September 8, 2015 (Week 66)

Family History Tree that we helped to make

Family History Tree that we helped to make

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I have a story that I forgot to tell you.  There was a ward activity that we did a while ago here about family history.  About 5 or 6 of the “big” families in the ward set us booths in the cultural hall to present their family history with photos and reminders and documents and whatever they could find, and in the middle they had a “Family Tree”, which was an interesting little project.  We helped make it.  What we did is wrap packing tape around sections of trees until it was big enough that they formed a “skin”, which was then cut off and joined with the other sections, making the shape of a tree.  They stuffed it with newspapers to help it stay ridged and hung it up from the ceiling, and taped leaves that they had printed from the computer with a photo of the family.  It looked cool.

I will be Elder Young another change, but I do not know if I will continue as district leader.  It doesn’t matter to me too much.  I liked being district leader, but I would understand if President wanted to change me to give another elder the chance.

We had stake conference.  President came, along with the Area Seventy, which made for some cool meetings.  They focused on the day of rest, which may or may not be a big theme for conference based on what we are hearing, and unity.  They wanted all of the members to be more united with the missionaries or the work can not move forward.  In Puente Alto stake, that is a real problem.  The ward leaders are not very united with the missionaries, and the missionary work here is suffering.  I do not feel that it is my job to point fingers and say who’s fault it is, but I do say that I felt kind of bad afterwards when I was talking about it with the other missionaries.  We spend a lot of time complaining bitterly about our bishop, and we realized that that is the wrong things to do.  He is our bishop, and he has the keys to lead this ward, no matter what he does.  If he does something that to us doesn’t make any sense, we are not here to judge.  “My ways are not your ways” as said Elder Arrua, the Paraguayan that we live with.

I have always felt that with every companion and every sector, there are a few lessons that the Lord wants me to learn, and I feel that I am already learning the lessons that I should here in this sector.  I wish that I had known this 15 months ago, but what I have found is the the real reason that missionaries serve missions is to prepare us for after our missions.  One of the problems that many missionaries have is that they forget that there are things after their mission.  We spend our whole youth focusing on going to the next step.  In the nursery, we get ready for primary.  In the primary, we get ready for young mens.  In young mens, we get ready for missions, and during our missions, but get ready to have a family.  I am sure that it was planned that way by God as a way to turn all of his children into Gods themselves, as life on Earth itself is preparatory for what comes after.  Many missionaries, however, lose sight of that, thinking that we serve missions to… serve missions.  Missionaries like that condemn other missionaries for thinking of what comes after their mission, saying that this is “unfocused”.  A missionary that thinks of the future is not necessarily a “dead” missionary.  A dead missionary is a missionary that stops working.  A missionary that thinks of the future is a missionary that understand to what end he is on the mission.  If our purpose, as state is PmG, is invite others to come to Christ by helping then receive the gospel, I think that that would apply to us as well.  I have felt very strongly that I was a little mis-guided for a good part of my mission, and that I did not understand fully the reason that I am here.  I am now convinced that the Lord could bring about his work and his glory without 80,000 20 year old kids.  I am here, as well as every missionary that is here and every missionary that has ever been here and every missionary that will ever be here, to prepare myself to be a better Husband, Father, Son and Brother than he could ever be staying at home.  Or, in other words, continue in my progression during an infinitesimally small amount of time during the plan that God has for us to make us happy.

That is pretty much what has happened this week.  The combination of the last General Conference’s talks, the teachings of president, the studies that I have been having, and the divisions that I did with my Zone Leader that I did, has been changing my perspective a lot.

I bought paints, by the way.  I am very excited to start using them.

Love you all.

Elder Mathewson

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One thought on “September 8, 2015 (Week 66)

  1. We always enjoy your letters and the insight that you have. Keep doing your best. We are very proud of you and your growth.

    Love, Grandma & Grandpa

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