Matt's scripture for the week

Therefore, … whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely;

Alma 42:27

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Last Posting

                      The start of Matt's Mission at the MTC and Temple in Santo Domingo                            

This from Matt's Dad:

I have enjoyed entering Matt's emails into this blog for the last two years!  This will be my last posting.  I will miss the feelings of joy I felt as I read of Matt’s experiences in the Dominican Republic and reading about his successes and failures (growth). 

Matt will complete his mission Thursday July 18th after serving the Lord and the people of the Dominican Republic, Santiago Mission.

With a little license I’ll substitute/add a few of the words in the following scripture about how I feel Matt did on his mission:

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my this course, I have kept and grown my the faith.

The completion of Matt's Mission in Cien Fuegos

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Flight Home


SERVICE                   DATE                FROM                   TO                       DEPART         ARRIVE
_____________________ _____ ______________ _______________________ _______ _____________
AMERICAN AIRLINES     18 JUL           SANTIAGO              MIAMI FL               8:10A            10:25A
AA 834                       THURSDAY     SANTIAGO MNPL      MIAMI INTL                2:15 DURATION

AMERICAN AIRLINES     18JUL         MIAMI FL              LOS ANGELES CA     1:20P            3:40P
AA 1774                    THURSDAY    MIAMI INTL           LOS ANGELES INTL  TERMINAL 4     5:20 DURATION

AMERICAN AIRLINES     18 JULY         LOS ANGELES CA     SALT LAKE C UT         5:05P            7:50P

Follow his flight at:


Family and Friends                                                                   10 July 2013

Sorry I didn’t get the chance to write last week.  I got permission to go to Dajabon with a couple other missionaries that have served there to visit all the people that we taught!  They gave us the truck and I drove everyone out there!   Also, on Thursday I went back to Arroyo Hondo to visit some of the people that we baptized there.  I got to eat lunch with Maxi James (the Haitian) and we also went and visited others in that area.  So I’ll be able to say that I visited them before I left,  ha;  because I don’t know when I’ll be able to come back here.  Today we will be eating with another guy that we taught and was baptized in Arroyo Hondo, so it should be fun!

Wow, this is the last time that I will be writing yall on Wednesday!  The next time we talk it’ll be in person hahah ! How cool is that.

Wow I don’t know what to say, I guess I could just say that looking back on all of things that have happened and all the things that I have done, these past two years have definitely helped me become a better person and will help me in the future.

I’ve learned who I am here in the mission and who I want to be.  I have a perspective of life that is totally different now.  I will not be unhappy ever again because I know how wonderful this gospel is.  It has helped me find my personality and has brought the good out of me. After having lived 21 years I can finally say that I know what Christ did for me!

Even though the time has not gone by fast,  I’m so grateful for every minute that I have spent in this country.  The people that I have met are amazing and I’ll miss them a ton.  I’ve seen people get baptized and stay strong in the church and I’ve seen how much it has changed their lives.  I know that the Lord guides his missionaries to where he wants them to be because almost all of the people that I have been able to meet have needed the Lords help, and some have opened their hearts to his message.
I might not of served as well as I could’ve, but I’ve learned and grown from each trial or bump in the road,  but, I’ll leave that decision up to the Lord! Ha.  I’ve had a ton of fun.  I’ve learned so much and I can say that I’ll never be the same.  I know that repentance is necessary in all of our lives because we´ll never ever be totally perfect.  I KNOW that the Book of Mormon and the New Testament are true..... can’t say that about the old testament yet, it still confuses me ha!

Before my mission when I shared my testimony in church I would always say that I’m learning that the church is true.  Now I know, and its an awesome feeling.  There are so, so, so, so, many other churches in the world or the (RD - Republica Dominicana) that are good because they talk about God.  But there’s only one that’s true and now I’m not afraid to say it.  It’s imprinted in my heart and no one will ever be able to take that away from me. 

Christ is MY savior and I know it !

misión santiago RD

Monday, July 1, 2013

CF 10

WE had the best week!                                                                      26 June 2013

In our area we are working with a lot of people or I should say a lot of young couples!! Four of them we have been teaching for a long time but they haven’t been progressing very quickly or going to church.  We decided that we must need to do something a little different with them.  So in our studies (my comp and I) went looking for scriptures that would help these couples realize the importance of our message.  We both agreed that they haven’t felt or understood through the Spirit that these things are true.

