Monday, March 27, 2017


Dear Mom and Dad- Family & Friends!  

Cedar sure looks beautiful with the blossoms.  Wow it is crazy to think that things are warming up!  Thank you for all the pictures and the love and support!  We will definitely have to try one of those scone cordon bleus someday!

This week has been great and also challenging!

One amazing blessing was we were able to teach familia Escobar about the law of chastity, and we encouraged them to pray for guidance and to see if the wedding date of 15 Abril was right for them.  We promised them blessings of peace and the best of a lasting relationship if they would get married and that they could start on their journey to be an Eternal Family!  Elder Barazoto and I want to baptize them in Abril, and we are just praying so hard that we can help them get married so Hermana Escobar can be baptized and so they can start preparing for the temple.

Also, this week we had a great lesson with the Olguien family.  We will definitely not give up on this family.  We were really direct and asked them if they wanted to keeping learning about the gospel and if they really wanted to go to church and Diana said yes!  Hermano Olguien works all night and comes home around 8:30 in the morning and sometimes is so tired he can’t make it to church, but I know that the Lord can help this family have the strength to come to church and continue to learn and progress.  Please remember these families in your prayers this week!

One thing that sure has been funny is that in a lot of our lessons, people often asked how old we are.  It was so funny in one lesson with Catrin y Orlando, a mom and son who are investigating the church, when they asked how old I was.  I was really curious and asked them to guess!  I was quite shocked to hear that they thought I was 25 and my compañero was 16 or 17!  Both Elder Barazoto and I laughed so hard at this though because in reality he is about one whole year older than me.  I think all the yummy rice here is making me age faster.  :)  

As for conference, I am so excited to hear our prophet and Elder Cook again.  I have a testimony that they are truly prophets of God, apostles, and special witnesses of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  For conference, we will go to our stake center to watch it.  Si os si  (no matter what) I sure hope we can have familia Esocbar attend with us!

Mom and Dad and my family!  I love you so much!  This week my testimony of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened as so many investigadores have challenged this book of scripture.  I love the verse in Moroni 10:6 which says, “And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is!”  Truly the Book of Mormon is just and true because it invites all men to have faith and believe in Jesus Christ and in every line it testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ!

I love this gospel, and my Savior Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, and I know that this church is 100 percent true and that families are forever!  I hope you have the best conference weekend!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson!

Service for the Padilla Familia!  I sure love our ward!
Hermano Mosies is the one with the dark shades.  He is so funny and loves to talk to us in his English by saying, “What’s up gringo?
Also the drink that you see is really interesting.  It is a refresco de corn that is really cold.  It kind of tastes like a corn pudding!  

This fruit has spikes on it but Hermana Padilla said when it is really soft you just pop it open and eat it!
Our zone activity we did this last Monday!  It consisted of pizza from Papa Johns, fútbol, and Coke floats, which meant for me a Sprite float.  It was so delicious and fun. 

This Wednesday was cambios and we sure had a lot of changes.  Elder Viana our district leader ended his misión and also Hermana Cluff went to Tarija.  Our new district leader is Elder Lefgren.  He is from Riverton and knows cousin AJ, and AJ’s companion in the MTC was one of his best friends in middle school!   He is such a good example and district leader.  He is the one that is in the orange red shirt who is really tall and is lying down in one of the pictures!  He is such a good friend!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Power of Prayer of Loved Ones and Family

Dear Mom and Dad and my Wonderful Family and Friends!

I loved the picture of the Missionary Impossible card.  Elder Barazoto and I both thought it was very funny!  This week Elder Barazoto is 100 % better and has overcome the fiery dragon and is eating and walking just like normal!!

Also, the corn beef and cabbage sure looked great! I can just imagine the yummy smell!

This week it actually got a little bit cold! Thursday it rained really, really hard and the canals were lllleeenno! (Lleno=Full!) We got to walk around and splash in our irrigation boots, which was awesome!  I got some good pictures to send you!

The beautiful rain in Bolivia and the canals

Also, in the night it is starting to get a little bit colder.  This week instead of needing a fan to sleep I needed an extra blanket. It kind of feels like September or October right now. Both Elder Barazoto and I sure love the little change in the climate.  Dad would like it too.

Yesterday was dia de padre (Father’s Day) en Bolivia and Elder Barazoto and I both gave talks en church.  I talked about the importance of fe and how I was so grateful for my father and his example and for my mother and father and the things they taught me on how to live this wonderful gospel!  I sure love you mom and dad! Also dad, I am so grateful for all those Sunday evenings when you would take the time to teach the stories of the Bible and about how we are a part of the house of Israel.  This week, Elder Barazoto asked me a lot about the different houses of Israel and a lot about Joseph and his sons Ephraim and Manasseh!  Elder Barazoto was so grateful for the help to understand the different tribes of Israel and their history, and I am just so grateful for you dad and for the time you spent to teach the stories of Jesus that I love to hear.  En un Bolivian accento, feliz dia de padre Papa!  I love you dad!

