Monday, February 29, 2016

Finally got Moved!

Photos of Braxton's new apartment

We finally got moved, but we are waiting for the Pentionists in our mission to bring us a new refrigerator and a stove, so that we can be a little better off. We are working with what we have right now, but it makes things a little complicated. We moved on Thursday. We haven´t been able to get anything accomplished in the situation of Sebastian.... I am slightly frustrated because this weekend we have Stake Conference, so we can´t confirm our baptisms and the week after we have a multi-stake broadcast which keeps us from confirmations as well. We can´t confirm anyone until the 20th of March now.... I really am praying that Sebastian could get baptized soon, but I don´t know if I will be here for the experience. I really don´t want to leave this sector, but I have a feeling that it will most likely happen... Well, you will know what happens next Monday in the afternoon when I write. Thanks for the updates on school and everything I am going to send a few pictures for you so that you can see the new house when we had just gotten it.

I haven´t gotten the package yet, but they didn´t bring us pouch this last week. We haven´t had pouch in a long time and we are really low on pamphlets to give to people which makes it hard to teach them as well. Things are going well. Sebastian hasn´t gone to church in a few weeks, but his Mom and Step-Dad came yesterday. Yessenia and Leonel. They are really amazing and we are still waiting to hear about the divorce and everything.

I am glad Yessenia and Leonel are coming.  I hope they are able to get the divorce figured out soon.  Curtis spent a lot of his time helping people get through all the paperwork for their divorces, so they could get married.  They had a member who was a lawyer that the missionaries worked with.  Do you ever help with the paperwork or do they have to go and wait in long lines like you do to get your Visa paperwork done.  Why did that take so long this time?  You were able to do it all in one day before.

I am sorry about the package.  A couple of moms have been complaining on the Facebook page that their packages have not arrived for their missionaries, so I suspected yours might be in the same situation.  I am sure with new elders in the office learning new duties, that it is busy.  And with the Mission President getting ready to leave and a new one coming, I am sure there are extra things to do there, also.  Have you had a Zone Conference recently?  Your Mission President or his wife posted photos of some of the Zone Conferences, but not yours. 

Change is hard, but it can also be good.  You have met so many wonderful people in this area.  I am sure there are wonderful people somewhere else for you to meet as well.  You have planted many, many seeds in this area and they will eventually sprout.  Your influence has made a difference in peoples’ lives.  They will remember you for good all of their lives.  Maybe there are more people you need to meet and help before your time is up in another area.  I am sure that you will end up where the Lord needs you most.  Think of the people as Heavenly Friends that you knew before this life and now you are becoming reacquainted with them.  Plus, I think you are ready for another new challenge.  Another district, a zone or training a new missionary!  The Lord will provide what you need most. 

That looks nice and clean and not moldy.  I hope it helps you to feel better.  Who are the pentionists?  Are they an older couple or regular missionaries?    

Is it a duplex with two homes or do you have the whole place?  Do all homes down there have bars on their windows?

It seems like every time you get moved to a better living condition, you then get moved to another area.  Oh well, I guess you are being a good scout and leaving things better than you found them.

Are you feeling any better this week?  I hope so.  Is it starting to get colder and wetter yet or is it still too hot for you?

It´s hot.... I don´t know if I will stay... It could happen but who knows. We will have our Zone Conference on the 3rd of March. We are looking into everything that is happening and seeing what will happen. I don´t have a clue honestly about everything that is coming here. I just know that there is a lot of work to do and we will see what the Lord has in mind. Thanks for all the support and we will see the blessings that are coming for the people. I just want to be able to help Sebastian to be baptized in the time that we have but it is unlikely....

Could Sebastian request that you come back and baptize him, if you were to be transferred?  I know you have enjoyed working with him.  I wish he had been ready earlier.  Has he worked things out with his Dad now?

Thanks for the photos.  Do you have any of you and your companion?  I want to see your happy smiling face!

