Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 28, 2011

Dearest Familia,
It was wonderful to talk to you and see you on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starting January 9th our preparation day will be moved to Mondays. So I have one more Wednesday (the one where Sister Brown goes home and I get a new companion) and then I will be writing on Mondays. So get your letters in by then!
Have you ever heard of having chili with noodles?? Because a couple of weeks ago, someone mentioned it "spaghetti chili" and then TWICE this week, we had chili with noodles. It sounds super weird, but it's actually pretty good.


Friday I went on an exchange with the Wheaton Sisters. Sister Fossett came to Woodridge to work with Sister Brown, and I went up to Wheaton to work with Sister Nielson. IT WAS SO COOL!! We had an awesome day together and had a really cool miracle. We were working in a little neighborhood, not having much success, but so is life. We got to the end of the second streeet and turned around to work the other side, rather than continuing around the corner. When we completely finished both of those streets, we decided to start working on the next street at the top of where we had started from originally. At the first house of this circle, we met a teenage boy who told us that they weren't interested and so, as was our practice, we left a Joy to the World card, and continued onward.

As we were finishing our loop, a man came out of one of the houses we had already knocked on and asked us if he could offer us anything warm to drink and said that he was interested to know more. We didn't recognize the man, and realized that it was because we had never met him, but had only talked to his son. He invited us in and we sat down with him and his wife and ended up having a 40 minute discussion with them about the Book of Mormon, why we are here on missions, prophets, and what it means to truly follow Christ. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Sister Nielson and I were both able to bear powerful testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and why they are so important to us, but that we do not worship them.

Sister Nielson, who is also going home next week, said afterward that she has been waiting her whole mission for one of those experiences where someone calls them back because they have decided they want to know more. They were both really nice, and it was a great experience to be able to answer so many of their questions, and to be able to do so by bearing testimony.

A while ago, we had planned to teach Don about obedience, and following the Prophet, but that lesson never actually turned in that direction, so we didn't give him the Book of Mormon Ensign we had planned on giving him. Yesterday we met with him, and were finally able to teach that lesson. Sister Brown still wasn't talking much, so it was mostly on me - a little intimidating I admit. I felt impressed to ask him about church on Sunday and dig a little deeper into his feelings about that, and we had a really good discussion about that and what going to church is meaning for him and Rose. From that discussion I was able to discern further some concerns that I previously knew about, but hadn't connected to this topic of following church leaders, which I was then able to use in talking about following the Prophet. Then, after we gave him the Ensign (which, by the way he totally loved and thinks is the coolest thing ever - he loves when we give him new things to read and new ways to research and learn about the church) and he had looked through it briefly, he said "You know, this is really what I needed today..." AH! And then I realized why we hadn't been able to give it to him two weeks ago like we had planned - because the Lord knows him, and knew that he would need it more today.

Last night we had dinner with Sister Beyler (her kids are all out of town with their dad this week, so she has the house to herself). Sister Brown was exhausted from being sick, so again, the lesson would be pretty much on me. I was thinking about it all morning, but I was struggling to know what we could share with her. It would be different because all the kids wouldn't be there, and we really wanted to share something that would help strengthen and uplift her. As I was pondering on the matter, and praying to know what on earth we could share with her, I had the thought to look at a letter from President and Sister Doll which they had given us for Christmas with some quotes by Elder Holland. I got out the page and began reading the quotes. The Third one seemed like it would be a good direction, and Sister Brown agreed, so we decided to share that with her. In the quote, he talks about how the best missionary work we can do, is to just be a good example of a happy and faithful Latter-day Saint life. And that's TOTALLY Sister Beyler. She is incredible.

Anyway, we got to her house, and she had invited her mother over for dinner as well, who is not a member. I got a little nervous, because our message was directed very specifically at Sister Beyler and the awesome example she is of "happy and faithful Latter-day Saint life", and not geared at all toward having a nonmember present. Sister Brown didn't seem to concerned though, and I didn't know what else to share, so we just went forward with it. As we were driving home, Sister Brown said she was glad we had still shared the quote, and I was too, because it led to a really great discussion, and it was nice to let Sister Beyler know how great we think she is and what a good job she is doing, even though things are really difficult for her family right now. And then as Sister Brown and I talked about it, I realized that as we had talked about earlier, we don't need to worry - the Lord has it all under control. I shouldn't have been nervous just because her mom was there, becasue the Lord guided me to that quote, and HE knew that her mom would be there, even if I didn't. And if we had known, we probably would have shared a completely different message.

I love you all so very much! And thank you for your prayers.
The Lord is in control. He is watching over all, and we just have to trust him and give our worries over to Him.

Love, Sister Hatch

December 21, 2011

Dear family,

Some updates of
how things are going:

The big thing out here is not ice cream, but custard. It's EVERYWHERE! Seriously. Have you ever heard of Culver's? It's a fast food place out here that has a different flavor of the day every day of different things they mix in the custard. It's delicious :)

I finally went into a Menards. What the heck?? That store is crazy! It's a hardware store mostly, but then you're walking through, and suddenly you're in the middle of a cereal isle. Continue walking, past the Ranch dressing and tuna fish, and you will soon come upon clothing. And toys. And who knows what else because that place has EVERYTHING! It's crazy.

And now to the more serious things (though ice cream/custard is quite serious in itself): Our ward is awesome. In addition to all the food they gave us, they have now given us tons of Christmas presents! Our "tree" actually kind of looks like a tree now it has so many things under it! And once again, our counter is beginning to overflow with goodies and treats. Apparently everyone has the same train of thought, which goes a little something like this: "I have WAY too much of this food and these Christmas treats... I know, I'll give it to the missionaries! We had to freeze some of it we have so much. And some of it might still go bad before we can eat all the leftovers, becuase the ward feeds us every night! It's awesome.

Have you ever been to You should go. It's cool.

About investigators: Jasmine (have I told you about her?) is doing great. She is so cute! She is 12 years old, and has such a strong desire to follow God! She really is incredible. And we were finally able to meet her mom! We tried to schedule times that she would be home, but then things kept coming up, and it would only be the grandma home, who doesn't actually speak English... (She is from Haiti, so she speaks French Creole). Then on Monday, her mom came home right as we were getting ready to leave. She was so nice and thanked us for teaching her daughter about God. It was really cool. English is her second language, so she said she struggles sometimes knowing how to teach Jasmine about Him, but she seems to be doing a pretty good job so far. We talked to Jasmine about prayer on Monday, and she said that they say their prayers every night before bed, AND they have family prayers. umm... AWESOME!

