Monday, December 8, 2014

So crazy right??? I can't believe this is the last email I will be writing to you all as a full time missionary :( It is bittersweet. This week has flown so I can't even imagine the next... and then I will be at home... the weather is gonna be a shock for me haha! I am gonna freeze but I am excited to play in the snow :) I don't even know what all to think... I am excited but a little nervous as well to get home and start all the planning and all and figuring out my life :) I am pretty ready to move into the next chapter of my life and to see what the future holds for me... I am excited to see all of you soon... I can imagine everyone is quite different now! Oh hey so were you still planning on me being in a box to surprise Garrett or does he already know the specific day I will be returning? Oh and I have many souvenirs and things to give to y'all and friends and family... I hope y'all will like it :) oh and I bought a hammock for you and dad too. They are super nice and really big and comfortable. You could even put it on the front porch or buy something to put it in the backyard if you wanted. We never go camping anymore but it is great when you're outdoors. I sleep in a hammock every night so it will be kind of weird to sleep in a bed. Hammocks are more comfortable... at least I think so :) I will let Thomas pick and choose at the souvenirs 1st since I am his secret Santa and maybe I will buy him something there as well. I am excited for all that is coming up and to see the family and be at the weddings! :) Oh hey you should make me a dermatalogist appt too... Maybe in January sometime. It would be good since I was so exposed to the sun for so long.

So this week.... I dont have much time left but this week was super good. Roberta finally went to church after like 2 months of visiting her and she loved it .I hope she continues to go :) She really needs the Gospel. Everyone needs it but she has been going through a lot of hard times. It was an answered prayer because we have had 2 members go to pick her up and she didn't go and we walked to her house and she was sleeping so Sunday was super good :) She went with her 4 year old son :) Also, a contact we made at the store a week and a half ago who is a lady in her early 30s who has a 12 yr old son will be baptized this week but in the other Sisters area. I am super excited for them :) She is golden and very accepting.

Well my email time is coming to an end and my mission as well is coming to an end. I would like to bear my testimony real quick and say that I know this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith restored the gospel that was once lost. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have and the things y'all have taught me. My life would be completely different without the Gospel and I am so happy I had a year and a half to help others get to know the Gospel and the happiness it brings. I have not had a super high number of baptisms on my mission but the people I taught I have really learned to love and I have gained a stronger testimony of the Gospel and have been even more converted because of the experience I have had and the spirit that has touched my heart and testified of the truth. The spirit plays a huge part in our lives. I have learned to heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost and to follow what I know is right. I know that families can be together forever and that we are much happier when we keep the commandments and share the gospel with others. I never helped the Elders or Sisters too much in our ward and didn't really understand the importance of the members' help until I arrived in the mission field. Missionaries need the members. I strive to be a better member when I get back and to help the missionaries more. It is our responsibility and duty as memebrs of the true church :) Well no time but love you lots!! See you on Tuesday!! :) such a bittersweet feeling! Thanks for all your support and love! I truly appreciate it! :)

