Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission // April 2014-October 2015

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 13

HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY 'MERICA!!! I'm so excited that I'm in the states for the 4th of July. It's really one of my favorite holidays (thanks to my momma). In honor of this wonderful country and it's birthday I thought I'd share a couple blonde moments Sister Biggs and I had this past week...no shame. 
-Sister Biggs was talking to me in the car and said, "When I came to America....uh, I mean Florida..." 
-We were talking to a member about something, I don't remember what, and they said, "I think it was the President before Obama...". Of course I had to help them out and said, "Oh you mean George Washington!" WOW. 

Anyways...One of my favorite miracles from this past week happened when we were trying to contact a member of our ward. We couldn't find where she lived based on the address that we had. We felt like we were on the right street and at the right house, but the house number was just 1 number off. We prayed and felt like we should knock anyway. We knocked on the door and the woman who answered introduced herself (it was a different name than who we were trying to find). She invited us in to say a prayer with her. She told us that she had just lost her job the day before. After we prayed with her the spirit was strong and she accepted baptism. We haven't seen or heard from her since, but it was a miracle none the less. 

God has given us our agency to choose whether or not to obey him. Obedience seems to have been the theme of my studies this week. Over and over we're promised that when we read the scriptures they will lead us in the path of obedience and when we are obedient to the commandments we "shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you." (Mosiah 2:31

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual." (vs 41). 

God will take care of our every need as we put him first. I know I need to trust in that promise more. As we go back to the basics of reading the scriptures and praying, God can protect us just like he did for Zeniff and his people when the Lamanites were attacking them. They prepared with weapons and did all they could. Then they cried unto the Lord in prayer (Mosiah 9:17). "And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty-three" (vs 18). Moral of the story: If you're not already, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS! Repentance is real. Go back to the basics of reading and praying every day so that God can bless and protect you both spiritually and physically.

Our recent convert, Jesus, is an amazing example of this. We met with him last night and he told us that ever since he's been giving his life up to God he has had success and health. He got a new job, has been making a LOT more money, he's been healthier than ever before. This man has been drinking since he was 13...let me say that again...13! Since he stopped drinking he's been to the doctor. The doctor couldn't believe how healthy he his. They told him that his liver is like a babies liver. It's perfect! God really does bless us when we follow the commandments with exact obedience!!

Sister Matheson
pic 1: We helped Bonnie pack and move...she's gone now :( I found this cheese hat among her belongings so obviously I had to put it on. 
pic 2 and 3: Stephanie and Larissa who got baptized right before I came into the ward. They're adorable. We went to a nursing home to visit a friend of Stephanie's mami and got dinner afterward


Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 12-MiracleWeek-God is good!


It was a miracle week!! (As per usual. God is good). On Monday we prayed with every single person who opened their door...except for one...it was still amazing though! We're so blessed. Sister Biggs is going to kill me for telling you this...buuut, oh well! We prayed with a boy who was about 19. Sister Biggs said the prayer and then immediately afterward he holds his arms up and goes in for a hug with Sister Biggs. She shot her hand up and he said, "hug?". We both go, "NO, just a handshake..." Needless to say he was a tad bit offended, Sister Biggs was in shock and speechless, and I was all flustered and continued to invite him to be baptized several times!

We had an amazing opportunity to pray with a family while we were Harvesting this week. We knocked the door and a man opened it. He was a little reluctant to accept the prayer when this woman came up to the door and immediately invited us in to say the prayer. There were children everywhere and the woman started talking to two other women. They invited us upstairs to say the prayer so we followed them. They took us to a bedroom where two more women were. We found out that they were all sisters. They shut the door and what was once a house filled with screaming children turned into a room filled with the spirit and peace. After the prayer they were all very appreciative and eager to learn more. God definitely wanted us to be in that neighborhood for this specific family. 

WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE ON FRIDAY!!!!!!! Best. Day. Everrrr. The Fort Lauderdale temple is super tiny, but it is so gorgeous! We went to the 8:00 am session with our zone and 1 other zone. President and Sister Anderson went to that session as well. (It's their last week here). After the session we all met up in the baptistery. President Anderson talked to us and we got to ask a few questions. They are truly called of God! We are so blessed to have had them be over our mission.   

