Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Christmas Sunday 
In one of my family's favorite Christmas movies, the main character Charlie Brown is troubled around the Christmas season and asks the probing question, "Isn't there anyone who can tell me what Christmas is all about?" His dear friend Linus proceeds to then narrate the Christmas story found in Luke. Charlie Brown's eyes are opened as he learns about the birth of our most precious Savior.

I, like Charile Brown, have had my eyes spiritually opened this Christmas season. This time of year has been different for me than any other Christmas before. I didn't go ice skating, I won't be staying up late on Christmas Eve to watch "A Christmas Story," I won't be in Reno with my family, but this Christmas has already been one of the most memorable Christmases I have experienced. On Sunday as I sat in Church next to one of my ten year old pals, who is autistic, I was so emotional singing the beautiful Christmas songs with him. He looked up at me as we were singing about the Savior and was grinning from ear to ear. I couldn't help but send back the most cheerful smile to this young innocent kid, who saw the importance of Christmas. I always love Christmas Sundays and as a missionary it was even more special then before. I felt pure joy and although I thought the holidays were going to be hard as a missionary, they have been some of the neatest moments of my mission. We have been running around town like crazy playing "secret sister" which has been so much fun, we have also gone caroling and have helped others to see what Christmas is all about.
We had a mission tour in the last week and Elder Perkins of the First quorum of the 70 came. Randomly he choose 6 missionaries from our mission to interview, and guess who was chosen? Getting a call from the AP's the night before saying Elder Perkins wanted to interview me was slightly intimidating to say the least. However, it was so neat to be able to meet with a general authority, to feel of his love and the love the Prophet sends. I was able to tell him about my family and a little bit about my experiences as a missionary. I loved that experience!

Recently I read a talk called "The Prince Of Glory." It might be my favorite talk of all time. If you haven't read it I strongly recommend you go read it. In this talk the author makes reference to the story the Prince and the Pauper. If you have read that book you know that the Prince and the Pauper end up switching roles. The pauper is left to reign in the kingdom as the prince, while the prince is found wandering the streets experiencing poverty and hardship. In the end the prince ends up learning a great deal because of the hard walk he was forced to take. Elder Perkins made a parallel and said, "We too have a prince who became a pauper. The Prince of Peace, the Prince of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ came down to live among His people and share in their poverty and suffering so that He might be a more compassionate king. As the Apostle Paul said, “Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” I am so grateful for our Savior who reigned as king of kings yet came to earth in the most humble of circumstances. I love Him. I love knowing that He lives. I love studying His teachings and doing everything in my power to emulate His character. He is the most beautiful gift. He is the greatest gift of love, "God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine son."

Merry Merry Christmas. I love you all deeply!
Sister Daines and I matched at the Christmas Devotional

Selfie with President and Sister Daines

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him


Monday, December 8, 2014

Tis the Season to Just Do It!


Hello you amazing people you!

What another great week it was here in the Great Ohio Columbus Mission. I hope you all had a chance to watch the video "He Is The Gift." It has been so neat to be able to share that video with others and to pass out cards so they can go home and find access to it. I tell you the church is genius. We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday night and we had the privilege of watching the video with the whole ward and with our investigator. The video started and if you have seen it, it begins with the commercialism of Christmas. People were talking and kids were bouncing off the walls, but when the tone of the movie switched to the birth of our Savior there was a reverenced awe throughout the whole building. There was complete silence and the spirit came into the room so strong. No one could deny the special spirit that the short clip brought. The children were silent, and I firmly believe everyone who was in attendance felt the warmth of the spirit.

