Mt. Isa

Mt. Isa

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 26, 2011

Hello again,

...good to hear from you. I hope Christmas went well, it sounds like it did. I had a good Christmas; I ate too much and had a great time. It will be a busy week. We hope to teach a couple of people and find some others to teach too.

Oh, and BTW mom:

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!!!!

Love you talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Christmas Eve with Skype

On Christmas Eve (Texas time) we got to talk (and see!) Kiefer via Skype. Australian time is 16 hours ahead of Texas. A member, in the area he is serving in, had good Internet access and a laptop equipped with a camera. He called on his Christmas Day (Sunday). Ross, Colin and I crowded in front of one of our computers for the big event. It was so nice for all of us to participate in the whole communication and not have to pass a phone around. It was an exciting but very quick hour.

Kiefer looks great! He has a bit of an Aussie accent but not too bad. There were several slang terms he had to stop and explain to us. He told us about his new area and the work he is doing. We shared silly news tidbits and held the cats in front of the camera. Neither cat was interested in Skypeing.

It sounds as if Kiefer's second Australian Christmas was good. The Mission Christmas party was on Friday, in Brisbane. He received one of the two packages we sent (minus the contraband deer jerky Ross tried to sneak in). I'm hoping he get the second box by his birthday on the 29th. It also sounds like the members in his new area are feeding him, a lot, and that he has everything he needs. Of course, we drilled him on every aspect of his life but he is so humble and seems really dedicated to being to good Missionary.

As I sit here, in front of the same computer, I keep expecting to see him again. I wish I would have been smart enough to save his screen image but just hearing his voice and seeing his smile was priceless! Now we just have to look forward to Mother's Day when he will be able to call home again.

As Kiefer says, "It's all good!" Thanks to everyone who keeps up with this blog and to those of you who have sent letters and packages to Kiefer. We all appreciate you.

The Mom

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 19, 2011

Hey Family,

One week to Christmas. It has been a crazy week. It has gone by fairly fast which has been nice. Monday we chilled at a recent convert’s house and played rugby with them. It was ok. It got a little dull towards the end of the day. I was just too much time at one person's house. I got like nothing done that I needed to. That’s okay though maybe today will be better. Tuesday was a good work day we visited a heap of less active and worked on getting the Ward list up to date. Elders tend to print off Ward list frequently. They visit people on the list and sometime they'll mark notes on the lists but other times...nothing. We went through the entire list and marked down less active members, active, and do not visit members as well. In this area half of the names that aren't active are DNV's. Guess you just have missionaries pestering people constantly and they get turned off because they just don’t want to change. It’s interesting what one of the Bishopric told us a couple of days ago. People a lot of times come out here to the bush either running away from other people or because they can’t deal with their own problems.

Wednesday the Elders Quorum had an activity and some nonmembers came so we stopped by. It was pretty fun and it gave us something to do at night. People go to bed when the sun goes down here so there's not much to do after about 7pm or so. Thursday we had District Meeting. My old companion from Warwick is still there so it was good to see the Warwick Elder. My companion is kind of an interesting character and is really into Magic as are a couple of other Elders in the district. I've bought a couple of decks and we're playing it during like lunch and at night before bed. It’s been fun but it is very interesting to say the least. Nerd rage! lol.

Friday was weekly planning. We had a dinner 30 min away in Lowood so we when and tracted out in Lowood before dinner and found a couple of people that said we could come back and share a message with them this coming week. One of the three seemed promising. Saturday was busy; we did some service in the morning and did finding the rest of the day. Sunday was supposed to be a special Sacrament Meeting to bring nonmember friends to. It was a good but basically very typical. The youth did a stirring musical number that was a little painful at times…just tuning wise…but they tried. The talks were good and there were about 6 nonmembers at Church.

This next week looks busy so I'm really excited for that. We have a service project lined up Tuesday, then a couple of lesson lined up as well. Thursday we have Zone Training in Ipswich and Saturday is the missionary Christmas party. Sunday is Christmas! I'll try to call (or Skype) right after church. Around 10:30 am my time.

Love you talk to you soon.

Elder Hatch

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week December 12

Hey Family,

Thanks for the emails as always. It has been an interesting week. I bet it will be exciting to have Colin home for the holidays. It'll be good to talk with you. I can’t believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away. It does really even seem like it’s near at all but I guess that's just how it goes around here. People do put up Christmas lights here but it is more like one in every 10 houses if you know what I mean. Not that many lights.

To give you an overview of the last week, overall we haven't been too busy, but the weather has been making things interesting for us. Our area is massive and the town we live in is actually called Laidley.

We also go to Gatton, Rosewood, Lowood and Esk and another town that starts with a "T" above that. Our area basically consists of several 1 bar or 2 bar towns spread out over the country side. Everything is really spread out.

It has been a bit of a transition. It is more difficult to get places since most of the towns are a good 20 minutes apart. That’s ok though we'll keep working hard and well get things moving in the area. Tuesday was mostly a shock and awe day. Most of the week was the same way. It has been raining a good deal here and fairly heavy. Our flat, ironically, turns in to a swamp when it rains, and for the last week we've had a mote around our house. At night the green tree frogs have choir practice and it is loud!

The people are nice here; very laid back. I reckon I be here a while. It'll be good. We have a car with 2500 k's so that's get us around ok.

We haven't found a member who can Skype from their house but we don’t think it will be a problem. Not sure about the connection speeds either or how the quality will turn out but we'll see. I think it should be alright. Christmas is on Sunday here, we haven't confirmed a time to Skype but we'll try to do it as early as possible for you and all. Church only goes to 10am so should be able to call after that on Christmas here. I have an Aussie companion. He'll want to call (or Skype) on Christmas as well. If the Skype doesn't work for him I call on your Christmas the next day just on the phone I reckon. We're in so in the bush that our cell phone doesn't get reception where we live so we have a land line too. I might call on that. Anyway, just plan on me calling on Christmas Eve.

In answer to some questions we have sent him: We have beef jerky over here and prolly kangaroo jerk as. It is just very expensive. Talking in church seems to be getting a little easier. I've getting a little better at just rambling but it still about the same I reckon. As Zone Leaders we had trainings we had to give but we don’t do much public speaking other than that. I've had to give a talk in just about every ward I’ve been in so I've giving several talks in the last 6 months. Talking to people seems about the same, still hard with the same general result. It’s a little disappointing but I'll keep working on it. Our flat here does have a little AC unit but there have been Missionaries living here for about 10 years so the remote that control the unit has been lost. We can't adjust the temperature...convenient right? So we just leave all the windows open and have two fans on. It stays fairly cool. Aussies don’t really use AC as much as Americans do. It’s just too expensive I think. I'm trying to take pictures but just haven't got to take too many. I'll try to keep the camera at hand more and see what I can do.

Well I'm running out of time. Love you heaps thanks for everything you do for me and for the support. Hope this week will be good. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Week December 6

Thank you so much for the emails. It is really so good to hear from all of you. Just from your emails it sounds like so much has changed over the last couple of week. It just blows mind to think about it if you know what I mean. I kind of still have the view of home life as when I left but, yeah, things are changing but it's all good.

In regards to (Uncle) Shorty, IDK if you remember but Sarah Vining from Azle, she is actually in the MTC right now and is headed to Washington State on her mission so that who they (Shorty & Nivla) met. That’s so cool; it is truly is a small world.

