Monday, October 16, 2017

The Light of the World: Walking on Sunshine

Let me tell you all why this week was so good...

The Baptism of Kevin
First and foremost, KEVIN WAS BAPTIZED!! Really last minute the Branch President changed the day on us and he was baptized Friday the 13th!!! I had made little recuerdos (cards) for the baptism and I put the 14th on every one... but it's all good, because Kevin the capo was more than willing to change the day. We got to the church early in the day and we had to fill up the pool (font?) Well turns out the hose didn't not connect and we quickly turned to plan B, which was filling the large pool up bucket my bucket, running from the bathroom, kitchens, using pots, whatever could hold water to get it filled. The other hermanas came in to save the day after we had been at it 2 hours and they finished the job, working for another few hours. Overall it took more than 4 hours, and it was still a little low.  Poor thing had to bend his knees real good. His mom and his little sisters came to his baptism as well as President and Hermana Allred. Kevin was shining in white and he was just so so happy!! This kid is not your ordinary kid. We have been teaching him and he remembers everything. He has read his Book of Mormon daily into the night and says that he kneels to say his prayers. He prayed to have the surety that he was doing what the Lord wanted him to do and that he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. He explained that he was filled with a happiness and that the Spirit testified to him that it was true. He was confirmed a member of the church and given the Holy Ghost on Sunday. He came to church in his little suit and tie and he was just walking on sunshine. Everyone realizes more and more how special this kid really is. This Saturday is already a temple trip and he is hoping to be able to travel with the youth which has been his goal ever since we talked about the temple. 
The cards I made for the baptism

Ludmila gave her first talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, 
FELIZ DIA DE LA MADRE!!! (happy mother's day--well here in Argentina at least) 
she spoke on mothers and shared a sweet experience that brought many of us to tears. Her growth in these past few months has been incredible. She carries a special light with her and it has been fun to witness this progression.

and TRANSFERS: I will stay here in Funes to train a nuevita (brand new sister) and end my mission!!! ahhhhh Time flies. I finished the Book of Mormon again this week and the clarity of the words continue to pierce my heart. For the little recuerdos we made for the baptism, we put Moroni 10:32, "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him." Through the Book of Mormon, we are taught how we can come unto Christ, how He can make us whole, why He suffered for us, and what He wants us to achieve in our lives and for the eternities, through Him. He offers help, comfort, love, a hand when we fall. He is the light of the world,  

Mosiah 16:9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
Kevin and his Mom with Hermana Cadena and I
He offers us his light, and desires that we share it!!

Have a great week!! 

Hermana Mathis

Our last district meeting before transfers

With Branch Mission Leader and missionaries


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"The knowledge I have of him, the wisdom of this world cannot give, neither can it take away."

Beautiful Rosario at Night with Hermana Cadena

Today we had a fun pday in the mission home playing basketball, pickle ball, and 4 square! It's nice to get a real work out in every once and a while, haha. Hermana Allred made us pancakes for lunch with buttermilk syrup and peanut butter bars!!! So good. We organized this pday because it was hna guaraglias bday yesterday:)

This week we are hoping to baptize Kevin on Saturday! He is progressing, reading all the pamphlets we give him, so happy to receive his own personalized Book of Mormon and has began to read it as well. He really is a great kid. He ponders a lot and is constantly paying attention as we are teaching.  He is very intelligent. 

In divisions this week I saw FIORELLA!!! It was the very best. It had been many months since I had seen her and she is doing so good!! She talked in church a few weeks ago. She is reading the scriptures daily and is attending seminary every day at 6 in the morning! It was such a joyful encounter with her and her wonderful mom Marilin! She reminded me, "Hermana, its already been 7 months that I was baptized!" I couldn't believe it, time flies! Although it seems like she has years as a member because of her maturity and her knowledge. I shared with her a few verses in Alma 26 and spoke about the joy of missionary work. She was a miracle that God placed in my path as I have been in His service!
Fiorella (notice the Nevada T-shirt)
It has been a good week--one where we have testified of Christ when it seems like we do not have the answers. He is the one who strengthens us in our trials. Trials have surely come in these past weeks, but my testimony of the Savior continues to be strengthened. I echo the words of Brigham Young,

"The knowledge I have of him, the wisdom of this world cannot give, neither can it take away." 

I am grateful for the knowledge I have of Him-one that I will always have and will never be able to deny-one that I hope to continue throughout my life. I love my Savior. He carries me daily. This is His work. I am so grateful for the messages we were able to hear in this past conference that testify of Him. He gives us the resources to learn about Him and to know Him. We have to take advantage of them! 

Hermana Mathis :)

Basketball with the President 

This is the work of Jesus Christ

Hermana Hansen Celebrates one year 
Hermana and I with our last "trunky" agendas

4 Square 
Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup in the Mission Home
Harvest Moon over Rosario

Monday, October 2, 2017

Choose the Lord's Way When the World's Way is Placed Before You

Buen dia familia y amigosss

What a great week it has been! I hope you were able to watch general conference because it was THE BEST. I went into the conference with about 15 questions and every single one of them was answered. We truly receive revelation through the prophet and apostles of the Lord. Watch conference here if you didn't get the chance! I promise that you will feel God's love and receive answers to your prayers! 