A couple of non-spiritual items. Let's just put it out there on the record that when I was a freshman or maybe a sophomore in high school I was madly obsessed as were all the other young women with David Archuleta. Well, I grew older and was over that obsession, but recently as a returned missionary he came out with a new song cover called Glorious. As a missionary your musical selection is very limited so we were so excited to hear this new song. My companion and I listen to it on average about 5 times a day. I think that obsession is coming back. My heart is absolutely locked but you cannot deny the voice of an angel. He must have inspired me to become a better singer because as a missionary I have sung at more things than I ever have in my whole life put together. That's one thing I love about a mission. It forces you to go out of your comfort zone and try new things. As many of you know my family is pretty musically talented...I must have skipped out on that gene, but I am working to grow that talent. I loved before my mission working at Nike because the saying at Nike is to "just do it." That is the same saying I use as a missionary, sometimes I may be scared, I may feel inadequate, I may be tired, the list can go on and on but we just have to go and do it! The Lord has such high expectations for us, and we cannot let Him down! No task is to great, or too challenging when you have the help of the Lord.
Awkward Family Photo
I love this work. I have such a love for my Savior. He is the gift that we are to discover, embrace, and share this Christmas season. This week I have been studying more of the role of Mary. She is an incredibly strong woman. How scared she must have been when the angel appeared to her and relayed the message that she was to be the mother of the Son of God. How humbled she must have been by the responsibility of  protecting and nurturing the baby Jesus. She truly understood what is meant to discover, embrace, and ultimately share her precious and beloved gift. I love this time of year and as I have been thinking about Mary I often think of the song "Mary Did You Know." One of my favorite lines in that song expresses "Mary did you know, the child that you delivered will soon deliver you?"

With Sister Wagstaff


" I testify that the Savior and His atonement has the enabling power to deliver us all. He lives. I know He lives, how grateful I am to share Him with others especially this Christmas season.

#Heisthegift

I love you all so very very much! Sister Mathis 

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Merry Christmas! He is the Gift!


Christmas Lights
Hope everyone had a tremendous Thanksgiving and had time to reflect on the many blessings our Heavenly Father  bestows upon each and everyone of us daily. I love the Holiday season and I am so grateful we are now in the blessed month of December! If you haven't already heard the church has come out with a new incredible video. If you remember around the Easter season there was a video that the church put out called "Because of Him." For this Christmas season the church has taken a bold stance and has created such a beautiful video called "He is the Gift." I have seen the video three times and every time I watch it, the spirit touches my heart and I get the chills. I would highly recommend that you go and watch it. There are three parts to the video, the first is to discover. Discover the video, discover how the spirit speaks to you, discover the true meaning of Christmas. The second step is to embrace what Christmas is all about. Strive to become a little bit more like Jesus Christ, emulate His character, and follow His example. The final step is to share. Share what brings you the most joy! What brings me true and eternal joy is the gospel. Joy comes through knowing I have a Father in Heaven and Savior who love me. When you discover the joy and the love you have for your Savior and His atonement you will want to share that with others. I testify that our Savior is the gift, He is the best gift. He is the way, the truth, and the light. I am forever grateful for Him.
Live Nativity Scene





We had a neat miracle this last week. We went over to have dinner with a part-member family. The mother is a member, the father is not. He has had lots of contact with missionaries and had pushed away from missionaries in the past. After we finished eating my companion and I had discussed prior that we would share the message of the restoration. We began by going over the point that God is our loving Heavenly Father and because He is our loving Heavenly Father He has given us Families, scriptures, and prophets to help us grow on our mortal journey. When we had reached the point where we were to recite the first vision the spirit was incredibly strong. The Father who had looked straight down the entire lesson looked up and made direct contact as I emotionally recited in Joseph Smith's own words an account of what he saw that day after He prayed. I know he felt something. I know the spirit has the power to touch the heart of anyone. I am grateful for the knowledge we have that Christ's church has been restored. I am grateful to have the Priesthood back on the earth in full force, as well as a prophet who is an incredible mouthpiece for our Heavenly Father. The message of the restoration can touch the hearts of many. What a divine gift we have to share what we know, and help others to come to that knowledge.





Baking pies with Michelle

We survived 4 rather large thanksgiving dinners. I loved having a thanksgiving as a missionary. I missed my family and friends, but I was grateful to spend that day with those that have become my family here in the great Ohio. My companion and I ran in the Turkey trot which was a blast. It snowed the whole race and our hair turned into icicles by the end. My time wasn't great, but it wasn't too bad for not having any training! Ohio State beat Michigan. Everyone here was pretty pumped up for the game. Lets just say we didn't go knocking any doors during that time. 
The Turkey Trot




I love being a missionary. I love this work. Everything of worth in this life is going to take work on our part. I love all of you!!

If you want to send me your Christmas cards you can send them to
Sister Lauren Mathis
19 Clairedan Dr.
Powell, OH
43065

If you want a Christmas card from me email me your address!!

Here is a link to the video

#Heisthegift
#embracethespiritoftheseason

Monday, November 24, 2014

Are We Not All Beggars?






Hello Friends and amazing family!!

