Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hello.
 
Good week! I don't see Conference until this weekend. Are you sure that no one knew about that missionary age change thing, because I had heard about that for a while now. Maybe it just wasn't for sure or something. But I remember them talking about that. Slightly jealous, but it doesn't really effect me now so not really. Except that it means all my female friends will probably just go on missions now. I guess this also probably significantly increases my chances of marrying an RM.

Speaking of that, our investigator got married this week! It was fun to watch their wedding. He got married to a member so it was in the chapel. Taiwanese people are so socially awkward in so many ways. Hard to explain. But it was good. I felt like it was just so unsatisfying though, when they say "married for time" and leave out the eternity it just sounds so sad, that last part is so obviously absent. But we are getting him baptized soon hopefully, so all should be well. Weird part of the wedding was when this song came on and everyone started doing the exact same dance that looked like horse riding, even the little flower girls and stuff, and the only people not doing it were the missionaries. We just stood there so confused. I am guessing this is just me being out of the loop again, but it really made me laugh. Someone explained to me that it is a Korean thing -  is this big in America too? 

My focus is still mothers, especially with babies. I am going to learn how to get Taiwanese moms to not be afraid of me before I leave this island. I don't blame them for being suspicious. It just shows that they are good parents, because I am large-ish and probably seem like a threat to their children. This has been my struggle and it really bothers me because my intents are so far from sinister. But most just don't give me a chance to show it. So I have talked to my comp and we are really making a focus on finding families. The problem is he isn't much help because he is just as tall and foreign looking. We are learning though. 

One cool miracle of God making up for my weaknesses: We were contacting this nice mom, she had a few young kids, and she was really nice and sort of interested, but just not really trusting us completely and wasn't really willing to try or to leave a number or anything. Right when she was about to leave this other mom was pushing her stroller by and I noticed she was a member in our ward, so I said "hi" and started talking to her and got her to start talking to the mom we were contacting. Then this member mom explained some stuff about church and they began chatting about that, and their kids started playing together, and it just turned the whole situation around. So in the end the mom was willing to leave a number and expressed desire to come to church. I have no doubt that that member mom was sent by God, and I also have no doubt that members are so much more effective at missionary work than missionaries are. A mom talking to another mom about how much her kids love church and then inviting her to come works way better than two tall 19 year old white strangers doing that. So if I can't help the moms, Heavenly Father sends moms to help the moms. Just a cool insight for me of how much influence a normal person can have when they share the gospel in natural and normal ways. 

Had a super spiritual lesson with Brother Wang, the 15 year old with the basketball issues. He is so great, he just has to choose. His coach says if you don't go to Sunday practice you don't play. So he wants to come to church, and he wants to get baptized, and he knows it is right, but basketball is his life right now. He promised he would talk to his coach this week. I'm so proud, he really is a brave kid and is an example to me. But we have been praying and fasting that things will work out and he will make the right choice. So let the agency be used and we will see. 

Have been really enjoying everything lately. Not just lately, for a long time now. I love being a missionary and I feel that my testimony has grown of the gospel. So glad I can do this. My comp is great, we are good friends, he is a hard worker. No complaints. I'm also glad you got to meet my trainer, he is a good guy. 



Here is a cool picture of my corner of Taipei with the sunset. Sometimes I get reminded that I used to live in a place with no buildings or people and it seems weird.
I love you all! 
Elder Braithwaite
 

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