Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

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