Monday, August 21, 2017

Let us go Forth!

McDonalds Twice in One Week!!
Last Pday we hit up downtown Rosario with the one and only President Allred and Hermana Allred. They took us to McDonalds, ROUND 2, only this time is was free so that made it all the more better. The McDonald's was hoppin. We got some fun stares.

So we had another lesson with Luis and Liliana, investigators we met last week. They also invited us to lunch Saturday and fed us empenadas and we made brownies. We are truly confused because they are just SO unusually kind to us and love us. We are seeing how we can help them grow more in the faith and understand our purpose as misisonaries, but they have adopted us as their daughters (they only have one son).

Empenadas and brownies with Luis and Liliana
Yesterday was DIA DE NIÑO here in Argentina. It's like another Christmas for the children where they eat a lot and get more presents. A member in the branch made all the missionaries fun little presents with Mickey mouse ears and such, with candy inside. It was precious. This couple, the Lupinuccis, recently reactived in the church  with all the energy and fire in the world! They love the missionaries and have seen the power of repentance bring joy and hope into their lives. 

Dia De Nino: The Missionaries with the Lupinuccis
A missionary asked our missionary leader this week what he hoped for us. He says it was the same as what Heavenly Father hopes for us- that we can be faithful and firm. That we can be and embrace who we are, not just as missionaries, but children of God. We must always live worthy to claim this title. 

In my studies this week I read about the army of Helaman--the many young men who truly understood  and embraced their divine nature, divine parenthood as well as the value of their earthly parenthood. They who entered into a coventant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, to protect the land, even laying down of their lives, covenanting that they would NEVER give up their liberty, but that they would fight IN ALL CASES...stating, "Our God is with us and he will not suffer that we should fall, then let us go forth!!" Upon reading this I thought of the importance of the covenants that we make with God. We, like them, must be willing to keep these covenants in all cases, all circumstances, at all times, trusting that God will always be with us. 

❤ Hermana Mathis

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thanks Lauren for Getting Married

My Sister Lauren and her husband Matthew
This week we were showered in miracles and we concluded that God was very conscious of what was happening in Reno, Nevada this week and blessed us as a result.  Hna Bennett after a truly whack, incredible, indescribable day that fell right on Friday, the 11th, just said "Thanks Lauren for getting married!!!" haha But God blessed us with His tender mercies this week.

August 11th, The Reno Nevada Temple
Since her favorite bridesmaid was missing she filled the day with some pretty cute flower girls
McDonalds and Hermana Ruiz Reunions
We found a whole lot of new investigators this week, and many families who have potential of progressing. We ate McDonalds which is a big deal here and celebrated Hna Bennett's 17 months in the mission! Following which we had interviews with Presidente Allred and it always feel great in his presence. 

I wish I had time to explain every miracle that we witnessed this week but I will begin with Friday. We had lunch with a great member family who have two little girls, 7 and 10 years old, and I just played with them and was struck at how much their sweet relationship reminded me of my sister and I. It was fun to be with them and their sweet spirits. In the afternoon we set out to work. It was cold, rainy, muddy, less than ideal. But we headed to try to find a reference in an area we had not visited before. It was a rather beautiful area, with huge houses and people who had their fair share of plata. We were unable to find the referral but since we had already made the journey we had to knock on some houses. We were welcomed at the first house by an angry dog and an angry owner. The second house an elderly man called out "who's there??" He opened the fence of his house and began to talk to us and felt bad for our being out in the rain so decided to let us in for a hot mate cocido. Shortly thereafter his wife entered and she was just confused, "Why are two young girls in our house??" She said that her husband never lets visitors in. Well, we were able to teach them the restoration and about The Book of Mormon and they said they felt a strong burning feeling in their hearts. We left their house just shocked, amazed at their goodness and at how someone who was well off let us into their home. THEN a few minutes after still trying to find this referral we talked to a woman and she offered to give us a ride home. WHAT?? But she says come inside I am just finishing preparing a soup. So we entered her home and met her kids and her husband. They are catholics and they are a wonderful family!! We briefly explained temples and how families can be eternal. The 16 year old daughter was in awe--
What a beautiful concept!" She said and promised to read the pamphlet we had left her. Then they took us home and we remained confused at the extremely unordinary day we had had in Argentina. We ended the day with brownies and ice cream!

