 10. he was all out of breath and i was like hey milan hows it going, he replied huffing and puffing we just got back from brno and i ran to make it to primary so he stayed for the last hour of primary and then afterwards i was talking with him and he was dissapointed it was already over but left home happy cuz we are going to visit them on tuesday. he is a really cool kid when we were teaching them this last week we taught them how to pray and he brought out a paper and pen and asked me to write down how to pray just the 3 steps 1. Address heavenly father 2. speak from the heart with him thank him for things which he gives us and ask questions or for help and 3. End in the name of Jesus Christ. I had never seen a little kid so excited to pray it was a great experience.

We should be having 2 baptisms on saturday, Andrea is a 25 year old single mom who is Josefs cousin and then josefs 11 year old son will be getting baptized. Andrea has a great conversioin experience, her mom died a couple of months ago and than one night she had a dream where her mom came to her and told her how help would be coming to her to show her the right way and the next day she met the missionaries.

The assistants came on exchanges with us this week which was great because it was the first time i was able to work with Elder Briggs my good budd from the MTC, we found a sweet guy together and than we taught Liba the awesome woman we met the gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it all, we are going to be working with her to be baptized in december, it was quite different from the last time elder briggs and i taught together in the mtc and i would say we have made some definite improvement in our czech from that time. She also has already invited us over for christmas lunch and we have gotten another invitation for christmas eve dinner from one of our investigator families so i guess people must like us.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to help and serve others, at the beginning of the week i was having some hard times but tuesday evening i was with another missionary to train on exchanges and i had to forget about myself and my own wants and problems and lose myself in helping another missionary which helped me out myself. I am a big fan of if you want to be happy try to make somebody else happy and you will find it makes you as happy as well.

Other good news this week, the family i found and taught in brno have a baptisimal date for the 12th of december which was great to hear.

It sounds like stake conference turned out well, I loved dad's talk on missionary work it was good hearing about the successes of grandma jacques mission and grandma ruths i hadnt heard those stories before grandma jacques has sent me grandpa hals mission journal and i enjoy reading through it. Well that is all this week I am happy to be here and serving the Lord it is the best thing in the world and I know with out a doubt that God is there he hears our prayers and loves us, That Jesus is The Christ and is our Savior and Redeemer one of my favorite scriptures i love sharing with people is alma 7:11-12 you should all look it up.

Elder Hatch

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, November 9th, 2009

hey family

this last week was an amazing week here in olomouc, one of the best of my mission. so last week the ap's challenged elder roberts and i saying they could teach more lessons this week than us, well we got into teaching mode and blew them away. now as a consequence they have to eat olomouc cheese which is famous here for being the stinkiest cheese ever it stinks up a whole room as soon as you unwrap it. then yesterday at church it was like great, we had 10 people there. one of them Andrea who is our baptismal date was out of town because of some family issues she had to take care of but got up early sunday morning and took a bus 60 kilometers to get to church on time and she has fallen in love with reading in the book of mormon and has a goal to finish it before her baptism in two weeks as of yesterday she is in alma 5 .

Joseph got the Aaronic priesthood yesterday which was great to participate in. Also we are working with joseph's 11 year old son and joseph should be baptizing him in 2 weeks which will be a great experience.

I have gained even more respect for all of the mom's in the church and all they do to get their kids ready for church and bring them and take care of them. We were teaching renata, joseph's wife and she was telling us how it is just so hard getting 6 kids under the age of 11 ready and go by bus to church by 9:30 and trying to keep the kids quite and just how it is so much work and isn't a spiritual experience for her with all the kids. we got them all to church on sunday and got some help for her and all the kids behaved which was nice and turned out to be a great experience for her. the Branch Presidents wife is very sympathetic and helped talk to her about it because she has a couple of little kids as well so hopefully it will be a better experience for her in the future.

Something funny is our investigator milan came with two of his sons age 9 and 12 and they were in primary, milan had to take off after sacrament and sunday school but his kids were still in primary and didn't want to go so they stayed an extra hour after their dad left and then walked home, always a good thing when the kids like primary.

We had a meeting at joseph and renatas place where they invited all these members of their family to come. We were teaching a room full of 19 people with all of these kids running around, it was pretty hectic but also amazing to see how all of their family members are having interest in the gospel as well. milan is renata's cousin and he was like hey next time you go over there you have to call me i want to go again, we are teaching him and his family separately as well we have already taught them three times and they are progressing well. it is such a great experience to teach families i am so grateful for the opportunity to do so and to see the changes it makes in people when they truly begin to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives, there is no better thing.

i hope everybody has a great week and i love you all, it sounds like ian and alyssa did great in state congratulations on that and i look forward to hearing from everybody next week.
Elder Hatch

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

hey everybody

things like every week are going good here. congratulations ian and alyssa on doing so good in regionals both of your times sound great that you got, thats a bummer that the regions all got changed up but good luck in state i am sure you both will do great.

we had zone conference this last week which went very well, elder roberts and my training went well. we trained on getting spiritually and mentally pumped to find i incorupported a few things from my old companion elder chambers so a shout out to him. also on the drive down i got a call asking me to conduct zone conference which was a first but luckily i didnt say anything stupid.

After zone conference on wednesday we went to zlin for the night and the next day and found some cool people for the missionaries there and worked with them and they are all doing great. A cool finding story from this week, we had a lesson at the building with a recent convert and then we had 45 minutes before english started so we hit the streets and started talking to people. i contacted about a 50 year old woman and started talking with her and she was very happy which is unusual for czech people to show on the street so i was like you look very happy can i ask why you are so happy? and she said well my first granddaughter was born 2 days ago, we talked about that and then started talking about faith and we were like well do you have a couple of minutes we can show you our building. we took her to our building and we explained shortly how we meet with people and have a great message we share with people about christ and God's plan for us and how God still speaks with us a day, she replied well thats great where do i sign up? and can i come to church too? of course we answered yes and then as she was leaving she was like also i have never been baptized and i think its something i would like to work on. needless to say elder roberts and i had big smiles on our faces for the rest of the day, she was sick over the weekend but is looking forward to meeting with us this week.

We had a branch halloween party on friday and we were out of town the two days before and didnt know about it on p-day so we just scrounged through our apartment to make our costumes. I just wore my goofy russian hat with these german flag suspenders and my companion dressed up as a white trash american with this old hoodie with the sleeves cut off and some mocasins. i got a good picture of us that i will send home soon. It was a good turn out we had some fun games there and everybody had a good time.

Our heaters werent working and sunday it was below zero needless to say it was a little cold when we got out of bed but luckily we have gotten them fixed and have a nice warm apartment

one of our new investigators is in the czech army and fought in iraq for a little while, he is also a scuba diver for them and in his spare time he is a free diver i dont know if you remember mom or dad but there was an interesting article in sports illustrated about that a couple of years ago, he was showing me his pictures and he can free dive (that means without an oxygen tank) to 40 meters which for all of you americans is like 150 feet i think, he told me his key is this wooden flute he played on which you have to push alot of air through to strengthen your lungs. he has some pretty interesting egyptain beliefs but is willing to listen and try something new so we shall see what happens.

have a great week everybody and good luck ian and alyssa
Elder Hatch

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday October 26th, 2009

hey family

great things are happening here in olomouc, Josef was baptized on saturday and got the holy ghost on sunday which was a great experience the other woman andrea wasn't baptized we had to put it off but hopefully in a month or so she can be baptized. Unfortunatly two of his kids were really sick so his wife had to stay home with them over the weekend and couldn't see him baptized or receive the holy ghost but she was very happy to hear of it and see the pictures, his sister came to the baptism and was very interested and she is thinking about being baptized now too.

