Thursday, September 18, 2014

Last week in the MTC

Holy cow, week 5 already. Tomorrow is the last real day of classes in the CCM. We leave next Tuesday for Arequipa, though I dont know what time or how we're getting there or anything. From what I've heard from other missionaries, it sounds like we'll probably leave super early in the morning though. I have no idea what to expect of that day or what will happen when we get there or anything. They keep us in the dark here most of the time. Anyways, after 5 weeks in the CCM, there isn't a whole lot to talk about as far as new stuff. We've had fried eggs and bread every morning for 5 weeks straight and to be honest, its getting kind of old, but we've learned all sorts of tricks to try and keep it interesting. Like making an egg sandwich. Or putting jam on your eggs, or putting the ham-from-a-can stuff on it. Whatever changes it up haha.
As i mentioned last week, my comp and I are the zone leaders here. Our last ZLs werent very good. They let anything slide, never talked to the people they were supposed to. Nothing. They didnt even plan the meetings they were supposed to. One of the districts we are over told us they didnt even know who their zone leaders were the last two weeks. Needless to say, that was not going to be us. Every night, we go to all the districts and see how they're doing, ask the district leaders what they've been working on in their districts, and ask what we can do to help them or their district members. Turns out there's a lot of people who are really struggling and its been so awesome to have an opportunity to help them. We only had to crack a few skulls, most over conduct with the Hermanas here. I over heard some Elders talking about one of the Sisters here at the ccm in a way that would be completely out of line even if we werent missionaries, and Elder Endicott and I "reproved them with sharpness" so to speak. Needless to say we didnt have anymore problems with that this week. Being a zone leader is a lot of fun, but its a lot of responsiblity and it takes a lot of patience sometimes. Like this morning, when we were in charge of getting about 30 elders and sisters who had never been outside of the walls of the ccm and somehow getting them to the temple and to the stores and back without losing them. And we almost did lose some people! We were looking around for these 6 elders we couldnt find after being in the stores and were actually getting pretty worried, but it turns out they were trying to buy soccer jerseys and talk to people with their vast one week of ccm spanish ability. Its like babysitting 4 year olds sometimes haha.
So usually on Tuesday nights we have a Devo from an area 70 here in spanish, but last night we were able to get a live stream from Provo to hear Elder Scott speak. It was actually one of the best talks I've heard in a while. It was all about prayers and how we should never take them for granted. If you have time, look it up, its a great talk. He kept saying that Lord has called us to succeed, not to fail, and that while a mission may be hard, there will never come a time in you life where you regret serving. He said that everything good thats come from his life has been a direct result of his decision to serve a mission. After, one of the people in my district talked about how much they love the song "A Childs Prayer," and it made me miss teaching primary. Oh well. Sorry this has been kind of a slow week. I dont know if I'll be able to email next weeek because I'm missing the p day here and i think p days are mondays in the field. So the next time you hear from me i'll be a real missionary in arequipa and should be able to send some pictures (I'm sorry i know you're dying mom). Love you all and hope you have a great week! Keep me posted on BYU and Packers and all the lovely sports news i dont get here in Peru. Oh, and keep writing!
Elder Matheson

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 4

Hello everyone!
So the big news of the week is that my companion Elder Endicott and I have been called to be the zone leaders of the CCM. We will be in charge of about 50 missionaries for the next two weeks, although the responsiblities of a zone leader in the mtc are rather mundane. basically, we are in charge of making sure people go to bed when they're supposed to and planning one sacrament meeting as well. basically they told us that we really need to be examples of obedience in the CCM, where its really hard to obey all the mission rules as well as all the rules of the ccm president. so i guess we have a lot of extra motivation now! haha we talked to our teacher hermano bejar and he said that he was a zone leader for 15 months of his mission, and that the most important thing to remember is to be an example. he said to strive to be like Christ in everything you do. and remember that even though Christ was perfect, people still said bad things about Him and still crucified Him. I should be more worried about what God thinks of me than what other people think. the new people arrived last night and there were some elders on our floor who wrote a note to them telling them to be up at 630 (they get to sleep in until 745 on day 1) and they put sheets over the doors and what not. it was super mean and i wasnt sure what i should do because we arent technically the zone leaders until today, but i decided to just go tell them that they needed to take down the sheets and change the note. and they were a little disappointed but did it anyways. it pays to stand up for you think is right. we all kind of do things to mess with the new elders, but nobody did anything mean like that. the funniest thing i saw someone do was place about 200 chastity pamphets all around the new elders side of the room. like they were everywhere. on the desks, the walls, the ceiling, under the bottom of the top bunk. hilarious, and all in good fun (i think?)
We got to go proselyting again! We went to a different area this time, but it was still an awesome experience. my companion was latino so it was 100% espanol for me haha. we actually got to teach some lessons and i could basically understand nothing haha. I had one cool experience though. we were teaching this lady and her elderly mother and they started arguing with each other and we werent really making any progress with her, and after about an hour of teaching, we finally just decided that we needed to leave. before we left, i got the feeling to share alma 7:11-13 so i flipped open my libro de mormon and read it and bore my testimony in very simple spanish about the atonement and how it can bless their family. they settled down and stopped arguing, and we were able to teach them for a few more minutes and they actually agreed to come back to church (we teach less actives)!! it was a really cool experience. the church is true and the spirit is so strong when youre serving the Lord!
One last thing-- the people here are so nice. Every group of latinos that comes though is just awesome. i was pretty good friends with the last group that came through, and one them wrote me a note in my journal and told me that he had been having a really hard time being away from his family for the first time and that he had seriously considered going home, but my friendship, which to me seemed so simple and not even a big deal at all, helped him to be able to stay out on his mission. The message is, you never know how what you say or do will effect someone, so always be nice!
Love you all, thanks for the updates. Sounds like BYU is kicking butt so far this year too! Keep me updated on things guys. Much love to you all,
Elder Matheson

Friday, September 5, 2014

Birthday Hat-Trick

Hey everyone!!! ok so this week has been kind of slow, nothing really
amazing has happened. it wasnt proselyting week, and once the new of
everything wears off here in the ccm, its pretty boring. although this
week has absolutely flown by. its true what they say, the days are
slow but the weeks are fast. ummm, so after laboring for the first two
weeks to try and score a goal in soccer, i was blessed with a birthday
hat-trick (thats 3 goals in a game mom), and scored 3 more over the
next week, so i guess the church is true after all. i'm sorry this
letter probably wont be as long as they usually are, but next weeks
will probably be better becuase we're going proslyting this week.
also, we're not allowed to send pictures in the ccm, but as soon as i
get to arequipa i'll send some. we're all obsessed with ping pong
here, we play it at every opportunity. it keeps us sane around here.
actually, anything to get our minds off of 12 hours of spanish classes
is awesome. soccer, ping pong, slug races, anything haha. so last
night we had a devotional and the area 70 here came and spoke, and of
course our headphones and translators didnt work so i had to do my
best to understand his spanish. i could acutally understand almost
everything he said and it was an awesome talk! probably my favorite
thing he said was that in this life and in missionary work, success
isnt free, and the price is hard work. i'll keep that in mind as time
continues on. also, if you get some time, look up elder hollands mtc
devotional from may 2014. one of the best talks you'll ever hear. we
listened to it on sunday and it seriously was incredible. look it up.
seriously. well mom, im sorry this email wasnt very long, but nothing
really all that exciting happens on a day to day basis here. crazy to
think im halfway done here in the ccm though! anyways, love you all,
have a good week, and thanks for the letters! --elder matheson