Friday, August 31, 2012

Making Plans

Hola momacita! :) como estas?

Well I will try to make this as long as possible! Sometimes I feel like I am running out of things to say but I will do my best :P  Haha so yeah I am glad you received the pictures! And enjoyed watching those disgusting videos! For the 4th of July, Elder Mattei and his room mates played a game of soda pong.  The losers had to drink nasty concoctions of sodas with nasty stuff added in. And yes you are fine for befriending (on Facebook) all of these people for me! I appreciate it a ton! oh and Sister Merino is a member in the Bronx! Her mom is the same one that lived in Tre's old area! haha small world right? So last week I learned how to scissor cut my own hair! :) I actually did a really good job! I am going to start cutting other people's hair! This is actually one of the better hair cuts I had on my mission! So before I forget.. I told you and dad to both write and send me your conversion stories.. Never did it!! Both of you I better have them waiting in my inbox next week! lol! 

So yesterday we had zone conference and had some cool rule changes... and some not so cool ones, but it is okay. They were needed. We are now allowed to go below 59th street and Time Square and the Statue of Liberty!!! Yay!... Now that I am upstate lol! So that was good! But we had a much stricter rule on music. No more Disney and instrumental.. Only Music we can find at Deseret Book! But now we can have ipods that do not have internet access! So some wins and some losses but I am excited for all of it! I just can't listen to half of the music I have now lol!  Zone Conference was good yesterday! I felt my testimony grow a lot! And I had probably the weirdest thing I have eaten so far! Cow Tongue! It is actually really really good! But my stomach did not agree with it! It was laying behind the dumpster at our apartment building 10 minutes after we left Sister Vidal's house lol!

So hopefully everything goes okay with the Hurricane! New Orleans is just always getting hit. And that was good news hearing about Drew Brees. I heard about the scandal, and I heard that in pre season training he had still not signed so I am glad he did. I would have been pretty upset if he had not. So how are the Cardinals doing?? And you will have to keep me updated on how the Cards are doing! I feel so out of the loop! 

So about elections Mom I need you to figure all of that out. I need you to send me information on both Obama and Romney so I can cast a somewhat educated vote. 

And Tell todd to keep his head up and to hurry up and write me back! I want to hear from him. And yeah the wallet I made him is pretty cool. Elder Lewis taught me how to make them with subway maps of Manhattan. So I just put my creative juices to use! How is he doing in Hockey?? I was telling Dad in the email I sent him you guys should get him into lacrosse. I think he would really enjoy it. Is he playing any other high school sports??

Freaking crazy all my friends are leaving SCC! I rememer Mark wrote me and told me about nursing school! That is so good for him! And sounds like everyone is staying in STL.. Seriously haha they make me want to stay in the state to study. But I really feel I need to get out of the state so I can do things on my own and get focused! But yeah I asked President Morgan yesterday and he said I can start getting stuff ready so I can go to school. I already looked at some SCC stuff and I am going to take 1 or 2 4 week half semester classes at SCC like the week after I get home. Then Idk.. I am looking at UVU or BYU. I really do think I could get in. If all my credits transfer. I need at least 24. So if I can test out of Spanish I will be good. And I will just really need to focus on the classes.. And maybe I won't start until Fall Semester... But I would really like to go out there for summer semester because I hear it is easier to get in.. Even easier if I don't apply to BYUI as well... Because they want you to go to a church school.. And if they see that you are not applying to the other one.. I hear it is more likely you can get accepted to BYU. That is what I hear.. And I am an RM and transfer student.. Chances are a lot higher for me now then they were earlier. President Morgan already told me he would write me a recomendation and I am sure President Smith would as well :) So.. I am going to see what I can do.. The only thing I am confused about is.. I wont have 24 credits when I apply.. but it is very possible I can have them before I would start at school in the summer... how does that work?? Because my GPA will change after that as well! So idk lol! 

But that is not important right now! The work is going good! :) We have seen a lot of miracles! It has been amazing :) I wish I could explain them all... Missionary work really is so amazing. It is the work of the Lord. :) I love working with people.. And I love sharing the gospel with them! 

Well! That is everything that is going on here! Life is good! :) You are all in my prayers! :) I miss you all so much and I love you! 

