Monday, February 16, 2015


Ellen's Baptism
February 14, 2015
I read a talk this week from a sister missionary that I just loved. It is titled "The Honest Truth About Missions." She explained how when she was fairly new to her mission she was meeting with her mission president and he relayed an important truth to her. He looked this missionary in the eyes and said, "missions are 98% hard work, struggle, disappointment, difficulty, sorrow, and even pain. 2%.....2% is pure joy."  Pure joy. There is nothing that can compare with watching those you love accept Jesus Christ into their lives. It is completely pure and beautiful. That 2% makes it all worth it.  With things of worth in this life comes sacrifice. Has my mission been easy?  Absolutely not. I've cried tears of sorrow, I've felt the pain of rejection, I've missed weddings of family members and friends, I've missed missionary homecomings, and I've missed watching my sweet little cousins grow up. Yet somehow it has been the most worthwhile thing I have ever done in my entire life.  I love my mission. I love every single aspect of missionary work. I love the hard days as well as the easy days, and can testify to how pure and tangible that joy is.

Watching Ellen make such special promises with our Heavenly Father brought such peace and a joy like no other into my life. After she was submersed into the water she stood in the font for just a moment as tears streamed down her face and the light of Christ touched her heart.  We ran to the bathroom after to embrace her in our arms. I felt my love for her as I held her, but what was even more powerful was the love I felt that was not my own. I felt an incredible amount of love from our Father in Heaven for His precious daughter. She was clean, she was pure, she was whole, and she was beautiful. She was glowing. She bore her testimony for all in attendance to hear and I kid you not there was not a dry eye in the audience as she testified of the change that occurred in her as she accepted Jesus Christ and His gospel into her life. What was especially neat was that she had invited a friend to come to the baptism who was not a member. Before the baptism Ellen bore testimony of the Book Of Mormon and handed her friend her very own copy of the Book Of Mormon to read. I truly believe miss Ellen is one of our Heavenly Father's choice daughters. He has given her mountains to climb and her life has been far from easy, but now she has a brand new beginning with many tools to help her get to the top.

I testify of the power the gospel has to change hearts and lives. I have seen beautiful and dramatic differences in those who follow the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Everything we are and everything we hope to become we owe to Him.I got a letter from my good pal Clarence this week. It made me emotional to get such an amazing letter from him. He is continuing to grow stronger and stronger. He had been out home teaching and was heading to the temple. The gospel can and will change anyone and  everyone's life, if you let it. I love this sacred and special work. It is vital for us to strengthen our brothers and sisters. The work is hastening, there are hearts to touch and souls to save!

I had the opportunity to finish the Book Of Mormon this morning and I want to leave you with my testimony of the Book Of Mormon. It's incredible how attached to that book I have become. When I was reading the last few chapters this morning I was torn because I didn't want it to end, but the beauty of the Book Of Mormon is you can never get enough of it. Every single time you read it, something new will touch your heart, and fill your mind. I felt the spirit so strong this morning as I was reading in Moroni. I felt the conviction of his testimony. I love when he defend his faith. Others around him are being put to death because of their faith and he boldly declares "And I Moroni will not deny the Christ." I Sister Mathis (or insert your name) will never deny my Savior Jesus Christ. I will defend Him, and walk with Him. I am eternally grateful for Him. I feel such peace when I read from the Book Of Mormon. In the confusion of the world, I feel calm learning from the teachings within each page.  I know the Book of Mormon is true because I have questioned it. I have done as Moroni beckons us and put it to the test. It has passed every time on all accounts. It answers the deepest questions of the soul, but more importantly it helps us to know our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and how to become like Them.  I know our Savior lives. I know He loves you. His love is real. Seek for it. I am grateful to have the truth I have and I am so grateful to be serving the Lord at this precious time.

I sure love you guys!  

Sister Mathis

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