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!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday May 25th, 2009

Hey family

The work continues onward here in the Czech Republic. So the highlight of this last week was definitely the mission conference in Prague. We got up early in the morning and jumped on a bus to Prague, we got there about an hour before the conference started so there was some good times catching up with missionaries i haven't seen for awhile. Elder Briggs who is my best bud from the MTC has been on the opposite side of the country from me my whole mission so we saw each other for the first time since we left the mission home 10 months ago and it was great catching up on all of the things we have done in the mission, he is serving in Liberec now so he updated me on how everybody is doing there.

Elder Oaks is the area president for Europe and his talk was really good it was more of a motivator talk about how good we are doing but how much more there is to accomplish, i guess there is a change going on in Europe for the last 10+ years baptisms have been declining every year all around Europe until 2008 when it went up 5 percent and so far in 2009 it is up 17 percent so they are pretty excited to get the momentum going the right way.

Elder Perry talked about prophets and how they are called and his relationships with the past prophets that he has served with and the emphasis they have put on different subjects of the gospel as they built on each other. It was really interesting to hear him talk about them, he put a big emphasis on how they were all completely different men with different personalities and strengths and compared it to us as missionaries saying there is no perfect missionary, each has their different strengths and personalities just like the prophets. It was interesting hearing the stories he told about them a lot of them i hadn't heard before and just the general workings of the Church at the apostleship level. He is still in great shape its hard to believe he is like 85 years old, something funny he said when he was talking about being the president of the quoram of the 12 and how that is the precursor to prophet he joked and said he has a deal with President Packer where President Packer has to die an hour before him because he doesn't want to be the prophet and needs some buffer space.

Both Elder Oaks and Perry and their wives put a big emphasis on our companions, on building that relationship with them and strengthening it daily by serving them, they said that the foundation of success as missionaries starts with the relationship with the companion which i know is true, the companions that i had the best relationships with i also had the most success and was also the most enjoyable time.

Afterward I had to do some visa work in the office because i have to get my visa renewed pretty soon and because of it we missed our bus back to trebic. Luckily trebic isnt too far out of the way that Elder Anderson was going to get to his city and he has a car so he drove us home which was fun to catch up with him for a couple of hours, he is going home in a few weeks which is pretty crazy for me to think about.

So I got an email from Lenka in Brno and she is giving a talk next week on the blessings that come from missionary week which she is pretty nervous about since it is her first talk but she is also excited for it.

Marcella is the library woman and she loved church. we talked to her for awhile about it and she said she felt so much peace there and got some strength to help her in her week, we gave her a Book of Mormon which she is excited to start reading. she left last Friday on a trip to Italy for a week and a half with her family but we are pretty excited to seeing her when she gets home.
Ana is doing great her parents are starting to soften up so we are just continuing to work with her and strengthen her testimony.

We are working with two other young men who are progressing pretty well, Vojtek is 16 and is this awesome kid, he is a taikwando fighter and is pretty good he had a tournament in Poland and got first place, he is also very humble and his favorite thing about the gospel in the plan of salvation he says it answers all of his questions about life.

Then there is Tomas who is 19 and studying electrical engineering right now, he started off pretty atheist but we have him believing in God now with a strong testimony of prayer and he loves church and loves reading in the Book of Mormon he has already read about half of it and he is thinking about being baptized in the next month or so.

That is great that you guys went up to Utah to support Spencer at his farewell and see him off. It sounds like he had a good talk. I am glad to hear that you are all keeping busy with school and work and still having fun thanks for keeping me updated with everything and happy birthday Mason I hope you have a good day and eat an extra piece of cake for me.

Elder Hatch

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday May 18th, 2009

Hey family

So I am writing this email to you from Brno, fun to be back in the city for a day. My companion Elder Chambers is a really good singer and they are doing a special musical number on thursday for the mission conference so we had to come here for him to practice with the others.

So we had some cool experiences this last week. Starting off on our vylet in znojmo last week we met up with some former missionaries who had gone home about a year ago and talked with them as we saw the city, one of them was brother johnson who was my teacher in the mtc so it was fun to see him and talk with him in czech and catch up a little bit, i guess airfairs were really cheap there was a group of them that came back to see the country for two weeks.

We usually email at the library in trebic and the librarian woman is super nice and we usually talk with her, the missionaries had approached her in the past but she didn't have any interest but she always comments on how we are perfect young men. So this last week elder chambers and I made brownies and took them to her while she was working to thank her for always being so kind to us, she wanted the recipe so we came back two days later and gave her the recipe and than we told her that we were going to have talks in church and invited her to come see us, she said thanks but Sunday is my only day off so i will probably be resting. Well we got to church on Sunday and there she was talking with the members inside when we came in, she was like I woke up and it was such a beautiful morning I decided to change my mind and come see you and than afterwards she was like it was really good I think Jesus wanted me here.

And then the story continues, while we were giving her the brownies in the library a woman came up and contacted us and was like hey you are the mormons right? We were like yep thats us and than she asked us if she could come to church with us on sunday because she wanted to find out more about us. So she was at church on sunday as well and loved it.

Church was a little interesting this week, a bunch of members were out of town for this district kids camping trip, so i ended up speaking, playing the piano and blessing the sacrament but it all turned out pretty good. It was the first time i had played the piano in 5 months so i was a little rusty but it turned out well, I spoke about prophets and it went pretty well.