I know you are about out of time.  I hope you have a wonderful week.  We think of you often and pray for you often.  We are so very proud of the work you are doing.  Don’t measure your success by the number of baptisms, but by the hearts you have helped turn to Christ and the wonderful friendships you have made.  I love you so very much.  I am anxious for you to come home, but I know there are still things for you to do there, so work hard and be obedient and diligent to the end. 

Love always and forever,

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Finally finished Visa

Thank you so much for the pictures. I am doing really well. I am exhausted and slightly sick, but I am doing well. I am working hard and we finally finished the Visa this week.... Thank goodness.... I am doing well. We weren`t able to have Sebastian get baptized yet. This Sunday he was with his Dad to explain his desire to be baptized. We are going to verify. We encouraged him a lot this week. He went to Mutual for the first time and had a really good time. His cousin Ronald went as well. That was a blessing. We are working with the young men so that they are inviting them to activities so that they feel included. I really hope that this helps them to feel more included. We are doing all that we can to help him get baptized this Saturday. There were two baptisms in the district this weekend. One got confirmed yesterday and the other got baptized. We have two firm baptismal dates for this weekend in the District. Sebastian isn`t firm yet. I am going to be verifying this, but I feel that he could be baptized this weekend.

I haven`t received the package yet, because we haven`t had pouch. We should have pouch on Wednesday. I am glad that so much is going well in the family and that everyone is enjoying themselves. Thanks for the updates. I have stopped focusing on the school ordeal for right now. I don`t know what to do honestly. In my head to me it seems that I will be lacking around $15,000 to $20,000 for college if I am not mistaken, not aside from other costs.... I don`t have a clue. I just know that the Lord will provide something and we need to keep looking for the answer, because the Lord has it placed somewhere to allow for me to study without having problems.

Hi Braxton,

It is good to hear from you.  I am glad you finally got the Visa done.  I hope things will work out with Sebastian.  I am sure he wants things to be good between him and his Dad.  Are any of your other investigators close to baptism yet? 

Keep praying about school because the deadline to accept at Neumont is before you come home.  I really feel like you should go to Neumont, but this has to be your decision.  Even if you are short some money and have to take out a student loan, you should be able to pay it back quickly after you graduate and get a great job.  I think you will have a better chance of getting that great job if you go to Neumont and you will get there a year sooner.  I wish there was an easy answer, but sometimes you have to step into the darkness a step or two not knowing what the outcome will be before the way is made clear for you.  If you go to Weber, you may graduate without having a student loan, but I don’t think you will find as great a job.  Pray and tell me in a week or two what your heart feels is best.   

I without a doubt have felt that I don`t need to go to Utah State or Weber.... I haven`t felt that way in a long time... I was meditating about why I didn`t apply to BYU and felt that most of the reason why was because I felt so great about Neumont and going there. I feel like I need to be there, but I am just unsure of how to come up with the money. I feel like the Call Center would be a great option for me coming home. If I am not mistaken Rebecca is working there now and she started there around a month ago. You could ask her about her experience and verify what her feedback is. I feel like I would be able to work there easily. 

Okay, then let’s just go forward with Neumont.  I will complete the acceptance stuff and get taxes done and apply for the FAFSA.  Maybe there is a way for you to get a PELL Grant, but I doubt it while you are living at home.  None of the other kids could qualify till after they got married.  Things will work out with money.  After you get home, we can go down to Neumont and talk to a Financial Aid officer. 

Braiden Parkinson just started at Convergys in Logan.  I will ask him and I will check with Rebecca and see what she can tell me.  I am sure it is a little different than when I worked there. I will also look and see if there are other call centers around and what they might pay.  I think you could probably make quite a bit during the summer and maybe there would be a way for you to work for the couple of weeks you are off between each quarter of school.

We will also get the car registered for you and insurance on when you get home.  Dad says your car has a crack in the windshield that we need to get fixed before we register it.  We will work on getting you a cell phone as well.  Do you have a preference on iPhones?  5S, or the smaller 6 or larger 6? 

