Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

Sunday, October 28, 2012

AH 8

Welp hello,                                                                                            24 Oct 2012 

If you want to google map me this is my address; Juana Saltitopa 14 , Santiago, Domincan Republic.  We are on the first level.  Just a reminder – this is NOT my mailing address. For Mail, still use the Miami address on the blog. 

Ha!  How in the world did you see that my hand was messed up in that picture with the baby chick!! Yeah, last week when I was getting into a ruta - it’s like a taxi, my comp slammed my hand in the door and I couldn’t do anything, I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t think to speak Spanish so I quietly yelled and he opened the door. hah it’s okay - pain is inevitable but suffering is optional . Yeah, there goes my fingernail! ha  

So IT’S CHRISTMAS here ALREADY haha!  Every Dominican has already put up their Christmas lights, it’s kind of frustrating me because there are still 2 holidays before Christmas comes ha! But it’s good to see the people here excited about something. Because it doesn’t happen much, it’s sad to see everyday how depressed people can be and how there can be so many problems. I know that things can be so so so much better if people would just set their minds on doing something different and look for a better life. It is such a difference to walk into the house of a member of the church than into the house of somebody that doesn’t have the gospel in their lives. Even if they are the poorest people, kids respect their parents, the house is clean, somehow there is always food ha, and really no worries. I didn’t get to see that before I left to Scottsdale and on the mission. But I’m really glad that I am getting to see that now!  

As I told y’all last week we found a family. Well a couple of them, but one is awesome. It is the parents and three little girls, and we got the chance to talk to the parents one day and he always tells us that he hopes that he can have an experience like Joseph Smith so he can also know that all the things about the gospel are true. But, they are reading in the Book of Mormon and we invited them to be baptized this last week.  The Dad said, of course, if God answers my prayers. Then we asked the mom and she said, I’ll do what he does, hahah.  So in that moment we were thinking WOW!  God really does prepare his children for the missionaries. Then when we invited them to church, satan got in the way and we found out that she can’t come because she has school on sunday ! ha

But no worries it’ll all be good with them. It’s great because we'll get to do a fast for them and pray for them always!  

This week was full of exchanges. I did exchanges with the two new missionaries that are in the Zone, one that is a Dominican and the other that is from Utah. On Monday went to a placed called la Yaguita and it is filled with hills! ah I thought I was going to die walking up and down them.  We passed by a catholic church and monument and I took a picture of the huge cross with a bunch of kids. The exchanges were good.  It was good because I got to see how Elder Fabian is progressing in the mission. Then yesterday I did an exchange with Elder Brumm.  He’s a kid that I look up to; he has had so much happen to him in 3 months in the mission but he’s so happy. He had a lot of questions that he wanted cleared up about the mission because he can’t understand his Peruvian companion very much, so he came to my area and we had a really good time, together, worked hard and talked missions in general – problems, successes, etc.. I really want to train again in the mission!

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have been so blessed in my time here. I have not had any problems with health, I’ve met really good people that helped me learn Spanish really fast and I have been able to get along with almost everyone.  

I see my life really differently now and it’s only thanks to the mission and the Lord. I am so grateful to know why I’m here and to understand where I could possibly end up. My life has changed, that’s for sure:) 

Sorry I suck at writing letters, it’s been so long. But no worries I’ll get to it!! Haha




AH 7

HELLLO Family and friends                                                 17 October, 2012                       

Sorry that I’m writing really late but today we had to move out of our house and into another and it took way way to long. But we are going to be in a new apartment! So that’ll be good for all of the missionaries that come in after me!

It’s funny to think how well the lord knows each and every one of us. He knows what is going on in our lives and helps us when we need it. I know that for a fact now. Um this week, I’ll be honest I was feeling really down, for what.. I don’t really know, but I just wasn’t myself.