Ana is still doing good loving everything. we taught about chastity and word of wisdom and she was like, well i already keep that but ok i will keep on keeping it. The problem that is coming up is that her parents are very against it, they were raised in communist vietnam and think that faith in god is stupid. Her parents are very nice people but arent supportive of her at all when it comes to faith, she is 19 so she could get baptised without their approval, but she has asked to move the baptism back a little bit to prepare more and get her parents support so she wont be getting baptized this next week but she still has a strong desire to get baptized i think it will probably be in 2-3 weeks. It amazing how far she has come, she met the missionaries a month and a half ago when she was completly athiest and now she has a testimony of God with a great testimony of prayer and how it helps her every day.

So my companion has sleep apnea so he cant sleep very well at night so he falls asleep sometimes during the day, it comes on him pretty quickly sometimes we are talking in comp study and right in mid sentance he falls asleep. So i have a soft nerf football i keep to toss at him when he falls asleep to wake him up.

There is this old woman we see pretty often walking around who lives by us, and every time she sees us she smiles at us and says those clothes look good on you boys she is about 80 and reminds me of grandma ruth. This morning we were coming back with our groceries, and she saw us and calls us over and she reaches into purse and gives us each a piece of candy for being such good boys she said.

People here in trebic are way nice its got a very small town feel. We had a good experience tracting this last week we talked to this one guy and he was like oh yeah i know david he is a member of your church, and as we started talking more he was like yeah i have seen how happy david is and the good family he has i would like to talk to you more and find out more about your faith. So we are going to be meeting with him at his friend davids house which will be cool, its my first experience finding somebody who already knows a member, so remember people are observing you so be a good example.

I hope everybody has a good week i look forward to hearing from you next week and telling you how it was with elder Perry.

Elder Hatch

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday May 11th, 2009

Hey family it was great talking to you all today, we are in znojmo right now on a vylet seeing the city and the sites which is pretty fun. It was great talking to you last night on the phone it was good to hear all of your voices and hear that you are doing good. I saw a picture of you from prom Ian you looked like a borec (thats czech for stud) in that tux of yours.

So we had a great week, we had extended a baptismal date to this young man named tomas and it was kind of a surprise to him and he didnt answer our call when we called him later. But luckily we have been teaching him with members so one of his member friends called him up and invited him to church and he was there yesterday and loved it.

We were driving all over the country side yesterday visting older members who live too far away to come to church with the Branch President. We were on all these country roads and we went like 20 minutes without seeing another car, the czech countryside is pretty beautiful its just rolling hills. The branch here is amazing I love serving in this city, they have had some pretty bum missionarys in the past so that makes it pretty easy for the branch to like us and help us with everything and they are getting very excited to see their branch start growing, I think there has only been 1 baptism here in the last 3 years and he went inactive right afterwards so they are definitely ready for some growth. They have this little pond hidden away up in the mountains i guess where they baptise people so they are really excited to go there. It will be fun to have an outside baptism I am looking forward to it.

Well that is about all from me this week I hope you guys have a successfull week and once again I am glad i could hear your voices.

Elder Hatch

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday May 4th, 2009

Hey family,

Well another week has come and gone here in trebic and it was a pretty good week again. We had a couple of good things happen. So we have our baptisimal date for Ana who is a 19 year old vietnamese girl who is getting pretty close to baptism, and this last week an 18 year old member girl in prague who is half vietnamese found out that we are teaching her so she decided to come on down for a day to teach her with us and get to know her, and it turns out that they really hit it off and became good friends and Ana invited her to spend the night so she stayed for two days and hung out with our investigator which was awesome because there is a big gap in our branch for girls her age group there is a 12 year old girl and than it jumps to 30 year old woman with kids but now she has a friend and they talk quite a bit they are already planning for the member from prague to come and stay for the weekend when ana gets baptized so that was a highlight.

Another highlight was the branch put on this barbeque+ping pong tournament, the branch here is so awesome and willing to do whatever it takes. We had like 8 investigators there and they all loved it one of them was talking to us afterwards about how it seems like one big loving family and my companion elder chambers was like well thats because it is and its because of our faith in Christ and the investigator was like I am really starting to truly believe that. Haha so they have this event every year and the same member has won the ping pong tournament for the past 8 years i think and everybody was training to beat him but he won again, I got 2nd place which they were surprised at because czechs are really into ping pong so i won some more of their respect :).

So you wanted to hear so more about my companion, Elder Chambers is from Vancouvar Washington 20 miles from portland oregon, he is going home in 3 months so he has been out for awhile, he is a great missionary very hard worker and dedicated, he will be going to Utah State when he gets home and we both have served with Elder Nowland, he served with him 2 transfers before I did.

Some other good news from this week is I got a message from the Ptakovi who are starting to prepare for baptism and the mom told me she will remember me forever as the missionary who taught her family how to pray together, so of course that gave me a pretty big head but it was a good reminder that we are affecting peoples lives so much on an eternal basis and how important this work really is.

And than another highlight from the week is we got news this week that Elder L Tom Perry and Elder Robert Oaks are coming to tour the mission which is a big surprise, because we already had our yearly mission tour but i guess they like whats happening here so they requested to come and visit, they are only going to be here for like 3 days so may 20th there is going to be a big fireside for all of the members in cz republic and slovakia and than the 21st we are having a whole mission conference in prague with them so the whole mission is excited about that, there hasnt been a mission conference in like a year and a half and than with an Apostle I am way excited to how it goes we are pretty lucky and blessed to have such a great opportunity.

Thats pretty much all from this last week, so today we are heading up to Jihlava to go through some catacombs there with the missionaries which should be a fun time, we are staying busy and working hard tonight.

here is a funny story we were over at a less active familys house last night and the 23 year old son challenged Elder Chambers to a pepper eating contest and the results were pretty funny I took some videos so you will see those some time, I sent a chip home last week so you should be getting a bunch of pictures pretty soon. I hope everybody has a good week and stay safe.

Elder Hatch