Monday, February 29, 2016

29 February 2016 - Week 16: Things are looking up!

From the top of Mont Dore
Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was a better week than we've been having! The good news is that our ami William finally has a baptism date and it's all approved by the bishop. It's March 12th, so we're praying and preparing for that day!

Other good news is that we had the fireside on missionary work! We had 50 members come last night and during the fireside we had 4 "workshops" in four different rooms that they'd cycle through and we finished altogether back in the chapel. The four workshops were 1) what the missionaries do, 2) how the members can participate in lessons with amis, 3) how the members can invite people to hear the gospel, and 4) how the members can integrate the amis, recent converts, and inactive members. It was a really good fireside and the members were really motivated by it. We gave them a challenge to invite the missionaries over to talk about the plan of action we came up with (it's that they invite one ami to the church, and integrate one recent convert and one inactive during the year.) We already had a family that lives in our secteur ask us to come over at the end of this week. It's only the beginning, but it was a good start and I hope it lasts!

The bad news is that Corinne still hasn't answered our calls... We need some divine inspiration to know how to help her!

Also, there's this eye infection going around that EVERYONE is getting and I'm kinda worried that it'll be impossible to avoid with all the bisous-ing we do here. It's gross looking and I think it's similar to pink eye but I feel like it's worse. ANYWAY, haha. Let's pray that I don't get that dumb eye infection!

Oh yeah, we're starting to have more cockroaches in our house and it's super gross. I think on Thursday or Friday morning there was a cockroach climbing EVERYWHERE and we were freaking out. I used almost a whole can of bug killing spray to kill it. Haha, it was HUGE! We survived, but it was a little hard to refocus on our studies after that!

We have these amis, an old couple, who give us a papaya almost every time we go over. They have a papaya tree and they have tons! And they're really good papayas :) News foodwise, Soeur Tellus tried making us a pizza the other day because we REALLY want pizza but we just had the stuff to make the dough, some tomato sauce, and some cheese. We wanted more on it, so we put corn on it, hahaha. It was not great :) But then the next day Soeur Tellus made us couscous with rataouille and merguez. SO GOOD. And we went to Andre's restaurant again this week and had raw fish salad :) You have to enjoy the little things in life and food is definitely one of those things! 

It was raining a lot for a week and it cooled down a little, but now it's warming up again. I used my raincoat once and my umbrella a few times. Yeah, when it's humid and you're wearing the raincoat, it's lame. I don't mind getting wet, but I like to try keeping my bag from getting wet (it's definitely not waterproof). It gets to be like 90F I think, but it's gotten higher than that.

We have an ami from Vanuatu and she's been reading the Book of Mormon in Bislama and she speaks Bislama. She's prayed in Bislama for both of our lessons and it's so cool. And even when she speaks French, she'll say some things in Bislama, but they're English words, so that's cool :) She's knows the bible really well and has a lot of faith. She just wants to take the time to really read and understand the Book of Mormon. We're hoping that she'll want to get baptized soon!

President Granger has really encouraged us to find, find, find! That's the way we'll be able to find those who are already ready to hear the Gospel. That's our goal for this week: more finding! There's four more weeks in this transfer, and I hope we can do a lot of great work in that time! After that, who knows where I'll be? haha

Passez une bonne semaine!! Je vous aime!
Soeur Matheson

Pics from Mont Dore from last week. 
We were literally in the clouds!
But before that the view was beautiful!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

22 February 2016 - Week 16: It's Never a Normal P-Day

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!

I only have a couple of minutes to write today! Sorry! The reason is that we hiked Mont Dore as a district yesterday! That was really fun and it was raining a little so we weren't really hot. But on the way down I slipped and fell twice... hahaha but all is well and I just have a little cut on my hand that's healing and I'm really sore today.
(pictures to come next week!)

SAD NEWS! Our ami didn't get baptized! She didn't show up to her baptism on Saturday
... and she won't answer our calls anymore... We'll keep trying!

But this week we really faced a lot of adversity--no baptism, lots of cancelled lessons. It was hard, but Soeur Tellus and I are using it as a way to look at how we're working and what we can change to be better.

