Wow, family, I don't know where to start with this letter. I guess I can start by telling you all that GOD IS GREAT AND POWERFUL, he can do ALL things!
This last transfer in Portimão has been incredible!!! I have learned so much and grown so much. From the members here, the investigators, Elder Hansen, and most importantly the experiences that the Lord has given me. As for terms of success, its been my best transfer, which is directly correlated with my spiritual growth as well. Because in the mission, as you come closer to Christ, you have more success, thats the truth, there is nothing else about it. The closer we are to Christ, the more fruits that we will give.
This last week was especially incredible!!! A week of faith, testing, and trials.... and tears haha. I have finally felt what is like to baptize a family in my mission. This week we finished it off baptizing the 4 member of the Varga family:) It was a battle hahaha but it always is. When something big is about to happen, you can always expect much resistance from the other side. As I have learned from President Torgan, Satan is the worst thing ever, but he does have one good quality about him, he is persistent haha. That is what I have felt this week, he didn't want these things to happen, but as always the Lord will come out victorious. I had the privilege of baptizing A on Saturday, in the Portimão chapel. Such an act of faith on his side, and such a miracle given by God.
Another miracle that has happened is the baptism of F. The guy is one of my best friends now, I cannot explain how close we got so fast. The Lord prepared him so so so well for the big day. I don't think I have met an investigator so prepared in my life, but I am sure the Lord has more like him ready for me and Elder Lafevre to find here in Santarém. F taught me so much, and I am so excited to keep in touch with him for the rest of my life. For sure he will become a branch president or stake president some day.
F didn't come to church on Sunday, but we didn't give up faith in the Lord that it was that special day that he would be baptized. He wasn't answering our phone calls until about 3pm when he answered and agreed to meet us in the church. When he got their things were not going good, he was not feeling the spirit. But he did agree to stick it out with us until 12am to see if God would give him an answer. So I began to prepare for the battle, haha I literally went to the bathroom to wash my face with cold water to get into game mood, when all the sudden he said the magic words. I WANT TO BE BAPTIZED..... the Lord touched his heart, and from then on, the battle was over. I learned a lot about faith that day, its a lot about not doubting the Lord, but trusting in him until the end. He was baptized an hour later and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost right after.
Literally during the baptismal reunion President Torgan called me and asked me if I was ready for a challenge.... sound familiar? I had a flash back of Covilhã. He let me know that I would be serving as a Zone Leader in the Santarém Zone with Elder Lafevre. Suddenly I began to feel like F, nervous, but knowing that it is the right thing to do. And just like I had to do with F, I have to do now, Trust in the Lord with all my heart, do my best, and leave the rest up to him.
So, I am here now, and things are already going. We got two people that were revealed to be baptized this weekend, so we got a lot of good work to get in to. I am excited, Elder Lafevre wants to work and work hard, which is going to bring a LOT of fruits this transfer. I am ready to work hard with him and trust completely in the Lord.
We had a leadership meeting with President Torgan yesterday and it was awesome. It was all of the Zone Leaders in the mission and the Assistants and President. I felt like I was in a room of faith. I was with so many people with so much faith, it was very humbling. President Torgan let us know that we are the mission presidents of our areas, and they he delegated it to us. I feel like it's a LOT of responsibility, and it is! This is the year of the F, the Lighthouse, this is the big year for Portugal, the year that we fulfill prophecies made, and I am a part of that. I am so blessed to even say those words!!! The Lord is so great, he does EVERYTHING here. I cannot for one second believe that I am doing anything here, because it has all been through the Lord. I am just lucky to be one of his tools. I feel privileged that he trusted in me to be here with Elder Lefevre and take care of this part of Portugal. What I have learned already from President Torgan is that it's no joke, the way we serve as Zone Leaders now will determine the rest of our lives. Wow....
Well, I got to go, my address is
Avenida Bernardo Santareno
I think you can send mail, if you love me enough to do that;), but dont send packages here.
Love you all, I will keep you all in my prayers.
Elder Daniel John Hatch