Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fabulous.... {7/08/13}

Dear Family,

What a crazy week.  I was sick... again? Still? (I don't know which is better to say.  Both are true... )

So here's what went down:

1.  I got transferred to N Anc in the Campbell Park Ward with Sister Hewitt and Sister Bullen, It's been kinda weird adjustment, but it's been good.  We put Dean, our gator, on date to be baptized on the 20th of this month! Woooohoooo! He's so excited and just ready.

2.  I got another priesthood blessing from Elder Van Bibber on Monday.  This was my 3rd and was great.  He told me that it was the strongest he's even felt the Spirit while giving a blessing.  Cool huh? Sometimes, I think that the blessings I get are more for the people who give them that they are for me.  Which is awesome! :) I have been blessed to receive quite a few blessings on my mission and I am SO grateful to be surrounded by so many wonderful, worthy Priesthood holders.  I love my life.  Although, I do miss getting blessings from my dad :)

3.  KYLIE GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!! I swear, the baptisms get more and more exciting every time I have one.  The Spirit was SOOOOOO strong throughout the entire service and especially when she bore her testimony.  She was so ready and prepared for the gospel, more than almost anyone else I've seen or taught on my mission so far.  Heavenly Father really does prepare His children to hear and accept His gospel. I cried during her entire baptism, especially when she did our sign-language inside joke while bearing her testimony.  It touched my heart so much.  I just love her.  I KNOW she is going to do great things.  Probably even serve a mission ;)

4.  I was super sick on the 4th so we stayed inside pretty much all day.  We did make it to 1 BBQ for dinner.  I didn't eat much, but it sure was nice to get out and see people.  I love talking to people and just getting to know them.  IT makes my day :)

So this last week I've been thinking a lot about how much my mission has changed me.  Sometimes I worry that I'm exactly the same as I was a year ago, and that scared the freaking crap out of me.  But then, I think about all the things I've been through, all the people I've met, all the scary experiences I've had , and all the things that I love about doing what I do... and then I think... there is no WAY, I'm the same person I used to be.  I think differently, I see the world and people differently, I see myself in a VERY different light, and I have a much more positive view of this life and the future ahead of me.  I have focus.  I have direction.  And ALL of this has come from the gospel.  From learning to rely on Heavenly Father and on the atonement of the SAvior.  I couldn't do any of this without either of them.  So I am changed.  And it has all been for the better. 

Here is one of my favorite mission quotes, "The most important thing, is to keep the most important thing, is to keep the most important thing, the most important thing".  Remember that.  Live by it.  It's true.  Keep the gospel the most important thing in your life and you WILL be blessed. :)

Love always,
Sister Hatfield

Craziest "No-stress" Week EVER {7/01/13}

Dear family,

Holy crap this week was nuts.  Lots of good things happened, but also some really unexpected things.  So... here goes. 

1.  I got to proselyte and be a missionary about 55% of the week, which was AMAZING.  I missed teaching so much.  Also, I'm a total extrovert, so when I'm not around a lot of people I start to get sad.  Anyways...

2  Kylie is getting baptized this week!!!! I'm so excited and happy for her.  She's progressed so well - everyone in the ward thought she was already a member! :) I've been so blessed to have been able to teach her and help her to learn more about herself and to help her find peace and hope in this crazy crazy world we live in. 

3. I was on 3 different exchanges this week with 4 different companions.  I ended up staying with Sister Bullen in the Campbell Park ward (in North Anc) yesterday and it was really fun.  Here's the best part...So, I had another random person I've met on my mission get stuck in my thought quite a bit the last 2 weeks - Kat Boykin.  She was baptized in March and was taught by the APs (my best friends, who were in my district) so I'd heard a lot about her! I instantly LOVED her the second I met her.  I heard a couple of weeks ago from her good friend that she was moving back down south because she lost her job, which broke my heart.  So yesterday, when I walked into the Campbell Park ward, I saw her sitting on the stand and instantly got really excited! I went up and talked to her for about 10 minutes before Sacrament meeting started and we had such a good conversation.  I told her that she HAS to come back up to AK so that she can go through the temple here.  She thought about it for a second then said, "You're SO right! This is my temple! I can't go through anywhere else!!!" It was adorable.  It was so good to talk to her.  {VAUGHN- she says that she LOVES your music and that she LOVE LOVE LOVED our song together.  She also said when I get home we need to be serious about our music and recording stuff together :) I told her you said no! Oh, she also said that I'm supposed to give you and Alex realllllyyyyy big hugs for her when I get home, so be ready for that you two!} Basically this was just one of those experiences where I KNEW  without a doubt that Heavenly Father is SO aware of ALL of his children and that HE is in the details of our lives.