How grateful I am for this holiday season and the precious time we have to reflect on all the many blessing our Father in Heaven has bestowed upon us. I had many instances this past week where I had to humbly kneel and thank my Heavenly Father. He is blessing us every hour of every day, whether we recognize it or not.

The first grateful moment happened as I was on exchanges with another sister in the zone. As a Sister Training leader we are to go on exchanges with all the sisters in the zone and teach them through example. Being only in this area for 3 weeks, I was very nervous for this exchange and was praying everything would go according to plan. Let me just put it on the record that you don't realize how much your companion does until they leave the area and you are left to fend for yourself with a companion who doesn't know the area at all. 
I was stressed, but was grateful that the sister I was on exchanges with was an incredible sister. We were trying to find the home of a less active member of the church and the GPS led us to a complete dead end. I was frustrated and didn't know figuratively and literally where to turn. As we pulled over for a minute and discussed what we would do, I just so happened to look over at a house on my left-hand side. Outside of the house was a big sign that said  "Mathis!" I told my companion we had to go knock on this door! We got out of the car and walked up to this house, I didn't know exactly what I would say but we knocked on the door and prepared for the best. When the door opened, there stood an elderly man who looked more than excited for missionaries to be knocking on his door. He immediately welcomed us and let us in. I told him how we had found his home and I expressed to him how it was no coincidence we were led there. We laughed as I told him that he stole my last name! He has the best sense of humor I have seen, and can make anyone laugh. He lost his wife 5 years ago and as we briefly told him about the plan of salvation a light came on inside of him. He has 59 great grandkids and grandkids mixed together and is practically already Mormon.  He became a new investigator that day and we are thrilled to be working with Mr. Mathis. Elder Holland said, "When making decisions, God expects us to pray, trust, and be believing and then not give up, panic, or "jump ship" when something doesn't seem to be going right." I am grateful we were led down the perceived "wrong road" because if we had not been led down that road we would have never found this amazing man.

I am grateful for the example of a Sister Missionary here in this mission. About a week ago an incredible sister missionary named Sister McIntyre, who entered the field when I did, suddenly lost all feeling in both legs. She was paralyzed from the waist down and there were no given signs or triggers that seemed to cause it. She was hospitalized immediately and doctors began working to find out the problem and attempt to solve it. As a mission we came together and fasted and prayed for her. The night we started our fast we all joined together as a mission on a conference call. During that call we were able to hear Sister McIntyre bear testimony. She is a beautiful girl and an incredible missionary, and here she was talking on the phone in the hospital being told she may be paralyzed for life. Instead of being down and discouraged when considering her circumstances, as it would be easy to do, she sounded as lively and happy as ever. She told the mission how even though she is being held up in the hospital, she has not missed an opportunity to share the gospel. In fact in the ambulance ride on the way to the hospital she had talked to the nurse all about the Book of Mormon and had arranged with someone to bring this nurse a copy of the Book of Mormon. That to me is an example of being grateful IN your circumstances. She has so much faith in the future and she knows the Lord will provide with whatever the outcome will be. I was so emotional as I listened to her and my testimony of gratitude was strengthened.

I started this email with one of my favorite questions in the Book Of Mormon. Are we not all beggars? Brother and Sisters, Family and friends, I echo the words of King Benjamin. Are we not all beggars, do we not all depend on the same God? May we see each other through the divine eyes of our Heavenly Father and His beloved son Jesus Christ who see us all as equals. May we be a little more giving especially during this holiday season. One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible says,  "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Elder Holland in the most recent conference titled his talk, "Are We Not All Beggars." One of his points that continues to echo in my mind is "although I may not be my brother’s keeper, I am my brother’s brother, or sister, and “because I have been given much, I too must give.”'

Because I have been given much, I too must give!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so so grateful for all of you who continuously lift me up.

Love Sister Mathis

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Walking in a Winter Wonderland"






This morning we woke up to quite a few inches of snow in this beautiful Ohio land. For p-day we are going to get together as a zone and have a snowball fight! Sounds like some serious fun to me.

