Mark your calanders!

Mark your calendars so you can be at Sky Harbor Airport to welcome Jordan home. He will arrive:

Tuesday June 15th
, 2010
at 5:30 pm

on British Airways to Phoenix.

Everyone is invited to welcome him off the plane!

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8th, 2008

Hey everybody, i am safely here in Brno and it is a sweet city. Wednesday morning elder nowland and i made omlets than i got on a bus to prague, Elder Andersen picked me up and helped me get all my suit cases through the subway to the mission home (he takes good care of me) where i waited around for a couple of hours since we had a big group heading from prague to brno, the old ap is headed there as zone leader and 2 missionaries who were serving in prague also, so we went through the subway together and barely caught our bus to brno we had to do some running and i worked up a little sweat but we made it. My apartment is sweet they just moved into it a week before i got there because their old apartment needed to be remodeled, so i dont have an address for our new place yet we are going to try and get it this week and ill send it to you next week. It is just me and my companion in it, we are in a part of brno called bohunice which is translated as land of the Gods. It takes us about 35 minutes by tram to get to the church building which is quite a bit different from the 2 minutes it took in liberec but i am adapting, we do part of our language study on the trams so we dont waste time. So my new companion is a stud, he is that guy who that woman told you about mom. He has been out 14 months so he has been in the country for a year, he broke his foot but luckily he was in the office as the computer guy when that happened so he didnt have to go home but he had to spend a couple of months on crutches. He came to Brno 2 months ago he is from provo and before his mission he studied graphics, Sister Perez from my group is serving here in my district too which is cool, we have a really good district here there are 8 elders 2 sisters and a senior couple. Church yesterday was good it was alot different since there were about 70 members there instead of the 15 we had in liberec but i got to meet a bunch of them. Tuesday before i left we went over to the toplansky the family with the twins that we found and i took a picture with them, last night i got a call from elder nowland and the wife is going to be baptized and hopefully the husband will be right behind. Elder Gagon and I are working hard here to find a family and we have done quite a bit of tracting the last couple of days. On friday they had a leadership conference here with all the district leaders and zone leaders in the mission, they do it here because it is kind of the middle point of the mission between the czech repulibic and slovakia. It is kind of weird meeting the slovakian elders because we never serve with them or see them, but it is pretty cool because i have met basically every missionary serving in the czech repulibic one of the nice things of serving in a small mission. That is about all from me for this week, i am going to send home my picture card next week with some pictures of here and my new companion plus all the ones from last transfer. Congrats on being made swim captain Ian and being the most improved swimmer Alyssa that is awesome.

Elder Hatch
Jordan with Elders Nowland and Lukas who was just baptized
The Liberec Branch before Jordan leaves on Transfers

Elders Hatch and Nowland with Pepik Zeman

Jordan as he is getting on the bus on transfer day leaving Liberec

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st, 2008

Elders Hatch and Nowland with Lukas at his baptisim in Prague

Hey Family

We had an awesome week here in Liberec, on saturday we had 2 baptisms 1 from our area and 1 from the other area which we are very happy with. Our baptism was Lukas he is 23 and we found him at the beginning of the transfer, he is the nicest guy and very outgoing with forming relationships with the branch. The other baptism was Dan and it was cool for me to see his baptism because i found him when i was on exchanges in the other area. I just went up and asked him what he thought the purpose of life was he said he didnt know and i asked him if we could go to our church building and talk about it and he was like sure why not, that was on halloween day so less than a month he was very prepared. He has a cool job, what he does is he works for this online clothing store and he is basically walking advertisment they give him really nice clothes to wear like dulci and gabonna, lacoste and a bunch of other stuff and he just walks around the city to show it off, he is 21.

Jvan got the priesthood on sunday which was awesome he leaves on the 4th to go back to moldova. It was supposed to be a double baptism at 2 on saturday but lukas couldnt get off work so he came down later and we had his at 5, it was kind of crazy getting everything worked out but both baptisms were awesome. We brought our investigator pepich zemon who has a baptismal date for the 3rd of january and he loved it, he was there for both of them and said they were perfect and beautiful. With our meeting with him this last week we asked him how it was going reading the book of mormon for the 2nd time and he was like well actually im reading it for the 3rd time and its really good, so right now he is setting a pace of reading the book of mormon every week and a half. We talked about following the prophet and showed a talk from president monson at conference which he said was amazing so he is doing awesome.

I put my piano skills to good use at the baptisms, the other 3 missionaries and a member sang while i played the piano for a musical number that we performed at both of them. I was pretty nervous but it turned out great so thanks for making me learn and practice.

So i ate it walking down an icy hill last week but it was a good fall all i had was a bruised ego, i would say send me some strap on things for the bottom of my shoes but here comes the next news i am leaving liberec for brno which is a much warmer city. Its sad leaving this beautiful city with the members who are so awesome but im excited and ready for a new adventure in another city. Brno is in the other half of the czech republic moravia and is the 2nd biggest city in the country about 500 000 people i think? Its gonna be a big difference going to the big city with a big branch, on the phone this morning president told me that brno has the biggest branch in the mission even bigger than prague with their own building. My companion is Elder Gagon he is the district leader there and there are 10 missionaries in brno so it will be cool being able to serve around more missionaries. I have met Elder Gagon a couple of times he seems like a real cool guy i am excited to serve with him there. This transfer has gone by very fast and it has been a good one and our area here in liberec is set up for another good transfer.

We went and visted with the family with twins sunday night and they want us to come back tomorrow night so i can say goodbye to them, it is definetly a different challange teaching a family with young children exspecially if the twins are fussing but it is definetly worth it.

I had some people asking how much gas costs here, it is 30 krowns a liter so like a $1.50 per liter so like $5.75 a gallon i think if my math is right? For thanksgiving we went to this sweet restaruant and had a big feast, i ate fried cheese which is delicious but probably not too good for the arteries. I have had to cut back on how much i eat lately because we have started teaching a lot so i am walking around a lot less trying to find people but dont worry im not getting fat.

It sounds like your thanksgiving was good, nice and relaxing. I am loving my mission and loving the work and the people here and i am thankful for the opportunity i have to serve. I hope you all have a good week and i hope Alyssa and Mom have some good birthdays, happy birthday to both of you.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 24th, 2008

Hello Family

I just got back from an exciting day in Prague, we had a zone vs zone turkey bowl today with Prague zone vs my zone Hradec Kralova and then afterwards we headed over to the Mission home for some kfc fried chicken and some pie provided by sister slovacek. It was a good time to catch up with all the different missionaries, have some fun and eat some good food. We lost 14=7 in the snow but it was still good. Liberec has gotten about 6 inches of snow in the last two days and it is still coming down slowly, it is a little difficult walking down steep icy cobblestone streets in dress shoes but i am starting to master that ability.

We had an awesome week here and were able to see some really cool things happen with the work here. The members in this branch are awesome we taught with every single member multiple times this last week they are always so willing to help us with the work.

