I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Pictures from Whitehorse

Nicole's baptism day, January 9, 2010. Elder Squires, Elder Smout, Nicole, Elder Stephens.

Elder Squires and Elder Stephens.

This is the vehicle Mat has been driving in Whitehorse--Chevy Silverado, which is what he was driving at home. He's lovin' it.

Bro. McDonald's band--Elder Stephens on keyboard and Bro. McDonald on guitar.

And Mat on the drums! Sweet.

On the way to Juneau for Zone Conference. They drove to Skagway and flew to Juneau.

Mat had a pretty exciting flight on this little plane, trying to stay ahead of bad weather.

Zone Conference. Need I say more?


This is the LDS meeting house in Skagway. I received an email from Sister Stephanie Brown in Whitehorse and she gave me this information about this meeting house, "The meeting house in Skagway seats about 200 and the Branch President remembers that in the dedication of that building it was said the day would come that the building would be filled to overflowing and he didn't believe he would see the day. The day it happened he cried...in the winter there are 12 members and no missionaries but in the summer when the tourists arrive on the cruise ships the missionaries are sent in and all the LDS students who work for Holland America and other tour companies come there to work, the branch explodes and they are filled to overflowing every Sunday." I love this Church!

Mat's apartment in Whitehorse. Gotta love the cheerful wall color.

Well, did you?

Paper Airplanes

Well, things have been going really well in Whitehorse, but really slow last week. Every once in a while you have a slow period, and this is definitely one of those times. It was a tough week, but we worked really hard and hopefully this week we will start seeing the fruits of those labors. Not much happened last P-Day. We just rested and wrote a bunch of letters. The golf courses here are finally open though, so today I'm borrowing some clubs from a member and going to the driving range. Can't wait!

Elder Stephens and I had to spend a lot of time last week packing up the belongings of the senior couple that crashed. We had to take customs inventories for 16 boxes and suitcases, and we will mail them off tomorrow. It's been a big project.

Last week every single lesson we had scheduled with our investigators fell through. It was a little frustrating at times, but I've learned to take every situation and look at it as a learning experience. We had a tough and a slow week, but it was a good reminder that we need to be diligent and work hard in every situation, not just when things are going good. We spent a lot of our time last week knocking on doors and trying to find more people to teach. With all of the lessons that fell through we had plenty of time to do that!

Yesterday before we went in for the night we stopped by our Branch President's house. I made a little airplane out of a pass along card for their 3 year-old son, and that sparked a paper airplane contest. Our Branch President is pretty competitive, so they grabbed some paper and we made some planes. My first one was terrible because I made it wrong, and everyone was giving me a hard time, but I'm competitive too, so I made an awesome plane and surprised everyone. We went to their backyard to throw our planes off the balcony, and mine was clearly the best on the first throw. On the second throw I threw it pretty hard, and it went so far that it reached the back fence, hit the top of it, and fell over into their neighbor's yard. I went over with Elder Stephens to knock on their door and get the plane back, and a nice older woman answered the door. She laughed about the plane, and then I decided to take the opportunity to preach the gospel and approached the situation like a tracting approach. She said she had read part of the Book of Mormon, but was a "fence sitter" as she put it. We invited her to learn more and asked if we could come back to teach her and she said we could. We were pretty excited. It's funny how our paper airplane contest (inspired obviously haha) turned into finding someone we could teach the gospel. The Lord works in mysterious ways! Well, I hope you all have a great week!

Love Mat

Monday, April 19, 2010

Every Day is an Adventure in the Yukon!

Hey Mom,

So I heard from you and Eric about his mission call! That's so awesome! I'm so glad he's going on a mission. It's going to be a huge foundation for him. He said you text him and that you all have kept an eye on him for me. Thanks for being there for him and helping him so much along the way. To look back from where he was a few years ago to where he is now is just incredible. That's what the gospel does: changes people.

It's been a great week! Things have definitely slowed a little since the baptisms last week, but we are always working hard to stay focused and keep the work moving. Last week we spent some time getting a senior couple's belongings from the wreckage of their car. They crashed pretty bad last week in the Yukon on the way home from their mission, but they are doing ok. Their car was brought here to Whitehorse, and they were flown to the states. We picked up all of their stuff and took it to our apartment, and tomorrow night for the Young Men's activity we are going to box up all of it so we can ship it down to the States.

We also had our Zone Conference on Thursday. It's definitely not as cool doing it over the phone as it was when we got to take the journey to Juneau and see all the missionaries there from out in the bush. I can't complain though. I've had some experiences and journeys most people don't ever get to take. Time is really flying. There is just so much to do all of the time. Elder Stephens and I taught two investigators last night that are struggling with the Word of Wisdom. We taught them about making changes in our lives and how the gospel is here so that people can make changes in order to receive blessings. It was a great lesson, and they have been making great steps in coming closer to the waters of baptism. I love serving in Whitehorse because everyday something happens that you wouldn't expect! The members here are awesome, and I've been having great teaching opportunities. Everyday is an adventure in the Yukon!

