Monday, July 31, 2017

Greetings from Funes (pronounced FOONACE)


emailing just now

It was a great first week in Funes!! It is a beautiful area! Here in Funes we are a branch and we rent a cute house for our church building. The most exciting news of the week is that Marina and her daughter Ludmila (13) will be baptized this Saturday!! I am amazed at their goodness and how God has prepared them. We taught them the commandments and they are very intelligent, listening attentively and meditating on the importance of the things we teach. They are so kind and it had been a blessing to be able to witness their faith. They were found a few months back because Marina is dating a member of the branch. He has been a great example to them and has helped them through this process! 

As a mission nurse we continue to work as normal missionaries with the regular schedule but if an emergency comes up, we attend to the missionary. This was the responsibilty of Hermana Zanni before but Hermana Allred is learning the language so we picked up the job. We met the new missionaries that entered the mission this week and gave them a little training.  Hermana Allred introduced us as the "hermanas enfermas" wanting to say "hermanas enfermeras" So she said we are the sick sisters instead of the sister nurses hahah we had a good laugh. We are pretty sick though ;)

Last Pday was way fun! After sending off all the missionaries the Allreds took us to COTO to grocery shop, it's about the closest thing you can get to a Walmart here. Then they took us out to a restaurant and we had a wonderful time together. They are so great! 

Another highlight of the week is that Hna Bennett has a recipe for brownies that come out like they do in the states!!! Wow, so exciting! We made them twice this week and had a fun FHE with a less active family! 

Lunch at the Mission Home
This week upon reading Alma 36 I was impressed at the advice and testimony Alma shared with his son Helaman. He frequently invites Helaman to reflect his example: He states "I would that ye should do as I have done" "I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me" "and ye ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done" "for ye ought to know as I do know." I love these simple invitations, they are invitations that he could not have extended if he had not been that example for his son. He had experienced that change of heart, and so he could testify that those who put their trust in God would be supported in their trials and their troubles and their afflictions, because he trusted in God and was supported throughout his life. He could say that they shall be lifted up at the last day because he experienced true repentance. His attitude of "the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror" was changed into " I saw...God sitting upon His throne...and my soul did long to be there."  

Hermana Mathis 😊

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mission Nurse in Training!

With Hermana Bennett and Hermana Barraza as she completed her mission
Transfers this week.... I am now in Funes serving with Hermana Bennett from Utah and she will be finishing her mission this transfer (in 6 weeks time.)  She is the mission nurse right now and I am the mission nurse in training haha. Basically we receive a lot of phone calls from the elders and sisters and tell them what medicine they need and if they should see the doc, and we work with Hermana Allred so I am excited to get to know her better! 

As usual, it was hard to leave my prior area, Baigorria, but I know that this was an inspired change and I am happy to be where I am.  Hermana Bennett is wonderful! A great worker with a positive and loving spirit! We are super excited for this time together! This past week in Baigorria we were able to find some new people to teach, we were amazed by young children and their goodness and desire to learn about God, and their understanding. They have a special spirit. We had an ASADO with the familia Larrosa, the bishop and his wonderful fam, this week which was surely a highlight! We made brownies and sang happy birthday to Hermana Prat who turned 85 and is still going strong, dancing with us and all (reminds me a bit of my wonderful high spirited Grandma Pook;) We enjoyed our last week together, Hermana Guaraglia and I, and I am grateful for our time together. I feel so blessed to be in this mission and to meet so many people that make the world just a little brighter!!

Hermana Guaraglia and I in our twin attire
This week I was reading in Alma 29 about Alma and the joy that he feels as a result of missionary work. What I LOVE about this chapter is that he rejoices in the success of his friends, the sons of Mosiah! He says...

 14 But do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!
Alma was happy when he saw that his brothers in the Lord had success. Often times, when we see how others are thriving and succeeding we tend to be jealous, or envious, or prideful. Ezra Taft Benson says that pride tells us that we are failures when others succeed. But we must be humble and rejoice when others succeed! We are all one big team! And Alma is overcome with an immense joy that leads his soul to really have concern for the souls that his brother brought to the knowledge of the gospel. As missionaries, we are all on the same team, God's team! And when one missionary baptizes, we all baptize!! (Says Pte Allred) Though I may not have the opportunity to continue working in past areas, I rejoice to see those I have come to love progress through the examples and help of other missionaries.
Last night we were able to stay with an Hermana who ended the mission today and accompany her...this morning we set her off with a group of elders and sang "Called to Serve" all together. So powerful!! There is power in missionary work! And I am so glad that I still have this sacred time to serve the Lord as His representative.