Sunday was also branch conference so we had President and sister slovacek with us and also the district president and one of his counselors and it was a great meeting all of our investigators loved hearing them talk and Josef was very impressed and is already planing on applying these things they taught into his life. during sunday school the branch worked on a plan on what they want to see in 5 years. They came up with they wanted their main goal to be working towards building their own chapel here in olomouc so we went over the requirements necessary for that, a funny thing was we had this old lady there as an investigator and she thought it was a matter of just raising enough money to get it so she was wanting to start a baking service to raise money for it. I was translating for the slovaceks so it was pretty funny telling them about all the different ideas, sister slovacek got a good laugh out of starting a baking service.

It was a pretty hectic week for us tuesday evening after some meetings we took off to ostrava for exchanges there, we showed up at their apartment and gave them a call and were like hey we are right in front of your building, they said "we are outside and dont see you", it turns out that they had moved apartment buildings and our gps had taken us to their old apartment and they didnt know the address to their new apartment and neither of them knew the city because they were both brand new so it was and interesting experience finding where they lived we had to ask a lot of directions from random people but we finaly found it. we spent the whole next day in their area helping them find new people and then we were back to olomouc for another day of teaching and having josefs baptisimal interview and then friday it was off to brno for leadership conference and back for the baptism and branch conference.

The lord blessed us for all of the work and effort we put in and even with being out of our area so much we still were able to find some cool new people to teach and gave a baptisimal date to this guy named martin, i found his number in the apartment gave him a call we met with him and gave him a baptismal date, he has read the book of mormon one and half times through since the missionaries gave it to him a couple of months ago. the next meeting he brought his wife and 10 year old daughter and we started teaching them as well.

here is an interesting and funny story we were leaving this apartment building last week after teaching a leasson and as we were leaving some crazy 20 year old girl ran and jumped on my companion bear hugging him trying to kiss him, luckily he was able to get her off of him without hurting her and i got a good laugh out of it and was pretty grateful that i was behind him and it didnt happen to me.

i was finally able to see elder hollands talk in english it was pretty intense and good i liked it quite a bit. things are going great here, my companion and i are getting along great he is a real good person and fun too he was way into extreme sports at home.

This work is so amazing and it is so fulfilling seeing how the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to change lives so powerfully and help people become better and happier but even more important shows them how to return to live with Our Heavenly Father. God lives as does His Son, Jesus Christ and Thomas S. Monson is their called Prophet on earth today.

Elder Hatch

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19th, 2009

Ahoj from olomouc family

Things are going great here it is a beautiful city and a great branch. When I left plzen Wednesday morning it was snowing so winter is starting a little early here. Luckily it has warmed up a little since then. It was sad leaving plzen and saying goodbye to everyone but that is part of life. I got their contact info so I will stay in contact with them.

I have heard a lot about olomouc because elder chambers served here 8 months and elder nowland had also served here and they told me a lot of good things so I was excited to come. I got in wednseday and elder roberts picked me up and we went straight to work. We have a great teaching pool and a lot of good people we are working with which is a first for me, for a lot of my moves into new places the area was pretty empty with nobody to teach. We will have two baptisms on Saturday and we challenged another couple to baptism last night and they accepted. We are also getting some good referrals from our investigators for other people to teach. In our zone we have 4 different cities across eastern czech republic including olomouc, ostrava, Zlin and uherske hradiste so we also have a car. I drove this last week which was weird since I hadn't driven a car in almost a year and a half but I didn’t crash so hey that’s good news. My companion is a great guy I like him a lot and we get along well and we are both hard workers so things are going great there.

Last week they had district conference so this week we watched general conference in czech again which was nice to hear again. One of the guys we are baptizing on Saturday is named joseph, his wife and daughter were baptized about a 6 weeks ago and he has decided to join them in the Church. He had a problem with smoking which kept him back the first time from being baptized but he has overcome it and is doing great. We go over pretty often to teach him and we are also teaching his sister and cousin so we are getting a good network going with the family.

We have a pretty busy week ahead of us, wednseday we will be in ostrava on exchanges helping the missionaries find some new investigators there and then Friday it is off to brno for leadership conference and then Saturday we have our baptisms. So it will be quite a bit of traveling this transfer I am guessing and a lot of hard work which is good because the harder I work the better I feel.

I am happy to be a missionary and happy to be in Olomouc, it is the greatest work in the world serving the Lord and helping other people. I have a firm testimony of the scripture I'm not quite sure how it goes in english anymore but “if you lose your life in the service of God you will find it, and if you focus on yourself you will lose it”. The greatest joy in life comes from serving others and building lasting eternal relationships. Materialism and selfishness only destroy and bring emptiness and sorrow.

Have a great week everybody and make wise decisions, I'm glad to hear you all got back safely from cancun and had a good time with Jenni and mason


Elder Hatch

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday October 12th, 2009

Hey family

We were able to watch conference this weekend which was a great experience to hear the words of the prophets. I was able to watch Saturday's sessions in english but I watched Sundays in czech because I was sitting with our investigators. . I could understand the conference in czech but it just did not have the same power because it is not my native tongue. Something funny with it and also disappointing, I was watching elder hollands talk and i could tell he was getting way into it and pretty intense but the translator just had this smooth passive voice.

Well just now while I was writing this email I got a call from President telling me that I will be transferred to oloumoc and I am going to be Zone Leader there with Elder Roberts, he was my district leader when I was in trebic so it will be fun serving with him there. Oloumoc is supposed to be a beautiful city and the zone has some high expectations there so I am excited to get to work. I am sad to leave Plzen and I will always remember this city because this is the place I would say I became the missionary I always envisioned myself being combining missionary skills with langauge ability and working with a lot of great people but life is also about moving on and having new experiences and new challenges for growth.

Vratislav is doing great he was at all the sessions of conference and it was so cool because you could just see that he was hungering after the word of God and soaking it all up, I have great hopes of him serving a mission he is the favorite missionarys person to teach with because he gives good simple testimony and he kind of just tells it how it is and people respect him for that.

Something else cool, Iva the woman Elder Chambers and I found in Trebic at the library was baptized at district conference in brno by my future companion Elder Roberts and from what I hear there was a 70 at the conference and the 70 stood in to give her the holy ghost.

One of our other investigators Pepa is making good progress we found him last transfer but he was gone for a month this transfer but he was at conference and caught 3 talks and they were all on chastity which we knew would be the biggest problem with him since he has had a girlfriend for about 2 years. He had to hurry and run to work after conference but we taught him that night and we were teaching the 10 commandments and when we got to adultery i was like what does this word mean to you and he was like it means i will end the intimate part of my relationship with anna (who is his girlfriend) i was taken a back and it was a testimony to me that you cant beat around the bush but you give it to them with the spirit and they will follow it.

