Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Week 23 June 27, 2011

Gettin closer to the end!
Hey there familia!
Well, here I am back in the Biblioteca of good ol Covilha, Portugal. Its kinda weird coming back here over and over when it really never feels like the time is going by. Sometimes its all just a big blur and it doesnt really seem like a week went by, but never the less I return;)
Thank you so much for all of your emails and support for me! Sounds like you are all havin a ton of fun back in the USA.
Cory!!! hahaha man you are gettin OLD!!! Shoot, 32!?! What the heck happened man? Where did your time go? Hahaha oh brother, should I say it again..? You are getting OLD! Nah I am just playin with you, youre still up and running it sounds like. And you finally got yourself a boat eh? Man that must be a ton of fun, and exactly what you wanted. I can just imagine that thing is going to get used a lot haha by my pro fisherman of a brother. Think you can pull a wakeboarder behind it? Because I would love to try. Hahaha can you imagine? But hey, dont run the miles too high on that thing before I get back, cuz I wanna go out there on the lake with ya.
Let me tell you all right now the way to fish..... 1- Bring a 24 pack of Cream Soda, or if your like me Vanilla Cream, 2- Bring a couple bags of Salt and Vinagre Chips, 3- Bring headphones to listen to a little Weezer while youre at it, 4- Make sure at all costs you catch a bigger fish then your brother Cory, and if you dont, make up a story how you HAD a giant fish on the line but you decided to cut him loose;) That right there is the way to fish. Get a tan, get fat, and just relax out on the lake, oh.... and if youre lucky, catch a fish.
But sounds like the fishing trip up on Panguitch lake was pretty sweet. Jayden is reelin in the big stuf huh? hahaha Jayden sounds like youre going to be bigger then Butch Sr! I wont stand a chance against you Sarge, youre going to be huge!! Although, I am getting a little bigger. I started running 20 minutes a day...... come on now I promise that I am actually running, believe me..... and I actually started gaining wait! Is that even possible!!!? I am up at 215 pounds right now....... what the....? But I guess once you start running its normal to gain weight first, then loose it. I hope so. But it feels really good to be getting into a decent shape again. I even started stretching too. Oh my goodness, I HATE STRETCHING!! It hurts and its worthless.... but I know I need to do it so.
Alright, so let me tell you about the area and whats going on here in Covilha. This week we went to the very last Coimbra Zone Conference in Porto history and we got some good training that will help us be more prepared to .....ah what is the word......Juntar...... combine:) with the Lisboa mission. President and Sister Walton kinda said there goodbyes and it was pretty intense. I love those two soooooo much! They have been such good mission Presidents for me! Its been such a blessing being able to know them!
As for the news, which I can now pretty much tell you all. Pretty much from the beggining I have known that the work here in Covilha had to start off different in order for this area to really grow. A major problem has been that we have not been able to have church here every week. So from the beginning it has been a goal of mine to have this place having church every single week by the end of the second transfer. We have worked hard and a ton to reach that goal. When we started we had an active 9 to 11 people coming to church every other week. We now, with all the help of the Lord, have a good 22 active members, with 2 Melquesedeque Priesthood holders, 3 Priests working to get the Melquesedeque Priesthood, and much more. The Lord has blessed this area so much. We have a lot of other menos ativos that are really close to returning and we are seeing a ton of miracles with them. So the other day I was talking to President Walton on the phone, because we were coming home late from Guarda, and he told me that he, President P (The Stake President of Coimbra), and Elder R (Area Authority of Portugal) had thought a lot about it and all of them decided that Covilha is ready to have church here weekly:):):):):):) They have not set an exact date for it yet but it will happen in the month of July, is what they said. This is going to EXPLODE the work here in Covilha!!!! So now that we know that that is going to happen really soon, our goal is to build Covilha into a branch. It already has the requirements to be a branch, but there are a couple things that we can do to really make it happen.
So what are we going to do? Well, the Coimbra stake is going to have Stake Conference of the 11 of September, in which they will sustain and support all those people who will recieve or have recieved the Melquesedeque Priesthood. (I understand that I am spelling the higher Priesthood incorrectly right now but be patient, I dont remember how to spell it in English.). So we have 4 people that will be able to recieve it before that day. If we help these four people recieve the higher priesthood on this day, we will have a total 6 holders and they will pretty much be forced to make us into a branch around Decembro. So we are going to focus a lot on helping these people be prepared to recieve the Priesthood because no one else is here to do it, and because it will help out the group here a TON. We have talked a lot about this with our ward mission leader, Nuno Ferriera, who was the old bishop of the terra prometida of Gaia 1. All of us feel really good that this is what we need to do for the area. So the work here is going really well. This next transfer we can finally start focusing more on actually finding people and baptizing people, as well. Ahhhh :):):):):)):):):):):):) I am sooooooo happy!!!!!!! All of the hard work that we have been doing is paying off so much! I wish I could just sit down with all of you and really explain in depth what is going on here in Covilha and what I am doing, because its really hard to fully explain what is going on here. We are pretty much establishing the building blocks of the church here THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT!!! There are a lot of places here in Portugal that just dont really have it built right, and it causes a lot of problems. But with the pure direction of the Lord and the help of an amazing man Nuno Ferreira, we are building it the right way. I have been lucky to work with Stake Presidents, Bishops, and Branch Presidents, and also the direction of Elder R, and to build a church here in Covilha, that will stay firm.
With all of these experiences I have been learning A TON!!!! I am so blessed to have been called to open up the area of Covilha and I am learning things that will bless me and others for the rest of my life. I have also been learning a ton about the church administration and how things are run... or supposed to be ran. I am learning the responsibilities of a Branch President, because I have pretty much been serving as one since I have been here. I am learning so much, and I am loving it.
I love this church, I love being apart of it, I love the work, I love the blessings, I love my family and my friends that have supported me 100 % of the way. Thank you all so much for all that you are doing for me. I know without doubt that your prayers are really helping me and helping other people as well. I feel like I am the most blessed and luckiest missionary in the entire world to be where I am and doing what I am doing. I am and forever will be gratefull to my Heavenly Father and the second chance that he is giving me to be able to better my life and have a change of heart here in Portugal. I can honestly say that although I was baptized a long time ago, I am experiencing a mighty change of heart now. It is happening to me now and here in Portugal, and I will never be the same. I am so gratefull to be able to be a missionary and work here in Portugal, the most beautiful land of them all. This mission has literally saved my life, and I love being able to help others do the same. Experience the same thing that I am experiencing. A mighty change of heart.
The church is so true, what else could ever matter?
Com muito amor para todos vos, cada um de vos, teu filho, teu irmao, e teu amigo para sempre
Elder Daniel John Hatch

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