Monday, October 16, 2017

Transfer 2 With Elder Hansen!

Dear Mom and Dad and My Family and Friends,

Time flew by so fast.  Elder Hansen and I ended our first transfer together, and Saturday night the Zone Leaders called and let us know that we don’t have transfers.  But in our district, they are going to be opening up another area in the Colorado, and so our district now is going to have 8 missionaries!  

Also, this Wednesday we had a Zone conference and I got to play the arrangement of Savior Redeemer of My Soul. I was not able to line up a time to practice with the singers and the pianist and so it was going to be a pretty spontaneous performance, but the Lord sure helped us and we stayed together and it sounded great!

Also, in this Zone Conference,  President Rodriguez taught us about the importance of the Sabbath Day and that as we make this day holy by showing respect to God in our actions, thoughts, and words, He will bless us.  Also, something really doctrinal we learned was how Heavenly Father is perfect and can keep working without getting tired, but He and His Son set the example for us by resting on the Sabbath day. So the principle of rest and remembering God is a divine, heavenly principle.  And to emphasize this importance, the Savior did not tell Moses the 10 Commandments but He wrote them in stone with His celestial hand.  Wow, how important is it that we attend church and that we remember the Savior, Jesus Christ, by taking of the sacrament each week so that we can "always have his spirit" to be with us.

The Colorado Zone!
Also, Marianella and Paola are doing great!  We are working on teaching Silene, Marianella’s sister and preparing her for baptism.  And also this Saturday we have an investigador named Carlos Bryan, who is going to be baptized. He is 17 years old and has been attending church this past 3 weeks and wants to be baptized.  He has been reading the Book of Mormon and feels good every time he reads it, but still doesn't feel he has received an answer all the way.  Please remember them in your prayers this week.

I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He loves each of us so much and that this is His work!  And he needs everyone of his disciples to preach the gospel!

Love,

Elder Matheson!

P.S.  My camera died, but I will send pictures next week!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

1 Year Mark and 2 Baptisms!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Family and Friends!  

Baby Emma looks so cute.  I love her baby blue eyes.  Here in Bolivia you would love it mom, and dad you would not like it.  It is getting hoooot!  This week it was 88 degrees but with about pure 100 percent humidity so it felt like about 100 degrees.  We are drinking so, so much water, and we are sweating and sweating so much.  Here you can´t see a change in the color of the trees leaves with seasons just the trees give different fruit at the time of the year.   The mangoes are close to being ripe.  Yummy!

As for this week, it was so so fast, sometimes a little stressful but full of many miracles.  Thank you so much for all your prayers.  This Saturday we had two baptisms and two baptismal services (that was a first).
Elder Hansen, Marianella & Elder Matheson
Marianella studies in the afternoon and her parents don´t like her to leave the house at night so we held her baptism at 10:30 in the morning!  
 
This day we woke up early and went and cleaned the church and prayed a lot.  But I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers because the baptismal service was divinely organized.  At moments when I was really worried if everything would work out, I felt the sweet words come to my mind,  ´´Trust in the Lord. You can’t do this by yourself.´´  I know that as we trust in the Lord and not in our own flesh, as Nephi puts it, he will work miracles among us.

The service for Marianella was beautiful, and she ask me to baptize her and my companion to confirm her.  As she came up out of the baptismal font, she took a big gasp and told us, ´´ Que tranquilidad, Que tranquilidad!´´ or what tranquility, what tranquility.  She was so happy, and Sunday my companion gave her a wonderful blessing and confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gave her the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful that the Lord led us to Marianella through her friends inviting her to a ward activity.  
Marianella and Her Friends
She is truly a miracle convert, and I know that through her baptismal covenant she truly has received a remission of her sins!

Also that night, we had the baptism service of Hna. Paola!  And her son, a recent convert for 6 months, was able to baptize her!  
Hermana Paola, Her Son, & Us Prior To Her Baptism
I love our ward. They sure support us so much, and I am so grateful that she entered into this sacred covenant with the Lord.  Our goal is now to baptize her husband!
Our Supportive Ward


I hope you have a great week and enjoy the snow/cold and Halloween season for me!

Love,

Elder Matheson!

Getting Some P-Day Exercise


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Conference Is The Best!

Dear Family and Friends!

Thank you so much for the hump day pictures.  (Elder Matheson celebrates one year in the mission field this week!) That made me so happy, and I feel old.  Dad, my companion and I carried on the tradition of watching the World Report in between conference sessions together. I was hoping for maybe a good view of the Cedar Temple, but I bet they will come after the cultural celebration and dedication in the next conference.  Also, the four of us Elders in our apartment bought two liters of ice cream.  After priesthood session we ate one, and Sunday night we ate the other. It was supper yummy.  
After Conference Ice Cream - Here the ice cream is super, super creamy and not as sweet but still super good!
Watching conference together. It was amazing!
Elder Lefgren, my old district leader and friend, is there and me and my two boys... Elder Hansen and Elder Barazoto and his companion, my grandson in the missionary world, Elder Beezer.
As for this week, it was so amazing!  We have been teaching Hna. Paula and Marinella a lot, and they are going to be baptized this Saturday.  We have their interviews scheduled and they both are so excited.  Thank you for remembering them in your prayers, and please keep praying for them that we can teach them all they need to know before their baptism in time and that they can overcome Satan and his last minute fouls that he always tries to throw in.

