Monday, June 26, 2017

We are daughters (and sons) of our Heavenly Father!

Crepes and Companions
Look who is celebrating her one year mark!
FUN WEEK--And I hit my year mark in the mission which I still can't believe. Time fliesss!

Oscar provided us with a lot of laughs this week. He is such a stud, so strong in his faith and his desire to endure to the end! What we have taught him in these past months are things that were presented to him for the first time-and he has lived many years. So a lot of new info all at once...and sometimes he stresses because he wants to have a perfect understanding of everything. We taught him about the priesthood, laying out pictures and stating about one hundred times in simple terms that the priesthood is the power of God on the earth. At the end of the discussion he looks at us with a worried face and asks, You want me to be the priesthood? we couldn't help but laugh.  He is doing well, preparing to, yes, receive the priesthood. Oscar has struggled to pray vocally, but has been practicing a lot recently so that it becomes more natural. He arrived at the church where we have our lessons and the moment we sit down, as we are talking casually and asking how he is, we hear "padre celestial..." and he is already bowing his head and praying. We went along with it. In his prayer he thanked God to be with the missionaries and to be in the "house of Jospeh Smith" hahaha we looked at each other with the look of, who taught him that???? haha. After the prayer he continued to tell us about how he had read the Book of Mormon throughout the week, reading in Alma about the Prophet Joseph Smith. We cleared it all up, no worries. But it provided a good laugh. 

We began to teach a young couple, Diego and Juliana, this week who have a 5 year old son. We had passed by their house many times before, and had talked outside of their house, on one occasion we had talked for about 40 minutes outside, but this week they finally invited us to come inside and teach them. We were able to visit them twice and teach both the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, and we have seen a change in them. They are amazed at how what we teach truly makes sense, and they throw a ton of questions at us and are super involved in the lessons. Diego had told us a week or so ago that he hated churches, etc, and now he is intrigued and wants to learn more. 

We were blessed to be able to attend a young women's activity this week in which the Spirit penetrated our hearts. Upon reciting the YW theme, we truly pondered on the words, and were able to share our testimonies with the young women and the leaders about how personal progress and  the young women's program had helped us prepare for the mission and to enter the temple. We both got emotional in sharing our testimonies and we bore truth of the promise the Lord leaves with us in the theme. 

WE ARE DAUGHTERS of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. WE WILL “STAND as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
WE BELIEVE as we come to accept and act upon these values, WE WILL BE PREPARED to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
Sunset over Rosario

Hope you all have a wonderful week, that you remember you are loved, and that blessings come when we obey the One who infinitely loves us. 

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, June 19, 2017

There is No Substitute for Love!

What an incredible week! De 10!! as the Argentinians would say!
KEILA AND OSCAR WENT TO THE TEMPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! (The Buenos Aires Temple) Keila shared her testimony yesterday in church and said that the Spirit was undeniable in the temple, and that once she entered she could not doubt.  She said that she knew that the Church of Jesus Christ is the true church. Entering the temple, she said she felt as if all her problems, doubts, confusions and frustrations

Las Hermanas 
were taken away. She felt a happiness she hadn't before and it was evident in her testimony how she grew through this experience!

My dear companion Hermana Schmutz finished her mission this week and her parents came to pick her up!! The struggle is real in talking English but I warmed up after a bit! They came to church with us in Baigorria yesterday and it was great for her to be able to hear Keila's words and see how Oscar and Keila have progressed because it was Hermana Schmutz and I that were the first to teach them. 

We had a leadership council on Thursday and soaked in this final time we had with Pte. and Hna Zanni. We talked about bravery and courage, and about saying the words that often go unsaid. We talked about how when speaking with others we must always have love for them. There is no substitute for love! As missionaries sometimes we get carried away and think that we have to be very direct and call people to repentance, which we do, but when it is done without love it can offend or damage a precious child of God. 

The Zanni children
Saturday we had the farewell of President and Hermana Zanni. I wish their was a way to explain this precious day spent with them and their family. We had a face to face with them and truly I am so grateful that I came to this mission to be able to meet the Zanni Family. They were called of God and always worked and taught by the Spirit. They were dearly loved by us, their missionaries, and we felt their love for us. They taught by example. We emotionally gathered in a circle (as half of the mission) and they personally said goodbye to each one of us. Then we sent them off as we sang "God be with you til we meet again." Very special day that I will always remember. President Zanni shared the scripture D&C 18:15-16 through tears: 

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will bgreat with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Farewell to the Zannis- So Grateful for them
He humbly stated that he has experienced great joy in the mission, but the greatest joy is seeing a precious son or daughter of God use the atonement of Jesus Christ to repent, change, and come unto Him. He surely saved many more souls than one. So all in all a wonderful week full of all sorts of emotions. I am so very grateful. 

having fun with Hermana Schmutz
Hermana Mathis 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Traslados (Transfers) but not for us! Baigorria by Jove!

