Mt. Isa

Mt. Isa

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week March 28


It’s good to hear from you. The last week has been stressful but it was definitely rewarding at times. I did get a new companion and Elder Parkinson did, sadly, leave. My new companion, Elder Munyard from New Zealand was supposed to arrive on Saturday on the plane but the churches’ credit card stopped working and it ended up he had to take the 27 hour bus ride. He said in the process he didn't eat for like 48 hour. He slept very little on the bus. lol. I felt for him. He's only been out for 6 weeks and he's a recent convert but he seems good so far so I'm hopeful. This next week will most likely be very trying to say the least. I'll do my best though. As it turned out my old companion, Elder Parkinson left Sunday morning at 6:30am and Elder Munyard didn’t arrived until 6:30pm. During that time I had to stay with a priesthood leader. I spent the day with President Coggins, his wife and young baby. It was tiring but good. They're a great family.

For questions, we don’t really get referrals. We did get member referrals in Brisbane, sometimes, and Christmas DVD referrals, but not here. We have teaching appointments, of course, but not too many. We spend a good deal of time following up with people, tracting and visiting less active members. That’s one of the hard things about being here; finding constructive things to do and I guess, keep pressing forward. It’s tough, I'll be honest. We don’t have a mission leader but the members are amazing and if we ask them, they can generally make time to come out with us.

The weather has been amazing and it has been cooling down nicely. From now until October, I'm told, it will not rain at all and the sky will be completely clear and blue. It is supposed to get pretty cold as it gets into winter but we'll handle that as it comes. We won’t get to watch conference but we'll get a DVD a couple of weeks afterwards. We're very much in the bush but the Branch President is working on getting the Internet hooked in. We’ll see though…

Cheers! Love you and thanks for letting me know how you're doing. It’s good to hear from everyone. Talk to you next week.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week March 21 - Email


It’s been a crazy week and we've done heaps it seems like. It feels longer than a week, honestly.

I loved Colin's before and after pictures from getting his wisdom teeth out.

Editors Note: Post-surgical Colin did not have an “inside” voice. He was talking a lot and very loudly.

It seems too early for spring break but then again it doesn't seem like Easter and General Conference are coming up as well.

Well, I guess I'll start at the beginning of the week with the Zone Conference. We had a nice flight over to Townsville and when we got there, 20 other missionaries from the Northern Zone which covers everything from McKay to Cairns, were already there. They were all at a member’s house who had agreed to feed all of us dinner. It was good to see other missionaries and get to meet some new people. That night we all slept at the Townsville flat which luckily was a big 3 bedroom, 2 bath house but still it was crowded. Fun times though, I grabbed a bed and had a good kip (sleep).

The next day was the Zone Conference and it was really very good. Elder Hamula from the First Quorum of the Seventy was there and his wife as well. As it turned out we didn't have to do the role play as we thought we would but another set of missionaries did. It’s always good to see how to teach things different and all. The meeting centered on faith and how we build that faith for both ourselves and our investigators. It was amazing. It’s crazy having a general authority that close to you and even just getting to shake his hand. But that’s just me… After the conference we had lunch at the chapel and then Elder Hamula interviewed a couple of missionaries. My companion got interviewed and he really enjoyed just being able to ask Elder Hamula some doctrinal questions. After that we ate some more...what missionaries do… and the next day we flew home. It was raining most of the time so we didn't get many pictures but I did get a few. It was fun and a very fast trip. It was unbelievable how fast it went.

We did some service (in Townsville) near the chapel which, ironically, is located in the worst part of town. The place is called “the Bronx” by locals and is basically where all of the aboriginals live. In this town, sadly, very few aboriginals have jobs and most sit around, yelling at each other and drinking (literally) all day long. It’s sad. Anyway the chapel is surrounded by bush on the edge of town and that’s where, besides their houses, the aboriginals generally go to drink. Six Elders in our group filled two trucks with rubbish comprising mostly of beer cans, wine bags and other things that go with that. It was sad but good service for "Clean-up Australia Day".

As for questions about our Mt. Isa Branch… it is small with about 30 active people, including kids, with a good deal of less actives members as well. They're great members though hands down and they really take good care of us. Transfers are coming this week and Elder Parkinson has been here 6 months now so I'm about 85% sure that he'll be leaving and I’ll have a new Elder companion by Saturday morning. I'm hoping the new Elder has some experience and isn't newly green but it will work out in the end.

Thanks for the email and the news about Japan heaps of the members have been asking about missionaries there. It is great to know they were good and safe. Well, until next week, good luck to you. Love you and hope you enjoyed Spring Break. Thanks for the emails.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Macropus Rufus

The red kangaroos is the giant of the Australian kangaroos. It is widespread over the mainland. It lives on grasses, and often lives in quite big mobs. It can leap up to five metres long in a jump and so is quite fast over short distances to escape danger.

