Monday, May 15, 2017

After mothers day email

May 15, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday I got to call home and it was great! But I think that I left my family waiting for a while when I was getting ready for the call.  Anyways, the cambio is coming to a close here this next week and it has been a good one for me. Something that I have been doing a lot more here than in Copiapo is interviews for baptisms. Its one of those things that no matter how many you do, you never get used to it and always feel just a little bit nervous before hand. But I have never had a bad interview, even though there have been some that haven't passed. I feel like every time, everyone leaves on a spiritual high. I don't know how the Investigator feels, but as the missionary conducting the interview, it is incredible!

The testimony that I have is that God loves and knows each and everyone of His children!! In the interviews, without fail, I feel that same love that He has for them. Even though I have been talking with someone for only 5 mins, I am blessed to be able to see those children of God for who they really are! I know what they have been through and can help them apply the gospel to their lives. It is still mind boggling to me how fast I fall in love with the people that I am talking to. I always remind myself that I need to enjoy it while I can. It is one of those small miracles that only happen in the mission. Sorry this is going to be short today but I pretty much said everything yesterday!

I hope that you all have an incredible week!!

Elder Brayton

Monday, May 8, 2017

Fast week!

May 8, 2017

This week has flown by faster than I knew what happened. Yesterday in church, I thought to myself, I feel like I was just here yesterday. So that means things are starting to pick up pace in this ward. That is very good for everyone. We recently got a new ward mission leader, where as before we there wasn't anyone. I think the bishopric got sick of hearing me call and I don't think that they had time for me either. But, he was called and he is a young guy that just got married a year ago and he has a ton of energy to keep up with the missionaries. The biggest thing that we are focusing on right now is waking up the members and getting them active.

Friday we had a family home evening in the church and it was one of the most fun activities I have done in the mission. Then, Sunday we saw a ton of less active members and investigators in church. Between the two, it was 16 extra people in church! In these weeks and months coming up, we are going to be doing weekly and monthly activities. We will be bringing back English classes and pick up soccer games on Wednesday. We should have the church an extremely active place this month. As it should be! The sector is great, everyone is getting to know the missionaries and the members will be wide awake very soon.

I hope that you all have a great week!!

Elder Brayton

Monday, May 1, 2017

Loving Arica again!

May 1, 2017

Hello Everyone!  
This week has been a party, but really every week is a party when you are in the mission and have a good attitude. Lots of walking, lots of sun and even more sunblock! Typical of Arica. So even though the area where I am borders with the university campus, there are very few students here. What there is a ton of immigrants. It seems like everyone that comes into Arica ends up in my corner of the city. This past week I met two different people that just moved out from Bolivia and Peru, but both of them lived back in the jungle, in small towns or villages. It is crazy to me how differently they talk and the different accents that they have. Because here in Chile there are a ton of sayings that are unique to only Chile. Most of them get here and don't really understand what people are saying. Sometimes the saying makes no sense and other times it can mean something really bad in the other country.
My district is starting to pick up a little more steam in the work. Most of my missionaries are experienced, and two have been out longer than I have.. So keeping everyone focused and motivated is always a fun challenge throughout the week. One of the investigators that I interviewed last week, got baptized on Saturday, Today we went out to some caves that are just south of the city and then we came back for a BBQ. This week we also had interviews with the President of the Mission, and one of the things that he really stressed in my interview was the unity in the zone and how we need to get everyone participating and bringing some new energy to Arica.
Thanks for all of your love and support!
Love, Elder Brayton

Back in Arica

April 17, 2017

This was my first full week back in Arica and it is all better than I had remembered before! The area that I am in has a lot of potential, but is going to take a lot of work. My first impression of everything is how different it is here than the other places that I have been. First off, I live right near a huge university in a really nice apartment building, the University of Tarapaca. The houses surrounding this area are enormous. But we also have a very large tomas (Hooverville?) crossing the river.

I have seen a ton of people that I have met before. I can't believe how much has changed in just 8 months! I don't have a ton to write about because we have been doing tons of getting to know the sector and contacts. In other news, there were nine investigators in church Sunday!! Also, I have talked so much this week that today I have no voice to speak or do anything useful. 

I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Brayton

Back to Arica

April 11, 2017

Well I have been sent out from Tierra Amarilla and returned from where I was before. I am on the other side of the city, so I will be meeting and teaching all new people. However, I am looking forward to reconnecting with some of the people that I met when I was here last winter (his seasons are the opposite of ours).

My companion is Elder Capuñay from Peru. Whenever I trained forever ago, he was one of the missionaries that came with the same group as Elder Jimenez. I am back in a full ward so I am looking forward to working with the members in this area. I am still district leader here, so I will have to get to know the missionaries in my district and their sectors so that I can help them as much as I can. I really haven´t heard much about Arica because I have been in the southern part of the mission for the last 8 months. But, tomorrow we have a meeting with the zone so hopefully I will be able to hit the ground sprinting!

Yesterday I got reminded that I only have a couple of transfers left and that kind of scared me but more than anything it helped me realize how little time the mission really lasts. We are going strong here now. Today I will get to know the sector, and tomorrow the zone!

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Brayton