Mt. Isa

Mt. Isa

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week May 30th


Yous really had a crazy week it sounds like with the end of school and then Graduation coming up this week end. That’s great. I can't believe it’s already that time of the year. I remember not too long ago coming home from University and Colin having to go back to school to start his senior year. It’s been an interesting year.

I wish I could be there for Colin's graduation but I know it will go well all the same. Congrats Colin on the hard work and the dedication. It’s definitely a good feeling to have it completed after you walk across the stage. It’s crazy to think b/f the end of the month you'll be at the university holding down the fort. That'll be fun. Enjoy you'll last couple of days of school but of course don't have too much fun… lol. Tell grandma and grandpa hi for me.

The ginger beers here are amazing. They're one of my new favorite drinks here. There is a video store where you can get American lolies and drinks so were going to go over there after this and get some stuff. Its way over priced but still… Elder Munyard hasn't ever had a pop tart so he is going to get some of those and some hot tamales. I'll prolly get a couple of DP's but they cost like $2.80 so they aren't cheap… lol. All is good though. If I could, I’d send you a couple of ginger beers. Maybe one day you'll get to try a couple.

Things have been going good here. My bike keeps falling apart though… lol. This week I was going up a hill shifting gears when my chain lock and then snapped my shimano gear system in half so that’s what I'll be repairing today since the bike shop in town does not have a bike mechanic now. It'll be fun. The senior couple is really getting frustrated b/c they just can't find anyone to teach or even visit. Elder Rhodes has been having a whinge about not having a dermal tool...or basically like a little hand held sander. Which he uses to "cut" or in reality to sand done his toe nails. He tells us about these things and how he can't get one that isn't expensive. All I can think is that is just nasty. TMI! Needless to say he didn't opt for the toe nail clippers but he bought some 40 grain/80 grain sand paper squares. Good times though.

It has been cooler here in the last week in the mornings it’s been down to 4 degrees C (39o F) so a little chilly. It warms up into the Mid-20's (high 60os F) in the afternoon so it very bearable so far. We've given up on the football and so we're back to doing exercise in the flat, fun times.

A little about Mt. Isa, it is very much a working town up here and even for the people that don’t work in the mines, they generally say that they'd rather just be working, because they just get bored out of their minds otherwise. It’s kind of that same way back home I reckon but not as extreme of course.

Other than that not much happening, I have everything I need. Gratz Colin on you graduation from seminary, high school and swim. Keep working hard and make the most of your time. Have fun. Miss yous heaps. Thanks for the emails and the uplifting word. I'll talk to you next week and hopefully get that package sent out as well. Love you, Cheers.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week May 23 - Happy B-day Grandpa Guttery


It’s been a good week for the most part. The bikes have been playing up at various times during the week which has been an irritation but that’s what happens when you ride them literally everyday all day. Last week it was a hole in the green slim and this week it was one of the petals that got gunked up, stopped spinning properly and then stripped out the petal crank. I didn't ever think I'd learn so much about bikes but you got to do what you go to do. Other than that not much is going on besides the usual crazy things that happen here and there. We actually have progressing investigator now which is excited to say the least. We're keeping our fingers crossed. She's good.

We were actually tracting Saturday when one of the people that answered the door told us the world was going to end later that day. We had a good laugh about that and went on our way. Later that night when we went to a member’s house for dinner we told them about it and they found out that indeed some radio host in the States had predicted the world to end at 6pm that day but by that time it had passed and sadly no All good fun. We had several people question us about that, ironically. I'll just say it now far in advance of the actually day and time. I am glad that I won’t be on my mission when the world is "supposed" to end in 2012. That would definitely make things interesting as far as missionary work goes. I'm sure we'll get a lot more of that to come.

Church on Sunday was good. We had like 40 people there which was amazing. Our very small chapel was full and it was just great. We even had like 14 people in priesthood. It’s interesting being in a small little branch like this. I enjoy it a lot. The people here are really amazing to say the least.

Other than that I don’t have much. The weather is still nice; it is in the 20C so it’s very nice. We've been throwing a gridiron ball in the morning and that has been fun. Funny thing when we went to buy it they had all the sport balls on display and when we ask to have to gridiron ball the shop worker gave us the one on display. We bought and now have the only gridiron ball in Mt. Isa. Ha Ha.

As far as sports go, "State of Origin" begins this Wednesday. It’s a big series of rugby games between the state of Queensland (the maroons) and the state of New South Wales (The Blues). If interested you can check it out and see what the craze is. Rugby is "choice" here in this part of the world. It’s basically what Gridiron (football) is in the states. Take a look at that and see if you can figure out how it’s played. It’s interesting and a lot of fun. Good stuff. Needless to say we will not be contacting people in their homes when that is going on. It’s kind of like the thing to watch. lol. It'll be fun and of course Queensland will hopefully win (as always).

