Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My English Stinks

Hey there mom! Sounds like everyone is doing good! Thanksgiving went really well! We went to the Rejas family's house, and also to the Galvez family. The Galvez's are really cool. We normally visit with Norma and Alejandra. Norma is 22 and we are teaching her boyfriend George, and Alejandra is 18 and she is married and has a 1 year old son named Sammy! I like them a lot. We also visited with them on Sunday, and we had a really good heart to heart with them. They opened up a lot, and let us know some of their concerns and things . It was sad to hear some things they told us, but I saw so much progress in them both. I really would like to see the both of them return to full activity in the Church. 

So Thanksgiving was great! Both of our appointments were part member meals! :) So it was good! I enjoyed part of the Cowboys game with George when we were visiting Norma and Alejandra on Thanksgiving. He is a huge sports fanatic! He is majoring in Sports Management and has promised me some hookups if he works for any big teams lol! He is way cool. The 3 or them have become really good friends of mine!

So to answer your question Michelle will now be baptized on the 8th! We just got to figure some things out, because apparently there is a party going on here at the Church that night. So it may be moved to the 9th.. But we are not sure yet. Either way it is going to happen! :) She is such a smart little girl! We taught her the Plan of Salvation at Church on Sunday and I was amazed at how fast she picked things up and how much she understood! She looks like she is 8, and acts like she is 16. Its the weirdest thing! She is only 11! 

So we have been helping the English Elders (Eliason and Plouzek) teach some college girls lately. There is a girl in there ward named Mariah and a couple of her roommates have a lot of questions about Mormons.. So she did not have all of the answers so she invited us over.. That was about 6 weeks ago. We go to the college campus each week and teach about 4 college girls the gospel. Not going to lie the first time it was REALLY WEIRD to be on a College campus. She even took us to dinner at dining hall there.. Crazy awkward, then her friends asked us some of the most ridiculous questions... The first time there were about 8 of them.. the ones who were not really interested kind of fell off. We are now teaching Melissa, Kristin, and Melina. It has been a lot of fun! And they are all reading and Kristin and Melina have even come to church a couple of times! I am really interested to see what happens with them! I think all of the interest came in after General Conference with the new announcement that sisters can now serve at 19. Because Mariah decided she was going to leave at the beginning of this summer. So naturally her friends had questions. She is a really good girl and a great example to her friends! I have a lot of respect for her!  It would be extremely hard to be going to college, and be as active in the Gospel as she. 

So no more news for BYU as of yet. I have progressed a little on the essays. The good news is I am almost done! So all that will really be left to do is edit and send it all in... And Mom I don't know what to tell you about the Seminary thing. Call and ask them. I have no idea why it keeps turning up empty. We should figure that out though. :) 

Oh and yes we did get to go back down to the Rockaways in Queens! Friday we went with our stake and I led one of the Groups! That day President and Sister Morgan went down as well, along with their son Ryan. It was really good! We worked our tails off! There is still so much to do! We did not finish working in the 1 house we were working in that day. Then we went down again on Saturday as a Zone and we spent a whole day at a house working! The family there bought us McDonalds so it ruined my fast food and soda fast! But it was all good! We had to crawl into a little 4 foot hole in the side of their house and clear stuff out from under it, as well as rip up their wooden floorboards. It was fun and a lot of work! I was so happy to serve them! It was one of the best experiences of my mission.. I will never forget it! We really helped people.. over the 3 days combined I did over 18 hours of service.. I was dead each day and slept like a baby! I don't even want to know how the South Missionaries feel.. I love serving! I hope and pray I can do something like that again! :) It was the experience of a lifetime. We helped others as the Savior would! And we were happy as we did it :) 

So life is good ! :) I am happy as always! I need to know who I need to buy my secret Santa gift for this year so you guys should let me know ASAP :) And I just want to apologize to you all.. My English stinks. Spanish has really messed up not only how I speak in English but how I write lol! I really need to take an English course when I get home. 

