Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission // April 2014-October 2015

Monday, July 28, 2014

Week #17

This week was craaaaaaazy!!!
Or as Sister Nimer would say,
"Crap happened."
Last P-DAY we came home from emailing and ran through the rain while carrying our groceries. When we opened our apartment door we felt like we were walking into a winter wonderland. Not because our AC is awesome, but because the Elders in our district are crazy sneaky! They had sneaked in through our porch door (on the second floor) and left snowflakes galore. There was a TON of other scraps of paper and crumpled up pieces to resemble snow all over our carpet. They had set up a Christmas tree as well and placed pictures of them in Christmas sweaters everywhere!
Just imagine the toy store in the movie ELF...that's what it looked like.
Wednesday I was with Sister Chiou for a 2 hour exchange. We were Harvesting and it started pouring. We ran back to our car to get our umbrellas, but by that point we were already soaked. We decided to go talk to two women standing on their front porch. Before we could say anything one of the women said, "What do you think you're doing in the rain?" I said, "We're representatives of Jesus Christ. We're here to say a prayer with you." She shakes her head and said, "I can't believe you're in this rain. I'm a Jew so you're not going to convert me, but come inside right now!!!" (In a rather harsh tone). She made us leave our umbrellas outside, take our shoes off, wipe our feet, and follow her to the kitchen. Then she says with disgust, "I can't believe they make you work when it's like this." We assured her that we choose to do it and we didn't mind. She then starts patting down Sister Chiou and told her to take her clothes off so that she could put them in the dryer. She handed her a blanket and Sister Chiou sat there in her undershirt and a blanket. I hoped she wouldn't notice how wet I was, but then she came over and patted me down as well and ordered me to take my clothes of haha! She goes, "come on girls, I don't have all day!" She then took a selfie with us and gave us graham crackers and chamomile tea. She taught us what Kosher meant and complained about her future son-in-law. It was an experience.
And that is how I got strip searched by a Jew...
yes, Sister Nimer did point out that I'm German hahaha!!
Warning: these next couple paragraphs are not me complaining. They are me explaining what we've gone through this last week to show how merciful and good God really is. 
--We have a set amount of miles that we can drive each month. We were getting really close to the limit so we have had to ride our bikes a lot this past week. We rode about 30+ miles on Friday. I've never sweated so much in my life. I'm surprised people still talked to us. Sister Nimer said that sweat is weakness leaving your body. She got that right!!!  There are gnats everywhere and you bet we some in our eyes. Good stuff. 
--The cockroaches in our apartment have decided to multiply and replenish our Kitchen. When we get home each night and turn on the light they scatter to every nook and cranny and all out of the sink. If only we could sing a song like on Enchanted and have them clean for us. 
--Sister Nimer and I are both out of money and low on food until the beginning of next month. We weren't sure how we would make it...BUT!
God is so good and always takes care of us.
Each day we see how he really is our Father and has our back. 
Yesterday in Relief Society we were sitting in the front when one of the sisters comes up and sits next to me. She slips me a lot of money and then sneaks off. ??? I don't know how she knew, but that was a tender mercy! We also had multiple members sign up to feed us so we're good! We've had members offer to pick us up and give us rides because we're low on miles. Friday night we were so weak and tired. We usually have to park far away from our apartment, but God gave us the closest parking spot possible and we didn't have to carry our bikes very far.
I can't even write all of the tender mercies that happened this week.
That's how many there were. 

We prayed with an adorable Haitian family this week. The mom was on the phone while we prayed with her children, so we decided to go back and pray with her. We went back and met her brother Sadrac. He was sitting at the table and we invited him over to read a scripture and pray with us. He was golden!!! While I entertained the three little children Sister Nimer taught him and invited him to be baptized. He accepted and when we went back the next day he said he read the Book of Mormon and loved it. He came to church on Sunday and felt the spirit so strongly. He's preparing for baptism next Sunday
Last night while Harvesting we saw an old lady rolling a trash bag to the curb. She seemed to be struggling so we offered to help. We told her we could help her with the other bags and carried them to the curb. She told us that her husband was ill and couldn't believe how nice we were to offer to help her. She accepted a prayer and told us that she was Jewish but would pray for us as well. After our prayer she prayed for us in Hebrew/Yiddish/English and said that we were
 "some of the nicest people she had ever met".
She was almost in tears and invited us back to visit her.
I love being a missionary!!! 
I love you all!!
Read Alma 37:44-45
I'll end with my new favorite quote by Elder Uchtdorf:
"How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain."
Sister Matheson
pic 1:Mine & Sister Nimer's face during our 30 mile bike ride around our area.
pic 2: Our amazing STL's! (Sister Trainer Leader's)
pic 3: What we walked into last p-day
pic 4: One of the pictures the Elders left in our apartment...we weren't too happy.
pic 5: They had these wrapped in boxes under the tree so it wasn't all bad:)
pic 6 &7: The Haitian family that we found this week and are teaching. The 7 year old stole my camera and started taking pictures like crazy. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 16