4.  I'm getting transferred.... President called this morning and asked me if I would go and help out some sisters in the Campbell Park Ward who are kind of struggling.  So, of course I said yes, but I am quite sad to leave Cook Inlet and Sister Grayson and Sister Hallmark.   All things are for a reason though, so I know this is what needs to happen for these next few weeks. 

5.  I've been out for a year... that's weird.  I've changed a LOT in the last year and looking back, I feel like I am not even close to being the same person I was before my mission.  And that's a good thing! I'm grateful for the opportunity to have served and I've already seen SOOOOO many blessing from serving that I can't imagine what other amazing things are going to come.  I can't wait to keep working hard these last 4.5 months :)

There are a LOT more things I can write about, but I'm running out of time.. like always, I love you ALL and hope everything is great wherever you are.  Just remember, you are LOVED SO much by the most High Being in the UNIVERSE!!! Is there anything better than that????? Nope :) There's not. 

Love always,
Sister Hatfield

Just another week at the mission home! {6/24/13}

Dear Fam,

So... this week was rough.  I was SUPER sick, again.  So I spent the entire week at the mission home.  That's right,  no proselyting or teaching for a full 7 days.  It was so sad! I really learned how much I love being a missionary and seeing the gospel change people's lives.  I missed it so much, but am so grateful that Sister Grayson and Sister Hallmark are willing to work so hard even when I'm not around.  Most of my days this week were spent just helping Sister Beesley with random projects around the mission home and at the office and helping other missionaries.  BUT, I did have some really fun things happen this week too!

1. We had another Sisters Sleepover aka "Training" on Friday night! We all trained on different subjects and learned a lot about each other and about some really important women in the Gospel {Ruth & Esther}.  I also happened to find some really awesome footie pajamas in the Elder's Closet {giveaway room} and totally rocked them the rest of the night.  President got a good chuckle when I came upstairs for "Story Time with President" in them.  Pres then had us act out the story of Goldie Locks and the 3 bears... only he added quite a few twists.  I was Goldie, and I couldn't eat the porridge because of my "internal stomach issues".  Haha it was hilarious.  Some of the sisters got it on video so hopefully I can find a way to get it to ya'll.  Later that night, I may or may not have gotten a little bit crazy and "steam-rolled" Sister Grayson which backfired and resulted in her knee-ing me in the face.  Haha! Oh, the things that happen on the mission.  So, in the morning, Pres made us his famous pancakes in whatever shape we wanted.  I got an elephant last time {my fave animal} so I asked for a duck {my second fave animal} this time.  He certainly didn't disappoint.  I love that guy!

2.  The missionary broadcast!!!!!! Who watched it??? I hope you all did.  It was incredible to watch and to hear about all the changes in missionary work.  Sadly, I think I'll be home before they really take effect here in AK,  but it will be neat to hear all about how it comes about.  I hope you all are motivated to do more missionary work and helping others to learn more about the Savior :)

3.  Yesterday.... we picked wildflowers on our lunch break.  Twas magical!

Well, I love you all and hope that all is well in whatever neck of the woods you are in.  Hope ya'll have a great week and enjoy the last week of June!

Love always,
Sister Hatfield

"I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" {6/10/13}

Dear Fam,

True story... I wear my sunglasses at night... Last night we were at the mission home until about 11, and when we left to drive home we had to wear our sunglasses.  Only in Alaska!! :)

Last pday we went on a long bike ride with most of the elders in our zone.  It was SUPER fun. :) we took the "coastal trail" at a park so we had an ocean view the entire time.  Oh, and there was a moose... on the trail... right next to us.  A BULL moose.  It was intense. Haha we went about 5 miles and it was a blast.  Today we're just getting ready for transfers tomorrow and gonna try and soak up some sun :) 70s is TOTAL heat wave.  I've been sweating like crazy! I forgot how to dress for summer weather. It's throwing me off.  Haha isn't that sad?!?!?

