Tuesday, August 30, 2016

31 August 2016 - Week 42: Still feelin' like a mom

Bonjour ma famille,

So this week was completely ridiculous and jam-packed full of surprise STL duties due to some problems going on with the sisters that I can't really talk about.... So my email is gonna be short. I am definitely learning how to be more caring but also hold the line when it comes to handling these situations. Soeur Caress has helped a lot and we've found that we complement each other well. And I just want to say that I am very grateful for our zone leaders and all that they do and how much they care as well. They're great to work with!

So we didn't get to do much actual missionary work this week, which was a bummer! But on Monday, we had our exchange with Yahoue and Soeur Sorenson and I were able to go out and work all day and it was great! We were focusing on finding the inactive members and correcting the ward list to help the ward clerk. We found a lot of people who had moved, or whose addresses in the listing weren't complete, but we did find a couple of people and so we'll be able to help them now! And we saw one inactive sister named Anaise who's really sick and so the elders came to give her a blessing and she was so happy and grateful. It was so great to see that! :)

And right now we're preparing for our big zone conference next week--both zones and President and the APs will be there. And we're giving a training... haha so much to do! And this transfer has just flown by! wow. 

So that's been my life lately. I'm doing well, sometimes stressed, but ca va aller! [but that's how it goes]

Je vous aime! Bonne semaine!

Soeur Matheson


1-2) The beach at Magenta--we needed a quick break this week so we went to the beach and it was very beautiful. 
3) With Soeur Snow and Soeur Utia--they're the cutest!
4) And I have a billion selfies of Elder Tauotaha (one of the zone leaders) cuz he always steals my camera.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

24 August 2016 - Week 41: I feel like a mom!

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!

Hey good news! I made bread this morning and it's really good! :) We have started making our bread because it's way cheaper. And for breakfast it's great to have freshly made bread to go with your Milo :) I really love Milo now. It's basically hot chocolate, and when you have some good bread to dip in it, c'est parfait!

And I do feel like a mom as an STL [Sister Training Leader]. We take care of the sisters, and we feed the hungry elders (mostly the zone leaders) when they're super busy and don't have time to go home to eat. Soeur Caress et moi, we are the moms of the south zone! We're starting our exchanges with the sisters, and I love getting to have the time to get to know the sisters more and how I can help them better. 

For the secteur, things are getting better! We've met with some amis who have been amis for YEARS (one of them for 17). We meet with them, but they don't progress very much so not very high hopes there. BUT Monday night, Soeur Caress was with Soeur Snow for our exchange and they had a lesson with this family (father, mother, daughter) who have decided that they're ready to change and get baptized! Woo hoo! Miracle! So we're going to see them 3x a week and help them get to church and get ready for baptism! The mother and father need to stop smoking, so that'll be hard. But, if they're really motivated, I know they can do it!

Also, we're still working with the ward list to find inactives and correct the addresses and all that. We actually went looking for one inactive family at this apartment, but they weren't there. We were about to leave, but then I remembered seeing that another member lived in the same building but it didn't have the apartment number. So we looked at the mailboxes outside and VOILA her name is there with her aparment number!! so we go up and knock and she's there! At first, she just said she's never going to church again, but then we talked in the doorway and we even said a prayer with her and she said we could come back to visit! Yay! That was a miracle! Also, she said that the door to the apartment building is usually locked but it wasn't that day and so we had been able to go up and find her! Miracle! :)

I know that this is God's work! He is always there helping us do His work as long as we're obedient and listen to the Spirit. The Spirit is so important in this work and we always need to be worthy of it. Mom, thanks for sharing your experience this week. We had an experience like that, too, when we were planning for the exchanges. We felt that we had to have an exchange with a certain companionship before the others and that a certain sister had to come to Magenta. And now we are aware that that was exactly what needed to happen to better help the sisters and their situation. It's amazing to have experiences like that and we need to always remember these testimonies, especially when times of doubt come. I know that God knows each and every one of us individually and that he answers our prayers and that we can be the answers to other people's prayers if we're seeking to serve by the guidance of the Spirit. 

Je vous aime beaucoup!! Passez une bonne semaine! [Have a good week]

Soeur Matheson


1) A sunset from our balcony

2) That's Ouvea, one the Loyalty Islands, when we flew back from Vanuatu. I hope you can see it haha!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

16 August 2016 - Week 40: Figuring out Magenta

Bonjour ma famille!

This week.... We were really just trying to get to know the secteur, which can be fun but also a struggle, haha. Soeur Caress and I are in the Magenta secteur itself, not VDC, but we're back in the Magenta Ward. We both started our missions in VDC, actually. And everyone (the members) here thinks we're twins... Haha but that's okay 'cuz that's a real sign of unity, right?? Je blague!

So this week we've been going through the area book and the ward list trying to figure out who all the amis, recent converts, and inactive members are. It's nice that I already know a lot of the members, so going through the ward list and knowing who's active or not is easier. And what we're trying to do is help the ward clerk update the ward list, so as we find people (or not) we make notes on the list and he'll change things in the system. Then we get a new ward list! yay! haha There are some things that can make a missionary happy, but a really good, up to date ward list is top! I sound like a complete dork, but I have really understood the importance of good record keeping because of my mission. 

So far, we've had a lot of cancelled lessons, which can be disappointing, but we've also had some really sweet lessons. We met this ami, Bernadette, who is family with members in Mont Dore, and she already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and prayer. We're just trying to help her get to church. Luckily, the church is just down the road, so transportation isn't an issue because she can walk, but she said that every time the missionaries invite her to church, it rains that Sunday, so she never goes. This Sunday if it rains, we're gonna bring an umbrella and walk with her!! :) And we saw this other ami, Malia, who's been an ami for about 17 years... She had made beignets for us and so we ate and then shared a scripture and a prayer with her. She has a bit of a mental handicap, which is why (in my opinion) she isn't baptized yet. But she's so sweet and just lonely and wants a friend. Next time we're going to find a mami from the ward to come with us to see her. 

