Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas in Taiwan

Getting ready for the festivities to begin
Well, nothing too much to share, I think we covered it all in the skype call :) heheh

The weekend was alright. It's getting colder. Elder Qiu keeps getting funnier. I'm taking him to play rugby today with some of the other boys and he's pretty pumped haha. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to work with this fellow. He's a great guy.

Our investigators are all doing pretty well. We have 4 people on date, one of them isn't answering their phone so that may go down to 3 by the end of the day. Unless we find more people on the street, which we will!! One of the invitations we have is to invite people to baptism on the street.
Taiwan-Taipei Missionaries get set
for an epic Christmas celebration
Not be baptized on the street, but ask them to be baptized, while you're standing on the street. Fun stuff. Some people look at us like we're crazy. But those that are prepared, who truly have an open heart and are looking for something more in their life, they'll hear the whispering's of the spirit and they will be moved. I love this work.

One of our less actives came to church yesterday and said he wants to duan chuan (serve a temporary mission whenever and wherever they need one on island). He's pretty dedicated to it, so it's been cool to see him sincerely apply the Atonement. People change, and it's awesome to be able to see it happen front row.

Christ is our Savior. He is the Son of the Living God. And because Heavenly Father loves us so dearly, he sent him to us. Sent Him FOR us. How grateful I am for this diving gift. Make EVERY day Christmas.

I love you all. Have such a blessed week
Elder Chase Matua

Poly Elders reunited
The Assistants ran up and said it would be awesome to
do the haka. We even got Pres. Jergensen to do it with us
I played one of the wise men in the nativity
With Pres. Jergensens' family
I took a picture in front of this structure with Elder Smith
nearly a year ago. Crazy!

New life in TianMu

Last day with Elder Jensen
Well I have tons to say, and I don't know where to begin. I guess I'll just say, I'm officially a trainer now. My new companions name is Elder Qiu and he is from Zhanghua. It's a city in the Taichung mission. He has actually been called to serve in the San Francisco mission, but due to visa problems (I guess it goes both ways) he's staying in the Taipei mission until it comes. He's a ball of fire. He hasn't gone to the MTC yet, so i'm starting from ground zero. It's interesting, but it's also super fun.

Amber got baptized on Saturday. It was a wonderful service. Tons of people there, and we also had another investigator, Brother Lin in attendance and he seems to like the idea of baptism. Amber did awesome though. She bore a powerfully of the Atonement and change in her first testimony as a member of the true Church of
Special day with Qiu and Amber at
her baptism
Jesus Christ.

Well, there's probably a lot more I can say, but I'll just wait for the call on Christmas! pretty pumped for that.

Have a great week. A blessed week.

AND A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! What a special time to remember the birth of our Savior.

Elder Chase Matua

Elder Tang and I outside the mission home
He's training too
Thanksgiving dinner with the Li family
Elder Qiu LOVED Thanksgiving dinner!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 6 in Tianmu?

This kid stopped us
on the street and asked
to take a picture with
us and sent it via email
I think it is week 6 in Tianmu hahah.

Last week it was pretty cold, today it feels like June 1. I thought Utah had some pretty crazy weather patterns. Taiwan is just as indecisive as Utah.

The week was super good. We are getting trained over and over again on making the mission vision our target: Baptize, Retain, and Reactivate. That sums up what the Lord's work is. And as missionaries, every single activity we do through out the day, must be aimed towards accomplishing one aspect of the vision. Simple. I love President Jergensen and the way he has been so inspired in leading our mission.

I've got some bad news, Elder Jensen is moving out! The curse continues, one transfer and we're done. I'll never understand why that happens to me. I know the Lord has something greater in store. Also, the assistants called us last night and asked if I would train a new missionary. So that counts as good news. And I'm pretty excited for the opportunity.

In front of the temple with friends and Amber (white coat)
who will be baptized soon
So Amber is getting baptized on Saturday. She'll be the very first new member in the North Taipei Stake that was created yesterday. Cool stuff.

The rest of our investigators are starting to get a little lost. It's getting super hard to get in contact with some of them.

Miracle of the week: Elder Jensen and I usually just go contacting out on the street, instead of just knocking. People have such an easier time rejecting us when they can't see our face, so street finding is a little bit more productive... most of the time. On Friday we decided to knocking. It started off rough, but soon proved to be just where the Lord needed us. In
Our friend Jonathan the cheerleader
Taiwan, most people live in apartments. You have the door bell on the outside and a speaker that the resident can communicate with who is standing at the door. Sometimes, they'll pop the door open with out even asking who it is. That's exactly what happened to us at one door.

