November 17, 2015 (Week 76)

I took off my shoes in typical Canadian style to ford the river that we were following to get to the waterfall.  I was stinking cold.  My feet felt like they were going to fall off.  And my gosh, did that water taste better than the water in Santiago.  Almost all of the missionaries that are not from Santiago agree that the water here is nasty.

I took off my shoes in typical Canadian style to ford the river that we were following to get to the waterfall. I was stinking cold. My feet felt like they were going to fall off. And my gosh, did that water taste better than the water in Santiago. Almost all of the missionaries that are not from Santiago agree that the water here is nasty.

Our little make shift bar-b-que.  We had 4 sausages each with bread, but it was a walk of an hour and and half both ways, so I think that we burned it all off anyways.

Our little make shift bar-b-que. We had 4 sausages each with bread, but it was a walk of an hour and and half both ways, so I think that we burned it all off anyways.

DSC00341 DSC00335

One quick trunky question: the mission offices called me last week and asked me if you guys were going to come pick me up from the airport when I come home.  I said that I thought so, but I wasn’t 100% sure, so they asked me to write you and ask.  I think that they are starting to book my flight.  On a only somewhat unrelated topic, according to my written licence that I have from the church, today is exactly 6 months from the day that I should be going home.

I will give most of the credit of Alfonso to my companion.  I don’t know if I would have done it alone.  He is gross.  My companion has the opposite problem, where he enjoys other’s presence so much that it is difficult at times to let them go.  Neither one of us really understands what love it, I don’t think.  To finish the story, we found a woman to go look for lunch for Alfonso.  He is very sick, and one day we found him outside of his house, and the way he acted, I started to wonder if he did not get any help soon, he may die of starvation.  It was hard to find a person to bring his food for him.  The problem is that it is a big commitment.  That is why we can’t do it.  One would have to go to the shelter Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:30 to look for his food, deal with the smell, the bad manners, the bad attitude and the begging, and once you started, it would be very difficult to be able to trade the job with somebody else.  We started looking for sisters, as many of them are home during the day, but most of them were busy.  We finally found a sister named Sister Pizarro, who we called and she agreed.  We set up an appointment to be able to go by Alfonso’s together.  But when we came by, she seemed to have changed her mind a little.  She worried about failing to be able to go by, especially on Fridays when she has other obligations, and she was not sure if she was comfortable about going to the house of a strange man, no matter how frail he might be.  We finally convinced her, and just when she conceded, another name came to her mind and the mind of my companion of a man who would have actually worked better to do the job.  We worked out a plan of how she and the other man, named Rubén, were going to work together to bring his lunch, and she seemed greatly relieved, although not entirely eager.  I have thought a little about why the Lord didn’t just give us the name of Rubén before, who would have worked as a better candidate, and I think that the Lord wanted to give this sister the chance to serve.  We then went with the sister the the house of Alfonso with her husband, so that they could meet him.

When we went, it was amazing to the see the hand of the Lord in the whole process.  I know that that sounds very missionary-y, but it is true.  We found Alfonso outside of his apartment.  He immediately asked us for a drink, which Brother Pizarro went to buy.  We talked for a moment with Alfonso, and he was unusually funny and humble, but obviously a suffering son of God.  We then took him up to his apartment, and it took FOREVER.  He lives on the third floor of his building, which is also the top.  He mounted the steps only with our help, shuffling along like he was 20-odd years older than he should be.  It was a good opportunity for the members to build up a lot of empathy for the man.  We finally got up, and his house smelled even worse than normal, even though we had washed it only 4 days before.  He continued with his humble, joking, suffering attitude, and I could see that Sister Pizarro was in pain.  Perfect.  What really got her, though, was when he asked us for a priesthood blessing.  She started crying.  We left, and you could see that the sister was deeply touched.

On the way back, the miracles continued.  One problem that we had was that the first day that she had to go look for his lunch was on Monday, but we were not going to be able to be there, because we had a Zone Capacitation Meeting.  The problem is that the ladies that work at the shelter needed to know her, or else she would not be able to take the lunch to Alfonso.  We were thinking about how we were going to be able to do it, when we found one of the ladys that works in the shelter in the street.  We were able to introduce them.

Monday went fine.  I think that things might start changing for Alfonso.

On Monday, the Zone Leaders gave the district leaders the opportunity to teach in part of the Zone Capacition Meeting.  We got together, and we were supposed to teach about understanding the work of Salvation.  The time we had went well.  We decided to take it in the direction of understanding the work of Salvation to help the members in their part of the work of Salvation.  We used an object lesson.  We called Elder Henriquez and another sister named Hna Ellis, both of whom are generally quiet in classes, and asked them to take a spoon each.  Elder Henriquez represented the missionaries, and Hna Ellis the members.  We then asked them to use the spoons to support a lemon, which represented the investigaters, by squeezing it on both sides.  We then asked Elder Henriquez to leave.  He left, and the lemon fell.  We explained that if we do not help the members in their missionary work, or the members do not help us in ours, we will never be able to support the investigaters of the church.  Both parts are of equal importance, and both are necesary.

Today, we went to the mountains to celebrate the second-to-last p-day of two of the missionaries of the Zone, Elder Milla and Elder Mamani, from Bolivia and Peru, respectively.  We were in a place called “La Quebrada de Macúl”, specifically.  There is a waterfall, and we did a little bar-b-que.  Photos to follow.

Love you all.

Elder Mathewson

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