Monday, September 25, 2017

Domingo Especial: Behold Your Little Ones


We Welcomed Spring this Week in Argentina
Kevin came to mutual this week and played ping pong with us a little bit. He knows a few of the youth in the ward and has been excited about the process of learning new things in the gospel as well as making new friends. He didn't make it to church on Sunday because a member forgot to pick him up... :/ He is doing well, although this week we found out that his grandma, who lives right in front of him, is pretty against the church and her grandaughters who are less active live with her and she does not allow them to go to church.  We are praying that in this process with Kevin she will allow Kevin to continue to progress and be baptized!

Jose, our beloved Taxi Driving Investigator, and Family
This Sunday was a DOMINGO ESPECIAL, planned for weeks where we would have several blessings for the toddlers that haven't had a the opportunity to blessed in the church previously and including a special choir by the primary (children 3-11). We invited EVERYONE we came in contact with! The leaders of the church set out and visited many less actives and we saw the fruits of all of our labors. Our normal attendance is about 50 or 60, and yesterday there were 106 in the church!! Miracles! While we were way excited to see many less actives and unfamiliar faces, we were so hoping that the familiar faces of our investigators would appear. The meeting started and upon finishing the first hymn we saw Jose walk in with his new baby, Estefano who is 2 months old, Emiliano (11) Tiago (5) and his wife Viviana who we met for the first time. The day before in a lesson with them we had talked about the importance of prayer, reading the scriptures, and attending church, and they were unsure if they would be able to swing it with many chores to get done. We had prayed that the Spirit would get him and his family to church. Upon seeing them enter the chapel, my feelings of confusion and desperation, asking God what more  we could have done to get our investigators to church, turned into immense joy that brought me to tears. After two babies of less actives were blessed, we asked Jose if he wanted to have Estefano blessed, and he and his wife quickly accepted. Following him, Tiago was blessed. They were blessed to be able to be baptized and to grow knowing the principles of the gospel, their parents were blessed to have the temporal and spiritual means to raise them, and Tiago was blessed to be a light in his home and family--very spiritual blessings that brought many to tears. 

The Miracle of a filled Relief Society Room on Sunday
President Allred and Hna Allred were there, and Pte. Allred as well as our branch Pte. Coronel shared verses from 3 Nephi 17. To my surprise and amazement I had read this chapter just the day before in my study in  the Book of Mormon. Pte Coronel was emotional as he explained how Jesus stated, "Blessed are you because of your faith. and now behold, my joy is full." And when he had said these words he wept...and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them, and when he had done this he wept again...and said unto them, "Behold your little ones." I saw my study brought to life in the blessing of children and contemplated the love Jesus has for children, for their innocence, purity, meekness and sweet spirits. There were many teary eyes. The Spirit overpowered the crowded room of our branch building. Emiliano was soaking in the hymns and singing with all his heart! 

Tonight we have a Family Home Evening in the mission home with Jose and his family and a father and son in our branch. Hermana Allred met Jose months ago, she was with the hermanas and he was their taxi driver that they invited to our English class! It was a blessing that they opened their mouths and this simple invitation has made all the difference. 

Have a wonderful week!! Love you all!!

Hermana Mathis
 Celebrating Hermano Lupinuccis' Birthday
With all of our sister missionaries:  Note Hermana Guaraglia
Hermana Cadena made my last "don't get trunky" Agenda, Haha! 

My mom sent me Flat Stanley to keep me company

Monday, September 18, 2017

Vision to Baptize, Faith to Find and Power that Will be Manifest

Hermana Cadena celebrating 5 months as a missionary

We Love the Children of Rosario
Hola Hola Hola, I'm excited to tell you about how great our week was. We taught a lot.  We shared the Book of Mormon with every person that we could and shared our testimonies. Some rejected, some accepted, some gave us their addresses so that we could teach them again. We found 7 new investigators who have great potential and all this through the power of the Book of Mormon. 

