Monday, August 11, 2014

Like Lehi's Dream & Broken Toilet

Note from Mom.  This week's emails are in conversation form with the red being mom and the blue being Braxton.  Feel free to skip the red sections, but some of it makes more sense if you read the whole conversation.  He seems a bit discouraged this week, but I think all missionaries go through that stage when they want to change the whole world, but realize they can't because God gave us all our free agency to choose.  I think Braxton feels a lot like Lehi in his dream.  He is standing there holding out the fruit to all those he loves and cares about, but not all of them will come and partake of it even though it is so desirable.  Please pray for him and the Chilean people. 
I am doing really great I just sent mom a really long letter about everything here. One thing that has been hard this last week is that our bathroom is broken and we have to go to the Church to use the bathroom.... It´s hard to deal with, but we do it. The Branch President accidentally locked my companion and I in the Church on Sunday. We have to borrow the key from the Branch President many days right now. We are trying to figure out how to get it fixed, but it is just a trial for us, but we will be fine. I am doing well overall.
Things are different in many ways and I am so glad to live in the United States because there are so many things that are different and hard to deal with that are just normal for the people here. I never go bare foot in the apartment and other things. There are many other things. Overall I am working hard and doing my best to serve and be obedient and love the mission. Things are going really well and I love it here even though it is so different. I love the people and this is what keeps me going. I don´t particularly like some of the differences but they are bearable when I think of the people I am serving and inviting to come unto Christ.

Love you have a great week!

Hi Mom I am on right now and I was wondering if you have found anything in your time with Family Search this week. Let me know if there is anything that I can look into to help with things and if you figured anything out with that name.

Hi.  I sent you an email with Family History information.  Read it.

I have read all of your emails and I do not have anything about Family History here...

Hey Braxton,

How was your week?  Mine was good.  Tuesday night we went to the Logan temple with Nicole Parkinson for her endowment.  Then Friday we went up all day for her wedding, luncheon and reception.  We got to see Grandma and Grandpa Goode, Shara, Rob and the kids and lots of family at the reception and lunch.  It was a really nice day.  I went to a Technology Conference on Thursday that was okay.  Saturday and Sunday I had a sore throat, but it is better today.

Brandon Swenson has been called to the Australia, Melbourne mission.  He reports to the Provo MTC on December 17th.

Tyler Hayward has been called to the Illinois Chicago Mission.  He reports to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014. 

Dallas Carter’s mission call was changed from Mexico to Texas McAllen Mission Spanish Speaking.  He reports to the Provo MTC on September 10th.  They needed to keep him in the US so he can get his supplies for his diabetes.

Colby left last week.  Makoa spoke yesterday and leaves next week.  I think BJ speaks next week.  Lots of them heading out soon. 

We go to see the Ogden Temple Open House on Wednesday afternoon this week.  It should be fun. 



That is crazy and Colby emailed me 3 days ago so that is great. That is awesome for Tyler. That is the mission that President and Hermana Doll at the Chile CCM served in before serving here. Also that change for Dallas will still be good for him. I hope that it all works out well and that people have success. That is really cool that so many of them are heading out so quickly and I´m glad that you have the opportunity to go to the Temple Open House. If it had been earlier I would have loved to have gone. I will have to visit it after the mission.

Sorry that I haven´t sent pictures lately. These computers have a hard time reading my jump drive so I can´t upload them and even though the Church has Wi-Fi there is a rule in the mission that I can´t send pictures through my camera. We aren´t supposed to have Wi-Fi on any of our things, so I am just going to use it as a camera here to be obedient and try to figure out the jump drive with time. We go to a cyber each week that is in our sector. The address for our apartment is Lo Espejo Colòn 163, Chile. Hopefully this helps you find where I am currently. Thanks for all that you do!

I just resent it.  I typed it in Word last week and then copied and pasted it into an email, but my computer was being flaky that night so maybe it didn’t send it.  I can’t see it in my Sent Items folder.  Sorry. 

I still don´t have it.... I really don´t know what to do about it right now....


I will send it as a reply to this email thread.  I sent it with a new subject earlier. 

You are right about Calvert Thomas Goode being married to Merla Ione Fewkes.  They are your great grandparents.  Merla got cancer and died on 4 December 1951. 

After Merla died, Calvert did not remain a widower.  He married four more times. 

First, he married Lois Juanita Fisher on 2 July 1952.  They were only married about two years and then they divorced.

