Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Three Big Adventures


Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful Family and Friends!

This week went by fast, wow!

We had 3 big adventures. The first one is that there is this really rich part in our area called Los Palmitas, and to soften their hearts, my companion and I have been contacting them by singing hymns.  My companion sings so, so good, and it so fun to have a mini performance at each door, harmonize together and bring the spirit to these people. I am so grateful for my family and music instructors and friends for teaching me how to sing and love music. Also, we are inviting them to our English classes that we are going to do Wednesday.  Please pray that those go well.

Alright the adventure with Satan the dog.. So a trick here to know if a dog is dangerous is if they bite your pencil or stick they bite, but if they just sniff it they are friendly.  Well our next door neighbor’s dog is pretty angry, and my companion stuck a bottle through the gate to see if he bites.  Yep, he totally ate the bottle.  Well, the next day as we were returning from lunch the neighbor’s dog somehow had gotten out and was walking right outside of our door.  As we tried to approach the house to get in, we told him to go away.  He started growling and boom he started chasing us. My companion, being a track star, ran super fast across the street so the dog started coming for me, and that’s when he got me...almost, but some guardian angels and my scriptures held him off until I could retreat across the street.  When the other elders came they had the same problem and ran over to us.  Satan the dog was winning this war.  After a couple of minutes, he gradually started walking farther aways so we quickly ran to the door to open it, but as we were trying, we broke our key off in the door.  Wow it was an adventure alright, but thankfully we opened the door by reaching way underneath and unlatching the garage door so it could open.  I did this while Elder Torres guarded me with a big rod.  We finally made it into our house.  I know your prayers are protecting us because we are alive and healthy.  Thank thank you for the prayers. They helped us a lot this day.

And for the other miracle, Paula, her husband, and their four kids are attending church and are loving it.  Please keep praying for them!!

I know God lives, the Book of Mormon is true, we are guided by a prophet of the Lord, and the mission is so full of fun adventures!!

Love,

Elder Matheson




Thursday, September 14, 2017

What Wonderful News!

Dear Mom, Dad and my wonderful family and friends,

How are you? Emma...HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (Wow, I sure like the name Emma!)

I have been dying this week to find out about baby Emma. My new companion, Elder Hansen, asked hey are you ready to find out if you are an uncle and wahoo! The answer is yes!!!

Emma looks so cute, and I am so glad she is officially part of the family.  As for the labor pains... oowee!  I think that is worse than the fiery dragon that all the missionaries get here in their first cambio!  But just like your engagement story with Jason how it was so crazy and amazing, it is just the same with baby Emma so crazy (without an epidural or that crazy medication) but so wonderful! I am so grateful that you and baby Bosen are all good Mary.  I love you both so much and can't wait to see Emma at Christmas!  Please give baby Emma a big, gentle hug from uncle Matthew!

This week was amazing, challenging, and really fast.
​Our old district Saying good by to Elder Mazariegoz
​Mi compaƱero  Elder Hansen!
My new companion is Elder Hansen and he is from Star Valley, Wyoming. He is the youngest in his family, loves sports, and sings like David Archuleta.  He was in the musical Mary Poppins as the male lead and in the Scarlet Pimpernel. In few words, he is so humble, amazing, and is a great companion.
​SO Elder Barazoto is going to train, and I am a grandpa in the missionary world.  His companion ,Elder Beezer, is from Syracuse, Utah
Adventures we had this week was we played/sang in church O Mi Padre or O my Father to the tune of Come Thou Fount and it was beautiful.  I also got to play the violin for the song.  Also, my companion and I contact people by singing to them.  It brings the spirit so much!!

This first week was really humbling and hard.  Sometimes with the responsibility of being a good example for your new companion and helping the district, I got a little stressed out this week.  In our District there are 6 Elders.  Elder Johnston, Elder Wittier, Elder Torres, Elder Jeorganson, Elder Hansen, and me.  It is really crazy - our whole district is North Americans with the exception of Elder Torres.  Also, Elder Wittier, Elder Jeorganson, and Elder Hansen are all being trained so our district is really new.  Elder Johnston was the old district leader but they combined our two districts together.  Sometimes I feel really inadequate and sometimes I feel a little inadequate or weird replacing Elder Johnston.  He is a natural leader and my Zone leader encouraged me to get to know him and give him assignments to help me out.  It sure is good to learn how to stretch and grow from new opportunities.   

