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Monday, October 26, 2009

A Pretty Good Week

Well this week was a pretty good week. On Monday we went bowling as a zone. I got the second highest score with a 136 haha. That's not very good but at least I broke 100 right? That was a pretty good P-day. We bowled 3 games and had a good time. On Tuesday we were supposed to have a lesson with Shawn, but when we called her house to make sure the lesson was still on, her daughter told us she was in the hospital. One of the members called her in the hospital and she said she would like a blessing so we went over to the hospital right away. She had some problems with her blood sugar. We gave her a blessing, which went well, and then after we ran into a member from another ward that wanted us to give her husband a blessing, so we did that while we were there too. He had some pretty awesome Vietnam war stories he told us. So we didn't get to have a lesson with Shawn this week, but I'm glad we were able to help her out at the hospital. She said she has never been comfortable around elders, but she is comfortable around me and Elder Vailea because we are gangsta like that.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with another investigator, and it was probably my worst teaching experience so far. It was an unplanned visit, and was kind of awkward to begin with, but we just didn't teach well. She was only giving us one word answers to all our questions, and then Elder Vailea forgot her name and called her Noel when her name was Angelica, so that was funny, but we just didn't teach well. It's a good thing the Spirit teaches better than we do. This week we received two new investigators! We met our goal for the week so we were pretty excited. Our prayers were answered that's for sure. It's interesting, because I haven't felt like I have been working hard enough, so the past few days we've been trying harder and working harder, and that's when we started having success. We spent a lot more time tracting the past few days, and from being more focused and working harder, I can tell it makes a big difference. On Saturday we had a lesson with a guy named Chris we ran into tracting. The lesson went pretty good, and he already had a Book of Mormon and new a little bit about the church. On Sunday we brought up in PEC that he had a lot of wood to split for the winter, and some home projects to do, and immediately the ward council volunteered ideas and time to go over and fellowship him and help him with the work. One of the Young Men's leaders went to his house and talked with Chris that night and set up the priest mutual activity on Wednesday night to go over and split all the wood. That is pretty awesome. Chris has 3 kids and twins on the way so he needs all the help he can get. I really appreciated the fact that the ward council was so willing to get involved first hand and help out. Well, that pretty much sums up my week. I'm really focusing on what I can do to be a better missionary. Have a good week! Love You!

Love Mat

Monday, October 19, 2009

Splitting Logs

Hey! Well it's been a pretty good week. We did a lot of service this week, and I love doing service because it makes the time go by fast and it's good to get out of church clothes and do physical work. On Monday it was kind of a quiet P-day. We emailed and then went shopping, and then went back to our apartment and played some games with other missionaries. that night we had dinner with the MacDonald's, and after we had a lesson with Jason about obedience and the Word of Wisdom. It was a really good lesson, and we committed him to live the Word of Wisdom. He said it will be a slow process but he is working on it. After we committed that I felt really impressed to commit him to be baptized, and so I did, but he said he didn't know yet. It was good that I asked because he told us all his concerns and what was holding him back. We told him that the closer he gets to living the Word of Wisdom, the more in tune he will become with the Spirit so he can receive his answer. I hope it will be sooner than later, but it's on the Lord's time and not mine.

