Below is a transcription to the best ability of Elder Mathewson’s mother and father.
Yesterday, the email service we normally use was down for maintenance leaving the entire mission without a way to write home. He gave permission to the entire mission to write today. But just for 1/2 an hour, which is why I used the time I had to write you from 6-7 yesterday, because I won’t have time to write tomorrow.
I did my first divisions as a district leader on Thursday. Whenever I go on divisions, it is pretty uneventful and we usually just spend our whole day walking around and contacting. That was how it was like for us, except for in the morning when we saw two guys get in a fight. We had just barely left the pension from studies and were coming up to an intersection and we saw some agitated people running around and a bus blocking traffic. We got a little worried about it as we approached it, especially when we saw that one guy had a softball sized cinder block piece and another a pipe. The guy with the pipe, a younger guy, hit the guy with the rock as we ran past, and I saw he was hitting everyone in his path, so I quickly got out of the his way. The guy with the rock chasing him to the bus stop, and throwing the rock, hit him in the back, which made the pipe-guy turn around swearing at him and chasing him into traffic again. At that point we ducked into a street and were walking away as quickly as we could without drawing attention to ourselves.
This week, we have used the photo of the Santiago Temple a lot to teach. I would guess we have used it a least 7 or 8 times, or in other words every time that we have a lesson. What we do is tie a gospel precept to the temple, and using the temple of Santiago or a photo of our own temple we bear testimony of the importance of temples and our own plans, goals and dreams associated with that temple, especially respecting eternal families. I carry a photo of you guys around in the cover of my bible and I show it to everyone now. I really like the new way to teach. I find that it is a really good way to break the ice with people. Showing a photo of your family makes them trust you more right away, and being personal and open about the temple helps people want to talk to you, and there is no catalyst for good, deep, wholesome conversation quite like the family. I used it in divisions, and we all felt the spirit strong. We left with them more committed to reading the Book of Mormon than they had ever been.
On Saturday, I did my first baptismal interview. I had no idea how to do a baptismal interview, so I had been studying all week to know what to do in Preach My Gospel, the missionary handbook and D&C 20:37. I did the interview slower than most missionaries, I think but it went well. She was called Nidia, and she understands well what she wants. She is getting baptized for a commitment that she made when she proposed to her husband, as part of her goal to get sealed in the temple.
We have started teaching a woman name Belen. She is the college aged daughter of a less active member and is interested to learn. We only had 1 lesson, were we taught the restoration, but it went well. I’ll keep you undated if there is progress.
Paola, Luis “with-liver”, opened up to us a ton. We have really been pushing about marriage between the two of them so that Luis can get baptized, and Paola told us that if she is going to live with Luis, Luis needs to get better at communicating. She told us a lot of other stuff as well but they might not be appropriate for a public audience. This was after our lesson we had on Sunday, when Luis was left as we stood outside their gate ready to leave. We explained to her Luis will change as he learns about the gospel and repents, and that all she needs to do is come closer to God. A while ago our zone leaders taught us that in a companionship, there are 3 people involved: us, and God. As we come unto God we grow closer. There is only one place where God can be found and he does not change nor does he move. So if we come to him, we can’t help but get closer. I coupled that with a study I did about the Light of Christ, which explains that if we learn about the Gospel, our conscience becomes more and more sensitive and we are driven to repentance. Both of them need to repent and come to God, we are not going to teach them about “communication” like she wanted, but instead “forgiveness”.
Sorry for the late mail. Things happen. Nunca se sepense lo que se debe esperar. Hopefully next week we’ll finally be back to normal!
Love you all