elder Matthew Jones
Taiwan, Taichung mission
Another week flies by and here I am again writing about the great times over here in Taiwan. In case you forgot, it's still 4681789 degrees and I sweat pretty much from the minute I walk outside til the minute I get inside at night. If it's not that hot, it's raining super hard. I still can't decide which I prefer haha. Nah but for reals, Taiwan is super amazing. Last P-day we had the opportunity to go to 佛光山, or for those of you back home, you can probably just call it buddhaland. It was soooo cool. It was actually really cool to learn a little more about what a lot of the people here believe in. It helped me realize that when we try to help people come to our church from a religion like that, we have to respect what they worship and believe. It was really pretty, and we went with our zone leaders Elder M and Elder V so that was super fun.
This week we had Zone Conference and Stake Conference, so that was super fun. I got to see Elder H for the first time in forever. We chatted about how a year ago, we were still in the MTC getting ready to finally make it to Taiwan. Crazy how time flies. While we were at Zone Conference, I had to translate the 6 hour meeting into Chinese for Elder H. My throat was wrecked after, but that didn't matter when Elder H expressed how grateful he was. It was cool to be able to do that for him so he could understand the great messages that were given. Stake conference was also awesome. President Teh spoke and gave the first couple minutes of his talk in Chinese, which was so dope. Really cool to see that even with how busy he is, he's putting time into learning the language. Gotta love President Teh.
This week was a little tougher in terms of finding and teaching. One of our investigators was sick, the other had busy work until Sunday, and another had a ping pong tournament and was not able to attend church, so that meant we had lots of time on the streets to contact. We keep meeting really cool people, but for some reason they just won't take the next step and meet with us again. It's been a little discouraging, but we've been able to keep our heads up so far and keep working hard.
Last night, we saw a really big miracle. We were biking to our next contacting activity and pulled up to a traffic light. Elder H said hello to the guy next to him and then the light turned green so nothing really happened. As we kept biking, we realized that the guy he had said hi to had pulled over to the side of the road. We biked past him, and then he followed us and tracked us down, telling us to pull over. He then just blurted out, "I hope this isn't weird, but I've always wanted to know the difference between your church and other Christian churches." We were just like whaaaat that never happens!! We took him to a nearby family mart and we were able to share the whole first lesson with him. It was really rushed because he only had like 20 minutes, but I felt the Spirit very strongly. He is moving to Jiayi Minxiong this next weekend, but we will make sure he gets in contact with the missionaries up there. Super big miracle.
One thing that has always been cool for me is how I've been able to feel the spirit through music. Music is something that has always been really important to me in my life and something that I've always loved. I remember being very young, singing "Nearer My God to Thee" and feeling the spirit very strongly, maybe for one of the first times in my life (at least that I can remember). This week, as I was doing some extra studying, the hymn "How Firm a Foundation" came on. This hymn always reminds me of my Grandpa Joe, who told me once about how special the 7th verse is. As I listened to this song, especially the 7th verse, I was filled with the spirit. The words to the 7 verse are
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!"
Through my mission, I have really come to love my Savior and know him more, and I want Him know that I will never "desert to his foes". I'm really grateful that this special hymn came on this week.
Love you all so much!! Have a great 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.