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


CF 6

Hey what’s up my Family!                                                                                            29 May 2013
Everything these last couple of days have been really good! My comp and I are getting along fine and that is a minor miracle because he hasn’t had the opportunity in life to develop many social skills because of a rough upbringing, so he doesn’t get along with many people.  He is still like a little kid that needs to grow up (but don’t we all in certain aspects of our lives).  It’ll happen with time and some love.  Sometimes we will be in lesson and he doesn’t realize that we are there to teach, just more to hang out.  It’ll be great when his mannerisms catch up with his testimony! Haha.  Growth, it’s an eternal thing.
My district is really cool. I have a Sister from Honduras and an Elder from Haiti and another from Colombia so we are a big mixing pot.  I like it because we get to see how the church functions in different areas of the world!  We are talking a lot about how to better our teaching approach in the lessons that we teach, and in the meetings that we attend.  It’s just nice to have everyone on a semi even keel and then let the Spirit guide us and use our personalities and talents to better serve the Lord and the people we contact.  At the start of my mission that’s what we focused on.   It’s been awhile since we touched that topic, so I thought we´d bring it back again, just as I did in Arroyo Hondo with my zone!  So in our last meeting we practiced inviting people to be baptized and had a really fun time doing it!
One thing that I’ve noticed about being here is that I’m not afraid to talk anymore.  I can say anything to anyone or in front of anyone without choking up or being scared. Ha.  And I do it in Spanish.   I don’t know if till be the same in English, but I’m glad that I’m confident in what I believe and recognize others as my brothers and sisters!
Our investigators are doing okay, but not so great. We are teaching a lot of young couples from partial member families, and every single one of them needs to get married....... and no one has money to get married here and they are all scared to because it costs even more to get divorced ! ha.   So until they can get married they really can’t progress.  I know that they aren’t going to break up right now, and that’s not what we want anyway, just wish that they would follow God’s plan for happiness!  We have some other people that we are teaching that are going to church and have a baptismal dates,  so it’s pretty cool and we´ll keep working to find and help more people!
I found out that another person that we were teaching in Navarrete got baptized!  He is the atheist’s (but not now – he’s a member of the Lord’s kingdom) friend Eduardo! He got baptized on Saturday, and then sent the missionaries out into the countryside to teach his girlfriend! Ahh.  I wish I could’ve been there!  But it’s okay, God has a reason for me to be here in 100 FUEGOS !!!!!!
 We just barely found a guy named José Alberto who is like 25 and within 3 lessons with him he accepted a baptismal date but when I invited him to be baptized his mom over heard our conversation and stopped us and said that he has already been baptized in the Catholic church and that his baptism is sealed in heaven and doesn’t need another one. I looked at her and kind of laughed inside and then explained our beliefs.  
I wish yall could see how much of an influence all of the different religions have in this country, from voodoo to all sects of Christianity and well about all major and minor religions out there.  There is a evangelico church right next to our house and in their worship services they do a lot of shout and fainting and it goes late into the nights so  sometimes I can’t sleep... it so confusing to me,  and it has all of the people more confused about religion.  I guess it could be compared to The Joseph Smith story when he was young and trying to find the truth; where great multitudes united in different religious parties which created no small stir amongst the people, preachers calling lo here, and others lo there ….   THANK GOODNESS I was born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a MORMON!!! Ha.  love yall

Misión Santiago, RD


Thursday, May 23, 2013

CF 5

Dear Family and friends,
This week has been good!

We have been really trying to find families in our area and this week we have done just that!  We had a whole day planned out to teach but when I reviewed it again and saw whom we had, I just got a feeling their part in reading, studying and praying, so it’ll be hard for to progress.  So I told my comp that we were going to go to a different part of our area where we or the other missionaries before us have ever worked in much. 

We went over to this ”new area” and every person that we met let us in their door and had a nice discussion with us. We got the chance to met a guy named Francisco and we were just going to start teaching him, when I heard someone and he said it was his wife (or... girl friend/live-in because no one here gets married) that was bathing, so we waited until she finished and came out.  To make a long story short, we had an awesome lesson with them and the best part is that they are interested!!!! Haha.  He asked us where the church is and when he could go.  So even though it’s something small it meant a lot to us! 
We were walking in the street last Thursday and we saw a member coming in our direction and so we stopped him and asked him who he thought that we should visit.  He lead us to a house that I would’ve never found.  There were 6 inactive members and 3 people that were investigating the church about 5 months ago, but had somehow fallen thru the cracks.   We had no idea that they were investigating!  We have visited them three times this week and their family wants to be reactivated and we´ll see what happens with the others that aren’t members!! That’s the importance of helping the missionaries!!! ha 
In our district meeting all I did was teach English. ha . We had a zone meeting with all of the missionaries in the Santiago area (about 90 in all).  I got a call two nights before telling me that all the Latino missionaries were going to be asked to share their testimonies in English! Ha. There are 6 that are Latinos in my district. So I had them write their testimonies in Spanish and I translated them into English.  Then the zone meeting 2 out of the 6 were asked to share their testimonies and they did it so, so well!!! It’s way cool.  

