Monday, November 23, 2009

I am Thankful for......Trials?

This week wasn't the best of weeks for Braxton. Brax and his comp worked hard, taught a lot, had great lessons and had ten investigators committed to come to church. At the last minute no one could go to Church. Braxton and his comp left the house around 10:00 and found a girl name Jenny with a friend and so they picked them up and took them to church. Then the missionaries went to find more people to bring to church. The only people they could find was Jenny's parents who wanted to know where the "prayer house" was so they could take Jenny some breakfast. When Brax and comp made it back Jenny and her friend were no longer there.
11:00 rolled around when church should be starting and the only ones there were the Branch President and the two missionaries. The Branch President told the missionaries that they had better prepare some talks. At 11:15 there still wasn't anyone else there so they just started with the three of them. They took the sacrament and started giving their talks. Braxton's comp spoke first for about 20 minutes and then Braxton took another 30. Just when Braxton was finishing his talk the Branch Secretary came in with an investigator that the missionaries least expected to show up. They continued and then finished that meeting and went on to Gospel Principles class and finished up for the day.

The Branch President said that he had felt like this was going to happen. (no one showing up) but thought that it would have the week before. (Braxton didn't say why) It really hurt Braxton a lot to have that sort of thing happen. (broke his heart) It was really rough on him but he is trying to learn from it and other experiences that are hard. Braxton pleads with us to not ever take the Church for granted. He said "it really is amazing.....sure there are a handful of members that gossip or what not but what a blessing to have everyone else."

Braxton doesn't want us to worry about him though. He knows he is doing his part and that this is just a test. He knows that God will send more miracles at the right time. Braxton knows that his prayers are being heard and that no matter what God is with him. He said that from this experience it also helped him understand a part of his Patriartical Blessing that he hadn't understood before.

Braxton is Thankful for so much! He's thankful for: the plan of salvation and all the tender mercies of the Lord, the organization of the Church, for a living prophet and apostles, the scriptures, prayer, his home ward, and basically everything about the Church. But, what comes first to mind is his wonderful family!

Trichelle-for listening when he wanted to talk and teaching him many of life's lessons.
Justin-for being one of his best friends to go hunting with and goofing around with as well as all the support needed from a big brother.
Kevin-for preparing the way and giving me a righteous example to follow and watching out for him.
Jaydan-for all the little times they would play ball or go to Kaboom and for all the things he has shared with him.
Kimi-for teaching him about how to love and for all her hugs.
Jared-loved playing baseball or basketball with you and for all the love you have shown him.
Mom & Dad-can't even begin to explain all they've done for him.
Gramps (Mutt) is really like a best friend and has taught him a ton about work and selfless service.

Braxton is thankful to everyone in his family for helping him get to where he is today. (this includes Natalie, Joe, Ivy, Mya, and Zaden and all of the grandparents as well) Braxton said "I couldn't have asked for a better family and the more it grows the better it gets. Love you all. I'm so thankful for all our neighbors and all my friends and extended family". The list could go on and on.

Braxton went and visited a place that had a bunch of monarch butterflies. They are in his area and come all the way from Canada and stop there. It is unbelievable how many there are, thousands and thousands of them!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kick to the Face

I told Braxton that I just sent off his last package. (Christmas) He thought that was weird only because it means he doesn't have much time left in the mission. That fact is both good and not so good. He has really learned to love the people he has served and wouldn't mind bringing some home with him. He knows that isn't possible since it's really hard to get Mexicans over the border. (I'm not so sure it's really that hard...just saying)

Anyway this week Braxton continued to learn a lot in a harder way. (not quite sure how?) They had Zone Conferences which are always good and uplifting and super cool and which Braxton just loves. This time Braxton had a huge power point presentation prepared and was told he didn't need to do it. (I'm sure Braxton learned a lot from it at least) At the Conference Braxton learned a ton on how to be a missionary like those in the Book of Mormon. (something Braxton has been searching for his whole mission) The missionaries are there to help teach other people what they need to do to return to God. If the people won't let the missionaries in or talk to them the missionaries let them know that it makes them sad that they are denying blessings for them and their family and then they ask again to come in and talk. Braxton is just super excited to follow the example of Christ and his Prophets of old as well as the modern day Prophets.


Braxton is not a fan of Satan (good thing). He feels like Satan is trying really hard to stop the work in his area. He feels like Satan looks when they knock and doesn't do much if they even go inside, but when they invite them to be baptized and are told "yes" Satan turns on his "turbo" and really goes to work. It really frustrates Braxton but he has faith that the spirit will prevail which has helped him to calm down a bit. Some of the other Elders told Braxton that in a way it is a compliment. Satan is working so hard in his area because he's worried and upset at what can happen. Braxton said Satan is just way, way upset then. Braxton said "I've never seen him work so hard against people in my life."