Keep working hard Colin. Have fun and enjoy the rest of the school year. Go to graduation. It'll be worth it.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week May 16th


It’s good to hear from you, it sounds like things are going well. Today I've finished copying all of the pictures I've taken over the last 6 months to a CD-R. I hopefully will get that sent out later today or tomorrow with this or that included with it. I'll send some Aussie biscuits and hopefully some other things.

Things are going well here. Last Saturday we had a Branch building clean-up activity which, as you know, I really enjoyed. The Meeting House/Chapel is built into the side of a hill and it has a drainage ditch that catches water run-off from the hill. Over time it gets filled with dirt and so we were shoveling the dirt out of the ditch which was a really good time. I got to work with the funeral home director. He has had a colorful past and among many things, has really gotten into finance. I had him tell me about managing finances, saving, stocks and what not. It was really interesting. That’s going to be one of my goal when I get learn more about saving and handling my finances. Good stuff though and a lot of fun.

It is tourist season, as the locals say, and there are lot of new people moving into town so it’s not really the best time to be looking for new places. It'll probably be a while until they find the place that they (the Mission office) wants (new flat for missionaries). I'll let you know if things change. I told you a little bit about the seniors (missionary couple) but in regard to their work they, sadly, don't have much to do. We've given them a couple of people to try to see but most of the time those people just don't want contact and will cancel appointments. It’s sad I don't know how it is in other missions but it kind of sounds like a temple mission would keep them busier but IDK. It is a difficult situation. It’s good though to have them here just to have a solid priesthood holder and member of the branch Presidency.

To keep ourselves entertained we're doing several things over the course of the next couple of weeks. Elder Munyard wants to learn how to throw a Gridiron ball (Aussie)= Football (American) so we're going to get one today and then throw it in the mornings for exercise. He can run so it has made exercise harder.

We're killing roaches, cane toads and monster roaches and tallying them, again this transfer Last transfer we killed 100 roaches combined and about 15 cane toads.

Finally we're starting to barbecue regularly and we'll be sampling the famous Bunderburg fizzy drinks as a complement to our grilled/burnt meals. Our goal is to go through 50 fizzies in the next 6 weeks. Needless to say, we might be putting on some kilo's.

Other than that not much else going on. We are teaching less but hopefully we'll be finding some new people this week and have some more lessons. It'll be good though. Thanks for everything and for the emails. I really appreciate them. Love you and good luck this coming week.

Elder Hatch

Mother's Day 2011

On Saturday, May 7th at 9:30pm we got our "Mother's Day Call" from Kiefer. It was Sunday in Mt. Isa about 12:30pm. We got to talk for an hour but it seemed like no time at all.

We asked him about Mt. Isa, his flat, and his companion. We told he about our boring lives. He doesn't have an Aussie accent yet but his vocabulary is littered with Aussie slang, which he, occasionally had to explain to us.

Mt. Isa is very isolated and very much in the outback of Australia. It is a mining community and, Kiefer tells us, the cost of living is very high. The miner are well paid and all consumer products have to come from far away which drives up the cost of everything.

He loves his Branch. They are a small but very close group. He says they have about 30 people (including kids) attend on a good Sunday 20 on the not so good weeks. He says the people of Mt. Isa are fairly tolerant of the Mormon missionaries. The flat he lives in is very close to the local Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall. He says most people think they are from that church. He also says that there are a good number and variety of churches in Mt. Isa.

A new Senior Missionary couple has recently arrived in Mt. Isa. They live next door to Kiefer and his companion. They enjoy having the help but kind of miss their independence. The Senior couple have a car but they don't really like to drive on the wrong side of the road. Kiefer has been the chauffeur. He doesn't mind too much except that it does take away some of he and his companion's precious P-day time.

He sounds good and seems to be happy with and dedicated to the work he is doing. We are so proud of him but miss him terribly. Thanks to everyone that "drops-in" on this blog and to those of you who have sent him letters and packages.

The Mom

May 9th


It was really good to talk to y'all yesterday (Mother’s Day) but I agree it was far too short…

This morning it was rather chilly so the cool weather is a good change. Our lesson, after we talked, went well and we had a good RM there to help us out and to fellowship.

