Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Don't worry too much about me.

This week's entry has several email threads running through it.  I tried to put them together and included some of my comments to help Elder Goode's comments make sense.  My comments are in red.
Elder Gilbert gave me some forms and they printed them off for me but I haven't been able to tell what is left. I don't know which ones for certain I still need. I know that you can check online and let me know about what I still have. I have the temple next week and I don't really have a way to print off the names.... It may be best to just email them to Elder Gilbert and then I can ask him about them and see if he can print out more. The first two trips I was able to get 9 done each time and I have gotten 15 male names done and 3 female names but I don't know much more. This week is going great. Sorry my email time was later this week.  More missionaries means the times get mixed up. I will be on until 3 your time. 

Hi Bud,

I am here!  It has been an interesting day, waiting to hear from you.  We waited all morning and then went fishing for a while, but I forgot my license.  It was in the back pocket of the jeans I wore yesterday, so we came back to get it.  I am sure glad!  I am grateful that Dad listened to his heart. 

Most of the names on your account are done.  If you had two forms last week and they printed all the names off, then just do the ones you have left.  There should be 19 males and 20 females from my set.  Just do them if you can.   

Don’t do the rest of the cards you took with you to Chile.  Those were on the heavy cardstock paper.  Do the new cards that were printed last week.  They will have only endowments ready to do, with no sealings.  There is one with your name on it for Christopher Brown and the rest should have my name on them. 

Have you received anything in the mail or from the pouch? 



The temple was great I have enjoyed it and it is fairly small. The whole temple is on 1 floor.

I did find my notebooks and I bought 4 last Tuesday after emailing. Today we had shopping first and I went with my companion and he found a jacket for the field that he could wear during exercise.

My Spanish is coming along well. I don't know nearly enough though.  Mostly I have been learning a lot of words that relate to teaching my investigators. We are trying to speak entirely in Spanish, but we don't always have the words so it is difficult. I enjoy teaching our investigators.  The time that we are teaching goes by so fast. 15-30 minutes goes by so fast and feels like 5 minutes. I enjoy teaching. This week we taught 15 lessons and 1 of them was for Priesthood for all of the Elders still speaking English. After 4 weeks, we go to Spanish speaking for the meetings. My companion and I were the only Elders who have taught Priesthood since I got here. Otherwise it has just been Elder Gilbert teaching all of them.

I have forgotten to tell you, but I have performed 2 musical numbers with groups here. We performed “Nearer My God to Thee” and we performed “Come Unto Christ” where different Elders and Hermanas sang solos and everyone had a solo part and then we sang the chorus together. It was really good. We did these for Family Home Evening for Weeks 2 and 3. One of the Hermanas in my District is a really good singer. Her name is Mckenzie Tolk. She actually has a CD that is being sold at Deseret Book and her dad is David Tolk and he has CDs that are out as well. You should look them both up. I thought you might be interested in that.

Things have been crazy, but good overall. Things are great but I feel so lost with the roads and everything. The field is going to be really confusing for me. Santiago is massive and reminds most all of us of a European Salt Lake City. There are so many different types of architecture and cobblestone roads at parts. It is very different. I don't like how it smells like smog and smoke so much, but that's normal for me.

The days are crazy and having 28 people currently living at Al Contara since a few just left for the field and having 10 more moving in tomorrow. It is getting crazy. The CCM is getting so full. There were only 26 people when we started and they all lived at Al Contara. It is crazy.

Have you Google Earthed the CCM and the temple yet? Also you should try to find Al Contara. I don't know exact addresses for either so I can't help you much, but it is really interesting.

It isn't too horribly cold, but it is great here. I love the people I just wish it were easier to speak to them. They are intimidating when you have a hard time speaking Spanish. The last two weeks will fly by. These two weeks we go on splits with missionaries and contact and do stuff out in the field. I have to say that teaching practice lessons for investigators with Law of Chastity problems is intimidating especially when they want to get baptised and their girlfriend wants to move in and isn't interested in the church. That was a really hard lesson but things are going well. Teaching in Spanish isn't impossible I just have to listen really well to the people to understand everything and they don't always speak clearly and it is all slurred together which is difficult to understand. Overall it's good. Even the Latinos say that they can barely understand Chileanos which is comforting.

Wow!  I am impressed that you are doing so well.  I am happy that you are using your musical talents.  Keep it up.  Use every opportunity you can to sing.  David Archuletta used it a lot to get into the people’s homes.  If they weren’t interested in listening to the message, he would ask if they could sing a hymn for them and usually after they sang it, they people would then invite them in and listen to their message.  I am glad you were able to sing a solo, also.  That is awesome that you also got to teach a Priesthood Lesson.  So cool!

