Sunday, November 16, 2014


Bula Vinaka!
This week was MISSION TOUR so of course it was wonderful. :) And the work is still going really really well so that adds to the happiness! Plus I went on 3 exchanges with wonderful sisters! And we had a huge ward party/ farewell for the Jacksons. Each auxiliary was in charge of a dance from a different culture. It was very well done and also very beneficial to the missionary work here. We met three potential investigators and the Elders found a couple too! One of which already has a baptismal date. :) Activities work miracles! Especially when you have wonderful members like the members here who invite all of their friends! 
Funny Story of the week....... 
Tuesday I was on exchanges with Sister Crowell and we taught all of our Kiribati kids at the school.  There were 6 of them between 7 to 12 years old. And we were learning about the Word of Wisdom. And these kids are all very competitive, especially academically. So we ask a LOT of questions so they can feel smart etc. It's great. Our lessons are always real fun. Have you ever seen those videos where the little kids explain all sorts of church doctrine? That was our lesson. They were telling us all about how you make alcohol. First you pick the fruit etc. So funny. Then at the end the youngest girl started bearing her testimony but after like 3 words the older 10 yr. old sister said...."I'll translate for her" and went off on this long complicated testimony. None of which the younger sister said. So funny. Then she did the same for Tamia.  We were cracking up. And after the lesson was over, two of the kids were fighting on the playground and the oldest brother Riki, who just turned 12, looked over at us, let out a big sigh and said "Kids, eh?" shaking his head in frustration. Like he was a father of 5 or something. SO FUNNY! He is so mature for his age. 
I learned so much from Mission Tour this week. Elder and Sister Haleck came to speak to us.  They are fabulous! So much wisdom! They trained on plain and simple ways we can teach so people understand. They focused on different methods such as drawing pictures, using photos, and object lessons. Then Elder Haleck and President Layton talked about Obedience and how the mission changes us.  And impacts our lives forever! It was kind of an answer to my prayers because as missionaries shared things they have learned and how they have changed, I have realized that I really have changed on my mission. The kind of missionaries we are truly determines how the rest of our lives will be! I learned even more this week as I was reading from Helaman 10:3-5...........

3 And it came to pass as he was thus pondering—being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works of darkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings,and all manner of iniquities—and it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying:
 4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

I can just imagine Nephi, frustrated after a long hard day of sharing the Gospel with no success. I can imagine how much he LOVED those people and how much he yearned for them to accept the truth! I can imagine him walking home with his head hanging low feeling like an unsuccessful missionary.  And I can imagine his surprise as this voice came to him and told him that he is NOT FORGOTTEN. That his efforts are not wasted. And that not only will the Lord bless him now, but Nephi will be blessed FOREVER because of his diligence. Because he kept going when times got tough. Because he was tired and frustrated and exhausted and STILL he declared the truth with UNWEARYINGNESS.  Nephi is my hero.  
I also learned a lot from Stake Conference this week. In my favorite talk, the speaker explained how he had visited his childhood home after 20 or so years. And how to his surprise everything was almost exactly the same! Nothing had changed. But as he took a closer look, the paint was crumbling and the floor boards were decaying and the garden was overgrown.  He talked about how in our lives if we are not constantly making repairs and fixing things we are decaying.  We never stand exactly still. We are either moving forward or backwards. Then he shared this poem that I absolutely LOVE!

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Isn't that FABULOUS? I feel like when you come on a mission you put up the construction signs and give the Lord a big huge hammer. Or maybe even a bulldozer. And you can't complain too much when he starts ripping down the walls. Even though it hurts. Because you signed up for it! Missions are all about changing and becoming who the Lord wants us to be. And I'm so grateful the Lord is willing to put his time and energy into molding me into the palace he has in mind. 
Loloma Levu!
Sista Matheson :)
P.S. Sorry this email is so ridiculously long. I just learned so much this week that's all! Vosota!

 Exchanges with Sister Malito in Lami! :)
 Little Junior leading the YSA dance at The Jackson's farewell! Ha. Funny kid!

 Sister Crowell and I! LOVE this girl! 
 A few of my favorite missionaries! (Too bad Elder Gunderson always ruins my pictures.)

Most of my Intake reunited at Mission Tour!

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