Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission // April 2014-October 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 78

This week was definitely a trying week. We knocked more and worked harder than I ever have on my mission and yet we did not find any elect people to teach. I'm grateful for the experience, however, because it helped us stay humble and fall to our knees more. God blessed us with a miracle while I was on an exchange with Sister Tui. We were knocking doors and it was getting really dark, but we felt like we needed to keep knocking. We met a Haitian woman who invited us in to say a prayer with her and her daughter. During the prayer her mother came into the room and afterwards asked if we were Mormon. We told her yes and she told us that she had been baptized down in Miami years ago. She didn't speak any English, but we ended up teaching the Restoration to her daughter and granddaughter. They took a Book of Mormon and promised to read and pray.

While reading in Helaman I found comfort in the experience that Nephi had while preaching the gospel. After Nephi prophesies about the chief judge being murdered and the people believe him to be a prophet. He's about to return home when God commands him to return and declare repentance he obeys and sees no success. He preaches to every multitude and they continue to reject him, however, as he stayed faithful he was blessed with power and authority.

Sometimes we will not see the immediate fruits of our efforts, perhaps they won't even be the desired blessings, but God knows best what experiences we need to help us grow and will bless us eventually depending on our faithfulness.

Here's a quote to ponder...
"A mission has shaped, and formed, and fashioned, and underscored everything that has happened to me since that hour...We simply ask them to put everything on hold: put education, put professional opportunities, put marriage, put whatever for 18 months to two years, and go voluntarily, and pay your own way, and have the experience of a lifetime. Ostensibly, theoretically, and truthfully, it is for the church, it is service to the kingdom and religious principles, to spread Christianity, and I would include and encourage everyone to go, and if not a single solitary person joined the church. If not one joined the church, I would still say do it, simply because of what it meant to me. They're supposed to go give service; they're supposed to go love people where they are. If they join the church, fine, but if they don't, fine. If they can do anything, anything they can do, any single solitary Christian decent worthy thing they can do, they are supposed to go do. And if people join the church, great! And if they don't, missionaries have left a nation, community, or a family, or a person….better than they had found them! And that is” our call”, as a Missionary!" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

Sincerely, Sister Matheson
Sorry for the shortage of pictures. Nothing super eventful happened. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 77

This week was a rather rough week. Our solid investigator, Ramish, called us and told us that he "wasn't feeling it any more". He didn't give any further explanations when we inquired, however, he did seem sad to discontinue meeting with us. We're praying that he'll have a change of heart. Our other investigators dropped us as well, but Sunday night we had a great lesson with a potential we had met during the week. Kim and her son Kyle were a little skeptical of the religion at first, not understanding that we were indeed Christian, but after bearing simple testimony they agreed to at least listen to the first lesson. We brought a member a long and as we taught the Restoration and focused on the Book of Mormon the Spirit filled the room and they accepted baptism for the tenth of October. It was a tender mercy from God after all of our investigators dropping us.

From President Richardson's email:

Scripture to Ponder…
DE&C 16: 4-6
4 For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.
5 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given unto you according to my commandments.
6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.

A thought I wanted to share with you, from one of you …
This past week in my scripture study of the Book of Mormon, I have been pondering what Jacob spoke when he said in Jacob 4:10….”Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works”...

I love you all, I love the Lord, I love this work, I thank my Heavenly Father every day for the opportunity He has given me to serve him here in South Florida. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today and as we listen and heed his words we will be protected.

Mosiah 15:11


Sincerely, Sister Matheson

Found this giraffe while knocking
We saw a peacock just walking in the street!

While on exchanges in my old area 
the Hurst family found us as we were walking.
They pulled over and the girls walked with us to our next appointment. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 76 - It POURED Miracles!

I love it here in Port St. Lucie. The miracles just POURED in this week. 

While knocking doors we met a guy in his 20's named Ramish. At first he seemed semi interested, but he accepted everything (baptism, church, and a return appointment) and the Spirit told us to go back and visit him. Our second appointment was great! As we taught him the Restoration and then invited him to be baptized he said, "but what if I was already baptized?" We started to re-teach the importance of being baptized by the correct authourity, but then he cut us off and said, "oh yeah, it has to be done by the priesthood. He over came his own concern and then made sure that he had work off so that he could come to church. Our ward mission leader picked him up and he seemed to enjoy it. They left before we could get over there to talk to them so we decided to go and visit him that night to talk to solidify his baptismal date. As we were bold and testifying he recognized that he shouldn't put it off and accepted a date for the 26th!!!

Last night we had some extra time in the evening and decided to go visit a Former Investigator from three years ago. We knocked on the door and the man we were looking for wasn't there, but his mother was. She invited us in and we prayed with her. The Spirit flooded the room and then we heard the door open. The man we had been looking for, Robinson, walked in and sat down. We introduced ourselves and taught a powerful Restoration lesson. At first he told us that he had found a church that he attended every sunday, but after our lesson and the invitation to read the Book of Mormon his heart changed and promised to read and pray about it. He said if God told him it was true that he'd do whatever it took to "find the Mormon faith". It was incredible. He accepted a baptismal date as well and his mother wants to learn more and get baptized as well. 

I read in Alma 43 this week about captain Moroni. As he lead the Nephite army against the Lamanites they had no need to fear because he had "prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing". The Nephites also followed the comands of their leader, Moroni, and therefore were protected from their enemy. I pondered on this chapter and loved the way it portrayed the importance of preparation. As we do our studies in the morning and are exactly obedient we will have no need to fear because we will know that the Lord will grant unto us protection and success.

