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, 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.