Our week was really interesting.  We went on exchanges last week and I was working up in N. Anc.  I used to teach a gator up there (Stacey the pentacostal) but I couldn't remember where she lives, well at least how to get there.  I kept feeling all week that I needed to see her, but I had no way to contact her, so I just prayed and told Sis Burbank (my temp comp for the exchange) that I really wanted to try and find her apt building if we could.  She said if we found it that we could stop by.  Then, we were in the middle of teaching a lesson to their gator Sharon, and there was a knock on her door.  Sharon said that it was her cousin and that she'd get rid of her.  When I looked up to see her cousin, I saw Stacey!!!!! I jumped out of the couch and ran and hugged her.  Stacey said, "Oh it's my baby girl!!!!!!!!".  It was very exciting moment and one that I will never forget.  It's amazing how much Heavenly Father is aware of all of His children and helps them.  Stacey got married this week and Pres gave us permission to go to the reception.  When we got there Stacey hopped right up from her dinner and took my hand and introduced me to her entire family! It was such an amazing experience.  :) I miss her and really hope one day she will accept the gospel in her life. 

We are still teaching Kylie and she is doing SO good.  Progressing really well and quickly-it definitely helps that her mom is a member.  I love her so much and we always have such a good time in our lessons.  She learns so quickly, I'm always just so impressed by her. 

Siva got baptized this week! She ended up getting baptized on Friday instead of Saturday, which threw us for a bit of a loop, but it all worked out.  Her good friend, Donald (recently  returning member we've been working with) baptized her.  It was such an amazing experience that I was so grateful to be a part of :) Sister G and I sang our song, Thou Art My Sunshine and it really brought in the Spirit.  It was a really wonderful day.

Things are really starting to pick up pace here in YSA which is fun! I love being busy and having lots of appointments and people to teach :)

So.... transfer news... Sister G and I are both staying in YSA and will be training a new sister! We don't know yet, but we're excited.  Sister Beesley and I were talking yesterday and she said that the Lord wants me to have this next transfer to rest and to heal (they also consulted with some docs, not just the Lord) before I am needed to do something else :) so that's what's happening here. 

Music: I don't know if I've ever said anything about what we do with all our recorded music! In our mission we have AAM cds.  So any and all missionaries who would like to write music or sing hymns or whatever can do it and they compile them all onto CDS for us to encourage missionaries to listen to approved music.  We recorded 3 or 4 songs last week.  As soon as I get some time, I'll make a CD of all the stuff I've recorded (I think I'm up to 15 songs?) I'll send it to you if you'd like :)

Well, that's about all that's new here! I'm excited to start this transfer and am trying really hard not to think about the fact that it's my 1 year mark this month.  Where the heck does all the time go?? Keep being the wonderful family and friends that you are.  Have a great week ya'll!!!!

Love always,
Sister Hatfield

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My dad is more awesome than your dad..

Okay, seriously... my dad loves me.  He bought me my very own, dark cherry wood, GORGEOUS tenor uke.  It's amazing.  And what's even better is that, every time I play it, I feel the spirit.  I'm reminded that my Heavenly Father loves me so much that he blessed me with an incredible family and with the gospel. You really can't get much better than that.  So, thank you dad for being such an excellent reminder of my Heavenly Father.  And don't worry, I'm working on learning to "play that
motha hard" lol.

Now, back to missionary work! The work in this ward is awesome! I love working with the YSA's.  We picked up a new gator, Kylie, she is incredible.  She reminds me so much of my convert, Rcahel, from FBX.  So much so, that I almost called her Rachel yesterday.  Kylie is on date to be baptized July 6th and is verrryyyy excited about it.  Her mom is a member who has been inactive for about 30 years (who we are teaching as well) and has decided to come back to church.  These women are incredible.  We're having a "Movie Night" with them on Tuesday... we're watching Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration.. the full-length version... popcorn included.  haha we're stoked.  Well I am.  I can actually eat popcorn... the non-buttered kind anyway!