Stinks to hear hockey is still on hold.. At this point the NHL probably won't be back on till next season...  But glad to hear LSU is in a bowl game! Makes me really happy to know that Notre Dame is the football team that they used to be! I hope they destroy Bama when they play them.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! I will talk to you soon! :) 

Love Elder Mark Mattei! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey there mommy! :) I will try to reply to everything you asked. You wrote A LOT! and I have very little time. So seeing David was awesome!   David Phillips is a childhood friend of Mark's who used to live in O'fallon and just returned from a mission to Colorado.  It made me really happy to see him! :) And David told me you saw the video. Some other missionaries in our Zone told me that I was in it! So I saw it! I am glad that made you happy! :) I knew that it would! :) 

Thanksgiving will be good. We are going to visit the Rejas family. It will be fun. No Macy's day parade :( And no Turkey Bowls :( So I am kind of bummed out about that! But it will be all good! We are going to make the best out of it.

For Pday we went up and visited Lewis! I am looking of a new suit! So Elder Lewis is trying to help me out. I really want a grey one. I was looking at H and M today. Now we are at a.. well, not really investigator's house, but guy they visit's, house. And he is really funny. The missionaries have been visiting him for over 30 years!! Still not a member.. Not really investigating.. I think they just come over here to hang out. He is really funny. His name is Mike. I would love to come to this area just to get to know him.

So I am glad you talked to President Smith! Thank you for all you are doing Mom to help me prepare for the application process I really appreciate it! I really appreciate the letter from Brother Tuttle! so make sure you tell him thank you for me :)

So we will probably have the opportunity to go do service in Queens again this weekend! I am hoping that I will feel better by then. I have been sick the past couple of days! But I am excited for Thanksgiving.. kind of lol! But more excited for Christmas that will be here in just a few short couple of days!

Well I got to get going! I have a line of people waiting behind me to email! So I love you all! And I hope everyone is doing alright! :) You are all the best! have a great week! you are in my prayers! :)
Love Marky! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Service in Queens

Well Good Morning! 

I have not received and email yet but I am just going to go ahead and start! So how is everyone?? What all has happened this past week that you all have to fill me in on?? :) 

So this past weekend we had the chance to leave the mission and go and help do some service in Long Island! It was so sad, but despite all of that it was a happy time to be able to serve and help others. People's basements were completely flooded, as well as parts of their main floor. We spent the day throwing stuff out and tearing out sheetrock. As well as ripping out carpet. We were there for about 6 hours on Saturday. It was nice to see the other part of the city, but not so much under those conditions. The people were so grateful for the service we rendered. There were over 1,000 members there serving the people who lived in Queens. Every group was organized into groups of 8. Elder Kay took half of our Zone, and I took the other. It was a good opportunity to learn how to lead as well. Only us and 2 other Zones from the Mission went. It was more of a Multi-stake activity than a mission activity. We are all hoping we can go back!

We started off by waking up early in the morning. Elder Kay and I went and bought some work gloves and some doughnuts for everyone. Then soon the buses pulled into the New Rochelle Chapel to pick up all the Members and Missionaries. We had to pack our lunches for the day. When we got there we were told to go to certain streets and just look for people who needed help. It was Work! WORK! WORK  all day! At the end of the day we were helping this man clear some stuff out of his basement...There was tons of mold, and it was just nasty. He had years of memories and so many other things down in his basement.. Just about all of it had to go. I picked up an antique dresser and it just fell apart as I picked it up because of the water damage. There was only room for me and 1 other small kid down there. The water was still about 3 inches deep, it had been over 8 feet... It was sad, but it was good to help! So many people thanked us, and opened their hearts to what we did, and to the message we taught. I would have to say that this was probably the highlight to my week, and one of the highlights of my mission. We really served, and I feel like we accomplished a lot and helped many people. And the Missionaries in The South Mission and in New Jersey still are. We are all hoping that us as a mission can go down there and help. 

