Monday, January 9, 2017

If you love me, keep my commandments

Celebrating Hermana Benitez's Birthday

OK, lets start with the bad news of the week:
Liliana (mother of Abi- the young 9 year old girl who drew me that beautiful picture) was baptized about a year and a half ago. After a few months she stopped attending and is now currently less active. We have been visiting them a lot and Abi had accepted baptism and was really excited about it. The baptism was planned for this Saturday, the 14th. Well Liliana, this week. has told us that she does not think that it is what Abi should do and that it would be best if we stopped visiting. That took us by surprise. She said that Abi is becoming too close to us and it will be hard when we have to leave to a different area.  She is doubting basically everything that she has ever known. Upon receiving this news through text, we were in shock. We knelt in prayer together and began to just cry as we pondered that for lack of  better words it is just not fair. Liliana has experimented  upon the truth and the blessings of the gospel, and is now living in a mountain of afflictions and seeks no help, Abi is a young girl with a pure desire to be baptized though now is held back by her mother. In this moment we felt the extreme love that God has for them and His desire to mend what has been broken. We have not given up hope, but this is the current situation with them.

Sheila....still amazing!! She came to church with us yesterday and she is continuing to read, underline, and understand what she is reading in the Book of Mormon! She is still set to be baptized at the end of this month! We all walked back from church yesterday in the pouring rain and to make the scene even better --a car sped by with just the right speed to spray a fountain of water that drenched us as we stood on the side of the road. We laughed, not knowing what else to do. 

We had quite the lesson this week with our investigator Viky and her husband Roberto. We talked about the law of chastity and testified of the importance of keeping the commandments of God, and how we do it out of love for Him. We were bold in what we said as we followed the things the spirit told us to say. Viky told us that she just didn't see the need for it all right now, that she wants Roberto to return to church because he is less active and she will be happy for him and support him. She said that thinking about all the commandments  and the requirements of the church overwhelm her..
Later that night as I studied a talk I came across a verse in D&C 64:33 that says, "Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And of small things proceedeth that which is great." A lot of people are good where they are, in their comfort zones, in their comfortable churches that do not require much of them. But Joseph Smith taught  that a religion that doesn't demand sacrifices in all things would not have the power to guide men to salvation. Sacrifice prepares us to live in God's presence. God says, "If you love me, keep my commandments." The crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty. We can sacrifice our time and energy, have a broken heart and contrite spirit, give our all to obtain all that God has to offer. 

Love y'all. Have a great week! If you're in the home land of Reno-- stay safe during these crazy floods I'm hearing about. I wish I could send some of this heat your way to balance things out. 

Hermana Mathis 

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