Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Companion has Pneumonia!


I don't have a lot of time today, but they do say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll send some of those! :)

But, we did get to go to the temple this week, and that was an incredible experience. Being in the temple with a handful of the Lord's missionaries brought an amazing Spirit. :) And I am so pumped to go out and do His work!!

And the next day we found out that Sister Peterson has pneumonia. Yep, it is a miracle I haven't caught anything! So I member hopped the past few days, while she stayed at a members house to rest and recover. Let me tell you, after being with a fellow missionary constantly for 6 months, it is the strangest thing to be without them. Luckily she is on her way to recovery, so she'll be back up in no time!

Angela and her family are doing well, though they have had a nasty sick spell. (I think that Sister Peterson gave them pneumonia... just saying) Angela knows. She is reading the Book of Mormon, and knows that it is true. She and her children are planning on being baptized, and she said that Cary (her husband) is taking a little longer, but that he will get there eventually. So prepared. Pray that I don't get transferred before they can be baptized (just kidding, but seriously.... :)

Love you all! MAKE it a great week :)

Sister Matthews

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bloody Noses

Hi everyone:  

Still in Fort Wayne:

What a week!  I don't even know where to begin...  Hmmm let's start with a funny story.  On Friday it was about 8:30 and we were stopping by to see a less active, but she wasn't home. We knew that we were in that area for a reason so we decided to walk around a little to see if anyone was out that we could talk to.  Very shortly we ran into this man who was walking his dog.  We started talking to him and randomly Sister Peterson got a major bloody nose. We didn't know what to do so she just stood there with blood dripping into her hands and I tried to tell him about our message. Unfortunately, he wasn't paying attention to my eternity changing message because Sister Peterson was bleeding, and laughing because the whole thing was so awkward. He kindly gave her his unused doggie bag to catch her blood.  We set up a time to come back, said a prayer with him and quickly ran to our car that was parked about the length of a football field away. After which I accidentally revved my engine at a couple about to kiss, and we got blood over everything.  Lucky there was a very kind member that lives close by who got her all cleaned up and gave us a life-time supply of tissues and a humidifier :) It was hilarious.

We also taught Cary and Angela the Plan of Salvation this week. And it blew their minds. It goes against a lot of what Cary learned as a young boy, so he had a lot of questions! But you could tell that it also brought them both a lot of relief. The next time we came by, we saw that Cary had looked at an Anti Mormon site that had a bunch of Bible scriptures to combat Book of Mormon scriptures. But before we could explain anything, Angela pulled out a bunch of Bible scriptures to defend the Book of Mormon! Apparently she had gotten on a website that had Bible scriptures to support the Book of Mormon. It was really awesome! And even though they still have lots of questions (especially Cary), they said that they would keep praying about it, and that they really have the desire to know. In fact, they kept saying "I'm not a Mormon yet..." and "When I get my answer that it is true", so they know, they just don't quite know that they know. Anyway, I am really excited for them! Sick kids kept them from church yesterday, but we will get them next week for sure! :) Keep praying for them!

Love you all! 

Sister Sara Matthews

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bajillions of People

Hello everyone;
I can't believe how time flies!!  I am already almost done with another Transfer, and I think I hit my 4 month mark this week! Ha ha, the time warp of a mission is at it again! I feel like I just got here but at the same time it also feels like I've been a missionary forever!

This week we had dinner with our investigator Carrie... though I don't think that she really knows she is an investigator yet. We told her we were going to share our message with her, but she seemed pretty confused when we started talking to her about the Restoration. She met us and knew about missionaries.... well actually, all she really knew is that we are away from our families so she wanted to have us over for dinner.  And while we were eating she asked us a bajillion questions about Mormon culture.  All of a sudden she stopped and said, "I can tell that there is something strong that is holding your families together and I can't figure out what it is.  It has to be more then just praying and going to church because I do that and I don't have that strength.  What is the core thing that is holding your families together?"  It was so cool to see that as we talked to her for just a few minuets about our families that she could tell there was something different and she desired it. We got to really focus on how the gospel of Jesus Christ allows our families to be together forever. We are excited to go back and talk to her more about the joy that the gospel brings! 

