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!

Monday, January 26, 2009

January 26th, 2009

Hey everybody thanks for all of the birthday wishes this week. That is sweet that Spencer got his mission call to Brazil.

So I must admit that I dont feel any older or wiser being 20 but lets hope that the wiser part comes soon. So I think i have had more people try and convince me to drink beer here on my mission than i ever had at home in high school. Because the church building is far away and it is difficult to get people to come and meet us there for the first couple of meetings with them, often we meet in these little restaurants called hospodas and get a kofola which is like the czech national soda. Alot of times this leads to people asking us if we have tried czech beer which we say no to and then leads into a big discussion of them saying that it is healthy and it wont hurt us to try it, needless to say it puts a damper on the meeting but usually it turns out all right in the end.

Lenka gave me a birthday cake for my birthday and is doing awesome, we are going over to the District Presidents house with her for family home evening tonight. One of the other companionships had a baptism this week on friday which was really powerful. It was a 16 year old kid who has been investigating for like 8 months but his mom wouldnt give him permission to be baptized until this week, but he has come to church and mutual every single week so everybody knew him really well.

One of the young men who just turned 16 about a month ago has become a good friend of his and baptized him which was really cool to see. We had some investigators there who really felt the spirit and commented on it. So transfers are next week and the word on the street is not alot of changes are going to be happening.

The mission is really old right now, like i have been here for 6 months and there are only 3 missionarys in the whole mission who have been here for less time and there are no new missionarys coming in this transfer. So it is possible that Elder Gagon and I will stay together for another transfer but we really have no idea anything could happen.

Somebody asked how much time my past companions have left, Elder Andersen has 4 months left, Elder Nowland has a year left and Elder Gagon has 8 months left. Elder Williams and Elder Melancon are some missionaries here and they had my comp and I over this morning for biscuists and gravy and eggs it was pretty good to have a big real breakfast for once. I busted out my culinary skills yesterday and made a nice sunday dinner of barbeque chicken and potatoes.

During the winter a lot of the castles and chateuxs are shut down so we haven't been going on any trips on p-days. That is about all this week nothing too exciting, I hope everybody has a good week and keep on working hard.

Elder Hatch

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19th, 2009

Hey Everybody

Hope you all had a good week and that grandma Jacque had a good birthday. That is crazy that the cardinals are in the super bowl, i guess anything is possible. Brno is doing good it has warmed up a little bit which is always nice. We went and visited a long term investigator this last week, it was my first time meeting him. He is from Iran and speaks perfect english and czech, i walked into his apartment and it was massive probably about 3 times bigger than the biggest apartment i have been in here in the czech republic vaulted ceilings and everything. The guy is super nice has been christian for about 15 years and has read the book of mormon a couple of times but hasnt recieved that answer that it is true. So we talked about fasting and fasted with him on saturday which was a really cool experience and he is starting to progress. I was talking with my companion afterwards and commented on how big his place is and i guess back when he was working he was a "money pusher" for casinos he had to make people pay up and also deliver money to people when they won. pretty high risk job but looks like it pays well.

I was on splits with Elder Whiting this last week, he is a zone leader here and while his comp was with mine we were together. It was pretty sweet for the last six months before this he was AP so it was a good learning experiance. We went around and did a lot of tram contacting, we would jump on a tram split up and go sit by somebody. It was alot different than contacting people on the streets we would start up a conversation and than it would get to why we were here where we could take it to talking about the gospel. But before that it is some casual conversation which was some good czech practice because its pretty easy for me to talk about the gospel in czech but talking about what somebody is studying in school or does for work is a completely different story. We had some good times found a couple of people who want to meet with us and also came away with some good awkward moments. In czech culture it is completely foreign to just turn and talk to somebody on public transportation that you dont know, but once they get a little warmed up and find out that we are americans and dont know how things work they are ok with it.

Church was really good yesterday we had 3 people there and they absolutely loved it, one of them is this sweet 22 year old guy who we have had a hard time getting together with and we sent him a text on saturday inviting him. He showed up out of nowhere and loved it, afterwards we asked him when he had time to meet with us and he was like i have time whenever whats good for you? So we have a meeting with him tonight. He showed up dressed really nice in a blue sweater and white shirt and is a good looking guy and all the members and missionarys were like who is that? He is a stud.

There is this bum guy that comes to church every week just because its a warm place to sit and he can use the bathroom, he has been doing it for like 5 years, he doesnt really agree with any of our doctrine but is there every week on the front row. Well this week one of the speakers said something which he really didnt like and stood up and started going crazy, they were able to calm him down and escort him out but it was definitely a jolt for everybody, i guess we will see if he comes back next week.

