Monday, April 27, 2015

Front Row Seat :)

Bula Vinaka! 

This week has been really exciting because we have seen the work pick up and lots of new investigators popping up! We have seriously been OYMing up a storm these last few weeks. I've never talked to so many people on the streets in my life. And we've also been able to finally get to know the members more and build a relationship with them. We had the opportunity to speak in church, which I was so grateful for. I spoke about making the Sabbath a Delight. Right before I got up to speak, I felt this wave of emotion as I realized that this would be my last time introducing myself in a new ward as a missionary. Time has gone way too fast! 

This week we also had the opportunity to attend the Train the Trainers Meeting. I learned so much! It was also a good reminder to me of how we can effectively deal with stress and also of what an incredible opportunity and gift this 18 months truly is! It's an opportunity to learn and grow and really redefine who we are. It's up to us how well we utilize that time, but someday we will be held accountable for this wonderful opportunity! President Layton drew us a real nice graph explaining everything. Maybe next time I'll send a picture of it so you can be blown away just as I was. :) 

We also had exchanges this week! It was so exciting and fun and remotivating! And such a good experience to be on the other side of things! :) Sister Malito also had wonderful training advice which really helped me! Something cool happened this week. As I was praying the other night for help to be a better trainer, the thought came to me to read "The Preparatory Priesthood" by President Eyring from the Oct. 2014 Conf. So this morning I went through and studied it and learned SO much from the Holy Ghost. I realized the role that trust and love play in helping someone become the best they can!  He said..."Two of the blessings that a senior [mission] companion can give are trust and an example of caring."

I feel like throughout my entire life, and during my mission in particular, I have been on this quest for KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM! I feel like life is like one of those Mario Brothers games where you go around collecting these packages that are just lying in the road. Heavenly Father has these profound analogies and experiences and just wisdom waiting for us all packaged up nicely if we will just reach out and ask for them and do our part. It reminds me of Elder Gerald Causse's talk this conference about not taking the Gospel for granted! There is always something new to learn! The fountain of Gospel knowledge NEVER dries up! That's one of the blessings and joys of the Gospel! I'm going to finish strong and try to acquire as many little packages of Gospel insight and knowledge as I can before my time is up! 

I feel like this quote that I ran into this week sums up why I love being a missionary SOOO much..... "You have a front row seat to the greatest miracle of all; the effect of Christ's Atonement on individuals and families." That's why being a missionary is the best thing in the whole world! 

Loloma Levu,
Sista Matheson :) 

 Akuila got BAPTIZED! So sad I missed it, but I'm so happy for him! He is the BOMB!

 Sister Kesa and I with Sister Kinga and Sister Iaulualo at the Train the Trainers Meeting.

 Making Samosas with the Magnus family for Service!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eternal Families

Bula Vinaka!

We've survived our first full week of whitewashing! Yay! And we've learned a lot too. We talked to SOO many people on the streets this week! That's one thing I love about this area. There is never a shortage of people to talk to on the streets.  And a chunk of them have turned into our new investigators! Which is always exciting! :) It's been so exciting and fun to be training. Sister Kesa and I are learning so many things together. I'm absolutely positive I'm learning way more from this experience than she is, but that's just how life goes. That's why we are given so many opportunities to teach and serve in the church. So we can learn and grow! And for that  I'm forever grateful!

My eyes were opened during Elder Gunderson's  (my District Leader) training.  He was talking about the difference between fishing with a line and fishing with a net. Some places are meant for line fishing and some are more suited for a fishing net. In Fiji, we are blessed because we can truly use nets. If we use a line, we are going to miss out on a whole lot of fish. We have to see the vision of the potential and all of the great big fish that are waiting to be caught.  As the Lord is hastening His work, we can't afford to just have one line in the sea. We need nets. Nets take a lot of work, but are so rewarding to use.

This week was also Sister Kesa's  22nd Birthday yay! :) We did a lot of celebrating. I'm so thankful for her and her cheerful attitude! That's something that I have truly learned from her, even just in our short time together. I feel so blessed to be her Mother!

It was such a treat to FINALLY hear General Conference! The long wait made the experience all the more sweet. Every conference I grow to love it more and more. How blessed we are to have living Prophets and Apostles here to guide and direct us. I LOVED the emphasis on Family. Especially as a missionary.  This week I was re-motivated to focus on teaching families. Because that is what this Gospel is all about.  We are teaching the cutest Indian family right now. The mom and the kids were progressing when we came, but the dad didn't seem as interested.  Then in one of our lessons this week about the Restoration, at the end of the lesson  the dad said....."I want to make sure I'm here for the next lesson."  Holy cow. It's crazy how much happiness a small and simple sentence like that can bring to the heart of a missionary! It's all about teaching and helping families.

During Conference I was constantly reminded of what a wonderful family I have.  Everyday I seem to realize more and more just how lucky I really am to have them in my life! They are my best friends.  Every single one of them. I am not as experienced or wise as Elder Perry, but I can definitely testify that "The older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life, the key to true happiness." My greatest joy is my Eternal Family and my greatest hope is that someday I will be able to raise a righteous family as well. In Stake Conference the other week, one of the speakers was talking about how Nephi started "I Nephi, being born of goodly parents...." and how he might not have said that when he was young but with more perspective he appreciated his parents even more.  As he was sharing about this, I was overcome with gratitude for my parents and the relationship I have with them. I can not think of a single time in my life when I couldn't say with complete confidence that "I have been born of goodly parents."  Not even a single moment. And for that, I can never repay them or my Heavenly Father.  I don't know how I got so lucky to have the family that I do, but I suppose that the best thing I can do is work diligently to help other families become stronger and become Eternal!

Loloma Levu,

Sista Matheson :)

 Birthday Breakfast! My Little Girl is 22! :)
 Ready to go Proselyte!
 Birthday Lunch! Celebrating at Damodar City!
 Sister Kesa's Popcorn-microwave brownie- cake!
Cataleya is the cutest! Love this little girl! :)