One sad news is Familia Cholima are moving to the other side of the city.  We are sending their names to their new ward.  Please pray for them that the missionaries can find them and that they can adapt to the new ward.  I love them so much.
Sorry this email was short, but I know God lives and it is so important for each of us to experience the atonement in our lives and be reborn just like Alma the younger in (Mosiah 27:24-26) Just like Alma, the atonement is infinite and can reclaim, heal, and bless every child of God, even one who was so wicked and far from returning to his Heavenly Home.

I love you all!

Elder Matheson​
My apartment companions eating with our pensionista familia




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Transfers and Assignments!

Dear mom and dad and my wonderful family and friends!

Grandma your yard looks beautiful, and wow, when I showed Elder Torres the photo of the lawn and all the chairs for the reunion, he said (que quiqo) or wow your family is really rich!

Also, it crazy that you had the fair.  Here it is just starting spring/summer so you know what that means, lots and lots of calor, sweating a lot, and mangoes! The mangoes are the good part.

This week was so crazyyy!!!!!  

First off, in our Ward we had 3 baptisms.  Elder Flores and Elder Torres baptized Hermana Roxana. She is the wife of our young men's president.  She was so happy to be baptized, and we were so happy to see her make that decision.  She has been investigating the church for about 9 months!
Hermana Roxana and Her husband, William Chaves.  He helps us so much in the work, Also, Elder Marieda de Equador, came back to the area to baptize Hna. Roxana!  Please keep praying for these two families and that we can complete them.  Hna. Roxana has a daugther (Belen) and Hna Candelaria wants to be baptized after they are married!  Thank you!​
Jorge and Genesis and their amazing family (Hno. Ruben, Mama, Candelaria, y Hermana Jesmine (4 anos) Cholima
Also, Jorge and Genesis were baptized.  My companion baptized Genesis, and I baptized Hno. Jorge.  
 
​The baptism pictures of everyone who attended.  I sure love our ward!
For the baptismal, we played an arrangement of ´´When I Am Baptized´´ from the primary hymn book, and I played the violin and the other elders sang.  (About the violin:  A really generous missionary, who plays viola, bought a violin for the mission, and so I have been using and practicing with it. What a blessing.  It is not a million dollar violin but surprisingly it has a beautiful, bright tone.)
Our Converts...Wahoo!
Sunday,  my companion confirmed Genesis, and I confirmed Jorge.  Our new goal is to help their dad gets his documents so he can get married so his wife can be baptized.  Please remember them in your prayers.

Also, as for the transfers, we received the phone call in the night from our Zone leaders, and Elder Flores will be going to Roca y Colonado. which is the ward right next to ours.  His area will be side by side with his old
area.  The whole ward was teasing him about how he is going so far. Elder Flores is such a good example and is one of the kindest Elders I have know in the mission. As for my companion, Elder Mazariegos, he will be serving in Bermejo.  It is a publito bordering Argentina.  He is really excited and thinks that is where he will end his mission.  He only has about 6 months left.  As for Elder Torres, he will be training a new Elder, and so will I !!!

The both of us are so excited and are together until Wednesday when we will receive our new companions. From what I have heard, in this new group of missionaries there are lots from Utah!

Also, Elder Ramirez informed me that I will be serving as the new district leader.  Wow, I sure am nervous and excited.  I have learned so much from my companion and I just can’t wait to have the opportunity to serve the great elders in our district and my new companion.

Anyway, this is the big news for this week.

Also, we are teaching a Joven whose name is Jose Mario.  He has been attending and has a baptismal date for the 16th of this month.  He still hasn’t received his answer if he should be baptized but if you could continue to pray for him.

Hermana Rodrigues is putting together  a choir.  I am singing bass - alright!
 

Thank you so much for all your prayers and work in the temple. It has brought us so many blessings. I know this is the Savior’s work and that He loves us so so much.

Love,
Elder Matheson

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Egg On My Head!

Dear Mom, Dad, Family and Friends!

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes.  I am so grateful for my family.

My companions sure like the video of the solar eclipse. It looked beautiful.

