Friday, January 7, 2011

January 3, 2011 - First email from Philly

Sounds like your living the good life in good ol west weber. So this week has been crazy! I spent the first night in the mission home which is super nice, then in the morning we met our companions and then we were off! My area is called Darby, and its super Ghetto! I love it though, everyone is humble and its fun hearing gun shots at night when i'm prosyliting. Haha its all good, it was scary the first night but i just accept the fact that i'm in the ghetto and everything will be alright. The people here are nice to us. Darby is full of row homes that are super shady. There are no houses like the ones at home out here. The work here is going really well. We teach tons of lessons every day, so we are super busy. The area here, is just all african refugees from Liberia and they are nice. Their culture is funny, they have this funny handshake where you snap your fingers with theirs. I have it down good. When you go to their house they offer you food a lot and you have to eat it cuz its rude if you dont. Its like the only thing they have to offer us. It is gross!!! Oh man, they are all native african dishes. I've had something called Kasava leaf, which is this nasty leave paste that is super super spicy, and its over meat. It was gross! I've also had Ground up fish heads in pumpkin paste over rice that was also spicy. They have the most spiciest foods i've ever had. Sometimes we just get done with dinner and so we're full, then we go teach them and they offer us food, so we just have to pound it down so we're not rude. Man i've almost thrown up so many times. They speak a language called Kron. Its crazy! Some of them speak only cron, so its hard to teach. Their english is okay sometimes, it just depends who. They have tons of babies and kids running around, and they love us. The ward has a whole bunch of humble, nice, africans and they are so sweet! They are really receptive to the gospel. We have 7 up for baptism a week from next sunday. There is a really cool Haitian family that we ate at the other night. She made this squash soup that was so good! It was like a Haitian dish that they have a lot down there. My companions names are Elder Lake and Elder Kay. We are a trio companionships and they are ZL's, so i get to go with them to do fun exchanges and stuff. Something unique about our companionshiops is that Elder Kay speaks english, Elder Lake speaks spanish, and I speak portuguese. We all have different nametags ha its great. Something funny that happend this week is that on the first day in the field we donated blood at a hospital because we were supposed to give this person a blessing but they said to wait like and hour so we had nothing to do and we were just sitting at the hospital so we decided to give blood. It was funny. The weather here is pretty nice. Hopefully it stays like this. From what i hear it can get soooo cold. Every morning we go running and its pretty chilly, but we warm up quick. Scranton is an area in this mission which is sweet cuz thats where The Office is located and filmed. Good stuff... I'll have to check out the Liberty bell while i'm here too. The Philly Cheesestakes here are amazing! Beats the ones back home for sure. I can eat em all day. But yeah, the day and the life of a missionary is pretty crazy. Ghetto but awesome. I love the people here, and i'll be sad when i have to leave for brazil i'm sure. It sounds like things are going great at home, and how dare you turn my room into a man cave!! Jk, it sounds pretty legit... well take care and i'll hear from you next monday! I love you and keep up the good hard work! 
Love, Matt

December 24, 2010 - Last email from the MTC!

Man i wrote you a big email and i lost it!!! ugh im so mad! i'll try to hurry and make up for it.
Thats scary about gary, but i'm glad hes doing good now. I'm super stoked for phili! I can't wait to eat some cheestakes!! the jazz are doing good so i[m happy. Keep up the updates! I wish i could go to the christmas party! We're having a little christmas party of our own here. Tonight we're gunna have a sleepover in one room, and eat a whole bunch of food we bought at the bookstore with our blue cards money thats leftover. It will be legit. We're gunna play uno and have a good time haha. It will be good to finally relax for a while. I cant wait. Tomorrow there is a christmas devo and i think a first presidency member is coming so we'll see. I'm so so stoked for philly! I hear there is a portuguese mission there, but i think they said they think that we'll be put in english speaking, but we'll see. Either way i'm so excited to finally go out in the field and teach. I wanna leave the mtc haha. I got a package from the couches this week, it was so nice of them! I was also happy to get all the mail from you guys and thanks again for the presents, i love em! thanks for being such a great provider and a hard worker. I look up to you more than you know. So i'll try to call your cell on tuesday if your not home. I might be calling around 5 am so we'll see if your home, but if not i'll try your cell. What are you guys gunna do on christmas?? It was so good hearing from youguys on wednesday, & i look forward to it again on tuesday. I'm so mad my email i had for you was lost! i have no time now! i'll call you on tuesday and i'm excited to email again next week! i'm sure i'll have more time as well. I love you so much and have a great christmas!!
Love, Mat

December 22, 2010 - Headed to Philly!