We are setting up a service project in the hospital here in Cien Fuegos.  We´ll be helping clean, and visiting with the patient! It should be fun!  

I love yall!!

misión santiago RD

Saturday, May 18, 2013

CF 4

Dear family and friends,                                                                       15 May 2013

Life is awesome!
I had a great time calling you guys and seeing the whole family! Thanks for trying to use skype to see me and sorry if it didn’t work very well. Mom I hope that you had a wonderful mother’s day!!!!!!  I love you!
I got a call on Tuesday right as we were about to leave and it was the office elders asking me if I could donate blood at the hospital. So I said yes and we went.  Even though we had a lot of people to teach, we went.  We rescheduled our appointments as we went into the city.   I was so, so nervous because I’ve never donated blood before and you know me and blood and guts!  But all in all, I’m glad we went.
When we arrived, there were three other people in line to donate for the same person, but they didn’t qualify because they had been drinking the day before, imagine that! Haha.  How would that be to get a transfusion of 1% or higher alcohol?  Wow!  So they chose me!
I didn’t know the process of giving blood.  Was this some nightmare of exsanguination where I would watch my life empty from me into a series of little bags?! !  Haha.  Well I guess in reality they didn’t suck that much out of me!  Anyway, even though I didn’t know what to expect, I just did what I was told.  I lay down on this contraption and they hooked me up to a machine that separates my blood into red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate.  I was told that for every pint of my blood 3 people could be saved.  I laid there with two needles in my arm watching blood go in and out of my body for about an hour and a half ( I don’t remember being very happy about it, haha).  Anyway, the lady that needed the  plasma from my blood came in and sat next to me and thanked me so much for what I was doing ( that was immediate gratification seeing the person that I was helping).
After they finished sucking my blood and (I determined that I was still alive and had not become a zombie, haha), as we were leaving another lady stopped me to say thanks. I was a little unsure about why so I asked her and she told me to follow her.  She led us to where her daughter was.  There were 10 other kids lying in beds alongside her daughter, all with the same sickness.  It is some incurable disease that doesn’t allow them to produce their own blood.  So every day they have to buy blood to have transfused.  I found out that my donation saved them about 100 dollars, and it helped a little girl named Scarlet to be a little bit happier in her life.
But, after we walked into that room with the kids, I didn’t want to leave,  so we stayed there with the kids and their Moms for about 3 hours; coloring, talking and playing with them.  I absolutely loved it! I realized that sometimes we don’t think about (or even know) all that we can do for other people.  We stay within the same limits that we use to define us (our comfort zone) and we don’t stretch ourselves or progress much by doing something so scary but benign as giving blood.  I guess what I’m saying is that we look out for our own benefit, our own interests, time,  etc ., when without too much effort , we can do relatively simple things that will help others.  I can honestly say that when they were taking the blood out I felt so uncomfortable (you know me) and said to myself that I wasn’t going to do this ever again.  But “my eyes of understanding were opened”, and I realized what a difference this “sacrifice” made.  I’ll do it again, whenever they need it! I love living! haha
Service with a smile (albeit an apprehensive one) is so, so rewarding.  I learned a ton externally and internally about something I would never have considered doing before.
I love yall so, so much.  Thanks for being examples in my life and for helping me all the time!!!
misión santiago RD

                                                                         Christopher in Navarette

                                                         Elders being Elders in Navarette

Saturday, May 11, 2013

CF 3


So, DANNY GOT BAPTIZED!  His school teacher who’s a member baptized him! Ha.  I wish I could send you pictures of it but I can’t.  It was an awesome experience. He has been waiting for about a year and a half to be baptized and we were the ones that were able to help him do it!!!!  He was able to invite his mom and family to his baptism.  They all had so many questions about the church and baptism as well, so we got a chance to visit with and teach them. 

I don’t know what’s wrong here, but the family is just not united at all.  I always see the kids getting baptized and changing the course and direction of their lives for the better, after which their parents realize that they need to improve their lives also (instead of the parents taking the “come follow me role”). 

