Monday, February 23, 2015

A baptism, trials, and choosing happiness

Here are some of the fun things that happened this last week:

On Thursday we had a conference with Elder Zwick of the 70 (he just gave a talk last April). He talked all about iPads and serving with a pure heart. I feel so inspired by it all! 

Baptism buddies in Bradenton
On Saturday we went to a baptism in Bradenton with our investigator, Celfia who is going to be baptized this Saturday. It was just what she needed to progress. Our relief society president brought her and she was able to make some new friends. She even found people from her home country (Honduras). She tells us that she is very excited for her own baptism. It's very very enriching to teach her. She is an amazing hard-working woman. 

Me and Celfia's daughter Ashly
Here is a funny/slightly sad story from this past week: Saturday was the dream day. Perfect weather, perfect lessons, good member-presents, a baptism, getting to see old companions, and just an overall sense of accomplishment. 

The next morning we woke up got ready only to find that someone hit our car sometime during the night! "Ok", we thought, "We'll let the mission know, no biggie." Go to church, everything is good. Get out of church to find our gas tank cap askew; someone siphened our gas! We barely had enough to make it home. 

Luz and Eladio's House
Still in our heads was the thought, "No problem, we have bikes." So we led out on our trusty two-wheels and taught a few lessons. Then as we were riding towards Danny's house my tire popped! So we had to walk. Satan was clearly trying to keep us from teaching people that night or something! However he didn't stop us, we had two amazing lessons talked to people along the way and made it home just as the clock ticked 9:15. No earthly force can stop the sister missionaries. It was probably one of my favorite days this week.

Biking in 50 degree weather
We met/taught a new family of Peruvians. They have all the right questions and their son has already decided that he wants to serve a mission. Haha! They are progressing really well.

You know you're in Florida when ... what?! 
Something I learned this week is that we can be happy all the time and that it is a choice. Our whole lives are meant to make us happy. Every commandment, every word that God gives us is to make us happy. "Men are that they might have joy." Jesus taught those he served to "be of good cheer" and to bring our sorrows to Him.  I know that we can be happy all the time. I also know that nothing has made me happier than doing missionary work (well other than maybe going to the temple with my family). 

I hope that all of you will strive to help the Lord in his work here upon the earth this week. Success is in the invitation. 

I love you all! 

Con amor,

Hermana Mathis

Missionary attempts to cook good food

More Valentine's gifts

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mis queridos,

Happy Valentines day to everyone! 
Sister Baugh's mom sent her cookies and so we frosted them for Valentines Day
I'd like to express my love to all of you for helping me throughout my life and throughout my mission. Know that I love you and pray for you all. 

I don't even know what to write this week because so much happened. Last week it seemed that we had nobody to prepare for baptism and then this week we managed to meet and teach several new people. It just goes to show that God is going to bless us with success so long as we do all that we are supposed to do. I know that this applies to pretty much everything in our lives.

At church last week we met a woman named Celfia at church who said she would like to receive the missionary visits. We set a date with her on Wednesday and she has been progressing ever since. She's a solid golden investigator.We are so excited to continue teaching her.

Our investigator Celfia gave us roses for Valentines Day and then we visited her sister Carmen and she also gave us roses.
For Valentines day we did my favorite thing to do as a missionary, teach! Our investigators were very sweet and they gave us roses. It was perfect temperature the whole day. I am loving it here in sunny Sarasota.

We also had the chance to go to a fireside with Dr. Ryan Murphy the assistant director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was amazing and reminded me of why I love music and singing so much! I could feel the spirit so strongly as he played a piano piece for us. It's amazing how music can move someone to feel of God's love. 

The following day we were supposed to sing in a regional choir out on Siesta Key but had already set up some appointments for the day. It was a tough decision but I decided that it would be better to put my own desires aside to help God lift others up. We ended up having three amazing lessons that day. By the end of the day I could feel the spirit telling me that my decision was right. 

Yesterday we made a game to help some investigators realize all that the Book of Mormon teaches us. I had never written it all down before but the Book of Mormon teaches us so much! Really every thing that we need to know can be found within it's pages. It's marvelous!

Well that's it for this week. Tenga una buena semana!

-Hermana Mathis

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

As always, I've been keeping busy.Last week we had three baptisms, went on two exchanges, and had MLC in St. Petersburg (missionary leadership council).

Haha sister Johnson and I went to go contact one of their referrals and it turned out to be a tattoo shop, you never know what you're going to get from Church headquarters.

The baptisms all went smoothly, it was a miracle. I was so nervous that Luz, Eladio and Eugene wouldn't be able to be dunked but they all made it! We had two priesthood holders in the font for each of them to help them out.

Here are some fun photos from the baptisms! Haha once our AP told us that "If they aren't hopping in the font, we're not baptizing them." We've decided to change that to, "If they don't have a cane, we're not baptizing them!" ;) Have a great week!

Eugene received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday and Eladio will be receiving it next Sunday. My favorite part of the baptisms was watching how excited Luz got when she saw Eladio all dressed in white. Haha she was super cute with him throughout the whole service. I am so grateful to have been able to teach the Perez family!

Adis, Rosa, Eladio, Luz and the rest of us at their baptism luncheon.

MLC was really good. We discussed the Book of Mormon and how we can use it to convert not only others but ourselves. I have decided to start the Book of Mormon over again and already I have seen a brand new side to it that I had never seen before. I love reading it daily, it's made such a huge difference in my life.

St. Petersburg beach with my companions after MLC. I love these girls!
Sorry this is a small email. I love you all and am excited to see you soon!

Con amor,
Hermana Mathis

P.S. we got transfer emails on Sunday and sister McGee and sister Paulsen are being transferred out. Looks like I'll have a new companera this Thursday.

Also Jalicia is getting baptized this weekend! I'll make sure to send photos.