Friday, December 30, 2011

Twas the day after Christmas


Hi all,
It feels really, super weird to have a pretty bad sunburn on Christmas...  That's not normal.  I loved hearing your voices yesterday and I do understand the hardship in communication.  My companion had the same trouble with his parents back on Mother's day and again this time.  In fact, his parents couldn't even reach him, though they tried for a couple hours, so they reset a time through the mission offices for later today.  I hope he gets to talk with them.  I'm pretty sure that I'm going to try Skype next time, but it'll depend on where I am.  If I'm still in Pilar, then I know a place now where I can do that.
Anyhow, last week was a really slow week, workwise.  A lot of our appointments fell through and we had to improvise on the spot, trying to follow the Spirit as to whom to visit.  A lot of the time, we can't really have a lesson either.  There still haven't been any baptisms here since I got here, which is the only month this year that there haven't been any.  That discourages me a little, but I'm trying as hard as I can to get things going.  That's just difficult when you still can't understand most of what people are saying to you.
Since entering the MTC, I've been trying to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  This last week, I finished 1 Nephi and began 2 Nephi.  I love the part in the first chapter of 2 Nephi 1:20-21, where Lehi tells his sons the words of the Lord that "Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land... And now that my soul might have joy in you,...arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart..."  It is every boy's dream to be a man, and here we are told how to be men (and women):  keep the commandments.
In my English reading, I'm in Alma and read (I think just this last week) 8-16.  These are chapters I've never thought much about before, but now they mean so much more.  Especially when Amulek comes on the scene.  Here is a junior companion in a missionary companionship, and also a recent convert/less active member of just a few weeks who accompanies Alma to preach to his people.  There's a saying in Argentina when someone is being reproved or gets in trouble and is being chastised (I think chastised is a better word for it): bajar la caƱa, which means "drop cane".  Amulek and Alma here are dropping cane, chastising the people for their wickedness, and calling them to repentance.  My heart pains for Amulek especially in chapters 14-16.  In there, the men who believe are cast out of the city, and the wives and children of the believers, along with the sacred records and holy scriptures, are cast into the fire.  Amulek asks Alma, "How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames".  They are bound with strong cords and forced to watch this holocaust.  The emotions present must have been rending on the heart and soul, especially to Amulek when Alma says these words: "The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand."  WHY?! must have been the thought of Amulek, which Alma answers before it is asked, "for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day."  Here, I wondered.  Amulek and his family lived in Ammonihah.  While he was bound and forced to watch, were his own wife and children led to and cast into the fire?  Was Amulek forced to watch his own family be murdered by the madness of the mob?  In his anguish for the people, Amulek says "perhaps they will burn us also."  But Alma says, "Be it according to the will of the Lord.  But behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not."  Alma is consigned to die, if it be the will of the Lord, but he knows that he still has work to do, so he knows that they will not die yet.
Following this, Alma and Amulek are beaten and accused, the people saying that God could not save those who believed in him, and neither could Alma or Amulek.  Not only were they beaten, but they were starved and left without water for days in prison, and every time someone came to question them, they maintained their silence.  After who knows how many days, the cheif judge in Ammonihah, along with several other teachers and lawyers, all, one by one, smote them on the cheek and sayd "If ye have the power of God deliver yourselves from these bands..."  Alma then cries unto the Lord, using similar words to those of Joseph Smith while in Liberty Jail, "How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ even unto deliverance."  It is granted.  They break their bonds, and as the people flee in fear, they fall before they can leave the jail, and it collapses on top of them, while Alma and Amulek leave the building, untouched by the crumbling walls.  In the following chapter, we learn that almost all of the friends and family of Amulek, including his own father, rejected him, and were later destroyed by the Lamanites, in fulfillment of the words of Alma in chapter 10, verse 23.  Amulek lost everything for the Lord.  Until I just read this, I don't think I had fully realized the pain that he must have felt.  After their work was done among the believers in Sidom, Alma took him back to his home in Zarahemla and "[administered] unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord."
Here we read find that Amulek is a wonderful example of one who kept faith, even after losing everything, in the Lord Jesus Christ.  My trials now are small in comparison.  I struggle with a language, with a sunburn, with the occasional blister, and with minor rejection from a few people here.  I still have my family, and a large support system from home and the other missionaries here.  Amulek lost it all.  Sometimes I wonder what I would do it something like that happened to me, and I would like to say that I would keep the faith like him.  I yearn to have that kind of faith.  Five years ago, I don't know that I would have.  With how much I have been studying and learning, I believe that now, as hard as it would be, I would be able to continue moving forward.  And that is what I am trying to do now: Keep Moving Forward.
I've heard an example that being a member of the church is like walking up the down escalator.  If you stop moving, you go backwards.  If you casually walk, you will stay in the same place, never really moving.  You have to move quickly and against the natural direction in order to move forward.  The things that help us to run up are found in the scriptures, in prayer, and in keeping the commandments of God, even in the midst of affliction.
I know this letter didn't have all that much news in it, but I thought that it was more important for me to share this with you: my family.  I thank you for your support, love, and prayers.  I can feel it.  I love you all.
My Christmas was spent in Church, talking with you, and in making visits to members and investigators.  It didn't feel like the normal Christmas, but it was very much a day of celebration.  Every day here can be that way, as long as I keep my view down the road, and not in the rearview mirror.  My past is not as important as my future, and my future depends on my service here.  I know this church is true.  I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is His Son, and that through the Gospel, and living the convenants we have made, we have the promise of returning to live in their presence.  Again, I love you.  I think of and pray for you.  Keep your own eyes down the road, and always look for opportunities to bring others onto the same road.
With love,
Elder Matthew Dewsnup

