Brayden Teen Summary: 19 Years Old

The latest update on Brayden, who is living in Africa for two years serving a mission.

Brayden with Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream

This is an update on Brayden from 18.5-19 years old. Here is the latest on his life in Africa right now.

I do share updates on Instagram and in emails, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and/or sign up for my weekly emails.


Brayden is closing in on his fist year of a two year mission for our church. He is in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and is speaking French!

Since the last time I updated, he has had 5 different companions (including the one he had the last time I updated. He has also lived in 4 different areas, including the one he was in the last time I updated.

Brayden definitely started his mission in a really difficult area. It was a village. They had limited food options and were far from shopping. He then moved to the port, so it was not really nice (as port areas are not), but he was much closer to markets to purchase food.

The last area he was in was a really nice area with grocery stores rather than markets. While food is very expensive there, he had access to a variety of foods. This was been really nice since it was his birthday in this area. He was able to buy an actual birthday cake and ice cream for his birthday.

It was so strange to not be with him on his birthday for literally the first time in his entire life. But we did get to talk to him.

He speaks French quite well and says he is never in a conversation where he doesn’t know what the other person is saying. He has always been diligent about studying the language. There is a period early in the mission where daily language study is required, but then it no longer is. He has continued his daily language study and it really shows. I am sure that will come as no surprise to anyone who has been following this blog for very long.

He is very happy and things are just going really well!

He is now working in the office for the mission. This is all new so there isn’t much more to say than that. He is excited to be able to help out in this way.


We talk to Brayden each week on the phone. I recently told him that next Christmas, he was likely going to get everything he needs to survive in college. He wouldn’t be here to open it, but that was my plan. He asked, “To survive? Like what?” I explained things like kitchen items.

He replied, “To survive? I need a pot, spoon or fork, plate, and a knife.” We asked him about a couple of other things that seem like obvious things you need to survive in a kitchen, like measuring cups. He informed us that you just eyeball things and he doesn’t have measuring cups in Africa. He basically has that list. You use those few things to accomplish everything you need to.

It just struck me more about how much he is learning and growing. Brayden from a year ago would have had a much larger list. Now he only needs a few things.

He has lived with out power AND running water for two straight weeks. It is always very hot. There isn’t much.

But he is as happy as I have seen him.

We miss him like CRAZY. Crazy. But this last year has flown by, and I know the next one will also because it is also Kaitlyn’s senior year and I know senior years FLY by.

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