Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I am Happy!

Hi everyone! I am running low on time this week so this is going to be short, but I want you to know how grateful I am for this gospel.  I have been so incredibly happy this last week.  I have wondered why in the world am I so happy? Why do I grin from ear to ear when doors slam in our face or people cancel on us. How am I able to smile through the tough times and through adversity. As I have contemplated this, I have realized I know that I am happy because of my Savior Jesus Christ. I am happy because I have the best message in the world to share with others. I am happy because every morning I get to put on my name badge that boldly declares my name and the name of Jesus Christ. I am happy because I have an amazing family who supports and loves me every step of the way. I am happy because I have some of the best friends around. I am happy because I am here in Ohio. I am happy because I know I do not walk this path alone. I know my Savior is with me every step of the way.

I would not have left home, giving up all that I have if I did not believe the message I have to share with others is true. I know without a doubt the Book Of Mormon is the word of God. I know God speaks to me through it and I know that He can speak to you through it as well. I know this is Christ's church once again established on the earth. I know I am in the tender hands of my Father In Heaven. I know He is my safe harbor against the ever growing storms of life. I am happy because I know Heavenly Father has a plan for me. I am happy because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Benjamín De Hoyosrms said, "Happiness comes as result of our obedience and our courage in always doing the will of God, even in the most difficult circumstances." Think about why you are happy in your life, and feel free to write back to me why you are happy! Don't worry...be happy. Life is so beautiful and there is so much to be grateful for. Have a wonderful day! I love you all so much!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Greetings from Delaware...Ohio

Hello friends and family! I have been transferred to a brand new area. It was very sad to say goodbye to Hayden Run and all the amazing people I met in it, especially my tremendous companion and best friend Sister Lacie Belle Hicken. I was truly so blessed to have served with her for those precious three months. I loved Hayden Run and I know I will remember it forever.

Delaware is actually not too far from my last area. It is beautiful country and the people are great. The church has grown so much here. What started out as a small branch has turned into a huge ward that is bursting at the seams. The members are excited about missionary work, and after an amazing and inspiring stake conference focusing on missionary work, I am excited to see what opportunities come about.

A few days ago, I was able to meet an investigator named Jack. Jack is an elderly man, who has such strong faith in Jesus Christ. He loves the Bible and has recently discovered a love for the Book Of Mormon. He came with us to church yesterday and had a great time. After church he invited us to go grab a cup of coffee. I guess the next lesson for him will be the word of wisdom and keeping the Sabbath day holy. He is a crack up and has so much personality. It took him awhile to remember my name. For some reason he kept calling me Melissa, but I know that Jack has so much potential and he would make a wonderful member of the Church.

I am thrilled for this new challenge and opportunity. I have a great new companion to serve with and a great new area to work with.

I delight in hearing from all of you. Remember each one of you can be a disciple of Jesus Christ. My favorite quote of the week comes from Elder Holland and says, "You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our houses left unto us desolate-desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations."

Defend your faith. Stand up for what is true, and invite those you care and love to hear the message we have to offer. We do not want to be left desolate!

Love you lots!

Sister Mathis

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jacob Chapter 5

At the very beginnning of my mission I was reading the Book Of Mormon in Jacob. Together as a companionship we were reading chapter 5. I've always remembered this chapter as the "long chapter" that I never really wanted to read. In fact I can remember I would complain when we would have family scripture study and my mom would choose it to read. When I read it this time my eyes filled with tears. In verse 21 and 22, the servant says to the Master, "How come you have planted this tree in the poorest spot in all of the land." I thought about myself as the laborer. I read this and though Heavenly Father how can you plant me a "weak tree" in this "hard" spot. The Vineyard is large, why here? Why Ohio? Why this area? I remember getting discouraged. I knew it would be hard. I was placed as a new missionary, in a new area that had a lot of work to be done. I felt weak. I felt inadequate. The Lord in this chapter then responds to the servant and really to all of us, "I knew that it was a poor spot of ground, wherefore I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou hast beholdest that it has brought forth much fruit." 
As transfer day has come and I have recieved a call that I will be leaving this area, I am sad to say the least. I know the Lord has placed me here for a reason. I have met people that have changed my life, that have touched my heart and have taught me how to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. My testimony has been strengthened in ways I didn't even know possible. I now know this area is not a poor area at all. In fact it is rich, full of those who want to learn more, because of the Lord's hand. He loves his people here just as much as He loves them anywhere else. I know the Lord has helped me to grow and nourish just as the tree's in this allegory have grown. I have loved serving here in Hayden Run. It has truly been exactly what I needed. I know God has a plan, better than the plan I have for myself. I am excited for change. I know the Lord will once again reach His hand down to me and strengthen me so that I will be able to bring forth "good fruit." I know He has the power to make weak things become strong. He has done so with me. I still have a ways to go, but I thank my Heavenly Father for being so patient with me. Tree's do not grow right away, they grow little by little. I know the Lord works with each of us daily to help us grow and become more like our Father in Heaven.

I stand as a witness that I know that Christ lives. I know my Father in Heaven lives and loves us. With their divine help we can be molded into the people we are destined to become.

I will miss Sister Hicken. She has been an amazing
companion and now will be a friend forever.

I am excited to see where the Lord takes me tomorrow.  Love you all! Have a great week! Have a great week!
-Love Sister Mathis

Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him

As many of you know my precious little two year old cousins Charlotte and Julia have made a cover appearance on the 2014 Conference Ensign! I love this picture! I love the simplicity behind it, but I also love the symbolism it holds.
It reminds me of my favorite part in the Book Of Mormon when the Resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, comes to the Americas. He spends hours with over 2,000 people, blessing them, healing them, praying for them, and weeping over them. He has the children come forth one by one, and prays for each one of them. My favorite scripture since I was a little girl is third Nephi chapter 17 verse 21 and it says, "and when He (Jesus) had said these words, He wept. And the multitude bare record of it. And He took their little children one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them." He knows us one by one. He loves us one by one. He knows everything that we are and everything that we can be. He loves us perfectly. He beckons us to follow Him. His arms are outstretched towards us, reaching out to help us along our journey. The Savior later goes on to say in this chapter, "Behold your little ones."
In this picture, the sweet little girls are climbing up to see their Savior. They are so valuable to Him. He longs for them to make it home. Their eyes are looking up toward Him, and He looks as if He is looking right at them. They know who He is. Not long ago they were with Him and with our Heavenly Father in Heaven.  His hands are reaching down, showing them the scars He aquired for us. Showing all who believe in Him the sacrifice that has been made for us to be able to live with our Heavenly Father again. We are commanded many times in the scriptures to become like a child. No wonder the Savior reiterates this to us. Children are pure, full of love, they are submissive, they understand who their Savior is, because they were just with Him. 
Elder Holland said,  "When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made hiss and byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life." I want you all to know that I know without a doubt that my Savior lives. I know He knows me, He knows my pain and He knows my joy. I know that the stories in the Book Of Mormon can relate to me just as much as they can relate to the people years ago. I often put myself into their shoes and imagine what it would be like if I were one of those children that was able to come forward to meet my Savior. I think of the day when the Savior will come again and we will have the honor and privilege of standing before Him and be able to thank Him for everything He has done for us. I love Him, and I am eternally grateful for Him.
May we all look up to our Savior and the example He set. May we remember His sacrifice, and the scars that were left in His perfect hands for us.
I love you all. Happy Mothers Day!