Sunday, October 2, 2011

AUTUMN

Hello
Been another good week. First, thanks for getting all those addresses for me. I need to write a bunch of them. Also, Thanks for keeping me updated on everything. Sounds like life at home is great. Mom, I have some friends also running that Halloween Half, you remember Amanda? Sounds like fun, I almost signed up last year. This week in English class I brought family pictures and introduced you all, one lady said you "have a very nice figure". So keep running I guess. I am really glad, our mission has a rule that you run every morning, we don't have time to run more than 1 or 2 miles but that is still better than nothing. I have been trying barefoot lately but I don't really have good form, do you think you could send me some condensed instructions on how to do it correctly?

The weather is finally being appropriate for missionary work. Raining and super windy. So strong, it will come in these big gusts and literally stop your bike from moving forward at all, feels like running into something. It is funny, but at least a really good workout, riding anywhere is like going uphill because I swear it is always blowing against us and not with us. It is nice, been a lot cooler than my first few weeks, autumn is here. Also had some typical 'getting chased by packs of dogs' experiences. All the exercise we get here and the nonstop sweating makes me so hungry. Members really always feed us so that is good. I go through a jar of peanut butter every few days, just eat it with a spoon. So delicious. Oh and they have this canned peanut soup here, just a can full of milk and peanuts, the nuts are all soft so you can just drink it, I think that I made that sound kind of gross but they are my new favorite thing.

Our investigators are all struggling with the same problem, can't do the first commandment, they all don't think they can give up their other gods. We asked one of them, St. Anders (a lot of them just have us use their English name) what other gods he still believes in, we were just listing all these different ones, mazu, pusa, etc. He believed in them all. So then we got to Buddha and he was like, "Oh no, I don't believe in Buddha, he wasn't married and I know you can't go to the celestial kingdom unless you are married." I had to try not to laugh, I guess that for him that doesn't come off as illogical as it does for me. But anyway, that is where pretty much everyone is at right now, a bunch of them are losing desire to continue meeting with us because of it. It is a little discouraging, we don't really know what else we can do. Just keep praying for them, this isn't really something we can help them ease into, like slowly giving up cigarettes, they just kind of have to decide.

We rode up to San Wan, a little town up in the mountains, no real success because up there everyone  was old and even more deeply Buddhist than down in Toufen, but it was really pretty, everything is so green. All the old people here, like even the super old ones, are out all day picking vegetables and fruit in these little farms they will squeeze between houses and buildings. I asked one lady what the most precious thing in her life was, expecting an answer like family or peace (common answers here) and she said "biological life". A lot of people here really care about being in touch with nature. It is so interesting, just different.

I haven't seen Conference yet, we don't get it for a week. But I am super excited. I always love Conference, but I feel like it will be even more meaningful for me this time, being on a mission.

Okay, that is all I can think of. Are you getting the pictures I am sending? I need to carry my camera around more. I love you all! Thanks for the support.

Elder Braithwaite

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