Tuesday, January 26, 2016

S.M.I.L.E

Hola Amigos!

....And the weeks just keep on flyin! Time truly flies when you`re having fun right?! Haha :)

This week we had a real special treat... A Worldwide Missionary Training. They haven`t done one for 10 years and I barely got to see it (saved by a couple weeks!) It was so amazing. Every time I hear from our Church Leaders my strong testimony of a living prophet and 12 apostoles is reassured. They are truly His servants. A couple things I LOVED....
· Elder Anderson told a story about one time Elder Scott went to a meeting to speak in a different country and as he was shaking everyone`s hand as he left... a little old lady slipped a piece of paper in his hand... When he read it said something like this... "Your words were beautiful and I enjoyed your talk, but I really came all this way to hear your powerful testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ." He promised that day that he would ALWAYS have the Savior's name in his words, that he would NEVER forget to testify of Him. I made that same promise. As a missionary we are HIS representatives and testifying of Him is our greatest responsibility.
·  "I know you talk to everyone who will listen to you, wherever you are- in a bus, on the street, in a teaching situation, or in a home with a member; if you are ever unsure of what to say, speak of the Savior. Testify of HIm. Speak of His doctrine, of faith in Him and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This is your purpose. This is your charge." -Elder Anderson
· Elder Oaks talked about Real Intent... that as we pray we should come unto Heavenly Father not because of curiosity but because we REALLY want to know what HE wants us to do, and because we are willing to do it.
· "Conversion is a miracle."-Christopher Waddell  Amen to that. It`s the truth; everyday I just see the little but most profound changes in others and in myself. Conversion is a true miracle.

Our good friend Norma is just doing amazing things. After last week with Enrique leaving and all... I thought it was going to maybe slow down her progress... you know... one thing at a time. But this last Monday we just got talking about baptism and she realized.... "Ahh.. I could be baptized real soon!" So we talked about what the next steps would be... and of course.... to quit smoking. She`s been smoking since she was 13....  over 50 years. She expressed her sincere desires to quit and continue progressing... and wow... this week in the whole week she only lit 2 cigarettes and didn`t even finish smoking them. I would say that is some serious progress. She`s been struggling with accepting the fact that she has hardly any family, but she is little by little learning to trust in Heavenly Father`s promises and realize she is NOT alone. 

This week with the Familia Rivera as we walked into their house we could feel something was up. Nestor had a look on his face... that just meant bad news. We finally got it out of him, that he just felt fed up... he said he was sick of doing good things when everything goes wrong for him. He said he would support his family but he was done with the church. Graciella right then and there just told him what she thought... she testified that she KNEW that all would be okay if they just kept going, and she told him that he was forgetting so many blessings. She said "pase lo que pase.... seguir√®"... (whatever happens i`ll continue... it just sounds so much better in spanish haha) She talked about how Zoe was the example for them and that they needed to start picking up the pace. She is a champ. I really do love that family, and it kills me to see them going through so many hard times. But I know that when we do ALL we can to follow Him... He blesses us. 

This week as I have seen so many investigators and members etc.. struggling with different challenges and just reflecting on how over the course of my mission I have seen so many people handle so many differently trials SO differently and a scripture came to my mind during studies....2 Nephi 9:39 
"Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spirituallyminded ilife eternal." 

I remember learning that scripture in seminary and thinking it was so cool for the whole "SMILE" thing. But now... I truly understand it. When we think about the eternal perspective of things, when we think in the LONG RUN... our challenges and sorrows are all completely bearable... because we know that it`s just a test, and that if we handle it well... we will return to our Heavenly Father in a state of neverending Happiness. We know that we`re never really alone, and that any sacrifice we have to make now, is worth it in the end. It`s the only way we can make it through :) We CAN find Happiness amidst all our difficulties, we just gotta S.M.I.L.E. 

Con Amor,
    Hermana Matheson

 Cool glasses if I ever saw cool glasses.

 Intercambios!

 We randomly found this cool man and his cool ol` printing press :) 


La familia Mitillo :)





Monday, January 18, 2016

Trust in the Lord

Hola Amigos!
Another week already! 

