Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello
Daniel is safe! Yay, I am really glad he made it. It is weird to see pictures of him with you guys and think that I saw him like two weeks ago. Sounds like he is doing great, I know he'll be fine because he is a smart guy. That's cool that he actually found a school and is living in Provo, I don't know how many of my Provo friends still read these letters, but if anyone can, you should find him and be his friend. About the hair; Taiwanese people typically get haircuts twice a week, and care about them a lot. One word for barber is the same as the word for "designer", which makes sense when you see a lot of the Asian haircuts. So be careful with that. I am glad he is doing so well. He can probably tell you a lot of secrets about me. He did make fun of me about the notes from the girls in church. That is another thing to be careful about in Taiwan, some members really don't understand that missionaries are off limits so you have to let them know that you absolutely aren't interested. Anyway, congratulations Drew! MIT is pretty good I guess. It sounds like everything is going really well, great to hear from you all.

It was a big week, overall things are great here. I thought that New Years was big, but this week the Yuanxiaojie festival thing (I think is lantern festival in English?) was even bigger. It is only really done in these more rural areas and there was an absolutely ridiculous amount of people. The streets were so packed you couldn't even move-- we had to stash our bikes and just walk around for once. Constant firecrackers for days without exaggeration, most streets were completely red from the garbage of them afterwards. You would see people whose clothes had a lot of holes burned in them from standing too close as they go off, all day. I did get to see the thing where they lift the mostly naked guy up and everyone in the crowd throws firecrackers at him. Then all day there were parades of people, probably a hundred of those trucks with the shrine/drummers on the back, all these guys dressed up in these super intricate costumes of various gods (some were about 15 feet tall) or with war paint on and doing these martial art fights in the street. Overall really interesting. No pictures, sorry.

We finally got an investigator to come to church! It has been a long time since that has happened for us, so that was exciting. School starts again, so our city will have college students again which means a lot of our investigators will come back this week, and also finding new investigators should be easier. I feel like things over the break were a little harder, so I am excited for everything to be back to normal. Still seeing good progress with people, no one close to baptism but over time I believe it will come. I am getting more and more happiness out of helping people make these little steps of preparation. 
 
I don't have a lot of time, this week the weather has been great and for p day we went to the beach, got some pretty cool pictures. I feel like I am serving in Hawaii or something, it is so beautiful here, the mountains just go straight into the ocean and it is all so green. I hope Utah is nice and warm too!  

Thanks for everything you do, I love you all!

Elder Braithwaite
Famous 8-arched bridge, symbol of Taidong

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