Monday, February 29, 2016

The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning - Week 18

This week we had a super spiritual experience with one of our newer investigators Lisseth. She is a friend of the Branch President's wife (I feel like everyone in Mita is) and they invited her to the open house we had about a month ago in the chapel. She came and we showed her the church and all the different rooms and what they're for. We got her phone number and then she left.

The next week, we saw her in church. We hadn't even invited her. She arrived with the President's family so we asked if we could have a lesson with them at their house (since we didn't(still don't) know where she lived). They accepted. So we set an appointment for wednesday.

When we arrived to eat lunch after church, the president and his wife sort of sat us down to talk to us about Lisseth. They told us to take it slow. To not pressure her into baptism. We thought that was strange. It is normal to challenge investigators to baptism in the 1st visit. But we didn't. We took each lesson slowly and explained everything. Come to find out, they had been watching church movies and documentaries and had given her a triple before we came back for the second visit! We were so confused. We thought they wanted to take it slow and they go off doing that before we had a chance to see if she had even read the pamphlet of "The Restoration". She had read it but that was pretty risky. We taught The Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and still didn't feel comfortable placing a baptismal date with her. 

Then when we taught L3 - the Gospel of Jesus Christ which talks about baptism - we felt we needed to challenge her, regardless of how President and his wife felt. So, after we had talked about baptism, I began to ask her "If God answers your prayers and you come to know that this message is true..." I couldn't even finish the invitation before the Spirit filled the room. It was SO powerful that she began to cry. (And I did too) I got so choked up i started over, and in my quivering crying voice asked "Will you prepare to be baptized the on the 12th of March?" She nodded her head and through her tears muttered "Yes, I will." WHOO! That is THE MOST strongly I have ever felt the Spirit in my life. We were so excited and also gave her her own Book of Mormon so she can study just that and mark scriptures of her own. (She is actually now going to be baptized this friday the 4th since she wants to be baptized before either of us leave for transfers)

We also put out a fire this week. ;P We had a week of urgency which means we have to reach certain goals. We hadn't visited our family that lives in the placetas (the family that lives 3 km outside of town.) We felt like we really needed to go even though it would take a long time walking there and back (which is time not proselyting). We got there, started our lesson, then there was a ton of smoke filling the house. We go outside to find the source of the smoke and there was a brush fire behind their little house. So we grabbed a bucket and bowls and anything that could hold water to put out the fire. (We took the picture after when there was only a little part left :D) We looked at eachother like "what would have happened had we not come?"

Today we went and climbed a volcano! We all went as a zone to the volcano of Ipala. It's really cool. It's an old volcano that has a lake in the crater. It took about an hour and a half to climb up from the highway to the top 5,410 ft high. It's sooo pretty. We took a boat load of powerade and water and food to eat lunch by the lake. It was so fun to go and see it. When we sat down to eat we got cold even though we were dying of heat on the way up. Since it is so high and its the top of the mountain there was a strong breeze and I got cold since my shirt was soaked in sweat. 

Until next week

#TheSpiritOfGod #LikeAFIREIsBurning 
-- Elder Mattiaccio Asunción Mita, Zona Jutiapa, Guatemala Sur

Monday, February 15, 2016

Recharging Spiritual Batteries - Week 16

Hello Everyone,

It has been pretty cool this week. I wore my sweaters for the first time and my suit all day after the temple. I've had a little cold but everyone has it. They think it is because of the rapid change in weather. We went by the old Branch President's house and he and his family fed us soup. It was really good. Here the use a vegetable called Wiskil. It was still a little too warm out for soup. People here have a different concept of cold. 

This week we went to the temple as a mission. We went only with our zone and each zone was assigned a session. We had to be at the temple at 9:30 am for the 10:00 am session. To arrive and go all together we had to leave from Mita at 5 am, meet in Jutiapa at 6 am and leave for Guatemala City. It was about 2 1/2 hours by bus and we took one of the old school buses. We got there a little early so we went to the distribution center to get a few things then went to the temple. I am so grateful for the opportunity we had to go to the temple as a zone. It has helped me feel the Spirit more strongly in my life and lessons. It was a good bonding experience for us as a zone and in my companionship. I love the Guatemala City Temple. It really helped me recharge my spiritual batteries. Now I feel like our lessons are going even better than before. 