Colin you trip to Idaho (over Thanksgiving) sounded amazing. I'm very jealous of you. I’m glad you could have such a great time with your mates over the Thanksgiving holidays. Thanks for the great email Colin. It is good to hear from you. I know you’re busy and all though so all is good.

Well this last week has been very busy with heaps of change and adjustment and what not. This was the last week of the transfer and as it goes I got transferred again (Somerset Ward based in Plainland, Queensland, Australia). The beginning of the week wasn't too bad we just tried to follow people to find more people. Thursday we had a good District Meeting and then that evening, it rained, flat out. Friday we had to drive down to Brisbane for Zone Leader council which basically shot our day to piece. It was a really good council and some great training was given. Saturday was a deep clean day. The new flat was a mess from previous missionaries so we just went for it. I spent at least two hour in the bathroom on this and that and mostly the shower, and yeah. Needless to say it needed it. Sunday was good and church went well. We had two investigators there, which was good. After church we went to the investigators fellowship’s house and had a lesson. It went well but after the lesson the couple made a huge Samoan feed. It was so much food and we just had to eat and eat. You can’t say no to Islanders. It was probably the biggest feed I’ve had, or more so, the worst I've ever felt after a feed. We literally couldn't move off the couch and if we did we would have thrown up everywhere. It was bad but good all the same. I've been transferred to the Somerset area by Toowoomba kind of. It is bush as well. It will be an interesting change and definitely a learning experience.

Thanks so very much for the emails my time is very short but I’ll talk to you next week. Sorry I couldn't answer all your questions. I'll get to them once all the drama and change has passed. Love you very much and miss you heaps. I'm excited to talk to you in a couple of weeks.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 28, 2011

Hey Family,

Thanks for the emails. It sound like it has been an eventful end of the week with dad getting released as Bishop. That is so exciting. Let me know who the replacement is and how things turn out. Write me a message Colin and tell me how Thanksgiving is going and what crazy stuff you’ve been up to. I love the talk (from Stake Conference) dad, it is really good. Thanks for forwarding that to me. We can now call home via Skype for Christmas so just to let you know that is probably how we’ll do the call home. I'm not sure about the detail regarding how it works or even when it'll be yet but just to give you a little heads up… My Comp's done it before so it won’t be a problem I reckon, unless I get transfer and then who knows, lol. I'm hoping I stay here for Christmas at least but it’s hard to say.

It has been a good week; long at times but good. We've found some promising potential investigators this last week so hopefully, in the next week; we'll help them progress a good deal. Two of them have basically said they'd seriously consider joining the church just from past experiences with missionaries, in one case, or the examples of members they know in the other. It’s really excited for all that to happen in just a couple of days. I feel very blessed to have these people to work with. It’s rare to have people that are actually cool having missionaries come over and visit. This is the last week of the transfer so who knows what will happen come next Sunday. We have a couple of people in the Zone that will be moving so we'll be going to transfers in Brisbane next week. Also we have to go down for a Zone Leader council this week so we'll be doing a little bit of traveling which isn't bad. It is a good drive and all.

Things are getting warm here. Luckily we have the ocean breeze to keep the temperatures down. I guess I'll do a week in review for you... Monday we basically shopped or window shopped most of the day and then went and got some ice cream by the beach. Tuesday we had a Zone Conference with the AP's and Mission President which was good. They talked a good deal about effective planning and keeping good records, they also announced the new mission goals for the coming year. Instead of focusing on overall baptisms we'll be working on trying to break the Zone’s record for over all baptisms in a month. Our Zone’s highest is 7 so that is our goal. Each set of Companions will be expected to get one baptism to meet the goal. We're hoping with the new people that we have coming up, we'll be able to meet that goal for next month and if not then the month after. Wednesday was pretty normal, finding and contacting potentials, a Stake missionary correlation meeting and that was about it. Thursday it rained for the first time in November so we did basically the same as Wednesday except we did our best to dodge the rain storms. That night we went over a member’s house and had a big Thanksgiving feed. It was really good, honestly. It was mostly organic, heaps of food, and then heaps of dessert. It was a good Thanksgiving but not the same a back home, lol. Friday was our planning day but as it turned out we had to teach a couple of lessons so planning didn't really happen. It was Friday when we found the promising potentials so it was a good lead into the weekend. Saturday we did our planning and then tried to visit and find people. We also tried to get things coordinated for one of our investigators to get to church. Sunday was good. We were expecting more people at church but most didn't make it. We'll get them next week though. We did get another referral which was exciting. As it turned out she's an American lady in about her 70's. She is a little crazy but that is nothing new for missionaries.

Well that was my week in a nut shell. We're thinking about going to a Ginger factory today so that should be fun. Since we have transfers next week, I don’t know if I’ll be writing Monday or Tuesday, so yeah, just a heads up. Thanks for messages. Love you heaps. Have a great week.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week November 21, 2011

Hey Family,

I hope things are going well for you. Thanks for the emails.

It has been a really fast week. We've been here and there and everywhere which has been fun but all good. Monday we went to the Big Pineapple but it was closed so we just took pictures by it and all. After that we went on a hike to a waterfall so that was fun it was cool to get into the bush and to just do like a nature hike kind of thing. We don’t get to do that enough. I took heaps of pictures just for the heck of it. Tuesday was busy; we got a referral, a 25 year-old Thai girl. She is Buddhist and doesn't speak perfect English so the teaching is going slow but she's really nice and we hope she continue to progress. Wednesday we had a leadership meeting in Brisbane so we caught the train down there.

It was good but a heap of travel. Thursday we traveled an hour up to Gympie and then another hour and a half up the Hervey Bay(whale watch capital of the world). for a District Meeting and then back and then we had a trade-off. It was a busy day and was good fun. It really makes you realize just how big the (Brisbane) Mission is. Driving 4 hours one way and still being in our Zone it’s unbelievable. Good times though. Friday was a heap of planning and Saturday we worked on training for this coming week. We did some missionary work as well. After school year 12 here ends and the kids graduate they have a week of crazy parties which they call "schoolies". Since we live on the beach in the heart of tourist beach bum center they're everywhere this week. It is not as bad as I make it out to be but it is worse than normal, lol. All good though.

I will be having a Thanksgiving dinner. One of the members has invited us over specifically for that. We're excited. They're pretty well off and all organic as well so it should be a treat. It'll be a fun night. It looks to be a good week with a heap of missionary work to be done. We need to find more people to teach.

It’s already week 5 of 6 so transfers are already coming up. I’m not sure if I'll be here for Christmas but I hope so. This next transfer a big rugby league celebrity is coming into the mission and he could be coming up here. I've linked an “I-am-Mormon” video of him to the email. He seems like a really cool guy but I reckon it'll be interesting, to say the least, if he does come into our Zone. The Mission President has be saying that he doesn't want to send him to the city so who know what will happen. Even non-members know him and that he's coming here.

Thanks for the messages. Love you. Colin, send me a email and tell me how Thanksgiving break is going. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 14, 2011

Hey family,

It has been a crazy week but I’m exciting that it is our P-day again. Glad to hear from y’all today. It sounds like it has been a pretty interesting week by the sounds of things. I hope your guests (Shan and baby Anya) are doing ok. I hope the whole adoption process goes ok and everything works out. Good to hear about the LaFerney’s doing a marathon, wow.