I hope you all have a great week and i look forward to hearing from you next week from oloumoc take care and don't have too much fun in Cancun.
Elder Hatch

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5th, 2009

Hey family

The work is continuing onwards here in Plzen. Transfers are in a week so don't send anymore stuff to my apartment here in plzen because i may be leaving so if you have anything to send just wait a week to see what happens. The good news of the week is that our investigator John is going to start working towards baptism, (he is the one from the car crash). He was telling us that since we first met last transfer his life has changed and he has more joy in life now from a renewal of his faith. We have been wanting to talk with him about baptism for 2 months now but he lost his phone so we weren't in contact with him for 2 weeks, then a week after we got back in contact with him he got in a car crash and was in a coma and in the hospital for a month, so there have definitely been some things popping up to interfere but he is still continuing onwards.

It's interesting how we are led to help people as missionaries even though they don't end up being interested in the message we still help them quite a bit, it is a big testimony to me for God's love for all of his children even if they don't end up accepting the message.

For example, we met this one guy this last week, contacted him and sat down on a bench and he started telling us his story about how a week ago he came home from work an hour early and walked in on his girlfriend with another man. She promptly kicked him out of their house and locked him out and he had nothing with him, he didn't have any money because it was all at home, he still had work which he went to every day but wasn't getting paid for 2 weeks and he had already been living outside for one week. And his girlfriend told him he would never see their 2 year old daughter again. He wrote a last letter to everybody and was going to go jump off a bridge to end his life, we talked to him for awhile and he ended up changing his mind and decided to give life another shot, he has a book of mormon he is reading in but right now doesn't think it is for him.

I went on exchanges with Elder Kartchner this week so the two greenies got to spend a day together doing missionary work which they were pretty scared for but they ended up doing a good job and we had set up some meetings with english speakers to even it out a little bit. We met some scientologists and they want us to come to their seminary class so I told them that if they come to our seminary class this week we will go to theirs so we shall see what happens, I really have no idea what scientologists believe,I just know that Tom Cruise is one so we will see if they end up coming to ours.

President and Sister Slovacek came to church yesterday which is always fun. They sat up on the stand and they have these little translator sets so I sat in the back and translated for them, I am pretty sure a couple of czech words slipped in but they understood it all.

I ate rabbit for the first time on Saturday, we did service for this one woman and afterward she gave us lunch which consisted of rabbit. Also this last week we ate intestine soup which actually wasn't too bad just pretty chewy. Well that is about all for this week I hope you have a great week in San Antonio together.

Elder Hatch

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday September 28th, 2009

hey guys

another good week has come and gone here in plzen with some great experiences. The highlight was yesterday where I blessed the sacrament with vrata and he was all dressed up in a white shirt and tie. He didnt know how to tie a tie so he came early to church and I gave him one of my ties and taught him how to tie it, he was nervous about blessing the sacrament but we took him through it the night before and explained how everything works so it went well. There is a cold or flu going around plzen right now and half our branch was home sick so it was a smaller sunday but went well.

One cool experience was saturday night we had a meeting with our polish investigator which I wasn't really looking forward to because he speaks about 40% polish 30% czech 15% english and 15% mumbling and just mixes all the words together where you have czech language structure and random english and polish words thrown in and it usually just gives me a headache. Well today he brought his roomate with him a cool guy named pavel who is from poland but knows czech well. As we were talking with him he told us that he has been searching to find out if God really is there or not so we talked about faith with him and the restoration and the book of mormon and we challenged them to both come to church the next day which they did. At the end of the lesson I said the closing prayer, and prayed for both Pavel and Hubert by name and afterwards pavel sat for a while and than started thanking me profusely telling me that that was one of the nicest things anybody has ever done for him and telling me that the only other person who had ever prayed for him was his mom when he was a child. And then he started talking about how he had this interesting feeling during it so we talked about the holy ghost and little and after sacrament meeting he told us he has that same interesting feeling that he can't describe and that they are both going to be back here next week for church.

Another one was I was contacting with Elder Kartchner and we had just talked to this really obstinate girl and as we left her walking down I contacted the next guy I saw who was this massive 6 foot 6 guy with forearms the size of my legs with a bunch of tattoos on his arms. At first he tried to intimidate me, he stepped in real close to me (my face was about at his chest) and he started telling me about how he just got out of prison 2 days ago and about all these things he had done. What was going through my mind was I sure hope this guy doesnt punch me. but we started talking to him about that freedom which he had now and how he was going to use it, we sat him down on a bench and he opened up telling us how his sister died a couple of years ago and he has a desire to see her again, we taught him and than prayed with him on the bench and it was crazy to see how much his demeanor had changed during the lesson (although he did almost break my hand shaking it at the end). AFterwards when elder kartchner and I were talking about it, he was like I was sure he was going to hit you and I was ready to run away when it happened, so we shall see what will happen with martin the other elders will teach him, hopefully good things.

Last night for some comp bonding after I did call ins I taught my companion how to make homemade pizza which turned out pretty well and allowed for some good conversation while we did it. That is about all for this week we are still working with Hoa and he has a new baptismal date for the 24th of october the only thing keeping him back is his work so we are hoping and praying that goes well.

I hope you all have a great week and thanks for the emails and support, I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord here in the Czech Republic it is definitely the greatest experience of my life and my testimony of him grows everyday.

Work hard and make good decisions and I will look forward to hearing from you next week.

Elder Hatch

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday September 21, 2009

Dear Family and friends

Another week has come and gone here in plzen, and although our football teams had a bad weekend things went great here. We had some real great experencies here. I dont remember if you remember our investigator John he was progressing really well last transfer. Well we hadnt had any contact with him for about 3 weeks wouldnt answer calls or text messages so we thought he must of been antied or something and were pretty bummed about it because he showed so much promise. Well i got in contact with him this last week and it turns out he was in a big car crash and was in the hospital for over 3 weeks and in a semi coma for half of that time. But we met with him this week and he came to our branch party on friday and sent us a text message afterwards thanking us telling us it was his most enjoyable night in a very long time.

Also about 2 weeks ago when we were in a park i was approached by a woman to ask if we could teach english classes in a community center in this village outside of plzen to about 30 adults, we talked to her about what we are doing as missionaries and told her that we would love to but that we would also talk about faith with them and she agreed and had us come out last monday for a trial run. The four of us missionaries show up and it turns out that there are these 30 adults there but it is a competition to see who gets to be the english teacher, our competition was this 25 year old czech woman who wanted to practice her teaching skills and she had just finished her 30 minute spil. The woman turns to me and was like ok you have 30 minutes to talk about why you would be the best english teacher, i had no idea i was supposed to have a presentation ready so i spoke for about 2 minutes on our elaborate credentials to teach english (basically we are from America which trumps all other teaching credentials) and then i divided them up into different groups and we started teaching them so they could see how it works. The poor czech woman, by the end of the night they had a vote and it was basically unanimous in favor of us. And then they were like tell us something spiritual so i taught them all about prayer and they all dug it up we are going back tonight and there is some really good potential there.

Another good story from this week is this man named vasil, we were contacting on the namesti and found him and taught him gave him a book of mormon and than we met with him the next day and he told us his experience with meeting us, basically his whole life had been flipped upside down and had almost lost everything and he went to pray in the cathedral on the namesti to ask God to send him help, he left the church went outside and 2 minutes later we contacted him. He had lost his job, his apartment, and had nothing to feed his children. That night a woman gave his family a bag full of food, they found a place to sleep and he has work starting this week. His wife isnt a believer but he is a strong believer and has a daughter and 8 month old twins.

The highlight of the week was vratislav getting the priesthood yesterday, he is excited to bless the sacrament next week i will teach him how to tie a tie this week. He has read almost everything on the aaronic priesthood and wants more to read on it.

