Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Much to Love in Flores

Wow! This week has flown!

The mission experience has been incredible so far. Our ward is so awesome and all of the members are incredibly friendly and loving. We had a big mission conference on Wednesday, with the three zones in Montevideo and one in Colonia. 

Flores Missionaries
It was at the stake center that we attend, which is only about a 10 minute walk from our apartment, so we didnt have to do any travelling. I saw some of the people from my CCM district, and it was awesome to see how they were all doing. At the mission conference, we were joined by the mission president, Elder Bragg of the south american area presidency (dad note - Elder Bragg was in my MTC district back in the day - so that's neat), and Elder Packer of the first quorum of the seventy, who is also the son of Boyd K Packer,as well as all of their wives. It was super awesome to hear from them all, and even though most of it was conducted in spanish, I got some good stuff out of it. 

President Olsen also challenged us to read from Preach my Gospel "todos los dias!". So I have made it a goal of mine to read from PMG for a minimum of 20 minutes every single day, and I have been really getting a lot out of it. PMG is amazing and everyone, even those who are not serving full time missions should read it often. 

On Thursday, we had a lot of people unexpectedly feed us during lessons, which was super sweet. I love the food here! We have actually gotten it in really great variety, and nothing has been weird yet. Everything I have had has been so good! My favorite thing that I have had so far would probably be Arroz con Leche, a rice pudding that they make amazingly. 

We have had quite a few services this week. One morning, we repainted a big fence for Runco. Runco is our ward mission leader and he actually lives right underneath out apartment, so we work with him quite a bit. Our other service was actually helping a guy named Andreas fix up a house that he is moving into. We went with Elder Maxfield and Elder Pettit because it was in their area, on both Friday and Saturday morning. The house was in pretty bad condition, so we did a ton of work to it. 

On Saturday, we also had something called a capilla abierta, which is a chapel open house, for people to go and learn about our church. So Elder Maxfield/Pettit/Nielsen and I all spread out outside the church to contact people and try to invite them inside for the capilla abierta. It was a super cool experience because I got to contact and talk to people for 3 hours outside by myself! 

Church yesterday was really great again! It was fast and testimony meeting and since we only have about 40-50 members in our ward, most people bore there testimonies. I bore mine again, even though I did last week, because the ward is small. During second hour, Elder Nielsen and I taught the Gospel Principles class, which was really cool. 

The rest of our day Sunday was pretty hard, because most people cancelled on us and most of the references we had weren't there. We said a prayer that we could find someone, and shortly after we ran across a man who actually spoke English! He was an older man who was actually a magician, and it was really cool to talk to him, especially because I could say the things I wanted in English. He seemed kind of interested but because he recently had a death in the family and some sicknesses of people he knew, he said now wasn't the best time to meet with the missionaries. I gave him a plan of Salvation pamphlet and he excepted it, so hopefully that plants a seed! 

Anyways, I love my mission! I have been doing my best to work hard each day, and my love for the scriptures has already grown so much. I love this gospel, I love this work, I love the people here, and I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth! Love you all! 

Elder Layton

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