Sunday, May 6, 2012


Taiwan is doing good. Sounds like you are all fine. I am glad for the (short) updates, especially about Ashley and new niece, they are in my prayers! Any names yet?

I was going through some old stuff and found a bunch of letters I wrote in January that I thought I sent but really didn't. Oops, I am super bad at writing and sending letters promptly. Problem is, a few of these people were at BYU but now the semester is over so I am not sure if they still have that address or if they have gone home, so I just sent the letters to our house and maybe someone can figure it out for me, find them on facebook or something.

I am feeling like these letters get a little monotonous. Sorry if they feel that way to you, I try to include the interesting stuff I can remember. This week saw some cool miracles, especially with some of our investigators. First, Brother You, who is awesome, has developed a ton of faith. He talked to us about how at first he was really skeptical and unwilling to actually believe in any of this, but his girlfriend (who is even more awesome) forced him to come meet with us and he has been willing to do what we ask of him, read and pray and come to church, and last night we met and he just bore this sweet testimony of how he really has had that feeling of faith growing, really has had experiences of communication with God as he prays, really has started to feel God's love for him, and wants to get baptized. Set up his interview for this week, he should be good to get baptized in two. Super cool miracle, just one more testimony to me that if someone honestly does the basics of the gospel, really wants to feel Heavenly Father in their hearts, that is what they'll get.  It comes and it doesn't matter who you are. I hear a lot of stories about people whose lives are completely changed by the gospel, who turn away from a really bad life, but to me it is also super cool to see guys like Brother You who are so normal, whose lives have no major problems, who are naturally already living the commandments, who don't need any emotional comfort or the assurance of seeing a dead loved one again or anything like that, have no huge motivation to change or develop faith, and yet are able to do it anyway and are changed by the gospel, are happier and have a better outlook on life because of it. That's cool too. The gospel really is for everyone, no matter how good your life already is.

One night for dinner this week we bought some typical greasy Taiwanese street food and went to a park to eat, this fat little kid comes to talk to us because we are white and he was curious. His grandpa comes and sits down at our table with us and just listens and smiles as the kid talks to the foreigners. After talking for a while he sees my scipture box with a picture of Jesus on it and asks "who is that" and we say "it's Jesus Christ" and he turns to his grandpa and asks "what is Jesus Christ" and the grandpa just laughs and hesitates for a moment and then asks us to explain, which we did. But I realized, what is a good way to answer that question, if you have someone who literally has never heard of Jesus, how to you introduce him, explain him simply so that someone can understand? I told him He was our boss. Which is true, but there is a better answer than that, I'm sure.

Had an investigator this week who was so confused at how Americans could be so religious, have so much faith. He felt like this has a conflict with our good universities and progress in science and technology, etc. He brought up the motto thing (not sure what to call it) "In God we trust", how odd that that phrase was still a part of the American identity, even on our money, when so much of the world, and especially governments, are becoming de-religioned. It was hard to explain to him that faith is not a hindrance to development, no conflict, but instead an enhancement, if you do it right. But just a reminder to me that we have that phrase because faith in God really was important to the people who founded our nation and it should be to me too. It is meant to be a part of who I am.

Okay that is enough for now, I always feel like I get here and write about random stuff that doesn't really matter and forget something important that would probably be more interesting. Maybe I will start making a plan for these letters before I write them. I love you! Things are going well here, this whole city is on fire with the spirit and all transfer there have been weekly baptisms in our chapel by one set of Taoyuan missionaries or another. I love it, the Lord is really blessing the work right now. Keep praying for these people!

Elder Braithwaite
Sign over a urinal -- thought it was pretty deep, has application for more than just the men's room.

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