elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
I received the following letter today in the mail. What a great and unexpected surprise! I'm just so happy he actually knows how to send a letter by mail. It was hand written on Friday, July 15th - Matthew's second full day at the MTC. (p.s. He says the food is like school lunch. He hasn't eaten school lunch in years. Adjustments all around!)
I’m alive! Thursday was one of the longest, hardest days of my entire life but it was so rewarding at the same time. On Wednesday, I got dropped off at my classroom and was immediately immersed into Chinese. Our teacher only speaks like 20 words in English the whole 3 hour lesson. It is so difficult but I can feel myself slowly starting to pick it up. The Gift of Tongues works in crazy ways that I don’t always understand, but it is amazing. . . . . My zone, district, and room are all amazing. I’m rooming with people who love sports which is definitely a tender mercy. When I walked in and saw my companion was Elder Griffin and my roommate was Elder Barker, I knew the Lord was lookin’ out for me. . . . . Thursday was rough. It was so long and hard. We learned more about how to meet the needs of our investigators. We practiced companionship teaching using an online course with a fake investigator. It was tough but I definitely felt the spirit working through me to meet the needs of the investigator. . . When we finally got to language class, an overwhelming feeling of peace came over me and I felt ready to learn. I am beginning to understand bits and pieces. Speaking is still insanely hard, but I am trying my best. . . . . The love and spirit that I feel here is incredible, it truly cannot be found anywhere in the world. The work is hastening on, I see examples of it all around me. . . . I am so excited to learn to preach the gospel to the people of Taiwan. This is an amazing opportunity I have and I love this gospel with all my heart. . . . I love you all so much and I challenge you to read the Book of Mormon every day. It is the best! Also, I said my first prayer in Chinese the other day! Please keep me in your prayers as I keep you in mine. I love you.
Zhong Zhang Lao
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.