Wednesday, October 26, 2016

26 October 2016 - Week 50: "Je fonds comme la glace au soleil!" [I melt like ice cream in the sun]

Bonjour ma belle famille! So I’m writing out my email this week so I can have more time to read the emails you send me! Mom, is it okay if you just type this up for my blog? Or you could just post the pic if you wont. C’est toi qui vois. [She wrote out her email long hand on paper and sent us photos of the pages. It was fun to see her handwriting again!]

To explain the subject line: We went to see an inactive frère who’s about 30 years old and isn’t married yet. We shared a scripture about personal preparation for the celestial kingdom and all he wanted to talk about was starting a family. That’s definitely on his mind a lot and it’s his next step! But he’s shy and feels awkward around girls. We asked him if he has a girl in mind to ask out and he said yes but he’s too scared to talk to her because he melts like ice cream in the sun, ha ha! So cute and so funny! Our commitment for him was to talk to the girl before the next time we see him. Never given that commitment before!

Thursday morning, we went out to see the sisters in our zone to see how they’re doing and to motivate them to never stop believing in miracles! That afternoon, President Granger and the APs called us to motivate us to keep working, keep being faithful, and to never give up. Something that President said that I really like was, “Today is the day that things happen for tomorrow.” Maybe we work really hard today and expect the blessings come tomorrow. During the month of miracles we faced a lot of opposition and discouragement because we weren’t seeing the fruits of our labors (baptisms) but as long as we keep being constant in our efforts, we will see miracles one day. The Lord blesses us according to His timing and His way, and I think the blessing we’ve received this month is a better understanding of the importance of constantly being obedient, faithful, to work hard, and to never give up.

This week we fixed a baptismal date with our amie Henriette! She’s practically a member already—she prays and reads the scriptures every day, but she’s afraid of going inactive after being baptized. We’ve talked with her about all the things that help us stay active—church, study, the sacrament, repentance, etc. She prayed about a baptismal date and it’s the 26th of November! Yay! 

And a crazy thing is that Henriette actually knows a lot of inactive members, and she told us about one who lives in our secteur that we thought had moved to Ile des Pins [Isle of Pines]. But she’d just been visiting and now she’s back. So we went to see her and she’s so sweet and cute. The only thing holding her back from church was tithing. She thought she had to pay back all the time she missed and for her the amount was getting bigger and bigger and bigger. She was waiting to get enough money to pay it all back. So we explained exactly how and why we pay tithing and now she understands that it’s a sacrifice we make to show our faith in God and that we trust God to help us out if, after paying tithing, we have financial problems. I was grateful to get to be so straightforward in teaching that and even during that lesson, my testimony of tithing grew.

And this week we’ve had three new amis just from referrals we got. They’re all really interested and have the desire to know God and to have better lives. We can help them with that! So we’re excited to get to keep teaching them and help them accept the Gospel J So far this week has been great! Lots of good things happening in our secteur!

Oh, and if you’ve heard about the protest going on here by the Kanaks making sure everyone will be able to vote for independence in 2018, don’t worry about our safety! The missionaries in the secteurs where it is have been pulled out for the day, and so we have the Motorpool sisters with us. We're not allowed to even be in the two areas where it's happening... but the two Motorpool soeurs heard the police sirens this morning, I guess in preparation for it. We've just been having a chill p-day at the chapelle playing ping pong and volleyball with the Sisters. The church is keeping track of what’s happening and when it’ll be safe to take them back. Don’t worry if you hear anything crazy happening. We’re all safe!

Mom and Dad, you should be getting an email and a letter soon from Soeur Glade taking about getting an international driver’s license for me. She’ll tell you all the details and all that you need for it (except the $20) is in the letter that’s coming to you. Please don’t laugh at the pictures in there. We’re not allowed to smile in them. L No happiness! Ha ha. I filled out the form, and there's two pics of me and copies of my license already. I think all you have to do is take all that and $20 to AAA to have them do it and then mail it here. Anyway, if you could get that done ASAP, that’d be great!

Because we're getting the international drivers license we don't have to do auto ecole [driving school]. I'm happy about that because I’ve heard it's hard and a waste of time and also that the auto ecoles have been failing missionaries on purpose to make them repay and retake the course. So yeah, the fact that the Glades found the international drivers license thing is a miracle!

