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

9/14 Baptisms and Catholic Parties

Buenos dias a todos! Esta semana nos ha ido muy bien! Espero que todos estén bien y que hayan tenido una buena semana también. 

Haha enough Spanish, we had a good week, and we had our baptism! Gissel got baptized, showed up early for church, and was confirmed. Also, happy to hear that BYU has decided to become the comeback kids and win on last second hail mary passes every week. Also glad to hear that the Seahawks lost to the rams and that the Pack beat the bears in week one. I think I miss home a little bit more during football season. Only one more football season away from home..

Elder Coello and I were looking at the zone last week and were thinking, wow, we are really struggling with having investigators with a baptism date. We a goal with the zone that every companionship would have 4 baptism dates, and that as a zone we would have 24. At the end of last week we had 6, and as of yesterday we have 22, and went from being the zone with the least baptism dates to the zone with the most. Our goal is to have 30 by the end of this week. 

We are just working hard for the last few weeks with Elder Coello. This transfer is half over, so Elder Coello only has 3 weeks left in his mission. Its a little sad, but he is working hard and enduring to the end. It reminds me of what Grandma told me before I left: sprint to the finish. Thats is what I try to do everyday. Sprint to the finish. Knock one more dore at 9:29 at night, talk to one more person, teach one more lesson. its the only way to be happy in the mission!

Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers, have a good week!

Elder Matheson 

9/7 Working Hard

Hello all! We had an interesting week this week. Just working hard and doing our thing. Our zone is really struggling right now. After having a really successful month of August, the numbers in the whole zone have dropped a ton, and basically nobody has investigators to teach. We are going to try and whip these young guns into shape though. We are trying to teach by example, and we are going to have a baptism this week, and plan to place a ton of baptism dates this week. We are really just always super excited to get out and work. The thing is helping the other missionaries to do the same.

Our baptism this week is named Gissel. She is 16, and her mom is a convert from about 2 years ago who had been inactive. We have been working a ton with her family, and now her mom, Maria, is going to church every Sunday. We have seen a ton of improvement with Gissel as well. She used to go to parties all the time and what not, but has turned her life around. We are slowly making progress with her other family members as well. We just need to keep finding new people to teach.

Probably the funniest thing that happened this week was this: we have been teaching this guy named Julian, and we havent been able to find him lately. We saw him in the Street the other day, and when he saw us, he took off SPRINTING in the other direction. We ended up finding him again and he told us that he cant be baptized, because he has already been baptized and it would be a sin to be baptized again. We keep finding him in the Street and he will literally dive behind a parked car to avoid us hahaha. Oh well, you cant win them all.

Hope everyone has a great week this week!


Elder Matheson

8/31 Happy Birthday

Well well well, what a week it was! First of all, happy birthday to me! As my present, we had the entire mission come to Arequipa for a giant birthday party just for me. Well, kind of. I think they probably came because Bishop Stevenson, the presiding bishop of the entire church, came to talk to us that day, but still, i was able to see a lot of the people from my MTC group that i hadnt seen for over a year. Elder Larsen remembered my birthday, and brought me a bag of beef jerkey haha. The zone sang happy birthday, and DESTROYED my face with the cake. Do you know what it feels like to get cake in your eyes? It hurts. 

We are having a lot more progress with our less actives than with our investigators right now. Not a single one of our investigators came to church yesterday, but every single less active member that we are teaching did come, so we felt good. We are teaching a number of less active families and teaching about the temple and the blessings of eternal families. It makes me very grateful to have a familiy sealed in a temple of God and for the chance we will have to be together forever--if we are faithful.

Something interesting that Bishop Stevenson taught was the formula for happiness. If we are obedient, God blesses us. When God blesses us, we are happy. When we are disobedient, God withholds blessings, and when He withholds these blessings, we are unhappy. It is so simple, yet Satan (very successfully at times) tries to convince us that disobedience is happiness. Yet, we learn from the scriptures that WICKEDNESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS. Never has been, never will be, never can be. As missionaries, we have more commandments than anyone else. Thus, we have more opportunities to be obedient and receive blessings that make us happy. Thus, missionaries can be the happiest people in the world haha.

Good luck to Megs in her first week of college classes, to the other kids headed off to school again, and to all the good people of Richland who will be driving on the same road as Christian.


Elder Matheson