Braxton knows that with prayer, fasting and working diligently the work will go forth rapidly. Braxton said that he has learned a lot this week and is thankful to his "Padre Celestial" (Heavenly Father). He loves how Heavenly Father gives him so many opportunities to grow and help others on their way.

I love you all! (everyone included)

The family is just the best and mine is the best of the best! (I agree(:)

Monday, November 9, 2009


This week I am just going to type Braxton's letter the way he sent it. It was just cool the way it was.

"Holy Cow, the mission is just flying. I just love it! It's weird to think that I only have months six left and maybe it's because I'm only in my third area and I feel like I just got here. But, by all means it is just great!

Elder Tenorio from the Seventy came and spoke with us and it was just awesome!!!!!! I loved it! Elder Tenorio also interviewed me which was way cool. He only interviewed four people from the two zones that were present. When the assistants told me he was going to interview me I was way excited but way, way nervous. That is up until the time I walked into the room with him, all the nerves and fear were immediately gone. The interview was just absolutely wonderful! I've never talked one on one with a General Authority before, and it was a great blessing for me. As he said the closing prayer he prayed specifically for all of you. I thought I'd share that so that you would know a General Authority prayed specifically for a small little family in Hooper. (well at least now I know my mission has been a little of a blessing to you. ha, ha)

I want you all to know that I know this is the True Church and I promise you all that as we come closer to the Gospel and make it more fully a part of our lives, the Lord will be able to bless us more and more. Family problems will be resolved automatically as we strive to obtain Christlike attributes. Don't ever fear or doubt! Keep looking forward and do all you can and nothing bad can happen.

In my interview, Elder Tenorio asked me if there had been any undesirable experiences in my mission. As I thought about it....I realized that every experience has been for my good. Sure there have been hard experiences but after looking back on them I've only learned valuable principles from them.

Know that God loves you and that when trials arrive, thank the Lord for the chance to learn and grow. The Church is just absolutely amazing and perfect. The more involved we are with the Church the closer we become to God. The closer we get to God makes us a few steps closer to an Eternal Happiness with our Eternal Family.

I love you all more so now than when I left. I've learned things about each of you that have helped me get to where I am now. Things which before I took for granted. I'm excited to talk to y'all next month.

Don't worry about me. All is well, or even better than well. I've figured out that if I just teach really spiritual, powerful lessons that we get food. Just another incentive to be worthy of the Spirit. (haha) But seriously, we had one of the best meals ever a few nights ago with a Viridianas Family, almost all of which are now listening to and loving the Gospel. The families name is Gomeztagle. Weird I know, but cool.

Take care my beloved family and whoever else may read this. I love you all! I invite everyone to share the simple message of truth with someone who is still in darkness. May the Lord bless you as you strive to serve Him in this great work of love!

Your Mexican friend, son and brother.......Elder Ropelato"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Valle de Bravo is Super

Things are going great for Braxton and Elder Flores. They are teaching a bunch of really great people. They should have two baptisms on Saturday. Braxton is just really excited about them and says that their are others who are close.

On Saturday a lady named Viridiana went to the English classes. She lives really close by and so Braxton plans to teach her and her family this week. Braxton said "things have just turned around from good to........gooder."

Braxton was thinking about all the things that he is thankful for. Since being in the mission he realizes the many things that he just took for granted that are such a huge blessing to him. Like: all the Firesides in Utah, the size of the Wards, the help and love from the Ward, the church many things. He appreciates his family and friends more. And the mission itself has been one of the greatest blessing ever. Everything he learns makes him realize how much better the future will be for him and how much he will appreciate everything more too. Like his
children and "smoking hot" wife.

A fun thing that happened this week is that Braxton bought some tootsie rolls. He made a duck out of them. (you know, you should always play with your candy last longer that way) Actually, he remembers when Grandpa use to bring tootsie rolls to church and Justin had made a duck out of some. (I just remembered that the other day myself) Braxton was quite impressed with his little brown tootsie roll duck. :)

This week for a few days there wasn't water, gas, electricity, money or clean clothes. Braxton didn't like that at all. (aren't we spoiled by all the conveniences we have) Life goes on though with all those thing or not. Brax was glad when they got all those things back.

Braxton ran across a lady that owns a ranch in Valle de Bravo and also a huge one in New York. The lady is loaded in fact after Braxton had met her she called him and told him that she bought another ranch and 4 green houses. They talked about landscaping them since that is what Braxton is interested in when he gets home. They had a good conversation and it kind of got Braxton excited and thinking. He is putting those thoughts and ideas away though for now and is going to continue to concentrate on his mission. He is loving his mission. Life is good!