Monday, October 20, 2014
"It's a great day to be a missionary!"I know that this work in absolutely true because if it isn't I wouldn't be here for one second. I know that our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ lead and guide this work and we have the privilege of being their mouthpieces here upon this earth. C.S Lewis once said,"There are no ordinary people" and I echo his statement. There are people out there, extraordinary people who are waiting to hear the gospel. Clarence McGuire is one of these people.A few months back Sister Schauer's and I were pretty exhausted and starting to get discouraged. We were knocking a particular street and were about to leave because after knocking quite a few doors nothing was coming of it. In all that we do though we try to find "the why" behind it. We knew Heavenly Father had guided us to that street for a reason and we didn't want to give up until we found that reason. So we decided to knock one more door. This door was on the very end of the street, the very last house, and as we walked up we saw a man outside listening to his radio. We thought it was a miracle just to be able to catch someone outside that we could talk to. Just yesterday Clarence shared his input and was joking cursing that dumb radio, because it was on so loud he didn't hear us walking up. He claims he didn't have a chance to run from us. It wasn't your typical first lesson, but it was exactly what Clarence needed and what caused him to want to learn more. We got into some very deep doctrine and began to teach him about the plan of salvation and the importance of the temple. The spirit was there and we knew he could feel something and we were hopeful for the future. We set up a time to come back and lo and behold when we went back, he wasn't there. Sister King and I were pretty depressed. We tried time and time again to see him but every time we tried to visit, he was either sleeping or not there. Eventually after many attempts we decided that he probably wasn't prepared at this time and didn't want to learn more, but we decided to try just one more time, just to be sure. His step-son answered the door this time and explained that Clarence was not there but miraculously the step-son came out and started talking to us. During that time we were talking, Clarence pulled into the driveway. "Ah-ha," we thought, "You can run but you can't hide." Just kidding, we do nothing to take away anyone's agency. Well, Clarence came and sat down and we had a beautiful lesson with him. From that day on he never once canceled an appointment. He was always there eager and ready to learn and he always kept his commitments, and more importantly didn't take our word for it but sought out answers on his own through earnest prayer. If we had just given up on him, which we were so close to doing, he would never have received the blessings of this gospel. Just two days ago Clarence, at the youthful age of 76 was baptized and yesterday he was confirmed a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Clarence with his family
Brothers and Sister, family and friends- whatever you may be going through the Lord is mindful of you. Do not give up when times get hard and things may seem impossible. Keep fighting and proving to the Lord that you are willing to go that extra mile. I promise if we walk a little further and exercise our faith, even though it may only feel like a small particle, the Lord will bless us.
Sister George made these darling skirts for us!It is a beautiful day to be a missionary! I love you guys!Love Sister Mathis
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
"It is impossible to fail when you do your best when you are on the Lord's errand!"
Sam and Tabby's Baptism with Sister King and meHello amazing people! Just wanted to start out by saying how much I love you guys and also how much I absolutely love being a missionary! This work is amazing, it is the most beautiful work to be a part of and all of us have the divine privilege and responsible to share this gospel with those around us, to let them be embraced in a gospel full of eternal and pure joy. This week Sister King and I had the beautiful opportunity to watch Sam and Tabby enter the waters of baptism. For years they have waited and prepared for this day and finally the circumstances were right and they were able to make that lasting covenant with their Father in Heaven. Sister King and I were emotional when we walked into the church and saw the chapel packed with people for this baptism. We were worried no one would come since not many members know these girls. It was the most people I had ever seen at a baptism and they all came to support them. Many of the ward members had never even met them and yet they came and the support was beyond words. They loved these girls and took them in under their wings. It was a unique baptism and there were quite a few missionaries there, missionaries who had taught these precious sisters in the past and each missionary was able to bear testimony to them on the importance of baptism. Well unfortunately we have to come clean. We blew it big time. We failed to turn on the heater in the baptismal font and so the water was freezing. Since Sam is already terribly afraid of water, having ice cold water did not help the situation. Needless to say they went through with it anyway and the cheesy line of the night was although the water was cold the spirit in the room was warm. The poor girls did not stop shivering the whole meeting but it was one of the best and lively baptismal services I have been in. At the end their mother asked, "Is there usually this many people at baptisms?" We told her we had never seen this many people. She then said with tears in her eyes, "you mean to tell me that all these people came to support my girls?" She has seen a difference in their countenances and she has a desire to learn more and find for herself this happiness that has been missing from her life for so long.
