Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Season of Thanksgiving

A final note of gratitude from the field to all of the missionaries who served with me the last 18 months of my life in the Great Argentina Rosario Mission and the people who have left handprints on my heart in each of my areas.


MTC
June-July 2016 

Hermana Sydney Romero from Utah

President and Hermana Francisco Zanni from Argentina



July-November 2016 
General Villegas


Hermana Tori Whitworth from California

November 2016-February 2017

Parque Field

Hermana Evelyn DeWet from Paraguay

February 2017-March 2017

Arroyito



















Hermana Mary Moore from Utah
March 2017-July 2017

Baigorria


Hermana Emily Schmutz from Salt Lake City, Utah

Hermana Melanie Guaraglia from Uruguay

President and Hermana Steven Allred from Utah 

July 2017-

July 2017-November 2017

Funes

Hermana Estee Bennett from Utah
Hermana Mirna Cadena from Monterrey, Mexico
Hermana Kelli Ferre from Arizona

Farewell to Beautiful Rosario, Argentina

 Because I have known and loved you, I have been changed forever.




Monday, November 20, 2017

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."


Missionary Xing
"As I stepped off the plane I contemplated the many months ahead of me. I thought, through my severe exhaustion, about what kind of missionary I want to be... I know that it will not be easy, but I can do it! Because I am wearing His name! I can do it because I have the Holy Ghost as my teacher and guide. I am excited to serve and hope to make my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ proud. As I go forth and serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, I will be blessed. The fear I have can turn to faith. Here we go, and when I say we, I mean The Savior and me, the one who does most if not all of the work. He asks us to be instruments in His hands. All I have to do is open my mouth." 

These were the words I wrote in my journal my first day here in Argentina. Little did I know all that was in store for me in this sacred time and sacred place. Little did I understand the depth of missionary service, and the joys that I would experience. Little did I know of the daily adventures and miracles that I would have. 

1 Corinthians 2:9 "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 

God had great things planned for me. My love for Him has deepened through my service to Him and to my brothers and sisters here in Argentina. I learned that truly the best way to show our love for our brothers and sisters is to "go forth and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ."   

I have become more aware of my many weaknesses as I have come unto Christ (Ether 12:27). I understand that Christ invites all to come unto Him and to "be ye therefore perfect," though perfection cannot truly be achieved in this life. But Christ does hope that we will strive for steady improvement. And like Elder Holland says, "I am grateful to know that in spite of my imperfections, at least God is perfect...." And how encouraging it is that God is able to use me anyway!

I learned how the little things in life truly matter;I know that every effort made in the name of Christ is never in vain; I know that when we confess the name of our Father; Jesus confesses our name to the Father. The more we learn and follow our Savior,  the more power and happiness we will feel in our lives. 

Lawrence E. Corbridge states, "Your greatest work: your most important creation is and will ever be you."  Though one goes on a mission to help, serve, teach, love, and invite others, I know that I have truly been helped and served, taught and loved, and constantly invited to come unto Christ. 

I testify of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name I have been so privileged to wear. I know that He lives, and that He is my Savior. God is good, and He love us perfectly. "That which is of God is light, and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light, and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (D&C 50:24). I have felt this light of Christ flow into my life. It has illuminated my mind, heart, and actions. 

I know that Christ is at the head of His church. Yesterday I liked what the stake president shared in our ward. He said that the church is true, that it carries Christ's name, but it also carries ours. We are the Saints that are living in these last days, and how blessed we are to live in such a time. We need to strive to take upon ourselves both the name of Christ as well as the title "saint." We must be purified and made holy through Christ, thus becoming saints, more holy...

"More purity give me,
More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy—
More, Savior, like thee" (more holiness give me)

My mission has provided the foundation that I will continue to build throughout the rest of my life. I have had many moments this week where I have just broken into tears thinking about how short the time I have left really is. It is bittersweet, and as time gets closer and closer I think it is getting harder and harder to accept reality, but I know that God has great plans for me and I will continue to put my trust in Him. Through Him I can have true happiness and strength to overcome. 

Thank you all for your love and for your prayers. I have been upflifted and strengthened by them. I love you all. And thank you especially to my family who made it possible so that I could serve here in Argentina. I feel like I have continued to grow my family here and the connections that I have made are eternal. 

I am so beyond grateful.

Con amor, Hermana Mathis


Last Adventures with Hermana Ferre and some other special people
The Colorful Senoritas of Rosario






Our Favorite Graffiti





One Chapter Closes, Another One Opens


Monday, November 13, 2017

An Everlasting Work

In Liliana's beautiful garden with Hermana Ferre
Crushing it!?
This week sure flew by!

Tennis Anyone?
We started the week playing tennis on pday with Presidente and Hermana Allred, and they destroyed us!! Even though we had been praying all day that we would win they came out on top haha. But hey, it had been a while...

This pday we are spending here in Rosario, hitting the big city streets! 

