Monday, August 25, 2014

Four Miracles

Hey everybody! 

Can you believe it's almost been a year since I left for the mission? The time has flown so fast!! I didn't realize how fast until my mother sent me an email with pictures from my sisters recent birthday party. I remember last year thinking that her birthday was the last birthday party I would have with my family for a year and a half. 

This week has shown me that prayerful goal setting leads to inspired-goal reaching. We had great success this past week. In Preach My Gospel we are taught that the success of a missionary is measured by their love of the people and their ability to feel the spirit. As they obey with exactness they are promised that they will know what the spirit would have them do. They experience success as they teach and serve other missionaries and work diligently to build up the ward in which they are serving.

Miracle # 1 - Frances
   For quite some while the missionaries have been teaching Frances. Just before I came to the area she was dropped because she wasn't keeping any commitments. We decided to go see her this week because a member asked us about her. We went to go see her and her recently born son. She welcomed us gladly. We retaught the first lesson and the spirit was really strong. We set up another appointment to meet with her and her husband two days later. Two days later we stopped by and she had read the Ensign! We had a great lesson with her and Brian, her husband, and we committed them to coming to church and to choosing a date (For Frances, Brian was baptized a while ago but is inactive). She said she didn't know if she could make it because of the baby. 

When Sunday came we were seated in the chapel and had already sung the opening song, almost sure that they had decided not to come when of the sudden the door opens and in walks the happy couple. Frances was attentive the whole time and the baby was well behaved all throughout church. 

Miracle # 2 - Progressing Member Families
Once again this week was full of member-present lessons. We are so blessed to have great members who help us out. They are amazing. 

Our ward mission leader, Hno. Garcia, and his family were especially helpful to us this past week. After correlation Thursday night one of his daughters told us she was bringing a non-member friend to church on Sunday and asked us if we would talk to her after church. (A.K.A. every missionaries dream question) Her dad spoke up for us and was like, "WELL OF COURSE! what are they gonna say, no?"  

We all laughed about it and then we went home. Then on Sunday in walks the Garcia family with not one but TWO potential new investigators, both of which are very interested!  We split up with the Garcia girls and taught them both after church on Sunday. Alondra (Hna. Garcia's friend) said that she wanted to learn more and is coming to an activity Tuesday and Anky (the other friend) said he was interested in the Book of Mormon. 

I taught Anky while Hermana taught Alondra. During our lesson Hno. Garcia asked Anky what he would do if he could touch the prints in Jesus's hands and Anky replied, "I would give him a hug." It was so great! The spirit was so powerful the whole lesson. We taught all of lesson one and soft-committed him to baptism and committed him to reading the Book of Mormon. 

Miracle # 3 - Everyone came to church.

Miracle # 4 - We have this investigator who has been coming to the Branch for a while now who has been keeping the secret as to why she hasn't joined yet and this week she finally told us why :)   We are now about to help her and it's been going really well. 

Well that's all I've got time for but I would like to add this one last note. I know that fasting brings blessings, and that fasting for a purpose works. If you are passing through a trial in your life you can always turn towards the Lord and He will help you overcome it. 


Hermana Mathis

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finding New People to Teach

Dear Family and Friends,

Spiritual Thought of the Week: "God doesn't use a floodlight when a flashlight will do."
and "We are all CREATED for a happiness that endures." -Lasting Happiness

This week marks the first week of the transfer. Sister Snow and I will be staying together for another six weeks. I love serving with her. She is very inspiring in all she does and all she is. We have loads of fun together too,  so I know that this transfer is going to be awesome. The transfers are beginning to fly by SO fast. I feel like I just got to Sarasota last week.

Family home evening at the Bizzaro's. Sergio is a member and his wife and
children are investigating. The Castillo's were there with us it was great!
This week we saw several miracles. It seems that when we became creative in our finding was when we found our greatest potentials. We decided to help a less-active's friend with her English the other day only to find that this girl (named Lady) had been meeting with the missionaries in Honduras! We asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said yes! So we gave her a Book of Mormon and have been teaching her ever since. 

Mexican Bingo
We've also been teaching a new investigator named Jorge. We met him by walking around in a trailer park one day. He told us that everyone has tried to talk him into going to their church and he's never wanted a part in it but felt like he met us for a reason. We had an amazing first lesson with him at a member's home and then he came to church on Sunday. It was great! 

