Sunday, March 9, 2014

Savusavu and Zone Conference :)

Bula Vina'a!

We had a super busy week this week.  I'll be pretty proud if my head doesn't explode before March is over! So much to do and figure out. 
We were out of our area for three days this week for Zone Conference in Savusavu which was super awesome.  But it's frustrating to lose so much time in our area at such a critical point. It was my first Zone Conference so Sister Bechu introduced me and I shared my testimony. Our Mission is doing really well right now though.  All of our numbers are way up and we are well on our way to reaching our goal for March! Yay! So that was really exciting and motivating. 
One of my favorite trainings was by President Klingler.  He shared this quote with us....."That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do- not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased." He talked about how on missions, our weaknesses become obvious. It's important to follow the advice of Ether 12:27 and go to the Lord in Humility to make them strengths instead of just getting discouraged and giving up.  I love the concept of always working to better ourselves.  I have a TON of weaknesses to work on. 
The fact that the conference was in Savusavu was just icing on the cake, because Savusavu is flat out GORGEOUS. Seriously. I'm blown away every time we go there. The sunsets are unbelievable and the weather is perfect and it's such a calm relaxing town. We also finally got to see the hot springs. They're not quite all they're cracked up to be. But it was still fun.  There were people cooking food on the boiling water. Still cool though. 
One of my favorite parts of the whole ordeal was the BOAT RIDE. We rode a different boat this time and got to sit on the front with the waves crashing against our toes. The water was so clear I could see down like 100 feet. Beautiful. I love Fiji. This is so my country. But we got pretty sunburned. Actually when I say we.... I mean I. Because I'm the only white one. 
When we got back we were really really stressed though.  Both of our heads hurt so much from thinking.  Thinking about all of the investigators and how to help them.  Thinking about how to strengthen the ward. Thinking of the members and their various struggles. Thinking about Fijian. I have definitely seen the strengthening power of the Atonement in my life. I can't do this work alone. 
But we had a BAPTISM this week.  Elena.  She's 12 and so sweet and so smart! We love her so much! Baptisms are stressful, but so worth it. 
This week we also helped out with the New Beginnings program.  I was so impressed with the YW who spoke and how everything pulled together.  We especially love working with the YW and relief society.
One of the struggles I've been pondering a lot this week is Self-Reliance. Mostly Spiritual self-reliance.  How do you help people become spiritually self reliant? How do you light the fire and keep it burning? As missionaries we can push and pull and tug and drag all we want, but at the end of the day, it's gotta come from the people. They have to be converted and have a desire to follow Christ independent of what anyone else says or does.  I think it really starts with the small and simple things.  One of the most frustrating things to me is the fact that any one of us can lose a testimony.  No matter the leadership position or years as a member or family circumstances. In Alma 34 we learn that even if it's a good seed..... if we don't nourish the precious plant, it will dry up and wither.  Sometimes I wish that once you gain a testimony, it is locked in place. But then what would be the test in that? I know that we are given agency to learn and grow.  I know it's all part of God's plan. I'm so thankful for this time I've been given to serve as a missionary. :)
Loloma Levu,

Sister Matheson

Sister Bechu and I chilling on the front of the boat on our way to Savusavu for Zone Conference

A bunch of my district at the front.  We sat there the whole 2 hrs. there and back!

The Savusavu Hotsprings

A Savusavu Sunset

Sister Bechu and I with Elder Johnson and his companion.

Sister Bechu and I with the beautiful Savusavu view!

Filling up the font Saturday night. We were exhausted.

Elena's Baptism. She's the sweetest!

With the YW after New Beginnings.

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