PARADISE-NOUVELLE CALEDONIE! (week 14)

​TOUT LE MONDE (Everyone!) BONJOUR!!
 
Just your weekly e-mail from Sœur Vogel, reporting from her first week in New Caledonia!  AHHHH!  Seriously, so great! AND HOT!  But, hey I don’t mind that 😉
 
OKAY SO WHERE DO I BEGIN!  I will try my best to fill you in on every possible detail as per usual! 🙂  I love sharing this experience with all of you!
 
So Sœur Westerlind and I (my companion in case you forgot) Finally got to our area Monday night, after we picked up Sœur Todd’s (the sister we were staying with and also Sœur Westerlind’s last companion) new companion on Monday night!  Her name is Sœur Decady, we are all in the same district so we spend a lot of time together 🙂  She is from Québec, and she speaks French, Spanish, and English fluently!  AH she is so great!  I spent some time with her when she came in last week, when we were both in Vanuatu, so I knew her a little bit already! But it is fun to have another newbie here with me 🙂  She is so great! 
 
Anyways, so Sœur Westerlind and I finally got to our area|our apartment Monday Night!  OUR APARTMENT IS SO NICE!  WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!! Seriously, do NOT take that for granted parce que (because) literally no one has AC here!!!!  We have been enjoying it!  There are a lot of bugs though 😦  I have become a master bug killer…there have been times that I have been praying at night and feel one crawling on my hand…..but we survive!  All in a day in a life of missionary work!
 
So I believe I mentioned this last week, but Sœur Westerlind and I are WHITEWASHING!  Basically, whitewashing means that we are both new to the area, and actually, this area was closed last transfer because there wasn’t enough missionaries…………..probs because of us visa waiters…..awkward!
SO, there is a lot of work for us to do!  We have been going through our area book (records of all the people who have been taught before that live in this area) and trying to go and visit them to see if we can come and teach them!  Unfortunately, we do not have a car….so we walk everywhere!  And our area is big!  We probably walk on average six miles a day, and we could be walking more but the sun starts to get to us, and we have to go back and rest!  But it is great!  I have never felt more like a missionary in my entire life!  We walk around, carrying our Livres de Mormons and talking with all we can meet!  I should correct that….Sœur Westerlind does most of the talking, I pretty much say “C’est bon!” (It’s good) And flash them a big smile 🙂
 
So that is pretty much what our week has been!  But there have been some cool things that have happened alond the way! 
WE HAVE A BAPTEME! (Baptism)!  Okay, they were already scheduled to be baptized, but we get to finish teaching them, and be there for their baptism!  It is a lovely young couple, so they are getting married and baptized on February 20!  I CANNOT WAIT!  We can’t go to their actual wedding since it is not in our proselyting area (Dumbea Sur Mer), but we can go to their recpetion at the Church, and then of course to their baptism later that day! They are so cutem they showed us their wedding rings this week, AHHHH!  I love marriage, and I love baptisms!  Their testimonies are so strong, I am so excited for them!  Of course, I can’t express that too much, so I just mostly jump up and down and squeal for joy lol! 
 
Hmm, there was also another day this week that we walked about five miles looking for this lovely woman who was from Africa that we found in our area book!  She lives on the other side of town, in one of the nicest areas like I have ever seen…like resort area!  The houses are beautiful, on the top of a hill, all with lovely views of the ocean!  But of course, we had to walk up the hill to get to her, so that was fun 🙂  Seriously, our legs will be nice and toned by the end of this transfer!  ANYWAYS!  So we walked to this lovely woman’s home, and she wasn’t there.  We were really disapointed because we really felt like she had potential.  So, slightly disapointed, we started heading back to our house.  Well, along the way, I got this prompting to stop by this house.  Well here, there are gates around all the house, so you stand at the edge of the gate and yell “BONJOUR!” and wait for someone to come to the door, well we did that!  And someone came, and we went to talk to them, and guess what…. THEY SPOKE ENGLISH!  No one speaks English here!  So we just shared with them a short message, they seemed interested (they were a cute middle aged couple) but they were just here on vacation, but we gave them our number and a pass a long card, and hopefully they will look up the Church when they get back home!  I don’t know, it was just so cool to get a prompting like that, and then be able to truly share my testimony in English! Heavenly Father is looking out for me 🙂
 
Anyways, it was a good week, and this week will be great too!  We have had some success in contacting those who were being taught before so we have a lot more lessons this week!  I love being a missionary!
 