Also, I have been working really hard on talking to everyone, and it is making a huge difference! Even though we talked to about a bajillion people this week, and almost all of them rejected us, I know that God is proud of me for showing faith, and for trying to help all of his children that he places in my path. And even though I haven't seen a lot of success on my mission so far, I know that I am successful in his eyes, and that I am making a difference. So that is just about the coolest thing ever.

Also, our recent convert Darrel told me that I use the word bajillion a lot, and that I exaggerate when I talk... I'm sure none of you would agree with that right? But really, I feel like I have met a bajillion people, so I think it is an appropriate word for it!
Love you all, thanks for all the emails, they are the best! :)
Sister Sara Matthews

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Letter dated 8/18/15 - sorry for not posting it last week.
Things are going great here in Fort Wayne Indiana! We received transfer news today, and I am... staying here!! YAY! Sadly, Sister Mickelsen is leaving me, but I am excited for her to go change another missionaries life like she changed mine :) A bit more about this later!
This week was awesome!! We were walking into the library to have some lds.org time, and because our schedule was crazy we didn't get to go until later than we normally do. Coincidence? No such thing. Because right as we walked into the library a man stopped us and said hello! He was talking really loud, and the whole library was staring at us... but we stopped worrying about them when we found out he was a less active who had just hit the low of lows, and had at that very moment been praying that we would walk in the door to help him. How amazing right?? Like my dad said, life (especially a mission) is like a chessboard, and he moves us around, and has us meet certain people at certain times for a reason. I am so excited to help Joseph out, because this gospel will truly help bring him back into the light! It was one of the coolest experiences ever!
We had an awesome dinner appointment with a lady in our ward who had a non member friend over! She was really interested, and we got to share the message of the restoration with her. The testimony of the member (who was a convert to the church) was really powerful and I truly felt the Spirit there. She is praying to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet, but she truly wants to follow Christ, so I know she will get her answer!
She also asked me if it was hard to have doors slammed in my face. Which was a crazy question because it has literally happened like 10 minutes before! And as I was thinking about it, I came up with the analogy about missionary work (but I have proceeded to copyright it, so you must give me credit if you use it! ;D) Okay here goes: As a missionary, it is like we are standing at people's doors with the most delicious chocolate (or whatever kind you like) cake in the whole wide world. And when they open the door, we are offering them this never ending supply of cake. Cake that somehow has no calories and is made with so much love. (who can say no to that really??) So when they slam the door in my face, I try not to be offended or angry or disappointed in myself, I am just sad that they don't want the cake. Luckily, their neighbor doesn't have the cake yet, so I am always able to try and give it to someone else. As we were leaving, she thanked me for sharing my cake with her :)
Okay, new subject because now I am craving chocolate cake :)
The Lord has called me to be a trainer. Wow. What a exciting/nerve wracking/humbling experience. I definitely don't feel qualified for this. But I truly have been shown that the Lord calls the unqualified, and if we let him help us, he will qualify those he calls. It'll be exciting to get to pick up my newbie tomorrow! She is lucky that she got called to the best mission, area, and ward ever. Hopefully her trainer can do a good job too :)
I love you all!
Sister Sara Matthews
Description of Pictures:  We were asked to give our rap as the opening act at the Primary Talent Show...  
These adorable kids

Sister Tucker and I trying to be cool on exchanges :)

Subject: Families can be together forever :D  (letter dated August 25th)
What a crazy week. But so good. I have prayed harder this last week than I have my whole mission, and the Lord has really blessed me (and us) so much!  I have the best trainee in the world. I am positive that she came pre-trained, and that she is actually here to help me, not the other way around! Her name is Sister Peterson, she is from Holladay Utah and also went to a year of college at BYUI (represent!) before her mission! We have a lot in common, and get along really well, but we also have so different strengths and weaknesses, and it has been awesome to see those come out in these past few days! We are still working out a few kinks in our teaching methods, but we have a lot of appointments this week, so we are going to have the restoration down pat by the next time I email home!

