Monday, March 24, 2014


Sister Hicken and me at the Columbus Temple
As a missionary you tend to be very critical of yourself. You have doubts, you feel like you cannot measure up to who you want to be. As a missionary I have been critical of my appearance. I want to portray myself in the best way because I am a representative of Christ. I often look at myself and think man if only I had cuter clothes, or if I only I didn't have these little imperfections, or if only my hair didn't look like this today. What is it about girls? Why do we do this to ourselves? Well anyway we had the opportunity and privilege of attending the temple last week. The Columbus temple looks exactly like the Reno temple. When I walked in I felt at home, which is exactly how a temple should feel. After I was dressed in my white temple dress I had a chance to glance in the mirrow. Tears filled my eyes as I saw myself. I felt the arms of Christ being wrapped around me, and I felt more powerfully than ever that I was a child of God. I was beautiful because I had the light of Christ in me. We are all beautiful to them no matter what our physical appearance looks like. It didn't matter what I wore, what color my hair was, if I had freckles or not, I was beautiful because I was His. The words to one of my favorite songs came to my mind. The words say, "He says I am beautiful. I'm not alone and in His eyes I'm so worth it. I'm worth every tear, and every scar. He says I am beautiful." Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ see each of us as worth it. Christ provided the ultimate gift of love because we were and are worth it. So I guess my point in writing this is do not get down on yourself. YOU are worth it. YOU are beautiful because you know who you are and where you stand!

 The Dress was a gift from one of our elderly friends who is something of a hoarder. She wore this dress in the 1970s.  Perfect!

March 17, 2014

And on the commencement of the third week Jesus said, Let there be people to teach. And there was!
This week has been one of the best weeks ever! I apologize for other emails when I was down. I have struggled. I have seen lack of progression. I have felt weak and inadequate. For those of you who are thinking of going on a mission or are preparing to go on a mission, let me tell you it will be hard. It will be different. Keep pushing through those first couple of weeks. It will get easier. I'm still a rookie, I am in no way experienced yet, but that is what I have already learned. We are taught in the scriptures that we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith.  My faith was tested to the point where I was even questioning what I believe in, but through these difficulties, my faith was strengthened incredibly. You need the hard moments more then you need the easy moments in life.
This week blessings have poured out among us. We have witnessed many tender mercies. We as a companionship have felt the prayers of many and have witnessed answers to those prayers. Last Sunday when I was emailing we pretty much had 0 investigators. We didn't have anyone to teach. The only lesson I really had taught was when I went on exchanges. We now have 6 people, 6 children of God each with their own unique story to help bring into the fold!

...Elder James E. Faust said, "Hope is trust in God's promises, faith that if we act now the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future." Hope is action. I can testify this principle is true. I am grateful to be here. When I first got to this area I was thinking to myself man I hope they transfer me out. Now with transfers coming up in two weeks I am praying I get to stay here and work with those people that the Lord has led us to. This work is great, it truly is. I love you guys so much. And always look forward to hearing from you. Take care, and have an amazing week! Fun fact of the week- We have a lady named Sister Frye in our ward and her Sister delievered Lebrons baby! Yes that's right THE LEBRON JAMES'S BABY! Another fun fact we have Jolley's in our ward and they are amazing! They are my grandparents away from home.
Love Sister Mathis

Monday, March 10, 2014

One month under my belt!

I hit the one month mark!

Hello one Hello All! How is everyone? A lot has happened this week. We went into London...Ohio for exchanges which was a pretty neat experience. One of the sisters I went on exchanges with went to BYU-I and we are going to be best friends when we get back home. We also had a zone conference which actually combined a few zones in Huber Heights, so we did a bit of traveling. I thought of you Mom when we had the luncheon at the zone conference and the time I went with you to feed the missionaries. It was a very powerful conference and I came out feeling like I was ready to conquer the world, our leaders do a good job of making you feel that way. President on the way out said to me, "You get stronger and stronger evertime I see you." I felt such comfort when he said that, because often times I feel so weak and inadequate. I know there is always room for growth. I remember the first time I saw him I was a wreck. Running on two hours of sleep and completely nervous for what was ahead of me. I have felt myself grow slowly but surely.

The coolest thing happened this week. While I was in London with a companion who was not mine I was actually able to teach my first lesson!! It was to a man named Jody. He lived in some pretty scary apartments with some pretty scary people. I was terrified walking in. Don't worry mom we had a tough member with us to protect us. We began the lesson of the restoration and my head was not in the right place because I was a little nervous about where we were.  As we got to the middle of the lesson the spirit was insanely strong. Words came to me that I had not prepared. We were able to connect to Jody and the things we said reached out to him.  He told us, "You sisters don't know how long I have been looking for these answers." By the end of the lesson I felt prompted to invite him to baptism. It was the very first time I had ever extended. I was nervous but it felt right. I said to him, "Jody we know you are not perfect. No one is, but as you come to realize these things are true by praying and reading the Book Of Mormon we gave you, will you be willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" He paused for seriously what seemed like an eternity and then he looked me directly in the eyes and said yes, that is something I want in my life. It was incredible. We explained to him that baptism is a process and it would take time to prepare himself for that day but he was willing and ready.  Definitely one of my favorite parts of the week.

