Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

El Ejido P9.3

The house is coming along. I'm having a riot welding. Just wish I had some leathers so I wouldn't get burned.haha
Yellow light = the sun
White light = arc welding flash
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El Ejido P9.2

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El Ejido P9.1

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El Ejido 9

Hey Fam! 
What’s up! How is it going!! Are all of the decorations for Thanksgiving up? and How is the family?

I just got done playing softball this morning.  We played forever it seems.  We were in a place called Vea Vista with the whole zone and like 3 members and a couple investigators.  It was way fun and so good to get out and do something like that.  Most of the missionaries are – well .... missionaries and not really that great at sports, but some of the natives could really play, so we had a good time.

This week we have been working so hard to get lessons with members.  So yesterday we called like 4 people and left with anyone we could. We are learning to teach shorter more effective lessons so we can teach and explain the concepts and they will have time to focus on a few important principles and we can spend more time in finding and teaching more people.  When we teach full lessons it seems as though some of our investigators are on information overload. So we try to teach key principles and teach with the Spirit so they can hear as well as feel the gospel.

Once again, we didn’t have many people at church, except for the two kids that we have baptismal dates with. They are Willie and Mario.  Mario will hopefully be getting baptized this weekend on Saturday.  We have taught him everything and have planned everything but his grandma is a stiffler and might want us to wait a week but that’s alright. and Willie will be baptized on the 10th!!  It’s sweet. 

We taught a lesson in BFE (middle of nowhere) a place called Los Santos to a menos activo (less active) named Oscar. He and his ex-wife are members with 3 kids together, but they separated and are still having problems.  I guess he still beats her sometimes and he went through a disciplinary council and counseling but never finished and just left the church.  We went to talked to him and started bearing our testimonies about the LDM (Libro de Mormon – Book of Mormon) and asked him to come back to church and begin reading the scriptures again. He just started crying and crying and honestly didn’t talk for about 3 minutes.  He knows that he needs to come back because he used to be so good in the church and he knows it’s true.  Here’s the kicker, I don’t think he would’ve felt that he needed to come back or that he was needed without us talking to him! so yay.

My companion and I have started doing something way cool I think. We went to the church and typed out our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and on the back of them is the “Questions of the soul”  (kind of a FAQ) that the Book of Mormon can answer and also how we pray and receive answers. We will be putting them into each BOM that we give out so others can know how these two gringos feel about this book!  hah. 

Another cool lesson that we had this week was with Annita, she lives with the first counselor of our barrio (ward) and she is "investigating" as she told us hahah I thought to myself.... duh..... ha anyway so we get to her house with Fredrico, who is a 19 year old that needs to serve a mission but doesn’t think he will be able to…, but as we sat down the first thing that she says to us is that she is not getting baptized! hah it was funny because we had never even talked to her about it. ! 
But yeah, I hope that yall have an awesome thanksgiving without me hahah. I’ll cook tomorrow to remind myself of thanksgiving!  
I‘m thankful for you all!!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

