Monday, October 31, 2016

Hump Day! - Week 53

Hello everybody!

Thanks so much for the video! My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Uhuh uhuh uhuh! :)
Thanks! It was great to see all of you and seeing the little ones I hadn't met. Congratulations Scott and Dezi...another boy! That's awesome

We had a great celebration with the Guerra family. I was celebrating my half way mark, my companion his 20th birthday and one of my converts had her birthday too. They bought us all a cake to share so that was really yummy.

The youth has been accompanying us a lot this week. We´ve still had a hard time getting people to let us in or finding our investigators but we were able to do a lot more this week with their help. We planned at least one young man to leave with us every day and when possible two. Even though they are young and maybe not the best preachers, their testimonies and conversion stories are really strong. We were able to place 4 baptismal dates with new investigators because of the testimonies these young men shared. I began following their example and explaining the story of why I am here and how my family became a member of the church. Sure some people say "No" but that only means they aren't ready in this very moment. If they´re still interested in hearing our message we help them understand it and understand the importance of being baptized by the proper authority.

This week has been really windy and cold in the mornings and evenings which means that SWEATER WEATHER has FINALLY ARRIVED! Every morning we leave with our sweaters until about midday when the sun is out and in full force. Then we take them off and hang them on our bags until the sun starts going down. Then we put them back on. 

This week we were able to find one of our investigators who was really ready but, because of reasons out of our hands, we lost contact with her. Her name was Adriana and we actually have an appointment with her today.

Love you all and thanks for your support!

Elder Mattiaccio
Venezuela, Zona Nimajuyu, Guatemala Sur

Click HERE to view Frankie's Halfway video

Here's a picture of a beautiful view of Guatemala

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Better Week - Week 52

Hey everyone. Just sending a quick blurb. I don't have too much time to write you guys today. 

This week we did divisions with the zone leaders and again with the traveling assistant. I'm not sure how other missions work, but here in our mission we have 3 assistants and one of them is a traveling assistant. So that's all he does, travel to each area and do divisions. His name is Elder De Leon from Panama. Both were really awesome days and we were able to get a lot done. With the assistant we did double divisions, I went with Josué (or recent convert that just got called as ward missionary) and Elder Campos went with Elder de Leon. That day we were able to have 6 lessons with member present and place 4 baptismal dates! Things have really begun picking up this week. 

This week we have been doing a lot of service too. It's been our mission goal. It's one of the things we focused on to help us in the work. We try to chose an Amulek member (someone that helps us fellowship new converts). We decided to help this sister bathe her dog but when we got there it wouldn't even let us in the house. It just kept barking. Finally the sister picked him up and calmed him down and then gave it to me, but then it started barking and snipping at me. I ended up setting it down. When we finally got him in the bath he kept trying to bite me. Then eventually he got me in my back side. I was so worried because I didn't want to go get rabies shots. I've heard you have to get like 17 shots since medicine is not as advanced here. Thankfully he didn't bite through my pants so I didn't have to.

Thank you all for the letters of motivation. I think I was getting complacent having been here for so long, but this week has sure jump started my excitement and motivation again. It's nice to know you guys still think of me and are rooting for me. I'm about to go over the hump (my year mark), now the time's gonna fly! Gotta hop to it!

Elder Mattiaccio
Venezuela, Zona Nimajuyu, Guatemala Sur

Monday, October 17, 2016

Slow Week - Week 51

This week was a bit slow. We´ve been working hard to help our investigators progress and find new investigators. We have been going out to visit with Josue recently and he has been doing a bit better. He had been having problems with his family because he´s still living in his mom's house. We´re trying to motivate him to finish his schooling and look for a job so he can have a bit more independence. Also, him coming out with us seems to help.
Last week we had divisions and I was able to go with Elder Chiquillo. He's from El Salvador, he's really cool, a bit timid but cool. We went into this neighborhood where the lady that we pay to make our dinner lives and started knocking on doors. There's a dog named Wanda and she always sits under this car and barks at the missionaries. We went by every night to pick up our dinner and she had finally gotten used to us and had stopped barking at me and Elder Lazcares. I hadn't come back with my new companion, so when we went by her with Elder Chiquillo, she started barking at me and came at me, I had to jump up on a car. I guess she didn't like that I was bringing a new visitor. I was ok, but it sure startled me.

On Sunday we took a cake to church to thank the Ward Council for all the work they have done in motivating their members. They were all really grateful. They´ve been showing more work and the youth are even asking to go out with us. We hope to see the results in this week.