Something amazing happened on tuesday, we had 4 meetings set up with investigators and we worked the phones and were able to set up to get a member to be at every single one but every single invistigator cancled on us which was very unusual since these were 4 of our most reliable so elder nowland and i were pretty discourage but we decided to keep on keepin on and went tracting instead. And it payed off we found a sweet family, we were in this pannalok and saw this massive double wide stroller sitting outside one of the doors we knocked on it and this guy came and answered and started talking to us, he apologised and said he couldnt invite us in because his wife was gone and his daughter was sick but he would stand and talk with us there so we were talking with him for a couple of minutes and then his wife showed up which we thought would end the contact because that is what usually happended but she went in dropped off her grocerys and than was like honey why dont you invite them in to talk? So we sat and talked with them they have a 4 year old daughter and 4 month old twins a boy and girl. I taught him about the BoM and showed him moroni's promise while she was changing diapers and than he called his wife over and started teaching her about the BoM how it goes along with the bible as another testament of Christ and than he asked me to find that verse again so she could read it. They are about 30 and he used to be a priest but than met his wife and decided he would much rather have a family. We are going to go visit them this week we were supposed to go again on friday but the wife got really sick and had to go to the hospital, it was just a really cool experience to see that the blessings come after the trials.

Lukas hasnt smoked a cigarette in over a week and now has a baptismal date for January 3rd, Zemon also has accepted the invitation to be baptized January 3rd he is the man, there was a huge snowstorm sunday morning and he was still at church 20 minutes early. The other lukas is still on for this saturday being baptized so we are being very blessed up here in liberec with the work.

Thursday i had to teach a lesson by myself which was quite the experience, we had a new investigator show up right after we found somebody on the street so i taught the one we just found for about 10 minutes and than a member came in and helped me but it was nice to see how far along my czech skills had come to where i could speak and teach. People say that the Czech Republic is the 3rd most atheist country in the world and the pope said it is the most abominable country in the world but we are finding plenty of prepared people to hear the good word. I hope everybody has a great week next week i will let you know if i am staying or going i personally think i am staying but we shall see what happens.

Elder Hatch

Monday before Thanksgiving Day P-day Activity

The missionaries of the Prague and Hradec Kralove zones got together on Thanksgiving and had a big football game. As you can see, they really got into it.

Jordan was on the Blue team. No word on who won the game.

Jordan is on the back row, in blue, closest to the red team

Monday, November 24, 2008

More Pictures from Liberec, Czech Republic

The Liberec District Missionaries

The view out of Jordan's apartment window on a snowy afternoon
The view looking out the window the other direction

Here are some pictures of the inside of Jordans Apartment in Liberec.

Tiny Washing machine that sits right next to the shower/tub.

Main room/family room/bedroom combo

The Kitchen

Another view of the Bathroom and shower

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pictures from Jordan's companion Elder Nowland

The Liberic missionaries on a P-day activity

A castle that the district visited on their p-day

The 4 missionaries of the Liberic District.

Elder Hatch and Elder Nowland
Jordan cooking up a storm in the kitchen of his apartment

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 17th, 2008

Hello family,

It has been another exciting and busy week here in liberec, we will start off with some good news. We have been working with this guy named lukas he is 23 and from slovakia and last thursday we gave him a baptismal date which was awesome. The date is for the 29th of november which is really quick but he is a very nice guy and wanting to work to it and change his life around. We taught him the law of chastity on saturday night which is always one of the if not toughest commitment to have them except. He knew it was a good thing to do and after some talking he accepted it which was sweet. we went and picked him up and walked him to church yesterday morning. it turns out he lives like 150 yards away from us which is very convenient.

We are working with another man named lukas who showed up to church out of nowhere i guess he used to be an investigator along time ago but couldnt quit smoking and he asked us if we could help him stop smoking and teach him the gospel and of course we were more than willing to agree. We have a program called the stop smoking program it has 15 steps i think missionaries everywhere have it and we started it with him and he is doing awesome. we started it 3 days ago and he hasnt smoked. we call him every 3-4 hours to check in and give him support he is so excited and happy about it which is awesome. He smoked quite a bit after an hour of not smoking his hands were shaking like crazy but he followed all the steps and is good.

Then we have this man named zemon who we found, he is like a 35 year old blue collar worker very rugged and reserved. So we taught him and gave him a book of mormon he showed up to our next meeting 3 days later and was at alma 7 he said he came home from a hard day of work at the factory sat down and started reading and he just got some much peace and it cleared his thoughts that he kept on reading. He came to church yesterday and i sat next with him, he is very quiet but really loved singing and he told me church was perfect. one of the talks was on the word of wisdom and when the speaker ended he gave a big amen which was cool to hear.

We went tracting this week and got let in by these two men from uzbekistan who were very nice they told us their story they were working with this company and it was rivaling a state owned company so uzbekistan took it over and through all the leaders in prison but these two men were able to escape and now they are working here sending money home to support the families of the men in prison. They are muslim and pretty much tried to convert us but we gave them a book of mormon and they gave us a koran so we called it even.

Now for some bad news, Jvan has to leave the country in 20 days. When he was in moldova he signed up for this program to come work here and pretty much it is ran by these shady guys who get people to come work here and they provide a flat and have hook ups for jobs but then take like half of their paycheck so they barely have enough money and then charge them 7000 krowns for visa work which costs less then a 1000. Well these guys decided to really rip off jvan and took the 7000 krowns but didnt do the visa work so his visa expired and the police stopped him and detained him last night.

we just talked with him this morning, he is banned from the czech repulic for a year so he has to go home to modolva and he said he might go work in ukraine. We talked with him a little bit about the perpetual education fund and are gonna have a meeting with him and our branch president before he leaves so we can make sure he gets in contact with the church for help wherever he goes, he was pretty upset about what happened hopefully everything works out well with him.

Things are going well here with the work i am loving it, we had some snow flurries this morning, its not that cold when its calm but usually its pretty windy and the wind is what gets you but we are staying warm. It sounds like everything is going well at home which is a good to hear. Transfers are coming up in 2 1/2 weeks so dont send any mail here until i found out if im leaving because there is a pretty good chance i might leave. I hope everybody has a good week with work and school, remember to choose the right.


Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10th, 2008

Hey everybody

We had some good success this week with the work here in Liberec. Tuesday our zone leaders came into town for exchanges with us, we have dual zone leaders who both are awesome Elder Larson from California and Elder Mack from Kansas, so while one is with my comp training and working with him i get to go with the other zone leader which is a good experience for me i get to learn a lot from them. I had my first experience with success with tracting which was sweet. People are very private with their homes and apartments here and dont like letting you in but Elder Mack and i went to a building we got invited into two apartments to sit and share our message with them which was awesome since nobody has ever let us into their place from tracting before.

Wednseday we had another street display here with more singing which was really good helping us get more people to teach. This one guy we found invited us over for dinner sunday afternoon so we went over there basically he just wanted to show us all of his pictures from all of the trips he has taken to america he showed me a ton of tuscon it was like his favorite city which surprised me since tuscon isnt anything fancy and there idea of feeding us dinner was feeding us cake pie pastries and ice cream so i guess it was a dessert themed dinner but it was all good.

Today we just got back from visiting a castle called bezdez which was pretty sweet its the ruins of this old castle from the 1200's i think up on top of this little mountain it was a fun time as a district to go visit someplace together its always an adventure getting the transportation worked out and making the transitions between trains. This time we got off the train at this little stop we could see the castle off in the distance but no road so we just started walking towards it and eventually we found a road it was good exercise for us though the sign said 5 kilometers.

