I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Summer is Over

Valerie is having her baby in 3 days?!?!?! That is so soon! I've got butterflies right now just thinking about that. I need pics for sure asap. There's also something else I need asap before you leave for Utah por favor. It's getting really cold really fast, and most missionaires have normal coats and not the big overcoats because they look like trench coats and it can be intimidating when it's dark all the time to knock on someone's door and look like a hitman. I was going to buy a new coat here, but my Solomon snowboarding coat has kept me warm in well below zero before, and it would be a lot cheaper to ship that than to pay 200 bucks for a new coat, so I f you could send me that asap that would be awesome. Thanks! .

Alright, well I don't have a ton to write about, but I don't have much time so that's ok. On Monday we played football as a zone, and we have a big zone so it was pretty much 11 on 11 and was really fun. it started raining pretty hard when we were playing so we all got soaked and really tired. I took a nap after, and when I woke up I could hardly move I was so sore. I wish I was able to ride a bike, but there is just too much ground to cover each day, and it's getting cold so that wouldn't work. We've covered up to 130 miles in a day before in our truck, but usually it's around 60-80 miles. Today we took our truck in to get the studded tires put on because it's supposed to snow any day now here in the valley. At the beginning of the week it was still warm and in the 50's outside (haha that's warm now) and we were still wearing short sleeved shirts, but on Tuesday we woke up and the mountains were covered in snow. In one night summer and fall ended! So it's pretty cold now and Bro. Hale in our ward said the weather man predicted that it would snow today here. I don't think it will but by the end of the week we will probably have snow on the ground.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference and Elder Arnold of the First Quorum of the Seventy was there to instruct us. He is an extremely intense and bold man, and extremely inspired. He instructed us that the Book of Mormon is not used enough in missionary work, and we learned a ton. We have been using the Book of Mormon a lot more in our proselyting and the results are already a lot better. It gets people to talk to us more when we are more bold about our message and the Book of Mormon. I have a good feeling about the new twist we are taking on how we go about missionary work. We were also instructed heavily on extending committments. Again, we were told to be more bold when we extend committments, and to not be afraid of them saying no, and how to go about responding if they do say no. We are planning on extending a serious committment to our investigator Jason tonight after dinner with him and his family, and help him in whatever way we can to overcome his problem with the Word of Wisdom.Well, things are going really well, and I am learning a ton in my study and work. It's amazing how clear and focused your mind can be when you pray for the Spirit and are willing to act upon the inspiriation you're given when you study and work. I'm am grateful that I have this awesome opportunity to have these experiences I am having. Thank you for all your love and support for me. I hope everything goes well this week. I am way stoked to be an uncle!!! Love Mat

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Heavy Week

That's pretty crazy that 5 new bishops will be called. Hopefully our family will stay in the Palo Verde Ward. That would be weird for wards to change on my mission and then come back and not know anyone. That's awesome that Eric was ordained an Elder on Sunday. I was wondering if he had been ordained yet. That's also awesome that his dad was there for that. I wrote him a letter last week so he should get it soon.

Well, this week has been a really good week. On Monday we played capture the flag as a zone and had a really good time. I used my crappy shoes which was good because it was in dirt, but now my legs hurt really bad and I can't really run. The muscles are still torn. We are playing football as a zone in a about an hour so maybe I will just QB. Speaking of football, I heard BYU lost to FSU. You can't beat a team like Oklahoma and then get crushed by FSU. Normal BYU football it seems like. On Tuesday we contacted a woman named Shawn Lyle. She investigated the church a couple of years ago when there were sister missionaries here. She said she got really close to one of them, but that other ones pressured her too much to get baptized. She said she liked the sisters because she wasn't comfortable having elders in her home. She let us in, though, and we got talking to her, and I think she gained our trust a little bit. her daughter is Eskimo (adopted), and they gave us some Eskimo ice cream, but I can't remember the name. It's fruit mixed with seal oil and then frozen. They made ours with Crisco instead of seal oil, but it was still one of the grossest things I have ever eaten. It was like eating raw Crisco with berries that tasted like dead fish. Then they gave us some dried salmon called ska candy. It wasn't very good either. Natives like really gross things. Anyway, Shawn had concerns about the selecting of modern prophets so we helped her understand the process a little bit, and we are going to see her tomorrow. I think she feels comfortable around us so that's good.

