Monday, April 25, 2016

The Miracle - Week 26

Hello Everyone,

Well... As you all know, this week I have been in a new area. My new area is in the Capital. It´s called Milagro Central. It's in the Zona 6 of Mixco in a municipality called El Milagro. My companion is Elder Espinal. 

El Milagro is a lot different than Mita. There are actually addresses here. It's a little complicated though... It's organized into sections from A-Z (including the Spanish ch, ll, rr, ñ, as well as qq, rr, pp, but excluding Y). Our area is pretty much H-X. It's super small here in regards to area in comparison to Mita and all it's aldeas (villages). 

We have a place where there are 260 stairs and they are all uneven and go pretty much straight up.... It was a little sad to leave Mita but I´m ready to take on this new area and see what it has in store for me. 

First I want to tell you about my fiasco traveling to the Capital. First we got up late. (staying up late packing didn't help) Then when we were walking to the highway we saw the bus to Guatemala City pass by. :( and it was going to be another 30 minutes for another one to pass. So we decided to take a micro-bus (a van with benches added) to Jutiapa and try to catch the bus again. I ended up having to pay for myself, my luggage (because it takes a seat) and my companion since he didn´t have simple change to pay with. That's Q21. Then when we arrived in Jutiapa the bus we were trying to catch left as we were arriving. Grrr. The driver said there were other buses around the corner, so I said alright I'll take one of those.  These weren't like greyhound buses like the one we were chasing, they are the old school school buses and are a bit uncomfortable. But they're cheaper so I guess that's a plus, only Q25. but halfway through the trip the attendant came back and told me that I also had to pay Q10 for each bag (I have 3) so another Q30 on top of that, then another Q40 for the taxi to get to where the changes are. I waited there with the other elders for a little bit, then the financial secretary told me to grab my bags and get in a taxi that would take me to my new area. (luckily that was prepaid because I didn't bring enough to pay another taxi) I chatted with the driver until we got to the house. We couldn't find it. We had to ask around and someone pointed it out to us. We knocked on the door and no one answered. I had to call the secretaries with the taxi driver´s phone so they could call my comp to answer the door. It ended up that they were on the 3rd floor and couldn't hear. BTW, did I mention I traveled all the way ALONE. That was really weird.

Already we've been having experiences. I guess it´s called "El Milagro" (The Miracle) for a reason. We were going to a contact that I had, when we knocked  on the door a man came to the door. We asked for the lady we had contacted and he didn't recognize the name. We asked if we could share the message with him instead. He didn't really want to but instead asked us questions about the plan of salvation (he didn't know it but he was) He asked us if there was a hell. We explained a little bit through the door window (they have windows in the doors so they don't have to open the door to talk to people). Then asked if we could come in and share our message. He let us. By this time it was nighttime and we're not allowed to contact after 6. So it was cool to be able to pull a lesson out of this. We shared the message of the restoration and he seemed really interested. At the end, he told us that earlier he was pondering and said he felt like he needed to start going to church again but didn´t know which he wanted to join. (AHHH PERFECT) We challenged him to read the pamphlet and to pray, like Joseph Smith, to see if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was the church he needed to join. He accepted and confirmed that he knew that's what he needed to do! When we left we were so astonished. We weren't even going there for him and the person wasn't even there, but God put him in our path. 

That's all the time I have. 

Until Next Time,

Elder Mattiaccio

Monday, April 18, 2016

First "Changes" - Week 25


Changes (transfers) are this week. They happen every 6 weeks. I, unfortunately have changes and will be leaving my beloved Mita :´( But hopefully this change will be for the better and I will be on to bigger and better things. We don't find out where we're going until tonight. We find out who leaves on Sunday so they can pack and then where to on Monday and leave on Tuesday. I stayed up late last night getting my suitcases ready (so sad and stressful). I never really realized how much stuff I have. I pretty much finished but I was up till like 2. That's when I decided sleep was more important. Also, it doesn't help, the fact that I'm super OCD when packing and I get distracted every other thing I put in. XP

I haven't had the chance to make the recipe you sent. Because I have changes I don't think I'll be able to. Plus some of the things on the list I've looked for and I don't think they are available outside of the capital. And chicken breast is actually pretty expensive here... It´s kinda hard since we have to find a time when we are both available and when there's enough money to buy the things. I enjoy seeing all the little things you guys are doing back at home. I haven´t heard of a Hna Cardenas. Is she new? I'll keep an ear out. I just found out that one of the members here is Ingrid's BEST FRIEND's an when she looked at my and your facebook she had her in common with us.

Today we threw a party for a sister missionary who is going home. Sometimes I feel jealous that they have less time but most of the time I feel bad for them. They ONLY get 18 months. (sorry karissa, that's you too). You get cut short 6 months of learning and spiritual growth. Hopefully the growth continues after the mission and for a lifetime. That's part of being a 4th missionary/member. Continuing to be a disciple of Christ even after the mission. Continuing the routines of exercise and scripture study and being a witness of Christ in all aspects of your life. I'm really trying to be that 4th missionary. I know it is the only way to truly be happy and satisfied with my mission.

Got to go. I'm going to go around and say goodbye to all the families and converts I can tonight I should have a bunch of pics to share next week. Love to everyone on the homefront.

