Sunday, October 9, 2011

This week has been great. Loved Conference, we missionaries just watched it in English on the internet (makes me glad I'm somewhere with easily accessable computers - wouldn't have gotten much out of the Chinese one). I really loved every single talk, I am not going to try to write to you what I thought because I wouldn't know where to start. I think every year I get more out of Conference, and every year I feel like it gets shorter. And it may be just me, but I also felt like every talk was super applicable to missionaries specifically. They really are emphasizing spreading the gospel right now. It makes me so grateful to have this oppotunity.

The language is coming fine, I feel like I'm making progress. I have started taking a more active part in the lessons, I taught one pretty much by myself because my companion decided to just entertain this lady's little kids and leave me to teach without his help. I can get my part out fine, but when I ask for questions or thoughts they will just go off and I won't know what they are saying, so I will just look at their facial expressions and try to respond accordingly, but basically just hope they didn't say anything too important and keep going with the lesson. Not the most effective teacher yet, but that is about the best I can do right now.

We had to pretty much drop 3 of our investigators this week. They just couldn't get over only being able to worship Heavenly Father. It is sad to see, but I know that God is aware of them and that this experience with the missionaries could be important for them accepting the gospel at another time, whether here or after this life. However, we now have two investigators from mainland China, which is really cool. You want to have investigators from there because odds are that they plan to move back someday, and you want them to bring the Church with them, especially while there are no missionaries. Anyway, one of these ladies saw the big Jesus Christ characters stuck on the windows of our chapel (the second floor of this dinky building above the bus station), said she recognized the name, and just walked up to the church to see what it was. It is so crazy to me how little the Chinese people really know about Jesus Christ and even about religion in general, but at least some of them are genuinely curious. I feel so priviledged to teach the gospel to someone who literally doesn't know anything about Jesus. Whether they accept the gospel or not, it is amazing opportunity to give someone their first exposure to the Savior, let alone to be a part of the spreading of the gospel to China, in a more indirect way. But I am confident that God is preparing those people and that someday the gospel will be there. The church will need a lot of Mandarin missionaries then, hope they'll let me come again when that day comes.

I think one of the greatest blessings of being on a mission is the study time, I get to spend a couple of hours every day just studying the gospel and the scriptures, I probably will never have time to spend so long doing this when I come home. And every day I get so much out of it. I have gained such a testimony of scripture study already and hope that my studies will only continue to improve.

Okay sorry no cool stories this week, I will try harder next week. Thanks for everything you do. Love you all!

Elder Braithwaite

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