Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let there be snow!

Why hello there!

I'd like to announce that Petersburg is officially covered in snow! It's gorgeous and I forgot how much I absolutely love the sound of my feet crunching on the ground as I walk! SO fun :)

Well, this has been one adventurous week for the Sister Missionaries in Petersburg, Alaska! We didn't teach very much (this area is pretty slow), but we're going to work SUPER hard this week so that we can teach more.  However, we did so much service it's incredible. 

We went to visit Shannon (the true Alaskan woman who kills her own deer!) on Tuesday.  The second we pulled up, I opened the door and before I even got out she told us that she was skinning her deer.  I kid you not, I hopped out of the car so fast! So we watched her do that, then came back the next day to help her cut up the meat.  I'm telling you, I'm a true Alaskan now.  I've spent about 9 hours this week chopping up dead animal.  It's nuts! Okay, sorry.. that was graphic.  We also helped at Bingo, passed out shirts and visited people at the Great Alaskan Smokeout (to help alaskans quit smoking) helped wrap presents at a Primary Activity, and helped to pass out medals and keep times for a 5k run put on Parks&Rec.  It was a nuts-o week, but was a lot of fun and we learned a ton. :)

Oh, good news! We'll be staying in Petersburg for this next transfer (which ends on New Years Eve) WE're really excited and have a lot of fun singing events and firesides ahead of us.  President is actually sending us to another island to teach some sister's there.  We're going to Wrangell right after zone conference. (in Juneau_ the first week of December.  Should be fun! WE get to fly AND take the ferry (the only two ways to get anywhere in the SE)

Anywhoo.... all is well here and we're excited to start another week and a new transfer.  Oh, and it's Thanksgiving this week! We're already planning on at least two dinners with some members in the branch.  Should be fun! It will definately put me on track to gain the rest of the weight I need to meet the mission average goal...Haha! (FYI, the average weight that sisters gain is 30 pounds here in AK) Don't forget to "Gobble til you Wobble" (Hatfield family motto..) and thank Heavenly Father for all the beautiful blessings you receive each day! The Lord is in the details of our lives, but they are just so slight that we might not see them.  Keep your eyes open, and marvel at all the blessings you receive from our loving Heavenley FAther. 

Have a fabulous week and don't forget to say your prayers!

Love Always,
Sister Hatfield

And sometimes the bears get in the trash...

This was such a long week full of so many fun activities.  I think last week in my email I mentioned some of the fun service we were going to be doing? I don't know.  Anyway... this is how our week went...

Monday: PDay... emails, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping (SOOOOOO EXPENSIVE! The cheapest milk is about $6 and goes bad in less than a week...) letter writing...
Tuesday: Helped Shannon pack her deer meat all morning! I was in charge of working the grinder (gross fact: I had blood caked fingers all day) and Sister Ashbrook was in charge of packing up and labeling the meat.  It was really fun and we got to talk a lot about families, life, love, trials and the gospel! We also helped Kris make her year supply of soap! We each got to try different scent combinations and we all voted on which one we liked best.  Mine won! Plumeria, Sweet Orange, and Vanille.  Yummmmmm! It takes about 6 weeks for the soap to really set up, but Kris said she'll send it to us when we're done. 
Wednesday:  Volunteered at the Museum (we scan pictures into archives), washed dishes at the "Old Folks Home", taught a couple lessons, and went to young women's and helped them do family history.  Ended the night with a run-in with two GIANT spiders (about the size of a tea-plate).  It was horrible and we were screaming so loud and laughing so hard.  Don't worry, I killed them both all by myself! I'm a big kid now!
Thursday:  helped the residents at Long Term Care play BINGO! had a zone meeting over the phone, taught lessons, FINALLY got my AK driver's license, visited some people, and smile at strangers. 
Friday:  Woke up at 4:30 to teach early morning seminary (we're teaching until tomorrow I don't know how these kids do it, I'm EXHAUSTED!) went to the church to get in our hour of mormon.org training and found that a bear had gotten into our trash can at the church.  There was trash all over the entire parking lot! Sister Ashbrook and I spent a little over an hour picking up the frozenfood, paper plates (with the centers eaten out of them), sacrament cups and confetti (from YW in excellence) off the frozen ground.  It was hilarious and we just sang and laughed to try and forget how freezing cols our hands were.  At dinner that night we were both laughing so hard about something TJ (a member_ said that we both leaned over and bonked heads (HARD) on accident.  Which then sent all 5 of us into a laughing fit for a good 5 minutes.

Nothing else super exciting happened.  We both spoke in church yesterday which was actually really fun! There are only about 15 people in church who can speak, so we helped to add some variety which was nice.  Other than that, nothing else is really new here on the island.  This is the last week of the transfer and 2 of my best friends from my mission are going home.  I'm sad to see them leave, but excited to have them both start writing me! I love all the people here in Alaska and can't believe how many life-long friends I am making. 

