Monday, June 29, 2015

The Beautiful Service of the Lord

What an incredible week it was in the beautiful service of the Lord!
We have been so busy especially this last week. Sister Rogers and I joked the other day about how we never even see each other and we are companions! In between all the exchanges and having mini missionaries I have hardly even seen my companion and this transfer is already almost over! This last week I had the opportunity to go on two exchanges: one in Columbus and the other was all the way out in Jackson. It is a rewarding thing to go into our other sisters' areas and learn so much from them. Although I'm supposed to be the one training, I always feel like I come out learning more from them. One of my favorite moments on one of these exchanges was getting to drive a pickup truck! The Sisters in Jackson are driving the only truck in the mission and being there on exchanges, I got to drive it! It was a good time. On a more serious note the best moment of one of these exchanges was entering the home of a sweet little 92 year old African American. She was frail and had a hard time hearing. She had recently lost a loved one and was going through a difficult time. She expressed how we could not even begin to understand what she was going through. I said to her, "You are right. We cannot even being to feel what you are feeling. But there is one who can. One who has already felt that pain before." Her comment at the end to us was priceless, "I think Jesus sent you guys to me." There is nothing that can trump the priceless joy of being a missionary and having tender moments like that. 

That experience reminded me of a quote by our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. He said, "The sweetest feeling is to feel a prompting and then act on it and later come to know it was an answer to someone's prayer" May we be more open to the Spirit and be more willing to act. That prompting could in a very real sense be a direct answer to someone else's prayer. 

We had dinner with the cutest family yesterday. I fell in love with their little boy, who is an even bigger Lebron fan than I am. He knows all the moves and studies his skills. His parents told us he would often ask the question "What would Lebron do?" They jokingly said they wished they could replace Lebron's name with "What would Jesus do?" This sweet little boy struggles with some health concerns and is a little behind other kids his age. For a spiritual thought we had an idea of taking the whole family outside and using the basketball hoop for our lesson since we knew it was something he loved and he'd be able to pay close attention to. We had this cute little boy stand as far back as we could go. I asked him "do you think you can make this shot from here." He responded that he didn't think he'd be able to. So we exercised faith and took a step closer and taught about repentance. As we repent we come closer to our goal our destination. Then we taught about how repentance makes us want to come even closer to Jesus Christ so we are baptized. After we are baptized we receive the divine gift of the Holy Ghost, and then we must endure to the end. With each principle of the doctrine of Christ we took a step closer and closer to the basket. Well needless to say this little boy was a mini Lebron. He has so much faith he made the shot on his first try after we had only taught about repentance! Luckily the other kids helped us to be able to teach the rest of the principles as they kept taking steps forward to make the big shot. After this fun little lesson the little boy said "Wow that was the best lesson ever!" Teaching the gospel can be fun! Get creative. Find something that someone likes and make a parallel back to the gospel.   
This last week we also had the beautiful opportunity to attend the temple. I was fortunate to take one of my own family names and be able to perform the work for one of my dear ancestors. It was a powerful moment sitting in the Celestial room as I looked around and saw an army of missionaries all dressed in white. In my studies I have been reading about the stripling warriors and as I saw this precious scene I reflected on these young warriors in the Book Of Mormon entering the battle front. Their fearless leader Helaman is telling Captain Moroni in reference to his soldiers, "Never had he seen so great courage." In Alma 56 verse 56 we read of the miracle that not a single one of these Strippling Warriors had fallen to the earth. "They had fought as if with the strength of God; yea never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength and such miraculous power." That is what I saw as I looked at all the missionaries I was surrounded by. I saw the strength and power of the Lord beaming through them. I saw servants of the Lord carrying His power and His authority. I saw courage and faith and a determined sense to defend truth. 

"We are as the armies of Helaman. We have been taught in our youth. And we will be the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth."

Conference talk of the week- With all that is going on around us in the world, it is easy to be fearful. Evil in the world is being accepted as good and good for evil. Remember whom it is that we should fear and how. Be bold, stand up for what's right, and defend you faith even if you stand alone. I invite you to read this conference talk from Elder Bednar. "Therefore they hushed their fears.

"Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him. As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly. And “perfect love casteth out all fear” (Moroni 8:16). I promise the bright light of godly fear will chase away the dark shadows of mortal fears (see D&C 50:25) as we look to the Savior, build upon Him as our foundation, and press forward on His covenant path with consecrated commitment.

We are so fortunate to live in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the last dispensation. We know with certainty that Christ is coming. There are signs all around us to illustrate how close that coming truly can be. May we trust in Him, lean on Him, and prepare ourselves to one day stand before His glorified and perfected face and feel of His perfect and complete love for us.

It's a beautiful day to share the gospel. Yesterday we had a missionary musical fireside. I felt such power as I stood with a group of missionaries and together we sang "glory glory hallelujah His truth is marching on!" The truth will go forth it is up to us to share it. The world needs YOUR light! Shall we not go on in so great a cause? COURAGE!

Love you bunches and bunches,
Sister Mathis

Also each of you has a conversion story. I love hearing others conversion to the gospel and I have recently made a book full of people conversion stories. If you have some spare time this week I would love if you wrote down your story and sent it to me!

Joke of the week- We need to be like lions. A family that prays together stays together - Brother Frericks 

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