We met the coolest family this week. We were walking to contact a referral, and there was a family moving in across the street. So we asked if we could help them! (On a side note, we ask to help people all of the time, and they almost never let us serve them! So I didn't really expect them to say yes when we offered our services!) AND THEY SAID YES. We helped them move for about an hour, and got to know them as we worked. And I have come to realize even more than before that
there is nothing better than physically serving someone to help boost your spirits, and theirs as well! And then it opens so many doors! We are doing a family home evening with them on Saturday, and I am so excited! They are so prepared, and really interested! And when we said a prayer with them, I felt the Spirit so strongly, and the grandma even started to cry! I am so excited to help this family come closer to Christ and each other, and to help them get to the temple someday!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D This is the only way that I can describe how I feel right now :)
Love you all!

Sister Sara Matthews :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Happy Birthday America!!
I was wondering what the 4th of July would be like here in the mission field, and it was not what I expected, that's for sure!
At 6:30 that morning, Sister Mickelsen and I rolled out of bed, and proceeded to sing the Star Spangled Banner quite loudly, and if you can believe it I am even more off tune right when I wake up! Also, our neighbors probably hated us. But we took cookies to them later that day, so it's all good! Then we went to a ward Breakfast at the church building, where we ate a lot of pancakes, which is always a good thing! And then to top it off, we had an investigator show up, and we were able to give him a chapel tour, which was really cool! He felt the Spirit for sure, and is excited to learn more!
We then had a service day, in which we made cookies and delivered them to people! That is one of the best ways to get into people's hearts, especially less actives! It was fun, delicious, and successful!
We then traveled to our Zone Leaders area for a finding activity! We went to a park, and drew the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk with Chalk! It was super cool, and we got to show it to a lot of people who came by! Sister Mickelsen and I also got to show off our Hoosier Pride on a tank statue, so that was pretty cool!
That night we went to a BBQ that our investigator invited us too, and we got to meet a ton of new people and share our message with them. Most of them weren't that interested, but it was the first of the seven positive contacts, so that is good! We also committed her to church!
We finished off the day sitting in our room in the dark, singing the Star Spangled Banner again as we watched fireworks out our window.... all in all a very cool day!
Yesterday, our BBQ investigator Shannon came to church!!! As we were sitting there, she turned to me and asked if I would go up and bear my testimony with her. I walked up and sat on the stand with her, and then she had a panic attack. So I went first to giver her an example, and when I sat down she was still too scared. Take note, we are on the stand in front of the whole ward, and she is not a very quite whisperer. But then, as if the Spirit prompted her (which I am sure it did), Sister Mickelsen came up and bore her testimony, which calmed Shannon down enough so she was able to share hers. And it was so simple and powerful, and after church she decided that she was done smoking, and that she wants to be baptized!! YAY! It was way cool :)

Weird Story of the week: Our Filipino investigator always feeds us when we come over, so I have had some interesting dishes over the past couple weeks! But I think Fish Head Soup takes the cake. It actually wasn't half bad, it kind of tasted like Chicken! We even kissed the fish head for good luck!! So be prepared to hear about miracles galore! ;)
And last but not least.....

Steve is ON DATE! He is getting baptized the 8th of August, so keep him in your prayers! :D
I love you all, keep staying strong! Satan is throwing a lot at us right now, but we already know that God has won, we just have to rely on him and it'll all be okay!
Sister Matthews

Also, I SURVIVED MY FIRST TRANSFER!! :D It FLEW by, and I am so excited for more to come! :D 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Note to Self - don't personalize pass along cards!                                                        June 15, 2015

