Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12/21 Feliz Navidad!

Buenos dias familia! 
So, this was kind of a weird week. We did divisions with one of district leaders here in Moquegua this week, and it seemed to go pretty well. I went with Elder Haas, and it turns out we both went to BYU at the same time, so we spent a good chunk of time that night trying to find out if we know any of the same people-- we don’t. Also, speaking of BYU, why did NOBODY bother to tell me that BYU and Utah were playing in a bowl game?! Oh well, Utah won so it doesn’t matter anyways, but c´mon people! Anyways, I digress. The divisions went well i guess is the moral of the story here. 
Things are still slow in our area. We are teaching a lot of lessons, but the investigators we have just aren’t progressing very well. We did find a few new investigators this week that we feel like could progress. Still, its been a little frustrating. In spite of that, I feel like we are working as hard as we can and that the Lord is happy with out work and will bless us with more success here in the future. The zone is doing well, so we are happy. 
I had a cool experience yesterday doing a baptismal interview. The sister was unsure if she really wanted to be baptized or not. She kept saying that she wanted to resolve all of her problems before being baptized, that she needed to be perfect to do it, and that she felt like she hadn’t received her answer yet. I read her a bunch of scriptures, testified to her that she was ready and that her desire to follow Christ was the most important thing, and then helped her see all the evidences of the answer she was receiving. She still said no, but said she would pray and think about it. Later that night, we got a call from the missionaries who had been teaching her. She had called them crying and told them that she had done what I told her to do (pray and ponder) and that she felt that really had received her answer and that she was going to go through with her baptism. It was a real testimony to me that the gospel is true and that the Lord gives answers to prayers!

Well, Merry Christmas to all, talk to you guys on Friday!

Elder Matheson

12/14 Hello!

Hello all! This week was full of traveling again. We had to go to Ilo for our zone conference, which meant getting 14 missionaries from Moquegua to Ilo (an hour and a half trip), coordinating the use of the chapel there in Ilo, and all the fun stuff that goes along with that. We had planned to do the reimbursements before the zone conference and then start the meeting, thinking that it would only take an hour or so. Well, we started that whole process at 9 and didn’t get done until 1045, so we ended up starting 45 minutes late (and reimbursing over 2000 soles). Problem number 2: we needed to use the TV to show a training video that president wanted us to show. We triple checked with the missionaries in Ilo before going that the TV there did indeed have a DVD player... it didn’t. So we had to go into scramble mode to find one from one of the members there. Thankfully, the ward mission leader came to our rescue and we were able to use the videos-- but the subtitles didn’t work so I don’t think the latino missionaries got much out of it. Problem number 3: we let the sister training leaders take some time during the conference to talk about some of the stuff president trained us on, and told them they would have 30 minutes as a companionship to talk. They talked for like 45 minutes instead, so that put us in a real time crunch. Problem number 4: we got locked inside the chapel. Yes INSIDE the chapel. I guess the genius who built that chapel in Ilo make a lock that only works from the outside, meaning that if the door shuts while the lock is on, it can only be unlocked from the outside. All of the windows and doors in the chapels here in Peru are literally barred, so it is a church-like jail. After calling people for like a half hour, we finally resorted to yelling to some passer-by and throwing him the keys to the chapel, and he came to our rescues. All in all, the conference had its hiccups, but I think the actual teaching we did was good. I talked about the impòrtance of asking questions as a teacher- inspired questions that come from the spirit and help the investigators think and ponder about the things that we are teaching. I think it went well. 
As far as the area goes, we are kind of in finding mode right now. We really don’t have a lot of people who are progressing, and we have kind of mopped up all the people that the elders before were teaching. So, it could take a few weeks until we have another baptism or something of the sort. 
Christmas is coming! I got Nana and Pa`s christmas package and I got the one from you guys too. I have not opened the wrapped presents, as tempting as it is, but I will for sure be enjoying the other goodies that are in there. I have already put the lights up on my desk and over my bed, so our room is X-mas themed already. 
Well, hope everyone has a great week! Happy Holidays!