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Message from Pilar


Alrighty, here's the Scoop!
Dad sent me an email asking what a normal day is like so here we go.  Wake up time is 6:30 and we have until 8:00 to eat, exercise, and prepare for the day.  At 8:00 we have Personal Study for an hour, following which we have about two hours of Companionship Study.  Depending on other things that happen, we may have more or less time than that.  After companionship study, we're supposed to have an hour of Language study for an hour, but I've only been able to do it twice thus far in the last three-ish weeks. we've had a lot of other things that have needed to be done, but we really enjoy our study time.  During each companionship study, we do a practice of introducing the Book of Mormon to someone using the first and last two paragraphs of the introduction to the Book of Mormon, which explain what the book is, three things we should do when we receive it, and three things we'll know once we know the truth of the book.  The two hours of companionship study will only last for the first twelve weeks of my mission while I'm still in training.  There is a relatively new training program called In-Field Training that happens now.  I think it was introduced to missions within the last year or two.  Anyway, after the study time, we prepare for the day with any other last minute things then head to whichever member's house we have lunch with in that particular day.  After lunch, we go to work, most of the time having lessons, but often having to imrovise when appointments fall through.  The proselyting day ends whenever we need it to in order to return to our apartment by 9:00; 9:30 when we're teaching a lesson.  Once we return to the apartment, we plan for the next day (first), afterwhich we prepare for bed, write in journals, etc., to be in bed by 10:30.
Often enough in the last three weeks we've had to change this schedule to accomodate (spelling?) traveling to and from conferences, training meetings, and today I had to go to Capital to register for my two year Argentine papers, as the visa will expire soon.
Dad also asked what kinds of food I normally eat.  So, here's a description of some of the foods:
     1) Empanadas.  These are like turnovers that Dad makes, but instead of being filled with jam, they're filled with meats, potatoes, etc. and baked or fried.  They look like stuffed semicircles of yummy goodness.  Imagine half a jelly-filled donut, but instead of jelly, finding shredded chicken and baked potatoe, or ground beef and a veggie mix.  Anything can go in them.
     2) Dulce de Leche.  This is like Mom's carmels, but creamier.  Dulce de Leche doesn't harden like the carmels we've come to love, but remains creamy.  I'd say the consistency is somewhere in between cream cheese and yogurt.  Maybe closer to yogurt, or the creamy honey that Dad likes to spread on bread.  But it tastes heavenly!
     3) Alfajors (pronounced ahl-fah-hohr).  These are made in a number of different ways and are the most prevalent candy/dessert that you find in gas stations or other stores.  It is made like a sandwich with Dulce le Leche in the middle.  I've seen it like Oreo's, like Ice Cream Sandwiches, etc.  But the way I've liked them best has been a home made variety by a member, where the Dulce de Leche was spread between two wafers (like Nillas, but softer) then rolled in Coconut shavings.
     4) Milanesa.  This is similar to chicken fried steak, but thinner.  The only way I can really describe it, would be a mix between a soft beef jerky and Dad's Chicken Schnitzel.  Sometimes it even is made with chicken, but it is generally beef.
     5) Churi.  This is a type of Sausage similar to Brauts, but sweeter.  When split in half and stuck between two hunks of bread... yum!!!  That is called a Chruipan (Churi being the sausage and pan being the word for bread.
     Other foods are very similar to what it's like in the States: pasta, fruit salad, salads, etc.  There is no really spicy food here, the rare taco at a member's house (which has happened once in my companions' mission, last week with a member family who spends a lot of time in Utah. He's been out for almost 9 months).  There have been no rice and beans dishes served, and the pizzas are lacking for sauce.   But on the whole, there a lot of similarities in the foods.
 Dad, you said I may have received some news in duplicate from both you and mom.  This is true, but I like it, because the two of you tell it a little differently.  I'm pleased about your new guitar and amp!  I hope to hear what it's name is in the next email ;)  The new oven and reupholstered chairs sound like nice Christmas presents too!
Mom, you asked me to give more information on my address and the church and the streets I work on.  Sadly, I'm not supposed to send that information, and even if I could, I don't know it.  I only know where they are in the city.  Suffice it to say our apartment is located near a field by a round-y-round, and the church is between our apartment and the highway, more or less.  Our proselyting area is mostly the casitas between Champagnat and Dr. Thomas de Anchoren, and goes as far north as the Calles there, but we also have the neighboring areas.  We just don't currently have anyone in the other areas that we teach.  The neighborhoods we have are: Las Margaritas, Agustoni, San Alejo, Peligrini, and all inbetween.  All of these are North of  the highway.
Something that we've shared and taught with several investigators and recent converts, and even inactive or less-active members, this week has been the contents of Alma 36 and Helaman 5.  These chapters deal with the counsel of fathers to sons as well as repentance.  Alma 36, of course, is Alma's personal experience with repentance as told to his son Helaman and accounts how it was only after he cried out to Jesus, after he pleaded for the Lord to "have mercy upon me, who am in the gall of bitterness," that he was delivered.  And oh, what joy did he experience!  He says that there was nothing as exquisite and bitter as was his pain, but on the other hand, nothing as exquisite and sweet as was his joy after repentance.  It was from that moment on that he labored with his might to bring souls unto repentance and a deliverance from their sins.  In Helaman 5, we read about the advice of Helaman to his sons Nephi and Lehi, to remember (said 13 times in I think 10 verses) the things and lessons of the past and to always build upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ the Lord.  Later on we hear of them being cast into prison, where a mob came to kill them.  Nephi and Lehi were surrounded by a protecting wall of fire while the mob was surrounded in a cloud of darkness.  Among the mob was an apostate Nephite who remembered the words taught to him in his youth about repentance.  In that moment, he repented, and when the mob cried out pleading to know what to do, that repentant dissenter, named Aminadab, told them what he had been taught, and what they all had been taught by Alma, Amulek, and others, all of whom they had rejected.  The mob numbered about 300.  All cried unto God for a repentance, and then they were surrounded by the fire as were Nephi and Lehi, all witnessing the glory that those two had witnessed.  So great were the experiences of those 300, that they then went out and preached the word, as had Alma, and they brought nearly the entire Lamanite nation unto repentance, to the point that they were more righteous that the Nephites.
That is a message we take.  The message of repentance; a message of hope.  That hope is in Christ, who is mighty to save, and has suffered for our sins that we may not suffer, "which suffering caused I, God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed from every pore" Christ already paid the price.  We don't have to if we come to Him, paying the price of a humble heart and a contrite spirit, willing to make a change in our lives to do whatever it takes to choose the right, even if that means hardship.  Even if we fall, that is why we have repentance and especially the sacrament; to allow us to continually better ourselves and try to be as He is.
We shared the above chapter of Alma with one of the men who dropped us after we attended his wedding.  The next day, when we went back, he had read the chapter and asked us questions.  Then he asked us for more to read.  Hopefully we made an impression to the point of him coming to Christ through the waters of baptism and eventually the sacred covenants of the Temple.
I love you all, and I'll talk to you in a week!
With love and prayers,
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
P.S. The picture attached is me after we returned home from working last night.  I don't think I've ever sweat this much in my life.
P.S.S.  Mom and Dad will be pleased to know that for the first time I ate mushrooms, green olives, and dark meet without a single face of distaste.  I even (surprisingly to me) enjoyed them.
P.S.S.S.  Let Sister Hicks know that I got the package last Friday from the Activity Days girls, and a big thank you to them.  Dad, your letter arrived at the same time.  We had a leadership training meeting at with we all got mail, but if anything else has been sent, as yet I have not gotten it.  Again I'm sorry to all I haven't gotten letters to yet.  Time is of the essence and I don't have much of it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Week 10 {and a half}

{This is Megan... Sorry it's been a while since I've really posted any updates. It's been really busy with the holiday season so I'll just go head and post the actual letters...}


