Monday, June 26, 2017


Dear Mom and Dad (Family & Friends too)!

The Matheson reunion looked awesome!  Good job dad on those tires!  This week as we were walking I told my companion a lot of your mission stories dad.  He sure got a kick out of Walish Marsh finding the Book of Mormon in the hotel!

Also, I sure bet that Audrey and Maddie sounded amazing!

Michael your house looks awesome!  I hope there is a fence for Gracie and tomatoes when she gets hungry!

One big piece of news here is we received a new stake in Santa Cruz.  It is called the Santa Cruz Centeral Stake, and our stake changed names to the Stake of the Colorado!

Also, for Bishop Tuesday and Wednesday we chopped down two big trees that were hanging over his fence. He was worried that they might fall on his house so he asked if we could help him out.  It was so fun!!  Mom when you are trimming suckers off trees, you should really invest in a machete. It is so much faster than the cutters we have at home. Me and my companion were in charge of cutting down the two trees, and then Elder Flores and his new companion who he is training, Elder Torres, chopped them up into pieces.  On the 2nd tree, the tree started to fall in the right direction with Bishop and the other Elders pulling on it, but at the last second it lost tension and started falling towards the house. Thankfully it barely nicked the side of the roof and not the whole house!  In the morning, we prayed the activity would go well, and wow I am so  grateful for that prayer and that Heavenly Father answered the prayer.
The tree that almost took out bishops house!​
​My companion welding his mighty machete!
Grandma! I am sure glad for all the tree trimming practice I had with you in the summer.  It sure paid off!
Also, June 24 it is dia de San Juan or the coldest day of the year (even though it felt like summer/late fall) and for this day everyone eats hotdogs o pan chitos!  The culture here is the best!
Making nachos and homemade salsa today in the house of our pension. 

 My companion is a good chef
Also, the step father of the Ardaya Familia (the recent converts) went a whole week without drinking alcohol.  There are many times in the day we we receive miracles, and I know a big part of it is from our families back home and your service, especially in the temple!  Saturday night, he started drinking again but none the less we are not giving up on him.  If you could remember him in your prayers this week that will bring miracles! We are working really hard with them to attend church with family Ardaya so that everyone in the family can enjoy the blessings of the gospel!

Also, my companion has helped me arrange a diet to lose weight! Right now I am about 157 and our goal is cut back on the wafs (these really yummy wafers) and chocolate milk for 3 weeks and to run everyday!  My companion sure is wise.

I love you all so very much, and I know the Jesus Christ lives and that the Book of Mormon is true!  It is so true and I love to read it everyday!  It is amazing to feel the difference in the day when we read the scriptures which have the word of God which is how the Lord created the earth through His word.  And God said let there be light, and there was light. His word is powerful, full of Love and is just for us so that we have the spiritual strength and light in our lives!

I hope you all have the best week and start of July!!

Love you son,

Elder Matheson

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Power Of Fasting!

Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends,

Thank you for the pictures and the music.  We are definitely going to use them for sure.  My companion said the chords with Come Thou Fount will be perfect. Thank you Jordan family! This week, I got to practice in our district meeting with the violin of the bishop's daughter.  On this violin all four of the strings work, and it has a full bow and a good tone.  I can't help but smile just getting to play it.

This week so many miracles happened.  I can't even count them, but on Saturday, Elder Mazariegoz and I both started a fast for Familia Ardaya.  This is the family that I got to help confirm.  They are so amazing and have so many challenges that they are fighting to overcome as new disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

One of this challenges is with money and with their step dad, Jimay, who is an alcoholic and when he is drunk he throws everyone out of the house.  Saturday we fasted and ended our fast Sunday. When we went to visit them in the night we were so happy to see that they had enough food to eat and that they were laughing and enjoying time as a family, but an even bigger miracle was that Hermano Jimay was not drunk and he was happily working outside. We invited him to join us for a lesson and he accepted.  In the lesson, he expressed his desire to change, and we testified to him of the power of the atonement and that by showing his faith by daily family and personal prayer, attending church, and reading the Book of Mormon he could overcome this debilidad.  The lesson was full of the spirit and we were even able to teach him how to pray, and he ended the lesson with a prayer.  I know that fasting works and brings miracles.