We had a zone conference in which we were able to learn more about the Book of Mormon and be strengthened by the testimonies of our leaders. We were invited to change our perspective and our mindset-- to have the vision to baptize, the faith to find, the power that will be manifest to others as we allow the Book of Mormon to speak for itself. 

The Sisters of the Zone
News: Marina went to the temple this last weekend!! She is progressing beautifully and just carries a special light with her!

Jose and Emiliano are doing great! They are reading the Book of Mormon and we are hoping to have a fun Family Home Evening with their family this week. They are progressing in their english as well ;)

Hot Sauce- Mexican Style
Hermana Cadena made a hot sauce with chiles and it is super good. Argentinos do not believe in spicy food, so it has been fun to taste it after so long. Also we hear jokes every day about Hermana Cadenas's name. It literally means Sister Chain, haha, so you can think of some of the jokes people come up with.

We found a young girl this week who we began to teach, Florencia, 16 years old. Turns out she is a friend of a member! Even better.  We found a man who is probably about 30 years old, Ezekiel, who is way receptive and works in a panaderia so win win!

And best for last... KEVIN. Okay, so we found Kevin in the first few days Hna Cadena was here. He is 14 years old. Right from the start we knew he was special, which was a pain in the next week when we could not find the kid--his address did not exist. Well... YESTERDAY he passed by on his bike and stopped to talk to us. This time he gave us his real address, having then gained more confidence, and then set off. THEN,  he came back after 5 minutes and gave us a referral to visit his aunt and just stuck with us. We were walking along a dirt road and he was walking his bike, and I felt impressed to share the first vision with him.  We told him of another 14 year old boy who had the desire to know the truth, Joseph Smith. Well, as we were teaching him, the sun was as red as fire, and was setting on the horizon. Hna cadena said, "Joseph explained how the glory of the father and the son was brighter than the sun." In this moment I felt the spirit so strongly, and I pondered how a young man of  just 14 years had the pure desire to know the truth. Kevin is a very special kid, and we are excited to continue teaching him. 
Above the brightness of the Sun
With Kevin

The church is true. 

Hermana Mathis :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Change in the Game Plan


Thank goodness I'm really not flying solo
Change in the game plan. The companion I was set to train will be reassigned state side because of some stomach problems and we found out very last minute.  Luckily there was a trio in the mission so Hermana Cadena came to be my companion here in Funes. She is from Monterrey, Mexico and has been a member for 5 years and a missionary for about 5 months. I'm really hoping she´ll make me some mexican food because it has been too long. 
Hermana Allred took me to pick up my new companion:
Hermana Cadena from Monterrey, Mexico

The transfer meeting with the new companionships:
Notice who does not have one
So when I first got here (Funes) we started teaching an English class to Jose and his son Emiliano (11). Last week Hermana Bennett said that she couldn't leave without also sharing the gospel with them. So we taught them the restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon, sharing our personal testimonies. This past week we taught English and they came prepared with their Book of Mormon as well and we taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and they accepted baptism. He is a taxi driver and works all Sundays but is asking for a Sunday off so he can come to church! 

It has been a wet, rainy, cold, humid, muddy weekend. (Not sure if Haylie has heard at all about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma) It cleared up for p-day which is always great :) 

This week in my study I came upon 1 Peter 3:15 which states:

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you reason othe hope that is in you..."

Upon reading this verse I thought of many reasons for the hope that is within me. But more so recently I have been focusing on the importance of the Book of Mormon. This was something that Elder Texeira stressed a lot in his conference, how we should contact using the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the physical evidence we have of the restoration. In our Relief Society class yesterday we read many verses about the book that are found in Doctrine and Covenants:

"as your Lord and your God liveth it is true:" 17:6

"contains the truth and the word of God" 19:26

"proves to the world the holy scriptures are true" 20:11

"contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ" 20:9

"translated by God's power" 20:8

"given by inspiration" 20:10

"those who receive it in faith shall receive a crown of eternal life." 20:14

In the latest conference ensign, there is in excerpt from Mark Peterson, "from cover to cover the Book of Mormon is a revelation, an inspired translation, the work of God and not of any man. From cover to cover it is true."

I know that it is true. Day by day I realize more so the grand importance and the spiritual revelation we receive through it. I know that only with the power of God could such a book be translated. This sacred book is most definitely a reason for the hope that is in me. I love the Book of Mormon, and I know that through following the principles in it, we can have eternal life. 

Have a great week. I invite all to invest themselves in the Book of Mormon. If you don't have one, ask for one. You can also find one online. If you have one and are not reading it, pick it up and read a few pages. It testifies of Christ and I promise that it will answer any of the questions or doubts you many have.

Hermana Mathis :)

How many miles have these boots seen? 
The Classic Missionary shoe shot

Monday, September 4, 2017

There is Power in the Priesthood

Hermana Bennett Completes her mission

Transfer news: Hermana Bennett got transferred... to her casa! And I will be training a nuevita and staying in Funes! I'll keep up with the nurse duties and would surely benefit from your prayers :) I am way excited!

So this week was great. I'd say the conference we had with Elder Texeira was one key factor that made it so great and the brownies of hna bennett. ;) I do not have my notes from the conference with me today, but I will make sure to send some details next week. One thing that I do remember among many is what happened following the conference. We were finishing up the conference, gathered in a great number and singing "Called to Serve." Elder Texeira had left quickly to talk to a stake member. Shortly thereafter I saw him sitting on the stairs, pale and weak. He signaled to his wife who quickly ran to his side. Elder Texiera was losing consciousness and could not talk. Although there were masses of missionaries there, only pte allred and hna allred, the two of us, and a few elders were gathered around him, seeing how we could help. I had no clue, I think a bit more time than a few weeks in the nurse gig was necessary. When placed on his feet again to be walked to the car, he fainted and fell to the floor. Fortunately with many hand supporting him, it was not a hard fall. Promptly after, a blessing of health was offered. As an Elder placed his hands on Elder Texeiras head I contemplated the power of the priesthood, and how this power is the same power no matter how young, or experienced one may be. Then Pte Allred offered a blessing and one part that stood out to me was that he would be healed according to the faith of all of us there, and we had quite the mighty army. As the blessing was offered the missionaries still inside offered a prayer for his health. Right after the blessing, Elder Texeira was able to stand up, talk, and function properly. He was taken to the doctor after so that they could further investigate what had happened, but we truly witnessed first hand the power in the priesthood. It was an incredible miracle that we witnessed.  Everyone felt the Spirit in great abundance. In this simple, powerful phrase offered by Pte Allred, I contemplated, How great is my faith? In the circle with Elder Texeira, his incredible wife, Pte Allred and his incredible wife, Elders with great faith, I thought to myself, how can I increase my faith? I was humbled by the great examples before me and inspired to strive to be more like them. 

Well we completed our goal to work hard and have fun. Hermana Bennett was comletely focused and worked hard until the very end. Her example to me will always be remembered. We experienced the great love of the members in Funes and it was a week of learning and feeling the spirit. 

The church is true. There is power in the priesthood. God stands at the head, and Jesus the Christ is our Savior and Friend. He leads and guides us through the Holy Ghost, and tells us to be calm, to have faith, and to trust that he will lead us along. I know this to be true. 
Rosario is beautiful in the Spring
The great members and missionaries of Funes
Bus Station Farewells
With Hermana Ruiz who also transfers home
A borrowed district

Hermana Mathis

Monday, August 28, 2017

Gustavo, Gonzalo y Muchas Tortas!

Enjoying our Last Week together
Transfers are next week and Hermana Bennett will return home to Utah

The District
Pickle Ball at With President Allred

We walk every day, like a lot. So we should be in decent shape right? Wrong! We played pickle ball this last P-day at the mission home and we were sore for days after! Heaven help us! But it was so fun to be able to do something athletic! And President  and Hermana Allred are way fun to compete with! It got competitive.

Hermana Allred "serving"in Pickle Ball
So a bit ago I told you about Gustavo, well get this--his name is actually Gonzalo, whoops! We had been praying for Gustavo this whole time. We could not contact him for weeks (maybe the correct name would have helped,) but we "by coincidence" ran into him the other p-day grocery shopping and have been able to continue to teach him. He said that the week we showed up at his door he had seen us talking with his mom. He took it as a sign to listen to us when we showed up at his house days later. He is great and we see potential in him!

We had splits this week and we were able to go to Baigorria, the area in which we have both served and loved! I got to set out with Hermana Guaraglia and we just had a ball. We visited Oscar received the Melchizedek  Priesthood yesterday and continues to learn and to grow. Keila has been in Rosario for a few months now working a whole lot and living with her uncle. It has been a while since we've seen her. We are praying for her because she is having a bit of a hard time. Our visit in Baigorria was full of torta!! Hna Guaraglia made a cake for Hermana Bennett who is finishing her mission this week!!!!! Hna. Prat made a cake, everyone had cake. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner=cake. 

Yesterday we had a special Stake Conference in which we watched a broadcast that took place in Buenos Aires in which Elder Rasband presided. It was great! A few things that stood out to me... We harvest what we plant. Simple thought but a great example shared of when a woman was young she asked her father why they didn't have strawberries in their garden, and he replied, "Well because we didn't plant them!!" Sometimes we want things and think that they will just magically appear without work or sacrifice, but the seed must be planted. We were encouraged to plant the "seeds" of the greatest importance! Elder Rasband spoke of the restoration and the need to share the gospel. He asked when was the last time that you shared the message of the restoration with a friend, nonmember, etc. He bore his strong testimony, using the Prophet Joseph Smith's powerful words, and after key points in his testimony he would pause and ask, Do you know that? We must gain this knowledge for ourselves if it is something that we are unsure about. 

Some pretty amazing Asada
This week we have a special conference with half of the mission and Elder Texeira, the area seventy. We have been waiting for this for some time and know that it wont disappoint. Other than that this week we have planned to work hard and have fun, Hermana Bennett shortly returning and all is a good reason. Transfers are in a week, loco crazy. 

Have a great week, good luck to my friends who have started or will soon start school. Study hard. Have fun. And Happy Birthday to my father!!! 

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Let us go Forth!

McDonalds Twice in One Week!!
Last Pday we hit up downtown Rosario with the one and only President Allred and Hermana Allred. They took us to McDonalds, ROUND 2, only this time is was free so that made it all the more better. The McDonald's was hoppin. We got some fun stares.

So we had another lesson with Luis and Liliana, investigators we met last week. They also invited us to lunch Saturday and fed us empenadas and we made brownies. We are truly confused because they are just SO unusually kind to us and love us. We are seeing how we can help them grow more in the faith and understand our purpose as misisonaries, but they have adopted us as their daughters (they only have one son).

Empenadas and brownies with Luis and Liliana
Yesterday was DIA DE NIÑO here in Argentina. It's like another Christmas for the children where they eat a lot and get more presents. A member in the branch made all the missionaries fun little presents with Mickey mouse ears and such, with candy inside. It was precious. This couple, the Lupinuccis, recently reactived in the church  with all the energy and fire in the world! They love the missionaries and have seen the power of repentance bring joy and hope into their lives. 

Dia De Nino: The Missionaries with the Lupinuccis
A missionary asked our missionary leader this week what he hoped for us. He says it was the same as what Heavenly Father hopes for us- that we can be faithful and firm. That we can be and embrace who we are, not just as missionaries, but children of God. We must always live worthy to claim this title. 

In my studies this week I read about the army of Helaman--the many young men who truly understood  and embraced their divine nature, divine parenthood as well as the value of their earthly parenthood. They who entered into a coventant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, to protect the land, even laying down of their lives, covenanting that they would NEVER give up their liberty, but that they would fight IN ALL CASES...stating, "Our God is with us and he will not suffer that we should fall, then let us go forth!!" Upon reading this I thought of the importance of the covenants that we make with God. We, like them, must be willing to keep these covenants in all cases, all circumstances, at all times, trusting that God will always be with us. 

❤ Hermana Mathis