Second, he married Dora Bee in 1954.  I have not been able to find her maiden name yet.  They divorced in 1956.   I have very little information on her so far.

Third, on 13 July 1957, he married Della Marie Middleton.  That marriage lasted till 3 September 1959 when she died, I believe from cancer. 

His last wife was Florence Matilda Anderson.  They were married on 17 December 1960 in the Los Angeles Temple.  I don’t believe the other three marriages were in the temple. Florence was a good grandmother to your dad, his brothers and siblings and to all of their cousins.  She was the only grandmother the kids remember.  She died on 7 February 1979.  I think she also died of cancer.  Calvert seemed to have bad luck that way. 

So the reason you are seeing the Temple Opportunity in your list is because I have been working to try to find all of Calvert’s wives and make sure their work is done.  The sealing for Della can be done because she was born in 1902 and it has been more than 110 years since she was born.  The temple work for Lois Juanita Fisher cannot be done yet.  It has only been 108 years since she was born, so to do it now we would have to have permission from her closest living relative.  I don’t know if she had other husbands or any children.  I am still researching her.  Just ignore them in your list for now.  In November 2016 we will be able to do Lois’s work.  Maybe by then I will have found more information on Lois and Dora Bee. 


Family Search has a new tool I want you to use.  It is called the Descendancy View.  This article by Family Search explains a lot about the new Descendancy View, Record Hints and Attach a Source.  That is what I want you to start working with.   

I think that John David Goode would be a great place for you to start.  Because Calvert Thomas Goode was the first member of the church that we know of on the Goode line, this line should be the most productive in finding people who need to have temple work done.  But we need to do the research first. 

Login to Family Search.  Click on your Watch list.  I have put John David Goode there.  You can also click on the drop down by Person and he should be near the top of the list.  Or you could do steps 1 and 2 from the article above.

Just under John David Goode’s name, click on View Tree.  This should open the Descendancy View page.  Here you can see him with his wives and children.  Click on the right facing arrows to expand and see more descendants.  It won’t show you all the living people, just the ones attached to you and I did add a few on one line.  Right now one of the daughters of the second wife named Kathryn Jane Goode is not showing up, but maybe it will refresh and show her by the time you read this.

John David Goode and Georgia Ann McCoy had four children and then she died when Calvert Thomas was four years old.  One of the daughters, Jenie died in 1902, about three years before Georgia Ann McCoy died.  John David Goode then married Kathryn Maud Eagon and they had two daughters.  

To the far right you will see icons.  There are four types.  The article above talks about Record Hints.  They are the orange icons.  They will help you find sources to verify the dates and places in people’s lives.  Click on an orange icon and follow the instructions in the article on how to add sources.

Blue icons give you Research Suggestions.  These are things like there is a gap of more than 4 years between children, and no sources attached.  These guide you to look for additional records.   

Red icons give you Data Problems.  These are more like red flags that something is definitely wrong that needs to be fixed.  These are things like the child was born before the mother or the marriage date is too early or too late.  They help you fix things that are definitely wrong with the data.  

Green icons tell you that there may be temple work that can be done for the person.  You need to make sure you check for Duplicates before you reserve the temple ordinances.

We probably won’t find much temple work to do starting with John David Goode, but we need to verify all the dates and stuff associated with his family before we move to the next generation.  Working on his family will help you learn how to work with Hints and Sources so it will be easier when you get to the next generation back. 

I am preparing a package to send to you and I will try to include some family history stuff that will help you with these families.  That way you can have a hard copy to look at while you work.  I have histories of some of these people and a few photos.  I will try to get it in the mail soon so you will have it by the end of August.

Another way to work with Hints is from the person page.  In the top right corner, the hints for each person will be listed.  Sometimes it is easier to work from there if the person has a lot of hints rather than going back over and over to the Descendancy page.  It also helps to open multiple tabs.

I have more information on these families in  I will tell you more about that in the next few weeks.  

I love you lots,

Love always and forever,


Do you need a card reader for your camera?  Would that make it easier to send the photos?  Can’t you just attach the USB cable to the camera.  There is a port for that.  I used it before you left, so I know it works.  The card is a mini card, that has to go in an adapter to make it the size of a regular SD card.  There were two of those adapters in there.  If you need me to, I can look for a USB adapter that will let you pull the mini-SD card out and put in the adapter and then plug the USB into the computer.  What do you need to make it work?  Do you need a different jump drive to save the photos to from the camera?