This week, I think I had one of my best birthdays.  To start off the morning, I was taking out the trash when all of a sudden I felt something really weird crack on my head. It turns out in Peru and Bolivia the tradition is to smash an egg or in Peru to throw eggs at the person who has a birthday.  Elder Torres was the first to expose me to this tradition.
Egg on my head
Also, we had our district meeting and the Zone leaders bought a chocolate cake for me to share with the zone. I will have to send you the video the next week, but another tradition in Bolivia is that you have to try and take a small bite of your cake before someone smashes your face in the cake.  I wasn't quite quick enough and Elder MacMullin got me.  You will see it in the video in the next week.
Our District
Other blessings this day was to eat a lot of ice cream and have a good day with my companion and was a sign that the Lord truly loves and knows me.
Birthday biscuits and gravy for breakfast
As for this week, we had an adventure where we found a family, familia Surrudo, that speaks Ketchua (also spelled Quechua), and we taught them with family Artiaga.  They speak Ketchua, and at one moment in the lesson, Hermana Surrudo explained an extraordinary vision she had. Hno. Aritaga explained the vision to my companion and he explained it to me in English.  What an adventure.  Also, it was a blessing to explain about the restoration and the priesthood.  We were able to give her a blessing for her eye and body that she would live to see the blessings of the gospel.  I have faith that this family is prepared for the gospel.

Also, Georgia and Genesis are progressing, and this Saturday we are going to baptize them.  Please pray for them and this family and that we can teach Hermana Yuliana more and that her parents can have softened hearts to let her be baptized.  I love you all so much!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

¡Gracias!

Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends,  

Thank you so so much for the birthday song.  It sounded great and made my day.  Is that the house of Uncle Keith? Wow, it sure looks great!  And I love his face in the newspaper article and his singing with the bells. Thank you, thank you so much! I am so grateful for the best birthday gift, which is my wonderful, loving family.  

Today, we were eating in the house of Familia Flores, and they told me how a solar eclipse took place in my country, and I proudly told them that is where my uncle lives!

Thank you so much for submitting Genisis and Yulliana´s names in the temple. This Friday, my companion had our district have a special fast for our three families that we are preparing to be baptized.  I have a firm testimony about fasting and it was incredible to see the miracles.

One of these miracles was that this last Monday Hna. Genisis left the hospital in just 10 days.  As we talked with them, they had shown their faith by praying, and in the hospital, Hermana Cholima read the Book of Mormon to Hna. Genisis and told us that she felt peace every time she read. I know that because they had faith and for all your prayers and putting their names in the temple she was healed completely from the very bad 2nd and 3rd degree burns in only 10 days.  I also know that in our day, God has given us His holy priesthood authority to bring his loving blessings to his children.

This week, I went on an exchange with our zone leader, Elder MacMullin, from Colorado, and we taught the Cholima family about goals and plans.  This week we are working with them to receive all their papers so that they can get married and baptized.  Their goal and baptism date is the 2nd of September.  Thank you for loving and praying for this family, and please continue to do so because they are so close to being baptized.  It is also so incredible to see how as we teach, the spirit is more present in their countenance, and Hermano Cholima is remembering all the things that he was taught 25 years ago when he first was baptized!

Also, this week weren’t able to get a hold of and teach Yulliana but keep praying for her.  Her baptism date is the 2nd of September!

​This past week it has been raining off and on!  It sure is beautiful.
 
Here there are so many different types of fruit.  These baby sized bananas are called guineos.  They are so delicious and some even are red!
 


Chopping down more trees.  This is such a fun way to give service.  This branch was huge and we took turns chopping it with an ax, then machete, and then with the help of three cords and heavenly wind, it finally fell.  Not on the house just on a big thing of bricks!
 
Also, the owner of our house has been having it get re-painted so we all slept in this tiny room.  My companion and I moved our mattresses to the floor and it felt like a family reunion!!
 

 
Also, Elder Flores wants me to tell you hello!

My dear family, I love you so much, and I know that this church is true, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Everyday, it is like drinking an energy drink but a spiritual energy drink that is healthy.  As we do so, we have the spirit and his guidance.  Truly it is a testament of Jesus Christ, and as we follow the counsel of our Prophet to read this book daily, we receive many promised blessings.  I sure would like to invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon everyday for 10 minutes, but start your reading with a prayer, write down a question you need answered or the peace and comfort you need, and look for this council in the Book of Mormon.  And end your tiny study with a prayer. I testify that as I have done this, I have grown to really know my Savior and Heavenly Father who loves us each so much!
I hope you all have the best week!

Love your son, brother, and friend,

Elder Matheson!

Bolivian Bananas
The tree we chopped down

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Family History Work

Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends,

Wow, I am so happy to hear about your callings.  Mom and dad you are perfect for the job! 