Another awesome experience. We went a visited a family in our ward that is facing a ton of challenges in their life right now. The dad is terminally ill, and we felt prompted to share with them the Mountains to Climb mormon message. We were all emotional by the end of it. The family looked at us with tears in their eyes and said, "You have no idea how much we needed this. You guys are angels." Those are the moments that make it all worth it. My companion and I both came out of there crying knowing how the Lord always has a plan, and how he can use us to carry out that plan. There are no flaws in the Lords plan. We are flawed, but He is perfect. We didn't know what we were going to do going in there. We honestly just shared a video and bore testimony, but it was exactly what this family needed at that time.  We may not be teaching tons of lessons, heck we may not even have any investigators, but we are still seeking out ways to do missionary work. We are working a lot with our less actives and part memebers which has been an awesome experience. We are continuing to pray to find those investigators to bring them to the fold, but are patiently waiting because God always has a perfect plan in store. Yes it has been hard, yes it has tested my patience, but it has helped me grow immensely.

On a funny note I think I'm going to gain a bijillion pounds while being here. The members take good care of us and go all out when they feed us. My companion is hilarious, she told me she feels like she has to take seconds or she thinks the people will think she doesn't like their food. The other night we went to a cambodian lady in our wards home for dinner. You should have seen the pile-up of food on my plate, but you don't want to be rude so you eat it. Pray I wont come back obese. And our pentacostal minister friend loves taking us to the buffet. Let's just say I was grateful we were able to fast two weeks in a row.

It's been a great week, and I look forward to this week. I get to go to OSU campus! So excited for that. The work truly is marvelous. How grateful I am for it and to be a missionary. Take care!

Love, Sister Mathis

Monday, March 3, 2014

Go to the Ohio...There You Shall Be Endowed with Power From on High

So here I am in the Great Ohio a place I never thought I'd end up but a place that will become home to me. I am in Hayden Run, which is right next to Dublin, but technically I'm located in Columbus. I am in a struggling area that needs miracles, but I feel blessed to be here. It may be hard, and it has already been hard, but I am called here for a reason. There are people I need to meet that the Lord has already prepared.  For this blog I wanted to list 10 things I have already learned as a missionary.

1) One of the most important things I have learned while being here is that there are angels on both sides to bear me up.  I have felt the presence of my family and loved one's. I know I do not walk this road alone. I have also felt the presence of those who have passed on. I have felt the love and support of Grandpa and Uncle Greg. It is the most comforting feeling in the world.

2) Waking up is hard. End of story. we all know I am no morning person, but I have found when I am obedient and wake up on time, workout with intensity, and pray for the Lord to strengthen me, the day goes so much better. Also mom I love you so much but no more sending sweets. Send letters of love I think I'm already gaining weight...and then it means I have to workout even harder in the morning, which at 6:30 is rather difficult.

3) Nobody said it was easy. I have without a doubt struggled already here. I have had days where I wonder what in the world I am doing. Sometimes I let my mind get the best of me and think, "man a year and a half is a long time." For those of you who are like me. Stop that! I have felt power in knowing I was called of God and knowing he so tenderly placed me here. The “My Commission” statement reads, "I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as the personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master and has chosen me, (Lauren Jane Mathis) to represent Him. To stand in His place." How grateful I am for this opportunity.

4) Getting mail is the best thing in the whole wide world.

5) A whole lot of doors don't open or close immediately when you say you're a missionary. That's okay because eventually after many streets and many doors you will find that one that opens and it will make it all worth it. If nothing else a mission teaches you humility and patience, which I surely needed and still need.

6) Your attitude determines everything. You can be down because you're in a "hard area" or you can use that as motivation to fuel your fire. You have to believe and have tremendous faith in our Father in Heaven that things will happen. I am nothing without Him but I am everything with Him.

7) Members are crucial. The "finding" part of a missionary is challenging since many people don't answer their doors these days. You members are vital. We cannot do it without you, so do not be afraid to open your mouths! If you are having the missionaries over for dinner, invite a friend or neighbors. Invite them to activities and church. The number one reason people do not go to church is because they were never invited. So help a sista out and invite, invite, invite! Listen to the "Missionary Next Door" tons of ideas there.

8)Be bold! Doubt not fear not! We have the best thing in the world; so do not be afraid to share it with others. Make others want what you have!

9) Prayer is so real. Prayers are always answered. Maybe not immediately with the answer we want, but the answer we need. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are so real, and their love is real. They are on my right hand and on my left hand. It is impossible to do missionary work without them.

10) When you are getting along with your companion any day can be a good day. If there is a problem look at yourself first because more often then not you are probably the reason. I am lucky to have such an amazing companion who is so Christlike.

I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week!

Sister Mathis