Sunday, March 10, 2013

Great week. We will see what happens, transfers are this week but there is very little chance I will leave, and I wouldn't want to, really. The zone has been doing great and seeing miracles. When I think back to how this area was when I first got here with Elder Lin, and the difference now, it is amazing. This is the place where I have seen the most change and felt the greatest sense of accomplishment. Seen it build out of nothing, more or less. At first I was annoyed to move to an area that wasn't doing well, and a little ticked at the previous missionaries for what I assumed (probably unfairly) was a lack of effort, but I realized that that attitude is wrong. First, God gave me an opportunity to really work hard and make changes, instead of just take something good and keep it going, and that has been a blessing. But also, I realized how little this all matters with an area, regardless of how bad it looks or what the past has been, that if you just trust God and do your part, things will work out. Doesn't matter what the circumstances are. It's not about the missionaries, it is God doing His stuff.
Our investigator, Brother Li, is also ready for baptism. And we wanted to schedule his service for this week, but no, his parents said he can't be baptized. I don't know if you have been keeping track, but that is 3 investigators we have now, 2 of whom I have contacted on the street and been able to see through the entire teaching process, that are completely ready for baptism, but cannot because they are under 20 (legal age) and their parents won't allow them. So they are just sitting around until either they turn 20 or their parents have a change of heart. Frustrating, this is the one problem I feel more or less powerless to overcome. With other stuff you can use the scriptures to help them get over whatever it is, this isn't really the same. We will keep trying, in the meantime they are all coming to church and reading and praying for miracles. I have faith that someday, maybe before I leave but maybe not, they will be baptized. Makes no difference really.
Nonetheless, we do have one more investigator, Brother Xu, who will be doing an interview at the end of this week, and should be baptized next week. Despite our track record, I have faith that his parents will give him permission. Please. This kid, just like the other 3, is great, and has a real testimony.
We talked to this guy on a massive BMW motorcycle, after chatting for a while found out his has run hundreds of triathalons and just recently took second in the nation for a super ironman (an ironman but all distances are doubled). Nuts. He invited us over to his house and we met him and his two sons who are the same, little sinewy Taiwanese guys who can probably run indefinitely. One of them wants to come to America when I get home and visit/run with us in Utah. He seemed pretty serious. I told him our house would be open. They are willing to learn about the gospel too. We'll go back next week.
Things have been fun lately. I love being here. A bunch of the missionaries here put together a dinner and invited some members and investigators, Elder Andersen and I made chili and cornbread. They don't sell cornmeal here, so we bought popcorn and put it in the blender to make meal, which worked great. The dinner went great and I made friends with these two aborigine friends of a member, I think I have said before that I really like the aborigine people here, they are all hilarious.
I did get the pictures, Mom, thank you! Also got the Saint Patricks Day ties. The Irish population is relatively small here... I don't think there will be much celebration. Thanks, hope the Arizona trips all go great. I am sure that changing the Mother's Day call time will not be a problem. I love you all!

The pictures are from one morning after exercise. Elder Andersen and I wanted to go up to the roof of our building, ended up getting a pretty good view of Taoyuan. Everything you can see is our area.
Elder Braithwaite

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