We have another young man who has like 17 years that we are teaching.  He’s so cool.   On p-day we always play baseball with him.  His situation is so hard in his family.  His parents don’t like the Mormon Church.  They are not supportive of him in anything, and his sisters are terrible to him.  But he is the coolest kid and wants so badly to do what God would have him do.  It’s just really hard for him. His name’s Junior and it would be good to keep him in your prayers!  

My comp and I are having fun meeting a lot of people and working hard.  I feel like I am training again.  Everyday my comp finds out something he didn’t know before.  I have been able to help him to be more respectful as a missionary and as a person. The gospel helps so, so much to change a person’s life and I’ve realized that a missionary is on his mission to change his own life and helps others or at least invites them to do the same.  

The Lord has always invited us (each and every person) and has never obligated anyone to do anything.  We have our agency and we have been instructed well enough to be able to decide for ourselves.  That is something that my comp didn’t know.  Maybe the Lord sent me here to help him to understand.

Christopher, THE self proclaimed ATHIEST IS GETTING BAPTIZED on SATURDAY!!!!  Remember the atheist that we started teaching about 2 months ago_ he is totally getting baptized, I talked to Elder Cuahtemoc, my old comp who is still in Navarrete,  and he told me that everything is going good and that he will be baptized on Saturday!! Haha.  That’s so, so sick (fantastic)! I’ve been able to participate in the conversion an atheist and a Jehovah Witness! Haha.  That’s not easy to do! It’s amazing how the Spirit of the Lord has influenced these people (mine elect hear my voice..).  

I can’t tell you all how happy I am to be doing what I’m doing. I love to be able to say that the Lord has used my companions and me to offer the gospel of Jesus Christ and as they accept it, watch it change their lives!!!  

I love you all and wish the best for everyone ! 
misión santiago RD

Sunday, May 5, 2013

CF 2

Hey family and friends!                                                                                 May 1, 2013

I live in a section of Cien Fuegos called La Gloria. Umm. For P-day this morning, we went over to the church and played catch and pepper with our investigators and then went shopping for groceries, cleaned, and did laundry!
Dad thanks for sending the great news about Kyler getting his call!  That’s so, so cool that he’s coming here to this mission.  He’ll love it.  And the people here will love him.  It made me cry when you told me! Haha.   Will you get me his email?
This week has been so, so cool. I have worked so hard with my new comp and we are having a ton of fun in our area. In this last transfer, I was glad that I was given a District to work with. I can finish my mission working more closely with fewer companionships and will now have more time to proselyte in my own area without spending so much time in the leadership role, traveling, and holding and being at meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a Zone Leader for over half of my mission, but this is cool on a District level.  I guess each calling has it plusses and minuses.  But the Lord puts us where He needs us to be to help others and grow ourselves.  My District is awesome.  In our district we have 6 elders and 2 sisters.  It covers Cien Fuegos, La Libertad, and La Union.  So it’s pretty big but we only have two chapels.  Cien Fuegos is a place that has lots of thief’s, drugs, dealers, and some kind of off-of-the wall people.  But, everywhere I’ve been the ”bad” people protect the Mormon missionaries! haha so I’m not too worried, and it’s about exactly the same as my first area in El Ejido. 
My comp is from San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic (that’s down on the south east part of the island).  He is pumped to serve here.  Almost all of the Dominicans that serve here knew of or wanted to serve in Santiago, because as all missionaries say it’s the best mission in the world! haha

On Friday I did a baptismal interview for the other elders in Cien Fuegos and the lady knew so so much and has felt that the gospel is true.  But she didn’t show up on Saturday for her baptism! haha That’s a first for me and even though I didn’t teach her, that was still weird.  We talked with her to find out what the issue was.  She was called into work!!! How crappy! Haha.  She’s still coming to church and everything and has a new baptismal date.  So it’s all good.

My comp and I are going to have a baptism this Saturday, it is a kid that is 15 years old and knows so much about the gospel.  He wants to get baptized first in his family because his Mom and Dad aren’t ready yet, but when that time comes they’ll all be together in the gospel.  Oh, his name’s Danny.

