Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Week Four Of The Transfer

Dear Family and Friends,

This week passed by like a blur! Friday Elder DeCocq, the President’s secretary, called Elder Stewart and me to buy our plane tickets home. He told me Elder Matheson you are going to have transfers and are going home. (My first thought was, hey I haven´t done anything wrong why am I going home, and then it hit me that I am going home in a couple of months.) Kind of a weird feeling. I want to serve these last 3 months with all my heart. I will be going home with those of my group to the Salt Lake airport.

But this week we had some miracles!

Yesterday morning we went and taught Yosselin. We asked her if she had prayed and she told us that she had and felt an answer that she should be baptized this Saturday. What a blessing! We just have to teach her about the temple and service in the church and have her interview and she will be ready. Please pray for her that she can make it to this Saturday and be baptized. Also her and her older sister sell clothes Saturdays and Sundays in a big street market called la vibora negra (the black viper). Please pray for her that she can be blessed with a lot of sales on Saturday so that she can have the faith to not work on Sunday!

Also this week, Marilin called us and asked us for help cleaning her karate gym. We had to ask president for permission because it was in the other zone and in the afternoon, but he gave us permission. We called Bishop and Hna. Jimena (her family is the family that let us use their computers on Mother’s day) and they came with us, and we helped Marilin sweep and mop the gym.
We also had a great lesson with Marilin and the elders quorum president came with us. During the lesson we taught about temples and eternal marriage, and we could see that Marilin was a little bit bothered by something so we asked her if she had any questions and she then told us how Ever´s family wants them to get married in the catholic church and she said, “Pero yo no soy catolico yo quiero ser mormona´´ so she was a little discourage because if her husband is not a member she will never be able to get sealed in the temple. It was really hard to see Marilin so discouraged, but we testified the Lord would provide a way for her to get married and be baptized and that Ever will come around. Every time we visit we always invite him to come but he never does because he is too busy studying. Please pray for Marilin that we can teach her whole family and that they can be converted to the gospel and she can be baptized soon!

President Nelson’s challenge - The youth here saw the devotional. One of our members, Bryan, he is 14 and always uses his phone, but Sunday when we went to his house he was on his 7 day social media fast! President Nelson is a prophet.

I know this is the Lord’s work, and I am so grateful for His love and patience to work with us who are such imperfect servants! But just like Nephi, I know the Lord provides a way to obey his commandments that as we are obedient we are blessed. The Bible is the word of God. I have been studying the first books, and I am in Lucas. What a blessing it is to have the Bible which contains the life and example of Jesus Christ. I also know the Book of Mormon is true because it fills my heart with joy and comfort and brings to my mind peace and understanding and testifies of Christ!

I hope you have a wonderful week and that you are reading the Book of Mormon daily!

Love,

Elder Matheson!

As a zone we went to Bella Vista, it was a lot drier this time but still beautiful.   
​Elder Ortiz cooking the meat
​Hna. Gonzales seasoned the meat      
We ran up the hill to get this view!
 
 
We bought fried chicken from Poal and Fernanda!  There are progressing well and then we bought pizza from the young men who are doing a fundraiser to go to the temple!  The pizza was really good!  
Also, I got the package will all the treats and ties and cards and everything!  Thank you! The girl scout cookies are very good. Every night or after lunch for dessert it has been the best to eat a tootsie roll or a starburst!  I love candy!!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Strep Throat and Cold

​Hace Friooooooo!
Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends!

We have officially entered winter. It was so cold this week. It only got down to about 35-40 degrees, but here it is kind of humid so the cold bites right through you. We bought jackets today! Friday and Saturday were especially cold, but we made it through the week. This week is supposed to be warmer!

So last Monday I felt really sick but my companion gave me a blessing and the next day my fever and body aches were gone, but my throat hurt a lot. It got a little bit better but then on Wednesday I completely lost my voice. Being a missionary without of voice is like being a knight without a sword. It doesn't work too well, but my companion sure helped me and did a lot of the talking that day.

