Sunday, December 4, 2011

 Hello! Happy Birthday Dad! Yay!
Sorry not a lot of time and a lot to say

       So this week had its ups and downs for sure. We had a ton of lessons which was super cool and I definitely feel more comfortable as a teacher than I used to. Because my companion has so little experience I got to take the big part of the lessons, but no problem now. I think one of the coolest parts of this transfer was getting to see Elder Chen grow. I feel like I have really gotten to be a part of his conversion process, since he is such a new member. But it is amazing to see how sharing your testimony with others really strengthens your own conviction. He has become such a stronger missionary and member because of all the work he has done.

Me and Elder Chen hiking on P-day

     Saturday our investigator didn't show up for his baptism. So sad, and even worse is that I don't get to work with him and figure out why because I am moving and they are closing my area. I feel so odd, we killed ourselves this transfer to get some momentum in Neihu and establish a teaching pool, find some new investigators, etc. I feel like I have done so much of the grunt work and when things were just starting to pick up, they have to close it down and let it all die out. So that is sad, but I am sure that things are all for the best. Just not enough elders to go around. I am also sure that Zhang Dixiong, our guy who didn't show to his baptism, will be okay in the end, that this is just part of the process of him accepting the gospel in the end. It is just sad to see all this work, on his part and ours, not pay off, but then again you can't really measure the effects of what you do and I am at peace with what I did in Neihu. I definitely left the area stronger than I found it. I am really going to miss it here though.

     On the brighter side, I won't be spending the holidays in Taibei. I am being moved down to Taidong, the farthest south city in our mission, down on the other end of the island. This morning I had a several hour train ride and I'm actually writing this in Hualien, about halfway down the island. Taidong is one of the biggest touristy parts of Taiwan, supposedly really beautiful, like Hawaii is what I hear. Much warmer, more tropical, probably not so much rain, definitely more rural. It will be a big change from Taibei. However, I am super excited and really lucky, the entire east coast of Taiwan is where all the beautiful, scenic stuff is, but no one lives there so very few missionaries get the opportunity to serve in these areas. So I am really privileged.

        My new companion is Elder Shu, a Taiwanese whom I still don't know too well but I am told he is a great teacher so I'm excited. I am loving having all these natives, I think it must be helping me learn Chinese a lot faster. And it is going to be a big relief to not be senior companion anymore, not that I will slack off. So definitely a lot of things to look forward to this transfer.

       Okay not too much time left, I will be sending a package home with presents and stuff, mostly just cheap Taiwanese stuff, not to anyone specifically you can just pick what you want.
Love you all! Thanks for everything.
Elder Braithwaite

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