Monday, March 26, 2012

Pictures to go with the Previous post.

Pictures: 1) Marsha and her girls: Morgan (yellow), Megan (blue), and Madison (brown) 2)having a picnic at lunch 3) getting caught in the wind at our picnic... 4-5) Tracting in the rain...

Night Terrors or Training Terrors!

Just kidding, I'm not having any nightmares. But I will be TRAINING this transfer!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bahhh! What the heck?! I don't know what I'm doing well enough to TRAIN someone else!! Everyone was predicting it, and I sort of had the feeling but kept denying it... but after President Doll called Saturday night and said that he would like me to train, there was no more chance for denial. It's kind of like everything else has been with new big changes for my mission: I feel like I should feel more scared than I do about this. There are 3 or 4 new English Sisters coming in, so I don't who I'll be training yet. President Doll will decide tonight after he meets and interviews them all, and then tomorrow I will go to a short "training" on training and then I will meet her and bring her back to my area! I've never even been Senior companion so this will be quite a change for me. I'm excited though to meet her and to embark on this new phase of my mission. Sister Sorensen is leaving tomorrow, and that is sad because we've had a lot of fun together, but new adventures await with my new greenie!

Thanks to Shar and the girls for their WONDERFUL package! It was super fun. The lights, the cupcakes with their cute little paper wrapper things... it was all perfect. And I LOVE the notes and pictures!

Thank you for you letter last week Danny. It was just what I needed. Your letters always come at the perfect time.

Mom - I got a card from Brother and Sister Williams. Will you tell them "Thank you!" for me?

Now that I am finally back in full health and don't have crazy other things to report on, I might actually have time to tell you about a few of the people we are working with here in Naperville! A lot of the work we are doing is with a couple of recent converts and a less active family. Lee is married to a member (Tiffani) and he got baptized in January and Courtney lives next door to a member (our current ward mission leader) and he got married in December. They are both AWESOME! Courtney is this big man who used to be in the military - a navy seal and sniper. INTENSE, right? Well the gospel has completely changed his life, and now he is this big teddy bear and one of the sweetest, kindest, most gentle people you will ever meet. His wife and daughter have not been baptized, but we're hoping that they will continue to be more interested as they continue to watch the changes and improvements it has made in Courtney's life. Every time we go over there, either Sister Sorensen or I end up crying because the things he says are so sweet and the spirit that is there is so strong. Yes I know that crying is not the only sign of the Spirit being present, but that's the best way I can express how truly wonderful he is. I wish you could all meet him!

The less active family we are working with are the B.....s. Andrew B is 8 and will be getting baptized on April 27th. Both the parents are converts, and they have been less active for a long time and the dad is totally inactive. When the two older kids, Aaron and Amanda, were 8 they met with the missionaries to be ready for baptism, because the mom wanted them to be baptized, but then soon after, they would go inactive again (the dad never coming during any of this...) But now that Andrew is getting ready to be baptized, the whole family (excluding the dad) is really getting into church. Aaron and Amanda LOVE mutual and Aaron was just asked to be in the Teacher's Quorum presidency. Sister Sorensen and I got to teach him about the Priesthood because he didn't really know anything about it, and it was really cool. When we visit with Andrew to go through the lessons - now we have finished them and are just going through Book of Mormon stories with him - his mom, Amanda, and younger sister Allie sit in too, and Aaron joins if he's home. It's really great to see how well Sister B has taught her children in the gospel even though her husband isn't helping her and they were less active for so many years. We are really hoping that this time they will stick with it and that with Aaron soon receiving the Priesthood that the dad's heart will be softened and he will come back too. They are a really fun family and I'm excited for Andrew to get baptized.

We have a new investigator!!!! His name is Rick. One day a couple of weeks ago, we had less than 10 minutes before dinner to tract this street. We realized we obviously couldn't get much done in that time, so we decided to each choose three houses and then compare. We each said our own little prayer and then chose our three houses. We ended up picking ALL THREE of the same houses! Super cool, right? Then we had to decide which one to start with, and we both felt like we should try the blue house first. We knocked, and there we met Rick. He had heard of the church before because he knew a few members in college and they had given him a Book of Mormon. He had also recently heard something on the radio about the destruction in America at the time of Christ's death and visitation to the Nephites and so that sparked some questions. We told him where to read and then had to run off to dinner.

