Sunday, May 26, 2013

Good week. First, brother 徐盟凱 was baptized! Yay! Thank you for the prayers and faith, I am sure they were heard. The baptism went great and the ward has been really accepting. He fits right in. In the picture, he is the one with glasses.
The week overall went wonderful. This week had lots of fun stories I could share but I don't have too much time because I have been emailing new converts as well and it takes me too long to type chinese. Sorry.
On exchanges, got caught in this crazy rain storm, it was nuts, so heavy you couldn't see in front of you, it made everything white, but it was only for like 5 minutes. Weird. felt like I jumped in a pool after about 3 seconds of it. But right before that we were tracking down a less active's address, and we got to the house but one of his neighbors told us he moved. This neighbor was old and was unloading a bunch of boxes of bottled water from his car, so we went over and helped him and brought them all into his house. He then wanted us to sit down and it turns out he used to be sort of a christian, but hasn't thought about that stuff for a long time. Now he is retired and has time so he wants us to come back. Go service!
We have one investigator who we shared a message about temples with, and showed him pictures of all the temples online, and he was really touched by how beautiful they were. He shared with us how much criticism of our church he has read online, he felt like no one likes us, and many seem to hate us, and was confused because he feels like the missionaries are so nice, so his impression of us didn't really fit with all the hate towards the mormon church. But after seeing all those temples in so many countries, he feels like the church is actually a beautiful thing, and there is no way so many people could want to be part of it if it were evil. And then he promised that he will get baptized in our church someday because of the feeling it gives him, and that it seems like the people who are so critical and angry are probably the ones who are truly misguided. Thank you! So glad that some people can see this too. Also, I love the temple, it really is a symbol of the good that the church stands for and it has the power to change peoples hearts, even if they cant go there yet.
Everything is going great, I am happy, thanks for all you do. Love you
Elder Braithwaite

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Good week. I am tired. It was wonderful to talk to you. You asked about some of the people I am teaching. Here you go. We saw some big miracles.
FIRST: Brother Xu. I have written about him a lot, the 16 year old whose parents say no to baptism. We pumped him up to talk to his parents again. He did it, and they said yes and signed the paper. I don't know what it was that changed their hearts, maybe just his persistence, maybe time, no doubt God was involved. But what it means is that after waiting about 5 months he can finally get baptized. This is something we have prayed and fasted for many times. I have seen this kid from the first lesson to now, and he has changed a lot, still has a long way to go, but I have loved seeing this whole process occur. He will be baptized this Saturday. God has his time and his plan, family opposition won't stop it in the long run.
We have been trying really hard to help the members here do missionary work, share with friends, etc., and haven't really seen too many results. This week in a market we talked to two students that were willing to meet and learn more, and it turns out they are actually good friends with a young woman in the ward. When we told her that her friends were interested and would meet with us later that week, she was shocked, and was willing to teach with us when we met with them. You really never know who you know that will have interest in the gospel. Then we had the same experience with another guy who is friends with a less active here. I guess if we can't get any referrals, we will just contact members friends on the street.
We have been meeting with a really simple man, high school education, loves his wife and kids a lot, has a rice field and fixes agricultural equipment for a living. It has been fun to teach him. When we talk about dates like when Jesus was on earth or 1820 Book of Mormon stuff, he has to think of it in Chinese calendar, like what dynasty it relates to and stuff. He came to church this week for the first time. He has promised us he will be baptized. He is really very sure about it, but he can't promise he will go all the way under because it is a little scary. He did promise up to his knees at least. We'll work on that.
We ended up meeting a less active priest on the street, who at first pretended he wasn't a member, but we figured it out. We found out when he waits for the bus each afternoon, and we go and sit with him as he waits and read scriptures for 15 minutes or so. Good kid, he'll come back.
Talked to a cool guy at a stoplight. He is a goat's milk salesman and he spent years with heavy addictions to drugs, but turned his life around by finding faith in the Savior and has now been clean for 20 years. He met with us on Saturday and felt like this was God calling him back, because he hasn't gone to a church for a really long time, but has always felt like he needed to go back, and now the time is right. Came to church on Sunday for the first time in years.
I have lots of other stories I could tell. We have been blessed with many people to teach right now. Our triathlete investigator didn't come to church this week because of a race he had down south, but it turns out that the swimming part of the race had some sort of asian pirahnas (spelling?) and a lot of people were bit. I didn't know Taiwan had man eating fish. That's what you get for breaking the sabbath.
Love being here, love my life, God is blessing us and I have faith He will continue to, in his timing. Still love being a complete tool, in the hands of God.
Thanks for all the support, Love you!
Elder Braithwaite

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not too much time because we are leaving for the temple soon. Excited to be going again.
I still love being here and am enjoying the new companion. He is full of fire for the work and that is what I need.
We have been having a lot of fun. Seeing a lot of miracles. We met with the vice president of a university the other day. Intense lesson. Or this dad and his step son from beijing who has funny chinese and is really interested in Jesus. We have investigators seeing changes and miracles, and others that are struggling. But we have faith that the average will come out on the miracles side. I still feel super busy.
Sorry this email is lame. But I will be calling you in a few days anyway right? Hope that spring is good there, it is hot here now and very sweaty.
Nothing else new to report on. I love you so much. I love the gospel and feel the truth of the things I teach, I think I feel that more so now than I did before. My testimony is continuing to grow. Thank you for everything you do for me. Talk to you soon.
Elder Braithwaite
Pictures of this cool place we went the other p day up in the mountains, it is where they do that famous lantern festival, you are supposed to paint up your lantern with hopes and desires and stuff and send to God, I think that is the idea. Fun stuff, pretty place.