Friday, October 26, 2012

Life on the Island


Well, everything here in Petersburg is going great! It's a whole new experience, and a different form of missionary work than what I was doing in Fairbanks, but it's just as wonderful and rewarding.  Everyday here is completely different.  This last week we spent a lot of time doing what we call "planting seeds".  Basically, we just visit people who aren't necessarily interested in joining our church, but like to talk with us about our church and what we believe.  Everyone here is really kind and welcoming, so they make for excellent company.  We also do a lot of service to help fill our days.  This week we: helped at the museum in town scanning in photos for the archives, washed dishes at the Manor (old folks home/assisted living center), played piano and sang at the hospital, played and sang at the Manor, and helped a member organize/clean her house.  We do a lot of work with senior citizens and I LOVE it.  Before my mission I was always afraid of old people because I felt like a lot of them were just so close to death that I was afraid I would just burst into tears if I talked to them. Now, I LOVE the senior citizens and find so much joy in visiting them. When I get home I really want to start doing more volunteer work. 
This week our sweet Cleo (a 86 year-old less active woman who lives in long-term care part of the hospital that we visit every day) had a birthday! We took some time out of our day to head to the hospital for her birthday party.  It was so sweet and so much fun.  Cleo seemed a little overwhelmed, but I think she really had a good time.  The sun came out this week!!!! We've had about 4 day sin a row of sunshine and I am in HEAVEN.  The sun is really different in AK.  It's not very warm and hardly rises over the tops of the hills, but it does the soul some good. :) It's pretty cold here, but not too bad... yet.
Oh my gosh, I forgot to tell you guys about the porcupine madness last week.  So we were at dinner with the members we live with, and they were telling us all about how they thought that there was a porcupine eating their raspberry bushes and how mad they were about it.  They were so frustrated about it that they decided if they ever caught it they would kill it.  We just laughed and brushed it odd.  Later that night, we were in our apartment doing our nightly planning when all the sudden we heard two gunshots.  We immediately knew what was going on so we opened our window and yelled out "Did you get it??". Before they could even answer we ran downstairs and out to the backyard to join in the excitement.  Apparently, the porcupine was too fluffy and the bullets didn't even injure it.  So, as I'm asking the member what he's going to do to kill it, he pulls out an ax and just kills it right in front of us.  Poor Sister Ashbrook was so freaked out! She screamed really loud and covered her eyes.  To my astonishment, I found the entire situation fascinating and even went back the next day and pulled out some quills.  Who am I???? I feel like I'm turning into a real mountain woman... and I love it!! haha
The work here is going pretty well.  We are teaching quite a few people; a couple investigators and a couple less-actives(one only speaks spanish and I am so grateful that I can at least understand about 85% of what is going on!).  We're working on finding new people to teach and praying everyday for some referrals.  We actually got one yesterday (which was an incredible experience in itself) and will be contacting her tonight. 
That's prety much all that's going on here on the island.  I hope you guys are all doing well and looking forward to the most wonderful time of the year! I can't wait for Christmas and hope I'm still here on the island for it.  We've heard that get really crazy here, since it's my favorite holiday I might add my own crazy to theirs.  Time is really flying by and I can't believe it's almost November.  Where does the time all go?? Love you all and hope to hear from you soon. :)

Love Always,
Sister Hatfield
p.s. some people have been asking what I need/want in terms of gifts for the holidays.  Here are some ideas...
*Pens (you can never have too many.  I LOVE bright colors especially pink)
*Stamps (again, you can never have too many)
*Stickers (we missionaries in AK love to not only send each other letters but love to put stickers on the back)
*Music (CDS are great.  Anything uplifting and spiritual.  Please no MOTAB haha)
*Mints (we can't chew gum, and sometimes I struggle to stay awake when we visit the old folks)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Island living....


Petersburg is FABULOUS! I am having such a wonderful time and learning so much.  It is such a tiny town with completely different feel than Fairbanks.  There are about 3000 people here in about a 10 mile diameter.  TINY! But it's really fun.  Everyone here is super nice and very welcoming.  There is only one branch here on the island and only 10 (or less) families attend.  I met the entire ward before Sunday without even trying.  We do a lot of service here to help fill our days.  We go to the hospital and old-folks home (The Manor) and play piano/sing for them twice a week.  We also help with dishes at the manor, move wood (for winter), help sort clothes at Sally's (AKA Salvation Army and one of the two clothing stores in town), and any other random job we can help out with.  This last week we helped our branch president grind and pack his moose meat which was a blast! I'm sure many of you will be surprised to hear that I actually volunteered to help out with that one.  This city girl's a changin! We also helped out with the "Beat the Odds" run/walk for breast cancer.  We helped to direct the runners and tell them where to go.  Basically we just stood on the street and yelled words of encouragement.  It was a blast! The weather here is crazy! Petersburg gets on average about 110 inches of rainfall per year.  Needless to say, it hasn't stopped raining since I got here.  I never do my hair because the second I walk outside it's drenched.  It's awesome! The climate here is actually considered rainforest! Who knew??
Anyway, the work is going pretty well.  We have about 7 investigators that we are trying to get to progress a little faster.  They are all very sweet and love learning about the church. 
Sister Ashbrook is amazing!!!!! We get along SO well.  She sings really well and plays the piano like Bethoven, so we're a fun pair! Presidents told me that our mail purpose in being together is to use music to cheer up the people in this tiny town.  Don't worry, we got right on that :) We're working on some songs to recored for the next mission CD.  (P.S. my last songs are a total hit! The polynesian elders loved them! haha) Well, that's about all I have time for today.  Hope you are all doing wonderful and loving life.  Keep your heads up and don't forget to say your prayers!

