Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hey hello
Are you happy today? That is how I often start talking to people. Here people will answer honestly if they are not. Like this man who was selling fried onion doughnut things.  He said it was bad because no one was buying his stuff, so I bought some and he seemed happier. Didn't want to come to church. That would have done the trick even better, but I did what I could.
Sounds like all is going well at home. Happy Birthday Luke! Not much else big going on I guess. I don't have a ton to report this week either. We did a lot of finding this week, which is always good. Had some cool miracles, all of which happened at night after a long day of working hard with relatively no results. Seeing that principle of miracles coming after faith in action. One day it was pouring rain, we had a couple of lessons but they all stood us up or cancelled, so we spent the whole day out on the streets trying to talk to anyone who was out, which were not many people because of the rain. Went all the way to dinner with nothing. But then in those last few hours before going home ended up miraculously finding five new investigators and two of them even came to church this week. Got home soaked and grateful that God is willing to help us out like that after we do our best.
Had another baptism this week, I guess technically our investigator but not really. There is this dad, Brother Tang, who got baptized about 8 months ago, he was Muslim before and the family used to live in Central America, just a cool guy. Anyway, his cute little daughter is over eight so we got to go teach her the lessons so she could get baptized, which she did this week. Cutest thing ever, she was so happy, in her talk thing after she "is so excited she can be a Christian for her whole life". Another girl got baptized at the service, the Taoyuan Sisters' investigator, and Brother Hong got to do it! He was given the Aaronic priesthood last week. It is super cool to see him doing so well, I feel so privileged to be a part of his life. He is already using the priesthood to help others and I'm glad I got to be a part of helping him get these opportunities.
Met with Kenzo the Mongolian guy.  He is actually really cool and I have good hopes for him. We have some other investigators who are doing super well, especially Brother You. He is the guy whose girlfriend is a really new convert, she started calling him at night and making him pray with her, and got him to start meeting with us. Anyway, he has been doing super well, reads the Book of Mormon better than I do, comes to church every week and the ward all loves him.  He is just golden, first one I have ever seen like this. He should make his baptismal goal which is in about three weeks, so pray for him.
This Tuesday we had special training by Elder Gong, a 70. It was great, super spiritual meeting and I learned a ton. Realized that people will probably forget the words you say when you teach them,  just like after conference you won't perfectly remember everything shared. But the point is to teach them in such a way that they will feel something, and that way whenever they think back to that missionary who met with them, even if they have forgotten the doctrine or never accepted the message, they will never forget the way that we helped them feel in their hearts. And hopefully the next time they feel that, they can recognized it and embrace it. Cool thought from him, I feel like it applies to any teaching in the church, the entire goal is to get people to feel.                                         
                                               (We  received this e-mail today.  Jan)                
                  Dear Brother and Sister Braithwaite and Brother and Sister Clifford,
                          My husband, Elder Gerrit Gong, and I had the great pleasure of meeting your missionary sons at a Zhongli zone conference. (Elder Clifford was a student in my Chinese class at Provo High some years ago.) As you can see from the photo below, both of your sons are healthy and report that are truly happy in the work. They are undeterred by pouring rain, heavy rain, or summer heat.
          May you be blessed for your sacrifice and their service.


      Thank you for raising worthy young men prepared and willing to spread the beautiful message of the restored gospel.

Got some cool pictures last p day. We went and just explored some of the hills outside of Nankan and ended up finding this abandoned and never completely finished temple up in the jungle, really cool. Just a concrete shell instead of the ornate, ridiculously colorful temples you normally see. As we were looking around one of the upper floors, we heard this eerie singing and went down to find an old man who had hiked up to do his ancestor worship.   It was interesting, like he chose to do it at his own secret place instead of the pretty temples down in the city.
Don't have too much else to say, that was actually more that I thought I had. I love you all, hope everything keeps going well!
Elder Braithwaite
Looking out the door of the temple at Nankan
Bridge Thing

In front of the temple


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