This week was busy; Tuesday we had a trade off with the Nambour Elders during which time we did mostly service so all and all it was a fun day. Wednesday was pretty normal. We visited heaps of people and got a lot done. Thursday we had the AP's drive up from Brisbane for trade-offs and a district meeting but we locked the keys to the flat, and chapel in the boot of the car, so yeah, that made for and interesting morning but it worked out in the end. Friday we had weekly planning and we had to get the car serviced and a new "back up" key cut for the car. All up it cost a whopping $500. That was interesting. Saturday we had another trade-off with Nambour except this time I went to Nambour with was interesting. Nambour is kind of a redneck town, off the beaten path, but we got a good deal done and it was a good day. We've actually taught some lesson this week which was excited so hopefully we will keep that trend going. The AP's want us to have a baptismal date by the end of the week to be an example to the rest of the Zone so we'll be doing that.

Yeah to answer your questions about last week photo, yes, that guy in the photo is my companion, Elder Huysmans from New Zealand. The burger was very big as you can see. It took ages to eat it but the record is 5:50 min. All I can say is that is a pretty crazy record. The combined list of ingredients are... two massive Aussie hamburger patties-they weren't just straight beef--and they had other seasoning in them that made it more of a rich taste that made it hard to eat as well, then two eggs, beet root, cheese, "ham", like you saw, but it really Aussie Bacon or basically Canadian Bacon as we know it, lettuce, tomato and yeah, that is all I can remember off the top of my head. It cost $18 for the thing but I reckon it was worth it for the experience. lol. To eat it, I first attempted to do the classic pick it up and eat it but that ended quickly as it kind of started to fall apart. The meat is so filling and after eating that much food it really is a challenge to keep eating more. The way I had to go at it was basically working on eating the meat until it got to be too much and then taking a break by eating the veggies or the bun, which goes done a little easier and keeps your mouth from going dry. ha ha. It is a little sad but it was all good fun at the end of the day.

I was thinking about Christmas stuff and one thing I would appreciate and need most is some ties. I got a couple new ones in the last year but I'm getting sick of them. I prefer polyester because it holds up better in the humidity but silk is ok too. That and maybe some more music just as long as the lyric are missionary appropriate.

We're going to the Big Pineapple today and hoping that will be fun. We should have a good picture to send you next week. It is definitely getting warmer here. It has been close to the 30's (Celsius) this week but with the sea breeze here it is a lot nicer than you'd think.

Thanks for everything, love you.

Elder Hatch

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011


Glad to hear from you. I only have 10 or 20 minutes to write all my emails so I’ll have to be fast. The week has been busy and we've had several training sessions during the course of the week along with Stake Conference sessions, so a lot going on. Today for P-day we did a little shopping and had a huge burger at this place called Rick’s Burger. The burger was massive and it took like 30 minutes to eat it. It was literally the size of my head. Hope the picture I attached gets though. We have a dinner tonight and I'm not too keen on eating anything. I guess I'll live all the same.

I've just finished the BOM again and now I’m starting Jesus the Christ and the New Testament again. I'm excited about digging into something different.

We’ve got a busy week coming up; 3 trade-offs (with other sets of Elders) planned and who knows what else going on. The week after that will be much the same as well. I guess that's the life of a missionary…

We don’t have Daylight Savings time. The sun just comes up here at like 5 am. It’s a nice way to wake up but it does mean the sun goes down earlier. We're getting fed ok, but not that much, so I'm going to have to start experimenting with things to find some quick, easy, and cheap meals that work for me but I'll figure things out. lol.

I’m doing good…really wish I had more time to write but I gotta go. Thanks for the emails. Love you.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 31, 2011

Hey family,

Glad to hear from you. It sounds like things are going well for you. Yes, today is Halloween here but it is a pretty rainy day so not much going on. Yes, they do celebrate Halloween here but it is definitely not as big as it is in the States. Here, they already have Christmas decorations up in the Malls. It is a little scary and all. We even sang a Christmas song for Comp study last week. I wasn't too keen on that one but that’s how it goes I guess. It is that time of year...kind of. It has been a good week we've had a heap of changes in the Zone’s leadership so we have had a little bit of adjusting to do. Nothing too big though. My new Companion is good; he is a hard worker and wants to get things done. In the last week we've visited a good deal of Ward members and have done quite a bit of work it seems. We're co-Senior Comps and Zone Leaders so basically we're just supposed to just go for it. We are in the car full time now and, even though we have bikes, they haven't been used in at least 6 months in not longer. We're not really going to Brisbane as often as we did last transfer but we will have to go down there this week and next for trainings so that will be exciting of course. It is a good little drive and a good change of scenery. Other than that not a whole lot going on we're kind of in the phase where we don't have many people to teach so we'll be doing some good finding and hopefully get some people to teach.

We got the opportunity to do some service this week. It was good to get out of proselyting and do some service. Work is always good fun. It is looking like we'll get to do some service next week as well so I hope for the best.

Keep feeding the missionaries. I guess it is kind of like a lady said in our ward yesterday. She basically said that she knows as she feeds the Missionaries in the Ward, she knows that her son will get fed on his mission as well.

Keep working hard Colin. It'll start getting pretty cold (in Provo) in the next month or so. Be prepared for that. I reckon you prolly have a jacket but yeah it does get cold and wet when it snows. Good fun though. Dig in though, with your studies, you only have a couple more weeks before break so put in the time and then you get a little break. It sounds like things are going well though.

I'll work on getting more pictures taken. I've kind of fallen down on the job as far as that one goes. The beach is pretty cool here. I'll get some beach photos and other pictures in general.

Got to go … love you … bye.


October 25, 2011

Hey family,

The week has been long I want to say. It has been a good week. Very busy and all over the place but it is good that it is over. It is week 6 and transfers came in Sunday. My Comp got transferred which, honestly, wasn't too surprising. He's been here a while and it was definitely time for him to move on. My new companion is E. Huysmans (not sure on spelling). He's a kiwi (New Zealander) too and has been a Zone Leader in another area for the last 5 months so at least he has some training and experience as far as that goes. I'm excited and hope we can get things moving here and find some people to teach. It is looking like this transfer won’t be as busy as last but still it will be interesting. We had a lot of people move out of areas in the Zone and new people to replace them so, of course, that will be fun to get going and pick up where the others left off.

At transfers before the changes are announced to the Companionship's the departing Elders bear their testimonies. It was weird to see a good deal of the missionaries that I knew when I started my mission now going home. All good though. I will probably have to talk in Sacrament Meeting again this week. Not too keen on that but it will be a good experience. All Blacks (New Zealand) won the rugby Union World Cup. It was good fun to hear about. Other than that not much else is going on. The Wiggle had a concert in town. We have our Stake Conference in a couple of weeks. Oh the life of a missionary…(and no, he didn't go to the concert)

We got to do some service this week. We chopped down a couple of groves of palm trees. We just smashed it in like 2 hours. There is nothing missionaries are better at than destroying stuff. I was all good fun. We traveled out about an hour inland to the country to visit a less active Sister and her family who want to start coming back to Church. That was exciting. We're hoping to go to the Australia Zoo one of these P-days. Hopefully we can put that together this transfer. I've got a feeling it will be an interesting transfer but I don’t know.

Thanks Colin thanks for the messages. It was good to hear from you as always. Good luck with calculus it sounds suppa intense. Keep working hard and, of course, get a much study time in as you can. Its difficult work but it is a fun time. Glad you’re thinking about the mission papers. Set some goal and draw out a plan in general. It'll help to put things in perspective.

