Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hello,
That is amazing about Drew. I was actually wondering all week how affected he was by the explosions, but I assumed nothing happened because I didn't get called or anything. That is scary that he was right there. And amazing that he is fine. I'm so grateful. I still feel relatively unconnected and uniformed about everything back home, this was a reminder for me that life goes on. Put things in perspective.
Our week here was really good. Brother Li was baptized. He has a stronger testimony than most new converts that I have seen by a lot. When we asked why he believed in God, his answer was "Because Joseph Smith and the first vision, I know that God is our Father." I have never heard someone make that connection before on their own. Tons of members attended the service. Our bishop commented that "he just looks like a member".

I was also able to attend the baptism in Zhongli for Sister Du and her son. It was beautiful. She is the woman I had contacted at a light about 5 weeks ago, so I feel a special connection to her family, and I was so moved as she related the story of how she met the missionaries, because I had forgotten many of the details, but she remembered clearly and it gave me a great perspective on how a person sees a missionary. She had been willing to stop simply because of how enthusiastic I was. She actually turned me down at the first stoplight, and then we met again at a later one and I was persistent, so she gave. All of which I forgot. It makes me never want to do this work halfheartedly. Still grateful to have played my small part.

This family was actually an answer to my prayers from over a year ago. When I was serving in Taidong, I had a dream of finding an aboriginal family to teach, but it never happened. But as I was helping Brother Du (her 16 year old son) change into his baptismal clothing, I noticed his native American-looking seashell necklace and asked if he was an aboriginal and he informed me that he was, his mom made the necklace and his tribe is the one native to Taidong out on the east coast. It turns out this family actually comes from my old area, by a bridge south of Taidong city that I rode past every week. This was an amazing miracle for me to get to participate in part of the conversion process of the exact sort of family I had always hoped to teach, and they even come from my old area. God will answer prayers.

Being with two companions in a row that are finishing their missions has prompted me to think a lot about how I want to finish mine. I commend both Elder Lin and Elder Andersen's commitment to the Lord even at the end.
It is good to be here and I will continue to love it. 3 months left for total immersion in the work. Sorry I didn't write much this week. A lot more happened. I am excited to get my new companion. I won't be leaving, hopefully I can just finish my mission out in this area, but we'll see.
The picture is of Brother Li's baptism. Please compare to the standard picture of the First Presidency. I think we did pretty well. Next week I will send the Du family pictures.
Thank you for all that you do, and for all the love and support!
                                                              
Elder Braithwaite

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