Mt. Isa

Mt. Isa

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012

Hey family,

Thanks for the emails and the prayers. It sounds like it has been a good week.  I’m glad you got to see my new area (Google Earth) it is definitely different than my previous areas but that’s all good. It is something new. The four-way flat is good. The two other missionaries are good and we really get along well which really helps too. One is from Idaho and the other is from Thailand. We might be getting another missionary today that will tag along with Elder Sin and I. I'm not too keen on that 3 ways just aren't as effective as they could be but at least there will be more of us to teach, testify, and eat at the members. We think we'll have an Aussie coming and he's pretty good from what I hear so we'll see. Our flat is pretty crowded as it is, so one more body will definitely be interesting.

The week as been long; we are just trying to get into the flow of things. We share the car half of the week with the other missionaries so the other part we either walk or ride the bikes depending on where we're going. One day last week it rained all day when we were on our bikes. It made for a fun day. Luckily I had my jacket so I didn't get too wet. It was fun. 

We had Stake Conference last Sunday.  The Gold Coast Stake is very big and they just completed a new Stake Center. It was filled past capacity during the meeting and they had remote TV screens in 3 or 4 other rooms with the video of the Conference and the sound streaming. That was cool.  There were heaps of kids though.  It was just like watching General Conference in the Relief Society room back in the day (when he was young). Good times.  On the Gold Coast, there are a lot of member from New Zealand that move over and live here. We have a good deal of less active member in our little area. It makes it harder in that because many of them are Islanders or Maori, they have names that are hard say. They're good people though. They feed us really well. 

We went over to a dinner last night and the Branch President of Mt. Isa (Kiefer served for 6 months Mt. Isa) was there with his wife and little girl.  It was really good to see them.  I didn't think I'd ever see them again so it was good to talk with them and catch up. The family (that hosted the dinner) was basically a YSA (young single adult) house of nerds, which was amazing. In the main room they had three computers with an online game called League of Legions (LOL) going and they were all playing at the same time. It was awesome! Of course I didn't play or do anything dodgy, but it was really fun to talk about games and movies and shooting stuff.  It has been a long time. That was fun. My companion is good.  He is funny and very upbeat. He talks quite a bit in his broken English which is very comical. Everyone one in the flat gives him a hard time but he plays along well and enjoys it. He's actually shorter than I am by about an inch. The members have been joking how it was good to pair up the two shortest missionaries in the Mission. 

Obviously, we don't really like basketball all that much so today for P-day we're going to go fishing again and see how we go. I'm going to go out and see if I can get a semi cheap rod. We caught a couple of brim last week and Elder Sin brought one of his home and chopped it up and cooked it. It stunk up the flat pretty good and needless to say when the other missionaries turned up they weren't too impressed. We're going to fish today. We're hoping to get one of the members to take up over to the coast a hook us up with the big ocean fishing rod we need to fish off the shores and in the deeper water. Hopefully we will catch some big fish. Next week, I think the Zone is going on a big hike so we should get some good pictures and that should be good fun.

Three more weeks and Colin will be home. That sound like fun. Keep working hard Colin send me an email. Let me know what you've been getting up to.

Other than that, not a lot is going on.   I’m not sure it we have P-day next Monday or Wednesday but whatever happens, happens. We might have a Temple trip next week.

Thank for the emails and updates. Love you heaps.

Elder Hatch

Nerang, Queensland, Australia

Nerang is a suburb on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, that lies upon the Nerang River, 72 kilometres south of Brisbane. Nerang, population 7333, is the gateway to the Gold Coast Hinterland's many farm stay resorts and the region's world heritage listed national parks and nature reserves.

Nerang meaning 'little' was the euphonious name given to the beautiful river flowing through the scenic and fertile country of Ward, by its Aboriginal inhabitants.

Nerang, like Mudgeeraba, is the very remnant of those townships that characterise the rural hinterland of the Gold Coast. Together with Advancetown and Tallebudgera its settlement was brought together with the construction of the Gold Coast railway in the later years of the 19th century. It was not until this century that the coastal lands became dominant. Subdivision was conventional and buildings were traditional rural or rural commercial.

The construction of the 'new' Pacific Highway on the old railway reserve has helped to focus development in the town in a manner which has extended and indeed largely swamped the early township. Its character is however still dependent upon the river and the early subdivision and commercial centre survives.  Nerang is a regional and transportation hub, containing several shopping centres and Nerang (railroad) Station.
The Nerang Railway Station


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012

Hey family,

Hope things are going well for you. Thanks for the emails.  We did actually get to go on a hike on Monday up Laidley Creek which was fun. Like you said it is a good time of year to get outside and do things. It was a good hike and some great scenery. Monday night we gave a little autistic girl a blessing.  It was amazing.  She couldn’t sit still until we actually started the blessing and then as we blessed her she responded as if she knew Heavenly Father was speaking to her. The faith of a child is something special. The rest of the week went fairly smoothly.  We've been teaching more lately which has been good. We received a couple of great referrals and it is looking like several of them have good potential to progress on to baptism.  Our new Ward mission leader just got back from his mission a month ago but he jumped off a cliff and broke his We did have a meeting with him this Sunday and he was pretty keen and will be a great help.