We rang the doorbell for one of the basement level homes, the door popped open, and a lady was already standing at her door waiting to see who it was. We said Hello, and started talking with her... well, it was more like talking AT her because she would not say anything.  About a minute passes by and she finally says, well I'm Christian, turns around and slams her door. We head back up to the doorbells and ring the next one and the door flies open. This lady was waiting for us as well, but this one had a big smile on her face. ... and two super happy kids standing by her side. We started talking to her and found out that she has been waiting to go to church but no one has ever invited them so they've never been. A happy couple, and two awesome kids. They are seriously so Golden. We are excited to see the progression they make towards becoming converted in Christ.

Once again, i'm a little scattered. I hope you had a wonderful week. I love you guys tons.

Have a blessed week!
Elder Chase Matua

Monday, December 7, 2015

Working hard in TianMu

I just asked Elder Jensen, "What happened this week?"
He said, "umm.. on Monday we went and played basketball"
That feels like yesterday! Time is going by faster than ever.

We had another awesome week.

Elder Willes and I at Zone Conference
He leaves in two weeks!
On Tuesday we had our December Zone meeting. They asked me to give a training on how Obedience helps build Faith. I learned a bit about the two principles. The meeting went well. We have the second biggest zone on island with 16 companionships. We had a huge white elephant gift exchange which reminded me of all the priceless moments at the Matua family Christmas parties. Too fun.

On Thursday we saw some awesome miracles while finding. We saw this girl walking toward us, and we said hello. She pulled out her headphones and said, "I have work at 5:30" Elder Jensen and I looked at our watches, 5:30. Looked back at her, and she said, "but it's okay, what do you have to say?" Then we looked at each other and could almost hear the font being filled. No, she was super cool though. Living a pretty tough life. Her mother is hospitalized,
Eating with Aron
and her father passed away a little bit ago. She puts her whole family on her back and just goes to work. She was actually pretty inspiring. She said a prayer with us after we taught her how. Really interested in developing her relationship with God. We met with her again on Saturday and she set a goal to be baptized on January 9.

The rest of the week was also pretty good. Most of our investigators our progressing. Slowly buy surely. We've been seeing some miracles with less actives also.

Tian mu is such an awesome area. I get sad every time I'm leaving an area, but the next area always makes up for the loss. We live in the richest place on the Island of Taiwan. Lots of really fancy people. Surprisingly I've had more people talk to me here than in any other area. Lots of families.
At Bonnie's super fancy hotpot
Lots of students, and LOTS of foreigners haha.

This last week we found people from Japan and from the Dominican Republic who both may have some potential. We also received a referral for someone who is from France. It's pretty interesting how wide a variety we have to work with.

The language remains a challenge, but I'm getting more comfortable with it. I'm heading to the office today to interview with President and attempt to pass off Phase 2. It's funny that you mention Longtan. Last night at a fireside I ran into Sister Liang from Longtan whom I haven't seen since June. She was one that Elder McClellan and I baptized in April. She seemed to be so happy and doing well. I love being a part of this work.

I hope you all have such a great week. Have a blessed week.

Center yourselves in Christ.
Elder Chase Matua

This is youzi - super tasty
These 7th Day Adventist came up to us and started singing
then gave us a pamphlet - stellar missionary work
Morning ball. I look fat but I promise I'm losing weight
This lovely family that Elder Stewart and I
found were all baptized on Saturday
Every Polynesian Elder in Taiwan is in my District LOL!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Another good week in TianMu

It was so cold I wore
a sweater!
We woke up to cloudy skies and rain. Still one of the greatest feelings ever. The weather has been cooling down big time over here. It was feeling nice, and then Friday hit and it was actually pretty cold. It's feeling good though, I love the cold weather haha!

Last Monday we went out to a youzi farm and picked some youzi. I'm not sure how to say youzi in English. They're super good though. They're pretty much like giant green oranges. Then we went out to have some fun at the beach. East and North, all I have left is to hit the West and South beaches.

On Tuesday, the entire mission came up to Taipei to listen to Elder Gary E. Stevenson speak to us. I kept forgetting to tell you all that that was happening. Well it happened and it was so great. EXACTLY what I needed. He's such a funny guy, and he's like best friends with President
Hangin' at the beach
Jergensen so they were joking around a ton. On top of that, he inspired all of us missionaries. His talk was great, but then he bore his testimony and the Spirit entered the room SO strong. There are no words to describe it. All I know is that we are lead by living Prophets and Apostles. God is in the details of our lives and it is frequently through his chosen servants.

Elder Jensen and I have been running into a lot of awesome people lately. Strangely, many of them have never heard of missionaries before. Up until this point in my mission I'd say about 98% of the people I've talked to know exactly who we are. Just recently, there have been many people who look at us and say, "WHO are you?" It's music to our ears. Perfect opportunity.

At McDonald's on Thanksgiving
with our buddy Aaron
Thursday night we were fed by some families in the English ward. They had American food like turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing. We joked that we must have gotten in an accident earlier that day because it felt like we were in the Celestial Kingdom. I had always heard of Christmas miracles, but that was indeed a Thanksgiving miracle.

