Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hello! 
Fun week. Oh, Thanksgiving was fun, I completely spaced that it even happened until that night. I ate a bunch of peanut butter in celebration. We had a lot of fun teaching our English class about it, drawing turkeys. I liked the ideas you sent, mom -  Interestingly, I have really been using that "acting the clown" idea, just doing stupid stuff in front of the class, making all the five-year-old's laugh. 

Here is a cool miracle. I feel like practicing teaching the children in English class was preparation because this week we had this single mom come, who has always taught her little daughter about Jesus even though they aren't Christian, and has always wanted her to be involved in church. So she came to us and wanted us to teach her 7 year-old girl, who has aspergers (spelling?). We got a toy to give to her so she would want to come in the church and like us and want to meet with us. Success! So this will be another teaching challenge for us, how to keep the girl interested and having fun while also converting the mom.

Brother 張, the painter guy, still blows my mind! He still hasn't smoked, it has been three weeks now! I have had so many investigators that I have tried to help quit smoking, because everyone smokes here. Always has ended in failure, despite my efforts. This time, I literally do nothing but invite him to stop, and the man just drops his two packs a day at once and keeps them off out of sheer grit. And prayer. I think God wants me to remember that I never really do anything anyway, He just does stuff and sometimes I pretend it was me. Oh and then this guy talked to his boss and figured out the situation  with church, and even though he works all the time, miracle occurred and his mean old boss decided to let him come. Excellent. 

This week was full. Re-invited our protestant mother to set a baptismal date, and she thought for a long time, and then committed. The spirit, it does work. This is probably the most progress I have ever had a Christian investigator make. 

Met with this man, had a fun lesson and got to know him, then pulled out the Book of Mormon and things just changed, he got all reverent. Handed it to him and he just looked at it, then slowly opened it and felt the pages, then started reading the introduction. We just sat there and watched him read for about a minute. Probably would have been really awkward if it wasn't spiritual. He read to the part about "brings peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come" and just looks up and says "I like that". I like it too.  

Did a lot of tracting in the rain. Makes me feel more like a missionary, when there is some physical discomfort involved, like sweating or freezing or being soaked. I don't know why. We visited this one lady in a really ghetto place. She had been fired and had about a dollar in her pocket and slept on the floor of her little concrete apartment. Still wanted to share her bananas with us though. We said no. The bishop will try to help her. When we left, there were some little kids playing in the stairwell and we made faces at them and kind of played around, and they thought it was so fun to make friends with some white guys.  Just made me think about how little these kids had, just judging by where they live, but they're still so happy to make new friends, even if only for a minute. This society is so confused about the relationship between money and happiness. 

Then we met with this really rich guy, who took us out for Myanmar-ese food. His goal is to make as much money as he can so he can build an orphanage. And he was talking about traditional Chinese religion and told me "we don't actually worship many gods, like you might think. We aren't really worshiping these people or these gods, we are worshiping behavior." That made me think. Our religion is the same. The real core of what we worship isn't Christ because he was the man or the position or the king, but His behavior, when you think about it. The fact that he was the perfect example, that he sacrificed his life for us, that his love and service were perfect. So our level of faith in him is directly connected to our level of trust that his behavior is literally the standard we should give ourselves. I guess its just the "what would Jesus do" principle.  

I love you all! Oh, Christmas stuff, maybe get me long socks. My chain guard fell off my bike a long time ago, so I tuck my pants into my sock when I ride, but my socks don't come up far on my calves so my pants come untucked sometimes if I ride fast and then catch in the chain and get torn up. Plus my socks are gross. So new, long ones would be great! If I think of other stuff I'll write next week.

Oh, we have a baptism this week! George!! He is 9. His dad is a member, but his mom doesn't like church, and has always opposed him going. But we started meeting with them a few months ago and the Lord really softened her heart, and she agreed to let him be baptized! This dad is so so happy, he has hoped for years that this would happen someday. So that is fun. 

Okay that is all. Bye!
Elder Braithwaite

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