Sunday, May 20, 2018

First Week of the Cambio and Happy Mother´s Day!

Dear Family and Friends,

First off Happy Mother´s day Mom and all the moms and grandmas of our family! I am so grateful for my mother!

I love the stripling warriors. They are an example of the influence of a righteous, patient, faithful mother!

Alma 56: 47,48
Book of Mormon

47Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers , that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

48And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers , saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Alma 57: 21
Book of Mormon

21Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

Sometimes here in Bolivian, and in most parts of the world, there are many broken families or children who never had mothers.  I am so grateful for you mom for teaching me the gospel and to put the Lord first in my life and everything will fall into proper place. Your teachings have blessed and changed my life!!

Also it was wonderful to see and talk with you and dad and Mary and Jason and the family!

And that is so crazy that Megan, Caroline, Tate, and Ian are all back. How time flies!

Here are some pictures and adventures:

This was the ward activity we had two weeks ago in Bella VIsta


So this instrument is called an Erky, but I call it my Bolivian Ork Horn. It’s a horn they use for folk dance and music. I think I am more of a string player than a reed player because it was hard to make a sound out of this thing.

Wednesday, picking up and opening pouch (all the materials and pamphlets and books of Mormon we receive each week)

Picture with Presidente and Hna. Rodriguez after our zone conference!

In the conference, President taught us that one of the best ways to minister to others is to share and teach the gospel. Also ministering can be leaving a kind note and doing activities with members and non members that strengthens your relationship with them and helps them receive the gospel.

Also, he taught us that the key to a successful missionary companionship and marriage is:

1. Unity, we must be unified and love and take care of one another

2. Teach with the Spirit -This comes by obedience to the Lord’s commandments and the missionary standards

3. Loving the People

A companionship that has these 3 things is unstoppable in accomplishing the Lord’s work.

My companion and I want to work on loving the people and the members more!!


Iglesia San Roce This is a big catholic church in Tarija - dad you would have loved the architecture.

So one adventure of being a zone leader is transfers! This morning we woke up at 4, got ready and went to the airport to pay for the luggage of the other missionaries and help them get their flights. Made me a little sleepy but there were no delays in the airlines so we got almost everything taken care of by 9:00.

But one Miracle that we had yesterday was that Marilin came to church again all by herself! She loved it. Also, Elder Stewart and I gave talks in church about the Restaurcion and the Book of Mormon. She told us we spoke and used correct Spanish! Yes!

But in the evening her husband didn't get home in time to teach him, but we talked about the blessings of fasting and how through fasting we can receive miracles. This Wednesday we are going to fast with her so she can have enough money to get married and that her husband will start to take more interest in the gospel. Marilin is so eager and willing to live the gospel!

Please pray for her and her husband, Iver, that they can get married and baptized. Also if you can, remember Claudia, Sulma, Christian, Cintia, Aidali in your prayers!

Thank you! Have a great week! The gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Matheson

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Miracles From Fasting!

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for all your prayers and for putting our names in the temple. We sure felt the divine help of the Lord this week! Some crazy miracles happened this week.

First off, on Tuesday it was dia de trabajador or labors day in Bolivia and so the ward went on a ward BBQ, and we got permission to go. We went to a place called bella vista (beautiful view), and it sure was beautiful. The meat was delicious, and it was great to spend time and meet more of the ward members. Also Aidai, Nadia, and Claudia all went and loved it.

The second miracle was that we taught Marilin´s husband twice this week! The Lord heard our prayers and accepted our fast. He is a big man and is super strong. Both him and Marilin love karate! We taught them with Fernando and Carmin and they made friends with them. Marilin sure likes to tease us how I have hair. I told her that I want to be a teacher and she said that I already had the hairstyle of one! Also, Sunday she went to church and during gospel principles we learned about the restauracion. It was a great leccion and she participated a lot and the members were all impressed because she knew so much. She has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday. Yesterday, when we taught her family, her husband said he thought it is important to be baptized like Christ but doesn't want to accept his date. We also explained that for them to get baptized they need to be married. Marilin is so eager to get baptized that she pretty much said, ´´Honey can we just go to the courthouse and they can sign the paper that says we´re married and in a year we can have our boda or wedding reception and invite everyone,” and he replied "Todo se puede" or everything is possible!

Please pray for them. They are both reading and praying to know if the church is true! Also, Marilin´s mom owns an ice cream shop so after every lesson she gives us ice cream. This family is golden!!

The third miracle we had is that Claudia said she had received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true and she accepted the date to be baptized this week. The only problem is that something happened in their family so now her dad doesn't want her to leave the house for anything. Please pray for her too and that she can have the desire to be baptized!

The fourth miracles is that we ate lunch with Carmin and Fernando. They asked us how we were doing and learned that we wash our clothes by hand and now are going to let us use their washing machine!

The fifth miracle: The hot water in our house got fixed. It felt so good to take a warm shower after two months!

I know that God is our Heavenly Father and loves and looks after us! Also, I know the Book of Mormon is true. If you need extra spiritual and physical strength, guidance, or comfort then read the Book of Mormon. It is the word of God. Through the word of God, Christ created the earth and healed many. We have his word in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon and as we prayerfully read them we will be uplifted and blessed!