Saturday we had a stake youth activity, mini CCM, preparatory for the mission! The youth were so full of joy and excitement for missionary work. Ludmila was glowing, social and happy! You'd think that as a very new member she would be nervous and shy--but quite the contrary!! She loved the activity and the next  day at church wore her little missionary name tag!! We were able to set out with the youth and contact. Times like these I really reflect on my time as a youth, or in the mtc, or in the beginning of my mission, and I am grateful for the knowledge I have acquired and the strong relationship with my Savior that I have developed through missionary service and preparation.

In the afternoon we got a little lost and ran into a man named Gustavo. He pulled up in his truck right when we were knocking on his door. He explained how a series of events in his life had caused him to see the need for a God. He promised to attend church the next day and he kept his word! 

Overall it has been a great week. God is placing His children in our path. He wants his children to come home, and to live as families eternally in his presence. I know that He lives and loves us and blesses us when we follow His Son, who gave his life for us, His friends! 

Hermana Mathis ❤

Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't Cry for Me Argentina

Marina and Ludmila on their baptism day, August 5th 2017
What an incredible week we were blessed with here in Funes- the highlight of the week being the BAPTISM of MARINA and LUDMILA!!! I continue to be amazed at their progress, their wisdom and their goodness. They were well prepared for this day long before the missionaries began teaching them. There was a sweet reverence in the baptism and they just radiated light and love! President Allred and Hna Allred were able to join us for the baptism as well. We put together a musical number and sang with her "Teach me to walk in the light." We were able to witness the miracle of member missionary work and how much smoother it goes when members participate. El novio, Cesar Verano, was able to baptize the two of them. He bore his testimony yesterday in church after the two had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and espressed his gratitude for God and how he was able to baptize *pause* possibly his future eternal companion. We were dying, but we was just so full of joy and further details show that they have talked about possible marriage in the end of this year!!! So exciting!!!! 
Entering the Waters of Baptism

So this week as we were talking to Marina, we discussed the gospel, temples, blessings that God gives to us, and she told us of a hard time that she had some years back. She was suffering from the loss of loved ones and truly was feeling a deep hurt within, and she explained how she had several member friends and co- workers at the time, but they never opened their mouths. She, through tears asked, "Why didn't they share this message with me-  knowing the peace and the comfort it brings? Why did they never tell me that they were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?" This was a humbling moment in which I realized the importance to always open our mouths and look for opportunities to share the gospel. Sometimes we may be ashamed or fearful or fill in the blank, but the message that we carry can tranform lives and we never know who will accept the message of love and peace that we offer. 

We were able to attend leadership council this week that came just right when I needed it. The beginning of the week was a bit tough, I'm still not really sure why, but my mind was running circles and I did not have the best attitude. I felt like my efforts fell short. In this meeting we were able to focus on the Savior and all that He did for us. We have started the challenge to memorize the Living Christ in Spanish and it's going well, testimonies were shared and the Spirit was felt. We explained the importance of connecting to the powers of heaven, and we were asked how far we are willing to stretch to connect to the power of the Savior.  Sometimes we do not stretch enough, and we wait for Him to come all the way to us, but to receive the powers of heaven we have to do our part and we have to call upon the powers of heaven. Pres. showed us how in 2 nephi 2:25, Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. In the footnote for joy it also says, the potential to become like Heavenly Father. When we stretch ourself a little further, and follow the example of our Savior, and connect to the powers of heaven, we become more like our Heavenly Father and we have more joy!!  One comment really stuck out to me in council. The missionary said, many people tell us that we are wasting our time, that we should be enjoying life at this age, studying, dating, etc, and we do hear this every once in a while. The missionary said, "It is never a loss of time, I would have lost the best opportunity to know my Savior Jesus Christ. Every day, hour, minute is an opportunity to know Christ better, and every second counts. 