Love Mark! :) 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

World's Shortest Email

Hey there mommy! So this is going to be the worlds shortest email. So I will just answer all the main points briefly. So yes I did know about Tre' :( He just told me. He is in my prayers I have faith that whatever happens it will be the Lords will.  One of Mark's best friends who is presently serving in Mexico has been very sick and was just recently released from the hospital.  We are praying that he will return to good health and that he will be able to complete his mission if that is the Lord's will.  Please keep Elder Barnes in your prayers! And I am doing great! Life as a missionary is amazing! :) Today we went to the temple, and I just really feel like after the mission I need to go out to Provo.... and I just realized I may have left my patriarchal blessing in the temple. This is a special blessing given to members of our faith, usually youth, that outlines some of the blessings they might enjoy in their future if they are faithful. The words of the blessing are typed and each person is given a copy.  Mark absolutely treasures his and was likely reading it in the temple as he ponders his future. ... Freak! ah.. Well now I have to walk and go back and get it. But yeah that is what I feel like I need to do. I was even thinking about going for the summer... Ah.. IDK. But yeah :) I will figure it all out.  And Memory Card is on the way! :) Also a letter for Todd! and a little gift for him. .
My life is good here! Investigators are doing great! 
So yeah that is really about all of the time that I have! Going down to the city from Stamford takes up most of our day. :( Well I love you all so very much! I promise I will say more next week! Take care all of you and God Bless!! :) :)
I love you all! Love Mark! :) 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Newly Discovered Pictures

These were taken in the winter, but I just found them on a sister missionary's facebook page.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can't Imagine Doing Anything Else!

Dear Family! 

Haha mom the idea of you singing at a Karaoke bar made me laugh! It sounds like you all had a lot of fun! :) And yes greg did email me! I have to write him back right after this! And yes we do not have a lot of time today, because it is transfers... And Nothing is CHANGING! Haha.. Our whole district is still the same. I am still in a trio... Only 2 of my companions so far i have not served in a trio with. This is my 4th cycle in a trio. 1 with Huerta y Martindale, 1 con Huerta y Hellberg, now 2 with Fox and Vazquez! That is a lot! lol! But things are going good! I love my companionship! I feel like I am becoming a better missionary/person each and everyday as I am with these 2 great people. They have become really good friends. 

So I will start off by talking about the Baptism. It was amazing Mom! Seriously, such a great experience. So.. Juan, the dad of Gizzell, was taught about 2 months ago by Elder Vazquez and Elder Peterson here in Stamford. And when Elder Fox and I arrived for some odd reason he just fell off the face of the earth and we could not get in contact with him. We talked to Cledi, Gizell's Mom and she told us that Juan was no longer interested in getting baptized/ joining the Church. Long story short.. Last Tuesday night I met Juan for the 1st time. He told us about all the problems that were going on in his life and how things were just really difficult.. He told us he did not even know about the baptism of Gizelle until we had told him... Originally the plan was for him and her to get baptized on the same day... He opened his heart up to us, and said he wanted to get baptized that Saturday with his daughter.... Stunned I just said "Si" we can make that happen!... Well we taught him that next day during our PDAy, and went over all 4 lessons, and scheduled a baptisimal interview with President Morgan.... Oh I forgot the best part.. He did not tell him family that he was going to get baptized so it was going to be a suprise! :) 

So we were really nervous about the interview, but all went well and he was okayed for him to be baptized that Saturday :) So Saturday comes around and I am conducting the baptisimal service, and Juan comes in his normal clothes... I talked to him before the baptism asking him if anyone has any idea what is going to happen and he tells me no.. The only people who knew were the Bishop, ward Mission leader, and a couple members who helped us get Juan to Church... So he tells me that he asked Gizelle if she ever prayed to ask if he would get baptized and she said to him " Yeah I do.. But its too late for that, you will never change".. Well.. Halfway through the baptisimal service Juan gets up to leave so he can go change.. and Gizelle gets upset because she thinks her dad is leaving in the middle of the baptism.. But little does she know he is going with Elder Vazquez to go change into his baptismal clothes :)... Well.. I am directing the baptismal program, so right before Gizelle gets baptized I look at her and say "Gizelle there is someone else here who would like to get baptized as well. Is that okay?" And she gives me the most confused look I have ever seen. Then I continue and say "I think you may know who it is" And I swing open the door, right as Juan finishes changing... And out walks her dad :) She just jumped up and gave him the biggest hug ever! :) And Cledi, her mom had the biggest smile on her face :) The whole family was happy! so then we took some pictures and Elder Fox performed his first baptism by baptizing Gizelle and Elder Vazquez baptized Juan... One of the most precious moments of my mission. Gizelle was crying when she came up out of  the water... 