The next week (last week) we decided we wanted to finish tracting Waupaca, and after having literally NO ONE talk to us, Sister Sorensen suggested we go see if Rick was home. We knocked again, and he came right outside. He grabbed some chairs and we ended up having a really great lesson on his front porch. He was asking us questions that covered pretty much all of the lessons, which generally we like to stay a little more focused and not discuss baptisms for the dead and such in the first lesson, but we let his questions be our guide and it turned out really great. He said we could come back this Friday so now he is considered a new investigator! We are hoping to take a member with us and that we can get him to watch General Conference at their house with us this weekend. We are really excited to start teaching him more. He has a few quirky ideas - some of which remind me of Don - but also a lot of really good ideas.

Vermell sadly is moving out of our area this week :(

Have I told you about Marsha? Tell me if I haven't and I tell you about her next week. She's awesome. I love that family.

I love, love, LOVE you!

Sister Ali

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Idaho for my Birthday:)

Thank you Alicia for that ADORABLE picture of Norah!!!! I took a picture of the picture just so I could have it on hand at all times to show people how awesome my family is.

Oh Mom! I got a letter from Sister Hopkins a couple weeks ago, and I haven't been able to write her back yet. Will you tell her that I got it though? It was so fun to get such an unexpected letter! She's cute.

My birthday started off with Sister Sorensen making me banana pancakes. We had strawberries and whipped cream on top and they were delicious. While we ate I opened your package and it was so fun!!!!!! I laughed at how well you know me with all the perfect things you sent. Like the almonds. And Reeses. And Harry Potter bag. And those organic things are actually pretty good! The bunny crackers taste like Dunkaroos! All I need is some frosting...

Then we headed off to Zone Conference in Joliet and it was really good. It was so fun to see everyone. All the Senior couples were there and knew it was my birthday and they were all so cute and nice to me. It was fun. The best part - and this is truly a miracle and Heavenly Father at work - was that the ward that was serving lunch was the Woodridge 2nd ward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was incredible. Sister Anderson and Sister Phillips (the R.S. Pres) were there and several other women that I knew well. It was perfect. And then they all got to come in and sit at the back of the chapel for our musical number, which was really nice.

We ended up singing the same song we did in church last week which was a really pretty arrangement of "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". It went really well. This is also a true miracle, because we gave Elder Harmon (our district leader) the music for it the day before. We were going to do another song, but it just wasn't working out. So we changed, and he was willing to do it, because it was my birthday :) He did AMAZING and I know the Lord answered our prayers to help learn it so well so fast.

Don and Rose also sent a present with Sister Stewart and Sister McCluskey and that was really fun too. They are funny.

We had dinner that night with the Brown family and they were tons of fun. The Dad is overseas in the army, so the Grandma is staying with them to help with the kids. She is from Chile and doesn't speak any English, so we had some fun translating sessions... We didn't tell them it was my birthday, but she had just happened to have cupcakes, so when I went to the bathroom, Sister Sorensen told her, and she got out a candle and they all sang to me in Spanglish. It was really fun. The funny part is, they live on Idaho street, so I got to go to Idaho for my birthday!

The weather has been amazing, but the humidity is starting to set in, and I see what uncle Alan meant by there only being two good weeks of weather normally... I may need you to send my extra watch link before my arms swell up to much!

St. Patrick's day was great too. Sister Gallup knew how much I like the holiday and I had mentioned how we turn everything green, so when we got to their house for dinner, everything was as green as she could make it! It was really fun. They also had a birthday cake for me!

I have to get some follow-up bloodwork in a couple of weeks until my levels are back to normal, but otherwise I'm doing good.

I love you all so much! I am so grateful to have you for my family. Thank you for your prayers and your love and support.

Love, Sister Hatch

Pictures: 1) the musical number crew from Zone Conference 2) the Daffodils are blooming everywhere!!!! 3) St. Patrick's day with the Gallups! 4) Forsythia! Thinking of you Momma :) 5) Dinner with the Browns

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Greetings from Land of Springtime!!

Dearest Familia,

I'm in Heaven. Weather-wise that is. It is BEAUTIFUL here! And warm enough to not wear a coat. I feel so free! It's supposed to get up to 70 this week and I hope it happens on Thursday because Heavenly Father knows all I ever really want for my birthday is for it to be warm and sunny.

I got your letters with the talk and the birthday package. Thank you so much. The letters and the talk were perfect and just what I needed. I am so grateful to have parents who know me so well and know just what I need when I need it. Thank you for being close to the Spirit so that you could know just what to say. I've been feeling pretty good this week, and Sister Doll, the mission doctor, and my doctor have all said that I should just work as I can and not to feel bad if I can't. I'm grateful that this week I was able to work. Saturday morning was rough though, I'll admit. Sister Sorensen was getting a cold, and to save her voice so that we could still sing in church yesterday, she wasn't really talking and would just sign to me until I figured out what she was saying.