We also just started teaching a girl named Nathalice (sounds like Natalice). She is 16 and has a 6 month old baby, andwants to be a better person. We found her because she had ordered a Bible from after she heard people talking about the Second Coming and she wanted to know more because she was kind of scared about it. She said we could come back, and we were able to talk to her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. We have our third appointment with her on Friday. She is so sweet. It was actually really sad (turned into a good thing) too, because she said that she didn't feel like she could pray or that God would listen because she hadn't been to church in a while (her family is Catholic, but I don't know how strong they are) so when we told her she could pray to know about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, she was really happy to know God would still listen to her and that He would answer her prayer. The next time we went back, she said she had been having a really bad day, so she decided to pray, and afterward she felt really good and things started to get better. It was so cool! She's great and I am so excited for her to learn more about the gospel and be able to turn her life around.

Update on Don and Rose: Rose had a crazy weekend working, so she wasn't going to be able to make it to church. Because she wouldn't be coming, neither would Don. But, the Spirit was working on him, and on Friday he told us that he was going to try to come even if she couldn't! And even though it would be far for him to drive alone. Sunday morning it was really foggy outside and we weren't sure if we would see Don or not. But he still came!!!! Without Rose, driving far by himself, and driving through the FOG! It was a miracle. Then yesterday we had lunch with Don and Rose and it was really great. We were able to explain a little more about the Restoration to Rose and answer some of her other questions. And we were able to give her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read from it!!!!!

Things are really moving forward here in Woody 2 and I am so blessed to be a part of it!
I love you all so much! I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas.

Love, Sister Ali Hatch

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

  • 1) eating my first Chicago Dog
  • 2) this is from the Live Nativity that we had on Sunday. I guess they've been doing it for 20 years now! Our ward and the other ward in our building do it together, and people from all over the area come. It was REALLY awesome.
  • 3) the Picture that Hailey Smith sent me and told me to color to look like myself. Please share this with them.
  • 4) some of my Christmas decorations :)
  • 5) our Christmas "tree" - it's the fireplace... and the best we could do.
  • 6) the Chicago Dog.

The Christmas card: I can't believe you actually did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahah! I was cracking up when I opened it.

Thursday was our Zone Conference, and it wasn't super Christmas-y as Sister Brown had predicted, but it was still really good. Every ZC, President sends out an assignment to everyone for a 5 minute talk (all the same topic) and then at the conference a few people are asked to come up and give their talk. I was one of those chosen. Our assignment was 3 Nephi 5:13 about being a disciple of Christ. I focused on the last line that talks about how we do these things that they might have everlasting life. That line describes how selfless our calling as missionaries is, and how Sister Brown put in context for me the saying that "we're not here for ourselves". For some reason I was SUPER nervous the whole time I was speaking and I could hear my voice cracking and everything, but everyone said I did a really nice job, so that was comforting.

Exciting news relating to discoveries concerning my distant past: One of the Elders that meets in our same building is named Elder Hibbard. On Sunday we discovered that Katie Hibbard, the same Katie Hibbard who shares my birthday and was my best friend until I think I was 4? when they moved to Meridian, is his cousin. SMALL WORLD.

Yesterday we had two appointments in the same neighborhood (Don and Cierra) so we decided tha in between them, we would just keep working in that area. We've already done a bunch of it, so soon we'll have the whole section tracted out! It was not only convenient, but turned out to be inspired. We knocked on a door and this man, Jermaine, came outside. Sister Brown introduced herself, and I followed suit. Jermaine was SHOCKED. He told us that his god-father had just died a few days ago. His god-father's name was Robert Brown. And Robert Brown's best friend (and Pastor) was Pastor Hatch. None of us could believe it! I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering that the name Poplar is what led us to find Don and Rose, and Cierra. But I truly believe that Jermaine really needed a Hatch and a Brown yesterday to grab his attention so he would listen. We had a really good talk with him, and then Sister Brown asked him to read from the Book of Mormon in Moroni 10:3-5. He read that, and then he just kept reading for a while after that. I felt the Spirit so strongly and I could tell that he definitely did. It was really cool. We set up an appointment to meet with him next week.

After our appointment with Cierra yesterday, we saw that we had a voicemail. It was from Don, who had seen our car across the street. He told us to come over for a minute when we were done. We went over and Rose had just gotten home from work. She had brought us a poinsettia for Christmas! It was so sweet and so perfect! They were wanting to do something for us for Christmas, but they don't have much, so it turned out perfectly that she was able to bring one home from work to share with us. I also LOVE them of course. Well anything that has to do with Christmas really... Each week we make goals, and we decided to make a few fun goals this week and one of them was to Christmasify our apartment. I had already made a few snowflakes and a paper chain, but we thought the place could still use a bit more. And it's been awesome because people have just been giving us stuff this week! We got another Poinsettia from Sister Andrews later that night, and on Friday, a sweet old Philippino lady gave us some bells to hang on our door.

I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011

And so dearest family, here is my update for the week:

Last week President told us to all expect and pray for miracles, so Sister Brown and I decided to make that one of our goals. On our first street of the day, we prayed to find miracles, and let me tell you - we found them! At almost every house (I think all but one) if they weren't already home, the people either pulled up right before we got to their house, or as we were knocking on their door. Because of this we were able to talk to so many people! Then, about halfway trough, we got a phone call. We decided to head back to the car to talk so that we weren't just awkwardly standing in front of this house we were about to knock on. By the time we were done on the phone, the lady at that house was outside talking on the phone. We decided it would be a little odd to bee-line it straight to her with her watching us for the whole walk, so we just decided to start at the top of the street again, just on the other side, and work our way back down to her house. At the second door we met Lizzie. Lizzie only had about 10 minutes before she had to leave, but she let us in and we were able to teach her a quick lesson about the Restoration! She was really excited about it and invited us back! If we hadn't had that phone call, and then decided to start at the top of the street again because of the phone lady, we totally would have missed her. MIRACLES. It was so awesome!!!