The next day, Elder Fox confirmed Gizelle, and President Morgan confirmed Juan... They both became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.. After the confirmation I looked out to the mother of our investigators Amanda and Bruna.. and Lisa was touched by the spirit.. All 3 of them were. We are hoping to get bap date with Amanda and Bruna this week! :) 

But all of it did not really hit me until Gizelle and Juan took the Sacrament for the first time... The spirit touched me so strong as I looked at their family! It was amazing... We had united a family. I am so grateful the Lord let me be part of something like that! It was such a growing experience, and I know... I know families can be together forever through this Gospel... And I know it all starts with baptism.. .Through someone making a choice to follow our Saviour Jesus Christ. I felt his love for each one of them, and I want to help all people feel that, because it really is the most amazing thing we can feel in this life. I love my Heavenly Father for the Miracles that have taken place in my life and during the course of my mission... I am almost at my 6 month mark and I do not want it to come.. I do not want to leave this place.. I can't imagine doing anything else where I can have such an impact on someone else's life. Nothing is more important than what I am doing here.. nothing. The most imortant thing someone can do in this life is take the steps necessary, acting in faith, and following the Savior.I saw a man change his life this past weekend. I saw a humble man with a repented heart, and he taught me so much... Words cannot explain how all this makes me feel.. It is true. It is all so true, and I would be lost without it. Mom, Dad, thank you for being active in the Church. Thank you so much for raising us in the Gospel. I don't know where I would be without it. I love you both for everything that you do. Just keep doing what you are doing! you are great parents! :) 

Now mom.. I want to know your full conversion story... And Dad yours as well... You both have shared with me bits and pieces of both of yours, but I would like to know the whole thing :) As well as the story of the first member of the Church in our family if you know it dad :) I would love to hear! 

So the plan as you asked mom is going really well! We already have about 125 referrals! :) We plan on going out and contacing all that we receive at the end of the month, and our goal is to have contacted everyone by the end of September and have 10 baptisms come from the names that we were given! :) But I think we can surpass that goal! :) Pray for us here. Miracles are about to take place! I am so excited to see what is going to happen! :)I love my mission, and I love the people here. The members, investigators, and missionaries! It is amazing! And I love you all too! Mom I love you most! Have a good week and all of you take care! See you all too soon! 

Love your Son! Elder Mark MAttei! :)

You guys are in my prayers! :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Praying for a Miracle

Dear Mama! :) Hows you doing?? :)

I am doing good! I am going to send Lindsay an email so I will address all of that info in there!  But I am doing fine. It is hard at times, but I will be alright.  But wow! sounds like things are busy at home. Hard to believe that school is about to start up again. 
And yes I will write Todd.. We have just been extremely busy. And the Memory Card lol! I will get them both there ASAP! 

So sounds like Dad is traveling a lot. So what exacly is it that he does?? lol! I left like a month after he got this job so I have kind of already forgotten :./ 

So things in Stamford are legit! We are working really hard. This is probably the hardest I have worked on my mission. We already have close to 100 referrals from ward members :) This plan we are working on was for sure inspired! After this month is over we plan on going out and contacting all of the referrals we have! Things have been crazy busy! But I am enjoying it! Transfers are next week, so I am pretty sure Elder Vasquez is out. But I have also heard a rumor of them splitting our area, so we will see what happens. But I am excited! 

And best news of all we have Gizzelle's baptism this Saturday! Elder Fox will be baptizing her! and even better news is there is a really strong chance her Dad may be getting baptized as well! :) :) Miracle if it happens... It is a long story. But if this happens.. It will be the biggest Miracle I have seen on my mission. We taught him today during Pday. I just met him last night. He was Elder Vasquez's investigator before Elder Fox and I came to this area and we have been trying to get a hold of him, but now he just came to us... I am so happy! I will have to explain in more detail next week! :) 

And today Pday was kind of boring.. We drove out to Danbury CT to play football but when we got there they decided to stop playing... It took an hour to get there lol! So kind of a wasted pday. But we taught a very very good lesson so it was all good! 