I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Matheson

Mom we are going to Skype at 10:00 Bolivian time on a members apple computer on Sunday!! Happy Mothers Day!
 
 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

More Adventures!

Dear Family and Friends,

This lunes for p-day we had an adventure and went to a river. As we were waiting for a public bus to come, a guy in his van pulled up and asked us if he could take us.  He didn't charge us a lot so that was a huge tender mercy. We got to the river and had a BBQ. I even cooked some of the meat!


Also Tuesday, we had exchanges, and Elder Vidal came to my area. He is a good friend and an amazing elder from Chile! During the exchange, I got a really bad cold and used a whole roll of toilet paper for my super runny nose. But before lunch, I asked him for a blessing, and he blessed me the next day to have abounding strength. When I woke up Wednesday, I felt so much better, and on Thursday I was 100 percent. I know that priesthood authority is here on the earth, and to receive a blessing me must asked for it and have faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and he will work miracles in us!

Also, Marilin is progressing so well. She has read the Book of Mormon almost everyday and went to church all by herself, and she told us she loves what we are teaching her because it fills her full of hope!

I love Moroni 7:41 which teaches us that we have hope through the atonement of Christ and his resurrection to receive eternal life. Christ taught us his gospel to give us hope and to show us how to navigate this wonderful but somewhat storm filled life!

Please Pray for Marilin and that we can teach her husband as well and for Luis, Steven, Claudia, and Aidali!

Love,

Elder Matheson!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Adventures in Tarija!


Dear Family and Friends,

That is so awesome to hear about Audrey! She is going to be an amazing missionary! And maybe she will learn 3 languages too in DC and convert congress and the white house!!

Also, Maddi and Bradley and Braden are so tall!! I think they are beating me.

This week flew by! On Wednesday we had intercambios, and I was with Elder Whittier and Elder Stewart went with Elder Pineda. One interesting task that we have as zone leaders is we have to go pick up pouch every week. Pouch is all the materiales that we receive from Santa Cruz like the pamphlets and copias of the Book of Mormon. It is about a 30 minute ride in taxi to a big bus station. The materiales come by floata or the big huge tour buses.

Some news on our investigadores is that Claudia went to church again! We had a bautismo date for this next Saturday but she doesn't feel ready and has doubt if she should be baptized again but we are going to teach her more this week.

We have lost track of Jenny and Luiz. We can´t find them or they don't want to see us. Sometimes it is hard when the people you want to help come unto Christ don't want to receive you. But we have our agency and we have planted the seed. In the future I know this seed will give fruit.

But one super miracle that we have had is with a new investigador named Marilin. She is a young mom with 2 kids and her husband. We have been teaching her and she understands the gospel so well. We left her with 3 Nephi 11 to read in the Book of Mormon. When we returned she told us that she hadn't read the chapter once but three times to understand it!! She also accepted the invitation to be baptized in May!! Please pray for her. When haven't been able to find her husband but please pray that we can find and teach him too.

I love this promise that the Savior gives to the members of his church and His missionaries: Mark 10:28-30

28  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

I know that Lord loves us and understands the sacrifices we make to live His gospel and serve in callings and on missions! This is His church and this is His work. And He will bless and prosper us and we keep His commandments!

Have a wonderful week!

Love,

Elder Matheson

      We went to Coymata again on p-day but this time we went all the way up and made it to the waterfall.  It was beautiful!
 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fasting Brings Blessings

Dear Family and Friends!

That is so awesome about Stephanie! She is the best! And Avery and Ashley! Wow, I never would have guessed that Avery would go to France and Ashley to the Philippines! They are going to love it!

Also, I sure appreciated the photo with Brother Shelby. Please send them a big hug for me!

This week was like a blur.

Monday we worked. Tuesday we worked and did our zone finances. It is the closest thing I think I have ever done to taxes. You have to keep track of the Lord's money and account for how the zone money has been spent and make sure there are all the receipts from the missionaries and send it to the offices. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, we flew to Santa Cruz and visited Elder Stewart’s converts in PLAN 3000.
Traveling to Santa Cruz with the other zone leaders and sister training leaders
Eating Subway! It was expensive but delicious!!
 
Thursday, we woke up and went to the consejo de Lideres. Presidente is so amazing. He taught us about charity. We can be great missionaries, we can be talented, smart, strong, but if we do our calling without love, we are nothing. Charity is the pure love or Christ, and if you do not have charity you are nothing. How important it is that we love and serve people out of love. This week this is one of my new goals is to look for new ways to serve the people here and teach them the gospel because I love them and desire their salvation.

Also, Saturday we fasted for divine help that we could get people to attend church. Yesterday we did divisions with the members (If you want to help the missionaries offer to help them pick up their investigadores with them Sunday! It is a super big help) and went to pick up investigadores. Jenny and Luis both couldn't go but.... Claudia, Sulma, and Aidali went and loved it! Please pray for these 5 that they can progress and love the gospel!

But I know that as we fast for specific things or help, the Lord hears and answers our prayers!

I know this church is true and that happiness comes from obedience to God's great and wise commandments!

