Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7

Things are all good. This week we spent almost all of our time in meetings, going back and forth from Taipei, probably the last thing I would want to do but we learned a lot.
I have been either eating a mango or drinking a mango smoothie every day, because I figure that will be one of the things I miss the most so might as well indulge.
Investigators continue to progress. Brother 張, who we were hoping to get baptized before I left, probably wont make it yet. He has his trials. Which is totally okay because he will make it someday. He has made so much progress over the last six months. After we met this week he gave me a hug and said "you will always be my brother." Correct, Brother 張. As cheesy as that is, it's true.
It has been wonderful during these last few weeks to meet up with recent converts from other areas. Seeing them a year later, actually assimilated(am I using that English correctly?) into church culture and stuff instead of as a brand new convert, is so happy.
Had a super spiritual lesson with one investigator, Brother 鄭. He previously investigated Christianity for a long time, got really involved with a church, but in the end decided he just didn't feel anything and was never baptized. Years later, he met us on the street. As we met this week, he shared with us what made him think we were different. Interestingly, right before we stopped him on the street, he had had an experience where he saw some people littering, was a little angry at them, and went to pick up their trash and throw it away. The next week when he showed up at our chapel for the appointment he had scheduled with us, he noticed that, as we walked into our chapel, my companion picked up some garbage on the street nearby and threw it away in the church's trash can, which is something we always do to keep the area around the chapel clean. He said even though this was a small thing, it seemed to him like a sign that he should give our church a decent shot. One point for random acts of kindness! He is a great guy, and was willing to set a goal to be baptized in august.
I have felt really at peace about everything over the past few weeks. It will be bittersweet to leave, but I have no doubt that I will be happy about it despite how much I love this place, work, people, mangoes, etc. One of the biggest lessons I have learned on my mission is how to choose happiness regardless of circumstances.
I love it all. Next week we have temple day, so I won't email until Wednesday for me, Tuesday for you.
Mom, can you order the Liahona in Chinese for me? (Simplified, not traditional. I need to force myself to switch over, as annoying as it will be.)
Set up the stake president for Saturday night, that would be better. Still can't hug anyone if I have the nametag.
I love you all and am so grateful for everything. All the support and encouragement. I am blessed to be here.
Elder Braithwaite


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