I started out feeling fine, but by the time I was done with my shower and ready for the day, I was suddenly exhausted and not feeling well. This was not good in combination with Sister Sorensen not feeling well, but we went out and did a few stop by's anyway. Then we came home for lunch and she fell right asleep. I made a quesadilla and then I re-read your letters (they came on Friday) and then read through the talk because I hadn't had time to read it before. Then I laid down for a bit, and when Sister Sorensen woke up we headed back out, and despite neither of us feeling well, we pushed through it and worked anyway. And little by little, her voice started coming back, and I ended up feeling great by the end of it all. She was still a little sick, but my energy came back pretty well. I am grateful that we pushed through and were able to have a good day. We found a potential new investigator (PNI) who we'll be meeting with on Wednesday and met another really neat lady who might come to church some time with her friend who is also not a member. And we were able to set up an appointment with a less active family that we stopped at.

So quickly about my health: The last blood tests show that my TSH and the liver stuff is still off, but slightly improved. When I went on Friday they only took 2 tubes of blood this time! And we'll know in the next day or two what to make of everything. There is a cool story though that goes with my hospital visit on Friday. Sister Sorensen kept joking that we had to keep going back to get more tests because we hadn't met the right person yet - because every time we go, she pulls out her Book of Mormon, or the Ensign, in hopes that someone will ask her questions, but no one ever does. So when we found out we had to go back a THIRD time, she said, "well 3rd time's a charm, right?" A lady came in to the waiting room a little after us, but she was watching the TV so we didn't really talk much. Then they called me in. One of the phlebotomists was the one who did it last time, so we started talking, and then out of nowhere she asked me if our church still had the Family History Center. Yes, they do! I responded and then both of them started talking about how they need to get more into that. I told them to visit and if I wasn't remembering that website correctly, would at least have a link to it. So hopefully they actually visit the website! Then they were done and as I was walking out, the lady from the waiting room was being called in. I noticed that she had a really cute scarf, so I told her I thought it was cute.

She then took it off her neck, and handed it to me! Saying, "well here, take it." I tried to tell her that was alright, but she insisted I keep it. It was so nice of her!!!!! I meant to take a picture, but I forgot... Anyway, Sister Sorensen told me as we were walking out, that she had ended up talking to the lady about the Priesthood while I was in there. ! She had commented that I was too young to be sick and having all these health problems, and then they started talking about prayer and how that helps, and then S. Sorensen told her a little about the Priesthood and how that is something that really helps us too.

So third time really was a charm :)

Congratulations to Orchid!! That is very exciting.

Dad forwarded me an email from Deb & Dan just before I left Woodridge and I printed it out and gave a copy to Don and Rose, and they really enjoyed it. Rose had been wondering about being able to let go of her old traditions from her Catholic school days, and some of the things Uncle Dan wrote really made me think of her. So will you thank them for helping my missionary efforts through their missionary efforts when you see them? And tell them that I love them.

Sheeshee - there is a little girl in our ward named Norah, and she looks a lot like you did (according to pictures I've seen) when you were little. She's about 2, so she's about as big as your Norah will be when I get home. Weird! She's super cute though, and it makes me excited to meet her and know her when she's so big.

One of our members (the ones that asked us to sing in church - which went okay by the way) made us these tasty honey-lime enchiladas for dinner and told us that she got the recipe from her cousin's blog which actually has become so popular now that she made into a url address. I thought you might like to see explore it and see if there is anything you like because she said her cousin makes really good food. It's :

I don't know if I've told you about Marsha or not, but she's awesome. She lives sandwiched between two members who have been working on her for a while. She grew up with a really strong religious background and has taught her girls to pray and all that. She has an amazing testimony of Jesus Christ, and last week we found out that she already knows the Book of Mormon is true! We invited her to be baptized when she comes to know that these things are true, and she said, "Well I already know it's true. And that Joseph Smith was a prophet." So she said she would be baptized, we just haven't set a date yet. And we are working on getting her to church, but this weekend her little girl, Madison, got sick so she couldn't come. She DID say the prayer though at the end of our lesson, which was HUGE! She has never been willing before (it's the out loud part that scares her, not the concept of praying) and she finally said it!

I love you very very much! I'm looking forward to opening my birthday package on Thursday :)

hugs and kisses to everyone!
Sister Hatch