Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Wow what a great week it has been! Merry Christmas to everyone. Hope you had an incredible time and that you were able to reflect on the Savior around this special time of year. 

Christmas Caroling with the missionaries
This week we had a Christmas zone service activity which just so happened to land on my 6 month mark! Wow, I cannot believe how fast the months fly by! Well, for the activity we made cookies and decorated cards and bags, played games- one of which was musical chairs which I almost won but came in third because of some extra competitive elders. I'll take it though. We were very blessed by our mission presidents to receive several gifts from them and to have a face to face with them in which we could ask them whatever question we wanted. As usual, they filled the building with the spirit and with that spirit we left to go to the old folks home. We talked to them for a while, socializing and wishing them Merry Christmas, handing out the cookies that we made (one of the elderly folks was brutally honest and when I asked if she liked the cookies she very quickly shook her head and said nooo, but she ate them all so I don't know if I'm super convinced). We ended by singing many Christmas hymns with them and I was just  overcome with the love I felt as I sang of the Savior being born and of this special Christmas time. As I looked them in the eyes I was able to feel the love God has for each and every one of us. 

In Argentina, they celebrate Christmas Eve more and have a big dinner feast and Santa comes at 12:00 am. We had permission to stay a bit later. We shared the night with The family  Benitez and ate way more than we should have, plate after plate being brought to us when I was already full after one plate. Empanadas, salad, asado, ham,  you name it. We sang Christmas hymns and then Santa came early in the flip of a light switch that fooled the cute little kiddos of the Benitez family. They rushed to catch Santa outside but we assured them that he had already left. Poor kids. They got some sweet toys though. 
With the Family Benitez on Christmas Eve

On Christmas we got to talk and sing in Sacrament meeting. By some Christmas miracle we made it through the meeting haha. Best Christmas present ever was skyping my awesome family!!!! 
The wonderful gift of Skype
My sister Lauren with her favorite Christmas Present--me:)
Yesterday I got to see Hermana Whitworth in the bus station which was so so great!!! She is on the plane and will return home tomorrow morning! 

With Hermana Whitworth at the Bus Station

Update on Sheila- we gave her a Book of Mormon last week, and yesterday we went to teach her and she said that  she hadn't read much, but then proceeded to tell us she read the intro, the testimonies, and up through 1 Nephi 10 , and she could tell us what happened and the names and everything. We were shocked. Yesterday we also were able to set a baptismal date with her and are looking forward to continuing our lessons with her. 
Debora as well is reading the Book of Mormon and is answering questions that her family is asking her about it. Her neighbors have also begun to ask us the meaning behind the book and are curious to learn more. 

Having recently completed the Book of Mormon, I am starting over from the beginning along  with these two investigators! They have both expressed their desire to know what comes next and to keep up with the adventure!  I love the Book of Mormon and the more I read it, the more this love grows. The stories are an adventure! And they actually happened. I know that as one reads it, the Holy Ghost will testify that the words are true. The scriptures are inspiring and contain profound doctrine. Yesterday as we were discussing  the plan of salvation and the nature of God and the need to follow his commandments in this life, Sheila was able to flip a few pages in her Book of Mormon and show us that she had marked and remembered 1 Nefi 3:7,  where Nefi states upon being given a task that seems impossible, and upon which his brothers respond negatively,  he states, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which He commanded them." (I had to leave in Haylie's spelling of Nefi as it is evidence of her Spanish immersion:)) I seek to have this attitude, to trust in the Lord so much that I am 100% willing to do what He asks me with confidence that He will provide the way, because He is the way. 

Love you all a whole lot!!      

Hermana Mathis    

Monday, December 19, 2016

Feliz Navidad!

We found the big guy in Argentina 

This week was super great, despite the fact that we caught the stomach bug or ate something and both ended up throwing up one full day haha. unfortunate. But, the best thing that happened this week was that we met Sheila! Sheila is the daughter of an old investigator the elders taught, Anabela. We have had issues trying to catch a time to meet her. Well, the other day we knocked on their door and Sheila answered. She called her mom Anabella who talked to us for a bit and was ready to shoo us away. Well it was scorching hot, and Sheila had pity on us and asked us if we wanted water. We quickly accepted. Then she asked us if we wanted to come in, and we again accepted. Sheila is 15 years old and is just great. She is reading the Bible and has many questions about religion. We were able to teach her the message of the Restoration and she was intrigued, so much so that she agreed to come to church with us the next day (this was saturday night). So yesterday we passed by in the morning at 8:30 and she was ready to go, and let me tell you this is just about as good as it gets on the mission.  But Sheila came to church, she loved the meetings and young women's and we are just amazed. 