Wednesday we had exchanges with our district leader. Elder Vailea went with our district leader, Elder Powell, and I went with his companion, Elder Patton. He was comps with Elder Norton right before I was, and we both think Elder Norton was awesome. It was a fun day of exchanges in the Willow area. On Thursday we had apartment inspections with th AP's and then interviews with President and Sister Dance. Interviews with President and Sister Dance are always the highlight of my entire transfer. I was a little bummed because they were really short. Usually I talk to each of them for half an hour, and one time I talked with Sister Dance for one hour and 45 minutes. I always look forward to interviews with them because they are both incredibly Christlike, and it just makes you feel awesome after you talk to them. Yesterday after church I ate with a Samoan Family, the Tuisaula's. It was my first time to eat at a Polynesian house. I ate so much food I almost exploded. Sister Tuisaula told me after I was done eating to take a break and rest my stomach, and then get more food, so I did that until I couldn't shove anymore food down and was hurting pretty bad. Then their daughters brought us dessert. Two big pieces of cake and half a plate of ice cream. I spent ten minutes trying to force it down. I feel really fat now haha. I was still feeling that dinner when I woke up this morning. We had an open house that night for nonmembers at the church and that was good. Well, we got two newinvestigators this week and we have hopes for a baptism soon! I will let you know next week how everything goes. Love Mat

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chickens and Rottweilers

Malo lele. Fe fe hake? I just said hello, how are you in Tongan. Think that's impressive? That's only the tip of the iceberg. I'm almost fluent by now. Haha no but I learn a few words every day. Anyways, on with my week. Monday wasn't a bad day. A few of us decided to go hiking up Hatcher Pass, and it was a clear day so it was pretty awesome. We had a dinner that night with a part-member family, and the husband is an investigator. We taught him about obedience and faith. He has trouble with the Word of Wisdom, but he comes to church and even has his own leather-bound quad. He came to Stake Conference yesterday. We are hoping he can start following the Word of Wisdom so that he can be baptized. Tuesday we had dinner with a less-active family, and it was good but a little awkward. They fed us chicken that they had killed themselves from their chicken coop. Good stuff! We went tracting that night like we always do, and we tracted into a guy who wanted to argue with us for awhile. He told us a bunch of garbage about how Christ isn't coming to the earth again and how Joseph Smith is a false prophet. He said he had a dvd we could have that talks about how to find the real truth. I told him I would take it, and I only did because I wanted to throw it away haha. He gave us the dvd, and I handed it to Elder Vailea, and we threw it in a dumpster down the street. One less thing to spread false doctrine. I've noticed that people here like to argue more at the door and are a little more educated about the gospel. People in the trailer parks in Valdez were very well educated, and even in the city we didn't run into too much trouble.

Wednesday we had District Meeting, and I'm still in the same district as the Valdez elders, so we hear them over the phone. It's weird to hear them give their reports on stuff I was doing there with the same people I worked with. My district leader told me I would be going on exchanges with him this week after district meeting. I'm going to tell him, Malo pe si'i fakahinohino, ka 'oku 'ikai te u lelei'ia ai. That means, "Thanks for your advice, but I don't like it." I'll just tell him that whenever he gets on my nerves haha. Thursday and Friday were extremely slow days, and not much happened. We spent most of the time trying to get in contact with all the less-actives in the ward. In our ward list, at least half of every page of members is less-actives. It's pretty crazy how many people go less active in the church. We tracted into a guy before dinner on Friday who told us that the reason he moved to Alaska was to get away from Mormonism. It was pretty funny to see his expression when he realized he can't hide from us! I'm sure there are lots of less-actives everywhere, but there are a ton up here because they move to Alaska to get away from people and things. They usually get frustrated when we try and see them.

