Monday, September 5, 2016

Missionaries are not liars or something!

Matching shirts

Buen dia familia y amigos! 
I hope that you are all doing well and that you remember how important you are to me and how much I love you, as well as how important you are to your Father in Heaven and how much He loves you. I cannot believe it's September- crazy. We spent most of our p-day inside today because it has been pretty cold here recently. The sad thing is that our little house isn't much warmer...and our hot water didn't work for 4 days so we were living off of sponge baths which was an adventure! We watched Mr Kreuger's Christmas because it's never too early to get in the Christmas spirit and because we were at a loss of things to do inside. Luckily we have enough fun just being together. Speaking of fun, this week we dug ourselves into a lie!  We usually tell people that we live with a family from our church just as a precaution(when in reality we live alone.) Well we told this to a family who then inquired what was the name of the family, how many kids do they have, are they new to the neighborhood, are they nice/old/fun... well, I left that to Hermana Whitworth to answer as I was laughing. In a small town such as this everyone knows everyone so it is best to just not say anything. We saw them two times and they asked more about the "Gonzalez" family we supposedly live with. The next time we are going to tell them the truth. I think that we can't lie or something as missionaries.
We went to Rosario again this week and I took care of my passport and legal things as far as I know, but Hermana Whitworth has to take care of something else so we will be heading down again this week! The 6 hour bus ride is really growing on me. Especially when they give you good food. We ended up staying in Rosario for two days because tramites are the worst but we got to do splits with the Hermanas in the heart of the city which was fun! A huge march was going on in the streets but we just kept our ground and went about our business. Not sure what was the issue behind that. I was able to meet an investigator the Hermanas have there who is from Haiti and is learning Spanish but speaks French and Creole. She just walked by the church one day and saw the sign of when we had church and just showed up the next Sunday! She is so kind and is embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I was able to learn a few French phrases in the process! When we returned to Villegas we were able to sleep in until 8:30 because of our lack of sleep in the prior days so that was a miracle!
We had a good week here in Villegas! We have an investigator, Maria, who is really impressing me every lesson that we have with her. Everything that we teach her she warmly accepts, saying that it is a confirmation of what she has always hoped. I know that it is exactly this- our gospel is a gospel of happiness and hope that sits well with us because it was created by God who is perfect. He is not a God of doubts or of confusion. His plan is perfect and His gospel is perfect. Though we are not perfect as missionaries, we pray over and over again in the day that the Spirit will be able to speak to the hearts of our investigator and confirm the truthfulness of our words. The only thing that Maria is lacking right now is church attendance which is very hard for the Argentinians if it is early and if it is cold. Unfortunately it has been both recently. We are praying that she will be able to come and be strengthened in our church meetings and ultimately be baptized which she has already stated she knows she needs to do.
Through a lesson with our investigator, Magali,  I was able to more fully understand the power of forgiveness, and the need to forgive. We intended to teach something different with her, but we were able to address her needs as she began to converse with us. She has had many people in her life who have done things to her that no one should have to endure, yet God asks us to forgive everyone. Luckily, we do not have to go about this alone. We can plead for charity which is the love of Christ, a love that surpasses human ability to love. A love that can only come from Christ. It is then when the overriding strength of the Lord takes hold of our broken, envious, trembling, furious, or any type of heart, and heals it, helping us do things that we once thought were impossible.
Have a wonderful week and if you are having a hard time, just remember to turn outward. Help and serve others, do a random act of kindness, forgive others, forgive yourself, let the Lord work within you. Day after day I am reminded that this mission is not for me. It is for the lives that I will touch and change here in Argentina, it is for our families and the last name that we carry, representing generations with pride and honor, it is for my friends and family now and in the future, it is for my Savior Jesus Christ and for my Heavenly Father. I love this work. This church is true.
With love,
We pass this sign every day in Villegas!
Hermana Mathis

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