In every assignment we are given in life there is something to be learned. After being here for a few weeks, I have learned more about the love of God. I have learned how perfectly he loves ALL of His children, and how that love is pure and infinite. There are many people who struggle here, many who feel abandoned and out of reach for God's love and as a servant of the Lord I feel so privileged to extend a hand as the Savior would and to try and lift these people up. Everyone in life sins. If we didn't we simply would not be here. But I love one of the leaders of our church who said, "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you." Although sin is never ok we are taught to hate the sin, but love the sinner. In my life I have had times where I am quick to judge someone else and I think that is one of the reasons I am here in this area. The Lord is helping me to overcome my weaknesses and in just a few short weeks I have felt the Lord fill me with His love. There are people I have been so grateful to meet, people that I can now view through the eyes of the Savior. I have been reading the New Testament recently and I have been fascinated with the relationships the Savior has with those He comes into contact with. He seeks out the beggar, the blind, and the broken hearted, and as a missionary I am grateful to find those lost sheep and bring them back into the fold. I am grateful for our Savior's love, and I am grateful to feel somewhat of the love our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ have for all of these people.

On Sunday, after having quite a few weeks of not having any investigators at church, we had the privilege of seeing 5 of our investigators attend church and partake of the sacrament. You cannot deny the Spirit when you are in a house of the Lord and as you partake of the sacrament and remember Him and our investigators pointed out how they had felt this way. One of the members of our ward who is a soccer coach here in town gave a great talk on our responsibilities. He talked about how after you play a game or run a race the pain comes not from what we did, but what we didn't do. I completely could relate to this statement. In high school running many races I would often evaluate and criticize my efforts. I would say things like "if only I ran a second faster, or If only I scored a couple more points for the team." So it is with life, the pain in life comes from what we are failing to achieve. Our time here on earth is short and one day we will stand before the Savior and be judged according to our works here on this earth. I do not want to approach that day with doubt and fear in my heart wondering if I have done enough. Our Savior and our Father in Heaven depend immensely on us to bring the lost souls unto them, to help our brothers and sisters become eternal families, and to prepare their children so that together we will be able to approach the throne of God with great confidence. Family and friends "do not let the fear of striking out keep your from playing the game." It is our responsibility to share the gospel at all times and in all things and in all places! What an opportunity it is to do so.

Miracles are happening daily. I have a testimony of the power of prayer. I have a testimony that the Lord will place people in our path who are willing and ready to receive the gospel. May we open our eyes to the opportunities that present themselves daily. I love you guys and am so grateful for this grateful holiday season!! I encourage you to start a grateful journal and log everyday something you are grateful for and how the Lord helped you during that day. I promise that when you start to look for things to be grateful for, you will find that you have a lot to be grateful about.

Love, Sister Mathis

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Love Missionary Work!!



This week has been great! I got an amazing letter from Clarence in Delaware and he wrote to tell me that he has plans to go to the temple on the 14th of this month, as in Friday! What a great letter that was to receive to see that the work is carrying on and he is preparing to enter the place that will bring forth many blessings, a source of lasting happiness, and a place that can unite his family.

Well, nothing like getting to a new area and jumping right into speaking at a baptism and in sacrament meeting the following Sunday. I was grateful for the opportunity I had to speak on the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a sanctifier; the Holy Ghost testifies of truth; the Holy Ghost is a protector and a guide; and the Holy Ghost is a teacher and a revelator. I am grateful to have the presence of the Holy Ghost in my life. Without the Holy Ghost, this work would be impossible. In church I had the privilege of speaking on how my faith has increased as a missionary. I cannot even begin to explain how much that faith has increased. I went from a belief or faith in certain principles to knowing with absolutely certainty the truthfulness of the principles of the gospel. 

This last week I hit my 9 month mark which means I am halfway into my mission! I cannot believe how fast the time is going. I have been away from family and friends, from sports and TV for 9 months! Words cannot express the gratitude I have in my heart for being able to serve a mission and for being called here to the Ohio. This has been the most incredible experience of my life. It has been challenging. I have had doubts; I have had feelings of inadequacy, and of low self esteem. I have had fear, trials, and heartbreak, but somehow the hard times pass, and what remains are the times my heart has been softened, the times I have allowed the Savior to come into my life, and the times I have seen the Savior come into the life of others. I have experienced times of the greatest heart warmth, of incredible laughter and pure joy, of feeling the love our Savior and Father in Heaven have for each and everyone of us regardless of our background, and I have been able to better understand His gospel. I have gained a true and honest testimony of the restoration and the plan of salvation, and I have been able to accomplish things I didn't even know possible. That testimony and that faith has come from my personal study and the faith and strength of those around me including and especially those I have had the opportunity to teach. I am surrounded by incredible examples. I have learned how real our Savior is and how dependent I am on Him. This is not my work, but His. I don't feel like I am missing out on anything being a missionary. In fact I feel I am gaining such profound and important truths and values that no one can take away or destroy. My life has been changed and will forever be changed from the simple yet powerful decision I made to serve.

