Monday, February 23, 2015

JUST Missionaries?

A little cold can't stop these missionaries!

On exchanges with a darling new missionary

Yep, That's Cold All right!! 

I feel like so much has happened this week I don't even know where to begin! I hope you are all doing well. I hope you know how much you are loved. I pray for you daily and am so eternally grateful for your faithful and inspired examples. I love checking my email Monday morning and seeing such bright, happy, and encouraging emails from you.  I love this work. I feel like I say that everyday, but I truly can't say it enough. I loved seeing pictures of my sweet cousin Camille return with honor from her mission to Trujillo, Peru. She was beaming and truly so full of life. What a special work this is in so many different aspects. How life changing it is, to give you life and increases our devotion to our Lord and Savior.

We had two big meetings this last week. One was zone conference, the other was a follow-up of zone conference. President Daines testified of the power of missionaries. He said too often you define yourself as "JUST missionaries." He boldly spoke to his missionaries and said, "you use approaches like "we're JUST missionaries stopping in your area."' He looked at us with tears in his eyes and said "Elders and are not JUST missionaries. You are so much more then that. Never sell yourself short. You are not JUST anything." You are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, His chosen servants." It was pretty powerful. We started to contact people in a different way after that meeting. Our approach turned from more of a sales pitch to a testimony of the Savior. It is hard to break molds and in fact I panicked at the first door we went to. The pressure was on. Now I had to apply all that I had been spiritually fed during the conference. I let doubt seep in. I thought to myself, I don't even know what to say to these people. I then somehow thought of one of my favorite episodes of Spongebob. Funny parallel I know, but it worked. In this particular episode Spongebob and Patrick are going door to door trying to sell chocolate. At one particular door, Patrick complete freezes. What does escape his mouth are the simple words, "I love you." It's pretty humorous, but it reminded me of an important teaching point. If the people we contact can feel loved, the love of the Savior, that is all they need to seek further progression in the gospel. Love is the essence of the gospel. We have seen success this last week as we have cut out the cushions and the blinders we so easily put up and instead went straight to the doctrine, to the love our Savior has for us. His love is enabling.
The lovely Miss Ellen was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints yesterday. I failed to mention that due to the intense weather church was cancelled last Sunday so her confirmation had to be postponed another week. Satan never ceases to dry to drag us down. I am grateful she pushed on and overcame the power of the adversary and instead listened to the promptings from our loving Heavenly Father. It was a beautiful sight to watch her as hands were placed upon her head and a prayer was uttered and a blessing given from our Heavenly Father,  through His servants who hold the divine priesthood authority.
We recently started teaching a 17 year old girl named Harlee. She was introduced to the church through her good member friend. She came to the fireside when Elder Christofferson spoke and felt the spirit. Our first lesson we tried to figure out her religious beliefs. She was uncertain. She claimed she believed in a higher power, but didn't know who or what that higher power was exactly. We had a spiritually lesson with her and committed her to praying and asking if there is a God. A week later, we met again prepared and eager to teach her the restoration. Before the lesson started, she expressed her experiences within the last week. She said, "Sisters I have learned 3 truths. 

1) I know there is a God
2) I know there is a Jesus Christ
3) I know they have always been there

It was such an amazing moment for us to take a step back and let the spirit and the power of prayer work in her life. She came to church yesterday and has been to youth night the last two weeks. She also came to the missionary fireside last night that we were so fortunate to be a part of. She has started reading the Book of Mormon and is truly seeking out answers on her own. She loved learning about the Plan of Salvation and about the restoration of Christ's church. We feel so blessed to work with such an eager and hilarious daughter of our Heavenly Father.
A challenge we were issued at church that I would like to issue to all of you. If you are having trouble feeling the Holy Ghost in your life take a moment to simply be still. The Holy Ghost more often then not speaks in a quiet and tender tone. He rarely yells and if we are too busy going face pace we will miss the inspired promptings. Let us not run too fast the race that is in front of us, and let us take a moment, even if it is just a moment to be still and listen.
I love you guys!!! Happy Happy Birthday Grammy!
Love Sister Mathis
My other twin in the mission 

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