Time is a flyin`! Just trying to soak up every day I have as a missionary! This week was a great week! Lots of happy things! We found some awesome new people! This week we were super motivated to talk to EVERYONE. And it paid off. Sometimes it just takes that little leap of faith to do the "uncomfortable" for example... on the bus.. etc... but we found a lady named Soledad and we just started chatting with her as we were waiting for the bus. We didn't present ourselves as missionaries from the get go... we just starting talking... and she did the rest. When you show sincere interest the people, WANT to know more and they end up doing the talking! Anyways we went by her house and she told us that she really felt that God sent us to her. She`s even a Catholic Religion teacher but she felt something different :) We`ll see :) I love sharing the gospel!

Last week we found a young mom named Joanna that was so receptive! She is so timid but so awesome! When we went back this week she told us timidly..."So.. uh I read what you left me... and I said a prayer.. like you said... and I uh... I just felt like it was true..." Awe :) Heavenly Father listens to His children. This time when we were there her husband walked in... (that`s a break it or make it moment..) but in this case... it was definitely a good thing. He sat right down and was so interested! We extended the baptismal invitation and they both accepted. He started asking lots of questions... and so funny... in the middle of the conversation he says...."Wait... am I going to have to stop boxing.. I love boxing..." hahah :) They`re stellar.

Also... we had a couple rough nights this week... you know the kind where every single appointment falls, even when you confirmed it like 5 times and have a member ready and everything... It`s in those moments where you show your faith and trust that Heavenly Father will lead you to someone who needs you. After about 14 slammed doors... we said a prayer (should have done it earlier) and asked for guidance... literally the next door we knocked.. was a mom with a daughter with special needs who invited us right in. She didn`t even let us finish presenting ourselves haha :) We sang a couple hymns and she was so grateful. She told us that she hadn`t felt peace like that in such a long time :)

Also... this week we recieved the best news EVER. Our good friend Sara (that moved to Neuquen a couple weeks ago) was baptized! I was so happy. I really know that she was put in our path for a reason. It`s so crazy how things work out... all because we lost our bus pass...Everything happens for a reason. A true miracle. She is going to be such a light for her family. I am so excited to see the blessings that will flow from generation to generation just because of a teenage girl that decided to change her life. Our decisions leave an impact that lasts for generations!

Also... big news with Norma and Enrique... Norma has been progressing a ton lately. She has only missed one Sunday since we met her and every lesson her faith grows and grows.. She wants to be baptized so badly! One morning we were just with her and she told us what Enrique really thought ... that he felt obligated and he didn`t have real intentions to work on divorce papers or to really change. She also told us some other sad things about what really had been going on between them,... and she told us that she was tired of not being able to be baptized... (10 years ago ...she couldn`t get baptized because of the same thing..) and how she didn`t know what to do. Anyways... we taught the doctrine about the importance of baptism....and on Sunday she showed up and said...."Enrique is moving out today..." Just like that. She took a huge step of faith. She told us with tears in her eyes... I hope this works out. She has pretty much no family and is now all alone.... Then when we were in Gospel Principles and the lesson was on Christ. And at the end of the lesson we asked if anyone had any questions or comments and she said... "I do... You know I always felt this was all true.. but In this moment, I feel it. I know this is Christ`s church. I know its true. I can say it with confidence."  Wow... So powerful. In that moment a scripture came to my mind... 

"Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

She passed her trial of faith... she took a leap and did something really hard... but her reward... a pure testimony. So many times we have it all backwards... Pray... ask... then... act.. But really we just have to excercise faith first and THEN comes the testimony :) What an example.. I know that if we trust in our Heavenly Father and do HIS will it all works out.. always does. He promises... 

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Con Amor, Hermana Matheson



P-Day in Trapiche :)


Asado!
Los Ferrara :) The coolest.



Hermana Brown`s First Grido :)


Ejidia... (I may or may not be a literal giant)

Don`t mess with her.... (She found this stick and literally carried it around all day... to scratch her mosquito bites, and a variety of other ridiculous things haha)

 
Familia Perez :)