The Czech Republic is mostly countryside they have really dense cities and then lots and lots of forest and open area which is sweet to see from the trains and buses and not something i really expected before i got here. We are talking with one of our investigators about baptism he said he wants to do it but is scared he wont be able to live up to the commitments afterwards so we are working with that. he is 23 and from slovakia and the other elders are working towards baptism with a 21 year old guy so we are finding some good young guys here for the branch which is sweet.

You would be proud of my eating habits i cook with orange, yellow and white peppers now and i actually like them one thing i definetly still dont like is tomatoes. People here like to give you toast with a bunch of sliced tomoetos or a plate of tomatoe wedges so i have learned to swallow them down quickly without grimacing but it is pretty tough but maybe by the end of my mission i will be used to it and like tomatoes who knows.

It sounds like state went really well for Ian and Alyssa way to go guys all your hard work paid off. I hope everybody has a good week thanks for all of the love and support.

Elder Hatch

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3rd, 2008

Hello guys. I'm glad everybody had a good week with swim regionals, stake conference, dental school and getting into nursing school. This week we put a lot of time into finding and we have found some cool new people to work with which i am excited about.

We met with Jvan twice this week to review some stuff with him we keep on finding out more and more about him. This last monday we were talking with him and he was telling us how his brother back in moldova just got his mission call and that he was going to serve in his own country he was pretty excited about that and we didnt even know his brother was putting in his mission papers. He doesn't have a camera so we printed off some of the baptism pictures we took and gave them to him and he carries them around in his scripture case but he definitely exaggerates the help we gave him- he basically prepared himself for baptism we were just kind of there for the ride but it was a pretty good ride i must say.

On wednseday we went to Jicin which is a city in our zone where there are two sister missionaries and had a zone flood there kind of like how we had in liberec last transfer we had a group of us singing in the town square. it was fun, it was raining all day but we still had some good success finding new people for the sisters and it was interesting to see another city. it was a pretty small city very quaint and beautiful and it was good to associate with the other missionaries in the zone.

Last week we received a referral to place a book of mormon to a guy who had visited the st george vistors center and wanted the missionaries to come so we looked up on our map where this place was and it is way up in the mountains in this little village called rudolfov so we went and checked the bus times and the bus goes there like 5 times a day so we picked a day where we had nothing going on and hopped on a bus to rudolfov it was raining pretty bad and the houses were spread out all over the mountain so we were trying to find this address we asked a woman how the address system works and she was like i have no idea i think the number the houses from oldest to newest which i dont think is the brightest idea of numbering so we spent two hours up there trying to find this house in the rain which was actually pretty fun and good for comp bonding. come to find out this house was destroyed like 5 months ago and they are rebuilding it so we are guessing the referral got lost in the system for a little while.

The weather has warmed up here and is pretty nice the work is going well and i am a happy camper so it is a pretty good combination for me. Way to go on your 50 free time Ian that is way faster then my best you would of kicked my trashed and that is awesome with your backstroke alyssa i am proud of both of you guys good luck at state this next week. Sounds like nick is doing good tell him i said hi and can you send his address to me? I hope everybody has a good week.

Elder Hatch

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27th, 2008

Elder Anderson, Jvan, Elder Nowland, Elder Hatch at Jvan's Baptisim

The Liberic Branch traveled to Prague to support Jvan at his Baptisim
Elder Nowland and Elder Hatch on their way to Prague for the Baptisim

Elder Anderson, Jvan and Elder Hatch at Jvan's Baptisim

So the Baptism was a success, it was an awesome experience for everybody involved. We spent alot of time with Jvan this week and he is a stud. We found out earlier this week when we were just sitting around talking that he is only 20, for some reason we had never asked him how old he is and we had just thought he was like 23 or 24 but he is only 20 and has mentioned he is excited to share the gospel with people so who knows he might be goin on a mission in a year which would be sweet.

Monday night we went with him to a members house for dinner and to plan out a program for the baptism with who he wants to give talks and songs it was a good time for him to see the members out of church and that they are normal people. Then friday night elder nowland and I made spaghetti at the church and we had dinner with him and the two other missionaries and we had a good time talking and getting everything ready for the next day. Saturday us 4 missionaries took a bus to prague and got everything set up, the members were meeting at the church and driving down to prague and Jvan went with them. The baptism was supposed to start at 1:30 but the members were stuck in traffic with the baptism and showed up at 2 so it was a late start but everything went well. The mission home has a font in the basement with a big room and the room was full with prague missionaries and all of their investigators, there were supposed to be 3 baptisms together but the other 2 didnt happen so it was just us. Jvan was a little nervous before hand but very excited, we had lukas our mission leader baptize him they have become good friends and are pretty close in age after the baptism Jvan was just beaming he was so happy it was great to see Elder Andersen was there and helped us out quite a bit which was good, our two recently returned missionaries gave some really good talks and everything turned out well.

After the baptism all the members went over to our branch president's house and had a get togethor while Elder Nowland and I tried to figure out a way to get home. Since Liberec is in the mountains there is no direct railways there so if you go by train it is like 3 hours or you can go by bus which is an hour. We didnt know when the baptism would be over so we bought open tickets and you can text in to reserve seats on the bus with them so after the baptism was over at like 3:15 we go to text in our tickets and we forgot on the weekends the buses only go every hour instead of every half hour like during the week so the 4, 5, and 6 o'clock buses were full so we had to wait around till 7 to get out of there but we were more than willing to since the baptism was a success. It is a pretty sweet deal to get to prague with the exchange rate is about 5 bucks each way so its not a big deal at all to travel there.

Jvan was confirmed and given the holy ghost yesterday in sacrament meeting and he was all smiles, the branch was already discussing in branch council what calling they could give him they are taking really good care of him being his friend. So now we get to work helping more people progress, we were supposed to go help a guy we met on the street last week with his garden this morning but it was raining pretty good so he called us up and cancled saying it wouldnt be good work in the rain so we might go play a game of risk at our apartment with the other elders, it is fun having a german with us, whenever we do something dumb or mess up something he is always good for the comment gosh i dont know how we could of lost a war to you guys so we have some good fun with that.

Everybody says the economy is doing pretty bad but the dollar is doing really good here, when i first came in the country 3 months ago a dollar bought you 15 crowns and now a dollar will buy you 20 crowns so all the missionaries are excited about that. That is pretty much all the news for this week everything is going good here im loving the mission and it seems like every week is getting quicker and quicker. I hope everybody has a good week.

Elder Hatch

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20th, 2008

Hello everybody

Everything is going well here and we are pretty busy all the time which is good. We spent alot of time with Jvan this last week just getting everything ready for him and the baptism he is way excited about it. He even brought a friend from work with him to one of the meetings and we answered some of his questions and hopefully will start meeting with him soon so he is already giving us referrals. We have decided for his baptism it will be held in Prague since its a little too cold to baptize in an outside pond right now but Jvan is such a stud he was like it doesnt matter where i get baptized i could take the cold if i needed too but it will probably be more enjoyable in Prague and the members are getting together to figure out how to get everyone to prague they are very excited about it since they havent had one in 2 years. This week it finally became real to them that he is actually getting baptized they have had quite a few fall through in the past but they did an awesome job of fellowshipping him and people saying they want to teach with him and inviting him over for dinner so that was awesome we are reallly happy about how accepting and welcoming the branch is to him. He has also been to church 6 out of the 7 weeks we have known him so this next week we are gonna be putting alot of focus on making sure it goes through.