We had an awesome branch party on friday well attended by the members and our investigators we had probably 15 non members there and 15-20 members and we played games in the back yard and cooked sausages over a fire. Vrata was the firemaster and everybodies friend which was great to see. The branch here is so cool i love them and everything they do. . I am glad that you all got the photos I sent home. My companion gave his first talk in church yesterday so I helped him translate it out and he did a great job with it. Well that is probably about all for this week thanks for all of your emails and support.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday September 14th, 2009

Hello Family

Life in Plzen is going great and I am enjoying every moment. So the highlight of this week was that yesterday we had district conference in Prague with all of the members from Bohemia. So that meant I got to see the members from the Liberec branch for the first time in about 10 months and I can actually speak czech and talk with them which was fun. It was pretty funny when I was there because I was a greenie and now they were like who is your companion and I introduced my greenie to them. Crazy things happen in 10 months it was almost like deja vu being back there since we had it in the narodni dum (National House) in prague which is this big beautiful building. Last year when I was there we walked around the city with ivan who got baptized right after that. President slovacek gave a really good talk there about how the gospel should be simple basically the two great commandments Christ gave in the New Testament to love God and to love our neighbor and that sometimes we think the gospel is all about just following rules or attending meetings but its purpose is neither of those but to bring us Joy and to help other people. Vratislav loved that talk, President also said something there that dad says. He advised us to meet every body we see even random people with a smile and they won't know what to make of it Vratislav got a kick out of that one and he is excited to start doing that. Us missionarys went by train there and it was great because Vratislavs member friend picked him up and drove him to prague for it, the branch is doing a good job of taking care of him.

The members here are really starting to like us and help us which is good, its almost kind of sad because it seems like by the time I get a good relationship it is time to move on with transfers but i know that the Lord sends me wherever I need to serve and I have no problem leaving and going there.

Hoa is doing good he is still working about a 100 hours a week and couldn't get enough time off to come to Prague which was a bummer but he is staying strong, basically we are waiting for him to get an afternoon off and than we will baptize him.

At sports on Saturday we decided to switch things up and teach the Europeans how to play some American football. So we gathered them around and explained the rules (which is very good Czech practice by the way) and than divided up the teams and played some flag football with a bunch of old ties that were left in the apartment. As my team was kicking off for the first time i turned to E. Kartchner and I asked him who I should kick it to and he replied "one of the europeans he will get scared and not know what to do with it" so the ball went to him and as we started running to him he got scared and threw the ball up in the air. For the first half of the game anytime we ran at an European they got scared and threw the ball to us but then they got the hang of it and stopped throwing it away.

The work is going well we have some good investigators who are progressing along that we are looking at giving baptisimal dates to in the upcoming weeks, we have been doing some tracting lately and to make it fun we do district tracting where we will go into the same building to tract and my companion and I will do odd floors and the other companionship will do even floors it makes it more fun and also it helps you have more faith to get let in when you see the other elders get let in. Yesterday we were doing it and the first door that opened for my companion and I we got let in to teach a nice woman about 2 minutes after we got let in I got a text message I looked at it after the meeting and it was like hey did you already get let in? about 5 minutes after we had been let in when the other elders realized we were inside because they couldn't hear us anymore they got let in too. It is always fun to have success as a district.

Well that is about all for this week we were going to go play some basketball again but it is raining so we shall see. Last week we played companionships and elder vomocil and i won and then we played trainers vs greenies first to 10 going by 1's and 2's, elder kartchner and i got down 7-3 when we realized that are greenies were about to beat us and we stopped being so cocky and came back to beat them. All my time playing basketball in the mtc with elder briggs is finally starting to pay off.

Well you all have a great week and i love you all
Elder Hatch

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday September 7th, 2009

Hey family

So we have had a pretty good week here in plzen life is going great with the work. We had some good experiences this last week with tracting, the week before we had gone tracting and it was my companions door and the guy opens up standing there in his little whitie tighties and my companion is kind of taken a back it was his first time having that happen but he said his couple of lines like a pro and than i took over but we went back and taught him this week twice and he is like yeah this book of mormon is great its just like the bible.

Hoa is doing good his factory is working him 100 hours a week still and he was scheduled to work on Sunday but we committed him to pray and we would pray for him and than go talk to his boss to get Sunday morning off for church. It went well and his boss set it up so he could work later Saturday night and than get Sunday off, it was a good experience to see him sacrifice like that basically his only time off the whole week he spent coming to church.

So this week we had something called the Ovoce Knedliky challenge, ovoce knedliky are fruit dumplings. This one grandma in the branch does it, it has been going on for a while and they keep scores of all the missionaries, so far 150 missionaries have participated in it and the record was 36 fruit dumplings. So we were all pumped to go try and break the record and see how many fruit dumplings we could eat. Me and my small stomach weren't much for the challenge; I got down 16 before calling it quits. However elder kartchner was going for the record and he had prepped for it the night before stuffing himself with food. So for 150 missionaries there were only about 5 who had broken 30 and then comes E. Kartchner and eats 40 of them breaking the record needless to say the grandma was quite impressed.

Also a request i have for people is my myldsmail account is getting filled up so if you are going to send me pictures send them to gmail.

So when i was in trebic i told you a story about how we made brownies for the librarian and while we were there another woman contacted us and we started teaching her. Well her name is Iva and she had been progressing pretty well when i had been there we got her to church about 5 times. Well she called me up about a week ago telling me she is going to get baptized in october so that was great news to hear.

We are going to go play some basketball today which should be fun, we are playing companionships so luckily my companion is 6 foot 3.

Something pretty cool is that a couple of times this transfer i have needed to go with Elder Kartchner to meetings so we would put the 2 greenies together and send them off finding and they have done a good job of it. One time they found a woman who speaks a little english and we met with her later and now she is investigating the church. And then another time they were really frustrated because they had talked to this woman and she talked with them for about 20 minutes and they weren't able to understand anything she said but got a paper with her phone number on it. We called her up and now she had met a couple of times and was at church and cried there she loved it so much.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday August 31st, 2009

Hello family

Things are going well here in Plzen or our two nicknames are the nursery district because of two brand new missionaries or the arizona district because we are 75% from arizona. A funny comment about that zone conference was friday and they always have the new missionaries stand up and introduce themselves and elder mills stood up and said he was in the arizona district which got laughs from everyone and President was like well we will see just how good arizona missionaries are we are expecting great things from that district so we have the arizona pride on the line now.

While we were in prague i picked up a triple combination for vratislav and we had a lesson with him that night where i gave it to him. He had been wanting one for a while and so i called him up while we were on the bus home from prague and i told him i was just coming back from prague and he asked "do you have it"? so he was waiting at the church for us and we sat down and taught about the doctrine covenants and pearl of great price and how to use the index and footnotes, he was just walking on clouds the whole time he was so excited about it. In sunday school we have been going over the doctrine and covenants and so i would always lend him my triple combination but sunday he showed up with his own and was so excited for sunday school to use it. He is also working on learning english, he got rid of his tv because he said there is only filth on tv here and it would waste his time. So now whenever he is not working or with us he reads his scriptures and studies english.

For sports day on saturday all of these people in the park wanted to play against us and our investigators and they were really good but we crushed them 8-0 and our investigators were like its cuz we have the word of wisdom and they all smoke and take drugs.