It was exhausting, but it was worth it :) I'd never had a desire to work so hard. We were all a mess by the end of the day. The bus ride home was long, so Elder Kay and I passed the time by trying  to sing country songs., Sadly we have forgotten most of the words to almost all of them lol! But it was fun! 

Other than that we are teaching a little girl named Michelle. She has a bap date for the 10th of December! She is really smart! She is the Granddaughter of our Gospel Principles teacher, Hermano Bucay. So she was pretty much a miracle. 

I love Elder Kay  - he is an awesome companion. We get along so well! We are having a ton of fun! But life on my end is good! I hope to hear from you all soon! Please pray for the people that were affected by the Hurricane! They need it, and God is the only one who can give them the peace that they need. Hope all is well! I miss and love you all! :) 

Love Mark! :)

Here is a link to a church video that depicts some of the service Mark describes above.  You can find him about 1:35 into the video.   Please watch if you haven't already.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fun Changes

Dear Mommy and Daddy! :) 

So I will try to address everything you asked me. About the election, yeah Romney lost. What can we do? Hope for the best and expect the worst :) Hopefully he can actually do something in these next 4 years.. You guys know me, I am no politician; I don't care enough. But things do need to get better. Let's hope for the best! :)

With that said here is the good news of the week! ELDER KAY IS MY NEW COMPANION!! :) Elder Kay is his best bud from the MTC. We are ZLs together!! I am so happy! :) And Elder Eliason is in our pad! He is in the English Ward! I feel so bad for Elder Plouzek. He is living with 3 almost dead missionaries (close to going home) who go home together. Haha he does not even have a year yet! But the two of them are the new office elders. It's a new position in the mission.. They basically do all the stuff that the AP's did not want to do before. I am so excited for this cycle! Those were the best transfer calls I have received my whole mission! 

So Lydia got baptized! Elder Kropf baptized and confirmed her! It was really cool! Hopefully the other 3 sisters will follow her example some time this cycle! And now we have a baptismal date with a little girl named Michelle! She is 11! And the Granddaughter of the Gospel Principles teacher Hermano Bucay! It is a miracle. She just basically told her Grandpa that she wanted to be baptized. We met her at church on Sunday, then visited with her Monday night. She set her date for the 10th of December! So we are pretty excited for that :) 

And BYU App deadline is the 1st of December for Priority. And we need to finish the app before we can start recommendations. But I was thinking Sister Hudson as well for a teacher one. And President Smith, and Brother Tuttle as well! :) You read my mind mom. I am almost done, I really just need you to put on my GPA and things of that sort. So please get on that!! This week! I am going to try and finish the essays by next PDay. I will send you all of the revised ones. I have kind of changed them up a little bit. I was thinking the same thing that you mentioned, that with this new change in mission age, there is a much better likelihood that I can get in! :) So please pray and keep your fingers crossed! 

I am 100% committed to getting into BYU. And my second option is UVU. I just really feel like I need to be in Provo, so I will not be applying for BYU I :/ Not now at least, sorry :(  lol! And thanks for the EFY link mom! I will be looking into that as well if I do not get in for summer semester. :) 

And about my release date.. ah you know I hate talking about that, but if everything goes as follows I should arrive on the 14th. Assuming we don't have some drastic changes in the mission from now until then... That is so scary to think. Elder Kay and I really hope that we get to kill each other off, but I doubt that will be happening! Seriously he is my best bud out here! :) I am so happy we are companions! 

So that story about Lindsay made both Elder Kay and I laugh! That is funny! So did she actually meet President Smith?? I could not really figure out from what you told me. 

