Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Ni hao,
I feel really bad but I still have nothing new to say. I still love being here and I still feel like I am learning a lot. But I honestly can't think of anything new to tell you that I haven't already said.
Still love all the devotionals. We really are so lucky to hear from so many great speakers. I think this will be one of the things I will really miss when I'm in the field.
My companion and I have been trying to use chopsticks to eat pretty much everything, which has been difficult but usually makes our meals more entertaining. We carry them around in our shirt pockets so everyone knows we are the most Asian white guys here.
I started trying to teach myself characters, which has been really fun. It may not be the most necessary thing right now, but I am super excited to be able to learn to read so I wanted to get a head start. Chinese is so pretty.
The younger generation of elders came in this week. It is a little weird to see them and think that, hardly over a month ago, I was that awkward and confused about everything that was going on. Sometimes it feels like I am barely making any progress at all, and this makes it really easy to get frustrated and discouraged. I'm think I'm starting to realize how much patience it is going to take to learn a language. But the new elders coming in made me think about how far I've come in the last 7 weeks. Even though I barely know any Chinese, I do know significantly more than I did 2 months ago. I think it really is almost impossible to see yourself grow, not only in a language ability, but in anything. Just like when, as a kid, you don't notice when you grow taller because it occurs so gradually. So even though my growth has been small, it is nice to be reminded that there has been some.
Anyway, sorry this letter is so lame. Next week maybe I'll type up my notes from a devotional or something. But there just isn't anything to report. Our schedule is monotonous but effective (I hope). I know the Lord is helping me and every other missionary (as well as everyone else) become what he intends for us to become, as long as we are willing to work. Work is the power that makes God's blessings operative.
Thanks for all the love and support. I pray for you all daily and I love you so much. And I promise I will have more to say when I get to Taiwan.
Wo ai nimen,
Elder Braithwaite

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