I got to talk to a missionary that is just starting his mission, he’s from Sandy, Utah and he is going through a rough time with his comp and his trainer, he’s struggling with Spanish and doesn’t really know what to do. So, he came and talked to me and started to explain to me his feelings.  When I realized that he trusted me enough to talk to me, I felt a little bit of weight lifted off of my shoulders - to know that not all are going through problems and that there is always help. In the mission I see so so many people that I know can’t be happy[y and that I know are going through things that I could never imagine; divorced parents, no parents, deaths in the family, no job, no money, etc., there are a ton of things that I will never, probably, go through and it helps me to know that no matter who you are, God knows you and has a purpose for what is going on in your life. I’ve been able to realize how much I have been given, because IT’S SO SO MUCH. I’ve been blessed and so has my family. and I hope every single day that we can give everything back to the Lord, all of us.

Um, we taught a man on Monday and we got to teach him about the restoration and after we got done explaining it he told us that 14 years ago he asked a bunch of questions to a pastor.  He got answers but they were not satisfying to him.  He asked us the same questions and with our answers the Spirit bore testimony to him of their truthfulness, and in that moment almost all were answered. He just so happen to be in his house because of an injury, he couldn’t work and because of that he has been able to find the truth that he had waited so long for and have his questions answered, He has a wife and 3 kids !!! a family finally ! ha . President Douglas and his wife are really focusing the mission on the family, which is the way it should be. Before, the focus was on teaching and we were just teaching a lot, without reason and to anyone. President Douglas figured that out and changed everything really quick. Now we don’t teach as much but we look for members that can help each of our investigators and we teach lesson that are worth something and that will help the family come together. He put an "almost rule" where we have to have all of the family in the lesson with us and if they’re not there we can’t teach ha! To be honest, it really works.

On Sunday a member called us and told us to go to his house, so as obedient missionaries we did. haha When we got there he pulled me outside to talk to me while my comp was inside to tell me that my comps aunt had died and that he had to find the words to tell him. So we walked back in the house and talked a little and then the member told him.  Elder Feliz just broke down. He didn’t know what to do or say. I kind of know how he feels,  but I didn’t react like he did when I found out that both of my grandparents passed away last summer.  It helped him knowing that I have also had family members that have passed on while I was serving the mission.  I know now why I am with Elder Feliz. ... wow GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING ha Thank goodness for tender mercies!.

Look I love all of you and I hope that all are going to church, reading their scriptures and saying their prayers to help build your faith !!:) .... We teach that a lot in the mission! But, its true so do it!!! Please.

MUCH love and hope for things to come

truly yours :S


mision santiago RD


Sunday, October 14, 2012

AH 6

Hello All!                                                                      10/10/12
Haha that Picture of Livi is tight!
But wow this week went very well, Except for a few things ha
  AS this transfer ended we spent a lot of time trying to find more people to teach, being that the purpose of missionary work ha.  We have been knocking doors and finding out if the people we have are interested or not. While teaching a less active member one day as we finished with the lesson we asked him if he knew anyone that we could teach or that was going through a problem and maybe needed help. He referred us to his friend.  So we went to the house of his friend but he wasn’t there, however his sister was there and we got the chance to teach her. She is a person that has looked for a church for all of her life, but she finally got sick of looking and stopped going all together. We have been teaching her for a little now and we got to meet her family. She has three kids and a husband.  We talked to all of them and her husband asked her if she was going to convert into Mormonism.  She said "yeah!  If I feel I should!"  And that meant the world to me and my comp.  So after that we got to talk about how we can receive an answer and she’s going to pray to find out ! It was legit! ha
While contacting we ran into a person that had been to church before and had a lot of questions for us.  It turns out that the questions weren’t really questions.  He had looked into the church and found every little thing that he didn’t like and everything that he didn’t agree with!   For some reason he felt like explaining all of this to us on the street corner at 5 o’clock. What my comp and I decided to do was explain to him that all of the gospel is true or simply it’s not and that all of us have the chance to find out. He told us without hesitation "it’s not true, there’s no way it could be." Honestly that made me a little bit sad, and that’s the first time it’s happened to me in mission.   I guess the old saying is true, you can leave the church, but you just can’t leave it alone! 
I started thinking about all of the confusion that there is in the world.  When in Utah you can’t see any of it or at least I wasn’t so aware of it.. Here we pass by jehovas witnesses (which I didn’t know existed) adventistas, evangelicas, catolicos and a lot more and they are all doing the same thing we are. I know that I am in the true church but I got to thinking that, that’s what everybody else thinks as well. I am grateful for the announcement of the prophet that missionaries can leave at an earlier age, because the world needs them.
In first Nephi 14 it talks a lot about the church of Christ and how small it is and how big the church of the devil is! ....go on a mission. :)
Welp, I didn’t get transferred I’m still here in Arroyo Hondo with Elder Feliz and it makes me happy.  I like the area and my comp and I get along just fine!
Today I GOT TO DRIVE! haha the Assistants needed help with the transfers so they gave me a truck and my comp and I took all of the missionaries coming into our zone to their houses!  Driving without rules is awesome! ha.
James, our baptism is doing great!  He went to conference and is preparing to go to the temple on the 20th of this month. He will get the priesthood on Sunday, so it’s pretty cool!
The mission is.... just what I needed....
mision santiago RD
Lunch at "The Monument" in Santiago between October Conference sessions