It has been a long day and I'm smashed. Thanks everyone for writing to me. I really do appreciate it. It is good to hear from you. Love you heaps. Thanks for everything.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 17, 2011

Hey family,

Things are going well. Yes I'm a Zone Leader. It is only my first transfer as a ZL so I'm learning what things I need to do. The last week went pretty well. We had two tradeoffs which were good because I stayed in my area. I'm glad we have a small zone because I don’t know if I could handle too many more tradeoffs. It’s tough but a good learning experience. It is basically like running the area alone because the Elder you have with you knows nothing about what is going on and generally has the day to chill and relax. All good though. It is already week 6 so this is the last week of the transfer. Time really does just fly by it seem. I think they'll be a heap of changes in the Zone soon. There's been some drama over the last couple of weeks which will prolly prompt the Mission President to make some changes. We have a couple of missionaries that have been in their area for 6 months now so it is time for a change I reckon. My companion will be likely by leaving and I will prolly be the Senior Comp again...

Lately we have been working with a family in which the wife used to be less active but has recently started coming back. They have a less active girl living with them that is a good family friend, university aged. Another less active friend and another recent convert guy forms their main circle of friends. The recent convert guy had his Mission papers in but they all are struggling with they're testimonies and just keeping the commandments in general. They're good people it is just that they're not 100% committed. The couple, or the main family, are young (late 20's) with a couple of kids and the husband’s family lives very close to them. That family has heaps of drama in general but the husband has a brother that recently, in the last two years, came back from a mission in Sydney. He did really well down there and was doing well until 6 months ago when he literally went apostate, anti-Mormon all the way; beliefs, attitude, everything. He has the kind of personality that people seem to just love him, if you know what I mean. Anyway he works as a business partner with the husband of the main family. The brother, is strong in the Church, but over time within the circle of friends the apostate guy has just subtlety been working on all of them to get them to question their beliefs and now he is even trying to keep the recent convert from going on a Mission. The Mission President and the Stake President have talked to him now and they have straight up said that he's dangerous. The Elder have been working with them all for a while. They had come really far and even gained testimonies of the Church but now the apostate guy... has just got to them and has really just been causing a huge crap storm. It is really sad to see.

But good things are happening, I ran into a Christian that learned Hebrew and read the bible in Hebrew. That was fun. The other Elder Hatch in the Zone is from California but doesn't know his ancestry. We spend most of our P-days doing sports all day; good exercise. We had a big storm here two nights ago but we didn't get any hail just a lot of wind and heavy rain. It was a fun storm to watch; heaps of lightening. It was good. We have training in Brisbane tomorrow so we'll be riding the train in tomorrow morning. Tonight we will have 10 Elders staying at the Nambour flat so that will be quite the experience I reckon.

The Kiwi's beat the Aussie in Rugby Union which was quite exciting. We're thinking they're just going to smash France this next weekend in the final. It'll be good though. Love you. TTYL

Elder Hatch

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 10, 2011


Another week gone by; It’s been a crazy week but all good. We had a Zone Leader council down in Brisbane this last Friday so that was a fun trip. It rained a little on Saturday before General Conference which was cool; luckily we didn't get caught in the rain. Things have been going well. It is already week 5 which means we have to submit transfer recommendations and next week well have more training down in Brisbane. It will be good fun and we're looking forward to it of course. It’s been a little weird being a Zone Leader with all the trainings, trade-offs in other areas and just other random stuff coming up. It has been difficult to get to know the area and the members too well. It’s hard but we're working on it though.

I'm glad you tried the Vegemite! No I don’t eat it all the time but if I’m feeling like a snack or something small randomly, I'll pull it out with some crackers or something which is good. I'm not a big fan of the Vegemite and toast but I guess you just have to be in the mood for it. My Comp like to eat out a lot and we don’t spend a lot of time in the area and the other Elders tend to eat whatever food you might have in the fridge. So I’m not very good motived to go out and buy real food. Alas, the life of a missionary.

I really enjoyed Conference. We watched it at the Chapel this last weekend. It was downloaded off the Internet and streamed. The Ward has a nice projector and the picture quality seems to be getting a lot better and, yeah you could see that everyone (the speakers) was getting a lot older. Guess it has been a hard 6 months. I really enjoyed the Saturday sessions the most. The speakers were all very good and it was very uplifting and motivational. Not too many people showed up on Saturday but quite a few were there Sunday. Australia played South Africa in rugby and won yesterday so that was the talk of the day mostly. The finals are next week sometime. We'll see if the Kiwis or the Aussies will come out on top. LOL I don't really have a team but I think it would be good to see the Kiwis win.

There is actually another Elder Hatch in the Zone and this last week I went on trade-off with him. It was funny going over to the member’s house for dinner. Hatch and Hatch. I don’t think they actually believed us at first. It was good fun though. He's a good guy. Definitely acts like a Hatch.

Other than that not much is going on. We’ve been hearing the world is supposed to end again this week so I'm looking forward to that as well. I’ve been looking into sign of 2nd coming and… just kidding...

No, it doesn't feel like I've almost been out a year. I still fill very, very green. IDK though. I try not to think of dates and numbers and time too much.

Thanks for the support and the good emails. I really do appreciate them. Love you and hope all is going well for you. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

October 4, 2011


Sorry again for the short email last week. The computer was a joke. It’s good to hear from you and it sound like everything is going pretty well back home. I got an email from TJ and he sounds excited to be going. Four months is a good deal of time to prepare so that’s really good. Good on him.

Things have been really crazy over the last week. We had a training to give Tuesday, a leadership meeting is Brisbane on Wednesday followed by a Stake meeting, Thursday we had trade-offs with the Nambour Elders, Ward dramas and weekly planning on Friday, trade-offs Saturday with the Assistants to President. Sunday we had church, prep for more training, and more dramas, and then Monday we had another big training followed by a trip to Gympie. It has been a flat out week honestly, just Good but wow. Today (Tuesday) we are going to a laser tag place so I’m quite excited. I need a good P-day… hope it will be fun.


Kawana Waters

We cover a big area here on the Sunshine Coast. Our Zone basically includes from the area of Kawana Waters up to Bundaberg. We have about 12 Elders and 2 Sisters. But that is the whole zone; it’s quite a large area to say the least. It is pretty beautiful here the beaches are very nice and the terrain is interesting. It is pretty cool, very tropical like with random mountain/hill things jutting up out of nowhere. It’s hard to explain of course. My area has Buderim Hill right in the center and the view from the top is amazing. Buderim is fairly upper class living due to the proximity to the beach but it still good. I reckon I'll be here a while but that’s that. The Rugby World Cup is on and is the talk of the nation. New Zealand, Australia and South Africa all have strong team so we're just seeing who will come out on top.

Our (General) Conference isn't until next weekend. I’m not sure if its taped or what but we very excited for it and looking forward to listening and watching it. is taking off over here. They’ve started the big ad campaign and it is reaching lots of people. We've run into heap of people that have seen the ads on TV; it’s a great missionary tool gives us more to talk about with people. It is running until the end of the year so we still have a lot of good that can come from it.

I’m not driving much my Comps the driver so I get to navigate around the place. It is pretty easy to get sick of driving.

Thanks for the emails. It is good to hear from you. I’m sorry I can't include more in my emails…so much going down... Love you. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

I only have about 10 minutes (to write emails) so I have to be fast. It's been a good week; busy but good. The mini missionary we had with us was fun. We've also had to prepare some missionary training for the next couple of weeks so it has been interesting.

