Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One more week 'til conference

Serving the Lord is fun to do
Unfortunately people don't come at us in mobs, it's more like they avoid us in mobs. Almost everyone knows to turn and run when they see the white shirts coming. But I guess that's a good way to distinguish who's ready and who's not. Those who linger get exactly what they need haha! I was laughing last week when Quinn was bummed that he wasn't able to get ordained. I'm glad that he was so pumped to get the priesthood.

We are losing missionary numbers. When I first got here we were at 250, by the end of this year we are supposed to be down to 150. So president has been forced to shut more and more areas down. Don't know what the future holds right now but I love all of the lessons that I have learned here in Moanalua 2nd.

Hon-West Elders
My State of mind is so scrambled right now its not even funny. I can't grasp all that is really going on so I'm just trying to stick to the basics and get through the next three months. I swear every time I look at the calendar a week has just slipped right on by. It's all pretty crazy. But we are all doing good over here. Dad told me about the Loos (Big Island). They are an awesome family!

It is weird everything is starting to blur. I have also committed myself to writing in my journal every day from here on out. I have to confess that I have been horrible at writing. But every time I go back and read, I have so many flashbacks and great memories. I regret not listening to you more there. But it was so hard!

Can't wait for conference.

Anyways Love you choke!
Elder Kingston Matua

More service...and I guess my eyes are tired LOL

Monday, March 30, 2015

The blessings and hardships of this marvelous work

Mom and Dad, I've yet to read one of your letters with out my heart being touched. I thank you both so much for the love and support you generously give me! I'm truly blessed to have such amazing parents!

Walking past some sick rice fields!
This week was a tough one. Unfortunately, the work here in Longtan is slowing down. With last week's baptism for Liang Jie Mei, we now don't have investigators that are progressing. We are still working with Martin because we have faith that his parents are gonna realize this is something good for their son. We're also hoping their own hearts will be touched and they'll have that desire to come unto Christ! We're just trying to help him portray his desire to be baptized to his parents. I have a feeling hearts will soften soon!

We didn't have the opportunity to meet with Ace this past week, but we're hoping we can this week. He is so great. He's believes in Christ. I can see that he believes all that we're teaching him is true. The only thing getting in the way of him enter the waters of baptism is him not coming to church. We haven't gotten him to church at all yet. I'm not sure why. He's taking everything else in and he's loving it! He even came to Liang Jie Mei's baptism last week and enjoyed it! We're just seeking inspiration as to how we can help him understand the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy and partaking of the sacrament.

We have been working on contacting a big list of inactive members. When I say big, I mean HUGE. 250+. We're trying to contact and set up appointments with each person on the list. A lot of people really just do not want anything to do with the church, some have simply lost their way due to a busy life. This week we are going to use the "Because He Live's" initiative to re-kindle that flame they once had. Hopefully that all goes well!

Yes, a lot of this is becoming a tiny bit frustrating. Success is dwindling. Less and less people are willing to talk to us on the street. It's becoming harder to set up appointments with anyone. The work is nearly halted. However, with all of the bitter challenges that we have faced, we continue to feel the loving hand of God in the details of our life and the work here in Longtan.
Blessings ALWAYS come.

Our good buddy Martin
Saturday night, we were knocking the door of one of the members on our inactive list. Brother and Sister Wang got baptized over 10 years ago. Besides that, we didn't have any information on them. We knocked on their door, no answer. Knocked again. No answer. Disappointment settling in, and a little doubt of a successful night, we decided to knock one last time. A couple of seconds after knocking, Brother Wang opened the door with a smile on his face! I guess he knew exactly who we were. He quickly, and rather humbly, invited us to "please, come in." We had an awesome visit with him and his wife. I could tell they have been away from the church for a while. They told us "life just got busy". As we were meeting with them, I could sense how they knew they were missing something in their life. They both knew what it was! I had the amazing opportunity to witness an aspect of the Atonement I've only felt within myself. I could see the humility in their eyes. I could feel how much they were pondering in their hearts. I could feel Heavenly Father's love for them, and His desire to have them come back to the fold. I had never met these people before in my life, I only knew their names. Instantly, I loved them. I had a burning desire to help them. It was such a neat experience!

