June 23, 2015 (Week 55)

Good to hear from the family.  Sorry about being a day late.  I don’t think that this will be permanent, but we had our p-day changed to Tuesday for today and next week.  What happened is that president wanted to do a p-day with the mission before he left, so he was with the south half of the mission today and will be with us in the north half next week.  I think we are going to do a giant barbecue and we are going to play futbol or something, but I’m not really sure.  I think that it will be the most missionaries together on a p-day since the president got here.  He doesn’t like missionaries gathering up like that much.  Today a lot of missionaries went to the Feria, because those are open every day except for Monday, and we picked up my suit.  It looks good, but I am a little worried about it, because I have a very different body shape than before, and it might fit a little… different when I get home.

Happy Father’s Day!  Who knew that that could be such a big deal here.  I don’t remember doing as much celebrating.  I’d say that here in Chile, Father’s Day is as big if not bigger of a holiday than Mother’s Day.  They also have Women’s Day and Children’s Day, which is funny for me because I remember that “Children´s Day” was always a little running joke with us in our family.

We had a decidedly interesting week.  One thing that I am really working on is getting better at contacting.  It isn’t that I don’t know what to say, because while we are talking, I am almost always fine.  It is more like I get nervous starting the contact and the words get all choked up in my throat.  We found some pretty cool new investigators, and some lame ones.  One problem that we are finding is that the South American Cup is making it really hard to work, because there is a game on almost every night and when it is on, Chilean brain’s shut down.  They forget everything, including lessons that we set.  In fact, last week Javier had an interview for the priesthood right during the first Chilean game (Chile vs. Ecuador: a source of much stress for Elder Granda) and the first councillor completely forgot about poor Javier, leaving him to show up to the Chapel without anyone there.

One thing that we are really trying to improve on as a companionship is working with members.  We had a family night with Ignacio and his mom, Lilly, and Brian (one of Elder Granda’s converts) with a family (incidentally, the head of which is the same man that forgot about Javier).  We had called him about the family night on Monday and talked with him on Thursday, but when we showed up on Saturday, they weren’t there.  We called him, and turns out he forgot about it.  We were starting to feel a little abandoned by this guy, because we really thought that we had given them enough warning, but they still blamed us on them having forgotten about it.  We learned that night the importance of talking with the one that is actually in charge of the house that night, or in other words, if you want something done, talk to the mom.

Mauricio came to church, which is awesome, but he only could come to sacrament, which was a little less awesome.  We take what we can get.  He slept through the meeting.  He’s not very good with his time.  I worry that he stayed up because he was with his girlfriend.

The other interesting thing that happened to us was with the nephew of a less active member that we visited.  The lady lives far away, but she normally lives alone with her 100 something year old mom, so we took a youth named Filipe that is preparing for his mission with us so that we could get into her house.  That day her nephew was home, making us feel a little silly for taking the poor member on an hour long walk like that.  We started sharing with the lady, and her nephew walked in and started listening.  He is 21 years old, and a student of philosophy.  He listened for a bit, then he suddenly started digging into us about blacks and the priesthood.  We all got a little annoyed, and Filipe almost started voicing his irritation by explaining about blacks and the priesthood, when I felt to share what Elder Granda taught that morning in district class.  Elder Granda that morning had given us a district class about the Book of Mormon and how whatever the doubt may be about the church, the real question that the person is asking is if Joseph Smith is a prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is true.  If the Book of Mormon is true, than Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if Joseph Smith was a prophet, then he was guided by God, and everything that he did in the church was inspired of God.  So I explained that, and then told him that in respect to blacks and the church, but what I do know is that the Book of Mormon is true, and because I know that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was guided by God.  Elder Granda and Filipe testified and taught with me, and he, feeling overwhelmed, decided to try to fight with me in English so that he could single me out.  He spoke well in English, but I basically just told him the same and he switched back to Spanish.  I feel it was pretty clear that we were right and that he, with all of his education and wish to accept all things at once, was wrong, but I didn’t feel good leaving that house.  It didn’t matter that we were right.  We were fighting.  We drove away the spirit, and we could not testify to him, because our words did not reach his heart.  What we taught him was true, and honestly, I don’t know how we could have done it better.  He was very similar to Veronica Molina, the apostate less active that we fought with a while ago.  I don’t know exactly what we could have done better, because I do not see how we could have s.  There is still so much I don’t understand, and I am being humbled every day.  What I do feel is that we did our best, and at the very least, I felt that what I was testifying was true.

I’m doing the best I can.  I love all of you.  Talk to you next Tuesday!

Elder Mathewson

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