Monday, February 27, 2017

I am a Child of God

The Beautiful Baptisms of Fiorela and Lucia
Hola family and friends!!

Killin it With Hermana Billin
It was truly a great week! I got to spend 5 days being the companion of Hermana Billin (one of the sisters who I shared the pension with in Parque Field!!!). It was a great time reflecting on some old memories and creating many new ones! She now has 14 months in the mission which blows my mind. She helped me a ton in teaching Fiorela and Lucia who were both baptized on Friday and confirmed on Sunday!!!!!

Pure Joy!
I CANNOT EXPLAIN THE JOY THAT I FELT AS I WATCHED THEM TAKE THIS IMPORTANT STEP IN THEIR LIVES. Hermana Moore was with me on Friday so luckily she was able to be a part of the baptisms! For the program we, along with the young women including the two that were baptized, sang "Daughter of a King." We left many teary-eyed...but what really got me the most was when scanning the room during the song, I saw Marilin, (mom of Fiorela) and she was sobbing. I tried to keep my compusure throughout the rest of the song. I was really touched at seeing a loving mom who had fallen away from the gospel for a time, see her daughter in white, entering into the baptismal covenant,  and singing about her divine nature. The Spirit filled the room. 

This week I have had many experiences that have taught me the importance of parents teaching their children the truths of this world, and the importance of teaching them who they truly are. It was evident in the song that we sang during the baptism. It was evident as we visited a less active member the other day and her 5 year old son.  We asked him if he knew who God was, if he knew that he was a child of God. He told us that he did not. Though we had been testifying to this young mother and stating lots of reasonable things, this simple question and simple reply by her son shook her up. We then sang  "I am a Child of God" and afterward this 5 year old boy sat in silence in a suprisingly calm manner. In a general conference, I  remember reading that if we do not teach our kids the truth of this gospel, the world will teach them Satan's lies. I am grateful to know that I am a child of God, and that he loves me. He has given me a family who love me and He seeks more than anything that each and every one of his children can make it back to live with Him. 

Also a great suprise...we are working with Aby and Liliana and Aby is planning to be baptized this Saturday!! Miracles! And prayers that are answered! 


Hermana Mathis

We are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father Who Loves Us
The Girls with their Families

Monday, February 20, 2017

We Will Glory in the Lord

Sharing the Love in Arroyito
Valentine's Day Wedding in Arroyito
Wowzers!  This week was jam packed with experiences and I will try my best to cover it in this short period of time-

On Tuesday we had a district meeting and we set the goal to have 6 baptisms within the 4 of us in this transfer. We prayed together and felt like this is possible and that God can help us achieve this goal. In the entire year of 2016, there were only 2 convert baptisms in Arroyito, but we are truly witnessing a great change in the ward and in our investigators! 

This week if all goes well we will have two baptisms! With many changes setting the day and the time and invitation craziness, we are back on good terms and will have the baptisms this Friday!! The two baptisms are 2 young women. One is the daughter of Viky and Roberto- her name is Lucia (13 years old)!! We started teaching her a bit over a week ago and she has been coming to church with her parents. Well she has just loved young women's and has participated in many activities and is excited to take this important step in her life! And in this whole process, Viky has been supporting her so much and coming to church with her even when Roberto had to work! And Viky and Roberto have talked about marriage and are planning to get married in April and Viky will get baptized after! The change that I have seen in their family over my time here in Arroyito brings me to tears! I love them so much! 

The second young woman is Fiorela (14 years old). She is the daughter of a less active member (who is not in our ward records).  It was a miracle on how I met them. It happened in the beginning of January and I was walking a busy street with hna de wet, a street where normally people reject our cards or they take our them and race walk on their way without a second glance. As I was in the middle of a conversation with hna de wet, I felt prompted to give this family a card, but at this point we had already passed them, luckily only a few seconds. So I gave them a card and told them that we are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and begin the routine of explaining the card and how they can enter in the website.. well Hna Marilyn (Fiorela's mom) says yes, I know who you are. She told us about how she joined the church when she was also a young woman. She lived in the US for about 10 years, but it had been a while since she had attended church. She gave us her address and told us that she would like her daughter to get to know young women but that they would be super busy moving in the next few weeks and to visit in about three weeks. So we passed by weeks later and had a hard time contacting them. We caught them one day and Fiorela agreed to come to church with us. Since then, she has come to church 3 times and this week as we have been teaching her, Marilyn has shared her story and helped us in teaching. She said that she used to go out with the sister missionaries back in the states. She knows that the church is true and she is realizing even more so now that she wants her daughter to have this foundation in her life!!! 

So we will have the baptisms this Friday and we still have to teach the two of them a fair amount before their baptisms and interviews and such so it will be another packed week, and we found out Saturday that we will have divisions this week as well, for 5 days, starting today until Friday afternoon! Hna Moore will be leaving to another area and Hermana Billin will be joining me here! The timing of everything has got me a bit scared and President is trying this new division thing out on us but we are praying everything will work out as planned!!! 

We are seeing countless miracles every day. Like when an old investigator and young woman, randomly texts us Sunday morning asking if we can walk with her to church. Or when we were finally about to teach and set a baptismal date with an investigator who is incredible but always working, or when a sister in the church showed me her instagram and her adorable pics (gotta love IG it's been too long!!), or when we have an excuse to visit Sheila now because she needs help with english, and of course we share the gospel as well. It was a good week. And we we had another great Sunday yesterday with 5 investigators in church! 

God is so good!! I echo the words of Ammon and I know that God is the man behind all these miracles that we are seeing. 16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
The Young Women of Arroyito
Alma 26:16

Our New District

Have a wonderful week! 