Unfortunately, they didn't show up to church the next day, but we found an active member that knows them very well. We're planning on working with them this week.

Tuesday, my companion and I had the opportunity to visit a hopital to give a woman a blessing. She is from the Phillipines and has been working in Taiwan for about three years. About a year ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. She requested that we come and give her a blessing. It was such an awesome opportunity.

There are rice paddies everywhere
English class was successful! I always have such neat people come into the class. I love it!

Monday I was in my first earthquake! It wasn't anything big, but it was big enough that I felt it! hahah everything just started shaking. It was pretty cool.

Biking is still good. My bike is the sickest. The food is still super good.

Life is good. It really is. Of course life is hard, but it's worth it. As I try to look for the good in all things and as I realize all of the blessings the Lord has given me, it's hard to dwell on the bad. John 16:33 is really hitting home for me. Each and every day will have it's struggles. Small and big. We must not forget that He has overcome the world, including all trials, challenges, struggles, everything! Following in His footsteps, and walking AS He walked is the best way for us to overcome our daily challenges. I KNOW that to be true!

I love you all and hope you have a blessed week!
Elder Chase Matua

Monday, March 23, 2015

Baptisms and missionary moments

Another week in the books!

Our new young convert baptism and his family
This week was business as usual. We were invited to attend the baptism of a member boy. We have been visiting the family and were more than happy to attend when we were invited. They asked us to give two talks and then surprised us when they asked us to give a missionary moment that we usual do at convert baptisms. We had no problem with it, it was just last minute. We were able to step up and give the message and we found out that there were some less actives and non members there. hopefully we were able to make a difference.

They feed me plenty over here, I am just doing everything that I can to keep the weight off. I am still in pretty bad shape but I can fix all that when I get home.

With Elder Swenson from West Jordan
Looks like life is moving on for everyone back home. At church yesterday we ran into a father and son from Arizona. The son had just gotten back from his mission two weeks earlier. He said that when you come home it feels like you never left but you have all your memories of you mission. I feel like that's exactly how it's going to be for me. For the most part everyone is going to be right where they were and I will continue my life but I will have so much more knowledge and experience to work with. Plus my testimony is 100 times stronger.

Have a great week everyone. Love you all!!

Fellowshipping and basketball

Sis Liang's baptism
Another awesome week has come and gone!

Time is certainly flying. It's kinda crazy that I'm coming up on my six month mark. Just fantastic! Better than ever. I'm trying to study up the talks from the October Conference before next weekend. I'm really enjoying it! Can you believe I've almost been out six months already? Because I can't!

We have to wait a week before they show conference here. They do all the translations then broadcast it to the stake centers. So You guys get to hear it before me!

The work is continuing to move forward here in Long Tan. Saturday we had the opportunity of watching Sister Liang enter the waters of baptism. She has definitely come a long way, and we are so happy to have seen her achieve her goals and press forward with faith.

We have two more investigators that are close and should be getting baptized within the next month. We hope everything goes well for them.

This week we are focusing on our less actives. We have a HUGE ward list. Every Sunday, we have between 35 and 40 people there, so I wasn't expecting to see such a long list of names. We're planning on contacting each name on the list and help them find their way back to the fold!

Selfie game is too strong in Taiwan
I haven't dared step on a scale. I do need to find one though. The past couple of days have been pretty chilly. But the peeps are telling us that it's gonna warm up soon. One of the guys in our ward told us that starting in April, we wont have running water every Wednesday and Thursday. don't know how long that's supposed to go for. but it'll be rough. my pants are busting at the seems. LOL Nah their good. my shoes are doing great.

