elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
Well, the first week of 2018 is in the books, and it was a pretty good one! It's been really fun being a Zone Leader and having the chance to try to help out the other missionaries in our zone. I've really enjoyed the extra opportunities that we have to serve and help others, it's definitely helped me to feel closer to Christ recently. This week, we went on exchanges with the Dali Elders, and I got to go with Elder S. He's from Taiwan and just barely starting his mission, so it was fun to go with him and help him learn more about how to do missionary work.
Another thing that's cool about being a Zone Leader is we get to attend the Stake council meeting. It's held once a month with the members of the stake presidency and stake quorum presidencies present. It was really awesome to go to that meeting and see how much the stake wants to implement some ideas to improve missionary work. My whole mission I've gone to meetings where it seems like the missionaries are just talking and people aren't really grasping the vision, so it was really awesome to be a part of this meeting and see that the church in Taiwan is in good hands.
This week, we saw a lot of progress out of C and Brother L. C has started learning about the commandments and has been really willing to keep them. He's been reading and praying a lot and he's really looking good for his goal on 1/27. The ward did a great job of trying to get to know him on Sunday which was great. Brother L has transformed from someone coming to church cause his girlfriend invited him to someone who really wants to learn about Christ. This week we found out he lives in a neighboring ward, so we had a nice pass off lesson with them and he's lookin good to continue to progress over there. We are kinda lacking on investigators right now, but we really love the ones we have and do everything we can to help them. Having smartphones has been really nice for that. We text C every night, meet with him face to face at least once a week, and skype him once or twice throughout the week to follow up/read with him. We also have members supporting him and it's been going really smoothly.
Lately, we've been trying to implement a lot of smarter finding techniques. Rather than just contacting in the streets with no purpose, we have been contacting to members houses and visiting them/dropping off little gifts. It's really helped us get to know the ward better and build better relationships with them. We've also seen cool miracles by just talking to everyone on the way. When I first moved here, I thought the ward was a little weak, but as we've started meeting people, we've realized there are actually a lot of strong members here. It's been really cool to see.
Lastly, I wanna finish up by sharing a video that I really loved watching this week. It's on lds.org and it's called "Think to Thank". I'll post the URL below. I really love the message it conveys. We never really know how much of an influence we can have on other people by expressing gratitude for them, and we also never know when it's gonna be too late. This video really helped me realize the importance of expressing love and appreciation for those around us. I also read a great talk called "The Divine Gift of Gratitude," by President Thomas S. Monson, who I will miss dearly. He has some really good quotes about gratitude. He says, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." He then goes on to say, "My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." I'm grateful for the prophets words, and for a gospel that teaches us to be grateful in all things. This week, the hymn, "We thank thee O God for a Prophet," continues to play in my head. What a blessing it is to have living prophets on the earth today.
Hope you all have a great week! Rollll Tideeee :)
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.