President Slovacek and his wife came to our branch for church on sunday which everybody was excited about he and his wife are trying to tour around and go to a different branch every week to see the members and the missionaries. Somebody asked but there are two districts not one there is the prague district which i am in and the brno district which includes all of slovakia.

We had zone conference on thursday which meant another trip down to prague it almost feels like im going there once a week. It was a really good one we learned lots of new stuff which is good we worked alot on trackting approaches since contacting is alot harder in winter. A big focus is on using the family home evening program, talking about how it strengthens families and holding one for the people so me and elder nowland are practicing our family home evening's and we are even gonna make a dont eat pete board and use that we think the little kids will love that since we both loved it when we were little. It was fun to see everybody at zone conference and talk with Elder Andersen i have been blessed with two very good companions to start out my mission here in the czech republic. Elder Andersen has a baptisim this saturday as well so we are gonna combine them which will be fun.

The food we had at the returned sister missionaries was really good it was meat cooked serbian styled i think and it was really good, we were running late from a meeting so we showed up late but she was very kind since she knows all about that we ate and then had to take off running back into the city since no bus was coming for a while and we had a meeting with Jvan but it all worked out well we had a good meal got in some good exercise and had a great meeting so what more can you ask for. Saturday we had a game night at the church from 4-6 and had food games and ping pong it was good for our investigators and members to mix and have fun together and the weekends are so dead here that it is a good use of time. I was able to put my czech skills to good use yesterday and translate for sister slovacek a little bit as she was talking to Jvan which was fun luckily she spoke very simply, i can actually talk to him and understand him better then czechs because since he is from moldova he speaks pretty crappy czech and i speak crappy czech so it mixes well its funny because sometimes i can understand him better then my companion and my comp can understand czech's very well so its a good match up. I think that is all for this weeks letter i hope everybody has a good week thanks for all of the love and support you give me.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Pictures from Liberec

We received 90 more pictures from Elder Hatch today.

Here are three to get you started.

Click on this link to see the entire album

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13th, 2008

Hello Everybody

Sorry about my emails cutting out i dont know why that has been happening if it happens again this week ill start writing them in word and attaching it and send that out. Our Week here has been good the weather warmed up quite a bit so it was nice not having to wear a coat and have the sun shining. We had general conference this weekend which was a big success, the church burned them onto dvd's and sent them out to all the branches. They were going to try and hook up two tv's so we could watch them in czech and english in separate rooms but that didnt work out so i saw all the sessions in czech but me and my companion were able to watch most of the priesthood session last night in english after everybody had left which was really good. I couldnt understand anything watching the czech sessions i could hear words i knew but the translators were talking super fast so i didnt get too much out of it.

One of our investigators Igor was there for all 4 sessions of conference and loved it he said that all of the talks were about things he needed to hear, he told me he is excited to be baptized. with him the one thing we need to do is get him to stop smoking, he told us earlier this week without us bringing it up that he knows he needs to stop so we will start that this week, i guess the church has a great stop smoking program that works really well so we are going to get that started with him.

Jvan our investigator from moldalvia caught a session and a half and enjoyed it. he told us that he is excited for his baptisim that is coming up, he works alot 6 days a week doing construction so we meet with him at like 8 at night. He isnt the suns fan i dont know what happened to that guy his cell phone was turned off so i dont know if he had to go back to serbia quickly or what.

The branch here has a cool tradition on general conference sundays they cook gulash and have lunch together for a break between the two sessions i guess they have been doing it for a while but i really liked it. My companion had leadership conference in brno so i spent a night and day with the other campionship we did some split contacting where we were all on our own in the namesti (town square) i was able to talk to a guy get his interest and get his phone number to call him later and set up a time where we could meet all on my own. I could only understand like 30-50% what he was saying but i was able to ask him and tell him some things that interested him so he gave me his number and told me to call. I definetly had the lords help on that one.

The apartment next to ours i have come to find out is owned by FC Slovan which is the pro soccer team here and right now there are two kids 18 and 15 from bosnia living there playing for the teams younger division team, they are way nice kids one speaks english we went and got an ice cream with them once and they told us about bosnia they are only here for 2 months for the season and then they go home.

Also the two missionaries out from the branch returned home, one was serving in germany and he is a cool guy and willing to teach with us, the other was in slovenia and she has already invited us over for dinner, it is good having them back it gives the branch alot more strength. As part of our weekly planning me and my companion set some goals for doing exercises to help us be more diligent with our pushups and pull ups, i have never been much of a person who does exercises in the morning at home it was always in the afternoon so its hard to roll out of bed when you are tired and start doing exercises so we are going to push our selves to do a better job of that.

Thats dumb they ripped open grandma's envelope and took the magnet out ill just save them now. Tell her thanks for the cookies and grandma J for her package. I hope everybody has a good week thanks for all of the emails and letters keeping me up to date with everything you guys are the best.

Here is a quote from President Monson that i found it starts out with a scripture "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid, for the Lord they God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." It is this sweet assurance that can guide you and me, in our time, in our day, in our lives of course we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage not compromise brings the smile of God's approval. Courage becomes a livingand and attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will dissaprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 6th, 2008

So we ended last transfer with a good time, it was Elder Cranes birthday so Elder Andersen and I got him a ticket to the soccer game for it and monday night we all went to the FC Slovan Liberec Vs Prague Sparta soccer game for P-day it was alot of fun. We won 3-0 which was sweet and i guess sparta is the most popular and best team in the league so it was fun to watch them and beat them. They made all the sparta fans sit in their own section of the stadium and they were locked in their part so they couldnt go fight the liberec fans and then they had to sit in there for and extra half hour after the game until all the liberec fans disperrsed so they wouldnt fight after the game so quite a bit different from Suns games haha although i wouldnt mind if they made laker fans sit in a cage.

My companion is Elder Nowland he is from Georgia and is a great guy we get along well, Elder Andersen was a great trainer and now i have a good follow up trainer. We have a really young district now but it is good we have alot of energy. Elder Hadzik is the other new missionary here he is from Germany and is in the group just in front of me and he is an awesome missionary so im excited for this next transfer.

On saturday we went out and did service for our branch president chopping up firewood and stacking it for winter. I just want to say that the chainsaw is probably one of the greatest inventions ever, it made the work so easy for chopping up firewood the previous saturday we were out there doing service for our branch presidents neighbor chopping up firewood with ax's that is much more tiring and takes a lot longer.

One of our investigators it turns out was in love with elder andersen and that was the only reason why she was meeting with us so that was pretty interesting to find out and probably one of our weirdest meetings she wanted us to call up elder andersen in prague and tell him that she loves him we politely declined so who knows what will happen with her. The rest of our investigators are doing well we had three at church this week and they are progessing along nicely, we have a baptisim set up for the 25th of october with our investigator from Moldova he is a stud and loves the gospel he will make a really good addition to the branch here he is about 23 so we are pumped about that.

