Monday, January 25, 2016

Making Progress - Week 13

Hello Everyone!

This week went very well for us here in Mita. We worked super hard this week. We've organized our area into 2 sectors that way we can focus more on one sector and not have to travel across the town between appointments. This week we've been "echando fuego" in the champas. We´ve been going barrio by barrio looking for new investigators. We have been finding at least one really good investigator everyday. 

This week we saw some progress with our branch wanting to help us out. On saturday we were able to go on divisions with a few members of the elders quorum so that we could cover more ground and get to more of our appointments. I went with the Elders Quorum President, hno Walter Gamez who is also a returned missionary. We went to the champas while my companion stayed more towards the city center. Even though I was nervous being really in charge, no one to bail me out, all of our lessons went really well. A few of our appointments fell through so we tracked a little bit and found a young family. It was a really good experience to take the lead in the discussions. We also had a consejo de rama (branch counsel) with all the presidencies except our mission leader. He had to go to Guatemala for the weekend so he wasn't able to attend. But we were able to see where we could help out in the branch and they were able to make a few assignments to help us with our investigators. All in all, things are improving. Our branch is starting to progress and we're seeing some good progress in our investigators.

This week we helped a member move. Here people move a lot. We raced him from his old house to his new house since we couldn't go with him in the back of his pick up. And we won every time. For the most part we were just walking, not even running. BUt then he tried to beat us so we had to run. But it was all cool. 

Today we woke up early to go climb a hill (they call it a mountain but its nothing like those in Utah so "hill") in our area. We were going to climb a volcano as a district but the rest chickened out. :/  But this way is better. It was difficult cuz we were literally just climbing it. There wasn't really a trail at all. But we got to the top and could see our entire area. It was really cool. And on the way down we followed a mountain bike track. 

My spanish is really improving. I had another talk in church this Sunday, and I felt like it was a train-wreck but everyone said they liked it. Our Branch President called us the night before to tell us we had the talks. I spoke on the talk that Pres. Monson gave in the October general conference "Be an Example and a Light". But besides that I feel fairly confident in my spanish. Talking on the phone is the only hard part as of right now and that's because the phones here aren´t too good and especially the phone of the missionaries. Yeah it's a Nokia and it's never going to break but the speaker isn't the best. But hey, at least we have a cellphone.

My time is up, until next time!

Elder Mattiaccio

Monday, January 18, 2016

Miracles and Meals - Week 12

This week we really saw miracles. We haven't been having too much success with getting our investigators to come to church. We have one investigator who is good to go for his baptism just needs his interview. He had an awesome experience a few days ago. He prayed and asked God if this church was true; if he needed to be baptized, and that night he had a dream that he was talking to an angel and said the same question and told the angel if the church was true to hand him 9 letters and if not hand him any other amount. And the angel/person gave him 9. He was so excited when he told us. Also, saturday we decided to go explore a part of our area that we didn't really know. Its called "the Champas". We never went there because the missionaries before had knocked the entire area (supposedly) and had 0 success. We were walking and found out that this area is a lot bigger than we thought. We were kind of just walking and saw a guy who didn't look too interested. But my companion had a feeling to talk to him. His name is Vladimir Linares and he and his wife were super excited and motivated. He told us he wouldn't be able to go to church since he had to work. So we went back the next day (sunday) and they were both there, ready to go. They came with us and stayed for the 1st two hours! We have an appointment with them for tuesday and are going to take a member who lives near by.

To answer some of your questions:

We don't really cook much. We don't have a stove really. We have a hot plate. Most of the time we just eat cereal for breakfast. We eat our lunches from a comedor. We normally go to a member's house to eat lunch everyday that we can. It's a little difficult since she has to leave since she doesn't have a husband and we can't be alone with her but we normally work it out just fine. We talk to her kids (whom we baptized Morris and Diego) and make sure they are doing good. 