That is awesome to hear about TJ (Thomas Johanson - mission call to Costa Rica)tell him good luck and congratz.

We are doing a lot of driving (as Zone Leaders) and have taken 3 trips to Brisbane in the last couple of weeks. It is a big change and things have been crazy. It is hard to get to know people in the Wards, there are just so many and it's just difficult. We're working on it though and trying to get to know everyone. We're not having good luck with the computers (at Library) today, so yeah.

Keep working hard Colin at Uni and keep reading the BoM (Book of Mormon).

love you...

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 19, 2011


Things are going well in Buderim. It’s good to hear from you. That’s good the wildfires weren’t too close to where we live but still I know how much you hate the heat and the dry weather. Hopefully things will start cooling off soon and you'll get a little more wet weather. The weather here has been ok, it’s getting warmer and the sun is pretty is the Sunshine Coast so that’s not really a big surprise.It has been very hazy and smoky around here lately and I'm not really sure what is going on. Most of our area covers the rich (wealthy) and touristy part of the local coast so it is a little interesting. With Zone Leader responsibilities and random trade-offs, I haven't got the chance to do a lot of missionary work here. We literally live like a 5 minute walk to the beach and we basically drive by it every day. It is cool but a little weird at the same time as a missionary. It’s a very nice a beautiful area though.
This week we have a mini-missionary with us as kind of like a third wheel. It is weird having someone else along for the ride but interesting all the same. We haven't really done much missionary work so I'm sure he's wondering all sort of things… lol. He is only 16 though and has a good deal of time before he goes. Ironically there's another Elder Hatch in the next area over from ours in the same district as us. He is from California somewhere but it is funny because he definitely has some typically "Hatch" ways about him; personality wise and looks. Good missionary though.

The flat's pretty basic and is good though. Not as flash as other flats but it meets our needs and is in a good location for quick beach getaways... The ward is good. It is big and has a wide range of ages but it is relatively normal. Upper class of course but that’s ok I guess. Fun times…

We got heaps going on though and it is a crazy time. The “I Am Mormon” program starts this week so we'll see how things go and if anything changes at all.

Good luck with the (air)plane dad that sounds like heaps of fun, hope you're enjoying it and I'm glad everything is working out well.

Thanks for the uplifting words and I loved the package. Love you. Thanks again. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011


It’s Tuesday so yes I've been transferred again, surprisingly. I really wasn't expecting it so when the call came it was a change. We were thinking that Elder Arnold was going but not so, he's training in Warwick which is strange because it’s not really a training area. I was expecting to be there for the next 6 months or something. That’s alright though Elder Arnold is a good missionary and everything will work out all the same. I've been shifted up to the Sunshine Coast to a place called Buderim. I haven't seen much of the area yet but it supposed to be view touristy and on the beach; very beautiful and tropical. I'll do my best to take some pictures and let you know about everything.

Buderim is an urban centre on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It sits on a 180-metre (590 ft) mountain which overlooks the southern Sunshine Coast communities.

I'm not really a Senior Comp but a Zone Leader in training. Not really too excited about the whole thing but I'll do my best and keep moving forward. I'm sure you'll hear more about it as the weeks go by. I got your package. I haven't opened it but thank you for it I really appreciate it. My new Comp's a Kiwi (New Zealander) from Hamilton, Elder Ald. He's seems very good and on the ball. I have a lot to learn from him. I don’t know much more about the area but I'll catch on I'm sure.

The baptisms (in Warwick) didn't go through sadly. Earlier in the week we had a lesson with them and they brought their concerns forward. Both had valid concerns that we needed to work through before they can be baptized. It’s sad to see but hopefully they'll keep moving forward and be able to resolve those concerns and move on. I'm sad to leave Warwick but I know the Lord has other things for me to do. I'd grown to love the little town in the middle of nowhere. It was unique and the day to day life is very laid back not to mention the cleaner air and less people. It’s nice. I like it. I'd consider living some place like that I think. IDK though maybe that’s just me in missionary mode. I got a letter from Daniel Molina and Grandma & Grandpa. Tell you about it next week.

Glad to hear you're all doing well and that things are starting to cool a little bit. Some people have said they've been having fires in Texas but it’s hard to tell if people are just saying things without actually knowing what they're talking about. All good though. The Mission President read us an article that President Monson wrote for the Washington Post about the 9/11 attacks which was really good. Other than that not a lot going on...well a lot is going on but I’m just kind of still in the shock and awe mode of being transferred, new area new Comp, Zone Leader and so forth. Not really thinking straight, lol. As you know, I love change. Thanks for the emails everyone. I really appreciate hearing from you. Keep up the hard work. Love you and I'll talk to you next Monday sometime. I think.

Elder Hatch

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 5, 2011


Things are going well. Here the baptisms we have set are still on track for this Saturday so we're hoping for the best. Both of the "kids" as we call them were sick yesterday for church so they didn't make it. That was a little nerve racking but that’s good all the same. They're both only 16 years old but they're quite mature for they're age. They have their families support so were happy about that. The Branch building is actually a remodeled 100 year old Queenslander style house that they recently extended and added a chapel on the back. It is ironically, located next to the Masonic temple which is cool but it doesn't have a (Baptismal) font. When I got here I didn't think we'd have to worry about that, but the way the branch does baptisms is they actually rent out the local community "pool/spa" so yeah. That is where the baptisms are going to take place…lol. Twenty years ago they actually did baptisms in the local river which is pretty crazy. It'll be an experience and at least it won’t be cold since it is indoors. I'll tell you how it goes next week. We really have a lot to do to prepare before the actual baptismal date.

Warwick Meetinghouse

Condamine River

Other than that, it has been basically the same. We were teaching a lesson Tuesday and a big storm came in and just as we were leaving, on the bikes, it just started pouring and hailing, lightning and all. Needless to say, by the time we made it home we were drenched and the power was out over half the city. It was one of those classic missionary experiences. Good times all the same. We're just not biking that much really but we get around well. We've stayed busy with lesson and other things. President Clark is on his second time round as Branch President now and he knows what he's doing for the most part. They're just a lot of "unique" people and so the Branch has named Fast and Testimony meeting Starve and Share. I have to say, it has been interesting.

We honestly have massive primary. The Branch is mostly made up of young families and they each have 3 to 5 kids. It’s a mad house during Sacrament Meeting. We prolly have about 50 to 60 people on average so it small but rowdy.

This week is transfers so Elder Arnold (Senior Companion) could be leaving since the Mission has like 18 new missionaries coming in and not enough trainers to train them all. Just so you know, my P-day might get thrown off but I'm not quite sure all the same.

Thanks for the emails sorry I have to run. Doing emails are rather expensive here. Love you and hope to talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 29, 2011


Good to hear from all of you. It should be getting cooler there soon I hope; it seem like it has been just sweltering for ages. That is not fun, I'm not really look forward to that when the summer rolls around here. I've heard about the hurricane and the earthquakes over in the States, it is interesting stuff. It makes you think. It seems like, as I've been out here, I hear a lot about the natural disasters that are going down around the world but I guess that is all there is to talk about when you see religious people. Give the Coombs family my regards, I miss them. That is crazy that Madeline's has grown that much. I can't imagine what they're Christmas photo's going to be like. I need to send them a letter.