These are the best tacos in the world!
We also had several other great member present lessons this week. Our members are great. We love them. I absolutely love this area! We had several family home evenings with several of our members and investigators which turned out to be a success. It's true what Harold B. Lee said, "The most important of the Lord's work you will ever do WILL be within the walls of your own homes." 

For P-day this week we went to Miaka, a nature park in our area, with our sisters. It was beautiful and so fun to spend time with the other sisters. One more reason why I love being Spanish is  because our area covers their areas and we can spend p-day with them. I will be sure to send home some pictures.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another Golden Contact!

Dear Family and Friends

This week has just flown! It was a good one though.  As normal we did an exchange this week. This week we switched with the sisters in Port Charlotte which is about 40 miles south of us. It was worth the miles though because we both learned so much from them. They are AMAZING missionaries. They helped us gain confidence. Since that exchange we have been talking to more people than ever before. We have see many miracles. 

We went to go see a referral yesterday named Maria. When we pulled up we recognized the house. It was the house of a man we had met just a week earlier! So we go in and we sit down in this humble Mexican home to find that Maria was prepared to find the gospel.

We taught her the first lesson and she accepted it completely. With excitement in her words she asked, " So Joseph Smith brought back the church?" and "So you want me to pray to know if what your saying is true?" We were taken back. She prayed and she asked to know if it was true and immediately after she said, "I know all of what you taught me is true." We asked her to be baptized and she asked if she could be baptized again because she was Catholic. We said, " Yes you can" and she smiled and said she would. It was a miracle.

A couple weeks ago our mission president presented to us a ward missionary menu. The menu includes several activities that members can choose from to do missionary work. Yesterday we showed it to our Branch President and not only did he fully support it but he encouraged everyone in our ward council to find at least 5 families for us to teach this year so that they could double the branch by next year. We love this branch. It's amazing.  
On Sunday we went to go see this awesome returning member, Rodolfo, who taught us more than we taught him :)  One thing he said that really stood out to me what that the reason why there was no light the three days after Christ's death was because there couldn't be light without the "Light of the World, Jesus Christ." I had never thought of it like that before. And if that is the case the we must assume that Christ is with us today because the light does not cease to shine.

Well that's all I've got time for. Have a stellar week!

Con Amor,
La Hermana Mathis

"Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith."
-True to the Faith

This video just came out. It's SO inspiring. You all should watch it.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Golden Contacts!

Buenos Dias a todos! (Good morning to all!)

Hey everyone!

Sorry but this weeks email is going to be pretty short. This week we had MLC, Zone conference and Exchanges with the YSA sisters so we've been super busy. We have also seen several miracles and taught a few atheists. Roman wasn't baptized because he told us he didn't feel ready and needed some time to really read the Book of Mormon and think it out. We've talked to him several times since he canceled and he says he feels a lot more confident so I'll keep you updated on how it all goes. We mostly taught our recent converts this week. Everyone is doing very well.

One miracle we saw was on exchanges. We were about to go into a lesson when Sister Day and I met two women. They asked us who we were and we said that we were missionaries and that we prepare people to be baptized. Both of their faces lit up and one exclaimed, "I've always wanted to be baptized! I feel like now is the right time." The other chimed in, "me too!" We jotted down their numbers and began to teach them a little bit, by the end they both wanted to know more.

Lately in the mission we've been focusing on being really bold with people and asking bold questions. I've met more people now than I ever have in my mission. The bold questions work! There are three that we like to use often they are, "Have you been baptized?", "Have you been forgiven of your sins?", and "Have you ever been to OUR church?"

Thank you all for your prayers! I know they are making all the difference for us as missionaries.

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalms 40:8

Monday, August 4, 2014

Miracle In the Park

Who said I can't teach everyone in the park?

Ok, so this was a HUGE miracle that happened just yesterday. We had nothing to do so we decided to go to the park to go finding. When we got there we met a mother and a daughter taking pictures. We offered to take some of them together for them.

After that we got to talking. As it turns out they were here from Georgia visiting their family. So we shared Because of Him with them thinking that we would just leave it at that and maybe teach them on Facebook.

After the video was over, we answered some of their questions, then the father of the girl showed up. He was thrilled to meet us and invited us to meet his family. So we walk over to where they were all playing soccer. We met his WHOLE family! The man and the woman in the center are from Sarasota and we will be teaching them again soon... :)