Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

 Dec. 22, 2014
Oh my goodness!!!!!!

Why do I have the most attractive family in the world?? You all are so adorable!!!! Brenna I see that you are enjoying my phone! And I thought you guys weren't getting a Christmas tree but it looks really nice:) The Christmas card is so cute!!! Who came up with that idea... I feel like it was Ashlyn... I am so excited to skype you all!!! So because Sister Kolkova has such a big time difference to deal with she is going to skype first at 10am on Wednesday the 24th and then I will skype at around 11am. So be ready like around 10:30am because I don't know when exactly she will be done but somewhere around that time. Sound good? It took us a while to find members to skype with because no one really had skype which was really weird but we did finally find a family and they live really close to us so it's perfect. I don't know the family super well because they just got back from vacation but that is ok.
Anyways, so this week was looonnnggg, but in a good way! I had my first exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday with Sister Barton. I wish I would have taken a picture with her but I forgot... sorry... But it was great!!! I was really nervous for exchanges because I didn't know how I would get along with a different person and was just getting used to things with Sister Kolkova but I actually feel I got along better with Sister Barton haha. So when it came time to switch back companions I was actually kind of sad:( Sister Kolkova and I just both have really strong opinions on things and like to do things our own way so sometimes that can be a little frustrating but I still love her. I have definitely learned a lot of patience and am trying to be more selfless. But anyway back to exchanges... So Tuesday we went out tracting because we really didn't have any appointments. It was like the middle of the day and no one was really home. We went down a whole street and only one person had answered the door so we decided to come back later when more people would be home. Later that night we came back to the same street and tried all the houses on the other side of the road and we got 4 houses in a row of people that said we could come back!!!! It was so amazing!!!! So this week we are going to go back and talk with them more, we gave two book of mormons out as well so hopefully they have been reading them and have questions for us. That night then we had an appointment with Sister Crabtree who is a member that we asked if we could practice teaching the lessons to. She is a very direct woman and isn't afraid to tell you what she is thinking so throughout the lesson she was giving us major critiques and it made me start to teach worse because she was making me nervous. So by the end I was really frustrated and I know I hadn't really done the best job of teaching and I just bore my testimony. And right then and there the Spirit came so strongly, I was crying, she was crying and I just knew that it didn't matter if I stumbled over my words or taught perfectly but that I knew this was true!!! And that was all that mattered and I knew that she felt that and it was the greatest moment. When I get nervous to teach or stumble over my words now I just have to bring myself back and remember why I'm here and just bear testimony and they will feel that and the Spirit will do the rest.
Wednesday we then went downtown contacting which was fun!! I actually enjoyed it because I think it's funny to see people's faces when you say hi how are you? and they aren't expecting it. They look so confused!:) I think it's kid of sad that it's considered strange for someone to ask you how your day is but I guess if they are strangers... But we got a few good conversations going and handed out one BOM which was good. But the man we gave the BOM to was from Poland and just on vacation here. He was interested in the church so hopefully the missionaries will find him in Poland:) There were also some crazies but none too bad haha:) 
The rest of the week was great we did a lot of walking because we only have so many kilometers we can drive a month and we are getting to the end of our share for the month. We have to save them for when we travel farther distances but since it hasn't really been that cold out it has been ok to walk. We heard it is supposed to snow Christmas Eve so the cold is coming!!! I'm very nervous!!! We made Christmas treats for most of the members in our ward so that took a long time. But the members really enjoy the treats and since we don't have a lot of people wanting to see us right now we had time to make lots of treats. I have a picture of all the cookies but I don't think I can send them this week. My card reader isn't working so I think I'll have to buy a new one. It was a lot of cookies!!!!
I miss you all a ton and can't wait to see you on Wednesday!!!!! It sounds and looks like you are all having a blast!! Have fun packing up the house! I hope you get my christmas letters and treats sometime this week but Canada mail is SUPER slow so it might come after Christmas. I just hope it will get to you before you move because to the house. I haven't got Marlee's Christmas card yet either but again Canada mail is the SLOWEST!!! And we are given our mail on Fridays so I won't have it by the time we skype on Wednesday either...:( Yeah so you guys still need to send me the address for the condo just in case I want to send something to you. And it's really crazy becuase in this mission there are a lot of missionaries from Az and one Elder in my district is from Mesa. He said he went to Mountain View so I don't know if that is close to the condo but look out for a family with the last name Bienz because they could be in your stake or something. That would be cool!! There is also another Elder in my district who is from Scottsdale. It's just crazy how many Arizonians there are here:)
Anyway see you on Wednesday!!!!!! I love you and miss you all bunches!!!:)
Sister Hatch
Scripture of the Week:
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
1 John 4:7-9

