Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission // April 2014-October 2015

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week #30 Heeyyyyy Happy (early) Halloween!!!

Everything's good in the hood of Pines...It's actually such a wealthy area that we were able to teach a lesson to a woman who lived in a multi-million dollar house. It was crazy. I felt like I was at a resort the whole time. She was actually very receptive though. She had talked to a woman on an airplane coming from UT. The woman talked to her all about the church and then referred the woman that we taught. She was very interested because she had visited UT and thought it was such a nice place.
You never know what kind of seeds you could plant on an airplane.
On Wednesday we had an interesting day. We helped one of our members paint some walls in her house. It was good fun, but she lived so far away and we had to bike all the way to her house. Hey, it was good exercise though. Later that night, after biking all the way back and all over town I was so tired. I just wanted to quite, but there's no way we could. We knocked a couple more doors right before heading home and I'm so glad we did. The last door we knocked on was a young single mom. She accepted the prayer and let us in her house. She was crying and telling us how hard her life had been. After the prayer I was in tears too and we invited her to be baptized. Without hesitation she accepted and said we could come back the next day. We've taught her a few times and she's been reading the Book of Mormon. It was such a tender mercy from God.
After pushing through what I thought was my limit, we were able to see miracles.
Yesterday we had Stake Conference. It was all focused on keeping our covenants and preparing to go to the temple. One of the counselors in the Stake Presidency said something that I would like to share with you. He said, "Make sure you always have your CTR with you....
Current Temple Recommend". 
Isn't that awesome? I had never thought of that before.
During Stake Conference we got a text from a less active woman whom we had never met before. She asked us what time the service was because she wanted to come. We told her that it had already started, but that we would love to come over and share a prayer with her. She said that was perfect because she had a 12 year old son whom she wanted to get baptized. WHAT?!?!?! Sister Furner and I just looked at each other in shock!!! We couldn't believe it! We went over after the Conference and met them both. We were able to teach about the restoration and set him with a date for baptism. God is too good.
He definitely will provide a way even when it seems impossible.
I love you all.
Thank you for all of your prayers and missionary work that you do.
Remember to always have your CTR with you!
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
Gotta love all the green in Florida. This is our "Jurassic Park Exploration" 
Leaves actually do change in Florida....or not
I got all the high painting jobs because I'm tall..
This is a picture that a little girl drew of me...It's creepily identical.
We teach every creature...
I wrote about this woman in my last email.
This week she took us out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner
and spoiled us rotten.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 29 - Heeeyyyoo!

Dear Family and Friends,
Basically I can sum up the week by saying we biked, went to a meal appointment, biked some more, ate some more, biked some more, knocked some doors, and then biked even more! We are going to be so in shape it's not eve funny! This week was filled with miracles. I'll just have to start naming them off, there were so many.
Miracle 1: Last P-day we were printing off pictures at CVS. One of the workers was VERY attentive. He asked if we needed assistance twice. After saying that we were fine he came right over to us. He looked at my name tag and asked about our church. We started telling him what made us different and that we believe in the Book of Mormon. I whipped one out and he grabbed it from me right away. I told him he could have it and missionaries could come pray with him. He was speechless! He grabbed my hand, kissed it right then, and thanked me over and over again. He said his heart was pounding so hard and that he could feel the power of the book. He walked around the whole store holding that thing. When he was ringing us up he said that he felt something draw him to us and he knew it was God.
Miracle 2: One night we were Harvesting and saw a Father get in the car with his two daughters. we felt like we should pray with them, but the were too far away and they started to drive off. We walked up to a door and the woman would not accept the prayer. As we were walking down her driveway we saw the man sitting in his car waiting for us. He motioned for us to come over and he pointed at our name tags. It became apparent very soon that he was deaf and did not speak. I ended up talking to him about the church by texting everything into the phone so that he could read it. His little girl said that she has been wanting to get baptized. The man showed me texts that he had received about the Book of Mormon. We explained it to him by typing it up and reading from it. He typed in his phone that he wanted a Bible. We ran, yes, we literally ran to our car to get him one. The whole lesson was over texting, but he agreed to have missionaries come say a prayer with his family. It was amazing!
Miracle 3: We were Harvesting with a member without any success. The last door we knocked on accepted the prayer. It was a woman who later told us that she was a member. She had been baptized when she lived in the Dominican Republic when she was 15. She hadn't been to church since, but after the prayer asked where the chapel was and said she would come in 2 weeks. God doesn't forget his lost sheep!
Miracle 4: When we were on exchanges this week I stayed in Pines With Sister A. It was the end of the night, but we decided to knock a couple more doors before heading home. The first door we knocked on a woman opened her blinds. She got a big smile on her face and opened the door. She said, " You're not going to convert me, but next week I'm going to take you out to eat. I know all about what you do as missionaries. I know it's hard, your poor, and probably hungry so I'm taking you to dinner". We were like, "what the heck". Later on she explained that she was Jewish, but had lived in Utah for a while and knew a lot about our church. She accepted our prayer, gave us fancy water, and gave us her information to set up a time to meet up for dinner.
God lead us straight to her.
Miracle 5: We met a man while Harvesting the other day. He was standing by a tree outside his house smoking. We approached him with smiles and offered to say a prayer with him. He looked down at the cigarette and said he wasn't in a place to be praying because he was a drinker. We shrugged our shoulders and told him that God had sent us because he loved him no matter what. He agreed and we said the prayer with him. During the prayer I was able to see him through God's eyes a little bit and it made me ponder on how sad it is that Satan makes us think sometimes that we're not worthy to pray to him
God sent us all down here to earth knowing that we would make mistakes. That is why he sent his son Jesus Christ. He never told us that we had to be perfect all the time. I don't even know of anyone who has never made a mistake before. It's a part of life. It's what we do after we sin that makes the difference, though. One of the biggest lies that Satan tries to get us to believe is that we're not "worthy to pray". That is so messed up!
I was reading "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox
(you should read it if you haven't already) this week and it explains this perfectly.
"Too many are giving up on Church because they are tired of constantly feeling like they are falling short. They have tried in the past, but they continually feel like they are just not good enough. They don't understand grace...Grace is...our constant energy source...the light that moves us through the tunnel. Grace is...received right here and right now.".
"...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ...for when I am week, then am I strong." {2 Corinthians 12:9-10}
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
This is a member that came out Harvesting with us
We had "Christmas" this week and had to wear matching pajamas.
Obviously we picked out the cutest ones we could find...
Sister Furner picked out these really attractive "Hamster" shirts.
Of course we had to get matching ones.

