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!​

 


Monday, November 27, 2017

Transfers!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, 70 degrees in Cedar during November is amazing!  And Mary and Jason´s house looks beautiful! The Lord just blesses us so much!

Saturday night was the night when we were to find out about transfers, and I was super, super nervous because I felt like that I would be leaving the area.  Elder Hansen and I worked hard this day, and then at 10 we received a phone call from the assistants.  We looked at each other and then answered it quickly.  Elder MacMullin called and asked if I was there and then informed me that I would be leaving my area and going to the Pampa Zone which is in Santa Cruz and that I would be a new Zone Leader with my companion Elder Harris.
This is my Companion Elder Harris. He is from Chicago and has about a year and a half in the mission.
I really was hoping to get leave Santa Cruz and go to Tarijia where it is a little colder, but the Lord knows I need to serve here.  But one tender mercy He has blessed us with is our house has AC!!!!! It is a miracle!!
Wow, that wasn't the phone call I was expecting!  Anyway, Elder Hansen’s new companion is Elder Moore.  Elder Torres is going to go to Plan 3000 and Elder Barazoto will be leaving Santa Cruz and going to Tarijia!  What adventures.

Sunday Morning Elder Torres and I gave our testimonies in Church, and this day was full of visiting our converts in the ward and many of the members.  This day we ate a lot of food.  It was so good!  I sure am going to miss this ward and am very grateful for all they have done for me, especially Familia Arteaga!  But here are some pictures:

Picture with Ronald.  He is getting ready for his mission!

Hot dogs with Familia Chavez                


Hno. Julio - He is a recent convert a year ago.  He and his daughter are spiritual giants!










Familia Villegaz - This family loves the missionaries
This is Hna. Paola's son Leo.  He was baptized about 8 months ago and is helping his mom learn more about the gospel.  I am sure going to miss him.

Erlan! He is our ward mission leader who just returned from Colombia about a month ago.

Carlos Bryan - He just graduated from high school
Obispo Poma!

The Choque Family - Their whole family came in their car to our house to say goodbye.
Familia Arteaga - This family is a golden family, and I will miss them a lot
​Our new house - Also, we live behind our pension who is an elderly couple. Hna. Ulga cooks really good and it just makes you feel that we are living in our grandparents house!  Also our new ward is called the Barrio Lucero and it is in the 8th and 9th ring of the city where there is a lot of mud when it rains.      
I am sure excited for this area and time with my companion.  We are going have some miracles together.​

Thank you for your prayers and support,  I know this gospel is true, and I am so grateful for my wonderful family and that the Lord loves and blesses us so much as we obey his commandments!

Love,

Elder Matheson

P.S. This week we had a zone conference with Presidente, The focus of this conference was helping us teaching with power and authority and the key to doing this is the scriptures.  Presidente taught that the word of God is the best missionary and that after the mission, many missionaries go inactive because they stop holding onto the iron rod or the word of God  During my personal study I found these scriptures:
28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—
30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.
I know that this promise is true that if we lay hold upon the word of God, we will be able to make it through the temptations and trials of satan and land our souls with our families in the kingdom of Heaven.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Last Week With My Son

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I got the pictures of Emma, my new niece, with the article of the temple in the mail.  Wow, is sure inspired me to see cute baby Emma and also to read about our amazing ancestors, Joel Hills Johnson and Alexander Matheson and about your museum dad!  My companion thought that it was pretty awesome all you and mom have done.  It sure gave me strength.  Because our ancestors gave everything for us and now we are going to receive a beautiful temple of the Lord.  I bet Grandpa Joel is just so happy to know that we are getting a temple soon.

Familia Artiaga, our pension, is getting ready for the temple.  Yesterday Hermano Iver received the Melchizedek priesthood.  And they are planning to go to the temple this June when they have a year as members in the church. 

A front view of the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple on a sunny day.
This week we ate so many mangoes.  Here there are 4 different types, mango rosa, manga manzana (apple mango), manga piña( pineapple mango), and manga durasno (peach mango)  Some of this mangoes are the size of a soft ball and others the size of a mini football. MY favorite is the apple mango.  It is super sweet.  

Both Elder Hansen and I are excited to know what is going to happen this week. Maybe I might leave Santa Cruz or maybe he might.

One miracle that we had was Carlos Bryan was baptized!  We have been working with him a lot and teaching him, and this time when he asked his parents for permission they gave it to him.  Saturday at 5 is when we had his baptism and my companion got to baptize him.  Before his baptism Carlos was a little nervous but more than anything he was very excited.  When my companion baptized him, and as he left the water, he smiled and gave my companion a hug.  He told us, “Yo siento nuevo!”  I feel new.  It was a moment full of joy.