Transfers are again in two weeks which is crazy time flies here, it seems like i just arrived here in Brno. Today all of us missionaries are going out for pizza with Lenka which should be a good time. I hope you all have a good week and keep on working hard and choosing the right. This is an amazing work that we are apart of.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13th, 2009

Hey family

Im glad to hear that you guys are doing good, things are awesome here in the czech republic. Lenka was baptized on saturday which was awesome she had been so excited and happy for it all week and got there like an hour early. Elder Gagon and I had to get up at 4:20 to travel to the church and get the font filling up. For some reason the water heater wasnt working to well and the water was coming out super cold so we spent the next 4 hours boiling big pots of water to throw in there so they wouldnt freeze to death but it was worth it. Czech people really dont like to smile and everybody was commenting on how much lenka was smiling and how good it was to see somebody so excited about the gospel. She was confirmed in church on sunday, that was the part she was nervous about because she is a pretty shy person until she gets to know you and she was scared to have to go up in front of everybody during sacrament meeting but when the time came she was perfectly fine.

Im glad to hear you got the picture of us, that was sent from the Wooly's they are a senior missionary couple here in Brno and they had us over for sunday dinner and we were printing off that picture so we could give it to lenka and i asked them to forward it on to you guys. We had pork roast and potoatoes with rolls and apple pie, it was good to have a good ole american sunday dinner again. Also they go around and do cleaning checks on the missionary's apartments to make sure we arent slobs so we had our check this last week and passed with flying colors. I guess it helps when your apartment is only a month old but we do a good job of keeping it clean.

We also got in this last week some senior sisters here in Brno. They are actually sisters in real life also who are both widowed. Their dad was a missionary here and than later on one of the first mission presidents here President Toronto. He is the guy who was their before world war 2 and than escaped out with the missionarys on the last boat before world war 2 started. And than he returned as mission president after world war 2 for like 4 years before they were kicked out again. So they have a ton of stories and actually remember some of the members here who were kids with them back then. The older one knows czech because she lived here until she was 14 and the other one is 10 years younger but knows a little czech because she served here on a mission 3 years ago so our district here has gotten pretty big.

I was on exchanges with Elder Fruehan this last week he is the new missionary and has been in the country for a month. It was fun to go out contacting with him because everything rested on me i couldnt rely on my companion and his czech. It was my first time being with a missionary younger than me but we had alot of success finding people and had a good time in the process so it was worth it.

Yesterday we had zone conference so our p-day was switched to today thats why my email is a day late and sunday was branch conference so it was a pretty busy weekend but well worth it. Branch conference was sweet for sunday school we divided off into three groups, relief society, priesthood and young men and young womans. And they discussed ideas they can do to improve things they came up with alot of different stuff. The members here have gone through so many hard times and are still strong i love working with them.

Thanks for the package from Brother Lambson you guys are awesome i bought some cheese today for the gorditas and im pretty excited to eat those. I attempted to translate for him during priesthood, it was pretty rough i understood what they were saying but it was hard to put into words so he got a pretty simpliefied version but it was good work for me. During sacrament meeting they have these head sets and one of the zone leaders translates because there are about 10 people there who dont speak english but do speak czech. Well that is about all for this week sorry if i was all over the place in my email i just kind of type whatever pops up. I hope you guys all have a good week and keep on chugging along thanks for all of the love and support you guys are awesome.

Elder Hatch

PS I have discovered a secret love for fried cheese but dont worry im working out more so even if i do have clogged arteries hopefully i wont be 300 pounds when I get home :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5th, 2008

Hey guys its me again

So we are back into our normal schedule again which is a pretty good thing especially for the work. Im still goin strong with just speaking czech sometimes i get into a bad habit of changlish of saying common english phrases in czech like "we will have to keep an eye out for that" so people listening to us talking between our selves might think we are crazy but that is something i will need to work on.

That is awesome you had native companions for 18 months dad i bet that would help so much with the language because you can ask them how to say things the correct way and they can correct your grammar. Unfortunatly there is only one native missionary here right now and thats a sister missionary but hopefully we will get some elders here in the future.

Pepich from liberec was baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday, he had requested to president that i come and watch it but things werent able to work out. He introduced the gospel to his friend about 3 weeks ago and she has a baptismal date for 2 weeks so he is already doing great.

We had a great experience yesterday as a companionship that humbled us a little bit, we visited a girl in the hospital that we had met on the street about a month ago. We went to the hospital last week and gave her a Book of Mormon and visited for a little bit. Neither of us had much faith going there yesterday that much would happen, she is like 23 and is a body guard/ anti terrosist commando and could probably take out me and my companion in 10 seconds. She told us that she read the intro to the BoM and summarised everything up really nicely and told us she finds it an interesting story and wants to learn more. We taught her the Joseph Smith story yesterday and it really touched her, she was like I like how you guys are normal young people and you use your own words and tell it how it is and you dont use scholarly fancy language. And she was like my friends told me not to meet with you that you are some weird cult but i can see you are normal people and that your church is how religion should be so i dont care what my friends say i like you guys. She is pretty intense she was showing us pictures of her in her commando suit and also pictures of her with her two meter boa construct wrapped around herself and also her anti terrorist dogs so its a good thing she is our friend we can always call her up if we get into trouble.