Love Mat

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Report from Mat's mom: Last night I got a phone call from Mat's friend, Eric Corpuz. Eric just received his mission call to the Phillipines Quezon City Mission and will enter the MTC on July 14! Eric has been attending BYU and we are so proud of all he has accomplished and the progress he has made in the short time he has been a member of the church. I can hardly wait for Mat to read his email on Monday and get the news about Eric's mission call.

Mat and Eric became friends in high school and Eric was taught by the missionaries in our home. Eric's many LDS friends were also instrumental in teaching him the gospel and encouraging him to be baptized by their examples and love. Mat baptized Eric when he turned 18 in September 2008.

Congratulations Eric! We love you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hey Mom,

I can't believe the palm trees are already torn out. That would be a huge project. I'm going to miss those things. That's crazy that Eric's mission call gets in soon. It will be exciting to hear where he is going.

It's been a really busy and exciting week and especially weekend! Holly and Christopher Thompson are both baptized and confirmed members of the church! Saturday was a great day. We went to the church really early to start filling the font, but the hot water heater doesn't work very well so we spent almost five hours boiling pots of water on the stove in the kitchen and dumping them into the ice cold water to try and heat it up a little. We thought it would get warmer than it did, but I didn't know until I walked down into the water. It was freezing! It took my breath away for a second because I didn't expect it to be that cold. I had the opportunity to baptize Christopher first, and then I also baptized Holly. It was funny to see her reaction when she walked down into the font and felt how cold the water was. It was a really great day, and it's so awesome to see 3 of the 4 members of their family now members of the church. They were both confirmed by Elder Stephens, and it was amazing to see the change in the countenances of both Holly and Christopher when we visited them after church. Especially Holly. She seems so happy and bright. I'm so grateful and blessed that I was able to start teaching them and see them both baptized and confirmed. We definitely had the Lord's help. They will both be awesome members of the church.

The work is going great here, and I've been learning so much. I'm so thankful for the opportunity I've had to come to this mission and participate in so many amzing things! It's definitely life changing; for me and for those I've been blessed to teach and serve. The gospel is full of so many awesome blessings! I hope you're all doing well! Have a great week!

Love Mat

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Hockey Stick is Not a Golf Club

Well this week has been really busy getting everything planned for the baptism on Saturday, and getting everything taught to Holly before the baptism. It'll be another busy week making sure everything goes smoothly and we have everything ready for Saturday. So funny story: On Tuesday we had a combined young men's vs. Melchezidek priesthood activity playing floor hockey, and then a little football. We played floor hockey most of the time. Christopher Thompson (our investigator) and his dad came to play with us. They both play hockey in leagues. It was getting pretty intense as all church sports do, and so naturally I was trying to dominate the other team. After playing for only a few minutes I flung a really hard snap shot at the other team's goal, which was being guarded by one of the counselor's in the branch presidency. Apparently using golf techniques is too intense for hockey, because the ball went too high and nailed the guy right in the nose. I intentionally hit the ball really really hard, but I didn't intentionally hit him in the face. His nose was bleeding on the outside and his glasses flew off, and I felt really bad and apologized. In the midst of all this commotion I would just like to add that it was a perfectly aimed, straight shot. He got mad and left, and we all laughed about it afterwards, and he did too. He was just a little frustrated that he didn't react fast enough. People agree that I was lucky that his nose didn't break. So I learned a couple things from this experience. First I learned that combining golf and hockey techniques is pretty explosive (If you don't believe me, just watch Happy Gilmore), and second, I learned that you should probably not shoot as hard as you can when the goalie isn't wearing any protection. It was pretty hilarious. We've all had a lot of laughs from it. Anyways, the rest of the week was good and not as violent.

Holly and Chirstopher are both doing awesome, and will be baptized this Saturday. I'm really excited for it. I will be performing both of those baptisms. I'm very blessed and grateful that I will have the opportunity to participate in that. General Conference was great. I thought it was an awesome two days. Some of the people we've been teaching came out and watched, and some even got a little teary-eyed. It's a good break from the normal Sunday, especially in a small branch where a lot of the same people give talks frequently. So this week we started teaching an East Indian couple. They are Seik(?). We took a member with us that converted from Hinduism and speaks Punjabi. He helped translate when they didn't understand what we were saying. It's pretty interesting teaching someone who's beliefs are so different. Well, I'm excited for this week, and I'm really excited for this weekend when Holly and Christopher get baptized.

Love Mat