Elder Matheson

12/7 Traveling & meetings & traveling & more meetings

So this was one of the most productive & unproductive weeks of my mission! First of all, Monica was baptized and confirmed, and the strength of here testimony is really impressive. She shared her conversion story and it was super awesome! She goes to church by herself (she is 15 by the way) almost every single week, and said one Sunday she was there in church and was looking at all the families and thought to herself, wow, I want this for my family too. Her parents have been separated for over 11 years, and she hasn’t seen her dad in that time. She said that she began to pray harder than she ever has in her life that her dad would come to visit her. Then, one day, about a week later, her dad actually showed up at their house for the first time in 11 years. It was then that her mom finally broke down and decided that Monica could be baptized. She even came to the baptism, and now we are working with her and with her 11 year old sister that has also been coming to church. Her sister is named Sarai and has a baptism date for the 19th of this month, and we should have another one that day of the 9 year old daughter of a less active family we are working with. I usually don’t like baptizing children because it is so hard for them to be active, but if we are working with the parents and have their support, i think its ok. The 9 year old is named Celeste. 
This week was characterized by a lot of traveling. Like a lot. We got on a bus early Wednesday morning to take the 5 hour trip to Arequipa. The long distance busses here are SUPER nice. We spent an extra 5 soles to be able to ride on the first floor where all of the chairs are pretty much lazy boy recliners. They show movies and what not, and it is super comfortable. We got to Arequipa, headed over to Chili`s (the mission pays for our lunches when we have meetings with President) and enjoyed some delicious hamburgers and walked around the mall for a little bit. I bought a much needed new backpack, my comp bought a terrabyte hard-drive, and then we went to the Plaza de Armas to enjoy the Christmas stuff they have set up there. We had our meeting with President Zobrist for the rest of that day and the next (they put us up in a hotel for the night) and then we headed back the next day to get back to Moquegua. Friday we had to spend most of the day doing administrative stuff (my comp is the mission scribe so he has to do type up the ACTA from the meeting with president) and then we had to set up Monica`s baptism that night. Saturday we went to Ilo to go on splits with the district leaders and then meet with the stake presidency in Ilo. We got back late that night then woke up early Sunday to go and get our investigators to take them to church. Then the whole afternoon was missionary correlation meeting with our ward mission leader, ward council, meeting with the stake presidency in Moquegua, then the Christmas devotional. Funny thing about that, there was one ward that announced that it started at 5 pm (Peru time) and so there were people waiting in the stake center for THREE HOURS until it actually started at 8 haha. But the devotional was fantastic and I really felt the good ole Christmas spirit. I am grateful to have an awesome family who has awesome traditions, and am super grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who saw fit to send us His Son so that we could return to His presence again. If you haven’t seen the new videos the church has put out for Xmas this year, check them out, they are awesome!
Well, have a fantastic week, talk to you soon (really, the skype call is coming up)

