Sunday, March 4, 2012


This week has been great. Nankan is a lot like Taipei and I feel like I'm back on my second transfer again. There have been these weird fog attacks, super thick that give the city this eerie glow at night, but other than that the rain stayed minimal this week, only a couple of days were bad. Interestingly, my apartment is once again right across from a strip motel. I don't know why the Church picks these apartments. Anyway, I absolutely love being in such a busy area again and getting to talk to so many cool people every day. The ward is massive! Our chapel is four stories tall and there are hundreds of active members. They even have enough members to do a community badminton class on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Super cool. It is a big change after coming from the little branch down in Taidong.

It has been a week full of miracles!  There are a lot of people I am really excited about and if I get to stay here I should be able to finally help some people get baptized. We have been finding new investigators every single day and seeing people being prepared to meet us in such cool ways. Some of the people now:  Brother Hong; he is a guy who is in his twenties, working on his Masters in something to do with airplanes, super cool guy and is more willing to learn about the gospel than anyone I have ever met. We have Mark and Kong, these two 17 year old kids who dropped out of high school and now run a hot dog stand in the city together. They really love the gospel and have a real desire for some direction in their life. They've got the typical Taiwanese long hair going on, tattoos all over and stuff but they really do think the gospel is great. Then there is Noble, this guy I am super excited about, he is in his 70's. Noble is the English name he picked for himself, and he loves to say it and often speaks in third person using this name even though the rest of the conversation is in Chinese, it makes me want to laugh every time. He is really excited for baptism, has a massive husky dog named Fluffy. When we gave him a Book of Mormon he was so grateful he kissed it several times and wanted to take us out for Thai food. Such a funny old man. But I have never met any investigator so in tune with the Spirit.  He likes to describe his feelings to us and it is basically quoting scriptures about the Holy Ghost. Aside from them we have found a bunch of other great people. I just feel like overall things are going too great to believe in this area and it is all because of the Lord and the Spirit, not at all because of us. But it has been a real boost to my faith, not that faith should rely on outward results at all, but I'm not perfect and seeing some success after going so long with so little has really helped my faith this week.

The companion is great. Elder Clifford reminds me of the guy from the "Best Two Years", nerdy and white and real earnest with a big love for the people. In the mornings for exercise he likes to kick a soccer ball around to himself. It is too inconvinient to go running around the city streets because of cars and stuff so we go over to this elementary school where there is a track. Anyway, this week a group of ten year olds decided they thought it would be fun to play so they came over and started kicking with him, and now every morning we get a soccer game going with a bunch of the elementary kids. There are always people on the street watching us. I am sure it looks way funny to see all these little Asian kids and then two big white Americans.

I really think the difference between the great week this week and the weeks that don't go so well has been the Spirit. That was my goal for this transfer, since I didn't know what to expect I wanted to really just do everything I can to work by the Spirit, to be humble and get myself out of the way and trust that the Lord is going to do his part. And this week we really did see ourselves led right to the people who cared about this message, who were willing to listen. I am not really the same as other missionaries and I have a lot of problems to get over, but I feel like I am making improvement and I am so grateful for all the miracles God accomplished this week and that I get to be a means through which He can work, if I can get myself out of the way.

Okay so for the mission plaque I guess I should pick a scripture this week, right? Just go with the Matthew 7 25 one, is that it? about the rock. It doesn't really matter, I have too many I love so I can't really pick, I guess I love the scriptures regardless of whether or not they go on my plaque so it makes no difference.

Thanks for all you do and I love you!

Elder Braithwaite

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