Monday, September 29, 2014

I am a Child of God

Clarence Comes to Church!

There is so much to be grateful for in this beautiful world we were given!

I cannot fully express the gratitude that is just swelling in my heart. This week has been absolutely incredible for so many reasons.

As many of you know we have two darling sisters preparing for baptism. Last week they came with us to church and were just radiating light. The following Monday we went over to have a lesson with them. They come from very humble circumstances, in fact they don't have very much at all and sometimes it is difficult to feel the spirit in their home, but when we went in on Monday we walked in and their home looked beautiful. They had rearranged the furniture, there was a picture of the Savior on the wall, and they spent a good deal of time cleaning it. We walked in and their home had a completely different feel. I felt the spirit as I have never felt before. It was overpowering as I walked in and it was incredibly moving especially as I looked into the faces of these beautiful girls and saw a happiness and a glow as I had never before seen in them. It is moments like this one that I would not trade for anything.

A few weeks ago we were feeling pretty down when an investigator who we knew had shown a lot of promise informed us that she did not want to take the lessons anymore. We couldn't quite figure out how she had come to that conclusion, in fact just the day before she had knelt down and prayed with us for the first time in years and she uttered the most beautiful prayer. We knew she felt the spirit and Heavenly Father knew she had felt it and He was not going to let her slip through the cracks. The day after she decided not to pursue the lessons, Heavenly Father answered her desperate plea and blessed her with a miracle that is inexplicable except through the power of God. She knew, with that answer to prayer, that Heavenly Father knew exactly who she was and what she was going through and she knew she needed to start taking the lessons again. On Saturday we were able to have a spirit filled lesson with her and extend a baptismal invitation of the 25th of October. It was incredible how before we even extended, she had brought up the principle of baptism on her own. She knew it was a necessary step and she explained how she had been baptized before, but she didn't feel any different after that ordinance. She felt incomplete, like something was missing. We explained how this time when she is baptized it would be done exactly how Christ was baptized with the proper Priesthood authority. It would be complete. And following the baptismal ordinance would come the beautiful gift of the Holy Ghost. Since Saturday she has told all of her friends to come to her baptism! The excitement in this girl is incredible and from day one I knew she would be something special. So pray for the amazing Tessa as we prepare for this life changing day.  Now I have to tell the funny story that went along with this lesson. Pretty much right after we walked in the door to meet with her, Tessa asked how many people could baptize her. We told her one person could baptize her and one person could confirm her. She looked a little sad and said, "ah man because I was hoping you two could baptize me." I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite line in the movie Pirates of The Caribeean when Barbosa says, "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request...means no." We had a good laugh but we knew we had some clarifying to do.

Also on Saturday we had a lesson with an older gentleman named Clarence who we have been teaching for a few months now. Clarence is amazing, in fact he reminds me a lot of my amazing Uncle Greg, and I can't help but think that my uncle Greg is helping us teach Clarence from the other side of the veil. Clarence loves to tell stories and has quite the sense of humor. Clarence loves to tell us, "I have gone from church to church trying to find answers to these questions and no one could do it. I don't know how you young ladies did it, but you answered those questions that nobody else could." At the end of the lesson we talked to him boldly about church and the importance of it, however he did not give us a definite answer of if he would be there or not. We called him on Saturday evening to see if we could get an answer and all we got was his voicemail. On Sunday before church we decided to drive over to his home to see if he was there. His famous blue truck was nowhere in sight. I told Sister King, "He is either one of two places. He is at the farmer's market (which he goes to every Sunday) or he is at church." We said a few silent prayers in our heart that he would be there. We pulled into the parking lot of the church and guess whose blue truck was parked right front and center? It was Clarence's! He arrived  half an hour early dressed in a very nice suit (which was an accomplishment in itself since he hates having to dress up).  At the end of the meeting he expressed how much he enjoyed it and how strong he could feel the spirit. He even went up to the bishop and said, "these sister are accomplishing miracles. They got me to pray out loud for the first time in my life, and they got me to come to church for the first time in 40 years." Now I know without a doubt it wasn't us that made these miracles happen. It was my Father in Heaven and all those angels who are watching over Clarence.

One more amazing moment of the week! We were able to take the other Sam to the General Relief Society broadcast. As we sang the well known song, "I Am A Child of God" tears filled my eyes as I looked down and saw Sam singing so beautifully. Just months prior Sam did not believe in a God. She did not know she had a Father in Heaven who loves her and cares about her and her she was months later singing and testifying that she is a child of God.

I love this work. Spreading the gospel is my source of true and lasting happiness. I know miracles are happening everyday and if we take a moment to express our gratitude daily we will come to find out how many tender mercies are bestowed upon us daily.

I love you guys!

Sister Mathis

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