How to begin...
These last two weeks have been some of the most discouraging and uplifting of my life.  All of the baptisms that we had planned for the last two weeks fell through and we had two investigators drop us last week.  Our ward has in its records between 600 and 700 members, but in the last two weeks only about 80 on average have attended and Elder Black says that's the norm here in our area.  The retention rate is our killer.
I still can't understand the language as much as I'd like (meaning I can't understand it perfectly yet) but I know that I need to be patient and continue to listen.  My understanding has improved, but the speed at which some people talk still astounds me, and some of the idioms don't translate perfectly in English, so it's hard for my companion to explain what they mean.  We got our bicycles fixed up and are now riding them pretty much all the time, so the blisters I had are healing over and now my thighs need to be stretched each night, so they don't cramp up.  But as they say in Meet the Robinsons, Keep Moving Forward.  More on that in a minute.
Mom asked what my living quaters were like, though she didn't use those words.  I live in an apartment complex with three other elders (one, of course, is my companion) which is about a mile to a mile and a half south of the Pan Americana highway that runs through town.  The apartment has a front room, kitchen, two bedrooms (though we only use one with four bunks, the other is our study room), and the bathroom.  Conditions aren't as clean as I'd like them to be, so I try to spend a little time each day (more on P-Days) cleaning up a bit.
Mom also asked about meals.  The biggest meal here is Almuerzo, or lunch, which is normally eaten during the Siesta.  The Siesta is a period of the day that lasts for about three hours as a period of rest for people during the day.  They eat and take naps!!  How cool is that!  But we usually eat a large meal with members and then go to work.  The proselyting day ends whenever it needs to for us to return to our apartment by 9:00, so after nightly planning, we then either eat a snack, or go without.  So usually the only meals we do are breakfast and lunch, with a little before bed.
And Mom asked about whether or not I have played piano in church yet.  Seeing as I seem to be the only person in all of Pilar who knows how, yes I've been playing.  I have played in both sacrament meetings and at the ward end-of-the-year social last Thursday.
Right now, while I'm in training, our proselyting hours begin right after lunch, but once I'm done with training, there should be enough time to have one or two appointments in the day before lunch.  The proselyting area that Elder Black and I have right now is the area north of the Pan Americana, which is a poorer section of the town, except for the Countries (gated, walled, and protected neighborhoods, at which there are gaurds and specific things needed to enter).  We don't go into the Countries unless we have a referral to contact, a lesson with a recent convert or lunch with a member in one of them.  Thus far, I've only been in one.
I just looked at the clock here and realized that for all of you at home and in that time zone, it's almost 8:00, which means Joseph just started classes for the day, mom likely has headed off for Curves, and Dad's at work.  Meg and Marving are probably at their separate jobs.  Sarah is teaching her first class of the day and Brandon is probably either spending time with Annie, or has started his own classes (I don't know what your schedule is like as well as I know the Missoula schedule).  That's a really weird thought, seeing as for us, we're approaching our lunch time.
Mom also mentioned that she found Pilar on a map from National Geographic.  If any of the rest of you want to see the town, I'd suggest either using Google Earth or the map section under tools on  If you sign in, you can see mission boundaries and such, boundaries of your ward and stake, a stake directory, and other cool church related things.  On that map, the Pan Americana is called Ramal Pilar.
In one of my personal study sessions this week, I was studying out of Preach My Gospel, chapter five, which deals with the Book of Mormon.  I looked at the section where there are a bunch of questions and then places where answers can be found in the Book of Mormon, and I loved what I found there.  I looked at Alma 22 and 38, and 3 Nephi 13 and 14.  Alma 22 talks about when Aaron is conversing with the father of King Lamoni and the King asks Aaron what he can do to have eternal life (v. 15).  Aaron answers in verse 16 with what I have termed "how to get an answer"  He says "If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest."  This told me that when we want to know the answer to a question or when we want something, we need to pray about it.  The first step to a prayer like this is to have a desire; we really have to want to know something.  Then we bow down before God, repenting of our sins, in prayer, calling on His name in faith.  We approach Him in prayer with a repentant heart.  Then, most importantly in my mind, we have to believe that we'll receive an answer.  Only after that will we receive the hope we want.  I like the fact that it says "receive," because it's not going to be given to us if we're passive about it, or if we don't really want it.  We have to want and then we will obtain.
Alma 38 is where Alma is talking to his son, Shiblon, and many of the things there are great for investigator, member, and missionary alike.  In verse 8, he talks about how his sins caused him "the most bitter pain and anguish of soul" because he knew that he had done wrong in trying to destroy the church and in leading many people to do evil and wicked things.  The best part is that he then says that "never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ...did [I] find peace to my soul."  It wasn't until he reached out to God and to Jesus Christ in prayer, feeling truly repentant, that he was healed.  This to me just talked about how we won't receive forgiveness of our sins without first reaching out to God and asking for it.  We have to humble ourselves and feel truly repentant in order to be forgiven ourselves.  The beginning of verse 12 is wonderful for missionaries too: "Use boldness, but not overbearance."  We need to be bold, as missionaries, in helping people to come to Christ, but we also need to do so with love and kindness, not forcefulness.
3 Nephi 13 and 14 were reiterations of Christ Sermon on the Mount to the people of the Americas, but I found it interesting that the questions asked in Preach My Gospel in connection with these chapters were: How can I balance my career and my family? (13, compare Matthew 6), and How can I improve my relationship with my spouse? (14, compare Matthew 7)
I love the scriptures; there is so much in them that we can learn from and apply that will be us become better people.  I know what I'm teaching is true, and I know that the Gospel can help everyone I teach.  This message is one for the world, and soon all will know it, for the day soon cometh when Christ will appear.  I don't know where that is in the scriptures, maybe Dad can help me with that reference, but we don't know when it will happen, all we can do is prepare for it.
I love and miss you all!!!  And you are in my prayers, as I know I am in yours.  Until next week.
Elder Dewsnup
p.s.  The pictures attached are of my first companiona and I, and then two pictures of my sunburn, one with my shirtsleeve and watch on and shown, the other with the shirtsleeve pulled up and the watch taken off.
p.p.s. at the termination of this email, we are now approaching 9:30 your time, the pictures have taken a
long time to load.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First Week In the Field

We got an email from Elder Dewsnup on Monday. He has arrived safely!!!! (Well, we knew that from his Mission President but it was nice to finally hear from him.)

His first area is called Pilar, but more particularly their area of town is north of the Pan Americana Highway (where ever that is ;)) and his trainers name is Elder Black. He's hoping that he'll be able to send some pictures soon. When he does I'll try and post them, if he sents them through email.

He says that Dewsnup doesn't exactly translate well into Castillano which is the Spanish dialect where he is at right now. But he said that everyone that he has talked to so far is surprised with how much that he understands and can speak so far.

They are in a biking area. So, and this is for my mom, please pray that they stay safe. My mom read in the Desseret News a few weeks ago that two missionaires got hit by a car when they were biking around dusk and I know one for sure has passed on. He had just extended his mission 3 weeks and so I can't imaging how his parents felt. So please, keep him and his companion in your prayers.