But none the less satan was not.  As we were getting ready to leave the church, my companion looked for his nice watch and it turns out while his bags were in the bathroom someone had stolen his watch and 500 bs.  My companion and I were a little discouraged about what happen but none the less the important thing was Carlos was baptized!

Sunday I was able to confirm him a member of the church, and it was a very special experience.   I felt impressed to bless him that the spirit would guide him in the future as a missionary and father and lead him away from places of danger to holy places.  All in all, this week was amazing and this gospel is so true!

I hope you all have the best week!  And if you can pray for Marianella, Cilene, Paola, Carlos and Maykol that we can strengthen these converts.  Also, Familia Cholima still hasn’t been taught by the missionaries in their new house if you could pray for them too.  Thank you!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson

P.S.  Our internet cafe this week isn’t very safe to send photos so I will send photos for the next week.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cilene's Baptism

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, that is so awesome that all the cousins came with Grandpa and Grandma to the Cedar City Temple open house.  I just looked at more of the pictures online and it looks beautiful!  And the columbine blossom windows and the details make it look so perfect!  It truly is a house of the Lord! And that is so amazing you, mom and dad, both got to lead groups with non members. Dad if we get the chance, I can't wait to go home teaching with you or maybe my last day as a missionary we can go tracting together because I really feel like I understand so much more of the gospel just like you, and I know this church is true!
 
The other day, right before we returned home from the church, one of the sisters in the Relief Society needed help to call Salt Lake about a problem in her family tree and how the ordinances of her father were missing.  There weren't any family history workers working at this time who spoke Spanish so I got to be a translator and it was super cool! I talked to an elderly missionary in English, and then I talked to the family in Spanish. Wow, I am grateful to say that I know the language or at least I can speak it and understand it!!

Also, this past Saturday we were walking past a man who looked really sad so we stopped and talked to him.  It turns out he was from Sucre and had just gone through a lot.  Having troubles at home, he left his family and came to Santa Cruz.  When he arrived, he got mugged and beaten up.  A kind police officer took him to his son’s house and because he was a construction worker gave him a lot to use to build himself a temporary house.  When we found this man, he was so beaten up emotionally, but we testified to Him of Christ’s love for him.  Seeing that he needed help, we stayed with him for about two hours to help him frame his house.  His temporary house isn´t much. It is pretty much a little shed and it doesn't have walls and he is working on the roof.  But this day we felt like we were on the Lord's errand.  I know the Savior lives and loves all of his children and answers prayers by using others!! This man´s name is Diego, and we are going to keep visiting him.  Will you please keep him in your prayers?

It is super funny here in the super Hipermaxis they are already ready for Christmas!! It is amazing how fast time is flying.

Marianella y Cilene
This week, I got sick! Oh wow, it was an adventure. I am not quite sure what did it, but a really nice investigador offered us food from her mini on the side restaurant, and we didn't want to offend her so we ate it.  It was really yummy. The next night I felt terrible and my companion and I went to the church to give a baptismal interview.  Before the investigator got to the church, I asked Elder Hansen if he would give me a blessing.  During the blessing, he blessed me to get better and that I would have the strength to go through the interview.  Right after the blessing, I rushed to a trash can and threwwww uppp alot!! But after I felt so good.  And right after that adventure, the investigator came and the interview went great! Friday, my companion and I rested and by Saturday I was all better again.  I know the Heavenly Father loves us and that priesthood blessings work and cleanse us from bad illnesses!  

Also, Cilene got baptized this week, and my companion was able to baptize her and I was able to confirm her. Satan sure worked hard, but the Lord always wins.  A member offered to help us pick Cilene up for her baptism, but when we got the house of the member he had gotten very ill and so we left praying for a miracle. Then a taxi drove right past us, and so we flagged it down and went and picked up Cilene and Marianella.  When we got to the church, Cilene´s baptismal clothes didn't fit and so then we didn´t know what do. But we trusted in the Lord and one of the young women let her borrow a extra white shirt she had, and somehow the young women got the clothes to work! It was amazing to see my companion say the words, ´´Habieindo comisionado por Jesucristo, yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo.´´  After her baptism and confirmation, you could see the spirit brightly in Cilene´s eyes.  I know this church is true and this is the Lord’s work and it is our work too!

Love,

Elder Matheson


Our Great Ward
Next to our house they are building and constructing an almost BYU house!  Go cougars!
 