Yesterday was our Stake Conference. It was a broadcast for all of the stakes in Washington and Alaska, and there were two seventies that spoke, who were followed by Russel M Nelson and Thomas S Monson. It was a really good Stake Conference, and it was good to hear from the Prophet and an Apostle. Russel M Nelson talked about following the prophet, and President Monson talked about helping those whose hands hang down and who have feeble knees, relating it to the lost battallion in WWI. That night we tracted. We knocked on the door of one house, and a big rotwieler(?) started barking and freaking out at the door. I could tell nobody was home, but the dog started to open the door! I could tell it wanted to eat me, so I held the handle at the door haha. I thought it might be a person trying to open the door to talk to us, so I let go, and the stupid dog opend the door to get out, so I grabbed the door before it could and shut it haha. I wanted to leave, but I thought the dog was going to get out if I let go of the door, but I let go anyway and we walked away. The dog didn't try to open the door again. The last thing I need is to get attacked by a stupid dog. I've heard lots of stories from missionaries who got bit, like Elder Norton. You can tell when a dog wants to eat you though, because the hair on their back will stand up straight, and that's when you know you should probably leave haha. Well that's my week!I love you guys and sorry about the short email last week. Seeya!

Love Mat

Monday, September 7, 2009

Short but Sweet

Hey Family! I just tried to send an email and it froze up and deleted so sorry. I don't have much time because I'm emailing at a member's house and we are about to have dinner. Everywhere we would normally email is closed because it's a holiday. I am doing great here in Wasilla in the Knik Fairview area. We hiked up Hatcher's Pass today for P Day and that was fun. Elder Vailea is an awesome missionary and a hard worker. We have lots of fun and work hard, and he is teaching me some Tongan so that's cool. Well I need to go. I love you guys!!! I will send a more extensive email next week. Love Mat

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Transfer 3 Area 2

Hey everyone! Transfer calls were Saturday and Valdez won't be my home anymore. I'm pretty sad about it. President Dance called Saturday for transfer calls, and he had me put it on speaker phone, so Elder Wood and I thought that either it was going to close, or both of us would stay. He told Elder Wood he would be training a new greenie. That's 3 in a row in Valdez. Pretty unusual for a bush area. He is pretty nervous for that. President Dance told me I am going to Wasilla to the Knik Fairview ward (you pronounce the K in Knik). I am serving with a big Tongan guy named Elder Vailea. I think we will get along, but I want to work hard and be obedient, and have lots of fun at the same time. We'll see how that goes. I will be the designated driver because they don't even bother having the Polynesians get licenses because of all the paper work. And I'll be driving a truck so that's awesome! I've heard it's a great area though so I'm excited for that. I really didn't want to leave Valdez. Most elders stay 3 to 4 transfers in Valdez, but both me and Elder Norton only stayed two each. It was really hard to leave everything, especially the members. I was pretty spoiled having Valdez as my greenie area. I'm used to having huge mountains basically right outside my door and all around me, and Wasilla is more of a valley so it's a lot more open. At least I can dry clean my suits now. I've been wearing my suits for three months without washing them. And I'm not sure how, but I gained 20 pounds of luggage in Valdez, and ripped the handle off my big suitcase because it weighed 70 pounds. I was pretty mad about it.

Valdez will hopefully be good for Elder Wood and his new greenie this transfer. We have found a couple people we are trying to teach, and just got a really good refferal from the Zone leaders in Juneau, so hopefully Valdez will pick up. The first three weeks with Elder Wood were a little tough, but the last three weeks were awesome. He was a good companion and we had a lot of fun. I told the members in Valdez that I would be back, and I really want to be sent back to Valdez again before I come home. If they close the area for awhile I would love to be able to open it. Anyways, Elder Wood and I had to give talks on Sunday, and it went pretty well. I talked on Baptism and he talked on the Holy Ghost. I was also able to teach both the 2nd and 3rd discussions this week. We taught them to members, because it's a slow area, but at least I got to teach them. We also went fishing on Monday, but we didn't catch anything. They were jumping just outside our reach from the shore. They are big fish. We had to hike a little bit to get to the spot where we were told to fish by members, and it was right next to a person's cabin on some rocks. It was private property so we knocked to ask if we could fish there and no one answered so we just fished. They got home while we were fishing, so we had to ninja our way through the forest and find the trail again to get out without being caught.

Being a missionary is awesome. Well, have a good week and hopefully I will have good news in my email next week! Thanks for the shoes! They are awesome and they fit prefect. I was basically a baller on the court with them. And thanks for the hand grip thing too. I'm going to have a gorilla grip when I get home. I'm really sory but I don't know if I will be able to write letters this week. I can only write today, and with transfers I'm not sure how much time I will have. And who knows if I can email next week because of Labor Day, but we'll see. I love you guys and hope everything is going well at home! Love Mat