El Ejido 8

Querido familia,                                                                  16 Nov 2011
how in the heck are you!
  This week has been pretty standard, doing the regular missionary thing, haha. The lady next to me in the centro de internet (internet cafĂ©) is hilarious.  She is Haitian and she doesn’t know how to type.  So she is pounding on the keyboard so hard with her pointer finger, I’m just waiting to see which breaks first – her finger or the keyboard! Haha, okay anyway.
   On Monday we got a call from the Mission Office and were told not to leave the house because there was a good chance that there was going to be a riot in the streets.... at first I was a little creped out and scared.   I guess the whole country decided to have a welga, which is pretty much a strike against the government.  Apparently people just go crazy!  They throw molotov cocktails (bottles with gas or alcohol lit on fire) into the streets and at buildings, and there’s a lot of shooting go on.  So, we stayed inside the whole day waiting to hear the craziness.  I kept looking out of the window to try and see some of the action ya know!! But, alas, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENED.... kind of a nervous time and kind of funny at the same time.  I’m glad that nothing happened.
  That same night at about 6:00 we were got the call that things were cool and we could leave the house and hit the pavement.  We taught one lesson to Iseal and Esel and somewhat surprisingly they invited their friend to come and listen to use too.  They always want to have others hear what we have to say. It’s sweet because we are exactly the same age as they are, so we can relate in a lot of ways.  They think the Book of Mormon is awesome and read it all of the time. The only thing they are missing is coming to church, but these guys will be baptized and do great in the church. 
  Okay, I had probably THE most awkward Sunday of my life this past Sunday.  It was stake conference right, and like always as missionaries we try to bring and get people to church so they can cumplir (fulfill) their commitments.  So we tried to contact as many people as we could on Saturday night so they would be ready for Sunday.  So the next morning we planned on picking up two 15 year old boys and another man named William.  Then we were going to pass by and pick up a couple of girls that we have been teaching, with members.  So, Sunday morning comes around and we passed by to pick up the guys and all of them wimped out on us. ugh...  So then we walk down to the girls homes and of course they want to come... So there it was… two missionaries walking to a place that is about 30 minutes away with two kind of same aged girls.  Not the best situation! Haha.  So, we were walking as far apart from these girls as we could without being unfriendly and still trying to walk with them.  Then we really didn’t talk or say anything because they didn’t want to talk – way awkward.   But then we get to the stake conference and all of the missionaries in our area are there along with our mission president and the see us walk in with 2 girls! haha it was terrible and so so awkward for us and I can’t even imagine what it was like for the two girls.  AHHH hah stuff like that, ya laugh at I guess.
   But wow , the other evening/night after we got in from our missionary work,  we went up on the roof of our apt building and were able to look out over the city toward the monument and see the lights of the city.  We got a soda and a bag of treats and just chilled.  It was the most relaxed that I’ve been in awhile and I had fun too.
Ok to answer some of your questions.
We didn’t get a new DL and our area is huge it covers the all of the main city of Santiago.
Exercise:   every morning I do 80 pushups, 3 sets of abs and we have some 25 lb dumbbells that I do shoulders and curls with before I get in the shower!
Shopping trip:  haha there is a place called Price Mart that is about the same as Costco and we can go there once a transfer.
I doubt that we will be able to go to the BYU baseball fireside if they have them on this side of the island, because our President is kind of a stiffler, but, he needs to be. ha
um Christmas decorations: I won’t let my comp buy a Christmas tree because it’s too much money and I won’t be in this area next year.  But we do have lights.  So that’s enough for me!! haha
Blake is getting a car in his area. What?  Man, I wish we could have a bike or car here, but NOPE.  We just have to walk because everything would be stolen or wrecked!!! hahah
 I got the underside of my forearm burned while I was welding!! haha  I just got done welding the railing for the house and I stupidly picked up the poles before they had cooled down and I was left with 2 parallel burns about ¼ inch wide and 6 in. long!! haha looks pretty cool I think!
I need to go i love yall !!

Friday, November 11, 2011

El Ejido P7.2

So HOT I had to try to cool off and sleep on the floor
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EL Ejido P7.1

math, yes trig at work
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El Ejido 7

hola hola Familia y amigos                                                                     09 Nov 2011
toda esta bien por aqui ahora.

This week has been really up and down. Dad you had some questions about Iseal and Esel and also Delvi.
      Iseal and his brother are doing great.  They haven’t come to church yet, but other than that they are golden investigators. They read everything and always have way better answers then I could explain. They are about the same age as my comp and I and so it is fun to teach and talk to them.
      Delvi is still on our list, he scared us the other day. We were at an activity that we put together for the young men and while we were there he called us to say that he didn’t want to hear from us anymore and that he felt like he was wasting our time. Elder Jensen was on the phone and somehow reasoned with him and answered some questions. But he was able to schedule another cita (appointment) with him. We are having a hard time thinking of what else to do with/for him because he has received a blessing and has fasted as well...ugh.

     Okay so we had the worst day ever on Saturday. WE had so many charlas (discussions) set up and we were pumped to go out and work. We got to the first and they weren’t there, then the same with the next and then the next and then the next. So we were a little down. But we kept at it - doing some street contacting, etc.  While we were out we decided to go find one of our investigators that we haven’t seen in a while. We got to his house and he wasn’t there either – we had a great streak going –haha, but we saw him a little ways down the street, So I waved at him and motioned for him to come over by us, but he acted like he didn’t see us and booked it around the corner, que sin verquenza,(jerk) Since nothing else was going on we decided to have a little fun and follow him.  When we turned the corner he honestly was nowhere to be found!  Joke was on us, I guess.  When that happened I seriously wanted to punch something! Haha, but as a rep of Jesus Christ, that’s apparently not allowed..... So that day was pretty subpar until our appointment at Iseal’s house. They are amazing and made my day better because they do everything Christ asks.  One of those trial of your faith days!

     Something really cool happened yesterday. Oh, first of all I finished my first transfer!!!!! Woot woot..  
     We got a phone call, and it showed President Lee’s (the mission President) number on the screen!  We don’t usually get a call from him so everything is going thru our minds wondering what was going on.  I was kinda freaking out because it’s my week with the phone.  So I was getting all pumped to talk to him and then when I answered it, it was the english speaking AP (assistant to the President – there’s one english speaking and 1 native Spanish speaking AP) from Lindon, (the one that Shelly Bonnett knows) anyway, but he invited my companion and me to come into the office so we could meet the new incoming Elders and take them on intercambios (trade offs, splits, exchanges … ). I said sure, ‘cause you always say sure when asked to help out! haha
     Okay so the freakout continues!   I’ve only been out 6 weeks and now I was supposed to take some greeny (brand new elder) that knows basically nothing with me, especially when I don’t know that much either!. Haha, Anyway I was excited to give it a try.  So we got to the mission home and to my surprise guess who is there with the new Elders? 
     None other than AUSTIN ROSE! It was way cool to see and talk to him for a bit, also cool to see the star struck look on the faces of the other greenies, That’s must be what I looked like just one transfer ago! haha.  It’s just been a short time but I feel like I know so much more now than when I first came into the mission home!   That thought boosted my confidence a little bit more, so I wasn’t quite so nervous about taking out a greeny on his 1st day!
     I was paired with an Elder from Peru. He is 24.  I’m glad I got a native speaker to help with my still growing Spanish skills - he and I were awesome together.  We were assigned to go back into my area, so being in a familiar area helped also.  We were able to teach a couple of lessons did some door knockin and street contacting and placed a Book of Mormon. ... ya, it was fun! Kind of made up for the other day!

