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!