Florida is as Hot and humid as ever.
We really like swimming through the air here.
In the Book of Mormon I studied about the process of conversion. I was reading in Alma 23 and 24 about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They are the perfect example of a people who were truly converted. They made a promise with God that they would not take up arms against their enemies and so they buried their weapons [Evidence that they had a testimony]. They always served others, labored with their hands, prayed for strength, and remembered the covenants they had made by not unburying their weapons [Evidence that they were converted]. They choose to suffer death rather than brake their covenants they made with God when they buried their weapons.
"And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe [testimony] and to know [conversion] the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin..."
(Alma 24:19)
On Wednesday we met a man while we were Harvesting. He said he felt the spirit and he accepted a return appointment. We came back and taught him at his doorway. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would pray about it. At our next appointment with him there was no answer when we knocked. We started to walk towards our car when we saw him walk around the corner. We went back to his house and started teaching him. His wife came out and joined in. She told us how lately she had been worrying about whether or not she would be with her family after this life. We testified that she would and read a scripture with them. She opened the door and called for her eight year old son to come outside as well. We asked him if he wanted to be baptized and immediately he said 'Yes!". We set him with a date and told him we'd be back to teach them more about God. As we were walking away he yelled,
We were struggling all week to find people to teach. Sister Nimer was sick a couple of days and we weren't able to work in our area as much as we had wanted to. Sunday night we knew we had to do all that we could to reach our goal of setting 5 people with dates for baptisms. We only had 2 hours, but as we followed the spirit, every person we prayed with we were able to set with dates. God is so good to us when we do all that we can and then some. This is HIS area and he will do all that he can to lead us to those people that he's been preparing. We just have to be willing to follow the spirit and trust in the promptings we receive no matter how crazy they seem.
This Week:
- I got hit in the head with a Frisbee. Almost every morning we play ultimate Frisbee with the Elders in our District. We go to the basketball courts at a park near our apartments. Elder Bailey threw it to me and it slipped right out of my fingers and nailed me in the forehead. I had a Goosebumps for a while.
-We prayed with a man who had a tattoo on his arm. It said, "Morgan"....I almost said something be decided it would be totes awk.
-On Tuesday we prayed with an older Latin man. After we got his information down and were about to leave he leaned in and gave both Sister Nimer and I half hugs/half kisses on the cheek...I only lasted 3 months without hugging a man. DANG IT! We were in shock for a while
and didn't know what to do.
-I was backing Sister Nimer out and she hit a yellow pole. OOPS! Now we just have a nice yellow stripe on the front bumper of our car..mah badd
I love you all so much!!!
Remember to keep your covenants and always turn to him in prayer for guidance.
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
pics 1&2: Last P-day Sister Nimer and I were rearranging our apartment. There was in extra mattress and box springs in our room so we decided to prop them up on the our couches and make an epic fort.
pic 3: I've had so many Cuban sandwiches the past week...Cuban sandwiches for dayzzzz
pic 4: Our ward had a Pioneer day BBQ on Saturday. We were "Churning" butter
pic 5: Comp Goals
pic 6: A little girl got my camera and started taking pictures of EVERYTHING!!! We also let her paint our nails...
pic 7: Creepy face
pic 8; Sister Nimer is a keeper
pic 9: Writing letters




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 15 - I LOVE MY LIFE!!!

It all started with transfer meeting. We sat with our district in our chapel. The AP's announced each area and who would be companions there. Sister Biggs got called as an STL (Obviously because she's amazing). She freaked out and then they read my name next. They said I would be with Sister Nimer and I FREAKED out!!! We were already sitting by each other and we immediately gasped and then hugged. It was great. Everyone was looking at us. 

Sister Nimer is amazing. We're basically the same person in every single way. The only differences between us is that she likes cheetos and I don't. She said she'd teach me to like them though so...we're clones. Every day is like hanging out with my best friend! She graduated the year before me from AF!!! Who knew. I never even met her even though we probs past each other in the hallway multiple times. It was meant to be.
God is SO good to me.
I can't even express in words how grateful I am right now. 


This week I studied in Alma 13. It talks about the Priesthood and how men were foreordained. It made me ponder on why God foreordains people if ultimately we all still have our agency. It helped me realize that God puts his trust in us and has faith that we will do what is right. He has to spiritually create for us to be successful in this life. Likewise, I need to put my faith and trust in our investigators that they will choose to follow Jesus Christ like they did in the premortal existence.

There seems to be a theme each week of what our investigators need to be taught. This week we taught a lot of people about the importance of preparing NOW to meet God. 

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed." 
(Alma 34:32-33).

