Monday, February 3, 2014

Tabu Bulumakau! (Holy Cow)


What a week.  There have been a lot of ups and downs this week. And they've been pretty drastic.  I would say my best and worst days in the mission so far have happened since I emailed last.
Last week after I finished emailing, we went to Sister Ranama's house to weave! SO. Much. Fun. We made this silly little letter holder.  It's all woven out of leaves that have been boiled and dried. Every day is a new adventure. We also had FHE with them. 
One funny thing that happened this week..... So I say "Holy Cow" a lot right? And one day Vuli said "Tabu Bulumakau" to me right after.  I was confused as always, because it really sounded a lot more like.... "sioenfosmdiocweniottkls" to me. Then I realized it was the literal translation for holy cow, and makes no sense in Fijian. Now I swear most of the village yells that when they see me. Ha. Silly people. I love them.

I don't honestly have much time today to write because we are in LABASA (which is pretty much the hottest city in all of Fiji and the Fijians are a minority let alone the Americans because it feels like INDIA. Dream come true eh? I can pretty much cross India off my list. Jk.) But we are here for a Training meeting for new missionaries and their trainers tomorrow.  We walked, then took a taxi, then a sweet ferry for 2 hrs. Then a LONG bus ride.  Good thing I love traveling and transportation.  But I was in Heaven. This place is beautiful.  Clear blue water and green jungle. But I already miss my village. I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to leave.  We get to stay with the sisters here tonight though! Sister Alaga! Yay!

I'll tell you about the BEST part of my week though....

Vuli's baptism. It was INCREDIBLE. It was the most tender, moving, baptism I've ever seen. She is so ready and was crying the whole time.  We were real worried when they didn't show up till 10 mins. after it started. Fiji Time I guess, right? I gave her pearl earrings because she liked mine and wanted a pair.  It was so fitting for her baptism and she looked beautiful in white. She was bawling during the opening song, and you should have seen her testimony.  I think everyone was crying. She has been through a lot and is so determined to stay strong.  All of the struggles so far have been beyond worth it to see her beautiful smile as she came up out of the water. I feel so blessed to be part of her conversion, even just a small part. She couldn't stop crying all day. After her baptism she gave me a big hug and wouldn't let go. We were both crying and she said..."I finally made it to the end Sister Matheson." And I said ...."No, Vuli, you made it to the beginning." The beginning of the race to eternal life. It was such a beautiful reminder to me of the blessings of being baptized. My heart was full all day.  I can already see the promises from the First Presidency (on the 1st page of PMG) coming true! I am so happy!
But there are rough days too. OH there are rough days. This week I prayed a lot.  I prayed more than I've ever prayed.  Take away someone's family and friends, and school, and work, and culture, and climate, and life and everything that they are accustomed to and drop them in a middle of a new country with new people and culture and language with a new companion 24/7 and most importantly with a responsibility that they feel completely inadequate for, and they will learn to pray.  I didn't think it was possible for me to pray more than maybe 3-5 minutes without falling asleep.  Wrong. One day this week I'm absolutely positive I spent more time talking to my Heavenly Father than anyone else.  Probably everyone else combined.  I prayed over and over for strength, and love, and patience, and humility.  And my prayers were answered.  It's still a struggle. Everyday. But I am learning and growing so much and I am SO grateful for my trials, because they are truly making me stronger.
I wish I had time to tell you about all of the new investigators we found this week.  Lots.  My favorite are two little girls that came to church yesterday.  I think they can feel a difference.  I have a really good feeling about them. But I am struggling with balance. I have a hard time spending so much time finding new investigators when I feel like we are neglecting or not giving our current 25 or so investigators a chance. Ugh.  I guess I'm learning.

We had one day this week that was full of miracles. It was a humbling day. The first was in Nabaluni after we hiked an hour or more up there to teach two lessons.  We were teaching Sister Jese outside and it started to rain.  Then it started to pour.  All around us, but we didn't get wet. It was insane. Another was that in our lesson with Letila and Epeli, I prayed so hard for the spirit and to be able to speak the language.  At the end of the Restoration lesson, I opened my mouth and for the first and only time, the words flowed from my mouth.  I swear I don't even know all of the words I said. And the spirit was so strong.  I could see the tears in their eyes. I hope they recognized the spirit and know that it's true.

A lot of other wonderful things happened this week. But I'll just leave with my testimony.  My testimony that THIS is the Lord's work.  This is where I am supposed to be.  I love these people. I love this Gospel. I am SO grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary.  There is no greater joy than sharing something that will change lives for eternity.  I know this Gospel is true and I know that our Heavenly Father knows each one of us and hears our prayers.  Au via wasea na veika oqo en na yacai Jisu Karisito Emeni.

Loloma Levu,
Sister Matheson. :)

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