Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 91 - Trenches and Changes (WHAT?)

Yup, That's right. My stay here in Jerusalen has come to an abrupt end. I am being transferred to FLORIDA. WHOOOO! Palm trees and sandy beaches here I come! Jk.  Well... partly. I'm being transferred to the Las Brisas Ward in the Florida Stake. My new companion's name is Elder Ramos. He's from BRAZIL. Looks like I'll be learning Portuguese this next change.

This week we did some service with a sister to fill in a ditch on the side of her house. Since there is no man in her house we couldn't work with her there so we did it by ourselves. We were working for and hour and a half and we only filled about 10 feet. The trench was about 1 foot wide and 4 feet deep and the entire length of her house (approx 50 feet). We wanted to finish and we didn't think it would take that long but it did. We had an appointment so we had to leave it half done. And now that I'm going, I won't be able to finish it. 

Sorry guys for the short letter. Changes always make it crazy and the time just flew by. Love you all!


Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Jerusalen, Zona San Cristóbal, Guatemala Sur

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 90 - Bowling

Hey everybody, sorry about last weeks letter. I could have sworn I had sent it. Sorry. And I'm writing a little bit later this week because we went bowling as a district. Because we met our goals for baptisms as a district we were given a district Pday. It was super cool. Elder Cañada, my zone leader, got a strike on his very first bowl! He's never even gone bowling in his life. He actually WON the first game. The second game, Elder Nelson and I got our game on. We were going neck and neck when our time ran out. I won according to the points. Then we went and played billiards. We had to teach our latin companions how to play but it was fun. We had a good time and I got to eat Panda Express for the first time in almost 2 years. Wow was it amazing!

This week we were working mainly with Kimberly and Jocelyn. They have been progressing really well, they are the next likely candidates for baptism. We are finishing up teaching the lessons they just have a minor problem with drinking coffee which isn't too uncommon. We bought them a coffee substitute they have here in Guatemala called Morcaff. It is a sort of coffee but it is made from grains instead of coffee. It tastes just like coffee but doesn't have any of the bad (and it's not against the Word of Wisdom). They didn't come to church this Sunday but that's because they were sick. Other than that they have been good. 

This week one of our investigators started to show more promise. She's actually an old investigator that we found visiting her sister. Her name is Marleni. She ate up the lesson and even had a Book of Mormon from when the missionaries were visiting her before. She even has a friend that is a member. There is an upcoming stake activity her friend told her about and she said she wanted to go! Unfortunately she had a school trip this Sunday and wasn't able to go. I really hope she can come to church this upcoming week. 

This week we helped the non-member husband of one of our recent converts put drywall up in his house. Sorry, my camera was asking up this week so i didn't take too many pictures. I didn't fix it until today. This week we're probably gonna help him paint. 

That's all I got time for today.
Hope you guys have a good week.

Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Jerusalen, Zona San Cristóbal, Guatemala Sur

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 89 - Baptism Norelky

The obvious highlight of this week was our BAPTISM! Norelky got baptized. We had the interview on Wednesday and she asked me to baptize her. The young women have really helped a lot with her and the other teenage investigators. Really good fellowshipers in this ward.

The day of the baptism was a bit crazy. We were working normal until lunch. Then we started contacting and the zone leaders told us we needed to come down to the stake center to go to a lesson together as a zone so an investigator would get baptized. Then, when we were getting on the bus they asked where we were. When we told them we were just leaving they said it would be better to just stay because they were already late for the appointment. It wasn't our fault that they didn't notify us until 30 minutes before. So we got off and had to catch a bus going back to our area. Then, when we went back to our appointments, a member called us and told us the pila (baptismal fount) was dirty and to come and clean it. When we got there nobody had keys. We called the bishop and he was in the city center and said he'd get here in 30 minutes. Normally he's pretty punctual but the traffic coming to our area is terrible because there is only one road coming in and it's only one lane. He got to the chapel about an hour later. Meanwhile, we were trying to figure out how to get in. We were going to lower my companion in from the fount but the young women were having their mutual in the room of the baptismal fount.  Finally the bishop arrived with the keys, we cleaned the fount and started filling it. Then, Norelky came and put on the white dress and a sister noted that the dress was too see through. So they had to go get a slip to put under the dress. Thankfully the rest went smoothly.

On Sunday we had a bit of a set back with the family we were going to eat with. Long story short we couldn't get to working until 3. We didn't even go to the house to leave our church manuals, I didn't even have pamphlets. We went straight to work to make up the lost time. Then our next two appointments fell through. We went then to pick up a young man who wanted to leave with us to go do visits but because it was so late we only had time for one appointment. When we were leaving his house we were walking up the stairs thinking of which investigator to visit when I realized we were approaching one of our investigators, Marleni. She was sitting on the stairs talking to one of the young women. I was like I think God is telling us who. We had an awesome lesson with her about the Restoration.

