Sunday, January 22, 2012

Family,
A lot has been going on lately. Things all sound great at home. Keep me updated. Also, thanks for sending that Vietnam story , I thought it was really interesting and included some things I have been needing to read. I had a firecracker experience too, Dad.  I happened to ride my bike by just as this man lit off these massive firecrackers about a foot away from me, bigger than anything legal in the US I am sure.  They really may have harmed my right eardrum and almost made me fall off my bike. It was hilarious but also really made my head hurt.
Things down here have been great. I am loving my new companion elder Liu. We get along really well, it is great to have a companion that I am just naturally friends with. And he is a good worker and will push me. Plus he sings well, missionaries sing songs at a couple of times through the day, but honestly the majority of Taiwanese are not very good at singing so it has been fun to sing on key again. I feel that things are going to pick up, we are going to see good improvement in the area. The branch is already responding more, and we've got some more good ideas for how to better work with them. This week I had some personal revelation and learned some things that I would write about if I had more time, but I feel that my attitude has changed and that always makes all the difference.
Our investigators are still doing well. I usually don't write to much about them because I have heard I am not supposed to include specific names and situations in these emails. I know some people in other parts of Taiwan that read my letters home so this might be the reason behind this rule, but if I use fake names I think I'm okay. We have one young investigator who could be baptized soon if his family will allow it, so please pray for the Apple family to realize how important this is to him. Other than that, everything is just trying to get these people through some problems and keep them progressing in their understanding.
Finding this week has been odd. Chinese New Year has started and our area, because it is way south and warmer than anywhere else, has tons of people visiting for the week. It is sunny and about 75 most days. So most of the people we talk to are from other areas of Taiwan and not super interested in talking or setting up with us. And Jackie Chan was here this week! I tried all week to contact into him but to no avail. Aparently he was filming something. Missed opportunity.
As far as Guonian goes, which is yesterday until Saturday, the members all want to feed us. Our meals have been planned out for weeks. We are being fed at least lunch and dinner every day this week. Our MM leader set this up, and in his wisdom he didn't let many members set breakfast appointments because he knew we would be fed so much at other meals that we would want eat in the mornings. Except yesterday we had appointments for all three, I didn't even know we were allowed to eat breakfast with members. Anyways, ridiculous amounts of food and they don't let you leave till you eat until you physically can't eat more. Scariest week of the year for missionaries. But there really is nothing more delicious than all this home made Chinese food.
I cant think of anything else for now. Oh actually tell elder Fergeson one of the spare bikes down at this chapel has his name signed on it, an old yellow and blue one, and it has come in handy many times. Riding it makes me feel like I am carrying on this legacy, there are like 15 missionaries that have signed it and how many transfers they had it. So that is fun.
Okay I love you all! Thanks for everything
Elder Braithwaite

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