Monday, January 15, 2018

Opportunities To Grow - Adventures & Blessings

Dear Wonderful Family and Friends!

Thank you for all the pictures, your love, and support! This last week has been full of opportunities to grow and a lot of stress and adventures and blessings!

Saturday, I was able to baptize Alan. When he left the baptismal font, he was so happy. You could see that he really had repented and changed his life and was so happy.  Also, his former girlfriend, who gave us his name to visit, and his return missionary friend came to the baptism!
Alan!
Elder Iparraguirre, Alan, Elder Matheson
Alan and his friend who returned from a mission!
Sunday, my companion confirmed him a member of the church. Also Sunday it rained and rained, and it was so hard for the members to make it to church and our investigadores, but we picked up Juana and she attended church for the first time! All the streets were pretty muddy so we have been using boots these past few days.

Hermana Olga made us more pie!​
My new companion is a great leader and teacher! He sure is helping improve my Spanish. This past week, all the responsibility of running the area and teaching my companion the area and helping the zone and practicing the musical number was a little crazy. But my companion is learning the area and we are working well together. I am learning so much and my companion and I are doing well! Today we are going to play capture the flag as a zone.

I know that God lives and through Him we can overcome our weaknesses and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. Also, I know Presidente Monson was a profeta and what a blessing is to know that he is with his wife and family and that the Lord continues to call new prophets.

Love,

Elder Matheson

P.S. Mom can you look for an arrangement of “We’ll Bring The World His Truth´´ with ´´I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go”? The musical number is coming, but we are still trying to put the two songs together.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Miracles, Cambios, Eye Disease!

Dear Family and Friends,
 
This week flew by so fast and so much has happened, I don't even know where to start.

What a blessing to be alive at this time when the gospel is spreading over all the earth and the Lord is moving forward his great work! How blessed we are to have a Prophet and 12 Apostles. I sure am grateful for President Monson and happy that he is with his wife and Savior, Jesus Christ. Truly he is a prophet of God.
 
This week in Santa Cruz it rained so hard that many houses flooded, and here there are so many canals that floods aren't very common. In one part of our ward, the people had water in their front yards and in their house up to their knees. In Gaupilo, a part in our zone, there were houses that had water all the way up to people’s chest. The members who followed the counsel of the prophet to have a bag for emergencies were greatly blessed. We had a fun time bailing out water. For about 2 hours Tuesday night we bailed water out of a house in our neighborhood. It felt good to serve these people just like the Savior would.

Now for the part about the eye disease. So in Santa Cruz, everyone is getting a sickness called cojuntabities, or it is like pink eye where the eye swells up and yellow fluid comes up. Now for the adventure. My companion got it! He woke up Thursday morning, and his eye was shut.
To protect his eyes he wore some awesome sunglasses we found in the house.  Thankfully I haven't got it yet.

Also, Alan is doing great. He didn't get baptized this week because his friend is returning from the mission and she wanted to be there to see it so it is going to happen this week for sure! He attended church again and loved it. It has been amazing to see the process of repentance in his life and how each commandment he learns about he keeps. With each commandment he keeps, the spirit illuminates his countenance! Truly the gospel makes us happy. As Alma taught his son, “wickedness never was happiness.” But flipping the phrase, righteousness always brings happiness!

Alan and Elder Harris - Alan got this crazy eye disease and didn't want anyone to get it so he wore his sunglasses
 This week we had cambios, and my companion and I got to announce them to the zone. That was super fun, but what we didn't expect is my companion is going to Yacuiba. I sure am going to miss him. He has been a great leader, teacher, companion, and friend. And he has helped me progress so much.   Since my companion was transferred,  I am in charge of the musical number for the conference with Elder Falabella. Can you pray for me?

Elder Lamont, an Elder in our zone has been sick for the past two weeks and has been in the hospital. This week, my companion taught me the importance of service, and we were able to visit him and bring them food and help them in their baptismal service. Elder Lamont got permission to leave the hospital and he and his companion baptized 1 brother and 3 sisters. It felt so good to go to their baptismal service and help them with the musical numbers and filling up the font. Please pray for Elder Lamont that he can be healed.

Anyway, being a missionary is the best and your companions build you, help you, and change you.
Our great district! Elder Ward, the tall American, is our district leader and is a fantastic missionary!
Saying goodbye to the Gonzales family with Dulce y Fernanda and the Soliz family!   
 