Thursday during our district meeting, Dr. Lopez flew in from Santa Cruz to give us a health training about how to avoid rabies and have good health. After his presentation, I asked him about my throat and he looked into my mouth and said, ´´Wow, you've got a lot of bacteria. You need a shot of penicillin.” Gulp... I don't remember the name of the bacteria, but I think it is strep throat in English. But....Elder Stewart had a similar sickness before he came here with me, and he started laughing and told me this shot wasn't going to go into my arm.
The needle was huge and the shot was about as thick as a nickel.
So we bought the medicine and shot and Doctor Lopez mixed the medicine up and injected it into my backside. OUCH!! That was the longest shot of my life (10 to 15 seconds) and that needle wasn't very small either!

But in the night I felt a lot better. I have been drinking some good cough syrup and my voice and throat are almost all the way back together.
My cough medicine (It kind of has a cherry chalk flavor)
But this week as a zone we worked hard to try and find more through the members. This week, we found Fernanda and Paol. They are member references, and all of Fernanda’s family is a member and she really wants to be a part of the church because she has seen the blessings her family has received from the gospel.

Also, we watched the video of Joseph Smith, the Profet of Restaurcion with Marilin and Yosselin in the house of Familia Duran. They both loved it. Marilin went to church again yesterday. And during one of her lessons she told us, I don´t know if I can be a member of the church because sometimes I lose my temper with my brothers. She is striving so hard to obey all the commandments! Please pray for Iver, her husband, that he will have the desire to listen to us!

Also, Claudia is doing great! She turned 15 this week, and we gave her a small note and some bon bons! Her dad still doesn't want to give her the permission to be baptized, but we are working hard to answer her questions and help her gain a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon!

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Love,

Elder Matheson

​This was last week traveling to Santa Cruz for the leadership council
My pictures is getting farther up on the board. I am getting older in the mission.
Familia Arteaga!  This family is amazing and even though they have had some trials they are very active in the church!
Paola, Leo, and Mitchel It was wonderful to see them.
​Today we went to an overlook of the city!  This is a good view of Tarija from different angles.

  

​Sunset in tarija

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Adventures

May 28, 1018

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Birthday Dad!! As the song says, one year younger and wiser too, happy birthday, to you! I hope you had a great birthday dad and got plenty of back scratches and ice cream!!

Dad thanks for giving me such a good example and for teaching us the importance of loving and sacrificing everything for your family. You're my hero! I have never heard you swear nor do you drink alcohol. Here it is sometimes sad because the dads have a problem with alcohol. And thanks for always respecting mom! My parents are the best!!

Also that is crazy about Morgan - she got married. Wow time flies by!!

This week was really fast! Wednesday we flew down to Santa Cruz for our leadership council. We got there early so I got to go see the Arteaga family and Paola my converts from el fuerte. They told me that Cilene and Marinela are active. Also they told us how they have passed through many trials this past 6 months and there were times they didn't want to go to church. Please pray for them! Right now Hno. Iver is the 2nd counselor in the elders quorum and his wife, Hna. Roberta, is in the presidency of the relief society.

Also, Herlin from the Pampa got in a crash and the people sewed him so he lost a lot of money and had to move from Lucero to his parent’s house who are members. Please pray for him and his family too.

It sometimes is really hard to visit and see these people you love so much and see the trials they are going through. If there are recent converts in ward, please sit by them and say hi to them at church and minister to them. The first year as a member of the church is a time of trial when satan tries to destroy them.

The consejo was great! President taught us about the importance of obedience, and how the Savior is our perfect example of obedience and love because he submitted humbly to the will of the father in paying for and dying for all of our sins!

Also president told us, I know that Heavenly Father is our father, Jesus Christ is our Savior and that Joseph Smith is a profet of God. If i didn't know these things were true, I would not sacrifice to serve and be a mission president.


This week was a hard one for us. Claudia was all ready for her baptism, we had planned it, and she passed her interview. But then her older brother told false rumors about the church to her dad and her father didn't give her permission, but we aren't giving up. Our goal is that in two weeks she can be more ready and be baptized.

Marilin went to church three hours yesterday and today we are going to teach the restoration to her and her husband. She is so prepared and I know her husband is too!

I love you so much!

Elder Matheson

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dog Bites & The Police




Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, that is awesome about the pavement in the backyard and to hear about everyone going to the temple and the adventures at East elementary!

These past two weeks we had some crazy adventures.

This past week, we had to wake up at 4 in the morning 3 times to go to the airport to help the Elders and Sisters get off to their new areas. We were soooooo tired. If you don't get 8 hours of sleep you can't function as a missionary!

