Updated: Mar 26
Hello everyone! I want to start off by thanking everyone for supporting me here today and everyone back at their homes for tuning in as well. I also want to thank the awesome speakers and the beautiful musical number before me, for bringing the spirit into this meeting already. For those of you who don’t know me or remember me, my name is Rachel Matthews. I am a part of the Matthews family who you probably hear singing very loudly during every hymn. I am the 6th out of the 8 kids so we’re starting to get smaller in numbers here in the ward, as we’re all getting older and going our separate ways but luckily we still have a few years before we’re all gone. I graduated high school in June of 2020 and moved that September to Utah. During this time I was doing college online here at GoldenWest and was working full time as a Human Resources Generalist at a contract manufacturing facility in Provo (which was such an awesome learning experience for me). This past December I got my mission call to Toronto Canada, which was funny because I had a really strong feeling I would go to Canada. A few people thought I would go to South America or a state side mission, but I just knew it was going to be Canada, so that was really cool reading my call and having it be where I expected. The first year of being away from home was a little bit of a struggle for me, as I was trying to be independent and “find myself,” a lot of things were changing in my life. I started getting really bad social anxiety and the thought of going out and even going to church really scared me. This was something I had never struggled with in my past, especially to this extreme and it was hard for me. I had a testimony, but wasn’t living the best way I could because I was struggling with church attendance along with daily scripture study and prayer. It was because of the Christlike examples I was surrounding myself with (whether that be my family, friends, roommates, or my amazing bishoprics) that brought me back to the person I am and that really helped me with my final decision on turning in my mission papers. This leads me to the thought that we can all be that Christlike person to someone in our life. Whether this is bringing them closer to the gospel or simply helping them feel the love of our savior. We do not have to be on missions to be a missionary. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an adult, or at least a teenager (I could settle with that). I would look up to church speakers and think, “I cannot wait to do that someday.” Unfortunately, I don’t feel that same way about speaking now but I really thought it would be a
fun thing to do back then. I was so excited that I would even write talks to use in the future when I was old enough to speak in church. I moved back from Utah about a week ago and when I was going through all my stuff figuring out what to keep, throw away, and take with me on my mission; I found a few of my old talks that I wrote and feel that now would be a good time to share one of them. Keep in mind, I was pretty young so not everything is grammatically correct and since you can’t all see the talk, I’ll just let you know that there are a lot of spelling errors. (Read Talk about giving BOM to School Teacher) Now 11 years later, looking back on this experience for me I’m so touched with the courage, testimony, and confidence I had to share the Gospel in this way. I’m not sure what my teacher did with the book, or if the gesture touched her at all. But it really was a defining moment in my own spiritual journey, and it was one of my first acts of missionary work. Growing up, and still to this day, one of my favorite things to do with my siblings is go to Target. Whether I have to buy something or not, I like to just browse around. Especially as a kid, I loved being able to go with my older siblings (and I felt so cool being able to hangout with them). I remember one time, specifically going with my sister late at night. When we were leaving the store, a kind homeless man was sitting right by the exit. He approached us asking for change for a bus ticket. At the time, we did not have any with us. Once we got back to the car, my sister decided to look for change to give to the man. She ended up being able to find some and when she went to go back and give the man the change she found, she also took a pass-along card with her. Which had information about the church. Once again, this may have not meant much to the homeless man, this may have not meant much to my sister, but it meant so much to me. I was able to see my sister doing her own version of missionary work and being a Christlike example to me. Alma 37:6 says (Read that). I’ve always loved the idea of “small and simple things,” especially when it comes to missionary work and serving others. In the missionary training guide, Preach my Gospel, it lists these attributes that Christ had: Hope, Charity, Love, Virtue, Knowledge, Patience, Humility, Diligence, and Obedience. When we look at each of these attributes individually, and choose to be intentional about how we apply these attributes to our
own lives, we will become more successful in being Christlike, no matter where our starting point is. In a talk by Elder Holland, he says “However late you think you are, I testify you have not traveled the reach beyond love.” I also like to think of the analogy, anything plus infinity is still infinity. Whether you start at 1, 100, or -50, the moment you add infinity to that, your eternal destination is forever. It is never too late to start being a little kinder than you need to, never too late to start participating in church activities more than you have, never too late to start going to the temple, never too late to gain a relationship with your Heavenly Father, and never too late to start adding Christ’s attributes to your own. 3 Nephi 27:27 says, (read that) Learning to be like Christ is a lifelong pursuit. Changing to become Christlike requires exercising faith, repenting, keeping covenants, receiving an increased measure of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This past school year, I had a note on my wall, asking the question: What would Jesus do? I also had this set as my phone home screen, so I knew to constantly ask that to myself. One of my favorite primary songs is, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.” I think it puts everything into perspective, if the savior were here would I be doing the things I do? And saying the things I say? I invite all of you to set goals and make plans to apply the Christlike attributes in your life and pray for guidance and help as you strive to be 1% better than you were the day before. I’ll read one more talk of my past self’s that I found this week as well. Once again, I apologize in advance for the grammatical errors. (Read Bible/ First Time Feeling the Spirit Talk). And with this, I just want to close by saying how much I love this gospel and my Heavenly Father. I am so excited to meet those people in Canada and talk with them and get to know them. I hope that they can feel my love for them, and know that it is directly from the Savior and the Holy Spirit. I’m so lucky to have grown up in a home that was full of love for eachother and for the Gospel, and I only have my mother to thank for that. I hope to be like her while I am on my mission, with such a willingness to serve others and make Christ the center of my life. I’m grateful again to all of you for supporting this decision of mine and I look forward to the spiritual
growth I will have in these next 18 months. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church and I can’t wait to share this message with others. and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.