Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission // April 2014-October 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 47

This week we focused on only teaching elect people. We cleaned out our teaching pool so that we could work with people who were willing to repent and we were blessed because of it. Our investigator, Andre, had told us that he would not be able to make it to church on Sunday. We did everything we could to teach him the importance of the sacrament and why God wanted him to go (not just us). We left our lesson with him a bit disappointed in his decision, but edified because we knew we had done all we could. Sunday morning we gave him a call and he asked us if we could still find him a ride. We told him of course! He was able to have a change of heart and see the sacrament.
Andre also expressed his desire to learn more and especially learn how to read so that he can read the Bible and keep his mind off of smoking. We told him that we'd teach him how to read and we've started reading through the Primary Songs with him. If any of you have ideas of teaching people English, let me know.

One of the members in our ward gave us a referral of his neighbor. We met her Sunday afternoon and taught her about the restoration. She told us that this was the kind of church that she had been looking for. Before we even invited her she said, "I'm going to be there next week and I'm going to read this book and pray about it". We were so happy!

I read Alma 30 and 31 this week. I identified all of the qualities that an anti-Christ has. I found it interesting that they always entice people by sharing bits of true doctrine, but then it is distorted so subtly. I believe that is how Satan traps us (and our investigators). It is our job to help those we teach how to recognize the Spirit so that when those Anti-Christ's come up, they can recognize for themselves what is of God and what isn't.
We went to THE coolest Farmers Market for lunch on Saturday
There were so many different booths with food and clothes from all over the world. 
I love Florida SO MUCH!!!
Don't worry, I still love you all as well. Keep doing the basics. 
That is how we stay "fast to the iron rod".
Love you! Sincerely, Sister Matheson
Andre donated blood for the first time at the church (why the blood bus came on a sunday, I don't know)....He was so scared and I was just like his mom insisting that I take a picture of him at this momentous occasion.

This is the Jerk chicken and Ox tail that we had this week. 

Gotta love Jamaican food.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week 46

This week was so incredible. I definitely know we were in the right places at the right time.
-Our investigator Andre came to Church!!! He wasn't committing because he wanted to "look good" and didn't have any church pants. Sister Montague and I did a little shopping and after a few trial and error purchases, we finally found a pair that fit that picky little man. HA!
-We were visiting with a member from the ward and she told us her conversion story. She said that she went to dinner at a woman's house named Benja Peterson and the missionaries were there!!! WHAT?!?! It's a small world. She said she started meeting with the missionaries and got baptized in about '97
-We were knocking doors and knew we had just enough time to knock one more door. We picked a house let looked safe and decided to knock. A woman opened the door and invited us in to pray with her and her sister. They both felt the Spirit so strong and knew that God had sent us. We had a return appointment with them last night and she shared that she had prayed for people to come to her house and teach her about what church she should go to. She promised God that she would open the door to the next church people that came to her house. We shared the Restoration and they kept shaking their heads, "yes" and told us they knew it was true.
-We were on a couple hour exchange with our Sister Training leaders and Sister Calvo and I were going to knock in our area. We decided on an apartment building and walked up to the first people we saw. We introduced ourselves and told them where the church was. They told us that they had been to that church and got married there. Sis. Calvo and I were nodding our heads, "nice!" but thinking, "they don't know what church they're talking about"...haha. They continued explaining how they had gotten baptized there last year and pulled up pictures of their baptism. Sure enough they were standing by four missionaries (one of which was Sister Nimer). We couldn't believe it. They explained how they had moved and didn't have a ride to church. We're going to be meeting with them and helping them come back.
-Last miracle I'll share for the week...We were waiting in line at Chipotle when a man came up to us and handed us $20.00. We looked at it and said, "what?". He explained that he was paying for our dinner and that he and his family were all visiting from Utah for a cruise. His father was a Mission President in South Carolina and Worked in the DC Temple and in the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission. It was really fun to see all those people from Utah.
This week I've enjoyed reading the account of Abinadi. That man is my hero. He had so much faith and trust in God that he was willing to sacrifice his whole life for Him. His hope and courage came when he knew God and knew the Plan of Salvation. He may have not seen the fruits of his labors, but Alma went away from that experience and baptized 204 souls.
I love you all so much and hope you have the best week everrrrrrr!
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
 Is this really necessary..?
With Andre

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 45 I'm not in Pines anymore

