Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Safe arrival in Chile!

President & Sister Dalton with Elder Brayton  

¡¡Saludos de Chile!!

We are pleased to inform you of the safe arrival of Elder Cooper Scott Brayton in the Chile Antofagasta Mission. We are thrilled to have Elder Brayton serving here with us.  It was a pleasure to greet him at the airport today and spend some time getting to know him.

Thank you for the sacrifices you are making and the support you are giving him while he serves. We know he will appreciate the support he receives from home and you will be blessed for having a missionary in the field.

We have attached photos of Elder Brayton taken in front of our signature Antofagasta landmark, La Portada, with the city of Antofagasta in the background. 

The Lord is hastening the Work of Salvation and this is an amazing time to be a missionary.  Elder Brayton is needed here and we are so grateful he has chosen to serve a mission.  We will care for him as if he were our own.

With much love,
President & Sister Dalton
Chile Antofagasta Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Last Time from Mexico City!

Presents delivered to the Mexico City MTC creates smiles!

Feliz Navidad!

WOW! My time here at the MTC has flown past. It seems like yesterday I was just getting ready to teach my first Investigator. And now it is not uncommon for Elder Eagar and I to teach 4 in one day. Crazy to think about how much I have learned in just this first transfer. Transfers happen every 6 weeks, and usually involve either a change in your area or a change in companionship. For this particular transfer I am getting both. I am being transferred from the Mexico MTC to somewhere in the Antofagasta Mission and I will be assigned a trainer. All a trainer is, is a missionary that (hopefully) has more patience than most others. I don't know who he is yet but I will meet him this next week and he will help me continue to learn the Spanish, learn about the cultures in Chile, and make sure I don't get into too much trouble.

Everyone but 2 people are going to Chile in my District. One hermana (sister) is going to the Dominican Republic, and another is headed to Oakland, California. 

Also because I am leaving the MTC and going to the field my new p-day will be on Mondays. Yeah, so I leave this Monday and head down to Santiago just right after lunch and the plan is that we land in Santiago on Tuesday morning and then catch another flight to Antofagasta and land there just before lunch time. All together it will be about 20 hours of traveling to get to my mission home and possibly more depending on where I am assigned for my first transfer. All and all I am excited and nervous to be headed out into the field but just like any other challenge I am going to try and face it head on! 

One last thing! For Christmas I want everyone to reply and tell me about what is going on in your life or whats going on in the world. Mainly I just want to hear from everyone and see how they are doing. Thanks Guys!!!

Elder Brayton

Elder Edgar and Elder Brayton

MTC bus to the Mexico City Temple

Walking the walk!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

One Month In!!

Happy missionary with M&M's from Grammy & Grandpa

Some things that happened this week. I am a little sad because my latino friends left this past week. They only stay in the MTC for a week and a half because they know the language and all. But every other week we get another group of latinos and americans. It is crazy to think that I only have a week and a half left in the MTC, after that they are shipping me out to Chile! 

One of the things that happened this past week was in Mexico it was the celebration of St. Guadalupe's birthday. So all week there were fireworks going off all the time leading up until Friday. And on Friday it sounded like we were in a war zone, luckily the mountain didn't catch on fire again. This week we watched the temple dedication of the Tijuana temple so that was a pretty spectacular experience! 

Anyways I had an experience this week that I wanted to share with you. I remember grandpa (Bradtelling me something about one of our cousins (Spencer Foster) mission and how he was so in tune with the spirit that while he was teaching a discussion, whenever the father or someone of the family walked into the room the spirit left and whenever he left the spirit returned. Well that exact experience hasn't happened to me yet, but I can tell when It is present during a lesson. This past Friday me and my companion were teaching a lesson to one of our "investigators", and it's really just one of our teachers pretending to be an investigator from there mission. Anyways I know that the spirit was there in that discussion, I was able to say words in spanish that I had never learned before and every thought and question that came into my mind I know did not come from my own mind, I was guided by the spirit all the way to the end of the lesson. And at the very end our "investigator" who was really our teacher was in tears and so was my companion and I. And that next day in class we listened to an Elder Holland quote about the power that comes from teaching by the spirit. That is is for this week!
(this paragraph from Beau's email)
The Spanish is a love hate relationship. Somedays I can speak it great and learn stuff, other days it feels like I can't speak Spanish or English. I got your package, whenever I first looked at the shirt I was wondering what you were smoking, and then I read it and it's a sweet shirt. I am all healthy now, I just have a little bit of a sore throat.For Christmas I can call, no video chat though, and it will either be on the 24th or 25th.