Crazy Garrett got married.. Hellberg told me the previous Elder Torres got married this past weekend.. And thanks for sending that address for me! :) 

So I need to write Lindz so I am going to keep this kind of short, but I love you all! :) Thank you for the email mom :) And for emailing every week! :) I really do appreciate it! You are the best! I will be home shortly.... That is so weird... :(

Well I love you all! Take care and have a great week! God Bless you are all in my prayers! :) 

Love Mark! :) 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Changing More and More

Dear Madre, y papa! :) 

How are you doing? Mom I have not really heard from you this week! But thank you for all of the pictures that you sent to me :) So I am doing good! We have been really really busy lately! We are working on a new project in our ward. Our goal is to get 150 referrals from members by the end of this month and a result of 10 baptisms :) 10 new people living the Gospel :) WE already have 25 and it is only the middle of the first week of the project :) :) So it is going really well! :) We know we are going to see so many miracles becasuse of this. It is something we have been trying to come up with since i came here, and the Lord has now provided it! :) We know we are ready to do the work necessary, and that the members, and their friends are ready :) The Lord has prepared us all :) it is amazing! We are working so hard with the members, and so far everyone is willing to help! We have like 15 member appointments this week, and at the end of the month we plan on going out and finding all of the referrals and do what is needed to help them! It is a really detailed plan, and is going to show great results! We can already see how we are going to get more then 150 referrals.. we have recieved 25 from 3 members... So I am so excited! :) This area and ward are going to light up! :) 

the best part is in the mean time we are still finding more and more people to teach :) and we have a baptism on the 11th :) With Gizzele :) She is really cool! :) 9 years old and just the most humble little girl ever :) :)

So yesterday I had a really cool experience in one of our lessons. We were teaching the law of chastity to our investigator Leticia.. she is so awesome. The perfect investigator, apart from the fact she is not married to the guy she is living with.. I felt as we were teaching her, the Godly sorrow God has for his children. We just talked about love and how much God loves her... I felt as if I was speaking for him to her... I can't even explain it... I felt the Love God as for her as we sat there in the little apartment... It was such a humbling experience... I cannot exactly put it into words.. It was just amazing... God really loves his Children.. I know that.

What else has happened this week?? Uhm today we went to Costco... uhm, oh did you ever send Lindsay the letter Elder Kay sent her?? 

Oh yeah haha! This Saturday we had a really fun ward activity! It was a ward BBQ at the church! The Sisters and us organized a game of Water Balloon Volleyball :) It was fun! Turned into a waterballoon fight... haha good thing we were all in Pros  proselyting clothes right?? :P Some members were upset with us.. but it was a really positive activity and one of the more memorable days of my mission :) So much fun! We grew a lot with the Ward and also with a lot of our investigators :) 

Lately on the mission I have noticed myself changing more and more..  IDK how, but I have seen just little things. I am pretty sure it is a good thing! :) No worries though I will still be good ole normal marky when I get home :)

So it sounds like you all had a great trip! We will have to do something like it again when I get home! :) Oh.. And mom I have been thinking.. can you somehow find out what my grades were at SCC... I never looked at some of them... :P so.. that may be a good thing for us to find out you know?? haha!  But anyways, yeah I have been thinking a lot about where I want to go to school when I get home. I really want to go to BYU... something is just really telling me I need to be in Provo.. Whether it is at BYU or UVU idk... just the feelings I have been getting lately.. But those are likely to change. I hear it is a lot easier to get into BYU and stay in if you do it for the summer semester.. but we will see lol! :) 

But well that is about all that is going on with me! It is good to hear that you all are doing okay! :) Especially Granny and Pop pop! I am glad nothing too serious happened! :)

and Dad just keep up the good work! :) I am so greatful for all that you do! :) Both you and mom! You guys are the best!   Well I love you all so very much! :) Let me know if there is anything I can do for you! :) .. almost 7 months left :/... then 6.. and yeah I don't really want to talk about it... I really do just loving being here and being a missionary. I can't imagine not being a missionary.... But anyways! :)  Miss and love you all! You are in my prayers :) Please keep our investigators in your prayers :) Sorry I don't tell you about each one! But there are alot! :) Good things are up ahead! :) :) Love you all! Love Mark :)