Elder Matheson

11/30 Happy Thanksgiving

Hello all! This was quite an eventful week for sure, getting used to a new area and what not. Elder Evans (my new companion) is from Logan, Utah. Came straight out of high school on the mission, and he has 6 weeks more than I do in the mission, so basically we are in the same boat. There are also 5 kids in his family, and he is the second to last. His dad is the stake president and Elder Evans is a really strong missionary who works really hard. He does not have a girlfriend, but he does have a friend who is a girl who he writes every week and from what I have seen, it could be something serious when they both get home from their missions. So there you have it, the family history of Elder Evans. 
As I said last week, neither of us know the area, and the elders who were here before pretty much didnt keep any records so its been a pretty interesting week. We`ve only gotten lost a few times and I think we both kind of have a feel for the area now. The people here are super friendly and you can talk to pretty much anyone in the street and they`ll listen to you. We started teaching this family in the street and before we realized it we had like 15 people seated on the curb listening to us as we taught the restoration haha. We got appointments with most of them and when we went back to teach them they were pretty much all there and some of them even came to church this week. We`ll see how their progress goes. We saw another miracle this week with one of the investigators that the elders before were teaching, Monica. She is 16 and has been an investigator for a while now. She has a super strong testimony and wants to get baptized, but the problem is that her mom is super opposed to her being baptized. Well, we went to go see how she was doing Saturday morning and she told us that she had been praying and fasting and went to talk to her mom and her mom told her "you know what, who am i to hold you back. if you want to get baptized, that is your choice." So boom, we should be having a baptism next week if all goes well. 
Thanksgiving was a blast here in Moquegua. We only having a pension for lunch, so we make our own breakfasts and dinners in our room. We have some pots and pans and a little stove so we fry up an egg or make oatmeal or soup or things like that. Well, knowing that Thursday was Thanksgiving, we went to the store on monday and bought some instant mashed potatoes and then Thursday before going back to the room we swung by the local pollerĂ­a and bought some pollo a la brasa (its like the Costco chicken we always by) and whipped up some taters and enjoyed a cheap replica of a real Thankgiving dinner. I have pictures to send but this computer has so many viruses that I dont think I trust it at all haha. Next week I`ll get some sent home. Sorry mom. Kind of sad I missed the festivities at home, but next year I`ll be there! 
Well, hope you all had a great week! Hasta luego!

Elder Matheson

11/23 Craziest Week Ever

Ok, well get ready for a good one folks. We'll start with the events of last P-Day-- Elder Jenkins and I went and bought stuff to make grilled cheese sandwiches and M&M cookies, and enjoyed a delicious day together. Watched Hercules with my district and everything. Then, later that night, President called us and told us that after much prayer, he has decided that Elder Jenkins needed to go home. We didnt know when, but we knew that he was going to be going home. We went on with business as usual until Thursday morning, when president called us again and told us that Elder Jenkins's flight would be leaving later that day. So he packed up his stuff and we shipped him off to the mission home. President told me that I would be with a temporary companion until December, when my new comp (who had gone home a few months earlier for his leg) came back to the mission. Well, that was the plan... until President came to our stake conference on saturday night, and informed me that the zone leader in Moquegua had gone home for health and that he would be sending me there to be the zone leader with my new companion, Elder Evans. So, long story short, I am no longer in Alto Misti. I am now the zone leader in Moquegua with Elder Evans, in area Chen Chen. I am super excited because I know Elder Evans and he is super awesome and we are going to work super hard together. The zone comprises Moquegua and Ilo, 2 cities about 5 hours south of Arequipa. We have about 30 missionaries in the zone (with Elder Coello we only had 12). Pray for our success!
Well, dont really know what else to say. It was a crazy week! I was able to be in a trio with Elder Wagner and Elder Nicholls for a few days, and we had a blast together. I am really going to miss my area and the people and everything, but the Lord needs me here in Moquegua! Oh, just a few things about the area-- it is a freaking oven. a hot, humid oven. It is called "the land of avacado," becuase they grow a ton of it here and it is super good and super cheap. The people are super friendly also. I'll have more info next week for you guys! 

Elder Matheson

Saying goodbye in Alto Misti

11/16 Trio & Transfers

So first off, this week was transfer week, and neither Elder Jenkins nor I had a transfer, which means at least one more transfer here for me! I am actually super excited about that, I really love my area. the ward is super supportive. We have been working super hard to get the attendance at sacrament meeting up to 200 and we had 198 yesterday. When I got here, it was at 170 or so. The ward is working super well right now and we are seeing the results. I may not have had the baptisms that I would have wanted here in the last few transfers, but I feel like i have for sure helped to "build up the kingdom" here in Alto Misti. 
We were in a trio this week and it was awesome. We had Elder Heywood with us, and he is a super good missionary. Works really hard. And it was awesome to be able to work normally for a week or so. We were super productive, and we found this awesome new investigator named... what for it.... Maximiliana. Super weird name. We were walking down the street and saw this lady sitting on the curb doing a bunch of paperwork but we decided that we needed to talk to her. We got an appointment with her for the next day and went on with our day. We went looking for her the other day and ended up finding what we thought was her address. It just so happens that there was a different Maximiliana in the other house who didn’t want anything to do with us. We were kind of confused but ended up asking people for directions and were able to find our Maximiliana and her 11 year son, Alexis. She is super awesome. She had a 12 year old son that died a few years ago, and she is ready to hear the gospel. She and her son accepted a baptismal date for the 19th of December. We´ll see how she progresses.
Well, that is just about it for our week. It was a good one! Happy birthday to Emma as well. the big 1-2. You are growing up so fast! try not to be taller than me when I get home. 