On Tuesday we raked leaves for Jason for about an hour and a half, and then on Tuesday we raked leaves for Shawn, our other investigator, for a couple of hours. We do a lot of leaf raking here. There are tons of leaves. It was cool because she told us she had already read what we left her to read, and then we set up a time to see her again and have a lesson, so tomorrow we're doing that. On Thursday we raked leaves again for Jason (He has a really big yard). After we finished the raking, we loaded the leaves into trash cans and hauled them on a four-wheeler into the trees to dump them. It took most of the day to do that. Earlier that day we had stopped by Bro. Best's house. He is 81 years old and had a ton of guns and navy stories. His wife was in Germany during World War II and has crazy stories about being forced to be in the Hitler youth and stuff like that. Anyways, Bro. Best was out with a chain saw cutting up logs from trees he had cut down, and hauling them back to be split. We were in our church clothes, but there were logs that weighed probably 80 pounds, and he is really old, and we didn't want him to hurt himself, so we helped load the wood and haul it up to be stacked, and then helped him stack wood that was already split. He started throwing his hatchet at a pile of wood, so we had a hatchet throwing contest and I'm pretty good at sticking it. I'm a born warrior. On Friday we went back to Bro. Best's house and helped him split all the wood we had hauled up the day before. I really like doing that kind of work. I like working with the big trees and logs. I had never split wood before either so that was cool. He had a splitter that we used, which pushes a wedge into the wood and spilts it, but I did some by hand too with an axe. I'm pretty good with weapons of war. Anyways, enough about that. It's good to serve the members and those you are teaching. The past two days have been pretty normal days I guess. I'm getting excited for all the snow, but not for the cold. I have a good coat though so I will be ok. Oh ya, and 5 months tomorrow!!! I love you guys!! Love Mat

Monday, October 12, 2009

Book of Mormon Experience

Hi! I'm glad you all had fun at Valerie's and Tyler's with the little Ty guy. It sounds like everyone had a good week. My week was pretty good. It was a slow week because it was the last week of transfers. We got our transfer calls on Saturday, and both Elder Vailea and I are staying in the Knik Fairview area. We might be moving apartments though. We live in the Settler's Bay area and the sister's live in our area, so we might move into the sister's apartment, and the sister's are getting a new apartment. They don't really enforce the "stay in your area" rule too harshly because we don't even live in our area, and the church is in a different area. Everything in Wasilla is really spread out so we put a lot of miles on our truck, especially because we live in a different area. Well, it was supposed to snow last week, and then it got warm (in the 50's) and just rained all the time, and most of the snow in the mountains is gone. It was supposed to snow today, but it's really sunny outside, so that's not going to happen.

Well, some good things and some not so good things happened this week. We finally had a lesson with Shawn. We were having a hard time getting a lesson set up with her, but she seems like she could be pretty solid so we are hoping for the best. We had to drop one of our investigator, Amanda. She was the one that was Jehovah's Witness. Her husband is really against religion, and when we went back for our second lesson, he told us that we shouldn't ever come back. It was a bummer, but it happens. I always wonder why the Lord doesn't soften the hearts of certain people so that more people can hear the gospel. I don't always understand it, but people have their agency, and the Lord knows more than I do so I just need to keep working. I can definitely tell that the Lord prepares certain people to hear and accept the gospel, but it's findng those people that is the hard part.

Something really cool happened on Tuesday. Elder Vailea and I were kinda bummed because our appointments had fallen through, and we decided to do some tracting. I parked the truck in a park parking lot in front of some aprtments so we could tract, and there was a black guy standing in the parking lot talking on the phone. He got off the phone and we went over and talked to him. He was from the Carribbean, and was a way cool guy. He said he had talked to missionaries before, and so we talked to him about the Book of Mormon. We had him read from the introduction in the Book of Mormon, and he started to cry when he was reading. We asked him what he understood from what he read, and he told us he didn't understand very much because it takes hima couple of times reading something to understand it. So we asked him how he felt when he was reading, and he said, "It's true." It was awesome to see that evern though he didn't understand what he was reading, he could feel the influence of the Spirit bearing witness to him that the Book of Mormon was true. We talked with him a little more, and gave him the Book of Mormon and our number, and got his number. It was a pretty awesome experience, except for the fact that he said he was moving to the lower 48 this week. Haha it seems like I do a lot of sowing but not much reaping. That's fine though. As long as I give them the opportunity to hear it, it doesn't matter who sees the results. I'll wrap up for this week. I love you guys! Love Mat