Earlier this week, my companion and I found the Garden of Eden! Hoping that means we're on the right track and will find lots of new investigators.

Sorry, that's all I have time for. I'll repent and do write a better letter next week.

Love you all! Thank you for your letters!

Elder Mattiaccio
Venezuela, Zona Nimajuyu, Guatemala Sur

Monday, October 10, 2016

Changes and Moves - Week 50

This week were the changes and I received Elder Campos. He´s from Concepción, Chile (a bit more north than where Elder Belmar was from) He´s a bit green in the mission, he only has 3 months in the field which means I´m his senior companion. In our mission Senior Companion and Junior Companion don´t work exactly the same as other missions. Senior Companion means that you have the authority and the knowledge to be able to lead the area and lead in lessons. You become a Senior Companion pretty much at the 6 month mark. If, for whatever reason, you aren´t ready, President will keep you as a junior companion but that doesn´t normally happen. Anyway, he´s pretty fun. Even though he´s a greenie he is awesome in the lessons. He´s willing to learn and also helps me be better too. Junior Companions have a say too but the Senior Companion normally makes the decision

Before Elder Campos arrived in Venezuela I had to move houses. Elder Byrd left super early in the morning (like 5 am) so he couldn´t help too much. I was with my District Leader, Elder Nelson, and he helped me finish packing up the house and then Elder Alegría (Zone Leader) and Elder Lainez (Other District Leader) came and helped. I went with the member who helped us with the truck to unload at the new house and they stayed pulling out all the stuff to the street to be ready to load. When we finished they all left and then arrived my companion. Apparently they were looking for us at the old house and we didn´t have cell phone signal in the new house. So they called the Zone Leaders, and they took them to the new house.

On top of moving my house, one of our investigators got kicked out of the room he was renting. No warning or anything. Just "I want you out at the end of the day". So we helped him move all his stuff and store it in a school until they can find somewhere to live. We´ve been looking but their price range is limited and this area is really hard to find good, cheap housing. Him and his neighbors were being kicked out but they had found a place. 

I hope everythings going good up there. The rainy season is coming to an end. Now comes the wind and the cold.


Elder Mattiaccio
Venezuela, Zona Nimajuyu, Guatemala Sur

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Best Two Weeks and Conference - Week 49

These last two weeks have been super good. My new companion are working so well. In this last week we found 2 families that are really pilas. One was just a contact Elder Byrd had that said we could come back another day. Normally, when people say that they´re just getting rid of us but we are persistant and always come back ;P Anyway, We came back and they let us in. It was weird because it was in an area we hadn´t really worked in and almost all the houses have intercom doorbells. They came down and let us in and lead us up to the third floor. We came in and started the lesson. When we gave the baptismal invitation the brother, Giovanni, related us his story. He had had an awesome conversion story from atheism a couple years ago. He knew the spirit worked that in his life and is really excited to read The Book of Mormon and feel the same thing. They weren´t able to go to conference for some family issues that came up last minute but they were excited. Maybe we´re going to give them the link so they can watch it online.

Conference was really good. The themes seemed to be: Sharing the gospel, Repentance, and Love. My favorite talks were Pres. Russell M. Nelson on Joy, Elder Peter F. Meurs on The Sacrament, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks on Member Missionary Work. It´s always interesting to see the things the brethren are worried about in the church. I was sad to see Pres. Monson talk so little. I pray for him and his health. I worry that he´s not going to be the Prophet when I come back.

During conference we had a miracle. We were going to start eating when Elder Balam came in almost frantic that we needed to come with him to meet someone. I thought he was just joking and was going to steal our food but when we were walking in the hall he started telling me about an investigator that they found from our area that they just put a fecha with. I couldn´t believe it. I didn´t believe it... up until we entered the room. There she was with her boyfriend with a table in between them and the missionaries. She said she came and when they gave the tour of the chapel she wanted to be a part of this. Apparently, before they even started she asked if she could be baptized! What a miracle! It seems here that just when we need it, miracle investigators just come out of the woodwork.


This week is changes again. Elder Byrd is going back to El Cerinal with Elder Lascarez and I'm going to be receiving Elder Campos from Chile. He just finished his training. I´m kind of sad that Elder Byrd is going. We were getting along so well. But I know the Lord is putting me with the people that are going to help me grow the most.

Until next time,

Elder Mattiaccio
Venezuela, Zona Nimajuyu, Guatemala Sur