I love yall ! I hope all is well THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LETTER!!!  It made my week.


P.S.  I’ll send you a picture of our progress on the house, it’s pretty sweet. I’m finally putting my math skills that I learned in school into play. ...finally – yes kid’s math is important!  Look at the compound angles we had to calculate and cut and weld!

Mom you asked if I had to do my own wash.  Of course mother!  We have this little thing called a lavadora (washing machine) and we fill up buckets of water and dump them into it and put our clothes in with some soap and the lavadora just spins our clothes with the water.  Then next to the spinner there is another thing that spins to dry.  So you do that for one cycle and then drain the dirty water out and then pour in new water and then wash again with more soap - spin dry again and hang them out on a wire for about 3 hours to dry and hope it doesn’t rain!  It’s great fun. lol

Did I ever tell you that in the CCM there was a washer and dryer like yours at home?  It reminded me so so so much of you and home!!?

The weather – ya – It’s HOT, HOT, HOT and then for a change it’s HOT haha!  The power went out today, so we couldn’t use our fans!  I/we just about died. Elder Jensen even after being here for a year isn’t quite used to it.  It isn’t quite as hot as Arizona but this is a humid heat so it is stifling!  In the picture I sent I went into the kitchen and lay on the tile to try to get cool and my comp snapped a picture of me!! hahah 



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

El Ejido P6.4

El Ejido
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El Ejido P6.3

El Ejido
Our leeetle friend
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El Ejido P6.2

El Ejido
One of the members that always goes with us because
he doesn't have friends and loves teaching me spanish.
Also one of the cutest most devilish kids there ever was.
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El Ejido P6.1

El Ejido - Romy's soon to be house
Framing for the bath room and a bedroom
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El Ejido 6

Hey all!


This week went well and we had a lot of success finding and teaching.

But I would say that the funest thing that we did this week is - now that we have torn down the old wood shack house - we started to build up Romy’s house!  It’s awesome.  He went and bought a little buzz box arc welder and metal cutting chop saw so that we could start build the frame of his house today.  I sent some pictures so that you can have a better idea of what we are doing. The frame we are building is made out of 2.0 X 2.0 steel tubes that have to be welded and then somehow we will attach the cinder blocks after the frames are all done.  I got to weld some of the tube!  It was great.  I told him about Grandpa Griner being a welder and Dad welding to help put himself through BYU haha it must run in the blood. 

We take 2 of our mornings, after study, and go and help him. Today we spent the whole morning measuring, sawing, welding and getting baked to death in the heat, but its pouring buckets now so it’s cooling off.  haha.

We also helped Alifda, our recent convert, move and that was crazy as well. She lived on the third floor so we would have to take things down to the second floor and ten toss her things out of the window, because the stair wells were too small.  It feels like we are always doing a service project.
“When you are in the service of your fellow man…! Haha

I had my last meeting as a new missionary this week and it went well. The Mission President implemented a program to help the new missionaries prepare and progress during their first transfer.  So we go over the discussions and how to approach people and question and answers, etc. all in Spanish.  So all of the Elders that came out when I did get together weekly to learn and practice in a big group.  My companion and I had the assignment to demonstrate, in front of everyone, how to present the Book of Mormon, and we killed it!

Our mission President is a very cool guy.  He’s pretty strict.  I guess that he needs to be because apparently there have been some unmotivated (ya that’s a good way to put it)  missionaries here in the past and he is trying to curb that before it starts.  If you have no motivation it would be easy to get lazy, but like Elder Scott taught us in the MTC “if you knew what I know about this gospel, you would run to teach it!”  My companion and I are trying our best to learn and understand those feelings as we work hard. 

Iseal and Esel are two of our new investigators and they are awesome. They are 19 and 20 years old respectively. They read, they pray and they invite people to hear what we have to say!  We were sitting on the side walk teaching a lesson to some dude the other day.  They saw us teaching and came over and talked with us for a minute then invited the guy we were teaching to church!   After listening to them, he was way more receptive, because he now knows that Dominicans believe in the stuff that these  two whiteys are teachings as well haha.

Not a lot has changed here! My patience is still getting tried every day I just have to understand that things are, well different here, and I hope that is something that I will be able to get used to.