|The Blessing of the Que Kiddos|
Yesterday it was a beautiful sacrament service. Gabbie and Cesar's radiant children were each blessed, and the prayers that were given in their behalf came uniquely and individually by the spirit. They were said in Spanish so I couldn't understand very much, but the spirit that filled the room as the prayers were being said was incredible. Just looking at this glowing family I started to have tears fill my eyes, and I felt so grateful Heavenly Father allowed me to be a part of their lives. I watched Cesar tenderly hold his new baby in his careful arms, I saw Christian intently watching the worthy priesthood holders bless and pass the sacrament, I watch Gabbie reflect on her tender motherly capabilities as she cared for her children and I saw Emilee smile back at me with a smile as big as the sun. As I watched the love this family had for each other it made me think of my amazing family. Sam and Tabby were also confirmed members of the church of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. After the prayers were said they looked so peaceful and happy. I loved sitting in that meeting with the Que family in front of me, Sam to my side, and Clarence, Tabby, and my wonderful companion sitting right behind me.Lastly an update on Mr. Clarence. He is the most hilarious, stubborn, hard headed, loving 76 year old in the world, and he feels completely like family to me. We were having a lesson with him Monday last week and suddenly I just happened to glance over at a calendar which was on the wall right behind him. For weeks he had been praying about being baptized on the 18th of this month. Well when I looked at the calendar I happened to notice there was something written on the 18th. The only day on the whole calendar with something written on it was the 18th. Since we were a ways away from the calendar we couldn't quite make out what was written so we asked Clarence and he started blushing and got the biggest grin on his face and he said, "it says join the church!" He had prayed and received his answer. I want to testify to all of you that I know with all the certainty of my heart that God hears and answers our prayers. If you think for one second He is not mindful of your prayers, think again! He is actively engaged in our lives and His whole work and purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Clarence has his baptismal interview tonight and we are so excited for the incredibly bright future that he holds.
Here's something you don't see every day: Helping Gabbie to her carI have a testimony of this gospel. I have a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lived and He died for us, and lives still and directs this work. Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ love us more then anything. I love you guys and I hope you all have an incredible week. Remember who you are and on whose side you stand for and never forget which way you face.Love Sister Mathis
Monday, October 6, 2014
What a week it has been in the service of the Lord. How privileged I feel to be one of the 88 thousand missionaries serving around the world. This work is so sacred and it is a complete blessing to be a part of it.Last week we had a specialized training meeting composed of 4 different zones. There was a large group of us missionaries in attendance and we all sat anxiously wondering what this meeting would be about. President Daines got up to open the meeting and said and I quote, "Remember how we talked about the Movie 'Meet The Mormons' that the church is putting out? Well today we are going to be watching that movie!" There was dead silence for a minute, because never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be able to watch a movie on our mission that wasn't "The Restoration" or "Finding Faith in Christ" let alone a movie that had not even been released into theaters yet! The missionaries went wild! It was the best day ever and I highly recommend if that movie comes to theaters near you, you take the time to go and see it. It is a powerful and uplifting movie and it explains some of the common misconceptions the Mormon religion faces.
This is how we found Clarence when we showed up on his porch for a lesson
Last Sunday, as I wrote about in my previous email, we were able to bring one of our investigators to church named Clarence. He thoroughly enjoyed church and claimed it was different than any other church he had been to since no one was standing up front yelling at him to repent or he was going to hell. We had a good laugh about that. We asked him in a later lesson, what was the deciding factor that made him come to church. He thought for a minute and said, "Well I woke up like any ordinaryand got ready for the Flea market, but something just didn't feel quite right. An impression came to me that I needed to go to church." And Clarence being the stubborn man that he is said, "So I ignored it and went and watched TV. As I was watching TV the impression came again and again each time it came back stronger then before until I could not ignore it any longer so I hopped in my car and drove to church. "What an amazing moment it was to drive into the parking lot of the church and see his old blue pickup truck in the front of the parking lot. The following Clarence had an appointment with the eye doctor. He didn't even want to go to the appointment because he feared what the doctor would tell him. He knew he had a blockage in his eye and if he did not treat it with surgery he would go blind in that eye. He had been praying hard and long for this visit with the doctor, yet he was very nervous. When the doctor examined him, He and Clarence could not believe it. The blockage in his eye was completely gone. The Lord was so mindful of Clarence and was rewarding him for his obedience to the promptings of the Spirit by providing him with this incredible miracle. Our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ were saying to Clarence "here I am" and Clarence at that point knew how much he mattered to them.
The other huge miracle and blessing of this last week was Sam and Tabby were interviewed and found worthy to be baptized thisWe are so happy to share this special day with them and we know it will be the best decision they have ever made. We had a moving lesson with tears in our eyes about the importance of baptism and how proud their Father in Heaven is with them for making this decision. They know the commitment they are making and although it may not always be easy they know they are making the right decision. Our district leader was blown away by the strength of their testimonies. They have faced many challenges and have climbed many mountains already in their young ages and finally they will have something that no one can take from them, something that will continue to bring them true and lasting happiness. I love these girls and am excited to share with them.Lastly I loved general conference. I was amazed at how often this scripture found in Helaman came up during the sessions. I think it is so fitting for our day and age. The scripture reads,Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons (my friends and my family), remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.We must constantly be building upon that rock who is Jesus Christ.Love you guys! Thank you for the prayers, the letters and the support in my behalf and in the behalf of all the people out here in OhioLove Sister Mathis