Sorry I don't have tons of time and I have to go now, but I love you all and thank you for all the love and concern and prayers for me and this mission!

Next week will (hopefully) be a normal week P-day-wise!

Soeur Matheson


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Letter to her sister Rachel, dated 11 January 2016

Dear Rachel,

I just got your letter two days ago, so I guess it takes about a month for mail to get here. So you’ll probably get this in February! I’m doing well and adjusting to the lifestyle here—not just the mission life, but island life. It’s cool because here in New Cal there are so many different kinds of people all living together. There’s Caldoches, Kanaks, the people native to the Loyalty Islands—Lifou, Maré, Ouvea, Isle of Pines—some native French people, lots of Tahitians, and Wallisians and Futunians. There’s so many different kinds of people living in the same place. Oh yeah, there’s a lot of Asians too! Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese—it’s kinda weird to hear Asians speak French, haha.

The people don’t really mix together a lot, though. The members of the church mix, but most other people stick to themselves. There is some ethnic prejudice between the Kanaks and Wallisians, Futunians and Tahitians. If they’re drunk, they’ll all just fight… But don’t worry, we are home by six and avoid all the sketchy-looking people. But honestly, most people here are nice. Some people are mean—lots of people’s cars get stolen by Kanaks and they’re found burned later. An Elder was punched in the back of the head once, but he’s up north in a sketchy area. One missionary and companion had someone threaten them with a gun while they were contacting, but they got away. I know people here have guns, but I haven’t seen anyone with one yet. But I’m also in the city, so… On verra! Most people here believe in God. There are a lot of Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses. People keep thinking we’re JWs, haha.

Also, people here love to drink. And almost everyone smokes. So when people decide to join the church, they make big lifestyle changes. It’s cool. Some cultural things we do are to always take off your shoes when you enter a house. And we “bisou” or kiss the cheeks of the women (we can shake the men’s hands only, but men and women can bisou if they’re not missionaries). ...I think people don’t shake hands a lot, outside of the Church. If you are casual with someone, you can slap hands and fist bump—we do that with the Elders!

Right now we are under a cyclone alert, so we’re not supposed to go far from our apartments, so we can’t email today… So I’m writing letters! We don’t think it will hit us… it’s closer to Vanuatu right now, but we’ll see!

BTW, love the pictures! Keep ‘em coming.

I love you! Stay awesome! DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME!



Monday, February 15, 2016

15 February 2016 - Week 15: Sorry that I never email on Monday's anymore...

Bonjour tout le monde!

I never email on the right day anymore, it seems. There's always something going on! Last week it was Zone Conference and this week, the place where we do our emails was closed... Sorry!!

Mom: ‘Cause this is killing me! I feel like I am always waiting for an email from you.

Laura: Sorry, I know :( I'm not doing it on purpose! Just know that if anything bad ever happened, you'd hear from the mission office first, not me. So it's a good thing you haven't gotten anything like that!

Mom: I know that logically, but... I worry a little that if something happened to the two of you, how would people know? Do you "check in" each night?? [The mission president and the main mission office are on the island of Vanuatu, about 340 miles away.]

Noumea, New Caledonia to Port Vila, Vanuatu
Laura: No we don't check in, but all the missionaries call so much everyday that if something happened, they'd know really soon. 

Good news! Corinne is getting baptized THIS SATURDAY! It's a long story, but everything is good to go! And we're still working to set an actual date and time for William. He's just working all the time and doesn't always know that far in advance so it's hard to plan. But we're hoping for next week!

Honestly, I don't have much to say since Friday, sorry! It's still hot here and it's weird to see Rachel's pictures of Charlotte playing in the snow. I would love some snow right now, haha! It rained a little, but now it's just more humid, which I don't even know how that's possible because it was already humid before. 

Here's a selfie of me and Soeur Tellus! I'll try to do something more interesting this week to tell you about. And we've made a goal to take a picture a day. We'll see how that goes!

This girl looks sunburned!!
Bonne semaine!! [Have a good week]

Soeur Matheson