Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

Friday, May 25, 2012

D P10.1

da Dajabon boyz

Elder and Chef

Winner, winner, Chicken diner

D 10

Hello!!!                                                                                           23 May 2012

Wow this week went by way, way fast. 
My comp and I have been having the best times lately, probably better than I have had during my mission. 

We are working really hard with the leaders in the ward and the results are awesome. Even though Dajabon isn’t that big and doesn’t have many families, all the members want to get involved and they do a good job.   The President of the rama (branch) came teaching with us one day.  Part of our plan was to pass by an investigator that we hadn’t talked to for a while just to check up on them. We went by his house and knocked on the door, no one answered and as we started to go, his kids came running to the door and told us to come in.  It was a happy reunion right from the start, but anyway, we got the chance to talk to him again about the Book of Mormon and to our surprise (we didn’t think that he had been reading), he started telling us all about how Christ came to the Americas and talked to and blessed the people then called somebody to be a prophet and have power, and on and on... hah it was amazing that he was so interested and had read and thought about it so much. So we went over those chapters in 3 Nephi with him and at the end my comp invited him to be baptized!  He along with his family said yes.  To be honest it was one of the coolest experiences ever because finally we found a family that wants to progress together.  

Last night another member of the branch came out with us and we got the chance to visit some of the people that we are currently teaching.  He was awesome, he invited people to church, shared his testimony, and told us about other people that may listen to us.  He really helped a lot. I thought to myself how important the members are in missionary work. Yhey can relate to people in ways that we just don’t.

I would invite all of you to make it a point to get together with the missionaries and go out with them.  You don’t have to know the missionary discussions, just be able to share your thoughts and testimony on the subject that’s being taught.  As a missionary I can see the difference it makes when a “normal” person is with us.  So....go out with missionaries and give references!!!!!!! :)

This Saturday we will have our first baptism in Dajabon. Iris Leidy is going to get baptized and I am so excited for her because she has been through a lot and changed so much. She stopped drinking, changed the way lives, and the way she dresses herself, and the way she talks. She honestly has changed her life and I have been there to see her do it.

The week after her baptism she is going to the temple with the ward to do baptisms for the dead! Its tight.

I love you all. I am writing letters to you all so I will send them shortly. You are all amazing!!!

Take care!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

D P9.1

Day of service. Putting Stucco on a house
with Elder Esparza and folks from the branch

D 9

Hey Fam!                                                                                               16 May 2012

What up what up what up.       How are you!!

OHHHHHHHHH i got the package Dad!!!!! Thank you so much, I will never have to buy candy again in the mission haha . But seriously thank you it made my day ".

This week has been good it was really great to talk to ya all!!! I had a lot of fun doing it. Mom I hope that your mother’s day went great.

We were able to be part of a baptism last Saturday and it went really.... well haha.  It was a baptism of the other missionaries here in Dajabon.  They baptized two kids one is 11 and the other is 16.  I had the chance to direct the baptismal service which was fun and went well.  Right after I got done witnessing and after we had shut the doors to the font we heard a big splash; the 11 year old jumped into the font like it was a swimming pool. haha probably one of the funniest things ever.

I got so sick of looking at our area notebook book every day, flipping thru the pages to try and remember where we were with teaching and assignments of each investigator, so my comp and I made a little white board thing and put our most important people on it and the things that they need to be taught.  Now it’s a lot easier and we can update that however we want.  We just put tape over a piece of paper to make a white board ha.  It works out just fine.

OHH my goodness I made the best alfredo sauce in the world the other day.  I was just missing the parmesan cheese; thank you for the recipe help!  We ate well yesterday.  

We found a man that looked like he was 102 and so I asked him how old he was and he told us ... 52 haha oh my goodness.  I laughed so hard and wondered how an old man could lie like that right to my face but maybe he just forgot ha .

We did a service that was pretty fun. We plastered (stucco) the walls at one of the members house here in Dajabon.  We had to mix concrete and throw it and spread it. It was kind of rough at first but as we got the hang of things it all worked out pretty well.  We also sprayed down and dug out all of their weeds.  My whole mission I have loved doing service and I hope that I will stay that way ha .