This time of the year is expecially great to just spread love! God is the best example of this. John 3 16 for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life. What a gift He has given to us! Jesus Christ was born, and He lives. He is always there. He sacrificed and He accomplished the will of His father all the while loving everyone along the way, and always giving glory to his father. He lights the way to the best gift we can receive, eternal life. He is the only way and name that with provide us this gift. 

Merry Christmas everyone!! Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. I know that Jesus is the source of peace and love. I know that He will come again, and in this Christmas season we can remember his birth, his life, his sacrifice, his grace, love, and mercy, and ponder on the day he will come again in His glory. I love Him! Though I am rather far from home for this Christmas, I know that the love of you all will be right here close to me. It is a blessing to share a Christmas with the people of Argentina and to ponder more profoundly than I have in my life the true and piercing spirit of Christmas. 

Be happy and Merrrry chistmas! In the word of the Grinch,..."Even if we're horribly mangled, there will be no sad faces on Christmas."  Give that movie a watch for me:)
The Elders in our District
With our Ward Young Women
A throw back to when Hermana Whitworth and I celebrated Christmas in September by making Cinnamon Rolls


Con muchooo amor,
hermana mathis

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Peace, Love and Snapchat photos!

Oh no, Haylie found someone in Argentina who
likes snapchat almost as much as she does!
(And shared the pictures with her mama)
Haylie admits that while they did perform service at this house
the ditch digging picture was for propaganda purposes only.
  Hola familia y amigos!!

This week was super great for many reasons:

- We did not get kicked out of our pension even though we waited until the last day to pay rent and had some issues with our debit card.

- We had interviews with our Mission President in which I learned essential things that I must do to become a better missionary and in which I received a blessing of peace and was able to feel my feelings of fear and inadequacy be replaced with peace and love. 

- We were able to finally teach Debora and we taught the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration and she is just soaking it all in! She is super prepared and the things that we are teaching her are things that she says are hopes that were always rooted in her. Her family has had a lot of health problems this week and they were not able to come to church but pray for them because she is super great and her desires are true and pure.

- We are teaching the mom of a recent convert of 1.5 years, Rocio who is 16. Her mom, Marisa, has been to church a few times but aways back, but she came to our ward end of the year dinner as well as church yesterday!! She also is not doing super great health wise so pray for her as well. But even though she is in a ton of pain, she made us dinner two days in a row and is letting us into her home and opening up to us. 

- We met a less active member this week who joined the church about a year and a half ago. She is super great and she has a daughter who is nine years old. Her daughter is just a ball of energy who told me she loved me the second she met me. That was sweet ha and then she did not stop saying it, and playing with my hair, and just showering me in compliments, and she said the sweetest little prayer for us at the end. She wants to get baptized but right now her mom is unsure about this, but pray for Abigail as well and her mother Liliana. 

This week I read a numerous amount of talks and I am so grateful for the prophets and apostles and leaders of the church who say just the things that we need to hear. One of the phrases I read that stood out to me was a question, Are we guilty of being complacent about the greatest gift we can be offered in this life? As I was teaching the plan of salvation this week I choked up as the words that I said sunk deep into the heart of an investigator. It was incredible to see these words fill the hole that had empty for an entire life time. But the plan that God has for us is truly incredible, and as a member born into the church I think that at times I took advantage of the doctrine that is so precious and so miraculous. It is nice to be reminded of the great blessings and peace God has in store for us, things that exceed anything our minds can truly comprehend. 

I was reading in Ether this week as well, about the Brother of Jared, and the incredible faith that he had. The Lord said, never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast. His faith was so great that it turned into a complete and perfect knowledge, without doubt. We must choose faith over doubt! Choose to believe that God has a plan for us and that he is watching over us. Choose to believe that he is fully aware of the hard things that we may be suffering. He suffers when we suffer, but He knows that it is in these moments when we grow the most. Because of the faith of the Brother of Jared,  The Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show Him all things. The Lord has marvelous things to show each and every one of us, but we have to open our minds AND our hearts to these things. 

Choose to have faith! Choose to believe! Choose to increase your knowledge and understanding. Do not shut the door on the greatest gift of them all! Enjoy this Christmas season and know how much I love you!!

con muchoo amor,
Hermana Mathis💕
I don't know why but she reminds me of
 Elder Rowley in Mexico, no?

Haylie doing dishes! Definitely camera worthy!

Drenched from the rain!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The only direction to go is forward!