Com muito amor,

Sister Mattei :) the last time :( 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Feliz Dezembro!! :) I can't believe it is already December - the weeks are passing by too fast! Soon I will be home, then Greg and Nicole married, then Mark.... lots of exciting stuff! This week was super good! :) Surprisingly I havent gotten too trunky yet, just P day haha but the rest of the days are all pretty normal... I thought it would hit me more by now but I am glad it hasn't because we still have a lot of work to do :) These weeks have been super busy which has been a blessing because it hasn't given me much time to think about home and get trunky. Last night it hit me a little though. The youth choir had a presentation and we went with some of our recent converts and investigators. At the end they sang a song about missionary work and coming to Christ and they played a video while they were singing that had various missionaries teaching and doing service and I just started to cry because it hit me that my mission is really coming to an end. I am super excited to get home but at the same time super sad to say bye. The video just made me realize that 2 weeks from now I won't be a full time missionary any more. Plus the song was super pretty so I just got emotional which was the first time in a long while. I had held together well until yesterday.
Our investigator, Cisaro, came with his daughter. We had passed by earlier in the day but no one was home so we left a note with the info and they went :) It was a great surprise :) Oh and also this week we were teaching our recent converts, Carlos and Nonato, who were confirmed yesterday at church and they are amazing and are reading the Book of Mormon everyday. Nonato even told us that he went traveling with Nephi yesterday in the desert and then he started to tell all of the stories of Nephi. They are so great. I have started to read the Book of Mormon again and I am reading in Nephi and every day I learn something new and I understand more. It is amazing because I get excited to read and to see what happens and before my mission I won't lie I just got kind of bored when I read the scriptures. When we read with real intent the Lord truly shows us miracles and helps us understand what we are reading. I agree with Nonato when we read the scriptures it is almost like we are traveling with them and experiencing everything we are reading. My mind has been opened a ton.
Mom, you probably wondered why I asked you to send me a picture of a Swiss army knife. well Sister Sowa and I were planning a zone training of the importance of the Book of Mormon and we talked about how the Book of Mormon is like a Swiss army knife because you can use it in so many ways to help other people. Just as if you would like to help someone fix their door or cut something.... etc., we can use the Book of Mormon to answer questions of the soul, teach others eternal truths, read scriptures to bring someone comfort in a time of need.... It is so true. Just as someone might try and sell a Swiss army knife and talk about all the wonderful things you can do with it we too should share the Book of Mormon with others. Well no time but love and miss you :)
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

So first off Happy Thanksgiving!! :) I always love Thanksgiving because I love to eat lots of mashed potatoes haha and of course because we are all together as a family :) You can eat some turkey for me! I hope every one is doing well! Things here have been super good! :) Yesterday we had 2 baptisms! :) Carlos and Nonato were baptized :) They are seriously like grandpas to me haha... they are so cute. I will try to send pics next week :) They were super excited! We had the baptism after church on Sunday and Irmao Francis baptized the both of them because he is tall and they are super tall so needed a bigger person to baptize them. Nonato had to be baptized twice because the first time he didn't go under all the way. We are going to have a Family Home Evening with them tonight! They are just the best! I'll have lots of stories to tell when I get home in a few weeks. This week flew by. We are hoping that Daniel will be baptized either this week or the next. He has had various answers but just needs to make the decision to be baptized. He called us this week and told us he wants to be baptized so we are going to visit him this week to see when :) 

We have been working with a lot of good people! Also, many less actives are returning to the church. Lorena, a less active, told us this week that she is very grateful we stopped by her house the other day and that she was just needing someone to talk to and after our visit she felt a lot better and at peace. She said it is true the spirit guides the missionaries to where you need to go and who you need to visit. She has been opening up a lot with us and I think she has a desire to become active again! :) When she told us that I really felt the spirit... it's little moments like that that make all the hard work missionaries go through worth it all in the end. There are days we walk in the hot sun and no one wants to hear the message but then suddenly a miracle appears and the Lord blesses us for our work. Everyday miracles are happening around us, sometimes we just aren't paying enough attention to notice. 

I am super grateful for the things I have learned, the people I have met and the experiences I have had. I am super grateful that The Lord knew me well enough that he informed me in my patriarcal blessing that I needed to serve a mission. If it wasn't for that I don't know if I would be here. I have learned many things and I know my life wouldn't be the same without the experiences I have had. Well I have no time but Il ove and miss you all!! I will be seeing you soon! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Eat lots :) LOVE YOU!! :) SMILE!! :) 

Com amor, 

Sister Mattei :) 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bom Dia!! Quase Boa Tarde! :) This week has been super good. I am super tired. Every week that passes I think I get a little more tired. Like my body is falling apart haha... you should see my feet I have lots of blisters and calluses... and the bottom is like hard as a rock and has a black line that doesn't wanna leave lol haha... it's super attractive haha ... I think all the boys will dig my feet lol :p So enough about my feet... So this week we had our Mission Conference and I already bore my ending mission testimony... time is flying by. I have less than 4 weeks now but the success is still going well :)