Anyway, here in Bolivia there is a taxi service called Radio Movil. It is a 24 hour service. I wasn’t too confident that we could find a taxi so early in the morning so I started looking through our contacts and I found a number that said ´´Radio Patrullas 110´´ and it was in the phone twice so I thought it must be a really good taxi service because the previous elders put it in there twice. So I called it.

A very concerned women answered the phone and said, ´´Sir what is your emergency?´´

I thought, “Wow, this a great taxi service; they really take their job seriously.´´

So I told her that we needed to get to the airport, and she asked why we needed to get there and I told her, “Well this a radio movil right?” And then she very seriously said, “SeƱor este numero es 110.” Then I got the hint, I had called the police. OOPS! So I told her I was sorry and quickly hung up.

Short story short, if you call 110 it is the police in Tarija! But the Lord blessed us and no one came to our house to arrest us and we found a taxi to get to the airport!

Now for the dog bites!

There is a great family that is a little less active that lives by our house and so we went to help pick their oranges. They have 5 dogs - 4 tiny Hope dogs and a big dog. As we started picking the oranges, the 4 small Hope dogs started barking at us. But we kept going, and then one of them got really brave and scratched and bit my leg.

Well we washed it, and the members felt so bad they bought me some nice cleaning medicine and they didn't have any band aids but the gave me a pink strip of cloth!


We called the mission doctor and reported that I got bit by a dog and that it didn't have its rabies vaccinations. And so he told me to send him a picture of the bite and what type of dog so that we could start doing the vaccinations immediately. I hate shots, so I was getting a little scared but..... After seeing how tiny the bite was the doctor told me just to watch the dog for 10 days and if does not die I don't have rabies!! I am happy to report the small Hope dog is still alive, so I´m rabies free!

Picking oranges and their parrot



​I bought some chapaco clothes! The men here wear these fancy shirts to dance and play music!


​Early morning airport adventures for transfers.

But some miracles that we had this week is that Marilin, Joselin, and Claudia all went to our stake conference! Elder De Pozo of the 70 came and spoke. He is from La Paz, Bolivia and has family in Spanish Fork!

He spoke of many things but invited all the members to give one reference to the missionaries! He promised that as we work together this year we can bring 300 souls to the waters of baptism!

To see Elder De Pozo strengthened my testimony that this is the Lord´s church, and He guides us through modern day profets who know and love him!

Also, Friday, there was a special devotional for all investigadores and new converts with Elder De Pozo, the Stake Presidency, and President Rodriguez. And Marilin went!!

It was incredible. All 5 of these amazing lideres were converts. The stake presidency shared their testimonies and conversion of how they felt when they were baptized. President explain the restauracion in such a beautiful way. He testified how God loves us and because he loves us, He created the earth for us. He sent his beloved, perfect, and most obedient son to suffer and die for us. His beloved son was suffering unbearable pain and asked that our Heavenly Father would love all of his other children so much that he would permit His begotten son to suffer and die for us. Both He and our Savior, Jesus Christ did this because they love us.

After the death of the apostoles and the persecution of the church, the world fell into spiritual darkness and apostasy as unauthorized changes were made to the doctrine and structure of Christ's church.

But because God loves all of His Children, He called a latter day profet, Joseph Smith, and through this prophet restored His true Church!

Because God loves His Children, He brought to life another testament of Jesus Christ, which is the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel and is convincing evidence of God's love for us and that truly He restored His church on the earth!

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us! I know that this is His church and that the days when we make foolish mistakes or we feel rejected or humiliated that the Lord loves us! How the gospel leads to the tree of life or in other words, God's pure love and happiness!

Marilin is progressing so well! Now we want to teach her husband more and baptize them both. Please pray for us that he can feel the truthfulness of our message and he too can be baptized.

This week, Claudia is going to be baptized. Pray for her please and that she can have the faith to make this covenant with God!

Love,

Elder Matheson

P.S. Elder De Pozo invited us to tell our parents how much we love them and give them a big hug. Mom and Dad, I love you and I am so grateful that you taught me the gospel and that you love me! Thank you for always writing and for you encouragement! I love you both so much! And I am sending a big virtual hug your way and a back scratch for dad!

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!