Wednesday, May 17, 2017

17 May 2017 - Last Email

Bonjour tout le monde!!

C'est la derniere fois! It's my last email on the mission! 

I just want to say thank you to EVERYONE for the support and love and prayers throughout my mission. Vous etes merveilleux!

My mission has been the hardest and the greatest thing I have ever done in my life. It's brought me closer to my Heavenly Father because I've had to rely on Him through it all. And I know without a doubt in my mind that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is TRUE. I've seen it change people's lives and it's changed my life as well. I'm so grateful to have served here in New Cal and to have been able to touch people's lives. And my life has been touched as well. I will never forget New Cal and the people I've met here and all the experiences we've shared!

I'm sad to leave my mission, but it's my time to go. I'm excited to see all of you again! 

Je vous aime tous! 
Gros bisous!

A la semaine prochaine!
Soeur Matheson

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

10 May 2017 - 18 months and a cyclone!

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week I hit my 18 month mark, so that's exciting :) That was a good day because we saw all three of our recent converts and the lessons were great! Even Simon is doing a lot better! Little miracles every day! And during zone conference and my interview with President, he prayed that we'd have many positive experiences this week and we did and that's a testimony that God hears and answers prayers!

Other than that, the work is pretty normal. Out contacting all day every day and giving out Books of Mormon like crazy, haha :)

Monday and Tuesday we were on cyclone lockdown. But the cyclone didn't even hit. It was barely raining and not windy at all. Kinda lame. So we were just stuck in the house going crazy, haha. We studied, watched the church movies, I colored like 3 pictures, I even did those puzzles Mom sent me for Easter but to make it harder I mixed the pieces together and did them at the same time, haha. Yeah. And there was a lot of bored eating, haha, NOT GOOD!

But today we are free! We're going to have a district activity a la Riviere Bleue in Mont Dore, so that should be fun. Lots of lasts these next two weeks! Profite-ing de New Cal a fond!! [Enjoying New Caledonia…]

Donc, voila. C'est la semaine! hehe
Hope you're all well and getting cruise ready ;)
Je vous aime!
Soeur Matheson

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

3 May 2017 - Sowing Seeds!

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was a really good week! We've been sowing a lot of little Gospel seeds everywhere. We're like the farmers in their fields who live next door to us, tee hee.

We got to see Simon again and also teach his girlfriend! She's pretty interested, but sadly she left for Wallis for a month and won't come back 'til after I'm gone. But still a great experience and a great amie for the next missionaries who'll come along.

We had a great zone conference and talked a lot about becoming like Christ, especially in being obedient. Tuesday morning after conference on Monday, we did all we could to be exactly obedient et voila we gave away four Books of Mormon and had a lesson on the street. Obedience brings blessings!

I really loved zone conference--getting to see President and Sister Granger and all the missionaries, playing and having fun, and talking about Christ! My mission has taught me that we really need to LIVE the gospel for it to have it's full effect on us that will help us become like Christ. I want to live like that for the rest of my life because it's so important for our eternal joy!

There's not a whole lot of big exciting stories to share, but I'm working hard and loving the work even when it is hard. It's allllllll worth it!! :)


Soeur Matheson

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

26 April 2017 - "C'est pour ca que je suis reconnaissante!"

Bonjour tout le monde!