I got a new bed! Yay! The old one was like sleeping on springs, and I ended up sleeping on the couch for about a week because it finally got so bad. But thankfully they brought me a new one and I am sleeping much better now. However, I have gone from sleeping on an extra tall bed (there were two boxsprings) to now sleeping on an extra low bed (I guess the mattress is just really small? I'm not exactly sure how my bed got to be so much shorter than Sister Brown's...)

Burr Ridge (where the Hoogland's are moving) is just barely outside of my area. It borders the northeast corner of my area in fact.

The Beylers are awesome. So are the Andersons and the Andrews. Those are probably my three favorite families, and they all really love us, so it's great :) Eating with the Beylers is where I heard the coffee thing. Those kids are so funny. I wish I knew how to describe it, so you could enjoy it as much as I do.

Don said he wants to get baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He just wants to wait for Rose, who we still haven't been able to meet with, so we don't have a date yet. But I am very okay with that. We know that he wants to, and once he has committed to it, you can be pretty certain he'll do it. He is starting to realize that only on of the baptisms can be valid, which is really exciting becuase it means that his testimony of the Restoration is starting to really take root. Cierra is awesome. She just "gets it" all, and said she feels like the Book of Mormon is something she should believe. We are also teaching a 12 year old girl right now, Jasmine, that also soaks it all up and really wants to do what is right. Yes that means that half of our investigators are teenage girls.

quick side note: How on earth did you get such a big tree??? Does it even fit INSIDE? Also that is really cool about the Elders and the whole 16th ward effort.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011

1) can someone please identify this for me? They are ALL over and we have no idea what they are. They grow on the trees and they look soft and fluffy, but we discovered that they are actually hard and look a bit like brains...
2) the inside of unknown vegetation...
3) Sister Doll and I after our shopping excursion a few weeks ago. I got a wool skirt and a red sweater. Though I think I'm going to need more skirts... It's just so cold!!!
4) My district.

Dearest Family,

Thanksgiving was different, not being home.

On a related note: if you are ever wondering what you can do to help out the missionaries, invite them over for appointments on Holidays if you can. We are still expected to work on Holidays, but knocking of people's doors just really isn't a good idea... Also- you do not have to feed them dessert every time they come over. I'm pretty certain that's why so many missionaries gain so much weight... Yes it's delicious, but unnecessary.

Momma - that is so cool that you listened to that prompting to stop by .........! Miracles happen when we prepare for them. I will keep them in my prayers.

A little about Sunday: Church was really awesome on Sunday. Don and Rose came again and loved it! The Spirit was so strong in all of the meetings and I had a really great day. In Relief Society the lesson was on Elder Christofferson's talk from April 2011 GenCon and it was really great. I love the story about Hugh B. Brown and the gardener.

Then that afternoon we went to stop by a few people and then go tracting. The houses we went to all seemed to have a ton of company over, so we ended up not stopping to talk to them. When we were down in that neighborhood, we passed a street and I had the thought that we could tract there instead of where we had planned to be, but I didn't make a big deal out of it, so Sister Brown kept driving and we went up to Zurich Lane where we had planned to work. Bad idea. Very few people were home, and of those that were home, most were quite rude. After working that area for 2 hours, we had only had 1 quality gospel conversation. It was cold. It was rainy. It was windy. And it was rough. I learned an important lesson though. If you have an impression - small though it may be - FOLLOW IT. Who knows what could have happened if I had listened to that idea of working Franklin instead of Zurich. Who knows how many people were waiting for us there! And we never met them, because I was too shy to make a big deal about something that I wasn't absolutely certain had come from the Spirit. The Spirit is quiet. And usually not as forceful as we would hope when important matters are at stake. Whether or not there were really hundreds of miracles waiting for us on that street, I should have listened. Because maybe the thought just came to see if I would. But at least I have learned - or am starting to learn - a little better how the Spirit works with me. And maybe I won't always be 100% certain that it was a spiritual prompting, but as long as it's not for anything bad, there really isn't harm in following it. Yes I wish I could know more exactly what is and what isn't a spiritual impression so I know whether or not to act on it, but if I don't start acting, how will I ever find out if it was?

A few items of note before I run out of time: Apparently no one in Illinois has sprinkler systems. I guess it just rains enough... who knew, right?? I guess that's the difference in being from a desert...

Often instead of coming to the door, people will just look out the window and then motion for us to go away. Sometimes they yell at us to find out who we are. It's pretty funny. I just don't understand why yelling through the window is easier than coming to the door...

People here are very cranky and impatient drivers. I feel bad for them.

I love you all so much and am so grateful to have you as my wonderful family. I hope Grandpa gets better soon!

Sister Hatch

P.S. A Louisiana accent turned Chicagan sounds extremely odd. Just in case you were wondering (because I figure that you all probably were...)

Oh. And Mom you can just send the package here because I will be in this area at least until Sister Brown finishes her mission in January, and probably for the next few transfers after that. But I will for certain be here until January 2.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Familia,
Some fun facts to start us off: 1)People go to bed REALLY early here, and by 5:00 is is DARK. Both of these make for very interesting contacting/finding in the evenings... 2) I have discovered a store like-unto Winco, which makes me happy :) It is called Food for Less and you bag your own groceries like Winco and it really is cheaper! Thankfully they do take credit card though. 3) The wind is so LOUD here! In fact, there is so much wind, that I swear you can almost see it sometimes...

I picked up the package this morning and it is wonderful!!! Thank you so much! It really was perfect. And the gloves are nice to have now because my red, possum fur ones seem to have disappeared. Luckily I have still had the little stretchy gray ones, but it is still sad to lose those ones. That little angel is adorable Mom! And the pine cones smell so good! And thanks for all the peanut buttery things. Mmmm...

Saturday was incredible. It was supposed to rain all day and be really windy so we were nervous. But, God knew what we needed and the words to "Be Still my Soul" kept running through my head: "The waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below" because it didn't rain, the wind didn't start until after we were done, and in fact it was actually quite nice and warmed up a bit. So many people from the ward came to help and it was wonderful. Don and Rose were astounded that so many would come to help and that they did such a fabulous job. Every time we talk to them, they express their extreme gratitude. It has been really neat. Sister Brown and I were also able to go inside and talk with Rose for quite a long time and answer lots of her questions. We had a really good discussion with her and they said they are definitely coming back to church this week! They weren't able to attend Stake Conference this weekend, but they said they WILL be there on Sunday. Yay!