Hoa is doing good he had to work about 100 hours this week in his factory because they were way behind but we taught him and he brought a friend who also wants to learn about God so he is the referral machine for us.

Last p-day we went out with the Gordon-Smiths they are a couple that go to church here in plzen, he is from england and she is from the czech repulibic and they have a house about 45 minutes away. They took us on a 35 kilometer bike ride up and down all of these hills and i hadnt been on a bike in atleat 14 months so needless to say i was pretty tired after that and a little saddle sore but i survived it was a lot of fun though biking through the czech country side then we came back to their house to a big meal of spaghetti and bread.

A cool experience: we walked onto the town square the other day and it was covered with people but this one guy all the way across stuck out to me so we went and talked to him and it turns out he is from hungray and met with the missionaries there and had gone to church there and really liked it but had just moved here and doesnt speak czech but knows english he was at church on sunday and loved it and cant wait to come again next week. When we went up to talk to him he was like hello elders how are you? sit down with me, so i thought he was a member but turns out not.

Work is going well here i am enjoying myself and working as hard as i can losing myself in the work. I hope you all have a great week and thanks for the emails and support it is always great to get from you. i am also going to send home my camera chip today so you should be getting that in the mail

Elder Hatch

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday August 24th, 2009

Hey family and friends

Well Vratislav was baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday which was an amazing experience. The baptism was out at this pond just north of the city and it was a beautiful location and weather. Ă„fter talking with the branch we had decided that the best time would be at 7 in the evening because all the swimmers would be gone from the lake and it was a cool overcast day so nobody was there anyways. We found this sweet spot on the secluded side where there was a clearing in the trees and a little entrance to the water it was so peacefull and i have to say that i am more of a fan of outside baptisms than inside ones. There was amazing turnout from the branch basicaly everyone under the age of 80 was there to support him and afterwards the branch had food and blankets for a picnic. It was a great experience to see how vratislav was finally able to reach his goal of being baptized he definetly had his week of trials before the baptism. Thursday night his former girlfriend showed up at 2 in the morning buzzing his apartment wanting to spend the night with him but he wouldn't open the door and she finally went away. And then friday night the exact same thing happened with her buzzing and than yelling up at his window trying to get him to let her in but he fought it off like a champ. Another great part about the baptism was it was done exactly as it should be at least in my opinion. His member friend baptized him, the branch president gave him the gift of the holy ghost and all the prayers and talk at the baptism were done by members.

My companion elder vomocil is doing good he is a great trainee, last night i was doing call ins with the other elders and than with the zone leaders and when i finished up i came in the kitchen and he had made a special little dinner for me. A lot of our investigators were out of town this week on vacation so we did alot of finding one cool story was on sunday after church we had decided we werent going to go home to eat lunch until we had found a new investigator, we were going along contacting and my companion contacted one guy who told us he was catholic and had met with us before but didnt have interest my comp couldnt understand it all so i came in and helped him and i was like well lets just sit down and talk about Jesus for a little bit we have a great uplifting message about him and he was like ok. He told us how he had read in the Book of Mormon before but didnt like it. I opened up my backpack and pulled out a bible and book of mormon and i said well how about you read your favorite vers about christ from the bible and than i can read my favorite from the Book of Mormon. I read with him Alma 7 11=12 i asked him what he thought of it and he was like i dont know i wasnt really listening to you i was too busy noticing that you had the holy ghost glowing around you while you were reading. So needless to say we had a good meeting after that and we are meeting with him again on wednesday.

Well that is about all for this week, it was great seeing Vratislav be baptized and now its back to work progressing other people to recieve that great blessing, being a missionary is the greatest work in the world it is so satisfying.

Good job on time trials Ian and Alyssa work hard and break those swim records and i hope you had a great anniversary Jenni and Mason congrats.

Elder Hatch

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday August 17th, 2009

Hello family

Well i got a new companion here in plzen his name is elder vomocil (which is a czech name) and he hails from sandy utah. His mom works for the government and so he actually lived in prague for 2 years when he was 12 while his mom worked in the embassy. He didn't learn any czech then but his czech is doing pretty well now he is a quick learner.

Wednesday we woke up at 5 in the morning and hopped on a bus to prauge where elder graham met up with the other missionaries who were going home and then i was in training for a couple of hours on how to be a good trainer. After that we went upstairs to Presidents Apartment where President announced who was going to be serving with whom. It was a fun experience, i will be sending some pictures home of everything. We got back to plzen in the evening , we worked all day thursday and had district meeting, then it was back to prague to spend the night and my companion stayed in prague friday while i went to brno for leadership conference. It was a good experience, i was able to see lenka there and she told me she is going on a temple trip next week for the first time to do baptisms for the dead, she was pretty excited about that but a little nervous. We are set up for having a pretty good transfer i am excited about it.

Vratislav is set up to be baptized this next saturday and the branch is way excited about it, and Hoa is still working towards it, he was at church yesterday. Elder Kartchner in our district is also training and his companion is Elder Mills and he is from chandler arizona with the crossroads of ray and 101 on the west side by the toyota center. I didn't know him at all before hand but what a small world that is like a mile from our house. So our district is 75% arizonan which is i'm sure a definite first in the czech republic to have that.

We eat once a week at this members house and she gives us huge portions, and as most people know i don't have the biggest stomach and cant eat a lot of food at once but she is definitely helping me to expand it. I think by the time i leave plzen i will be able to be a competitive food eater, that chinese guy is going down next year i will eat more hot dogs than him.

It was fun going shopping for food today with my greenie because it is such a whole new experience going from the mtc where food is just provided to you, to a grocery store in a forgein country and now you have to make your own food. I am taking good care of him though and helping him out with it all. It feels like i was just with elder andersen getting trained and now i am training it is a very weird feeling.

I got packages from home and grandma j today so thank you for that. Work is going well here and i am happy to be a missionary, i am way excited for vratislav's baptism he has come so far since i met him 2 months ago. We are having a member brother kyncel baptize him in a pond north of plzen and than do a branch picnic afterwards. A lot of the branch priesthood was out of town on sunday for vacation and i was assigned to teach priesthood. In our class there was an englishman, an american, two brand new missionaries elder kartchner and vratislav, so only one czech speaker but i still did it in czech anyways and just translated for everybody else.

Well i hope everybody has a great week and i want to share my testimony that i know without a doubt Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and through him people have the power to change their lives, no matter how bad they are to the better. The wonderful thing about the gospel is that you don't have to be who you are. Keep on doing the great stuff that you are doing at home and I will be continuing to work hard here. Until next week

S Laskou
Elder Hatch

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday August 10th, 2009

Hello family and friends

It has been another busy and crazy week here in plzen, you may be wondering if i am staying here in plzen or leaving and who will be my companion. I got a call from president this morning telling me i am staying here in plzen as district leader and asking me to train this next transfer, so i have no idea who my new companion is but i am going to go to prague on wednesday to pick him. I am excited for the new adventure of training but also a little nervous because i dont want to screw up but i know the lord will help me. Also i get to help Elder Graham take all his stuff in to prague for his trip home and i will get to see elder chambers before he goes home as well.

So i have good news and bad news this week about vratislav, the bad news is that he had his baptismal interview on tuesday and we felt like he was so close but just not quite there so we decided to push his baptism back by two weeks to prepare for it more. I was scared how he was going to take it but the good news is it gave him even more motivation and he is even more dedicated to being a life time member of the church and helping it grow. He was there at church again on sunday 10 minutes early for the full three hours i think it was his 7th week in a row being at church.