I'm working out hard each morning.....trying to. I'm getting better at it. And the biking does help. I just need to make smarter eating choices. I feel super healthy though. If I wasn't a missionary, I'd be so fat with all the eating I'm doing. The spirit devours most of my food for me, so it's all good!

Funny story: Last Monday, we were playing basketball again for our pday activity. The kids had a day off of school, so there was tons of them playing basketball with us. It was so funny because they all called me Blake Griffin and they thought I was SO good at basketball. You all know how terrible I am at basketball hahah. Every time I made a shot, all of them started clapping and cheering. I was laughing my head off.

The rest of the week was pretty eventful. We did a lot of street contacting and door knocking! A couple of people ran into us that seem pretty interested. We're praying to see some success with them.

Our new investigator Ace
I thought it was funny to see Quinners with all of his little friends. Good thing is that I think he's too humble and obedient to get into too much trouble with all of those girls as he continues throughout his schooling hahah. Sounds like Mica and Kenyon are both doing great with school and sports. I just hope Mica is starting to see the importance of Seminary. One of the things I was so grateful for was seminary. Some of my strongest spiritual experiences came from seminary.

I know this email is super short. I hope you all have a blessed week!

Elder Chase Matua

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Temple trip and the Lord's work

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We had a temple trip today so our P-Day is today instead of yesterday. The temple this morning was great as usual. I got to see the Selu family while I was there. It was great to see them in the session this morning.

Bro & Sis Selu
(photo: M. Selu)
This past week was kinda rough. None of our investigators came to church and that's never fun. But life goes on and the work continues. Elder Talatau and I are still doing good together. Both of us are still trying to grasp the fact that our time is so short. We just keep moving and forget about it.

Everything is great here as far as how me and Elder T. are doing. I just received a letter from Pres. Warner that there is a possibility that they might close our area, mostly due to the fact that we are going down in missionary numbers. There is a good amount of work in this ward but them members must be involved. But we will do what we can while we are here and see what happens.

Congratulations to the BYU Rugby boys on your big win last week [against St. Mary's]. A big Happy Birthday to Mica and Quinn! Sorry I'm still working on getting more post cards for birthdays so I'll try and send those out asap.

Love you all! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and His work is moving forward!

Elder Kingston Matua
Exploring Hawaii

Good to see the Selu boys
(photo: M. Selu)

P-Day fun

Monday, March 16, 2015

Baptism Day - Long Tan

Another great week for the books!
A beautiful sunrise in Long Tan

I'm still loving the beautiful land of Taiwan and all the great people I meet here.

Monday we went and played some basketball for P-Day. These old Taiwanese guys took us to school. It was really bad. All I can say is these people can BALL! haha

Tuesday we had Zone training in the morning. We received a lot of good instruction form our zone leaders. Tuesday through Wednesday, my companion and I went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders so I spent the night with Elder Darger in their area. I learned a lot from him. He is really cool and a very experienced missionary. He goes home in June or July. He's great though. He helped me understand some important aspects of assisting in the conversion of investigators. Learned a lot!

Me and Elder Darger from Herriman
Wednesday night we had our English class. Because I don't know enough Chinese yet, I only teach the Advanced English class. I speak English the entire time. I have three people that come every week: Manny, Lee-Jay, and Roger. Their English is really good. Teaching English is definitely one of my favorite parts of the week.

Friday we had Zone Conference which is a little different than Zone training. Zone training is just a training with all the missionaries in the zone. Zone Conference is all the missionaries in the zone plus President and Sister Day, the Assistants, and the temple sisters. Zone Conference is also all day long. Our stake center is about two hours away from our area, so even though we woke up early and were on the bus early, we were still 15 minutes late!

My comp filling the font
The conference was so good though! The topic was "Becoming fluent in four different languages": 1) the language of the spirit; 2) the language of love; 3) the language of Taiwan and 4) the language of the Gospel.

