Monday, August 25, 2014

Come and Follow

This week has been an incredible week, a week where we have learned a lot. The quote of the week comes from my very own companion, Sister King, and goes as follows, "Heavenly Father wanted to humble us. And it worked...real good." It has been a humbling week, a week where we truly had to forget ourselves and get to work. We had to learn how much Heavenly Father is in charge, and I had to forsake my own will and turn myself to Heavenly Father and align myself with His will. I became completely dependent on my Savior and His atonement to plead for forgiveness for my weaknesses and shortcomings. At our zone conference President Daines and his sweet wife talked to us about the statement "come and follow." They explained how the word "come" involves sacrifice. It includes stepping out of the worldly threshold and defending your faith and giving up things along the way. It involves the attitude of not what can I get out of this, but what can I give? The word "follow" means to consecrate. To consecrate means to follow His will and not ours. Some attributes of a consecrated missionary can include, they know who their Savior is, they have taken upon themselves His name and bear His cross, they are valiant, charitable, filled with hope, patient yet they realize the sense of urgency to spread the gospel, and they are grateful and repentant.

When I thought of an example in the scriptures of someone who is consecrated I thought about Alma and the Sons of Mosiah who had given themselves "to much prayer and fasting" and had the attitude that they could not bear that any human soul should perish. I was also reminded of the Lamanites. The Lamanites who were strong and the ones who did not fall away were those who had a testimony AND were converted. Our gospel is a complete gospel of action. It is not enough simply to believe. We must act on the principles we believe. We must defend our faith. Now is the time to spread the gospel. In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says, "I will hasten the work in its time. "Brother and Sisters, friends and family, it's time! What are we waiting for? One of the leaders of the church stated in the recent conference "catch the wave." Do it and do it now. Our brothers and our sisters are waiting to hear the message we have to share. Pray for opportunities to share, and I promise you if you are paying attention to the promptings you will receive and recognize answers to your prayers. I know this to be true. I have felt Heavenly Father physically place people in my path who are in dire need of the gospel. I have felt His tender hands guide me in this marvelous work. I love this gospel. I love my Savior. I love this work!

To end I want to share my new favorite scriptures with you! This is Alma speaking and I love what he says. He says,

 22 Yea, methought saw, even as our father Lehi‍ saw, God sitting upon his throne,surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising‍ their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.
 23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength‍ again, and stood upon my feet,and did manifest unto the people that had been born of God.
 24 Yea, and from that time even until now, have labored without ceasing, that might bring souls unto repentancethat might bring them to taste‍ of the exceeding joy of which did taste; that they might also be born of Godand be filled‍ with the Holy Ghost.
 25 Yea, and now behold, my son, the Lord doth give‍ me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;
I like Alma imagine my ancestors who have passed on united and glorified singing praises with God and just like Alma, I long to be there with them. I know I have to do everything I can to make it there. We have to "labor without ceasing" and we have to help our fellow man so they can make it there with their families.  I love you all! You are all so special and divine and I am so grateful for you. I hope you have a tremendous week!

Love Sister Mathis

Monday, August 18, 2014

Joy and Heartbreak

Look what Sister Mathis got...A haircut!!

Joke of the week- What kind of a pet did Lehi and his family have?

Hello my amazing friends and family. This week has been such a bittersweet week. I remember my teacher in the MTC tell me, "as a missionary you will never experience such joy, but you will also never experience such heartbreak." A mission is full of ups and downs, bumps and curves and unexpected detours. It is an exciting roller coaster that I am so fortunate to be riding on. A mission is a trial of your faith, and your ability to endure to the end. Everyday my faith is challenged and as a result I can honestly say I've never before felt my faith grow so strong. I am constantly building my foundation on the rock and just like we are taught in Mosiah that when we build our foundation on Jesus Christ, the winds, the shafts in the whirlwind, the hail, and the storms shall not have power over us. I am grateful for that rock we are able to build upon. I realized this week that I must constantly be putting forth my best effort because I know there's no way I could walk up to my Heavenly Father and say, "I am sorry. I just couldn't do it. It was just too hard. I gave up." That's not who I am. I am strong because He has made me strong. I know I am nothing without Him and I can easily recognize my imperfections but I can fully testify that He is working with me every step of the way.
May we all run this race we have entered. May we work hard and put up a good fight. If you will remember the most recent conference, this is our four minutes! That is all we have. Four minutes to show Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that we are worthy of their presence. Turn to our Savior. He is there for all of us. He loves us more then we can even begin to comprehend. I love you guys. I appreciate your support. I want to hear how you are doing. I want to hear your testimonies. Please feel free to write me

Sister Lauren Mathis
19 Clairedan Dr.
Powell, OH 43065

I love you all so very much, but even more importantly I know how much your Savior loves all of you.

To end the joke:

Lehi and his family were commanded to take their family and FLEA into the wilderness.

Have a wonderful week. Work hard and have fun!

Love Sister Mathis
Lauren's Third companion Sister King from Pocatello, ID 

Lauren's Second companion Sister Schauers from California

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Savior

Years ago was born a babe in a stable far away
He did not have a place to lay His head, except a manger full of hay
He was sent down to earth from our Heavenly Father as a symbol of His love
He patiently waited  for His turn to come down and leave His home above

Willingly He came, knowing  what was to come
He walked the roads of Jerusalem hoping to unite the people as one
Miracles He performed, the blind He caused to see
He led a perfect example and said to others “Come and follow me.”

Judged and condemned at times our valiant Savior must have felt
I wonder if He ever was discouraged and thought, “Why can’t it be someone else?”
But onward walked the Messiah,  by faith rather than sight
He was the promised Savior that filled the world with light

His love is unfailing; it simply will always be there
I cannot fully comprehend that love, the love I yearn to share
In Gethsemane He bled for me and did what no mortal could do
Have you ever stopped to ponder, He bled and died for you?

Our Savior and Redeemer suffered for us and bled from every pore
His loving hands became a symbol, broken, battered, and torn.
On the cross He was lifted up for all the world to see
In pain and agony He  cried out “Abba,” Daddy, “Why have you forsaken me?”

He vicariously gave His life to atone for men and save us all from sin
Because of Him we can all be forgiven if only we let Him in.
And on the third day He rose again perfected and glorified,
I often stop to wonder what it will be like when I get to stand before His eyes.

I imagine He will call me by name and know exactly who I am.
He will wipe the tears from my face and take me by the hand.
I hope to hear the uttered words once spoken long ago 
“Well done thou good and faithful servant...thy faith hath made thee whole.”
-Sister Lauren Mathis