Hermana Mathis

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day: The Best Week Ever!

This first week of the transfer has easily been one of my favorites of the mission! I literally am amazed at all that God was able to bless us with, and accomplish through us. God is so good!
With my new companion Hermana Moore
Tacos with Ruben and Soledad
Ruben and Soledad followed through with their promise to both give us tacos and come to church...and we also had the most spiritual experience with them. After we ate tacos, we began to talk about the importance of this life and the blessings that we can obtain if we live according to God's will. We asked them what they would ask God if they were in His presence in that very moment. Soledad said she would ask Him if they could be an eternal family. They began to tell us what they had told to many sets of missionaries about their plans to get married at the end of the year, wanting all their family to be able to be there, getting married in the south of Argentina, etc.  Everything they said was very valid. When I responded I said that if this was my church, my commadments, my answer, I would likely say GREAT! They are going to get married in the end of the year, they have plans, ok. But I told them how as a representative of Jesus Christ, I must tell them what I think Jesus would say in that moment, how they must repent now and how there is not a better time than today to make the necessary changes in our life. We kneeled down all together in prayer and were overcome by a feeling of peace as Soledad offered the prayer. After a few minutes of silence following the prayer, they came to the conclusion that they would get married March 11th, and Soledad accepted a baptismal date for March 18th. MIRACLES! You bet we were dancing in the street after this experience. 

ALSO, we had a great lesson with Liliana and Aby this week about repentance and the need to accept the help the Savior is always so willing to give us. Hermana Liliana said she would do us a favor by not coming to church- we quickly told her that this is never the case, and with feelings like this, she can be assured that they do not come from God. We testified to her of her divine nature and of the enduring love that God has for her, and this Sunday both Aby and Liliana came to church!!

Victoria, Roberto, and Lucia came to church as well! And Lucia is just loving young women's. Sheila is reading the Book of Mormon and is in Alma by now.  We are facing some challenges in the road as her mom is not allowing her to come to any church related activities.  As we talked to Sheila outside of her house, she told us that she knew the church was true, that what she had felt reading the Book of Mormon and attending church is something she had never felt before. Praying for a miracle here! Fiorela also came to church yesterday and she also is loving young women's and excited to receive her own Book of Mormon! We also have a new investigator we met this week named Claudia who has a baptismal date March 25th! All together in the church we had 5 investigators and 4 less active members!! It was truly incredible!! 

We are working hard! I love being a missionary and Hermana Moore is awesome.  She has got a killer voice that lifts our church meetings, and we were able to sing in sweet little Santiago's baptism Saturday and brought his family and him to tears. Such a sweet experience. 

I know that God knows what He is doing with us. I testify of the truthfulness of this scripture.  

Alma 26:27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we wereabout tturn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictionsand will give unto you success.

I know that any success that we have is a blessing that God gives us. I am happy to be here serving in Arroyito- there are so many people prepared to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. The heat has not been terrible and overall life is good.


Fun with the children of the Ward

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Never Underestimate the Power of Being a Friend

Hna De Wet is off to Parque Urquiza
Transfers came and I am staying here in Arroyito and my new companion is Sister Moore from Utah! I am way excited to stay here in this area and work with Hna Moore. I can already tell it is going to be a great transfer! 

Grand Old Reunion (We think Haylie's new companion is the third from the left)
Yesterday was great! As I was waiting for my new companion and sent off Hermana De Wet to Parque Urquiza in the bus station, I got to see all the sister missionies who I just love, and I got to say goodbye to the Hermana Zepeda who returned home this week! For those who do not remember she is the super amazing, fun sister that I shared a pension with in Parque Field when I started the mission. I remember celebrating her 1 year mark- crazy how time flies). Hna Billin was there it was just a grand old reunion!!
With Hna Zepeda and Hna Billin who shared our apartment in Parque Field

Yesterday we witnessed a miracle! So we have been visiting a couple named Ruben and Soledad for some time now, but they have been rather difficult to get a hold of. Ruben is a returned missionary, inactive, and is living with Soledad, his girlfriend who is not a member, and his 1 year old son Francesco. The few times that we are able to teach them are when we miraculously run into them on the street and set a specific time to to come over. Well a few days ago we did just that and set the lesson up for yesterday. So we went yesterday and he answered his phone, miracle, because he lives in a gated passage way and his doorbell doesn't work. But he received us and we got to know them better, talking about his mission, their families, their jobs, and the blessings that God has given them. We were able to gain their trust and understand their reasons behind having fears, etc. to return to church and we set up a lunch appointment for saturday and we are going to eat tacos (super stoked- it has been too long) AND he offered to have us walk to his house Sunday and he would drive and accompany us to church. WAHOO!!

Yesterday with Ruben and Soledad I asked Ruben what his favorite scripture was. John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." I LOVE THIS SCRIPTURE. I know that this love that Christ has for us is so real. We are his friends, imperfect humans who fall and fail over and over again. But I have marveled at the power of love and friendship these past few days. I think of all of my dear friends and family who have shaped and continue to shape my life, who strengthen and edify me. I read in D&C 121:9 in Joseph Smith's moment of severe affliction and suffering, how the Lord promised him that his suffering would be a small moment, and that his friends would stand by him. In Alma 17:2 I read how Alma rejoiced exceedingly to see his friends, his brethren in the Lord. I read in Mosiah 18:8 how we must be willing to bear one anothers burdens and to lift our friends up when they are feeling down, I learn from Alma and Almulek who strengthened each other and together were defenders of the truth, who were able to do more together than alone. Never underestimate the power of being a friend. You are all answers to my prayers and I thank you for being my friend! Have an amazing week!!
Hermana Mathis ❤ 
Our great ward members in Arroyito