The most important information is regarding when and how he receives letters. He said "...we receive them (letters) no less frequently than at transfers every six weeks. If we were in the states, you could just send things straight to our apartment adress, but here they have to go to the mission home first, where they are kept until there are either meetings with the president or we are transfered, so if I don't reply to things for a really time, chances are I haven't received it yet." So... please don't stop writting. Continue to write him. There is nothing more depressing then to find out on transfers (or whenever he gets to meet with his Mission President) that after 6 weeks he hasn't received any mail. We've gotten pretty close with the missionaires in our area here in Montana and well, it really does affect them when they don't get a letter for a week or two or more. It's important for them to recieve those letters. And better yet, they don't even have to be LETTERS but notes. Send postcards, quotes, inspiration scriptures, it doesn't have to be a long drawn out letter, but it means the world to them when they something!!!

He wanted to also apologize to those he hasn't hand written to yet. He doesn't exactly have a lot of time to write letters like he thought he would but he is doing his best. Like I said above it is more important that we write him and encourage him and are there for him then to recieve a personal response back. You can always continue to check here for his progress.

He can't believe that the last 10 weeks have flown by so fast but now that he is in Argentina he is even more excited to push forward and teach the people.

Until Next Week....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Argentina Here He Comes....

Hey everyone, it's Megan. I'm sorry that there haven't been any recent posts lately. I've gotten so busy that I've had a hard time keeping up with my own blog. We have also decided to stop posting Matthew's' letters word for word. Instead I'll summarize his letters and still keep you posted.

So we got a letter on Week 7 that was title S.M.I.L.E. He said "We need to keep an eternal perspective on everything we do, no matter what it is. " be Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal." Remember always the spiritual things in life and thank God continually for the things we have, we're more fortunate than many others."

Then we got a letter on Thanksgiving. He talked about how they had a devotional with Elder D. Todd Christofferson. He liked a quote that Elder Christofferson quoted from President Hinkley that said "Get on your knees and plead for help, then get on your feet and do it." He also shared something that I thought was rather cool and that I didn't know about. He said that Elder Christofferson also talked about the relationship between the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and missionaries. He explained that missionaries are essentially companions to the Twelve; that they have the same apostolic commission to go out into the world and be a witness of Jesus Christ. It's hard to summarize this next part so I'll just quote him. "I finally understood why we hold the title of Elder, rather than just holding that priesthood office. The title of Elder is given to the Quorum of the Twelve, the Quorums of Seventy, and the Missionaries of the Church; that's it. No one else in the church has that title attached to their name, even if they are ordained to that office of the priesthood, only those people bear the title of Elder on this earth." I thought that was pretty cool!

Then he flew out Monday morning and we got an email from his Mission President today saying that he has arrived safely.

Continue to keep him in your prayers!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 6

Hola a mi familia y todos de mis amigos!
After six weeks, I'm beginning to feel more and more like a missionary.  I got a haircut about a week ago and it felt really weird to have the lady touching my head.  For those of you reading this who are not LDS, one of the mission rules is to have no physical contact with members of the opposite sex except a handshake.  So, having her touch my head was a little weird, but hey, my hair is once again regulation length.
There have been several things here that have really begun to open my eyes to the work that we are going out to accomplish.  I was told last week that the UN announced that the world population has breached the 7 billion mark (I thought we already had...).  The last number that I heard of members of the Church there are world wide was a little over 14 million.  Doing the math, I figure that only .002% of the world's population is LDS.  The message that we have to share is so wonderful that I'm excited to go out and give it to others.  I don't want to treat any person as a statistic, nor do I want to consider just baptizing people.  What I am going out to do is share my belief in Christ and the Message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to the other 99.998%.  Well, I guess a much smaller number since I'm only going to a part of the world.  But the fact remains that there are so many people out there who have never even heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the message we have to share with the world, and now I get to go out and help other people come to know, as I do, that Jesus is the Christ and that His Church has once again been established on the Earth today, for the last time, until Christ will come again to reign personally among His people at His second coming.
I am going out to share the message of the Restoration; that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a boy who sincerely asked to know the truth; that that boy, Joseph Smith, through the power of God translated the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth; that families can be together, a sealed family for time and all eternity; and that once again, through Faith in Christ, Repentance, Baptism by the proper authority of God, The reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End, we can live eternally with our Father in Heaven.  The message of the Church of Jesus Christ, the message I am privelaged to share with the people of Argentina, is the way to lasting peace, happiness, and joy, not only in this life, but also in the next.
A few weeks ago, I shared with you the story of Nephi's family, in particular the story of Laman and Lemuel.  We all have been given commandments of God, and we asked for those commandments so that we could know the way to return to live with Him again.  Laman and Lemuel, even after being visited by an angel of the Lord, still refused, ultimately, to follow the commandments, because they saw them as "hard things" and they murmured.  I can tell you all now that life here in the six weeks I have spent, has progressed leaps and bounds, but that progress has been slowed every time I have complained about something.  It is in human nature to complain and to be disatisfied; it is godly to put aside the self and to focus on others - to serve.  We can lose track of ourselves and our own discomforts only through sincere service to others, and it is through enduring, persevering, and service, not through complaining and lazing, that we can find true happiness.  "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."  
Life here at the MTC, and I'm sure in the mission field, has been wonderful and will continue to be.  As I have been told several times, attitude is everything.  If we approach every task with a good attitude, it will be accomplished timely and seemingly quickly.  Approach something with a bad attitude, and it becomes a chore and a bore, and we do not want to do it.  Approaching things with a positive attitude, wearing a smile, can quickly and easily make our day better.
Mom and Dad, if you could link that here, I think people would love to see it.  

Also I came across a youth video that is good for those of all ages.  

Rely on the Lord and He will lift you higher,
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Shout Outs:
Mom: The letter you send at 11:28 on Monday I received the following day.  I have not as yet received the package, but then we also haven't checked the mail today.  Also, I have withdrawn money from my account for my Hep A2 shot wich is in a little over an hour today.  I can explain the other medical charges later, if you ask me about them (I don't remember off the top of my head what's been charged and what hasn't).
Dad: I got your letter on Monday and loved the message you shared with me.  Thank you!
All others:  Thank you for your continuing support, prayers, and encouragement to me.  I love you all, and I'm praying for you as well!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Week 5

