elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
This week was a really great week, but it didn't start out that way. In fact, it definitely started at about as close as you can get to 0 as possible. On Monday night, we got dropped by 3 of our investigators. 3 in one night. This was right after a ton of our investigators bailed on coming to church the day before. We were pretty discouraged, plus we contacted for 3 hours straight with no success. It was safe to say that we needed something to kick start our week. I found that through good, focused personal study, exercise time, and preparing in the morning, I was able to feel good about going out every day, and it definitely helped. Throughout the week we tried our best to stay positive and have a great time contacting, and we were able to see some really cool miracles, including 5 new investigators and some really good potential investigators that set up for next week. One of the new investigators is moving up to Taoyuan, but we got a lesson set up for him with the Elders up there so it should be good. It's been a great miracle to see how just by keeping your attitude in a good place you are able to overcome challenges. That was definitely one of the biggest lessons I learned this week. Another thing that came to me during my studies this week was found in D&C 58:3 which says,
"Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation."
I feel like when we are struggling and encounter challenges, when we think the work should be going better, when we wonder why more people won't say yes to our message, we have to remember that God knows us perfectly, and everything is according to His divine design. He knows us, and he will look after us. I definitely gained a stronger testimony of that this week. Elder Y is killin’ it in his first couple weeks here. He's working hard and really showing a lot of growth. Plus it's been really fun talking with him about the good old days up at Snowbasin. Man I miss that place a lot haha.
In addition to the new investigators, we have 2 investigators on date for this month! Sister Y is for the 21st and Sister X for the 28th. They are both looking pretty good to get baptized this month, so we are super excited about that. Sister Y finally got the situation worked out with her husband so we are really excited about that. She's told us that she's tired of putting off baptism, so we are really excited to help her take the next step! We've been working with both of them for a really long time, so we are excited for them to continue their journey of learning the gospel!
This week we got to watch conference, which was amazing. I felt like every message was personalized for me, which is a really cool feeling, especially on a mission. I had written a few questions down before the conference that I was hoping to get answers to, and I'm confident that the messages within the conference answered those questions. President Uchtdorf started off the conference right with a great talk about God and the natural man's inclination to return home. Elder Holland delivered a classic Elder Holland talk that always leaves you completely ready to change and become better. President Nelson gave one of the best talks about the BoM that I've ever heard, President Eyring backed it right up, and Elder Andersen gave a stellar final talk and left me with a desire to review conference as much as I can. I feel like there were so many memorable quotes from this conference.
Some of my favorites include, "Remember to put your focus on Jesus Christ today," "Perfection is Pending," and a great quote from the late Elder Hales through Elder Andersen, "when we choose to have faith, we are prepared to stand in the presence of God," as well as many other inspired teachings. I really loved listening to this session of General Conference, and encourage you all to review it over and over again. I just want to add my testimony on to those already born by our prophets, seers, and revelators. I know that the Book of Mormon is vitally important to our salvation. It is crucial to helping us avoid the temptations of the adversary and make good choices in this life to prepare for the life to come. Life is hard, but through the Book of Mormon, we can receive the spiritual strength to face any challenge that comes our way. I love the Book of Mormon so much. It has changed my life, and I know it will continue to change my life. No matter how many times you have read it, I encourage everyone to read it again and again. It really makes a difference, and I promise you'll be able to feel it.
Love you all so much!! Have a great week and remember to put your focus on Jesus Christ today and every day!
Matthew is currently serving a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This Blog is for family and friends interested in following his adventures for the next 24 months.