I have heard several times that Santiago is a lot like Salt Lake City in weather and in the way it feels.  However, President Brigham Young was inspired to lay it out with square blocks and numbered streets.  You will just have to learn each sector as you are assigned to it.  I am sure they will have maps for you to use with everything laid out and marked well. 

Make sure to get names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone at the CCM so you can contact them all after your mission.  Hermana Tolk’s mother joined the Santiago Oeste group on Facebook, so I had already learned about her musical abilities and her dad’s music.  I listened to a bunch of his music last week when we were in Heber and I was on the computer at night.  I will have to purchase some of his CDs.  He is a pianist and it is really good music.  You would love it.   

These last two weeks will be awesome as you are out in the field more and getting experiences with real people and real problems.  Trust in the Lord and you will be able to have the words you need to teach them.  You were promised the gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues.  The language will come.  Pray for help and then trust what comes into your mind.  Enjoy these last two weeks.  It is going to change and get harder once you are in the field, but it won’t be boring anymore. 

I love you so very much.  It is so very good to hear from you.



Usually when I hear people talking in Spanish I don't know all the words they are saying but usually I can listen and tell others who are confused about it generally what they just said. Usually I don't even understand how I did it. Things are great but I'm out of time. I love you and want things to go well. Keep me updated on all your fun adventures and I don't know if I will be able to keep up with everyone. There are a lot of people here in the CCM. I am trying to get all the names for the missionaries in my group going to The Oeste mission. Things are crazy, but good and there are a lot of awesome people here. There is an Hermana living in the CCM housing that is from Hooper so we talked for a while about home. That was really cool. Love you

Make sure you are thanking Heavenly Father for that wonderful gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues.  It will be such a help to you in the mission.  It works through the power of the Holy Ghost, so keep yourself worthy to have his companionship and you will continue to be blessed with these gifts.  I am grateful that you are receiving daily help from heaven.


Thanks and I love you have an amazing week. Talk to you next week. I haven't sent letters home yet, so I will have to email Curtis next week about his birthday. Thanks for everything. I am really enjoying having it all here. I haven't really needed anything. I did buy a Spanish hymn book so that will help, but I haven't found much else. I didn't like the nicer sets of Spanish Scriptures, so I have basic ones.

Oh by the way there was an Earthquake on Saturday and I had just fallen asleep and my companion woke me up to make sure he wasn't going crazy. I missed it though. It was apparently like a 5 on the Richter scale. Don't worry I will be just fine see you next week! Bye.

I got an email alert about the earthquake.  It was near where the last one was and a little less in strength, so I wasn’t worried about you.  I know you are busy which makes it hard to get letters written home. 

I will do all that I can. Thanks for everything and I am still having a hard time getting all of my stuff organized and repacking will likely be a nightmare, but I'm sure that I will get the hang of it. I have found most of my stuff, but organizing will be interesting. They told us to pick out certain things and then all of our suitcases went into storage, but we still have access to all of them if we need. I found the picture cubes but haven't pulled them out. Is there anything inside them? Also I found the other pictures behind in the photo book. Thanks for those I didn't know about them until this week, so it was good to find them. Love you.

There is nothing inside the cubes.  Just wonderful voices from home.  I am glad to know you will get the other bags back so you can pack up all of your stuff.  I was worried about how you would fit it all back into one small case.  I will send more photos later, but I wanted you to have some from home.  I hope they don’t make you homesick, but bring peace and love your way.

I keep the picture book by my bed and it helps me a lot to have pictures. Thanks so much bye. 

So concerning the CCM lately. There are more missionaries in the CCM now and I wasn't emailing in the morning because of that. So the latest I could possibly email is at 2 to 3 for you. It will be any time between 8 and 11 and between 12 and 3 for email starting typically at 8, 10, 12, or 2. I don't know if the day will change. It shouldn't though. I have one more email day here in the CCM. In 2 weeks I won't get to email because that is the day that I go into the field and I need to get organized and everything so there won't be any emails that week. Sorry, but I figured I would let you know. I am glad that you are having fun and enjoying your summer. Keep having fun and the time will go by so quickly. I can't believe how long it has been, but it will just keep going quickly. Don't worry too much about me. I will be just fine. Love you and keep me posted on everything at home. Sorry I don't have any new pictures for this week. If I manage to take a few I will send them to you through the camera. Love you and see you next week.

Love, Braxton

Thanks Braxton.  I will look forward to a photo or two.  Please take one of your beautiful, smiling face and send it to me.  I know things get messed up down there with p-days and the constant changing.  I also knew I would probably miss a week of email when you get moved from the CCM to the mission.  You could still try to send a photo or two and a quick message. 

Have a super awesome day.  I love you so much.



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