Mt. Isa

Mt. Isa

Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011

Mt. Isa
My companion and I are the only missionaries in town but hopefully we'll be getting an old couple (Senior Missionaries – probably the same age as his parents) in the next couple of months the Branch really needs some firm leadership. We don’t have a Stake per-say but the Mission President is the one that calls the Branch President and he is also the Presiding Priesthood holder, if that makes sense. The nearest missionaries to us are in Townsville which is a 22 hour drive to the east on the coast. That’s where our District Leader is as well, lol. We're pretty isolated but it doesn't really bother me all that much. I got a good companion and so things are going great. We have a regular building with a small chapel, kitchen, (baptismal) font and a couple of rooms. It is really nice. Only bad thing is that it is in the Aboriginal neighborhood, which is basically the ghetto of town. We call that area the Bronx. lol. I didn't move out of the Brisbane Mission. The Mission covers all of the state of Queensland. it’s just that 80% of the population lives in QLD (near the coast) so that is where most of the missionaries are. My flat is nice and it is just cold because where I sleep and study is right under the AC units and my companion like it cold, so yeah, no worries though.

Google Maps link:,meetinghouses&assign=wards&find={c:"Mount+Isa",s:"QLD",n:"Australia",lat:-20.731435865163803,lng:139.4842068850994,z:12}

The Package

We received a package from Kiefer. He mailed it from the Inala post (Brisbane) on Feb 11th and it arrived in Benbrook Texas on the 23rd.

The Monday after he mailed the package he wrote, "Hopefully you'll get my package. I sent it on Friday by just standard air. IDK when it will get there though. I won't tell you what's in it but the fuzzy thing is for Dad and the two things made of wood are for Colin and Mom. Don't use the painted one please, it is just for show but the other one its good to throw. Also there is a unique coin purse in the fuzzy gift so, 10 pts to the person who can guess what it is made of. It's not much but hopefully you'll like it. I sent some coins. Assies don't have 1 cent coins but have 5, 10, 20, 50, $1, and $2. Sorry I forgot to sent some Aussie cash...maybe next package. Happy birthdays, Christmas, lol."

The "fuzzy thing" is a Kangaroo fur scripture tote.

The two things made of wood are Boomarangs (one to use, one to look at) ... this is the fancy one...cheerfully displayed by by Colin...

Ten point to me (The Mom) for being highly suspicious as to the origins of the "unique coin purse". My guesses included 1) a tiny baby kangaroo pouch (creepy), 2) a kangaroo ear (creepier and I think their ears are pointed) and 3)another anatomical, pouch-like Kangaroo thang (creepierer). As I feared, guess number three was correct and that which holds the kangaroo jewel also holds, in this case, coins.

YIKES! No seams!

Kiefer quote: "...yes the coin pouch is what it is feared it to be, and it’s awesome! Be glad I didn't get you an exotic double...those are really interesting lol."

Last but not least, he sent an ALDI reusable shopping bag (I love totes), the ALDI receipt and his Christmas card (a cut and paste marvel...a copy of his name tag and some Christmas cutouts, united in lamination).

All and all ... very cool!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

week Feb. 21


Well I've been here (Mt. Isa) for a week now. It is crazy I can't, but at the same time I can, believe I've been here for that long. It has been a busy week. My companion is very obedient, which is good, and we get a lot done. We're on bikes all day long which make for good exercise and a fair amount of sweating but it is a good experience. The branch is very small but they really support us well and do what they can to help. Wednesday was a fun day this week. Every night a local bakery donates its leftover bread to a different charity and Wednesday is the day we get to come in and take what is left. We then go around, in a members car, and give the bread out to our investigators, less-active members, and some active members. It is really nice and it seems to build some good trust with the members and investigators. The really lucky thing is we get to take some bread home too. You know how much I love fresh bread, lol. We've been running every morning and so it has been good but its freezing in the flat so it is a struggle to stay awake after the run and all, lol.

