Sunday, February 3, 2013

I feel a little odd this morning, we ate at a members house last night and their old Hakkanese grandma fried us lots and lots of traditional Hakka turnip cakes, a little like hash browns but gooier and with stuff mixed in, which  we had to finish. They eat this at New Years. She was nice though but too much turnip.
Some highlights from this week: First, Brother Ren got baptized. He is super great. The ward was very supportive and he was nervous. He talked to me about how coming to church has improved his relationship with his mom, and they don't argue as much anymore, which is a success for any fifteen year old, so that made me happy. The cool miracle about this was his father, who works in China all year except for the week of Chinese new year when he comes home to visit. His dad got off the plane about an hour before the baptism, and came straight to it to support his son, and was really tired but we were so happy to have the whole family attend, really the Lord setting it all up so it worked out. Both his parents testify that their son is genuinely happier now that he comes to church, the gospel does change people. All three of them came to church the next day as well, and the dad will be back in China soon but the mom will probably have a chance to meet with missionaries.

We got a bunch of missionaries together last p day and played ultimate frisbee in this park and a lot of people stopped to watch us. Taiwanese have frisbees but they are only childrens toys or for dogs, so I think we were really interesting to them. One 60 year old man came and played with us for the last half hour, just wanted to make friends.

A priest in our ward brought his friend to meet with us, he is a super great kid. When I saw him he looked familiar, and he recognized me. Turns out he lives by the church and gets contacted by missionaries all the time, and he thinks I have contacted him before, which is pretty likely. But he always rejects the missionaries because "it was weird". But because he had a friend invite him to church, he was willing to come, and when he met with us he really felt good and realized we aren't that weird and even wanted to set a goal to get baptized. A testimony of how much more effective it is for a member to share the gospel than for a missionary. 

Finally found someone to teach using family history. We met this guy who talked to us for an hour about his ancestry, aboriginal Taiwanese and people from this part of China where all the people got converted to Islam centuries ago, and just went on, and wants to come to our family history center with us later. 

In Taipei for more meetings, but when we finished, the missionaries from the Taizhong mission were just getting out of the temple (they come up every once in a while to do that), and I got to see some people I knew from high school like Ryan Allen. It was fun and we both realized that not much will really change once we all get home, people are more or less the same people. Obvioiusly we will have some good changes and will have learned a lot but it just made me not excited for this to end, just kind of felt weird. 

That was a better letter than last week I hope. There is actually a lot more I meant to write about, maybe next week. I love you all, glad to hear about Keith, I did fast for him with you. Also glad to hear that Katelyn is getting baptized, it will be on the second day of Chinese New Years which starts this Saturday. Happy Birthday and Happy Baptism Day, Katelyn, billions of people in China will light fireworks for you! 

Elder Braithwaite

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