Sometimes as a missionary it's hard to see people you love decide to not do anything about what you've been teaching them. You know how much this will bless their life and you know the solution to helping them be free from all of their sorrows. Sometimes they decide not to listen because they are content. I've decided that no matter how many people say no I'll "cry repentance" to all that can hear because the times that people DO listen make up for the times that they don't. If I know that I've done all that I can to warn them then I've done what God wants me to do and I find joy in that. 

Yesterday Jesus received the priesthood!!! They called his name in sacrament meeting and he stood up so that the congregation could sustain him. One of the happiest moments of my life. I felt like a proud mom or something. He's amazing!

On Wednesday we felt prompted to check up on a former. They weren't home and we were a little confused as to why we had driven all the way to her apartment. As we were leaving we saw a women outside her apartment smoking. We walked right up to her and asked if we could pray. She said that she was in a lot of pain because she had cancer and it was really bad. We prayed with her and afterwards testified that Jesus Christ had sent us. She said "I'm a Jew, but I know that God sent you here. I'm not sure why, but this was not a coincidence". 

Let's just say that being a Sister Missionary is my favorite thing in the world and I love all the names people call me (no sarcasm): Sisters, Sistren, Nuns, Sister Wives, and my favorite...Eld-ettes. 

Also, we were Harvesting yesterday and we met a guy from Argentina. He was YSA age. He said he was watching the end of the World Cup, but prayed with us anyways. Sister Nimer said the prayer and then afterward I asked him how he felt. He said, "I got the chills..." then I told him that that was the spirit. We started teaching him about the gospel, and about the YSA ward. He asked if we would be there and we told him there were other missionaries who attended that congregation. He said "oh man..." and then when we shook his hand to leave he said, "woah woah girls. Not so fast. Would it be ok if I took a picture with you. You are just the prettiest girls." Then we felt awkward and he came over and took a selfie with us...yeah that happened. He said we were like angels.
What the??....memories. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!! 

pic 1: My MTC companion (Sister Gardner) and her trainer Sister Nimer at transfer meeting...little did I know that a few minutes later we would be made companions.
pic 2: A member in our ward was going to meet us at this Cuban restaurant for dinner. They stood us up/got caught up in a meeting so we decided to stay and eat anyway. The fried green plantains were AMAZING!!
pic 3: Sister Nimer and I were Harvesting our first day together. We prayed with this man who said he was born again. Right after the prayer he said, "hold on a minute" and walked inside. He came back with two "million dollar bills" (fake) with the gospel on the back. I love Florida. 
 pics 4-6: Sister Nimer and I, loving being comps!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I can't believe I'm done with training. We got transfer calls last night and I'm.......
STAYING IN DAVIE!!! Sadly, Sister Biggs is transfering though. I'll find out tomorrow at Transfer Meeting who my knew Companion is. I'm excited to learn and grow from my knew companionship. I still feel like I have no idea how to be a missionary, but I know that Jesus Christ will be walking beside me.

This week I've been studying about agency. Agency is our ability to choose and is a gift from God. It's such a precious gift that Satan wanted no one to have it in this life. With every choice we make we are ultimately choosing eternal joy or eternal misery. It is OUR choice. God can only do so much, he can provide all the opportunities for us to rely on him, but ultimately we decide whether or not to rely on the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ that has been so freely given to us.
 "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves--to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."
 (2 Nephi 10:23

I've been reading in Alma when he calls his people to repentance. The people who remained righteous and retained a remission for their sins were the ones who remembered Jesus Christ. 
Choose to Remember Him!!

(One) of the miracles this week:

-We felt prompted to go Harvest on the fourth floor of an apartment complex. We knew that there was a former who lived somewhere in that apartment building, but we weren't sure where. We prayed and asked to be guided to him and WE WERE! We knocked on a door and a woman answered. She declined our prayer, but said that her and her son (the former) had already been to our church. She said he was home but was busy. We left and started saying a gratitude prayer because we had found where he lived. During the prayer we heard the door creak open. We opened our eyes and out walked the former. He introduced himself and we were able to set up a return appointment. 

On Tuesday we met President and Sister Richardson. We met in the chapel and sang Called to Serve as they walked in. They went around and shook every missionary's hand. They are definitely called of God. They are both so excited about missionary work. I'm excited to get to know them more. 

I love you all so much!!!
Hope you have an amazing week and Choose to Remember Him

Sincerely, Sister Matheson

pic 1: Free Books about America and God
pic 2: We had to be in our apartments by 7:30 pm on the fourth of July, but we still got to see the fireworks!! We had a perfect view from our apartment balcony. The show lasted about 30 minutes.
pics 3 & 4: Sister Biggs' last Sunday in the Davie Ward. This is one of our favorite members who feeds us and teaches us how to cook Cuban food. 
pic 5: Sister M
pic 6: My favorite little girl that we go visit. She's the sister of Sister Biggs' recent convert.