Hi y'all (gosh two weeks in Indiana and I am already saying this!)
Once again, I don't have a lot of time (the curse of a missionary, but I wouldn't have it any other way), so please note that this doesn't encompass my week in any way, shape, or form. But I'll do my best. Also, I have been told that my emails are a bit confusing, and I have come to realize that I type a lot like I talk: with lots of tangents. So I apologize in advance for that.
Anyway, THIS WEEK HAS BEEN SO AMAZING. I have literally seen God's grace in every minute of my everyday. I challenge all of you guys to look for him in your life, because I promise he is there.
So. This week Sister Mickelsen and I took some time out of our lunch break and wrote the best rap on the planet earth. Maybe if you are lucky you will be able to hear it one day... oh wait, all of you will hear it because once we come home it is going to be blaring out of every car radio ever. So be prepared for Matt-Sizzle and Mickey-Free, cuz "we're two power sisters, who don't need no misters, cuz for 18 months we are serving the Lord." One thing that I don't think I understood before the mission is that it is SO fun. Even when we are out teaching, it is okay to be yourself. Because God called ME, Sister Sara Ann Matthews, to this mission. And it won't do any good if you become a zombie robot. Personalities are important, no matter if you are serving a mission or not. That being said, it still is important to allow the Spirit to be with you always, and there are times that reverence is key. But you can be yourself too :)
For example, my companion, Sister Mickelsen, is just the best. And when we are running in the morning, or walking on the street, or driving in the car, you better believe that there is some serious Disney quoting going on. I was so blessed with a twin soul as a companion.
Okay, contrary to what you have read so far, I promise I actually do missionary work here in the field! And I have seen so many miracles this week! Just like D&C 4 says "the field is white and ready to harvest!" One of these miracles was a man named Steve. Let me try and paint a picture of him for you: He is about 57 years old, lives alone in his apartment, and has no teeth. He was also wearing three shades of pink (sweats, a cut off, and a sweat band) when we first met him, and he was smoking. We talked to Steve for a little bit to get to know him, and then we taught him the restoration lesson, right there on his porch. The Spirit was so strong, and he felt it, I just know he did. Afterwards, we asked Steve if he wanted to be baptized, and he said YES! He turned around, gave us his cigarettes, and said he didn't want to smoke or drink anymore. He was so prepared, and because we followed the prompting of the Spirit to talk to him, we were able to provide that peace that he needed. We are preparing for a baptism on the 4th of July, so keep Steve in your prayers!

As we were walking to an investigators the other day, a man in this very old, beat up truck drove by us. His truck was teal, and it had scriptures spray painted on it!! As we drove by, I smiled and waved, and he yelled out the window "You keep that smile, girl!" and I thought, "Yes Sir!" It is my new mission motto, and I challenge all of you to think about the difference your smile can make in other people's lives. So, you keep that smile (girl, boy), it'll change your life, and the lives of the people around you.
Okay, one more funny story, that will explain the interesting title of this email. So, as missionaries, we pass out a lot of pass along cards right? And these cards are supposed to have "Sister Missionaries ### ### ####" written on the back, so that people can call us if they ever become interested. Well, as we were walking into the library the other day, I gave a guy (he was probably about 24) who was sitting in his truck with the windows rolled down a pass along card! He called us later that night, and I guess I accidentally wrote "Sister Matthews" and then the number on the card, because he asked for me. He started asking me all these questions like "Are you nuns?" "Can you dates guys out here?" "How long are you unavailable?" And such. Sister Mickelsen just laughed as I answered each question, and followed it by saying "and we share a message of Jesus Christ" :D Haha he said he might be interested (in our message of course) and that he would call us when he got back from his army trip thingy. Haha we had a good laugh, and I learned a good lesson!! So take note future or current missionaries!!

Well, I am out of time! I love you all so much, and know that the Lord loves you and is watching over you all individually. So you keep that smile, and don't let the world get you down!!

Sister Matthews 

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Here is a picture of Sister Mickelson and I.  She is the greatest!

