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Hi I'm Matthew

I grew up in southern California. I'm 18 years old and a recent high school graduate. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in southern California, so naturally I love the beach! My favorite activity is body surfing. Another big interest of mine is tennis. I grew up playing it and was coached during most of my time in high school. I really enjoyed the competition and the friends I made while playing varsity tennis. During the summer leading into my senior year in high school, I felt really impressed to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Up to that point, I was very uncertain about serving a mission. It would be a big leap of faith for me. But I prayed and received an answer to my prayers. I needed to go. So I began to diligently improve myself and prepare for a mission at the end of my senior year of high school. I received my mission call and I have been assigned to labor in the Brazil Fortaleza East Mission. After my mission, I will be attending college at Utah State University.

Why I am a Mormon

I want you to know how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be a Mormon and to be brought up in this gospel. I cannot possibly describe how much it has helped me through the difficulties of life. I'm so blessed. Even though I was raised a Mormon, I have a conversion story which I want to share. I was going through a major rough patch in my life and was making some stupid mistakes that young people make when they're trying to figure things out. It was during the summer leading into my senior year in high school, that I had the amazing opportunity to attend an "Especially For Youth" session in Palmyra, New York. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Palmyra, it was where Joseph Smith grew up and it was where, as a 14 year old boy, he took an important question to God in prayer: "Which church should I join?" Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ answered his humble question and the result was the restoration of the true gospel of Jesus Christ on the Earth. This grove of trees in Palmyra is known as the "Sacred Grove". Just as Joseph Smith went and prayed for direction in his life, I decided to do the same. During that time, I felt an overwhelming impression to go on a mission. And from that time until now, I have been diligently working on improving myself and preparing to serve a two-year mission as a representative of Jesus Christ. One thing I have learned from this experience is that God likes to take the weak things of this world and make them strong. I am definitely a "work in progress"! But I know that through the Savior's infinite atonement and with some real effort on my part, God will make up the rest and eventually I will be able to walk back into the presence of God. I know this church is true. I know it! I know that God restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ through a meek and humble man named Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know me and love me. This is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to be the best example I can be to others. I try to show love to those who have been ignored or disregarded by others for whatever the reason. It is really hard for me to see people who are alone and without friends. I try to step up and help whenever I can. One of the biggest ways of living my faith and probably one of the best experiences I had while in high school was creating a "Mormon Club" on campus during my senior year. My goal was to show that Mormons are just normal people who struggle and make mistakes like others. But we get back up and keep fighting! I think my faith in Jesus Christ gives me a deeper perspective, especially during difficult times. I also organized "Movie Nights" so that others in high school could get the opportunity to get to know the Mormons better. The club held a meeting once a month, where a speaker would present a topic that would be helpful to high school students. The club was really popular! It attracted many non Mormons. Toward the end of high school, the Mormon Club set up a big service project in the community, under the direction of the Mayor of Yorba Linda. Many youth from my high school came and supported the service activity as well as members of the Mormon church. The club was a great success because of the incredible people who attended it and the amazing adults who prepared meaningful presentations. I have also had the opportunity of holding leadership positions in the church for my age group. The Mormon church is such a great place to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ and learn leadership skills. I am so happy that I will be able to take my testimony of this gospel and what I have learned into the mission field for two years!