[They are allowed to drive for one year on their American licenses. In the past, the missionaries have then had to spend an entire week in auto ecole, and pass a test at the end of the week to get a driver’s license.]

So, that’s all for now! I’m doing really well and loving my mission! Learning and growing a lot, too!


Soeur Matheson

In response to Mom’s question – The cockroaches sont toujours la malheureusement [are unfortunately still here]. They're always crawling around the kitchen area, like on top of the fridge. They're only the really big ones if we spray around the edges of the room. That's when the big ones come out from their hiding places. But if we don't it's mostly small ones.

Some pics of us with Madeleine, an inactive sister that we found who said she wanted nothing more of the church but now she's going to come on Sunday! woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

19 October 2016 - Week 49: Bonjour de la Nouvelle Caledonie!

Salut! Ca va??

Hey so I finally am not super rushed for email time! yay!

Shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Matheson for the very lovely birthday card! Thank you so much and I love you!!! Also, thanks Rachel, Matt, and Charlotte for the card as well. I finally got it a month later, haha. But I do like the glittery ice cream. C'est net. :)

So because Mom keeps asking, we got the transfers and I am staying in Magenta with Soeur Caress! That means I will finally "kill" my companion instead of being with her just almost to the end (including when she gets her itinerary) and then being transferred the transfer before she leaves, haha. It'll actually be really weird to be with someone right up until the end!

So we're still in Magenta livin' it up as STLs, haha. Actually, we will be living' it up in November because we're going to Vanuatu AGAIN for MLC with President. That'll be the third time for me!

With the transfers, there was a pretty cool change because Paita got split into two secteurs. And we're thinking that's because they're going to split the wards during Stake Conference in November. I think the plan is to take Dumbea and part of Paita and make the Dumbea Branch or Ward (not sure which yet). Then the Riviere Salee and Tontouta wards will be a little smaller. So, interesting and exciting changes to come that show the growth of the Church here on the caillou!

Oh yeah, in other news... Our baptism was cancelled..... :( The parents decided to change their minds and not let the kids be baptized! SO SAD! But we're not gonna let that get us down!

Fun fact: we started teaching a guy from Mare who's deaf! He just walked up to the bureau [mission office] while we were there and asked to be taught. So we volunteered! It's a little interesting to teach him because you know he can't really hear you but you're talking anyway. He reads lips really well, so we can get by, but Soeur Caress and I have learned a little bit of French sign language to make sure he understands well. We've only taught him twice now, but he really wants to learn the Gospel and be baptized! So that's a miracle! And he just walked up to us! If only it were always like that!

We also got a new ami from the Elders of Sixieme (by the way, that secteur is now closed, so we're lucky they told us about her before the transfer!). The elders had contacted her and she'd had the lessons before years ago and wanted to start again. It just turns out that she lives in Magenta and the elders didn't realize that where she lived wasn't actually in their secteur #awkward haha. Anyway, she wants to be baptized, but she's scared of sinning again afterward. So we're encouraging her and teaching her about the Atonement and about repentance and the Sacrament and the Holy Ghost to guide us. We're praying she'll come to understand that and decide to be baptized!

We had our zone meeting yesterday and comme d'habitude, we gave a training. We talked about charity as our motivation and boldness in all aspects of the work. The zone leaders talked about having vision, especially with our goal of 25 baptisms in New Cal for October. The trainings were all really great and the Spirit was there, but the missionaries were a little discouraged. There have been lots of baptisms cancelled this month and the 25 seem far away. We're not giving up, but we definitely need some miracles! Pray for New Cal!

Oh yeah, we walked with an ami to church on Sunday! It's fun to walk with them to make sure that they get there, ha ha. Luckily, the chapel is just right next to our secteur so it's not a long walk! And this ami has a real desire to change, but we just need to be patient and give her time until she decides to change for good. She's Walisian and very headstrong and pretty frank, so she says what she wants but she's not unwilling to change her mind. Her son is a member, and he's serving in Tahiti, so the Church will always be a part of her life. So patience!