Other miracles we received from fasting was that we did an activity with the young men and the return missionaries of the ward where we taught them how to contact and for one hour they helped us contact.  It was amazing to see how they enjoyed the joy of missionary work and also had some rejection.  This activity sure helped us obtain more references, and the ward loved it.  I am so grateful for the Lord's help and that the activity could go through.
Missionary Activity With The Young Men
Also, another miracle was that we were trying to contact Christian who we talked to the night before and we knocked on a house to see if he lived there.   An 18 year joven came to the door and said he was Christian but wasn't the same Christian we met yesterday.  As we talked to him, we learned he was investigating the church in Cochabamba and has a Book of Mormon.  We then taught him a small lesson and set a new appointment for today.  Wow, I know this is the Lord's work, and I am so grateful for his guidance.  This week, Elder Maraziegoz and I worked so hard and when we did our part, Heavenly Father blessed us to find Christian.  I know Christian has been waiting for the Gospel, and I can't wait to let you know what happens this week!

I love you all so much!

Elder Matheson!
Gracie and Hope have a friend!!  This dog belongs to Hermano Rocha the 2nd counselor in the bishopric.  Also, his niece sent you a friend request on facebook mom!

I tried making those marshmallow cookies mom.  They tasted great, but only half the oven was working and I used multi-grain flour - oops - but they tasted great!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Bautismo! Rain!

Hola Family and Friends!

This week I found a seamstress in our ward who will let out all my pants, and my companion and I are going to start running and doing taekwondo in the morning.  He took fighting lessons before his mission!​
Making Aunt Peggy's Chocolate Chip Cookies Minus The Chocolate Chips
Our p-day activity was making tacos from Guatemala and Aunt Peggy’s cookies.  I didn’t have chocolate chips so I used oreos, but I also learned the 350 degrees in fahrenheit is not the same in celsius.  I think the next time the cookies will be perfect!

Elder Mazariegos making tacos
Michael’s bautismo...  He is 13 years old and was the investigador of Elder Lay and my companion.  We had this baptism early Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. so that his mom could attend.  This week our goal is to help Michael’s mom accept the gospel and continue coming to church!
Michael's Bautismo
Also Saturday was amazing.  First off, our pension who are now recent converts were married in the morning. Then we did some service with some machetes and garden tools to cut their grass for their wedding fiesta after their baptism.  The baptism was at 5:30 p.m., and it was such a blessing to be able to play the violin.  We did an arrangement of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing to the lyrics of O Mi Padre.  It really brought the Spirit and President Rodriguez and Sister Rodrigues attended.  It was so amazing to see their joy as the family was baptized, and I know that they love this missionary work.  They also told me that I was a very good violinist!  
The Wedding Fiesta

Cutting grass!  It sure is fun!  Grandpa we would have loved your two wheeled lawn mower!!

Also, after the baptism the Bishop’s wife told us the number was great and asked us where we got the violin.  I told her from our other ward, and she told me that if I need to borrow the three violins her kids have just to talk to her!  Wow, what a blessing.  Mom, me and my companion want to do a special musical number for our next baptism and sacrament meeting.  Do you think you could send me some violin music with guitar tabs or notes for my companion for Come Thou Fount,  If You Could Hie To Kolob or Come Come Ye Saints?

Rain Rain Rain.  This was right outside our house. Our house has a slant, and it leads to this intersection where all this water piles up.  It sure was an adventure and this day it felt like November in Utah.  Brrrrr.  I sure loved it.


Overall this week has been full of miracles.  One of the miracles is my companion. He is such an amazing example and friend to me and is helping me so much with my Spanish, and I get to help him improve his English.  I know Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior and that Heavenly Father is always aware of our circumstances and will help us overcome our trials and will bless us if we keep his commandments!

Sending love and prayers your way,


Elder Matheson

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cambios y Fuerte 2

June 5, 2017

Dear Mom and Dad and my amazing family and friends!  