I love this work. I love this new area. We found a miracle family this last week who are so prepared to hear the message of the gospel. They had been praying and praying for something or someone to help them and days later we knocked on their door. This is an inspired and a beautiful work. How grateful I am for the knowledge we have and the things that bring us everlasting happiness!!

I love you guys!

Love Sister Mathis


With Sister Wagstaff

With Sister Hicken at a Sister Training Meeting

Monday, November 3, 2014

Greetings from Newark, Ohio!!



My new companion:  Sister Wagstaff 

How grateful I am to be serving here in this new blessed land. It was incredibly difficult to leave Delaware. I feel like a large piece of my heart still resides and will always be there. I felt like I was leaving home, but if there's one thing I have learned on my mission, it is the fact that the Lord is in charge. In every decision we make, in every step we take, He is there alongside us actively engaged in our life.

I learned a neat lesson this week as I was talking to my incredible new companion, Sister Kimber Wagstaff. We mentioned how we as missionaries are always comparing ourselves to other missionaries. We desire to be just like them. I remember when I first came out on my mission I had forgotten my own individual worth because I had tried so to hard to be someone I was not. I think as humans we tend to make these comparisons a lot in life. We are always comparing ourselves to others, wishing we were just like them or had the talents they present. Sister Wagstaff pointed out how each of us individually was called to this mission for a reason. Heavenly Father hand picked us to be laborers in this part of His vineyard. He didn't choose us to be someone else. He selects us individually in whatever field we may be in because of who we are and the skills and talents we do have. Too often in life we are neglecting the wonderful characteristics Heavenly Father has blessed us with. To those who are reading this: your Heavenly Father knows you! You are perfect to Him because you were created by Him. You are good enough, and Heavenly Father loves you for simply being YOU!

This week our Mission President shared a quote that I loved. He said "You can't teach something you don't believe to be true, and you can't teach something well that you don't believe passionately." I am so grateful to have such a deep and profound love for this gospel and for my Savior Jesus Christ. His light is the most beautiful aspect you can bring into someone else's life. Brother and Sisters, if you do not have passion for this gospel I encourage you to experiment on the word and find it. Try the experiment upon His word, test your faith and pray that Heavenly Father will direct you.

My new friend who was Haylie's instagram friend first.

I am so excited to be here. This area is a lot different, but change is always good. I am excited to work with the people here, to learn and to grow, and to let others know that they have a Savior who loves and cares about them.
This Church is true!

Love,
Sister Mathis
 

It was so hard to leave dear friends like Gabbie and baby Camilla.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!



Monday, October 20, 2014

The Best Day Ever!


Clarence's Baptism
"It's a great day to be a missionary!"
I know that this work in absolutely true because if it isn't I wouldn't be here for one second. I know that our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ lead and guide this work and we have the privilege of being their mouthpieces here upon this earth. C.S Lewis once said,"There are no ordinary people" and I echo his statement. There are people out there, extraordinary people who are waiting to hear the gospel. Clarence McGuire is one of these people.
A few months back Sister Schauer's and I were pretty exhausted and starting to get discouraged. We were knocking a particular street and were about to leave because after knocking quite a few doors nothing was coming of it. In all that we do though we try to find "the why" behind it. We knew Heavenly Father had guided us to that street for a reason and we didn't want to give up until we found that reason. So we decided to knock one more door. This door was on the very end of the street, the very last house, and as we walked up we saw a man outside listening to his radio. We thought it was a miracle just to be able to catch someone outside that we could talk to. Just yesterday Clarence shared his input and was joking cursing that dumb radio, because it was on so loud he didn't hear us walking up.  He claims he didn't have a chance to run from us. It wasn't your typical first lesson, but it was exactly what Clarence needed and what caused him to want to learn more.  We got into some very deep doctrine and began to teach him about the plan of salvation and the importance of the temple. The spirit was there and we knew he could feel something and we were hopeful for the future. We set up a time to come back and lo and behold when we went back, he wasn't there. Sister King and I were pretty depressed.  We tried time and time again to see him but every time we tried to visit, he was either sleeping or not there. Eventually after many attempts we decided that he probably wasn't prepared at this time and didn't want to learn more, but we decided to try just one more time,  just to be sure.  His step-son answered the door this time and explained  that Clarence was not there but miraculously the step-son came out and started talking to us. During that time we were talking, Clarence pulled into the driveway. "Ah-ha," we thought, "You can run but you can't hide." Just kidding, we do nothing to take away anyone's agency. Well, Clarence came and sat down and we had a beautiful lesson with him. From that day on he never once canceled an appointment. He was always there eager and ready to learn and he always kept his commitments, and more importantly didn't take our word for it but sought out answers on his own through earnest prayer. If we had just given up on him, which we were so close to doing, he would never have received the blessings of this gospel. Just two days ago Clarence, at the youthful age of 76 was baptized and yesterday he was confirmed a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Clarence with his family
Sister George made these darling skirts for us!
Brothers and Sister, family and friends-  whatever you may be going through the Lord is mindful of you. Do not give up when times get hard and things may seem impossible. Keep fighting and proving to the Lord that you are willing to go that extra mile. I promise if we walk a little further and exercise our faith, even though it may only feel like a small particle, the Lord will bless us.
It is a beautiful day to be a missionary! I love you guys!