My new companion is Elder Iparraguirre. He is from Peru and entered the mission one transfer after me. We are excited to work together!

This gospel is true, the Book of Mormon is the word of God as well as the Bible, and Jesus Christ lives.  Through faith and his name, repentance of our sins, baptism by water and by the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end or enjoying to the end of this brief mortal experience, we can become like our Heavenly Father and live with Him again!

I hope you have a great week!

Love Elder Matheson!

Tim Tam Slams Together...Thank you so much for the cookies.  They were delicious!


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wow, It Is 2018 - All The Many Blessings


Dear Mom and Dad and My Amazing Family and Friends, Happy New Years!!! Wahoo!!!

Wow, it is 2018! It is so crazy to think of all the many blessings the Lord has given us. I just want to point out 8 of these blessings:

1. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel

2. Our covenants of the Temple that bind us together as a family forever

3. The Book of Mormon, which contains the fullness of the gospel of all the things we need to do in this life to return to our Heavenly Father

4. The Cedar City Temple

5. BABY EMMA!!!!! Our family is getting bigger. I’m just trying to guess who is going to have the next baby.

6. Sarah is better and is healthy

7. Mom and Dad you are temple workers!

8. We are a family, and we are healthy, happy, and strong in the church and have a new year to progress and become more like Jesus Christ!

Mom and Dad it was such a blessing to see you and talk to you on Christmas. It was was my favorite Christmas. And it just made me so happy to see you. I was just so grateful to see you.

I have some good stories to tell you.

So for the Christmas Conference...

To start it off, President and Hna. Rodrigues shared their conversion stories. President Rodrigues, in his words, was a “freaky kid” because by the age of 15 he had read the New Testament 3 times and the Old Testament twice and was very Catholic.

One day his brother brought home a Book of Mormon, and he tried to convince his brother that the book of Mormon was evil because he had heard that it was all about Jose Smith. But his brother said he was going to read it. President then flip threw the book, and the first scripture he read was Moroni´s promise. And as he read it he felt a powerful feeling enter his heart. So he decided he would read it. He took the book with him on vacation for 2 months, and he read the whole Book of Mormon and then he asked God if it was true and received his powerful testimony that it was.  (On a side note, Presidente Rodrigues doesn't get very emotional, but every time he talks about the Book of Mormon he cries.) 2 weeks later he was baptized, and now all of his family are members and 5 of his children have served missions wow!!

He was so grateful for the missionary who had felt prompted to give the Book of Mormon to his brother. Just like this missionary, we too need to give the Book of Mormon to others. Because just what President Nelson taught, the Book of Mormon is worth more than all the gold and diamonds in the world. This additional knowledge of Jesus Christ is priceless.

Also, as a zone, we did a skit of Samuel the Lamanite with the believers and how Samuel gave the sign, and 5 years later only a few believed and the wicked were ready to kill the believers. To make this realistic, we got all the wicked missionaries machetes!! And right when they were about to kill the believers, the lights on the stage stayed on and then they ran off the stage in fright or started to believe. And that is when Elder Chapman started to sing Silent Night and Elder Zimmerman, my companion, and I sang a 4 part harmony and then the whole zone sang! It was so powerful and fun.
 
Our Christmas Skit

It was awesome! They served a huge meal with potatoes, salads, bread, and pig and turkey. I didn't risk it so I just ate the turkey this year, and it was amazing.

This week Hna. Rodrigues just gave my companion and I the assignment to organize a special musical number for the next conference were Elder Fabella of the Seventy will visit our mission!

Also, Alan is progressing so much. We have been visiting daily, and now we are teaching him all the commandments and he is so excited to be baptized. He is going to be baptized this next Saturday. He is truly a miracle. We have never had someone progress so fast. Yesterday, he went to church and loved it and the members are so great and helping him have friends! Please pray for him that he will be willing to live all the commandments.

