Monday, February 22, 2010

3 Baptisms

Braxton said they worked really hard this week and they had three baptisms. All baptisms went really well. Braxton said "I really do love being a missionary."

One of Braxton's best friends from the mission, Elder King, is on his way home. It seems weird to Braxton but cool at the same time. Elder King is from Bountiful, Ut.

As for the changes....Braxton will be staying where he is. He does have a new companion, Elder Gutierrez. Braxton doesn't know him but is excited to get to work with him anyway.

Remember the blind lady Braxton told us about a few weeks ago? Well, she plays the piano for their sacrament meetins. She has almost all of the hymns memorized. Braxton thinks that is pretty cool (me too!). What a great example of sharing your talents when it would be easy not too. This lady even volunteers to do it.

Braxton is feeling better from being sick and is back up to speed.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This week was pretty good. Braxton taught a lot and had quite a bit of progress. They had two baptisms this weekend and that was nice. At the last minute a lady decided not to be baptized. Braxton is confident that she will be baptized soon.

The little baby that Braxton had talked about a few weeks back that was so sick (had the 15 year old mother) passed away in the hospital. Braxton felt really bad. That makes 12 people that have passed away since Braxton has been serving.

Getting back to the good stuff. Braxton was doing divisions with Elder Allan in his area. They were knocking doors and found some raspberries growing on top of a house. They couldn't reach them and so Braxton got down on his hands and knees and let Elder Allan climb on his back. Elder Allan grabbed a few dropping one on Braxton's back and staining it a bit, also leaving a foot print but that's okay since Braxton wears a back pack which covers it.

Braxton's had a cold and was sneezing a bunch. Just after a family home evening while Braxton had a mouth full of food he sneezed and launched the food all over Elder Allan and himself. He felt a little ridiculous. (I'm wondering why he didn't cover his mouth?)

Braxton is a legend! There is a church owned High School there and a seminary teacher was Braxton's Bishop like a year ago. The teacher obviously has talked about Braxton in his classes which makes Braxton feel good. Anyway, at the baptism on Saturday a few kids came up to Braxton and asked him if he were Elder Ropelato. Braxton said "yes" and the kids were, it's an honor to meet you. Our seminary teacher has talked a lot about you and you are the example of what a missionary should be. Braxton got a kick out of that since he doesn't think he is even close to being the best missionary. (I bet he is!) Brax loved it though because he was treated like a super star. Braxton commented "funny things that happen in the mission."

Braxton will be calling in April instead of May so that he can talk to Jaydan before he leaves. (works for me!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Typhoid Fever

Braxton let me know that while we were in Hawaii or having fun with our "red neck tubing" he was very sick. He was rushed to the ER on Thursday since he had felt like crap since Wednesday. The members were really scared and flipping out thinking that he was going to die. They gave Braxton a blessing but he didn't have any color in his face, had a temp of 102 and he couldn't move his body from the neck down. (he said it locked up)

The Doctor told him it was the swine flu or typhoid fever. They took a "booger" test and came back with the results. Swine Flu......negative. The Doctor said it was salmonilla (food poisioning) and Typhoid Fever! (He said "Crap"....I do too!) Anyway, he got some medicine and was sent on his way. Braxton said he felt like crap until today. He's finally up and walking and feeling okay.

He said there wasn't any reason to worry since while he was suffering we are all having a great time. In fact we must all be having such a great time because he hasn't heard from anyone for a really long time. (He'd really like to hear from YOU!)

He did think a lot during his days of being sick and learned a ton once again. He said "It's interesting how God creates time for himself to teach us." So for that he won't complain about his rotten uncomfortable, miserable week.

I also wrote to him and let him know another friend is engaged. I try to keep him up on that stuff so he knows what's going on at home. His response was: "when I get home I'm growing a beard and going deer hunting and trapping.....even if it's not in style.....and I want to learn to rope."

Not his best week......So if you just read this why don't you take a minute and write him a line or two. Braxton would love to hear from you before he really does die!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fun, Weird, Sad

This week the missionaries were so busy that they were running (literally) from one appointment to the next which Braxton thought was "pretty sweet".

Braxton's comp doesn't feel very safe in the night time when it gets dark and insists that they carry knifes. So, they are always returning to their house to get their knifes. Braxton carries his practical switch blade and his comp carries the not so practical 8 inch non folding knife. Nothing ever happens and Braxton doesn't feel that anything ever will but it keeps his comp happy.

Braxton was eating lunch with a blind lady on Wednesday and they were talking about some things to her and they asked her how she saw them. (meaning whatever they were talking about) The lady replies "honestly Elders everything is really blurry." They all bust up laughing. (ha,ha,ha)

On Friday a sister in Braxton's ward gave the Elders some money to go buy lunch with. The Elders went to the food court at the Mall and got some Chinese food. While Braxton was standing in line deciding what he wanted this sleazy girl walks up to Braxton, leans against him and asks....what ya buying? Braxton paused and then replied "Chinese Food". Then the girl says.....then what? Braxton told her he was going to eat it. (duh!) Then she continues by telling Braxton he has pretty eyes. Braxton said "thanks". Then she left but said she'd be right back. So purposely Braxton and his comp find a table for just two people. When the girl was coming back Braxton hurried and stuffed a bunch of food into his mouth so he wouldn't have to talk to her. She stopped anyway and just stood there smiling. Braxton looked at her and said "bye" and I guess she understood him because she left. That was Braxtons first time experiencing something like that and hopefully his last. (thinking of this made me think of Christ telling Satan "get behind me Satan" and having nothing to do with him......Good Job Braxton!)

Today for their p-day Braxton played tackle football in the rain. Braxton LOVED it! He said it felt good to hit someone after almost two years. Then he added: "I miss my friends!"

On Sunday they had an awesome Zone activity to get the missionaries excited. They had three different stations and it was really spiritual and uplifting and all the missionaries said that they liked it. (cool beans)

On Saturday a Bishop from another ward got a hold of Braxton and wanted Brax to go with him to visit a family. Braxton asked the assistants if that would be okay and they said it would. They visited with the family and things went well. Then Braxton got a phone call from a lady in his ward begging Braxton and his comp to go to her house asap and it was a life or death situation. They got a taxi and went as far as they could in it and then took of running the rest of the way to the house. (another ten minutes or so) When they got inside the lady told them that her mother was dying. Braxton's comp, Elder Salinas, anointed her and Braxton gave her a blessing. He never mentioned that she would be healed in the blessing only that she would be comfortable and without pain. After the blessing was over the three daughters were still having a hard time. They all talked about a lot of things and Braxton told the daughters that their mother wouldn't pass away until they could accept it because God doesn't want to hurt them. They all knelt down and prayed and as soon as the prayer was over while they were all still kneeling around the bed they watched their mother take her last breath. Braxton said it was amazing how hard it was while she was alive but how the Lord sent them comfort the moment she passed away. All the tears stopped and everything was okay.

Every day Braxton has experiences that show him of a loving Heavenly Father who cares enough to have sent Christ to this Earth to show us the way to return to Him again. Braxton said "I am amazed at the perfectness of this Gospel." "I know it is true and love being able to share it with others even when they reject it."

pictures from Valle