Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission // April 2014-October 2015

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 8 - First Baptism!!

I'm already half-way through training!! What?? I only have 6 more weeks with my trainer so I'm going to make them count. 

I studied about prayer and faith this week. In the Bible Dictionary it says under prayer, 

"As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God...then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part."

I've also been learning how to let the Spirit guide my words while I pray because God knows what I need better than I do. As I rely on the Spirit as I pray and Harvest they mean so much more. In 3 Nephi 19:24 it says,

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire."

This week was filled with miracles!! I don't even know why we are so blessed.

To start, our investigator Bonnie got baptized! It was amazing to see her transformation that happened all within two weeks. When we found her while Harvesting she was not happy to say the least. As we started meeting with her she realized her true identity as a daughter of God and her faith increased drastically. She expressed her fear of water and didn't know how it would be possible to get into the pool, but she knew that God would give her the strength to do it. Her faith in God overcame her fear of water and she entered the waters of baptism on Sunday. She didn't quite go under the first two times, and I could see how nervous she was. She took a deep breath and as she went completely under the water and came back up (the third time) she had a big grin on her face! She said to us later, "I feel so clean on the inside." God gave her the strength to overcome her fears as she exercised her faith. 

While we were Harvesting last week we met an older Latin man named Cesar. We invited him to come to church on Sunday and he came! He said that he loved the feeling of "bother hood" he felt there. He didn't, however, want to be baptized. As we met with him on Monday we explained to him why baptism is so important and how Jesus Christ set the example for us to be baptized. It just clicked with him. He said, "How does this baptism thing work?" We taught him all about it and asked him if he would be baptized this next Sunday (June 1). He said he would do it! We felt inspired to teach him about the Word of Wisdom as well. He said, "You are going to laugh. I ran out of coffee AND cigarettes today!" He agreed to give up his cigarettes and coffee right then in order to prepare for his baptism. God truly is preparing people.

Why I loved Sister Biggs this week: She truly loves our investigators. She's always thinking about what they need to learn next and how she can serve them. She even made my bed this week and always tries to find ways to serve me. She's a good "mom" for me. (She's my "mom" because she's my trainer...I'm still a baby haha) 

Last week the Elders in our ward had a baptism with their investigator Bruce, who is 17. I introduced myself to him on Sunday and he goes, "Hi I'm Bruce...and single"...Aaaaaaahhhhh awk. I go "...and I'm a missionary" And laughed and walked away. Later the Elders re-assured me that they set him straight. They told him I was basically a nun. great. haha 

Anyways I love you all SOOOO much! I pray for you daily.  

Sincerely, Sister Matheson

p.s. We were walking through a parking lot when a ton of baby ducks came running towards us. They kept following us as we went door to door. Luckily no cars came by and ran them over like last week...


Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 7

I studied a lot about the atonement this week. In President's email last week was about the Atonement. Something he said really changed how I harvest.

"The influence of the Atonement is evident in just a few short minutes, sometimes even seconds. Part of the evidence, when they feel the influence of the Atonement, is when they may be reluctant in the invitation to the blessing, when the Spirit softens and pierces their hearts and they feel the peace and hope that only the Atonement can give"

“That their hearts may be softened when thy servants shall go out from thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of thy name; that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all;... That all the ends of the earth may know that we, thy servants, have heard thy voice, and that thou hast sent us;” (D&C 109:56-57)

Knowing that the Atonement has to do with every aspect of Harvesting made me more aware of it with the people we prayed with. That's one of my most favorite things about being a missionary; seeing how the Atonement influences people and changes their lives. I was amazed as I saw that change happen in a matter of minutes. 

We met a lady, while harvesting, who was getting her mail. We asked her if we could pray with her and she said yes. We asked her what she would like us to include in the prayer and she immediately said her daughter who is struggling. She then told us that her daughter was inside, but would definitely not like being included in the prayer. Afterwards, we asked her if we could do anything for her and she said, "I want you to meet my daughter". She took us inside and we prayed with the daughter. She was very receptive and accepted baptism!! 

We also met a man while Harvesting who said he had a desire to stop drinking. We prayed with him and then promised him that as he turns to God, he will be given the strength to overcome his addiction. He immediately accepted baptism and said that he knew God had sent us to him. We met with him yesterday and he has gone a whole WEEK without drinking. The Light of Christ shown so brightly in his eyes. I am so humbled to see miracles like this everyday. The atonement will bless and change people's lives if they just turn to Christ and let him help them.

We finally had investigators come to church yesterday! Next week I'll be writing you all about the baptism that WILL happen for one of our investigators!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR HER!!

Sooo Sister Biggs just told me that she emails a paragraph to her family each week about what she loved about me....pay back is sweet. I'm definitely going to be telling you all why I loved her each week from this point on!

Why I loved Sister Biggs this week: She is so patient with me. I'm just a little "Gringa" (She tells me that Gringa means "beautiful princess", but I know that's a lie....) who doesn't know what to do. She also is an amazing example of obedience to me. She is the epitome of EXACT obedience. I know that she is my trainer for a reason. We're kind of like twins and it scares me. Jokes. But really. I love her to death.

