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 :)