P-day will be interesting to see just what we can find to entertain ourselves (there is obviously not much to do in Mt. Isa). In the past they've gone to the church and watched seminary videos and other church movie. I still remember how awful the seminary movies were but maybe I can get beyond that detail and learn something from them.

COLIN: send me an EMAIL!
I’ts been like 2 months lol.

All the cars they drive over here are like the truck (Yikes).

Just small vehicles and very, very, few big trucks and stuff like back home. The "truck" that most people drive is called a Ute it is like a banana car and most have a closed bed sort of thing. They're just awful cars though...well they look awful.

Take it easy.

Elder Hatch

Monday, February 14, 2011

From the Mom - Mt. Isa

Mt. Isa, Queensland, Australia

The City of Mount Isa is located 1829 kilometres from Brisbane, the Queensland State Capital 883 kilometres from Townsville (the nearest major City).

Mount Isa City covers an area of over 43,310 square kilometres, making it geographically the second largest city in Australia to Kalgoorlie-Boulder WA. With a population of approximately 23,500, Mount Isa is a major service centre for North West Queensland, and a thriving city well equipped to satisfy residential, business and industrial needs.

Located within the Mount Isa City boundary is the town of Camooweal - "The Western Gateway to Queensland". Camooweal is approximately 200 kilometres to the west of Mount Isa and its main street is actually the highway, making it the longest street in the world!

In 1923, lone prospector John Campbell Miles, while travelling on a gold prospecting trip to the Northern Territory, camped by the banks of the Leichhardt River. Sampling a nearby rock outcrop, he realised that it was heavily mineralised.

Campbell Miles had stumbled on to one of the world's richest copper, silver, lead and zinc ore bodies. He decided to call his discovery "Mount Isa" after the stories he had heard of the Mount Ida goldfield in Western Australia. Almost 100 years later, the Mount Isa Mine (now owned by Swiss mining giant, Xstrata) is still one of Australia's largest producers of copper ore.

The early pioneers of Mount Isa faced many hardships. The lack of water, remoteness, the summer heat, high costs and scarcity of essential items made life extremely difficult. Despite these hardships, the pioneers endured to create a city that has attracted people from all around the world.

Mount Isa has a great climate with an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine a day and only 50 wet days per year. There are two distinct seasons – the wet season from November to March and the dry season centred on June, July and August.

Summer months are hot, with average minimums in the low 20s (degrees Celsius) and maximums in the high 30s (70 to 85 Fahrenheit. Most houses and businesses are air-conditioned. Winter is much more pleasant, with average daytime temperatures in the mid-20s and nights averaging a very comfortable 12 degrees (55-77 degrees Fahrenheit).

Upcoming Events:
All events from Tuesday 15 February 2011 to Monday 21 February 2011

No events found ...

but I've read that Rodeos are very popular in Mt. Isa...

Transfer - Week 2/14/11


Well, I got transferred. Not a big surprise. I'm now in the largest local mission area in the world. It’s called Mount Isa. It is about a 27 hour bus ride from Brisbane and a two hour flight. Luckily I got to take the two hour flight. I got the call that I was leaving Friday afternoon and my flight left Saturday morning. Sadly, I missed Stake Conference (in Forest Lake). It was a crazy weekend to say the least. I could only take one 23 kg checked bag and then one 7 kg carry-on. That was tough. I had to leave one of my suitcases at the mission home in Brisbane so I left a good deal of stuff. I have everything I need though so it should be just fine.