One thing that kills me in this country is the situation inside of a relationship.  Last Sunday this 14 year old girl came up to us and told us that she wanted to be baptized,  but the thing is that she is living with a guy who is a member that is 22 and was preparing to go on a mission . Her mom kicked her out of her house and so she ended up moving in with this kid!  So he decided to not go on a mission and let her move in with him! ugh!  Son novios, they are boyfriend and girlfriend.  I talked to her about getting married or breaking up and I tried stressing breaking up but she wants to get married and baptized.  At 14 years old - that is just crazy to me.   I think that I’ve told you before that they marry – well move in together very young here and 14 is not uncommon!

Well  those are the highlights for this week and I hope that there will be more for yall next week . haha
I love you and so does God.   In prepping and studying about the plan of salvation this week, it has become even more clear to me how individual it is for everyone and we all need to do our part here on the earth to be prepared!"

 ha love ya BYE

D 8

saludos familia 

alrighty then!                                                        9 May 2012

This week has gone really well. We had the chance to look back on our missions and see what we have done and what we want to change.  President Lee gave us a talk entitled “finding joy in the journey.” He talked about how to view the past and how to change the future.  One thing that it said was if you are always looking for tomorrow you will have a lot of empty yesterdays.  So I realized that I need to live in the now by smelling the roses as I go instead of walking by them and live day by day paying attention to the lessons for good or for “growth” instead of just getting thru the day; because our time is short on the mission and one can’t ever change the past anyway; live, learn and grow...  

hmmm the DR is in the time of politics and elections are on the 20th.  So this whole month ...well my whole mission we have heard advertisements from the candidates. They have huge trucks full of speakers playing their own theme songs. ha it gets old really really quick . We were teaching a lesson and had just got done explaining the principle of faith and it was all spiritual and a truck passed by and we couldn’t hear ourselves talking!  ha so it was really less effective, but it happens.

As I am training Elder Esparza, we study a lot more then I ever have in my mission; to be honest, it helps so much.  We are going over the restoration and how to teach it and what things could be more helpful for the people. We are always applying what we learn in the lessons we study. For example, we were contacting and we knocked on a door and found a guy named Doud. He let us in and we sat down. At first he didn’t really have time and kind of wanted us to leave. As time went on and as we talked more he eventually paid attention and listened.  We taught him about the restoration and it was way cool.  I got to share the first vision which is something that I haven’t done much, but as I got done , he ripped the pamphlet out of my hand and asked if he could have it. He explained to us that he usually doesn’t open the door to people like us, for some reason he did. He said that maybe it was his time to know a little bit more about what God wants for him. That experience, for me, showed how effective studying is and how the spirit works for us. I’m really glad that we were ready to share with him.

Something that I’m really grateful for is my comp.  Even though we are really different from each other, he was in a band, I played sports, he’s short, I’m.... taller than him, he speaks Spanish, I try to, he’s from Chile, I’m an American... anyway, there are a lot of things but not matter how different we are, we find a way to get along and to forget about ourselves and help the people that we are teaching. I haven’t been able to do that as well with my other comps – experience and understanding I guess and I’m in a better place with myself to understand. So I’m way glad to have him. It’s not a big thing but it means a lot.

We are finding people like crazy and I really hope that they can progress. The thing that we are doing with everyone that we meet and teach and also with the members active and inactive is having them read the Book of Mormon with the goal to finish it by the end of the year. It’s a blessing to have that scripture, so we should probably read it, no? ...... So there is my invitation to all! 

Humm, specifically in regard to the priest quorum. what would have helped me be better prepared for my mission?  Since we are to live and teach the Doctrine of Christ, I would liked to have been taught much more about that and made sure I understood it and made it part of my life.  When I was in the quorum we focused a lot on the manuals which is good, but I just feel like we talked a lot about things that are good but aren’t that important, I mean helping your neighbor is a good thing to do, but understanding what Christ did and what he wants us to do and why, is what would’ve helped me; faith, repentance, baptism (sacrament), Holy Ghost, scriptures, and enduring to the end. 

