Monday, November 27, 2017


November 8, 2017


The best 2 years of my life, and the best 2 years FOR my life!

October 30, 2017

Well, I would like to say exactly what I am feeling right now, or the things that are going through my head but there just aren´t words to describe it. Two years ago I left everything that I knew, my family, my friends, my things, even the language that I spoke and anything else that you can think of. At that time I was feeling the same as I am now. I wasn´t sure what would be coming, but I went forward with faith in Christ. Faith that He would take care of me, and take care of all the things that I was leaving behind. And faith that He could maybe use me as an instrument in Chile to do some good. Well He hasn´t let me down, not even once. If anything, I have seen the people that I love in my life grow and change exponentially. My sisters for example are completely different. I have been watching them through the weekly emails that I have gotten from them these last 2 years. Along with other milestones that I have seen my loved ones accomplish, I know that He took care of them. And that He took care of me through every situation that I have been through.    

Now, after all of that, almost 2 two years later I am being asked to make the same decision again. That I leave behind all of the things that I have come to know and love. The culture, the people, the food and again the language. In some ways it is very similar to what I was faced with two years ago but at the same time the exact opposite. That being said I have the same feelings as I did when I left the first time.
This time that the Lord has given me to be able to serve and teach his children here in Chile has been unforgettable. I have no doubt in my mind that some of the people and families here were waiting and that the Lord sent me to find them. During this time I have grown to know our Savor on a very personal level. Between seeing the changes that He has made in the lives of others and experiencing the changes that He has made in me. I know that He has a very active hand in every one of our lives, whether we know it or not. I know that He prepares His children for all of the trials that they face and is preparing the hearts of all to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even in some of the harshest places on earth, even the Atacama Desert, He is very active in the work of salvation. I know Him and I love Him. He has been with me for these last two years. Holding me strong when I was weak, and giving me the words to say when others were beat down. For that, and much more that he has done for me, I am forever grateful. 

The mission is always called the best two years of your life. And it is.....But it is also the best two years for your life. Thinking back on the things that I could have been doing these last two years, nothing even comes close to the importance of serving a mission. I have come to know myself as well. That sounds weird, but it is true. Heavenly Father has shown me what I can do and also where my limits are. He has given me a perspective on life so clear that I feel like I could just step into the next chapter of my life. He has shown me the things that really matter, how to build a family, how to be happy and the importance of prioritizing everything. Even though I have been far from them I have grown to love and appreciate my family immensely. I know that they love me and support me in everything that I do and that thanks to the grand plan that God has prepared, that we are all sealed together for the eternities.

This is my last letter that I will send home so I want to leave you all with my testimony. I love my Father in heaven and the Savior more than I can express. I know that they love each and everyone of us more than we can comprehend. I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ and the blessings of repentance are true and real, that through them we can be sanctified. I know that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored to its fullness, and that through obedience to the laws and commandments that He has given us we can be blessed with peace and happiness. I know that The Book of Mormon teaches and testifies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that through it we can come to know Him and understand the plan that He has for us. That He wants us to return to live with Him again. I know that families can be sealed for the eternities and that I have been sealed to my family forever. I pray that all that read this can know the truth for themselves, that they can find the answers to their prayers, and receive a confirmation from the Holy Ghost. I leave you all with these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Until I return to the states,

Elder Brayton

El fin se acerca

October 23, 2017

This week was very crazy, but there isn't ever a week where it is calm. I decided to write this week so that I wouldn't have to depend on uploading an audio file. So this past week, Stephanie got baptized and it was really cool because it was the same week that her mom came in from Bolivia. So she got to see that her first week here. Stephanie's sister was baptized right before I got to Vallenar, and Stephanie got here the same week as I did. So now we are working with her Mom as well as an entire group of immigrants that we found last week. They are all working out in the desert building high tension power lines. They are from everywhere! Columbia, Peru, Venezuela and many other places. They all live and travel together as a building team. There is a ton of diversity but they all get along pretty well. Every time we go there it feels like there is someone new there. Non of them have come to church yet but this will be the last week for them to do it with me being here. And Andres is getting baptized!!! The super smart scientist. I am going to do the interview Wednesday but he wont get baptized until the 10th because of a work project he has to leave town for. Maybe they will let me Skype!!!!!

Thank you for the 2 years of love and support!!!
Elder Brayton

Sign Language

October 9, 2017

Here is different twist on our weekly update!! Instead of a letter/email, we get a 20 minute audio clip. It is great to be able to hear his voice!!!