With Marina and Ludmila
A few moments this week...
Hermana Allred and Her Lemon Bars
Hermana Allred made lemon bars for the baptism, SO GOOD, it had been way too long!! President shared his testimony as we were closing the meeting and explained how his wife made lemon bars and how good they were, how Marina can eat 3 and Cesar only one...then he says but the Holy Ghost is even better than lemon bars hahahahhah we were dying. Too good. Un capo!

A young girl who is just a doll told us that although her dog didn't know us, he loved us. She gave us dandelions and told us that her wish would be to be our friend when she is older. Wow, the
My sister Lauren and Matthew
most precious thing we have ever seen. 


Hermana Mathis


Monday, July 31, 2017

Greetings from Funes (pronounced FOONACE)


emailing just now

It was a great first week in Funes!! It is a beautiful area! Here in Funes we are a branch and we rent a cute house for our church building. The most exciting news of the week is that Marina and her daughter Ludmila (13) will be baptized this Saturday!! I am amazed at their goodness and how God has prepared them. We taught them the commandments and they are very intelligent, listening attentively and meditating on the importance of the things we teach. They are so kind and it had been a blessing to be able to witness their faith. They were found a few months back because Marina is dating a member of the branch. He has been a great example to them and has helped them through this process! 

As a mission nurse we continue to work as normal missionaries with the regular schedule but if an emergency comes up, we attend to the missionary. This was the responsibilty of Hermana Zanni before but Hermana Allred is learning the language so we picked up the job. We met the new missionaries that entered the mission this week and gave them a little training.  Hermana Allred introduced us as the "hermanas enfermas" wanting to say "hermanas enfermeras" So she said we are the sick sisters instead of the sister nurses hahah we had a good laugh. We are pretty sick though ;)

Last Pday was way fun! After sending off all the missionaries the Allreds took us to COTO to grocery shop, it's about the closest thing you can get to a Walmart here. Then they took us out to a restaurant and we had a wonderful time together. They are so great! 

Another highlight of the week is that Hna Bennett has a recipe for brownies that come out like they do in the states!!! Wow, so exciting! We made them twice this week and had a fun FHE with a less active family! 

Lunch at the Mission Home
This week upon reading Alma 36 I was impressed at the advice and testimony Alma shared with his son Helaman. He frequently invites Helaman to reflect his example: He states "I would that ye should do as I have done" "I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me" "and ye ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done" "for ye ought to know as I do know." I love these simple invitations, they are invitations that he could not have extended if he had not been that example for his son. He had experienced that change of heart, and so he could testify that those who put their trust in God would be supported in their trials and their troubles and their afflictions, because he trusted in God and was supported throughout his life. He could say that they shall be lifted up at the last day because he experienced true repentance. His attitude of "the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror" was changed into " I saw...God sitting upon His throne...and my soul did long to be there."  

Hermana Mathis 😊

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mission Nurse in Training!

With Hermana Bennett and Hermana Barraza as she completed her mission
Transfers this week.... I am now in Funes serving with Hermana Bennett from Utah and she will be finishing her mission this transfer (in 6 weeks time.)  She is the mission nurse right now and I am the mission nurse in training haha. Basically we receive a lot of phone calls from the elders and sisters and tell them what medicine they need and if they should see the doc, and we work with Hermana Allred so I am excited to get to know her better! 

As usual, it was hard to leave my prior area, Baigorria, but I know that this was an inspired change and I am happy to be where I am.  Hermana Bennett is wonderful! A great worker with a positive and loving spirit! We are super excited for this time together! This past week in Baigorria we were able to find some new people to teach, we were amazed by young children and their goodness and desire to learn about God, and their understanding. They have a special spirit. We had an ASADO with the familia Larrosa, the bishop and his wonderful fam, this week which was surely a highlight! We made brownies and sang happy birthday to Hermana Prat who turned 85 and is still going strong, dancing with us and all (reminds me a bit of my wonderful high spirited Grandma Pook;) We enjoyed our last week together, Hermana Guaraglia and I, and I am grateful for our time together. I feel so blessed to be in this mission and to meet so many people that make the world just a little brighter!!