This week has been amazing, and I had 4 baptisms!  But before I get to that, I will try and explain all the amazing changes this week.
So first off Tuesday was Elder Alvarado's last day with me. And to start the day off we had a Zone conference.  I know that Presidente Rodriguez is called of God.  During this conference he told us we are fisherman and just like a fisherman who loves to fish we need to love to preach the gospel.  In the conference he focused on how we could use our time better, and one big change in our new daily schedule is that now we wake up at 7:00 a.m. instead of 6:30, and we now have to be back to the house by 10:00 p.m. instead of 9:30 and wait for it... we need to go to bed by 11:00.  It feels kind weird to have permission to stay up til 11:00 p.m. in the mission, but what this new schedule is doing is bumping everything back thirty minutes so that we can have more time to proselyte in the night when the dads are in their homes and in just these thirty minutes more in the night we have been able to teach so many more people.

Alright as for the baptisms, Wednesday Elder Alvarado went with the other elders of his group to visit recent converts, and I went with my new Zone leader,  Elder Hoffman from Bountiful, Utah on an intercambio because his campanion is ending his mission too with Elder Alvarado.  This day in Elder Hoffman’s ward he had a baptism so I got to help him clean the chapel, heat the baptism water with these electrical heaters that you plug into the wall and then insert into the water, and then see the baptism.  The service was amazing and the mother of Sister Sixta who was baptized is 97 years old and sealed in the temple. To end the baptismal service, she gave her testimony of how she has been waiting so long for her daughter to accept the gospel. As she gave her testimony in her hunched over and very worn body, it was amazing to feel the strength and power of her testimony as the spirit filled the room. I learned from Elder Hoffman that Sister Sixta wasn´t progressing for some time until she really started to read the Book of Mormon and found that this book supports the Bible and in reality is another testament of Jesus Christ.  As her testimony grew of this book and as she felt the spirit more and more, she made the decision to be baptized.  The service was beautiful!

That night I stayed with the secretaries, and they bought us Papa John’s pizza.  It was delicious!

Thursday,  I met my new companion.  His name is Elder Mazariegos, and he is from Guatemala (the only missionary along with Elder Lozano my friend from Mexico) who is from Central America.  My companion is so amazing and loving.  Through his own study he has taught himself English and is helping me so much learn Spanish.  Also, he is very obedient, and we get along very well.  I have learned so much from him in just this week, and I can wait to see the miracles that will come in this transfer.  

Also, my new Barrio or ward is la Fuerte.  It is really funny, this ward is in another stake de Barrio Piari y Fortaleza but it is right next to Fortaleza where the other Elders of our ward were serving.  The streets are full of sand and dirt and there are tons of trees and the people are so humble and ready to receive the gospel.  It is really quite humbling to go from Barrio Piari where some houses of investigadores had elevadores and was all pavement to this new area where some house are solely made out of tin roofing and bricks.  But it is amazing to see how these people, who all though they do not have much in comforts of the world, are so much willing to accept the gospel.

Also in our house, there are two other Elders - Elder Marcado from Ecuador and Elder Flores from Chile.  Grandma Matheson, in my house there is an Elder from every county that you and grandpa served in!  Elder Flores is a master of the acoustic guitar and Elder Marciedo is the only convert in his whole family.  I love our house so much and the Elders who are there.  We don’t have an oven (just an electric grill for frying pans and pots) to make cookies but we each have our own bathroom. Wow!!!  Mom do you think I could cook cookies one at a time in a frying pan?  I think I might try it!

Our new home

But this week, Elder Mazariegos and I had a baptism Saturday of Ronald.  For this baptism we sang When I am Baptized in the primary song book, and Elder Lay who was Elder Marzariegos old companion came and baptized Ronald.

Then Sunday Ronald was confirmed and also familia Ardaya who was baptized to weeks ago but couldn’t attend church because that Sunday Hna Ardaya had her baby.  Any way this Sunday they where confirmed, and I had the opportunity for the first time in my mission to confirm Hno Ardaya.  It was such an amazing experience to be able to use the priesthood of God, and with the help of my companion and the Lord the words came out of my mouth in Spanish.  


Also after their confirmation, Familia Ardaya´s two children were blessed in the church.  Wow, it was such an amazing sacrament meeting.  I know that this church is so true and that it is lead by Jesus Christ through His prophets and that we have the authority to baptize and confer the holy ghost through the laying on of hands!