Soeur Brown is working on her French and she's getting a lot better. Mais [But] she said "That's why I'm grateful!" instead of "I'm grateful for that!" Haha. This week we've had several petit miracles that have made us think "c'est pour ca que je suis reconnaissante!" [That’s why I’m grateful!].
The BIG miracles for this week are that 1) we finally have a new ami [investigator] named Maeva in Savannah. She's Protestant and Catholic but she loves talking about religion and is interested in the Book or Mormon. Donc voila c'est cool! And miracle 2) WE SAW SIMON YESTERDAY! Miracle miracle miracle! He's our recent convert that fell off the map but now he's back on and he wants to come back, just petit a petit. We had a good lesson with him last night and he has so much faith, but he still holds on to the Catholic religion, which makes sense because that's like, his life. So we're going to work with him and just support him. We're gonna see him tomorrow, too, so another miracle! 
This week things are just looking up a LOT. Potential amis are becoming amis, we're seeing our recent converts, we're working on our inactives little by little. We even successfully took the bus to and from Savannah (honestly that's a miracle too, haha.) The past couple of weeks we were just pushing through, just trying to work and be obedient, and now we are receiving the blessings of our diligence. 
Fun things from this week:
1) We gave out 2 Books of Mormon in Trois Vallees, the nicer, richer neighborhood, to some women who seem interested in learning about our Church. So miracle!
2) We got to go with some Relief Society sisters to see an old mami in a retirement home who is 94 years old! Crazy! But she still is super coherent and has a great memory. She loves joking and laughing, and it was a fun little visit. 
3) I ate the best thing ever this week: croque monsieurs. But not just your average everyday croque monsieur. It's so much more glorious. Soeur Brown and I are figuring out how to make them (there's a secret to it) and maybe I'll make y'all some when I get home!
Oh yeah, last P-day we went to that little hidden river we found and had a little adventure. We explored it a bit and then went back to the concrete slab and played Uno and Speed. (I won, and Soeur Brown is bitter hahaha.) We're probably gonna go back again today and maybe she'll finally beat me. 
OH YEAH before I forget! Marie-Christine, our lovely recent convert and fellow missionary (she calls herself Soeur Bouanaoue sometimes) IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE IN JANUARY!! Woo hoo! She's going with the stake to New Zealand and I am so happy for her! 
So that's our week! I hope you all had a great week and that you'll all email me next week! hahaha je blague but seriously people you only have 3 more weeks. You can't miss the amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to send an email to somebody in New Cal :) tee hee

Soeur Matheson

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

19 April 2017 - Joyeuses Paques!

Bonjour tout le monde!

I hope you all had a great Easter! I love getting to share the message of Easter, of Jesus Christ and His atonement, with the people here! I feel a huge amount of gratitude for my Savior and for the Gospel. I know it's true!!

This week was actually pretty slow. It was the end of the two weeks of school vacation and it was Easter weekend, so people were just in vacation/party mode a lot of the time. But we still had a good week and feel the hand of the Lord in this work.

On Saturday, we'd been out all day trying to contact, but no one was out and no one wanted to talk. We were pretty discouraged and it was the end of the day. We could've just gone home but we decided to try one more building in Nogouta. Each building has 3 apartments in it, so 3 doors to knock and 3 potential contacts! We walked around a bit trying to decide on the building we should do and then I saw one and said we should do it. Soeur Brown was thinking the same thing. So the Spirit was guiding us for sure! 

We go to the middle door because it's open (always do the open doors first, haha) and a lady and her kids came out and we introduced the Book of Mormon, and they were super nice and accepted to read it! We'll just have to follow up on that in a little bit :) 

Then, feelin' really good and motivated, we go to the door on the right and this Kanak man opens the door. He wasn't super duper interested, but he accepted a Book of Mormon, and what I always say is that it's better that the book is with them rather than with us. You never know who will read it eventually! So that was good. 

Then we go to the door on the left and a Caledonienne opens the door saying they're in mourning and were about to go to Easter mass. Soeur Brown didn't understand the mourning part, so she was just like, "Can we just leave you with the Book of Mormon before you go?" and I was like, "The Book of Mormon brings us the comfort and peace we need in difficult moments. Jesus Christ knows and loves you and you'll feels His love as you read it." Then the lady said, "I definitely need that!" and accepted the Book of Mormon. Follow-up next week! 

It was a really cool experience. Heavenly Father sent us to that building to help those people, but he also sent us there to show us that He cares about us and wants us to be happy in the work. Afterwards, I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of His love that I cried. It was definitely a miracle for us, and we are so grateful to have experienced that.

Other than contacting, we haven't had any opportunities to serve after the cyclone. People just cleaned up fast and are picking up where they left off. Marie-Christine was telling us her cyclone story, and she was saying that she was making all of her kids (her grown up kids that live with her) be quiet because there's a person in the cyclone and you can't make him mad or call him over to you, haha. She said they were making fun of her and, honestly, when she was telling the story she got pretty worked up and serious about it and it was hard for us not to laugh, too. Haha, we love Marie-Christine. She's our favorite :)

As we're out contacting, we explore the secteur, too. Yesterday while we were on the Dumbea side of our secteur, we found a staircase leading down to the river that follows along the main road. The staircase ends in a big concrete slab, so today we're going to go down and have a little picnic and explore the river. Je profite des P-days qui me restent! [I'm taking advantage of the P-days that I have left!]

Well, voila quoi. C'est la semaine! [That's the week!] I hope y'all have had a good week and a great Easter!

Je vous aime!!!!

Soeur Matheson