Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family,
 
Thanks for the update, that is super exciting about Drew and Stanford. Tell him not to feel too full of himself. I feel like the firefighter thing sounds awesome too though. The rest of you need to get some more exciting things happening in your life.
 
Christmas call still not totally sure when, I'll call you either Sunday afternoon my time (between 9-11 Saturday night for you) or Monday morning my time (4-6 Sunday afternoon for you). I hope one of those times work out for us, and for you. If the call doesn't come Saturday that means it will Sunday. I'm sorry if that is a little inconvenient but it is the best I got right now. Sorry, but I'm excited to talk to you!
 
This week has been real good, pretty warm, not too many problems. Had some of the longer and more grueling bike rides of my mission, going to visit these families out in the boonies, who of course end up not being there. It feels like lately we have put in a ton of work and aren't really seeing any sort of results (that is just kind of how this job goes, but more so lately). But that is okay, I am learning a lot. This week was super humbling for me, realizing more and more everyday how not good I am at half the stuff I need to do to be effective, making some good changes but the process is slow. Trying to focus on smiling more, kind of a lifelong problem of mine. My companion certainly is willing to help me see where I can improve, which at first I didn't like but as soon as I decided to just take his advice and change I realized that I really did need to become better. Stupid ego getting in the way of improving. Humility is key for me right now, I think that people will rarely provide criticism, whether rude or not, unless it is their honest opinion and has some truth in it somewhere that can help you be better.
 
I'm trying to think of a cool story to share from this week but I can't pick a specific one. All our investigators right now have some major problems they need to overcome in their lives, trying to help them has not been straightforward and is forcing me to teach differently. We need some miracles, for them and for us. The past few weeks have really been a test of faith for me, and I predict the next few weeks will be as well, but this is all good for me when I think about it, just not always easy to push through in the moment. Sorry, I realize that is lacking in details and slightly cryptic. I love the missionary experience overall so far, I want to make a list of all the valuable skills I feel I am developing. There are a lot.
 
Okay so I'll talk to you this weekend, I'll call the house phone and the cell phone if the house doesn't answer. I love you, thanks so much for everything you have and still do for me. Because I am in the south, mail and stuff takes a few weeks longer to get here just because they have to send it again down to us from the office in taibei. So I might not get the stuff for a little while, or letters. But I think they all get here eventually. No pictures this week.
 
Okay cool Bye!
Elder Braithwaite

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