I hope you have a great week.

Elder Matheson

Friday, April 13, 2018

First Week Of The Transfer!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week, I learned a lot about personal revelation, and I really tried confirming decisions with the Lord before I took them, and as I did so I felt so much peace.

These past two weeks, Hna. Mamani, Hna. Mendosa and Hna. Montenegro were sick. Last week my companion and I were able to give Hna. Mamani a blessing and Saturday night we went racing to the hospital because Hna. Mendosa was really sick. The doctor told us everything would be alright but that this was the traveler bug that all the North Americans get, but we were able to give her a blessing.  Sunday, Hna. Montenegro was having a bad headache so after church we were able to anoint and bless her.

I am so grateful for the Priesthood of God and that it is here on the earth. Today, in the activity all 3 of the sisters were healthy!

As a zone, all the Elders got to the stake center early and we played futsol. It is soccer but on a tiny cement court. The ball is heavy so it stays on the ground. After with the sisters we watched Ferdinand. I really liked the movie and we ate popcorn and soda. It was really simple but we all loved it.

Presidente has been inspired because the changes to the zone have strengthened us so much! Also, it is so great to see Elder Barazoto and Elder Lefgren again!

Dad this chocolate is a Colfer. It is like a Bolivian Mr. Goodbar. During an exchange, the pension of the elders gave it to me!! We ate it. It was yummy!

The zone is doing well! And thanks to your prayers my companion and I we able to invite 14 people to be baptized for the 28th of this month. Now the only obstacle is getting them to go to church. Please pray for them and us!

This week we found Jenny! She is 20 years old and is studying in the university. She practically lives by herself and her family is not very close. She sometimes sees her parents every couple of years.

After teaching her and inviting her to baptism she was very happy and invited us to come any night to cook food with her or visit her. We told her that as missionaries we might not be able to do all of that but we talked to her about JAS or the young single adults. Their president was with us and invited her to some of their activities. Jenny sure is prepared for the gospel. Now she just needs to go to church and read the Book of Mormon. Please pray for her that she can be ready and willing to be baptized for the 28th of this month!

The change to ministering will be such a blessing! Yesterday, our ward received a new Elders Quorum Presidente who was a high priest and he seems very excited to work hard in his new calling.

One thing that is great here is that so many people receive the gospel so easily, but then once the missionaries leave or there are different missionaries, the new converts go inactive. I think the greatest thing about ministering would be to do what Elder Holland said - how we won´t give just a monthly visit but it is more about how we have blessed them as their ministers and friends.

One of the biggest trials is that a lot of the new converts don´t have a car and it cost money to go to church or activities so to have a friend who is willing to go and pick them up for church or ward activities would be a blessing. Also a friend who is willing to read the Book of Mormon with them and help them pray and have this habits in their life would really help.

One thing I wish ward members and leaders would do more often is give the missionaries assignments or ask for their help to visit families with the members because usually all missionaries want to help the members and gain their trust.

Thank you for your love and prayers.

Te amo mucho!!

Elder Matheson

A really cool thing about the culture is the moms here carry their children in this bright fabric cloth on their back. If you would like one Mary I can get you one so you and Emma and Jason can go on hikes.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

General Conference

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was super fast and very humbling. Today sure has been a one of kind p-day. Saturday the assistants announced the cambios and Elder Stewart and I - drummm roooollll - are going to stay together and Elder Barazoto is coming to our zone along with Elder Lefgren!

BBQ with the zone!
Today in the morning we rushed to the airport to see Elders off, and it turns out the flights got delayed until 12:40 and so we went and wrote president but a lot of this p-day has been learning patience with airplanes!
​Watching conference in the family history center and seeing it in English!!
Conference was so amazing and really answered my prayers. Elder Stewart, Elder Allred, and I were the only North American Elders in the whole zone so the three of us watched it together in the family history room. The speakers had a big sub woofer so the organ sounded amazing!

MY two goals are to learn how to minister like the Savior and how to receive personal revelation in calm waters (in the mission) so I can make it through the terrible storms that will come after the mission. I sure loved in conference how a successful life isn't without failures but it is learning to learn from them and keep going with enthusiasm until we return to God some day!

I think my favorite conference joke or statement was the 70 who gave a shout out to his mom, "I love you mom" or Elder Wakalo explaining, “It is not that we address the million members of the church that makes us nervous but the 15 men who are sitting behind us. I sure feel it now."

I loved Presidente Nelson's promise from now until the 2nd coming, the Lord is going to work some of his greatest miracles! What a promise!! Also, we have to be on our toes because if we do not know how to receive personal revelation we will have troubles staying firm in the gospel in these last days! How wonderful it is to have a profet! And President Nielsen is so healthy and walks super, super fast!

​Eating fish on Friday in remembrance of the Savior!
As for conference, it is just like Utah but most of the members go to the stake center to see conference because the can't get it on TV.

Wish the Shelby’s a happy Easter for me and also tell cousin Tim that I knew he or Alex were going to go to South America. He is going to be a great missionary. Mom do you think you could get his email address for me?

Thank you and have a great week!

Love,

Elder Matheson