Until Next Week,

Elder Mattiaccio


Monday, April 11, 2016

I Am Never Alone - Week 24

This week we've had some pretty cool experiences. We were walking down the street from a lesson and someone yelled "hey you!" We had just passed by a couple of guys who looked like they'd been drinking so i wasn't too inclined to respond but I felt the a prompting to acknowledge him at least. I said "hey". One of them asked where our church was I explained how to get there. He then commented that he was meeting with missionaries in the capital but moved out here for work. He had been having troubles at home and couldn't afford to pay rent. He figured there would be more out here but he hadn't found us until then. We got his name and number and set up an appointment for Tuesday. We'll see how it goes.

Another experience we had was when we were on divisions with the Zone Leaders. I stayed in Mita and my companion went to Jutiapa. We were going to appointments and a few in a row fell through. While I was thinking of who we could visit, Elder Jackson asked if we had contacted this street, I looked around and said no. He said alright let's knock some doors. He went to one side of the street, I to the other. We knocked one door each and we found somebody who wanted to listen to us. He found a woman who had been searching for a church that was true but hasn't found it and felt like God had forgotten her. We taught her a small lesson on the restoration and set a time to come back. 

We then went to my contact who were the parents of our Primary President. They weren't members but they had a picture of the temple and Jesus Christ on the walls. The mom was an evangelist and was putting up a little bit of a fight, but the father was pretty much non-denominational and kind of gave a bit of chicote (he was correcting her and calling her out when she said she didn't want to pray). When commented to the daughter at church that we found her parents contacting. She said they were "special". She didn't have very much faith they would accept anything. But the dad was fairly receptive, it's just going to be hard to get him to church since he works. 

We went out to the Placetas to visit our convert and her family. They haven´t been coming to church :/. The father always comes but the girls and the wife don't. They sometimes come to Mita to sell or stay home and help make and deliver tortillas to the neighbors. We tried explaining the sabbath day is important and though they are poor and although giving up working on Sunday will be hard, the Lord will make up the rest and help them if they go to church. After we played a little bit of soccer with the neighborhood boys and used it to collect contacts and have a little bit of fun at the same time.

Lisseth has been a bit busy this week going to El Salvador and Guate, so we haven't been able to meet with her or have a lesson. Morris is always busy with work until night time and sometimes we don't have time late at night. We're working on visiting our converts more often and setting actual appointments with them. Also we just set up a program where a different family member is going to give us food every Sunday. That way we can meet the members and see where they live. We've been doing better and have been finding out where more members live and visiting them.  We use this to help them know how they can help us. We hand out a flyer called "Nunca Voy Solo" (I am Never Alone). I attached it, sorry but it's in Spanish. It's so that the members also help with missionary work and help preach to their family, neighbors and friends.

Overall it was a very good week, full of spiritual experiences and promptings. It's weeks like these that help me and my companion continue working to find people to share the gospel with. They are out there, we just have to look and listen to the promptings of the spirit. A reminder that WE ARE NEVER ALONE! Heavenly Father is constantly helping us and guiding us. 

Well, I better get going. Here´s a picture of me eating the first mature mango of my mission. Until now it has only been mango verde which is good when I'm in the mood for something sour but that isn't too often and it is offered to me alot. I like the taste it just gives me heartburn. I've also tried platanos, queso fresco, caldo. I don't think I've tried marañon or guayaba or jocotes. At least not that I know of since I don't know their spanish names.


Until Next Time,

Elder Mattiaccio
Asunción Mita, Zona Jutiapa, Guatemala Sur

Monday, April 4, 2016

Conference Week - Week 23

This week was an awesome week because this week we got to listen to a real prophet of the Lord speak to us! That's right! IT'S CONFERENCE WEEK! In our District Council we were challenged to mention modern prophets in each lesson, but me and my companion took it even further. We decided we wanted to talk about modern day prophets in our contacts as well. As we did this, there were a lot of people who would not listen to us. But those who did are showing a great potential to progress and really accept our message. 

In each lesson, we invited people to come to the General Conference sessions in Jutiapa. Unfortunately no one arrived. It is understandable though, it's a bit inconvenient to go to another town for church... The Saturday sessions were a bit discouraging. Few members showed up. We decided to go back to Mita since buses don't run after 7. When we got back we were going to ask the Branch President for the keys so we could set up a projector in the chapel for Priesthood session. We went to his house and talked to his wife to see if the keys were there. She said he had left and took the keys with him. We were frantic. We had nowhere to watch conference and it was looming on 7:30. 

There was no way to go back to Jutiapa and there were no keys to the chapel. We decided to go to an internet cafe and pay to watch it but right as we were leaving the president's house he came back. He told us that he had the impression to come back since they had left late and would be arriving late but ignored it. A few minutes later the car overheated. They had to wait for it to cool down and drive back to Mita to arrive just as we were leaving. We told him we wanted to watch conference in the chapel. So he threw water in the radiator got his laptop and he took us to the chapel to watch the priesthood session of conference. They watched on the projector and  I watched on the computer in the secretary's office in English. There is no replacing the words and voice of the prophets. Even in Jutiapa they had a special room for all the English speaking Elders to watch it in English. My favorite talk by far was that of Elder Holland. But my favorite moment of conference was seeing Pres. Uchtdorf come up after Elder Kearon's talk with tears on his face. To see him choke on his words because of how Elder Kearon's topic. I realized he was crying because he too was a refugee in a war he had no part in starting. And the things that are passing to the people fleeing Turkey and Syria are very close to his heart. 

(Pictures are of us in conference. The family of four is the family Ipromised to cook for, Familia Monzón.

We went out to eat as a district in between the saturday morning and afternoon sessions.)

Until Next Time,
Elder Mattiaccio