Love Sister Mathis

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Impossible to Fail


"It is impossible to fail when you do your best when you are on the Lord's errand!"

Sam and Tabby's Baptism with Sister King and me
Hello amazing people! Just wanted to start out by saying how much I love you guys and also how much I absolutely love being a missionary! This work is amazing, it is the most beautiful work to be a part of and all of us have the divine privilege and responsible to share this gospel with those around us, to let them be embraced in a gospel full of eternal and pure joy. This week Sister King and I had the beautiful opportunity to watch Sam and Tabby enter the waters of baptism. For years they have waited and prepared for this day and finally the circumstances were right and they were able to make that lasting covenant with their Father in Heaven. Sister King and I were emotional when we walked into the church and saw the chapel packed with people for this baptism. We were worried no one would come since not many members know these girls. It was the most people I had ever seen at a baptism and they all came to support them. Many of the ward members had never even met them and yet they came and the support was beyond words. They loved these girls and took them in under their wings. It was a unique baptism and there were quite a few missionaries there, missionaries who had taught these precious sisters in the past and each missionary was able to bear testimony to them on the importance of baptism. Well unfortunately we have to come clean. We blew it big time. We failed to turn on the heater in the baptismal font and so the water was freezing. Since Sam is already terribly afraid of water, having ice cold water did not help the situation. Needless to say they went through with it anyway and the cheesy line of the night was although the water was cold the spirit in the room was warm. The poor girls did not stop shivering the whole meeting but it was one of the best and lively baptismal services I have been in. At the end their mother asked, "Is there usually this many people at baptisms?" We told her we had never seen this many people. She then said with tears in her eyes, "you mean to tell me that all these people came to support my girls?" She has seen a difference in their countenances and she has a desire to learn more and find for herself this happiness that has been missing from her life for so long.


The Blessing of the Que Kiddos

Yesterday it was a beautiful sacrament service. Gabbie and Cesar's radiant children were each blessed, and the prayers that were given in their behalf came uniquely and individually by the spirit. They were said in Spanish so I couldn't understand very much, but the spirit that filled the room as the prayers were being said was incredible. Just looking at this glowing family I started to have tears fill my eyes, and I felt so grateful Heavenly Father allowed me to be a part of their lives. I watched Cesar tenderly hold his new baby in his careful arms, I saw Christian intently watching the worthy priesthood holders bless and pass the sacrament, I watch Gabbie reflect on her tender motherly capabilities as she cared for her children and I saw Emilee smile back at me with a smile as big as the sun. As I watched the love this family had for each other it made me think of my amazing family. Sam and Tabby were also confirmed members of the church of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. After the prayers were said they looked so peaceful and happy. I loved sitting in that meeting with the Que family in front of me, Sam to my side, and Clarence, Tabby, and my wonderful companion sitting right behind me.

Lastly an update on Mr. Clarence. He is the most hilarious, stubborn, hard headed, loving 76 year old in the world, and he feels completely like family to me. We were having a lesson with him Monday  last week and suddenly I just happened to glance over at a calendar which was on the wall right behind him. For weeks he had been praying about being baptized on the 18th of this month. Well when I looked at the calendar I happened to notice there was something written on the 18th. The only day on the whole calendar with something written on it was the 18th. Since we were a ways away from the calendar we couldn't quite make out what was written so we asked Clarence and he started blushing and got the biggest grin on his face and he said, "it says join the church!"  He had prayed and received his answer. I want to testify to all of you that I know with all the certainty of my heart that God hears and answers our prayers. If you think for one second He is not mindful of your prayers, think again! He is actively engaged in our lives and His whole work and purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Clarence has his baptismal interview tonight and we are so excited for the incredibly bright future that he holds.