Thats about all for this week my czech is doing good Elder Nowland is helping me alot with that so it feels good to be progressing along with that. It sounds like the bahamas were awesome for you guys and that everybody had plenty of that white chocolate bread. Im sending home some pictures this week so

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29th, 2008

Well for the last week of the transfer Elder Andersen and I put in a ton of work and ended with a bang. Everything fell into place this week with investigators showing up to meetings and we had some great finding which we are very thankful for.

On wednesday we had a street display, we had other people in our zone come to our city and help us we had four elders from Hradec and 2 sisters from Jicin who came. What a street display is, is we stand on the busy street in front of our church and 8 of us would sing hymns in czech while 3 people would go out and contact people. it was a pretty big success we got a lot of potentials out of it and it was also alot of fun, i had to contact by myself which was interesting with the language but i was actually able to communicate with the people which is cool. Us 4 liberec elders spent the morning before they got there at 11 cooking haluski which is a slovak food for lunch for everybody we had to peel and grate 40 potatoes which was quite the experience.

I forgot to tell you but last sunday i gave my first talk in the czech republic which was quite the experience. I was asked by a member that week to cover so i didnt have very much time to translate it which would have taken forever, but luckily one of our investigators is a professional translator so i wrote it all out in english and took it over to him and he translated it for me, i had to read straight from my paper the whole talk but i figure that is ok since there is no way i can give a 15 minute talk in czech without reading it.

This sunday was district conference in Prague and we took two of our investigators with us which was really good for them to see that there are more then just the 15 members in liberec, the Mission home where the prague branch meets was too small so they rented the Narodni Dum which is the National House, it was very nicely decorated and pretty famous i guess. After the conference we walked around prague and showed it to one of our investigators since he is from Moldava and had never seen Prague before.

So this morning we recieved information about transfers what they do is put all the information in the email and send it out to everybody at 10:30 AM and they call it the "Transfer Fax". My companion got a call earlier this morning from President though because of where he is going so i found out about it a little early. I am staying here in Liberec which I had figured would happen and my companion is going to Prague to be Zone leader there which he is very excited about.

My new companion is Elder Nowland he gets here on Wednesday right now he is serving all the way across the country in Oloumoc so i am excited to meet him ive heard he is a great missionary i got to talk to him on the phone a little bit this morning and he is very excited about coming out here.

Some people were asking about GeneraL Conference, it used to be everybody went to Prague and they would translate it live and send it over the satallite. But now they tape it and translate it and send everybody a translated tape to watch in their branch so i will probably get to watch it a week after you. Are you guys going up to Utah for conference? We have alot of new investigators we are working with who are showing alot of promise that im excited about, one man showed up to our first meeting after we gave him the book of mormon having read 300 pages with a bunch of questions, one of the questions was pretty funny i guess there was a slight mistake on translating from english to czech and in one of the scriptures where it is talking about the fruit of the loins as in posterity it said in czech fruit of the kidneys which he was very confused about but we cleared things up and he loves the book of mormon and says it has already made his life so much better.

We also have a woman in her late twentys we are meeting with and she brings her 5 year old daughter to the meeting who plays in the primary room while we talk. Her little daughter is so funny she is the chubbiest thing ever but when we asked her mom if she knew how to pray she called over her daughter who promptly recited the lords prayer i think? or some prayer her mom was so proud.

Well i am out of time but i hope everybody has a great week and ill tell you all about my new companion next week its crazy i wont be with Elder Andersen anymore ill miss

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22nd, 2008

Hello everybody

It was a good week here in liberec we had some pretty good success with finding new people. One of our investigators i think i have talked about him before is from Serbia his name is Radosvav and he is here doing construction work. We had a great meeting with him on thursday its difficult to teach because both his english and czech arent very good but we get by it just takes awhile sometimes. He is the nicest guy he works like 10 hours everyday construction but the guy is always so happy i love meeting with him and talking with him and then he came to church on sunday which was sweet. He asked me where in america i was from and i said arizona and he hadnt heard of it so he asked me what the capitol of it was and i said phoenix he got all excited and said "like the phoenix suns?" it was funny hearing him talk about them in his broken english steve nash is his favorite player and then he started talking about charles barkley haha i had the biggest smile on my face and then he got all quite leaned into me and asked "you know who is vlade divac?" and of course i said yes good ole divac i guess he is from serbia and is their national hero basically so he was very happy that i knew who he was.

On thursday we had zone conference which was a good time going to the mission home in prague for it, I found out im staying here for next transfer so i will be in liberec for another two months which i am excited about. elder Andersen is heading out since he has been here for 6 months so im working hard at building relationships with the members to carry over for when he is gone. We went running this morning as a district which is something we are going to do everyday this week and i have a feeling my legs are going to be dead, haha it was pretty tough since i havent ran in 2 months but its good for me. Its a good thing i wasnt in the triatholon or i would have been far far behind but its good to hear that you all did great.

The language is coming along its alot like how uncle steve kittleson told me it was for him, i can understand pretty much everything my companion says to people, i can understand like 50% what they say back to him but then when they talk to me my brain freezes up and i catch like 25% of it, my speaking is improving the hardest part is you dont know what to say because you couldnt understand what they said to you, and it takes awhile for me to think of the right vocab and then hurry and try to declinate it so usually i just spit something that is mixed up but they can understand even though it is not correct czech.

In the Czech republic they celebrate birthdays and name days, since there are only so many approved names each name is associated with a day, yesterday was matouse which is matthew so everybody in the czech republic named matthew had like a second birthday. The one primary kid in our branch is named matouse so elder andersen and i bought him a little lego wrapped it up and gave it to him at church yesterday. made the little kids day, he was showin it to everybody so i have a new 6 year old best friend. I got the package from you mom thank you very much, tell the Utah Hatch's thanks for their emails it was good to hear how everything is going for them. I hope everybody has a great week.

Elder Hatch

Sunday, September 21, 2008

September 15th, 2008

Hello family and friends im writing a day late because of a zone activity we had yesterday. Our Zone leader organized a vylet for us all to go on to build some unity and to get to know each other a little bit better since we are so far away from each other because of the way things work out our zone is kind of stretched out we are 2 hours away from hradec kralova and 4 hours away from ceska budeouvice which are the two other cities with elders. We went to a city called Kutna Hora and visited a couple of old churches there one of them is this massive catholic cathedral which was pretty cool and another was a bone church that had the bones of 40,000 turkish soldiers in it, it was a fun trip it was good to get to know the other elders in our zone better since our mission is so small i will probably be serving with one of them eventually.

We had a great week this last week and were able to find some cool people to work with. right now we have a wide variety of people. we have a guy from serbia who is here doing construction work he had been meeting with the missionaries in serbia before they had been kicked out of the country then saw us on the street one day and came up and contacted us, he comes to our english class. It is kind of hard to teach him since he isnt great at english or czech but we use a combination and get by.