Good to hear everything is running well, dad. It will be awesome if you get to watch Shorty’s plane while he's gone (on Mission). I'm sure you're just having a great time flying all around the metroplex and all. Once you get your skills honed you'll have to take mom for a ride again just to see if things have changed over the last couple of years. (note from the Mom: that won’t be happening…)

This week has been really good, actually, it has been great. We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and we drove the car down and handed it over the Mission President. It was a sad time. The training though was really good. It lasted from about 9am to 3pm but it was great. The new Area Councilor, Elder Pearson, was there and he's a great speaker. We learned a lot and it was very uplifting. They also introduced the new I-am-Mormon campaign that will be airing from September to the end of the year. It the first ad campaign the church is doing outside of the US and it is going to be huge. Go on to if you haven't gotten the chance to see it yet. They have some good I-am-Mormon clips; it is going to be interesting to say the least. We're excited and hopefully the campaign will help get the church’s name out and to clear up some misconceptions.

We also have a couple of baptismal dates set so we're really excited and hopeful for them. Things are going surprising well and the Lord has really blessed us. It is great to have some success!

As for Warwick, we really don’t have the roaches like we did in Mt. Isa and it is still a little cool for the toad or frogs to be coming out. It has been cooler and rainy lately but it is all good. It is already getting warmer and it will be hot before long. There's not much to do here on P-days so we basically just chill in the flat and sleep. It’s fun. Warwick is a small town; we've done some window shopping and walked around town but again, it is a small place.

Thanks for the emails and the uplifting words. I'm doing good. Love you, talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

August 22, 2011


Sounds like things are going well back home. It is good when everything is nice and calm. Hope you find a job mom, from what I hear things are pretty tight, like you said, but best of luck to you all the same. Thanks for the email Colin it's good to hear from you and I’m glad to hear that classes are going well. Congrats on those A's. Keep it up and work hard. Enjoy the cooler weather as it comes. It sounds like it is quite hot in Texas.

It has been rather cold and rainy here lately. The house we live in is an old Queenslander or basically a house built on stilts off the ground. The air circulates but it is rather cool but that is all good, we stay warm most of the time. It has been a change from the warmer weather up north but I'm adjusting ok all the same.

Queenslander buildings are primarily of timber construction and can be low or high-set, one to two storeys. They are typically "tripartite" in sectional composition; underfloor (stumps), primary rooms (can be two levels), and roof. All have one or more veranda spaces, a sheltered edge of the building that is typically only part-enclosed and used as another living zone. This consideration for climate is the defining characteristic of the Queenslander type.

The raising of the main living spaces off the ground can be seen as both a stylistic and practical device. The vertical "stumps", initially of timber, allow the building to "float" above the terrain. Queenslanders all have this underfloor area that is used to cool the building through ventilation and also for protection of the main structure from termite attack and other pests. The stumps also help to overcome any variations in the terrain that would normally require earthworks to flatten for construction and allow for the natural flow of water across the terrain in the event of excessive rain and downpours.

Funny thing is that we've had our own car for the last 3 weeks but last Friday the Assistant to the President called us and told us that at this coming Zone Conference we'd be losing the car permanently. :( We'll be on bikes full time for the foreseeable future. It is good though. With the cold weather and the car we haven't really got a lot of exercise and the kgs have started to creep back on. Fun times though, it'll be good to get on the bikes.

We have been teaching a good deal which has been great. We even had two young teens that we've been teaching come to church and we are hopeful for them. They're good. The hardest thing will be finding fellowship for them with the opposing lifestyles of their families. It'll be interesting but we are hoping for the best.

We ran into a 1/2 American Indian yesterday while we were tracting and she had previously done a little looking into what we believed about her ancestors. She not Christian and is very skeptical but she is very nice and interesting to talk to. We gave her a Book of Mormon and set up a time to see her later this week. Hopefully she'll be there and willing to listen to the message. It is interesting the kind of people you run in to. Some are just shocking but it is good to run into nice interesting people.

I got a chance to listen to some of the music and talks Dad sent. Thanks for that and everything is working well now.

The unthinkable happened and we got invited to Seminary this coming Thursday for Scripture Mastery...awe…NO! In the coming week, we'll be cramming to memorize as many D&C verses as we can but it is not look hopefully. We are going to get schooled by the two girls in the class. Guess you can tell Sis. LaFerney I got what was coming. LOL. Tell her hi and that I miss those fun Seminary mornings. Hope she's doing well. The D&C is really good though; deep doctrine there, but yeah interesting all the same. Keep up the good studies/work Colin, dad and you too mom.

Thanks for the messages and uplifting words. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

August 15, 2011

Hey family,

Yeah sorry about the mix up last week with the transfers down from up north and the moving in to a new area. P-day temporarily got changing to another day for that week only. It happens every now and when you're down in the city (Brisbane), you have various other events going on. It sounds like everyone is doing well. It really sounds like it has been hot there. 40 day over 100 F wow that is bad! Lol Glad everyone is doing well and you've made it through a semester of Uni already Colin. Time flies when you're having fun. Enjoy it while you're up there. It was great to hear that Nivla and Shorty got their (Mission) call to Argentina. Sarah Vining emailed me as well and she is going on a Mission and just got her call as well. She's going to Everett Washington speaking English. It is exciting times.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. Warwick is a lot different than Mt. Isa but it is a small town. It is a little farming community and it is very spread out over the country side. Like my last area we cover a good deal of area outside of Warwick but we don't get out there too often. We do have a full time car though so at least we haven't had to face the rolling hill of Warwick and the chilly weather. Although we have a car there is a Senior Missionary couple coming into the Mission and the President has told us that the car going to get taken from us. BOOOO. We're happy to have it for now though. Normally, in the past, missionaries in Warwick have been like we were in Mt Isa in that we really don’t have too much contact with other missionaries but that just fine. I like it better that way. We do get to drive into Brisbane next week for a special training so we're excited about that. Hopefully we'll get to go the Temple but we prolly won’t.

The people are generally nice to us here, which is good. My first couple of days here we even had a couple of people say hi to us in the shops and everything. It was really, really weird. The Branch here is fairly bigger than in Mt. Isa but it is basically made of two generations of two separate extended families. So in other words, you have the grandparents and then their grown children with their families. It is quite weird; everyone is related. Heaps of young primary kids and church is very loud and rowdy. Good people though. The flat is really big and quite cold in the mornings but we'll be moving in the next month or so. Hopefully the next flat will be a little nice and better suited for our missionary efforts.

We've been teaching a couple of people which has been good as well and a nice change of things. My Companions is good. He's from Sydney and has been out for about 18 months now and he's getting a little trunky but that is all good. He is a good teacher and we work well together. It’s good to have a Companion with some extra experience, I need it. He loves Lord of the Rings and has a Lord of the Rings Risk set, so we've been playing that on our down time.

I'm doing good. My shoes are holding up well and I have everything I need. Thanks for the emails and the uplifting words. It is good to hear from you. Thanks for everything. Love you and talk to you next week hopefully.

Elder Hatch

August 8, 2011


Hope things are going well. I’ve been in Warwick for almost a week now. It is basically a small farming town. Everything is nice and spread out and everyone has a good amount of land to live on. There aren't as many dogs or gates so it is great. My Companion is really excited to be in the area after it has been closed for the last 6 month and the Branch is struggling. They are happy to have up back as well. We're optimistic and really hope we can help things get moving here. Our flat is massive. It is a 3 bedroom house with a full kitchen and living room and an open screened front porch thing. It is crazy!