We did a funny little test about 3 weeks ago. We called the BOM (Book of Mormon) referral hot line just to see how long it would take us to refer someone, if the hot line was automated or whatever ...valid concerns. Anyway, Elder Munyard called and gave the lady on the other end his full name (LOL) and our flat's address. We then had a good laugh and forgot about the whole thing. Three weeks later a referral secretary lady...a different one then the one we talked to...called us up and Elder Munyard answer the phone. She then gave us the referral. Well, she gave Elder Munyard his own name and our address. Needless to say we had a good laugh and we're not overly impressed that our own referral for a BOM took 2-3 weeks to get to us even with our own names on it. Fun stuff... Though I guess we do live in the bush of Mt Isa.

Other than that not a whole lot I can think to tell you about. We'll have busy week and have heaps to do hopefully. We have a Branch service project cleaning up the chapel grounds. It'll be fun and we're looking forward to it. Love you and hope the AP tests go well Colin. Study a little b/f you go and take them. It sometimes helps.

Elder Hatch

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lake Moondarra - Mt. Isa Australia

Mount Isa was in desperate need for water due to expansion of the mine and the town. Rifle Creek Dam, to the south of Mount Isa, could no longer cope with the increasing demand, so in 1956, work began on the new Leichhardt Dam, 16 klms downstream from Mount Isa, on the Leichhardt River. The dam was built for Mount Isa Mines and was the largest water scheme, in Australia, financed by private enterprise.

After numerous problems, with rain causing delays, the 26.5 metre (87 feet) earth wall was completed early 1958. The earth wall was faced, on the dam side, with concrete and included walking access across the top of the wall. The new, £1.7 million Leichhardt Dam became operational on November 6, 1958. Rifle Creek Dam water was now completely available for use by the mine.

In 1960, 2000 tonnes of sand was spread on the foreshore at Transport Bay to transform the area into a magnificent beach and picnic area. 1962 saw a competition launched to name the dam and various picnic areas. On July 11, the Leichhardt Dam became Lake Moondarra. This aboriginal name means “plenty rain also thunder” and was selected from 471 entries submitted. 9 year old Danny Driscoll won the £10 prize on offer.

Immediately downstream from the dam wall, the most popular picnic area of all, was named Warrina Park, which is an aboriginal word meaning “place of rest”. Pontoons were added just offshore at Transport Bay, a kiosk was built and a ski jump provided massive weekend crowds with the finest recreation facilities available in any outback town in Australia.

Week May 2

G'day Family,

Hey sorry I wasn't able to email you last week. We had our p-day, conveniently on a public holiday, moved forward to Tuesday. The library wasn't open that day so we couldn't do e-mails. This Monday and last were both public holidays so our p-days both got moved to Tuesday. I guess, first things first, the reason why I wish we could have emailed last week is that this Sunday probably around 12:30pm or 1pm my time I will be calling home for Mother’s Day. I think that will be around 10 pm (Saturday) your time. I wish I could call earlier but it looks like that's the only time I'd be able to call since church ends at 12pm and all. Have some question and things worked out. I guess I will call mums cell phone first and then we can go from there. Hopefully Dad will be back from CA to talk as well. It's another 8 months until Christmas.
Elder Hatch

(Second of Three emails)


Hey the last two weeks have been interesting. (General)Conference was amazing to say the least. The combinations of sessions were just a spiritual feast. I really enjoyed them. I took heaps of notes which I really think helped me to get more out of the talks. It’s one of those things that I've always thought of doing but never got around to.

The Seniors (missionary couple) are ok. I've got to be their driver since they are very uncomfortable with driving on the "wrong" side of the road. It’s been good just to have a car here and there but I'll be honest, they take forever when it comes to shopping and other activities on P-day. We just don't have that much time so today we've ditched them to do emails and do our shopping and other things in town. We'll see how things go. They're both (the Senior Missionaries) on their 2nd marriage but it is their 25th anniversary, so they wanted to get out of the flat. We're going to the local lake to have a lunch or something. None of us have been there before so we'll see how it goes...I'll probably be the one driving there, lol. It'll be good though.

Yes I got the package from Nivla (THANK YOU!) but I had to leave most of the contents in Brisbane with the rest of my gear but I did get it and tell her that I really appreciated it and that it did really mean a lot to me.

It has been getting cooler so it is nice but it’s not cool enough yet to actually need a jumper or something. They say it will get cooler so it'll be good.

Note from the Mom … a jumper? I get this picture in my mind of Kiefer in a sleeveless dress…Jumper is obviously some sort of jacket, sweater, or hoodie

The work is going well we are working hard and trying to keep improving. GTG very soon. Sorry the notes are so short this week. I'll call you this weekend. I’m looking forward to it very much. Love you all and thank you for the uplifting words. Talk to you soon.

Elder Hatch

(Third of Three)

Is BIN LADEN dead?