This week we had a wonderful miracle with Familia Escobar!  In Martes, we were able to visit Hermana Escobar with Hermano Daniel, a member of the church who knows a lot about how the papers for marriage work.  He was able to explain to Hermana Escobar what her and her husband needed to do to be married, and he shared how in his life his love for his wife grew so much more as they were married by the law and sealed in the temple.  Wow, the spirit was so strong, and I could only bear my testimony of the joy to have an eternal family and that I am so grateful that my parents are married and sealed in the temple and also my brother and sisters and that we are one big eternal family!  At the end of the lesson, Hermana Escobar said she wanted to be baptized!  Wow, thank you so much for all your prayers for this family.  Our goal is to help them get married and baptized in Abril!!  

Hermana Diana wasn´t able to baptized this week and didn´t attend church, but we aren´t going to give up on her but try extra hard to teach her with members present so she can have encouragement and friends in the ward.  I know if we do this, in the Lord´s time we can baptize her.

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice of the egg and the potato!  Wow, that is so true. No matter the trial that comes we have so many reasons to be happy and to become like the happy, soft potato!  When those trials or discouraging thoughts try and enter my mind, I will just remember my wonderful family and the advice to let these trials help me grow.

I love you so much mom and dad and our whole family!  I know that this church is true and Jesus Christ lives and that through the gospel we can truly have happiness during the hard and joyful movements in this life and that if we are faithful we can have this joy for eternity!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson!

Our amazing Fortaleza Zone with Elder and Sister Montoya and Presidente and Sister Rodríguez during a recent mission conference.

I accidentally spilled some chocolate milk on my shirt, but it sure made for a good picture.

More Bolivian Rain :)





Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bautismo Fecha and Christmas en Marzo!

Baptism Date & Christmas in March 
Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends!
First off mom your Spanish is awesome.  I think you and dad could serve a Spanish speaking misión!  Thank you also for putting the Escobar’s name en the temple and for all your temple service.  I sure can feel and see those blessings that come from you going to the temple.  

 This Thursday was like Christmas.  Mom and dad I loved the package!  Thank you! The sweets were especially appreciated by me, Elder Barazoto and Elder Lefgren, Elder Lozano y Elder Viana.  We all loved the strawberries too. It was so awesome to have them for the first time in the misión.  
But the thing that was the best of the package was your kind letters and the photo book.  Dad I've never seen your misión photo and the one of you and Wallis Marsh. That sure made me smile and gave me courage to serve and work hard just like you have done and find the Wallis Marsh’s of Bolivia.  Also, Grandpa Aulvie’s mustache looked awesome or genial en Español.

Right now we are in the wet season, but we are starting to move in to fall.  This morning I was actually a little cold for the first time!

Also, I have a testimony how the misión helps us overcome our fears. This week was also like Christmas because the fiery dragon (vomiting and diarrhea) returned, but this time he struck my companion.  Saturday night Elder Barazoto - he wasn’t feeling too well, and Sunday early in the morning he threw up.  But this sickness was such a blessing for many reasons.

1. I learned how to take care of and clean up this kind of sickness so when I am a dad I can help my wife when she or my kids are sick.

2. It was such a good opportunity to serve my companero y help him through the same trial I went through.

3. The ward was so loving and helped us get the right medicine for Elder Barazoto, and today he is feeling so much better!

At church, he was feeling pretty bad and he was a little pale so we gave him a blessing.  Also, when President Rodriguez heard, he and his wife came and visited us at church and gave us ride home to our home to rest for the day.  I sure love Presidente Rodriguez. Every time I am around him, I feel a fatherly love for me and also the love of my Savior.  I know that this is the misión I am suppose to serve in and that I am suppose to serve with Presidente Rodríguez!
Presidente Rodríguez

I think the worst of the sickness is over with, but please remember Elder Barazoto en your prayer this week!

Also, this week, we have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday with Hermana Diana. She is 17 years old and her parents are members of the church but are inactive.  Our goal this week is to finish teaching her the commandments and help her have more friends in the ward.  If you would keep her in your prayers this week that she will continue to have the desire to be baptized and that she will receive strength and answers to her prayers, I know that we can baptize her this Saturday.

Also, Familia Escobar are taking about marriage, and this week we will meet with them with a hermano de la iglesia to discuss about the papers for their marriage!  Thank you for putting their names in the temple!

Mom and dad I love you so much and I know that this church is true.  This week I finished the Book of Mormon, and I know that this book is true because every time I read it I am filled with joy and my faith in Jesus Christ grows.  Truly every good thing helps us come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ and believe in him.  I love and pray for you everyday! It is so crazy how fast the mission is flying by.  I am so grateful to have these two years to testify and invite others to come unto Jesus Christ and be baptized and start the wonderful journey to return with Him forever!! 

Love your son,

Elder Matheson!

