Hello from Hatch

A big change for Franklin, after a year serving in El Paso, he was transferred to Hatch, a small town (pop. 1600!) in New Mexico. Leaving El Paso was not easy, the day before he left Franklin wrote “I know Hatch will be fun but I’ll miss this place. Saying goodbye to the Spanish branch tomorrow is going to rip my guts out, not to mention Brian and Vicky and their family…El Paso and I have a good relationship, I don’t think it’ll ever get serious, but I’ll be back for her someday for sure. A lot of good friends were made here.”

Hatch is a little agricultural town, the chile pepper capitol of the world. Most employment there is either from picking chiles or working at the dairy. In the house where Franklin lives there are rattlesnake skins drying out (the most recently killed ones) that the missionaries are collecting. Also residing in their humble abode is a third member of the missionary companionship, a horny toad on a hunger strike, won’t even eat the massive cricket Franklin found in the shower one morning. Franklin and his companion get around by either bicycle (they have to watch for varying degrees of aggressive dogs who live for a good chase) or truck (to get to the other elders’ area in the district, Truth or Consequences, is 40 miles one way). Hatch has a small congregation with some amazing members, the closest thing to a ward family Franklin has ever seen. Franklin is especially impressed by Saúl, who, in Franklin’s words, “is definitely a miracle story. The missionaries came to knock on his door in March, six or seven months ago. His grandma answered and told them she wasn’t interested but he might be. He read the entire Book of Mormon already and is almost done with the New Testament. He bikes to church by himself every Sunday in a white shirt and tie to pass the sacrament as the only other deacon. He’s incredibly intelligent, with a very firm understanding of things, I don’t know, you just have to meet him. I think what really makes it strange is at the same time he’s basically a normal kid. He plays football and hangs out with his cousins and is a normal 12 year old boy except for being a self-motivated and active member of the church because he knows it’s true.” Sometimes those who are most capable of great faith are the least among us.

To all friends and family Franklin says “stay warm wherever you are if it’s getting colder. It’s not here. still 90’s. The old timer texans here keep saying how they feel winter coming in, I’ll just have to take their word for it. I love all of you family and friends, hasta la proxima!”

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