Stake Conference was really good. They had three recent converts/ recently re-activated members talk about what it means to them to "be a Mormon" and they all did a really great job. The Stake Presidency all gave really great talks as well and then the Temple President and his wife spoke. He said that some people would never even dream of missing Sacrament meeting, and some people wouldn't even consider not paying their tithing - so do we feel that way about the Temple? It was a pretty cool perspective. He also said that we shouldn't just be going to the Temple to get a spiritual renewal, but that we should be gearing up spiritually so that we can go to the Temple. He said it much better than that, but that was the point he was making. Another thing I really liked from Stake Conference was from the Stake President. He talked about how conviction leads to action and action leads to revelation.

I don't remember if I ever thanked you for the letter you sent wit all the notes in it! THANK YOU. Thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa (also thank you for your letter Grandma!). And thank you Quilting Mothers! When I lost Dad's original "fear not" note, it was really hard for me. It was a silly thing I know, but the note meant a lot to me - they all do - and to lose one was difficult. I prayed that I would be able to find it, and I knew that Heavenly Father could easily give me a miracle in which it would turn up. I didn't understand why He wouldn't give me such a small thing, especially because it gave me so much comfort and courage. And then when your letter arrived I realized why Heavenly Father hadn't answered my prayer - at least not in the way I had asked Him to. It was because He had something better in mind for me. If I hadn't lost that note, I wouldn't have gotten all those others and the added love and support and joy that came with them. It's a small example, but it has really taught me that although it may seem like He sometimes doesn't answer our prayers at times, we have to understand that He knows what He is doing, and that what He is doing will be so much better than we could have even imagined or hoped for.

The same day that we met Don, we met a girl named Cierra (who also lives on Poplar) and we have been teaching her, but because she is so busy, we have only been able to meet with her every other Tuesday. We met with her for the third time yesterday. The last time we met with her we read 1 Nephi 1 with her (because she hadn't been reading since our last appointment) and then invited her to read something everyday. When we went back yesterday and asked her how her reading was going, I couldn't have been more pleasently surprised. She has read up to 1 Nephi 22! We were also able to have her say the prayer at the end of the lesson and it was really beautiful. She is wonderful and I am so excited for her. She said she might come to church this Sunday because she doesn't have any dance things this weekend, so we are praying that she WILL come.

For Thanksgiving we are going to the Otto-Piech family's house. Cecily asked if we could help them put up their Christmas tree afterward and I told her only if we could listen to Christmas music ;). Thursday evening we are trying to set appointments with members so that we don't have to be out proselyting and having everyone think we don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

Sister Brown and I continue to grow closer and we are starting to have a lot of fun together. I am very happy.

A lot of my scripture study this week has been bringing with it a recurring theme (that really has been a theme since I was in the MTC with things people have said etc.) That theme is FEAR NOT. Funny how that all works out, right? I have been praying to know how I can become a better missionary, and the answer I seem to be getting is that I need to stop being afraid of inconvienencing people on the sidewalk, or in the store, and just talk to EVERYONE! A scripture related to this theme that I have decided to memorize is D&C 6:33-34. So that is my goal for the next little while: To take advantage of those opportunities Heavenly Father gives me to talk to more people, becuase who knows when one of them will be searching for the Truth.
I love you all so much! Happy Thanksgiving! Our district leader asked us to text him on Thursday and tell him one thing that we are grateful for from that day and one thing that we are most grateful for out of everything, and the thing that I am most grateful for in all the world is My Family. You are such amazing examples to me, and you bring me so much joy and happiness. You are my greatest strength and your loves sustains me through all of the heartache and challenges I have faced in my life, all of those I am now facing, and I know it will through future challenges as well. Thank you for being the wonderful family that you are. Knowing I can be with you all for eternity makes everything else worth it.

All my love,
Ali (though technically I suppose I should say Sister Hatch)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A week of many lessons November 16, 2011

Dear Family,

First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fun facts of the week: House numbers in Illinois (or at least my current area) are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find in the dark. They are even difficult in the daytime. It's the weirdest thing. The numbers are all in really obscure places on the houses and really far away from any lights, so at night you can't see them at all generally. And many of them are spelled out in cursive, so even if you can FIND the number, it's hard to read. It's all very strange.

Mom - will you please tell Nancy that I just found out about a Sister in our mission who also has the name of Nancy! We can never seem to find young Nancy's except for her, so I thought she would like to know about the discovery.

Today we are going shopping with Sister Doll and the Naperville Sisters to get me some winter skirts. Sorry that the spending isn't over quite yet... Next winter should be a breeze though, right??

We met Deb B... yesterday (Art and Maureen's aunt/aunt-in-law) and she is AWESOME!!! Oh my gosh, it was so great meeting her! She said that I reminded her of Maureen, which is a huge compliment, because I LOVE Mo! I didn't ask her about jam though... It just didn't seem to fit... ;)

Sister Brown got really sick Friday night (it's really unfortunate that all of these different things just keep building up against her. It's really no fair. And not fun to sit by helpless) and Saturday we had to stay home all day. We barely got out the apartment on Sunday and have come back early the last two nights.

Oh! Don and Rose came to church on Sunday though!! Yay! They really liked it and we are so happy with how things are going. Now we just need nice weather on Saturday for the service project!

Anyway, because Sister Brown was sick and I cannot be away from her, we were stuck in the apartment all day long. I had a LOT of time to study... My Saturday consisted of being as quiet as possible so that Sister Brown could sleep (which she did most of the day, so I was pretty much by myself all day - it was weird) while studying, cleaning and exercising. And what kind of exercise do you do when you are cooped up in a tiny apartment all day? You go for a fifteen minute run around your living room. Most. Boring. Thing. EVER. Luckily it was nice outside so I opened up the balcony sliding glass door and at least got to look outside and feel a little closer to nature... I also had a lot of time to study, as mentioned earlier. I read a really great talk about becoming a consecrated missionary and I am working on making that a part of my everyday character now. I also began reading "Our Search for Happiness" by Elder Ballard and that is so great! If you haven't read it, you should. Also - Saturday morning we asked the ward mission leader to come over and give Sister Brown a blessing because she was not doing well at all. In the blessing he said that work in this area is ready to blossom and that Sister Brown and I are the key to making that happen. WOW.