Elder Carlos A Godoy
Sister Carol F McConkie
This Sunday was an extra special conference with all the stakes in Bolivia with those of Peru. For this conference, Elder Godoy, two others of the 70, Sister McConkie, and Elder Cook spoke to us through broadcast from Salt Lake. There was a room where the broadcast was in English so me, my companion, Elder Barazoto, Elder Lefgren, and other North Americans went there to watch the conference.  We were all expecting the conference to be in English and translated to Spanish, but all of the 70 could fluently speak Spanish so they all spoke in Spanish. Even Sister McConkie read her talk in Spanish.  She reminds me a lot of you, mom, no matter the task you can always do it, and her testimony of the Savior and her dedication to follow Christ is amazing just like yours. There were words that Sister McConkie struggled with, and I could totally relate with her.  Rather than listen to the English translator, we changed the channel so we could all hear their original voices in Spanish.  Elder Cook, who ended the conference, was the only one who spoke in English to which we quickly changed the channel to hear his prophetic words.  My companion laughed at the thought that he went with us, the North Americans, to hear the conference in English, but we all listened to it in Spanish.

As for the messages, I truly know that this church is guided by our Savior, Jesus Christ and that He has called these men and women to lead His church.

One of the biggest topics was member missionary work and from the birth and resurrection of the Savior and the restoration of His gospel through Joseph Smith, His greatest focus is to preach His gospel so that we can know how to live and obey his commandments to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father.  Just like our Savior, our greatest work is to preach the gospel to the living and also to the dead.

Elder Cook addressed how important family history work is because without these ordinances that we perform in the temple, our ancestors cannot cross the great divide that Lehi saw that separates those of the Kingdom of God and those in spirit prison.  Also, he reminded us of the numerous promises of safety, protection, and happiness that will come as we turn our hearts to our fathers and help them receive the restored gospel and the saving ordinances of this life.

Mom and Dad, I am so excited for your calling!  I am so grateful for your examples and work that will bless so many lives, and you will be doing missionary work for those on the other side!!

Also, thank you for all the prayers.  Hermana Genisis is due to leave the hospital today or tomorrow.  In the hospital it has cost a fortune to cure her, and if you could, remember her in your prayers and put her name in the temple please.
Also, in the week, Elder Barazoto let me know that Hermana Escobar received a calling as the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society!  This made me so happy to know that they are progressing as a family in the church!
Hermana Escobar was recently called as the 2nd Counselor in her ward Relief Society
Also, Yulianna accepted the baptismal date for the 26 of this month.  We are working hard to teach her all the lessons and become friends with her parents so that they know we love them and will be willing to let Yulianna be baptized. Please remember her in your prayers too.

This week, I will also pray extra hard for Sarah.  I am so happy she is feeling so much better, and I just can’t wait to see Baby Bosen!

I love you all so much and hope you have the best week!

Elder Matheson

PS.  Sorry I can’t send more photos.  This computer I am using keeps saying it has a virus so I didn’t upload any new pictures.

Pique Macho - A Typical Bolivian Food





Oh and Kirtley did email.  She is going to serve a mission in Cochabamba, Bolivia!  I think it is so amazing to have so many of my friends serving missions - especially so close.  Oh and if you get the chance mom, a good Sunday dinner is Pique Macho.  I think Michael would love it.  It has homemade french fries on the bottom with sausage and meat chunks mixed with peppers and ketchup and eggs!  It is so good. 




Pique a lo Macho
From: https://boliviancookbook.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/pique-a-lo-macho-pique-macho/
Ingredients:
2 lb top round first cut steak (any soft lean beef will do great)
8 large potatoes
4 uncured beef hot dogs (you can use pork hot dog)
4 eggs
1 large tomato
1 small red onion
1 small green pepper  (1/2 large pepper)
1 locoto or jalapeno (optional)
1/2 cup chicken broth, white grape juice or ginger ale - (choose one - see recipe)*
1 tsp white vinegar (for meat)
1 tbsp cider vinegar (for the salad)
1 tbsp vegetable oil (for the salad)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cup vegetable oil to fry potatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin (optional)
1 garlic clove peeled and mashed (optional)