I know that this is God’s work. He lives!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson

 
Christmas with Familia Escobar.  The fish was so delicious, and it was amazing to see them!  They are active and preparing to go to the temple this May!.
My companion and I tried doing a picture of the American Gothic Farmer


 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

December 25, 2017

Dear Mom and Dad, Family and Friends!  Merry Christmas!  
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and
laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn .
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch
over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round
about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour , which is Christ the Lord .
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising
God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace , good will toward men.
I love these scriptures and the principle that Hna. Pressgrove taught me.
I have always wondered what it was like to be a shepherd or a wise man who saw the
Savior and these glorious signs of his coming.  But we were there!
On this glorious day when our Savior, Jesus Christ was born, we proclaimed triumphantly
in this heavenly host.  Glory to God, that His son, our Savior and Redeemer, our friend,
our rock and protection from Satan, our example, was born!  
Merry Christmas Mom and Dad and all my wonderful family and friends.  I am so grateful
for our Savior and His birth, His life, His atonement.  He lives today!! And through Him we
can live together as family forever!
Love,  
Elder Matheson
Hamburgers with Olga y Ernesto.  We got permission from President, and we were able
to stay up until 12:00 celebrating Christmas.  They ate a yummy pork and Hna. Olga made
us these delicious burgers and fries (since we are not allowed to eat pork) right before
midnight as we were getting ready for bed.  The glorious chorus of fireworks then started.  
I think the fireworks were maybe almost as loud as the heavenly host but not quite as
beautiful. But it sure was awesome!
Intercambio with Elder Chapman to Catoca!  This is a huge Catholic church there.
And...A little from the Christmas Skype conversation with Elder Matheson:


Today for Christmas we were able to visit Familia Escobar (a wonderful family we taught and baptized during the early part of my mission), and it was super amazing. Elder Harris and I are in the 8th ring and the Escobars, are on other side of the city, but we were given permission to take a taxi and visit them. Our drivers even gave us a ride for a very good price or free. The Escobars made us a huge pescano – a huge fish Christmas lunch. They also do the very best chicken. We learned that the Escobars are expecting a 2nd child. Hermano Escobar is the ward mission leader, and his wife is serving in the Relief Society. They are both super strong and active and have helped 4 or 5 more families in their ward area get baptized. They are going to be sealed in the Temple as a family in May. It was wonderful to see them doing so well!
Singing Noche de Paz For My Family
The people of Bolivia think I am 30 years old!  Here people who are 40 look like they are 27, and the people who are 20 look like teenagers.

People really watch what we are doing.  When we live the standards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can help prepare people to receive the gospel.  Alan, one of our new investigators, asked to meet with the missionaries because of the super good standards of his girlfriend.

If you see someone at church that is new, please go talk to them!


























Monday, December 18, 2017

A Faithful Pioneer

Dear Family and Friends!  

Sorry this email is going to be so short.  We don’t have a lot of time to write because we are trying to bake cookies for a zone activity and make enough hot chocolate, but this week was amazing.

I will call you on skype next Monday at 7:00 p.m. Bolivia time in a member’s house if that is alright.

That is so amazing you are working in the Temple.  It looks beautiful!! Also the Enoch Orchestra is huge and has accordions!!

This week, we had 2 baptisms.  Fernanda and Dulce got baptized.  Their mom is a saint. She is like a faithful pioneer because she had her daughters be baptized and she is helping them read the Book of Mormon and attend church. It was such a beautiful baptism.  My companion baptized them both, and I got to confirm Dulce yesterday in church.  Please pray for them especially that their parents can be married and baptized.
Fernanda and Dulce
 

Also, Kevin, a new investigator attended church and loved it . We are working with him to be baptized the 30th!

I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that prayer works.  We sure prayed a lot this week, and everything worked out well.  Also, we made it through the trial of 40 degree Celsius weather, which I think means like 110 degrees weather in Fahrenheit!

I love you so much and can't wait to talk to you this Monday.

Love,

Elder Matheson 

Consejo de lideres with Presidente.  Elder Salas, my first companion and trainer, is a zone leader too!   
Our Christmas Manger
I bought these Brooks shoes for about $15 at a fair. What a blessing!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Adventures and Blessings


Dear Family and Friends,

The temple is dedicated!!!!! Yesterday, I was watching the clock to try and calculate when the dedication was going on.  I saw a little bit of it today online at lds.org and it looked amazing. Dad in the dedication they sang High On The Mountain Top!!  Also, did you get to attend in the temple because you are temple workers?  Thank you mom for sending the music and songs and also the Christmas package.  I got it this week, and I love the music and the cards and the booklet about the temple.  My companion really liked his stocking.  He is saving his for Christmas, and I am doing the same with the packages.

Also this Thursday we had Consejo de Lideres with President and Sister Rodrigues.  It is where the zone leaders and sister capacitadores (not quite sure what it is called in English but the experienced sisters) all meet together to receive instruction how we can be better leaders and serve those in our zone.