Elder Matheson

Elder Jenkins and the rogue chapel pigeon

11/9 Revelacion Personal

Well family, this was an interesting week. We were going to have 2 baptisms this week, Brian and Lindsay. Long story short, we will not be having baptisms this week. We had an appointment with Brian and we went to visit him, and his aunt came out and told that he had moved to another part of the country with his family. And Lindsay is a 9 year old girl who is the daughter of a less active guy we are teaching. She goes to church almost every Sunday because she lives with her super active grandma, and she was going to be baptized this week, but her super catholic mom has now said that she doesn’t want her to get baptized. So maybe not this week.. but in the future! Kind of a disappointment to see people stop progressing, but it happens. 
Elder Jenkins is still not doing so well. He had another doctors appointment last week, and they have determined that it isn’t a sprain, nor a break, but still don’t know what it is. He had an MRI on Saturday and we don’t have the official results yet, but the MRI tech said that it doesn’t look so good. It looks like he has some damage to his Achilles and to some other tendons and ligaments in his ankle. Looks like it could require surgery.
I read a talk from President Eyring that he gave in the Priesthood session in April of this year. He talked about always being prepared to be able to speak for the Lord, and that we can only achieve that through a pattern of dedicated personal prayer. We never know when the Lord will call on us to give a blessing or give advice to someone who truly needs it in that moment. We often will not have time to prepare, so the solution is to always be prepared. As I thought about my mission, well, we always have to be able to speak for Him, and so we always have to be prepared. I am grateful to be able to serve the Lord and to be worthy of the spirit so that I can be His mouthpiece and "bring about much righteousness." 
This week is transfers. I don’t think I am going anywhere, but the Lord tends to have a funny sense of humor with these thing haha. We´ll see what happens.
Have a good week!
Elder Matheson

11/2 Happy Halloween

Well, this week went by pretty fast! I was actually able to get out and work a little bit this week, which was awesome! I felt like a real missionary again haha. Elder Jenkins is not getting any better. In fact, he is getting worse. As much as I want him to stay, I really dont think this is something that is going to be fixed anytime soon. We had to go back for more X-Rays, and there has been talk of getting a cast on his ankle. So, we´ll see how this week goes. 
We were able to teach Alvaro´s family this week, and I think it went pretty well. Alvaro´s dad (also named Alvaro) wasnt there. I guess he works 21 days in a mine outside of Arequipa and is only here one week every month. But, the lesson went really well with Patricia and Sandra (mom and sister), and they even came to church yesterday, which was awesome, even if it was only for sacrament meeting. We didnt think they were going to come because we went to get them half an hour before church starts and they were all asleep, but they ended up walking in together 5 minutes after the meeting started so it all turned out ok. We wont be able to teach them this week because they said they are going to be super busy with something for their daughter, but we have an appointment for next week. 
We have another investigator named Brian (i think i told you guys about him last week) who is progressing really really well. In the 3 weeks we have been meeting with him, he has read through Alma in the Book of Mormon. He should be getting baptized next week. That is, if he doesnt move. I guess his mom wants to move to Ica, which isnt even in our mission, and it might be happening super soon. He really doesnt want to move becuase he just started his university classes here in Arequipa, so he was telling us that he is probably just going to rent a room here so he can keep studying, so it might turn out ok. Keep praying for him! 
Well, thats all I got for this week! Hope its a good one for you guys, and happy late Halloween!

