Well,guess whos back with a brand new rap.... letter
Ola minha querida familia! Ta tudo dereito?
Well, today was the only day that looked like it would give to write you all, and I know I let you down with not writing you sooner, so I apologize. Perdoam me? You forgive me? :) I hope so haha.
So wow.... I am so much to tell you all but I dont know where to start. So I guess I will start with our trip up to Porto.
Monday morning we left go up to the beloved land of Porto to get our car inspected. We went over the mile inspection warning thing so we decided it would be pretty smart to go get it checked out. So we carefully planned in so that we happened to be up in Porto the same time my Pops, Elder Griffiths, was up there. He came back with his mom and dad, so we planned it out to be able to see him. When we first got up there we went up to a place called Maia, which is sub urban Porto, and we played a little B ball with my really good friend Elder Peck and his greenie, Elder Wheatly (the Elder the Princes know:)), and Elder Peacock who I played basketball against in high school. It was super fun, and I got really burnt haha. Felt good to get some good ocean side sun and feel that breeze. Ah gosh, Porto is such a paradise. The city that will always have my heart is Porto. But after the game we headed over to do internet for a second, like you all know literally a second, and then showered and dropped of the car with a member to check it out. We then took the bus system back over to Gaia and met up with the Gaia 2 elders there. It was really good to hear about all of my past investigators and members and stuff like that. Funny thing is that that day when I was up there I saw a guy that knew me that I had contacted when I was up there so I ran him down and got his number for the Elders there. The guy had gone to church with a friend when he was a little kid and still knew about the sacrament, so he is a ton of potential.
We then went over to M, I dont know if you guys still remember me talking about her before be she is GOLDEN, and us two and the Griffiths ate dinner with her at her house. It was super fun because me and Elder Griffiths were the ones who started with her, so it was like a big reunion there. It was really good seeing my first companion and seeing how things were going with him, although it was super weird to see him out of the missionary clothes. Time really does fly by at 100 Mph when you are serving a mission. There is only one time in my life that it has gone by faster, dang time machine haha. But ya at M house we ate this seafood dish which was soooooooooo gooooooood, and after had a spiritual thought given by us as the missionaries. I asked Brother and Sister Griffiths to bare their testimonies and had Elder Griffiths translate, super spiritual and really cool to see. Brother Griffiths is a very inspired man. A little bit later before we left, M's boyfriend showed up and we started joking around a ton with him. He always makes fun of me for my failed attempt to make rootbeer one night at the house and gives me a hard time for not pronouncing the HARDEST WORD EVER correctly. So I always joke back with him. He is a really cool guy, and seriously looks a like rock star haha. He will join soon, just wait and watch.
The next day we did a division back in Gaia and I got to visit some old people that I worked with, but the most special visit of them all was visiting J, my first baptism! Oh man it was so good to see him! He is such a stud! We went outside and played football and he kept asking me if I was going to come back TO STAY sometime soon. Ahhhhhhhh it hurt to say probably not! Dang that kid means so much to me!
But now we are back in good ol Covilha and getting ready to have a party at the church house this Saturday. We are doing a BBQ where each family or person has to bring a treat from there own country or the country that they are from. So we should be getting a lot of pretty crazy meals and it should be a ton of fun. The members from Castelo Branco are all coming up to celebrate with us and we are really just trying to make sure that a ton of people from Covilha come too. Should be cool. Vamos la ver.
So we got some AMAZING news from our Mission President the other day, of which I am still not allowed to tell anyone, but....... hahahaha I thought I will at least tell you that. It has to do with our area and our members here in Covilha and the success that we are having with bringing people back to church. so....... guess:) Maybe you will get it. Maybe you already have. All I can say is...... I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :):):):):):):) Its like the work is starting to pay off! Ah the Lord is blessing this land so much! The city of Covilha will always be so so so dear to my heart and especially the people. I know I will always look back and remember helping open that area in a city in Portugal and helping the numbers go from 11 to 22 actives! Mission, complete! hahahaha crap..... mission.... almost complete hahaha I still got a couple more months huh? I sure hope so I AM LOVING THIS!
The leader here in Covilha, his name is N F, and him and his wife P, are so so so dear to me! I love them so much and they are such the future of this area. They are the future of Portugal If it were my choice. They know how the church is run, they both served missions, haha P waited for N, and they are such a dream team! I will try to get their email for you guys, Dad, I think you would love emailing this man, he speaks fluent English because he served a mission in England, but they are just so cool! You will love getting to know them, and I told them if they EVER want to come visit the states they already have a home set for them here in STG. They are about 30 and have two kids, L and M, which are sooooo cute haha.
So as for the work here. We are working with Lil W (I P) get ready to serve a mission and recieve the Mel. Priesthood, teaching families how to hold a family home evening, helping members come back to church, building the church from step one. Ya, building the church the way that it is supposed to be built, and not some weird Portuguese way hahaha. As I have been here I have pretty much had to take the responsibility of a Branch President and do just about everything that he would be doing. I am really learning how it is that the church needs to function and exactly how to lead the church here. Because truth is, there are bishops who dont know, even stake presidents who dont know how things are run. So I have really had to study up and make sure that I know how to teach them how to lead. Sounds kinda weird right?
So I guess bem em breve the missions are going to combine!!!!! FOGO!!! What the heck happened to six months.... my time? I swear it was yesterday when we were like recieving the news that the missions were going to combine, and now its literally around the corner. So the missions combine of July 1st, but transfers happen July 12 acho eu. Which means around July 12 I might be headed to a new area. This is the deal, and this is what I am going to tell President Torgan, I want to stay in Covilha for my entire mission, and if he wont give me that, I want to go straight to Madeira, then get transfered a couple months later to the Azores, then to finish off the mission Iºll be in the Algarve:) What do you guys think about that? I am sure President will buy it:)
Nah, I would love to serve in those areas, but to be honest I wanna go straight to the ghettos of Lisboa:) Mom, dont freak out, no one has guns here.
So, its all coming up pretty soon now. Before I know it, my time will be done here in Covilha and I will be some crazy location, maybe opening up another city. But I will go and do, wherever it is. Life is so much fun here in Covilha, although I do wish we had a beach (I am soooooooooo living next to the beach when I am older), and the time is going by way to quick. We do fun stuff everyweek and we keep things interesting. The church is so true, I will always serve it and always be a part of it.
I feel myself become closer and closer to my Father in Heaven and following what it is that he wants for me. I know without doubt that where much is given, much is required, and I plan on serving for the rest of my life, in one way or the other. I know the Lord has big plans for me, haha now I just gotta not screw em up;)
I love you all!
Elder Daniel John Hatch