Sunday, January 8, 2012

I hope everything is going well at home, it sounds like everyone is doing okay. That is exciting about Ashley and Tim. Actually all of the normal stuff always sounds real exciting to me. My Christmas food is mostly gone, except for the cereal which is being saved. I can't believe you found another shirt! That makes me less worried.
         This week has been a good one. We had plenty of lessons scheduled and were stood up for almost all of them, which seems to be the case more and more for me in this area. But that's just how it goes. We had some opporunities to go to some of the farther away places in our area, some interesting tracting in these older cities closer to the mountains, just kind of have a weird atmosphere, feels so different from anything in American culture. It makes me think how odd it is that the story of Joseph Smith has made it over here and so many people believe it and have changed their lives because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm not surprised, but it is amazing to me.
     We went fishing last p day with tremendous failure, so afterwards some members took us out to eat this big seafood meal that was really neat, if you like really seafoody things. Lots of interesting clam-like things and snails and stuff. But I went to the bathroom and they didn't have any soap, which is common here because people don't think you should wash your hands after going. So I went and asked the kitchen if I could have some soap, and the lady just smiled and said they didn't use any there. Cultural difference I guess? Sanitation is just not a focus here.
     Still loving the work and teaching people. We have some good investigators, less than we could but we are working on that. Probably no baptisms for a while, but that is okay, just keep chuggin along. Things have gotten slowly better with my companion too. Plenty of service opporunities right now because everyone cleans out their everything for Chinese New Year and so we get to help. We got to spend several hours scrubbing the church tiles with toothbrushes, which actually turned out to be really relaxing.
Overall, I feel like my faith has grown so much over these last few weeks. I can't believe I've been in the south for 6 weeks already. If time keeps going this fast my mission is going to be over before I know it. I know what I'm doing is the Lord's work and I am so glad I get to do it.
     I guess not a whole lot to report this week. It has been warmer lately, sunny and maybe 70 or so. They are flooding all the rice fields and planting I think. Makes me excited for things to get more permanently warm. I'll probably change my mind once summer comes though. Some types of the local fruit is starting to come and is delicious, stuff I haven't seen in the U.S. and don't know English names for. So there is one blessing of spring.
     Okay well thanks for everything! Transfers are this week, we'll see if I move again, I am really hoping not, this area might be hard for me but staying in an area is such a blessing. I love you!
Elder Braithwaite
Pictures:  1.Valley in Taidong 
              2.Us with an nice old aboriginie man at that celebration thing last week.
              3. Chicken foot

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