Peel the potatoes and cut in large wedges.
Peel the onion and slice in thin strips, do the same with the pepper and tomato.
Slice the hot dog in thin slices. Slice the hot dog giving it an edge. We don’t want them round.
Clean the meat and cut in cubes of 2 cm each side - this is very important as we don’t want the pieces too small or too big we want them bite size.
Mix the vegetables together and set aside. Once all the ingredients are ready we start cooking.
Start by frying the potatoes. You might end up cooking two batches, since we want them to cook slowly so they are crispy outside but slightly soft inside. This will help the potatoes to absorb the juices.
While cooking the potatoes, hard boil the eggs and peel them and cut them in wedges or round shapes. 
When the potatoes are half cooked start cooking the meat.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet and when the oil is hot add the meat. We want to seal the edges and brown them but not burn them. This takes about 5 min.
Once they are brown add half of the salt and pepper. If you want, add the cumin and garlic. I like the flavor that this adds to the meat. Reduce the heat to medium high
By this point the potatoes should be cooked and in the hot oil we cook the hot dogs. This step is important. We need to cook the hot dogs for about about one minute so they are nicely browned on the edges and crispy. Take to a paper towel.
Add to the meat 1 tsp white vinegar and 1/2 cup of white grape juice, chicken broth or ginger ale (**The original recipe calls for beer, but these are some non alcoholic substitutes) and the hot dogs. If you are cooking in an electric stove you can turn off. If you are cooking in gas cook for about 1 min. We don’t want it to be dry.
Mix the vegetables with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tbs vegetable oil salt and pepper.
Serve immediately after the meat is cooked it is important to serve  hot.
Put one layer of potatoes, add the mix of meat and hot dog and add 4 tbsp of the juices from the pan. Top with the salad and decorate with the hard-boiled egg.
You can put mayonnaise and ketchup on top.






Monday, August 7, 2017

Happy 6th of August - Independence Day for Bolivia!

My Dear Family and Friends!   

Happy 6th of August, which is Independence day for Bolivia!  This week it was so awesome to see all the flags and people celebrating the country’s independence.  My companion and I bought flags and put them in our bags to go proselyting and show that we are cambas or Bolivians in corazon!  In one of our lessons with Mickol, his dog, Negra, ate my flag.  It sure was funny, and I guess I will have to buy a new flag.

Also, I received the package!  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much.  It is exactly what I needed! The two pairs of pants fit perfectly, and I can walk much more comfortably.  Also, I loved the letters and food, especially the biscuits and gravy.  Wow, it tasted like real biscuits and gravy from Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  My companions liked it too. I saved the 2nd package to eat on my birthday. Also, Jason thank you for the flash drive and the music. The music is great for exercise time and for study.  I was wondering - some of the Piano Guys music and MOTAB doesn´t work in our music players because I think it is in MPEG 4 and I don’t know if there is a way to convert it over but I love the music a lot!
My new pants feel so good!

Eating biscuits and gravy with my 3 best friends
Also, we did 2 service activities.  One was clearing a lot of sticks and branches and also we are working with the Elders to build a little room to hold seminary classes.  Here they don´t hold all classes in the church but in homes of the members, and there are more than one seminary teacher for each ward.
Clearing branches and sticks
Building a Seminary Classroom
Also, today we cooked in the house with Bishop.  Elder Torres, from Peru made a really good rice, egg, and sausage dish, and my companion and I with the help of Elder Flores and Hermana Poma we made crepes.  For the filling we used caramel, bananas, and crushed Oreos!  (I accidentally grabbed the wrong type of flour from our kitchen and it was integral flour but none the less the crepes tasted delicious.)
 
Cooking in our Bishop's home

Hey even better news.  My companion is walking without crutches!  Wow, these past 3 weeks have been hard for him, but he is a spiritual giant, and I am so glad he is better!

This week though, Hermana Genisis the daughter of Familia Cholima, who is 8 years old, had an accidente in the kitchen, and a big pot of boiling water fell on her chest and part of her legs.  And she has been the hospital these past 3 days.  Today we got the permission from Presidente Rodrigues, and we went to the children’s hospital to give her a blessing.  The hospital was very clean, but there sure were a lot of sick children and there were barriers between each patient so we were in a room with about 20 sick children.  Discretely, I anointed Hermana Genisis and my companion then gave her a blessing.  I know that through the power of the Priesthood Jesus Christ created the world and healed the sick, and I know that the same authority is in His church today.  We felt so good to give her a blessing, and I know that the Lord will honor and bless Hermana Genisis to get better soon so she can come home.  Please keep her in your prayers this week!

I love you all so much, and I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ lives and that the Book of Mormon is his word given to bless our lives.

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Matheson