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



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hello Trials and Miracles

Dear Mom and Dad, Family, and Friends,

Tell Brother Carling that I am voting for him too! And please tell Arie and her husband hello for me. That is awesome she got married! I bet Aunt Bertha is very happy right now too. The plan of salvation is so marvelous and she is in so much peace with her family. Please give Grandma a hug of comfort for me!

So last week I couldn’t send photos, but I have a lot this week to tell about and all the fun stories.

This past week we had an intercambio with Elder Vidal and Elder Maravilla. I went to their area in Senac with Elder Vidal.

Their area is wonderful but very rich and a lot of the times the people are too busy for the missionaries, but we were able to teach a reporter. She sure knows a lot about all the tragedies in the world and all the bad things that happen to people and she didn't accept the restauracion very easily, but we were able to testify to her about the power of the Book of Mormon and that this book is evidence that God, our Heavenly Father, stills loves all of His children and has restored His church on the earth!
Elder Barazoto and Elder Matheson
I saw my Son Elder Barazoto! He is here in Tarija as a district leader!

This was a year ago! Wow, I am so grateful to have lost some weight! :)


So as a zone today we went to the mountains to some waterfalls and had a BBQ.  It was so delicious!! The menu was steak, big hotdogs, grilled chicken, salad, and rice with lots and lots of soda! It was so fun and the zone like it a lot!

​I borrowed my companion's glasses to become a musico!!
But this week sure passed by fast! One huge miracles is that in our zone we had 9 baptisms this week! The Lord blessed us so much!!! Also, in the whole mission we broke the record and we had 67 baptisms in one week with 137 baptisms for the month of March! The Lord is in charge of this great work!

This last week mom and dad was full of trials and miracles. Lately a lot of our appointments have been falling through and people are having a hard time going to church. We sure planted a lot of seeds with family Echat, and now we are going to leave them for a time so they can grow. They haven´t been keeping their commitments and it hurts your heart because you love them, but you can't force them to accept the gospel. You can only invite and help them!! But I know we did a lot of good and maybe in a month they will be ready.

Also, Marisol and Jose are progressing so much! They each have attended church and have friends who are members and are staring to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Now they just need to get married. Please pray for them that they can know the church is true and have the desire to get married.

Claudia and Edwin amazing too but haven't come to church yet.  This week we are going to teach them the importance of the sabbath day! Claudia works in a big super market called el camposino on Sundays and so a lot times she feels she needs to work. Please pray for them too!

Here is a little from my personal study:

And thus my father had fulfilled all the commandments of the Lord which had been given unto him. And also, I, Nephi, had been blessed of the Lord exceedingly.

19 And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.

20 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord.

Just like Nephi, we receive blessings and trials, but we must never be angry with God because he loves us and is always with us if we do not reject Him and murmur against Him.

I love you so much!

Love,

Elder Matheson

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hitting My Six Month Mark


Dear Family and Friends,

This week we had a conference and my companion and I played a violin duet of If You Could Hie To Kolob. It turned out great. Also, President sure talked a lot about obedience especially between Elders and Hermanans, and he reminded us that we have been waiting for this moment to be missionaries all our life and so now we must give everything we can and fulfill this dream! Also, in sacrament meeting I got to play the piano. I am using the Simplified Hymns, but the ward sure likes it.

This week has been a week where the Lord has tried our faith. Thursday all of our appointments fell through and no one wanted to listen to us exclaiming they were happy to be catholic or that they didn't have time, and it also rained. But we made it through the rough day, and the next days we had miracles!

Familia Echat was so committed to go to church this week but didn't go. It made us so sad because this family is so wonderful, but Marisol came again and loved it! Please pray for familia Echat that they might feel the spirit and see the blessing of the gospel and that they will come to church!!

One thing I learned in my studies today from the talk by President Erying is that the Lord calls imperfect people to be his leaders or serve in callings. He sees our potential and our abilities and so we must have faith to accept that the call isn’t coming from the bishop or mission president but is coming from the Lord. And when others receive callings we must accept that they aren't perfect but that the Lord has called them to lead us and we must faithfully follow!

