Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hi

We had another awesome week. I am tired but I feel consistently happy.

I have been here in Yonghe for close to 7 months now. I was sort of secretly notified a few weeks early that I will be leaving with transfers this week, so I was able to say goodbye to all the members and investigators and such. I felt a real outpouring of love from the people here, I know I have been able to help and serve a lot of them, have really made a lot of friends. I will definitely be sad to leave. In the past 7 months we have seen so many miracles in this area, and so much success. I have given birth to two sons. We have had a lot of baptisms. I don't know why we have been so blessed but we have, and thinking back on it makes me feel so humbled and also happy to be a missionary. Good times. This is by far the place that has most become "home" for me so far in Taiwan. I love it.

I was able to see all of our new converts this Sunday too, except for Grandpa Lin because of health problems he has had lately which limit his church attendance. I think the biggest blessing of staying in an area for so long is that I have been able to watch multiple people go through the whole process, from investigator to new member to solid active member, go from punk kid showing up to church for the first time in their life in a tshirt and basketball shoes, to a solid young man who wears a suit and tie every week. Saying no to cigarettes or swearing with their friends. Thinking specifically of both Brothers Wang and Zhang. and Brother Wu. And yang. oh I am so proud. These people are all such good people.

I will be so sad to leave our investigators here too. I think about Brother Zhang and how awesome he is. God doesn't care who we are, this man is just a humble wall painter who has no education and no money but he knows he loves the feeling of peace he has at church, and that he loves God, and that is enough to get him to quit smoking and want baptism. I am sad I won't be here to see it, but that couldn't matter any less. Saying goodbye to this man wasn't easy to do.

Elder Kattelman is great too. What a solid guy. Taught me a lot. That is all I need to say. We'll be friends later I'm sure.

Okay but overall we had fun this week. I don't know why but we have met a lot of Christians lately. Weird, but fun. One couple we contacted at the street took us out to an Italian restaurant for dinner, they said they saw us and just thought about how if they had 19 year old kids in some foreign country talking to strangers in the rain all day, they would want someone to do that for their kids. So that was nice, I am being taken care of. I realized how it is easy for a lot of people to have problems with the church, but almost no one normal can look at a bunch of 19 year old kids making a sacrafice and working hard for something they believe in and actually be mad or prejudice towards them.

Oh man what actually happened this week? A lot of stuff, so much stuff. I feel like the smoky environment of this email place never helps me remember. It is fun to bear testimony of the Savior. I know how much His teachings and example change my life, and have changed the lives of everyone I have worked with here. I have also seen and felt the influence of the spirit and of peace of heart that the gospel brings, it is real. No one really changes without that. It is such a privilege to be here.

Okay thanks for everything! I got the Christmas package and it was great. The socks are so long and perfect.

Love you all so much! I will probably call maybe Christmas morning for me, which I guess if I do it late enough would be Christmas Eve for you guys.

Elder Braithwaite


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