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Monday, January 25, 2010

A Good Week

Hey Mom,

This week was a little slower for Elder Stephens and I. We had interviews on Wednesday and then Zone Conference on Thursday, and those are always great. It's not as exciting when you're just sitting in your apartment looking at a polycom for 8 hours, but it's still a good boost for the whole transfer. Elder Stephens and I are pretty excited because there will be a professional instructor from the Church coming to our mission next transfer to help train us better in zone conference. It will be awesome to get the training, but we are really excited because President Dance told us that we get to travel to Juneau for it. The last time they went from Whitehorse to Juneau for a zone conference, they drove to Skagway, flew in a bush plane to Haines I think, and then took a Ferry to Juneau. I think that would be an awesome way to travel, so hopefully they let us go the same way this time. We'll see in February.

On PDay I got to go play the drums at a member's house. It was pretty awesome. It was fun to play after not playing for so long, but I was really rusty. The rest of the week went OK. We were able to do more teaching this week, and we had some realy cool experiences with our investigators. On Wednesday we had a lesson with Karen and Cecil, and we taught them about the Restoration. The lesson didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped it would. I felt like I was stumbling over my words the whole time. When we finished we said a closing prayer, and Karen started talking about how she felt about everything. She put her hand on the Book of Mormon, and then tears came to her eyes and she said that ever since she had started coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon, she has felt so much joy. I was touched by that, and realized that that is the entire reason I'm out here, to be an instrument in the Lord's hands so that other people can have joy. In return, I will feel joy as well. The gospel is an amazing thing, and it changes lives.

We started teaching Nicole's little brother this week. He's a good kid, and he has lots of support. Nicole's family is awesome, and it's amazing how much support their parents give them even though they aren't members of the church. They took us out to lunch on Saturday, and Nicole's mom was really supportive of us too in having us teach Christopher. She has also been coming to church ever since Nicole's confirmation, and she is an awesome person. The work has been slow here this week, but we have had some great experiences, and I grow to love this area more and more each day.

Love Mat

Monday, January 18, 2010

This Place is Awesome!

Hey Mom, This past week and a half has been the most exciting of my mission, starting with Nicole's baptism. This week Elder Stephens and I worked really hard and had tons of success. We taught a lot of lessons this week (well, a lot to us was 4). We were able to teach all of our investigators, and had extremely good lessons with all of them. We got a couple new people we're teaching this week too so we're excited. On Thursday we were having a lessons with two of our investigators about authority. It was the most spiritual lesson I've been in, and I was starting to get a little emotional. We taught them about how we can trace our authority back to Jesus Christ, and I got a little teary eyed when I realized how powerful of a statement that was, and how real it is. This whole week has just been awesome.

Yesterday we had a lot of investigators and nonmembers at church, and it really got the branch excited about missionary work. Everyone has been really willing to help us out lately, and we are having a lot of success. Today Is going to be just a normal p-day. I get to go play a member's drum set again. It's weird to have not played for so long, but it's pretty awesome too. I'm really growing to love Whitehorse, and it's awesome to be able to help people come closer to the gospel. We have more work to do here than I've had in any other place so far, and it's great.

I heard some really good news a couple days ago that made this week even better. There was a lady in Wasilla that had been taking the discussions with the sister missionaries years ago, and Elder Vailea and I found her and started teaching her again. She told us she wanted to be baptized, but wasn't ready yet. When I got the call to come to Whitehorse, I didn't have much notice, so I didn't get a chance to say bye to her, or see her baptized. I was pretty frustrated because I knew she was close to being baptized. Elder Smout just got transferred from Whitehorse to Wasilla, and when he got there, he interviewed her for baptism, and she was baptized last Saturday. I was so excited to hear that she had been baptized. I was really frustrated to have to leave when I knew she was so close, and I had been wondering if she was still talking with the missionaries. Even though I wasn't able to see her baptized, I knew that the Lord guided Elder Vailea and I to her so that we could prepare her and teach her. If we hadn't found her, she wouldn't have had a second chance to hear the gospel and be invited to be baptized. Well, it has been an amazing week, and we are excited to see what lies ahead here in Whitehorse. This place is awesome! Love Mat

Monday, January 11, 2010


Hey Mom, That's crazy that Lance is already coming back! I remember when he left, I thought it would be forever till he got home. Now he's almost home, and I'm sure my mission will fly too.