We have a baptism planned for this week! Nonato will be baptized on Sunday and if a miracle happens maybe his brother Carlos will be too. Nonato is amazing... I asked him to pray if Joseph Smith was a prophet and this was after like the 2nd lesson and he was like why do I need to pray when I already know... ya he is awesome! :) Also, when we invited him to be baptized he was like clearly... it is something we have to do to follow Jesus Christ. Last week he went to church alone because Carlos was having a tooth ache. A young girl told him... you look like a prophet... it is the truth he is very tuned in to the spirit and very willing to do what is right. He had a migraine on Sunday from not drinking coffee but still got up to go to church. Nonato and Carlos arrive at church before the gates even open like 40 minutes early! They will be the best members ever :) A lot better than I was haha :p I really enjoy teaching them. They are like our grandpas here :) They are always preparing a snack for us and telling us we need to eat more when we definitely don't need to haha... I've got to lose a couple of pounds if anything! We walk all day and still gain weight haha... I don't get it. Oh also yesterday Raisa, a young girl went to church and a less active family who hadn't been in like 2 years. So overall yesterday was tiring but a very good day! :)

Oh so this week we did some interesting acts of service. A lady didn't have underwear because someone came to her house and threw everything away since her house was filled with trash and that included her clothes and undies... super sad but the funny part was going to the store to buy some undies for this old lady. I felt weird as a missionary walking around with grannypanties and trying to determine which panties would fit her well and which we should buy... It was a hard decision lol... oh we also taught a group of young people who are all super cool but soon after entering the house we found out they were all homosexual. They are super nice and we had a good conversation, left a message and even took some pics with them but it was just not the lesson we were expecting to have. The truth is God loves everyone :) and as members and missionaries we do too :) Well I don't have much time left to write but I am enjoying my mission, even with the little time I have left in the field. I am really trying to keep focused, work as hard as I can and to just take advantage of the time I have to be a full time missionary! :) Well love you!! See ya soon! :) SMILE :)

Com muito amor,

Sister Mattei :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'm on.  I'll be writing super fast today... yesterday we sat at the doctor's office for almost 7 hours because my companion has a hurt foot... all my companions are getting hurt or having problem, but she is fine...I'll be doing splits these next few days to still be able to work in my area and my companion will rest for 2 or 3 days in the house...but I am alive,I thought you'd probably get a little worried and I got a call from an elder this morning that said you had sent an email...sorry, yesterday was a huge mess and we arrived with no time but to go and teach our marked appts.

So I will be writing quickly because today we have to work and we have less time than usual since its not technically p day! Dad I hope your enjoying the Philippines :) I bet its super pretty there! So good news we had 2 baptisms and confirmations this week :) Jusileide and Cleide, it was super good and they were super excited :) They're amazing!!  And we have a date set for Nonato for November 23rd :) He is awesome!! :) We are hoping in these next 5 weeks, 3 or 4 more people will be baptized :) Gotta have faith! That is good Todd is liking that program hahah and that his teacher is hot... oh i can just imagine him saying that... reminds me of Billy Madison lol! Have you put up Christmas decorations yet?? People here are already starting to put up some things! Sorry this is so short... everything is fine and I am well... :) this week we have conference and I will be bearing my testimony already... wow time flies!! Well love and miss you :) Oh and the quote you cited is so true :) things aren't coincidental! Tell everyone hello :) 

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Boa tarde!! Today I am on a little later because the internet place was closed but it's all good now :) You didn't send Halloween pics or anything... did y'all dress up or have your little murder mystery party that you always have?? I guess not :( but you should send some pics of Garrett and Thomas.. they went trick or treating right?? We had a little party in our ward for Halloween... it isn't really celebrated here but we helped them plan and we had some really fun activities! More than 50 people showed up and our investigators went and really enjoyed the party. There were a ton of kids all dressed up, made me miss home a little bit. I was a ballerina :) haha! I wore my ballerina skirt all day... and put my hair in a high bun.. people prolly thought I was crazy LOL but it was fun! There isn't much you can do as a missionary with a skirt so we tried to be creative :) 

