elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
This last week was a good one for us here in Taizhong. We saw a lot of cool things happen, and had a lot of fun. It was also my last time celebrating Chinese New Year on my mission, which was kinda sad. We had a great last dinner with the Bishop's family, and had a good time doing a spiritual share with them. Lucky for us, our ward mission leader is setting up a bunch of lessons and meals with members this next month, so it's like Chinese New Year never ended 😁
This past week we had a sad setback with C. C has been doing really well at quitting smoking, and we were feeling pretty good about him hitting his baptismal goal for the 10th of March, but he told us that because of his schooling, he can't come to church until the end of May. Apparently the class he takes is only offered on Sunday and conflicts with both morning and afternoon times of church, so we were really bummed about that. On the bright side, we were able to find 3 new investigators this past week and teach a lot of lessons. We got a referral from a less active member that we've been re-activating, and then two others from contacting, so we are pretty stoked about that! Now we just gotta keep the momentum going and keep finding new people.
We've also recently started to find lots of opportunities to serve, which has been really cool. I think we have a service activity set up for almost every day this next week, which is something to be excited about. The service projects vary from sweeping leaves and garbage, cleaning floors and windows, helping a member move in to the ward, and remodeling a house. We are pretty excited, doing service is fun, and it's always awesome to see how happy people are after you do something cool for them.
We had a real cool experience in a lesson with one of the investigators that we met with this past week. I remember it was about two weeks ago that we contacted her, and it was a really awkward contact cause it was in the middle of the city on a busy Sunday night right next to a bus station, so it was really loud and kinda awkward haha. I remember that night I was particularly frustrated with our lack of success, and it was about 8:30 so I was ready to call it a night and start heading home when we decided to contact her before going back. Well, she came to our lesson this past week and was hung up on one question. She said, "out of the thousands of people you could have contacted that night, why did you choose me?" we explained a little about the guidance of the spirit and then got to know her better and started with the lesson. She grew up living above a Mormon family, but had never been invited to come to our church and had never been contacted by the missionaries until the day we met her. Her family members are members of other Christian churches, but she thinks they are all hypocritical because they act loving at church but not in the home. We taught some basic principles, and tied it back to her question of why we chose to talk to her. She said something that blew my mind, she said "so maybe God put you in my path because he knew I was ready to hear this message. Maybe my time has arrived." I'll tell you what, to hear someone you just met say that is one of the best feelings a missionary could ever have. It's so awesome that she is already recognizing the spirit in her life. She came to church yesterday and loved it, and even started listening to talks by President Thomas S. Monson on our church website (the thing that makes this even more crazy is all we have taught her about so far is God and Prayer). She is very prepared, and this experience reminded me that God places people in our paths for a reason. I completely believe that we were supposed to contact her that night, and I am so grateful that we did.
I heard a quote a little while back that I'd like to share with y'all this week. It's from a missionary that used to be in our zone, and he said they always say this where he's from in the South. The quote goes, "Get on your knees and pray like it's all up to God, then get on your feet and walk like it's all up to you." I looooove this quote, because it shows us the importance of humility and accountability. We must be humble enough to ask for God's help, and not just ask for it, but really desire to have it. After we do that, we must be accountable and do our part to receive the blessings we are hoping for. Since I've heard this quote, I've been trying to be better and praying for things and then actually working hard to make sure it happens.
Well, that's about it for this week! Basketball is still going strong, and I'm having a lot of fun with that :) love you all so much! Have a great week!
