This week was fabulous. I finally learned how to say hello in all four of our zone languages. Bula.... Fijian. Yacway....Marshaleese. Talofa.....Samoan. And Mauri......Kiribati. Oh, and it was also Christmas. :)
The rest of Christmas was wonderful. It was very different from every other Christmas I've ever experienced but it was still wonderful. We went to four events in the gym. A talent show, a music program, a showing of last years Christmas Concert and an incredible Devotional. David A. Bednar came. He is truly an apostle! It was one of the most inspiring devotionals I've ever been to. He passed out 200 cell phones and had us text "Inspired Questions" after he taught us about inspired questions. I was blown away at how well he responded on the spot. One of my favorite thoughts was when someone asked "Why do I feel so inadequate as a missionary?" He responded by saying that it is a good sign. It is because we have some sense of what we have been called to do. And it helps us be humble and successful. So that was real good news. Another answer I really liked was about Sin. He said that some people think it isn't a big deal to spend their whole life sinning and repenting. But he said "If we are in the Cleaners constantly we have no time to perfect ourselves and progress. No time to become more like our Heavenly Father. We will miss out on so much." Really great insight eh?
Our Fiji Districts also did this adorable gift exchange for Christmas. The sweetest Elder from Kiribati who barely speaks English drew my name and gave me the sweetest present with an adorable drawing on the front and it was taped shut with Halloween Stickers. Love it.
The language is starting to sink in better this week. We have worked a lot harder on saying everything we can in Fijian wherever we go. My sentence structure is improving a lot. We also have an awesome substitute teacher this week for Christmas break..... BROTHER MATHESON! Yep. We're definitely related and he definitely rocks. I think his Great Grandpa is Great Grandpa Alva's cousin. But he is definitely from Alexander Matheson's line that came from Scotland and lived in Southern Utah. He is like 6'6" and reminds me of a combination of Grandpa and Lance Lamoreaux. Everyone says that as a Matheson, I have HUGE footsteps to fill in Fiji. Literally and figuratively. He is a Hero there. But seriously, what are the chances that TWO Mathesons will serve in Fiji within like five years? Look him up on Facebook, his name is Patrick Matheson.
The sisters are as hilarious and sweet as ever. Yesterday Sister Iro out of the blue said......" Uh. I wish leave MTC tomorrow. MTC make me so fatty and so shorter." Ha. Cracked me up. And Sister Pauni was vigorously brushing her teeth yesterday when I came into the bathroom. She had white foamy toothpaste bubbles dribbling all the way down her chin. She had the perfect Santa Clause beard. I started laughing. Then she said "Are you ok, Leada?" Like nothing was out of the ordinary. She always calls me Leader too which is just funny. Sometimes it's rough to be the only Palagi for a minute because the cultures are so different. Occasionally I feel like I'm babysitting. Occasionally. But in the end the Love outweighs the bad by a mile and a half and I feel so blessed to serve with them. I love helping them and getting to know them. Elder Bednar said that when we serve missions we are really serving two missions. One to the people we are called to teach and the other to our companions and the other missionaries. I have seen the truth of that and love every second of it. They have been my greatest Joy and Blessing here at the MTC.
I love you all so much and hope you have a fabulous week! I will try and attach some pictures!