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Settling in

Hello Beautiful Family Whom I Love So Much,

It sounds like you have all been having a blast!! Ashlyn send me pics of your hair show stuff!!!  
Everything has been getting better. I think I've settled in mostly to the new area and ward. I know a lot more people than last week so that's good! I'm slowly getting to know all the members of the ward but I know mostly all the really active one's so far so that's good! Sister Kolkova and I spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday as well! We spoke on missionary work, why we do it and how we do it. And one of the members came up to us after and said the talk was perfect for his daughter. His daughter is really struggling with staying in the church and they have been praying forever about her and he said my talk was perfect for her. I really love her and am so glad I could help answer their prayers for her. I know I am in this ward for her and I hope as we go and visit her more that she will be more open to the gospel. She is 18 and just out of high school as well so its really easy to relate to her and talk to her.
We went back to see our new investigator Andrea this week and taught her the first lesson!! She still seems really open to everything and wants to continue meeting with us but not until January... so that's a bummer... She has a lot of crazy family stuff going on that she wants to get settled out and it's the holiday season as well which means everyone is busy and rarely anyone has "time" for us. But oh well we will still be out trying to find people to teach!
My companion has been out four months so she still pretty young in the mission as well and she has only had 2 other companions before me. I think her healthiness is rubbing off on me a little I mean since she doesn't eat meat or dairy really the members don't have much to choose from when serving us dinner so we have been getting healthier meals than I think we would get otherwise. Also she is an exercise freak as well so Saturday morning we went out running and 6:30am. And it was raining, ice raining!!! It was fine when we were running in the direction of the rain but when we had to turn around and run against the rain that was the bad part. When ice rain hits you while you are running it feels like little needle pricks constantly stabbing your face. So that was fun!!
We have been doing a lot of tracting in the cold weather so I have been getting used to the cold. it's starting to get colder and colder everyday though. Today it's -8 C which is the coldest it's been all week and it's going to get much colder!!! Today we were trying to wash the car and we don't have a hose or anything so we were just using water and rags and that wasn't really working because it's just ice stuck to the car. So we gave up... plus our hands were frozen so we will probably just go to a car wash.
So for Christmas  my companion wants to skype her family on Christmas Eve because her family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. But we haven't found a members house to skype at yet. We are going to be asking everyone this week and I will let you know the full details next week but we are planning sometime Christmas Eve morning. We do have dinner with members Christmas eve night and Christmas so we might end up doing it then... I don't know we'll see. I am also sending Christmas letters and treats which you will love!! But you can't open them until Christmas!!
Also I don't think we are going to get ipads any time soon... I heard they are trying to get them for our mission but it probably won't be until next summer if we ever do get them. So hopefully then!
Yeah I think that is everything if I think of anything else I can always tell you when I skype you next week!! I can't wait!!

Sister Hatch
Sis Creech and Sis Hatch doing laundry. (I think that Kirsten really likes Sis Creech because she takes a lot of pictures with her.)
This is how they give a group hug

Her district back at the MTC

With her companion at Christmas Lights

Eating a Tim Tam Slam           

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kirsten's in Canada

Hello Familia!!!!!!!!!

