I´d like to buy a full sized hymn book in Spanish, if that would be alright. I wanted to get your permission first before I bought anything on the card, because I´m really trying to live almost completely off of missionary funds. I don´t know how much they cost, but all I´ve got is a little tiny one, and I´ll explain why I want a real one down in my email.
The biggest thing that happened this week was changes. Elder Blake, the other elder that came with me from the CCM, has been living with his dad, Elder Cisneros, since today. We all got pretty close, as Elder Cisneros is a really cool guy. He laughed a lot, he sang a lot, and he played the piano for our ward, which literally saves sacrament meeting because you can not believe how tone deaf 45 people can be, but our ward passes expectations. He´s been here since he was born, or for the last 11.5 months. It is actually normal for missionaries to be in their sector for a long time, but average is more like 7 months. Needless to say, the ward was pretty used to him, so I think it came as a bit of a shock to them when he left. It also was a little scary for me, because I thought I was going to have to play the piano, which I haven´t done for about 2 years, so I got out our little electric piano in the pension and started practicing hymns during language study.
For his last Sunday, he wanted to sing a special number, so we practiced for a week “How Firm a Foundation” in Spanish with parts. I was melody. I have never sung in front of people before. It was weird, like a piano recital but more embarrassing. It´s funny about a mission, though, you don´t get scared as easy. For some reason, I don´t get nearly as scared going up in front of a bunch of Latinos here than I would at home, just like I don´t get as scared proselyting here as I would at home.
I´m not going to play the piano for at least one more change. Elder Blake´s new comp, Elder Anderson, will play. That gives me 6 weeks to practice up, because Elder Anderson is going home on the 29th. That is why I want to have a big hymn book, because my little one I can´t see and doesn´t stay open, so I can hardly practice from it. I hope that would be okay.
I have a story about an opportunity of bearing testimony of Jesus Christ. There is a man named Juan, who chain smokes, buys his kids drugs then tells them not to do drugs, and we suspect does cocaine by the state of his pinky nail. We came the other day, and something was generally wrong in the house. One of his kids and his girlfriends had been fighting, and she left him and their baby, crying. Juan was obviously feeling very guilty for the state of his family, which, to be fair, is mostly his and his wife´s fault, and said basically, “You guys are wasting your time with me.” We sat down, and I said, “Look, Juan, we are here in Chile as representatives of Jesus Christ. With whom did Jesus spend most of his time?” “With his apostles,” said Juan, without really thinking. “No, with sinners and publicans. He spent his time where he was needed.” We then taught a pretty spiritual lesson about how we can receive blessings from God by studying the scriptures, but I fear out lesson was destroyed when a drunk friend came over and started denying the existence of a God, truth and sin.
PS – You might be interested to see this. Today as well, we saw President and he commented on my drawing.
Dear Elder Mathewson,
My name is Jennifer Eyring and I live in North Salt Lake, Utah. My daughter received an email several months ago from her good friend Elder Ethan Groen who is in your mission – in his letter from the MTC in Chile he included the drawing you did of the home on Alcantara where he was staying. You are so talented- that was an amazing drawing and very meaningful to me- When I was in high school, my dad – Elder Craig Zwick- (he is in the 1st quorum of 70 now) was called to be the mission president of the Chile Santiago south mission- our whole family lived in the home on Alcantara for 3 years which used to be the mission home. So you can imagine when my daughter showed me your drawing I was so excited and flooded with memories of our time in Chile. I was wondering if you would mind if I had a few prints of your drawing made for my family for Christmas? I didn’t want to do it without your permission. Please respond to this email as soon as possible. Thank you for your dedicated service to The Lord and to his wonderful children in Santiago Chile. I love those people!