Would you like papas fritas with that?
This week just flew by! The heat is really kicking up and the tan lines are coming in too strong, Whaaaaat? We had fun serving two mornings this week! One was in a rather filthy house but you better believe we left it splotless, the other was cleaning the church and the same goes for that as well, luckily it didn't start out as dirty though. It is true that when we are serving others we are serving God!

McDonalds in Argentina:  Who knew paying way
 too much for McD's could taste so good?!
We had some great lessons this week that the members helped us with!! Two of which were with Victoria and Roberto. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it was incredible how the words just flowed out of our mouths. The Spirit was penetrating and no one could deny the true plan of perfection that God has created for us. They are not married but we testified of eternal families and they both said that is something that they want, so we will see where that goes. 

We have a new investigator named Debora who is also great as well, has a yearning to fill the hole that she never could fill in her pursuit to find the truth. Her daughter as well is a shy, sweet girl, Niyana (11 years old), who wants to learn more and asked her mom when they were going to go to church! 

This week I have studied the topic humility quite a bit, because I know that when we are more humble, we are happier!! We are told,  "blessed are those who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble." An apostle states that a way we can be more humble is to  remember our constant dependence on the Lord through real, constant, worshipful, grateful  prayer. Without Him we are nothing, with Him we are everything. We are all equally loved, equally important, equally blessed when we follow the commandments and love God. I think as missionaries it is common to look around and see the success of others and question God, but these thoughts must be replaced with faith and trust in God and His plan.  He sure does have one. This work is fully inspired by Him. In D&C 67: 10 we read, "Strip yourself from jealousies and fears, and humble yourself  before me and the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am....and in verse 14 we are told to not let our minds turn back!"  When we are humble, we will come to know God, and once we have become more humble and more familiar with the divine nature of God, we can not turn back! The only direction we should be going is forward! 

Love you! Praying for you! 

Hermana Mathis

Our New District of 4!

Monday, November 28, 2016


With Hermana Ruiz on Divisions

Grandma Bea's Apple Crisp in a Bundt Pan:)
Here are a few highlights of my week:

On Thursday we did divisions with the sisters in La Florida which just so conveniently happened to be Thanksgiving so you better believe we made some apple crisp. I almost cried, it was such a dream. Divisions were super great! It is always wonderful to learn from other sisters and their strengths as missionaries. (Divisions are the same thing as exchanges so Haylie got to trade companions for 24 hours and work in a different area.)

On Saturday I think God was trying to baptize the whole city because it rained harder than I have ever seen in my life!! And yes we were outside during it, and yes we were very far from where our lunch appointment was. We ran, basically wading in water that at some points came up mid calf. We just laughed because we were soaked--completely soaked. We showed up for our lunch appointment in this sorry state and bless her heart she still let us in and gave us towels. Still, it was the coldest lunch of my life as it was impossible to dry off. 

We had stake conference this week!! And two great things happened! 
1. There is a less active (baptized in the church some 24 years ago) that we are teaching who we had quite the encounter with this week. He claimed that all the things we firmly believe were all false, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc. He told us the we were confused, that we were doubting, that we hadn't found Christ. So naturally this kind of pricked our hearts and led to a fired up discussion ending with us fervently bearing our testimonies and saying that there is nothing and no one who would take that away from us. Well, he showed up to the Saturday night conference after not going to church for 20 years. Out of all the people we thought were going to come, he was easily the last one on the list. He still has many doubts but this was huge for him to come. 

2. Claudio and Marta (The ones I wrote about last week) came to the Sunday morning conference!! It was a great meeting and the lessons were powerful. Each time our president and his wife speak I am just astonished at the spirit they bring into the meeting. One of the things they focused on is something that our church recently put on the website ILUMINA EL MUNDO!! Christmas is right on the horizon, even on this side of the equator, and we want to remind everyone about the true reason for the season. Jesus is the light of the world! We can share His light with others. It does not need to be some elaborate thing but rather small simple things that we can do daily to spread the light of Christ. We never know exactly the influence our light may have on others. Do not be afraid or ashamed to share what you love! Stay close to the light and rely on His light, and without a doubt your own light will grow as a result. In D&C 50:24 we learn that what is of God is light, and if we receive the light we will be given more and more light. Iluminate the world! And if you havent seen this great video yet give a visit and watch it. Its like 2:30 minutes so don't tell yourself you don't have time! 

Love you all! Illuminate the world! Share your light with others, and never underestimate the light that you already have!

Con muchooo amor,
Hermana Mathis 
Apple crisp with the Hermanas during divisions:  It was almost like  Thanksgiving!

