I think I'm finally getting the hang of being a missionary. On an unrelated note you know how I was hoping to lose weight? Well apparently the people of Indiana love their fried food and buffets. KFC, Pizza Hut, and, Papa Johns, all do all you can eats out here. That threw me off quite a bit I never knew they did that. When we eat with members, we have an 80% chance there will be something fried on the table. Something else I've noticed is there is a large number of the population who fit into Gabriel Iglesias' 5th and 6th levels of fatness ("Dang!" and "Oh Heck Nah!"). The people of Indiana definitely enjoy their food. Luckily with the amount of walking we do I've managed to stay pretty even at 207. Also I've found what I never want to do as a career: Farm. We mucked out one of the members barns as a service project..... Not fun. Imagine about a foot and a half of..... fecal matter covering the floor of a barn. I'm surprised none of us has worms or anything. but still it was very rewarding to see Sister Chambers smile when she saw it was done and that she didn't have to do it alone. That's the real reward of service, seeing the smile on the person's face. I hope that you would strive to lead the family towards that happiness with each other (I know you do but still I'm a missionary I like to leave Commitments!). I am truly sorry I haven't been writing as much as I should. I thought if I didn't write as much and didn't think about it, it would help fight off the homesickness. but I've found out it doesn't work so I will do better. I found some members down here who love quads and told me when I get off my mission to come back and they'll show me some Indiana dunes. We could even take the Midlife Crisis! haha just kidding but still I think it would be fun. Only one problem though: They're honda guys.... Oh well the atonement is for everyone. I love you dad and hope that this email is better than my last few. Take care, and keep our family strong.
Love, Elder Braken Park
I'll send you some pictures today as I've given up trying to get the libraries computers to read my camera. I'll just take them to walmart and print them there. Technology sometimes ugh! So I should tell you about when Rob came it's actually a funny story: So we were at a member's house eating dinner and our phone starts to vibrate. Well I look at the number and I see it's a Utah number and think oh crap. Then I realise it's a Utah number I recognise and think oh crap again. So I ignored it and figured we would call them back. Well then the other set of missionaries that was eating with us, their phone rings. So now I'm thinking that somebody is getting sent home, and then he calls our phone again, and I have my companion answer it. Well, it was Rob. He said he was outside the apartment. Now in the white missionary handbook it specifically says no visits from friends or family. So now I'm thinking I'm dead, and one of the other missionaries had an experience with the last mission president similar to this that didn't go well..... So hesitantly I called President Cleveland to let him know what was going on. He answers and I let him know what was going on. He then asked, "Do you have a lesson tonight?" I answered yes. Then he shocked everyone in the car by saying,"Take him with you then!" I don't know who was more surprised, me or Elder Rowberry (the previously mentioned missionary). So we had a good laugh about that on the way back. It definitely through me for a loop seeing him in Indiana, but it was enjoyable. Now whether we could get with that a second time, I wouldn't count on it hahaha. But anyway, I have developed some new speech attributes native to Indiana. It is no longer a couple of things, it's a couplethree of those things. Hey youns come here! You don't vacuum your carpet you sweep it with the sweeper. So if I mention any of these in future letters don't be surprised hahaha. Indiana is definitely a.... different place. I have seen more people that fall under gabriel iglasias' levels 5 and 6 of fatness ("Dang!" and "Aw Heck Nah!") than I thought existed. They LOVE fried food here. KFC here has a buffet! We went there with a member once..... I think I gained 10 pounds just standing there, not to mention what I actually ate. I have stayed pretty regular though at around 207. Luckily we do enough walking to keep me lean hahaha. Anyway, I love you Mom. I hope that this letter is better than the last one. Again I am sorry about the previous emails. Tell Peyton I love him!
Love, Elder Braken Park