I found a couple of verses in 1 Corithians 2 9-11;  talks about how the spirit is something that cant be seen or heard but the Lord helps us feel.

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

We explained this concept to our investigators and my comp shared the testimony of his conversion with them; their was a strong feeling touching all of our hearts of the truthfulness of what was being said.  We were able to help them understand that those feelings were impressions from the Holy Spirit testifying of truth!  They finally understood!!!!!  We invited them to read and to attend church meetings.  They all agreed to.

Even better than just feeling the truth  they acted on their feelings!  They gave us a little scare though. Haha.  As we sat in church, the opening prayer concluded and not one of them had come.   Then,  as I looked out the window I saw them arriving, one after the other; all of the couples that we invited, entered through the church doors.  When I saw them all sitting and listening in church I more fully understood Gods plan for all of us.

He understands our strengths and weaknesses and to Him it’s not so important that we know a lot or if we can speak eloquently.  It matters to Him that we try to feel the spirit, act on our feelings, and helps others to do the same. I’m 100% sure that I’m in the church because I’ve felt and acted on what the Spirit has taught me;  That its true!

The meeting went really well.  The last speaker in church pulled out a book from another religion that had an anti-Mormon bias and read some of it in church  UGGGH!  He then went on to bad mouth their church.  hahah ahhhhh  oh man what a change in feelings! Well because of that we have some more things to teach these 10 investigators that we had at church. I’m not going to say that talk put a damper on things, but...... it did! haha.

We have been teaching an amazing family these past few weeks. The dad’s name is José Miguel. We went to his house on Monday and he shared something with us that he hadn’t told us before.  For a while he was struggling to find a job.  He looked everywhere and was willing to work hard; but there was nothing.  At one of our appointments, after we finished the discussion and were about to have a prayer with them (it was my turn), I asked him if there was anything that he would like me to ask the Lord in the prayer.  He said a job to support my family.  So I included that in our prayer! Haha.  Then we went on our way.  We have been back to visit them several times since then, but for one reason or another this last visit he decided to tell us thanks for something.  He went on to tell us that after our prayer petitioning the Lord for help him find work -  that same day, out of no where, his previous employer called him to come back to work!  He looked at us and humbly said .. thank you. We were happy for him but reminded him to thank God for this blessing.  He finally has a job and is able to support his family and now is going to church, and has plans to be baptized with his family.!

I’m grateful for these experience even at this last part of my mission to more fully understand what it is to be a missionary, how to work, and how to help the people.  I love this!

misión santiago RD

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CF 9

Dear Family,                                                                                           20 June 2013 

We have had a really good time these past few weeks!!! It’s really incredible what a mission can do for a missionary and also for other people!!! Many people here have heard about the Mormons and know where the church is, but they haven’t heard our message or understand what we are about.  So, they have their prejudices based on hearsay not knowledge.
The people we are finding and teaching have had their prejudices up until recently, but for some reason they now want to know what we’re all about and hear the truth as we present it, rather than sit back and think whatever. 

We are teaching VICTOR POWER haha, as I told you last week. He is progressing very well studying and praying by himself!  When we go by his house, all of his neighbors look at us (him and us) funny (like most Dominicans they are always outside sitting in the street chatting). But to him it doesn’t matter what other people think.  Right in front of everyone, he comes up to us and talks, gives hugs and invites us into his house.  He went to church on Sunday, and met all of the members and says he feels so good while at church. He has stopped drinking and smoking and is getting ready for baptism!  It’s incredible what the gospel does for people when they act on it in faith.

I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the fifth time in my mission.  It felt like it was the first time through with all I learned this time.  I owe my life to the Book of Mormon.  I honestly know that the church is true! I have put the promise to the test (Moroni 10:3-5). I feel the truthfulness of that book.  I always thought Joseph Smith’s story was a little fantastic ,i.e., seeing God the Father and His son Jesus Christ, visions, angels appearing, and sacred golden plates.  But, when it all comes down to it, IT’S TRUE!  It’s incredible what the gospel does for a missionary when they act on it in faith.
Elder Holland said, no bad man could write the Book of Mormon and no good man would unless he was inspired by God to do so! 
I invite all of my family and friends to read the Book of Mormon as soon as possible.   IT’S AMAZING!  It’ll be incredible what the gospel can do for people when they act on it in faith. 