TRASLADOS this week, and we both stayed here in Baigorria! We are happy to be able to continue working here and excited to see many more miracles.

A Sweet Member Made the Argentinian Beanies
I am back to feeling A-OK which is a blessing but it is pretty nippy oustide so we sure bundle up! On average about 10 people ask us every day why we are out in this cold, haha, and winter hasn't even officially started yet! Wooo!  

This week we got the General Conference Ensign which is like Christmas!! We have been attacking it and I am constantly amazed at the inspired messages shared by the prophet and apostles in this last conference. If you didn't get the chance to hear it, now is your chance. Or if you did, read/watch it again! It doesn't get old! 

This week I was reading and studying a bit about repentance and how God is so willing and able to forgive us, His children. I was also impressed with how He treats us in our weaknesses. I read a few verses in Doctrine and Covenants:
Verily say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled :with compassion towards them. will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath will remember mercy.
And Section 38:

10 Verily say unto you, ye are cleanbut not all; and there is none else with whom am well pleased11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earthamong the children of men, ithe presence of all the hostof heaven—14 But now tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief; for verily some of you are guilty before me, but will be merciful unto your weakness.
God has so much compassion for us. He sees us in our weaknesses and He understands that we have faults and that we commit errors.  Yet He has power to forgive us, to help us to be clean and to be strengthened. He constantly invites us to come unto Him and repent, to have a change in heart and to follow the example His Son set for us. He allows us to receive the remission of our sins every Sunday when we partake of the sacrament. I know that the Lord truly understands us in a way that no one else does. He is merciful and loving. He shows his love many times through others! In the beginning of the week when I was pretty darn sick and we were trapped in prison/pension I realized how much I benefit from interacting with others every day, and how through others I feel God/s love and help others to feel God's love. I know that serving and loving others bring true happiness. 

The Same Member Made These Sweet Argentinian Ties

We Will Miss President and Hermana Zanni So Much!
This week will be a great one! We have a conference for leaders and a last conference to say goodbye to President and Hermana Zanni! Time flies! 

A shout out to my sister whose birthday is this Sunday as well as to all the fathers! Happy Father's Day! 

Elders have Cooties, right?
Love you all!

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hold Fast to the Iron Rod

Lunch With Keila, Adriana, Rodrigo and Bianca
This week started off super great! We watched the Restoration video with Keila and she is doing just too well. We stopped by Tuesday to fill out some information about her and her aunt invited us to stay for lunch which was a blessing because we didn't have much food in the pension. Keila averages reading about 4 chapters in the BOM every day, and remembers everything!! We visited la familia Montenegro early in the week and as we entered we just felt this tension. They had a long day, a long week, were tired from work, stressed from everything. We decided that we would read the prophet's talk on the Book of Mormon from this last conference. It is amazing how the environment changed. The spirit was piercing and it brought peace and tranquility. I know that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of God called to help us understand how we can return to God and what we have to do in this life. It was a short lesson because it was already time to return for the night, but in a matter of minutes we were amazed by how the Spirit transformed their hearts and left them with a feeling of peace. 

Zone Conference
Wednesday we had zone conference! This was President Zanni's last conference, and yes there were a few tears shed. There were of course many things that stood out to me, but one was a very special moment in which President was talking about Lehi's vision and the importance of holding fast to the iron rod. He emphasized how Jesus is the tree, and we must stay close to His love, and continually invite others to take part. He stopped in the middle of his explanation and stood in front of the 6 hermanas that were present. He told us that we must hold fast. He said that Satan hates us, possibly even more than the elders. He said we are going to bring precious spirits into this world. Satan will try to intervene, but he promised us that if we hold fast to the iron rod, the word of God, and continually surround ourselves in God's love, we will come off conquerer. He got emotional as he looked into each and every one of our eyes, and we felt the truthfulness of his words through the powerful Spirit that was present.

 We found a new family this week that is great! Two daughters, 16 and 8 years old. We contacted the 16 year old a few weeks ago in the street. We showed up at their house and she was excited to see us again. Her little sister listened to us explain the Doctrine of Christ very attentively, describing the 5 steps afterwards. She took the pamphlet we left and immediately began to read it--smart little girl. The parents seem great as well, trying to find a time we can teach all of them together because their work schedules are complicated. 

The week took an unexpected turn on Friday when we went to the doctor and they told me I had amigdalitis (tonsilitis) woohoo. Less than ideal. So we have been catching up on church history, reading all sorts of Ensigns and scriptures, and trying not to go crazy trapped in the walls of the pension without many forms of entertainment. Last week of the transfer and we want to hit the ground running!!!! 

Have a great week! 
much love,
Hermana Mathis