This week has been a little harder than usual. I got really homesick, probably because of all the changes. My new companion is great and Canada is great, it was just hard to get into the swing of things here and also to not be with my MTC district. We really became close as a district in the MTC and it was hard not seeing them all the time. But I'm slowly getting used to everything here and I'm feeling way better than I did at the beginning of the week when I arrived. So the first night I got here we just met the Mission President and his wife and ate dinner. They let us go to bed early that night which was amazing because we were all really exhausted from traveling all day. We just stayed in a hotel for the night and then met up again together the next morning. Wednesday we figured out our area and our new companions! My new companion is Sister Kolkova, she is from the Czech Republic!!! It is a little hard to understand her accent at times but I'm getting used to it. She is a vegetarian and rarely eats dairy so she's pretty much a vegan which is fun! She is the designated driver as well and she is still getting used to North America driving laws so it has been interesting. Plus neither one of us has ever driven in the snow so we are hoping we never get stuck because we wouldn't know how to get out haha!!! Anyways, I am in the Airdrie 1st ward which is in the Calgary North Zone. Our ward is the BEST!!!! It is not the biggest ward but the members are amazing and super nice. We get fed pretty much every night which is super nice and they spoil us. They are always sending us home with tons of leftovers and treats so I don't think I will ever go hungry in this area. We have a house all to ourselves which is super nice too!!!! A family in the ward went to Australia for the winter and will be gone for 6 months so they let us stay in their house while they are away! The house is nicer than ours so yeah we are really spoiled! And we have a super nice car!!! It is brand spankin new, like only a few months old new and the seats are heated which is super nice when your freezing cold and there is a touch screen radio and everything. I am living the rich and not even paying for anything!! It's sweet! We are also the only Sisters in our district because a lot of sisters went home this last transfer and not a lot have been coming out. 
Saturday was our first normal day because we had to get settled in to the new house (the other sisters had just moved in as well) and then we had to drop off the previous sister in Calgary to go home. So Saturday we went tracking. We just went door to door passing out these cards for Christmas about the new mormon message on sharing the Gift. I don't know if you've seen it yet but its a good one. Anyways we are supposed to hand out 10 cards each person each day so we just went from door to door which was pretty fun. It's so funny to see people's faces when they see us coming. They automatically turn the other direction or look away or just look scared for their life. But I'm getting used to that as well. Sunday I finally got to put names and faces together. We did have our Ward Christmas Party on Saturday night but not the whole ward was there. Our Christmas Party was pretty small as well, we just had desserts and a short program put on by the primary kids and then Santa came of course. But anyways Sunday I bore my testimony as well. And they only have 4 young women total in their ward so the Alameda ward is an improvement from Airdrie 1st ward haha. After church we went to visit some old ladies in a retirement home. We just sang them a few hymns and read them a chapter out of the Bible. They are so sweet and that has been my favorite thing we have done so far. I just wanted to stay and visit with them all day. But we visit them every sunday so I'm going to be looking forward to that each week! And we are also helping out at their tea party this Friday so that should be fun!! We might spend some time with them on Christmas also because no one has invited us over for Christmas yet and they have no family visiting them this year. 
You don't need to send the Christmas tree because we got a little Christmas tree from one of the members in the ward. We are going to decorate our house more today because we got a lot of decorations from members to put up in our house!! The weather hasn't been bad at all, everyone has been telling me this week has been warm. Apparently last week it was -30 (celsius) and this week the lowest it has been is -5. I haven't been cold at all really. Today I am going to go get boots and a coat, I've just been borrowing my companions boots because she had an extra pair and my coat has been warm enough for the weather we have been having. It has actually been so warm the snow has been melting. But then that creates slick roads and sidewalks. I already slipped on the ice when walking which was kind of embarassing but I think it will happen a few more times at least. 
So we have been staying pretty busy. We got a new investigator and my companion said this is her first investigator in this area so far and she has been here 7 weeks. We have been working a lot with members especially less active members. There are a lot of less actives in our ward and I have come to realize that strengthening the less actives is just as important as finding non-members to teach. We have been trying to set up a lot of teaching appointments with members just to get practice teaching and the members also benefit as well.
It sounds like you are all doing so well!! I am so sad I missed Brenna's first basketball game. That's sad she fell;( I hope she is doing better. I am so excited for Ashlyn in getting the job at Culver's!!! That will be awesome!!! I bet Hailey did amazing at her concert as well!! Send me lots more pics!!! I MISS YOU GUYS SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! I am going to send pics today as well! I love you all so much and I wish you could all be here with me and that I could tell you everything but there is too much to tell!! 

Sister Hatch

P.S. it would be amazing if you could send some recipes. I don't care which ones just send your favorites. Thanks!!
She is in Canada!!

Sis Hatch and her new companion Sis Kolkova
Her district at the MTC

MTC companion

Christmas Lights!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Last day in the MTC

AHHHHHHHH!!!!! I'm going to Canada tomorrow!!!!!!! I can't believe it!!! So much has happened just from Thursday so get ready for another long letter haha:)

Ok sooooo I'm still trying to figure out the picture thing, I'm so sorry I can't send you any these computers are so complicated! But I promise I am trying my hardest and if I can't get them to you today, then I will have to wait until Canada. :( But I will send a ton when I figure this out....