We gave a baptismal date to our vietnamese investigator hoa this week we read a scripture with him where we are commanded to be baptized and recieve the holy ghost and we said hoa will you keep this commandment and follow Jesus Christ to be baptized he thought about it and was like yeah i want to be baptized, so he is comitted to coming to church every week to be prepared for his baptisim on september 12th.

I was asked this last week to give a talk again, and they must of liked my first talk because they asked me to talk on the same topic again on how the members can help the missionary work. After wards one of the members came up and asked us for a book of mormon so she could give it to her friend who she has been thinking about sharing the gospel with so I guess the Lord helped at least one person understand my talk well.

John is doing well he had to go to Germany for his uncles funeral but we were still able to meet with him, he wasnt able to make it to church which he was dissapointed about but said he will be there next week.

We worked really hard this last week to finish off the transfer strong we were 1 new investigator away from accomplishing our weekly goals so we set the goal we werent going to go home sunday until we found that new investigator and at about 7 oclock last night we found him, a guy from bulgaria that we are meeting with again tonight so with persaverence and help from the lord anything is possible.

Haha alyssa kindly informed me that my sunglasses are pretty girly but dont worry i knew that myself it was kind of a running joke but i found some new ones in the apartment so no worries i now have some cheap aviators which hopefully are less girly looking.

Our man who loves the bible and pseudophriagaia (as you can see my spelling skills have not improved) asked us this week if we could baptized him. He had been baptized before but was reading in the book of mormon about how we need to be baptized by proper authority and he was like i believe that your church has that authority which was a shock for us because when we first met him he thought as long as you have faith God gives you authority by the spirit. Now the next step is we need to help him see the importance of church he thinks he can just take the sacrament on his own but he has already come so far I am sure the Lord will help him conqure this concern.

well that is about all for this week oh and we are back up to 4 missionaries here in plzen Elder Kartchner from snowflake arizona will be training a missionary here too, he is from the Kartchner caves family that is his grandpa or great grandpa i think.

Elder Hatch

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday August 3rd, 2009

hello family

life is doing great here in plzen home of the famous pilsner beer, something funny i learned this week about how much czechs love their beer. There is a spa just out of town here in plzen that is a beer spa, you can take baths in beer and there is a restaurant in the center that has a beer stream flowing through it capped off with a massive beer waterfall. Im pretty sure we wont be going there for a P-day activity.

congratulations on your plane getting 3rd dad it sounds like it was a fun time out there is oshkosh.

We finished teach vratislav everything for him to be ready for his baptism, he should be getting baptized sometime in the next week and a half, it was supposed to be this next saturday but we have to change it to get schedules to allign with members and him so we can get a good turn out so we shall be busy with that. A cool experience with vratislav is that he wanted to stay with us after church on sunday and asked what we were doing and we said we were going contacting and he asked if he could come with us so we were like sure. We went to the town square and we split up but stayed within eyesight and hearing of each other and i contacted with vratislav, we sat down and taught a lesson about the restoration to a russian guy and i turned to vratislav during it and asked him to bare his testimony about a principle and he bore a simple sincere testimony and it really touched the russian guy who we have another meeting with tonight it was a good experience for vratislav and we had a good talk about testimonies afterward and how our testimonies grow from sharing them.

We ran into our lost vietnamese woman whose factory had transferred her and got her information and she will be coming to church this next sunday, she had her book of mormon with her in her purse and was still reading it.

Another cool finding experience this week was a guy named john we contacted on the town square. He is a 20 year old and has started his own roofing repair company and has a couple of employees under him. He speaks perfect english and we already taught him three times this last week, he was going to be at church on sunday but he texted us at about 7:30 saying he had a massive headache and he was going to stay home and just read the book of mormon today. He read the whole bible through when he was 16 so he remembers quite a few of the things we teach him and he just soaks everything up. We also found some good common ground he loves UFC which i watched quite a bit at home with nick and kyle so we talked about that a little bit.

Sunday was another translating day, it is the weirdest feeling to completely understand somebody and what they are saying in Czech and than not being able to turn it into English but it is definitely a good brain workout and hopefully i will start to improve with it.

Today is basically elder grahams last p-day so we are going around to buy some stuff he wants to take home . That is basically all from me this week family I hope you all are doing great. Good luck with your patients Jenni and Mason, good luck with school Ian and Alyssa and keep on being great Mom and Dad. Have a great week

Elder Hatch

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday July 27th, 2009

Hey family

Another week has come and gone in plzen and it has been another busy week of teaching and finding like always.

I finally got that christmas in July package thankyou so much for sending that it was great to get from you and i wore the tie to church and everybody loved it. It was quiet the adventure to get the package so it was sent to plzen but the slip never showed up in the mailbox so they sent it back to prague and put a paper in saying i would have to go to prague to get it. Luckily we had zone conference so we were going to be in prague so i could get it we got to prague early to find the postal office but after that everything went downhill, i had called up some missionaries to get directions but they were bad so we ended up lost in this section of prague but i was able to talk to some people on the street and get directions, we got the package but since we had bad directions we ended up being 10 minutes late to zone conference which is always embarrassing and on the subway to zone conference we got seperated- elder lance didnt get on the subway we did but luckily we both had phones so we were able to get back together at the next stop but than our tickets expired by 3 minutes on the subway and we got busted and had to pay 700 krowns. But we got to zone conference safely and even though i was pretty upset about the morning i got in a good mood again from the great conference and everything turned around into an awesome day.

Little did i know but when i had gotten busted on the subway i had to show my passport and i put it back in my pocket or so i thought but i must of missed the pocket because after lunch a missionary came up to me with my passport and handed it to me and said somebody had found it in the metro and brought it to the building and dropped it off because my visa had the address on it i wasnt even able to thank the guy but lets just say my day quickly turned into why are all these bad things happening to me to wow i am so blessed and then after conference we had some great meetings in plzen.

We have this investigator pepa who is a 19 year old electrical engineer student and he lives in a little village and for the summer doesnt every come to plzen but he had to go there for an emergency at work and afterwards he had an hour to kill before his train left so he decided to go check the town square to see if by chance we would be there cuz he wanted to talk to us and sure enough we had gotten to the town square only 10 minutes before hand from prague. we sat down and answered a lot of his questions and taught him from the book of mormon.

a funny note while we were running around prague all morning we had a box full of samurai swords we had to lug around with us because a missionary had left them in our apartment but had suddenly decided he couldn't live without them, we were going to walk into zone conference with them tied to our backs as a joke but since we were late we decided that wouldn't be the best idea.

So we have this investigator named vaclav who is in love with the bible and also the apocrypha and psedouphigira (which luckily kamille's grandpa had explained to me). So at one of our meetings this week he shows up with 2 pages of notes and gave them to us, we look at them and he is like you can use this to show people the book of mormon is true. It was all taken from king benjamins talk and had cross reference with a million bible and other scriptures showing how it agreed with everything from the bible and nothing contradicted it and also all the questions it answers. We gave him the conference magazine and he ate it up, in another meeting this week he started talking and was like "your church... i mean our church explains this really well". Hopefully we will get him a baptismal date soon, we are trying to get him to church before hand because that makes it alot firmer.

