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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Choose Joy! I am the Light which ye shall hold up!

Winter in Rosario.  Is it too early for the Nativity? 
Proud to be an American

First off, HAPPY (late) 4th of July!!! To celebrate we wore red white and blue after I basically begged Hna Guaraglia (from Uruguay) to, haha, and ate hamburgers for lunch which is pretty American. 

With President and Sister Allred
So this week we met our new mission president, Pte. Allred and his wonderful wife. They are so great! I had the opportunity to translate for Hermana Allred (her spanish is very new).  I translated her words as she testified to everyone that her husband was called of God to be our mission president and that an apostle of the Lord placed his hands on his head to set him I translated her words I felt the spirit testify that this was true. I know that President Allred was called to be our mission president here in Rosario and we are blessed to have him! 

Inviting Sister Allred into our favorite photo booth
A few things that I learned this week...

To have JOY! When the Allreds were eating dinner with President Nelson they asked him what was the most important thing they could say to their missionaries. He answered that they can have joy! Joy is a choice and we must choose joy!

There are no challenges...just opportunities. Our "opportunities" help us to become exalted. Jesus had the most challenges, suffering more than anyone would ever suffer, and yet He was able to have a joy that was "full" or complete. 

3 Nephi 18:24 hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold, I AM THE LIGHT which ye shall hold up!

Matthew 4:1 "then Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." there is a footnote, JST that says "to be with God." Through our moments of temptations and our suffering we become closer to God!

Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by HELPING them receive the restored gospel...... we must truly help them, we can't stop at just inviting them. We must continually assist them in the process. 

The Lord prepares..." I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand." D&C 31:7 

"We are all just walking each other home,"  to our heavenly abide in the presence of God in a state of never ending happiness.

We have been teaching Agustin, 18 year old, who is the brother of a recent convert of about a year. He moved here a few months ago and he is understanding everything surprisingly well. His sister had been scared to share the gospel with him before, sure that he would not be interested, but she is surprised at his reaction now when we teach him, and he has accepted baptism!! So we are helping him prepare for that.

We taught Nora this week and felt like we needed to invite her 8 year old son Lucas and teach the 2 of them. We taught the plan of salvation with fun drawings and interactive activities...Lucas is a smart kid and has a great desire to be baptized. We are praying that he will help his mother in this process of preparing and that she will be able to quit smoking! 
Zone Conference
Our District

So life is good. It is a lot better with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it s a good time to be a missionary.

Love you all!

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Adventure in the Service of Lord

Got to Love that Colgate Smile!
"Weaknesses become strengths, challenges become opportunities, trials become triumphs, and adversity becomes an adventure in the service of the Lord."

Hello dear family and friends!! What a week! To start off-- this week we will meet our new Mission President, Pte. Allred and his wife. We are super excited and know that they have been called to Rosario, AR for a wise purpose. We got to see pte. and hna. Zanni one last time last week to our surprise when our phone stopped working and we had to stop by the office to pick up a new one! We were blessed to have an excuse to see them once more ;)

So this week was surely an adventure. We had some funny encounters with the Argentines. One typical thing that people do here is to send their kids to tell us they are not home... Well the 5 year old son was outside playing and we asked him to call his mom. He walked next door to his grandparent's house where his mom was, then returned and told us that she'd be out in a sec...a few minutes later her 12 year old son walks out of the house with his phone and said his mom was at a friend's house. You should have seen this 5 year old who got all riled up and yells "LIAR!!!!! she is right next door!" and storms to prove it to everyone. hahah He wasn't in on the lie. They were a bit embarrased but we got a kick out of it. 

We were reading a scripture at a lunch this week with an elderly woman in our ward, 84 or so years old, Ether 12:4, she starts to read... 
On divisions with sisters from Buenos Aires and Brazil
4 Wherefore, whoso believeth iGod might with surety hope for better world, YEAH!! FOR YOU GUYS!!!!! then continues to read...yea, even place at the righthand of God, which hope cometh of faithmaketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good worksbeing led to glorify God.
She explained how the younger generation will see this better world, and said she's lived a century and is waiting for this better world... and then she said, " Y'all the world one day will be better except Argentina!! haha She's a crack up. 
We received a referral this week and it turns out the woman does not speak Spanish...only Portuguese which is luckily similar so we could get the gist of what she was explaining to us. 

