elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
I feel like I'm typing these emails every five seconds. It's crazy how time is flying by right now. Time on a mission is the weirdest thing ever, cause there are hours that feel like days and then there are weeks that feel like hours. It's good stuff. I'm learning a lot here in 員林. My Chinese is starting to improve more and more, so that's encouraging!! The members are awesome at being patient with us and helping our Chinese haha it's great. This week was kinda plain, but I'll try to think of something to share.
Last P-day we went to another buffet which was pretty good. After that, we made a cake and watched the Restoration and Meet the Mormons. Good stuff. I miss watching movies.
Tuesday we had Zone Conference. Zone Conference is always awesome, and I got to see Elder D again as well as some other homies so that was fun. President Teh is the best. He is a very inspired man, and he helped us realize how we can be more effective in doing this work. One thing he emphasized was using the Book of Mormon more in every aspect of the work. That has been hard to get used to cause it's a little bit of a change, but when we use the Book of Mormon in contacting, I've definitely felt a stronger influence of the Spirit, so that has been cool. They made us Taco Salad for lunch, which was like an answer to prayers cause I've been wanting Mexican food so bad haha.
In investigator news, Kun Wei and Eric are both still super solid. They will get baptized in May and June as long as nothing crazy happens. They are both super strong in the gospel, and are great influences on the members. It's been really awesome to work with both of them. Also, we started working with a young guy named Kai. He may not have that much interest, but we invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon so we'll see what we can do. Also, we met a 王 (wang) guy that was super dope. He doesn't have a job right now, so he is really struggling. He lives a very humble life, and is looking for some hope. He said he doesn't understand why we are so happy cause we are thousands of miles away from our families. We shared about prayer and the comfort it can bring, and invited him to pray to help find work. He said he couldn't, cause he didn't have faith in himself. I testified to him that he doesn't need faith in himself, he needs faith in God. It was a really powerful moment for me, and I could feel the Spirit working through me very vividly. It was awesome.
This week our Bishop told us his conversion story while we were getting bailed on by an investigator. He said that when he was 14, he met the missionaries. He really wanted to know what "truth" was, and the missionaries told him to read the Book of Mormon. He said he didn't understand it, and quickly lost interest. He then went until the age of 32 outside the church. He met with 8 sets of missionaries before he finally accepted it. It was a really cool story, because he is now the strongest member I have met in Taiwan. He is so awesome, and I really have learned a lot from him. One of the biggest things I learned from that story is never give up on people, because God works in mysterious ways.
This week I read a talk with a dope poem that can definitely be applied to a missionary. I've always wanted to be able to help people on my mission, and this poem basically sums up what I hope I'm able to do. It's called "Conquest"
Two years ago the stubble leered at him
And great boulders stood to bar the way.
Old dying trees with twisted trunk and limb
Snarled in defiance like wild beasts at bay.
Others from time to time had scanned the space
But had not dared the struggle to begin;
So tangled was the growth that ruled the place
That few who passed it by would venture in.
And then he came and vowed to clear the land.
With drag and chain he slowly inched his way.
At night some new attack he sat and planned
At dawn, undaunted, he resumed the fray.
I saw him once in battle, and I thought
His courage and his patience all in vain.
Today I passed the field whereon he fought
And it was flaming gold with ripening grain.
No effort is wasted. Nothing. When we do service in the name of the Lord, it has an effect. This makes me want to work harder, be more worthy, and always share with a smile on my face. Ever work is important, and I know the Lord is going to help us to accomplish his work, even if it looks impossible right now. I love you all so much. Have a good week!!
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.