Ni Sa Bula Vinaka!
I'll just start by saying that I've been a missionary for 5 MONTHS! :) What?!? Where does the time go? Almost 1/3 the way done.
We had an exhausting but fabulous week. Here are a few of the things we did. French Toast Party, the village meke (traditional dance) festival/party etc., Brother Orisi's 50th Birthday Party/feast, Armor of God FHE with the Raika's. And a whole lot of lessons. And a bunch of walking. And more lessons. And of course some serious studying.
Funny story of the week..........
So we were helping one of the members make a cleaning assignment chart and she wanted to put a scripture on obedience. We finally helped her decide on 1 Nephi 3:7 but she said it was a little long so she would just put the first part. We didn't think anything of it until Sunday morning when we saw it hanging on the bulletin board for the whole branch to see. It read....." I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men." Ha we about died. :)
We had a fabulous lesson with Brother Orisi this week (one of our Recent Converts.) We were so excited that he had read like 20 chapters of the Book of Mormon since our last lesson. While I was bearing my testimony at the end, I thought back to my very first lesson here in Taveuni with him. And how far he has come and how exciting it's been to see him change his life and to watch the blessings come. It was one of those tender mercies from the Lord that makes everything so worth it. :)
There are a lot of discouraging things that happen on missions. Lots of times when you just don't feel like you can keep going. Times when you are absolutely exhausted. But there are also times when the sacrifices seem so small and insignificant. Times when you are SO HAPPY to be a missionary. We had a lot of those times this week. Every single lesson with Biu - our most Golden investigator EVER. We can hardly get through a whole lesson anymore because he is constantly bearing his testimony and thanking us for bringing him to the Gospel. And pouring out his heart about how happy he is and how the light has flooded his life and how excited he is to be a member and go to the temple. It's the most incredible experience. I wish everyone thinking about going on a mission could be a fly on the wall in those lessons. 18 months is a small sacrifice for even one convert like Biu.
This Sunday during Sacrament meeting, I was contemplating how to help strengthen these members and this branch. I love them so much. I was thinking about what my greatest desire is for them. As we sang the closing song it hit me. "Ever Faithful, Ever Faithful, to the truth may we be found!" (From "Lord Dismiss Us With thy Blessing" Hymn 163 ..... we sing it a bazillion times a week). That is exactly my deepest desire for them. For everyone. To just STAY FAITHFUL!!!!! Endure to the end. Keep doing those things that are good and right. Sacrifice. Love. Serve. Live the Gospel. Never lose sight of what matters most. I love this area and this branch and everything about my mission. It is such a blessing to be able to share this Glorious Gospel every single day. :)
Sister Matheson :)
The Village Meke
Brother Orisi's Birthday Party
Family Home Evening with the Raika's (The Armor of God)
Making dinner with Nai (our adorable investigator)
French Toast Party with the Senilolis!
Using our imaginary jump rope :) Ha!