Sorry that this is so short this week we have been really busy all week and I am already out of time!
Elder Brayton
 not sure where the selfie stick came from...
contents of package from Grammy & Grandpa

Mormon Energy shirt from Beau

They are after all still young people...more selfies!

Mexico City Missionary Training Center

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Halfway Point at the MTC!

Notice the Solo Espanol designates he is only to spoken to in Spanish
This week was my hump day for being at the MTC, I have been here for 22 days not that I'm counting or or anything. But I have just over 2 weeks left here and then I will be on my way to Chile! I leave on the 29th on that Tuesday, pero I have heard that it is a long flight. It is about a 9 hour flight down to Santiago from Mexico City, and from there is is another 14 hour bus ride to Antofagasta. I super exited to get down there but the traveling will be killer. I guess it will give me plenty of time to catch up on some sleep and practice my Spanish. Speaking of Spanish, this past week my District committed to speaking 100% Spanish and even though it was really difficult it turned out to be really helpful. Now I can hold pretty simple conversations in Spanish, and teach full discussions. Also I have been hanging out with the Latinos more and more, mostly playing soccer with them but they are in and out of the MTC in only a week and a half. But they are really patient and helpful with helping me learn new words and phrases.  But from here on out it looks like I will be speaking solamente español so don't be surprised if my grammar starts getting worse or I throw in a Spanish word here and there then. I even have a sticker on my name tag so people know to only talk to me in Spanish. 
One thing that has not been good is that there has been a sickness going around the MTC because of how close everyone interacts with each other. So this morning I went to the Doctor because I wasn't feeling well and as it turned out I have bronchitis. The good news is I am already feeling better from the medicine I was given. 

This week I had the opportunity to teach two volunteers off the streets of Mexico City. This is something that the MTC does called a TRC to help us speak to native spanish speakers. Each TRC is only about 20 mins but it was really fun to talk to someone different that isn't a missionary or they don't work at the MTC. We only had time for two lessons but each one ended up being just a regular conversations with a short message at the end. But despite how nervous i was for the first one I I'm really excited to do it again this week!  

That's it for this week, 
 Elder Brayton
Krispy Kreme!

More treats from home!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Life in the MTC

Email update received 12/3/15:

The life of a missionary in the MTC is lots of classes, teaching lessons, and constantly worrying about if you said the right thing. And more often than not, I say some pretty ridiculous things. I won't go into too much detail but the word for fish and the word for sin in Spanish are very similar. Also people look at you like you are crazy when you tell them that you can repent of your fish.
But I am learning Spanish quicker than I ever thought was possible, this past Sunday I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament in Spanish and teach a lesson. My teachers are awesome people! Hermana Guterarez is a local of Mexico City and is 28 years old, and our other teacher is Hermano Cruz and he is from Guadalajara, Mexico. He got back from his mission less than 2 years ago and is only 22 years old. I keep having to remind myself how young they really are, and even as young as they are they continue to teach us so much at such a fast pace. This past Tuesday was our last day speaking English in the class room. And this Wednesday it is our goal as a class to be speaking 100% Spanish all the time. I think that we can do it but it's not going to be easy. I'll put a picture of our class with Hermano Cruz at the end of this letter

One thing that happened this week was an Elder from our district got his mission reassigned to an English speaking state side mission, so because of this my trio companionship got broken up. But I really think it is for the better because now Elder Eagar and I will have to learn more Spanish in order to keep teaching lessons.

Living here in Mexico, even though it has only been two weeks, has taught me that the Hispanics here love to celebrate anything and everything. Almost every day there is a different saint celebrated in their culture with music and fireworks! I think it was Friday but their celebrating started especially that day. It was only like 10 AM and the fireworks started. Well I don't know if someone had bad aim with the fireworks or if they were drinking, but somehow they caught the mountain on fire. This is the same mountain that has the B on it in the background in some of my pictures. (see 1st blog post) The good thing is it was a tiny brush fire and nobody and nothing got hurt, it was just interesting to look up and see the mountain on fire. 

That's pretty much it for this week, even though it says that no packages ship to the this MTC someone discovered a website that will deliver packages and free letters. the web site is http://www.mtcmexicocarepackage.com/ . Talk to you guys next week!

