Monday, November 17, 2014

"Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

This morning we woke up to quite a few inches of snow in this beautiful Ohio land. For p-day we are going to get together as a zone and have a snowball fight! Sounds like some serious fun to me.

In every assignment we are given in life there is something to be learned. After being here for a few weeks, I have learned more about the love of God. I have learned how perfectly he loves ALL of His children, and how that love is pure and infinite. There are many people who struggle here, many who feel abandoned and out of reach for God's love and as a servant of the Lord I feel so privileged to extend a hand as the Savior would and to try and lift these people up. Everyone in life sins. If we didn't we simply would not be here. But I love one of the leaders of our church who said, "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you." Although sin is never ok we are taught to hate the sin, but love the sinner. In my life I have had times where I am quick to judge someone else and I think that is one of the reasons I am here in this area. The Lord is helping me to overcome my weaknesses and in just a few short weeks I have felt the Lord fill me with His love. There are people I have been so grateful to meet, people that I can now view through the eyes of the Savior. I have been reading the New Testament recently and I have been fascinated with the relationships the Savior has with those He comes into contact with. He seeks out the beggar, the blind, and the broken hearted, and as a missionary I am grateful to find those lost sheep and bring them back into the fold. I am grateful for our Savior's love, and I am grateful to feel somewhat of the love our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ have for all of these people.

On Sunday, after having quite a few weeks of not having any investigators at church, we had the privilege of seeing 5 of our investigators attend church and partake of the sacrament. You cannot deny the Spirit when you are in a house of the Lord and as you partake of the sacrament and remember Him and our investigators pointed out how they had felt this way. One of the members of our ward who is a soccer coach here in town gave a great talk on our responsibilities. He talked about how after you play a game or run a race the pain comes not from what we did, but what we didn't do. I completely could relate to this statement. In high school running many races I would often evaluate and criticize my efforts. I would say things like "if only I ran a second faster, or If only I scored a couple more points for the team." So it is with life, the pain in life comes from what we are failing to achieve. Our time here on earth is short and one day we will stand before the Savior and be judged according to our works here on this earth. I do not want to approach that day with doubt and fear in my heart wondering if I have done enough. Our Savior and our Father in Heaven depend immensely on us to bring the lost souls unto them, to help our brothers and sisters become eternal families, and to prepare their children so that together we will be able to approach the throne of God with great confidence. Family and friends "do not let the fear of striking out keep your from playing the game." It is our responsibility to share the gospel at all times and in all things and in all places! What an opportunity it is to do so.

Miracles are happening daily. I have a testimony of the power of prayer. I have a testimony that the Lord will place people in our path who are willing and ready to receive the gospel. May we open our eyes to the opportunities that present themselves daily. I love you guys and am so grateful for this grateful holiday season!! I encourage you to start a grateful journal and log everyday something you are grateful for and how the Lord helped you during that day. I promise that when you start to look for things to be grateful for, you will find that you have a lot to be grateful about.

Love, Sister Mathis

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