Our investigators are moving right along. We continue to see miracles right and left with them.

Not much else I can think of right now. Time is going faster than it ever has before. It's super crazy. I can't believe we're coming up on Christmas again. That's going to be fun.

I hope you guys have a blessed week. Try to be like Jesus.

Elder Chase Matua

Monday, November 23, 2015

TianMu Week 2

Me, Reinaldo Silva, Elder Jensen
Super fast week.

Elder Jensen and I continue to love the work together. He's such a great man. This week, we had some struggles finding new friends that are in Eternal Salvation. We'll get em this week!

We saw a huge miracle on Monday. Sister Amber Chen went out of town, but texted us and said, "Through some pondering I've decided I want to be Baptized." Good job Amber! We are excited for her.

A less active we met on the street
Some of our other investigators failed to come to church, we're gonna have to think of new ways to help them get there. We did a lot of LA (less active) finding with not as much success as we anticipated. One person we found on the street made his way to church. Along with three others whom we had never met. We continue to see miracles every day of this journey.

Being a District Leader just adds another level of stress. Worrying about thousands of people that live in your area, plus 5 missionaries that I have to somehow lead. It's fun though. I conducted my first baptismal interview on Saturday and it was so awesome. Probably one of the highlights of the week. Interviewing him kind of helped me do a self evaluation. I can say that I've come to know my Savior a lot better since being on a mission.

The streets of TianMu
Elder Jensen and I are having a great time together. You should have seen us the first couple of days. We couldn't think straight because we were so excited to be together. We both wished we had talked together more before the mission. He's a great guy. He does a good job at helping me stay positive. He's got a lot of fire in him and such a strong testimony of the Gospel and this work. I've loved my time with him. I'm super worried that I'll only get one transfer with him.

The language is going alright. Learn new things every day. I'm getting on the tail end of phase two. My goal is to be on phase three before 2016 hits.

On Saturday night, we found some college kids that play rugby. I lost my mind. After I told them I'm Samoan, they said I could come practice with their team on Mondays (Send my red cleats?:). I was super happy to meet them.

Sorry this email is a little short. The work is great. God is good. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.

Have a very blessed week!
Elder Chase Matua

View from above - TianMu
This funny guy said he would give me a free ride to the
airport when its time for me to go home
Cool place we found on our jog one morning
Study time with Elder Jensen - Go Pioneers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week one in TianMu

Elder Jensen and I had a pretty good week. Saw a lot of miracles as we preached on the streets this week. TianMu is such a wonderful place. I guess I really just love Taiwan.

We've been working with a man named Brother Lin. Really humble man. He was having some life troubles and one of his friends from TaiDong referred him to the missionaries (REFER YOUR FRIENDS TO THE MISSIONARIES). He is having some trouble with quit smoking, but he has a true desire. He'll get there.

We have another awesome investigator named Amber. She met Elder Jensen and his previous companion a couple of weeks ago. She came and did a chapel tour yesterday before church, then stayed for all three hours of the service. She loved it. She is moving right along the path to conversion.

I went  on exchanges with Elder Anderton on Tuesday. What a humble giant. Really nice guy. Helped me out with a lot of stuff. We got to know each other pretty well and it turns out we've lived a pretty similar life. One of my favorite things of being a missionary is meeting new people.

We met with a Less Active member named Reinaldo Silva... From Brazil. He runs a couple of pizza shops here in Taiwan. Probably one of the nicest people I've ever met. Work is super busy for him, so he hasn't found time to come to church in over 4 months. We taught him a little about sacrifice and laying up treasures in Heaven. What a great man. Another cool thing is we taught him in 100% Chinese. He speaks no English, it was pretty interesting.

Thursday We went down to headquarters for a meeting. President Jergensen is such a great man. A lot of training on leadership and helping your fellow missionary be their best. That kind of stuff.

I think I've learned more about myself this week than I ever have before. I'm sick today, and it's the first time I've been sick in my entire mission. I told Elder Jensen last night, "Bro, I am exhausted." He actually probably hears it from me every night. hahaha but I have never felt so physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually exhausted. I am absolutely drained. I can feel the Grace of God carrying me from day to day. When I get home from my mission I might take a week long nap. hibernate for a bit.

It's a good feeling though. kind of fulfilling in a way. I know Heavenly Father is letting me get drained because He is ready for me to grow to lengths I've never reached. It's exciting.

I hope you all have a blessed week. Things are moving forward here in Taiwan! These people are great.

Much Love,
Elder Chase Matua

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crazy week

I'll miss this fun friend
I got kicked out of Taidong! But got sent to Tianmu. Great place indeed. AND I am serving with Elder Briggs Jensen from Lehi. I'm breaking him, but he's such an awesome missionary already. We're so excited to be with each other.