I found out my new assignment while waiting for my VISA to Brazil.
I'm headed to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mission!!!!    I am sooooo
excited!!!!!  I fly out December 28, 2010.

December 17, 2010

Hey dad, things here are going pretty good! I've been sick with a cold this past week, but i'm feeling a lot better today. Its funny cuz in the last email mom asked if i've been sick yet, and i said no that i've been lucky, but then i got a cold like the next day! It sounds like things are going good back home. The jazz seem to be doing good, and dwill is dominating like always. I'm suprised spurs are #1 tho... What are the Heat ranked? I'm glad gary is back to normal. I'm glad you're such a hard worker. You are a good example to me for hard work. You're a great provider. B-ball here is going good. I look forward to gym every day, i love it! I've put on maybe 4 pounds here, its not much. I'm sure i'll loose it all in the heat of brazil when i'm walking everywhere, everyday... that is... if i even get to brazil!!! I get my reassignment this wednesday, and i'm super excited. I just wanna get to work and get out of the MTC. I'm getting sick of this place haha. I will call probably wednesday, unless it comes tuesday, but probably wednesday. It will only be 5 min long. I'll try to call around the time you get off work. I'll get to call a lot more at the airport tho. So this last sunday i gave a sacrament meeting talk in front of my whole zone in portuguese!! I did pretty good! Everybody says i'm speaking the language well, and my accent is good. I have a long ways to go though, brazilians talk way fast. For the devotional on tuesday, the BYU mens choir came to sing and I saw jace milne! I didnt get to talk to him tho. I was also excited to get the xmas package, so thank you guys for that. So you guys said that you might not pick me up from brazil cuz of the visa problems, but i think you only need a visa to live there for a long time. Since you guys would be visiting, i think your passports will do, but im not sure. Ask the Hales. Grandma harper also sent me a package full of candy, it was super nice. Oh yeah the Hales sent a package too, they are so  nice. I got to host this week, it was fun. I remember how nervous i was when i first came, so i tried to comfort the noobs haha. Well, time is running out, i love you and i'll hopefully talk to you this wednesday. Keep up the good work.
Love, Matt

December 10, 2010

Hey it sounds like things are going good at home. The jazz have been kicking butt but i guess they've slipped up a lil this week. How is gordan hayward doing?? So i get my reassignment in a couple weeks. I'm not dissapointed, im actually really excited! I wanna serve in the states for a while cuz then i'll get like 2 missions!! haha i honestly wanna just get out of the MTC. I'll probably get my visa in a couple/few months. The only fear i would have is to forget all the portuguese i've learned here. So this week I got to go outside of the mtc again cuz elder matson has been sick so he went to the clinic a few miles away from the MTC. He is my good mtc buddy, so it was fun to travel outside of the prison like walls here hahaha. Thank you guys for the christmas package. I am excited to at least open some gifts on christmas. Mom wanted to know what sundays are like here. On sundays we just go to sacrament meeting, preisthood, have a temple walk, and a devotional. The rest of the time is just meals and study. I like sundays. I have gained maybe 4 pounds here in the mtc. not too shabby. I sent off some christmas cards today, you should be getting one monday or tuesday. I made them in the mtc bookstore, im genious! haha. Kyle boren decided to stick it out, he was thinking of going home. He flew to the dominican republic mtc a couple days ago. So i think this next wednesday i might get to host. That will be sweet. I remember when i got dropped off and the hosts looked all happy and such but i was sad haha. Is gary's scars all healed up and is he back to normal? I thought about ali the other day and got sad again! ugh it sucked! i forgot that it all happend! well time is running out so i gotta go! I love you & keep up the good work!
Love, Matt

