Well, First things first...... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND BRINDA!!!!!!! I love you both so much!!! And I do not know what I would be like without the two of you:):) Thank you both so much for everything that you have done for me to make me the missionary that I am today. I could spend many letters telling you how much it is that I love you both and how much you mean to me. You guys are great! I love you!
Well...... guys..... this is probably one of the most life changing weeks that I have ever had in my entire life and maybe a crucial point for me in my entire existence. I cannot even begin to express the excitement that I have to be here as a missionary of the Portugal, Lisboa mission. So I guess I got a lot of explaining to do in not so much time.... Iºll try my hardest to let you all know what is going down in the beautiful country of Portugal (P.S I think Portugal is stealin my heart hahaha).
Well, July 4th and 5th all of the Porto mission met up in Porto and had a huge conference there, starting at 10 AM and finishing at 6 PM. We did that for two days up there and we learned a TON and I changed A TON. I cannot believe the amount of change that I am going to see in my life being a part of this mission now.
Ah, gosh..... I don’t know how to tell you all what happened haha, so I will start out with this. When we arrived the APs confirmed with us that Covilha will have church there every single week as of today:):):) What a blessing! Its confirmed and it was by the President as well, so it’s the real legit deal. This place is going to EXPLODE now with so many baptisms, I don’t have one single doubt. The foundation has been placed; the area is ready to start the real work of God in here. I am talking finding, teaching, and baptizing.
So we learned a lot lot lot up there. We learned how we should be doing things and what changes that we need to make. There are a couple rule changes that we will make and a couple other things that have to do with the work, but what is really going to change about this place is the ATTITUDE of the mission. And it is starting with our new leader President Torgan:) The man is a modern day Moroni (happens to be President Torgans first name as well) and is the most fearless leader that I have ever met in my entire life. Probably the most motivational as well. I gotta say, I have never really met a guy like him haha but all in all he is the PERFECT FIT for this mission here in Portugal. If he told me to pick up a sword and follow him into a battle 4000000000 vs 2 I would do it haha. It’s that kind of a man. He is about 6 foot 2, Brazilian, big, and POWERFULL and at the same time SPIRITUAL! Gosh.... hahaha I am so happy and so excited I don’t know what to even write or how to explain it. This mission is going to change and we, and all of the people who want to watch, will see one of the biggest spiritual pushes of all times, here in Portugal. We really will be the Forol of Europe with the push that we are making now.
For a small example..... a great missionary from the Porto mission would baptize around 15 to 20 people in his mission...... in the training we learned how to do the work in a different way, and we saw that a great missionary in the Lisboa mission would baptize a little bit more. The AP for the mission now, his name is Elder Fernandes (a big 6 foot 8 Cabo Verdiano), and President Torgan asked him how many baptisms that he has had in his mission..... with an honest humble response he said 73 people....... 73 people...... oh my goodness gracious hahaha. He has a goal to baptize four people every single week for the rest of his mission, and I have no doubt that he will.
The push in this mission is to baptize every single week, and that is exactly what we are going to start to do. President Torgan had us all kneel down as a companionship and say a prayer about someone that would be ready to be baptized this weekend. The he had us do the same with how many novos pesquisadores (investigators) that we will find, how many people that we will get to church this Sunday, and how many baptisms we will have by the end of this month. We knelt down and we honestly received answers from our heavenly father what those numbers were. True and straight revelation from the leader of this work, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Cristo. You should have seen the numbers that went up on the board, the straight revelation that God gave to all of those companionships that just asked. This place, Portugal, is going to EXPLODE!!! President Torgan really pushed that there is no excuse to not be baptizing weekly on the mission, and that is exactly what they are doing down south. Count me in:)
So what does that mean for my life, what does it all mean for my life as a missionary, and what changes am I going to make. Well, the first thing that I am doing is repenting:) Hahaha yup you all got it right, I am repenting every single day and every single prayer that I make. I am going to humble myself and become a real instrument in the hands of the Lord. I am going to honestly do every single thing that he tells me to do and I am not going to do anything else. I am going to pray pray pray pray and only do what he tells me to do. This is his work, and it goes his way.
The thing is that they baptize really fast down there. They dont waste time, and if someone is not ready, they dont waste time on him either. They pray and they ask the Lord what day this person should be baptized, if it is 2 weeks later, all the better, and it is not our decision when the person should be baptized but the Lords decision. We do everything on the Lord:)
P.S just so you all have a good understanding of what I mean by me repenting, it doesnt mean that I am confessing of giant sins that I have been hiding.... it means that I am pushing myself even closer to the Lord and trying more and more and more to do exactly what it is that he wants. Repentance isn’t always the huge confession, but rather a process that we all should be doing daily.
Ah man, I am all over of the place with this letter. So let me tell you all a couple important things that you should know about the changes with the mission.
The new headquarters of the mission
Missao Portugal Lisboa
APT. 40054- 1500 Lisboa
I will receive a transfer call on the 18th of Julho, which means that as of the 19th I might not be in Covilha.... which means don’t send any letters to Covilha around the 11th because I MIGHT not be here. Vamos la ver. I will let you know where I will be as soon as I figure out and have the chance (cross your fingers for the Algarve;):)
Wow, I guess that is about it. I thought there was so much more.... oh yeah... we are invited N, the 15 year old daughter of a member to be batizada this sunday....:):):):):) and we are going to have I P (picture that I sent last week) do the batismo. Pretty cool huh? Please please please pray for us that we will be able to fully prepare her for that day. We received an answer from the Lord that that is they day that it should be done. Really quick but that’s how it’s going to be from now on. You will all know how it goes by Monday.
Well, I know that the letter was super choppy and you still have a million questions for me, but I am going to head out. If you have any specific questions please involve them in your next email. I love you all and I am the luckiest Elder on this planet to be a part of this work here in Portugal. Love Elder Hatch