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!
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.


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 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!


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


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!


Elder Matheson

Morning exercise!​

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


Monday, November 27, 2017


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!


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!


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!