Monday, July 18, 2016


By Train, by Trax, By Plane, By Bus: Adios Hermana Romero
By some miracle I made it to Argentina! With a mix up in the schedule and a race to the airport, we ended up making it with plently of time thanks to some kind souls who helped us along the way. Also, I got to talk to my family on the phone in the airport and that was awesome!! Our journey began on Monday morning and we arrived in Buenos Aires Tuesday morning. Long day!! But we made it! And the spanish immersion began... Directly after we arrived we got on buses that took us to the cities we would be serving in for the next 18-24 months. I had to say goodbye to my companion Hermana Romero and that was hard! She is the best!! A few hours later we were welcomed in the mission home by President and Hermana Zanni and their sweet family! They are incredible and I could feel the love they have for the missionaries and for the gospel. The girls that I stayed with in the mission house were all latinas haha but luckily I know enough spanish to get by. We were fed a great lunch and dinner and the next day we were off to meet our companions! I was so nervous for this moment.. but God gave me quite possibly the nicest companion in the Argentina, Rosario mission. Her name is Hna Whitworth and she has been in the mission for 13 months. We are doing a white wash- which means that we are both brand new to the area. Needless to say we get lost on average 20 times a day. But we are learning together. (Haylie said that their only transportation is by foot and that they use a street map to navigate:)

First Companion: Hermana Whitworth from California,
First Area:  Parque Field, Rosario Argentina
Bad news: we are now required to wear slacks. We all got fitted and will promtly begin to strut the street in our slacks because of the severity of the mosquitos here! Well, I wish I would have know that before I packed my clothes literally as full as they could be!! I mean literally because by some miracle both of my suitcases were both exactly 50 pounds which is the limit. Also bad news, I have basically only been talking Spanish so my English is sub par right now. 

As far as Argentina-- WOW. So different than the states in every way. So humbling and so unique to be able to have this experience. The people here are all so open about their stories and the majority believe in God! It has  been freezing here- apparently more freezing than it has been in years and the humidity does not help. The food is really good- the Argentines are very proud of their meat and for good reason! There has been a lot of firsts this week! 

The days are very long- all the things we do in one day could easily be spread out into a week and that would be normal. We are going going going! We are still getting to know the members here and the area. The members are saints! They are so kind and welcoming and just take us in and love us as their own. They even say I dont speak like a Yankee! That's comforting to hear, haha. They also say I need to talk more but I am working on that. It's hard to keep up with the conversation when its moving at a rapid pace. 
With President and Sister Zanni

Church yesterday was exactly what I needed after several long days.I got to share my testimony with the ward for the first time. I think it went well judging by the standards of not saying anything too embarrassing and not crying. Hermana Whitworth was very kind and said that it was the best first testimony she has heard. Not too sure about that,haha, but very nice of her to say. We were able to bring an inactive member as well as her 6 year old daughter and her 15 year old niece to church with us! It had been years since they attended but they could sense a difference and they want to keep coming! So cool to be a part of that.

The Newest companionships of the Argentina Rosario Mission
One thing that I have been thinking about a lot this week is, what sets apart the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from Catholics, Christians, etc. What comes to mind is the Book of Mormon. I remember back to a lesson Brad Wilcox gave in my mission prep class on the Book of Mormon. We discussed the dead sea scrolls and the cool discovery of them, but after talking about this he paused to state- you show me one person who has been changed by the dead sea scrolls. It is acceptable and undeniable so therefore it has no power, it does not require faith. The Book of Mormon and the coming forth of the book is something that pushes people outside the realm of what is empirically proven and into the realm of trusting God. The Book of Mormon changes lives! It requires trust and inquiry.  It requires action and many times,  a leap of faith. Right now I am in the realm of trusting God, far from the realm of what is comfortable. I am walking the streets of Argentina, white and hair as red as ever, speaking a language that I am clearly not fluent in-  Parque Field is my area in case anyone wants to look it up-preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ- many times on the dark streets of Rosario. I am talking to strangers about Jesus Christ. I am able to do it because I have the help of Jesus Christ, through the enabling power of His atonement. I have witnessed miracles daily, and people have been in our path for a reason. This work is hard but it is true. Thank you for your prayers and your love. I would not be where I am today without all of your examples and goodness. 

Hermana Mathis 

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