Wednesday, March 28, 2012

He is Listening!

Hey mom! :) How are you doing?? haha well I guess you already answered that....
So glad to hear that you all are enjoying yourselves! :) Sounds like you have a great week ahead of you! Crazy that Josh is getting married! Feels like just yesterday we were running around in Grandma's orange trees. Tell him I said congrats. That is so cool for him! and tell Uncle Donnie and Aunt Cindy I say Hi! :) And Meagan! I was thinking about all of them this week! I miss them a lot! :) So just let them know they are on my mind!
But so yeah we have a baptism with Chris this Sunday! She is really excited and we are really excited for her! It will be between the sessions of General Conference! I am so happy! Plus we are teaching this 18 year old kid named Edwin! He will be getting baptized on the 8th of April! Hopefully he will serve a mission! haha! That would be so cool! That is something I really want to see is one of our converts go off and serve the Lord and helping even more people! That is when you know you have really made a difference! :) 
But yeah I am good! Weather has been a little worse this week but still pretty good! Haha tell Greg that he really needs to learn to drive the Jetta lol! It really is not that hard.
So we have this really cool family in our area. The Reyes! They have 2 kids, Deosfer and Fernando who are cool! Fernando is like 25 and Deosfer is my age. But they are cool! We go over there every week and Sister Reyes always cooks for us! They are awesome! Probably like my family in the Ward. Either that or Sister Tahatta.! She is the sweetest old woman in the world!  They are a really cool family as well! I am finally starting to like this area a lot more! Not that I did not like it before, but it is starting to match up to what Harlem was/is. but I don't think it ever will. Harlem just has a really special place in my heart! :)
So it sounds like Jackson is doing really good! I am so happy for him in his leadership position! And I thought I had it somewhat tough being District leader! I hold Jackson in such high regard! I am so happy for him!  He truly does set a great exaple for me - a better reason not to complain, because I know he has it a lot more rough than I do.
So I don't know if I already told you guys, but President and Sister Smith only have 2 more cycles left after this one. At Zone Conference last week President showed us a picture of President and Sister Morgan, our new mission president. So it will be an exciting change.. But also a sad change. I love President Smith so much! :) He is such a great guy! I am happy and content with all he has done! I hope you all can meet him one day! He and Sister Smith are just great, they show so much love to all of us! And to everyone for that matter! :)
Oh and Mom haha I made a video I will be sending home soon.. It is really stupid..... haha really dumb.. But you asked for it! So what can I say! :P So I am sure you will like that! :)
So yeah that is what is going on in my life! Haha I am still full from Papa John's yesterday :P My belly hurts! We eat Papa Johns a lot! Like a ton! :) It's nice spending time with the Guys in the Apartment! They really know how to lift eachother up! It is a ton of fun! :) I wish you guys could see it! :) But other than all that! I am great! Heavenly Father is there and he is listening! I KNOW  THAT! :) I love you guys so much! and I am so grateful for everything all of you do! You guys are the best! :) I love you so much! Love, Mark! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't Waste a Moment

Hello there everybody!
What's up? How is everyone doing! I miss and love you all a ton! You are in my prayers! I think of you often.
So yeah the weather here has been really nice! I love it! I hope to start going running here soon! The only thing is I am terrified as to what summer is going to look like! I don't even want to think about it!  
So sad news, Chris dropped her baptismal date.. She needs to come to church a couple more times. It was more bad planning on our part. Her Dad just got a job so we are going to have to find a way to get her to the Chapel! So that will be a challenge, but gives us something to work with so I am happy :) She will for sure be baptized but we will have to see when! It will hopefully be sometime soon!
 I miss home just as all of you miss me (at least I hope you all do, or else I am just talking out of my butt right now) :P But yeah I am good! You all have no need to worry! :) I am doing great! Staying busy and helping other people out gives me plenty of other things to keep my mind on, and it really does just bring peace to my soul,that I am doing what I am doing, and that I am where I am.