 We will have to go to the Ogden Temple when you get home.  It is really pretty.

 Did you get the Family History email yet?

The problem is more with the computers they don´t really have usb ports in the front of the computer and I tried it in the back last week and it wouldn´t read it. I know how to do it but it won´t work. This week I forgot to grab them so I can´t send anything this week anyway. 

Okay.  The ports may be disabled.  Is your companion able to send any of his photos?  Ask the other missionaries if they know how to make it work. 

I am putting a package together for you.  I will try to mail it tomorrow or Wednesday.  It has taken longer than I thought it would because I have typed up some Family History stuff for you.  Is there anything you want or need? 

Please tell me about your week.

Things went well but I´m trying to do Family History right now. It has been crazy overall. There were frustrations but good things too. This week I had 19 lessons and we have one Baptismal date that we placed last week on Saturday for a young girl in the area whose mother is less active. She is almost 9 so it will count as a baptism for us, but we are teaching her currently. We have another Family that we taught and there are 4 people, but we scheduled another appointment and they weren´t home which was frustrating. In the previous appointment we asked them to read the Book of Mormon as a family and pray about it and committed them all to baptism. We extended a date, but they didn´t accept a specific date because they wanted to be sure of it. We haven´t gotten back to them, but I am praying that they did what we invited them to do and are working toward baptism. I am doing all that I can to help the people here and trying to do everything possible to help them out in all that I can. It´s hard to feel successful when everything looks like it isn´t being that way. I am trying to stay positive and work as hard as I can. I know that things will be just fine.

You should keep me updated on how things are going with helping Becca with her Family History work as well. I really like to know about how things are going at home as well.... It feels like I get very little details about things at home too. I try to do all that I can, but it is hard to read everything and get back to everyone. This will be the same time and day that I email here for a while. I don´t know that it will change.

I have been writing less because you asked me to.  I will try to send you some paper letters with more details, but they will take longer to get there, about a month from what I hear.  Have you received any letters from home yet?

I would love to tell you more about what is going on at home, but then it takes you more time to read it and you have less time to write back and tell us what you are doing.  It is hard to find a happy balance.  Try sending everyone the same letter and include more details in it.  I know it is not as personalized that way, but you can try to answer a few of the questions in the one email that you send to everyone. 

I will pray for your family of 4 to be receptive and fulfill their commitments.

I don´t know what will happen with them, but I did get 3 letters that you sent at the first part of July. I got the Temple names and one other I believe July 2nd for 2 and July 7th for the other. It is about a month to get here. I´m trying to find the balance in things, but I write very quickly and I am using time when I don´t have letters to do Family Search. I am done with everyone’s letters already today. I was really quick this week. There have been times when I am writing you and Becca when I am rushed, but this week I don´t think she will be on so I have time. I have around 30 more minutes.

Then please write more about what you are doing each day and about your apartment, your area, your branch.  Tell us some interesting stories.  Tell us about the lessons you are teaching.

I don´t have a whole lot to tell honestly. We found 12 new investigators this week, but we don´t really have any investigators who are progressing very well. I am also having a hard time working with the new views in Family Search. It is really hard to understand what is actually correct and what isn´t from here. I don´t know how much help I can be or if I need to look elsewhere. I don´t know much of what I need to do at this moment with Family Search and I understand the new views, but what is correct and what isn´t that´s the hardest thing for me at this time to figure out. I am doing all that I can to help with this, but I don´t know what is the correct options on this. Things are hard to discern on this for me.

The work has been good, but there are so many challenges and I feel like things go by so quickly and that so many people have perceptions of Mormons and that makes it hard to have lessons. Others who are inactive are hard to help because we keep teaching them and they just don´t want to change. We have a couple of less actives who are brothers and I think that they both served missions, but they just don´t want to go through the work to be active and participate in the Church. They both know that it is true and important, but they just won´t bring their families to Church. This is so frustrating. I do all that I can to help but people just don´t want to change their ways of life...