Love, Sister Hatfield


From Moose to Whales....


Dear Family,

Well.... I'm getting transferred! I left the wonderful city of Fairbanks amd one of the largest zones in the world (I covered the entire zone, too!) and am headed to Petersburg, AK which is a TINY Norweigian fishing town in Southeast by Juneau.  I drove all day back down to anchorage and are staying in the mission home until tomorrow.  Transfer meeting is today and I'm so excited.  I love being back around all of my best friends. :)

Leacing Fairbanks was probably the hardest thing I have done so far.  I think it was harder than leaving home.  I loved the people there so much, but am excited to embark on a new adventure!

I love you guys and will have much more to say next week I'm sure.  Have a fabulous week and remember to turn to the Lord in ALL things. 

Love Always,
Sister Hatfield

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Best Week Yet!


This week was incredible!!! It was insane, busy, stressful, and psychotic, but oh so good. :D

First of all, I saw a lot of prayers answered this week.  It's amazing to see how much Heavenly Father is involved in the details of our lives.  I love being able to witness outstanding miracles and the simple tender mercies of the Lord each and every day.  What a blessing it is to be doing His work and His will.  Side note:  there is a running joke in the zone that I get everything I pray for... this week did not help me in trying to disprove that statement.  Haha.

Second, we had TWO baptisms this week! Walter was baptized on Thursday.  It was such a fun day.  He was thrilled to be able to join the church and loved wearing his cute white jumpsuit ;) When his baptism started there were only a few people in attendance.  Sister Gardner and Corey (our ward mission leader) started both feeling pretty doubtful that more people would show up.  I just turned to both of them and said, "Faith".  By the time the closing hymn had finished, the entire room was full.  It was incredible.  Walter was so excited to be baptized and looked overwhelmed with happiness throughout the entire service. On Friday we had TJ's baptism! I didn't think that anyone could be more excited about baptism than Walter, but TJ definately showed me how wrong I was! The kid couldn't have stopped smiling if he tried! TJ asked me to sing at his baptism and I sand, I Stand All Amazed.  As I was singing I looked up at TJ and saw tears in his eyes.  I just about lost it and cried myself! After he was baptized, TJ bore his testimony.  It was full of short, simple, bold and powerful statements, which is exactly what a testimony should be. After he sat down he turned to me and said, "Was that okay? I tried really hard!" with a worried look on his face.  Bless his heart!! I told him he did a wonderful job and assured him that it was perfect.  They were both confirmed at church yesterday and were still grinning ear-to-ear.  Walter said, "Sister Hatfield, I could feel Heavenly Father speaking through President Terry!" I said, "Of course you could! That's what the power of the priesthood can do!" :)

Third, I saw another moose!!

Fourth, yesterday was the first snow of the year! It's gotten really cold these last couple of weeks and everything has died.  I can't wait for the snow to stick so that Alaska can be pretty again!

Fifth, I FINALLY SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!  We were driving home from North Pole last night and our friends and District Leader Elder Record and Elder Beirne (who is the recently retired quarterback for Uof A... don't worry, we have forgiven each other for liking different teams) called us and told us the Aurora was out.  We looked up and there it was!!! It was the most beautiful spectacular thing I have ever seen.  President gave our zone permission to drive out together to a nearby town to see them better.  We got all bundled and drove out, but they were gone.  :( It was so sad.  But we did get to see the pipeline.  Haha ( I took a picture just for you, dad!). 

All in all it was a great week.  We are working really hard and have a lot going on this week.  We already have 24 lessons sey up for the week and it's only Monday! This is the last week of the transfer and possibly our last together here in Fairbanks so we are really going to try and make the most of it.  The church is TRUE.  Christ LIVES and families can be together FOREVER.  Never forget that!

Have a wonderful week!

Love Always,
Sister Hatfield

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAMMY(TODAY) AND GRAHAM-BO (WEDNESDAY)! I hope you both have a spectacular day. :)