So yeah politics I know nothing about them, so I am just going to skip that part of your email lol! Only one question, how am I going to vote from out here when November rolls around?
So it sounds like Todd is living it up in Hockey! Keep him active like that , he will love you and Dad for it later! I know I do! Sounds like he is doing good though. I can't wait to go to one of his games. That will be fun when I have the oppurtunity to watch my little bro play again. How is he doing with everything else? School, life, friends, Church? Let me know. I need to write him again soon.
That is one thing I have found my self really bad at is writing letters. I just feel like it takes so much time! haha. But that is something I am trying to improve on. Do you know if Tyler Nash and Brother Lenahan ever got my letters?/
So how is the Ward doing? I miss everyone a lot! I was thinking about the Gonthiers a lot for some reason this week and if you could just let them know I miss them and love them that would be awesome! Also how is Amiee Jewkes doing? And the Russo's? I hope all is well with them! I miss everybody so much!
I think I have found that besides the people, and experiences with people, one of the things I miss the most is Music.. ah... I just heard some Eminem the other day on the street and it just make me think back to hanging out with Mckean right before my mission lol! Good times! I never ever hear country music playing on the street here lol! It stinks! I think I have heard it like 1 or 2 times my whole mission!
Well Blues sound like they are doing good! I wish I could go to a game! What if they played the Rangers in the Stanley cup?? Ah.. That would be awesome, but stink so bad! I would want to go! haha... Probably would not have money though... Nor would I.
Well sounds like Tre' is having a crazy time... I thought this place was insane lol! It sounds like the crazy things I have seen are next to nothing compared to his experiences.. Let's just say I am proud to be an American.
Well not too much else going on. We found 2 news yesterday! Both from people we had tracted into. One is an 18 year old kid named Edwin! He was really cool! He told us that he felt somthing as we were talking to him! It is so neat to see the spirt work through you! ah.. It was there really strong. He is really cool. He skateboards, so Elder Wilkey was able to relate with him pretty well. And also we started teaching a lady named Anasoli. She was really nice. She is in her 30s. We just taught her in her doorway but we are going back again tomorrow and we are going to teach  her  the restoration. From the little bit of time we have already spent with her, she just has a sweet heart and is trying to do what is right in her life. She was really really cool.
And also we are teaching a woman nambed Maritza.. She is an interesting lady. She was investigating the Church like 25 years ago.. She walked into the Baptismal font to be baptized and then left as she entered the water. The majority of her family are members, and it was by a miracle her son had with missionaries that she came to us and started asking questions again. But she has so many questions, SO MANY! Every peice of doctrine we have she has tried to disprove it with an appeal to the Bible and she can't... She keeps asking us questions and we continue to answer them, but she refuses to see reason... She does not have faith. She admits it herself.. She does not even really know if there is a God, but she wants there to be one. I also think she really does know she is there and that the Church is true, she is just refussing to accept it.. We have been teaching her for like 2 months now. And I was just thinking the other day, it is obvious what we are doing wrong.. We are answering all of her questions for her.. I think it's time we let her find some out by herself. She needs to read the Book of Mormon, and she needs to understand that all of her questions have already been answered and not by us, but by the spirit.. She feels it.. Now we just need to make sure that she knows that that is what she is feeling. It does all the talking for us.. and I think that has been our problem with teaching her, is that we are not letting her know that she has felt the spirit and it has told her. Because I know without a doubt she has felt it! And what a great feeling it is! It is something I desire for all people to feel! It really is life changing and it really is the Power of God! And He loves us.. He really does. I have felt that over and over again.. I felt it the other day when I was studying about the Restoration... I just started crying. It just touched me so much.. Joseph Smith really is a prophet of God.. And not because I blindly believe that.. I believe that because God Himself has told me so. This really is Christ's Church and I know he lives. He lives and I see his hand in my life each day. Miracles have not ceased and neither have visions. Revelation is a real thing... I firmly believe that . I know it's true.. I just know it and I cannot deny it. Too many things have happened in my life that tell me so. My life really has changed.. I don't thnk I really have all too much.. Maybe just an improved version of who I was before.. But my life has definitely changed.. The way I view my life and the way I view other people.. They are worth everything. So don't waste a day of yours. Get on track and do what you've got to do now, and don't waste a moment of it.
Well I better let you guys get going! I miss and care for you all so much! Wish I could give each one of you a giant hug! :) But I can't but you can expect one a year from now! Take care everybody! I love you all so much!
Love, Mark!  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hump Day

Hey there eveybody!