This last sunday a 20 year old guy showed up at church and we started talking to him he is from moldavia was walking down the street to the grocery store, saw our sign and decided to come up and go to church and now he wants to meet with us. At church this sunday we had an interesting combination we had 5 members 4 missionaries and 4 people investigating the church since some of the members were out of town. The members have alot of faith and dedication I cant imagine how hard it would be to grow up in the church here, some people have asked if it is like silverton. it is but younger and not as much experience in the church. also nobody comes here to speak from other cities like they do often in silverton. We have a pianist it is the branch presidents wife who is also the relief society president, I played one time when her son was fussing and she had to take care of him i have also played the prelude music a couple of times so it has been good for my piano skills practicing a little bit.
As we were contacting along through some panaloks which in america would basically be the projects that is how they are set up but that is how everybody lives so its not dangerous. people are usually pretty nice and friendly. we were walking along and some old women on a bench yelled at us what we had to offer so we went over and started talking to them and they started asking us all these questions about what we do, where we are from, why we are here as missionaries and so forth. they all said they were too old and didnt want to change but they were like your nice boys we will help you so they started yelling at people walking by if they believed in God it was pretty funny. Thats probably the thing we talk about most that God does exsist since most people here dont believe, most of the people who are interested in talking to us havent believed in God and are interested in finding out if there is a God so we spend alot of time teaching about God and how we can use prayer to find out he is there and loves us, so it is probably different then alot of other peoples experiences on their missions.

Here is a quote from President Monson that I read this week and thought I would share he said that "faced with the spiritual and emotional plagues of our day, to many of us tend to criticize, to complain, to blame and adopt the negatives of life. But we can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts and attitude of gratitude".

We have zone conference on thursday that I am excited for it was really good last time. Fall is here for sure it has been freezing the last couple of days I am gonna have to go buy a couple of sweaters to go with my suits so I dont freeze. I hope you guys all have a great week and that everything goes well for you. keep up the good work in school and swim Ian and Alyssa.

Elder Hatch

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday September 8th, 2008

Hello Family and Friends,

We have had another eventful week here in liberec with plenty of up's and downs. A bunch of you have been asking about our baptisimal date for this last saturday. unfortunately it did not go through. shortly after we extended it 3 weeks ago the woman has fallen off the face of the earth and we haven't had any contact in 2 1/2 weeks we have stopped by her apartment a number of times and her cell phone is always off so we will see if we can ever get back in contact with her. The baptism was going to take place at this beautiful little pond up in the mountains me and elder andersen went and checked it out a couple weeks ago and i took a bunch of pictures so you will see them the next time i send them home. The good news of the week is that we made a bunch of good connections with the local rotary club, one of our long time investigators is the former president and he invited us on an outing with them it was the liberec club then a club from drezden germany together. It was a big hike through a mountain range by us and we were able to talk to alot of really nice people one of the women we talked to actually went through the frieburg open house for the temple 25 years ago. A lot of them all they had heard about us was that we each have like 20 wives so it was good to clear that up. they loved talking to us they all wanted to know why we were so different from the other people our age and are friendly and kind, not rebellious like everybody else so that was cool to hear, if nothing else comes of it we gave a good impression to a bunch of people.

Something i just found out this week was that porsche was started here in liberec ? I dont know if that is true or not just what we heard. There is a ton of construction going on since the world championships for skiing will be here. they are upgrading a lot of transportation and building new stuff but they are getting pretty close to finishing it all. You asked about the stamps on the letter, elder andersen found a shop here in liberec where you can custom make them so i got one there, only a few people in the mission have them.

Here is another story from the week, last tuesday we walked in to our apartment building and i saw i had two packages one from grandma J and one from Kamille sitting on a little ledge since they were too big for our box, i had something in one of my hands so i went to grab the two packages with my other hand and kamilles package which was a big envelope slipped and fell, it turns out the ledge had about a two inch gap between it and the wall and the envelope fell down to the bottom which was like 4 feet so i had like an inch of dry wall between me and my package we started divising ways how we could get it out i thought all hope was lost but luckally my companion came to the rescue and came up with the idea to attach a clothes pin to a golf club the land lady gave us to help get it out and the day was saved and i got my package needless to say i will be much more carefull now.

It sounds like swim is going great for both Ian and Alyssa their times sound really good which is awesome. I saw one of my MTC teachers this last week which was cool he is from jablonec which is right next to our city and his grandmother had died so he flew over with his wife for the funeral and we got to talk to him for a little bit. The work is pretty tough here the investigators we have right now arent really going anywhere so we are going to be spending alot of time this next week trying to find new people. I hope everybody has a great week it is good to hear from everybody i love to recieve your email's and letters. I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Hatch

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday September 1st, 2008

Hey family it sounds like you guys have had another good week. All is well here we had a great week last week, we have a standards of excellence here for our mission on certain key indicators and we hit it for the first time on finding new investigators which was awesome, we found 3 new investigators this last week, the first is this cool kid named quan he is from vietnam and has been here for two years going to school it was cool because i was the one that contacted him he was walking along with his head looking straight down and i stopped him and started talking to him.

What me and my companion do is switch off every other on contacting and when i contact i tell them something brief about our message and ask them a question sometimes i can respond to their answer but usually they blast something out real quick and my companion is really good about stepping in and responding for me. The language is coming along slowly every day sometimes it feels like i havent progressed at all since i have got here but i know i have it is just a process i am getting better at listening. usually i can have a general idea what people are talking about and then i ask my companion for specifics.

Another one of our investigators is a women we found in the Jablonec area book, Jablonec is a city close to ours that used to have missionaries but got closed down and we have the area now. We called the woman up and said she would love to hear from us so yesterday after church we hopped on a tram for the 30 minute ride there and found her place luckily it is kind of hard to find addresses here. She is a very nice woman she was telling us how she had been in the hospital for 3 months and started pulling her shirt down to show us her surgery i got scared and thought she was going to flash us but luckily we were spared and she just showed us a big bump that was her pacemaker.

I am quite the tea drinker now haha although it is approved tea we can have fruit tea and herbal tea. The fruit tea is pretty good if you put in sugar but the herbal tea can be pretty hard to choke down some times it tastes like you are drinking hot grass.

We dont have a phone in our apartment each companionship has a cell phone which makes things soo easy it would be very hard to not have one here since we are out of the apartment so much and it helps us stay in contact with our investigators, i think most people here dont have house phones and just cell phones some of our investigators ask us to just text them since they have limited minutes.

In answer to your question grandma alot of people i have met work in factories or machine shops. I have recieved some rude responses which kind of shock you at first but you just brush them off keep on going and laugh about them later. And we see the other elders in our district pretty much everyday, for awhile our washing machine was broken so they would wash our clothes for us but ours is fixed now.

Today me and my companion went on a vylet to Kost Castle it was a sweet castle its a "real" castle from the middle ages not one of the chateuxs. School started back up today so we were basically the only ones there a member looked up on the interenet and gave us the train and bus times we were on our second bus there and were talking to the driver and told him where we were going usually its a 3 kilometer walk from the bus station but he took us in so we only had to walk 1 kilometer very nice guy, the transportation system is pretty amazing here.

For cooking my companion knows a bunch of meals and we cook together and he teaches me how to make them all so i can make them when we arent together anymore. We took honza one of our main investigators out to our branch presidents house for dinner it went great it was a really good experience for him. Our branch president speaks perfect english and he was telling us how for dessert we have two choices we can have a water based ice cream or regular ice cream. My companion and i just looked at each other trying to figure out what water based ice cream is then he brought it out and we were like ohhh we call that a popsicle it was pretty funny he and his wife are very nice and willing to do whatever it takes to help out with missionary work his wife reminds me alot of Jenni.

