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