Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 3: G-Money and the Congos

Soeur Matheson on the MTC grounds (photo taken by Soeur Vogel)
That's our district's band name. Coolest. Name. Ever. *mic drop*

This week was crazy and fun and awesome!

First of all, we got 30 new people in our zone and all but 2 of them are going to France! It's crazy to think about the timing of their calls and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. People are going to be looking for the peace of the Gospel in their lives, and Heavenly Father is making his missionaries available for them to talk to! We just had two districts leave for France yesterday as well! God is definitely hastening the work!

Also, yesterday marks my district's MTC halfway point! And we are now the "oldest" district (along with the other one who came in the same day as us who are going to Montreal/Barbados) in our zone. Elders Rhodes and Watkins have been called as Zone Leaders and Sisters Casuga and Flake are the new Sister Training Leaders! Sister Vogel and I are going to help the sisters as much as we can because I know Casuga and Flake are a little overwhelmed at the moment. They had to interview all the sisters in the zone. But they're loving it, and they're the perfect companionship to have that responsibility! They're both really loving and selfless.

Soeurs Flake and Matheson
On Friday, Sister Flake's kneecap popped out during gym time (it's happened to her before) but the trainers were worried she tore a ligament. She's been on crutches all weekend and couldn't go to the doctor until Monday because it was closed. I went to the doctor with her on Monday morning (companionship exchange!) while Sister Casuga started the interviews and Sister Vogel would stay with the other sisters' companions during the interviews. I did a puzzle and listened to conference talks in the waiting room for like two hours... But the doctor said that Sister Flake should go to physical therapy at the BYU student health center down the street. Sister Vogel went with her, and I stayed with Sister Casuga while she continued the interviews. They were gone for a long time and Sister Casuga and I almost had to teach our investigator Leonard together without really planning anything, but then Sister Flake and Sister Vogel came back. Sister Flake is just bruised and swollen because her kneecap moved. She didn't tear any ligaments or anything. The physical therapy helped her a lot, and she can walk a lot more now than she could this weekend! So it was kind of scary for a few days because no one knew how bad it was and what would happen, but it's all good now, and she's healing!

Soeur Vogel and I are getting waayyyy better at teaching without our notes. We can go in there and just talk and discuss everything and answer our investigators' questions. It's so much easier and less scary to teach when you get to know your investigator and what their needs are because you start to love them and you can know what to say that will help them. 

We've had some really great lessons this week! Our investigator Guillaume didn't believe in God after his baby daughter was stillborn and he hasn't prayed for 6 years. After he told us that, we taught him about who God is and about eternal families and about the personal nature of prayer. In our last lesson, he prayed out loud with us! We were so happy for him and his faith! When you're in the lessons it feels so real because the Spirit is there testifying of everything and it's weird to walk out and remember that it's really just your teacher pretending to be someone else. 

We also had a good lesson with Leonard yesterday. We went in planning to talk about the nature of God and prayer, but we decided to ask him what his questions were before we started. He asked what happens after we die, and we had a really good discussion. He prayed with us as well. Sister Vogel and I walked out and then realized that we hadn't looked at any notes the whole time, and we'd been able to say what we needed to say in French. The Spirit did the rest! It's been so great to have these experiences and also to have made teaching and French mistakes here rather than in the field. After seeing the two districts leave yesterday, we're getting really anxious to get out of here and go to New Cal and start the real work!!

On Sunday, I taught Relief Society. Every Sunday there's a topic for the entire day, and this Sunday it was repentance. I love repentance and the Atonement because it means we can change! It's never too late! In my lesson I talked about how yes, repentance helps us overcome our sins and mistakes, but it also helps us overcome our natural selves and helps us become like God. Mom, I really like that quote from Sister Peschke's lesson that you sent me. I wish I'd had it for my lesson! I was talking about the exact same thing! Elder Bednar talked about grace and how it's an enabling and strengthening power for us to use to become better than we were before. During my lesson, I had the sisters look up some scriptures about Christlike attributes because as missionaries we're striving to represent Christ. A great way for us to improve ourselves and become like Christ is to emulate His example. Then I had them share what they learned and how they could use it as missionaries. I love having discussions like that during Relief Society because it means I don't have to teach for as long haha and also because I love learning from other peoples' thoughts and feelings. It turned out to be a really good lesson :)

Soeurs Matheson, Flake, Casuga, and Vogel
We went to the temple this morning and did an endowment session! It was so great! The temple is definitely the best place to be! And it's fun to be there with a whole bunch of missionaries!

Thursday is Thanksgiving!! The MTC DOES recognize it as a holiday (haha, mostly because all of the teachers wouldn't want to work because they're all BYU students.) We're going to have a devotional with a general authority. (I've heard rumors that it's Elder Oaks, but I don't know for sure.) We also get to do a service project. We're going to be assembling 320,000 meals for needy families! I'm excited! We don't have any class, and we get to have awesome devotionals and singing. I'm pretty sure they're planning on Thanksgiving-y food for lunch! It's gonna be nice because it'll be like another P-day, and it'll break up the second half of the week that usually tends to drag and blur together...

Our teacher Frere Keenan is getting married on Friday in Oregon. We've been having a countdown for it in class. I think we're more excited for it than he is hahah

We got to watch Meet the Mormons on Sunday night! I cried on the last story about the missionary mom.  TOO SOON! Even Sister Vogel cried and she NEVER cries!! She's always too happy to cry, haha. 

Soooo..... yeah! I'm great! Sister Vogel is awesome! I love her so much! She makes me laugh and she brightens my day every day! ALSO SHE'S SEEN SCROOGE!!!!! It's meant to be! :D

I love allllllllll of you so much! But I know I'm supposed to be here on a mission! Every day that knowledge gets stronger and stronger! 

Je vous aime beaucoup!!!
Soeur Matheson

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