This Thursday,  President and Sister Rodriguez came to our district meeting.  Oh wow, that sure made me nervous. During the meeting we shared our testimonies and about our investigadores and the importance of working with the ward missionaries, the bishop, the ward mission leader, and all the members.  (Good job mom and dad on inviting those families to conference!!!!). At the end of the meeting, President said that I did a good job and that I had a great district with a good district leader.  That made my day.

Also, it is so special to see how references from members are truly golden, and according to the statistics of the church, about 50% of all the references of members of their friends are baptized.  Both Hermana Paula y Marinella y Selene are references. Marinella and Selene are references of a 15 year old girl named Caroline, who invited them to our movie night where we watched Meet The Mormons. From there we visited them with Caroline, and we found that they were both prepared for the gospel!  I sure would like to invite everyone to heed the counsel of the apostles and prepare and invite one person or as many people as you can to hear the gospel, for there are so many people prepared and are just waiting for the opportunity to hear it.

As stated by Elder Ballard in conference,  ´´There is no greater blessing than to share the message of the restauracion of the gospel to another child of God.´´

´´Before we came to earth, we were given specific assignments.´´ We need to look for and ask the Lord, ´´Lord what is my personal ministry?´´ Elder John C. Pingree

At every church meeting the Lord desires us to look around at our peers and find and help those who are lonely and need a friend.  Ask ourselves, ´´Who needs me today?´´ - Sister Bonnie L Oscarson

Wow, conference is the best!

I sure love you all and hope you have the best week!

Love Elder Matheson

 
Saturday morning Gael tried on our suits.  He looks like a great future missionary.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Week 3 Training & Get Thee Hence Satan (The Dog)

Dear Mom and Dad and my Amazing Family and Friends,

Mom you would love it here. It is heating up, and there are some pretty hot days.  Me and my companion both miss the snow but we will enjoy the heat just for you! Also, I will be looking for those three sisters de KIVA to give them the gospel.

Pique Macho - Try It!
Michael you are going to be the best young men’s counselor in the world!  I love you so much! My companion, Elder Hansen, was like a football champion in Star Valley, Wyoming and is super, super strong and can grow a really big beard just like you.  Here sure reminds me a lot of you, and we get along really well! Oh and the young men’s presidency has one of the most important jobs in helping the youth really get testimonies, stay active, and serve missions.  Mikol, who we are teaching, is really being blessed by the new young men’s president in our ward who loves to visit him with us. Also, good job on making the pique macho!

As for our location we are currently in the 7th-8th rings. Our ward and area is called Fuerte but I think in Google Maps you can see the really rich part of our ward called the Palmitas and the Mercado Trunfal that is in the very bottom of our area.  Also, our zone is the Colorado Zone!

This week was so fast and full of miracles.  One miracles is that Hermana Maranella prayed about the Book of Mormon to know if it is true and if Joseph Smith really was a prophet, and she said she felt so much peace and she attended church all by herself this week.  Our goal is that she can be baptized the 7 of October. Please keep her and her sister, Silene, in your prayers.  As for Hna. Paula, she is wants to be baptized too.  Her son, Leo, is 16 years old and is preparing for a mission and also is helping us teach his mom.  She is so sweet.

Also, Bishop Poma had the baptism of his daughter, Mel, today. We helped them prepare for the baptism and we sang Teach Me To Walk In The Light.  Bishop is an amazing man and has an amazing family.
Baptism of Mel Poma
Today in my personal study I was reading in Moroni 8:25 and 2 Nefi 31:11, which teach us that baptism is essential to enter into the kingdom of God and that it is a commandment of God and that as we read the scriptures and our desire to follow Christ grows, we desire to obey his commandments. As we keep these commandments, we become ready to enter into a covenant relationship with God.  This is true repentance, keeping the commandments because we love God and Christ.  From this repentance brings about the desire to be baptized and washed clean of all our sins.  When we are baptized, we promise to all remember him (Jesus Christ) and to take his name upon us so that in the last day we too can be counted worthy and clean, just like our perfect example, Jesus Christ, to enter into the kingdom of God.  From baptism, God promises us His spirit and to forgive us of our sins and we continue to press forward and follow Christ.

Wow, repentance and baptism and being faithful are so wonderful and important in the plan of God.

I hope you have the best week!

Love,

Elder Matheson,

PS.  This week we only had one crazy encounter with Satan the dog.  It was Sunday, and we went to pass by an investigadores house to remind them for church.  Then we went to catch a micro to go to church. As we were passing by our house, there he was waiting outside of our house again. He didn't bark, but I think he was ready to bite because he did not want us to go to church so we turned around and took a different street.  Good old Satan the dog.


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