With a family from our Ward

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hermana De Wet from Paraguay is my new companion
This week we killed it in the contacting. We are getting really good at handing out cards and getting cut off because the people here are always in a hurry. But amidst the chaos of this new transfer, new area, new companion, we have felt calm in the process and the members here are so so great. Like super great I love them. They are willing to help and they feed us lunches, and I leave their houses so full its ridiculous. We walk quite a bit and we have gotten lost quite a bit as well. Our first night we may or may not have walked to another street by the name of Gonzalez (the name of the street we live on), and may or may not have been lost for an hour and a half. The taxi brought us home safely though--a tad late but we lived to tell. 

We manage to laugh and sing through the hard days. Hna De Wet knows a fair amount of English songs, I am impressed. (Haylie said that they are mostly popular songs and that she doesn't speak any other English.) She is super funny without meaning to be. Poor girl forgot her nametag yesterday at church and of course it was when we were meeting a ton of the members ha so I joked that she was my mini missionary. pobresita. A bird also pooped on her but we laughed it off, easier for me I'm sure.

Yesterday in church was the primary program!! I was so excited when I found that out, and it did not dissapoint. Kids truly bring a special spirit into the meeting and the simple messages of the songs they sing penetrate our hearts, and they are messages I was taught at a young age that have always stuck with me. 

This week I learned that I need to trust in the Lord with all my heart. We show our trust in Him when we listen to Him with the intent to learn and to change and do whatever He asks. When we trust in Him and act in faith, that is when He will trust in us. I trust in Him and I know that His plan is perfect. I trust in Him and His goodness and his love and mercy. I trust that He never leaves us. I trust that He never will. We are told to "life up your head and rejoice, and put your trust in God" He will provide help when needed. 

This week we struggled to find people to teach. As we were thinking about how we could find new investigators I thought to send a message to all the contacts the Elders had in the phone under investigators, near 40ish. Well out of all the contacts, only a handful responded. One stated that they had moved, one had started going to another church, but one responded that He would love us to come over and was anxious for us to set a time to visit. So we set the appointment and last night we went to his house. He is an older man in his 70s who lives with his wife. (Claudio and Marta). Turns out their son lives in Spain and he, along with his wife and 4 kids were baptized there 5 years ago. Claudio called his son on skype and we were able to meet this family and hear the testimony of this son to his parents and the many blessings that his family has received upon joining the church. We expressed in our desire to help a family unite in the gospel. We were grateful to have met this couple and we are hopeful to see what the future holds for them. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember how thankful I am for all of you in my life. I am thankful for the gospel and the hope that it gives me. I am thankful for the knowledge that I have that this life is not the beginning nor the end. I am thankful to have guidance in my life through the words of the prophets and apostles, through the scriptures, and through the power of prayer. I am grateful for every day that I get to live, learn, and progress, for the opportunity that I have to wear the name of Christ every day and serve Him. Eat a lot of turkey and pie. Enjoy time with the ones who truly matter most, and never forget the one who made this all possible, the one who gives us everything. 

Les amooooo, que tengan una semana muyyy buena and think of all the things that you are grateful for! 

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Mathis
Mary Poppins on Walt Disney St. The Things you see in Argentina

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Adios Villegas, Hola Arroyito!

An Angel is Baptized in Villegas
The Hermanas Cutting Loose at Zone Conference

Well, this week was whack. It was an emotional rollercoaster that has not ended, ha, but hey... that's the mission. So here's a little summary of my week since the last time you heard from me,

last Monday we made homemade pizzas and were just enjoying life, listening to some great messages and just enjoying each other's presence, until the unspeakable happened.  Let me back up, before the mission hna whitworth fainted and chipped her tooth after  her wisdom teeth were removed. She got a false tooth put over it and you wouldn't even know. Well several months ago the false tooth was no longer glued in, though it had a cap and she could still put it on, it was just more likely to fall out and harder to eat with. Well Hermana was eating the pizza and her tooth fell out and she bit a piece and swallowed it and what was left was half her tooth, cracked. We always joked this would happen but when the moment actually came we were at a loss. So we called president who said he would get back to us. We got ice cream because that helps everything, and as we walked back to the pension our president called saying that we were leaving that night and that I should bring all of my things because I was being transferred to a different area. So we are just wrecks by then. And what do you know, the elders happened to pass by as we are teary eyed, ice cream holding messes, haha.  So I packed up and we left in the middle of the night and I did not even have time to say goodbye to anyone so that was super duper hard. I loved being in Villegas and all the people that we met and the truly great time that we had together. I was not quite ready for our time there to end. 
We fixed Hermana's tooth and stayed in the mission home, doing divisions in the city as well as the one and only Parque Field!! Then Thursday our president told us that in the morning I was going to be with Hermana Matemate in Parque Field for 3 days until the transfer and her companion would be returning to General Villegas with Hermana Whitworth. That was a hard goodbye to say the least. Hermana Whitworth is the best y'all, and God blessed me so much to have her as a companion. I am extra lucky to have had 3 transfers with her. So there I was back In Parque Field, it was loco. I got to say hello to all my favorite families, go to their church where they have an actual ward not a group, visit Miriam and Leo who are now married and he is baptized! And I got to visit them with Hermana W and boy were they happy to see us. She was in tears. 