Happy Chinese New Year!! It's been a really fun time to be a missionary in Taiwan, and it's been an awesome opportunity to feel the strength of all the members over here. It's been a week full of eating til I can't eat anymore and coming up with crazy spiritual shares to get the members excited and into it, and it's been a week to remember here in 東英. In addition to all of that, we've been playing basketball every morning, so that's been a really fun time. Gotta love morning basketball :)
Mom, you'd be really proud of me, we put together a really cool, creative spiritual share to get the kids involved at the member lessons that we go to. We went and bought a puzzle and drew a picture of a temple with the words "the kingdom of God". We then break up the puzzle and go piece by piece, checking to see if the pieces have anything written on the back. We wrote different things on a couple different pieces talking about how you can participate in sharing the gospel, like praying for opportunities, serving others, and being brave in giving invitations. Everyone has loved the spiritual share so far, and we've been using the talk from Elder Anderson a couple years ago about missionary work as the basis. He talks about how we are all pieces in a giant puzzle, and we have a part to play in helping other pieces fit in the big picture. It's really been a good way to get the members excited about the work and realize the potential they have. We then leave them with a puzzle piece on a magnet saying, "How am I going to help others to enter the Kingdom of God". It's been really awesome, and I've loved giving it to others.
This week we've been trying to find more ways to do service, cause there are not a lot of people interested in talking to us right now haha. We've done a lot of sweeping for the community, and it's always fun to see the waves and smiles we get from the people passing by
Well, I'm loving my life as a missionary right now. Hope you all are having a great Chinese New Year!! :)
This past week was pretty busy for us, but it was a good one. We are finally starting to see some good progress. Even though we didn't have a ton of time this week, we still managed to find some random time to contact, which has been good. One lesson that I've learned from serving here is that I've learned to love contacting even when we get rejected every day. It's just really awesome to be out here sharing about Jesus Christ, and even if the people reject, I feel good knowing that I'm helping them come closer unto Christ.
This past week we had a meeting with the Stake Presidency and Zone Conference. It's always fun to be able to work with people who have a vision. We had a fun time at Zone Conference giving a nice training on how to be more accountable.
This week we tried to visit at least one member a day, and it brought some really good results. The ward is really coming together, and it's awesome seeing them come together and get excited about missionary work. This week for Chinese New Year, we have meal appointments every day for lunch and dinner, so that should be another great way to get to know the members. One of the funny things from this week is we were at a member's house eating dinner, and she had a daughter and her family who weren't members, so I started to bro down with the dad, and he invited me to watch NBA games with him and talk about the gospel. Dannnng I was so tempted haha. We'll have to find a time to share the gospel and not watch basketball lol.
C is doing really well, he is sticking to his plan and is smoking less and less each day. I'm really excited that he is really progressing now and hope that we can continue to help him reach his goal. We also found a really cool investigator named Brother L. He's a high school student and used to go to church in junior high. He told us that recently he's been thinking about coming back to church, and that day he ran into us, so talk about that for being a miracle. We are looking to continue helping him come unto Christ :)
Well, that's about it!! Hope you all have a great week and remember to spread the good word
Well, I can't really remember what happened this last week, so I'm just gonna start typing and hope that somewhere along the way I can remember what we did haha. Last Pday we just ended up going to McDonald's and playing basketball, a classic Pday here in Taizhong. Today we are playing basketball and heading over to 一中街, which is a nice place to chill and eat some unhealthy food haha. They have a 帥到分手 shirt there, so maybe I'll cop one.
This past week, our boy C made a lot of good progress. We've continued to meet with him and try to strengthen his faith, and yesterday we had a break through. We had a really powerful lesson on baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. C said that he really wants to be baptized, and loves the feeling he has when he comes to church. We were able to set a 3/10 goal with him as well as help him set a plan to quit smoking. He's super awesome, and I know he can hit the goal if he works hard.
This week we had our Mission Leadership Council, which was really fun to be a part of. It's really cool to see how the mission is run, and it's awesome to be able to put in some ideas. I also got to see Elder B again, so that was awesome.
We also have been working really closely with the ward to develop relationships and help them get excited about the missionary work. It's been really cool to see the whole attitude of the ward change. We've had lots of opportunities to serve and teach them, and we have member lessons set up every day this next week, which doesn't happen very much in Taiwan. It's been really cool to be a part of this process, and I'm excited to see where it goes. Right now, the whole ward is fasting and praying for missionary opportunities, so I'm excited to see what can happen.
Well, that's pretty much it for this week! Hope you all have a great week! Go Eagles!
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.