elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
Sorry about the depressing letter last week haha, I've had some rough times but everything is looking so much better this week.
Our new area is dope. It's got everything, a super busy section, super cool places to go tracting, and the ward is super great. I'm super blessed to be here, plus the apartment is much nicer than our last one haha The area is just super cool, and has lot's of opportunities to talk to lot's of people, plus a lot of diversity in what we can do. There is this super cool night market, and there's a part of the city that reminds me of a very miniature Times Square haha. It's super cool. We try to contact there (at the night market) every once in a while A lot of times people are too much in a rush to talk but it's still worthwhile. We eat there sometimes too. We like to mix it up. I still eat McDonald's or KFC at least twice a week haha. We are going to get Korean chicken this afternoon, which will be really spicy so good luck to me.
There is a super cool guy in our ward named Mao Kai Ping. If you search "I'm a Mormon: Mao Kai Ping" You'll get to see a little bit of what my life is like haha. There are a few English speaking members too so that's super nice. We are whitewashing again but we have 2 new investigators with a couple more that might set up. Just working really hard and having faith that it will work out. Companionship is more harmonious, so everything is working out. Still a couple rough patches every once in a while, but it's getting there. The weather here is awesome right now, instead of being mid to high 90's it's like low 80's. I wore a long sleeve shirt for the first time on Thursday.
Last Sunday was an interesting one haha. We had the Law of Chastity lesson for the second week in a row, so yeah, I basically know everything about that in Chinese now and not much else lol super funny. We also had the craziest priesthood lesson. The whole time, this guy just explained how to do different kinds of blessings and did demonstrations and had people come and practice hahaha. It was so chaotic. I'm not sure if that is super allowed, but people here need to learn the applications of the priesthood, so they usually do something like that every once in a while. It was super funny, we were all dying watching them figure it out. I was super stoked Yesterday because I felt like I understood the gist of almost everything that was going on at church :) I still miss tons of words and still hard to respond some times, but it's getting better.
On Saturday we got invited to a members house for a dinner activity with some investigators and stuff. We got there, and there was just tables and tables of food, and they were blasting English music that was not the most appropriate lol. It was super funny, and we got to meet some investigators so that was super fun. They played High School Musical so you know I was rockin' out haha, as well as some songs that were from my playlist back home. Nice little break, then we got right back out there to spread the good word.
Our English class is super dope, it's just 14 homies that love white people and wanna practice English haha. One of them is named Marshawn because he loves Marshawn Lynch, and another one lived in California for a long time, so they are all super cool haha. We had a really cool spiritual share this last week. We showed them the bullying video "Just Stop It" or whatever it's called. It was awesome. The spirit filled the room, and we talked to them about how the Savior is our perfect example of being nice to everyone. We hopefully will get some good setups out of English, we are meeting with one of our students next week so that's awesome!!
This week I got super discouraged one night. I just sat down and told my companion, "I don't feel like I've helped anyone on my mission. I can't speak the language, I don't understand that much, and I haven't baptized anyone." He then helped me realize all the other things that are important about a mission. I realized how part of it is about helping myself come unto Christ, as well as other missionaries and those at home. That made me feel a little bit better about everything.
I want everyone to know that even when you can't directly see the results of what you are doing, the influence it has on other people is sometimes unimaginable. There are people that are influenced every day by our actions, words, and how we carry ourselves. We are examples to the world of what LDS church members are. I would encourage everyone to try to be mindful of the example you set for those around you, and realize how much you are looked to as an example in your own life. I love you all, and I love my mission :) One more thing, I've been reading a lot about how I can better dedicate myself to the work, and one scripture that really stood out to me was Mark 8:35. Lose your life in the gospel, and discover true happiness. That's all for this week folks, keep on keepin on!
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.