Unfortunately, the last Elders that were here (6 months ago) failed to clean out the freezer before they turned it off. That was quite a nasty sight; so much so that we even had to get a new fridge. It was bad. We have a car for now but it'll be taken off us soon, sadly, and it will be back to the bikes. It will be a hard transition because the town isn't flat at all and is very spread out over a valley. It will be a trial but we'll deal with it when the time comes.

It is a good place though and we're excited and hoping for the best. My Comps quite experience so it feels good to have that extra support and experience rather than the feeling of complete responsibility that comes a Senior Comp.

Time is running short. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Friday, August 5, 2011

Note from the Mom

Sorry for the delay in updating Kiefer's blog. Thanks for your patience and for checking in.

Kiefer is now in Warwick, Queensland, Australia.

We did receive a package from Kiefer this week. It contained a copy of the Koran and a Kipa which he received from a member in Mt. Isa. He also sent us some Vegemite (which we have not been brave enough to taste yet...we are waiting for Colin to be home...) and some Tim Tams. The Tim Tams came with instructions for a common Missionary challenge for the Brisbane Mission.

A Tim Tam is a delicious cookie ("biccie" in Oz slang) made by Arnott's of Australia that is chocolate, or some other, cream between two chocolate wafer layers, all covered with milk or dark chocolate. There are some variations - Tia Maria filling, double coating, and the like.

Kiefer's instructions for a Tim Tam Slam:

This is a typical Missionary challenge.


Mix a cup of Hot Milo(hot chocolate).
Bite off opposing corners of the tim tam.

The Slam:

Without using your hands, use the Time Tam as a straw to drink as much hot chocolate as you can before it (the cookie) starts to melt.

Before the Tim Tam melts out of your mouth, tilt your head back while you still have the Tim Tam in you mouth and enjoy.

Warwick, Queensland, Australia

Warwick is a town in Queensland, Australia, lying 130 kilometres (81 mi) south-west of Brisbane. It is the administrative centre of the Southern Downs Local Government Area. In 2006 the town of Warwick had a population of 12,562. The surrounding Darling Downs have fostered a strong agricultural industry for which Warwick, together with the larger city of Toowoomba, serve as convenient service centres. Warwick is situated on the Condamine River.

Mean max temp: 24.2 °C 76 °F
Mean min temp: 10.8 °C 51 °F
Annual rainfall: 692.1 mm 27.2 in

Referred to as the 'Rose and Rodeo City', Warwick was established in 1849, the town is now the centre for the surrounding region famous for its horse and cattle studs and fine wool.

August 2 (post transfer)


Yeah it’s me and it is Tuesday afternoon. This is my P-day now that I've just been transferred and my Comp has to do emails so I thought I'd explain just a little bit of my journeys over the last 24 hours or so.

The flight down to Brisbane was good. It seemed a lot faster than I remembered the flight up. The sights out of the plane were awesome. Everything was very dry and dead. I even saw a couple of wild fires burning which was cool. I got to the airport and chilled in Brisbane airport for about an hour before the ZL's (Zone Leaders) picked me up and took me to other missionaries that I'd be staying the night with. We had a chill night. There were four of us running together for the afternoon and the Senior Comp (home bound) of the area had been there 9 months so he had a good number of goodbyes to say. On top of that he hadn't packed...the bad thing was we didn't get back to the flat until like 10pm and then he literally packed until 2am so none of us got any sleep really. I think I got about 1 hour of sleep last night. It was tough. We went to Transfer meeting today which was interesting. There are 17 missionaries going home and 12 coming in this transfer so that’s a really big transfer. There were so many people there. As it turns out I have been re-assigned to a small town called Warick about 2 hours west of Brisbane. It was really weird being back in the big city so I'm comforted slightly that I get to go back out in the country. I'll still have the same challenges but it'll be good. The area has been closed for the last 6 months so we have a good deal to do to pick up things and get it running properly. It is a good little town; we have a car so it should be a good time. Once again, it is a very small town so we'll prolly be biking a fair bit. All good though. I need to shape up. My Comp luckily is quite experience and has served in the area previously about a year ago. It'll be fun, I hope. Unfortunately I've kind of been running on adrenaline for the last day and haven't had anything to eat to I'm a little knackered. On top of that we have to clean the freezer. The last set of Missionaries left food in there and turned the fridge off so there are heaps of maggots in there and it smell awful to say the least. Some missionaries are just shocking I can't explain.

It will be good experience I reckon. The members here are great already and we haven't been here a day yet.

Well my Comp is ready to go. It was good to email you and at least to let you know I got to my new area safe and sound. Tomorrow we have to drive back into the city for a training but all is good. Thanks for everything I'll let you know my address later went we decide if we're moving or not. Love you. TTYL

Elder Hatch

August 1


Luckily I get to email this week. The big news is that I did get a call Friday. I'm going back down to Brisbane. I won’t know exactly where I'm going until Tuesday but I could be anywhere. It'll be interesting to say the least. It’s weird to be in the limbo and not have anywhere that is yours. Friday night we got the call and I started packing. Saturday morning we picked up Elder Dahl, my replacement, from the airport, showed him around town and cleaned the flat for “deep clean”. It was good fun. Our flat is about the size of the kitchen back home with a small bedroom off to the side so it was a little more cozy with the extra Elder there but it was good time all the same. Elder Dahl's a good guy and he'll do well here in Isa I reckon. It’s weird after being here so long to be finally leaving but at the same time it’s good to move on. Some days it feels like I've been here for ages while other times it feels like I just got off the plane. It's been an interesting journey to say the least. I'm looking forward to going to the temple in the next transfer. It’s really been a blessing to get to go to the temple once a transfer and now I'm missing it after being up here for 6 month. I always think it could be worse though. Some Elders are up- north for 9 months at a time. It’s different to say the least. Being in the city is going to be shocking I’m sure. Too many people...people everywhere. lol.

Right now we're in the library in Mt. Isa. I've packed all my stuff in the car and shortly, following doing emails, they'll be taking me to the airport to fly back down to Brisbane. Not going to lie, I’m a little bummed about not being able to take the 26 hour bus ride, but it is all good.

Thanks for the email Colin glad to hear you’re doing well and that things are going good for you. Enjoy your last week at school before the holidays and keep pushing through finals. That’s always a stressful time of the school year but it really feels good to have it done after you get out of that last test. Honestly. I was just telling my Comp how some weekends I'd get a massive pizza from Papa Johns and just go to town on that as a reward for finishing all those tests. Man the pizza over here is is like all thin crust and most regular pizzas are like 8 inch with not very many toppings. It’s sad. I miss good pizza lol.

Well got to get headed to my flight pretty soon. I'm a little nervous but I guess what's new? Thanks for everything and for the support and kind words…talk to you soon. Love you.

Elder Hatch


What is Vegemite?

Vegemite is considered as much a part of Australia's heritage as kangaroos and the Holden cars. It is actually an Australian obsession that has become a unique and loved symbol of the Australian nation. A Vegemite sandwich to an Australian kid is the equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an American kid - but the taste is QUITE different!

Vegemite is one of several yeast extract spreads sold in Australia. It is made from leftover brewers' yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives. It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, in color, and one of the richest sources known of Vitamin B. It's thick like peanut butter, it's very salty, and it tastes like - well let's just say that it is an acquired taste!