Oh other news!! I have a new companion! I was with Sister Sowa and Sister Arrieta for 3 days and then a new companion was sent to me on Tuesday! She is awesome! Her name is Sister Maza and she is from Peru and has about 8 months in the mission field. I was starting to like our trio so was a little sad when we got separated but it makes the work much easier and effective. It is hard working in 2 areas. So exciting news :) We will be having 2 baptisms on Saturday! :) Jusileide and Clede! Jusileide is 42 and she has cancer and is just the sweetest lady ever and then Clede is her aunt who has like 68 years old and she is so funny and cute! She can't see very well, as she gets older her vision gets worse and they don't have money to get it fixed. They are both super excited to be baptized! :) We had 5 investigators at church yesterday! :) So yesterday was a really good day! All of them have a lot of potential. Daniel knows like everything about the church but he is so hard, he has had various answers even dreams but just still doesn't want to follow them and be baptized. I am learning patience haha :) It will all work out :) Just got be positive :) Also, Carlos and Nonato went to church and they want to come every week now! Carlos had already been once but we started teaching Nonato this week. They are 2 brothers who are in there late 60s, early 70s and they are the cutest old men. A sister made a joke the other day, she said Sister Mattei brings a lot of old people to church haha. Hey, hey, hey the old people are receptive and they like us! I really do like teaching old people, they are so cute and sweet. In the beginning of my mission I taught a lot of young people because the old people didn't understand anything I said haha but hey at least I know my Portuguese has improved LOL :) 

Things have been super good, I was sad my companion Sister Soberon had to leave but she is feeling much better now and needed a break from the hot sun and migranes every day. Oh so I know y'all wanna hear something funny. So we taught Clede the word of Wisdom so she has stopped drinking coffee and she said this week she almost drank it when a friend gave her some with bread. She said she was tempted to drink it but then remembered the promise she made and decided not to. She said she kept talking and then she looked at her cup of coffee and it was almost empty. The cat in the road had hopped up and started drinking her coffee without her knowing and then she said well at least I know I didn't drink it and it gave the cat something to drink haha. She also told us a story that a guy showed up at her house with a veil over his face and then threw water on her face and said some words and said you're baptized now.... she just has the craziest and funniest stories. Oh and we also taught a man this week who is Carlos's neighbor who studies lots of philosophy and stuff, let's just say he didn't even let us teach or talk and was just telling us how our beliefs are absurd... the lesson went nowhere and we just bore our testimonies... well Nonato, Carlos' brother, was there too and he got up in the middle and left because his neighbor wouldn't let us nor him talk and didn't want to hear what we had to say... then on Sunday he said Sister Mattei, Just like it was an order from you that we should come to church, I am ordering you to never go to my neighbor's house again, his house is Satan's house... he said this laughing but at the same time serious but the funny part is his neighbor is one of his good friends... But ya I dont think we will be visiting his house any more. I have lots of stories to tell but I need to get going! I hope you have an amazing week! :) I think me and Sister Sowa will die in this area! I enjoy working here :) Time is flying by!! Love y'all lots! You are in my prayers! :) Te amo! SMILE!! :) 

Sister Mattei :) 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hahahha so mom your lil joke was funny :p I gotta good laugh you lil minion hahah :p so no time to fill you in on lots I had to catch up with Jacey and Courtney, Sarah, and ya everyone haha ;)But my companion went home because she needs to have  a treatment done and then after will maybe go to another mission but it was for the best it was super hard for her and the sun in super hot especially during this time of the year! She was sad but it's for the better and her health. So now I am in an trio with sister Sowa and Sister Arrieta who is from Argentina... I think I will stay with them for 3 more weeks until the end of the transfer but we are waiting to hear more news from president Bonini... now we are coverning 2 areas so we walk a ton but I like working with them we  have fun :) well no time because I have to write Pres. Keep having faith!! I'm praying :) Love you!!!