elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
nǐ hǎo wǒde jiātíng hé péngyǒu!
This week was super up and down, but hey, that's sometimes how the mission is haha. I've definitely learned how much joy we can experience through this gospel, even when we are suffering, so that has been a huge blessing. This week was pretty average, so I'll just jump right into it.
This week we got to go on exchanges for the first time, and the person I went with was Elder Chen! He's the other trainee that I'm staying with, so we have both only been here for 4 weeks, but he is from Taiwan so he's a lot better off than I am lol. He is super cool and his English is super good. We joke around a ton and we are already planning his visit to Utah. I told him I'd find him a wife when he came to Utah so fingers crossed I don't let him down on that one lol. But yeah, it was a super good experience to go out and teach with a bundy (Taiwanese missionary) He made me talk a lot and it was super good for my language. We had a lot of fun teaching English class together, and it was a really fun exchange.
Every Saturday we go to a park and do some good ol' basketball contacting which is so much fun. We love playing against the people, they are all so funny and love basketball. We usually beat them and then get to share a little message with them and invite them to church, so it's all around a good time. It's a great way to relieve stress and keep positive.
This week I got 3 flat tires. Yes 3. In one week. It sucked haha it felt like we were always in the bike shop, and every time they tell me I need to ride more carefully, but deep down I think it's their fault lol. But yeah, just little stuff like that kinda gets you down sometimes, so that was a little rough to deal with, but on the bright side, we got to see a Chinese parade! It was super dope, and there were dragons dancing around and all that good stuff.
It was a tough week. Both of our baptismal goals are struggling to keep commitments, but I still have faith that they can make it and be baptized. We pray for them a lot. The important thing is you can definitely see the desire is there, they just have to act on it. Our goals are Li and Yu. They are both about 40. Both super willing to listen and change their lives, but both struggle keeping commitments like reading and praying at home. One of them was a referral from the AP's, and the other we just talked to randomly he was sitting in his car and we just biked past him and we were like 'we need to go talk to him'. They don't pray like we do, so it's pretty foreign. They don't really understand it that well so we have to explain it a lot. They don't really read scriptures either, the Christians here read shengjing (the bible) but there aren't that many of them.
We have one investigator right now named Daniel who was born in Louisiana and I get to teach him in English so that is awesome haha. Daniel is probably half Taiwanese and has lived here for 15 years and we met him up at the college. We have a college in our area that is really good for proselyting cause there are so many people there, and it has amazing food. I understand more and more each week, but it's still really hard haha. Food is better and better, except I tried this nasty thing called fuzzy meat this week which is the grossest thing ever lol.
Getting the letter and pictures from the primary kids this week was awesome :) Their sweet spirits were definitely felt here in Taiwan and was a much needed boost to my week. Today we are going to play ultimate frisbee and eat pizza, so it should be a good day! This pizza is amazing. Soooo good haha it's called Pizza Monster. We are going over by the mission home which is like 20 minutes away by bike.
So yeah that's about it! The thing I'll share last is a part of one of my favorite talks from conference, Be Ambitious for Christ. "My dear Brothers and Sisters, we are ambitious for Christ when we serve faithfully, accept humbly, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily. May we be ambitious for Christ as we accept our difficulties and trials with patience and faith and find joy in our covenant path."
I know for a certainty that part of being a missionary is being ambitious for Christ. I hope that we can all take principles from this talk and apply them to our own lives, and strive to better ourselves and be more ambitious for Christ. I love you all, thank you for the emails and encouragement that you give me, it means more than you could know. I know that through Christ, anything is possible, and I'll keep doing my best to share that in the Chinese language with the people of Taiwan!
Love, Elder Jones
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.