We brought Kevin to the church to watch conference with us on Sunday and he was just eating it up (as well as the brownies we made.) He was full of great questions and was amazed to see a picture we showed him of our prophet and apostles. He also loved hearing more about the Book of Mormon and remembered the talk by Elder Callister with details, explaining the point that the book was written by revelation, not brilliance! I love this kid! He is progressing and is planning to be baptized October 14th

Flia Esmay (Jose the cab driver) have been having a hard week and they weren't able to make it to the FHE in the mission home which was a huge disappointment. Fortunately we still had a spiritual thought with two members from Funes and the Allreds, and we ate cake :) I also shot some hoops with Pte. Allred and beat him in PIG;) mission accomplishments! But keep the Esmay family in your prayers! 

As I was reading the Book of Mormon this week in between conference sessions I read Mormon's words and reflected on the many sacrifices that he made, as well as his son, to stand up for righteousness and continue believing and exercising their faith even amidst a generation of wickedness. I know that when we follow the words of prophets and accept their counsel in our lives, apply it, we are happy and have peace in Jesus Christ. Choose to be humble, to be happy, and to choose the Lord's way when the world's way is placed before you! 


And congrats to my cousin Elena, my trainer Hna Whitworth, and my last companion Hna. Bennett who are all engaged!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Mathis :)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Domingo Especial: Behold Your Little Ones


We Welcomed Spring this Week in Argentina
Kevin came to mutual this week and played ping pong with us a little bit. He knows a few of the youth in the ward and has been excited about the process of learning new things in the gospel as well as making new friends. He didn't make it to church on Sunday because a member forgot to pick him up... :/ He is doing well, although this week we found out that his grandma, who lives right in front of him, is pretty against the church and her grandaughters who are less active live with her and she does not allow them to go to church.  We are praying that in this process with Kevin she will allow Kevin to continue to progress and be baptized!

Jose, our beloved Taxi Driving Investigator, and Family
This Sunday was a DOMINGO ESPECIAL, planned for weeks where we would have several blessings for the toddlers that haven't had a the opportunity to blessed in the church previously and including a special choir by the primary (children 3-11). We invited EVERYONE we came in contact with! The leaders of the church set out and visited many less actives and we saw the fruits of all of our labors. Our normal attendance is about 50 or 60, and yesterday there were 106 in the church!! Miracles! While we were way excited to see many less actives and unfamiliar faces, we were so hoping that the familiar faces of our investigators would appear. The meeting started and upon finishing the first hymn we saw Jose walk in with his new baby, Estefano who is 2 months old, Emiliano (11) Tiago (5) and his wife Viviana who we met for the first time. The day before in a lesson with them we had talked about the importance of prayer, reading the scriptures, and attending church, and they were unsure if they would be able to swing it with many chores to get done. We had prayed that the Spirit would get him and his family to church. Upon seeing them enter the chapel, my feelings of confusion and desperation, asking God what more  we could have done to get our investigators to church, turned into immense joy that brought me to tears. After two babies of less actives were blessed, we asked Jose if he wanted to have Estefano blessed, and he and his wife quickly accepted. Following him, Tiago was blessed. They were blessed to be able to be baptized and to grow knowing the principles of the gospel, their parents were blessed to have the temporal and spiritual means to raise them, and Tiago was blessed to be a light in his home and family--very spiritual blessings that brought many to tears. 

The Miracle of a filled Relief Society Room on Sunday
President Allred and Hna Allred were there, and Pte. Allred as well as our branch Pte. Coronel shared verses from 3 Nephi 17. To my surprise and amazement I had read this chapter just the day before in my study in  the Book of Mormon. Pte Coronel was emotional as he explained how Jesus stated, "Blessed are you because of your faith. and now behold, my joy is full." And when he had said these words he wept...and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them, and when he had done this he wept again...and said unto them, "Behold your little ones." I saw my study brought to life in the blessing of children and contemplated the love Jesus has for children, for their innocence, purity, meekness and sweet spirits. There were many teary eyes. The Spirit overpowered the crowded room of our branch building. Emiliano was soaking in the hymns and singing with all his heart! 

Tonight we have a Family Home Evening in the mission home with Jose and his family and a father and son in our branch. Hermana Allred met Jose months ago, she was with the hermanas and he was their taxi driver that they invited to our English class! It was a blessing that they opened their mouths and this simple invitation has made all the difference. 

Have a wonderful week!! Love you all!!

Hermana Mathis
 Celebrating Hermano Lupinuccis' Birthday
With all of our sister missionaries:  Note Hermana Guaraglia
Hermana Cadena made my last "don't get trunky" Agenda, Haha! 

