Tuesday, June 12, 2012


     Gave up on Spanish. Not important right now. But I got jealous of all
my Spanish speaking missionary friends, I read the intro in my comps
Book of Mormon and felt suprised at how much I could understand or
figure out just because I know English.

     I got your package! A tie! Useful if not creative. But really, thank
you! I finally thought of what I can't find here - those little
plastic cases you put on the brush part of your toothbrush for when
you travel. Mine is falling apart and frequently has to have the mold
washed out. I do use it often. So that would be useful if you ever
send something else.

    I want to learn how to follow the Spirit! Yes! Here are some
experiences that I had with that. Had a feeling one night to go visit
an investigator unexpectedly, Brother Li, went through a maze of
streets to find his apartment. This part of the city reminded me of
the poor part of Gotham in that Batman movie, not as evil but kind of
just packed with old apartment buildings and narrow streets. He wasn't
home so we wrote him a note and when we about to leave he pulled up.
He is the one who is trying to give up chewing binlang and a bunch of
other things. He was really happy to see us and invited us up to his
place and we got to meet his wife from China and she was happy and
made us some steamed buns. But he was different because he was chewing
at the time. It is so sad to see a man who is normally so gentle and
humble be changed by that substance, he was just rushed and loud and
more rude about everything, like it wasn't him. Sad. But he was really
touched and felt like us being here right as he came home was a sign
that God hasn't given up on him. I think the Spirit still reached him
through the drug, little things like that mean a lot to people. Still
working on quitting, one step at a time I guess.

     Contacting in a park one day and passed a mom and her son, had a
feeling to turn around and talk to them. Ended up being super cool.  At
first the mom had not much interest but her son started opening up,
told us he was afraid of the dark and we taught him to pray when he
was scared. When I asked when we could meet again the mom said "no time",
and started giving some excuses but kid disagreed and totally shot her
down, like "I have tons of time. Let's do Saturday at 3." What was
cool was that when the mom saw her son's desire she was surprised and
she changed, like if he really felt that he wanted to learn more about
this then maybe there is something to it. So we met with them again
later this week and they brought us cookies and some sort of sweet
root drink. SUCCESS. I love that kids are so honest, and I also
believe that he was following the Spirit and his intuition and helped
his family by doing so.

Okay another: Really cool, one night I had a really certain feeling
that the next day we had to go to a certain place at a certain time
and if we did there would be a person who wanted to hear this message.
So we did and there were tons of people and I was contacting randomly
and I felt like if God led me here then I should just ask him where
is the person he wants me to meet. So I stopped and prayed and when I
finished looked up and saw a man in the crowd, a little far away.
Completely normal looking guy but for some reason he stood out and I
had a certain feeling that it was him. So I stopped him and as we
talked and we had a good relationship from the start and he opened up
to me pretty quickly. Said that his life is just not going how he
wanted it to go. Spent years overseas, in the US and other places,
tried to figure out what he is doing but never found an answer. Has
had a rough life. Feels like he has made so many mistakes, has hurt
all the people around him, doesn't feel like he can forgive himself or
move on. In the past he was raised Buddhist, gone to Catholic churches
for a while and tried other christian churches, but nothing felt
right. Finally a few days prior to this he had a realization that it
was time to look for faith again and find God. We met with him later
this week and in those few days between meeting he had got on
mormon.org (his english is great) and read about our church, started
praying daily, says he thinks that this is what feels right for him,
that this is what he has been looking for and he would like to be
baptized. Turns out that the day I met him he had walked to that area
I had felt to go and then just kind of walked in circles there for a
while, with no real reason, just kind of felt like he was wasting time
until I talked to him. I am amazed at the way the Lord does this work,
I am sure that both him and I were led by the Spirit that day.

     Had a fun lesson at a fire station with an eternal investigator who is
an old firefighter. He has gone through a lot of missionaries and told
us that he was a little disappointed at meeting us, was hoping we
would be different but it turns out we say the same things, dress the
same, and tell him to do the same things as every other missionary.
Like we all just follow our standard operation procedures. We are like
robots, all the same, the only difference is the paint job on our
bikes. I thought about this and figured that that is comforting to me.
First of all, all the missionaries I have met are very different
people even if we wear the same uniform, so it is amazing that the
message doesn't change. Truth doesn't have to change. It doesn't have
to be original or fresh or different because it is true. If it did
change it wouldnt be. So these old, old ways of developing faith are
trustworthy and effective for anyone willing to try. The prophets and
Jesus and now missionaries are teaching the same thing and it won't
change. To me that is comforting.

      Have a lot of other good investigators lately. I haven't written much
about him, but Brother Yang will have a baptismal interview this week
and has been doing awesome and made a lot of progress. Excited for

       Wrote a lot this week to try and make up for last week. I love you
all! Hopefully will continue to see miracles here.

Elder Braithwaite

 The duck head I ate.  We went to a night market for dinner
one night and you can buy all sorts of stuff at those places. It still had everything in it. The cool part is that because it is fried or maybe because ducks have weak bones, you can just eat the whole thing, like the bill and the skull and vertabrae and all that, super hard and crunchy but doable.

Summer in Yonghe. It is getting hot

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