Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fun week. What to say. It felt incredibly hot this week, which is draining my energy. Some days I go through 4, almost 5 liters of water. We are hoping for miracles and have hope that we will have another baptism in the coming weeks, and we will need the Lord's help with that, I am trying to help our young men investigators get over these parental opposition problems, we saw a miracle with brother 徐 last month so I know it can happen again. That is the goal for now.
Things are going great, I love teaching all the people we are teaching, many are making real progress, and I know that many of the people we have found and are helping will in the end accept the gospel, just not sure about the timing yet. Our area and zone is doing well.
I have contacted this man in a park probably 5 or 6 times over the past 6 months, he is always there walking his dog that he loves more than anything. He had previously investigated the church a little bit, but no interest. For some reason, this time he was willing to meet. He has recently quit his job, and is pondering what is really important in life. We had a great discussion and he showed up to church on Sunday. Cool stuff, persistence works.
We are seeing a lot of success with less actives right now, I have focused more on that in this area than I have in any other, and we have really seen the Lord working with these people. Some of them are having very powerful experiences with repentance, I know that the power of the atonement is real.
This week I was privileged to perform the baptism of one of the sister missionaries' investigators, and I had a really special experience. I have performed the ordinance before, and every time the spirit is strong, but this time was different for some reason, maybe God wants me to "get it". When we went down into the water, it felt like we were in a different dimension or something, like we had stepped out of the chapel and were somewhere else with no one watching. And it was absolutely silent, and as I said the prayer I just felt amazingly peaceful. After the ordinance I stood alone on the top step of the font and stared at the water for a minute, really had this distinct impression that I had just very literally represented the Savior, stood in his place and that this girl had just used His atonement to clean away a lifetime of sins in one moment, it is hard to describe but it really was a sacred moment for me. I guess that is the meaning of the priesthood, representing Him. Afterwards, this girl bore her testimony, said that at the moment I started to lower her into the water, it all slowed down and she thought "do I really belive all this". she paused, then tearfully stated "I immediately felt, I really do believe in Jesus" and then went under the water. Just a cool testimony to me, the ordinances we make are real, the Savior really is right there as we make them, His power is real.
All is well, transfers next week, pray that I don't move, I want to finish my mission in this ward, can't describe all the connections I have here.
Oh this was funny. Last p day we rode our bikes out to the coast then up north following the ocean, across two counties, most of the ride was very beautiful, sunny, nice to get out of the busy cities. About 2 hours both ways. Along the ride, we saw a sign for a bike station, so we pulled over and saw a Buddhist temple thing with a bike pump and a faucet, I guess that was the station. It was right next to this big old looking factory, all of this is in the middle of nowhere. But then, there was this little sign posted on the wall of the temple thing, it said "If you want chocolate, ring the doorbell." so we were confused, but we found the doorbell next to the gate of this factory place, rang it and said "We want chocolate!" and the voice answered "come in" and the factory gate opened. We rode in, past all these facilities/machinery to the end of the road, where there was a building with two guys waving to us. Inside was all deserted, aparently the place was a landfill facility, and this was some sort of really weird publicity thing. I think they were surprised to see 6 white people show up. They gave us chocolate, took our picture for facebook, and then we hung out with them in the lawn out front and played with the 6 pet goats and a fat old pig that they kept, though I am not sure why. Really odd, but if I ever come back to Taiwan I will remember that on the northeast coast of the island, along a random stretch of highway, there is a buddhist temple/bike station next to a landfill factory thing where they will give bikers free chocolate and let you play with the factory livestock if you ring the bell.

Us at the free chocolate landfill

Okay I have nothing else. Love you!
Elder Braithwaite

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