Posted by: elderleach | June 13, 2010

Last Letter from Provo MTC… with Pictures!

Matt wrote this letter the day before he knew he would be leaving the MTC for Cape Town. All he talks about lately is his “brother” Johnny. (Matt used to make fun of me for always talking about John, haha!!)

Dear Family & Loved ones…

I love this group of elders more than anyting, but I love the people of South Africa and Namibia more. It is almost like… you know, with each passing day my love for the African people grows. I’m almost about to burst, that is how much I want to be with my brothers and sister. Yet even more love than that: JOHN. I just can’t stop thinking about him. I mean, before the mission I thought of “baptism” as just a cool thing. Really, it wasn’t all that important to me. Now? Not only is baptism essential for a spiritual cleansing in each of our lives by the priesthood authority of God, it’s what happens AFTER baptism that means the most to me. The Holy Spirit is my best, best friend. I mean, you know me well. I am worthless and dimwitted without the marvelous power and gift of the Spirit constantly in my life as long as I keep myself worthy of it by being as Christlike as humanly possible every day. And it’s hard to do. I just want John and everyone around me to know it’s not “the Church” missionaries are trying to bring people closer to. It’s Jesus Christ, the head of our church, the center of everything we do.
“If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. If he was a prophet, then this Church is the restored Church Christ himself established in his day. If this is all false or some joke, then I have been lying to you. But if this is the real deal, which it is, then I want every living soul to feel what I feel and know what I know. If I had one wish, JUST ONE, I would ask ‘May John partake of the fruit of the tree of life?’ And then I could die happy. (The story of the tree of life is in 1 Nephi of the Book of Mormon.)
“Now, a misconception: will John be cast down to hell if he doesn’t get baptized and receive the Holy Ghost? Of course not. I mean, look at it this way: if this is how much I love him, imagine how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love him! If nothing else, at least enter the waters of baptism by the priesthood authority of God because Jesus did. Do we need any other reason? If he was baptized, ‘how much more need we be baptized!’
“Please pray for John more than me, OK? I have more than enough prayers. Pray for him, keep him in your thoughts. I don’t know what it is about that boy, but he is very special to me. I love him like he is family. And I strongly believe he is.”

I was looking all over the internet for a picture of a young white man and young African man walking together in white into the ocean for baptism to go with a previous post. I couldn’t find one anywhere. A week later I got this photo from Matt with the above letter.



  1. Tender mercies. I am excited for the people of South Africa to have their hearts touched by such a sweet messenger of our Heavenly Father.

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