Sunday, July 8, 2012

Big week.
We got our new mission president and his wife. They are from Tennessee, brought a nice accent with them. Actually he is a humble guy, but still proud to be from the South. They brought pictures of their barn to show us, which they are also proud of. As far as culture, I think there couldn't be a bigger gap between Taiwan and the southern US. But it will be good.
I feel like things are going super great. We have multiple investigators that should be baptized in a week or two. So great, have seen so much progress, the Lord's really been helping these people.
Seeing my comp struggle with stuff makes me laugh a little, only inside usually, because I remember being frustrated with Chinese and other stuff and thinking that it felt so slow coming, but looking back it comes fast. I think maybe I learned some patience on my mission and didn't even realize it. But man, people come out on their mission and can't even say their name right in Chinese, makes me wonder was I really like that? Also what do I still say wrong?
So here is maybe the biggest miracles of my mission: 林列賢. Wow. This man... here is the story. He is a 72 year old man, super funny and polite and old fashioned Chinese man, sometimes hard to understand. But he has always had a real attatchment to his family, including his ancestors. Has made it his life's purpose to help his family have peace, his entire family. This includes his wife who passed away not long ago. So he was raised a devout Buddhist and figured that was the way to accomplish this goal of helping his ancestors, and when he was in his 40's he retired and spent a ton of money building and operating a temple in his ancestors' name, in order to help them. After 30 years of that, he just didn't feel like it was real or that he had actually accomplished anything for his family, so he decided to try Christianity. Joined a church, developed a lot of faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior. But this church said that there wasn't really anything they could do for his ancestors. They took down their names and prayed for them and stuff but he said he still felt that his ancestors hadn't been put at rest. Then one day his son had a dream, 3 times in one night, where a man came to him and told him he had to 拜 him. Basically the Buddhist/Daoist/traditional Chinese way of worshiping an ancestor's spirit. In each dream this man stated his name, and the son didn't recognize him. But when he shared the dream with his dad, the dad recognized the man as his own brother, this son's uncle, who had died as a two year old child and who the son had never met or heard of. This was a sign to him that his ancestors were still waiting for him to help them. About one day later he shared his situation with his friend, who is a member. The member told him about temples, took him to church, then this Tuesday introduced him to us. We have met with him every day and by Saturday finished the lessons with him. Sunday he came to church and we did his baptismal interview and this Saturday he'll get baptized. I have never met someone so prepared to hear the gospel, and I have never heard of such a quick baptism in this mission. He was just so excited to hear that our church has authority from God, that we do believe in being sealed to our ancestors for eternity, and that God will be fair and give them the chance in the Spirit world to hear the Gospel. He wants to get baptized so bad, to save himself, then his wife, and then he says he just wants to go be a temple worker for the rest of his life. Every day he has fed us too. Oh, and as far as his family history, he pulled out all these ancient looking books he has collected and showed us that he has over 700 years of really detailed information on all his ancestors.
Us with 林弟兄. I didn't realized until I loaded this, but I think that statue is my favorite part of the picture.
So, that was this week's miracle. I now have a testimony of the spirit of Elijiah. If any man ever had his heart turned to his fathers', its this guy. Biggest stud ever.
Another miracle is that I finally found something I have been looking for since the beginning of my mission -- those eggs with a 90% developed bird embryo inside. There is this little Vietnamese  that sells them. The lady was really nice and told me that they are really healthy, especially drinking the embryonic fluid that is in there, and that women in her country eat them during the month after they give birth. I could probably get some to Ashley if she wants. I included pictures, so Mom, if you don't want to see the little duckling and fluids and all, have Dad open the files. I thought about not warning you, so be grateful.
Oh and yes I ate it. 
I love you all! The miracles will continue in Yonghe. Thanks for keeping me updated.

Elder Braithwaite




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