I got our christmas card on friday i like it exspecially the picture of Ian and Alyssa on the beach. haha I am putting my nutrition classes to good work, some of the elders here in the district want to get in shape so they were asking me what to eat, it wasnt to tough haha i just told them to exchange the chocolate bars for fruits and vegetables.

Well thats about all i got for today Lenka is going strong and will be baptized on saturday, and its snowing right now which is pretty sweet. I hope everybody has an awesome week and that everything goes well.

Elder Hatch

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Video Tour by Jordan

January 2nd, 2008

Hey family it was good to hear from you guys sounds like you are still doing good. So this last week was new years which is pretty crazy here in the czech republic we had to be inside by 6 pm because people start partying all over the place nice and early. President let us all go over and spend the night at the zone leaders apartment which has a good view of the city. It was a fun time one of the elders had the game bang so we played that for a couple of hours and enjoyed each others company.

They sell to everybody here those big fireworks that they use in like the big professional firework shows and at midnight they started going off like crazy all over the city the skyline was just filled with fireworks, we were on the 5th floor of a pannolock that was on top of a hill so we had a great view. Unfortunatley fireworks are against the rules so we couldnt light any off ourselves but we had some martinellis like drinks to celebrate.

Yesterday was dead the whole day people were pretty much just sleeping off their hangovers. I made my first ever new years resolution, one of the zone leaders only has 3 months left until he goes home and he decided that he is not going to speak any english the next three months so elder williams and i decided to join in and then the rest of the district made new year resolutions with us to not speak english for this whole year except during interviews with president and talking with people who dont know czech. I have made it two days so far its a little rough at times but hopefully it will help me get my czech down really good.

It snowed here new years eve for the first time and it must of been pretty cold because a little river that goes through town was frozen over yesterday. Lenka is doing awesome we taught her tithing the other day and she was like it might be kind of hard at times but she is excited to do it, in her prayer at the end of the meeting she was thanking God for the opportunity she has now of paying tithing and telling Him that she is very excited to do it. It is a really cool experience seeing people learn how to pray and than truly pray from their hearts and talk with God like its a conversation and not just some rote sayings.

So the other day the sisters were pretty worried about their weight and bought a scale while we were shopping for stuff for lunch before district meeting. Turns out all the elders have lost weight or stayed the same from how much they weighed before coming here and the sisters are the complete opposite i guess people like feeding them more than us. That is about all from me this week i cant really think of anything more i hope you guys all have a great week and a great new year you will be hearing from me soon on monday.

Elder Hatch

December 26th, 2008

hello everybody

Christmas was great here in the brno, it was different experiencing christmas in a different country but a good experience. Thanks to everybody for all of the gifts and packages you guys are awesome. Christmas here in the czech republic is a 3 day holiday today is the 3rd day and everything is closed and nobody is out so we have spent the day as a district playing games.

There were 2 baptisms this last weekend here in Brno and we were able to take our investigator lenka to one of them she loved it and said it was one of the most beautiful things she has ever seen, she is very excited for her own baptism, everytime she talks with us she tells us how many days until the 10th of January. The relief society has done a really good job of welcoming her in, it helps that her member friend is the president of the relief society.

We went out to our branch presidents house on monday night for an fhe which was quite an ordeal we had to take a real train 30 minutes to get to his little town. It was fun though we sang czech christmas carols with their family and played some little games. The elders quoram president here is from england and his wife is czech, its pretty cool he teaches in english and his counsars translate to czech for everybody. Most all of the men know english from having served missions even though they didnt all serve in english speaking places.

Sorry i cant really think of anything else we just spoke last night but i hope everybody had a great christmas i love you guys thanks for all of the support you give me. Its an amazing experience being a missionary.

Elder Hatch

Friday, January 2, 2009

New pictures from the Czech Republic

Here are a few pictures we received from Jordan this past week. You can see them all by clicking here.

The little Christmas Tree of Elder Hatch and Elder Gogan in their apartment in Brno.
The 4 missionaries assigned to Liberec enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner at the restaurant at the Soccer Stadium in Liberec overlooking the field. They are drinking Kofola, a soft drink only found in the Czech Republic.

Standing outside of a building in Liberec.

Jordan came home after a service project and noticed that this nail went clear though his shoe. A close call.

We received over 100 pictures from Elder Hatch in the Czech Republic right after Christmas. We have loaded them all on his Picaso account. To view them, click on this link