I am sorry you have been feeling tired and sick.  Make sure you are taking your vitamins and allergy pills and that you are using your inhalers every day even if you don’t feel you need them.  You will be heading into winter again and the inhalers should help you stay on top of it.  What symptoms are you having? 

I have been taking everything. I am working on it. I have had a slight cold, but not really that strong. I am looking into everything to see what else I can do to improve everything. We should be moving this week. I really hope that happens. I really want to change houses. It could be an aspect of cleanliness, because we haven`t had a ton of time in which to clean, because of so many things that have been happening. I have been sick like this for around a month.... Oh well that happens. I am doing a lot, but there is never enough time to accomplish everything on my to-do lists....

Are you still there?

I know you have so much to accomplish each week while on your email.  I was just hoping to hear more from you today. 

Are you teaching Ronald?  How is he progressing?

Ronald went to Mutual this week with Sebastian. Ronald is basically ADD and doesn`t focus in easily. We are working with him and he is a joker. We haven´t had a lot of success there, but we are working slowly on it. He had a great time at Mutual, but we need to keep working and being persistent. I am not out of time quite yet, but I am really close. I had a lot to do. I have to report a lot of information and I was doing that after the initial letters.

Stop stressing so much.  That will help you feel better.  Stress is not good for you. 

I hope you get moved this week, too.  Is there mold in your current house?  That could be making you sick.  What is taking so long on getting moved?  Will you have to clean your current home after you move out?  Is the new home newer?  Does it have any mold problems?

The new house will be amazing. I would describe it being like Michelle´s house. Basically the same size.... It will be really new. We don`t have mold. We just have a worn down house and we need to clean and prepare a little more to move. I am finishing my bags so that we can move quickly. The wait is because of the Pentionists. We are waiting for them to come and move us.... They have their work order as well. I am fine with it though.

I don`t try to stress, but my mind doesn`t like having a to-do list that is overflowing and not having the time to wind-down. I really have been looking for ways to have that right now. I have been listening to several audio books because of that, because they are calming and help a lot. Thanks for everything and I need to go now. I love you and sorry if I wasn`t able to tell you more.... I was able to help with the roof of Sandra and Mario´s house a little bit to help them put their roof supports up so that they could fix their house. That was fun! I had a great time there. It was a quick project, but it is great that they are renovating.

I know. You are always busy while you are on email.  Things will work out.  Even if you don’t make great progress with Ronald, you are planting seeds that may someday sprout.  Keep working hard.  I hope you can get moved into a cleaner apartment and I hope that will help you to feel better.  You look really thin in the photos you have sent lately.  Do you think you might have a parasite?  Does the mission give you something to kill those before you come home?  If so, make sure you take it.  I worry that you are so thin.  I have doctor and dentist appointments setup for you when you get home.  Lots of fun to look forward to. 

I love you so much.  Have a great week.  I hope your package arrives tomorrow and cheers you up. 

Love always and forever,

Monday, February 15, 2016

VISA renewal

I am doing really well. I have a lot going on and I am really exhausted. We haven`t had a full Preparation day this change yet. I have had to go to Santiago every week to do Visa work and we still haven`t finished. Today was horrible. We were in lines waiting all day and I am drained. Our baptism fell through that we had planned for this Saturday with Sebastian. He passed his baptismal interview and everything and was really excited for it. He invited his Biological father on Friday and we were preparing for Saturday. His biological father called his mom and told his mom that he wasn`t going to support his son and that he didn`t want his son to get baptized. We found out about everything when Sebastian called us to cancel the baptism.... He wants his dad to support him even though he could still get baptized when he wants. He needs to talk to his dad and explain why he wants to be baptized and the importance to him so that his dad will come and support. I know that he will get baptized. We are pushing to have it this Saturday that is coming. But it was frustrating. The Sisters from El Manzano also had a similar situation, that the family of their baptismal date Beranice didn`t come so she postponed her baptism as well. They want to baptize her this Saturday as well. We are most likely going to have to do a Noche Blanca (White Night) and plan all of the baptisms together. 

