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Hi I'm Matt

I'm a Peace Corps Response volunteer improving literacy in South Africa. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a recently returned Peace Corps Response volunteer. I worked in South Africa with other American volunteers to improve education and literacy in Grades 6 and 9. We were the first Peace Corps group to work with the Eastern Cape Department of Education. It was a nine month assignment. I spent the year before that teaching English in Ukraine and the two years before that serving as an English Education Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova. I love learning languages and adapting to different cultures while living, working and traveling overseas. I have spent nearly seven years of my adult life living abroad! Most of that time has been spent in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Now I'm working on my Masters in International Studies.

Why I am a Mormon

The prophet Joseph Smith taught that "the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the apostles and prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth." I have learned through my own experiences to see myself as my Heavenly Father sees me - as his precious son with divine potential. My time spent in Israel convinced me of the living reality of God and his awareness of me as an individual. I also came to understand the life of his son Jesus Christ as an expression of his love for all of us. This would not have been possible without the convincing witness of the Holy Ghost and the equally convincing witness of the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ. None of this would be a part of my life if Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had not introduced this marvelous work to my ancestors. The history of my family is linked with the history of this church. When I look back at portraits of the early apostles and leaders of the 1800s and the 1900s, I can easily recognize the names and faces of my direct ancestors. I have never doubted the integrity of those men and women who were committed to stand by each other and their faith even in the face of death. I have met Thomas S. Monson and heard him speak many times. Each time, the spirit of God whispers to my soul that his words are true and that his works are works of righteousness, compassion, and charity. Like Joseph Smith in his day, Thomas S. Monson has been called of God as the prophet for our day. He holds all the keys and authority of the original priesthood of God.  

How I live my faith

The prophet Joseph Smith taught that "love is one of the chief characteristics of Diety, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race." My lifestyle allows me to explore my interests while at the same time meet more and more of my brothers and sisters around the world. There are so many opportunities to do good and to relieve human misery directly. So much power to do good lies within our present circumstances that goes unused. I try to live so that these messages are communicated to those who know me. God exists, he loves us, he is active in this world. He is closer to us than we think and we can have a closeness to him. Our misdeeds can be repented of and forgiven. We can be made right and whole with our Father in Heaven and we can be made clean and holy. For those who follow the Lord there is a destiny which is beyond our comprehension. Ancient and modern apostles and prophets have taught that "men are that they might have joy - a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil - an acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ - of its requirements and commandments. Only in these will we find true happiness, the happiness which doesn't fade with the lights and the music and the crowds. When we look at the foundational principles of the plan of happiness we can recognize and appreciate in its plainness and simplicity the elegance and beauty of our Heavenly Father's wisdom. Then, turning our ways to his ways is the beginning of our wisdom. By Christ's perfect life, he taught us that when we choose to do the will of our Heavenly Father, our ability to choose and act for ourselves is preserved, our opportunities increase, and we progress."