WELL, LET ME SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT THE CULTURE HERE!
So pretty much all the missionaries are foreign, I cannot remember if I said that in my e-mail last week! But they are so kind and loving. It is certainly difficult sometimes though, because a lot of them are from Tahiti, and only speak french.  So we have to learn french fast 🙂  I am grateful for that though!
 
The people here, LOL they crack me up!  Most of them are from different islands of New Caledonia, which means everyone has a different culture.  Everyone speaks french, but most people also have a second language from their island, whether that be Tahition, or LeFou or whatever.  We are trying to learn some words in our investigator’s language.  Culture is super important here, and so we want to show that we recpest that culture! 
We don’t get fed by members to often, but when we do, you have to eat everything on your plate, and then take seconds!  But the food is SO GOOD!  We have been eating mostly rice and chicken and fruit and cucumbers, and stuff like that!  And almost always have ice cream for dessert! I haven’t eaten anything too weird yet, but I know I will have to in the future!
Anyways, the people!  They are very warm and loving and kind, but at the same time very upfront and honest!  Pretty much everyone has told me I have to work on my french, but hey I know that!  But they appreciate me making an effort, and they crack up at the fact that I smile all the time! I always just respond “Je suis heurese parce que j’ai l’evangile dans ma vie!!!” (I am happy because I have to gospel in my life!)  WHICH IS TRUE!
 
I can understand okay, mostly just in lessons, and when I can understand what is going on, I will add my thoughts and testimony!  But in Church, I can’t really understand, but it will come!
 
Last night we had a temple fireside with the whole stake.  Basically, every January all the members here in New Cal go to the temple in New Zealand, spend about two weeks there, and go all day everyday!  Then they come back and have a Temple Fireside (meeting devotional thing) where those who went to the temple share their expériences! IT WAS SO GREAT!  I of course couldn’t understand anything, but I could feel the spirit so strongly!  It is crazy how strong people’s testimonies are here!  They are all so strong, and the saints so righteous!  It is so inspiring!  They dedicate themselves fully to the Lord, I want to be just like them!
 
Anyways, my lovely family and friends, I think I have updated you on all that I can from this past week!  Sœur Westerlind get along so great!  We laugh and talk all the time, and bond over the silliest things! We both love chocolate, and pretty much eat it together every night.  She also bakes, so she makes things for us all the time!  She is a wonderful missionary!  This is her last transferm but it is 9 weeks instead of 6 so she goes home at the end of March! Which means, I will be getting another companion!  But that is so far in the future right now!  We still have two months together, and we want to see  miracles! 🙂
 
I love you all so much!  As always, just let me know if you have any questions!  There will be lots of pictures again this week, because this place is just AHHH paradise!
The Church is true!  God loves you!  I LOVE IT WITH ALL MY HEART!  There is no greater call then to be a servant of the Lord 🙂
 
Until Next Week my wonderful family and friends!  I LOVE YOU!
-Sœur Vogel 🙂
 PS I AM WEARING SUNSCREEN I PROMISE
 
PIC ONE: Our district this week at district meeting! Elder Watkins (my homie), Elder Verrillame (from Tahiti), Elder Ikihaa (From Tahiti), Elder Easton (6’8′ and from Chicago), Sœur Decady (newbie from Québec), Sœur Westerlind (MA COLLEGUE FROM CALI), MOI, and Sœur Todd (FROM CALI TOO)
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PIC TWO: Ma collegue and I with our matching skirts, so cutsie
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PIC THREE: My homie and I accidentally color coordinating at district meeting 🙂
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PIC ONE: The view from our flat 🙂
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PIC TWO: Adventures walking through our area this week 🙂
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PIC THREE: MESAITES I FOUND SOEUR HALL! She visa waited in Mesa too, and flew out just before I came in 🙂
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PIC FOUR: GMONEY almost all reunited at the Temple Fireside! Love these missionaries so much! They have become my greatest friends 🙂 In case you couldn’t already tell 😉
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OKAY LOVE YOU ALL!  THE CHURCH IS TRUE!
TWO MORE (FROM VANUATU?):
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