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Ty

Ty looks so awesome! I can't believe my sister is a mom now. I really don't know what else to say except it's awesome! The attachments from Dad didn't open because the computer I guess couldn't recognize the type of file, but the one from Valerie opened. He's got tons of hair for a newborn! Ryan probably already told you that the type of hair is called Lanugo. It's down and really soft. Anyway, enough about hair. Tyler's seed will prosper under his own name.
Baby Ty - 4 days old
Well I'll tell you about my week, even though it won't be anything as exciting as Ty being born. Monday was not the most exciting P-day ever because we had to get the studded tires put on, and there were no zone activities so we just shopped a little and then took naps. I hadn't taken a nap in awhile so it was good. We had dinner that night with Jason MacDonald, one of our investigators, and we planned on teaching him more about the Word of Wisdom, but he had tons of questions about the Book of Mormon. The Bishop in the ward challenged everyone to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, so he is reading the whole thing and had lots of questions. He was able to hear Elder Holland's awesome talk about the Book of Mormon on Sunday so I hope that will help gain faith and a testimony in the Book of Mormon. You don't have to read the whole thing to know it's true, and I think he does know it's true. On Wednesday we tracted into a lady who has been studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses for two years, but she said she believes in finding out and reading all you can before she makes any decisions, so we gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her the first lesson the next day. She had never heard of the Book of Mormon before, and understood why we have more scripture today. She was amazed to hear that we have a prophet on the earth today, and that a prophet translated the Book of Mormon. She wanted us to tell her things Joseph Smith ahd prophesied, so we told her a couple things, but that's not how you gain faith so we didn't go into detail and tell her everything he prophesied. She said her mom told her we were a cult, but she said she knew we weren't. Her mom told her to ask us about Kolob, which was a really weird question to get in the first lesson. I didn't want to go into detail about the urim and thumim and how it's a governing planet and everything, so I just told her it's the planet closest to where God resides. She understood that it was deep and she would understand it later. Hopefully things go well with her!
I can't think of anything really exciting that happened on Friday. Saturday was awesome of course with conference. I thought it was amazing how well each conference talk flowed with the prior talk, and how each talk made important references to the Spirit and having love. Elder Bednar's talk was also awesome about not being hypocrites. One talk I really like was President Uchtdorf's in priesthood session about the importance of work. No one in my generation knows how to work and get things done, so I thought it was a good talk. People in Alaska don't work very hard either, especially because they get paid money just to live here. Not everyone, but a lot of people work shifts where they get tons of time off, like one week on one week off, or two weeks on two weeks off,and then they complain when they have to go to work. It always frustrates me to hear them complain, and I think of how hard Dad works and doesn't get any breaks and doesn't complain. Well, it was different to not watch conference with you guys and be with a bunch of missionaries instead. It was good though.
After the Saturday afternoon session, we went to an appointment we had set up Friday with a woman named Patricia. A man answered the door and said "What do you want?" looking at Elder Vailea, so Elder Vailea told him we were there to have a lesson with Patricia, and he started yelling and asked us how we got her name. He kept yelling louder and louder and said he was going to call the police and file a complaint and get us in trouble because we had a record with her name on it (he said a lot of f-words too but I'll leave those out). When he said he was going to call the police, I just looked at him and said "alright." He can call and complain all he wants, there is nothing illegal that we are doing. He said if any missionaries ever came back he would bust them in the a**, and I thought it was funny that a shrimpy looking middle aged man would say that. It's one thing to say it to a little guy like me, but when you say that to Elder Vailea, you should probably think twice. He's 240 pounds of muscle so I always feel safe haha. We didn't yell back or anything, but I really wanted to. People like that frustrate me because it's hard to imagine them ever being able to accept the gospel. There was a lot more that he said, but it would take a long time to write, and I probably shouldn't repeat it anyway haha. We had dinner with the samoan family again yesterday. They had tons of food, and sent us home with lots of it. I'm going to get so fat. I had some boiled taro, and it was pretty good. It tastes pretty bland, but it wasn't bad.Well, that's my week. Thanks so much for sending my coat! It came a couple days ago. I also found a nice coat that was in our apartment. It's not warm enough for the middle of winter, but it's perfect for fall. I love you guys and I'm excited to be an uncle. Talk to you next week! Love Mat