This Wednesday Elder Stewart and I hit our 6 month mark! Oh boy we are going to do more exercise to get in better shape! I want to make this last six months the best of my mission and not fall into the trunky trap and lose focus.

I hope you have a great week.

Love,

Elder Matheson






Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Consejo de lideres, getting sick and charangos!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Dad, Tarija is amazing, and the climate is just like Utah. I definitely am enjoying it. Today I bought a charango!!! It sounds like a ukulele banjo!

This week was amazing! Wednesday we left to Santa Cruz. The flight was amazing, but it was a little delayed so we got to Santa Cruz late but we were able to visit Herlin and Hna. Olga. It was so great to see everyone. Herlin and his family were so happy, and Hna. Olga made us some great apple pie. In the night, we also ate Papa Johns and in the morning empanadas. Yummy!

​Flying to Santa Cruz for the consejo de lideres with my great companion
​In the airport I saw my friend Adam Martin from Cedar High.  He is serving as a zone leader right now too!
Getting to visit with Herlin and Jessica
​Seeing Hermana Olga again!!
The council of leaders was very inspiring. Presidente taught us how one of the most important ways we can teach missionaries is through our example and also in exchanges and how to carry out a successful exchange.  Presidente Rodríguez is one of my heroes! In his Mission, Santa Cruz is going to receive its 3rd new stake here! Presidente truly knows the Master and loves us so much!
Attending the council of leaders
Well on the way back, my stomach was feeling funny, and when we got to the apartment it hurt a lot. So I asked my companion for a blessing and at night I threw up. Fun stuff, but if felt so much better, and that night, thanks to the blessing, it was one of the best sleeps I have had in the mission! The next day I was 100 percent better!

I know that the priesthood authority is here on the earth today! Yesterday after ending our fast, we gave two blessings to the members of the ward who were sick. One thing I have learned is that every time we fast, we are closer to God, and in these moments, he puts us in situations where we can use our priesthood to bless others!

I love the mission, and I love the scriptures.
 
Love,
 
Elder Matheson



 



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Emergency Transfers and Washing By Hand

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been crazy and full of many miracles.

First off, Tuesday afternoon, Presidente called us and told us that an Elder in the zone needed help and so Elder Pineda will be the new district leader in Tablidita and will end the training of an elder, and my new companion is Elder Stewart!

Elder Stewart is from my same group and is from South Jordan, Utah! He is an amazing Elder and a great leader.
Elder Stewart and I using the internet on P-day
Now because we are both new learning the area together, it has been an adventure, but the big blessing is that Elder Stewart was serving in Barrio Progresso 2 months ago, which is right next to our area so he helped me learn the area and we also share the same church with his old ward.

This week we sure talked with many people, and the Lord guided us and we found many new investigatores!

Also, here in Tarija we wash our clothes by hand. I sure miss a washing machine. Washing your pants is hard work. Socks aren't too bad, but wow, it sure makes you grateful for clean clothes and helps you take better care of your clothes!
Washing my clothes by hand... oh, how fun!
Also, as a zone leader here, we have the responsibility of buying all the mattresses, lights, desks, and materials for the elders and sisters in the zone so that sure is new responsibility, but it feels good to serve the zone even though sometimes it can get stressful!

One thing I learned this week in my personal study from conference is that repentance is always positive. Repentance is for everyone, for sinners and for saints. Also, repentance without faith in Jesus Christ is just painful personal re-correction. Through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, we receive His divine power and assistance to become someone much more than we could ever become!

Also, I know the Book of Mormon is true, and as we read this book, looking for guidance in our daily problems, that stories in this book will come alive and will teach us how to return with God!

One good example of this is Nephi and Laman. Laman was obidiente many times to the Lord and his commandments but only because he felt obligated to be obidiente. But Nephi loved the Lord and was obidiente because he trusted the Lord.

Nephi was blessed and was happy. Laman was miserable and did not receive eternal life.

Wow, I learned that as a missionary, we have the opportunity to show our love to God by being obedient! As we do so, with faith, we will be happy!!

Love,

Elder Matheson