I felt like I was very spiritually prepared for this conference and even searching for some help in specific areas. Needless to say, Heavenly Father knows exactly what He's doing. He helped me out a ton on Friday. The conference went until 5pm. I really enjoyed it.

Saturday night I had the opportunity to baptize Ya Qiao. Funniest little girl! I love all of the little Taiwanese kids! They laugh at me a lot because my Chinese is still a work in progress, but they are all so funny. It's hard to catch one with out a smile on their face. They are such happy little kids.

I had to preform the baptism twice, because the first time her feet came up. She was so happy during the whole thing. It was a neat experience for me.
Me, Ya Qiao and her family

Taiwan is such a great place. You should all be jealous that you're not here! Each day is full with tender mercies and great spiritual experiences.

Thank you all for your love and support. Have a blessed week!

Elder Chase Matua

Monday, March 9, 2015

Finding success

Well another week in 2015 has come and gone.

I was getting my days all mixed up this week it went by so fast. We got to meet with all of our investigators this week. Some of them were short visits but every contact counts when you are fighting against peoples every day temptations.

All of our investigators are doing good. We still have a date set for our young friend Fasia.

Hope all will continue to go well there. Time is short, lets go live it my friends. No time to waste time, even Hawaiian time.

Love you all! The church is most definitely true and fully restored!

Elder Kingston Matua

Busy in Long Tan

Another great, busy week!

Hot pots
We have some investigators that are pretty close to baptism. Two have dates for next Saturday, but we've been running into some problems. First, one of them has some word of wisdom problems. We've been making some great progress with helping her quit smoking. We've gotten here down from 2 packs a day to 5 cigarettes. Unfortunately, if she doesn't quit cold turkey by this Saturday, we're going to have to push her date back.

Our second is a 16 year old boy who hasn't gotten permission from his parents to be baptized. They
Stinky tofu
are so against him getting baptized. They are more than willing to let him meet with us often and even go to church every Sunday, but they don't want him to be baptized. Not sure why. Here in Taiwan, the legal age of an adult is 20 years old, so if worst comes to worst, he'll have to wait. He's so solid right now, if that were to happen, he'd continue to build his faith until he can get baptized.
Our ward is great. Everyone works really hard in their callings and they are very helpful with the missionary work in the area.

Lots of my pictures this week are of food. I promise you I do so so good.
much more than just eat hahah. The food is just

Me and Elder McClellan
Riding around on bikes is still super fun. I ride behind my companion and it's super intense because a lot of times he tries to be the king of the road and well... cars don't really care haha. Good thing he's been riding a bike for a while now, or else his dodging skills wouldn't be as good. Mica would absolutely love meeting my companion. I think they would be best friends.

Something super crazy that happened this week was the celebrations. I'm not 100% sure what it is called but it was some sort of lantern festival. I never knew people could party so hard. They had a huge parade, and it was bumpin! Coolest thing I've ever seen. Plus, I've never seen SO many people crammed in one area. The pond is pretty big, but you could not move around at all. We were trying to contact there, but nobody really wanted to listen. It was rough, but a neat experience seeing the culture.

Scooter game too strong in Taiwan
My Chinese is still really struggling. I am getting a lot better at understanding what people are saying, it's just hard for me to respond. It takes a while for me to form sentences and phrases. Slowly but surely. I'm positive my language ability will click at the right time as long as i'm working my hardest.

I hope you guys all have a great week the week.
Love each of you!

Elder Chase Matua

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Working hard on the aloha spirit

We had some new prospects but some new challenges as well. These people in this Samoan ward keep scaring everyone away! LOL We have really been struggling this week with the ward but all is well. If I have learned anything it is that the Lords work can never be stopped. It can be slowed by the people, but never stopped. We just keep doing our thing and pushing along knowing that the Lord has a plan and that everything will fit right in the end.

I'm so grateful for you dad and mom! You guys kept it together through thick and thin and showed us boys that no matter what we are going through their is a way to be happy and overcome our trails. I pray that we can all find our way no matter what the difficulties may be.

