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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thanks Lauren for Getting Married

My Sister Lauren and her husband Matthew
This week we were showered in miracles and we concluded that God was very conscious of what was happening in Reno, Nevada this week and blessed us as a result.  Hna Bennett after a truly whack, incredible, indescribable day that fell right on Friday, the 11th, just said "Thanks Lauren for getting married!!!" haha But God blessed us with His tender mercies this week.

August 11th, The Reno Nevada Temple
Since her favorite bridesmaid was missing she filled the day with some pretty cute flower girls
McDonalds and Hermana Ruiz Reunions
We found a whole lot of new investigators this week, and many families who have potential of progressing. We ate McDonalds which is a big deal here and celebrated Hna Bennett's 17 months in the mission! Following which we had interviews with Presidente Allred and it always feel great in his presence. 

I wish I had time to explain every miracle that we witnessed this week but I will begin with Friday. We had lunch with a great member family who have two little girls, 7 and 10 years old, and I just played with them and was struck at how much their sweet relationship reminded me of my sister and I. It was fun to be with them and their sweet spirits. In the afternoon we set out to work. It was cold, rainy, muddy, less than ideal. But we headed to try to find a reference in an area we had not visited before. It was a rather beautiful area, with huge houses and people who had their fair share of plata. We were unable to find the referral but since we had already made the journey we had to knock on some houses. We were welcomed at the first house by an angry dog and an angry owner. The second house an elderly man called out "who's there??" He opened the fence of his house and began to talk to us and felt bad for our being out in the rain so decided to let us in for a hot mate cocido. Shortly thereafter his wife entered and she was just confused, "Why are two young girls in our house??" She said that her husband never lets visitors in. Well, we were able to teach them the restoration and about The Book of Mormon and they said they felt a strong burning feeling in their hearts. We left their house just shocked, amazed at their goodness and at how someone who was well off let us into their home. THEN a few minutes after still trying to find this referral we talked to a woman and she offered to give us a ride home. WHAT?? But she says come inside I am just finishing preparing a soup. So we entered her home and met her kids and her husband. They are catholics and they are a wonderful family!! We briefly explained temples and how families can be eternal. The 16 year old daughter was in awe--
What a beautiful concept!" She said and promised to read the pamphlet we had left her. Then they took us home and we remained confused at the extremely unordinary day we had had in Argentina. We ended the day with brownies and ice cream!

Saturday we had a stake youth activity, mini CCM, preparatory for the mission! The youth were so full of joy and excitement for missionary work. Ludmila was glowing, social and happy! You'd think that as a very new member she would be nervous and shy--but quite the contrary!! She loved the activity and the next  day at church wore her little missionary name tag!! We were able to set out with the youth and contact. Times like these I really reflect on my time as a youth, or in the mtc, or in the beginning of my mission, and I am grateful for the knowledge I have acquired and the strong relationship with my Savior that I have developed through missionary service and preparation.

In the afternoon we got a little lost and ran into a man named Gustavo. He pulled up in his truck right when we were knocking on his door. He explained how a series of events in his life had caused him to see the need for a God. He promised to attend church the next day and he kept his word! 

Overall it has been a great week. God is placing His children in our path. He wants his children to come home, and to live as families eternally in his presence. I know that He lives and loves us and blesses us when we follow His Son, who gave his life for us, His friends! 

Hermana Mathis ❤

Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't Cry for Me Argentina

Marina and Ludmila on their baptism day, August 5th 2017
What an incredible week we were blessed with here in Funes- the highlight of the week being the BAPTISM of MARINA and LUDMILA!!! I continue to be amazed at their progress, their wisdom and their goodness. They were well prepared for this day long before the missionaries began teaching them. There was a sweet reverence in the baptism and they just radiated light and love! President Allred and Hna Allred were able to join us for the baptism as well. We put together a musical number and sang with her "Teach me to walk in the light." We were able to witness the miracle of member missionary work and how much smoother it goes when members participate. El novio, Cesar Verano, was able to baptize the two of them. He bore his testimony yesterday in church after the two had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and espressed his gratitude for God and how he was able to baptize *pause* possibly his future eternal companion. We were dying, but we was just so full of joy and further details show that they have talked about possible marriage in the end of this year!!! So exciting!!!! 
Entering the Waters of Baptism

So this week as we were talking to Marina, we discussed the gospel, temples, blessings that God gives to us, and she told us of a hard time that she had some years back. She was suffering from the loss of loved ones and truly was feeling a deep hurt within, and she explained how she had several member friends and co- workers at the time, but they never opened their mouths. She, through tears asked, "Why didn't they share this message with me-  knowing the peace and the comfort it brings? Why did they never tell me that they were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?" This was a humbling moment in which I realized the importance to always open our mouths and look for opportunities to share the gospel. Sometimes we may be ashamed or fearful or fill in the blank, but the message that we carry can tranform lives and we never know who will accept the message of love and peace that we offer. 

We were able to attend leadership council this week that came just right when I needed it. The beginning of the week was a bit tough, I'm still not really sure why, but my mind was running circles and I did not have the best attitude. I felt like my efforts fell short. In this meeting we were able to focus on the Savior and all that He did for us. We have started the challenge to memorize the Living Christ in Spanish and it's going well, testimonies were shared and the Spirit was felt. We explained the importance of connecting to the powers of heaven, and we were asked how far we are willing to stretch to connect to the power of the Savior.  Sometimes we do not stretch enough, and we wait for Him to come all the way to us, but to receive the powers of heaven we have to do our part and we have to call upon the powers of heaven. Pres. showed us how in 2 nephi 2:25, Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. In the footnote for joy it also says, the potential to become like Heavenly Father. When we stretch ourself a little further, and follow the example of our Savior, and connect to the powers of heaven, we become more like our Heavenly Father and we have more joy!!  One comment really stuck out to me in council. The missionary said, many people tell us that we are wasting our time, that we should be enjoying life at this age, studying, dating, etc, and we do hear this every once in a while. The missionary said, "It is never a loss of time, I would have lost the best opportunity to know my Savior Jesus Christ. Every day, hour, minute is an opportunity to know Christ better, and every second counts. 

With Marina and Ludmila
A few moments this week...
Hermana Allred and Her Lemon Bars
Hermana Allred made lemon bars for the baptism, SO GOOD, it had been way too long!! President shared his testimony as we were closing the meeting and explained how his wife made lemon bars and how good they were, how Marina can eat 3 and Cesar only one...then he says but the Holy Ghost is even better than lemon bars hahahahhah we were dying. Too good. Un capo!

A young girl who is just a doll told us that although her dog didn't know us, he loved us. She gave us dandelions and told us that her wish would be to be our friend when she is older. Wow, the
My sister Lauren and Matthew
most precious thing we have ever seen. 


Hermana Mathis