M&M in the CC:  June 1, 2015
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Hollo.... er I mean Hello everybody!
Sorry I didn't to get to email last week.  The flight was great, and here I am, safe and sound! There is so SO much I could write about, but since I can't, I'll just hit the highlights!! So, the title of this Post has to do with the fact that I am with the best Trainer/companion in the whole wide world, and her name is Sister Mickelsen. We are serving in the Columbia City ward, which is in, yes, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA! So M&M are rocking it in the CC. 
There are a few things I have learned about Indiana since being here.
1: There is a LOT of rain this time of year. Should've packed some rain boots. And a raincoat. And one of those bubble hamster balls you can roll around in. That might be the only thing that could keep me dry! But the work moves on, and I am sure once summer roles around I'll be praying for rain again!
2: Fort Wayne is called the City of Churches.... my admiration for Joseph Smith has shot up since being here. Who would've thought that the concept of baptism would be so hard to explain? Everyone here has already been baptized... sometimes multiple times! 
3: There are a plethora of geese, bunnies, and ponds in this city. Literally, I have never seen so many of all of those things since being here. Weird, but true.
Anyway, my first week in the field has been absolutely fantastic!! I can't even describe how happy I am. The work here is quite different from what I thought it would be like (my previous knowledge coming strictly from the movie "The Best Two Years"). We try not to knock very many doors, at least not randomly. We try to follow referrals, and then we do something called the 2-2-5 principle. Which is where you knock 2 doors to the left, 2 doors to the right and then the 5 doors across the street from the house you actually know about. Apparently this is super effective, and makes us look less like traveling saleswomen. They also have a knocking system here, you always knock three times. Once for their salvation (then you wait), once for your salvation (more waiting), and once for the Holy Ghost to work. We have found quite a few new investigators that way, so I guess it is inspired!
We get to drive cars here, which is really nice! But it isn't quite what you would think. Because we have limited miles and a pretty spread out area, we usually park in a neighborhood and then walk all around it. But this is good because we get a lot more street contacts that way! Also, if anyone in the mission gets in a preventable car accident, all of the cars in the mission are grounded, and we have a car fast! We had one of those on Friday, so we did lots of walking. While we were walking, I innocently pointed to a cornfield across the street, and someone almost took my arm off driving like a thousand miles per hour. Did I mention there are no sidewalks here? Because there aren't. So be grateful I still have all four limbs after that day.
The members here are awesome. They are always so willing to feed us, and drive us (when our miles are low or to church, which is a half an hour away) and give us cookies, and most importantly, to come to lessons with us. MEMBERS AT A LESSON MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. So every non-missionary reading this, call up the missionaries in your area and volunteer to go out with them. It will make their day, and hasten the work immensely. Not to mention spiritually boost you up!
On my second day here, I got to teach a young 14 year old girl named Mary the story of the restoration. We drew it out on the sidewalk with chalk, and then taught her about Joseph Smith. The Spirit was so strong when I was testifying, and as I recited the first vision story in Joseph Smith's own words, my testimony of their truthfulness increased a hundred fold. (So when you are struggling with your testimony, share it. The Holy Ghost witnesses of the truth, for both you and the person you are talking to.) She said she wanted to be baptized, so pray for her mother (Swan) to soften her heart and let them come to church.
I love you all, keep writing and emailing me, I love hearing from you, and will reply as soon as I can.
Heavenly Father is there. I have seen his hand in my life everyday, every hour, every minute. Pray for His Spirit always, and He will help you, no matter what you are going through. I am so grateful I get to share that with the people of Fort Wayne.
Sister Matthews 

P.S. My new address is: 6628 Farmswood Dr, Apt 2b (or not 2b, that is the real question), Fort Wayne IN, 46804 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My First Week in the MTC (the many roles of a missionary):                                             May 18, 2015

Well everyone, I made it to the MTC! Many people have asked me how my experience has been thus far. Let me use the wise words from Mulan to sum it up: "In a thundering herd, I feel a lot like cattle." Ha! But to be serious, this MTC adventure has been unlike anything I have ever experienced. Let me try to sum up the past few days in this e-mail.

Well, just as my luck would have it, my MTC experience started out with my Dad pulling my not completely zipped up suitcase out of the car, and my things spilling everywhere. On the bright side, there was nowhere to go but up from there! ;D  I had a few minutes to drop off my bags, and then I was rushed to a classroom (where I now practically live all the time).  There I met my district. I was wondering how I was going to connect with these people who were so different from me! But now I love them all so much!! Sister Hollingsworth is my companion, and she is actually the only sister in my district who is not going to Cincinnati. She is headed to Washington Federal Way. But both Sister Bluder (dark hair) and Sister Westbrook (blond) are going to Cincinnati as well! 