Scripture of the week and the story about how I came to discover and love this verse: The other night we were going to the Worlton family's house for dinner. We weren't sure what lesson we wanted to share with them, so we were trying to figure that out. I kept trying to open my Book of Mormon and just see what scripture popped out at me. The third or so time that I did this, I decided to read aloud the scripture that caught my attention on that page. (why this one and not the other two? Because the Spirit was telling me not to read those ones and must have been telling me that this was the one) I read it and then Sister Brown said that that was weird that I chose that scripture because she had been kind of all over the place with her personal study, but that scripture had come up a few times. A number of strange coincidences? I think not. We chose to share with them Alma 38:5. As we shared it with the Worltons, Sister Worlton said, "Thank you for that Sisters. I think that was just for me." and then she shared a story about earlier that week when she had been hurrying around trying to get things done and couldn't find something she really needed. She and her youngest son decided to say a prayer and in it she basically said "I only have ten minutes to find this Father, please help me...", and they found it five minutes later. It was really cool to see how the Spirit had guided us to that scripture and that it helped reinforce to Sister Worlton that lesson that the Lord had been teaching her already that week. I LOVE these little miracles!

I love you all! Talk to you next week!
Sister Hatch

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011

Me studying on my ghetto bed.
The view from our apartment. Fall is so beautiful!

What happens when you are a missionary, Halloween, and your companion's birthday all occur together.

Dear Family who I love so dearly,
First of all: for being so close to Wisconsin, there is a shocking lack of good cheese here. I miss the delicious taste of cheese!!

Sister Brown's birthday was last week and her family sent her a package. Inside was a present for me! It was the General Conference issue of the Ensign!!! Yay! I am so happy to have it.
So sometimes in the mornings when we are studying, it is quite cold. Since I only have one blanket, I end up unmaking my bed in order to wrap myself in my comforter. It is quite an adventure.
Our downstairs neighbor is Hispanic and every Thursday during weekly planning we have the privilege of being serrenaded by the lovely FIESTA music that they play very loudly. It's really funny - especially when they start to sing along. The really cool news about this same neighbor though, Emmanuel, is that we met with him on Monday (he asked Sister Brown and her old companion when they were ever going to come over and talk to him about our church) and we were able to teach him a little! Due to the language barrier though, we passed him off to the Spanish Elders. They met with him yesterday and called to tell us that he is now a new investigator!
How are Grandma and Grandpa doing?
Danny - thank you SO much for your email. It was great to hear from you, and just what I needed today.
Have I mentioned how many PETS people have here?? I swear every door we knock on, we are greeted by the sound of at least 2 dogs barking and most of them have a few cats as well. It's crazy. It is very unusual when we find someone without any pets.
An exciting discovery of this week: my shoes leak. Cool... I fear this magnificent Indian summer we've been experiencing may finally be over.
Things are going well with Don. He is awesome and his wife is really opening up. We need your prayers for them for a few things though. They were having some problems with their cars and Rose (his wife) said that when they figured out the car thing, there were definitely going to go to church. Don said a prayer the night before they went to go figure stuff out, received a prompting to bring the title with them, and the next day everything worked out!! So, they are coming THIS SUNDAY! If they don't have to babysit that is. So please pray that they will not have to babysit. We really want them to come to church. I think it will make the world of difference in helping Rose and in helping Don make the connection betweent the Spiritual and the logical. I think he has both parts figured out, he just hasn't put them together yet. The other thing I would ask you to specifically pray for, is that we will have nice weather on November 19th. They need a lot of work done in their yard, which Don can't do because he has really bad osteoarthritis. We told them that we would gladly help and we would get the ward involved as well. They have tried to get help from family and other churches, but have never received that help, so our offer is huge for them. This service (and some other help a member of the ward has given with their cars) is a major factor is how much Rose's heart has been softened. We need to be able to help them on that day! And it will be a great opportunity to talk with Rose because she is always at work when we are able to meet with Don. So far she has just been learning things as her husband shares them.
I love you all so much! Thank you for your updates, for you love and support, and for your prayers.
Love, Sister Hatch

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dearest Family,
Thank you for the letters everyone!!!!  They were wonderful!  (the people around me in the library right now probably think I'm crazy because I kept [quietly mind you] laughing at all the cute and funny things you all shared...)