Fun Fact About Florida: It rained almost every day this week! We rode our bikes on Friday after the temple. We went and knocked on someones door and then by the time we were done praying with them the rain was pounding down! We got to ride our bikes in it and it was the greatest day of my life. I actually really loved it!! Don't worry, I only fell off once haha! dang mud. 

I studied about faith and the Atonement. Faith moves us to repent.
". . . [A]nd their garments were white even like unto the lamb of God. And the angel said unto me: These are made white in the blood of the lamb, because of their faith in him." (1 Nephi 12:11). Once we've been forgiven we need to have faith in that. We need to trust that we really are clean and that God has forgotten our sin. When we don't forgive ourselves it's not showing faith in Jesus Christ's Atoning sacrifice. We need to know that we're worth it!

"Faith is the moving cause of all action". -Joseph Smith

I love you all so much!!! 

Sister Matheson
This weeks pictures!

1- Sister Biggs is obsessed with cats! (MEOW) We were helping Bonnie pack (she's moving to South Dakota...sad day) and we had a little too much fun. She collects monopoly games, Precious Moments, and Beanie Babies. 
2-All of the Canadian Beanie Babies she had...there were probably 1,000...no joke!
3-This picture doesn't even do the rainbow justice...
4-I'm standing right next to President Anderson...trying to open my eyes because the sun was so bright!
5-Another picture of the temple cuz...why not?:)
6&7-Pizza after the temple!! 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 11

Happy (late) Father's Day Dad!!!! I can't believe I forgot to say that last week...awk. I actually forgot. Time on a mission is so weird! Oh well, know that I love you so much!!!

In honor of Father's Day this last week I studied about the priesthood. Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave us the priesthood as a way for him to bless us and make it possible to live with him again. He gave his worthy sons the authority to use the priesthood and to his worthy daughters he is able to bless and strengthen them because of it. 

In the Book of Mormon I read in Mosiah 23 about Alma. His people are driven into the wilderness by King Noah. He refuses to be their king, and instead teaches them about God and is their high priest. "And it came to pass that none received authority to preach or to teach except it were by him from God. . . " (Mosiah 23:17). Alma was humble and recognized God in all things. Because of that, he was worthy of the priesthood and was able to serve and bless his people. 

". . . there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish;" (Alma 13:10). The blessings of the priesthood are available to all because God loves us, however, we have to be worthy and obedient in order to be blessed by it.  

It's so important that we ask ourselves " Am I doing everything I can to be worthy to receive the wonderful blessings of the priesthood?" 

In Relief Society this week we all got these mustaches and a quote that says,
 "You 'mustache' yourself this question: Am I doing everything in my power to help the men around me honor their priesthood, defend and preserve their virtue, and be ready for their current and future responsibilities?"

We met a man named Nelson this week Harvesting. He said he would be baptized, but wanted to know more because he is a devout Catholic. When we went back the next day he seemed surprised to see us. In his prayer he said, "thank you for sending the sisters back to me." We taught him about the restoration of the gospel and priesthood and how he can receive personal revelation. He and his son came to church on Sunday and are excited to learn more. 

Jesus got baptized this week!! He's been sober for a month now which is a huge miracle. He's been drinking since he was 13 and tried all kinds of programs. Nothing has worked for him "except for God". None of his family came to support him, but he told us, "I'm here and that's all that matters". As he came up out of the water he looked up at all of us with the biggest smile. 

I LOVE Florida! I'm already completely biased towards my mission. I get to meet people from all over the world every day. A few days ago we were Harvesting and we met people from 6 different countries
-America (Obviously)
-Dominican Republic


Sister Matheson

pic #1 Jesus' Baptism!!!
pic #2 Elder Brimley Baptized Jesus. 
pic #3 Mustache


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Week 10

Welll this past week has been crazy! Last Monday Sister Biggs and I actually got our car towed...awkward. We parked it in a place we thought was ok, but obviously wasn't. When we woke up it was gone. Long story short it stayed in the tow yard for a few days and we were blessed enough to be able to drive a rental car. TENDER MERCY!!!

