Monday, March 30, 2015

Converted and Comfortable

"The more converted we become the more comfortable we are with our religion, and we begin to feel an increasing desire for others to enjoy the blessings of the gospel." -from an Ensign article September 2012
Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting I felt compelled by Spirit to bear my testimony. I stood up in front of the crowd and declared the important truths I have come to know. At the end of my testimony I was overcome with emotion and I began to weep. I testified of how grateful I was to be a missionary, and to wear our Savior's name. I believe with my whole heart there is no greater calling then that of sharing the gospel with those we love. 

This week was incredible and I think I began to feel more of how special of a calling it is to be a servant of the Lord. It was a stressful week where we were anxiously praying for things to fall into place.

I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with a sweet Sister from New Albany. We had a busy day and were working hard. We received a phone call about halfway through the day saying that our dinner appointment for the evening was canceled. We thought to ourselves of alternative possibilities for dinner. We thought of going home, and also debated going to a restaurant close by.  At this point you're probably wondering why in the world I am telling you this pointless story. Well stay tuned, because this story became one of the most powerful and inspiring times of my mission and I can assure you that these little details matter.  After some deliberation and prayer we both felt inspired to go to Olive Garden. I know our Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways, and I thought to myself what a funny prompting to go to Olive Garden. I didn't mind it one bit though since I love that place. Well Sister Preston and I enjoyed a nice dinner and had the sweetest waitress. We left a pass-along card on the table and started to make our way to the door. Right before we reached the doors our waitress came running up to us and said "Wait! I noticed your badges, and I was wondering what church you guys went to. My family and I have really been searching for a new church to attend." Sister Preston and I stood there for a moment awe-struck. We started to tell her our basic beliefs. We testified of Heavenly Father's plan and allowed the Spirit to come in. The Spirit was so strong right there in the middle of the restaurant and I know she felt it. She began to tear up as she told us that her 5 year old daughter had just lost her father to cancer and it had been a trying time for her family. We invited her to come to church to feel peace and love. Well guess what! This amazing lady with her 5 year old daughter showed up to church yesterday. It was a complete miracle from a small and simple prompting.  I know how perfectly our Heavenly Father works. I love how He is involved in every detail, great or small. I know He led us to this precious and prepared daughter of His.

Sister Ure, Harlee and me
Our beautiful Sister Harlee entered the waters of baptism this weekend and was confirmed the following Sunday. It was a very spiritual baptism. One of her best friends who introduced her to the church spoke and gave a beautiful talk. Her father and her sister both were able to come and her sister even stayed after for the Relief Society Broadcast. We are so proud of Harlee. We know the journey will be rocky and there is a long road ahead, but we know how much her Heavenly Father, that she now has a personal relationship, will help her as she continues to build upon her testimony. She also has an incredible ward family to stay by her side. 
Harlee surrounded by her beautiful and faithful Young Women Friends

Okay one more exciting event of the week. Ahhh I can hardly contain myself!!!!!!!! Dakota is going to be baptized at the end of April!!!! We are so proud of this little 10 year old boy. He has probably taught me the most while I have been out on my mission. Together with his family he had been praying for a baptismal date and yesterday we received such a tender text from his mother saying he was ready.

If you can't tell. I LOVE THIS WORK! The stressful moments, the beautiful moments and everything in between.
Harlee with Bishop Watt

There is an amazing new Easter Mormon message and I invite you all to watch it. I add my testimony that I know He lives. How comforting that scripture is in the New Testament, "He is not here, for He has risen. My challenge is the same to all of you. Find him. Strengthen your relationship. He loves you perfectly and infinitely.

Happy Easter and enjoy General Conference!

Sister Mathis

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