This week was hard and wonderful. Me and my compañero were having a few difficulties and disagreements because sometimes our personalities are really different, and I still haven’t mastered Spanish yet. But within in these trials there were so many blessings.
One thing I have learned it that a lot of times Heavenly Father will not give you a companion who is exactly like you because then you would never learn and grow. Elder Alvarado is really direct, and at the first my feelings got hurt a lot, but it has been amazing to see that during this time with him I have learned to communicate with clarity my ideas and not let little things hurt my feelings but to keep going. Elder Alvarado also has sure helped me learn how to teach the restored gospel direct. Sometimes when the people would reject our message I would just say muchas gracias and walk away, but wow with Elder Alvarado I have learn to be bold and declare repentance and the gospel regardless of if the people reject you. This week, we knocked on a door of a man and he told us that he had his religion and didn’t want to talk to us. Well we persisted and testified to him of the Book of Mormon and how this book is the word of God and is true. It is so true. He still rejected us and I was sad because the Book of Mormon has been a source of love and counsel with my Heavenly Father when I have difficulties, discouragements, or sicknesses and this man rejected this truth. But I know Heavenly Father loves each of his children, and I have faith that in another day the missionaries will knock his door again and he will receive this joyous message that Jesus Christ lives and again just like in times of old he communicates and guides His church through a prophet and 12 apostles and that He has given us convincing evidence that this message is true which is the Book of Mormon. And if we read this book, ponder its teachings and ask God he will let us know that this book contains his words of healing and love for each of his children!
Wow, I sure invite you all to read the Book of Mormon everyday for this book contains power and as we hold to the teaching of this book and the Bible just like an iron rod, Satan can never overcome us with his tentaciones and his fiery darts or his lies or his feelings of inadequacy.
Also, one experience that was really funny was that we left the house in the rain and we were trying to catch a micro. I crossed one lane of traffic and was waiting for the other cars to pass, but I didn’t look in front of me at the 4 or 5 inches of water that was in front of me. Well the traffic passed, especially a big truck and it was just like in the splash zone of a water park.
Gosh, I got soaked! But the blessing was I had my windbreaker on so only my pants got soaked. SO if you are in Bolivia in the rain watch out for the
|This past week it has rained through the whole week and I have been using all the rain and winter gear you sent with me.|
I had a Companionship exchange with Elder Moore from Utah. He came to Bolivia in the same group as Elder Barazoto and his testimony is amazing and he is so fun. One thing I learned from him is it is important to have fun preaching the restored gospel. One way to celebrate a successful day where we found 5 new investigadores was to buy salteñas. Wow it was delicious and sure felt good.
For our Zone activity. We ate a KFC. It was good!
Wow, I sure love you and I hope you have the best week.
Love your son,
Extra... Info Shared During The Mother's Day Skype Call on May 14th:
The weather in Bolivia is now really rainy and cold.
Elder Matheson learned he is going to be an uncle in September 2017!
The Spanish language…it’s coming but it sure is humbling…oh man! I am starting to understand all the Spanish pop songs that play in the micros and around town.
In my new area all the streets are paved in cobble stones and all the people are super nice. The members are really great and are helping us out a lot. Where I used to live there were lots of dirt roads. Now we don’t have to polish our shoes as much.
This is what a typical day is like:
We wake up at 6:30 a.m. pray, then usually have to go to the bathroom really bad. (I am getting used to having diarrhea. It’s kind of a constant.) Then we exercise for 30 minutes. Next, one of us showers and the other eats. For breakfast we have been eating plain oatmeal mixed with chocolate milk. It’s really good. We start our studies at about 8 a.m. Personal study is the best. My testimony has grown so much. Then we plan and do companionship study then 30 minutes of Spanish language training. At 10:30 or 11 a.m. we go out contacting until lunch – almuerzo. The food here is the perfect food...lots of flavor but not too spicy. They have 2,000 different types of soup. After lunch, we are really tired, but we go straight out and start contacting again. We talk to a lot of people walking in the streets. We teach into the evening. Usually we don’t eat dinner but we buy a loaf of bread for about 10 cents at the tiny stores located on almost every street corner. Sometime members will give us lots of soda or we might buy an empanada. We return to our house around 9 p.m., write in our journals, and get ready for bed.
Everyone here believes in Christ, which is really awesome. The hard thing is in helping them know about the restoration and the importance of having the restored gospel.
We live in our area this time and there are tons of streets and not a lot of dogs in this area. It’s really nice. We used to get tons of street dogs chasing us but we used our scripture cases for protection. The dogs would get really close but they never bit us. Elder Barazoto got nipped once.
Here there are 4 missionaries for each ward and 2 areas per ward.
The Bolivian hour here is usually about 45 minutes to 1 hour late. A lot of times when we go to an appointment people are usually 45 minutes late or they are not there. But they are really nice.
The ice cream here is a little bit different. It’s good, but it just tastes really different in Bolivia. Also milk is sold in little bags.
The clouds here move so fast, and it is so beautiful. There are no mountains where I live.
At church Elder Alvarado conducts the music, and I play the piano for sacrament meeting. If I don’t know the hymn, it’s a good right hander. A lot of times in the Forteleza ward I played too.
There are native tribes here from Quechua and Guarani I am picking up some of those languages and a little Portuguese. But I am still learning my Spanish.
In our area in Santa Cruz we have a man and his wife who washes for all the missionaries, but in all the other areas of our mission the missionaries wash their clothes by hand. So probably soon I will wash my clothes by hand.
I think one reasons we go on missions is so we learn how important families are because I sure love my family.
I want to let you know that I know this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ lives. It has been the best. The mission has been the hardest thing but I have learned so, so much. But the thing I have learned most is how blessed I am to have such a wonderful mom, and such wonderful sisters, and brother-in-laws (and a sister-in-law), and such a wonder dad, and brother and grandparents, and I love you all so much. I think one reason why we go away for 2 years is so we learn to appreciate the blessings that we have been given. I sure know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. That has become my best friend. Sometimes when I don’t understand the people here or just getting along with your companions is a challenge just reading the Book of Mormon it sure has helped me. I want you to know that I love you mom and I hope you have the best mothers day and I am so grateful for you as my mom. In my patriarchal blessing it says you have been blessed with a mother who knows her calling and I know that is so true and also a dad who honors his priesthood and also such wonderful siblings. Jason I look up to you too so much and your service. And Sarah, whenever I get sick or whenever it gets hard, I think of your example. I have the best sisters I love you so much. And Mary how to relate with people and to always be so happy. And Cameron to be calm and sure in everything and how you have been taking care of Sarah… thank you so much. Just all your examples and Grandma I remember your prayers… patience my child. Sometimes I sure feel like that. I just love you so much. I can’t wait to eat some ice cream with you in a year and a half.
Thank you so so much for all your prayers and all your help.
The gospel makes so much sense… it make so much sense.