We have been teaching a couple for a while now.  They need to get married to be able to be baptized and become part of the Lord’s church.  We have just about run out of things to teach to them.  So we decided to go and get the marriage papers and bring them to this couple.  So tomorrow we will present that to them as we teach the law of chastity.  I hope they will be able to understand the importance of marriage! We are planning to fast for them to help them with their decision. 
Many of my past companions phoned me these last few days.  They have finished their missions and wonder how I’m doing and to tell me what they are doing in their lives.  From our conversations and just the unknown, the outside world (outside of my missionary life bubble) SCARES me.  Ha.  But we´ll see what happens in the future. mientras tanto (meanwhile) I’m here on my mission and I love it !!!! 


Misión Santiago, RD

CF 8

Hi family,                                                                                                                             12 June 2013 

So .the baseball game and clean up I told you about last week went awesome this morning!! haha.  I loved it.  We got to play a real game with an 18 year old team. I had a team of 8 missionaries that cant or don’t really play. Ha.  I hit a double and walked but it felt good to play again!  

That’s awesome that there are so many missionaries now. It just scares me though because with so many missionaries things get really unorganized and they start to do what they want instead of what they should do!  But the Lord knows what he’s doing and each batch of missionaries seem better prepared than the last.  So, cool!

Anyway, my new comp and I are working hard to find people that are interested in the gospel.  We had a guy show up to church that met with the missionaries before.  His name is Victor Power and we have had the chance to put a baptismal date with him and help him to overcome his habits of drinking and smoking.  We also met a guy that was deported from the States after having done 25 years in jail for selling drugs.  He stopped us as we were walking past his house on Sunday and told us that he wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon in English.  So we went by the next day and explained to him what the book is and we invited him to church and to be baptized and he loved the idea so he said yes.

My companion is really new in the mission getting used to the mission is a process - ha and he only has been in the church for 2 years so he doesn’t know a ton about the scriptures and is learning to teach  He’s just green (newbie) and has a lot to learn.  But he’s willing and really has a testimony of the gospel and of the Church.  He loves the Lord and wants to serve.  Honestly, I’m grateful that I’m his comp now.  I think that I can help him to learn just as I did when I was a greenie at the start of my mission.  He´ll be my last companion and he will be able to teach me a lot, also.
I love how in the mission we always get to feel the influence of the Spirit and help others to feel it as well.  If there are one or two things that I’ll miss of the mission, it’ll be the feelings I get and all of the fruit here!!! Haha.   But, honestly I can say that in the mission I have felt as it says in Mosiah 28, 3-4 where the sons of Mosiah are preaching to the Lamanites… . 

3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. 

 4 And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them….. 

 I want others to be changed just as I have changed!!  


Misión Santiago, RD

CF 7

Hey Family,                                                                                                               5 June 2013
This week has been cool. 
Here in Cien Fuegos we are finding a lot of ways to serve., We have an investigator that we are teaching named José Alberto.  While we were at his house his mom invited us to a meeting in the public school.  So we went that same afternoon and found out that it was for a community project against violence . So we sat down with the committee of these networked folks (all form various backgrounds and professions) and planned what to do.  They asked us for ideas and invited us to come back to there meetings.  We will be having an activity with them as they start their program this next week, and we have already invited a lot of teacher’s,  parents, and lawyers that we know.  It’ll be fun.  What they do is go around to schools and train teachers and students how to avoid violence.  we thought that was a really good way to get involved with the community and become a little more like Christ.
There is a HUGE baseball field in my area that we walk past every day.  I have always wanted to go in. One day when we really had nothing to do we went in and I talked to the manager of the field and asked if we could help at all in cleaning up the field.  I presented him with the idea of cleaning the bleachers and perhaps also playing a game with the team ( so that we could get to know some more people in the community and have a fun interaction with them) . Next Wednesday ( our p-day) from 8 to 10 in the morning we as missionaries are going to play against them, and then from 10 to 12 we´re going to clean their field! It’s going to be awesome! 
 I got a new comp today ! Elder Feliz, a different one!  Haha!   Elder Santana was transferred to another area.  I’m really glad I got to be his comp.   I think that I was able to help him understand why he is here and to mature as a missionary a little bit. Elder Feliz is the EXACT opposite.  He’s older (24 years old) and veryy mature, excited to be here, and work hard.  I should have him as my last companion in the mission! 
 love yall 
Misión Santiago, RD