Jesus came to church on Sunday! He absolutely loved it. We drove to his house to say a prayer with him before he followed us to the church and when we stepped out of our car he was waiting for us on the porch. He goes, "What a blessed day" with a big grin on his face. I am so excited for his baptism next week!!

This week I studied about the connection between Faith and the Holy Ghost in my personal studies. We learn from the Holy Ghost one prompting at a time. "I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept." (2 Nephi 28:30). As we rely on God and the promptings from the Holy Ghost we gain more and more knowledge of His plan for us and who we are. "And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith." (Jarom 1:4).

It's a chain reaction. When we have faith, we receive promptings from the Spirit. When we act on those promptings, our faith increases and we receive more revelation. When we receive more revelation we are learning more and more of what God wants us to learn.

Faith-->Acting on Promptings-->Increased Faith-->More Revelation-->KNOWLEDGE

On Thursday Sister Biggs and I were trying to contact a referral that we received. She wasn't home, but we felt prompted to Harvest in her neighborhood. The first door we knocked on was an older Latin woman. She invited us in to say the prayer. As we got to know her she realized that we were Mormon and told us she had a Book of Mormon. Her granddaughter had given it to her. She told us she LOVED it and read it often. She also said she had been to the temple open house. She said the feeling was incredible there. We taught her about the Holy Ghost and about the Book of Mormon. We invited her to pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. She did and afterwards said, "if this book is true than I've found what I've been looking for". She said she would come to church next week and pray about baptism. 

My faith increased drastically from that experience. I can't even imagine if we hadn't acted on that prompting. I'm so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I know that God lives and knows each of us. He will put people in our lives to answer our prayers. We need to be close to the Spirit in order to be the answer to other's prayers as well.  

pic 1: We helped a family in our ward move this week. Their new house has two GIGANTIC mango trees. They are the best tasting mango's I've ever had!! 

pic 2: Sister Biggs and I studied by a pool. Pool Side Personal Study...don't worry. We didn't get in;)


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Week 9

HELLLOOOOOO!! How have you all been? anywho..

This week I studied about the blessings that come as we are obedient and stay faithful. In Helaman 5, Nephi and Lehi devote their lives to preaching the gospel. They are completely faithful in their mission and yet they are still imprisoned by an army of Lamanites. They stay obedient and trust in God. Because of their faith and diligence they are protected and "encircled about as if by fire, even insomuch that they durst not lay their hands upon them for fear lest they should be burned. Nevertheless, Nephi and Lehi were not burned; and they were as standing in the midst of fire and were not burned." 

God has given us commandments to keep us safe and protected. As we faithfully follow the commandments we are promised safety and eternal life. I grew an even deeper love for the Commandments this week! 

"And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you." (Mosiah 2:22)

We've been teaching a man named Jesus who will be baptized on June 15! When we met him Harvesting he told us he had strong desires to be baptized and stop drinking. We've taught him about the restoration and about the Word of Wisdom. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and the strength he can receive as he relies on the Lord to help him live the commandments. He told us yesterday how "there's only true happiness with God". He said "drinking won't make you happy, drugs won't make you happy, women's won't make you happy. Only God can make you happy!" His faith and desire to follow God and his commandments strengthens my own testimony of them. 

Sister Biggs and I got to help out with a Stake Activity Day service project. The girls made hair scrunchies for Baptisms for the Dead. We talked to them about the importance of Baptisms for the Dead and helped them make the scrunchies. 

Bonnie Got confirmed in Sacrament meeting!! She was terrified of crowds, but she did amazingly. I'm so amazed by her faith and courage. 

I went on an exchange with Sister Karl and I took over our area for the first time...scary! It was great though. We had dinner with one of our favorite members!

I love you all SOOO much!! Keep reading your scriptures and praying! Your Heavenly Father wants to hear from you...I promise.

Sincerely, Sister Matheson