I've been feeling kinda good-kinda yucky (lol MaryLynn, I still say that) this week.  I'm meeting with the doc next week for my follow up.  It's going to be a  slow process getting back to full health, and this is going to be a life-long ordeal, BUT, I've been so blessed with strength to overcome and have been promised that I will make a full recovery, so I'm not worried.  I just have to focus on what's important and shut out the negative thoughts.... which is hard, but I'm working on it! I have lots of help and support.  so I'm blessed. 

Well, outta time! Dang! Transfer calls come out this weekend, we'll see what happens! Love ya'll!!!

Love always,
Sister Hatfield

What's New in AK!! 5/27/13

Dear family,

Sorry I've been such a stinkin' slacker at writing! Time is just slipping through my fingers. 

So first things first, because everyone keeps asking, here is a health update! The endoscopy showed that I have a pretty bad esophagitis which caused a hiatal hernia and some major swelling and hemmoraging,  I'm not good at spelling medical things FYI.  basically I have severe acid reflux.  I no longer have the mucus lining in my stomach that protects it from the acid it produces.  And, the acid is splashing into my esophagus causing lots of pain and a small hernia.  If the hernia gets any worse they'll need to operate, but for now I'm doing okay.  They put me on a really strong medication, Dexilant to control the acid production.  I take 60 mg twice a day (which is a LOT) and I'm still in pain.  I'm watching what I eat pretty closely and avoid anything high in acid.  My next apt, follow up, is June 11th so hopefully I can get more answers.  For  right now, I'm not allowed to be stressed at all. HAHAHAHAHAHAAH I literally laughed at the missionarymed doc who told me that.  Oh, I also have some varices which are swollen varicose veins in my stomach.  I'm having an ultrasound on them tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.  Dr Claypool, the missionarymed doc just said that if they burst I'm in BIG BIG BIG trouble.  So yeah... no stress! Oh, and Dr Claypool said that if this was caused by "severe stress" within the last 10 years, President, Sister Beesley, Sister Graysaon and I all just laughed and said, YUUPPPP.  So yeah.. that's what's going on, I'll keep you all filled in but cool story.  I've had 2 blessings {one from my best friend and one from president} that both said that I would make a full recovery AND when Elder Zwick (of the Seventy) was here a couple of weeks ago pulled me aside and said, "Sister Hatfield, I am putting you on the prayer roll that President Monson reads from, " I'm pretty confident that since the Lord is obviously looking out for me, that I'm going to be fine. 

Tenell got baptized a couple of weeks ago, which was SO exciting! We also have 2 more gators on date for next Saturday, Siva and Ram (Ram isn't a YSA but we are teaching him for now!) plus, we picked up a new gator, Kylie, who is awesome,  Things in the YSA are picking up really really quickly.  I love being busy.  I do have to rest and take some time to relax because things just get way stressful, but I'm making it work. 

Sister Grayson and I are playing the Uke like crazy! Oh, have I mentioned everyone, that I learned how to play the Uke and have written a song and a half?!?It's SO FUN! I love it! We're currently working on a song with some elders in Wasilla,  so we've taken some fun fieldtrips up there.  Then president took us out to eat at Red Robin.... YUMMMMMMMM.  I love that place, although, Sister Beesley was watching what I ordered like a hawk, so I couldn't get my favorite but enjoyed in none-the-less. 

Oh my heck! So this week we got to do something AMAZING! Our favorite, Katrina, from the Bush Branch (who I've been teaching since Jan) was in ANC on a layover and President let us go and see her! We ate lunch and taught an awesome lesson on hope at the airport.  Then, we got Cinnabons... it was awesome.  I love her SOOOO much.  I hope she has a blast in Alabama. 

Well, this week shall be great! hope ya'll have a great one too! The weather here is SUPER warm, 60's and sunny and the grass is green! I love it!!

Time really is flying by... today marks 11 months!!! Crazy!!!!

Love ya'll,
Sister Hatfield