April 5, 2016 (Week 95)

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Me, Elder Arrua, Elder Young and Elder Hulet, with whom I lived, back when I was in Puente Alto.

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Today, we did a little bar-b-que and played futbol to say goodbye to some of the friends that we have made during our missions. Unfortunately, it rained for the first time in forever, and much meat was lost. The first one is Elder Turner (can’t believe how much weight he was lost…)

It was a somewhat slow week.  I am surprised by the amount of work that it takes to put together two proselyting areas.  Cleaning up the area book has been a big task, as we had to put them together and, in doing so, found a lot of stuff that needed to be thrown away.  We have been purging the area of all the “investigators” that the missionaries have been visiting since the dawn of man and have never progressed.  “We found them street contacting.  Jehovah Witness, work a lot and are never home, very friendly.  THEY ARE GOLD.” “They went on vacations.  They should be back around June… 2084.”  “They have gone to church… once.  4 years ago.”

Conference was interesting.  I watched it in Spanish.  I didn’t really want to.  Watching conference with the voice over just isn’t the same.  You lose all the -isms of the speakers.  The truth is that I didn’t really have a choice.  A while ago, President Morgan said that if investigators come to conference, the missionaries have to sit with them.  Our stake president took that to mean that all missionaries have to watch it in Spanish.  That is not what he wanted to say, but our president made up his mind.  He did set up a TV with the English conference, but it was just for the newest of new missionaries, which I am not a part of (actually, I am the oldest in the zone, again).  I still enjoyed conference, although I think that this was the conference that I was least prepared for.  It kind of snuck up on me.  It felt really short, and less like a holiday than the last ones.  We worked between sessions like it was a normal day.

There is one funny story that I have for conference.  A few days before conference, our zone leaders were asked by an old lady to cross the street.  Being good boyscouts, they complied, and found that she was a little drunk, and perhaps high.  She complained to them about the way that she had been treated by the world, and they explained how baptism could help her.  She liked what they told her, so they invited her to the conference, not thinking that she would come.  But she did.  Drunk.  In fact, with a beer.  Elder Christofferson was speaking when she started yelling at the screen as thought she was watch sports.  “¿What sins have I done? ¡You are the sinner! ¿And what about the sins that the world has done to me? ¡Sí, amén!”  It was kind of funny, kind of scary, and perhaps a little insulting.  She got pretty loud, and the other people around her started shushing her.  I think that there was fear that she would start speaking in tongues, because a couple of sister missionaries finally stood up and took her out.

We had one investigator come to church, from the other area.  Her name is Rina.  She liked the conference.  Earlier in the week, she accepted a baptismal date for the beginnings of June.  I won’t get to see her be baptized more than likely, but that isn’t too important to me.  As long as she does it.

Yesterday, we went to an investigator named Yessenia, who is an immigrant from San Diego, California.  She speaks Spanish well, but English better.  She has a husband named Ariel, who had a friend over.  This friend is an ex-missionary of the protestant church, and is currently studying to be a criminal lawyer.  Oh, nelly.  He absolutely destroyed us.  We sat there for an hour straight while he tore at the Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, and temples.  Neither one of us said anything, knowing the answers to his doubts, but knowing that if we answered him, it would turn into an argument.  We ended up saying, “We don’t know all of the answers to your questions.  There is only one way that you can know if what we are saying is true.  And that is by asking God.  We know that these things are true.”  He wasn’t too convinced.  We left feeling a little defeated, but we had nothing to worry about.  It isn’t about winning or losing: it is about saving a life.  There were no winners there: only lost souls.  We both felt that we had done perfectly the right thing, and that is enough for us.

Love you all.

Elder Mathewson

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