The Story about Don:
One night we were looking at the map, planning where we would go tracting the next day, and a street name JUMPED out at me.  The street was named Poplar.  I got really excited when I saw it, and Sister Brown agreed that we could go there.  We talked to some really cool people, and ended up setting up appointments to return to two of them.  One was a girl named Cierra who is in high school still.  She is really cool.  The other was Don.  As we were talking, before we even really said anything about our beliefs, he started telling us his beliefs and we were just thinking, yeah... that's true.  yeah... we know.  Almost everything he said lined up with something that we teach in the church.  He had known about the church from family history and knew a little about our history and had in fact defended the church on a number of cases about the polygamy thing.  Pretty cool.  He is 63 years old and is unable to work becuase he has really bad osteoarthritis, but some minister gave him a blessing type thing about a year and a half ago, and he hasn't had a major attack since.  Anyway...  When he was younger he had actually studied to be a minister, but then decided not to be one afterall.  He knows a lot about religions though and loves learning about them.  He invited us back, and we gave him a card to look things up before we came back to meet with him.  When we called him the day before to confirm the appointment, he said that as he was looking at the website he kept asking himself, "Did I write this? Or did someone else? Because this is exactly what I think!"  Can you say "GOLDEN" or what??  He also has two CRAZY dogs who are loud and yippy and don't like new people.  When we went over for our first appointment, the dogs took about 2 minutes getting to know us, and then when we all sat down, they went to the living room and were quiet.  The only distraction they caused was that Don was surprised they were being so good!  It was really cool.  He told us that he normally doesn't like talking to religious people because he disagrees with so much of what they say that he just wants to annoy them as much as possible and then get rid of them as soon as possible.  But it's different with us.  He loves having us come over!  He also said that whenever he walks into a church, he feels uncomfortable.  There are some churches he won't even go into anymore, because he just feels so weird when he's there.  But when he went to one of our churches to work on family history stuff, he felt good and comfortable and calm.  He said agrees with 99.9% of what he reads on, and the other .1% he doesn't agree with is just because he doesn't understand it yet.  As soon as we explain what it means, he's like, "Okay.  That makes sense.  I like that..." 
His wife is, first of all really busy, so we've only ever seen her once, and second of all much more skeptical.  They've had some bad experiences with churches in the past, so she is hesitant to really agree with anything at this point.  All on his own, Don started telling us that he was working on his wife.  He doesn't want to push her, but he really wants her to see and hear and feel what he does when he meets with us and reads from the Book of Mormon.  He is working on getting her to come to church because HE really wants to come to church and he knows that if he can get her there, she will like it. 
I'm telling you, this man is amazing!  He is basically teaching himself and all we have to do is reassure him that it's true and help him recongnize that reason everthing feels so different with us is becuase it's true and that is the Spirit working within him. 
Okay, now that I got that incredible story told, I can tell you about all the other funny little things that have been going on.  There is a family in our ward (well actually 2, they are brothers and the one has 6 kids and the other has 10).  They are related to some Hatches, so he asked me for some family history info and then did some research and found out that we are related through the Hatches that came to America with the pilgrims in the 1600s.  
The other day we went to this apartment complex to try to see this lady:  we've been trying to see this lady Patty, but her phone is always off or doing something weird, so we have been trying to just stop by.  The problem is, the outside door to her building is locked and the buzzer doesn't work.  Kind of complicates the situation.  I have been PRAYING that somehow we would be able to run into her, and that day when we went, the door into the building just happened to have been left open.  We were able to get inside, and though she wasn't home, we left a note with our number with the girl who answered the door.  Hopefully she will call us soon.
A great thing I have realized, and very much appreciate, about the people of the Bolingbrook/Woodridge area:  They don't scrimp on toilet paper.  Almost every house I have been to, they use the soft, thick, good stuff.  None of this thin scratchy cheap stuff.  It's great :)  (and yes I realize how weird that is to share)
Halloween is a SUPER awkward holiday as a missionary!  Our job is to go around knocking on people's doors and to talk to them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Doesn't exactly work when kids are going around knocking on people's doors asking for candy...  Luckily we found out that Illinois has a mandated time period for trick or treating, so we were able to work around that particular time.  Which was convenient, but also weird.  I have never heard of that before, but it's a great idea.
We have been very blessed with beautiful weather and I am very grateful for it.  I love you all!  It was good to hear from you.  I will have to print off your emails next week so I can have them to keep reading because they bring me so much joy!!
Love, Sister Hatch

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October 26, 2011

Dearest Family of Mine,
Thank you so much for all of the wonderful pictures from the girls!!  They are sitting on my desk so that I can see them all the time :)  It sounds like everyone had/is having fun in Minnesota!  That picture of Jack and Norah is so cute!  Something I forgot to say in my last letter, despite my note to remind myself, was to say Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Danny!!  I really did remember.  I promise.  I thought about you on Sunday and Monday respectively. 
This is going to be really jumbled, but so that I don't miss anything THIS week, I'm just going to start at the top of my list and then work down from there.
My feelings on tracting (as I explained it to a member after my first few days):  It's kind of like I'm in a dream.  And because I am in this dream-like state, I really have no inhibitions.  It's great!  Though now that I kind of have a better feel for where I am and what is really going on, some inhibitions have begun to creep in, but I'm working on keeping them out.  Sometimes we tract in the freezing cold and the rain, and then other days it is beautiful and sunny out.  Mother nature cannot make up her mind.  I'm really okay with that though, becuase I wasn't expecting to have any more nice days.  So if she wants to go ahead and be indecisive for awhile yet, that's just fine with me!
Last week I bought my winter coat!  Or coats rather...  It has been discovered that that lovely raincoat we bought will not be sufficient for the time between now and deep winter when I will need a full body armor coat to keep out the wind and cold.  So we went to Burlington (Goodwill didn't have any coats) and I got a nice wool coat for the transition period and then a super intense, down filled, goes to my ankles almost, has fur on the hood "deep-winter" coat.  I also got some thicker tights (ps sweater tights are AMAZING!), leggings, long socks, and some thermals.  Just in case you were wondering what all those charges that will soon be appearing on my credit card statement were about...  Sister Brown has assured me that all of these things are a necessity.  I am still looking for boots.  I am trying my best to find good prices, but it's hard right now because no winter stuff is on sale, and I can't afford to wait until it is.
Have you ever heard the 7 promises of making a serious study of the Book of Mormon by Marion G. Romney as quoted by President Benson?  You should look it up.  They are SUPER cool.  We've been sharing it with a lot of families.  We haven't been giving them copies of the October Ensign though.  I'll talk to Sister Brown about how we can get some copies.  That sounds like a cool idea.
Daddy - I need something from you very desperately.  You know all those notes you wrote?  Well I have them all in a pile on my dresser, but one of them I kept in my coat pocket where I found it.  It was on a little blue piece of paper and I "laminated" it with packing tape so that it would last longer.  But somehow on Thursday it must have fallen out.  Because I no longer have it.  It was the note that said "FEAR NOT".  Will you please send me another one??  It gave me strength every time I put my hand in my pocket, but now it isn't there.  I would very much like it back.  On a less urgent note, but still important, I also lost one that said something like "Ali, make sure to sing today" from you, also on blue paper.  Could you please re-create those for me?  So that I still have them all?
We have a Hindu temple here.
The Fall is beautiful here!!!!  And thank you SO much for the fall decorations Momma!  It made me so happy when I saw them in the package!  
Have I mentioned that I am longer than my bed?  Because I am...
Have you ever heard of a movie called "Night of the Twisters"?  Apparently it's a true story and a less active man in our ward we visited the other night is from the area that it takes place in...
We had an awesome thunder storm last night with crazy lightening.  It was super cool.
We are teaching a man named Don Carson right now and he is so cool!!  I will have to tell you more about him next week because Sister Brown is already done and I think she wants to go soon...
Your questions:  We live in an apartment.  It's not bad.  My bed is super ghetto though.  My extremely thin and weak mattress is resting on a frame and two box springs (why there are two I cannot tell for the life of me) which are both falling apart.  It's pretty funny.  We eat with members A LOT which is really awesome.  It surprises me how many less active members invite us over for meals too, but that is always really cool when they do.   We do get one copy of the Ensign, but Sister Brown said that it usually come pretty late to us.  I want to get my own copy of the conference issue though at least.  I suppose I see the issue with sending the jam...  I'll just have to do without I suppose :( 
I'm so glad those Sisters were able to see Deb and Dan!!  yay!
Well I can tell Sister Brown is getting impatient, so I'll say goodbye for now.  Oh!  She's from Washington, but her family moved to Salt Lake her senior year of high school.  She will be 27 next week.  
I love you all SOOOOOOOOOO Much! 
Sister Hatch

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week One in Woodridge

Dearest familia,

This first week has been great!  Items of business first, funny items of note second, and then the good stories.

