Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

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


Sunday, April 7, 2013


THIS WEEK WENT SO FAST HA :                                                          3 April 2003 

The investigators that we have are doing so well ... well, José not so much right now, but he´ll be alright in the future ha.

Franklin went to church and we got 3 more people to get to church, and it made me so so happy to know that our efforts are worth something ha .  Jordi is doing awesome but having a hard time with his Mom.  She doesn’t really like the Mormon Church and wants Jordi to only be catholic no matter the circumstances.  She told him that he couldn’t go to church on Sunday but he told us he is going to sneak out to go to general conference! haha, so pray for him.  


CONGRATS DAVE AND BRIS !!!!!!!!!! Wow that’s so weird.  I have three nieces!.

Anyway mission experiences.  I had an exchange with an Elder serving in Mao, Elder Brummm.  When we got back from Mao to Navarrete we were sitting in the park and I got a call from a member from a different ward giving me a referral of two of his friends ( I love member referrals).  We were able to work them into our schedule that day, so we went over to their place to meet them and see if we could set an appointment o visit with them.  When we got to the house and as we knocked on the door, I got a really weird/heavy feeling.  We were invited in and I still had that feeling.  As we sat down, before we really said anything, he emphatically stated that he is an atheist............ I’M IN A COUNTRY WHERE EVERYONE BELIEVES IN CHRIST (or so I thought).  I didn’t really know where to start.  How do you start a discussion with someone when there is no common base.  I didn’t quite know what to do.  He had never prayed in his life, didn’t know who God was or is, had an idea but didn’t or hadn’t felt that he existed.  We were able to bare testimony of God and His Son Jesus Christ and a little of a Godhead lesson.  He started asking questions, a lot of questions.  I think he had kept these inside for a long time and wasn’t really so much an atheist but just didn’t know where to go to get and understanding, and finally found someone he could ask.  I found it so much easier to answer the questions because he was sincere in asking not trying to Bible bash to try to prove some point or the other, with me like the normal Dominican.  We felt the Spirit and let him know what he was feeling.  He thoughtfully accepted our answers -and we were able to answer almost every question he had.  I thought about inviting him to be baptized but that weird/heavy feeling came again.  So we didn’t.  I think that we put him on a good path for him to start his personal discovery of God and his relationship to Him, but the commitment is not what he needs right now.  When he knows who God is for himself (we’ll follow up with him and provide answers as he is ready) he needs to make steps on his own to “come unto Christ” -  we´ll get around to that when he’s ready (baptism, that is)! 

Semana Santa (Holy week) was crazy! On Friday (the day Christ died) no one left their house or played music like they normally do.  It was the most quiet day I remember since living here in the DR.  But on Sunday ( the day Christ was resurrected ) it was the exact opposite.  It was so hard to be a missionary and try and teach.  They had a huge party in the city park and EVERYONE went. They burned a life sized straw doll of Judas in effigy as a tradition because he  was a traitor to Christ and gave him up to the sadducees , pharoses and Romans for ten pieces of silver.  It was just a crazy day. I’m really glad that Mormon celebrations are a little more docile and calm.
My camera battery died so I cant send pics.... next week ! HAPPY CONFERENCE EVERYONE!  I hope ya learn a lot.  I plan to.  


LOVE !!!!!!!

misión santiago RD


Hey fam !!!                                                                                               27, MARCH 2013 

This week has gone by so so fast!!! And there have been a lot of ups and downs.  

On the 30th of March we had two baptisms planned that we aren’t going to have anymore!! Ha its sucks but it’s okay because they’re not ready. One is named José Urena who is a 40 year old retired policeman and he was doing so so well.  He totally stopped drinking coffee and is going to church but this week he came to church with his girlfriend that we didn’t know he had ..... they’re living together.... we got to get them married first , then he can get baptized.  That’s a common story her in the DR. ha .  

But no worries the past few weeks my comp and I have been looking for new people to teach and gracias a Dios (Dominican saying roughly translated as  - thank goodness)  ha .. We found a family and a kid that’s 16. Yesterday we taught them both and had the coolest lessons ever. Franklin and his family are amazing. Last night we went with the ward mission leader to visit them and it turned out that the mission leader and Franklin are best friends. We shared the first lesson with them, after he and his wife had read and they understood so well.  I got the chance to invite him to be baptized and he said yes and without an invitation he told us that he was going to go to church.  So even though satan can play a role in the work God always takes his parts as well!!  

The kid that we found is named Jordi and since the first day he has wanted to learn more about the church. We left a copy of the Book of Mormon with him and he has already read a ton.  We invited him to pray and says he does it every night asking God if this is His church.  It’s crazy how the Lord works in people life’s when all we do as missionaries is talk and testify to them !  

I love the mission and I’m having fun.  I hope that you all are doing just great. Thank you Mom and Dad for your example in  going to serve the elderly.  I’ve seen so many smiles from the old people when we just go up and shake their hand. but honestly thank you !!!  

HAPPY EASTER WEEK. Christ loves everyone !!!!  


misión santiago RD




Hey all!                                                                                    20, MARCH 2013
WE won the world classic hahah last night the whole country went crazy as the Dominican baseball team won the world classic! 

But this week has been cool!!

To answer your questions Dad my comp is awesome.  He’s from Vera Cruz ,Mexico and he doesn’t speak any dialect.  I guess his last name means like eagle hunting their prey or something like that ha. This transfer we haven’t done many exchanges because my comp doesn’t know the area very well yet.  We did one with the assistants to the President  the other day that was fun!  In Navarrete there are no rutas ( Toyota Corolla size cars that they pack 10 people into), we are on foot all the time.  When we need to, we call a motor taxi (three wheeled motorcycle that takes us to the stake center). Our zone is HUGE, to get to the end of it we have to take a bus for 2 hours to a place called Sabenta, we also travel to Mao and Esperanza a lot. We only eat with members on Sunday for lunch. Other than that we cook or buy rice and beans in the street. ha. 

This Monday we had a Family Home Evening with a family in the ward that absolutely has nothing.  They barely eat everyday and it’s a miracle that they have clothes to go to church in. We planned a really cool program for the FHE. We went and bought a big bag of bread, a big salami, and a bottle soda so they could eat something that night.  

Before we finished I asked all of the kids and their parents to share their testimonies with us.  They did, and as a result of being really poor and uneducated, they couldn’t really find the words to express themselves.  The spirit was so strong in little “house” because we knew that their testimonies were sincere what they lacked in words, they made up in spirit.  They may be poor as to physical things but are rich in spiritual things and they are happy.  My comp and I also had the chance to share our testimonies and as I stood up my eyes filled with tears and I shared, for one of the first times in my life, a testimony that made me spill happy tears. ha. God is good! The atonement is real and the gospel is TRUE! 

 In our exchange this week I was with Elder Wilkinson( he’s from England) and he has about the same amount of time in the mission as I do.  It was such a good day!  We taught the best lesson and helped two less actives member realize what they are missing when they don’t go to church. I explained from James 2 about faith and he explained about repentance using the example of stacking books on Vladimir’s arms, making it heavy until he repents and takes all of them off.  It might have been a really small metaphor, but I know that they understood the concept and felt that they need to be in church again, and that the gospel is the only thing that helps us progress!

 I don’t know much about what’s going on at home.  I hope that Bristen and the baby are okay! And that everyone is happy! Ha and if not you should definitely get happy because we only get one life to be happy !!!  

The gospel has been restored and I know it, repentance is the only way to enter into the kingdom of God and applying these things in our life is what makes us happy. I know because I’ve been on both ends of the story ! ha  


misión santiago RD