We caught a 6’ carpet python this last week that had found its way into someone's toilet.  My companion grabbed it and we walked it out away from the house and released it. Before he let it go though he got some good pictures of it wrapped around his arm.  It was fun.  Sunday we got the transfer call so Monday we spent mostly packing, cleaning and visiting members to say goodbye. I'm tired. 

It has been a long day already. Transfers were crazy. For the news and the updates: I got transferred from the Somerset region and have a new companion. The day of transfers is always very stressful for me personally. This set of transfers was very big. There was a lot of missionary shifting and there are quite a few (new) coming in too. That makes things interesting.  It was good to see a lot of the Missionaries that I've served with previously. I wasn't too surprised to be leaving this transfer but it was sad all the same. I really enjoyed serving in Somerset and I enjoyed my companion too. It was fun. Change is good though, and I'll move on and learn to love this area too. I've been transferred down south of Brisbane to a place call Nerang. It is on the Gold Coast which is a tourist part if the state. I don't know much about it right now but that it is a lot different than Somerset.  It’s not full on city but it definitely more populated that my last area.  My companion is Elder Sin from Cambodia. So far he has been interesting, he doesn't really speak great English but I’m sure he'll get better as time goes on. The next week and following weeks after will be interesting I'm sure. I'm just hoping for the best.  Our flat has two sets of missionaries living there and one of the Elders is a greeny. It will be fun I'm sure. These days are always so stressful. Thank you for your support and your prayers. I really appreciate it and am grateful for all that you do for me. Love you. Hope you have a great week ahead of you. Talk to you next Monday hopefully.

Elder Hatch

Mother's Day

Thank you Skype!

Mother's Day was wonderful.  We got to Skype with Kiefer!  It was great to see him and talk.  We got a little more than an hour of time with him.  And yes, the Mom, cried.

Kiefer looks and sounds great.  He has lost some of the Aussie accent he had a Christmas time.  He attributes that to having an American for a Companion.

Kiefer loves Australia.  He especially loves serving in the rural areas and doing service projects.

The best news of the day is that his release date will probably be November 7 not the 22nd!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 8, 2012

Hey Family,

It has been a long week and a long day with travel to and from the Brisbane Temple. It’s been good though and well worth it. It has been a good week past.   We've gotten to do a couple of different service projects which has been great. We helped build a retaining wall around an above ground pool and then, yesterday we helped weed a yard and got to mow our lawns as well. It was good fun. It’s good to have (physical) things to do to mix up the day to day activities.

Saturday we had trade-offs with the District Leader and his Companion. It was an interesting experience, as always. It is weird to leave your area and just spend the day in someone else’s area even if it’s just for the day; different surroundings and styles.  

The days (in the Mission field) just seem to fly by at times and then crawl at other times.  It seems like just yesterday I got off the plane (from the States) in Brisbane. Crazy stuff right?  On Sunday we were able to have another Fireside that we organized.  We had a couple of non-members there and some of their recently convert friends.  It was very busy but it was good in the end. We cooked a little meal and managed to mess up Sloppy Joes, of all things, but it was fun all the same.  Monday we were out tracting and ran into this crazy conspiracy theorist that had to tell us how Jehovah and Satan are playing chess with the lives of people in the world.  It was interesting and made us think a lot.  We've been talking a lot in Companionship study about the (US) Constitution and how in the last days it would come under attack.  My Companion is very very political and Conservative.  The talk and reasoning have been fun but,  needless to say, my Comp does most of the talking and reasoning but that’s how I like it (lol) normally. 

I'm going to do some gift shopping tomorrow after Zone Training and during our lunchtime.  I'll try to get some good Aussie souvenirs to send home.  In the coming week we have the Zone Training and then Friday is weekly planning and a couple of lessons scheduled.  The weekend will be good hopefully, we will get a lot done as well, and then I'll get to talk to you on Monday (for Mother’s Day)!  Our P-day is on Monday so we were thinking that we would just try to Skype around 9am here, which would make it around 6pm or so Sunday evening there.

The Zone had planned to do a big laser strike (laser tag) for next Monday's P-day  but no one has organized it and most of the missionaries are prolly broke already so it’s disappointing.  I'm thinking we'll go on a hike or something. We're not sure yet. My clothes are holding up ok; enough to last another couple of transfers. Everything is pretty good. Hope you have a great rest of the week. Work hard everyone and stay out of trouble.  Talk to you soon.

Elder Hatch