How is everyone doing this week?
So sorry if I sound a bit like a bum while I am talking. I am just really drained, I just got done playing basketball and all I want to do is sleep! haha! But anyways! I am so happy for Nicole! Sounds like her baptism went great! :) I am so happy for her! And sounds like the Spirit was there to confirm it... :) Ahh!! that really does just make me so pumped for her! :) 

So yeah with our baptisms this weekend! Gisela and Jordi were baptized! Ahh! Such a great baptism! What was even better was the confirmation. I baptized Gisela, Elder Wilkey baptized Jordi. But when the Bishop was confirming Gisela we could all just feel something.. She told me after church that she just felt the warmth all over her body, and comfort and peace... The same feeling she felt when the Lord answered her prayer about the Book of Mormon! God acts in the smallest ways.. But it's by small and simple things that he is going to touch us! :) It was just really special... If I did not have another baptism my whole mission, I would go home feeling.. No not feeling - knowing that I was successful, just because I have already seen what the Gospel.. what Jesus Christ has done for this family's life... She is always smiling now... Before it was only every once in a while. Now you can't wipe it off her face! :) She is just so happy! :) And you can just feel the difference and see it in her eyes! :) 

So anyways before I forget, I have not got a package yet and yes I am still DL. We have a meeting with President Smith up in Scarsdale this Friday! So that will be fun/interesting! I will get to see a lot of people I have not seen in a while. Well maybe.. It's a leadership meeting so it depends if anyone I know upstate is in leadership! But anyways I am still living with Elder Kropf and Elder Lewis! Haha our apartment is awesome! They always keep me laughing! Elder Kropf is really funny! haha.. Don't judge a book by its cover. The first time I met him I thought he was going to be a total dork.. But not at all. haha... We just got a bunch of weights and we are trying to beef him up. He is taking a weight enhancement supplement called "Russian Bear".  Haha he weighs 125... So we are trying to fix that. So we are working out pretty hard core every morning. 

So Elder Scaife is in my ZONE!! :) It made me so happy when I got to see him last week1 It had been like 10 months. He has been exiled to upstate his entire mission! (Ah... I really don't want to go up there lol! Just because of that I probably will) I love the city... I could never live here.. But it is so fun being here as a missionary.. And just so many awesome/ interesting people! :) But for real.. the mission is weird.. You make so many close friendships and then phoop! They are gone like that.. Saying bye to Huerta last week was really hard. I had been around him my whole mission... when he left me as my companion I was OK... But when I came to be in the same District as him I was so happy, and we became such good friends.. Not gonna lie I cried just a little. Just stinks seeing so many people you love go... Many of which I may never see again :/ Welll not in this life anyways.. but for sure after this life We will be partying up in Heaven! lol! 

But I just want to commend you and Dad on all the stuff you guys put up with from us kids.. We are Dumb.. Lets face it! We know it! We are just to prideful to admit it! You 2 are the bomb! You guys have been working our butts off from Greg hitting me in the face with a lightsaber, to me punching holes in the wall, to Todd just about killing Thomas, to the stuff you guys are putting up with now!  Mom, Dad, I am so happy that the two of you get to take a vacation here soon! You 2 deserve one! For real! You guys have worked hard for such a long time! Have fun! :) 

So Blues are on fire! They are going ot take the Cup this year! ah!! I am so excited! I So hope they do!.. Saints.. Gash that ticks me off.... I really hope that this all just blows over... And Peyton.. :( well I discovered something this morning when I heard that.. I am not a huge Colts fan after all.. I mean I am I still like them.. but it was realy Peyton Manning.... That makes me sad that he is leaving. I hope wherever he goes he does really well! I am sure he is just going to continue putting up numbers and breaking records!

 And Melissa is doing good!  But she is just peachy! :) She has finals this week and  Spring Break the next!  She really is just awesome! :) Seriously.. for real there is just something about that girl :) :) 

Uhm what else to say??  oh hey did Greg ever get the shirt I bought him?? Did you get that package?? .. Could you send me some Spanish Disney Music?? Haha I think that would be a fun language study lol! 

But yeah other than all this I am great! The Work is great! And I am just loving life like usual! We have a bap date with a little girl named Chris for the 18th of this month! Miracles just keep coming! Can't wait for next cycle though... I just really want to start working hard again! But we are pushing forward ya know?? :) Well I love you all so very much and I hope you have a great week!!! :) 

Love, Elder Marky Mattei! 