That's awesome that the [United Rugby] team is looking good this year. Sounds like there were a lot of teams at the spring warm up this year. Keep those boys on track.

Send my love to Dillon and the newest member of this crazy family! Wish I could be there but the work moves forward.

Alofa tele
Elder Kingston Matua


This place is absolutely amazing. I already love it so much.

Last week was definitely another crazy week. It was really hard saying good bye to a lot of awesome people in Colorado. I'm beyond grateful to have had the opportunity of serving in that wonderful mission.

The flights from Colorado Springs to Denver, and from Denver to San Francisco were both really short. However the flight from San Francisco to Taiwan was brutal. Way too long. But we're here now and so happy.

The Grand Hotel with my buddy
Elder Smith
We stayed in Temple Patron housing right across the street from the temple for the first two nights. That was really cool. For the first two days we did a lot of orientation and training and we actually got to tour a bit of Taipei. We went to the dedication site for missionary work in Taiwan. It was at the bottom of a hill near the Grand Hotel. President Day had each of us find a spot and say our own dedicatory prayer for our service here in Taiwan. It was a very special experience.

President Day is so great. Him and Sister Day are just so fun. They are both amazing people. I'm so blessed to be serving with them.

The beautiful Taipei, Taiiwan temple at night
Thursday night all of the new missionaries got paired up with random trainers (or "random" trainers) and hit the streets for our first contacting experience here on island. I got paired up with Elder Stanford and it was so fun! All of the people here are so willing to talk. There are tons of people who aren't very interested, or just don't want anything to do with the church, but they still love to stop and talk. They are all so humble.

My Chinese isn't amazing haha. Now that I'm here it's slowing improving. Whether it's terrible or amazing, when someone hear's you say something beyond "ni hao" they start to say ohh your chinese is so good! hahaha so that makes me feel confident.. a little bit. The people are patient though, and I have a good companion that helps me out a ton.

View from our apartment
So my trainer's name is Elder McClellan. He's a great guy. We've already had some good fun together. I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks with him. We are out in an area called Long Tan (Dragon Pond). It's a really nice area. It's west of Taipei. It's sort of a sub city to Taoyuan. The ward is awesome. Really small, we had about 40 people at church yesterday, but they're all great.
The food is incredible!! (sorry dad hahaha). Every time I have a meal, I think of you and how much you would love the food. So many people were telling me that Taiwanese food is kinda sketch...okay maybe a little tine bit. But it's SO good.

The food is amazing!
This past week I've had some pigs blood cake (cake made of well, pigs blood). It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Nothing I would go out of my way to eat it, but I'll eat it haha. I ate a 1000 yr old egg. Yes, that's one-thousand. It's funny though because I really don't think it's actually a thousand years old ahahah. It definitely looks like it's super old, but I'm not sure if it really is. That also wasn't too bad. (Looks are deceiving!) I had some tofu skin that was pretty good. Fried up chicken skin. Good. Tons of chicken, beef, pork, fish, rice, and noodles. The food is just great.

Biking has been tons of fun. The traffic laws are basically just suggestions. Everyone rides on scooters. But those that are driving cars and the bus drivers just go. So riding a bike is kind of like playing a game. Just dodge the vehicles going faster than you hahah. Don't worry mom, I'm being safe!

My collage of the people I love
I'm so blessed to be in this country doing this great work. It's a night and day difference than my experience in Colorado, but it's still the same work and I'm honored to be a part of it. I am loving this opportunity to be a missionary. It's been awesome being able to see how great God's creation of the world is. It's a neat feeling to know that these people are children of God. So different than people I'm used to being around, but they are God's children. And I am honored to be serving them. Already, they have loved me and treated me so well. There's nothing I'd rather do than to serve them to help them find true and everlasting happiness in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How great is this work!

Elder Chase Matua