Here's something you don't see every day: Helping Gabbie to her car 
I have a testimony of this gospel. I have a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lived and He died for us, and lives still and directs this work. Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ love us more then anything. I love you guys and I hope you all have an incredible week. Remember who you are and on whose side you stand for and never forget which way you face.

Love Sister Mathis

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Rock of Our Redeemer


Hello Hello my amazing friends and family!!
What a week it has been in the service of the Lord. How privileged I feel to be one of the 88 thousand missionaries serving around the world. This work is so sacred and it is a complete blessing to be a part of it.

Last week we had a specialized training meeting composed of 4 different zones. There was a large group of us missionaries in attendance and we all sat anxiously wondering what this meeting would be about. President Daines got up to open the meeting and said and I quote, "Remember how we talked about the Movie 'Meet The Mormons' that the church is putting out? Well today we are going to be watching that movie!" There was dead silence for a minute, because never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be able to watch a movie on our mission that wasn't "The Restoration" or "Finding Faith in Christ" let alone a movie that had not even been released into theaters yet! The missionaries went wild! It was the best day ever and I highly recommend if that movie comes to theaters near you, you take the time to go and see it. It is a powerful and uplifting movie and it explains some of the common misconceptions the Mormon religion faces.
This is how we found Clarence when we showed up on his porch for a lesson



Last Sunday, as I wrote about in my previous email, we were able to bring one of our investigators to church named Clarence. He thoroughly enjoyed church and claimed it was different than any other church he had been to since no one was standing up front yelling at him to repent or he was going to hell. We had a good laugh about that. We asked him in a later lesson, what was the deciding factor that made him come to church. He thought for a minute and said, "Well I woke up like any ordinary Sunday and got ready for the Flea market, but something just didn't feel quite right. An impression came to me that I needed to go to church." And Clarence being the stubborn man that he is said, "So I ignored it and went and watched TV. As I was watching TV the impression came again and again each time it came back stronger then before until I could not ignore it any longer so I hopped in my car and drove to church. "What an amazing moment it was to drive into the parking lot of the church and see his old blue pickup truck in the front of the parking lot. The following Monday Clarence had an appointment with the eye doctor. He didn't even want to go to the appointment because he feared what the doctor would tell him. He knew he had a blockage in his eye and if he did not treat it with surgery he would go blind in that eye. He had been praying hard and long for this visit with the doctor, yet he was very nervous. When the doctor examined him, He and Clarence  could not believe it. The blockage in his eye was completely gone. The Lord was so mindful of Clarence and was rewarding him for his obedience to the promptings of the Spirit by providing him with this incredible miracle. Our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ were saying to Clarence "here I am" and Clarence at that point knew how much he mattered to them.
The other huge miracle and blessing of this last week was Sam and Tabby were interviewed and found worthy to be baptized this coming Saturday! We are so happy to share this special day with them and we know it will be the best decision they have ever made. We had a moving lesson with tears in our eyes about the importance of baptism and how proud their Father in Heaven is with them for making this decision. They know the commitment they are making and although it may not always be easy they know they are making the right decision. Our district leader was blown away by the strength of their testimonies. They have faced many challenges and have climbed many mountains already in their young ages and finally they will have something that no one can take from them, something that will continue to bring them true and lasting happiness. I love these girls and am excited to share Saturday with them.

Lastly I loved general conference. I was amazed at how often this scripture found in Helaman came up during the sessions. I think it is so fitting for our day and age. The scripture reads,

Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons (my friends and my family), remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

We must constantly be building upon that rock who is Jesus Christ.

Love you guys! Thank you for the prayers, the letters and the support in my behalf and in the behalf of all the people out here in Ohio

Love Sister Mathis

Monday, September 29, 2014

I am a Child of God

Clarence Comes to Church!


There is so much to be grateful for in this beautiful world we were given!

I cannot fully express the gratitude that is just swelling in my heart. This week has been absolutely incredible for so many reasons.

