Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

Thursday, January 24, 2013

AH 21

Hello family and amigos.                                                                                               23 January 2013
As we were working this week, I don’t know why but i was feeling really..... in a rut, I guess you could say, because I fell into a routine. But as you all know, a missionary can’t be bored!! So what I did was I planned an intercambio or an exchange with a district leader in my zone.  He came over to my area and we worked hard, found a lot of people and were able to share with a couple that my comp and I have been teaching for a while now.  It’s strange because every time that we teach them I would get so nervous – they are the neighbors of the second counselor in our Bishopric ( he referred us to them and every time that he has given a reference to the missionaries the investigator doesn’t progress).  But as of now Manuel and Gissel are progressing but she has a problem believing in Joseph Smith. So on Monday in the exchange we taught them and that lesson, and to be honest, it didn’t go very well.  But as we bowed our heads to pray and as she offered the prayer, I had the most peaceful feeling that they are going to accept the gospel and be baptized. Now maybe it won’t be in my time here but I’m almost sure that they will be able to feel that our message is true. So after being in such a rut ha the Lord smacked me in the heart with a sweet experience and got me excited to keep working hard!.
We are working with two less active members named Jeremy and Alex.  They are 20 and 22 respectively and they both have kids of their own.   Ha.  Their brother Pedro who’s 23, just received the M. priesthood and is going on a mission!! That makes me happy because he wasn’t thinking about it like 3 months ago. The two less actives always drink and smoke and do things like that ha so my comp and I decided to visit them and challenge them to read the Book of Mormon, a chapter each day. They’ve lived up to the challenge for the last two weeks!  They went and bought dress shoes so that they would look nice for church, and little by little they’ll be back!!
This week we are going to teach Rafael’s friends and help him come to church.  Maxi James got back from Haiti and came to church.  Next week I think that the Bishop is going to give him a calling. He’s progressing well.  Elder Feliz my old comp called me and told me that he got a job in Santo Domingo and that he broke up with his girlfriend!! haha

Last Sunday we had stake conference. Elder nelson spoke to us via satellite.  We had an investigator named Arturo there with us who is 70 years old!!!!!!
The mission is chill!
Love ya !!!

misión santiago RD

                                                             me standing on a bridge

L to R Elders Renderos, Fabian, Griner and. Batron

Saturday, January 19, 2013

AH 20

Heloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!                                        16 Jan 2013
I have this evolving realization that young men are sent on missions not only to help change lives and but also to have their life changed. As I have been here in Arroyo Hondo, I have been able to see proof of that.  This past week I realized how much I have changed as a person and I realized what the Lord has allowed me to do with my life here to help change the lives of others. 
First of all I give a lot of the thanks to sports.... haha because they helped me to have a good mentality; I had to develop an attitude where I could put up with stupid things and stupid people ( in my point of view).   I know that I was put here to help other missionaries. There are 24 missionaries in my zone and I have had the chance to work with just about every one of them.  I know that many people haven’t had to separate the crap from reality and “play through the ups and downs – success and failures etc.,to become mentally tough or maybe callused and let the water runoff like rain on a duck.  I am and have been able to help a ton of missionaries get over things that they were having problems with. I know that I was put with my comp Elder Renderos because he hasn’t had the greatest life. He moved out of his house when he was 14 because he couldn’t put up with his Mom, and he has never met his Dad.  He isn’t sure about himself and always puts himself down.  So I’ve (we’ve) got some work to do; he is such a great kid– he just needs to realize it.  Awaken the giant within as it were!!! haha but I’m grateful for it.
 We also got the chance to see how amazing the people that just got baptized are. We left to visit with Victor Meran who was baptized in December.  When it was his turn to share his testimony in the lesson he shared the simplest testimony ever, but I have never felt the spirit so much in my life. On Sunday he'll receive the Aaronic priesthood!!!
And yesterday we shared with Rafael Fernandez.  When we were sharing he stopped us and said, I need to help others know more about this message!  Then he went on to list about 5 people that were on his mind.  Guess who we will be teaching this next week!  I can really see how my time being here is effective and not wasted ( even though I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’m going to do when I get home)  I know that as long as I am here I am going to keep working hard because there is nothing better than knowing that you’ve helped someone to change (for the better) their life.
My comp had to get his wisdom teeth taken out.  I thought he would talk a little bit less afterwards, but it didn’t slow him down a bit) ha!
And on Saturday we had the coolest night. There is a family in our ward that I really love. They’re a young couple and are struggling to get by right now. So we went out and bought a ton of food, prepared it and took it to their house to cook and eat with them.  I made Moms chicken with the cream of chicken stuff, but I added garlic, and put it over pasta.  It was fun for us and I hope for them also!!!!
misión santiago RD

Wonderful day in the neighborhood

Elder Renderos losing his wisdom (teeth that is)

Friday, January 11, 2013

AH 19

Hey Family,                                                                                9 Jan 2013 

anyway... this week in the mission was fantastic J!
Having a new comp is cool but different.  I got really used to spending time with Elder Feliz and Elder Esparza,  because I was with them for 6 months.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do the same with Elder Renderos – this kid can sure talk! ha .
In the zone we have been wanting to help the missionaries ... become missionaries, and the way we decided to do that was by helping them invite people to be baptized.  It wasn’t happening very much. So, we put a goal to invite everyone they teach to be baptized in the first or second lesson. The reason why we thought to do that was because I have asked a couple missionaries that I really looked up to, as they were going home, what was something that they wish they had done better. They both answered, I wish I would’ve invited more people to be baptized the first time I met them! So that is what we are trying to do.  So far they have been doing pretty good.
On Thursday my comp and I put it into practice, we met a guy named Felipe and in the first lesson I invited him and in the second we put a date with him and invited him to church. On Sunday.... he went and it was so so perfect.  The bishop met him and the mission leader sat next to him, and they made him stand up in sacrament meeting as they announced that he was there for the first time.  It made him feel so good!  and as all of the member were bearing their testimonies he didnt stop paying attention.  When the meeting finished I asked him if he liked church. He told me ... no.... I loved it! He then pointed to the pulpit and said that’s not far away for me,  I’ve been waiting for the Lord to help me. !!!!
THE MISSION IS SICK haha . On Friday we are going to visit him with Victor, the guy that just got baptized!  I would’ve never thought about doing stuff like this before in my life but I’m so glad that I’m here doing it!
Thanks so much everyone for helping me get here. :)
Love yall
misión santiago RD


AH 18

Hey Family,                                                                 2 Jan 2013

uhhhh i just spent like 30 minutes typing a huge email and somehow it got deleted ...... woooo 

I got a new comp this Saturday his name is Elder Renderos from San Salvador El Salvador. He’s really cool so we should be good together! 

Rafael was baptized on Saturday night!  

I hope everything is going good at home and you’re having fun in the snow and that the power doesn’t go out again!  

Love you!"
misión santiago, RD