August 25, 2015 (Week 64)

We have new ward missionaries!  I have never had ward missionaries before, so this is kind of exciting.  We have 2 boys and 4 girls, the boys being about 16 or 17 and the girls 20ish.  It would have been nice to have a few more boys so that we can get into houses easier, as we can only get in if we are accompanied with a man that is older than 16, but we’ll take what we can get.  We have been working on capacitating them.  On Wednesday, we did some organization with them and read with them parts of PmG 1, and on Sunday we started teaching them how to teach the mission lessons, starting with L1, but just the first few points.  It was like being in the CCM again, but from the perspective of the teachers (did I mention that one of my teachers from the CCM is here in Chayavientos with me?).  We plan to have two meetings a week, until they are capacitated, and then just do correlation like normal.  We weren’t doing correlation for a while, because we lost our ward mission leader.  He has some family problems and is in the South of Chile.

I got sick on Thursday.  I think it was something I ate.  I started feel sick Wednesday night, and by Thursday we stayed home and I rested.  I’m better now, and it was nothing too serious.  Just nausea and exhaustion.

On Friday, we did the Family Home Evening that we do every two weeks in the chapel.  We didn’t have as many people come, but it was a lot better this time.  We finished L2, teaching from the Spirit world to the end, and focusing on repentance and the temple.  I drew a temple that we used to help us explain, and every one of us took a point to teach.  Then we played some games and had some food.  It was really simple, but spiritual and served all of the purposes that we needed.  Again, though, there wasn’t any leadership there.  In fact, the leader though whom we got the keys to the church was already in PJs and ready to go to bed, even though he knew as well as the rest of the bishopric that we were going to have this activity.

Our biggest challenge in this ward is the leadership.  I do not feel that I should go into details, but I can say that because of their lack of love, diligence and attention, any good work that we might do will not mean anything.  People are inactivating, and they do nothing.  Luis and Paola had their progress not only halted but rebounded because of the lack of care with them.  It is very sad to see, and we aren’t 100% percent sure what to do, because if we don’t have the support of the leadership, we don’t have very much.  All of us went to the bishop to talk to him and see what is going on, but we feel that it might be time to have an interview directly with the stake president, if it is possible, because we see no progress in our ward leadership either.  Luckily, the stake president lives without the boundaries of the ward, so it might be that we can visit his house one day and explain to him what is going on.

My comp and I, until this moment, don’t clash too much.  We sometimes have differences, but we haven’t fought.  That is good.  He is a really good guy.  He thinks quick and well, so I trust him to not do anything stupid.  He is 4 years older than me and quite experienced with things like ward council and knows the rules, and more important than anything, he is obedient.  As long as he is obedient and I am obedient, we don’t really have too much to fight over.  We are pretty open and we have gotten pretty close quickly, but we still have a long way to go, I’m sure.  At least here there isn’t the tension that I always felt in my old pension.  Both companionships work together a lot better and aren’t always looking for things that the other did wrong.

I have greatly changed the way I study.  President has encouraged us to take more time to meditate and to pray while we study, and I have been trying to apply what he is saying.  I am glad that he gave me that counsel, because it occurred to me a little while ago that a mission is not the time for a youth to learn all of the doctrine of the gospel in 2 years, because that is impossible.  It is the time for a youth to learn how to receive answers to the questions of his soul.  I used to study thinking that by the end of my mission I should have studies all of the Book of Mormon, the Bible and PmG by the end of my mission.  It was fine, but I could have done it better.  Now, I carefully and prayerfully search myself for the questions that I need answered, and, upon finding them, I go to the scriptures and study line upon line until I understand and know how it to apply it.  It takes a long time, but it means more to me.  I find writing questions in a notebook with their answers that I find helps.  I have been studying finding a desire to have faith.  I want to know how we do what Alma in chapter 32 suggests, that we let our desire that we have to believe work within us until it becomes a sure knowledge.  I have learned a lot, and I have found that to be blessed with more faith, we have to have confidence from God, and I have been searching to find out what is this confidence and how is it that one can come to get it.

Elder Mathewson

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