Monday, June 12, 2017



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Elder Brayton and Elder Perez




June 12, 2017


Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been one of those weeks in the mission that it is so difficult to not get sad but at the same time, a week that strengthens your testimony a ton. I got to have a very life changing experience for me! It has strengthened my testimony in the plan that God has for everyone of his children and for our families. The first came from an interview that I conducted on Thursday with Patricio(Pato). This was the first time that I had actually met him face to face. However, I am familiar with his situation. He has, just a couple of weeks ago, been informed that his 10 year old daughter has terminal cancer. She has been allowed to return home from Santiago with a life expectancy of only 3 more months. I can only imagine that this is something that would destroy any parent to know. Instead of giving up or getting mad at God, Pato decided that he needed to strengthen his own faith to be able to help the rest of his family be strong whenever that day comes when his daughter passes away. In the interview, he told me that he just wanted to know that he would be able to see his daughter again. I was given the opportunity to testify of the Plan of Salvation that God has for everyone. I was able to promise him that if he is faithful to all the commandments that he would be able to see his daughter in the morning of the resurrection. Never in my mission have I felt the way I did in that room with Pato. I ended sharing my testimony and crying a lot. This past week, Pato was baptized and confirmed!!  He is excited to be able to continue learning and strengthening his testimony. 

Whenever I found out about the situation with Pato we made a call to the mission president, who made a call to the area presidency, whom made a call to the First Presidency. All of this so that they could all be praying for Erica (Pato's daughter). After the interview, we told Pato what we had done and we offered to give his daughter a blessing. He accepted without hesitation. The blessing was something super special. We felt prompted to give her a blessing of complete recovery. During the blessing thoughts of this little girls future blinked across my mind. Her graduation, her marriage and her with her own eternal family. Also during the blessing both me my comp and I said that we felt like every single member of the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency with us as we layed our hands on her head. It was something that I will never be able to describe fully -- but something that has touched me deeply and left everyone present weeping.

The other thing that happened this week was the passing away of the little brother of Jerko. Jerko has been meeting with us for a couple of months. When his little brother passed away he called us and asked us to pretty much lead the funeral. The traditions here are different, but basically it isn't uncommon for a family to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to have someone from a church to speak at a funeral. The family was extremely grateful when they heard that everything that we do is non-profit. At the actual funeral we were able to speak in front of about 50 people about the Plan of Salvation.

This week has made me so grateful that I am sealed to my family for time and all eternity. I am grateful that others can learn about these blessings that God has for us and that they can also partake in the blessing that are available. I love you all and I am so thankful for all of my friends and family and the support that I get from each of you.

Love,
Elder Brayton

Lessons from Liberty Jail

June 5, 2017


Dear family and friends!!

I don´t think that we are supposed to have favorite scriptures, but this is my new favorite one. This week I met a lady that told us that God had abandoned her. So we start reading with her D&C 121-122, where Joseph Smith is in Liberty Jail and he begins with more or less the same doubt. This lady has been bouncing around Chile almost her whole life, and she has definitely been through a lot of stuff in her life. After hearing her story, I felt that she had been through more than most people her age(she is 35). After reading with her and listening to her stories, we were able to testify of the truthfulness of the love that God has for everyone. That in no moment will He abandons us. We may be disobedient and weak at times but He is always there waiting, watching, and listening for our prayers. One part that I especially liked at the end of the reading (and where Anglia started to cry) was in the one of the last verses of the last section, where it begins to talk about all the trials that one may experience and all the blessings that come after enduring said trials. 

I hope and pray that each of you will take this opportunity to look at the strength that God has offered you.

Love,
Elder Brayton

Talks and teachings

May 29, 2017

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Skyping into the conference

Hi to all of my family and friends,

This week, I spoke in church. I got to speak about the stumbling blocks that often come up in life. It was sweet because this time I was told that I had to talk in advance. Last week I talked about opposition and this isn't exactly the same thing. Where opposition could be an actual trial or something that you can put a label on, the stumbling blocks that we come across can be anything that impedes our belief or understanding -- as well as normal obstacles to progress. It was a little different, but I learned a lot and am excited for this week coming up. Tomorrow the missionaries that are in the city of Arica are going to have a conference with the President of the MTC in Santiago. After the conference, my district is going to have a Q&A with him so he can help new missionaries coming into the field. I´m exited to help in any way I can. Within the district, we have been doing a lot of things very different than normal. Things that are within the rules of the mission but outside of the normal. So I think that is maybe why he wants to see what's different. 

It is looking like we are going to have another marriage in the sector. We had one of our investigators come up to us after a lesson and he told us that he wanted to get married to his girlfriend. So we are going to help him make that happen in these next couple of weeks. They are so awesome! Claudia and Jercko have been coming to all of the activities these last couple of weeks and she brings all 3 of her kids to church even though her kids behave terribly. But the ward helps out them and everyone grabs a kid and tries to keep them calm and entertained. She has been loving that and even though he cant come to church because of work, he is progressing really well.