This week we had a powerful companionship study in which we contemplated the pre-earth life and how blessed we have been to have grown with the knowledge of the gospel. We considered the hard circumstances of many who are born into broken homes and families and suffer heartaches and pains that are hard to comprehend.  We shared our gratitude that even though our lives are not perfect, we have a strong foundation and we have faith and hope in Jesus Christ and God's plan for us. 

Diego and Juliana are progressing. They are reading the Book of Mormon and find that everything we teach makes sense. In our lesson with them yesterday Juliana was in tears as we shared our testimonies and a bit of what we had learned and felt in our companionship study, Diego is a little bit harder to get to, not a huge fan of churches and unsure about baptism, but we are blessed to be able to help them start to feel the pòwer of the Spirit in their lives and continue learning. 

Oscar received the Priesthood on Sunday. He says very happily, "Now I start to be a more important man!" Haha. Keila is working like a dog and sometimes has to travel to Rosario and stay for several days because she picks up the work others can't do. We are praying that she can find a job here that gives her a better schedule. She continues to read daily and expresses the gratitude she has for this gospel. Keila, Adriana, and Bianca had a hard week this week, a family problem, and could use your prayers! 

and to close...the 13th article of faith that I love...
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Elder Ballard says hope gives us the peaceful assurance we need to live happily in a world that is ripe with iniquity, calamity and injustice. I strive to live each day with a hope anchored in Christ and to follow the admonition of Paul. It is how we can stay happy and strong in the world today!

Hermana Mathis ❤

Monday, June 26, 2017

We are daughters (and sons) of our Heavenly Father!

Crepes and Companions
Look who is celebrating her one year mark!
FUN WEEK--And I hit my year mark in the mission which I still can't believe. Time fliesss!

Oscar provided us with a lot of laughs this week. He is such a stud, so strong in his faith and his desire to endure to the end! What we have taught him in these past months are things that were presented to him for the first time-and he has lived many years. So a lot of new info all at once...and sometimes he stresses because he wants to have a perfect understanding of everything. We taught him about the priesthood, laying out pictures and stating about one hundred times in simple terms that the priesthood is the power of God on the earth. At the end of the discussion he looks at us with a worried face and asks, You want me to be the priesthood? we couldn't help but laugh.  He is doing well, preparing to, yes, receive the priesthood. Oscar has struggled to pray vocally, but has been practicing a lot recently so that it becomes more natural. He arrived at the church where we have our lessons and the moment we sit down, as we are talking casually and asking how he is, we hear "padre celestial..." and he is already bowing his head and praying. We went along with it. In his prayer he thanked God to be with the missionaries and to be in the "house of Jospeh Smith" hahaha we looked at each other with the look of, who taught him that???? haha. After the prayer he continued to tell us about how he had read the Book of Mormon throughout the week, reading in Alma about the Prophet Joseph Smith. We cleared it all up, no worries. But it provided a good laugh. 

We began to teach a young couple, Diego and Juliana, this week who have a 5 year old son. We had passed by their house many times before, and had talked outside of their house, on one occasion we had talked for about 40 minutes outside, but this week they finally invited us to come inside and teach them. We were able to visit them twice and teach both the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, and we have seen a change in them. They are amazed at how what we teach truly makes sense, and they throw a ton of questions at us and are super involved in the lessons. Diego had told us a week or so ago that he hated churches, etc, and now he is intrigued and wants to learn more. 

We were blessed to be able to attend a young women's activity this week in which the Spirit penetrated our hearts. Upon reciting the YW theme, we truly pondered on the words, and were able to share our testimonies with the young women and the leaders about how personal progress and  the young women's program had helped us prepare for the mission and to enter the temple. We both got emotional in sharing our testimonies and we bore truth of the promise the Lord leaves with us in the theme. 

WE ARE DAUGHTERS of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. WE WILL “STAND as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
WE BELIEVE as we come to accept and act upon these values, WE WILL BE PREPARED to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
Sunset over Rosario

Hope you all have a wonderful week, that you remember you are loved, and that blessings come when we obey the One who infinitely loves us. 

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, June 19, 2017

There is No Substitute for Love!