Vratislav is doing great he will be baptized in 2 weeks which is the weekend before elder graham goes home. We taught him about fasting this last week and he decided to fast this last weekend for strength to make his baptism.

Our vietnamese hopes got killed off a little bit this week, the two vietnamese woman were transferred by their factory to a little town in the middle of nowhere, so we are going to have to try and figure out where that is and go visit them.

The ptakovi the family from brno were in plzen again visiting family so we met with them and taught them, they want to be baptized but they keep on putting it off so hopefully one of these days they will take the step. Well that is about all for this week family, the threesome is going strong and we are working hard. Have a great week everyone

Elder Hatch

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday July 20th, 2009

Hey everybody sounds like the beach went well and everybody enjoyed the cool weather and are not burning to death at home. Life is going well here in the threesome we are working hard and having some good success. This week everybody and their dog gave us a referral which was sweet, we got 4 new investigators from referrals. Our investigator hoa the vietnamese guy brought his girlfriend and girlfriends sister and we were teaching them english and then after a little while of that they were like ok thats enough english teach us about Jesus and God so we started teaching them and neither of them understand english too much so we just show them stuff to read in the vietnamese book of mormon and they soak it all in. Hoa transtlates for us so we might be having a little vietnamese section of the branch here, sacrament meeting will consist of a speaker in czech me translating to english and Hoa translating to vietnamese hopefully too much isnt lost in translation.

Another one of our investigators Pepa the one whose testimony of the book of mormon was strengthened by albert einstein gave us his girlfriend as a referral so we are teaching both of them together.

Vratislav is still doing great we are looking for him to be baptized in the next couple of weeks. I slipped playing soccer on saturday and twisted my ankle so i have been limping around a little bit but its fine, not broken or anything just a little swollen.

I taught the priesthood lesson yesterday in Church and it went really well, its from the Joseph Smith manual and was on prayer and personal revelation which is super important and needs to be how everybody gains their testimony. That's the thing we hit on big time with talking to people on the street that we aren't here to persuade them to believe like us, but we are here to show them how they can find out these things for themselves.

I got a haircut again from a czech haircutter and luckily i didn't get a fohawk like last time, this time she was czech and not ukrainian so we were able to communicate just fine. The zone leaders came down to vist us this last week which is always a fun time to go out and work with them.

I think that is about all for this week sorry nothing too exciting we are just keeping real busy with teaching and finding people. I hope everybody has a great week and remember to choose the right. And thanks for all the cards from everybody I got those today.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, July 12, 2009

group picture!

A picture of the Prague Zone missionaries.

Jordan is in the top row, 4th from the left.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday June 6th, 2009

Hey family

It sounds like you all had a great week with your different adventures of Havasuipi, Colorado, life guarding and dentistry. It sounds like dad had a great birthday. I got the packages you sent thank you for that, the pink cookies are delicious, there is an awesome article in that church news you sent me about the senior couple who got sent to Turks and Caicos- that is crazy the amount of success they are having. And now I can up my morning workouts another notch with the new cord. Every night after nightly planning my companion and I have a pull up contest which pushes both of us.

We had a big 4th of July branch party on saturday which was a good time, we made hot dogs and pancakes and the Branch President cooked up a big pot of chili and it was a good time to mingle with members and investigators. We were a little worried that nobody might show up but we had 30 people there and everybody had a good time, we played jeopardy with questions about America. Sad to say but this geography bee winner is getting a little rusty on his American geography. For longest river in America I was like oh piece of cake mississippi but its missouri incase you didnt know. Must of had to get rid of that for there to be room for all the czech i am learning.

We taught vratislav about tithing and the 10 commandments and he is still excepting everything like a champ, the branch did a good job of including him in sunday school and making him feel welcome which was good.

So I don't know if i had said this earlier but there are quite a few older women in this branch and we go visit them for home teaching and they love to feed us and tell us all of their stories since they get pretty lonely sometimes. One of the women we visited this week was baptized in 1948 and was the first person baptized in plzen, she basically ran the branch during communism and translated for the first missionaries she is like 85 but speaks English perfectly.

There are university dorms at the same tram stop as us and there is this big music camp going on here for the summer, one day on the tram a group of 3 came up to us and asked us if we know english. It turns out they are from BYU and one of the guys roommates was my first roommate at BYU Blake the super tall viola player, so it is a pretty small world. They came to church on sunday and the branch loved having them there.

It was a little rough of a weekend for us, my companion recieved news saturday that his grandfather died and it was pretty rough on him. But he got up in church yesterday and bore a beautiful testimony about the plan of salvation and that he will see his grandfather again, it was very touching.

Congratulations Jenni and Mason on passing the Dental exam that is great. Safe travels to the beach everyone and i look forward to hearing from you next week. Thank you for all of your prayers and support on my behalf it is very appreciated. I love this work I am doing here and there is no better feeling than serving the Lord.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Monday June 29th, 2009

hello family.

well i just wrote a super long email and lost it for the first time on my mission because the computer froze up which i am pretty upset about but i will try and rewrite everything quickly.

So we just got back from Prague where we were renewing visa work, it used to be a big hassle for visa work you would have to be in line at 2 in the morning and fight with the Ukrainian mafia for spots in the line and then you were there until 4 in the afternoon, but about 3 months ago they changed it so Americans are away from the Ukrainians so now we just went in at 10 in the morning and then we were done an hour later so we lost the adventure but gained the sleep. We had to do the visa work because next month my group will have been in the country for a year which is pretty crazy, it was cool to see my whole MTC group all at once again though it is great to see how we have all grown.

So this last Monday we had zone conference which is always a strong spiritual boost being around the other missionaries and President Slovacek. So we took that spiritual boost with us out onto the streets of Plzen right afterwords and found a sweet 19 year old electrical engineer. We talked with him about the purpose of life and than sat down with him on a bench to talk about the Book of Mormon, we gave him a BOM and recommended Alma 40-42 because he was interested in what happens after death. So at our next meeting on Wednesday he was like well i know the BOM is true, i was like wow how do you know that and he starts talking about how it says in there that for God time doesn't exist and that Einstein discovered some time thing that says the same thing (it is pretty difficult to follow Einsteins time theory in czech by the way) but that the BOM was translated 100 years before Einstein discovered that so the only way the Nephites could of gotten that knowledge is from God. We then shared the Joseph smith story with him and he agreed with it, he left out of town the next day for a week but he sent us a text on friday that he has been talking to his girlfriend about the BOM and now she is interested and wants her own copy.

Other good news is we have another baptismal date her name is veronika and she was at church for the 2nd time yesterday. And it turns out that she and the branch presidents wife were best friends in elementary school and junior high (the branch president was out of town the first time she was there) so there is an automatic member friend. One of the hardest things about the missionary work here I would say is finding a good member friend for our investigators and than lining their schedules up so we can meet with them.

Vratislav was at church as well so that made for a successful week having both of our baptismal dates there. A good experience that taught me a lesson I had last night. We were walking home for the night from our tramstop and it was getting later and I had to do call ins, and we saw this old guy sitting on a bench and I had a thought that I should contact him but I kind of fought it because I hate talking to old guys, they are so stubborn and just want to tell you how you know nothing because you are young and haven't experienced life. But I have been talking a lot about going the extra mile in district meeting so I was like well guess I better not be a hypocrite and I started talking to him. It turns out he is really religious which is unusual for a czech guy he has 16 different bibles and we introduced the Book of Mormon to him. It started pouring at that point so we set up a lesson for tonight to teach him more. So just another lesson of go the extra mile and follow those little promptings.

