Monday, January 5, 2015

Eleven Months In Ohio!

Sometimes you just have to bring your
Superhero alter ego to the lesson with you

Happy 2015! What a great year this year is going to be. Today marks my 11 month mark as a missionary. I cannot believe how fast time flies and how around this time last year I was setting goals, and making resolutions on the type of missionary I wanted to be. I was preparing to enter the mission field and now it surreal to think I have almost been out a year. I know I say this all the time, but I am so humbled and grateful to be a missionary, to be a fighting force for the Lord's strong and fearless army. This last week I was feeling inadequate as a sister training leader, and as a missionary. It's easy to let the natural man get the best of you and make you feel that you are not good enough for a certain task. Satan is always trying to undermine and hide out potential. As I was feeling this way, and feeling like I wasn't quite measuring up to the high standards, I read a scripture that illustrated my Father in Heaven's love for me.  In the book of Acts, Paul has an incredible conversion, and ends up being a huge instrument in the hands of the Lord, but at first he feels unfit for the position. He was a chosen vessel in the hands of the Lord despite the weaknesses he knew he carried. He ends up testifying and saying how hopeful he is finishing this journey of ministering to the people with joy. And then he says the words, "have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."  When I read that I felt the trust my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ have in me. They received me with open arms and trusted me, knowing my flaws and imperfections to teach the precious message of the gospel. Heavenly Father trusts me with His children. I am grateful to be one of His many hands on this earth to further the work. Paul finishes the chapter by saying these uplifting words from our Savior, "take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flockover the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseersto feed the church of God."

We had two pretty neat moments this last week. We got a media referral from church headquarters which is always exciting and so we decided to go immediately. We had little information about the person we would contact, just a name and we knew he wanted a copy of the bible. We tried over three times to contact this individuall and he was never home, but his parents were. It was so hard to meet Calvin! Finally we decided to give it one more try. We knocked on the door and out came this little nine year old boy, sweet as can be and just beaming with light. He said, "Are you the bible girls?!? I have been waiting for you!" I have never seen anyone so excited to learn more about Jesus Christ. We went back the next day and he had already read some of the bible and loved telling us about it. We gave him a Book Of Mormon stories book and hope to be able to start teaching his family. They seem open to the idea. We are grateful for the miracle of this little boy who had the courage to go online and look for where he  could get a copy of the bible. I love working with little children. We are working with a lot of them in this area. Little wonder that Christ tells us to become as little children. They carry such a bright spirit.

Our second miracle was finding sweet Ellen. She just moved into our area, so we went over to help her move. As we were helping her move and had literally just met her she turned to me and said, "I really want to be baptized into your church." I sat there in utter confusion for a moment and thought to myself, did this really just happen? Talk about a golden investigator. She is incredible and it is easy to see how she has been prepared by the hand of the Lord. She has a 9 year old son who joined the church a year ago and she attended his baptism. She felt a spirit like she had never felt before as she watched that sacred ordinance take place. She has been baptized in two other churches but explained to us that something was different about her son's baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She longs to have what her son has. We were over quite a bit the last week and had some incredibly powerful, spirit filled lessons. We extended a baptismal date of the 14th of February. After we invited her she sat there for a minute and then exclaimed with a reverenced excitement how right that felt. We told her to pray about it and find out if it truly is right for her. Tonight we are so excited to go over and see if she has received a confirmation from the spirit. My heart was touched as we were in a lesson with her, and I was emotional. I felt such a strong love for this struggling mother who is so ready to get on the straight and narrow. Heavenly Father is filling me with so much of His love for this sweet lady, and I have reason to think that I have known her before because of the strong connection we made right away. I love this gospel. I love how Heavenly Father place certain people in our life who we need and who need us. I know His tender hand is in ever detail of this work.

On a funny note I have been kissed countless times this last week, on the cheek by a few 70 year old ladies that are missing some teeth. Don't know what I did to deserve that haha.

The Buckeyes are amazing! Sounded like a great win. We had an investigator try and get us to watch the game with her. Her claim was, "I will pray and ask God if you can watch it." I couldn't help but laugh at that. I am excited to see how this next big game goes down! Fans are intense here and we would be foolish to knock doors during the game unless we were asking them for the score.

Have a tremendous week! Set goals, work hard to achieve them, and have fun this new year! As President Hinkley said, "Life is to be enjoyed not just endured!" Love you guys!!

Love Sister Mathis

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