Monday, May 16, 2016


Our happy missionary!
New companion Elder Palpa from Peru.

Well, now I can talk about Arica a little bit more since I have gotten to know it better this week. The city is a lot smaller than Antofagasta, but it is so much cleaner and tranquil. But it is very warm and very dry. In Antofagasta, it was the rocky steep dessert, here it is the sandy flat dessert. Today we went to the downtown section of town and it was awesome! There is anything and everything over there. And there is this restaurant called Rolys and they have this hamburger with beef, eggs, french fries, and bacon. It was bigger than my plate! I struggled to eat all of it and I can still feel it now 5 hours after. Also fruit here is SO cheap. I went to buy bananas today from a farmers market type of place and I handed the guy 2000 pesos(>$3) and he looked at me and shrugged his shoulders and then proceeded to give me almost 20 lbs. of bananas! It was sweet!

The ward and sector that I am in is pretty great too, really everyone I have met is cool. They are all super exited about the missionary work and they all think that I speak great Spanish. The only bummer is that they told me on my first week here that the ward hasn't had a convert baptism in over 2 years. But I have come here to help change that real fast! It's a difficult sector but there is also tons of potential. I still haven't met the bishop because he is on vacation and gone to the states. But I have gotten to go to some of the little
towns and I would even call them villages because they are so small. It's cool to see how country life is here vs living in the states. For some of the people that live really far away they have wind turbines to pump water from a well and they just go without electricity for the most part. Its almost like camping all the time!!!


One thing, or person rather, that I want to talk about before he gets too far away from my mind is Hugo. Hugo is an Indian that has lived in Chile for his entire life. Up until he was 16 years old he didn't even know that electricity was a thing. But I met him in Antofagasta because he lives directly in front of the church and his wife is a very active member there. I'm sure, like all the other missionaries that have been there before me, I had tried to talk with him to get him interested in the church. Well I tried, and got nowhere to start off with. So I just started talking with him about anything and everything. Our families, jobs that we have had, memories from our childhood and stuff like that. One of the coolest stories he told me about was when he was a kid, he can remember carving arrows and spears to fish with. Fishing was one of the few ways that his family could eat consistently because nothing grows here easily and Chile has a huge coast. This continued for just about the entire time that I was in Antofagasta, and eventually we progressed enough to where we could talk about stories from the bible. And he liked the stories of Jonah, but he loved the stories of Peter! I think more than anything he just liked that he was a fisherman and that he became a fisher of man. And so kind of as a joke he would always ask me how the fishing was going (referring to the missionary work) and I would always tell him about what was going on and who we were teaching. Finally after getting to be really good friends with him I got the call that I was getting transferred. Then the morning that my bus was going to leave he called me and said that he had a little gift for me and to come pick it up. So we went by there on the way to the bus terminal and hands me this awesome hand carved spear and the blade is made from the sword of a swordfish. He told me that it is similar to what he used to fish with as a kid and that we were both Fishermen and that we had to stick together. The tikis mean kindness (bottom) and wisdom (top) and that those were two things that he felt a lot as we talked. I just wanted to share this story so that everyone can know a little bit about Hugo and how much I have learned from him.

Lots of love from Chile!
Elder Brayton!

Elder Brayton with Hugo & his wife in Antofagasta.

Handmade spear from Hugo

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