First off, my apologies to those of you who have written to me and I haven't written back.  My letter writing window is small on P-Day and y'all know I don't write very quickly.  I'll try to do better, but I still haven't replied to at least two letters I received my first week.  I should be getting those out today, but again, I apologize in advance if it doesn't get out as quickly as that.
Second, even though is supposed to be same-day-delivery to the MTC... It's not.  My mom sent me a letter that way on Monday that I didn't get until yesterday, so it can take anywhere from an hour (Meg's was like that the first week) to probably three days.  Physical mail can take up to about 5 days.  I got a letter from my dad yesterday that was mailed on Saturday... So... Plan ahead. 
On that note, thank you all for your continued support and encouragement.  I love hearing from y'all and look forward to replying.
This last week was pretty sweet.  Our investigators are... moving along. But the highlight was when we had Elder Zwick of the Quorum of the Seventy gave our Tuesday Devotional.  He and his wife devoted their time to the topics of prayer and the Holy Ghost.  In both talks the comment was made that "you are never alone."  The only time you will feel alone is when you want to be.  I've heard it said that "if you feel further from God today than yesterday, who moved."  When you ask for the Spirit, it will be there, provided you are worthy to receive it.
On the subject of my investigators, I'll begin with Macarena.  She's now really receptive and has accepted the baptismal invitation (keep in mind that both of these investigators are our teachers).  But, while she now wants to be baptized, we've hit a wall with the Word of Wisdom.  We were prepared on Monday to teach her about the restoration, but at the beginning of the lesson she mentioned that she was going to a Halloween party that night, at which she'd be drinking.  Neither of my companions picked up on that right away, but I was stopped in my tracks like a deer in headlights.  With Tati, we've discussed the Word of Wisdom from the point of a smoker, but none of us have even really thought about it from the perspective of alcohol.  The best (or worst) part is that, while we know it's bad, we don't yet have the language skills to explain what we need to.  Its frustrating, but we'll rigure it out.  Tati, is coming along well.  We've been doing a better job with him and we feel like he's really progressing well, but he still has a little trouble quitting.  We've given him a calendar on which he can check off whether or not he smoked, drank, read from the scriptures, prayed, or other things, and that's helped him to see his progress, but he still has a little trouble with the temptations.  The last time he smoked that we know of was on Saturday, but we have another visit with him tonight, so we'll see how he's doing with that.  We also had to push his baptismal date back by two weeks, so we have enough time to teach all the things we need to and to help him overcome his smoking habit.
As far as the MTC goes, it's starting to blend together.  It feels like I just wrote my last e-mail yesterday, so the time is really flying.  And I'll be getting my travel papers either next week or the following (though I'm pretty sure it's next week).  In four weeks from today, I'll be in Argentina.  Sooner, even, and that just feels weird.  But it's where I need to be and I'm anxious to serve the Lord.
I love and miss you all!
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Shout outs:
Meg and Marvin:  I'm sorry I haven't yet written, and I got your letter last week after I got out email on Thursday and I wasn't able to write anymore.  There will be one in the mail this week.
Mom:  As I said, I got your message yesterday.  And I really did laugh at your quote... "Ohhhh, someone's been doing some really dark magic in there..." ;)  Also, would you be able to send me another three pair of my white atheletic socks?  I'm having to double up since we have gym time every day...  And if there's any way I can get the family picture from thanksgiving two years ago, that'd be awesome!  The one where we're all wearing black shirts and jeans. 
Dad: I also just got your letter yesterday.  I hope you're feeling better by now, and if not, know that I pray for you and all the family every day.  Thank you for your example and encouragement.
Joseph:  If you can, try having your Teacher's Quorum start reading Preach My Gospel now.  Ask the Bishop if you all can get copies. I'm sure he'll give them to you or can get them.  Also, I'd recommend starting to read Jesus the Crist.  It's a really heavy read, but once you become accustomed to the language, it'll move along quickly.  And you have an advantage that I do not.  You can look up the words he uses.  I don't have access to either the internet (at least not free access, only email and or a dictionary.  But doing both a study from Preach My Gospel and Jesus the Christ is helping me develop a closer relationship with my Father in Heaven.
Sarah and Brandon:  Do you have a family picture of the three of you that I could get somehow?  I can't print things off here, but if it's possible, just a 4x6 picture woud be great!  Love you!  I hope Singers is coming along well too, and your classes Sarah!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Four Down, Five to Go ...

With the first four weeks done of my MTC experience, things are looking pretty up.  My new companions and I are finally getting into the swing of teaching as a trio and learning how to teach in general.  A lot of the workshops have to do with the 8 fundamentals of teaching, which I don't know all of off the top of my head, but a few of which are revelation through the Book of Mormon, Revelation through Church Attendance, Revelation through Prayer, etc., though not all of them have "revelation" as the first word.
I don't have as much time to write today as I normally do.  The computers have been absolutely booked today for some odd reason.  But something that I want to share is something from our Sacrament meeting that took place this last Sunday.  The main speaker was our Branch President, President Ricks, and his message was in a round about way related to enduring to the end.  He related the stories found in First and Second Nephi in the Book of Mormon, with Nephi's family.  But he didn't look at Nephi, the example of obedience.  He took the stand of Laman and Lemuel.  He described how, even though they didn't want to do most of the things, they actually did do them.  Even when it meant travelling a couple hundred miles to and from Jerusalem, twice, to get first the Brass Plates, and then the family of Ishmael.  They complained, but they went.  And when they got to Jerusalem to get the plates, Laman was the first to go.  The difference between Laman and Lemuel and their brother Nephi was not always in their obedience, it was in their willingness.  Where Nephi said, "I will go and do" without question, Laman and Lemuel went and did after complaining, saying "it is a hard thing you have required of us."  The biggest difference was that Laman and Lemuel murmured; they murmured against their father, their brother, and the visionary aspects of the commandments Lehi received from the Lord.  The verse he pointed out to us in closing was in 1 Nephi chapter 3.  It was not verse 7, he quoted verse six. "Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured."
We need to remember to keep an open heart and mind to receive impressions and revelations from the Lord.  Remember the commandment to pray with a sincere heart and real intent.  Many can pray sincerely to know the truth, but if they have no "intent" to act on the revelation or impression they receive, the answer comes in vain.  When asking a question in prayer, first seek to know and study it out with a desire to know the answer, have the faith to receive that answer, and then pray in that faith.  An answer will come, but it may be a long time in coming.  The Lord answers on His time and in His way, not ours.  The key work is "ask"; don't tell the Lord what you want and give Him a time limit on our patience.
I've learned most of this before, but it has taken on a whole new meaning as I have come to start teaching "investigators."  To all you future missionaries, pay attention in Seminary.  Try to read the full cannon of scripture before leaving.  And study ALL of Preach My Gospel.  "...first seek to obtain my word..."  *Dad, I'm sure you can help me out with some of these references, I don't have the time to put them all in before I send this**
When feeling down, always look up.  God will lift you higher.
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Shout Outs:
Haslams: I got you letters this morning!  Thank you for sending them.  They made me smile.  Braxton: Remember to always look up.  Always pray for strength.  The example of others becomes your example when you choose to follow in their footsteps.  Ten un Buen Dia!
Dewsnups/Bastians: Thanks for the letters and email (Sarah and Brandon). They mean a lot and help me keep going. Dad especially, I always seem to get a letter from you when I need to hear it most and when my deepest thought it what you address.  Thank you all.
Mom/Dad: I haven't yet received the letter in regards to my companion, but I do know from Mom's "Dear Elder" that it's on its way.  Dad, tell the priests to study Preach My Gospel and to do all they can to read not only from the Book of Mormon, but also the other Standard Works.  It will help them even more if they are familiar with the stories that their investigators will know and if they can relate passages interchangeably from both the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
Meg/Marvin: I hope you've gotten a nice elk by now.  I'm rootin' for ya! 
Sarah/Brandon/Annie: Thanks for the picture.  I don't have the ability to print it, but it made me smile. As did the opening "Dear Uncle Dweebus" ;)
Joseph: Always keep in mind the end goal of Seminary.  It is to prepare you for a mission.  Read the full cannon of scripture if you can.  Set goals in which you can measure daily progress and get through it.  Also study in Preach My Gospel.  It will help you prepare so much more if you get it all read before you come out.  I wish I had.  Kia Kaha.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Update