Funny Story:
We were walking through a parking lot when we saw a baby duckling. He was so cute and yellow and all alone. The poor little guy was lost. He was walking towards us, probably 5 feet away, when a car comes zooming buy and drives right over it. I was in shock and didn't want to see a duckling pancake, but luckily the duckling just rolled and then kept on walking. We almost died because it all happened so fast, right before our eyes...

On that note, I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! #theatonementisreal 

Sister Matheson
Pic1-HIDEOUS duck, they are everywhere
Pic2-The elders made pizza
Pic3-Sister Matheson & Sister Biggs
Pic4-The sunsets are amazing!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 6

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM!! It was so great to see all of your beautiful faces yesterday. It seems like it was just a month and a half ago that I saw you...oh wait...it was! 

This week I studied in 1 Nephi 14, when Nephi asks in prayer to understand the vision that his father, Lehi, had about the tree of life. He is brought to an understanding of what it meant because he prayed in faith. In Chapter 15 when his brothers complain about not understanding, Nephi asks (in verse 8) "...have ye inquired of the Lord?". He continues on (in verse 11) to say, "...If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you". Lamen and Lemuel were just as entitled to receiving revelation as Nephi was. The difference is that they didn't ask in faith. 

I've been studying in Preach My Gospel (pg. 93-95) about how I can improve my personal prayers and really strengthen my relationship with Heavenly Father. I know that my prayers are always answered, but recognizing bold answers has been a struggle. As I've been praying every night with specific questions or concerns I've been able to recognize more specific answers. 

I really prayed this week to be able to teach with the Spirit and to know what I should say in order to touch the hearts of our investigators. We were having a lesson with our miracle family and my prayer was answered very boldly. They didn't make it to church on Sunday which meant their baptismal date had to be pushed back to the 25th. Sister Biggs and I went into the lesson knowing that we would have to be bold with them in setting expectations and stressing the importance of baptism. There were a lot of distractions, but as we taught them simple doctrine the spirit was so strong that the room got really quiet and they all listened intently. I started sharing a personal experience about how I know the priesthood has been restored because of a blessing I received from my dad. afterwards we asked them if they would continue to prepare to be baptized onMay 25 by someone holding the proper priesthood authority. The dad looked at us and said, "I will!". I hadn't even remembered that priesthood blessing that my dad gave me until that moment when the spirit brought it to my remembrance. THE SPIRIT IS AMAZING!! God answers prayers. 

After our Zone Conference last Tuesday Sister Biggs and I went to this little Honduras restaurant and got baleada's! They were really good. It kind of reminded me of getting burritos in the middle of the night at Betos. 

(Crazy picture in the car) I went on my first exchange with Sister LeBaron this week. She's amazing! I also decided that my apartment is more ghetto than I thought after I saw how nice their apartment is. Oh well haha! 

I LOVE you all so much. Know that God will answer your prayers. {D&C 42:61}

Sincerely, Sister Matheson

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 5

Happy 1 month "birthday" to me!!?? Holy cow, how did that happen? 

On my 1 month mark we got a surprise call while we were studying and were told that we were needed at the temple!! WHAT?! Sister Biggs literally squealed and jumped up and down. We changed into our jeans and headed over there. We got to dust the molding in the celestial room and sealing rooms (in our jeans...weird..). We also got to clean out all of the lockers in the men's and women's dressing rooms. It was the best day everrrr!

This week I've been studying a lot about faith. I also had the opportunity to start the Book of Mormon over. I love Nephi's faith as he tells his brothers that they're not giving up on getting the plates. He's so determined and he KNOWS that the Lord will provide a way even when they don't see it right at first.

That is how I felt this week. Sister Biggs and I have been doing everything we can to find elect people. We would find these people who seemed so interested and then they weren't progressing for one reason or another. We knew that God had prepared people that we just needed to find, so we continued to be faithful in our finding. This week we finally met a family that is elect and so prepared!! We were harvesting when we knocked into a man that was working in his yard. He told us to come back the next day so that his wife and four children could be there for the prayer. The next day the whole family was home and they invited us in to say the prayer. The mom told us to stay and teach them more. They soaked everything up. As we got to know them, we found out that the mom's father had actually met some missionaries 4 months prior and was going to be baptized. He told her that he was giving up coffee. She asked if that's something that she would have to give up. When we told her yes she says, " I LOVE my coffee, but I would be just fine giving that up". WHAT? Their faith is so amazing. They kept saying, "God sent you here for us." The 4 that are over 8 have committed to baptism on May 18th! God will provide away as long as we stay faithful. 

The Cultural Celebration was on Saturday. Elder Uchtdorf came and spoke. All of the youth started cheering for him and I had to remind myself that we're not a cult...haha. It was really good though. We also got to sing High on a Mountain Top with the youth at the end of the Celebration. 

The temple dedication was amazing! As we were watching it I kept thinking, "I was standing right there just 2 days ago dusting". I'm weird. It has been really inspiring to see all of the time and effort that the members have put in to making that day happen. It finally came!!! I'm so excited to do a session there soon. I LOVE the temple. I kept thinking how grateful I am for my eternal family and how excited I am to get sealed in the temple one day....buuut don't worry. I know that will come in time haha I'm a missionary now and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than right here right now!! 

I love you allllll

Sincerely, Sister Matheson

Elders that serve in our ward with us.