I cant believe i have already been here for a month it is going by quick. The gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing it truly does bless lives. I love you all and hope you have a great week

Elder Hatch

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pictures from the Czech Republic

Jordan sent us a memory card full of pictures. Here are a few of them. You can access the rest by clicking here:

The Elders held a special Family Home Evening activity at the Chapel.
A Picture of Prague on the day he arrived in the Czech Republic
There are only 4 Elders assigned to the little city Liberec where Jordan is serving. Here they are on preperation day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Liberec-- Monday July 25th, 2008

Hey everybody we had a pretty good week here ill start out answering some questions, our apartment is pretty much in the direct center of town, our street is a busy walking street with lots of shops and we are directly between the two namestis which are kinda like town squares and the the central hub of the bus and tram station is like a 3 minute walk away which is very nice.

For a rundown of our daily schedule we wake up at 6:30 and exercise shower get ready and breakfast from 7-8 personal study from 8-9 comp study from 9-10 personal language study from 10-10:30 and then we leave usually for contacting which we do in the central area of town have lunch around 1 depending what time we have meetings at, then we have more contacting and meetings spread through out the day, if we dont have any meetings at night we would go tracting from 5:30 to 8 and have dinner from 8-9 we usually have a big lunch and then just like a sandwhich for dinner planning from 9-9:30 and then journal writing and getting ready for bed, im doing a pretty good job of writing in my journal everyday.

For tracting we hop on a bus to get out of the central area and pick a panalock to tract one of the hardest parts is trying to get in to them since you have to be buzzed in. We ride the bus usually 2 or 3 times a day and they also have some trams that we take when we visit one of our older less actives. We have 3 less actives we work with, two are single women between like 75-80 and 1 is a married woman who is like 25 and her husband hates the church.

Vera is one of our older ones and she is in a long term recovery center she had a couple of surgerys done and her only family in the area is a nephew, so we go by a couple of times each week for a few minutes and help her walk around the hallways and visit with her which she greatly enjoys. a funny story from it as she was holding onto my companion and walking we passed an older woman who was staying there and her husband was visiting her the woman in czech said to her husband, those boys are handsome i can tell they are not from around here but they speak czech, what do we have to do to get one of them? Go ask the doctor and see if i can get one. I wasnt able to understand all of it but elder andersen told me about it afterwards and we had a good laugh.

It was a slow week for us on teaching a lot of people are gone on vacation right now the whole branch was pretty much gone from monday to saturday. Our two main investigators didnt come to church which is a bummer. honza had to work the night before from 10-6 and we went to pick him up at 8:20 but he didnt answer which was a bummer and Aja was out of town so we are working on trying to get some more investigators. there are a ton of old people here it seems like we contact them but we usually have more success with the younger crowd between like 18-20.

It has rained quite a bit here the last couple of days. I cant think of anything else right now we are keeping busy working it should start to pick up more next week when the university here comes back and starts up the semester. How is swim going for Ian and Alyssa? When do you have time trials? Its crazy that im already a month through my first transfer time flies it seems like i was just packing and getting ready to leave the MTC. I hope you all have a good week

Elder Hatch

Monday, August 18, 2008

August 18th, 2008

Hey guys it sounds like you all had a good week. mine had its up and downs but it was good overall. On monday our ward fhe went great, the branch loved it. we had twenty people there which was awesome and actually more then we expected so us 4 missionaries didnt eat but it was worth it the members really enjoyed it. In the celestial room we covered the floor and walls with white sheets and had a bunch of lights and some music playing when we opened the doors one of the women started crying and said it was so amazing and thats where she wants to go so it was definitely worth sacrificing our whole p day to do it.

On Tuesday we found out one of our progressing investigators had made a few mistakes before meeting us including stealing some money from some people and had to flee the country or they would kill him so that was kind of a surprise but dont worry mom we are safe. Another one of our really good investigators had to move to another city for work and there are no missionaries there which is a bummer but we got talking to some sister missionaries about an hour away and they say they go to that city some times when they have investigators so they might be able to take over teaching him which would be cool.

Our zone leader came on exchanges with us on thursday which was really good he and his companion spent the night at our apartment then we got up early and left for zone conference in prague which was awesome. It was a dual zone conference at the mission home and it was a great experience. president and his wife taught us some really good things about how to love the people for who they are, and the AP's had some good presentations. From my interview with president i think i might stay in liberec for the next transfer he told me to get ready cuz the winters are cold in liberec but i told him i have a good big coat so ill be ok.

On sunday we had a great sacrament meeting, we had two investigators there, the other missionaries had two investigators then one random guy showed up who was visiting from prague and asked if he could come to our church and see what it was like, one of the members brought a non member friend, than a mongolian couple showed up he is a member and his wife is not and she wants to be taught, they had to travel by train an hour and a half to get there which shows a lot of dedication on their part.

We extended a baptisimal invitation to Aja and it went really well she accepted and right now we have it set up for a double baptism on september 6th which would be awesome. The members were way excited to see all the people there it was a great boost for this little branch. On wednesday we went to the branch presidents house for dinner, we had to ride a bus then a tram then he picked us up at the tram station and drove us to their house. They have this sweet little cottage out in the country side that they are redoing, we had some very good czech food and one of the members was there with his girlfriend who is our investigator which went really good being with them.

I am loving it here the work is going good and the people are way nice. An interesting thing about the czech republic is that pretty much all the shops are closed on sundays and everybody stays home with their familys which i think is awesome. So me and elder andersen went tracting last night (sunday) we got let into the panolak went up to the very top floor knocked on the door and we got this like 40 year old guy to answer in his speedo almost nottinghill style mom and he was just leaning on the door talking to us pretty funny.

Alot of the old women are scared of us and wont open the door so they try to yell through it to talk to us but they are all like deaf and cant hear what we yell back it makes for some interesting times.

You guys will have to let me know how the triatholon goes with kamille im pretty sure she will kill library boy's (me) time. I love you all thanks for everything, im sending pictures home today so look for those.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hey Family hows it going there? Its great to read all your emails and know you are doing well. I will start off with answering some questions, they have a transit system here of buses and trams that i got a month long pass too. we are in an apartment building and have a very nice apartment, i found out why it is so nice it used to be a sisters apartment so it is all new and remodeled and is much nicer than the other elders apartment which is like a 10 minute walk away, they live in an old panawok which are huge apartment buildings built during the cold war and it is pretty much a dump there.

The church is in some rented rooms on the second floor of the building across the street from us. i took some pictures and ill send them to you.

everybody can send me emails not just family but i can only write family and other missionaries on here. I haven't been over anywhere for dinner yet we got invited this week to go to the branch presidents house for dinner he and his wife are real nice and they have a cute 1 year old son.

Right now we have two baptisimal dates which is pretty exciting since I think there has only been 1 baptisim here in the last 4 years? The branch is very small but they are very willing to always come sit in on a lesson with us traveling pretty far to get to the church to do so.

Last sunday we had our first meeting with a woman who we found as a new investigator. she has had a hard life under the soviets and then last year her daughter dissapeared and she has been searching for her ever since, we gave her the book of mormon and challenged her to start reading in it when we met with her on wednseday. she had read the whole thing and was asking us questions from all over the book which was really exciting, and then when we taught her about prophets she got even more excited and we gave her the conference edition of the liahona to read.