Elder Matheson

Elder Matheson - The Pancake Chef

10/26 Baptism

This has been a rough week, with one bright spot, which was Alvaro`s baptism! The service went well, and he even got his family to come. His fam loved the baptism, and we actually able to talk to them for a while after the baptism and they invited us over for a family home evening tonight, which is really cool because none of them are members. They seem to be pretty interested in what their son has gotten into, so we could see some real progress in the family as well. Alvaro is super awesome, and we ended up going to our stake conference here. It was actually a regional conference that they broadcast to all of Peru and Bolivia, featuring speakers from the Seventy and Elder Andersen as well. Did you know that Elder Andersen speaks Spanish? He speaks Portuguese and French as well (his spanish is terrible, but he gets his point across). They were talking so much about temples and the plan of salvation and covenants that we were all sure that they were going to announce something about the temple here in Arequipa, but nope. I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer.
Well, Elder Jenkins is still hurt so it’s been hard to get out and work. I think we are both a little discouraged, and more than anything, just really bored haha. I have been able to leave to teach a few lessons here and there, but it hasnt been what I have wanted. I didnt come on my mission to stay in my room all day. I just really want things to go back to normal, because in all honesty, these last few weeks have been quite a trial. Just super frustrating. Oh well, things will get better! 
In other news, 9 months remaining in my mission. CRAZY. 
Well, hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Matheson

10/19 Interesting week

So, this was a pretty interesting week! After writing last week, we headed over to the institute building to play soccer, ultimate frisbess, and ping pong. It was all a blast, and we ended up dominating in ultimate frisbee (elder wagner and i were on the same team, what could be expected?). We went back to our room a little early to finish doing our laundry, and as i was paying the taxi driver, I heard this big crash and turned around to see Elder Jenkins on the ground outside the taxi. What happened was that we had foolishly decided to take a tico (a tiny little car that everyone has here) and my comp´s freakishly large size 16 shoe got caught under the seat and he slipped with his other foot while trying to get out of the car, so he fell and really jacked up his ankle. We had to cancel the family home evenings and go to the hospital. Not broken, but it is possible that he might have a torn a ligament in his ankle. In any case, Elder Jenkins has been out of comission for like a week now. I have only been able to leave to work if I can find someone to stay with my comp and someone to go out on splits with me. The result has been a rather slow week, but we have seen a lot of miracles!
Alvaro is getting baptized this week. He has permision from his parents and his baptismal interview has been set for Tuesday. He is super excited and has even been coming to church in a suit the last 2 sundays. He´s been reading the scriptures and is keeping the commandments. Probably one of the best investigators I have had on my mission so far. He´s 17, and I feel like he´ll be a missionary one day.
We found 2 new investigators this week, Nohemi and Brian. Brian came to church last sunday with his uncle, and we had to the chance to teach him and also his cousin, Nohemi. They are both really awesome, and Brian even found a BoM in his house and read almost all of 1 Nephi before we had even taught him. They both accpeted a baptism date in the first lesson, for the 14th of November, and committed to go to church again. Only Brian came, because Nohemi got called in to work at the last second, but she´ll go next Sunday. 
All in all, it hasnt been a terrible week. Because Elder Jenkins cant leave, he recieved authorization from President to watch a Disney movie a day to avoid mind numbing boredom. So we have been watching Disney movies together when we havent been able to leave. Still, doing nothing all day is super super terrible. I dont know how I ever did that before haha. 
Well, continue to pray for my comp and a speedy recovery. Have a good week! The gospel is true. 
Elder Matheson

