Hello Friends! I thought I would start out this weekly email with a little statistic. As of a few days ago we were visiting a lovely member of the ward. She told us that in the last 15 days, the temperature had been above freezing for a total of 2 hours! I am starting to understand the trek the pioneers made a little bit more.This week has been amazing! It has been another busy week in the wonderful service of the Lord. The week started out with another zone meeting. We have been so fortunate lately to have so many meeting to help fill our minds and our souls spiritually. During the meeting we had a panel of recent converts come and testify of their conversion and also on the things the missionaries did right...or wrong. It was a fun learning activity. After the meeting we traveled to Zanesville where I went on an exchange with the wonderful Sister LeBaron who has been out on her mission for almost a transfer now. I am grateful and humbled by the strength of these new missionaries. As a Sister Training Leader I am called to lead by example and help provide training for these missionaries, yet I always come out of them feeling I have learned the most. There is strength and something you can learn behind each person you come into contact with. I am grateful that we as humans have the ability to grow stronger and learn from our mistakes daily. I love the scripture in Ether that talks about how the Lord has the power to make weak things strong. He has done that with me, and I still have an incredibly long way to go. I love the refiner's fine, and how our Heavenly Father can sculpt us into the divine sons and daughters He sees us as.This week a beautiful miracle happened. I have a firm testimony that our Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers, but He will do it in His own way and in His own time. I put my faith forward and applied to BYU one more time. I was nervous, yet excited. I was scared for the outcome, and I knew how devastated I would be If I read the painful word "denied" again, yet Heavenly Father filled me with such peace as I submitted my application. This last week as I went on to check my application, I knew no matter the outcome that Heavenly Father was in charge and He had a plan for me. However I was grateful as I went online and saw the word "accepted" above my application. I know that if we put in the work Heavenly Father will provide. I know how perfect His timing is. I know when I applied previous times, the Lord had other plans for me. I am grateful He knows us perfectly, and He will help us to see the beautiful pathway that is open to us. I have a testimony of enduring to the end, and not giving up on a dream or a goal. When I was first rejected years ago I was hurt. I felt broken, and I wondered why Heavenly would not let me have something I felt I had worked my whole life for. The second times was even worse, it didn't get easier, but I knew I had to work ever harder if I wanted to see my dream become a reality. Well people always say 3rd times a charm, and for me it was, but I learned so much along the way and I wouldn't have traded the long journey for anything. I learned about my capability to rise above obstacles and trials, to work hard and put my mind to achieving a goal. I learned to have patience in my Heavenly Father and His specific plan for me. And I learned not to give up and abandon hopes and dreams when the goin' gets rough. Sometimes it just might not be the right timing and the Lord has other plans for you. Now I am on a mission and although I didn't see the full pathway I would pursue at that time, it seems crystal clear to me that I was exactly where I needed to be and where the Lord wanted me. Don't give up. Keep trying. Work hard, and do your very best, and leave the rest to the Lord.Sister Chadburn goes home this week. I am grateful for the many lessons she has instilled in me and for the example she has set for me. She is an amazing missionary full of Christ-like love and she will be greatly missed in the Ohio Columbus Mission. I am grateful for the time I have had to serve alongside her. It feels pretty weird to send a companion home. I'm not too sure how I feel about it, but I know her service will continue on and she will continue to touch hearts and lives.I came across a scripture this week that I just loved and I wanted to share it with you. It is Hebrews 11:21 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Let us run with patience the race that is before us. Let us trust in God and His ability. Let us believe that He knows us better then we know ourselves. This gospel is absolutely beautiful. I am so grateful to have it in my life. I sure love you guys!
Love Sister Mathis