Week three done.  It's seemed like a mix between only three days and in many ways like three years.  I've had a bit of a companion transfer, so Elder Jones and I are no longer companions.  I'm now companions with Elders Vance and Nielson in my same district.  They're pretty cool and we're getting along well, so we'll see where things go from here.
To all of you who sent me letters last week, thank you, but I didn't get any of them until Friday or I'd've done a few more shout outs.  The biggest thing that happened this week is probably that we had one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints come and do the Tuesday devotional.  It was Richard G. Scott.  His talk started out with two separate thoughts.  The first being directed at the elders to watch and learn from the Sisters and to follow their example.  I think it ought to be pretty obvious as to why we would receive council like that (women are generally better at almost everything I can think of).  The second thought... is escaping my mind at the moment and I don't have my note in front of me.  He continued to the main body of his talk by addressing topics such as the Holy Ghost, Service, Love, etc.  There were two other microphones standing in other places as well so that people could go up and comment.  Elder Scott asked for people who would be willing to go and either read things or answer questions to stand in line... and I went up.  I wasn't going to at first, but I felt the prompting several times until I couldn't leave off any longer, so I went up.  The question I was asked involved Doctrine and Covenants 50:26 - "He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all."  When Elder Scott turned to me, I had two thoughts in mind about that scripture.  The Savior washing the feet of the Apostles in John 13, and the story of Ammon among the people of Lamoni.  I shared my thoughts, relating them to the fact that these two were great men (the Savior being the greatest of all) who loved and served the people they were with.  Jesus Christ washed His disciples' feet (a nasty prospect for a people who went everywhere on foot in sandals), and Ammon defended those his people hated against their enemies so much so that the king was speechless.
These accounts really put into a better focus what I was sent out here to do.  Yes, I'm here to preach the gospel, but the way to do that is through love, service, and example, rather than argument, debate, and compulsion.
Hey, I need to get going, I'm running out of time.  I'll send another next week!  As Elder Jones would say, Stand Steady.
Elder Matthew H. Dewsnup
Shout Outs:
Mom and Dad:  Thanks for the messages of love and encouragement.  Mom you made me cry with your first letter (the part about when I was five), and Dad, your encouragement continues to be a God send.  And I don't mind that you send me things from airplanes.  I'm glad that you had fun and didn't get replace my mission with a guitar ;)  Also, something that I really loved.  The MTC cafeteria always has deserts at lunch and dinner.  Last Friday's desert... was carrot cake!  I got to celebrate my mother's birthday with a nice piece of carrot cake (though it doesn't compare with Dad's).  Glad you had fun with Sam and his wife!
Meg and Marvin:  I hope you get that beast soon!  I'm looking forward to hearing all about the size of the animal you bag.  The last quote you sent was from the Swan Princess (duh), I got it as soon as I opened the seal on the letter.  Rothbart's best line (except for "let's see if you can defeat, me...")
Michal:  By your British boy, I was indeed referring to the one who moved to England.  It's great to hear he's on a mission!  I send a blog update every week.  Elder Calder's doing well, though we're no longer roommates.  He did think it was really weird to see you on my wall and go "wait, I know her, why's she on Dewsnup's wall?"  Good luck with the time travel thoughts.  As for 3 Nephi 17:7, it's more a scripture that I've come to really appreciate as a lifter when I think of Christ healing those who are afflicted in any manner.
Sarah and Brandon:  I hope you both and Annie are doing well.  Mom mentioned that she got some time with her drooling wonder baby on her birthday.  I wish I could just have five minutes.  Hope to hear from you soon!  (P.S. my temple time is Thursday, and we usually do a session at 7:00 or 7:20, just in case you ever have the opportunity to come)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

End of Week 2

To all,
Two weeks have officially been completed.  Things are getting a lot easier now that I understand the way things work and now that I'm getting into a routine.  My companion, Elder Jones, and I are both doing wonderfully and have continued to build our relationship together and with God.
Each week, our zone here at the MTC does something that they call the "zone challenge."  Original, right?  Anyway, the zone challenge is when two companionships get together for a forty-five minute teaching workshop.  We take turns acting the part of investigators and teaching each other.  Our first time through didn't go so well, but we're starting our next wave tonight and feel a little more confident in our ability to get to know the investigators a little and start teaching according to their needs.  We also finished teaching Franco, who is now our other teacher, Hermano Robinson (hermano means "brother" in Spanish). 
In this last week we've picked up two new investigators. Tati (short for Santiago), and Macarena, and yes it's pronounced like the song and dance.  Tati is 21 and living with his LDS grandfather who asked us to come and begin to meet with him.  He loves guitar (Dad, he's your kind of guy) and he loves both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  He's got a great spirit and a willingness to learn, though he's not all that enthused.  He listens to our halting Spanish and acts interested, but we know that he felt the Spirit at least once during our last lesson.  Macarena is a little tougher.   Her friend Maria is LDS and they both go to UVU.  Macarena both studies and teaches Spanish, though I didn't exactly catch where (I think at an elementary school?).  She was a kind enough to let us in, but she spoke really quickly and we had to ask her to repeat herself a few times.  But we were able to get across that we were missionaries and shared our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  She asked a few questions of the two of us as well that helped us to guide our message.  By the way, both of our "investigators" are our classroom teachers who've served missions to Argentina; one went to Cordoba, the other to Mendoza.
While the language is still hard, it's slowly becoming a little easier to articulate and share messages as we study words and grammar.  We've begun to help each other a little more fully to develop our plans to study both by ourselves and as a companionship.  Things still are a little hard sometimes, especially when we miscommunicate with each other, but we're beginning to really get a feel for one another and how our minds work.  We still hit our bumps and potholes, but it's getting easier to steer around them.
I have found that it's easier to send messages like this when I have questions to answer, so send me some.  I'd love to hear from y'all. (Yes, I just said that)
Serving faithfully,
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Shout outs:
Meg:  Thanks for the letter you sent.  It really meant a lot for you to share your feelings and thoughts about the conference talks and I usually get your messages the same day you send 'em.  My favorite talk was probably Elder Holland's, but then I also liked the one from the young women's leader on raising daughters.
Mom and Dad:  Happy anniversary five days late!  I can only send things on Thursdays, so I hope you get the card I sent soon!  And Happy Birthday Mom!!

