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

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