Each missionary has his own style of working.  Each has the same goal in mind.  But as I have been here with Elder Santana, we work a little differently than he was used to.  We study and do situational discussions and training, and walk fast and teach a lot.  I guess they didn’t do that before so much.  He gets back to the house everyday beat and tired! ha

I can really see the influence of the spirit in my mission.  It seems like there’s a reason for being at every house that we contact.  When we arrive we meet people that need the gospel in their lives and want to hear our message.  Our area is Huge and we don’t have the chance to meet all the people.  But as we follow the Spirit, I know that we are meeting those whom we should be meeting.  I love that feeling.  The Lord is hastening His work and I’m glad I’m on His team and in a place where I can help.
The gospel is something that I have come to love and appreciate so much in my life. I understand why I’m here, and have learned what I need to do to be able to return to live with God again. I cannot tell you how cool that would be, to be in front of the Savior and as it says in Alma 5 he will tell me to come thy works have been works of righteousness.  The gospel and the mission have saved and changed my life and I would invite everyone who reads this to let it do the same to you!


Mission Santiago RD

P.S. I got my flight plans for my return home.  I’ll be leaving this little piece of paradise on July 18th at 8:10 a.m. eastern time arriving in Miami at 10:25 a.m. then leaving Miami (after a layover) at 12:00 noon arriving in Los Angeles, CA at 3:40 pacific time, a layover until 5:05 pacific and then arriving in SLC at 7:50 p.m. mountain time and then home to Provo at o'dark:30 p.m. 

Note from the Dad.
We are thinking of taking Front Runner and Trax to pick him up.  That way we can all spend some time with him.  It takes about 1:45 minutes to do the public transportation thing each way.  This is just a consideration now.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

CF 1

Ha, hey how are you all!!                                                                              24 April 2013 

This past week was so so cool but really sad.  Great times finding, teaching, interacting with the investigators, members of the ward, and my zone.  But I got transferred!  Never get to comfortable! Right! Haha.  There is still so much to do, I just get to do it in another city. 

We had some of the coolest lessons and we got the chance to meet some really cool people.  In Navarrete we found and were working with a kid named Dinelson, who is 20 years old.  He is and always has been someone that spends all of his time in the street drinking and hanging out,  but when we got the chance to talk to him and explain to him what our message is about and how it can change our lives he was really impressed and now really wants to learn about the gospel.  We found out that his cousin is a member and has just returned from serving a mission in El Salvador.  The cousin will be able to help out a lot. 

We had a fireside that our ward mission leader planned.  It went so so well.  One of our investigators that has a hard time committing to any meeting came!  She really liked it.  The ward mission leader only talked about Joseph Smith. So she got really confused in what and in whom we believe.   But on the other hand, it provided a great opportunity for us to be able to teach her more about the gospel and of Jesus Christ and prophets.  So all in all it was a win. 

Christopher, the atheist, and Eduardo his friend (that I’ve written about before)  are going to get baptized the 11th of May!!!!!!!  They just joined the ward choir and participate in almost all of the ward meeting and activities.  He said that he was an atheist but I think that he just hadn’t had any background in religion and it was just easier to say that he didn’t believe in God.  NOW he KNOWS God lives, knows him and loves him, and that Jesus Christ is his Savior!  

 On a personal note it’s just too bad that I won’t be able to be there for their baptisms.  It’s always hard leaving an area, and the people that you have influenced and that have influenced you, but exciting to work hard in a different area and zone see what develops. 

I’ve been called back to serve back in the greater Santiago area in a place called Cien Fuegos (100 fires ). It’s on the very west side of Santiago and from what I understand  it’s not the garden of Eden! Haha! I got transferred from Navarrete to Cien Fuegos to finish the last two transfers of my mission. My comp is Elder Santana.  He’s a really young Dominican missionary that just finished with his trainer.  I am going to love being with him.  It’s almost as fun as training cause you get this raw, excited missionary who really wants to learn and bring the gospel to the world paired with a missionary who can help channel and continue to train and guide.  I hope and expect to continue serving and seeing miracles in this area just as I have in the other areas I have served in.  I know that Heavenly Father knows us each individually and puts us in places and time where we can help his children best and grow ourselves. 

I love this mission experience!

Love yall and hug my nieces for me!

misión santiago RD
My friend Arturo From Arroyo Hondo that we contaced. He was just baptized! 


Hola Everyone!                                                                   17 April 2013

I’ve had the chance, the last couple of days to see and experience a lot of change.  I love the fact that however much we change God stays the same and so do his rules.   A few weeks ago I told you about an atheist that we got the chance to meet.  This week I can tell you that he is no atheist. On Sunday at church (it was fast and testimony meeting), he not being a member bore his testimony along with his friend that we are teaching.  He said that he completed one month since he first got to know the church and what he has FELT has changed his life.  He said that he has never been so sure of something ever before and that he has finally found an answer to all of his doubts. We went to his house on Monday and invited him to be baptized and he gladly accepted ... life changed.

