Tuesday, December 27, 2016

27 December 2016 - Joyeuses Fetes et Bonne Annee!!

I can't figure out how to do the right accent for "Fete"... laisse tomber!

BONJOUR ma famille!

It's funny 'cuz I just SAW all of you and now we get to email! Woo hoo! I hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas and that the start of the New Year will be amazing!

Guess what! Our mission reached our goal of 1000 baptisms in 2016!!! It's a Christmas miracle!!

Wednesday night last week, we got to go en ville a la Place de Cocotiers [to the city to Coconut Tree Square] with some other sisters and sing Christmas songs! A la Place, they put up a bunch of Christmas lights all over. Just picture a tropical Temple Square, but instead of the temple there's a fountain and a gazebo and a big Christmas tree, haha. There were a lot of people there that night and when we sang, people stop and listened! It was fun to spread the Christmas spirit and we even got a contact of a potential ami who lives in Koutio!! Yay!

And this weekend we did lots of Christmas party prep with Sœur Glade. We made lots of food and decorated together. We had a Luau for the 24th with Hawaiian Haystacks, and we played lots of games and sports. Pretty chill day. Then for Christmas day, we went to Church in the morning and after had our Christmas party with all the missionaries again. We watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional, had a fun, spiritual talent show with lots of singing, had a picnic dinner of sandwiches, sodas, chips, fruit, veggies, and ice cream, and then had our gift exchange. I got a pack of New Cal playing cards and a Twix and President and Sister Granger gave us VPVM t-shirts and a recipe book. Christmas was super fun, and I'll never forget it!

Then Monday was Skype and that was awesome! But afterwards we had the north zone meeting. I feel like everyone was still in Christmas/Skype mode, but it turned out to be a good meeting! But now there's no more zone meetings or anything else to plan, so we can just be "chill" and do normal missionary work, haha.

So that was my week! I loved getting to see you and I still love hearing from you (when y'all email! hint hint!)



Sœur Matheson

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

20 December 2016 - Joyeux Noel!!

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope y'all are enjoying this Christmas season!

FOR SKYPE: It'll be at 1pm my time on the 26th, so I think that's 6pm for CA, 8pm for TX, and 9pm for MI on Christmas day. Sorry it's a little on the later side, but at least Rachel won't be up at 2am ;) BE READY! We only have 30 minutes and I don't want to waste it just trying to connect everybody. I want to spend as much time as possible talking to you! IF THE CALL DROPS and it's taking too long to fix, CALL ME.

Here in New Cal it doesn't feel too much like Christmas weather-wise because it's the beginning of summer, but it is fun seeing people try to decorate and make it like Christmas anyway. Last Thursday, I was on exchange with Soeur Sorenson in Vallee des Colons. When we were en ville [in the city], there were Christmas lights set up on the Place de Cocotiers [Coconut Square]. That night was the first night of their version of the Festival of Lights. Sadly, we couldn't stay out after dark to see all the lights, but we saw a few that were already on and they were also playing the Michael Buble Christmas album through speakers set up throughout la Place! haha Can't have Christmas without Michael Buble singing Christmas songs :) 

And here in Koutio they've set up a couple light things on the light posts like they do in small towns, haha. It's cute. Soeur Glade has been decorating the bureau [mission office] and it's super cute. We've been singing Christmas songs at church and for meetings! But the people here don't sing the French ones like Il est ne le Divin Enfant or Noel Nouvelet. It's weird. Maybe they just don't know them... But for Christmas with the missionaries, we're gonna make sure we sing them!

This week like I said earlier, we had an exchange with Vallee des Colons. Soeur Sorenson (from Washington and been out for 6 months) and I did a lot of contacting en ville [in the city]. She likes talking to mamis and telling them she likes their kanak dresses and asks them where they bought it, haha. She's so funny and just loves talking to everyone, so being in VDC and en ville will be great for her!

We had an exchange with Motorpool as well and Soeur Utia came with me in Koutio. She's Tahitian and has been out for about 7 months. She really loves the Qashqai [vehicle] and driving around, which was good because we spend the day driving around Normandie and Auteuil looking for inactives, sadly with little success because we couldn't find the right streets and we had a lame map. We also had a lesson with an ami named Elsa who really loves learning about the gospel, but the application aspect hasn't clicked for her yet. We invited her to baptism, but she said she's not ready yet. We're gonna keep working with her bien sur [for sure]!

We had ANOTHER zone meeting for the South Zone. Now that there's one set of STLs, we go to both the south and north zone meetings. I've literally given a training at a meeting for the past 3 weeks... And we'll probably do another one next week for the north zone... So many things to plan! SO BUSY! But getting pretty good at giving trainings so #skillz

I'm excited for Christmas and to SEE you! JOYEUX NOEL et BONNE FETE!!!


Sœur Matheson

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

13 December 2016 - This week went by so fast!

Bonjour ma famille!

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE to Dad and Mom (and early to Rachel just in case I forget!)
[Happy Birthday]

[Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!]

I hope you're all doing well and not too stressed with school (Megan) or Christmas stuff. Just remember what this season is really about--our Savior, Jesus Christ! Take time to think about His birth and why He came to earth. It was all for us because He loves us! I'm really happy to be spending another Christmas on the mission because I can spend all my time serving Him and helping others come unto Him! So I miss all of you and it's sad not to all be together, but it's just one Christmas in a lifetime of Christmases and I'm happy where I am so don't be sad.

Plus, we can Skype now!!!!! We're allowed to Skype in the bureau [mission office] for 30 minutes. It's the ZLs and STLs who are making the schedule for all of the missionaries and we're gonna get that done before next P-day so that everyone can tell their families. So plan on Skyping and if the call drops, YOU'll just call me on this number XXX. But I'll give you date and time next week!