We had 80 contacts this week.... We walked so much and had 19 lessons.... We didn´t get to our goals in many things, but we had a goal for 8 new investigators and had 12 so I am happy with that. I really want to have more people accepting Baptismal dates and working toward them. This is really hard because people are so resistant to change in their lives and that bothers me because I know how good this would be for their life. They just need to try it. Lately I think of it as an apple that the people just need to take a bite to see if it is good before judging it and rejecting it. That is what frustrates me more than anything is that they won´t even try it out.... There are a lot of people who can´t do different things. Several people can´t read and that discourages them. There are others who speak several languages. One of our families we found this week is from Haiti. They speak French, Spanish and understand English. Not all of them can read in the Book of Mormon in Spanish.... I really want to try to get a couple Book of Mormons in French for them but I don´t know if that is possible.

There are so many things that are hard to deal with here. We saw one family of 5 people that Elder Chuquel baptised that didn´t go to Church this week, walking back to their home Sunday after shopping.... This was really hard for us.... He was really frustrated with this... I don´t like that in this city they have a ferria or a market in one of the streets. They happen on different days, but one of them is Sunday.... This is so annoying because many people aren´t keeping the Sabbath Day holy because of this.... They don´t have one on Saturday and I wish they would just do it then.... So many frustrations for me here and this area is one of the highest baptizing areas in the mission. Elder Chuquel is the missionary with the most baptisms for the least amount of time in the mission. He is nearing 8 months in the mission and has 10 baptisms. One thing I know to be true is that I am not going to have a ton of baptisms in my mission but that this group of missionaries here at this time is preparing Chile for those to come to have more success here.

Chile has been promised to be a Lighthouse to the World of church membership. It´s crazy that Chile has over 500,000 members but so few are active. We figured that about 7.3% of the members come 1 time or more in 3 months to be considered active. That´s so little. This is so hard to deal with. So many inactives and less actives. I know that my mission won´t be easy but I will have success with time and I am doing all that I can to prepare Chile for those blessing that they have been promised. I know that others will have so much more success. There are just so many people that aren´t keeping all of the commandments and living up to their potential. I hope that this gives you some insight into what I am dealing with here, but it isn´t much of a problem just a trial right now. Many days we return home frustrated with only 1-4 lessons when we had planned on around 6-8 dependent on the day.

Things aren´t easy and Chilenos are work-aholics.... They work so much and it isn´t easy to get them all to church.... Retention of members is a huge goal as well the new members are in retention for 1 year and we do a lot for them. The people just change who is at church. The first week the people who attended changed from 65 to 66 attending but 30 people were different from one week to another.... This is a major problem for the members and the branches and wards. I´m trying hard and I can only do so much for the people they have to have a change of heart and accept Jesus Christ in their lives. He waits at the Door and knocks awaiting us to let him in so that he can bless us and aid us in all of our needs. The people just need to realize this and see how important this is.

It sounds like most other missions in the church.  So many people who don’t make the gospel a priority in their life.  You have always had it in your life, so you understand how important it is, but you had friends who don’t go all the time and don’t seem to care as much.  Satan has great power over the people and he knows what will take them away from the gospel.  Keep trying.  I love you so very much. 

Thanks! I do all that I can, but it´s just so difficult seeing people that don´t have it and wanting them to have it as well. So many hard times and difficulties that could be lightened by taking a different path and letting Christ lift many of their difficulties. I know things will work out, but I just wish things could be more progressive and seem to have a greater impact. It´s hard to feel successful when everything seems to be regressing....

All you can do is your best and Heavenly Father will know that you have done all you can.  Be positive.  Smile at the people.  Be friendly and happy.  Let them see the light that is inside of you. 

How is the language coming for you?  Can you understand and speak what you need to?

I have a harder time understanding the people but I can speak usually and muddle through it when I don´t know all the words. I usually can improvise but understanding everything and using the words properly is a little difficult. I can´t pray in English anymore.... I´ve tried.... I start in English and I end up in Spanish a few words in. It´s different but I don´t mind all that much. I am working hard and trying to love this work. Thanks for all that you do.

I love you have an awesome week.  I am leaving WPEL and going home to have Cub Scouts.  I love you so much and I am so very proud of you.  I don’t know if you have more time or not, but I may not be able to write again before you are off.  I will try to send you some more helpful information on the Family Search stuff. 

Love always and forever,


Thanks so much and I haven´t had much success on Family Search in the last 2 weeks. I am doing all that I can, but it isn´t simple and I am really cautious because I know that it has eternal importance for these people and I don´t want to make mistakes that hinder these people´s progress. Thanks and work hard and enjoy your week. Thank you for raising me the way that you did! It means so much to me. Thank you and I will talk to you in a week! Love you and have great success!















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