Monday, January 4, 2016

4 January 2016 - Week 9: "Are they shooting dogs?!" "Yeah, then they eat 'em!"

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!!

Haha, that quote [above] is from New Year's Eve. We were in our apartment, and then we got a visit from this senior couple from the Solomon Islands (they were just visiting) and our zone leaders, Elder Stubbs and Elder Similai. We were just talking (we think their visit was to make sure we were in our apartment and that we were safe) when some fireworks started going off (it was 9pm) and a bunch of dogs start barking. The senior elder was like "Are they shooting dogs?" haha but that's actually something that could happen in this mission... But Elder Stubbs just goes along with it and was like, "Yeah, then they eat 'em!" I got a good laugh out of that.

But the dogs weren't being shot, the fireworks were just really loud and sounded like gunshots. On New Year's Eve and I think the night after, people set off fireworks, but it was on the two streets on either side of our apartment. But it felt like they were in our apartment because they were so loud! That night we didn't get too much sleep because then at midnight of course they set off tons. We just got up and tried to watch what we could see [but] there are buildings on both sides of our apartment that were blocking our view.

We had a good week despite the fact that on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and even on the 2nd, there was literally no one outside and none of the stores were open. We tried to go out on the 1st an hour before our lesson with Ch-- and her daughters, but there was literally no one outside except a few Kanakis here and there. Side note: Kanakis have weird style. They just like to wear whatever clothes and do their hair all crazy, but they can pull it off because they're Kanakis. But yeah... There was no one outside and even on the 2nd we went downtown to see a less active sister and even all the stores downtown were closed still! I'm just excited that the holidays are over so we can actually do some really missionary work!

The members here in New Cal plan to go to the New Zealand temple this month-- they're actually leaving today! So it's cool that the members get to have that experience, and I'm excited to hear about it when they come back. But then it's hard for us missionaries because we're trying to get to know the members and work with them, but now a lot of them are leaving... Haha but we'll do our best!

This week we taught Ch-- twice. Two of her daughters were baptized in 2014, so when we teach her, her daughters are there and we have member present lessons! Woo hoo! Christine knows a lot already and she likes the gospel, but she doesn't want to get baptized not at the same time as her "boyfriend" (they've been living together and have had kids together but aren't married) but he isn't interested in the church... So we'll have to see how that goes. I think if we talk to them about eternal families maybe he'll get more interested. On verra!

Our ami W-- is also progressing! We taught him about the Word of Wisdom, but he's already following is and he's already been seeing the blessings of health and energy that come from following it. He started following it because L--, a recent convert who is our member present in his lessons (and who I'm pretty sure he's dating), told him about it. It's awesome because she helps him and encourages him. He's getting ready to be baptized, but wants to be sure, so we're going to help him as much as possible!

We have a lot of lessons set up for this coming week, and I'm excited to feel like I'm actually doing missionary work every day! President and Sister Granger came yesterday and we had a fireside with them last night. He told us to work with members and to FIND. He said that the goal for the New Cal region of the mission is to get 75 convert baptisms in both zones this year, so that's 150 baptisms. There were 55 total last year, so we're going to work to triple that. The goal for the entire mission is 1000 baptisms but most of those are going to come from Vanuatu because people tend to be more receptive there. And our goal is to have two baptisms per companionship every transfer! We're working on that!

Funny story: we were supposed to have a lesson with Co-- on Wednesday, but she was late. We called her and she said she was on her way, but then still wasn't showing up. Soeur Tellus was ready to give up and I was like, "You have no faith!" and lo and behold, right when I said that Co-- pulled into the parking lot! Haha faith is a real power!! Soeur Tellus is really awesome, though! She and I are pretty similar, but we still learn from each other. She's nearing the end of the mission (she only has 4 months left) and sometimes she tends to be really realistic just based on her experiences, but because I'm new and naive, I can help her be more positive. We're excited to work and find and teach and feel like missionaries! The past two weeks have been a little hard because of the holidays, but now that they're over, we can get to work and people don't have any real excuses not to talk to us! :)

Have a wonderful week!! 
Je vous aime!!
Soeur Matheson

Soeur Tellus cooking
Pacific francs

Vanuatu money

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