Information from the Mission President

My parents received a letter from Matthew's Mission President and there are a few things we wanted to make sure that we shared with all of you.

The address is a bit different from what it was originally on the sidebar, so please note the change and the side bar has been updated...

Elder Matthew Hyrum Dewsnup
Gral. Lavalle 1828
1646 San Fernando
Buenos Aires, Argentina

****To Send Packages
Sister Karen Gulbrandsen
Gral. Lavalle 1828
San Fernando
Buenos Aires, Argentina

For the packages put your missionary's name by the return address so that we will know to whom the package is to be delivered to.

John Smith
1234 Holly Lane
SunRise, Stat 98765
Elder Matthew Dewsnup

Sister Karen Gulbrandsen
Grale. Lavalle 1828
San Fernando 
Buenos Aires, Argentina

"We have seen mixed success in getting packages to missionaries. The best approach is to send SMALL PACKAGES UNDER 4 POUNDS. The priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope available at the United States Postal Service is the best method to use. It has been our experience that these envelopes generally come directly to the office instead of passing through Customs. Placing religious stickers or symbols on the package DOES NOT ensure that the package will deliver without inspections. As stated in your missionary's call packet he or she will use personal funds to cover the costs of receiving packages that are delivered to Customs. NEVER SEND ANYTHING TO YOUR MISSIONARY BY FEDERAL EXPRESS, UPS OR ANY OTHER PRIVATE MAIL CARRIER IN THE US. The packages will not arrive to the missionary. 
The best gift for a missionary is to deposit money directly in a personal debit card account. DON'T SEND PERSONAL CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS! They cannot be cashed or used here."

The above paragraph came directly out of the letter from Matthew's Mission President. Please follow the instructions so that Matthew can receive whatever it is that you sending to him.

If you want to contribute/donate money to Matthew, please contact my mom at and put "Money Contribution" in the subject title. Include your contact information in the email and she will get back to you as soon as she can.

Keep sending those letters to Matthew. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The First Full Week!!

To all,
Wow, the first week has flown by.  Ups, downs, all arounds.  I don't remember all that I included in my last letter, so I'll say now that we have taught Franco (our first investigator) three lessons, in Spanish, and have another appointment with him in about three hours.  !!!  This lesson's focus is on the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel as outlined in 2 Nephi 31, which we challenged him to read and pray about last time.  I brushed up on that chapter during personal study this morning so I hope it will go well.
My dad wrote in a letter to me the other day that my MTC experience would either be a Sinai or a Gethsemani experience, and at the end of the paragraph said I'd probably have a good mix of both.  He was right.  I've had so many spiritual highs and wonderful feelings as I've taught with my companion and as we've prepared messages and grown to love one another.  And then I've felt pretty down sometimes, mostly because of the amount of things all of our teachers and other leaders expect us to do, with seemingly almost no time to do it.  Fifteen minutes is a gift here, where everything seems to be moving on fast forward.  It's hard to believe that I've already been here a week, and at the same time I think about it and say to myself "It's only been a week?!"  But that's the way it will go.
I love my companion.  His name is Elder Jones, from Lehi Utah.  He's the oldest in a family of eight kids and he's crazy!  He likes to quote movies with me, has an enthusiasm that I admire and sometimes envy, and a surety of spirit that I love working with, even if he can find ways to grate on my nerves a little sometimes.  We've really grown together quite a bit.
Conference was great!  At the MTC we all gather in the Gymnasium with overflow seating in the main administration building, and watch conference on big screens.  I'll tell you though, those seats give you really bad bleacher butt, or TB (tired buns) after sitting on them for so long.  In order to even get a good seat in the Gymnasium, we had to be there about a half hour early, so we were sitting in there for about 13 hours altogether over the sourse of Saturday and Sunday.  My favorite talk was Elder Holland's during the Priesthood session of conference in which he gave an "in your face" talking to to young men to get ready to go on missions.  I left my notes in my room, otherwise I'd quote some of it to you.  I also liked all the messages that were presented on loving people, and I don't remember which talk this was, but one in particular mentioned that when talking with a member of another faith about the Church, we need to have a conversation with them, listen to them speak about their own beliefs as well, and so forth, then converse and not argue.  Showing love is the most important thing we are taught here in the MTC.  The investigators will feel if you're just trying to get another number on Church records, but if they feel that you truly and sincerely love them, they will be more open to the message and feel if more from you.
Through all the good times and the bad, we need to keep our heads up.  I received a letter from a dear friend yesterday, in which she quoted from Mosiah 4:27 (I think is 27) in which we are counseled not to run faster than we have strength, and so forth.  Look it up and take it to heart.  It was a relief to read and hear at a time when I felt a little down, so heed its message.
I look forward to hearing from anyone and have had a few surprising letters come from people I didn't really expect to hear from.  Thank you to those of you who have written and the messages and encouragement you gave to me.  I love all of you and want you to know that I am serving the best that I can.  Thank you all.
With Love, Go with God,
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Chernichs:  Thanks for the message and for the encouragement.  I think of you all often!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First Week, well sort of..... ;)

Hey everyone!!

My name is Megan and I'm Matthew's sister. He has asked me and my mom to post his letters on this blog for you to be able to see what he's up to. He has been instructed that he can only send and receive emails from family so please send him snail mail (addresses are to the left on the side bar) or use which is free. All you need to do is create an account and you're set. If you would like to leave comments after his emails here on blogger I will copy and paste them into my emails to him and then he can respond to you individually or include his response to you in the form of a shout out below like he has done for me. 

Let me offer a few words of wisdom as I have been through 4 missionaries (friends and brothers) before Matthew. He is there to serve the Lord. The first few months are rough. He is growing spiritually and mentally, but also struggling as well with all the trials that come from the adversary when you devote all your time and energy to the Lord. He needs our support. In talking with missionaries that are serving now and ones that have served and are serving, the best support that they can get is not only the prayers but the letters. THEY NEED LETTERS!!! They need that connection and support. The letters, though the are old fashion, mean more to a missionary than anything. It's something that they can hang on to and read where ever they are. This will be the most difficult yet most amazing and rewarding 2 years of his life thus far, and all the support he can get from friends and family will mean the world to him!!! :)

Here is his first letter...