When I was sick my companion and I had a day to rest.  While we where eating lunch, we watched Meet the Mormons.  The great thing about getting sick is wow, I lost more weight!! Not very fun but it works!
 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Three Weeks Left In The Transfer

Dear Family and Friends!

Gracie Lou´s costume made us laugh so hard.  This week, I was trying to say hot dog so I used pero caliente, which really means a dog that is really hot. But the correct word for hot dog is salchicha.  But that is the best costume ever.  Also, Michael and Delaney good job carving those pumpkins!!  Mom I loved your big glasses and the teacher in the taco costume. Her and Gracie you should get a photo together!  Dad!  Good job with the Halloween dinner date, and Mom you are the best missionary!  Thank you for spreading the gospel through the temple!

Here for Halloween only the really rich part of city has candy where kids can go and knock on doors, but more than anything this week was a memorial week.  This week the Catholic tradition/Holiday was where everyone went and cleaned and painted and fixed up the graves of their ancestors. My companion and I wanted to find a Mario and Luigi costume and take a picture of it.  He is really tall, and I have gotten a little chubby (but I have lost 10 pounds of the 30 I have gained) so the costume pair is perfect.  Nonetheless, we did not find the costumes but we sure liked the idea.

This week was full of many miracles and was so fast!  Elder Hansen and I only have three weeks left together.  He keeps telling me that I am a going to be transferred to Tarija (the place that is cold with mountains), or that I will become a secretary of sanitation in the mission offices or that he is going to be transferred.  He is a good friend and sure has helped me so much!

As for this week, we have 5 investigadores who have a baptismal date.  Sielene is going to be baptized this coming Sunday morning. Carlos Lopes and Johan and Adreas have a fecha for the 18 of November, and Ramiro has a baptismal date for the 25th .  We sure are trying to work hard.  My companion is really good with people and he has taught me so much of how to relate with people and become their friends.  Johan and Carlos both are 17 years old, and we can see the difference in their countenance as they are reading the Book of Mormon and attending church.  

Carlos lives in the Palimitas.  Literally this area is just like walking down in Fontana, California.  There are palm trees, it is sunny, and there is cement curbing with big houses.  Please pray for Carlos and that his dad will give him permission to be baptized and see the change in him.  Because he is ready to be baptized.

This week, my testimony of fasting is so much stronger.  For the past month, Sielene has wanted to be baptized but couldn’t because she wasn’t able to attend church. In our fast on Saturday, we fasted especially for her and that she would be able to attend church.  Yesterday, when we got to church she wasn't there.  After the first class she still wasn´t there.

My companion and I then went to a room and prayed that the Lord will help her come to church so she could be able to be baptized this next week.  We then left the meeting, and to show our faith, we went with a member in their car to try and pick them up.  As we went to their house, we got a call from Marianela telling us that they just arrived at church!!  So we went back to church, and Marianela and Sielene both attended and liked church.  Also Carlos and Johan and Hna Paola both attended. I know that fasting really brings blessings and divine help!

Jumping back to Saturday, my companion and I were able to give Marianela a blessing.  She felt really, really sick and looked like she was in a lot of pain.  We asked her if she believed that Jesus Christ was her Savior.  She said yes,  We then asked her if she believed this church is the Savior’s church and has His Priesthood authority.  She again said yes, and then we asked her if she had faith that we could bless and heal her.  She said yes again.  I anointed her and then my companion blessed her.  It was amazing to feel the love that Heavenly Father has for His children, and I knew that she would be blessed and healed.  The next day, at church she was smiling and happy and all the pain went away.  I testify that this is Christ's Church and that through Joseph Smith He restored His Church and all the doctrine of His Gospel and the Priesthood authority on the earth so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father again!
 

On the subject of Home teaching and Visiting teaching:   It is so important.  I love the analogy that you used Jason.  I never knew how important these two callings were until the mission.  After the missionaries are done teaching the investigadores and our baptized they need a faithful friend to stand by them and help them and to check up on them and answer their concerns because the missionaries can't visit them everyday and they get transferred.  Wow, it is such an important calling!

Thank you for your letters and prayers!

Love,

Elder Matheson


Santa Cruz


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

Dear Family and Friends!

Wow, that is so amazing - the Cedar City Temple.  I saw the video the church has done about it today and it made me so happy.  It looks beautiful and perfect.  I can´t wait to go with you all there as a family.

Also the showers at the hospital inspection sounded pretty amazing.  Here dad there are no building inspectors and all the buildings are made of bricks and cement.  And you don´t need a building permit, just the material.  I think you would like here!

