Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 4: "Bapteme? Aujourd'hui? Maintenant?"

Christmas lights on the MTC grounds
We joke about baptism a lot in our district because Soeur Casuga likes to say, "Allez-vous suivre l'exemple de Jesus-Christ et baptme??" [“Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and baptism?”] instead of saying the whole baptismal invitation. And some companionships have been inviting our investigators to be baptized, and when they come back in and tell us, we're like, "Bapteme? Aujourd'hui?? MAINTENANT?? WOOHOO!" [“Baptism? Today?? NOW??”] You have to make the MTC fun sometimes... :P

This week went by super-fast! And now it's cold ALL THE TIME, so we're freezing our bootays off whenever we go outside. The buttons on my coat have been falling off. Awkward... So I'm thinking I'll just leave it behind when I leave the MTC. I'll be fine on the way to the airport with my raincoat and my cardigans.

Thursday night [Thanksgiving] was great! We had our huge service project with LDS Humanitarian Services and Feeding Children Everywhere. Our goal was to make 350,000 meals, but we ended up making 357,946 meals! My table (I was a table captain/leader in place of Sister Casuga because she missed the training on Wednesday because she was sick) was full of elders and so we worked super-fast and filled 15 boxes, which is about 4,500 meals! The meals were made up of salt, dried veggies, rice, and lentils-super nutritious apparently. It was a fun and easy way to serve. All the meals are going to needy families all around Utah.

Congratulations to Frere Keenan!
The rest of the week was kind of a blur--class, learning French, teaching our investigators. Our teacher Frere Keenan got married this weekend so we decorated the room yesterday. We had a sub, Soeur Johns, and we taught her as Camille and we invited her to church so that was good practice. We've been learning the subjunctive tense, but we've been taught/had it reviewed by three different teachers, so there was some confusion (especially because 1 out of every 5 things Frere Keenan tells us is actually wrong—not really, but that's what he says) but I think we're getting it now. Daniel Lyman was saying something at my farewell party and now I know what it means! "Il faut qu'on y aille" means "we need to go there" or "we gotta go there." So Dan, I can officially maybe talk to you in French, haha.

To answer Mom's questions: 

Question: How are you feeling about the language? Feeling at all competent? 
Mostly competent. I just need to speak it a lot more. I'm going to do an English fast sometime this week. That's where I only speak French for a whole day.

We do not have laptops or iPads. Only missionaries going to iPad missions get iPads in the MTC. My BYU roomie Sister Megan Warr is in the Florida Jacksonville mission and she has an iPad. They only have iPads in the U.S. There are lots of rooms with computers all over campus, but we usually use the computers in our classroom building (4M) or in the basement of 18M because it has a printer and we can print off our emails in the morning so we can read them and not have it take up our email time. 

There is one big laundry room with tons of washers and dryers. There are single load Tide and Clorox packs and Bounty dryer sheets you can get for 50 cents, so that's nice and handy. The washers and dryers are free. 

I've used my coloring book on P-Days sometimes when my collegue [companion] is napping and I'm not tired. So far I've colored a peacock :)

They FINALLY turned on the Christmas lights on Thankgiving!! So much joy! And we can see them from our classroom window so it's awesome! There are some pictures for you!

We MIGHT get our travel plans on Friday… If the travel office is on top of things...  So we don't really know anything about layovers/hotels or whatever yet but hopefully we will so we can plan!

Also, could you send me some dried mangoes? Soeur Casuga got some and let me have one, and I want more... hahaha it's a struggle because at night we want to snack, but all we have is junk. I just want fruit! The fruit here is gross. They always have cantaloupe and honeydew, but they're not in season, so they're always gross and it makes me sad. They have grapes but sometimes they're gross too, or I just don't want them.  Plus, we can't have them at night...

Re: Fatal accident in the mission – [Karen mentioned this in an email to Laura last week]

From mission president Granger to the missionaries currently serving in Vanuatu:

“My Dear Elders and Sisters, we have some very sad news to share with you today and we are heartbroken to have to write this email to you all. Last Friday, November 20th, on the Island of Santo, Vanuatu, Elders Dakunimata, Ratu, Benry, Daniel and Ned were involved in a vehicle accident.
“Elder Katum Benry from the village of Saetsiwi on Tanna, Vanuatu was killed instantly.
Elder Ratu sustained injuries. [He was later airlifted to hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.]
Elders Dakunimata, Daniel and Ned suffered shock and minor bruising.”

From Laura:
Yesterday one of our teachers, Soeur Echols, shared an email from President Granger to the missionaries in the mission about the accident. She taught some missionaries serving there who went out a while ago and she gets all of their emails. As a district, we said a prayer for the five elders and their families and for the mission and President Granger. It was a really good experience, and we already feel close to the mission even though we're in the MTC still. We're hoping Soeur Echols will share more of the emails and pictures from those emails so we can learn more about New Cal.

Sorry my email is so short, but I just feel like I just emailed you and nothing has happened at all this week, haha. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is having a fun countdown to Christmas. Our countdown here is for our departure date, December 13. 12 more days after today!!!

Je vous aime!!
Soeur Matheson

Fun with the flag of New Caledonia-- 

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