Elder Brayton
 MTC District with
Hermano Cruz

Dining Hall with mystery food

Thursday, November 26, 2015

2nd email on Thannksgiving

Derek also received an email with a little more detail: 

Hola mi familia y amigos,

This week has been a blast here in the Mexico MTC. I'm not really sure where to start so I'll just start at the beginning. After landing in the Atlanta airport I went straight to my gate and after waiting for what seemed like forever another two missionaries showed up. Elder Sheldon y Elder Pitt, both of them from Virginia and both of them know each other. So, fast forward to the Mexico City airport, this airport is the biggest  airport I have ever seen. So as we come through immigration and customs we are herded through lines and down hallways, but everything is in Spanish and everyone is speaking Spanish, so between us three missionaries that are together we knew enough Spanish to get through. Customs seemed way too easy to get in. After I got my bags I walked up to two lines, one of them with metal detectors and scanners for your bags. The other line had no security at all, so when ever I stepped up in line I was told to push a button (I still don't know what it was for) and then was told to go down the line with zero security. It seemed way too easy but that's all that was required to enter into Mexico. After that we found the driver for the MTC and waited around for a few more missionaries to show up and then we headed off. At this point it is about 5 pm, and what that means is Mexico City traffic. I have been in traffic in some big places before, like Charleston, St. Louis, and Salt Lake, but compared to the stuff that we drove through those seem like a Sunday afternoon cruise. But I have some serious respect for our driver, he was going in and out of traffic like he was in a little smart car, but in reality we were in a 12 passenger bus. Once at the MTC we had all kinds of orientation and seminars about adjusting to your new language and your new calling. We had classes like those all the way up until Saturday night. The days at the MTC are very long, we have 16 hours of language study and scripture study every day except  for preparation day. There are some here that have been here for 5 weeks and are speaking nothing but Spanish. And what is even crazier than that is that I am not too far behind them. The learning is at an extremely fast pace. I have already learned how to teach lessons, share my testimony, and pray in just 7 days! But I have made plenty of mistakes. The worst one was probably when we were teaching a lesson and we asked the investigator if he would pray. The word for pray in Spanish is orar, but what we said was orinar, that is in Spanish to urinate. So we asked our investigator if he would urinate.... But in my defense that was only the Friday that I got there. I am not too worried about it because I will probably make plenty more mistakes. My Companions are great! I am in a trio companionship. Elder Eagar y Elder Sheldon. Elder Sheldon is the one that I met in the Atlanta airport, he knows so much Spanish and Elder Eagar is a huge 300lb. guy but he has a very kind heart. Before this he took Chinese in high school so he knew zero spanish before he came here but he has learned alot too! Even here in Mexico I have found either people that I know or someone that we have the same mutual friends. Well that's all for this week, I will send pictures later today!

Elder Brayton 
 L-R: Elders Eagar, Sheldon and Brayton

Week 1: Thanksgiving email!

Cami received the first email from Elder Brayton Thanksgiving afternoon. She'd been checking all day. I fell Wed a.m and injured the good knee. That's what he is referencing in his email below. His email in black.

This will be the family email.

So did Beau just like her new knee so much that she decided that she wanted another one or what? Also AMAZON DELIVERS  to the MTC, so that is really cool. In the picture are my companions, the front and back of my casa and the wall that surrounds campus. Also the missionary that the Harrops know in this MTC, hermana Amos, Yeah we are in the same district, and our district is only 9 people in size. The food here is good, I am not sure what anything is but nothing has made me sick yet. Today they made us a Thanksgiving dinner and we watched a live stream from the Provo MTC of a devotional.
I'll write more next week! 

Love y'all!!!
Elder Brayton
He also sent a lot of pictures from the MTC in Mexico City. Looks like he is getting settled in. Not much information in the email and none about the pictures. Here are a few. 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Safe arrival in Mexico City.

Cami received a quick email from Elder Brayton last night. Here's an excerpt.

Hello family, I have arrived safe and sound here at the Mexico MTC and the keyboards are very weird. I just got done eating dinner and have checked in with the Doctor I will keep this short but I will write back on my p day (Thursday) with pictures!

Lots of love,
 Elder Brayton!!!

Always nice to have contact and reassurance of his safety. Hopefully all had a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Day is Finally Here!

Elder Brayton left on a 6:30 am flight today after being set apart as a missionary by Pres. Johnson last night. Bags were checked and double checked so hopefully nothing important was left behind.

Mom, dad, Carol and Claire left before 5 am to get him to the airport on time. Tracking the flight online lets us know he has arrived in Mexico City. Guess our days of online stalking our Elder are over...

Here's a video that uses the special musical number from Elder Brayton's farewell.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Called to Serve Him in Antofogasta Chile

Thank you for all the loving support as I prepare & begin this journey! I I am excited for this opportunity & the faith that the Lord has in me. Please keep in touch, cooper.brayton@myldsmail.com. See y'all in 2! 
Elder Brayton