I teach a couple of little principles in each lesson and it is exciting because they understand what i say but then when they ask questions back i have no idea what they are saying and my companion steps in and helps me out. Our zone leader came in on thursday for exchanges and i got to go contacting with him for a little bit he is a good guy. elder mac from kanas city currently the oldest missionary by time in country, we are kind of on a weird cycle here a bunch of missionaires have been coming and leaving the last couple of transfers and now we only have 3 missionaries coming in and 3 leaving in the next 8 months.

My comp left for brno thursday night for a leadership conference and i went and stayed with the other elders for my first over night exchange, the next day i went out with one of the members the whole day tracting which was good. Tonight we are putting on a branch family home evening for everybody we are making tacos and then we are decoration different rooms and taking the branch on a tour of the 3 kingdoms of glory so hopefully it turns out good we are spending most of today decorating and getting the food and cooking. i guess the branch really like the one the missionaries did last transfer which was a journey back to the time of the book of mormon.

You asked what different kinds of czech meals i have had, ive had sveditka which is like a couple of slices of i think sourdough bread? and you eat it with meat and sauce, ive had their version of fried chicken with fried cheese balls which are very good, and some peach chicken thing it has all been really good.

I guess the czech republic is famous for this one kind of soda kofala so i have had that, here beer is much cheaper than soda or water which is kind of crazy. My comp made a slovak dish for as district dinner called hluska which is very good hes gonna teach me how to make it then last night he made ovoce knedliky which is a famous czech desert that is very good. Hopefully that answered most of your questions keep on sending them, we are working hard here im exhausted when i go to bed and wake up but the work is going well and im loving it. Keep on doin whats right good luck with your talks mom and dad im sure you will do great.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

All the new missionaries

This is the group of missionaries Jordan traveled with. Looks like a great new bunch of missionaries!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Letter from President Slovacek, Jr.

We received a letter today from Jordan's Mission President, Marvin J. Slovacek, Jr. Along with the letter we received a map of the mission along with a picture of Jordan with his first companion/Trainer Elder Anderson.

Jordan's first assignment is in the city of Liberec. It is circled below. This is located just 20 miles from both the German and Polish borders. He is about 60 miles from the temple located in Freiberg, Germany.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The first letter from Prague

Monday August 4th, 2008

Hello family and friends. i bet you are all dying to hear from me its been an exciting two weeks here first off ill start out with my address
PraĆŸska 16/25 460 01
Liberec-1 Czech republic

you can send mail here and my companion says it takes about 6 days for it to get here but if you ever send packages the mission home would be the best place, i get the mail from the mission home about once a month transfers are 2 months here. So as you can tell from my address i am in the beautiful city of liberec which is in northern Bohemia.

After i had talked to you on the phone we got on the plane to vienna which was a long flight but i had a cool kid named matok (mark) in front of me who was half american half slovak and was a funny 2 year old boy who kept us busy. We got into vienna in the morning and hopped on a plane over to prague i made it to prague with all my luggage and so did everybody else but elder briggs who lost both of his bags.

President and his wife and the two AP's picked us up and took us to the mission home where we had a nice lunch and the AP's took us on a prague walk around the city which is beautiful saw Prague Castle and went over Charles bridge saw the gate from the first mission impossible where the girl is killed.

We did some contacting for like half an hour which was an interesting experience and then had our first czech food which was good svedicka. We were all dead tired by this time and very hot and sticky since it was a very warm day in prague and very humid. We went back to the mission home and me and elder larson had interviews and then we all went to sleep for like 12 hours to get over the jet lag.

The next day president finished up interviews we had a orientation meeting where they told us about our debit cards and then it was upstairs to presidents apartment to find out where we were going. I got assigned to liberec and my trainer is Elder Andersen from Logan Utah i am his third trainee so he has got the training down pretty well and is doing a great job. There are 4 of us elders in the district here in Liberec.

My first full day here we had a lesson with one of our progressing investigators to teach the law of chastity to a 23 year old man so that was an interesting experience but it turned out great which was awesome, he has a baptismal date for in a month which is very exciting. Our other progressing investigator is from Bulgeria and is up here for work and the teaching is going great with him which i am excited about. We are doing quite a bit of contacting so we can get some more people to teach and i am able to do some of it and it helps me learn more czech. Some of the people are really nice and some arent but its all good.

Liberec is a beautiful city its up in the "mountains" which are kind of just big hills in the czech republic and there are trees everywhere and it is very green. Our apartment is on a busy walking street on the 4th floor right across from the Church which is a great location. We had an english class on thursday and i was assigned to the advanced class where they are basically fluent in english, i only had one student so we talked alot so he could practice his english and he told me alot about the history of the czech republik.

Saturday was sports night where we took our bulgerian investigator and his brother in law and played some volleyball.Church is at 9 and the branch is pretty small about silverton size there was about 10 members plus us four missionaries so we have alot of work to do but i am excited.

I just got back from a vylet which is an excursion to sykrov which is a castle out in the countryside we took a train too it was beautifull kind of more of a chatuex then castle but it had huge gardens and luckily i brought my umbrella cuz it rained pretty hard when we were leaving and i took alot of pictures, i have taken pictures of pretty much everything and ill send them to you sometime.

We do alot of walking so i dont think there are any worries at all of me gaining weight. My companion is a pretty good cook and we combine our groceries together and cook together so he is showing me some good easy meals to make, I have had a couple of czech meals now which are great the food is really good, we go to a czech restaurant before district meeting every week so we can experience the food. My companion has been in the country for a year so on his mission for 14 months the other two missionaries in our district are elder harris from idaho who has been out 8 months and elder crane from touilla utah who has been out 6 months they are both cool and we have fun together they came on the vylet with us.

it sounds like you are all doing great thats crazy that two of my roommates are going to the same mission. Well i hope i didnt overload you with information there i will fill you in on more next week i love you all and hope you are doing well thanks for writing and keeping me up to date on everything. The gospel of Jesus Christ truly is amazing.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We were able to visit with Jordan on Monday during his layover in Washington D.C.. It was great to visit with him and he was so excited to be moving onto the mission field and getting to know and work with the people of the Czech Republic. He was also very appreciative for all the letters and goodie boxes that he has received while in the MTC. So as a mom, I thank you for your love and support!

Jordan will be able to receive email and here is his address:

thank you!

He made it!

Dear Parents,

Just a note to let you know that your missionary arrived yesterday, tired but eager to get busy with missionary work. They spent the day with the 2 Assistants to the President touring downtown Prague and having an authentic Czech dinner. While out on the walk they experienced some street contacting.

Today they are having training and interviews with the president. At lunch they will be introduced to their trainer/companion and will leave for their first area. We have some of the most qualified missionaries in the church and your son/daughter is in good hands. President Slovacek is a wonderful, caring mission president and fantastic leader.

We are very impressed with our new missionaries and are grateful that they have been sent to us. Thank you for raising such fine men and women.

Very truly yours,

Sister Alsop

Secretary to President Slovacek

Thursday, July 24, 2008

more MTC pictures!

Jordan with his companion Elder Moat

Elder Hatch with friend Elder Cappucio

District going to the Czech Republic in front of Provo Temple

Elder Mittanck with Sisters Clark and Perez

Elder Jacob Brimhall from Gilbert, going to Alabama