Now I am in Arroyito in another white wash. yes, that is my third white wash in the mission! That means that my companion and I are completely new to the area, and we are also the first Hermanas this area has ever seen. It is a beautiful area, pretty darn big. My Hermana is named Hermana De Wet and she is from Paraguay. She actually came to the mission on the same day as me. She is rather shy and doesn't really talk too much, but she is really sweet. The Elders before us weren't super organized and we are struggling to interpret what they left us with but it is a process and it will come with time. 

A quote that I read this week by Thomas S Monson says that rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, and the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future. I am outside of my comfort zone yet again, but if I have learned anything this week it is that I am not in control. God knows more than I do, and He knows perfectly. I know that this might be a hard transition, but He knows that I can do it, and because of Him I can do it. Each day is a blessing. We can find joy in the journey, we can find joy through our afflictions. We are never alone. Thank you for your love and your prayers. 

Hermana Mathis❤
With Hermana Gonzales who makes the best food ever!
Lunch with President and Hermana Zanni
Parting is Sweet Sorrow!
With Naomi and Victoria
One of our Favorite families in Parque Field: Miriam and Leo and daughters
Members in Parque Field
Zone Conference
Why So Serious?
They say this is good for Varicose Veins

Monday, November 7, 2016

Right Song, Wrong Tune: Sometimes life is like that!


To start off the week we were in Venado Tuerto with 4 other sister missionaries so you can imagine we had a great time all together. On Pday we ate ice cream and dyed hair(...dont worry I didn't dye mine to those who might be scared, the red locks are staying) and enjoyed each other's company. We also bought a ton of candy to eat because it was Halloween!!! We had a powerful zone conference in which I learned the importance of doing all that we can do and after we put in our all that is when we will see the hand of God. Help comes when we reach our limit and rely on the mercy and grace of the Lord to help us complete things we could not do on our own. 

Saturday we got to go to a baptism for the sweetest little girl who was an investigator of the Elders. Hermana Whitworth did her hair all cute and braided with a white ribbon. The spirit that was felt during the baptism was undeniable. Hermana Whitworth and I got to speak on baptism and the Holy Ghost and it was a great opportunity to share our testimonies to many people who had come to the baptism and weren't of our faith. As we watched videos of the Savior I marveled at all that He truly has done for us and the perfect example He set. I love Him and am trying my best to strengthen my relationship with Him through praying and reading the scriptures which testify so clearly of His divinity. At the end of the meeting we sang,  "How Firm a Foundation" but we accidentally ended up singing it to the tune of "The Spirit of God," everyone went along with it and it totally would have worked out until the last line which was just kind of hanging there awkwardly as the tune cut off. Haha, the poor Elder who was leading. 

We had 4 investigators come to the baptism and 3 come to church yesterday! Fast and testimony meeting was a special meeting, I always look forward to them here. Though we are small in number, there is a power in hearing the testimonies and bearing testimony, a power driven my the Holy Ghost which bears testimony of what is true. 

This week was a great week full of many spiritual lessons, a few setbacks, many laughs, heat and humidity... and lots of it. I am not too sure I'm ready for the summer!  Let me tell ya, pants in this heat is not the bee's knees! Ohh also, tender mercy yesterday, we were super lucky to stumble upon a birthday party for the little girl of one of the members in our group, Juanita. They invited us to eat with them and we stayed for a bit and let me tell you it was the cutest decorated birthday party I've ever seen...pinterest status. The theme was "the little red riding hood" and they had a bounce house... and I am still mad that I forgot my camera but you're going to just have to take my word on it, it was dang cute. 

Love you all! I love serving here in General Villegas with Hermana Whitworth. We have transfers this weekend and I am realllyyy hoping that we both stay but we will go where the Lord wants us to go. 

Much love,
Hermana Mathis
I guess Haylie forgot to bring her camera every day since this is the first week she has not sent any pictures.  Here are a few of her in Reno before she left for the field.