Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Filling up the Chapel!

Speak only Spanish

Hello to our family and friends,

As you can imagine, this email has me bursting with love for my son and our Heavenly Father. For any of you who knew Cooper in high school (Spanish classes specifically), you know that this is truly a miracle. Cooper never could have made it this far without the love, support and prayers of all of YOU!!!! From the bottom of my heart....thank you for loving my son and taking the time to include him in your prayers!!!



Here in the Quito ward, we don't mess around! This week we set the goal of having 7 of our investigators come to church. We worked our butts off finding and teaching and trying to get our investigators excited about coming to church. One of the things that we have been focusing on more than anything is making sure we always have a member present and finding people more effectively through the members and investigators. Now at the end of this week we met our goal of 7 people coming to church plus we also have 5 that have a set day to be baptized and are preparing to do just that! Me and Elder Duke are learning from each other and both improving like we never could have imagined. I want to give my testimony really quick on the power of the language and how fast I have been able to learn with the help of the lord. Today I complete 5 months in the mission, almost 1/4, and that scares me just a bit. But never would I have imagined being able to talk and communicate in the way that I can now and in such a short amount of time. I can communicate and say pretty much all I need to and even though every now and then I come across some words that I can't find. But even with that, I am starting to be just as comfortable with Spanish as I am with English. I don't think that I will ever blend in with my red hair and super white skin but the other day someone legitimately asked me if I was from Argentina and all I could do was to look at them and say that I was from the United States. Don't have a ton of time because we got turned around in downtown again. But thanks everyone for reading these and writing me!!

Elder Brayton      

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


President and Sister Dalton with Elder Brayton

The first few paragraphs are taken from the weekly email that Cooper sends to his mission President. This is the man who is responsible to the 200+ missionaries in Cooper's area. He and his wife are amazing people are we are VERY grateful for all that they do to keep Cooper and the rest of the missionaries safe, healthy and working!!

Cami & Derek
Letter to the President:

"These last 2 weeks we have been really pushing to follow word for word the notes from the zone training conference and we have seen the miracles! The part that we have been pushing for the most and also at times struggling with the most is the part about every investigator deserves to have a member present from the very first lesson. But as I have very quickly learned it is almost impossible to know exactly when and where we are going to find someone. But we have been trying our very best and like Elder Holland said in this last conference session "The great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed." 

I believe that because we have been putting in this great effort that the blessings we have seen in our lives and the lives of our investigators are a direct result of this. This week we got the amazing news that the partner of one of our old investigators has finally decided that he wants to get married! She was the first person I taught when I got here and now in just a couple of weeks she will have the opportunity to be baptized! Edith is one of the most spiritual people I have ever meet and even though she is not a member (yet), she has been attending church more regularly than some of the members.   As the sector is continuing to grow and we are striving to improve, we are seeing more and more miracles. 
This week we were approached by a less active woman from Peru.   She told us about her 9 year old son and how he had started to take the lessons from missionaries in Peru but could not finish because of time. And at the very end she asks us if we could teach and baptize her son and that she and her husband are willing to come back to church and do whatever necessary to have an eternal family.   

Lastly Erick and Nicole were married, and Erick was baptized and confirmed this weekend. And to baptize him my papito (Elder) Giadach came back to do it and to celebrate with them. "

That pretty much sums up what happened this week. Two other things that I am getting excited for is that we have been finding people to teach like crazy and everyone is golden to teach. I've been here for 3 months and I'm not sure where everyone was hiding before but all I know now is that we are finding them. The highlights of this week has been finding, not 1 but 2 families of 11!!! That and I have a list of specific people that I want to find and one of them is a person from the Dominican Republic (Because I have 2 friends that are there now) and this week we found one and his name is Robin and he is awesome!!! And its now official, I am in a companionship of 4. Not really but that's how it looks on the records because we are sharing a sector with the assistants. 

Lots of love from Chile!
Elder Brayton  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Post Conference, New Companion, and Baptism this week!

Things are changing a lot in our sector with the arrival of Elder Duke. He has a really different method of working and of teaching that is taking me some time to get used to but I am still learning a ton. He is a super cool dude from LA, California and has a lot of experience in the mission. We get along really well but he speaks a lot of English during the day, which isn't bad but I'm just not used to being able to talk in my native language all day every day. So I had to make a rule that we only speak English in the house that we live. He is a funny surfer type of guy but he reminds me of Brady Hammond (a guy from our local church in Moncks Corner) just a couple of years younger. We are focusing on working more effectively and especially finding more effectively.And we have seen some amazing results because of it.   

Thursday was the Zone Leader Training meeting and the President of the mission asked us to join the meeting to demonstrate different methods of finding investigators through member with the APs (assistants to the President) helping us. We demonstrated how to teach the first lesson in 5 mins to members and then with the spirit that was brought with that we transitioned into asking if they knew someone that could benefit from this message. Even though it was just a demonstration, the spirit was felt by all who were watching. Pres. Dalton even had some tears in his eyes. Definitely one of the coolest experiences in the mission so far and especially for me being so fresh to it.
We are also getting Erick ready for his baptism and his wedding. He is as nervous as can be for his wedding but is so excited for his baptism. He is 28 and is an awesome guy.  His future wife is Nicole and she is 26 and less active. They have both progressed so much and have turned their lives around because they both know that what we were teaching them was true!
And then, at last, General Conference was awesome! We had a ton of investigators show up to watch it. In the gringo room where we watched in English everybody brought snacks to eat while they watched. I am especially grateful to watch and listen to conference in English because I get to hear the speakers real voice and not the translators.
Love you all so much!
Elder Brayton