Monday, February 22, 2016

Milagros en Chile (Miracles in Chile)

Steep hills to walk in Antofagasta.
Always smiling!
Hello! So this week I figured out that my new favorite thing to do is to teach people how to pray. Most everyone here knows what prayer is because pretty much everyone has some history with the Catholic church. But usually they were only baptized and then they never went back. So the part that I love the most is that after they learn how to pray and are willing to do it with frequency, I can see the changes start to happen in their lives. Prayer opens up to them a direct line of communication with their Heavenly Father, they can start to develop a relationship with Him, and after that their faith grows so fast! Some people are a little stubborn so they don't think that they need to pray, but the people that humble themselves and are willing to plead to their Heavenly Father for help in their lives; the change with them is almost immediate.
        The other thing that I want to talk about is something that I believe is nothing less than a miracle. So while we are out and about working during the day it is not uncommon for someone to offer us something to drink. More often then not it is juice or water, but the thing with water here is that water from the tap is very bad for people who are not from Chile and it will make them very sick. But not everyone can afford to buy bottled water, so without knowing I have drank the tap water multiple times. And not once have I gotten sick from it. I didn't really realize how dangerous it was until recently a missionary from Mexico that is in the sector next to our couldn't work for a day or 2 because he was so sick from drinking the water. Then when I was doing my personal study multiple times in the scriptures there are promises that missionaries will be protected from poisons.( Mark 16:17-18) After reading this and realizing how blessed I have been during this time in Chile, it was a huge testimony and faith builder for me!

That's about it, I got to upload photos this week for the first time in almost a month! So now there should be plenty to look through!!

Love from Chile
Elder Brayton        
Finally a park with trees and green grass!
Some things never change!

Click here to see latest photos from Chile. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Learning how life works in chile!

El criminal!
This week has been an absolute adventure! To start off, I learned that the police here don't mess around. Let me explain. We were driving around with the second counselor of the bishopric helping with some service because the ward is making pastries for a fundraiser. Well this took up most of the morning and we where just about done when we started noticing a lot of police cars around the area. Next thing I know we get cut off by a police car and 3 Chileno officers immediately get out and tell us to turn off the truck and get out. I figured that this was probably normal, because the police here are technically a branch of the armed forces so they are probably pretty intense. But we are doing what they tell us to and being friendly as we can. Next another car shows up and then a motorcycle and more and more and more. After they had all shown up after only 2 mins, I figured that this wasn't normal. There was 3 cars, 3 motorcycles, and a pickup truck. And all together 12 police present. So in my best Spanish, I asked one of the first officers what was going on, and he explained to me that there was a robbery and our truck matched the description of the other vehicle. But very soon after they realized that they had the wrong people they all left as fast as they got there. But they were some of the chillest people in Chile, after they realized that they had the wrong people, they were just joking around with each other and with us until they had to leave. They had a lot of questions about what I was doing in Chile and so I got to explain the missionary program to them.

The other thing that I learned is that the words prescription only doesn't mean the same thing here as in the USA. My companion needed some cream for his face and usually you need a prescription. So we went in, explained the problem and they could see the sore on his face, and that was all it took.

I am always continually surprised at the kindness of the people here. My grandma recently told me that she hoped that there was some golden investigators at the top of the mountains for us. And as it is here in Antofagasta the highest place in our area is an area that is set aside for people who can't afford homes to build their own. And some days we spend almost all day up there because they are so incredibly humble. The thing that I like the most is hearing their stories and getting to know the families. All of the homes are very small and made out of plywood with dirt floors, but despite this they are always happy and always welcome us in with open arms and open hearts. Very much like Alma 32!

Con amor
Elder Brayton

Monday, February 8, 2016

Halfway done training! 2/8/2016

Zone Conference

This week was the last week of my first cambio (transfer) in the mission field. Cambios are every 6 weeks and we got to end ours with a baptism! The baptism of Magdalena! We work in the same sector as the assistants to the president so we usually help them out when they are traveling so even though Magdalena was found by them we got to teach almost as much as they did. In reality they did most of the work but it is still such a great blessing for the Quito ward.
Last night after a meeting that we almost always have on Sundays, consejo de barrio ( ward counsel), we were walking around in part of our sector that we usually are never in, because we just felt like we needed to be over there for whatever reason, but looking back on it, it had to be a prompting from the Holy Ghost, and we ran into Magdalena at the park with her son! The same woman that was just baptized that week. It was amazing because she had been praying for an answer of a way that her 11 year old would start coming to church. And my companion, being the seasoned missionary that he is came up with a plan to get him interested to come to church. So we made a deal with her son, every week that he goes to church we are to teach him one new magic trick. Usually we only use these with young families with little kids. And I have noticed that if you teach the children first the parents learn also but they also can see the kindness in the missionaries. My teacher in the MTC taught us several for this exact purpose. But her son accepted and Magdalena was so excited from this little experience. Just from her praying and exercising her faith she was able to receive almost an immediate response. It is small miracles like this, that make serving a mission worth every second.
Also before I forget, our area just got a whole lot bigger. This is because one of the elders there injured his back and so he couldn't work so he had to return home and his old companion is now in a trio else where. But I am very excited to work in this new area as well as to continue working in the area I am in now. I know that we are going to find some awesome people this next week!!

Love Elder Brayton      

Monday, February 1, 2016

When you are in the service of your fellow man

This week we got to help one of our less active members fix his roof. People in Chile don't really need a roof because it doesn't rain, ever. Its more for the sun and the dust. He was really grateful for our help because his back is bad so he can't do much. He kept saying how strong we are. Also he gave us some sticks that I assume are for some kind of sport but I have never seen anything like it.

Mystery sport stick
I wanted to share an experience I had this week with a family that we have been visiting. The mother is suffering from a mild form of depression because recently their youngest son passed away in a car accident. He was 22 and it affected the family very strongly because they all lived together. Anyway, as we have been teaching them, I usually let my companion do most of the talking and I explain the lessons or just stick to the stuff that I know. For whatever reason this day I was poking fun at  gringos and the terrible Spanish accent we all have. This just made the mother of the family bust out into laughter. Me and the rest were so surprised that we couldn't help but to join in with her. I'm still not sure why she thought it was so funny but ever since then every time we are in that area, they welcome us in and give us food and drink. And they are always willing to hear what we have to say. I am hoping for great things from this family in the future. All together grandchilden and all they number almost 15 people.

Con amor 
Elder Brayton
Roof repair

Everybody loves pizza!