When adult males are breeding they will often fight each other, face to face, boxing with their front paws and then giving gigantic double kicks with their back legs.
Because of the climate extremes in Australia, the kangaroos have adapted to the break or bust cycles. In droughts many kangaroos will die because there is no feed at all. But in a good season the female can have three young one with her: one as an embryo just starting off and not yet born, one in the pouch who draws a special milk supply from the mother, and another just out who gets milk from a different nipple. So suddenly there can be a population explosion.

Farmers vary in their attitudes from the ferocious “Kill them” to “let’s learn to live with them”. They annoy farmers by eating sparse grass and by jumping through fences, damaging them.

When European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called. He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question. The explorers thought this was the animal's name. And that's how the kangaroo got its name.

Weekly Email - March 14


I am excited to go to Townsville. Our flight leaves at about 6 pm so we'll be there about 5 but is such a small airport that they don't even start screening people for security before the plane actually arrives. A member of the Area Presidency (Elder Hamula) is doing a mission tour and will be at our Zone Conference. Funny thing is that at the beginning of every meeting we do a short restoration roll play in front of everyone and the two luck missionaries that get to roll play with the general authority are...yes, Elder Parkinson and I. It will be interesting to say the least. We've been practicing it a fair bit over the last couple of day so hopefully it will go alright. No worries though, it'll be good.
Good luck Colin, with your wisdom teeth! It will be funny to see how loopy Colin is over those couple of days. You'll have to get him on camera right after he comes out of the operation. It'll be fun stuff. Let me know how the stuff in Japan is going we don't really hear a whole lot about that here in Mt Isa. We'll probably hear more about what’s going on oversea over the next couple of days with the Mission President. I'll try to take as many pictures as I can and maybe ever get a souvenir or two.

I guess as far as kangaroos go... Yes they do travel in packs. In Brisbane I mostly saw them all over the golf courses just kind of laying on the grass and bouncing around. Up here though they have a different breed of kangaroo and it is a Red back of sorts. It’s a lot bigger. A couple of meters tall I hear then a 100 kg at least. IDK. I haven't gotten to see one yet. You don't want to run them over to say the least.

It has been raining everyday this last week so we've just had to do our best to try to get out in the breaks in the rain or find cover when it got a little heavier. I gave a talk of the Word of Wisdom (in church) yesterday. It went good and I managed to talk 20 minutes and still have material left over. That is always a good thing. Public speaking and teaching are probably the two most difficult things for me to do. It’s fun stuff though…and a good learning experience.

Well, I guess I'm running out of things to talk about again. Hope your week goes well. I'll keep working hard and studying. Love you and I'll TTYL.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week March 7, 2011

Sounds like things are going well back home. Glad you like the scripture bag Dad it is a kangaroo scripture case. There is a little home run business in Ipswich that makes those scripture cases, the coin pouches and other fun stuff like that. One day after a zone conference in Ipswich we went to that shop and got all of that stuff. All of the missionaries combined probably spent $600 or more. But unfortunately they didn't have very much b/c they had got flooded and all. I did get a full kangaroo hide and I’m using it to have all my companions sign it. It’s nice and hopefully will be a good keepsake.

Yeah we do have a "mobile" which is nice and that's awesome you found out who our Branch president was here. LOL President Coggins is a good guy. He's really funny and they just adopted a baby. Every Sunday we have dinner at their house and it’s really a lot of fun. Other than the Coggin's dinner on Sunday we have a Tuahine dinner on Thursday and a Toli dinner on Saturday. Those 3 families feed us once a week, every week which is great. The members here really are the best. The problem is there are just not that many of them. We eat well though and get along just fine.

As far as Petrol goes they sell it by the liter and I’m not sure the exact price but I want to say that it runs about $1.50 a liter if not more. It’s heaps expensive to live in Australia but more so Mount Isa. The cost of housing, food and so forth is very high. People get paid heaps to work in the mines so it’s all worth your while.

It’s weird, it’s already March but it'll be a long month I'm sure. The next big thing is that next Monday we'll be going to Townsville for a Zone Conference. I'll email next Monday but we'll leave that night and get back Wednesday night. Oh and the mission is taking us first class (well economy), we get to fly though!!! This will be my 4th plane ride since I started my Mission. We're excited to see Townsville, and for Elder Parkinson, just to get out of Mt. Isa for a couple of days. lol. He's been here for the last 5.5 months straight and hasn't gone anywhere else in that time. It'll be good. We hope to be able to see some sights while we're there.

It has rained heaps in the last week and so it has been very cool here which has really been a blessing. It makes the days so much easier. We take a kip (naps) during lunch which is always good. I have to talk in church Sunday on the Word of Wisdom so I'm sure it will be an exciting experience. The first time of many I’m sure.

Elder Hatch