10/12 Flaming Shower Heads

Well, I will just start with what the title suggests-- our shower head CAUGHT ON FIRE this week. Twice. The shower heads here are electric powered to heat the water. The switch that turns it on broke, and my comp worked as an electrician before his mission, so he said it was an easy fix and jerry-rigged the wires and everything was working fine. Then, the next morning, I showered with hot water (the first time in a few weeks--glorious) and then my comp was about to go in to shower and was like, "hey, did it work?" and I was like, "yeah, watch!" and then i turned it on and the shower head burst into flames. We tried fixing it again, turned it on, and boom, more fire. So... a flaming shower head.. not something I ever thought i would see haha. 
This was a pretty good week! We kind of lost contact with Kevin, but were able to get ahold of him and have an appointment to teach him this week. We have another investigator that we have been teaching for a while now, named Alvaro (he is 17). He is super cool, and this week he finally received his answer that he needs to be baptized. So he has a baptism date for the 24th of this month. Pray for him! We have another investigator named Vanessa, and she is living with her less-active boyfriend, Joseph. They have a 4 year old son also. Joseph´s mom is in the relief society presidency, so we have been working super hard with them so they can get married and baptized. I went on spilts with Elder Wagner this week (awesome) and we taught them this super powerful lesson on the Atonement and called them to repentance and they finally agreed that they need to be married. Hopefully we´ll see some good progress now. 
Other than that, we had a pretty normal week. I love being the district leader again. Much more fulfilling work. The only sad part is that I cant go to the leadership councils and play soccer and eat the delicious american food that president makes anymore. But... life goes on and I am super happy with my new responsibility and just having a really good time working super closely again with the missionaries. 

Well, hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Matheson

Last picture as a zone

Gringo conference

"fixing" the shower

Saturday, December 12, 2015

10/5 Transfers!!

Holy cow these transfers were the craziest things ever!  So many changes in the mission.  President has felt inspired to reduce the number of zones in the mission from 15 to 9, which means that there are now 12 less zone leaders in the mission.  This means that many zones were combined, and wow, the zone leaders are going to have a lot more work now.  I went to drop off Elder Coello at the mission home Thursday morning and President Zobrist pulled me aside and told me, "Elder Matheson, we have a missionary here in the mission who is really having a hard time.  He came on his mission a year ago, and went home early, but has recently come back.  So far, he has had a hard time working and staying obedient.  I was thinking, who can help Elder Jenkins?  The only person I could think of was Elder Matheson." new companion is Elder Jenkins!  He's actually relaly cool, just needs a little more love, a chance to work hard.  Our zone (Manuel Prado) was combined with Elder Wagner's zone (Selva Alegre), and Elder Wagner and Elder Nichols are our new zone leaders.  Which means I am no longer a zone leader, but will be a district leader.  The funny thing is, with the new organization of the zones and districts, m district is basically the zone from last transfer haha.  I think a lot of people would have problems getting "sent down" from zone leader, but all I could think of was President Uchtdorf's talk when he said, "in the gospel ther is not up or down, just forward and back."  I am super excited to be able to be a district leader again after being zone leader, I have a much better idea of how to carry out that responsibility a whole lot better, and I am super excited to finally be together with Elder Wagner in the same zone!

Ok, a little more on Elder Jenkins, he's like 6'6" and has size 16 shoes.  He is from California (a tiny town from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, a little south of Sacramento) and he is an Olympic caliber swimmer in the breaststroke.  He says there's a good chance he could qualify for the 2020 games.  He's kind of awkward, but we can make this work.  He seems very moldable, so we'll see wha happens.

General conference was awesome!  One of the new apostles, Elder Stevenson, actually visited our mission a month ago, when he was still the presiding Bishop of the church.  I shook his hand before he was an apostle, so I guess that makes me hipster because I knew him before he was famous.  No surprise with Elder Rasband, and Elder Renlund is super awesome also.  He gave the "latter-day hypocrite" talk last conference.  Loved all the talks, and I have started ponderizing my first scripture (D&C 67:10).  For my personal study these last few days, I have decided to go to the topical guide and look up every single scriptural reference to Jesus Christ.  There are 12 whole pages of scripture references, so it might take a few weeks, but it has already been an awesome experience.

There was a 6.0 magnitude earthquake here yesterday in Arequipa.  Not strong enough to do any damage, but we definitely felt it!

Well, that's it from me...have a good one!

