Monday, August 8, 2016

Through His Grace, We Can Be Lifted

Yes, this is how they do Zone Conference Luncheons down under
Another week gone by in Argentina, another pile of moments that I could make a book out of. So many things can happen in 7 days

It is crazy to think that I am in Argentina. Some days I wake up and go about the missionary life and in the middle of the day Hermana Whitworth and I will just say "wow, we are literally in Argentina." The weather has been much nicer which is a blessing. The transformation to pants is on the horizon and I do not think I would call this a blessing, maybe for our health but I am still in the denial phase. I have had some whack dreams. It seems like we are asleep for a mere hour and are back out working again, but boy do I treasure bedtime. The language is coming along, I am understanding almost everything, minus the few that we encounter who speak on average 100 words per second. With time, with time. 

Olga (one of our investigators) told us that her daughter Soledad asked her why missionaries are sent from so far away for so much time with such little contact with friends and family to come to areas such as Argentina, Rosario. Stumped by the question, Olga asked us a few days later. I sat there pondering as a million thoughts rushed through my head. We are here to teach the same message that is being taught all around the world. We are here to preach a message of faith and hope and happiness. We are hear to comfort, to lift, and to rescue. I am here in this specific mission because I was called by a prophet of God and I know there are people here that I specifically need to teach. I am here to help people remember the love they once felt in the presence of God and the love they can feel now through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am here,  "because I have been given much, I too must give."

I have always been one for numbers and have always been interested in the scale of things in comparison to each other. This week I have contemplated how big the world really is. Right now I am very far from home, and even further from home home (heaven). But on the grand scale, earth is so small in comparison to the entire universe. This beautiful universe that we have was crafted to perfection. The galaxies defy all description and surpass anything numbers can calculate. Yet, amidst all the greatness of the universe, God chose to send His Son down to the earth. Jesus Christ descended all the way down so that He could reach you! He descended so that we may ascend back to His presence. In His time of suffering, we all crossed his mind, individually. Every pain, every sin, every heartache, He felt- for each and every one of us, so that He would know how to help us individually. He remembered all of us in his afflictions and in ours we have one person to remember- Him. He is the only way. Through him we can have the greatest of all gifts- eternal life. 

 I have been studying a lot about challenges this week. In our zone conference, Hermana Zanni explained how we are all trying to become something better. We want to develop attributes of Christ which she compared to ingredients of bread. We may have all the ingredients, yet bread is not bread if it does not first go through the oven. In Isaiah 48:10, we learn that we must pass through the oven of affliction. Through our afflictions, we will come to know Christ more. Time and time again we read about examples in the scriptures of those who endured what people should not have to endure. Yet the ones who endured are the ones who understood the enabling and strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. An example of this is in 1 Nephi 7, where Nephi has been tied up by his brothers who sought his destruction. In his moment of suffering, He did not call out to God to save him in, rather he prayed for the strength to break the bands according to his faith. In Elder Bednar's words, "He did not pray to have his circumstances changed, but he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances." I know that we can all endure through the times that are unfair, through circumstances that may seem unbearable with the help of the enabling and stengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through His grace we can be lifted. Love you all and wish you the best. 
Are They Missionaries or Super Heroes in Disguise?
But Hey, it looks like a pretty nice bathroom for S. America, right?

Hermana Mathis

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