 We also went to his friends, Eduardo, house and as we got there it just felt different.  As we got talking to him he told us that his grandmother had fallen and broken her arm and that she would’nt be able to get it operated on because the anesthesia would kill her. Long story short, she was laying on her bed crying because of the pain and bleak outlook, we gave her a blessing and as we took our hands off her head, she wasn’t crying.  Her pain was tolerable and she felt peaceful about her arm healing! Eduardo expressed to us his desire to be baptized. ...  life changed.

There is a town crazy guy here in Navarette, and almost everyone knows who he is.  His name is Emilio.  Thursday night as we were walking down the street, he stopped us and told us he wanted us to go to his house because he needed help.  I thought about what David told me from his mission, that sometimes he invited drunk people to do things, come to church, read, pray, etc.,  but maybe they didn’t have enough faith to change.  So, I thought that we’d take him at face value and visit him.  We went to his house and it was a mansion, but dirty as ever.  Anyway we taught him and invited him to church, 2 days later, on Sunday he was at church! and now is reading the Book of Mormon every day….  another life changing.

Look, what I want to say is that the mission is awesome and it has changed me just as it is changing the lives of the people we meet!  I am grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and thru it hope for being and doing better!  I love to teach about that and experience it myself….. Life changed and still changing!

At home you could say that life is changing because there are 3 babies THAT I HAVENT EVEN MET.....ha ha but it’ll be cool to meet them.  I hope yall are saving me a spot on one of your softball teams and that you tell your kids my name,  A LOT. ha

hey dad. Really I have to thank you for doing all of the things that I’m not able to do right now concerning school.  It’s funny (inspired) that you wrote me about Alma 5.  This whole week my comp and I have dedicated our studies to this chapter. Thanks for the insights.  We helped a less active member come back to church and be comfortable enough to have an interview with the bishop; all with the help of this chapter.  We have been able to put it in to our own lives.  ha its awesome…. Lives changed!

I love you all, have a good week.

misión santiago RD


In Navarette with Elder Cuauhtemoc


Friday, April 12, 2013


Hey Family,                                                                                   10 April 2013
This week:   I spent a lot of money Mom but we did a lot of service and had to buy a lot of paint.   

Frankelis that got baptized about a month ago lives in a house with his mom, grandma, and two sisters. It’s actually a really nice house here in the Dominican.  It’s just wood slats and it hadn’t ever been painted.  Elder Henriquez who is serving in our zone on the other side of the city, had the idea to do more service projects and so he asked me if I had anything in mind. I immediately thought of Frankelis and his family.  So we planned a service project painting their house.  We got members and 8 missionaries together to do it and within 4 hours we painted the whole house and it turned out so so good!!!  

CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME I learned a lot and we had two investigators attend, the guy who claims to be an atheist and his friend ha.   He liked it so much that he posted it on facebook for more of his friends to see!   

Yesterday we had a really special day.  Two youth from the ward came with us to our teaching appointments.  We had the coolest lessons!  The best part of the day was when we were on our way home, I saw that a truck was stopped on the side of the road, the tire had flattened and they had a load of like 400 pounds of chiles that they were taking to Santiago.  I knew that we needed to help them so we did, and even though we didn’t have to lift or anything we were able to find a Jack for them and they got the truck up and went on their way.  After we were done there, we walked past a little store on the main street of the city and I had the impression to ask the woman who was working there a question.  I really didn’t know why or what to ask so, I asked where she was from  (Haha be careful what you ask I guess).   She went on to tell us her life story; that her dog died and her dad has cancer and work sucks and she doesn’t know what to do, and then she finally finished with oh... I’m from Ecuador. It was awesome because we got the chance to teach her the plan of salvation and she was able to express herself (pour out her emotions and dump) to somebody.  

I know the lord always guides us!!  It’s awesome. 

I honestly love the mission.  I know that as I put God first in my life I’ll be happier and everything will be okay. 

To your question about people I’ve worked with going to the temple:

My very first baptism Eudy Cruz just finished his papers and will be leaving this next winter hopefully. Maxi James and Victor Meran from Arroyo Hondo have been to the temple to do baptisms, the Antillas family that we reactivated got sealed a month ago and that’s it, I think ha.  It makes me really happy. 
It’s hard to keep in touch with everyone we’ve worked with , but in the missionary network, we keep each other informed pretty well of what’s happening in our olds areas.   

I hope you have a good week.  

love ya

misión santiago RD
July 2011- July 2013