Sunday, December 25, 2011

Family,
 
         I laughed after that call, that was my bad. Next time we can pay more attention to how long my card will let us talk so no cut off. Not a big deal, I can call again in about six months. But I love you! I realized that you may be feeling bad because of the lack of mail down here, but I don't, so don't. I'll get stuff late, that is all. Honestly, you have no reason to feel bad for me right now, I love my mission and I love teaching people and having so many interesting experiences and opportunities to grow. If you have any other questions, ask them. I'm sorry my emails lack soMetimes, I'll try to improve them but it is hard to remember what happens.
       Christmas Eve we had our branch activity, which the missionaries performed in. I already told you some of this stuff but I'll write it again. Our play basically made fun of missionaries and our really bad Chinese, you can probably find the song we sang, "Duibuqi" by an English band Transistion,  or look up "wo de zhongwen bu hao"               (  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XTBwvi0h2E ) . But I guess you won't get it, but my Chinese speaking friends will if they read this.
     Anyway, Christmas I made pancakes, which my comp didn't like too much so I got to eat a lot and feel really American. Except the box came with a package of honey and not syrup, which doesn't seem to exist in Taiwan, no one knows what it is. Christmas day we knocked doors mostly, ate a big dinner with this family that included nothing you would associate with Christmas, then knocked more doors, No sucess at all. That is pretty much how things are going down here, really slow and the most difficult part for me is feeling like I am accomplishing anything because we don't see a lot of results from our efforts.
      So that is one lesson I am learning. This week I feel like I was really hit with the importance of patience. Definitely learning the skill of persisting in doing something even if you aren't seeing much come out of it. If you don't have a testimony that this work is true, missionary work becomes impossible, or at least pretty painful. I can't imagine anyone doing this for some other motive,
     Things are getting better with the companion, slowly. Before, I have been able to develop friendships with the companions I had, we really got along well and were effective because of it. This transfer I may be able to avoid arguments and any conflict, but I feel like no matter what I do I can't get my companion to actually like me, which I guess is tolerable but certainly not ideal. I don't think the culture difference is an excuse because I have been fine with other Taiwanese, and I have been told I'm about as Taiwanese as any American missionary gets. Anyway, I don't really know how to explain the whole situation so I probalby won't.  The last few weeks have just been full of a lot of little lessons and a ton of humility.
     The pictures are my last night in Taibei with Elder Chen, and Christmas morning with our lovely paper tree. Found the hat at our chapel, pretty excited.

Okay that is all I got for now. I love you so much, thank you for all the support. Things are going great on my end. Merry Christmas!
Elder Braithwaite

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