A little bit about Mt. Isa. It is a mining town and in the center of the town is a giant lead, copper, and zinc mine. Everyone in the town, basically, works in or is related to someone that works in the mine. The town is about the size of Holbrook (Arizona) from what I can see. (Actual size is approximately 22,000 people) There are a lot of Aboriginals, Aussies and then some immigrants. The branch is very small but at least we have a meeting house. There are only 3 or 4 solid Priesthood holders so it is tough. But there are really great members in the branch too. I'm hopeful for things. My companion is Elder Parkinson from Washington state (USA). He's only been out for 6 months but he's a really solid missionary and I hope I can learn a lot from him. It is hotter and drier here than in Brisbane but it will only get cooler from here on, so that is good. We have AC in our flat, thankfully, but it is a “must have” from what I'm told. Elder Coy the Elder that I'm replacing (he flew out this morning) said that a couple of weeks ago it was in the 40 Celsius (that is 104 Fahrenheit) in the shade. The heat is bad here; I'll make good use of my hat and sunnies (sunglasses). We're on all bikes so even though we might have the biggest mission area, we have to stay in town and can't go anywhere else very easily. It is going to be a great area.

The (Brisbane Australia) mission home is in Brisbane right in the middle of the city because Brisbane is where most of the missionaries are. There are only 25 or so of us in the other parts of the country (the Brisbane Mission covers most of Queensland). Sleeping in the heat (in Brisbane) didn't bother me too bad. We had a fan on us at night but now (in Mt. Isa) I have AC and my companion likes it cold too so it will be good.

Elder Hatch


Driving (in Brisbane) was nice but I think the hardest thing was just all the roundabouts (traffic circles) they have. They make it just painful to drive.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week Feb. 7

Hey y'all,

Things are going good. It has been a good week. That’s crazy to hear about all the cold weather (in Fort Worth). I don’t think I remember what cold weather is like anymore. It has been very hot here. I got a wide brimmed hat at a shop last Wednesday so I'm going to take that tracting during the day. I'll know by next week whether I will be transferred up north, staying or going, it will be an interesting time.

The Costa Rican investigator has not gotten baptized. He wasn't as ready as he claimed to be and once we laid down that commitment to a date it became clear that he wasn't ready to make that next step. We're working with him though and we'll do our best. In the last couple of weeks, and since Elder Tui is Polynesian, we've been contacting heaps of Poly's. It has been difficult for me, learning to relate to them but it has been interesting to be immersed in the New Zealand/ islander culture.

Rugby is really big over here and with league, union, state of origin and the rugby world cup coming up I'm thinking that’s all we will be hearing about for a while. We play touch on p-days which is rugby without tackles, so yeah. Look into it is a lot of fun and really big over here. Aussies love their beer and rugby.

We have stake conference this weekend so it should be good and I’m looking forward to it. I know I have more to say but I have to get going. Love you y’all. I'm doing great. Don’t worry about me over here. ttyl

Elder Hatch

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From February 1 email

Hey everyone,

Congrats Colin you're the Man! Sounds like you're just dominating at swim … lol

I talked with my zone leader and he hinted that I will probably be moved out of Forest Lake next transfer, which is during the week of the 13th of February. That'll be sad but we'll see how things go. I might be going up North but I'll find out later next week. The Temple trip was good.

It has been hot here, especially this last week! We're pretty much done with flood clean-up service. There is not a whole lot more physical labor that needs to be done so we're just doing our best to find other ways to serve the community and the ward members. The work in the ward is going fine. Our ward mission leader has gone less active but that’s fine, we're just trying to get his family to guilt him into doing his calling, lol. The ward has been helpful and supportive in the work and we've had meals every day of the week for the last month. It has been good. I actually got to baptize an 8 year-old member which was good and was a great experience. Other than that Elder Tui is the man and things are going great.

That is so cool to hear that President (Jon) Beesley is getting called as a Mission President and in Siberia too. Wow that will be so cool. I wonder if he'll be learning Russian? He'll be a great mission president.

Love you and ttyl.

Elder Hatch

note: The Bureau of Meteorology said category five (Cyclone - Australian Hurricane) Yasi began crossing the coast a few minutes before midnight near Mission Beach.

The town is about 50km south of Innisfail and about halfway between Cairns and Townsville.

... just for an idea of how large this storm system is (storm imposed over US map):