I hope that you all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Brayton

Opposition in all things

May 22, 2017




Dear Family and Friends,

This week was cambios {transfers}. I got lucky and both me and my companion are staying. But there were several changes within our zone. Now I'm living with a district leader from the other district and I think the president wants me to help him out. The zone, from what I can see is, doing a lot better. Now this past week I have been studying a ton about the role and the need of opposition in life. We know that even though it isn't pleasing, it helps us grow. And sure enough... the same week I get sick. It's never enough to just read about something, hay que experimentarlo {you have to experiment}. So I got to learn something great! One of the most difficult things for me, and I think everyone, is to accept the will of God. But whenever I strive to always find the good, or find the reason that something might be happening....I will find it!!
 
2 Nephi 2:11
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things..... 
D&C 122:7
.....know thou, my son, that all these things shall give theexperienceand shall be for thy good.

I love you all and I hope that you have a good week.

Love, 
Elder Brayton

Monday, May 15, 2017

After mothers day email

May 15, 2017



 
Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday I got to call home and it was great! But I think that I left my family waiting for a while when I was getting ready for the call.  Anyways, the cambio is coming to a close here this next week and it has been a good one for me. Something that I have been doing a lot more here than in Copiapo is interviews for baptisms. Its one of those things that no matter how many you do, you never get used to it and always feel just a little bit nervous before hand. But I have never had a bad interview, even though there have been some that haven't passed. I feel like every time, everyone leaves on a spiritual high. I don't know how the Investigator feels, but as the missionary conducting the interview, it is incredible!

The testimony that I have is that God loves and knows each and everyone of His children!! In the interviews, without fail, I feel that same love that He has for them. Even though I have been talking with someone for only 5 mins, I am blessed to be able to see those children of God for who they really are! I know what they have been through and can help them apply the gospel to their lives. It is still mind boggling to me how fast I fall in love with the people that I am talking to. I always remind myself that I need to enjoy it while I can. It is one of those small miracles that only happen in the mission. Sorry this is going to be short today but I pretty much said everything yesterday!

I hope that you all have an incredible week!!

Love,
Elder Brayton

Monday, May 8, 2017

Fast week!

May 8, 2017





This week has flown by faster than I knew what happened. Yesterday in church, I thought to myself, I feel like I was just here yesterday. So that means things are starting to pick up pace in this ward. That is very good for everyone. We recently got a new ward mission leader, where as before we there wasn't anyone. I think the bishopric got sick of hearing me call and I don't think that they had time for me either. But, he was called and he is a young guy that just got married a year ago and he has a ton of energy to keep up with the missionaries. The biggest thing that we are focusing on right now is waking up the members and getting them active.

Friday we had a family home evening in the church and it was one of the most fun activities I have done in the mission. Then, Sunday we saw a ton of less active members and investigators in church. Between the two, it was 16 extra people in church! In these weeks and months coming up, we are going to be doing weekly and monthly activities. We will be bringing back English classes and pick up soccer games on Wednesday. We should have the church an extremely active place this month. As it should be! The sector is great, everyone is getting to know the missionaries and the members will be wide awake very soon.

I hope that you all have a great week!!

Love, 
Elder Brayton
cooper.brayton@myldsmail.net

Monday, May 1, 2017

Loving Arica again!

May 1, 2017




 
Hello Everyone!  
  
This week has been a party, but really every week is a party when you are in the mission and have a good attitude. Lots of walking, lots of sun and even more sunblock! Typical of Arica. So even though the area where I am borders with the university campus, there are very few students here. What there is a ton of immigrants. It seems like everyone that comes into Arica ends up in my corner of the city. This past week I met two different people that just moved out from Bolivia and Peru, but both of them lived back in the jungle, in small towns or villages. It is crazy to me how differently they talk and the different accents that they have. Because here in Chile there are a ton of sayings that are unique to only Chile. Most of them get here and don't really understand what people are saying. Sometimes the saying makes no sense and other times it can mean something really bad in the other country.
     
My district is starting to pick up a little more steam in the work. Most of my missionaries are experienced, and two have been out longer than I have.. So keeping everyone focused and motivated is always a fun challenge throughout the week. One of the investigators that I interviewed last week, got baptized on Saturday, Today we went out to some caves that are just south of the city and then we came back for a BBQ. This week we also had interviews with the President of the Mission, and one of the things that he really stressed in my interview was the unity in the zone and how we need to get everyone participating and bringing some new energy to Arica.
 
 
 
Thanks for all of your love and support!
 
Love, Elder Brayton