Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Hero.... Pita.

Ni Sa Bula! 

Wow. I don't know where to start with this week. I'm stressing just thinking about fitting everything that happened into this email. It was quite the eventful week. Here are a few things that happened....

We went on exchanges with the Nausori sisters this week. I got to go to Nausori with Sister Alofoe. And it was an awesome exchange. I really love exchanges (even though they're a bit stressful) because I learn SO much. And I get to meet all of our wonderful sisters. And see the work progress in over half the island. We have 9 exchanges to go on every transfer. And so I'll probably go on around 40 exchanges. 

One of the highlights of our week was Tui's Baptism. Missionaries always love baptisms. But this one was REALLY awesome. Because Tui is REALLY awesome. He is one of the most prepared I've seen. We met him on Aug. 3rd and he was baptized the 30th.  27 Days. And he has completely turned his life around.  In his own words...."I buried the old Tui in that water. This is the NEW Tui."  He was so excited to be baptized that he was there 2 1/2 hours early. Ha. That doesn't happen too often. Especially in Fiji. The Baptism was great though. Except there was a stray cat wandering all around us and distracting everyone. And the fun doesn't end there..... because next week is Irene's Baptism. And she is equally awesome and converted and ready to be baptized. :) 

And those are our two progressing investigators. So time to find more! Yay! Yesterday we got a new one though. His name is Lu. He's Chinese. And I'm also part Chinese. And Sister Chong is obviously also part Chinese. So it's gonna be great. He's the cutest thing. I just love him already. And he's reteaching me Mandarin. :) And he's from the Wuxi. Wuxi is the city over from Changxhou where I stayed. Small world.  And hopefully we're going to get another new investigator tonight. :) 

This week we also went to the Johanssons. We love going to the Johansson's house. Elder Johansson is a General Authority and always has really awesome wisdom for us. And their whole family is just hilarious. But this week when we stopped by for a minute, we ended up sitting at their kitchen table talking deep doctrine. It's not everyday that you just sit down and talk church with a General Authority.  And it's not a day I'll soon forget. My mind was blown. There is soooooo much to learn in this Gospel. Yet it's all so simple. I learned so much. But one thing that really stuck out was his emphesis on the Holy Ghost. He shared how Jesus Christ HAD to leave the earth so that the Holy Ghost could come. And that reading our scriptures is only half the learning. Without the Holy Ghost we are missing out on so much. I just dream of being as in tune with the spirit as he is. 

We also went to MLC this week. Holy cow. I LOVE MLC. The whole time I just kept thinking how grateful I am to be able to be a leader in this mission and work with such awesome people. It was such a treat to be able to go. I was inspired and remotivated and all sorts of other wonderful things. But my favorite part by far was Pita. Pita is my hero. We all heard his story but when he actually walked through the door and talked to us..... it was something else. I'll never forget it. 

Here's a short version of his story.......

Pita mostly grew up in California. He was raised in the church but got into some trouble and was in prison for a few years before he was deported back to Fiji. Eventually he found his way back to the church and got married and has an adorable family now. He completely turned his life around. Then, when he received his Patriarchal blessing it said he would take the Gospel to his Village. In the middle of nowhere. It's bush. Not easy. But with the Lord's help and a whole lot of faith he moved back to the village. And he started the work. It started in his house.  Then grew and grew. Then they wanted a church. But the church couldn't justify one yet. So he took matters into his own hands. He hauled logs up the mountain and cut them and made a chapel. So. Much. Work. Then he made a road up to the chapel. Then a small flat for the elders to live in. And he keeps on going. I can't do justice to the story but I was in tears the whole time he was sharing with us. The spirit was so strong. And it was incredible to see what a difference one dedicated man who gives his whole life to the Lord can make. And guess what scripture he shared to finish?!? 

ALMA 29:9......... I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

I already loved this scripture. It's even on my mission plaque. But now it means soooo much more to me. Because it is also Pita's favorite scripture. And Pita is my hero. Every single line of this scripture fits perfectly with his life and his story. 

I just hope that I too can be an instrument in the Lord's hands. Even if it's not bringing the truth to a remote village.  If we do what the Lord wants us to, we will never go astray. I absolutely know that. I'm so thankful for the things I've learned on my mission. I know this Gospel is true. And I love it. :) 

Loloma Levu,

Sista Matheson :) 

 Tui's Baptism! He's the man. (L to R: Me, Tui, Lei, and Sister Chong)
 Some of the people at his Baptism. 
Sister Bechu and I!!!!!!! Love this girl! I've missed her and I'm excited to be so close to her now! I can't wait for her wedding in 11 days. 

 Elder Cordner, our District Leader, and Tui. With the cat that came to Tui's Baptism.

 Exchanges with Sister Alofoe in Nausori!
Mission Leadership Council Picture