This week was amazing and really fast and full of many adventures.

​First off the rain!  Friday it was really hot, and we were teaching a lesson with Carlos´ dad.  Then the wind changed directions and a cold wind from the south blew in a crazy rain storm in about 20 minutes.  It poured and poured.  My companion and I ran to our house and got our irrigation boots, with our umbrellas, and then we went back to work. In some parts of our area it was just like creek walking! 
​Also, Hermana Rodriguez bought me a shoulder rest, and now I can really play the violin.  Before I was using a wash cloth and rubber bands.
​Dad it is the season of watermelon, and we eat some good watermelon about everyday for lunch.  Yummy!

​Michael, I found a GNC in Bolivia!!

Today for a district activity, we watched Tarzan!  It was so fun.  Everyone also got some good faces when Tarzan kissed Jane. :) 
Elder Hansen and I taught Familia Artiaga about banana splits.  The chocolate syrup here is really expensive so we used caramel instead! I love this family so much!  They are an example of how the gospel blesses and changes lives.
 
  
 
As for the other adventures this week...well, Carlos´ dad didn't feel his son was prepared to be baptized this week so we didn't receive his permission.  But his dad said when son has learned more and has more desire to be baptized he will gladly support him.  So we are going to be working extra hard with Carlos and help him really read and pray to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is Christ’s church.

Also, This Sunday a lot of our investigadores couldn't attend church because this week is a memorial week where in the Catholic tradition and much of the tradition of the here people clean and visit the graves of their ancestors.  But Johan attended church.  He is 17 years old and loves to read and really wants to follow Christ.  If you could keep praying for Johan, Carlos Bryan, Sielene, and Marcos that would be amazing!

I know that Christ lives and that He loves us and this is His church.  Sorry this email is really, really short.

Love,

Elder Matheson!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Toads and Frogs

Dear Family and Friends!

This week it was super hot until Thursday afternoon, and within 30 minutes, a 
huge rain storm blew in and it poured and poured.  The water built up so fast on the window wells that it started entering in.  So we moved everything out of those two rooms. That night it got colder and rained more and we used our good old irrigation boots to go preach the gospel.  I loaned mine to my companion and used these smaller boots that barely covered my ankles (not really boots). My companion and I were at the farthest part of our area visiting Hermana Marinella.  There was a small canal that runs by this area about two or three feet deep and was overflowed with water and we couldn't see where the bridge was.  Because my companion had the better boots, he went first to find the way and goosh, he fell right into the canal and got from his pants down soaked.  We both laughed super hard as well as the people who lived next to this canal.  As we returned from visiting Ronald, a recent convert, we found that all the streets were even more flooded and so we took it like men and just picked one street and ran through it has fast as possible.  With water splashing everywhere and huge toads and frogs jumping and singing everywhere, it made quite the sight! After that, we took a torito to go back to our house. I sure love mission adventures!
 

Also, Carlos was going to travel with his family this week so we moved the baptism to the next week, but because of the rain they didn't go.  We are praying that this week he will be baptized.  Also, Silene didn’t come to church so we were both a little sad.  Sometimes satan has his small victories, but none the less, Christ and His Gospel will win! This week we are going to go and pick up Silene for church so that in 2 weeks she can be baptized too!  Please keep them in your prayers.  

Also, we have a new investigador, Ramiro who is 19 years old and likes to draw who wants to be baptized.  He has a  baptismal date for the 11 of November too! And Family Gil are super amazing.  The dad, Jovani, loves to talk to us in English, and when he talks, he has a Russian accent.  He and his family are golden.  They just need to get married first!  Yesterday, we taught them about the importance of baptism using the Book of Mormon.  They asked about their baptism in the Catholic church, and then that is where everything fell into place as we were able to testify of a need of the restauracion because the doctrine of baptism was changed and distorted to where many people believe that infants and young children need baptism.  After seeing baby Emma and reading the words of Mormon, I know with my heart the children are pure and alive in Christ and that baptism is for all of us who sin when we are accountable for our sins. Thus, if the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph was a profet, and again the Lord has restored his true church with the authority to baptize his children.  We invited them to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if they should be baptized.  I know that according to their faith they will receive an answer!  Please pray for them too!

Moses 6: 31-34

  • Pearl of Great Price
31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth , and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.


These scriptures really helped me know the Lord knows we all are weak.  But as we trust in him and obey his commandments by preaching his gospel, he will help us as we walk with Him in His work and through the trials we face in this life!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson