Monday, January 30, 2017

Divisions, investigators and Sabbath Blessings

This week we saw many miracles!!

We had a great worldwide missionary broadcast that helped me so much to recognize again my true purpose as a missionary and recommit to working in a way that I am doing God's will, not Hermana Mathis's will. Right after the broadcast we went to La Florida and had divisions with the Hermanas there. I was able to work with Hermana Ruiz who is just a love and a great teacher, and a great cook!! And Hermana Ritchie made apple crisp so we were all happy campers. We were given a bit of a scare though when the apartment alarm went off around 2:00 am. After scouting out the scene we were reassured to find no burglar. 
Hermanas DeWet, Ritchie and Ruiz 

This week we were teaching one of our investigators, Hugo, and his sister. Well they help their mother every day who is 93 years old. Hugo and his sis are super different in their beliefs, doubts and questions so we had like 5 lessons going on at one time. But as the mother was in a state of pain, they asked us if we could pray for her (even though she cannot really hear either). Before the prayer, she was saying that she was hurting, and that she just wanted God to take her. Well, Hna DeWet prayed and silence captured the room- upon finishing Hugo and his sister had tears in their eyes. The feeling in the room completely changed. They told us that she slept that whole night without problems. Hugo said that if that happened, he would come to church, and he followed through and came to church! He still is in the middle of his questions, and thinks that every church just has their ideas. We are looking forward to continuing to teaching him. He wants to find a wife in the church as well after many times telling him I was too young for him, ha ha!

So I was sick with stomach issues and pains this week, and we went to the doctor. Upon me describing my symptoms, she told me that it was a probability I was pregnant. HA, we laughed and affirmed that was not the case. But all the children in the hospital had a fun time messing around with us, running circles around us, making spider man signs at us. We were dying, the hour and a half or so spent inside felt like an eternity. But on the brightest side, we made a pit stop at the monument being in that neck of the woods and snatched some fun pics. 

But listen up, Sunday is when the miracles all descended from heaven:  
So amazing to have Viky and Roberto with us at church!
First of all, Viky and Roberto came to church with their daughter Lucia and their son Jano!!! They even made it to church before us, because we walked to a less active member's house before to bring her daughter Fiorela, (14 years old) who is not a member, to church with us. She really liked it and she wants to keep coming (But she is about to move to a different ward, same stake)  She was all ready to go in a skirt and all!! Then I already told you that Hugo came! And another less active member we have been visiting came. We were just amazed at the tender mercies of the Lord. 

This week I read King Benjamin's speech and was just so amazed at his knowledge, wisdom and the power that he brought when he spoke, a power that made all those who were listening repent, and be filled with pure joy that lead them to a true conversion in which they had no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. I found myself marking just about every verse because the truthfulness of his words is incredible. He speaks of Christ and his atonement, the importance of being humble, of keeping the commandments, and the blessings that will always come as a result. Good stuff. Read it!!

Well love you all and next week i will know transfer news ahhhhh. Que tengan una semana muy buena!! 

Hermana Mathis

Monday, January 23, 2017

More hot chocolate anyone?

This week was full of terrible heat, faulty fans, and another, yes ANOTHER hot chocolate in the hottest house known to man. haha. In the week, I got asked 3 times for my hand in marriage, it's too bad that their average age is 60.

We were able to work with a few young women in our ward this week that helped us in the work. It just so happened to be the hottest day of the week, and they were able to catch a little taste of what missionary work is like, walking in the heat, doors shut on us, the glorious moment when someone offers you juice or water. One is set on serving a mission, and shared a sweet testimony on why she wants to serve a mission to a less active member, because she has seen the examples of the missionaries that have been in the ward and she wants to give back to the Lord for the blessings she has been given. She joined the church a year and a half ago and is the only member in her family, power to her! 

Victoria and Roberto are doing well, reading the Book of Mormon and promised to come to church this Sunday as a family. Sheila is doing well, also reading the BOM and has to get permission from her parents to be baptized so we are praying hard for her. We are searching every day for new investigators that God is preparing to hear the restored message of the gospel. 

Recently,  I have studied a lot about prayer. In Jacob 3:1 I read "Look unto God with Firmness of mind and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions and he will plead your cause." We must come unto Him with a firmness in mind and know what we need from Him. Enos is a great example of praying with faith and firmness. He spoke of his wrestle with God, how his soul hungered, how he cried unto God in mighty prayer all the day long, struggling in the spirit, and through this process he is able to reach the point where his faith began to be unshaken in the Lord. God will console us. He will plead our cause if we are faithful to him. He will help us starting from where we are now, perhaps with faith the size of a mustard seed, but the potential that the seed has to grow is incredible and known to the Lord. And in the end, we, like Enos, can be comforted that in the Savior, our redeemer, we will find our rest. 

Love yall have a great week! 
Hermana Mathis

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mini Miracles

The Sisters on the Loose with a Selfie Stick at Zone Conference 

This week was full of many mini miracles, and "coincidences" in the street that were divinely inspired by God. I could spend quite the time writing out every single experience, but just know that God is always so mindful of us, and that He will lead us to those who are in need of His help and His love. 

We had a great Zone Conference in which we learned the importance of inviting everyone to come unto Christ and to not be afraid to open our mouths and testify of the truth. We are never, nor will we ever be, abandoned. We can start over new. We can change and commit to be true disciples of Christ, and invite others to do the same.
We had a great lesson with Victoria and Roberto this week. They have not really been progressing much over these past weeks. They feel the Spirit when we teach but after we leave they fall back into their routine. Well we decided that we would read the Book of Mormon with them. Starting with the intro, then 1 Nephi chapters 1 and 2. The Spirit testified of the truthfulness of what we read. They were able to understand the scriptures, take the examples of those in the scriptures and apply them into their own lives. We then asked them if they would come to church on Sunday. Viky, usually the quiet one who waits for the response of Roberto, says yes, we are going to go, as a family. Wow the Spirit was so strong. 

We had a fun little birthday get together with Sheila who turned 16. Hna De Wet and I impressed all the young women with our justin bieber singing skills, or rather lack of. Sadly, Sheila is on vacation and has been for about a week which tends to complicate teaching and baptism and things, but it's all good. 

Yesterday, Sunday, we were struck with crazy rain. Some streets were flooded and this resulted in no investigators and only 24 members showing up to church. There is a lot of work to do!! We are trying to increase the love that is present in our ward. Love for God and for our brothers and sisters are the greatest commandments, and the greatest recipe for happiness and success in our lives. Really, if we are filled with love, the pure love of Christ, we will see everyone with the eyes that God sees them. In a talk yesterday, a member got real direct with the ward, saying that the reason many people are becoming less active is due to the lack of love in the ward. People are worried about their reputations or just being right which leads to quarrels and causes the love to diminish. The best way to show our love is serving others, and showing them that we have time for them specifically. 

Through my studies this week, I have marveled at how God truly places things, people and even trials in our lives for a reason, and everything in His own perfect time. They are placed by a wise and all knowing Father in Heaven and prepare us to face what comes next. Many times, He allows storms and winds, when He surely has the power to let them pass and  He guides us calmly and safely to our destination, eventually,  (Ether 2) As I was reading a talk recomended by my sister, "Bread or Stones, understanding the God we pray to," I better understood the importance of the trials we face and following the counsel of our wise and loving  Father in Heaven. He listens to our prayers and knows what we need even before we ask. Do not think that after 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 10 years, that he has abandoned you. His time is perfect and His answer may come to us in a delayed time (according to us), but a time in which we are prepared to receive His answer and can understand it better. There is never a prayer that goes unanswered or forgotten. 

Love you!!! Pray for you!!! God loves you and He is extremely mindful of you. Find time to show Him your love, serve others! Learn more about His love and His life. 

Hermana Mathis

Monday, January 9, 2017

If you love me, keep my commandments

Celebrating Hermana Benitez's Birthday

OK, lets start with the bad news of the week:
Liliana (mother of Abi- the young 9 year old girl who drew me that beautiful picture) was baptized about a year and a half ago. After a few months she stopped attending and is now currently less active. We have been visiting them a lot and Abi had accepted baptism and was really excited about it. The baptism was planned for this Saturday, the 14th. Well Liliana, this week. has told us that she does not think that it is what Abi should do and that it would be best if we stopped visiting. That took us by surprise. She said that Abi is becoming too close to us and it will be hard when we have to leave to a different area.  She is doubting basically everything that she has ever known. Upon receiving this news through text, we were in shock. We knelt in prayer together and began to just cry as we pondered that for lack of  better words it is just not fair. Liliana has experimented  upon the truth and the blessings of the gospel, and is now living in a mountain of afflictions and seeks no help, Abi is a young girl with a pure desire to be baptized though now is held back by her mother. In this moment we felt the extreme love that God has for them and His desire to mend what has been broken. We have not given up hope, but this is the current situation with them.

Sheila....still amazing!! She came to church with us yesterday and she is continuing to read, underline, and understand what she is reading in the Book of Mormon! She is still set to be baptized at the end of this month! We all walked back from church yesterday in the pouring rain and to make the scene even better --a car sped by with just the right speed to spray a fountain of water that drenched us as we stood on the side of the road. We laughed, not knowing what else to do. 

We had quite the lesson this week with our investigator Viky and her husband Roberto. We talked about the law of chastity and testified of the importance of keeping the commandments of God, and how we do it out of love for Him. We were bold in what we said as we followed the things the spirit told us to say. Viky told us that she just didn't see the need for it all right now, that she wants Roberto to return to church because he is less active and she will be happy for him and support him. She said that thinking about all the commandments  and the requirements of the church overwhelm her..
Later that night as I studied a talk I came across a verse in D&C 64:33 that says, "Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And of small things proceedeth that which is great." A lot of people are good where they are, in their comfort zones, in their comfortable churches that do not require much of them. But Joseph Smith taught  that a religion that doesn't demand sacrifices in all things would not have the power to guide men to salvation. Sacrifice prepares us to live in God's presence. God says, "If you love me, keep my commandments." The crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty. We can sacrifice our time and energy, have a broken heart and contrite spirit, give our all to obtain all that God has to offer. 

Love y'all. Have a great week! If you're in the home land of Reno-- stay safe during these crazy floods I'm hearing about. I wish I could send some of this heat your way to balance things out. 

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

FELIZ ANO NUEVO!! 2017!! Wow time flies. 2016 has been too good to me and I am excited for all that 2017 holds in store. During New Year they shoot off a ton of fireworks, and guns, and bomb firework things. It was pretty exciting, although I was excited to sleep as well- but you can't always get what you want, I guess. 
This week has been the hottest week of my life, and this is just the start. The sun burns me like a tomato but on the bright side I'm getting more color than I have ever had. But these dark pants are less than ideal in the heat. A few days ago, debatedly the hottest state I have ever been in, we had a lesson inside a house that seemed to be even hotter than outside with fans that didn't even reach us...and what did they offer us to drink?? Hot chocolate! 100% serious! So we drank it with sweat running down our faces.
I hit my new record this week...4 people in one day told me that I looked like Lindsey Lohan in Parent Trap. They think I'm famous. I make sure to clarify that I look like her young innocent state, before she went crazy and fell off the deep end.
Other than that this week has been good! We are excited for this month and all that we have planned. I am happy to be here in Arroyito! Our investigators are doing well! They continue to read the Book of Mormon and find important truths. They are applying what we are teaching them which is so key.
This gospel is one of action! Thomas S Monson says the reward of eternal life requires effort. If we want our faith to grow, we have to apply what we are learning and exercise it. If we want more knowledge, we must humble ouselves and go to the Lord willing to be taught and to accept and apply the things He tells us. I hope that we can all start this year with a goal in mind and have a plan as to how we can achieve it. YOU CAN DO IT!! SI SE PUEDE!
Hermana Mathis

At the Parana River near Rosario:  Glad that barrier is there, yikes!

with the Robleda family
Ano Nuevo Dinner with the Caldarella and Benitez family
This is Abi and this is the "beautiful" portrait that she drew of me