What an incredible week! De 10!! as the Argentinians would say!
KEILA AND OSCAR WENT TO THE TEMPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! (The Buenos Aires Temple) Keila shared her testimony yesterday in church and said that the Spirit was undeniable in the temple, and that once she entered she could not doubt.  She said that she knew that the Church of Jesus Christ is the true church. Entering the temple, she said she felt as if all her problems, doubts, confusions and frustrations

Las Hermanas 
were taken away. She felt a happiness she hadn't before and it was evident in her testimony how she grew through this experience!

My dear companion Hermana Schmutz finished her mission this week and her parents came to pick her up!! The struggle is real in talking English but I warmed up after a bit! They came to church with us in Baigorria yesterday and it was great for her to be able to hear Keila's words and see how Oscar and Keila have progressed because it was Hermana Schmutz and I that were the first to teach them. 

We had a leadership council on Thursday and soaked in this final time we had with Pte. and Hna Zanni. We talked about bravery and courage, and about saying the words that often go unsaid. We talked about how when speaking with others we must always have love for them. There is no substitute for love! As missionaries sometimes we get carried away and think that we have to be very direct and call people to repentance, which we do, but when it is done without love it can offend or damage a precious child of God. 

The Zanni children
Saturday we had the farewell of President and Hermana Zanni. I wish their was a way to explain this precious day spent with them and their family. We had a face to face with them and truly I am so grateful that I came to this mission to be able to meet the Zanni Family. They were called of God and always worked and taught by the Spirit. They were dearly loved by us, their missionaries, and we felt their love for us. They taught by example. We emotionally gathered in a circle (as half of the mission) and they personally said goodbye to each one of us. Then we sent them off as we sang "God be with you til we meet again." Very special day that I will always remember. President Zanni shared the scripture D&C 18:15-16 through tears: 

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will bgreat with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Farewell to the Zannis- So Grateful for them
He humbly stated that he has experienced great joy in the mission, but the greatest joy is seeing a precious son or daughter of God use the atonement of Jesus Christ to repent, change, and come unto Him. He surely saved many more souls than one. So all in all a wonderful week full of all sorts of emotions. I am so very grateful. 

having fun with Hermana Schmutz
Hermana Mathis 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Traslados (Transfers) but not for us! Baigorria by Jove!

TRASLADOS this week, and we both stayed here in Baigorria! We are happy to be able to continue working here and excited to see many more miracles.

A Sweet Member Made the Argentinian Beanies
I am back to feeling A-OK which is a blessing but it is pretty nippy oustide so we sure bundle up! On average about 10 people ask us every day why we are out in this cold, haha, and winter hasn't even officially started yet! Wooo!  

This week we got the General Conference Ensign which is like Christmas!! We have been attacking it and I am constantly amazed at the inspired messages shared by the prophet and apostles in this last conference. If you didn't get the chance to hear it, now is your chance. Or if you did, read/watch it again! It doesn't get old! 

This week I was reading and studying a bit about repentance and how God is so willing and able to forgive us, His children. I was also impressed with how He treats us in our weaknesses. I read a few verses in Doctrine and Covenants:
Verily say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled :with compassion towards them. will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath will remember mercy.
And Section 38:

10 Verily say unto you, ye are cleanbut not all; and there is none else with whom am well pleased11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earthamong the children of men, ithe presence of all the hostof heaven—14 But now tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief; for verily some of you are guilty before me, but will be merciful unto your weakness.
God has so much compassion for us. He sees us in our weaknesses and He understands that we have faults and that we commit errors.  Yet He has power to forgive us, to help us to be clean and to be strengthened. He constantly invites us to come unto Him and repent, to have a change in heart and to follow the example His Son set for us. He allows us to receive the remission of our sins every Sunday when we partake of the sacrament. I know that the Lord truly understands us in a way that no one else does. He is merciful and loving. He shows his love many times through others! In the beginning of the week when I was pretty darn sick and we were trapped in prison/pension I realized how much I benefit from interacting with others every day, and how through others I feel God/s love and help others to feel God's love. I know that serving and loving others bring true happiness. 

The Same Member Made These Sweet Argentinian Ties

We Will Miss President and Hermana Zanni So Much!
This week will be a great one! We have a conference for leaders and a last conference to say goodbye to President and Hermana Zanni! Time flies! 

A shout out to my sister whose birthday is this Sunday as well as to all the fathers! Happy Father's Day! 

Elders have Cooties, right?
Love you all!

Hermana Mathis