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