MOM, you’re welcome for the note. I’m glad it got to you on time!!!! 
Well I love you all 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

D P7.1

Zone conference in Dajabon

D 7

Okay!!! Hello my dear loved ones!                                             2 May 2012

This week’s weather in Dajabon has been a slight chance of sun with way to much rain and thunder.  I broke two pair of shoes in the rain. Haha. We´re still having fun and doing good! . About the Mothers day call, I will just be calling you guys that night at about 7:30 your time after we finish with our days work because they celebrate mother’s day in Chile (for my comp) on some other day. So I will call and you so you have the number that I’ll be at and then you will just need to call me back using the calling card so it doesn’t cost a lot. 

I would like to fill you guys in on all of the people that we have found and that are progressing! It has been a miracle with my new comp.  The little guy knows how to teach and I know a little bit about finding, so, put together, with God’s help , we are unstoppable ha . My whole mission I haven’t really liked knocking doors but Elder Guerrero really helped me with that. Now I absolutely love doing it. We are learning to effectively find and teach new people - our area is still really really new. Last Saturday we walked up to a house and without saying anything, this 14 year old kid told us to come in and that his mom would be there in a little bit, ha. So we went in and sat down and she came in with the biggest smile on her face and we hadn’t even talked yet. We got the chance to talk for a minute and set a cita ( appointment )for when her husband would be home.  So we went the other day and taught them – it was really amazing – the Spirit was really strong there and it ended up that she, her husband and kids all accepted the invitation to be baptized!  After that we finished with a prayer, she offered us juice and cookies and while we ate I talked with the dad about baseball and my comp sat there just confused as to what we were talking about because he doesn’t know much about the sport. But, this family is amazing and I hope they continue to progress.

Oh, we live in the city of mangos!!! There is a mango tree in every backyard!  I have grown to love them. Whenever we are walking and I see one that is ready I throw a rock to get it down and then eat it on the way to our citas (appointments). They are amazing. I have learned to like coconut milk also. It just sucks that we have to use a machete to open them. And I don’t usually carry a machete around with me when we are out and about!  Haha! 

OK so my new greenie comp is from Chile, like I said, and he is just a little guy like about 5’5” or 5’6” and he speaks so muffled that I can barely understand him half the time. Also he uses words that I have never heard in my life.  So I’m becoming aware that I only understand Dominicans that speak like gangsters.  But, I’m still learning - I guess it’s like the old saying goes, the more you know, the more you find out what you don’t know, haha! This kid is also a Bible master.  He has a scripture from the bible for EVERYTHING. So, in the lessons I answer questions with references from the LDM (Book of Mormon) and he references the Bible. So our investigators get testimonies from both books of scripture – In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established (2 Cor 13:1)… I’m learning to teach from the Bible from him, he’s learning more about the LDM from me. So I guess you could say that we are training each other and I’m helping him know about the mission haha. I love him and we are going to have fun in our time together.

We have an investigator that is going to be baptized this month, her name is Irislady. She’s 22 and has a kid, and to see her for the first time you would never think a person like her would even want to know about the gospel. But she is so, so humble and wants to change her life for the better. She has gotten to a point where she doesn’t need us to prompt her to read or come to church or doing anything. She’s growing her own testimony and we are just kind of there for her support and questions and watching her love and need for the Savior grow.  I think I have asked her like 4 times why in the world she wants to make so many changes in her life and to do all of this, every time she answers the question with her testimony. She is awesome and I can’t wait to see her improve. 

Our mission president is going home in July and so we are winding down our time with him. He had us read a talk about what was really important in our lives and it made me realize what those things are and the first thing that came to my mind was my family. Here, in la Republica Dominicana, you never see families together.  It makes me so happy to see ours together, I am really lucky to have that. I hope that you know that I love you all and that I know our heavenly father has a plan for us and everything happens for a reason. He tries us to see how we will act in our times of need and also to build us up.