Well, it is good to be back to hearing from my family and friends! I love you guys, ya know it?:) Its always so good to hear from you all and really good to hear how the Lord is touching your lives as well as he is touching mine:) Thank you for the emails, the support, the love, the packages;), the letters, and so much more. As much as I love to hear about how your week went, I especially love to hear about how it is that the Lord is blessing you in your life too. Why? Because I pray about you all and ask that you all get the experiences that I am getting in your lives as well. It is truly touching to hear about your spiritual experiences as well! So when you feel the love of God in your life, make sure you let me know as well, because it means SO much to me to hear that my family and the closest people to me are growing as well:) Truth is sometimes I think, gosh, I would love love love to be with my family and friends right now and just talk for hours and hours about the Lords hands in their lives and hear about the amazing stories they are living right now as well! I would love to just sit down with every single one of you and just talk talk talk... maybe the Portuguese are getting to me, but talking has become so much more fun now! Sometimes I wish that I could be there for you all when you are going through hard times, boost you up face to face, and have you boost me up too! But I guess we will have the rest of our lives to be able to do that huh? For now I have no doubts that the people here in Portugal need me here to give my all to them.
So how will we solve this problem? Tell me about your miracles and how you are growing:) I need it. I have sacrificed being there with you (yup YOU) and its hard on me to think that I am not there to help you and grow next to you, but like I said, paciencia, Iºll be there one day.
Well, this week was a good one and a not so good one. I say not so good because I need to work harder, thats the truth. Good, because we saw miracles here! Peoples lives changed:) So let me tell you about some of them:) Enjoy:) And you should aIl know that I, Elder Daniel John Hatch, do not take credit for any of this! I that I have seen on my mission is because of the Lord, and not because of my own hands. I am just a tool in his hands, he is the miracle maker. But Iºll tell you what, it has been an AMAZING 11 months being a tool in the hands of the Lord!
So this week we had a good lesson with C and marked her for baptism. The time before when we marked her, her mom didnt accept it and told us that C is not ready. This time her mom was there and we talked completely about the Atonement of Jesus Cristo in their lives. The Spirit was incredibly strong, to the point that lil ol Elder Hatch couldnt help the tears from falling, and we really felt the Lord was touching their hearts. We marked C and we asked that she said a prayer to help all of us feel comfortable about it. As she ended the prayer we witnessed the Lord touch the heart of her mother who completely changed her mind (in 1 minute) and said that she felt at peace about it:) Now, let me add something to this..... we, 19 year old boys, do not change people. We do not change lives in 4 lessons and stuff like that, the Lord changes lives in seconds. People do not stop drinking, smoking, and all kinds of other stuff because two 19 year old boys ask them too, they do when the Lord touches their hearts. The Lord touched the heart of Carlas mother who did not accept it at first, to completely accept it. Miracle:)
We also had a great lesson with a familia C:) A member in their family (not direct) passed away so we decided to make them no bake cookies and talk to them about the Plan of Salvation. Hahaha yup, you heard, NO BAKE COOKIES, is exactly what we made (and very well I might add) and delivered. We actually made them with some members to teach them and ended out making WAY WAY too much hahaha. I am talking like 80 cookies..... boom! They were gooooooood:) We passed by their house and gave them to them, and ended out staying to explain the Plan of Salvation to them. It was great!! Gosh, I love that familia soooo much! Its been so much fun teaching them. Hopefully they are coming to our activity this Friday, because its going to SICK! I cant wait to do family home evenings with you guys!
We also got to talk with a really special girl named A:) She is a less active that is going through some hard times, and went through some really hard times in the past that has left her feeling uncomfortable to be able to come to Church. I wont give details because its not my place but I will let you know that it was really good being able to finally sit down and express to her what it is that the Lord wants for her. She has A TON of potential and really is an amazing girl with a bright future. Future leader wherever she is. As we talk to her sometimes I kinda see myself. I have been very blessed and humbled to see the Lords hand in my life to help me in my own personal growth. Through the atonement of my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ I have seen my life changing. Its something that I want her to be able to have in her life as well. I know that when she chooses to follow the Lord and really apply the Saviors sacrifice in her life, she will have an amazing growth in her life.... an experience that she will never forget.
