Monday, May 18, 2015

Teach and Preach and Work as Missionaries Do!

It seems that Lauren was too busy
this week running into things to take any pictures
so thanks Ellen for posting this one.
Well first things first. We are alive!  We survived some severe tornado warnings. During our preparation day last week the tornado sirens were going off like crazy and the weather was a bit daunting. We were held captive in Target as the workers tried to make sure we were safe. Luckily everyone was safe, it rained cats and dogs and we saw a couple of trees that had fallen down on the drive back to our apartment, but no sighting of a tornado. Darn! It would have been pretty neat to see one! The rainy humid summer season is upon us! We have been walking to as many appointments as we can. One particular day it was rather warm and and we were sweating buckets. We finally reached our destination. Upon our arrival one of the little kids in the home of the family we were visiting said, "what's all over your shirt!?" We both looked down at our shirts and Sister Ure promptly responded, "that my dear is sweat."  Don't worry Dad- we are staying hydrated, after all water is the driving force of nature.
Well, let's just say another embarrassing thing happened in the life of Sister Mathis this last week. We discovered a new ice cream place called Dairy Isle. It is amazing. After talking one of our favorite members out teaching with us we decided to stop at the ice cream place for our dinner. After we ordered, the cutest family approached the counter to order their own ice cream. The spirit prompted me to give them a pass along card. I was all giddy about meeting a cool new family and was oblivious to what would happen next. As I turned to talk away, two ice creams in hand, I came face to face with a cement pillar and ran smack dab into it-completely crunching the ice creams.  Within seconds a goose-egg formed and tears of laughter and slightly tears of public humiliation escaped. What is up with me running into things?! 
This week I have really tried to focus on the Christ-like attribute of humility. After going on an exchange with a new missionary I was able to think back to the beginning of my mission. I remember being scared and feeling completely inadequate, but the beauty of being a new missionary is the ability you have to rely completely on the Savior. You don't yet know your own skills and capabilities as a missionary. You don't know what works best for an area and you don't fall into a rut of doing things your own way instead of the Lord's way. I think naturally as a missionary the longer you've been out you develop the "I've got this attitude. I know what I'm doing" when in reality we don't have it at all. I was deeply humbled this week as I was once again reminded how this is Heavenly Father's work, not mine.  As I reflected on this exchange I longed to be as dependent on the Savior as I was at the beginning of my mission. Throughout this last week especially I tried to turn to my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ for every decision. I tried to follow any prompting that came regardless of how small. 
A huge highlight of the week was watching the beautiful and incredible Arnott family all walk into the church together.  Dakota's older brother came and it was honestly hard to hold back tears at the joy I felt to watch them enter such a sacred and special place, a place of refuge, a place that unites families and builds them stronger.  I also learned an important truth at church yesterday. The missionaries are the first to call up to the stand when the speaker doesn't show up.

We had a couple incredible miracles this last week as we turned to the Savior and our Father in Heaven and let them lead this work.  One morning during studies we had a feeling we should send out a scripture text to some people in our phone contacts that we did not yet know. I love having such an inspired companion. She had the idea to send these verses in Corinthians.

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will Irather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when Iam weak, then am I strong."
A few days later we received a call from an older gentleman who had recently lost his wife. He just kept saying over and over on the phone how amazed he was by the timing of the text message we sent. In our phone he was marked as an investigator, but we had no record or information about him. We had no idea the suffering he has been enduring with the loss of his sweet wife, but Heavenly Father did. With all the gratitude in his genuine heart he thanked us for sending that scripture in a time when he desperately needed it. He kept repeating how amazed he was by the timing of it. He is out of town for the funeral, but will return at the end of the week and we will meet up to teach him a lesson about our Heavenly Father's beautiful plan of happiness. 
Last night was a beautiful night and we decided to park the car and walk the rest of the night. We made a goal to talk to everyone we saw. As time was running short and we were making our way back to our apartment we saw a precious family outside. The father was playing catch with the daughter and the mother was sitting on the porch watching the two play and holding the most adorable baby I have ever seen. We knew time was short but something told us "do not let this opportunity pass you by" and so we walked up and started talking to them. We found out that they have 5 little kids that are all tremendous athletes, but what was even more impressive than the athletic aspect was the family's love for the Savior. They read the bible and pray daily as a family and are a wholesome family established on good principles and values. Truly you could see their love for the Savior and others in the way they treated us. They live their religion. We are so excited to go back next week and bring them a copy of the Book Of Mormon.  We were immediately blessed for following that prompting in many ways. The funniest part was since we had spent time talking to them we knew were were going to be late back to our apartment because we still had to walk the rest of the way home. Well literally right after we left this family's home we received a call from one of the sweetest members. She asked us what we were doing and where we were. We told her we were out walking and immediately she responded, "stay where you are. I'm coming to pick you up."  I love love love this work and the Spirit that works in unity with us.
It's a beautiful day to be a missionary! Go out and share with others what makes you so happy! Love you guys!
Love, Sister Mathis

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