Leaving Taidong and all the people down there was rough. I already can't wait to go back. The Lord blessed me by sending me here though. It's such an awesome place. My ward in Long-Tan had an average of 35 people at church. Taidong was about 60. We had over 100 people at church on Sunday. The chapel even had benches, and deacons passing the sacrament. It was such a cool sight to see, and kind of opened my sights a little bit to how much potential this island has. Great people.

Saying goodbye to the Zone
Our investigators here are great. They have a common struggle with all other investigators. Hard time getting them to church. We did have one come yesterday and  should be getting baptized on the 21st. His name is Mark. Super funny guy.

Elder Jensen and I are striving to make the Sabbath a key principle in our teaching. Trying to make it a reality to all. Trying to "make the Sabbath a delight".

I'm always so scattered writing these things. Just know that the work in Taiwan is moving forward. The Lord is in the details of our lives. Put your trust in Him.

I love you all,
Elder Chase Matua
Last hike with these cool guys
Goodbye Tai Dong
I'll miss all of these great friends
I'll come back here some day
I made a lifetime friend in Elder Stewart
Lehi kids in Tianmu - me and Elder Jensen

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another crazy week

Ward activity - Long bus ride!
I don't even know where to begin!

We had a lot of opportunity to do service, and that's always fun. On Tuesday we helped the 1st ward elders do service for one of their investigators, then on Friday, Brother Huang came with Elder Stewart and I WAY up in the mountains to do some service for brother Chen. It was at an old run down Scout Camp. It reminded me of Timberline and Tifie and all that stuff. I wanted to get out of there fast hahaha! It was fun though.

Yesterday we actually had an entire investigator family come to church! The Guo family. They are SO awesome. They have loved saying prayers together and reading the Book of Mormon together!

Taiwanese buses have karaoke!
On Saturday, we went up to Hualien for a ward activity. It was pretty fun, but most of it was just a bus ride. maybe 9 hours on a bus, 3 hours off.

Wednesday night English class was pretty sad. We had 9 kids in our class. During our personal share we asked who believed in God. They all got super mad at the question and immediately answered a big NO. That made me super bummed.

Our ward is so awesome. They continue to contribute to the work of the Lord. The work is going great. I might leave this week which would make me super sad!
Sorry this email was kinda lousy.

Love you all, have a blessed week!
Elder Chase Matua
Service at a Taiwan Scout camp
Scout camp reminded me of my days at Tifie and Timberline
This was fun and rewarding service

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Feeling the spirit

Me and Elder Stewart trying
to be models
Do remember Sister Lin I told you about last week? Well They asked her to speak in sacrament yesterday. She bore a great testimony. A couple of days earlier she was telling us, "There is no way that God loves me. I have no Faith in Him". Yesterday, she stood and humbly proclaimed, "I know Heavenly Father loves me". I've never seen such a change of heart. She looked so happy.

I am so blessed to be here in this wonderful land of Taiwan, seeing the miracle of God's love take root in people's hearts. I've felt it in my own heart, and it is the greatest feeling ever. When was the last time you had a spiritual uplifting experience? Gotta love it.

The Zone
We've met some pretty solid people this past week. We're hoping, praying, and working hard with them to help them develop their relationships with Heavenly Father. What a great journey. Our Stake President  has asked Elder Stewart and I to go up to the further parts of our area to "plow the fields". He's planning on re-opening a branch in Luye. We're planning on working closely with our awesome members that live up there to rekindle the fire in some old friends as well as find some new friends! I'm getting nervous President Jergensen might move me up next week, pray that that doesn't happen. I love TAIDONG.

Dad, Your email just spoke to my spirit. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I've been trying to
Another day in the office
strengthen my prayers with Heavenly Father. As a matter of fact, prayers have tended to be one of the weakest points since I can remember. "Commune with the Father" was one of the invites extended to us during district meeting. Dad, when did you first learn the true power of prayer? How can i better apply this aspect to the details of my life?

Taiwan is the greatest place on Earth, right after our home. The ONLY thing that could ever get me off this island is the fact that I'd be returning to my home and my family. I love it here. Specifically here in Taidong. I will NEVER forget this place. My companion is awesome. I've learned a lot from him. He's an easy going guy and does the Lord's work in a humble way. I look up to him, it'll be sad to see him go. I try to smile as much as possible. It's good stuff.

I love you mom. There's seriously not much else I can say. One of my favorite things that has happened to me since being on a mission, is being able to take a step out of things and consider what matters most. I think of my loving family every single time. With two amazing parents at the head. Keep praying for me please.

I love being a missionary. The work is great. I'm trying to lose weight (unsuccessfully so far). And the Church is true!

I love you and have a blessed week
Elder Chase Matua

This is why everyone wants to be in this area - Beautiful
Miles and miles of rice fields

Cloudy, but always pretty
Train ride home