-Elder Matheson

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/28 Lunar Eclipse

This was kind of a rough week for the numbers and investigators. These last 2 weeks have kind of been like that, we are working as hard as we can, but it just seem like there arent people for us right now. We had planned to bring 15 investigators to church, and at the last second they all canceled on us. Kind of frustrating, but it happens sometimes. Sometimes God just wants us to learn patience and trust in His timing. We are working hard, and the blessings will come (D&C 59:4). The good news is that the Church is true and that we are working in the vineyard of the Lord.

This week is transfers, and my companion will be finishing his mission this week. He actually finishes his mission Wednesday, so right now I am searching for someone that can be my companion for a few days while I wait for my new companion who will be coming Monday. I still dont know what it will be... gringo? latino? who knows. I have a feeling it will be a gringo, but we´ll see what happens.

Last night there was a total lunar eclipse here in Arequipa. We went up on the roof of our house and filed all of the reports and all the other stuff we have to do on Sunday night while watching this awesome lunar eclipse. Rumor on the streets here in Arequipa was that yesterday was going to be the Second Coming because the scriptures say that one of the signs of this would be that the moon turns to blood. But, we´re all still here, so I guess we´ll have to wait a little longer haha.

Well, not much to report this week. It kind of stinks to "kill" your companion. Hard to stay focused on the work sometimes. There is just a lot of stuff that happens at the end of your mission, everyone wants to say goodbye, and the work seems to get lost a little bit in all the farewell meetings and what not. I love Elder Coello to death, seriously, I really dont want him to go, but I am going to be super happy to have a new companion and to be able to just work and focus and what we need to do.

Have a great week!

Elder Matheson

Young Adults performed an original Peruvian dance

9/21 Another week down

Well, the weeks just keep on rushing by. Crazy to think that my mission is now more than half over, and in like 10 months it will be over. We had to call President Zobrist this morning about some stuff that was happening in the zone and at the end of the call, he was like, "hey Elder Matheson, your mom emailed me about coming to pick you up." I told my comp, and he was like, wow, your parents are trunky! Haha probably. 

I forgot to mention this a few weeks ago, but we dont have a pension right now. We eat breakfast and dinner at our house (our ward mission leader lives with us and makes us breakfast and dinner) and we are now eating lunch with the members. It is actually a wonderful way to get to know the ward a lot better. All the members treat us like kings, and because having the missionaries over for lunch is a once in a month experience, they roll out the red carpet and feed us until we are about to explode, because thats how peruvians show their love for people. The only problem is, we eat like this everyday now, and every day we feel like we are going to explode. I guess its a good problem? One of my favorite foods here in Arequipa is called Rocoto Relleno (stuffed pepper). They take this spicy pepper they have here in Arequipa (its about the size of a bell pepper, a little bit smaller) and they fill it with cheese, meat, and veggies, and then throw it in the oven. Delicious. We were served that in one of the houses this week, and it was probably the best meal I´ve had in Peru so far. The other cool thing about this, is that now we have more money to spend on other stuff, like taxis and what not, so this is really a win-win-win situation for everyone. 

This week was tough as far as the work in our area goes. Most of the appointments fell through, and we are having a hard time getting our investigators to progress... for now. We are teaching a mother and her son, Mariela (the mom) and Ariel (the son, he´s 16). They are super awesome and have just learned how to pray and are praying together now. They havent been able to come to church yet, because Ariel has been taking his entrance exam for the university here in Arequipa (the kids graduate when they are 16 here), and the test is Sunday morning. They promised that they would come to church this week, but they are going to be like 45 minutes late. We´ll take what we can get haha. We are also teaching a number of less-active families that are coming back to church now. I dont have time to give the synopsis on every single person that we are teaching (we teach a lot of people), but I´ll try to keep you guys updated on the people that are progressing.
Happy to hear that the Packers are playing well, and BYU has gotten off to a pretty good start, maybe they´ll beat Utah next year :) 

Thanks for your support! have a good one!

Elder Matheson