Its true for all of us! As I walk around the street of Portugal and go into the homes of a beautiful people I have seen something amazing! Whether they be members of our church or not, just about everyone I talk to has a sudden light enter their eyes when we begin to speak about our Lord Jesus Christ. Its a bond that we can all have:) And its sooooo special because its always so personal for us:) Jesus Christ has done something in specific for each and every one of us, sometimes we just dont realize it. At the beginning of this transfer we had a zone meeting that I dont think that I will ever forget. It wasnt amazing words spoken or anything like that, but it was the Spirit of God that touched my heart. We talked about the atonement of Cristo and that touch of the Spirit has been changing my life ever since. It really made me start to think about my own relationship with the Lord and exactly what he has done for me. It has brought me to my knees many times already and has really sparked a new growth within me. A growth that is helping me turn my weeknesses into my strengths... which I have MANY weaknesses sooooo, I should be a strong guy if I keep this up;) Now as I preach the gospel of Christ I do so with a new view of things. A view that I am here to bring the Atonement of Jesus Cristo to people instead of any other worthy cause. I invite people to be baptized quickly and easily because it is how they can accept Cristo in their lives and as their Savior. I try to focus each and every lesson that I teach on the Atonement of Cristo and how it is that it will change their lives for the better. Although I am not the greatest witness of these things, I can truthfully and honestly testify to people that I, too, am applying the Atonement of Jesus Cristo in MY life!!:) And as I am focused more on his atonement in my life, I have seen and witnessed the Love that the Savior really does have for me. The Spirit has been so much stronger in the lessons as we have focused on the atonement for these people. We are finally breaking through with some people that we just havent been able to in a while.
One of the dearest of people to me here in Viana is K. And we are constantly seeing miracles with her! Yesterday after church she called me and was just crying over the phone:) She just start telling me that she know God exists and loves her! She knows that he has a plan for her and that her purpose is to work in the temple. She told me that she had been studying in the temple preparation book and the Lord had just completely touched her heart to once again confirm her purpose:):):) I have seen SUCH A LIGHT come into her life family!!! Its been undescribable to see her life change. When i first came her she admited that not even her grandchildren brought her joy and that she was just not happy at all about anything. She told me that she didnt care if she died tomorrow.... I cried. As I have been blessed to be able to work with her and show her the light that I have recieved in my life, I have seen her go from that, to excitidely showing us pictures of her grandchildren and just laughing:):) On the phone she told me I AM SO HAPPY NOW, I CANT DESCRIBE IT, I AM SO HAPPY NOW:):):):) and thanked us for what we had done. I told her thanks to the Lord, because we have only been his tools. What a change I have seen in her life as the Lord has given her purpose to live and be happy:) I just LOVE seeing her and just laughing with her and seeing the Light of the Lord in her life.
Family, friends, and all those who are reading this letter, I know that our Savior loves us:) He really did suffer for each and every one of us.... but he did so with full love for us! He did so knowing that only through that suffering could we return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
He loves you. He knows you personally, and know exactly what you are going through in your life. I promise that if you will accept him, by following his will and keeping his commandments, you will feel an amazing difference in your life. Pray to God and let him know that you want to know more personally what it is that Jesus Christ did for you:) You will feel a new light enter in to your life like you have never felt before:) Haha it has been great to me:) He has been great to me:) I want this for all of you:) Please, dont set it aside for another day, and dont just close the email and do nothing after, please, find out for yourself. With all of my heart I hope you will:)
I love you family and friends! I miss you all, but I am sure you can share me with the Lord for a little bit;) Iºll be back, but until that day
God be with you til we meet again:)