Wow, hmm, it seems like there's so much to write about Matthew and I don't know where to start. Matthew said that he was afraid to read what I'm going to write about him. I think he has something to be afraid of ;). One thing that struck me about Matthew right away was his insistence on being called Matthew. I have known a lot of Matthews in the past, and they've all gone by Matt, but not this one . . .
He's a really quiet guy. I guess people that know me well know that I tend to hang around quiet people (you can make your own guesses at why that is). Anyway, so Matthew's a pretty interesting person. He's really quiet, but when he gets to know you better, he's really quick to mock anything and everything you do. I'm not joking, Matthew is relentless with his "one-liners" as Dave calls them. I think that's one reason I got along with Matthew so well, we both love to mock things and people :). He's also a really good sport. Although he didn't let me teach him how to dance, he'll sing "Livin' La Vida Loca" at karaoke if you sign him up for it :). I wonder who did that . . . :)
Matthew's definitely an architect. He's such a perfectionist, his desk always has to be neat, he tends to be very punctual, he has to have everything prepared waaaaaaay ahead of time. We helped him to grow in patience this summer as we always seemed to take forever to decide what to do or even once we decided, we'd take forever to get all of us there. He has commented on his annoyance at this several times.
Matthew is also from Rhode Island. I still don't really understand why this is so funny, but oh well. Oh yeah, I remember, so he once told me this saying they say in Rhode Island: "I'm Rhode Island born and Rhode Island bred, and when I die, I'll be Rhode Island dead." Did I get it right, Matthew? :) Once when stopped at a stoplight, the guydriving behind him stopped, got out of his car, and took a picture of Matthew's License plate cuz I guess he hadn't seen a Rhode Island license plate before. Matthew says that most people in Rhode Island get their initials on their license plates because it's so small.
Matthew also loves sappy romantic comedies. He likes to say that he likes "chick flicks". He insisted that we had to go see "The Princess Diaries 2". They went to see it a couple days after I left Colorado. I can't decide yet if I'm glad that I missed it or not. He also likes country music. I still don't really understand his tie to country music, but yeah, it's like the only thing he listens to in his car. Because of the times I rode in his car, I got a lot more exposure to country this summer. I found myself listening to a country radio station on my way home from work today :). You were such a good influence on me, Matthew.
Okay, I have to start writing good things about Matthew now :). I just thought I'd get my mocking in, hmm, I'm sure there's a lot more bad things to write though . . . :)
So, seriously, something that really struck me about Matthew was his ability to reflect on situations and see the themes and lessons to take away from it. I think that it's because he thinks a lot, but doesn't always share what he's thinking. Then, when he has things more figured out and put together, he shares and blows everyone away. I used to think that when people were quiet, they didn't have much going on, and so, not much to say, but I know that's not true, and definitely not true with Matthew. I've been so blessed by the times that he's shared stuff (in speeches or just one-on-one).
He's really good at writing speeches, scrapbooking, and making movies of his experiences and think that his ability to see what God has done through those experiences really shows through those things. He helped me write my sharing about Honduras talk. I didn't get to hear him give his closing speech, but I got to read it before I left (seeing as he finished it a week ahead of time). It was really awesome, and it made me want to cry. I've also had the opportunity to make scrapbook pages with Matthew and marvel at his mastery at scrapbooking, as well as see him piece together a movie about his summer in a couple hours. He's amazing! (Sorry Jenni, don't worry, you're amazing too!) I guess another thing comes to mind when I think about that. Matthew is really artsy (well, not weird artsy, but surprisingly so for a guy). He appreciates pretty things, and knows what pretty things are. I really admire that. Here's a picture of the watermelon in which Matthew carved the state of Illinois for Jenni and Ho-Jun's last night. Notice the star indicating where Champaigne is. That really blew me away.
Matthew also has one of the greatest smiles ever. It's one of those contagious smiles. I don't think I ever told him that, but yeah. When I was feeling a little down sometimes, I'd be talking to him, and he never really knows what to say (because he's so quiet), but his smile would always make me want to smile too. So yeah, I really miss you, Matthew. I think I could use some of those smiles right now :).
So, I think that's it. One thing that's great is that I know Matthew will keep in touch. He's good about that, so even in writing this, I don't feel like it's really saying goodbye. I'll be praying for you, Matthew. Make sure you have some fun over there in Rhode Island, we won't be around to make sure you have lots of fun stuff to do ;).