I don`t have a clue right now about school. I have enough to focus on. I am not stressed. I know that the Lord made promises to me about school and the mission. I am just doing my best and he will prepare the way. Thank you for always doing your best to help me and bless my life I really appreciate it. I don`t have the time or the patience right now to focus on College. I am stressed out right now as is.

I have so much to do.... We still haven`t moved, I have to go to Santiago again next week for 4 Preparation days in a row and I never have time to relax. Everything is happening all at once. I am doing my best and working to bless the lives of those around me, but the time is a major issue right now. I am sorry that I have not written that much lately. I have so much that I have to report every week that is also part of my cyber time.... Sorry. I am doing my very best and I know that it doesn`t seem sufficient. I haven`t taken pictures lately sorry... I love you and I am doing my best to find the time for everything. Thanks for the help and looking into all of the possibilities. I really appreciate it. We have a lot of work to do to help the people right now. It is really hard being in summer and having so many people on vacation when I have to be helping them all be at church and becoming closer to Christ and they aren`t here.... It is hard right now to find the success that I am looking to have in the work. I`m sorry that I haven`t been able to write more but I really wish that I had the time.

 I am sadly out of time and I will write next week. Thanks for all the good news. Good to know that Shara is doing well and that Curtis and Alex had their baby and that Maddison is doing well. Enjoy the family time and I imagine that you and Dad will both be in happy grandparent mode for quite a while.

See you next week! Love you! Bye!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Another piece of Braxton's Email - Lots of Success Happening This Week!

Thanks for the update. I am doing well. There is a lot going on right now. I am working hard and there is a ton to do in so little time. I am happy and enjoying the work that the Lord has here. We have 6 baptismal dates lined up as a District in the next 2 weekends. We have Sebastian set for this Saturday. The Sisters from the ward have Martin who is Diego´s son that I was able to baptize and ordain recently he gets baptized on the 20th. The Elders from the other ward have 2 baptisms lined up, one that is the daughter of a convert of theirs who is named Rosa and a young man that is 17 named Dany, who they have been working with for around 3 months they are both lined up for the 20th. The sisters have 2 people as well Felipe who is 25, but hard to run into because of work, but has desires to change and has gone 5 times in a 2 month time period. They also have Beranice, who is ready for this weekend. Felipe is also this weekend.

Email was really sporadic this week.  I got one email and a photo and then he said he was done.  I was sad.  Later, I got two more emails and two more photos.  This email never showed up as a new email, but was in the conversation from one of the other emails.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Little Friend

A couple of pictures with my new companion, Elder Agostinelli, Juan Carlos and a little friend.

The Tarantula was very calm and we took a few pictures to enjoy.

I have considered writing to President, but I really don´t like asking about his plans for the future. I really don´t have a clue, but I know that the Lord knows what He wants for me and I don´t like to try to change His will. I am more willing to wait and see what the Lord has for the future in all things. I don´t really have a preference, but I honestly wouldn´t mind anything that the Lord sends. Not training doesn´t bother me at all. It would be nice, but I am more happy with serving than all the details and assignments. The assignments aren´t important in the long run. It is more important how we serve to bless the lives of others.

I am happy you have such a great attitude about it.  The Lord will bless you and bring many wonderful people into your life wherever you serve.  Where doesn’t matter so much as how.  You have served Him well and been willing to submit to all things He has asked you to.  I know your life will be blessed because of your humility and meekness.  I love you, Son.

