Monday, January 30, 2017

Marriage is what brings us together today!

Jan 30, 2017

Wedding Day!

Hey family and friends,

This week was one that I will not be forgetting any time soon! Just about all week we were getting ready for the wedding. Helping coordinate the food, cake, decorations and all that. I didn't know that weddings could be so crazy. I wish that I would have known before what we were getting into. But with the help from all here in Tierra Amarilla we were able to pull everything together in time. They do weddings here very differently here. It is a ceremony where they sign the marriage license. But the way that it was all presented was very cool. This was the first wedding that I have been to here in Chile. The other couple that got married way back when I was in Antofagasta I didn't get to go to because they had the ceremony super far away and very late at night. Anyway, the wedding turned out really well! Ines only cried 3 times so we were spared on this particular day. One thing that I thought was really cool is that after the ceremony several friends and family members of Ines and Nelson came up to me and were asking me how I convinced those two to get married. Supposedly they had said for years and years that they wouldn't get married and that they were content as is. So, I got to tell them a little about the plan that God has for us! Then, with most of them, set an appointment for them to meet with us and learn more. And even some committed to start preparing to be baptized just from seeing it happen to Ines and Nelson. The best part about the baptism was probably that their son, Sebastian, was able to baptize them. Yesterday we ate lunch with the family after church and they were just as happy as could be. They were telling us about some of their friends reactions and impressions of the entire thing. Everyone wanted something similar for their own weddings, one even asked if she could get married again! 

The other thing that happened, or that we did yesterday, was we went to a park with a ton of families to do some contacting. We took a bunch of pictures and we are going to print the pictures and give them to the families. It worked out really well because we got to explain a little about the importance of the families and then we told them that we can teach them more when we bring them the picture. It ended up being really cool to see all the positivity and connections that we made with some of the families that we contacted. A cool week for sure.

Contacting at the park

Hope you all have a good week!
Elder Brayton
Jan 23, 2017
Mustache kitty!

This is going to be a really quick email. The one guy, Havier, that was going to get baptized isn't now. He was all ready to go had the interview and all, and then he decided that he wanted to move in with his girlfriend. So he is leaving the town to go live with her and now won't be able to get baptized. Yesterday for the branch counsel we talked for 3 hour talking about many things, including the wedding that is coming up this weekend. I am glad that the branch does counsels now but it takes forever for them to come up with ideas and agree on things. But if all goes good, the wedding will be this Friday at 6 pm, the baptism Saturday at 8 and then the confirmation Sunday! I'm not really sure what comes after that. The new zone is very different now. Before, we all got along super well but now nobody knows each other. But I know two of the new people that are new. One Elder that I met way back in Antofagasta, he is from Alabama so we get along like brothers. The other is a Sister missionary that was in the MTC with even further back. Crazy to think that she will be ending soon. But that is where we are at for this week.

Elder Brayton

Monday, January 16, 2017

I stayed!!!

Jan 16,2017

Hi, Everyone!!

This week there were transfers and I stayed here! The other half of the missionaries that were in Copiapo have all gone to other cities. So that means that I will be here at least until the end of February. This will be the longest time that I have been in an area yet. I am excited because we have a lot coming up in these next couple of weeks. This next week Havier is going to get baptized! He has been listening to the missionaries for awhile in Palomar and recently moved to Tierra Amarilla and now he wants to get baptized. The week after that, Inez and Nelson are going to get married and baptized! That was going to happen this week but they have to attend some special class that the town does before they can get married. So the soonest that they could get the date for was the 27th of this month. So one week later they will still get married!! It will just give us and the branch extra time to get the party together for them and the baptism prepped! 

One cool thing that I finally finished about two weeks ago is a Spanish grammar book that I got way back in the MTC and I have been slowly working though it one chapter a week for the last year or so. It goes into crazy details about the spoken and written grammar of Spanish. It was really cool to learn so much about a different language and also learn some stuff about English as well. I´m pretty sure that now I know more Spanish grammar than English because I never had to take the time to learn English, it just happened as I grew up. In fact with the classes of English that I have been doing, it has been a struggle to try and explain every rule to people that don´t already know. 