Sad news vojta didn't get baptized, a couple days before the baptism his parents withdrew their consent to be baptize and since he is 17 he needs that, so now they need to get their consent again. Well that is about all for this week i love you and i am glad Alyssa enjoyed EFY and that Ian enjoyed the economics camp for leaders i had that same leader and that is great a professor was from liberec. Have a good birthday on Sunday dad you will have something coming in the mail but it may be a little late.

Elder Hatch

Saturday June 20th, 2009

Hello everybody

This email will probably be quitw the surprise for you all, we have zone conference next monday and they moved p-day to saturday and didnt tell us until after last P-day but it is ok you can still write me tomorrow and next sunday.

It has been a pretty packed week for us here in Plzen, the zone leaders came down on Tuesday for district meeting and went on splits with us and spent the night, and then the whole Prague district came down wednesday morning and we had a big flood and street display here in plzen which worked out really good we were able to find alot of good people to work with and teach. We have some really good zone leaders and it was great going out and finding with them and learning new things to advance the work.

Elder Price (Zone Leader) and i had a good experience of not judging people and talking to everybody. We were in a park talking to people and we were about to leave and there was one woman left she was about 30 something and dressed like she wanted to be 18 and had a piercing in her chin, as we were leaving the park we were like what the heck we will give it a shot and go talk to her. As we were talking to her she started opening up about how she has a 12 year old daughter and a boyfriend and they are the most important things in her life but they dont give her any time because all they do is sit on the computer and watch tv. So we talked to her about how she has a heavenly father who always loves her and wants a relationship with her and she just broke down crying and we talked with her about how she could gain that knowledge for herself. We set up to go teach her and her family so we shall see how that goes.

Thursday we were running around all day teaching people who were found the day before and then Thursday night we caught a bus to Prague, i stayed in the office elders apartment and got up early the next morning to head to brno with the AP's for leadership conference while my companion stayed in Prague with the other missionaries there. After a full day in brno learning a bunch of good stuff we headed back to Prague where my companion and i caught the last bus to plzen and got home at 9:30 needless to say it was a very long day of traveling but well worth it from all that was learned there.

I was able to see Lenka in Brno and she got the CTR ring that you sent her and she loved it. It was a good one you sent her it actually said choose the right, its funny because for a long time it was translated wrong and was translated as vote correctly.

I am going back to prague on monday for zone conference and then i have to go back in a week to get my visa renewed, i never thought that i would travel around so much as a missionary.

Vratislav is doing good in our meeting last week he started telling us about how when he met us in the park that he never goes home that way but that when the bus came to his stop a women came in with a stroller and blocked the exit so he wasn't able to get off in time and had to wait until the next stop to get off so he went a different way and met us. He told us that he knew that happened for a reason so he could meet us and get the Book of Mormon, which is music to every missionaries ears.

My companion and I are getting along great he is a great elder and has a good desire to work hard as a missionary. That is about all for this week i hope everybody has a great week and be smart and do good stuff.

Elder Hatch

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday June 15th, 2009

Hello family from Plzen

This past week has been full of many adventures and experiences from saying goodbye in Trebic to getting to know Plzen. So I guess I can start off from Trebic, Tuesday we had like 6 meetings with investigators to say goodbye so we made the best out of the situation and had some good meetings to help our investigators progress. Marcella our librarian friend it turns out has been talking to her son and daughter quite a bit about us. We went over to her apartment for the first time and she had probably a good thousand books but the one lying on her night stand was the Book of Mormon which is always a good sign. She told us that she just feels the spirit radiating off of us which is always good.

Tomas Kouptik we were teaching him and we weren't planning on giving him a baptisimal date but i was feeling the spirit so i popped it out on him and he accepted, he will be getting baptized in 4 weeks and Vojtak is doing awesome he will be getting baptized this Saturday.

My 5 1/2 hour train ride went well, as luck would have it I got on the same train as another missionary from Brno so we were together for about 3 hours talking about how the work is going and what ideas we had for our new areas and districts. Elder Graham was waiting for me at the train station with the rest of the district we dropped my stuff off and headed off to teach a lesson to a investigator and get all settled in.

My first district meeting went well I focused it on helping our investigators have spiritual experiences and had it 2 parts the first part on them having spiritual experiences in our meetings with three points of emphasis to help us accomplish that.

1. Love in the companionship so we can have the spirit with us and so that our investigators can tell that we are completely unified.

2. Testifying and about how that brings the spirit

3. Working from PMG to help improve our teaching skills. The second part was on teaching our investigators how to have spiritual experiences on their own away from our meetings. It went really well and I was pretty happy with how it went. We have a good district here, there is my companion Elder Graham from Oregon, Elder Mcfarland from Utah he grew up on a dairy farm and is a real nice guy and Elder Lance a wrestler from California it makes for a good mix.

Thursday after district meeting we were in this park contacting and there was nobody there and we were like dang there is no body here this is a waste of time we should leave, but then we were like well we put down that we would be here so we will give it a shot. As we continue walking we see this young man walking towards us and we start talking with him and then sit down on a bench and he starts sharing with me about how he wants to become clean and feel good so we taught him about Christ and repentance and then gave him a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon about repentance we set up another meeting for Saturday.

Well Saturday comes along and we are there and here comes Vratislav (thats his name) we sit down and he tells us about how he has been wanting to control his thoughts and lately he has had a lot of bad thoughts even though he wants to have good thoughts. He goes on to explain that while reading in the Book of Mormon he had no problem controlling his thoughts, he read the chapter and quite a bit more. As we started talking with him more it came up that he has never been baptized and as we talked about that he expressed a desire that it would be something he would like. So we set up a date and talked with him about how it would go and now he is working to get baptized on July 18th. I felt like i was in South America with him, find somebody and than two days later commit to baptism.

Saturday we had a service project for the branch. There is a big backyard behind the church and they had all this brush they need to get rid of so we were helping them burn it for about 3 hours, haha it seemed way too fun to be service just throwing wood in a fire it was a good way to start getting to know some members in the branch. Church went well there is a very nice medium size branch here in Plzen. There are a lot of older people who were baptized during communism and are way strong plus two families with young kids. There were 36 people at church on Sunday. I was asked to give a talk about how members can help us missionaries progress the work, which is always a great opportunity and I think the members took my talk pretty well.

Today we decided to start off the transfer with a district trip to get unity going strong so we headed off to Karlovy Vary. Its this town famous for its spas and natural springs and famous for guys for the fact that the hotel from casino royal (James Bond) with the poker game is in this town. Its probably the most beautiful town I have been in and we met up there with Elder Andersen and his family since he is with them here touring around. You buy these little cups and you walk through the town drinking water from the fountains its pretty fun except for the fact the water doesnt taste good. I guess what you are supposed to do is go see a doctor and he tells you what is wrong and he assigns a certain fountain from you to drink from. They say if you drink from too many different fountains you might get diarrhea but i couldn't resist trying all of them and so far i am fine but i guess we shall see :)

Well that is about all from me this week, I am working hard over here in the Czech Republic and loving every minute of it. Here is my new address for here in Plzen

Jordan Hatch
Elisky Krasnohorske 20
301 00 Plzen
Czech Republic

Have a great week I love you all

Elder Hatch