Mom - can you send me some homemade jam possibly??  Please??   I forgot to tell you that while I was in the MTC I ran 2 miles!  Without stopping! It was awesome.  I also ran a 1.5 miles another day with some stairs in the middle.  That was a crazy day...

Alicia and Alan - we live really close to a Menards.  It makes me laugh and think of you every time we drive by.

We also live near Robinhood Way.  There is also a Galahad Road and many other various Robinhood and King Arthur associated street names.  I also saw a Janes Avenue the other day, and obviously thought of Jane.  Another amusing street is Shady Lane.  And my favorite, Cheese Road.  (Sister Westrup, if you are reading my blog, you will have to pass this info on to Rebekah.  I immediately thought of her when I saw it.)  Really though, who named these streets??  I always have loved funny street names, and Illinois is certainly a good place to find some great ones!  

Amy - the other day I was thinking about what snack foods I wanted to buy when preparation day came, and I got a craving for fruit leathers.  That night when we got home, we checked the mail.  There was a letter for me from you.  With a fruit leather inside.  Beautiful.     Also I LOVED the girls paintings and notes!  They crack me up.

People in Illinois REALLY get into Halloween.  I have never seen so many elaborately decorated houses in my life!  I can't even imagine what Christmas will be like. 

The Work:  My second day we started tracting, and Sister Brown seems to forget sometimes that I am new, so at our first door she was thinking that I knew exactly what was going on and what I was doing, so she just didn't say anything.  After a few awkward seconds of the person who answered the door waiting for us to talk, I had to speak up and I gave my first door approach.  Luckily that was just a stop by of someone that they had already met before I got there and not a totally random door approach, but it was still a little nerve racking.  I really like tracting though, and most people are really nice to us.  

We started teaching two new people this week and they are AWESOME!  Michelle and Cierra.  Michelle has three kids and has TONS of questions.  She is one of those people that is already living most of the gospel standards, she just doesn't realize she is.  Cierra is a senior at Bolingbrook High School.  We taught her the Restoration on Tuesday and when we asked her to pray to ask God if it was true she said, "I'm pretty sure He'll say 'yes'. "  AHH!!!!  So exciting!  He WILL say yes Cierra!  He WILL!  

The other day I glanced at the map and saw that there was a Poplar Ln, so of course I said, "Sister Brown!  We have to tract on Poplar!"  And it was the COOLEST street EVER!  That's where we found Cierra :)  And another man that we are meeting with next week.  And some other really nice people.  And a lady named Judy that said she would like to come to church some time.  Umm.... AWESOME!  That is totally okay with me.  The street where we found Michelle is called Lexington and that came about because of what we call "map miracles".  We had dinner Friday night with a family and as our lesson afterward we talked to them about prayer and how Heavenly Father WILL answer our prayers.  We gave them an area of the map to choose from and then asked them to pick two streets for us to tract and then to pray for us and those streets as we would go to work on them the next day at a specific time.  It was a really great street and we talked to so many people!!  It was awesome :)

We had Zone Conference yesterday and that was really great.  We learned lots of great stuff and about having greater faith and expecting miracles.  Elder Ellis of the Seventy came to teach us.  It was also really fun because all of the missionaries from my MTC district that came to Chicago were there too!  It was fun to see them all.

  LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Sister Hatch

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Welcome to Chicago with me family!  Where my adventures and tales will now be coming from for the next 18 months.  

Yesterday we woke up at 3:15 AM so that we could be ready to leave the MTC by 4.  One of the Elders was late though, so we didn't leave until 4:30...  Security took FOREVER and I wasn't sure we would make it through in time, but then thankfully they opened up the rest of the lines and the pace started picking up.  We ended up getting through just fine and everyone had time to call their families.  Since I had talked to Mom for a couple of minutes while waiting for the security line, everyone else called first, and then because we still had a few minutes before boarding, I was able to call Dad and talk to him for a couple of minutes as well.  It was really great to talk to both of you.  I LOVE YOU!

On the plane I sat next to a lady who is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and was headed to Chicago to do some family history work.  So cool!  She was really nice and I had fun talking to her.  When she found out that I had been up since three and hadn't had time to eat breakfast before we left, she kindly shared half of her breakfast with me.  I am very grateful that she did.  I know I would have been fine, but I just get so HUNGRY!  So while not necessary for my survival, it was very much appreciated.  

We landed in Chicago around 11 and the Mission President, his wife and the assistants were all there to greet us.  They took our luggage, gave us all some pass-along cards and a Book of Mormon and told us to go get on the train and give them away.  One assistant (so we didn't get lost) took three of us each and we were all on different cars.  I talked to a lady from Sweden who was visiting with her husband, but they had missed their day before and so decided to visit downtown while they were stuck in Chicago for the day.  We talked for awhile, and then as I have been trained to do, I turned the conversation toward God and what I do as a missionary.  She didn't believe in God, but I told her that I believed he was there and that he loved her, and then I gave her a pass-along card.  I don't think she'll actually visit the website, but she might.  And either way, at least the seed is planted.  Then I talked to a Catholic lady who thought it was great that I was out telling people about God, because as she said, lots of people need to hear that message.  I gave her a card too, and then we got off at our stop and walked to where we were meeting President and Sister Doll for lunch.  We had some tasty deep dish pizza and then they put us back on the public transportation to do some more contacting.  This time we were on a train that was two stories tall.  Walking in that train station was for some reason highly intimidating.  It was just so big and industrial!  It wasn't huge and open and crowded like the train stations in Italy though.  It was weird.  Cool.  But weird.  