This week we had 3 investigators in Sacrament meeting. Lisset Arrieta, Erick Montenegro, and Neddy Najera. All three are now fechas de compromiso. Lisset we haven´t placed a date yet because we´re doing our lessons in the Branch president´s home and she´s a family friend. So when we´re there we feel like were being supervised as opposed to having a lesson with member. And they warned us that they want us to take it slow with her and yet they are watching documentaries on the Book of Mormon and all the church videos. We believe she can be ready to be baptized the beginning of March if not sooner. We are going to try to have a lesson in her home sometime this week.

Erick this week asked us what he needs to do to be baptized. We have a date set for the 6th of march and we told him he needs to get permission from his mom since he is only 14. The problem is she lives in the US and he tried to get baptized when he was 10 but she didn't let him. We are praying that, now that he is older, she will let him be baptized. We know he will go to church, his 19 yo brother is a Recent Convert and they've gone to church the last 3 Sundays.

We went by Morris´ house again last night. And his mom said she had another surprise for us. To which I said, I don't think I like your surprises anymore.... NOPE. She brought out a Scorpion! I was like; NOPE. That's a big bowl of NOPE soup. But they had cut the pinchers and tail off so it was harmless.

Until Next Time,

Elder Mattiaccio

Monday, February 8, 2016

Soccer and Surprises - Week 15

I got my Valentine's package. Thank you so much everyone. I love the hugs. I'm not sure when I'll be able to make the pie but I'll let you know.

The heat has passed. for the most part. It's really windy now and all the people besides us are wearing jackets and sweaters. It's always funny because they always ask "aren't you cold?" and we reply "Cold!? this feels GREAT!" 

We've started a weekly soccer game with the young men in our branch. We're using it as an activity to get them more united as a youth and as well to fellowship our young investigators and less actives. It's been working really well. Lots come out and they all invite friends. 

Just yesterday we were finishing up our visits and decided to drop by Morris´ house. We taught them the books in the Book of Mormon song (I didn't think that it would work in spanish) and he and his brother, Diego, learned it really fast. Then they said they had a surprise for us. They brought out a plate with some sort of meat on it and said "here, try it." We did, and it tasted alright. it was a little tough but tasted like chicken. then they showed us what it was from. It was IGUANA!!!

Love you all. Until next week.

Elder Mattiaccio

This is Gabby (Frankie's mom), I just wanted to share a little message I received from Elder Belmar, Elder Mattiaccio's companion. We sent him a few things and he was nice to email me to thank me. Here's his email:

Muchas gracias tía gaby por mandarme esas galletitas estaban muy ricas y la bandera esta muy chilera :) tiene un muy buen hijo y aca tiene un buen papa ajjajajjaja 

En la laguna de Atescatempa, cerca del Salvador jijijiji Pday de zona jijijii  
Hala Madrid!! ajjajajja Papa e hijo.................

Monday, February 1, 2016

Discovering The Area - Week 14

This week has been pretty hot. I think it is because of the lack of wind. There have been a few overcast days where it was nice and fresh out but then when the clouds went away it was hot again. The sun is hitting us super hard. We've started using sunblock. Normally it isn't too bad but this past week, whoo.

 This week there are a ton of transfers in my zone. every companionship has a change except for ours. Both Hna Woodward and Hna Campbell are leaving. Also E Borda, E Baum, E Wood, E Rodriguez and E Samoni is finishing his mission and going back to El Salvador (short trip relatively speaking). Although I didn't really get to know them that well I'm still going to miss them. Man, and this is going to happen every 6(ish) weeks. We pretty much knew that we wouldn't have changes. Since I'm in training they're not going to change my companion halfway through. And then this new missionary wouldn't know the area either. Just wouldn´t make sense. But Elder Belmar guessed every single change. 

This week we again have been focusing in the area called "the champas". We´ve been finding so many investigator but when we go back for the second appointment they aren´t there. That's the hard part here. The people here don't really work by set schedules. They just go when they are needed. And because everything is so close, sometimes they just go out and we miss them. For the most part we try going back by a little later and they're there, but sometimes not. Each day we're discovering more and more of this area. And each new area is bigger than the last. We're now thinking about separating it into 3 areas. Central, West and Champas. My area is HUGE! Sorry no stories this week. Time got away from me.

Until Next Time,

Elder Mattiaccio