Australian children are brought up on Vegemite from the time they're babies. It is said that Australians are known to travel all over the world with at least one small jar of Vegemite in their luggage, for fear that they will not be able to find it.

July 25th


Things are going well here. The last week was good. We stayed fairly busy and things went pretty smoothly. We have an older lady name Sister Spath in the branch who is almost 80 and who we visit regularly. She's from Germany originally but has lived here in Mt. Isa for ages. She a single sister but lives with another branch member named Bro. Aria who is almost 70 and is a for them. They are really good to us and just fun people to talk to and visit with. Anyway her daughter from Canada has been in town and they are leaving for a couple of months to go to Canada on vacation and work in the Cardstone temple. All the members of the Branch wished her well and we even had a photo session…lol. We've really enjoyed them and we'll miss them while they are on vacation.

Over the course of the week we had some cool stuff happen. Tuesday we were walking down the street and this inactive member that we didn't even know existed came out and invited us to dinner with they're family. They were basically like cowboys that normally work out in the middle of nowhere raising livestock but they're in town for a little while and so yeah. Good people and it was a good deal of fun to get to know them and what not. We even had a couple of random invites which was a little unusual. It’s funny at times when we knock on someone’s door and they say come in. They usually don’t know who we are and so it kind of an interesting situation. Still it’s weird all the same to have people invite us in on the spot because that never happens and I have to ask yourself sometimes...what is the angle...

Other than that it has been pretty normal. Not much going on the rodeo is starting here in a couple of weeks so the town’s population will prolly explode when that goes down. We had like 50 people at church this Sunday which was crazy and just unheard of for the most part. That was really cool. Sadly though the senior couple get cold easy and like it warm so it was very very warm though out sacrament meeting and most of the other meetings as well. Got to do something about that one…

A big thing they have going on down here is the rugby world cup just this last weekend, the Walabies played South Africa, so that was big. Everyone over here loves their rugby. Good times though.

I'm mailing off a package today...not really sure what’s all going to be in it but I have a gift someone gave me, some Tim Tams (chocolate cookies) and some Vegimite so far so yeah, I prolly find some other stuff to go in there and send that to you today. Enjoy. Hopefully nothing gets removed at customs.

Elder Hatch

July 18th


Thanks for the emails it’s good to hear from you as always.
I liked the picture of the dust storm in the valley, which sounds pretty cool. I bet it was a lot to clean up though. The pictures of the b-day (Grandma Guttery’s) party were great and everyone is looking really good.

I'm glad you found some Ginger Beer (soft drink) and tried it. It is definitely an acquired taste. I think I had it my first transfer here and then about three months later and I was hooked after that. Yeah, definitely give it another try, make sure it is well chilled and invert the bottle a couple of times… lol. I really enjoy it. A fun thing that the missionaries do here is called the peachy dance. You get a Bunderberg Peachy, like you saw at the store, and then after you try it you do a dance the mimics how you like it or dislike it. You should get some of that too. It is really very nice. I liked that one much better at first than the ginger beer at first. Try it and see what you think. It taste like a peach pie in a liquid form its good. They sell the ginger beers in a box of 10 and we've gotten a couple of those and gone through them over the last couple of months.

It sounds like it is very hot back home. I'm just glad it’s not that bad up here right now. It’s been in the teens, Celsius, in Brisbane and that’s pretty chilly so I’m not so keen about that now. It’s been nice here (Mt. Isa) and even on the warms side of things in the last week but it’s all good, the heat is not always bad.

Ha ha...Dad you’re getting trunky! (tired of being Bishop) That’s funny. You've done a good job though and you'll be missed I'm sure. They'll find something else fun for you to do so don't worry about that. That’s kind of how the church works lol.

We've had to start a miracle book to record ...daily our miracles. I'm not too keen on doing it, honestly, but we’ve been doing it and it is good to see the little ways the Lord has help us and strengthen us in the missionary work. I've been driving a little here and there with the senior couple's car but not too much whenever we go somewhere with them I'm the driver so that’s nice but we've still been biking a good deal as well. Transfer will be soon and I should be moving. I don’t know right now if I'll get flown down or take the bus. I'm not sure if I have a choice I think they just book whichever one is cheaper at the time. But since I flew up I might be busing down as well. It’s hard to say. I hope I get to bus down. It would be an interesting experience even if it was a painful one. I reckon. I won’t know for sure until I I'm either in Brisbane on the first or second of August or here in Isa. Either way it’s all good. The Rodeo is coming to Mt. Isa next month and things are about to get real crazy lol.

The week has been a slow one compared to last week the potentials we contacted and taught last week, fell through on the return appointments and our normal investigator were busy so we did some good finding for the week. Fun stuff. This week will be better though. I enjoy it here and it’s a good place but it can be hard. Studies are going well I feel like I'm learning a lot about the gospel and what not and that good.

Thanks for the emails and for the uplifting words. Love you; I'll talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week June 13


It was a pretty good week. We spent a good deal of time getting ready for preparing our investigator, Tia for the baptism and what not. We did the program and cleaned the chapel and font out. It was fun. The baptism went well, we had a great turn out for the baptism and it went great. Needless to say it was rather stressful to say the least but it was great in the end. Funny thing was the baptism was a 1 pm, we ended up getting there a little b/f 11 am and font wasn't finished filling until quarter to 1 pm. Needless to say the hot water only lasted 45 min. Then when it was all filled the water in the font had a green color to it even though the font's tile was lined in blue tile. lol. I took a couple of picture of it. It went forward all the same and we're happy. The support of the members up here is amazing and honestly without their fellowship this baptism wouldn't have happened. They have just taken Tia in and it really is amazing to see. Just can't explain it.

To answer your question a Maori is the name of the race of native New Zealanders that live there before the white man or other islanders started to migrate there. In Mt. Isa we have a good deal of Maori people and even within our branch a good deal of Maori's members. They have mean feeds and are very good to us. It’s great.

The word "Dodgy" is one of those words we say a lot over here, at least as missionaries. A dodgy missionary would be someone who is not very obedient, don’t do as he told or something like that. I guess it could think of as something that’s shady or just not very good. People can be dodgy, a place or an environment can be dodgy- dangerous or not safe or even objects that aren't really in harmony with out believes or call i guess. It’s hard to explain.

There are of course heap of kangaroos out here in the bush but we don’t see them at all since we basically never even leave the outskirts of town. My companion said that when he was driving up here on the bus they literally hit 10 to 15 kangaroos in the greyhound bus. The buses have big bull bars on them or "roo wrestlers" and when the driver see's on near the road he speeds up so that when it jumps across the road it hit the side of the roo wrestlers and bounces off, otherwise the full weight of the roo can really batter up the bus and they can even get caught under the wheels the driver don’t stop for them needless to say. When I go back down they'll prolly send me on the bus and I'll be able to tell you all about it. At least in Brisbane all the roo lived on the golf courses and there would be a pack just lying off the edge of the fairway. It’s really funny to see.

Other than that not much goin. We've heard a lot about the pacific plate moving and so we're waiting for another massive earthquake over here lol. Supposed to be a big one in Indonesia soon but we’ll see. Thanks for the emails, drive safe, love you heaps.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pictures from the MTC

Brisbane Australia Mission


Salt Lake International

A Mailer from Kiefer

Kiefer recently send us this mailer with a disk containing pictures he has taken in the Mission Home, Brisbane and Mt. Isa. I'll be posting various picture as I get them organized. Enjoy!