elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
Wow the thought of us actually getting to go to Taiwan is amazing. I remember the long days at the beginning of the MTC where we thought we'd never get out of here, and now we are a very short 6 days away from leaving. While I am beyond excited to get there, leaving the MTC will actually be bitter sweet. I've made so many good friends here and had some many spiritual experiences. My testimony has grown so much, my love for the Book of Mormon has grown so much, and my mission has definitely already changed me. There is no place I would rather be right now than here serving the Lord and doing his work. It will be so amazing to get to Taiwan and do the Lord's work. Elder M shared a really profound thought this week on the fact that missionary work is the Lord's work. He said something along the lines of, "Jesus Christ would love to be able to knock on every door, face every rejection, talk to every hostile investigator, and convert every prepared family. He loves every one of his children so much and would do anything to get the chance to help them. But he can't do that. He has called us to do His work. This is His work, and we should feel completely honored to have the chance to teach his children, because he loves the rude investigator who can't seem to comprehend our message just as much as he loves us." This thought hit me really hard. It is our privilege to do this work. We are so lucky to have this opportunity to help other people come unto Christ and receive the restored gospel. We need to love the people we teach with all our heart, because that is exactly what Jesus would do. The more we try to serve and be like Jesus, the more successful we will be.
A really cool story was shared this week during a mini testimony meeting we had back at our residency. There was a missionary who was really struggling in his mission. He was basically just going through the motions, wishing he was back at home doing something else. He wasn't consecrating his whole self to the work, and he at times questioned whether he was really where he should be. One night, he was sitting in a car. The lights were on in the car, and he was looking out the window, seeing his face in the reflection of the car window. When the lights in the car turned off, he could no longer see the reflection of his face, he saw the people around him. This moment changed his mission. He realized that the mission was in no way about what he wanted. It wasn't about making sure he was completely comfortable. This mission is to love and serve God's children. I think we can all learn something from this story. The quicker we learn to love and serve others, the better off we will be.
On Sunday, Chad Lewis came and gave us a really good devotional message. He is a former BYU and Philadelphia Eagles football player and served his mission in Taichung as well. He showed us pictures from his mission and talked about how much he loved it. We were all so pumped and we got to go back and talk with him after and take a picture with him. The lasting thought that stuck with me was, "The language is not nearly as important as your love for the people." I definitely know this is true, and I know that I will have no trouble loving the people of Taiwan. We always try to talk to the missionaries here at the MTC from Taiwan in our broken Chinese, and they laugh at us, but it is so fun to talk to them and practice. Our other devotional was given by Elder Christofferson, which was absolutely amazing. He talked about Repentance and the power of the Atonement of Christ, and it truly was a very powerful message. He shared thoughts such as, "With the Atonement, we can feel both guiltless and spotless." and he also talked about how we hold the Kingdom of Heaven in our hands. It is our responsibility to help others come unto Christ and be perfected in Him. It is amazing to hear from one of God's apostles and the powerful messages he gives to us.
Just some random things that people may want to know. If you go to lds.org/youth/music, it has a great playlist for Sunday music haha it's about all we can listen to so we love it hahaha probably more than most people but hey what can ya do. We have the most deep, spiritual chats pretty much on the daily here. It is amazing to be able to bear your testimony multiple times a day and benefit from everyone else's testimonies. And we do the funniest things haha we started taking the plastic spoons from the cafeteria and trying to slip them in between people's belt loops on their pants without them noticing. hahah just dumb stuff like that but it gets us through the ups and downs. I really love this gospel so much, and I wouldn't rather be anywhere else than right here, trying to be the best I can be. I love you all, and I hope you're all doing well! Stay safe!
zhōng zhǎng lǎo
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.