I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week! Stay warm!
Love always,
Sister Hatfield

Monday, November 12, 2012

4 months out already??

Hello all!

How are you guys?? (I think I ask that question every week, and the only person who really answers is my mom.  Way to go, mom!)

What a long week! We taught quite a few recent converts and less active members.  One of our RC's is from Colombia and only speaks spanish.   Thankfully Sister Ashbrook speaks almost fluently, so we are actually able to teach him.  I am learning how to speak, but am much better at understanding.  This wee I understood about 90% of what Victor said and felt so accomplished! It must have been working around Argentine's for so long:) We of course visited our sweet Cleo this week.  We actually got her to really open up about w hy she stopped going to church and it truly broke my heart.  When he husband died not on person from her ward called, visited, or brought over meals.  How important is visiting/home teaching?? it was really sad, but we're going to work with her and the branch here to get her back to church! Other than that she's doing quite well.

Halloween was pretty fun here.  We worked all day, then came in early at night.  All the little kids in the branch came over to our house to show us their costumes.  All the little girls loved showing off their fairy winds and halos, so it was really fun! Our mission-wide "radio" program went pretty well.  Nothing too spectacular.  but still fun.

We have quite a few fun things coming up this week though.  Tomorrow we're helping pack (grind the meat and wrap up) some deer for a less active, then going to help Kris (the frozen chicken fence woman) make homemade soap and jam! Isn't missionary work the best?? Haha it really is great though.  I love the work I'm doing and the people of Petersburg.  I think we'll be staying here through Christmas and were told to "get creative" with our singing and sharing the gospel.  We think we're going to carol while we tract.  Fun, huh? Anyone have any other creative ideas? Let me know!

Well that's about all I have this week.  I hope you all are doing great and getting excited for the most wonderful time of the year!!! I can't believe it's almost Christmas.  I've already been out 4 months and feel like the time is just slipping through my fingers.  Have a great week and write me a letter! I'd love to hear from all of you!

Love always,
Sister Hatfield

p.s. Did I tell you Rachel from Fairbanks (a girl I was teaching and completely adore!) got baptized 5 days after I left??? Sister Gardner says she's on fire! I'm so happy for her and all my other converts! Keep it up you guy.  Love you!

p.p.s.Sister Ashbrook and I are writing a song together and she's helping me finish writing my first song I'm so excited!! :)

Dogs, Service, and Eartquakes... OH MY!


Dear Family.

I don't know if any of you heard about the Earthquake we had here, but I just want you all to know that I am fine.  SE Alaska was hit with a 7.7 quake on Saturday night and had Tsunami warnings for about 48 hours after that.  We hardly felt anything and didn't get any tsunami waves, so all is well.  It was a little scary for a while, but only because some of the other missionaries on other islands (who are my really good friends) had to be evacuated.  Everyone is fine though, so all of the prayers said in our behalf were answered.  

In other news.. this week was full of service! We helped out at Sally's for a few hours on Tuesday and volunteered at the museum for a few hours on wednesday.  While we were at the museum one of the members called us and we answered she just yelled HELP! The young women in our branch were throwing a Halloween carvical for the Primary that night and there was lots to be done.  One of the YW leaders last minute decided to go with her family to Hawaii to be sealed in the Temple, so we took on all her responsibilities.  We baked cupcakes, cut fruit and veggies, decorated, etc.. (isn't missionary work the BEST???).  The carnival was a huge succes, we were happy to help.  Plus, we had 4 investigators go! On Saturday we went to visit a potential and ended up helping her pull out her chicken wire fence and do some other random jobs.  It was a blast! The ground was completely frozen, so it was really difficult to yank out.  Sister Ashbrook said, "we need to boil some hor water to melt the groun." Then I said, " No! we need a blow dryer!" Then Kris (the potential) said, "I have a  propane blow torch.. would that work?"  So we used that! Haha! I'm a true Alaskan now! I also held a chicken AND a goose. I know, I know, I'm SO hardcore. ;)

We babysat the dog of the members we live with this weekend and that was a blast! It made me miss Cooper, haha.  Dogs are hilarious!

Other exciting news... there are going to be so many new missionaries! Our mission president went to a meeting in San Diego with a bunch of other mission presidents and they talked about how they are going to accomodate all the new income missionaries.  They said that on average the church receives about 300 mission applications per week.  The first week after conference they received 4700! The second week they got 4500! and the third week they received 2700! Can you believe it?? Anyway, our missiona president says we need to start getting really creative with how we can use missionaries.  I can't exactly say how I will probably be used in the future but let me tell you, I AM SO EXCITED! I will be able to really use my talents to bless the people of Alaska! More news to come in the future..

That's about all I have for this week, keep sending me fun emails.  I love hearing from all of you :)
Also, please pray for my sister and the other missionaries on the East Coast! Thanks!

Love always,
Sister Hatfield