1 month to go and he will be home!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Conference weekend

October 2, 2017

Conference week means GRINGO ROOM!!! {Gringo room is when all of the American missionaries get to watch conference in the same room in English. They usually make a party of it with all kinds of food and snacks.} Now, we did do the gringo room like normal but it was very tame this year. Vallenar being a small city, there aren't many missionaries here in the valley. Conference was fire as usual but I was sad to hear of the passing of Elder Hales after the morning session Sunday. He was very old and it had to happen sooner or later. But we know that the next apostle that is called will also be called of God. The conference definitely helped me more this year than I think it has any other time in the past. Just with a lot of questions and decisions that I have. I left each session feeling better and better.

This week started off really hard because I got hit with a crazy sickness that had me in bed. They told me that I had an infected amygdala, {I am not even sure how they decided this was the cause of his sickness} so I was pretty miserable for the week. I'm not even sure how you get that but they gave me the medicine that corresponded to that and I am all good now. But it was hard at first just for not being able to do anything. It wasn't the most ideal start to a transfer. But conference with president tomorrow, and also my second to last interview with him. I am kind of hoping that he gives me a little bit more than the last interview. The last one literally started out with him showing me pictures on his phone of him with his wife in the florid desert. We will see tomorrow!

Love y'all!!! 
Elder Brayton

Last Agenda and Cambios

September 25, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

I feel like this past week was a week very well spent, especially going back to Tierra Amarilla to see everyone. It was cool to see all the people that I was teaching!! A couple of them wrote their testimonies in my journal and all I can say is WOW!! It looks like from Tierra Amarilla there will be at the very least 2 going out on a mission this next year. One already has his papers done and is going through medical. Another got a pretty strong answer from God in a dream that she has to go and that she will be going to Peru. Her mom, who isn't a member, had the same dream. The Mom even told me that even though it isn't in her plans, that she can't ignore it. So, she is making preparations too. It was just all so much to take in in just one day. They definitely hadn't forgotten about me. They even wrote me saying that they were my second family. I definitely am going to be saving up to maybe come back and visit in a couple of years.

It was very weird to travel alone. Even a RM {return missionary} that was there said that it was something that he had never heard of. But I am glad for the chance to have gone back to visit. This is probably going to be my weekly email. My comp left today in the morning to go to Antofagasta. And my new comp got here shortly after. Elder Tolaba is from Argentina, Buenos Aires. He is really cool from what I have seen so far. Hopefully he likes to work hard and doesn't run off on me like the last one. That was a joke... by the way!! He will be the one finishing me off this cambio {transfer}. I am on my final countdown now. One of the elders that is living with us made me my last planner. It is tradition here to decorate the planners with quotes, scriptures, or other inspirational stuff. And then usually the last one is pretty focused on life after. I haven't seen the finished product. But what he has so far is pretty shameful and ``legendary`` as he puts it. 

These last two years have definitely been a time of growth for me!! I plan on milking every experience that I can out of these last couple of weeks!! By the way General Conference is this week! Tune in even if it is just for a session!! {General Conference is held for our church twice a year. It is broadcast to all over the world from Salt Lake City, Utah. It gives us a chance to hear from various church leaders and even our Prophet. There are multiple sessions over a 2 day period. It is a wonderful experience to be spiritually uplifted.  If you have Dish Network, you can watch it on channel 9403.}

Elder Brayton

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy birthday Chile!!

September 18, 2017

Today is Chile´s national holiday and it is a good time. All week we have been talking to people that have been coming in from all over to Vallenar. I am not really sure about exact story because I have heard several different ones. But everyone here is more than happy to celebrate for the week. Unfortunately, it has made things a little complicated for the missionaries. Mostly because everyone leaves and heads out to a big festival that they do in the desert. Later today, we are going out to see what it is all about with a family from church. We just ate lunch with them and they gave me a sweet Chile jersey! As far as everything else, we have had to focus on teaching immigrants from other countries because the Chilenos don't fish us. 

This week I was reflecting a lot about the mission and how much faster the work is moving now than when I got here. It has been so cool to see the change in everyone and even myself. Everyone has such a spirit of urgency and our president is fanning the flames so that the work can keep growing. On top that, I feel like all the newer missionaries that I am working with are such studs. They are seriously doing things better at 4 months than I was at 1 year. Cambios {transfers} are this next week so I think my run with my comp will come to an end. It was fun to be with little Grey but he is going to be doing way bigger things in his next sector! Who knows where they are going to send me to finish me off!! All I know is that we are going to be finishing big this week with him. There is an entire family of Bolivians that have been going to church and listening to us for about a month so we are going to see if we can help them get in the font this week.

Have fun everyone love y'all!
Elder Brayton