I got transferred to....HOLLYWOOD NORTH!!!!!! Also known as HollyHOOD.... Let's just say I'm not in Pines any more.
I'm "greenie breaking" Sister Gardner's "baby", Sister Montague. She's from North East California. She's amazing! She's 22 and SO easy going. We are already teaching in full Comp Unity. It's great. We live in a cute little old house with two other Spanish Sisters; Sister Heacock and Sister Torallba. 
I love having more roommates.
I am so in love with the people here. The ward is amazing too. On Saturday night they had an "International Dinner" to raise money for the Young Women's camp. I had Haitian food, Venezuelan food, Hawaiian food, etc.  We had a lesson with a Jamaican and I kept thinking, "man, I thought I was an English missionary...." HA! We pray for the 'gift of tongues' in order to even understand the people who ARE speaking English.
We were knocking doors in a run-down neighborhood, (also known as the ghetto. Don't worry Mom and Dan...I'm safe!) and we started talking to a YSA age girl. She said she already knew all about Joseph Smith and wouldn't accept a Resto pamphlet. Basically she was all confused about prophets no matter how many times we explained that the same prophets in the Bible that she believed in were PROPHETS! Oh well, I taught her how to play a couple cords on the guitar so we left on good terms:)
On Saturday we needed to find new investigators so we prayed to know where we should knock doors. We pulled up to the neighborhood and a woman answered the first door we knocked on. She invited us into her home to say the prayer and gathered all of her children along with the neighbor friends who were there. We said the prayer, all kneeling on their floor and afterwards explained our role as missionaries. The woman said that she could feel a good spirit about us and agreed to have us come back and talk to her more about the church. We gave her the Book of Mormon and her face lit up as we gave it to her. 
She said that she would definitely read it. MILAGROS!
Anyways, I hope you all have a peachy week and keep praying for missionary opportunities. Love you!
Sister Matheson
"Mom and dad" Oliver

Our cute little house

The bedroom

The kitchen

The view of our house from the front door
Food from the International dinner

The view from one of our members apartments. She fed us dinner last night.

My amazing new companion!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 44

I'M BEING TRANSFERRED!!!!! Tomorrow at the transfer meeting I will find out who my companion is and where I will be transferred to. I'm excited for a fresh start:)
This week, on Wednesday, we were on our way to see a less active member with the few minutes we had left at the end of the night. On the way I felt impressed to drive down a certain street. As I turned around and headed in the direction I felt, I felt prompted to stop and park somewhere to knock doors instead. We all agreed on a door that we felt to knock first. A 25 year old guy came to the door and agreed to let us pray with him. He invited his mother to join us as well. They expressed how they had been going through a hard time and knew that God had sent us. After sharing the prayer with them they agreed to let us come back and teach them more. The next day we met her husband. We taught them a short lesson and during the closing prayer both him and his wife were in tears. It all came from the whisperings of the still small voice.
One of our investigators from the Pines area came to church! She had missed sacrament the last time she came, but this week we walked out of ward council and there she was!!! It was fast and testimony meeting and our investigator was so touched by everyone's testimonies that she cried. Her and her daughter were able to stay afterwards and watch the baptism of an 8 year old girl. They LOVED it. We kept talking to them about what it would be like at THEIR baptism and they were excited about it.
I've been going through the Book of Mormon this past week and marking every reference to the names of Jesus Christ or God. So far I've written down 40 different names they are called. Every single page has their names multiple times and it's very interesting to see them highlighted. We were teaching a man this week and he was having a hard time accepting that the Book of Mormon was "another testament of Jesus Christ". I was able to explain that on every page you will find his name, multiple times, and bare my testimony that it is a testament that He lives. The spirit was so strong and he accepted the invitation to read it and pray about it.
Just a fun thought I had about sharing the gospel: We don't need to be afraid of what people will think of us as we share our testimony and INVITE others because either they will accept the gospel and thank us in Heaven for our invitation, OR they will reject it and they won't be in Heaven with us anyways...is that too harsh? Maybe, but it gave me confidence in doing what I'm doing. EVERY MEMBER A MISSIONARY!!!!
Last P-day we went to the Everglades Holiday Park and watched a little show where a man "wrestled" an alligator. I finally felt like I was in Florida...weird! haha
We were walking around the NOVA campus to talk to people and we offered this student a card about Jesus. He said, "Only if you take one of these coconuts". We said of course!! Come to find out he had climbed the palm tree and picked the coconut minutes earlier. He then sat on the side walk RIGHT THERE and opened it with his bare hands for us......
Only in FL man...
I love you all! I'll let you know where I end up next week. 
Sincerely, Sister Matheson
Everglades Holiday Park

Crazy Gator wrestler!
Coconut from NOVA guy

Avocados are HUGE in FL!! 

Farewell to the Trio!!