Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heavenly Father Loves Me!

Bula Vina'a!
Talk about an eventful week! This week has been a little bit crazy. But some really great things happened. We started off the week with a funeral. Funerals are quite the event here. Monday the whole branch and the rest of the village went to the Watikini's house and brought some cakes and things. The men sit and do some ceremonial speeches and stuff and the women go inside and sit and comfort and sing with the wife. Then the close family feeds like 100+ people. The next day it starts all over again. There's the normal funeral then the burial ceremony (where the men/boys dig the grave themselves) and some singing and ceremonial things again.  Then more food. A LOT of food. And a LOT of people. And they slaughter a cow and divide it among all the families that come. It was such a tender experience to participate in the funeral.  He will be greatly missed.
Monday we also had our last District Meeting before things change. We sang "Nearer my God to Thee" and it was absolutely beautiful. Harmonized and with so much emotion. I will never forget it. We have grown so close as a District and I actually feel like we are a family. I'm going to miss each of them so much.
Wednesday I still hadn't heard when exactly I was being transferred. Everyone else left Tuesday morning. But I assumed it was probably Thursday. So I was saying my goodbyes and stressing sara va'alevu. Then I got a call from the Assistants.  They said they were soooo sorry but the next flight they could get me on was not until Sunday Afternoon. After Biu's baptism and the District Conference. I've never been so happy! That's how I know Heavenly Father loves me :)

Thursday for Service we spent FOREVER raking the cut grass at the church. I've never been so grateful for Lawn Mowers where the grass is all collected in those cute little bags. And I also really think the church needs to either invest in one or sell some property.
Sister Laru's new companion Sister Tago (Samoan) came in Friday morning so we were in a trio for a few days. So fun! They are going to be awesome together! I already miss them both so much!
Saturday was Brother Biu's Baptism!!! :) I LOVE baptisms. But when we woke up the water was off. So we were a little bit stressed. But were hoping for an Ocean baptism if the water didn't come on. The water eventually came on but it was pretty dirty. The baptism was awesome though. It was right after Disctrict Conference and it was packed. President Klingler was presiding which was really awesome.  After the baptism we sang "Nearer My God to Thee" and the spirit poured over me as I sang the line "All that thou sendest me, in mercy giv'n." I know that it was a tender mercy from the Lord to be able to be at that Baptism and also that I had the opportunity of working with and teaching someone who has been SO prepared by the Lord to receive the Gospel.  I know that Brother Biu will be a pillar of strength here in Taveuni. :)
District Conference was fabulous. I cried at the end as they sang "God be with you till we meet again" and "Isa Lei" (Fijian Farewell song). They were singing to the Klinglers, but I still felt their love and realized how much I'm going to miss Taveuni. It's my home. And my family. It was kind of a dream come true to hear them sing "God Be With You".   Kind of like from the "Other Side of Heaven." It was the perfect way to end my time in Taveuni and I am forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to stay a few days longer.
And now I'm in Lautoka! With Sister Mataoa! She is Tahitian and adorable. And I already love her so much! She is a wonderful missionary and a great example to me! I'm so excited to work with her and get to know the area. Lautoka feels soooo huge even though it's really not. Anything is bigger than Taveuni. But I know I will love it here. And I know that as hard as change is, this is my Heavenly Father's plan for me. I know He loves me. I know that as long as I submit my will to Him and be obedient and work hard and just LOVE the people here, everything will work out. I love being a missionary! :)
Loloma Levu,
Sista Matheson :)

Brother Biu's Baptism!

One Last Ice Cream with Ozie

Last dinner with Sister Laru and Sister Tago

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