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    

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