Here is the letter from the assistants to the Presidente of the recent converts this week.
Los Discípulos ya Convertidos de esta semana son:

Sixta Meneses Cuellar [Roca y Coronado She is from the ward of our Zone leaders who I helped them with the baptism Wednesday] Familia Ardaya Méndez (José Luis Ardaya Paz y Maria Isabel Mendez Pereira), Ronald Miranda [El Fuerte] our Barrio or ward.  Wahoo! Viviana Ayala Noe [Guapilo] Ismael Ortea Povil, Rachell Ortea Povil [La Cañada] Abel Victor Aleaga Piluy, Robert Alexander Soliz Aguilera [Lucero] Aylin Mendoza [Fortaleza] Kevin Galarza [Nuevo Mundo] Kevin Fernandez [Suarez] Fam. Dorado (Gisela y Daniel) [Cupesí] Milen Garcia [San Bernardo] Rudey Margarita Romero [Rosedal] Luis Javier Fernandez [Tarijeños] Gustavo Otondo y Luis Mamani [Progreso] Carlos Camacho [Alianza] Alex Javier Videz Romero [Senac] Luis Alberto Guerrero Farfan [Panamericano] Paola Garzon Ramos, Luis Alexander Silvestre, Luis Rodrigo Flores Silvestre [4 de Julio] Indira Flores Condori [Tabladita] Gabriela Alejandra Vaca Olguin [Puerto Suárez]

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support which are bringing miracles from Heaven here to Bolivia.

Dad Feliz Cumpleaños!!  I am sending a big hug, 1 hour long back tickle, and some Bolivian ice cream your way dad.  I love you so much dad, and I am so grateful for all that you have done to prepare me to serve this mission and also for your example.  You are the best father for me dad and one of my heroes.  With each of my companions, I love sharing your mission stories and also war stories when we get discouraged or when we need encouragement, especially the one of Walish Marsh and the sister who lived in the trailer who was looking for the Book of Mormon. Thank you for being my father and for blessing our family so much with the priesthood and your inspired direction. I hope you have the best Birthday dad.

Matthew...Elder Matheson

Area Changes

May 29, 2017

Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends,

The dinner picture was yesterday dinner with family Rojo and the pictures of the bakery was this morning with Hermano Andreas.  He is the 2nd counselor in our ward, and his job is to make different types of bread such as empanadas, tortillas with sugar and cheese,  and pan con ariena, which is my favorite.  It is this really moist bread that has a sugar flour mixture on top.  I got the recipe and will try and send it to you mom and dad.  You would have loved it this morning. 

Familia Rojo
Working At The Bakery

Wow, this week was full of adventures.

One big change is that our area is being closed and the Hermanas in our ward are now going to have both our area and theirs.  The reason is that there are less missionaries in the mission to maintain all the areas and my compañion just like cousin Brandon is going to finish his mission this Thursday so Wednesday I will receive a new compañion and a new area.  

I sure am grateful for this time in this area.  The members and people are so amazing and our house and oven are pretty great too.  This week I tried Aunt Peggy’s cookies!  They turned out great and familia Rojo and familia Justiana both liked them as well as my compañion.  But I learned not to cook the cookies for 15 minutes or else they might appear to be done but on the inside will be very crunchy.  But with chocolate milk they are still good.  Thank you for the cookbook mom.  It was one of the best gifts, and I love sharing it will others.

Also,  yesterday,  I called Elder Barazoto and learned that this past Saturday, Manfred Mendosa (Manfred Mendoza [Fortaleza] Armando Gonzales de la Jaille [Piraí] -found in the weekly letter from the assistants of those baptized) was baptized and that he got to perform the ordinance.  Wow, Elder Barazoto is such an amazing elder and friend.  Also, in our ward, the Hermana’s investigator, Hermando, was baptized by my compañion.  The service was wonderful, and I even got to borrow a member’s violin and play Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  I didn’t have music at first but Heavenly Father helped me remember the tune and jot it down on some lined paper really fast so that I could play for the baptism. It is so amazing as a missionary a lot of times you don’t know what to do or how to solve a problem, but if you just think and pray, the answer always quietly comes to your mind.  I know the Lord answers and hears our prayers.