I hope that you all have a great week!
Elder Brayton


Jan 9, 2017

Hey! So this week has been sort of a sigh of relief for us in Tierra Amarilla. We have been seeing tons of progress in all of our investigators and in the members as well. Inez and Nelson are getting really excited for their wedding. Today they are going to the town to get the day and hour for their wedding and basically claim that they will be married in two weeks. The Branch is getting ready with all the decorations and food for the actual party. But this week coming up is the week of transfers, so there is a chance that I could be going this time next week. But we will have to wait and see. I have already been here for 3 transfers and up until now I have never been in an area for more than 3 transfers. I think I am staying for one more because we have some really good momentum in the branch. Yesterday in church there were 3 men who got the priesthood all in one day! That might be a record for this branch. Those 3 that got the priesthood are 2 recent converts and one that has been returning to the church. The other first is that in the church yesterday we had a class for the YSA, or for those that are over 20 years old and aren't married. It was a good class and they all planned some activities to do in the following months. There are 7 or 8 in total and it's really cool because that's not something very common to have so many in Chile. Something in this mission that is being pushed more and more is the 'spirit of urgency' as everyone is calling it. Basically what the mission president is pushing for is that if someone is legitimately ready to be baptized that they should not wait more than is necessary. So we are changing gears with the missionary work to get things done a bit quicker!!

That is all for now. I hope everyone has a great week!!

Elder Brayton

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Jan 02, 2017

Adios 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

It has been one heck of a year for me and for everyone else that I have seen. This time last year I was just starting the mission in Chile and I couldn't understand very much. But, by some miracle, now I have gotten around that barrier and starting tomorrow I am going to be teaching English classes.

Today, to celebrate the New Year and the birthdays of two missionaries, we got together to have a bar-b-q and play games. We are all super pumped because we met our goal as a zone as far as baptisms. The last week of the year Elder Castañeda and I broke our record for new investigators and lessons!! So, we got to end on a very good note and start this year with some sweet mission goals! I haven't made any personal goals yet but I know that I just want to keep learning and improving so that I can be a better missionary and help others get better every day. 

I'm going to have to cut this email really short because today is a holiday and I lost a lot of time going to town and finding a place to write.

Have a great week!!
Elder Brayton 

Sunblock and the Spirit!

Dec. 26, 2016

Baptism Day

Well, this week last year I was finishing my first month and a half in Mexico. Because I was in the MTC I didn't really get a ton of exposure to the culture and all that was happening.  I do remember feeling very close to all the other people around me who were also spending Christmas away from home. Outside of the walls were tons of fireworks and even more people. 

This year was so cool to see how different cultures spend the holidays. Even though there are not huge differences between Chile and in the states, but there are enough to notice that they are definitely different. In some ways, it is not as commercialized here as in the states which is something that I really like. Instead of presents, more people are worried about the family dinner on the 24th. Just like New Years, everyone stays up until midnight and then right at 12:01 am everyone opens what they have in front of them. If you open up the presents before 12:01 am, they say it is really bad luck for the next year. Another thing that I think we should adopt is on the day of 25th drink hot chocolate and eat pastries all day!! But it would be better for us because it will actually be winter while here it is the middle of summer and just a hot as can be! All and all this Christmas was really fun for me! My favorite part was probably sharing the video called "Light the World"  with all of the people around town and also talking with the family on Christmas day! Oh and we also had a Christmas confirmation too!

quemar el mono

Now we are all getting ready for the New Year and everything that will come after that. A really fun New Year tradition is called quemar el mono, or burn the monkey. What it is, is you make a straw man twin of yourself with old clothes and then at midnight you burn it. It is supposed to represent the old you being left behind to make room for the new you and a better year to come. It is something that I saw a ton of whenever I got here but never really understood the reasoning behind it until a couple months later when I could speak better and understand more. This first week of January, we are going to see Ines and Nelson get married and baptized and hopefully,many more to follow!!

I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Elder Brayton