Sunday, February 19, 2012

I am glad to hear everything is still going well with everyone. It's a girl, yay! Congrats Ashley! And also, happy birthday! I hope you aren't too busy with moving and stuff to celebrate.
I did get the valentines package, very punctual. Thank you! I feel really bad, I have been super ineffective at answering people's letters and so I want to apologize. Everyone who sent me something in the past few months, I promise I will write you back, it just might take a while. I really do love hearing from people though, even if I don't answer promptly.
Things here are going well. We had a branch fireside meeting this week and I got to play piano! They asked us to do a musical performance. It was super weird because I really have almost not even touched one for months, but it was  fun to play again. Missionaries don't really have an appropriate time to go practice music, so it didn't go that smoothly but most Taiwanese people are not super musically inclined so they all thought it was really great.
We had a specialy training meeting up in Hualian this week, which meant another 6 hours of train rides back and forth. Most of the train ride is through the mountains, and I got to see snow! That's a pretty big deal for here, there aren't many places in Taiwan high enough to get snow, but one of the mountains we passed did. It is weird because you look to one side and there are mountains that tall but look to the other and the ocean is pretty much right there.
I was really happy to see some of our investigators this week that have been gone for about a month or so. Being in a place for more than one transfer gives you an oppotunity to build up good relationships with your investigators, members, etc. I feel like a lot of the people here are such good friends now, I really missed them while they were gone. One guy I found had a cool story over the break. Before he left we had only met with him once or twice and he seemed like he didn't have much interest. We weren't sure what to do and figured that since he was leaving for a month he would probably just lose interest by the time he came back. So we figured maybe we should just focus on the Book of Mormon and try to get him to read while he was gone. Basically, that is what he did, and it has had a big effect. When he came back we checked up and he has read everything we assigned him, marked it all up, showed us the verses he like, and applied them to his life. He has even been prarying and repenting and everything basically on his own, really just had this big transformation and feels like he has seen his prayers be answered. Super cool testimony that if people can really apply themselves to reading the book of mormon, it will change them, and will bring the spirit and the gospel into their lives.
I am grateful for all the blessings I have had so far on my mission. Thanks for all you do!
I love you!
Elder Braithwaite

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