But yeah I am good! We were out of power until Friday afternoon last week. I hated it. The dark is so depressing. And tonight we are grounded ( we can't drive) because of the snow storm. So we are just going to go back and move Elder Kay in. But to answer Dad's questions we did get to do some service.. not too much hurricane related, but service none the less. We helped an investigator of the Scarsdale Elders rake his and his neighbor's leaves. We also helped him carry a bunch of free fire wood to his back yard (He got the firewood because of all the trees that had fallen over as a result of hurricane Sandy) So.. it was kind of service for them. Most of the work is to be done in New Jersey and in the South Mission. To the looks of it, President Morgan is trying to organize something so our mission may be able to provide relief to those areas. Because of the long gas waits and many highways that were closed this past week, it was almost impossible to get over to Jersey or Long Island. But hey who knows maybe I will be leaving the mission soon to go help out :) The biggest problem here was power outages, and the 6 hours we had to wait to get gas. We had to wait until midnight to get gas.. it was ridiculous!! We waited for 2 hours Thursday morning, and the station ran out. then we came back that night and got in line at 7:40. We started filling up 1 car at 11:40, but our car did not get filled because at 12 the workers had to go home.. (we were like 10 cars behind the English Elders.)  So annoying.. We were running on empty for days. Thankfully to Maria, our landlady, we were able to fill up part of the way because she had a 5 gallon tank, or else we would have been in a bind! It was not until yesterday in the morning that we were able to fill up completely! :) It has been stressful.. But at the same time a lot of fun :) I feel terrible for the people in Long Island and Jersey. :( Everyone needs to keep them in their prayers! 

Well that's about it! I think I addressed everything you both said. :) I love you both! Thank you for your advice! :) I am taking it! :) And yup Dad the End is coming... I don't know when, but I feel it is getting closer! Just got to keep our heads held high! Well I love you all! Take care and have a good week! You are all in my thoughts and prayers! :) 

Love Mark! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Storm

Hey there mommy! :)
Happy Halloween everyone! Haha so mom first I am going to address your concerns about my short emails recently. That is because we generally go to the library to email and we are only given an hour. 
And about a care package! Don't worry about it! :) It is not a big deal. But if you do sent one just send whatever you would like :) It does not matter to me! :)
So about the Storm. It hit pretty bad. We do not have electricity. We have been out since Monday night. So naturally walking around in pitch black has been a blast. We just stayed in our apartment. Down by the beach some small sailboats washed up onto the shore! And there are a lot of trees down! Luckily our church still has power which is about 1/8  mile from our house. But we were grounded all of Monday, and until like 4 yesterday. We looked for stuff to do, but sadly around here there is not too much. If we could somehow get an organized project together that would be nice. The biggest problem is that like nobody has power! The wind was extremely strong. Rain was not too bad at all! But as you said apparently it has hit the city really hard! I have not heard a lot! But yeah.. That is what is going on as far as that. We are just looking for opportunities to help. Staying inside for 2 days really made me appeciate what we do every other day. Although it is sometime repeticious! It was just nice to finally be outside doing things! :) \
But I am glad to hear you talked to President Morgan! He is a great guy! I love him so much! We had interviews last week, and it is always such a blessing to be able to  talk with him.
And when Elder D. Todd Christofferson came, that was really cool! He said a lot of interesting and powerful things that really got me thinking! It was a great opportunity and I left from it remotivated! :) He has a true and strong testimony about the Gospel, and about the Savior. What he said at the end of his testimony was truly just amazing! Before that I got to pick up missionaries from the train station in Scarsdale, so I was driving around by myself. That was weird! It was the first time in forever that I was alone! But it was nice! lol! :) I miss having alone time!
So Lydia, 1 of the 4 sisters is getting baptized this Saturday! :) It will be right before Elder Kropf leaves! So we are really excited for that! :) 
Well I don't have too much more time these computers only give us an hour. But I just want to let you all know I love you! And thank you for all you do :) I am good! The storm could not take me down! I am doing good! Just trying to get used to the cold weather! I HATE THE COLD! haha! Okay mom I am going to send you a second email! But I love you all! :) Have a great day! Have fun trick or treating tonight! Garrett save some candy for me! :) Love you all!
Love Mark! :)