Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Called To Serve

Is this real life? Am I actually going on a mission? I opened my call and read, "Dear Sister Mathis." I love the sound of that. That is when reality hit that I was really doing this. I kept reading and came across the anticipated words, "you have been called to serve in the Ohio, Columbus mission." I was excited! I thought for sure I was going to go foreign, but I wasn't sure why. Well I'm here to tell you I am not going foreign, but I know wherever we are called as missionaries, the work always remains the same. There is a reason I am going where I am and I cannot wait to get there and experience the work in full force. I was also grateful because one day on campus a random citizen told me I was going to South Dakota. Now I don't know much about South Dakota other than it get pretty darn cold, but I was panic stricken when he told me this. I have no idea why, I'm sure it's a lovely place however I was relieved to read Columbus Ohio. I am to report to the Mission training center on February 5th! Now rewind a few months to why I decided to go on a mission.

Ever since I was a little girl I desired to go on a mission. I admired all the missionaries I would see in our Ward. However when they changed the age limit, it sparked many girls to go. In all reality it kind of scared me off. I went from knowing I didn't have to make a final decision until a couple more years down the road to knowing I had to decide soon, very soon. I was 18 at the time and knew I would have to make a decision as to whether I would go or not.  The pressure was real, everyone was asking whether I was going to go or not. I was hesitant, and stubborn like I have always been. I wanted to go when I felt ready, I didn't want to go because everyone was telling me to go. I didn't want to go simply because "everyone was doing it." In other words I wanted to go for the right reasons. Time passed by I turned 19, the eligible age for girls to leave on missions, but I still hadn't gotten my answer. I prayed long and hard and desired to really come to know my Father In Heaven, and His Son Jesus Christ, and their plan for me.

 In my first semester of my sophomore year of college I enrolled in a mission prep class. I told myself I am just taking this class to see where it leads me. Well guess what, it led me to a mission. My teacher was phenomenal. He helped change my whole outlook on things, and there was not a day that went by that I did not feel the spirit in his class. My testimony was strengthened immensely. During the first couple weeks of school we sang the song, "Called To Serve." When I began to sing those words I could not help but hold back tears. I was overcome with emotion and that is when I got my answer. 

"Called to serve Him, heav'nly King of glory,

Chosen e'er to witness for his name,

Far and wide we tell the Father's story,

Far and wide his love proclaim."

I knew in that moment when I was overcome with the Spirit that a mission was where the Lord wanted me to be. I knew I wanted to be a witness for His name and proclaim His word. I knew how happy I was in the gospel, and I wanted more then anything for others to feel that joy too. I also knew in the moment that Heavenly Father truly does hear and answers prayers. My answer didn't come right away, in fact it took months, but for those who follow the guideline and the teachings of this beautiful gospel, answers will most definitely come.

  I also learned during my time at BYUI how mindful the Lord is of us. For those of you who know me, knew it was never in my plan to go To BYUI. However when I didn't get into Provo it was my only other option. At the time I was angry and wondered the Lord didn't give me this one thing I had worked my whole life for. But now looking back on it, there was a reason I went to BYUI. There were people I needed to meet, classes I needed to take, and I don't know if I would have decided to go on a mission if I hadn't have gone there. A wise friend once told me sometimes rejection is the Lord's way of saying, wrong direction. The Lord knew exactly what He was doing with me even though I didn't know it at the time.  

I also had many wonderful examples who showed me the way. While I was in Salt Lake and went to the October 2013 general conference I randomly bumped into my friend Emily who attended BYUI but is now serving her mission at Temple Square. To see her so happy doing the Lord's work inspired me to want to be like that. I am grateful for all the missionaries out there, being the true superhero's of this world especially those who are near and dear to me. So Taylor Mathis, Seth Ross, Sam Ross, Camille Mathis, Adam Bolingbroke, Chad Gray, Romney Hansen, Watson Asi, Tyson Otuafi, Lahi Kautai, and Kevin Foote this one's for you. Thank you for your strong testimonies, thank you for the love and support you show me in your weekly emails, but most of all, thank you for your strong examples without which I don't know if I would be where I am today. I love you guys! And a big thanks to my amazing family who has stood behind me all along the way.

Often times I feel inadequate and like I don't know enough about the gospel to go and teach others about it. Satan is working harder then ever to convince me that I am not good enough. However, God does not expect us to be perfect. He gives us our weaknesses to turn into strengths. Elder Nash of the seventy said, "Remember what you know. Hold to your faith, continue to learn and He will strengthen you."

Lastly I just want to tell all you guys how much this gospel means to me. I absolutely love it. Through this gospel you can experience true joy and happiness. I have felt my Savior's love stronger then ever and I know without a doubt He is very real, and that He lives today. I truly stand all amazed at the love He so graciously gives us. I am delighted for this opportunity I have to become one of His servants and become a part of this great work. I look forward to meeting the amazing saints in Ohio and helping them come unto Christ. 

For any of my non-member friends, if you have any questions about what I believe in feel free to ask me or go to to find answers there.

I love you all. Thank you for being YOU! You all hold a special place in my heart.

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