I am enjoying the work and that is what is important. I wouldn´t mind being companions with Elder Agostinelli longer. Everything works out great for me. I would really like to keep working here, but if the Lord wants me to change sectors it will be fine. Time passes quicker when there are changes in the flow of life. I don´t mind changes. I just don´t like the good-byes. I need to start preparing farewell invitations here to send to people that I met here so that they can come and say bye before I go home. I am really happy just doing. I never have enough time for everything that I need to do, but I keep working and doing my best to find the time. I feel exhausted quite often, but that is how things go in the work.

Thanks for everything. I will get back to you next week. I appreciate everything and sorry that I don´t write more. I have a lot that I have to inform on every week. Sorry I am doing my best to be more descriptive. We have seen many blessings and we should be moving houses this week. So much to do and never enough time for everything.

Monday, February 1, 2016

More About Elder Agostinelli

Thank you for the update about everything that is going on. Things are going really well. Elder Agostinelli is said Agos, ti, nell, i. Like it is written..... He is really great. We are working really hard and we had 4 investigators attending church this week. We had Maria again. We had Sebastian and his parents, Yessenia and Leonel at church. Leonel is his step-dad but they are really close. Yessenia is his mom. Yessenia needs to get divorced to be able to get married with Leonel before they can get baptized. She wants to get baptized and is working on her divorce right now. It should be a few more months before it turns out. Sebastian could possibly get baptized this week, if we can get it all setup well. We aren`t positive, but I really would like it to happen sooner than later.

Today, I am sadly at a different cyber which doesn`t read my camera so it will have to be something that I do later to send pictures. I have them and everything, but I can`t send them today. Sorry I would love to, but it isn`t going to happen today.

The work is going really well. We had 28 lessons and 18 new investigators this week. We are working hard with a lot of people and we found a new house, so we are looking into the possibility of moving there in the next week or two. We are excited to hear what happens. It is an amazing house in our sector. We had help from Brother Salvador who is a convert for Peñaflor, who helps all the missionaries. He has an assignment from the mission to help us here in the stake and with bikes, houses and other details, so he found this house and it is really awesome. Our Mission President wants us to move to a better house so this should make him happy and his wife mainly. We have been looking for around 2 months... The summer vacations are taking all of the people to the coast to the beach. It makes it hard sometimes, because the sectors empty of people because they are all on vacation.... Oh well, that happens, but the Lord keeps on blessing and giving us opportunities to bless and serve the people. We are doing really great. I know that the Lord is working hard and providing so many opportunities to improve and do more every day. There are a few baptismal dates in the District right now. There are 3 to be exact, but much more potential aside from that. I am really happy with the results that we are seeing. I can`t believe how much has happened lately.

I am so happy for you.  Hard work pays off.  It will be good for you to move to a nicer house.  I hope you get to stay in it for a little while.

Elder Agostinelli is from Araquipa, Perú to verify and help you know a little better where he is from. He is the oldest kid in his family and has 4 younger siblings. He is 18 and has been out of 5 months. His first sector was in Republica in Avenida Matta. He had 3 changes there and his trainer was Elder Brightwell and his 2nd companion for his 3rd change was Elder Bello. Things are going really nicely and we are getting along really well. It is a little harder having to plan everything daily and do all of my phone calls but I am doing my best and he is being very patient with the complication of having so much to do every evening. I really appreciate all that you do. Keep working hard the Lord sends blessings to all of us. I am so happy right now doing all that I can and the time keeps going. I am happy doing all that I can. I love seeing the happiness in the lives of those that have received the Gospel and are applying it in their lives.

I highly doubt that. I feel like this will be my last change here in El Sauce. I think that President wants to send me to do a White-wash, Training, as a District Leader to end my mission for the last 2 changes. I wouldn`t be surprised if it happens but I could stay here as well. I have no idea what will happen. The Lord is the only one who really knows what will happen for each of us. I am grateful for the blessings that he sends and have seen so much help coming from him in His work.

I am out of time but I will write next week with pictures I love you thanks for everything talk to you next week!

I love you Son.  Keep working hard and thanks for being so awesome.  We love you so much.