Yours truly with Elder Brumm from Sandy, Utah

My zone in Santiago Sur

Sunday, October 7, 2012

AH 5

Hey guys!                                                                                             October 3, 2012


Just to you all know, I am so grateful to have all of you in my life! ha  

This week has been so rewarding and really helpful as well! Being a missionary is a really fun thing ha-ha. 

This week we had a baptism!!! wooooo ha, Maxi James got baptized on Saturday.  A member named Samuel Moises, who has only been a member of the church for about a year, baptized him for us because they are friends.  

But again it has been so cool to see someone change their live so much just because two kids knocked on their door! James is Haitian and is studying medicine here in Santiago.  He travels a lot and has family in all parts of the world. He has had about 4 sets of missionaries pass by his house and we were lucky enough to see him progress! He is hilarious.  He speaks a little Spanish to us and English to me and he reads in French, but his native language is Creole. He decided to change for the better. He stopped drinking and smoking and isn’t afraid to tell his friends and family wherever he travels that he’s not like that anymore. He is getting signed into institute at the college to take classes to help him better understand and learn more.  He’s doing awesome so far!  It really makes me happy to know that I got a chance to be a part of this experience in his life!

On Monday we had another exchange with some other missionaries and we got the chance to do a family home evening. One of the sisters from the ward asked us to come to her house and do one because her family is going through a hard time. So, I had the chance to think and pray about what we could share with them to help their family out. And I came across President Uchtdorf’s talk as well Dad ha.  I read it over and I picked out the exact same part to share with them as you put in your last email to me!  

The key to a happy family is based on the gospel and forgiveness. Turns out they needed that message. The husband had done some things and it was hard for wife and family to forgive him.  After the Mom of the family shed a couple of tears she expressed her feelings to her family and they all agreed to forgive him.

I realized then, that in the past our family really hasn’t really expressed our feelings like we could have! I know that if we put our trust in the Lord and know that He has sent people to help us in this world.  Those people are our family! So I am also grateful to be able to be a part of this family and have the chance to help others with this message!

Besides everything spiritual that happened this week, I have officially worn out all of my pants and shoes that I started with! But no worries I sent to get pants made and had some others made in Dajabon when I was there. I also bought some shoes at the Haitian market for cheap while in Dajabon.  But, it’s funny to think that things like that only last for a year if you use it every day! ha

I have lost twelve pounds and it makes me cry every time I think about it. For p-day today we got up this morning and went to the golf course!  It’s the only one in Santiago and we hit a couple buckets of balls!  Wow it gave me good memories, and helped me remember that I was very privileged before the mission! ha

Take care of my nieces please and have fun! Love ya


mision santiago RD

Elder Feliz, Maxi james, Samuel Moises, me

me, Elder Feliz

Golf, driving range style
Las Aromas Golf Club - Santiago, Dominican Republic