Monday, April 13, 2015

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good- We had a wonderful week. Here are a couple of highlights!
1)We are proud new drivers of a 2015 Subaru. We switched cars with the Elders because we have so many exchanges, we needed a car that would allow us to travel more miles. The Elders were pretty bummed to give up their new car. We were thrilled. 
2) I didn't get transferred!! I feel so blessed to be able to stay here in Newark with Sister Ure for at least one more transfer. What a tremendous miracle especially because I didn't want to miss sweet Dakota's baptism, and I know there is still work for me to do here and I am humbled and extremely grateful to continue to labor among the people here in Newark. 
3)Fasting is powerful. Yesterday it was a beautiful hot Ohio spring day. We decided to have a special fast as a companionship. Although we were feeling physically weary we were feeling spiritually strong and ready to share the gospel with the world. Sister Ure and I also decided that instead of driving to our appointments we would walk around town. We ended up spending quite a bit of time in a newly discovered neighborhood and seeing so many tender mercies as we tracted around there. We met some incredible people full of faith and willing to hear more. We met a mother with a brand new baby who has been searching for truth so that she can teach her children.  
4) The Elder's investigator George was baptized. It was a beautiful baptismal service. I love the spirit that can be felt instantly when you walk into a church building. Worries, concerns, and uncertainty are left at the door and instead peace, comfort and love can be felt. 
5)Instead of us teaching Ellen this last week, she taught us! She used preach my gospel, scriptures, and personal experiences to teach us about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. I was moved by the spirit at her growth and as she taught, she taught with great power. You could easily see the tremendous and beautiful power of the spirit work directly through her. This week we have the divine opportunity to attend the temple with her and do work for her ancestors. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see her in the temple dressed in white, pure and beautiful, and doing what she can to hasten the work. 
5) Dakota and his parents all came to church on Sunday! I almost cried when I watched them all walk in looking so beautiful. Dakota was so excited to have them there with him. 

The Bad-
1) We moved out of our Taj Mahal of missionary apartments and into a new apartment. We had some cleaning to do, but have made our apartment a home. It's a bit of a change of scenery where we now live and a prime and perfect place to share the gospel
2) I now cannot leave the house without my SPF. The hot and humid Ohio summer is fast approaching. I acquired my first intense sunburn of the season #gingerprobs

The Ugly- I said goodbye to three of my previous companions as they finished their missionary service. It has been incredible to have served alongside them and I know I have grown from their faithful and diligent examples. Saying goodbye to them was like saying goodbye to my family all over again.  So proud of all of them and I know how proud our Heavenly Father is of them. This work goes by way too fast. My advice to all your future missionaries, make everyday count." One day you'll look back and wonder where all the time went. 
Saying Goodbye to Sister Wagstaff who we both had as a companion

As you can see the good always outweighs the bad. Everyday is a GREAT day in the life of a missionary! 

A scripture that I loved this week from the Book Of Mormon:
In third Nephi the Lord is teaching the Nephite people. I have always loved the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that reads,  "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you." As I was reading in 3 Nephi however I came across the Lord's uplifting and hope filled words, "Return unto me and I will return unto you." Remember you are never too far from the Lord's help. His hand is continuously outstretched. Return to Him, do everything you can to draw closer to Him. Remember that one day a long time ago, you were already with Him. You lept for joy when He courageously volunteered to come to earth to redeem you and me from the fall, from our wordly inperfections. Return to Him, He is waiting for you.
I love you guys! Make this week great!
Love, Sister Mathis

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