Okay, that's all for now! JE VOUS AIME!!!!!!!

From the Sisters Meeting we did with all the New Cal soeurs

From le centre culturel Tjibao

Thursday, October 13, 2016

12 October 2016 - Week 48: I forget what week it is...

Bonjour ma famille!!

So this week we experienced a miracle! We set two baptismal dates for THIS SATURDAY! It's Jennila and Jojo, the daughter and nephew of our amis Api and Asessione. The parents and Jennila have been amis for years now but the parents just won't stop smoking (lack of effort on their part.) BUT their daughter is ready! They just all wanted to be baptized as a whole family. So we talked about baptism being essential for personal salvation and then asked if the parents would let Jennila get baptized and they said yes! And the coolest part was that Jojo, their nephew, has come to church twice with them and as we were starting the lesson on Friday night, he walked in with a Book of Mormon in his hands that he'd found at home! He just really wants to be baptized! We offered to teach him, too, and he said yes and that he wants to be baptized with Jennila. So we said yes, sure! So as of right now, we're having two baptisms this weekend if everything continues to go well! The two kids (they're nine) are understanding the lessons well but get distracted a lot, haha. But they'll be ready for Saturday, especially because they both have a great desire to be baptised and follow the commandments. So that's our miracle for the week!

Also this week, we had a really amazing lesson about the Restoration with our ami Stephanie. Each time she asks all the right questions and she's really searching. We challenged her to read the Book of Mormon and unfortunately she's out of town all this week, but we're really hoping she brought her Book of Mormon with her and has been reading! 

And we finally got to teach our ami Jean Claude, an older Vietnamien dude. He's really still just learning the basics about God and Jesus Christ because he used to be Bhuddist. I think I spelled that wrong... Anyway, we challenged him to pray and read the Book of Mormon every day and he was shocked that he can gain a testimony like that. So we've hoping that he's been doing that this week and he's gained a testimony!

Oh and we had general conference this weekend! It was great! I heard a lot about finding joy by fully living the Gospel :)

Umm oh yeah, the centre culturel Tjibao was great and we learned a lot about Kanaky culture. And this morning we had a district activity where we played ping pong. I totally lost every time... c'est pas grave! This morning we battled the cockroaches in our apartment. We sprayed again, so all the big ones came out! Gross! :( Our apartment would be the best one if there weren't so many cockroaches, haha. Pros and cons toujours! 

I don't have enough time to send pics, sorry! But I love all of you! Have a great week!

Soeur Matheson

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

5 October 2016 – Week 47: Salut!

Hi family!

So the cyberbase is closing early (again) and so I'll just send another quick email today. Sorry! It's not me, I promise! haha

So last week, we had an exchange with the Robinson sisters and I got to go to Robinson with Soeur Fuller and we had a great time! We had several lessons and then tried some contacting where we got rejected several times, but we also find an ami they'd been trying to get into contact with. Great exchange!

Also, Soeur Caress and I had 20 lessons this week!! We'd been having about 10ish lately, but on Saturday we'd already had 12 and had several scheduled. So that day, we made the goal to get 20 lessons for the week. And we did it even though 3 of the scheduled lessons were cancelled. We just prayed a lot and were guided by Heavenly Father to the people we could see. Plus, we didn't give up even though as it was getting later, we thought we wouldn't be able to do it. But we did! And it was the first day of the Month of Miracles, so we started it off with a bang!

Then yesterday we had a special training with President and Sister Granger and the APs. We talked a lot about obedience and how that's the first thing we need to do to have success. Something I really liked was that we talked about how the Lord is bound when we do what He says. So if we're obedient, he has to help us with the things we ask for. Obedience brings blessings! 

And today we have a district activity at the centre culturel Tjibao (y'all can look it up) and then we're gonna eat pizza! Yay! 

I hope you're all doing well! Je vous aime! Bonne semaine!

Soeur Matheson

Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre

According to Wikipedia, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre was built in 1998 and "celebrates the vernacular Kanak culture, the indigenous culture of New Caledonia, amidst much political controversy over the independent status sought by some Kanaks from French rule."

Traditional Kanak Great House
Photo Credit: Fanny Schertzer