The branch is pretty smallish. There are like 140 members but our attendance has never been above 100. And everyone arrives late - to everything. It's kind of difficult when we try to have activities with members because they all arrive late then we can't stay as long or even at all sometimes. I'm not talking "mormon standard time" activities start around 1-1.5 hours after they are scheduled. Church starts on time now but the members still arrive late. We start church with our investigators and about 20 other people. Also, the priests don't bless the sacrament... it's assigned to different members each month. Same with preparing the sacrament. Were trying to talk to the priests and teachers but that's just the way it has been. 

Until next time,

Elder Mattiaccio

Monday, January 11, 2016

Minute to Win It - Week 11

¡Buenas todos!

This week we had a lot going on. Last monday, after writing, we got together as a zone and played some minute to win it type games. One where we made a tower out of flour with a piece of chocolate on top. We had to cut strips off of the sides until someone knocks over the tower. then they have to dig through the flour with their mouth and look for the chocolate. Then another one where we had to put socks on our hands and use two butter knives to open a hershey bar. then we had to eat each piece of chocolate individually. but we had to take turns. so everyone was flipping a coin and if it lands on heads, you take the socks and knives and try to get a piece before someone else gets a heads. it was tons of fun and then we made a pyramid. (elders only, sorry hermanas). My Zone leaders are E Gee and E Borda. My District Leader is E Samayoa. The Zone Leaders are in my district, District Catocha, so its just us, the leaders and E Wood, E Samayoa's companion. The other district has E Rodriguez and E samoni, Hna Woodward and Hna Campbell and E Rivas and E Baum. Not all were able to make it though.

We also went to Guatemala City for a conference for nuevos and trainers. It was cool to be able to talk with our leaders and the other nuevos again.

This past week a few of our elder's serving in the capital had their debit cards hacked and their money was stolen. We have to be super careful and we can't use the 5B ATMs anymore. Only Bi. 

I forgot to tell you that for New Years we had to be in our apartment by 9 like normal with good reason. It was crazy. The cohetes (fireworks) are really just bombs and all the little kids are playing with them. 

I still haven't eaten anything weird. Not too weird anyway. They have a coffee made from grains so its not real coffee. They call it Mor-caf (mormon cafe).

Hasta el lunes! And tell Scarlet happy birthday!

Elder Mattiaccio
AsunciĆ³n Mita, Zona Jutiapa, Guatemala Sur

Monday, January 4, 2016

Testimony of Missionary Work - Week 10


This week we were able to confirm Elsa and Maria Antonia in church. We weren't able to the Sunday before because they arrived late and we weren't sure if they could be confirmed after Sacrament was over. Luckily, this week they arrived before sacrament had started. We had worked with their father and asked him to bring them on his bicycle this week since they live so far away and hitch-hiking isn't super reliable on Sundays to get to church. But, he was able to get them to church to be confirmed. 

My testimony of missionary work was strengthened a lot this week. We decided that we aren't going to go to Trapiche Vargas anymore because it takes a long time to walk there (since there aren't any buses that go out there) and we didn't have any investigators who were really progressing. We decided to go out one last time to see if they had progressed or not and in one of their houses was a less active member who was visiting from another town in our area. We talked with her and her husband and learned that she had asked God the night before to send her a sign of whether she should try to go to church anymore and then that day was when we arrived. I know now for sure that there are people waiting for us out here; people praying for answers, for someone to knock on their door and bring them the gospel. We now plan on going to her town and talking with her and contacting her neighbors and the rest of the town.

This week we had an appointment with one of our recent converts to make pancakes. it was so much fun. We made them as big as we could. They took up the entire plate! and they were so yummy. I forgot to take pictures of after but here is one of the pancakes. 

I received my Christmas package. The powdered sugar had opened a little bit and it was kind of everywhere. I was able to make the peanut butter pies I wasn't able to find whipped cream but I found whipping cream. Not sure if that was the same. It came out frothy kind of like whipped cream but they came out alright. Darn, I should've taken pictures of them before we ate them.. oh well. I shared them for New Years. Thank you for the mountain of photos! It was so fun to go through them and tell my comp about you guys.

Until next week!

Elder Mattiaccio