elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
Well, as Elder Y and I would say, we've been gettin' the spankin' recently here in Pingdong. It's been really tough to find people to teach, and it seems like once we finally find someone that is decently interested, they flake out. It's been tough to try to stay positive through the whole thing, but one thing that we've done to help ourselves still stay positive and effective is working with the ward and doing service as much as possible. Let me tell you, this ward is so awesome. There are over 100 active members which is definitely one of the bigger wards I've served in on my mission.
All the members are really friendly, and it's been really fun getting to know them over the past couple transfers. We've got a great Bishop, and we are really excited about the direction that this ward is moving in. Lately we've been trying to spread an excitement for sharing the gospel, and although we as missionaries haven't seen anything numbers wise, it is easy to see the ward is more willing to help out and they are more excited to talk to us, so it's been fun. We've also continued to look for more service opportunities, and they keep on showing up. Our goal for this next week is to get 1 hour of service every day and at least 1 active member lesson every week, so we'll see how that goes!
It's nice that even though the finding efforts have been rough, we are still finding ways to be effective. If you remember back from one of my previous emails, "When you work with the ward, you work with the Lord," so that's exactly what we're trying to do! Speaking of working with the ward, we went out to a couple of our secondaries like Bishop asked us to. We had a really cool miracle of being let into an LA's house, and he said we could come back and mow his grass sometime! I've never been more excited to mow a lawn in my life haha. We also got attacked by a dog while we were out in the middle of nowhere. We were just flying by on our bikes and all the sudden it came out of nowhere. Luckily, we both made it out unscathed, but I kinda hate dogs now lol.
In terms of this week, I had the chance to go on exchanges with Elder B. It's always fun to go to someone else's area and see how they do the work over there. It really helped me to realize that as long as we are out doing our best, the Lord will be happy with our efforts and will bless us. As long as I keep doing my best, the good things will come. This week we had some tough news. Sister Y's husband acted up and threw away her Book of Mormon. She's been going through some rough times, but she is a trooper. She's got such a strong testimony, and the ward is really helping her out. She could use a lot of help right now though, so pray for her!
This week I was doing my personal study on the Christlike Attribute of Patience, because Patience is something that is really hard sometimes and something I really need right now as we try to get out of this rut. I was studying with the PMG recommended scrips and the Topical Guide, and came across James 5:10-11. It says,
"Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
I think the prophets are a perfect example of people who had patience in suffering and the down times of their lives. Our prophets are our great examples. We should continually read their counsel to us and listen to it, especially during the tough times in our lives. I'm very grateful for the guidance of our prophets, and especially grateful that we have a living one today.
Well, that's about it! Hope you all have a great week!! If anyone has any ideas of how Elder Y and I can work with the ward better or find service opportunities, hit me up!! email@example.com. Love you all!
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.