As many of you know we have two darling sisters preparing for baptism. Last week they came with us to church and were just radiating light. The following Monday we went over to have a lesson with them. They come from very humble circumstances, in fact they don't have very much at all and sometimes it is difficult to feel the spirit in their home, but when we went in on Monday we walked in and their home looked beautiful. They had rearranged the furniture, there was a picture of the Savior on the wall, and they spent a good deal of time cleaning it. We walked in and their home had a completely different feel. I felt the spirit as I have never felt before. It was overpowering as I walked in and it was incredibly moving especially as I looked into the faces of these beautiful girls and saw a happiness and a glow as I had never before seen in them. It is moments like this one that I would not trade for anything.

A few weeks ago we were feeling pretty down when an investigator who we knew had shown a lot of promise informed us that she did not want to take the lessons anymore. We couldn't quite figure out how she had come to that conclusion, in fact just the day before she had knelt down and prayed with us for the first time in years and she uttered the most beautiful prayer. We knew she felt the spirit and Heavenly Father knew she had felt it and He was not going to let her slip through the cracks. The day after she decided not to pursue the lessons, Heavenly Father answered her desperate plea and blessed her with a miracle that is inexplicable except through the power of God. She knew, with that answer to prayer, that Heavenly Father knew exactly who she was and what she was going through and she knew she needed to start taking the lessons again. On Saturday we were able to have a spirit filled lesson with her and extend a baptismal invitation of the 25th of October. It was incredible how before we even extended, she had brought up the principle of baptism on her own. She knew it was a necessary step and she explained how she had been baptized before, but she didn't feel any different after that ordinance. She felt incomplete, like something was missing. We explained how this time when she is baptized it would be done exactly how Christ was baptized with the proper Priesthood authority. It would be complete. And following the baptismal ordinance would come the beautiful gift of the Holy Ghost. Since Saturday she has told all of her friends to come to her baptism! The excitement in this girl is incredible and from day one I knew she would be something special. So pray for the amazing Tessa as we prepare for this life changing day.  Now I have to tell the funny story that went along with this lesson. Pretty much right after we walked in the door to meet with her, Tessa asked how many people could baptize her. We told her one person could baptize her and one person could confirm her. She looked a little sad and said, "ah man because I was hoping you two could baptize me." I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite line in the movie Pirates of The Caribeean when Barbosa says, "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request...means no." We had a good laugh but we knew we had some clarifying to do.

Also on Saturday we had a lesson with an older gentleman named Clarence who we have been teaching for a few months now. Clarence is amazing, in fact he reminds me a lot of my amazing Uncle Greg, and I can't help but think that my uncle Greg is helping us teach Clarence from the other side of the veil. Clarence loves to tell stories and has quite the sense of humor. Clarence loves to tell us, "I have gone from church to church trying to find answers to these questions and no one could do it. I don't know how you young ladies did it, but you answered those questions that nobody else could." At the end of the lesson we talked to him boldly about church and the importance of it, however he did not give us a definite answer of if he would be there or not. We called him on Saturday evening to see if we could get an answer and all we got was his voicemail. On Sunday before church we decided to drive over to his home to see if he was there. His famous blue truck was nowhere in sight. I told Sister King, "He is either one of two places. He is at the farmer's market (which he goes to every Sunday) or he is at church." We said a few silent prayers in our heart that he would be there. We pulled into the parking lot of the church and guess whose blue truck was parked right front and center? It was Clarence's! He arrived  half an hour early dressed in a very nice suit (which was an accomplishment in itself since he hates having to dress up).  At the end of the meeting he expressed how much he enjoyed it and how strong he could feel the spirit. He even went up to the bishop and said, "these sister are accomplishing miracles. They got me to pray out loud for the first time in my life, and they got me to come to church for the first time in 40 years." Now I know without a doubt it wasn't us that made these miracles happen. It was my Father in Heaven and all those angels who are watching over Clarence.

One more amazing moment of the week! We were able to take the other Sam to the General Relief Society broadcast. As we sang the well known song, "I Am A Child of God" tears filled my eyes as I looked down and saw Sam singing so beautifully. Just months prior Sam did not believe in a God. She did not know she had a Father in Heaven who loves her and cares about her and her she was months later singing and testifying that she is a child of God.

I love this work. Spreading the gospel is my source of true and lasting happiness. I know miracles are happening everyday and if we take a moment to express our gratitude daily we will come to find out how many tender mercies are bestowed upon us daily.

I love you guys!

Sister Mathis