The Lord is mindful of me, because within my first day of being here I saw Elder Scott Gill, my brother Jake (who works at the MTC), and.... Sister Chelynn Petersen!! All of them are from Heber.  It was so fun! They seem to be doing great, just for all of you who know them!

I have not yet contracted a foot fungus, because I do wear my flip flops in the shower. I was surprised at how often they told us to do that.... I guess athlete's foot is a common problem here at the MTC or something!

My teachers are fantastic, and I have learned so much about teaching, and about coming unto Christ from both of them! Once again, it has been a testimony to me that God is watching over me and loves me! The only problem was that at first I could not get to class on time, because all of these buildings and outside hallways look exactly the same! But with the help of a very patient Sister Hollingsworth, I have overcome that challenge and now know where things are!

I have had to take on many roles as a missionary (hence the title of this e-mail) including, but not limited to: a learner, a teacher, a listener, a talker (you know me), a follower, a humbled soul, a leader, and even a Janitor. 

I have learned so much about the gospel, and have been humbled by the fact that I thought my knowledge was pretty good before I left. I have learned a lot about the Doctrine of Christ, and the purpose of a missionary. Elder Holland (through a Mormon Message) also taught me that I have to be my first convert, and so that is what I am trying to do here at the MTC. I have also learned the importance of exact obedience, and that it is okay if we don't succeed at that all the time, because we aren't perfect. We just need to strive to have exact obedience in our lives. I have also learned to teach. WE ROLE PLAY SO MUCH. But it is becoming so real to me now. I also pray, and pray, and pray again, and again. Did I mention I pray here in the MTC? Because I do. My testimony of the power and importance of prayer has grown so much, and I am so grateful to know that Heavenly Father hears and answers every single one of them. 

Well, I now have my days all mixed up, I will try to keep them in order better next week! Now for the Janitor part. On Friday morning Sister Hollingsworth got to vacuum 4 staircases. "Oh that isn't too bad" you are all thinking right now, but they had five floors each. That is a lot of stairs. On the bright side, we did look like Ghost Busters, so that was great. 

Sunday was a new experience as well. We had a bit more free time, and got to partake of the sacrament which was a great blessing! Later that night we heard a talk by Elder Bednar that is only available at the MTC (so all of you who are headed here soon, get excited.  For everyone else, I'll tell you all about it when I come home, because it hit me HARD.) He talked about the Character of Christ and how he always turns outward to others, when the natural man in us would normally turn inward. And I realized that that's one thing I was missing! Silly Sister Matthews! This mission isn't about me!!!! And that is a true PhD doctrine that we can all learn from.

Last but not least, I was called to be a Sister Training Leader my second day here. What a humbling experience. 

I love you all, and would love to hear from all of you, but I can't actually e-mail you if you don't e-mail me first so.... get on it :D  

Lots of love,

Sister Matthews 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sincerely, Sara Matthews

Well folks, this is the last you will here from pre-missionary Sara Matthews! I am officially headed out to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Cincinnati Ohio!! I am SO excited for this opportunity, and am glad that I will be able to share it with all of you through this blog (that my sister Mary, will keep up!). I'd also love to hear from all of you personally, both in email and in letter form! I'll post my addresses below, and will have Mary let you all know when they change.

Email: sara.matthews@myldsmail.net

Letters and Packages (while in the MTC):
Sister Sara Ann Matthews
2009 N 900 E Unit 138 (helpful hint: this is the number you use when using dear elder)
Provo, UT

Letters (while in the field):
Sister Sara Ann Matthews
Ohio Cincinnati Mission
P.O. Box 11671
Cincinnati OH
United States

Packages (while in the field):

Sister Sara Ann Matthews
Ohio Cincinnati Mission
4610 North Bend Rd,
Cincinnati OH
United States

Thank you all for your love and support, see ya in 18 months!

Sara Matthews