December 3, 2010

Hey! So it sounds like everything is going good at home. I'm glad the Jazz have been doing good, its about time! I wish i could go to a game haha but oh well, i will in 2 years. I expected the Cleveland fans to hate lebron... So this week was really good. I taught the first lesson at the TRC in all portuguese!!! it was awesome. I'm speaking portuguese well, but i have a longgggg ways to go. This week I got to go out of the MTC becuase one of the elders in my district was sick. He had to go to the clinic so I joined up with him and his companion into a trio. It was so sweet getting out of the mtc. It seems like a prison sometimes hahaha. Everyone loves the missionaries. When we were waiting in the clinic lobby people would just come up to us and thank us for our service. There was a lady from brazil waiting to be helped, and I talked to her in portuguese for a little bit. It was sweet! That's cool about Cullen. WIll nick babtise him?? That's awesome. How is gary doing? is he healed all the way?? So in our building there are a bunch of polenesians on the floor right about us, and they are the noisiest people ever!! they stay up untill like midnight every night and bang on everything like they were drums. It sucks when your trying to sleep haha. Also, some new elders moved in our floor the other night, and there were a few from brazil, one being from Curitiba. He said that it will be the best mission in Brazil, and that my mission president is a really really nice guy. I'm excited. So there hasnt been any VISA's coming in from Brazil missions lately. So there has been a lot of reassignments for the elders here waiting for brazil visa's. Some of the places they're going is to places like arizona, colorado, cali, boston, washington dc, philly, idaho, and st. george. I am almost positive i'll get reassigned. There has just been like no visas coming in. I should be getting my reassignment in like 3 weeks. Oh well, i'm not dissapointed. I'll get to brazil eventually. I think it will be cool serving stateside for a while, cuz then i can experience another place! Maybe i'll go to somewhere sweet like DC, or Boston. Also, a few have been reassigned to Alabama & Connetticut. I think they just reassign you wherever missionaries that have been called there are leaving the MTC. They just stick you on the flight with them haha. Well its December already. ITs so crazy that i've been here for that long. It seems like i've been here forever, but at the same time im suprised how fast weeks goes by. They put up christmas lights here, and they are actually really cool. The weather here has been so so cold, but the past 2 days hasnt been bad. Well i'm runningh out of time! I hate how short they give you to email home. Keep up the good work dad, i miss you a bunch! Keep me up on the jazz!
Love, Matt

November 26, 2010

Hey! It sounds like everything is going well back home. Sounds like you also had a great thanksgiving. So here's how mine went ( and no i wasn't trunky ) So in the morning we had a really good devotional. Jeffrey R Holland came to speak to us. He is such a good speaker, it was awesome. After that we had our Thanksgiving meal during lunch time cuz the cafeteria workers got let off at evening time. It wasnt too good haha just picture a school cafeteria turkey meal. Oh well, it was better than nothing. The thing i really missed on Thanksgiving was the good home cooked meals. So the Jazz are doing awesome huh?? I love it when D-will and CP3 go at it, cuz deron always owns him hahaha. They have a good record so far, hopefully they keep it up! It's weird how San Antonio is #1. What's the Heat's record? Ha thats crazy how nick dented the car already, i bet he was mad! I just know how to keep things in great shape i guess!! jk jk... but really ha.  So it sounds like you guys are liking the new comp. to elder cordier. Hopefully they will finally get some work done for once!! haha. So gary is doing better?? is he back to normal? I miss that dog haha. So someting funny that happend this week was when elder hartley was sleeping. He talks in his sleep and in the middle of the night he yelled "como se diz crap!" which means, "how do you say crap!?" in portuguese hahhaha.  So the weather this week has been SO SO COLD!!! Man its crazy. I never remember ogden getting this cold, its rediculous. Oh, tell mom i might need a lint roller as well, thanks. So I am a pro at tying my own ties now, you wouldnt believe your eyes!! I saw Kyle Boren the other day. He was really homesick and he wanted to go home. Hopefully he didnt, cuz i havent seen him for a while and his class is in the same building as mine. That was so funny what ellen anthony wrote on moms facebook. I got all the missionaries laughing at that. So your team byu is owning in BBalll and football now huh? I bet your stoked about that. So im so ready to get out of the MTC. Its starting to get routine for me & I just want to get out there and go to work! Not too much else to say here, we gotta leave for the temple soon so I hope you have a great week, I love you!