The Cider we had on "Christmas Eve"
We have "red lipstick parties" during weekly planning.
Sister selfies


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 28 - HEYYYY! What's Good?

Since we work in such a rich area we have to work a little differently than in most areas. We've been focusing on helping the members a lot. We've had lots of service opportunities this week which I LOVE! We made cookies and dropped them off at some of the Recent Converts houses. We actually found some Ghetto in Pines! We didn't think that was possible, but it actually is. There's a trailer park that we found as we were visiting some members. We said a few prayers with some really humble women. Both of them had had 3 strokes recently!!!
We were walking back to our car after Harvesting at the end of the night. As we walked past a certain house I felt like we should go knock on the door. I thought I saw something move on the porch, but I wasn't sure. I asked Sister Furner if we should knock it or go to the car to make it home on time and she said we should at least try before we left. As we walked up to the door we saw a woman sitting on her porch with a cigarette in her hand. We asked if we could come say a prayer with her and she chuckled and said yes. As we got closer we noticed that she was crying. It looked as though she had stepped outside to take a breath after a fight. She told us that we had come at the perfect time so we said the prayer with her. I'm so glad we followed that prompting!
We went to contact a referral from the YSA Sisters this week. When we knocked on the door it was not the woman that we were looking for, it was her father. He was a Korean man named Seung who invited us in to say the prayer with him. He spoke little English, but enough to get by. He talked to us about Korea and how he has been here, in America, for 30 years but still struggles with the language. After the prayer he told us that he felt a lot of peace and invited us to come back and teach his daughters as well. We were able to bring a member with us for the second lesson. Seung prayed for the first time. It was amazing! The member promised Seung that he would find a Korean speaking member to come back for the next lesson if he prayed on his own. He agreed. We couldn't think of anyone who spoke Korean, but by some miracle the member was able to find a Korean man in our stake. He came to our next lesson and translated the whole thing. It was such a Tender Mercy.
Funny Story: We were cooking lunch and all of a sudden I smelt something burning. I looked back at the oven and the bag of rice was on the hot burner. As I lifted it up all the rice fell out because the plastic had melted....It was an adventure cleaning that up!
I love you all so much!!! Thanks for all your love and support.
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
Happy Halloween!
We had "movie night" Friday after planning and watched a cheesy church movie.
Good times.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 27 - Harvest Miracles/find credible sources

Hello everyone!!! I hope you all enjoyed General Conference. I sure did! Sister Furner and I watched it at our chapel and it was a full house...;) there were only one other set of missionaries and two other members. It was weird to not be at home in my pajamas watching it on the couch, but I definitely got more out of it as a missionary. Last time I was watching General Conference I was surrounded by hundreds of missionaries in the MTC...weird! Time flies.
This week we saw some amazing miracles while Harvesting. We had a meal appointment at a members house and afterwards decided to knock doors in their neighborhood. We knocked into a woman who let us in her home to say the prayer. Right after the prayer we were able to teach about the Restoration and she really felt the Spirit. She said she would pray about baptism and come to our church next week.
The next door we knocked on, the woman let us in right away. She was from the Dominican Republic and said that she had seen missionaries ALL over in her country. After the prayer she got right up and walked over to her book shelf to show us the Book of Mormon that her Mormon friend had given her. She said that she had been to our church a few times with her and liked it. She told us that she kept getting the chills because she knew that God had sent us. Before we left we invited her to read a verse out of her Book of Mormon and she assured us that she had already read the whole thing front to back. WHAT?!?!?!?! We could not believe it! God led us straight to her. When he prepares people he REALLY prepares them!
Every week seems to have a theme of trials and this week the theme was investigators looking at anti material on the computer. We had a lesson with a man named Paul who had a hard time believing in Joseph Smith because of some stuff he read online. Inside I just rolled my eyes and thought back on my English teachers telling me I needed to find credible sources for research. If there's anything I learned from that it's the deep importance of relying on God rather than men. The world will continue to be confusing and lead us astray just like in Lehi's dream about the iron rod. As we stay firm in our faith, however, we have been promised safety and peace. All we have to do is rely on God, keep the commandments, and read the scriptures. I can't emphasize that enough. There is so much spiritual safety in reading the words in that Book. I don't know of anyone who has gone inactive who was also been reading and praying regularly. Anyways, that's my little cry of repentance to you all today.
Know that I love you and pray for you daily!
Thank you for all your prayers and support!
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
Our first day as just a companionship

#genconf full house
Our area covers the everglades

I saw Elder Jensen at transfer meeting!
This is Sister Nimer right before she "died".

We went to Menchies for my 6 month "birthday"
Sis Furner changed the name in the phone and then sent this text.
It freaked me out to say the least.
I put my mattress that I was sleeping on, when we were in the trio, under sis Furner's mattress to get it out of the way. She loves her super High bed now!!!

Ft. Lauderdale Florida Temple