My mom sent me Flat Stanley to keep me company

Monday, September 18, 2017

Vision to Baptize, Faith to Find and Power that Will be Manifest

Hermana Cadena celebrating 5 months as a missionary

We Love the Children of Rosario
Hola Hola Hola, I'm excited to tell you about how great our week was. We taught a lot.  We shared the Book of Mormon with every person that we could and shared our testimonies. Some rejected, some accepted, some gave us their addresses so that we could teach them again. We found 7 new investigators who have great potential and all this through the power of the Book of Mormon. 

We had a zone conference in which we were able to learn more about the Book of Mormon and be strengthened by the testimonies of our leaders. We were invited to change our perspective and our mindset-- to have the vision to baptize, the faith to find, the power that will be manifest to others as we allow the Book of Mormon to speak for itself. 

The Sisters of the Zone
News: Marina went to the temple this last weekend!! She is progressing beautifully and just carries a special light with her!

Jose and Emiliano are doing great! They are reading the Book of Mormon and we are hoping to have a fun Family Home Evening with their family this week. They are progressing in their english as well ;)

Hot Sauce- Mexican Style
Hermana Cadena made a hot sauce with chiles and it is super good. Argentinos do not believe in spicy food, so it has been fun to taste it after so long. Also we hear jokes every day about Hermana Cadenas's name. It literally means Sister Chain, haha, so you can think of some of the jokes people come up with.

We found a young girl this week who we began to teach, Florencia, 16 years old. Turns out she is a friend of a member! Even better.  We found a man who is probably about 30 years old, Ezekiel, who is way receptive and works in a panaderia so win win!

And best for last... KEVIN. Okay, so we found Kevin in the first few days Hna Cadena was here. He is 14 years old. Right from the start we knew he was special, which was a pain in the next week when we could not find the kid--his address did not exist. Well... YESTERDAY he passed by on his bike and stopped to talk to us. This time he gave us his real address, having then gained more confidence, and then set off. THEN,  he came back after 5 minutes and gave us a referral to visit his aunt and just stuck with us. We were walking along a dirt road and he was walking his bike, and I felt impressed to share the first vision with him.  We told him of another 14 year old boy who had the desire to know the truth, Joseph Smith. Well, as we were teaching him, the sun was as red as fire, and was setting on the horizon. Hna cadena said, "Joseph explained how the glory of the father and the son was brighter than the sun." In this moment I felt the spirit so strongly, and I pondered how a young man of  just 14 years had the pure desire to know the truth. Kevin is a very special kid, and we are excited to continue teaching him. 
Above the brightness of the Sun
With Kevin

The church is true. 

Hermana Mathis :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Change in the Game Plan


Thank goodness I'm really not flying solo
Change in the game plan. The companion I was set to train will be reassigned state side because of some stomach problems and we found out very last minute.  Luckily there was a trio in the mission so Hermana Cadena came to be my companion here in Funes. She is from Monterrey, Mexico and has been a member for 5 years and a missionary for about 5 months. I'm really hoping she´ll make me some mexican food because it has been too long. 
Hermana Allred took me to pick up my new companion:
Hermana Cadena from Monterrey, Mexico

The transfer meeting with the new companionships:
Notice who does not have one
So when I first got here (Funes) we started teaching an English class to Jose and his son Emiliano (11). Last week Hermana Bennett said that she couldn't leave without also sharing the gospel with them. So we taught them the restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon, sharing our personal testimonies. This past week we taught English and they came prepared with their Book of Mormon as well and we taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and they accepted baptism. He is a taxi driver and works all Sundays but is asking for a Sunday off so he can come to church! 

It has been a wet, rainy, cold, humid, muddy weekend. (Not sure if Haylie has heard at all about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma) It cleared up for p-day which is always great :) 

This week in my study I came upon 1 Peter 3:15 which states:

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you reason othe hope that is in you..."

Upon reading this verse I thought of many reasons for the hope that is within me. But more so recently I have been focusing on the importance of the Book of Mormon. This was something that Elder Texeira stressed a lot in his conference, how we should contact using the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the physical evidence we have of the restoration. In our Relief Society class yesterday we read many verses about the book that are found in Doctrine and Covenants:

"as your Lord and your God liveth it is true:" 17:6

"contains the truth and the word of God" 19:26

"proves to the world the holy scriptures are true" 20:11

"contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ" 20:9

"translated by God's power" 20:8

"given by inspiration" 20:10

"those who receive it in faith shall receive a crown of eternal life." 20:14

In the latest conference ensign, there is in excerpt from Mark Peterson, "from cover to cover the Book of Mormon is a revelation, an inspired translation, the work of God and not of any man. From cover to cover it is true."

I know that it is true. Day by day I realize more so the grand importance and the spiritual revelation we receive through it. I know that only with the power of God could such a book be translated. This sacred book is most definitely a reason for the hope that is in me. I love the Book of Mormon, and I know that through following the principles in it, we can have eternal life. 

Have a great week. I invite all to invest themselves in the Book of Mormon. If you don't have one, ask for one. You can also find one online. If you have one and are not reading it, pick it up and read a few pages. It testifies of Christ and I promise that it will answer any of the questions or doubts you many have.

Hermana Mathis :)

How many miles have these boots seen? 
The Classic Missionary shoe shot