This has been a really exciting week! It was three of us this week with both Elder Smout, Elder Stephens, and then me here. We had a good time. Elder Stephens is from Westpoint, UT. He said it's a little small town somewhere up by Logan. He is really good at singing and at the piano. Well, this week we focused mainly on getting Nicole ready for her baptism. She had her interview on Friday, and it went really well. On Saturday we spent most of our time getting the font filled and things set up and ready for the baptism, which happened at 4 PM. Nicole's parents came to the baptism. We were excited to see them there. Her baptism was probably the most spiritual experience I've ever had. It was awesome to see Elder Smout walk down with Nicole into the font and baptize her. The Spirit was really strong. After the baptism Elder Stephens played a solo arrangement of I Stand All Amazed, which is my favorite hymn. It was really good. I could tell that Nicole's parents were feeling the Spirit. It was an awesome service, and after Nicole's dad asked me for a tour of the chapel, so he got to see everything.

On Sunday Nicole was confirmed, and her parents attended that too. She has some amazing support from her family. Nicole was planning on one of the members to confirm her, but he was sick and said his English wasn't good enough (he's Venezuelan), so I was able to confirm her. It was a pretty awesome experience. It was amazing to see her prepare for her baptism, and then get to see her enter the waters and then become a member of the church and receive the Holy Ghost. The gospel is amazing and changes people's lives.

Well, Elder Smout left early yesterday morning on the van to Alaska, and now he is serving in the area next to my old area in Wasilla. He's serving with a Tongan. It was weird and sad to see him leave. He did a great job here in Whitehorse, and he loved it here. Elder Stephens and I will do our best to keep the work moving here. There is some awesome potential in this area. Today we are going to go to Bro. McDonald's house to jam with him. He's a really good guitar player, and has an electric drumset and a keyboard, and lots of guitars. He just got back in town, and finally I get to go play the drums again. It should be fun. Whitehorse is an awesome place, and I come to love it more and more everyday. I love you all! Love Mat

Monday, January 4, 2010

Senior Companion

Hey Mom! Sounds like you had a great New Years, and that you all were able to do some pretty fun things. Elder Smout and I didn't do much, haha, I mean we are missionaries. We spent some time at an investigator's house, and then we had to go back to our apartment so we just worked out and then went to bed. It was still fun though. We've had a really fun transfer together. I'll be sad to see him leave on Sunday.

Well, it's a new year and I'm sure time will fly by. Elder Smout and I had a pretty fun last week as just us two before the new missionary got here. We had some cool experiences. Nicole is still getting ready to be baptized on Saturday, and yesterday we taught her again and helped her prepare for her interview so that she won't be too nervous. It's going to be awesome to see her get baptized. On Tuesday we taught one of our investigators about faith, and about baptism. She suprised us by talking about baptism before we had even planned to ask her about it. Elder Smout and I were really excited that she brought the subject up so quickly, so we are going to be praying about a date we can commit her to so she can prepare for baptism.

Things are looking up here in Whitehorse. The other day, we got to go with our investigator Nicole and her mom to watch her dad play in a hockey game. It was pretty fun, I had never been to a hockey game before, and even though it wasn't the pros or anything, it was fun to watch. We're hoping that Nicole's parents will warm up to wanting to hear more about the gospel. Well, one more transfer is over, and now we have a new missionary with us. His name is Elder Stephens. He got in really late last night, at about 1 AM. We were all pretty tired when we got back, but I had a hard time falling asleep because I'm pretty nervous about this transfer. Elder Stephens has been out a little less time than I have, and I feel really inadequate to be a senior companion to him because he is a smart kid. We will have one week (this week) as three companions, and then after Elder Smout leaves on Sunday, it will be me and Elder Stephens. Hopefully things will go well. I'm hoping to have a great transfer, and see some baptisms, starting with this next weekend! Love Mat