So Thursday night, after I emailed you, was super amazing!!! We did a service project that afternoon, packaging food for children kind of like the same thing we did for Feed My Starving Children but it was a different organization. That was super fun to get to know other missionaries I had never talked to before and give service on Thanksgiving!! Then that night we had a Thanksgiving program which was nice to just relax and have fun for a little while. I feel like this whole time we have been so focused on studying and spiritual stuff that it was nice to just have a break from all that. We sang primary songs which you don't think would be that fun but as a missionary many things are amusing that weren't before. We were pretty much jammin out to primary songs and I forgot how fun primary was! Anyway then we watched Meet the Mormons that night which was also so much more fun to watch will a room full of missionaries. And I had a whole new perspective watching it after being in the MTC then just back at home in the theaters. And after the movie they had a surprise for us... CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!!!! I had never been so excited to see Christmas lights in my life! It's so wierd when you become a missionary everything is just so amazing and exciting especially at the MTC becuase you feel like you are detached from the real world in this small Mormon bubble. Thanksgiving lunch wasn't too amazing... the turkey was the juciest turkey I've ever had but we just had turkey stuffing mashed potatoes and pie so not that big of a feast but it was still good. I have been getting so full here at the MTC i don't think I would have been able to eat anything more than that anyway.

Friday we had In-Field Orientation all day. In' field orientation is a super long meeting just preparing you to go out in the mission field, but it actually wasn't that bad. It was really interactive and I learned a lot!! Mostly that it depends on your attitude on how successful you'll be in the field. A lot of missionaries get into the wrong mindset when they are told they are going to an area where nobody ever gets baptized but if you have the right attitude you can change that. So I am going to try to go into every situation with a positive outlook and not take into considersation what is said about the area or companion. I also learned that it is super important to make goals and plan everyday. Without goals it hard for you to go out and have a purpose and work the hardset you possibly can. They put on a play about what the field was going to be like and I was in it. It was a last minute thing and I only had a few lines but it was very nerv racking!!

Saturday I honestly don't remember too well. I think it was just a boring day in the classroom so nothing interesting but yesterday was amazing!!!! VOCAL POINT DID THE DEVOTIONAL LAST NIGHT!!!! It was so amazing and really lifted my spirits!!! I was having a really rough day yesterday, just becuase it was getting close to me leaving and I was exhausted and sick and kind of getting tired of my companion, but when they came to sing I was so happy!!! I needed that so much!! We had actually seen vocal point walk past us earlier that day and we just assumed that they were missionaries becuase that what everyone is here and they were wearing suits. We asked them if they knew where one meeting was going to be at and they didn't know and then we realized the didn't have name tags. We were like who are they and right after they walked away I realized they were vocal point! I could have talked to them more... sad day but we still got to see them perform so that was good! Sheri Dew also spake in the Relief Society meeting which was amazing as well. She spoke on women and the Priesthood and just showed us that women have the same access to the priesthood as men they just can't hold it themselves. Women are still able to have that same power as men do. Just as Sister missionaries are called to the same authority as Elders in the field.

Well I hope this made sense becuase I have been trying to type fast. I got the package on Saturday!!! Thank you so much!! I can't wait to open the presents on Christmas!!! It was perfect timing for my medication too because I was going to run out that day! My body is holding up pretty well. Last night was the hardest becuase I'm starting to get sick so that always makes me more achy but the Elders gave us blessing again last night which helped me a lot!!! I was almost to my breaking point and then I got a blessing and I feel a lot better! I have just been so stressed about getting everything done before we leave tomorrow that I just needed a blessing for some comfort and peace. Three of our Elders left earlier today to Colorado so that was sad becuase we have become so much like a family. I'm going to miss them tons!!! Oh yeah Saturday we did a Zone talent show which was really fun!! Everyone had some pretty crazy talents! I'm going to go see Emily today in the gym right after I'm done emailing you so hopefully you can get a picture that way. We are leaving the MTC tomorrow at 3:30 am but our flight isn't until 8:30 am so be on the look out for a random phone number from Canada. I think we land in Canadaaround 2pm but we have a layover in Washington so I might call then. Just stay close to the phone all day becuase I don't know when I'll be calling. I think that is everything... I'm so glad your Thanksgiving was amazing and I miss you guys TONS!!! I'm starting to feel the homesickness but hopefully that will go away when I get to Canada. It's already in the negative degrees over there. We got to skype a member there and she said it was -11. Ahhhhhh!!!! I'm going to be dressing warm tomorrow!!! Wish me luck!! And I am so grateful for all the prayers I reallly can feel the love!

Sister Hatch
 Kirsten and her companion Sis. Moulton.