Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hey hello,

All is well. We got transfer calls and my whole district stayed, basically. Which is awesome! This is the first time I will get to stay in an area for more than 3 months. Get to finish corrupting (training) elder Davidson. We are bound to see more miracles, he is an interesting guy. I feel like he really has the spirit and because of that he is like my good luck charm. I love this area and am happy to stay. It is so crowded that you don't even have to worry about where you go, just ride down any street and you can spend hours talking to people. Sometimes I get little longings for the east coast again, or maybe just some sort of nature, but not a big deal. 

So we are happy. And this week saw some good stuff happen. Things have been a little hard lately. I feel like the flow of new investigators has been gradually decreasing, and something has got to change and I am thinking it might be me and more specifically attitude. I like this job but, man, sometimes it is difficult to not fall into a routine, I feel like as soon as I become a robot missionary the spirit is gone. Even though every day is spent doing pretty much the same thing, you need to find ways to stay personal and involved in order to stay effective. 

Brother 王騰毅 did not do his baptismal interview as planned this week, because of some moving issues, which have now been resolved. However, we did go play basketball with him one morning, finally, and he didn't even try and really beat us badly. He is really good. But it was fun anyway. And he will do his interview this week (hopefully) and all will be well. Still working on his little brother, who I am confident will follow in time. 

We had a man call us up and ask us to come over, which was weird and has never happened to me. He found the church on the internet, doesn't really know anything about it but thinks that maybe something like this could help his son. We went to his apartment, he is a really rich man, in his 60's, with a 20+ year old son that is a UCLA grad and has some big rebellion problems. Just the typical lives at home but hates his parents and won't communicate sort of son, and this dad wants us to help him. So he had us over and we talked and waited for this son to get home for about 45 minutes and then he finally came, and basically walked in and muttered hello to us, ignored his father. We invited him to sit with us and he just kind of said no and left again. So this dad felt so let down, just looks at us sadly and apologizes for wasting our time. But I wanted to pray with him, so we taught him how to pray and he didn't really know what he was doing because he has no understanding of any Christian ideas like prayer, but was willing to try. And his prayer was more or less "God, please help my son. He is lost, and I love him so much, please take the bad out and put something good in. I really need your help. Amen." and I am sharing this story because I was more touched by his prayer than any I have heard on my mission. It was just a really earnest prayer and this dad loves his son so much and is willing to try anything that will help him. I guess just that display of fatherly love, it really left an impression. Just getting to see this kind of situation from the father's perspective. We invited him to church this week and he surprised us by actually showing up. We'll see what actually happens here, but what it really reminded me is how much good parents really love their children, like specifically how Heavenly Father must love us so much more that we know because we never get to see His side of it. So thanks for all the prayers, mother and father. I don't hear them but I probably have caused you to say a lot of worried prayers in the past so sorry about that. 

Some of my favorite experiences of teaching the gospel happen with these strangers who never really accept the message, but there is a spirit when you teach them that you hope they never forget, and you know you never will. I feel like I genuinely find joy in teaching this message. 

I love you all a lot! Hope everything continues to go well.

Elder Braithwaite

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