Hey Fam! Wowwwwwwww..... can you believe its already 2012! Wow....wwww....... crazy huh?! I feel so old, jeez I am 20 years old and this year I am coming home off my mission. Hahaha that scares me.
So, is anyone else SUPER PUMPED for the new year?! Because I am! I cant explain how excited I am to have yet another year of time given to me by the Lord, to become a better person, to become the person that God depends on. I have put a lot of thought into who, and what I want to be in a year from now, and I have made some good goals:) Goals that I am going to meet and accomplish. I am a very determined man right now haha but thats how we ALL start out in the beginning of the year right? We all are super pumped to do so many things, then boom, time goes by and we are back to the beginning of the year again. Time, the gift that all have. I hope you all have had the chance to sit down, say a prayer, pull out your patriarchal blessing, and ponder about the person that you want to be this year. Think about how it is that you will fufill your purpose this year and come closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All I know is that this year is going to be a big one. One full of a ton of growth for me, and I feel like some changes for the rest of the world. I know 2012 is going to be an important one. If not for the world, one for me. I have pretty much decided that 2012 is going to be the year that I will always look back to and remember as the year that I grew the most. Lots of things to do, lots of changes to make, a future ahead of me:) A future of the ADVENTURES:):):) You guys know me, my life has got to be an adventure, not one day is going to go by that I feel bored or done. Haha life is going to be so fun (and if you want to tell me that its going to be hard, I know, its reality, but.... not so much for me:) Life is going to be a blast!) and full of good stuff:) But, 2012 is where it all starts:) Its the year that I start it all:)
So, for new years we were able to stay out until 12 30 so we got to celebrate a little bit here in the Algarve. We had fireworks going here on the river which was pretty cool.... but it only lasted 2 minutes because of the crisis that they are passing right now. There were a lot of people there, so we had to go out with normal clothes on, which was REALLY weird, but it was fun. I took some cool pictures of the fireworks with the river reflection. It was cool, my first new years outside of the states. Pretty much every person over here had a bottle of beer in hand and a cup in the other. It was a decent sized celebration, but nothing like carnival, which is really big, and coming up pretty soon here. Carnival is a pretty intense celebration that Brasil and Portugal has. It would be fun to see it in Brasil.
The next day we had church and a baptism here in Portimão. We baptized the husband of R, J, and it was pretty much a huge miracle. He has a really hard time walking because of a stroke that he had a while ago, so Elder Guanuna and I both had to get into the baptismal font to do the baptism, which was really cool. After it all he had such a big smile on his face:) It was a new year, with a new life started for him. I am so blessed to be a part of this work right now! Its so hard for me to try to explain what it is like to see these mircales right in front of me. Its such a testimony builder, and its really moved my life! This next weekend we should have another baptism, and the next we have someone marked for the 15th too. We are going to start out the year hot like the Algarve, like it should be:)
So, here is a little information for you all to see what am I talking about. We recieved this imformation the other day which was really cool. I am not sharing it with you to try to brag about anything, but to just show you how powerful this work is over here in Portugal and how real the work of God is. I am so blessed to be apart of this work right now at this great time of great progress. So, as you know, Portugal has been profecied to be the Lighthouse of Europe in terms of growth in the Church. It was also called one of the 3 powerhouses of the Church outside of the U.S.A. Last year (2010) the Lisboa mission led Europe in baptisms with about 500 baptisms, this year (2011) we had a goal to baptise 1,200 people. We ended out baptizing 1,150 people this year:) President Torgan let us know that the church told him that we have become the Lighthouse of Europe this year:):) We fufilled the promise:) We became like the missions in South America:) He told us that out of the 27 missions in Brasil, we baptized more then 20 of them. Which is a HUGE step for us here. But to make it even cooler, President Torgan told us that we have become the Lighthouse of Europe this last year, but this year he wants us to become the Lighthouse of the World:) Dang...... I am excited to see what our goal is going to be for this next year!! Its going to be a HUGE HUGE push that we are going to be making here in Portugal:) With our fearless leader:) Not only fufilling the promises made by the Prophet, but also my very own Patriarchal blessing:) Its really cool to see how it is all working out, making this giant push in history in this beautiful country of Portugal. We are making history:) Cocky? I hope it doesnt look that way. Confident? Absolutely:) This is the work of God, we have to be confident in his great power. It is Christ leading this work, we are just lucky to be the tools in his hands in this time of great progress.
I testify to all, that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. This is his work, and his power and authority is very real. This is the Only church that has his authority to call people to repent and come unto him, to open the doorway to heaven with the keys of Baptism. I love this work with all of my heart, because I love my God with all of my heart. I know my purpose, I know why I am here, and I know what I need to do for the rest of my life. Be a warrior of God, a strippling warrior for life, an example of the believers.
I love you all! I hope that you all have a great week and that you all remember the importance of the church during the week. It is great. Life is so good:) The work is hard, but it is all so worth it. With sacrifice comes the blessings of heaven. Make sure we are always doing the things that will bring the spirit into our lives and that we allow Christ to make miracles with us:) For each and every one of you, it means something different, so go and do what it takes, dont wait:)
Love Always, Elder Daniel John Hatch