Our Zone!! For the last Monday we ate hamburgers and watched Kung Fu Panda en Spanish that was so funny and actually has a lot principals of fe!  I feel like Master Ooway is the mission presidente, Master Shifu is a new trainer, and Po is a new missionary being trained.​ 
Luna, our neighbor's/landlord's dog, says "Hi!" to Gracie and Hope

Modified Biscuits and Gravy we made during Carnaval

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 3 of Entranamiento con Elder Barazoto! - Week 3 of Training with Elder Barazoto!

March 6, 2017

Dear Mom and Dad and my chevery (awesome en Bolivian street terms) familia y amigos!

Wow, I just can stop smiling to hear that Sarah is feeling 70 percent better!  That is a miracle!! Sarah when I get back, I can’t wait to see you 100 percent better, and we can go on some crazy roller coasters!  

Josh - Baptized in Enoch
Adrian - Baptized in Bolivia
As for Josh, that is also amazing. In the picture, Josh is definitely like Adrian, two sons of God ready for the gospel and to serve the Lord! 

This week sure has been amazing.  As for your questions mom, our zone and district are called Zona Forteleza (the same name of our ward) and there are 16 misionarios en nuestor Zone.  Elder Barazoto, me, Elder Lefgren (Riverton), Elder Viana (Brazil), Elder Lozano (Texas - He is also our Zone Lider and has family in Mexico and knows perfect Spanish.  He is such a good example and always helps us gringos with our questions of Spanish and is very funny),  Elder Navarrette (Ecuador - He is our other Zone Lider and ends his mission in about two weeks and is also such a good example of selfless service),  Hermana Roscao (Ecuador), su companero (I need to learn her name, but she is from Columbia), Elder Charrara (Peru), Elder Escobar (La Paz - He is the Elder who said he was from Russia during our Christmas skype and has served in three diferente missions because of illness. He was in Columbia his first mission, he returned to La Paz to serve in his home mission and recover, and now he is better and is serving in Santa Cruz), Hermana Cluff (Lehi, UT), Hermana Johnson (California),  Hermana Martines (Peru), Hermana Miller ( Idaho), Elder Choque (La Paz y la cousin law of Elder Salas), y Elder Drolinger (Colorado City).  Our Zone is full of so many wonderful misionaries and amazing friends, and I am so grateful to serve with them.

District Forteleza
Right now for the internet, we always go to a computer lab or internet cafe close to our house and it costs about 5 Bolivians to write.

Our Kitchen
As for Carnaval, it was really nice to have three days to rest and recuperate.  The only time we were able to leave was in the car of a member to go to church Sunday.  But during the three days, Elder Barazoto and I used the cookbook mom!  We ate pancakes for the first time in 4 months for me and 2 months for Elder Barazoto.  That was one of the best Bolivian breakfasts!!  Also in the night, I cooked biscuits and gravy for Elder Barazoto.  We don’t have an oven so I just used French bread or pan Francés in Español for the biscuits, and for the gravy I followed the recipe but used chopped up sausage from the Hipermaxi instead of ground sausage.  It wasn’t nearly close to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s biscuits and gravy, but it was very delicious!!  Also, in our apartment, we have a really small DVD player to watch The District and other church videos to use with our investigadores. It is about the size of a small plate, but using this little DVD player we watched the 17 Miracles, The Passage to Zarahemla, and Meet The Mormons.

After 17 Miracles, I showed Elder Barazoto a little bit of the family stories you gave me and told him about the miracle with Francis Webster and the angels who helped him pull his handcart.  It was amazing to be able share a part of my family history with my companion.  We have such an amazing family and family history that we get to continue!

Francis Webster

One crazy service project we did was for familia Escobar.  Here in Bolivia, they only use weed whackers to chop their grass because they want it to be golf course grass short because the grass grows so fast here and a lot people don’t have a weed whacker and can’t afford to hire a person to chop their grass so they cut their grass by hand with a machete and bush trimmers.  When we passed by familia Escobar, Hermano Escobar was working.  He installs insulation for big cooler trucks, and his wife was cutting the grass with the bush trimmers.  We asked if we could help.  It took us a few tries to convince them we could cut the grass in our proselyting clothes, but after two or three tries they let us help them.  Wow, talk about hard work.  The lawn wasn´t massive but chopping the grass with a machete y bush trimmers was something else.  The people of Bolivia are amazing.  There are some families really rich and others who don’t have much, but they work so hard and are happy with the things they have.  After about an hour, we mowed-chopped the whole lawn.  It felt so good to give service and help familia Escobar.  This family is progressing so much and we what to baptize them, but first they just need to get married. If you would keep them in your prayers this week, I would sure appreciate that.
Familia Escobar
Mom and Dad!  I love this work and each day I am learning more how to forget myself and focus on the Lord and his work, and when I do this, the days are full of the spirit and miracles.

I love you so much, and I know Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson!

PS Thank you for the weight loss tips. My goal this week is just to eat one plate at lunch and definitely drink less juice!  I love you!