LOVE YOU ALL, and happy pioneer day as well, so grateful for the sacrifices of those who came before us to prepare the way. We will forever be grateful and indebted to them. We owe them our efforts and consecration, shall we not go on in such a great cause??? D&C something....haha 

Hermana Mathis

Farewells with the dear people of Baigorria:

The Medina Family

The Zalazar Family

Bishop Larrosa and Family

Dear Hermana Guaraglia

Our District

Bye Bye Baigorria!  Always in My Heart!

The Sisters at Transfers

Hermana Mathis, the Florence Nightengale of
Rosario Argentina at your service

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Armour of Light

The Lions of Ramallo

On the Bus to Ramallo

This week just flew by! We had splits with two sets of Hermanas (from the areas of Parque Urquiza and Ramallo). We travelled to Ramallo which is about 4 hours from where we are. We had perfect luck and caught the bus that goes directly to their area by just 5 minutes! On the way back we didn't have much luck, missing our bus because the station couldn't charge more money on our card...haha but we made it back safely and before it was too late! 

So this week Oscar blessed the sacrament! I gave a talk in church which is always great! We dumpster dove to find my pin drive!!! We ate lunch with hna Prat, a member who  is about 85 years old, and I dropped my pin drive....we called to ask her if it was in her house but she said no...we stopped by that night to check for peace of conscience and as we are describing to her what it looks like she says that she threw it in the trash!! haha and so we went looking through her trash full of food and cannot find it! Then we end up dumping the trash all out and sifting through its contents with gloves...Hna Prat says "They are expensive too, aren't they?" haahah and we say,  "If you knew what it was and that it's expensive, then why did you throw it in the trash??" hahah By some miracle the pin drive showed up...appeared out of no where on the ground apart from the trash. tender mercies! 

Dumpster Diving
With Hermana Prat
Agustin took a little vacation back to where he's from for a week so we weren't able to teach him this week but should be able to this week! Nora says that Lucas is so excited to be baptized and is sharing with everyone how he will be baptized and when. He is a stud. Montenegro...Juan is improving A TON with the cigarretes!  He used to smoke 20 or more a day and now is down to 1 or 2!  We are just praying that our investigators will make it to church even when it is freezing outside!!!

And Fiorella and Brisa (converts from Arroyito) just had a great weekend in Buenos Aires with the youth of the stake performing baptisms in the temple and meeting with the mtc president. And Luis continues to write me saying that he is doing so well and and sharing words of gratitude that we were able to find him and teach him the gospel! 

The light of Christ is so evident in their lives! they inspire me! The light of Christ changes lives and fills us with joy. Let us put on the armour of light! Romans 13:12. We find this light through the scriptures, attending church, the temple, praying, and remembering our Savior. He will light our path and our hearts. 

Have a great week familia y amigosss

hermana mathis

New Beginnings from several weeks ago

The Mission at the Departure of the Zannis

Monday, July 10, 2017

Choose Joy! I am the Light which ye shall hold up!

Winter in Rosario.  Is it too early for the Nativity? 
Proud to be an American

First off, HAPPY (late) 4th of July!!! To celebrate we wore red white and blue after I basically begged Hna Guaraglia (from Uruguay) to, haha, and ate hamburgers for lunch which is pretty American. 

With President and Sister Allred
So this week we met our new mission president, Pte. Allred and his wonderful wife. They are so great! I had the opportunity to translate for Hermana Allred (her spanish is very new).  I translated her words as she testified to everyone that her husband was called of God to be our mission president and that an apostle of the Lord placed his hands on his head to set him I translated her words I felt the spirit testify that this was true. I know that President Allred was called to be our mission president here in Rosario and we are blessed to have him! 

Inviting Sister Allred into our favorite photo booth
A few things that I learned this week...

To have JOY! When the Allreds were eating dinner with President Nelson they asked him what was the most important thing they could say to their missionaries. He answered that they can have joy! Joy is a choice and we must choose joy!

There are no challenges...just opportunities. Our "opportunities" help us to become exalted. Jesus had the most challenges, suffering more than anyone would ever suffer, and yet He was able to have a joy that was "full" or complete. 

3 Nephi 18:24 hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold, I AM THE LIGHT which ye shall hold up!

Matthew 4:1 "then Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." there is a footnote, JST that says "to be with God." Through our moments of temptations and our suffering we become closer to God!

Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by HELPING them receive the restored gospel...... we must truly help them, we can't stop at just inviting them. We must continually assist them in the process. 

The Lord prepares..." I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand." D&C 31:7 

"We are all just walking each other home,"  to our heavenly abide in the presence of God in a state of never ending happiness.

We have been teaching Agustin, 18 year old, who is the brother of a recent convert of about a year. He moved here a few months ago and he is understanding everything surprisingly well. His sister had been scared to share the gospel with him before, sure that he would not be interested, but she is surprised at his reaction now when we teach him, and he has accepted baptism!! So we are helping him prepare for that.

We taught Nora this week and felt like we needed to invite her 8 year old son Lucas and teach the 2 of them. We taught the plan of salvation with fun drawings and interactive activities...Lucas is a smart kid and has a great desire to be baptized. We are praying that he will help his mother in this process of preparing and that she will be able to quit smoking! 
Zone Conference
Our District

So life is good. It is a lot better with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it s a good time to be a missionary.

Love you all!

Hermana Mathis 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Adventure in the Service of Lord

Got to Love that Colgate Smile!
"Weaknesses become strengths, challenges become opportunities, trials become triumphs, and adversity becomes an adventure in the service of the Lord."

Hello dear family and friends!! What a week! To start off-- this week we will meet our new Mission President, Pte. Allred and his wife. We are super excited and know that they have been called to Rosario, AR for a wise purpose. We got to see pte. and hna. Zanni one last time last week to our surprise when our phone stopped working and we had to stop by the office to pick up a new one! We were blessed to have an excuse to see them once more ;)

So this week was surely an adventure. We had some funny encounters with the Argentines. One typical thing that people do here is to send their kids to tell us they are not home... Well the 5 year old son was outside playing and we asked him to call his mom. He walked next door to his grandparent's house where his mom was, then returned and told us that she'd be out in a sec...a few minutes later her 12 year old son walks out of the house with his phone and said his mom was at a friend's house. You should have seen this 5 year old who got all riled up and yells "LIAR!!!!! she is right next door!" and storms to prove it to everyone. hahah He wasn't in on the lie. They were a bit embarrased but we got a kick out of it. 

We were reading a scripture at a lunch this week with an elderly woman in our ward, 84 or so years old, Ether 12:4, she starts to read... 
On divisions with sisters from Buenos Aires and Brazil
4 Wherefore, whoso believeth iGod might with surety hope for better world, YEAH!! FOR YOU GUYS!!!!! then continues to read...yea, even place at the righthand of God, which hope cometh of faithmaketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good worksbeing led to glorify God.
She explained how the younger generation will see this better world, and said she's lived a century and is waiting for this better world... and then she said, " Y'all the world one day will be better except Argentina!! haha She's a crack up. 
We received a referral this week and it turns out the woman does not speak Spanish...only Portuguese which is luckily similar so we could get the gist of what she was explaining to us. 

This week we had a powerful companionship study in which we contemplated the pre-earth life and how blessed we have been to have grown with the knowledge of the gospel. We considered the hard circumstances of many who are born into broken homes and families and suffer heartaches and pains that are hard to comprehend.  We shared our gratitude that even though our lives are not perfect, we have a strong foundation and we have faith and hope in Jesus Christ and God's plan for us. 

Diego and Juliana are progressing. They are reading the Book of Mormon and find that everything we teach makes sense. In our lesson with them yesterday Juliana was in tears as we shared our testimonies and a bit of what we had learned and felt in our companionship study, Diego is a little bit harder to get to, not a huge fan of churches and unsure about baptism, but we are blessed to be able to help them start to feel the pòwer of the Spirit in their lives and continue learning. 

Oscar received the Priesthood on Sunday. He says very happily, "Now I start to be a more important man!" Haha. Keila is working like a dog and sometimes has to travel to Rosario and stay for several days because she picks up the work others can't do. We are praying that she can find a job here that gives her a better schedule. She continues to read daily and expresses the gratitude she has for this gospel. Keila, Adriana, and Bianca had a hard week this week, a family problem, and could use your prayers! 

and to close...the 13th article of faith that I love...
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Elder Ballard says hope gives us the peaceful assurance we need to live happily in a world that is ripe with iniquity, calamity and injustice. I strive to live each day with a hope anchored in Christ and to follow the admonition of Paul. It is how we can stay happy and strong in the world today!

Hermana Mathis ❤