It was such an amazing experience.  I can testify the President Rodriguez is called of God and that he really loves us. I felt so much of the Savior’s love for me through him.  During the meeting he went over all the attributes of Christ, and he taught us that the two reasons we serve missions are to preach repentance and baptize converts and to become like the Savior, Jesus Christ.

He taught me that in the mission and this life is all about progression.  As we repent and keep following Christ and trying to become like He is we change.  He taught us that the end of this life and into the next those who have been refined into celestial beings will enter the Lord’s kingdom, and those who have not become like Christ will not.  But that the important thing is that we have progress.  That even though we are so far from becoming like Christ, we acknowledge our progress and we continue to become like him.  Mom and dad, I am so grateful to serve a mission because I have changed.  I still got a lot to improve, but this time with Elder Harris has been like heaven, and I am being a better companion and leader.  Elder Harris sure is teaching me to lose myself in the service of others or in our zone!

Also in the consejo we talked about skyping our families and we got permission to skype for 1 hour this Christmas and then to write for 2.  Wow, what a blessing.  I was thinking about calling at 6 or 7 Monday night.  Would the time work for you?

Also, this week, we had a miracle.  We had received a reference named Alan Moran, and we called him Friday and set up an appointment with him Sunday.  This Sunday in the morning (our church is at 2) we went to his house, and he was there!  He is 23 years old and lives with and helps his single mom, and he wanted to learn more about the church because he has a friend in the university who is a member.  He said she always has a special light and she doesn't party and drink, and he really wanted to have the light.  In the leccion we taught him about baptism and he is open to being baptized if he feels these things are true.  What a miracle.

Also, this week we are going to have 3 baptisms - one of a girl named Anna (13), Dulce(9), and Fernanda(8).  If you can pray for them.  Also, Ariel is having a hard time - if you will pray for him and his wife Angie too.!!

Thank you so much!

I just love this new area and my companion and our house.  We have been so blessed!

Love,

Elder Matheson

This week, Intercambios with Elder Mortensen.  He is from the same group as Elder Hansen and is from Utah!      
​Last Monday my companion and I made chocolate chip cookies with Olga. They were delicious!
 
​Hna. Olga made us homemade American apple pie.  She is grandma!  We love her so much!
 


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Miracles!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was full of so many miracles and tender mercies.

My companion is amazing.  He is so Christlike and obedient.  He has been helping me out a lot to improve my Spanish accent so I sound Bolivian.  Also, he is a finding giant.  We found 17 new investigadores this week and Saturday and Sunday we couldn't talk to anyone in the streets or contact because there was a national election day in Bolivia for their supreme judges.  Sunday all transportation was forbidden and all stores were shut down and there was no church either.  We were joking how this day everyone just really wanted to keep the sabbath day holy. Anyway, we could only go to appointments that were already set, but if they weren't there, we had to return home.

Also, I love being a Zone Leader.  It is so much fun.  I was super nervous. Thursday when we had a zone meeting, my companion helped me prepare well, and we were able to conduct the meeting well.

One of my favorite parts of being a zone leader is you learn how to focus on others and there are two of you.  As a district leader sometimes I got really stressed because it is only you, but as a zone leader there are the two of you to keep order, answer questions, help other elders be obedient, and plan activities to motivate the zone.

For Christmas we are making a manger and we cut up yellow paper for straw.  Every time a missionary in the zone sees their companion or a member of the zone do something Christlike they write it down on a piece of paper, and we put this paper in the manger.  So we are all striving to do more Christlike things so that the Savior has a comfortable manger or a stronger place in our heart this Christmas!
Making the manger. All those wood working classes at Canyon View came in handy​.

 

Also, we are planning a skit for the zone for the annual Christmas conference.  We are going to do the story of Samuel the Lamanite and his sign and how the people tried to kill the believers but that is right when the sign came and then that is where we will have our nativity scene with our manger!

Also we are teaching a golden family named Angie and Ariel.  They are a young family that isn't married but want to be baptized.  Yesterday we taught them about the restauracion and they are so interested.  Please pray for them that they will have the desire to get married or live separately.  Also, please pray for Familia Gonzales and that their dad will give them permission to be baptized.

I love this area, my companion, and the zone!  Thank you so much for your prayers and missionary experiences. Our pension, Olga and Ornesto are in their 70s, and they take good care of us.  The other day, hna. olga made us authentic American banana bread!

Love,

Elder Matheson

Morning exercise!​


In our last zone we went on a big tour bus of the city!​