So this week went by really fast because we were in full-on STL mode all week pretty much! With the transfer, I'm back in Koutio, and I'm with Soeur Davis. She's from Utah--from Murray! She's been out since April, so 9 months. We're the STLs for ALL of the New Cal sisters! We now just have one set of STLs for all of New Cal, not one for each zone. So now I've been STL for the north, STL for the south, and STL for all of New Cal. Voila! So now Koutio is the only STL secteur because it's the most central sister area. So back in Koutio, but it's a little different with the ward boundary changes. Kinda sad because some of my favorite members are now in the other ward, but we'll just have to get to know the others now!

Anyway, Thursday we had the transfer for all the sisters. Pretty much all the missionaries in New Cal were transferred, so we had to split it into one day for the sisters and the other day for the elders. Thursday we drove all the sisters around and helped get luggage where it needed to be. Tiring but not too stressful! Friday, we decided to plan all of our exchanges (now we have to do 6 total so like one a week), so we went to the bureau [office] again and did that and other office stuff and zone conference prep!

Then we had zone conference for the past two days with President and Sister Granger and the APs. It's always stressful around zone conference for the leaders, but a lot of us have been leaders for a while, so it wasn't too bad and things went very smoothly. Soeur Davis and I gave a training about loving your companion. We compared it to Finding Nemo with Marlin and Dory, and everyone loved it. So that was great! And the rest of the training was awesome. I love it when President comes because the motivation level always goes up, haha. Our goal for the year is 1000 baptisms in the mission and we're so close, so we talked a lot about what we can do to make it to 1000 just in time for Christmas and the New Year.

New Caledonia, December Zone Conference (notice Soeur Matheson way over on the left)

This week we start our exchanges and we have Christmas planning to do so we can have an awesome mission Christmas here on the caillou [pebble] we call New Cal! Having 6 sets of sisters and 6 exchanges and planning Christmas is a lot, and we need to balance all that with working in our own secteur [area]. Luckily it's not a whitewash, and I know Koutio already. That'll make is easier to work here! There's two pretty solid amis [investigators] here at the moment and we're praying they'll be some miracle baptisms!

Donc voila quoi! That's my life at the moment! I love getting updates from y'all so keep 'em coming! I'm still patiently waiting to open my Christmas package and to SKYPE! :)

JE VOUS AIME BEAUCOUP!!! Stay safe! Stay awesome!

Tal toul!
Soeur Matheson

6 December 2016 - Iaorana ma famille!

Iaorana ma famille!

Haha, I feel like a Tahitian hello is appropriate because I’m currently with my deux soeurs Tahitiennes de Motorpool! Since Soeur Caress left on Monday afternoon, until Thursday I’ll be with them.

So Soeur Caress left on Monday! We were totally chill right up until the moment she had to get into the van to go to the airport. We hugged and I cried, but y’all know how I am, ha ha. It’s sad to see her go and I’ll miss her, but we’ll see each other again for sure. I’m happy for her to see her family again and to spend le Noel avec eux!

Donc, cette semaine! HENRIETTE GOT BAPTIZED!!! The baptism was so great! A lot of people came, including Helene, our inactive sister who’s good friends with Henriette and a lot of members! For the program, we got members to do all the prayers and talks, so Henriette has a lot of support and connections with the ward members now. (BTW, she even already has home and visiting teachers! Big thanks goes out to our new DMP [ward mission leader] Frere Pecqueux for all he’s done so far. The ward is really starting to pick up!)

Henriette’s baptism was so wonderful and she definitely has a new light and happiness about her that is the Spirit! And one of my favorite things is seeing new converts take the sacrament for the first time. It’s exciting to see their progression and their comprehension of the covenant they just made. Henriette was so excited and happy to take it for the first time. She really understands the importance of the baptismal covenant and of enduring to the end. She’ll keep learning and her testimony will grow. She’s definitely one of the elect, and she’ll stay strong in the gospel and will be a light and example to her family and friends. She’s already a great example for Helene, who came to the baptism and to church on Sunday, and she’s going to keep coming! This week Soeur Caress and I got to see the fruits of our labors and it feels really good.

This week was also Soeur Caress’ last, so there were lots of goodbyes and “last times.” One perk of having a companion who’s leaving is that the Glades, the senior couple [in the office] took us out to dinner to a fancy French restaurant. The con of having a companion leaving is the stress of weighing the luggage, haha! Sunday night, we spent about 2 hours in the office trying to get the weight of her suitcases under 23 kg. But we did it and as far as I know, she didn’t have any problems.

Today, we had a zone meeting, and I gave a training all by myself because Soeur Caress is gone. But it went really well and I wasn’t even that stressed about it. I guess it’s because it wasn’t my first rodeo, but I’m still really proud of myself for successfully giving a training by myself in French.

In other news, we got transfers and I’m going back to Koutio! I’ll be with Soeur Davis and we’re the STLs for all of the sisters in New Cal! That’s a lot more responsibility because we’ll be over 6 sets of sisters. That’s a lot of exchanges! It’s a little overwhelming because there’s zone conference, Christmas plans, and now responsibility for all the sisters, but I know we can do it! I’m excited to be with Soeur Davis, and I think we’ll make a good team! And it’ll be fun to go back to Koutio because I love it there, but it’ll still be a little different with the ward boundary changes.

So the next couple of days will be busy with the transfer (lots of changes!) and prep for zone conference, and then zone conference itself! So I’ll be staying busy, but I’m loving my mission and learning a lot. I’m falling more in love with New Cal and it’ll be so hard to leave! (Soeur Caress leaving makes me think about it.) But I still have time here, and I’m gonna make the most of it!

Je vous aime!


Soeur Matheson