Hermana Guaraglia and I in our twin attire
This week I was reading in Alma 29 about Alma and the joy that he feels as a result of missionary work. What I LOVE about this chapter is that he rejoices in the success of his friends, the sons of Mosiah! He says...

 14 But do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!
Alma was happy when he saw that his brothers in the Lord had success. Often times, when we see how others are thriving and succeeding we tend to be jealous, or envious, or prideful. Ezra Taft Benson says that pride tells us that we are failures when others succeed. But we must be humble and rejoice when others succeed! We are all one big team! And Alma is overcome with an immense joy that leads his soul to really have concern for the souls that his brother brought to the knowledge of the gospel. As missionaries, we are all on the same team, God's team! And when one missionary baptizes, we all baptize!! (Says Pte Allred) Though I may not have the opportunity to continue working in past areas, I rejoice to see those I have come to love progress through the examples and help of other missionaries.
Last night we were able to stay with an Hermana who ended the mission today and accompany her...this morning we set her off with a group of elders and sang "Called to Serve" all together. So powerful!! There is power in missionary work! And I am so glad that I still have this sacred time to serve the Lord as His representative.

LOVE YOU ALL, and happy pioneer day as well, so grateful for the sacrifices of those who came before us to prepare the way. We will forever be grateful and indebted to them. We owe them our efforts and consecration, shall we not go on in such a great cause??? D&C something....haha 

Hermana Mathis

Farewells with the dear people of Baigorria:

The Medina Family

The Zalazar Family

Bishop Larrosa and Family

Dear Hermana Guaraglia

Our District

Bye Bye Baigorria!  Always in My Heart!

The Sisters at Transfers

Hermana Mathis, the Florence Nightengale of
Rosario Argentina at your service

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Armour of Light

The Lions of Ramallo

On the Bus to Ramallo

This week just flew by! We had splits with two sets of Hermanas (from the areas of Parque Urquiza and Ramallo). We travelled to Ramallo which is about 4 hours from where we are. We had perfect luck and caught the bus that goes directly to their area by just 5 minutes! On the way back we didn't have much luck, missing our bus because the station couldn't charge more money on our card...haha but we made it back safely and before it was too late! 

So this week Oscar blessed the sacrament! I gave a talk in church which is always great! We dumpster dove to find my pin drive!!! We ate lunch with hna Prat, a member who  is about 85 years old, and I dropped my pin drive....we called to ask her if it was in her house but she said no...we stopped by that night to check for peace of conscience and as we are describing to her what it looks like she says that she threw it in the trash!! haha and so we went looking through her trash full of food and cannot find it! Then we end up dumping the trash all out and sifting through its contents with gloves...Hna Prat says "They are expensive too, aren't they?" haahah and we say,  "If you knew what it was and that it's expensive, then why did you throw it in the trash??" hahah By some miracle the pin drive showed up...appeared out of no where on the ground apart from the trash. tender mercies! 

Dumpster Diving
With Hermana Prat
Agustin took a little vacation back to where he's from for a week so we weren't able to teach him this week but should be able to this week! Nora says that Lucas is so excited to be baptized and is sharing with everyone how he will be baptized and when. He is a stud. Montenegro...Juan is improving A TON with the cigarretes!  He used to smoke 20 or more a day and now is down to 1 or 2!  We are just praying that our investigators will make it to church even when it is freezing outside!!!

And Fiorella and Brisa (converts from Arroyito) just had a great weekend in Buenos Aires with the youth of the stake performing baptisms in the temple and meeting with the mtc president. And Luis continues to write me saying that he is doing so well and and sharing words of gratitude that we were able to find him and teach him the gospel! 

The light of Christ is so evident in their lives! they inspire me! The light of Christ changes lives and fills us with joy. Let us put on the armour of light! Romans 13:12. We find this light through the scriptures, attending church, the temple, praying, and remembering our Savior. He will light our path and our hearts. 

Have a great week familia y amigosss

hermana mathis

New Beginnings from several weeks ago

The Mission at the Departure of the Zannis