Anyway, this time we were all on the same car, because Elder Roberts had all of our tickets (which, P.S. I love that the guy had to come around and punch all of our tickets!  It just seems so olden-time or Polar Express...)  Most of us were on the top, and it was hard to start talking to people because they were single seats all facing forward, but a guy across the train from me started talking to one of the Spanish Elders and then when he asked him about the "Elder" on his name tag, I got brought into the conversation as part of the explanation that Elder and Sister are titles, setting us apart as missionaries.  I was actually really glad to be pulled into the conversation because I had been listening from across the way, wondering how Elder Hoobler would go about things.  He started asking us really great questions like what the gospel of Jesus Christ means to us and how the Book of Mormon and Bible support each other.  So I told him that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was to have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.  Then the guy behind Elder Hoobler asked a few questions and before we left, Elder Roberts (one of the assistants sitting a few seats farther back) gave him a pass along card.  I gave the first guy a Book of Mormon, and I know that a lot of other people heard what we were talking about because A) I had to talk loud to be heard across the great divide that was the open space of train, and B) Sister Fossett was talking to a guy downstairs and she said he was asking her if we were with her, and she said another lady kept looking up and listening.

It was so cool!!  Seeds were planted.  And I really think those two guys, Alex and Mike, might actually read the Book of Mormon.  They were both really receptive, and what I think Sister Christensen would call, "the elect" - those ready to hear our message.  

We went to the mission office, met the senior couples and had some orientation, and then went to the mission home for dinner and bed.  Best night's sleep I've had in three weeks.  Combination effect of: homemade food, comfortable bed, and being EXHAUSTED.  This morning we had breakfast and then headed right out for the church where we had some more orientation/training, and then we were given our assignments and trainers!  My companion's name is Sister Brown and she seems really nice.  I think we are going to get along really well.  We have an appointment tonight, and I'm a little nervous, but mostly just excited.  I am serving in the Woodbridge 2nd ward in the Joliet area.  

President and Sister Doll seem really nice, and I am excited to be here.  Wednesday in my preparation day now, so that's when you can expect to hear from me, and make sure to write me by then.  Letters in the mail are really great too, because then I can have them and don't have to wait until preparation day to read them, and don't have to use my computer time reading them.  Just a few ideas... though I definitely still want emails.  

I love you all so much!  I am doing great and so excited to be in CHICAGO!  The weather was perfect yesterday and today is another beautiful day!  I hope it stays for a while...

Sister Hatch

MTC - October 4, 2011

Thank you so much everyone for the updates on Norah!  And welcome to the family little girl!

I am doing so much better this week than last week!!  I can't believe I'm already done with two weeks here and that I only have one left.  I can't believe how much we are learning here!  General Conference was awesome.  We were promised that if we thought of questions before hand, that they would be answered.  I prayed to know what questions Heavenly Father wanted me to ask and then wrote those down.  After Conference, I went back through my notes and wrote down all the different ways that my questions were answered, and all the different talks that answered them in their various ways.  It was really cool to see that happen.  I really can't pinpoint a favorite talk because they all had so many important things and all answered my questions in different ways, but some that I loved especially were President Uchtdorf's, Elder Ardern's, Elder Carl B. Cook's (where he talked about looking up instead of down), Sister Dalton's, President Monson's on Sunday morning, Elder Richard's (real life, real learning, real teaching) and Elder Cornish (we need to not just say our prayers, we need to LIVE them).  I think the theme for me this conference was about TRUST.  Saturday evening after Conference I finally had time to have a really good study session.  It was like Heavenly Father was saying to me, "I see how hard you have been trying to study and not get distracted, so I'm going to give you this evening to not only study the things that you have been asked to work on by your teachers, but as you do that, I am going to give you inspiration for yourself and for you investigators beyond anything you would have imagined possible."  It was an incredible hour and a half of just learning from the scriptures and learning from the Spirit.

My goal for this last week was to make week 2 a spiritually progressing week, rather than taking a dive as Sister Christensen (one of my teachers) explained tends to be the phenomenon at the MTC.  I think I did a pretty good job of that, though things definitely weren't perfect.  1 Nephi 2:9-10 became my sort of theme.  It is where Lehi is telling his sons how he wishes they would choose to be, and I thought, "you know, I can choose to be that.  In fact, I DO choose to be that way."

I have also been working a lot on trying to follow the Spirit in my teaching.  I am working on being able to simplify my teaching and allowing the Spirit to take charge of the lesson, rather than letting my own knowledge of facts about whatever lesson I am teaching run away with me...  It has been very challenging, and I am not always successful at it, but those moments when I am truly able to let the Spirit guide me completely make up unmeasurably for the unsuccessful times.  Sister Kearnes and I had a really great lesson yesterday with one of our investigators, Lawanna.  We had really taken the time to plan beforehand, and we were so blessed when we finally got into the lesson.  We didn't even end up following our plan most of the way through, but the Spirit guided us and I know it was becuase we put in the effort to prepare before.  Afterwards, Sister Kearnes just did a dance of celebration down the hallway and I teared up a little I was so filled with joy for the blessing that had come to us from doing things as we have been directed.  Because we had PLANNED with the Spirit, we were able to TEACH by the Spirit.

Funny story really quick about last week:  I told you I was getting sick, and on Wednesday we were at the TRC waiting to get assigned a room to teach an investigator (really just volunteers).  It wasn't even 9 in the morning, but I was exhausted.  I just kind of rolled over on the side of the couch and rested until the man came in to tell us where to go.  After the lesson we had gym time, so Sister Kearnes made me stay in our room and sleep.  I miraculously remembered that Ann gave me ear plugs and I ended up sleeping for like 2 1/2 hours!  (I'll have to finish this later!)

I get to call you from the airport on Tuesday!  My flight leaves at 7:15 so I'll probably be calling around 6 or 6:30.  I guess I'll have to call your cell phone mom since you aren't home.  And then I'll call Dad too.  I can talk for 15 minutes they said.  I wish I had more time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (right now to write that is...)

I love you all so much!  Keep the letters coming!  I have lots of time to read them, just not much time to write back.

Sister Hatch