Our cute friend and investigator Liliana
Daniel came to church yesterday and we had a great lesson with him and a member this week as we taught him the commandments. Daniel ASKS US (this usually does not happen) when we can meet and teach him. He is excited about the process of learning more and discovering true happiness through Christ. Daniel is like 55 years old, separated from his wife and lives alone, but his 10 year old daughter is in and out of the house. But, he is looking for a larger purpose in life and finds that the questions he has are answered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Joy of Missionary Work
Life as a missionary still continues to be full of joys and laughs, though at times split by disappointments and sadness. It continues to be the work of the Lord, although at times others ridicule, sneer, and doubt. It continues to change lives, though not everyone accepts the life changing message. It continues to provide growth and experiences, while every now and then our our weaknesses seem to take hold of us. It is a work that continues, that never ends, that leads to happiness and joy. A work in which one learns to come unto Christ, through oppostition and the realization that we cannot complete such a perfect work, alone. It is a work that continues to bring hope to struggling hearts and answers to prayers. A time when the truth can be declared and the Holy Ghost testifies. The work continues because we are eternal beings, created by an eternal, loving God who wants us to come home and wants us to become like Him. 

I love this work.

Hermana Mathis




Empanadas

Monday, November 6, 2017

Look unto God! Feast upon His love!

Hermana Ferre, Kevin the Chaco and me
Let me all tell you guys how cool Kevin is, if you couldn't already tell from my other emails. (Haylie calls him a chaco which apparently means a "stud" in Argentina.) Kevin passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday in church, and was all ready in his shirt and tie and combed hair, carrying his Book of Mormon, at 8:15!  AND if you think it can't get any better, you are wrong, because he shared his testimony in sacrament meeting!! And no one told him to go up and share. He stood up confidently and was one of the first to share. He expressed gratitude as he explained that it was the first time he had passed the sacrament. He paused for a while, and said through a little bit of emotion (meanwhile I'm showing a lot a bit of emotion,) "I remember the day I first met the missionaries, and I didn't know then, but I know now that God was leading me to His path." 

Happy Halloween!! Even though they do not really celebrate it here, we still managed to snap some pics with skeletons and costumes, and eat some candy. We also convinced Pte Allred to wear some funny glasses and Hna Allred to put on a rainbow afro;) We were in the mission home half the day on Halloween for a new missionaries and trainers conference/ fiesta! And we ate asado and strawberry shortcake!!
Happy Halloween!

We also had zone conference this week, the last one I will have in the mission, kind of surreal. It was incredible and we still managed to find a way to play 9 square even with pouring rain outside, putting it inside and hitting the roof a considerable amount of time.

President and Hermana Allred join in the fun
This week we had a HUGE cockroach in our room, and Hna Ferre left the room screaming with a look of terror in her eyes. I knew before she even talked what it was, so we grabbed the Raid and I sprayed it as it ran through all of our things... and finally it died and we felt relief... UNTIL we turned around and the BIGGEST spider I have ever seen was chilling on our wall right close to my top bunk where I sleep EVERY DAY!  We ran out of fear, then came to terms that running wasn't going to solve our problems. We returned to the room and the spider had disappeared and was not to be found. We felt like we were in a straight up horror movie. 

This week we also ran to catch some buses and had some fun honks, and when buying takeout we didn't have enough money to pay... we lacked what would be like 30 cents and all eyes were glued on us. Finally out of pity they gave it to us. The mission never ceases to provide embarrassing moments but laughter always follows. 

Daniel has been progressing and has a baptismal date for the end of the month. We hope that he will continue to grow and exercise his faith. Mirta has continued to give us food and we have had strong spiritual lessons. She still is having great difficulties getting to church. But God continues to bless us and those we teach.

Jacob 3:1-2 Look unto God! Feast upon His love! 

Jacob 3:1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.
O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
Love you all! Hermana Mathis 😃
Spending our day with the Allreds is always delightful


Monday, October 30, 2017

Hola a Todos

"Quiero empezar...y decirles... HOLA A TODOS" hahah (you had to be there)

Keeping my head in the Game
So guess what?? Kevin helped us yesterday in a lesson and taught his neighbors, a 11 year old and a 7 year old girl. It was the cutest thing ever! He is such a capo and  is already preparing to be a missionary!!!! 

Our english classes are crash and burn.  When we run out of things to teach, we sing primary songs!!! Head, shoulders, knees and toes!!! 

The missionaries are still sick and still calling, (Haylie is still the mission nurse) BUT we made a packet and sent it out this week in which Hna Allred and I are hoping will decrease the phone calls.  Basically it says, "if you have a headache, take some advil and you will be A OK!" We presented it and said we want you all to learn how to take care of yourselves because surely after the mission you will have a headache or stomach ache and will have to fend for yourself then.

We had spilts this week with Hna Guaraglia and Hna Benitez, it was a party. I love seeing my old companions. We always have so much fun together. After bus rides and heat and humidity we returned to our area a little mummy-like and taught Mirta and her daughter Camila the plan of salvation, and Mirta then explained it to her daughter!! Great lesson! And she gave us pizza after!

 Saturday we found a few new investigators who are great, and we passed by an old investigator, Daniel, who i had met about 2 months ago, and just so happened to be super prepared to receive us. We taught the restoration and at the beginning of the lesson he did not want to commit to anything, but at the end he prayed and promised to attend church, and HE SHOWED UP!!! (late, but thats just argentina) and he brought his daughter Brisa as well! (10 years old).  He said that he had continued to think about what we had said about the power of God and the laying on of hands, he was really interested in the church lesson and wants to meet with us more frequently! MIRACLES. 
It's a party with 3 of my companions together:
Hermanas Ferre, Guaraglia and Benitez

God is good. He loves his children.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! Eat lots of candy ( and save me some;) )

Love you all! 

Hermana Mathis

Hermana Guaraglia

Hermana Ferre

Quatro Amigas


The trainers and trainees at transfer time with President and Sister Allred