Well, that's all for this week. Enjoy pictures of pretty flowers I found contacting.

Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Jerusalen, Zona San Cristóbal, Guatemala Sur

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 88 - Spiritual Power and Moving

 Hello everybody!

This week was full of a lot of awesome, spiritual experiences. We had a lesson with a semi new family. "Semi new" because we found them the first week, but we can only visit them on Sundays after church. The dad, Anibal, had a lot of good questions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, so we gave them a copy and read the invitation in the introduction. He also asked about the restoration of the priesthood so we explained the concept of priesthood keys with our house keys.

On Sunday, the Gospel Principles teacher didn't show up because she was sick. So our Ward Mission Leader asked me to give the class. It was on the Final Judgment. I was a bit nervous at first but I remembered that I had read the lesson a few days before-hand. It was really cool because I had just had a prompting to read it one day. But the lesson turned out really good. I definitely know it wasn't me teaching but the Holy Ghost!

During the week, we went out to teach with 3 youth. They took us to a few places where they had gone with other elders to teach (former investigators) and we had some pretty cool adventures. They ran away from dogs, we knocked wrong doors, and we found some pretty cool people

This week we also helped move two houses. The first was a part-member family that was moving to our ward from Peronia, the adjacent ward. The Chopen (cho-pen) family is a family of converts. Only the dad and one of the daughters hasn't gotten baptized (yet, we're working on it) They moved to a place that is, puchica (wow) , FAR. We had to help them take all their stuff up to the second level since their house wasn't finished yet. the hardest part was the fridge and the dressers. We had to maneuver them around the stairs because they were too tall and too long to fit. It took 4 elders and 2 other guys to lift and maneuver it up.

The second house we moved was OUR OWN! When I got here there were some pretty bad leaks in the roof and the water was filtering through the walls (see video).

The house always smelled dingy and our towels and shoes were hard to dry because of the humidity. On top of that our Zone leaders told us we had to move ASAP. So we were negotiating a house and finally on Friday we signed the contract. The only problem was that, because it was last minute, nobody in the ward could help us. We were moving within the same neighborhood. Only a few streets down. but we had to move all the furniture (2 desks, 4 closets, fridge, 2 beds, 2 tables and a bookshelf) by ourselves. This time the elders from Panorama and Peronia came to help us out though. Together we carried all the stuff through the streets and down the stairs (ooof that was rough) to our new house. It is so much better.

Norelky should be getting baptized this week. Her interview is on Wednesday. If not this week, next week. The Barrios family has gotten a little stuck. The work of the dad is the main obstacle. He has to go get documents so they can get married but he doesn't have time....

"We can't do everything for everyone, but we can do something for someone" -Bishop Veliz

We got to meet with President Shumway this Wednesday. He's pretty spiritual. His wife was a seminary teacher so conferences are gonna be spiritually awesome.

Well, until next time,

Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Jerusalen, Zona San Cristobal, Guatemala Sur

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Week 87 - Goodbye President Caffaro

This week was a bit sad. We had our last Mission Conference with President and Sister Caffaro. I cried. HE cried. He made us a bit baggy cuz he basically did his spiel on what to do when you're a returned missionary. Overall, it was a really spiritual experience. We gave him a "game ball" with all of our names signed on it. Our zone gave him a going away present as well. A picture of us as a zone.


On the side of the work of salvation we had a great week as well. Familia Barrios seem to be good to go to get married. The brother is gonna go get the papers they need to get married and hopefully have another "bodi-bautismo" on thursday. We have another investigator that is showing a ton of potential. Her name is Norelky. She told me in church she wanted to get baptized on the 8th.(next weekend) I was like: "allllrighty then. We'll make that happen." She's so pilas. She even went to go get her boyfriend before church with the young women! 

We went exploring our area a bit and I took some pictures of some really positive grafiti. I've never seen so much before this area. I think the city does projects with the youth to do it. This weekend we had a mini mission with the priests and the laurels of the stake. We did a mini CCM experience and taught them how to teach the 1st lesson "the Restoration" and they learned how to cook and do some other exercises. In the night the went to teach "investigators" (members) and had to pass by their houses bringing them to church on sunday.

Did you guys hear about the earthquake this week? Yes, another one. This time I was awake and saying my morning prayer. It was a pretty long earthquake but I wasn't too freaked out. I thought that it was cool. hehehe.

Ok sorry, that's all I got time for. Love you.

Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Jerusalen, Zona San Cristobal, Guatemala Sur

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Week 86 - Though the weather outside is frightful, the work is so delightful

Hello everybody,

This week was really cool. (pun intended) I went from a really low valley to up on a mountain. Needless to say, it's a bit colder here. Here in Jerusalem it rains everyday. We're practically in the clouds so after about noon it is either raining or there is a constant mist. While I was still in Sanarate I broke down and bought a rain poncho so we wouldn't be all wet when we entered people's houses. (I like being soaked. I don't know why...) I thought it was a little weird that I had to buy another one (thoughts after the fact) since I had bought one while I was in Milagro (about a year ago...) Then, when I was packing, my suspicions were confirmed. I found my other poncho.... Oh well. Actually, it helps because I can leave one to dry while I take one out to work. It is so humid here it is hard for things to dry (since we don't have dryers, only hang dry. maybe with the fan). 

Elder Hernandez is a pretty cool guy. He's a bit shy. Shyer than I am. So it's kinda forcing me to be outgoing and take the initiative. He's still a bit green but I'm ready to learn from his fresh ideas.

We are teaching a family that their daughter has already gotten baptized and got confirmed this Sunday. The parents haven't gotten baptized yet because they aren't married. They've been together 26 years, they've just never gotten around to formalizing it (a common occurrence here in Guatemala). Gudiel, the husband, is an ex army member and is now working for a security company so he works 6 days then rests 3. That is going to make it hard for him and his wife to get married and baptized since he has to go take out documents of identification to get married.

One day while we were contacting I knocked a door and a little kid came out. He told me his parents had left to run an errand (classic answer) so I told him we'd come back. I then went to go to the next door and I found the rest of his brothers. They were bringing some fruit called jocotes. When I was at the next door I saw a jocote roll by. I kicked it back. Then more came. It turned into an all out jocote war in that alley. Then I stopped and was hiding in another alley and a woman came out and yelled at the kids. It was really funny cuz I was hidden and she didn't see me.

Well. The adventures are just beginning. I'll try to remember to give follow up on the Familia Barrios (the family that needs to get married) next week.

Just in case you heard about the earthquake last week, I didn't even feel it. My mission wasn't affected.

That's all for now. Love y'all

Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Jerusalen, Zona San Cristobal, Guatemala Sur

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 85 - Goodbye Devil's Alley, Hello Jerusalem

Hey guys, like the title says: I'm outta here! (El Callejón del Diablo/Devil's Alley is the street I live on and Jerusalem/Jerusalem is my new area) I'm going back inside of the capital. No more heat but a lot more rain! Changes are always interesting. Always new adventures. My new companion is Elder Hernandez from El Salvador (second Salvadoranian) and he's the District Leader there. The entire zone is made up of 8 missionaries, two districts of two companionships. We are in the Zone Leader's District so we'll probably be doing a lot of divisions.

I'm sad to be going though because I wanted to be here to keep supporting Keily (our investigator who JUST GOT BAPTIZED) Last Sunday she said she wasn't sure she wanted to go through with it so we said "that's fine. Read and pray about it and let us know your answer on Tuesday. We came on Tuesday and her entire countenance was different. We said a prayer, chit chatted for a minute, then asked the question. She smiled and said, almost chuckling, "of course!" We got everything ready, we had the interview on Friday and Elder Gruber (our zone leader) comes out and says "She wants you to baptize her". He hadn't even mentioned that we were an option to baptize and when he asked "who do you want to baptize you? the bishop? a member?" and she asked "Can it be one of my Elders?" I think this baptism went by the smoothest possible. Normally we're running all over town. Ahh we need the keys! Clean the baptismal fount! Clean the church! We don't have baptismal clothing! Where's the bishop! Where's the person who's gonna get baptized? Etc. But this time all went smooth like butter. We started a bit late but that's to be expected with GST (Guatemalan Standard Time, Like MST: Mormon Standard Time). The Spirit is definitely strong with this one! She came out of the water and was crying. When I came out from changing she was still crying in the hallway. I was a little worried.... Was she regretting her decision? I asked her what was wrong and she told me she felt so happy. She's sixteen years old and now has started her path to eternal life. I can't imagine what would've happened had we not found her mom. Or had we listened to our Ward Mission Leader and not gone back with her. God places us in the right places to help His children.

This week we also had a trip to the capital again to have another Multi Mission Conference, this time with Elder Renlund. This time it was The Guatemala South, East, and Central Missions and the CCM (MTC) as well. It's so great to see all my friends from the CCM and even from home. I saw Elder Gorze (East) Sister Montoya (Central) Elders Sweat, Shumway, and Brown (Central) As well as all my companions Elder Langi, Elder Cussi, Elder Campos, Elder Lascarez. It's like a big reunion. I love it because our mission always goes in suits and típica ties (cultural fabric patterns) He called us the Lord's "Atonement Delivery System". We take the Gospel and teach it to God's children so they can accept it and receive a remission of their sins. 

Well... gots to go. I'll be sending pictures of more ward members next week for when I say goodbye.

Elder Mattiaccio
Barrio Sanarate, Zona Jalapa, Guatemala Sur