Hola a mi familia!
I just sent a letter off in the mail this morning, so if you get this before that letter, know that it's on its way.
Week 1 has been hectic thus far; exhillerating, exhausting, exciting, fun, and hard.  We've moved pretty fast in my classes and have begun a deeper study of the language.  The classes aren't as intense as everyone had told me they were, but then, I've always been one to catch on quickly, too.  The hardest thing was probably teaching our first lesson (I don't remember whether or not that was in my letter, so I'll just put it here as well). We had to teach the investigator in Spanish, on day two, with little instruction other than how to pray and a very basic and simple way to bear testimony.  We've come a little farther now, but it's been quite the ride.  I spoke during most of the lesson, relying heavily on the Spirit, my past knowledge of the language, and a desperate grab at my memory for the things I'd tried to memorize before beginning the lesson (no I did not just leardn the stuff in the half hour before hand, but more within the previous 12 hours, so it was almost as bad).  The "investigator" we are pretty sure was an LDS RM from Texas who went on a mission to Argentina, because when he spoke in English (very few times just to explain that he "didn't know much Inglies") it was with a perfect middle Texan accent and pronunciation.  But then we were told that half of our investigators would be real and the others would be members just acting.  We also felt like he was directing us a little in what to say.  We taught him a little about prayer and how to pray.  And... we get to teach him again on Monday.  We're still not entirely sure what we want to teach, but we'll find out.
There's not a whole lot else that I can think to say, so if you have questions let me know.  The only e-mails I'm supposed to get are from Family or my mission leaders, otherwise, I'm supposed to get physical letters. So, to my family, please forward any questions that I get on my blog or you get from others and I'll try to answer them.
My love to all you at home and my many friends who are reading this! And my apologies for any grammatical or spelling errors.
Yours in the Lord,
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Shout Outs:
Meg: Thanks for sending me the note. As you can probably see, I've been fine thus far, if a little overwhelmed.You probably also see that I'm not supposed to get emails from other people so for the sweet swop stuff and guest posting if you'd personally send me the stuff you want, that'd be great.  And yes, I am loving being back in Utah.  It's AWESOME!  I've missed these peaks.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Revision

I just looked at an email I received from the MTC Presidency and my specific MTC address is as you see here, NOT THE ONE I PREVIOUSLY POSTED.

Elder Matthew Hyrum Dewsnup
MTC Mailbox # 266
ARG-BAN 1129
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Less than two days left now!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pre-Mission Information

Here are my mission addresses as I know them:

Elder Matthew Hyrum Dewsnup
Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
United States


Pouch Mail:
Matthew Hyrum Dewsnup
Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Packages and larger letters:
Elder Matthew Hyrum Dewsnup
Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission
Gral. Lavalle 1828
1646 San Fernando
Buenos Aires

Phone: 54 11-4506-4201/4202

When mailing packages and larger letters, the phone number is required for the carriers to complete their deliveries.

Pouch mail instructions are as follows, taken directly from my mission packet:

"The Church provides pouch mail service to your mission.  Items sent by pouch mail use the United States Postal Service (USPS) from your location to Church headquarters, where they are forwarded to the missionary by a private courier along with other Church mail.  Pouch mail leaves Church headquarters each Friday.  Items received  after the pouch has been sent will be held for the next week.  Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes) written on one side of the page may be sent through the pouch.  Notebook or other light-weight paper will not process through the USPS machines.  Photographs are not acceptable.

"Items restricted from the pouch may be sent through the USPS or a private courier.  Cash is no accepted for conveyance by any courier.  Please consult with the USPS or the courier of your choice to determine allowable items, as they will vary by delivery location.

"...Items not complying with the following instructions will be returned to the sender

"Letter folding instructions: Lay the letter blank side down.  Fold the bottom of the letter about one-third of the way up the page and crease.  Fold the top of the letter to the bottom of the first fold and crease.  Secure the long side with two pieces of tape about one inch in from each end, but do not seal the ends.  In the top left corner write your name and complete return address.  Affix first class postage in the top right corner.  In the middle write the missionary address...

Tape goes along the line of the page at the top as seen in this image.
Do not tape along the sides, only that top edge, about an inch inwards from the sides.
"Let me explain... no there is too much, let me sum up"  In case the pouch instructions weren't all that clear (they seem overly wordy to me), they're basically saying to write on one side of a piece of paper, fold it into thirds with the blank side out, address the outside and stamp it, then send it to the pouch address. 

Another avenue for sending me a letter is to sign up for an account on, a website specifically for communication with missionaries.  It is FREE to have the account.  Once your account is set up, go to the home page, select my mission from the drop list, enter my title and name, then write your letter and submit.  The site is relatively self explanatory, and you can explore it at will.  Every mission is listed there, so you can write to any other missionaries this way too, but some may cost for postage.  My mission happens to have FREE delivery. 

My cell phone will be disconnected later in the evening on Tuesday, September 27, 2011.  Any calls or texts received after that time will not be received nor replied to.

Thanks for following, I hope to hear from you!!!  See ya'll in two years!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Called to Serve

A hello to one and all... or to the both of you who actually follow my blog.

I've been called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I will serve among the people of Argentina in the Buenos Aires North mission, teaching in the Spanish language and laboring for two years.  My mission address will soon be posted here, and, following my departure for the Provo Missionary Training center, my mother will be updating my blog with letters that I send home.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Life can be such a fragile thing.  One moment, it's teeming, thriving, and excelling.  The next, it can be gone.  In the course of this world, people come and go; it is the way of life.

At times of sorrow, when one life ends, one you knew who brings you pain, remember that his or her life does not end.  Sure, the physical body in this sphere of existence is gone, but there is a life after Earth.

In my church, we are taught about something called the Plan of Salvation.  This same plan is known also as the Plan of Redemption, and the Plan of Happiness.  When taught, the teachers explain that we lived as spirits of God in what we have termed the pre-mortal existence.  After a war in Heaven, we elected to come to Earth to receive a body, and that one day, after we died, we would live again with God in His Kingdom.  (If you want to know more about this plan, visit or find the local LDS missionaries.)

You see, when we die, our spirits live on.  All Christians believe that Christ was resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion.  Because of this act and His Atonement, our spirits and our bodies will one day be reunited.  We will be able to be with our families and friends.  And it is possible for us to live with God forever.

So just remember, when a life ends on this Earth, it is not over.  You will see that person again.  Though the sorrow and pain of the loss is immediate and you want nothing more than to be with them, just wait.  The time will come when you will.  This life is but a moment in the vast span of our existence.

Just live your life doing the best that you can, settling all the regrets you have.  All is not lost.

The inspiration for this post was wrought by the death of one of my classmates.  I will not pretend to have known him on a personal level, but from what I saw of him he was kind, caring, and tenderhearted.  He loved to laugh, knew how to make others laugh, and enjoyed his friends.  I never knew his family, but I saw him in the halls.  He will be remembered.

Taylor Reinshmiitd: God be with you 'til we meet again.