In our secteur, we have a car because we're STLs. It's a Toyota Yaris and it's tiny but it's better than something bigger because the roads are smaller here than up in Koutio. I'm really glad we have a car, though, because Magenta is literally ALL hills and I would die walking. (I'm so out of shape being in the car btw.) Need to do more sport....

Being an STL in the south is more work than the north because there's more sisters, but it's been great so far! In the next two weeks, we have our 4 exchanges. For two of them I'll be staying in Magenta with the newest sisters and the other two I get to go back to VDC and also see what Motor Pool is like. It's nice that Soeur Caress and I both have permission to drive the car (usually it's just one) but because we're STLs and we both have licenses and experience driving, we can both drive. So each day we just say, "Can you drive today?" haha or we switch off. It's way easier to plan the exchanges when you don't have to worry about who can actually leave the secteur so that we can still use the car. Anyway, I'm excited for the exchanges and the chance I'll have to get to know the sisters better. I've been in the north for a while, and I haven't had the chance to talk to all of the newer sisters who came more recently. 

We had our zone meeting yesterday and it went really well! All the trainings went together and to me, that's a testimony that the Spirit was there when we were planning. Like, we had asked one of the district leaders to give a training on courage and he ended up talking about the armor of God and using the sword of the Spirit. And our training was about obedience and how the rules are our armor that protects us. When he first started talking about the armor, Soeur Caress and I were thinking that it's super awkward to talk about the same thing. But then I realized that that's because the Spirit was there and led us to talk about the same things because that's what the zone needed to hear. So that was a cool experience and not actually awkward. :)

So, that's my life right now! Sometimes figuring out a new secteur makes me feel like a detective, so it's fun. I like putting the puzzle pieces together and figuring out who's who and what's what. Just call me Soeur Holmes! haha Or Soeur Drew because Nancy Drew is the #1 detective hahaha :)

JE VOUS AIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep praying and keep writing!!!!!!!

Soeur Matheson

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

9 August 2016 - Week 39: Back from VANUATU!!!


Je suis revenue de Vanuatu ce matin! [I returned from Vanuatu this morning!] I'm actually super tired right now--running on about 4 hours of sleep... We had to be up at 4 am to go to the airport this morning and then traveling just takes it all out of you. (Which is weird because you literally just sit around a bunch...) Anyway, we had an amazing time in Vanuatu with the leadership of the Great VPVM!

We had the transfers, and now I'm officially back in the South Zone and back in the Magenta Ward. It's weird to be back in the ward where I started because in the beginning I still couldn't speak French or understand everyone and now I can. The funniest part was that on Sunday this Brother got up to bear his testimony and I was so surprised that I could understand him because before I couldn't at all. Haha yay for progress! And so far Soeur Caress and I haven't been able to do much work in the secteur because we had two days and then we left for Vanuatu. Now that we're back we can really dive in to the work here in Magenta. It's a small secteur (the smallest I've ever been in) but that doesn't mean there isn't any work to do! I'm excited to get going again and start seeing those miracles come! And it is a little weird to have an American companion because we can speak English all the time, but I really don't want to lose my French so we're gonna work on only speaking French together!

Oh yeah, I don't know if I mentioned it last week, but in our mission we had 162 baptisms during the month of July! That's a record for the mission! :) And we want to keep going like that and even better!

I think y'all can probably tell that I'm pumped up and motivated after our MLC [Mission Leadership Conference] in Vanuatu with President and Sister Granger, the APs, and all the Zone Leaders and STLs in the mission. It was super fun to be with everyone and to learn from President Granger together. We talked a lot about the vision for the mission and how we can help our zones reach that vision. Vision = BAPTISMS :)

So Sunday night, we flew to Vanuatu and when we got there the APs/the travel elders who were supposed to pick us up weren't there yet, BUT luckily there was a bishop and other members who called them for us! Honestly I had the feeling that Vanuatu is like Utah a bit--there are members all over! During the trip, all of us STLs stayed with the STLs in Vanuatu again. All 8 of us in one house! They're all so nice and I love them and I really enjoyed getting to know them better! Then Monday morning, we wanted to do some shopping at the market in Port Vila before MLC started, so that's what we did! The people in Vanuatu are so nice and so willing to talk! I can see now why the work moves so fast there! And we would come across some members randomly and it was fun to meet them!

We did some shopping again on Tuesday morning, and we saw a little parade of Vanuatu women marching for Jesus Christ. They were all in their island dresses and had mini Vanuatu flags and were singing! I took a video and it was the coolest thing! Part of the culture of Vanuatu is belief in Jesus Christ! Isn't that so amazing? I love it!

I'm running out of time to write, but I'm sending tons of pics!! Vanuatu was awesome and I love my mission and I love you all!!!! Have a great week!

Soeur Matheson :) 

Moi et Soeur Rooarii avec Soeur Bourgine avant que je sois muté.

The view from our apartment balcony.

Our apartment kitchen.

William's baptism!!

Getting off the plane in Vanuatu.

New companions - Soeur Matheson and Soeur Caress
Time in Port Vila enjoying the shopping and the views and the super friendly people!

STLs from New Caledonia in Vanuatu - Soeurs Matheson, Caress, Rooarii and Casuga

Views of Vanuatu

View from the mission home.

The leaders of the Great VPVM! 

Outside the place where we ate a really nice dinner last night with all my STL friends.

I ordered fish, and it was delicious!