Don't miss me too much!! !1 more year! !!! :) Excited.. / Disappointed that I only have that much more time! But I got 369 more days to make the best of it! :) And it is going to be awesome! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE SUPPORT!! :) 

This week marks Elder Mattei's halfway point, often called the HUMP week.  It's all downhill from here!  Here's an analogy I have found that I sent him to help commemorate the occasion ~

The Camel is the Symbol of the Seasoned Missionary

 As you come to the one-year mark of your mission, I am sending you a camel
 to remind you how far you have come, and where you are going.  There are
 many similar characteristics of a great missionary and a camel.

 The first is the "hump"
 Yes, you have crossed the mark and now are over the hump of the first year.
 But remember, the hump of a camel is used to store food for the long
 journey.  Camels can go far for long periods of time without food, but a
 wise missionary will store the knowledge he has gained and put it to
 greater use the second half of his mission.

 Another important characteristic is what the camel does to be prepared to
 carry his load for his Master.  A camel sometimes protests his heavy load,
 but he drops to his knees for his Master and once started, he patiently
 carries his load.
 As a missionary, sometimes the load seems heavy and difficult to carry.
 But when you drop to your knees and succumb to the Master's will, he will
 carefully lead you and you can bear the load patiently, and do your Father
 in Heaven's work as he would have you do.  This is why the camel's knees
 are heavily padded, as a missionary, your knees are calloused from many
hours of kneeling in prayer.

 The camel has high set eyes, which enable him to see long distances.
 A missionary has his eyes set on higher things, he follows the Spirit that
 enables him to see the Children of God, those who are seeking answers, and
 he teaches them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 The camel has broad, two-toed feet, which keep it from sinking in the
 desert sand.
 A missionary has a broad knowledge and a firm testimony of the Gospel.
 This enables him to teach with boldness and stand steadfast and immoveable.
 The people you teach do not yet have the blessings of such a sure-foot,
but as you teach with love and the Spirit, you will help them gain their
own testimony, that will help them walk on firmer ground, the path that
will lead them back to their Father in Heaven.

 So you see, a Missionary has a lot in common with a camel.
 Put this camel where you can see it often.
 Dedicate yourself to do as the camel does. (no spitting)
 Serve your Master well and patiently over the long journey.
 You have come a long way, there is still much ground to cover.
 Continue to move forward, serving with love, until your mission is
complete and your Father in Heaven will say, "Well done, thou good and
faithful servant." 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Upcoming Baptism/Still in the Bronx

Well I am doing great!! Gisela will be baptized this Saturday!! Yay!! SO I am excited! :) Well so yesterday we went to a member's house and she definitely gave us tea... uh... lol! But they claimed it was not. haha! But like I said Gisela and Jordy are getting baptized this week! :) And we found a family who just moved here and the parents are members but the daughter is not. The Veles family! They are from Ecuador! They are really cool! We set a baptism date with the daughter, Chris last night! :) yay! Sorry I did not say much to everyone! Just know that I am good and you are all in my prayers! The Lord is blessing me now more than ever! Please keep me in your prayers! :) Tell the Ward I say Hello! I miss them all a lot! Sounds like Jackson is doing good! He is awesome! He is totally prepared for these experiences and God has put HIM there for a reason! Well Love you all! I am great! Hope you all are too! I promise to say more next week1 I just had to write my little bro Today! Take care! May God Bless you all as he has blessed my life! :)
Peace out!
Love, Marky Mark!!
Oh and Elder Wilkey and I are together for cycle # 3! yeah boy!! :)

Well just a quick add on to my email! I did not say much!!
Sorry, just really flustered.. So Elder Huerta Luna left today :(  (This was Mark's first companion/trainer who returned to his home in Puebla, Mexico.  He has Elder Barnes' phone number, who is serving in that mission and will be contacting him soon) I was really really sad! And I SAW ELDER SCAIFE AGAIN!!!!!!! :)  (his companion in the MTC) He is in my Zone!! IT has been 10 months since I have seen him! That was so nice! But yeah that is pretty much all that is new with me! :) But yeah all of you take care! You are all in my prayers. This life is about progression, so just keep going even when you think you cannot continue any longer. There is an end. and it will be well worth it! :) Love you all! Love, Mark! Again! haha! :P LOVE YOU!