As an STL we go to a meeting at the beginning of every month down in Plantation. The Ap's and all of the Zone Leaders (This time the District leaders as well) attend as well. It was at President's house which is two and a half hours away. Friday we drove down with some of the other STL's. It was such a long drive and traffic was bad that we were two minutes late. (If you're from this mission, you'll understand. That's not okay). Sister Clegg and I had to go to the bathroom so badly, but couldn't hold it for the next three hours. As we walked in all of the Elders and the other STL's (over 50 people) looked over at us. We just ran to the bathroom and they all waited for us awkardly to start the meeting. Hahaha not one of my finest moments! 

Here is a quote from President Richardson's email this week,

"I only have a minute, 
just sixty seconds in it! 
Didn't Seek It; 
Didn’t choose It; 
Forced Upon me; 
Can’t refuse it; 
But it’s up to me to use it! 
I must suffer if I lose it; 
Give account if I abuse it! 
It's Just a tiny little minute…
but “Eternity” is in it!" 

By the way, the Ensign for this month is AMAZING! Find out for yourself...:)

Sincerely, Sister Matheson

On the way home from MLC. (aka nap time)

Our Full Day exchange with Sister Lake and Estrada. 
We kind of look like twins...

Our investigator had this calendar in her house. 
We asked her where she got it and she told us at a Chinese restaurant. 
Who'd a thunk!?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 75

​Soooooooo funny story. Last P-Day I packed all of my things and brought them down to the transfer meeting on Wednesday. As we sat in the chapel and watched the board, waiting for our names to be read, I heard my name but didn't register where they said I would be going....I realized after a moment of shock that I was companions with SISTER CLEGG!!!!! We're serving in Port St. Lucie which is the area just south of my last area. We live in the same apartment so I packed my things for nothing. I literally just moved down the hall. We freaked out in the transfer meeting and hugged each other right away. We couldn't believe it. We had joked about it so much, but now we're actually companions! 

I'm also an STL (Sister Training Leader) so we go on exchanges with certain sisters and help them in their areas and with their missionary work. Sister Anderson (The Sister I trained) is in our "Sisterhood" and we got to go on a short exchange with her this week. It was so great to knock doors with her like the good ol' days. 

I'm SO excited to be companions with Sister Clegg and to work in the area of Port St. Lucie. I know that this is where God wants me for my final transfer. We have already been seeing huge miracles in our area. On Friday we were knocking doors and saw a mother on a walk with her two children. We talked to them and offered them a card. We also invited her to prepare for baptism and attend church. She accepted everything! As we went back for our return appointment we taught her and a friend who was visiting. The lesson was incredible. When we sat down they said, "can you give us a brief history of your church and tell us what makes it different?" Boy can we ever! We taught the Restoration and everything clicked for them. When we taught about the Book of Mormon he said, "I've always wondered what the scripture meant that says, 'other sheep I have...'. Sister Clegg just looked at each other in amazement. 

We also went to follow up with a former investigator named Carol. She had been seriously planning on attending church that day, but her daughter had to go to the emergency room. We set up a return appointment with her and at that lesson she accepted a baptismal date and agreed to have us over every other day to help her prepare for it. It was incredible!

I actually studied about Ammon and Aaron and their missionary work. After Ammon's encounter with King Lamoni's father, his heart was softened and he was ready for Aaron to teach him. Aaron was open to the promptings of the Spirit and he trusted that God had a plan for him there. As he went and taught a 'former' he found that he was ready at that time and then King Lamoni's father was converted.

Love you all! 

Sincerely, Sister Matheson

I got sick this week. No fun, I don't have time for this! Haha
Our Exchange with Sister Anderson and Sister Tuiolemotu
Reunited and it feels so good.

Our car got stuck in the mud...Haha. 
Luckily I'm not a girly girl and figured out a way for us to get out.
(after getting covered in mud)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 74- Last transfer!

Tomorrow I'll find out where I'm going. 
I'm excited to get to know a new area and ward and find the people who need to hear my testimony.

This week while knocking doors we met a man named David. He told us he wasn't sure if God even existed and Sister Brisco and I both testified of how we know that God is there. His heart began to be soft and he then asked us to pray for him to be able to overcome his alcoholism.  He cried and cried and then told us that he felt peace. He knew that God sent us. The following day we took a member over with us who had struggled with addiction before his baptism. He bore his testimony and said just the perfect things that David needed to hear. The members sometimes doubt how powerful their testimonies, but this was a great experience for all of us.
Yesterday we biked all day! We were on our way to go knock doors when it POURED! We biked as fast as we could to the nearest store. When we got to Winn Dixie we were already SO soaked though. Gotta love Florida!

I've been studying about Alma and Amulek's missionary experiences in the book of Alma. I love their fierce faith and willingness to follow the Spirit. At first they may have felt they weren't successful, but later they return and heal Zeezrom who then is converted unto the Lord. We truly are on the Lord's timetable because this is HIS work. We just have to trust that he really will provide. 
And he always does.
Love you all!
Sincerely, Sister Matheson

Before the storm...
 And after

I love the Hurst family! Going to miss them. 
Our district training. 
If you're wondering why an Elder is on the table...
It's because he's "Dying" (aka going home).

That is at our chapel.
 So much biking this week!
Holding a leopard gecko at Sharon's.