Tuesday, November 29, 2016

His Grace is Sufficient

Service Project
Well Uruguay may not celebrate Thanksgiving but that doesn't mean we didn´t! We didnt have a traditional thanksgiving meal either, but it was still really solid. 

First, we had an a ward activity Thursday night where we ate something called choripan (SO good!) and we also brought [...] and [...]. [...] also came as well as a less active we invited, so that was all awesome! 

Anyways, right after the activity we went home and ate more food. The four of us Elders ordered pizza and  got toddy chocolate chip cookies (which everyone in our house loves) and vanilla ice cream, which we blended up into shakes. It was incredible :). Obviously no thanksgiving turkey or anything but it was still pretty satisfying.

We have continued to work with [...] and are really shooting for his December 10th baptismal date. He is still having some issues, but we have been making goals with him. [...], [...] and [...], are still all super fun to teach. I am not sure how well they actually seem to understand what we are teaching at times, but they suuuure love to learn. They do really funny things sometimes like once after Elder Good gave the closing prayer of a lesson, they all stood up and started clapping. They do funny stuff like that :). Anyways, we were actually able to invite them to be baptized. [...] and [...] didnt want to commit just yet but really want to. We will definitely keep working with them though. And [...] actually said he would be baptized! We are going to work a lot to help them understand our messages very clearly, but they sure are fun to teach. [...] also came to church this week with us and stayed for all three hours! 

We have dont a TON of walking this week. We have been really searching for more investigators and a lot of our plans have canceled so we have spent quite a bit of time outside contacting and knocking on doors. We actually had a funny experience contacting this week with a lady named [...]. We talked to her one day, left her with a pamphlet to read and she said we could come back to teach her about it the next day. When we returned however, she had no clue who we were. Elder Good said, ´Yeah your name is [...] right?´ and she got super confused and had no idea how we knew that haha. I guess she can´t remember very well.

It rained all day on Saturday so we got super soaked. But this is all worth it. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a missionary. I feel so blessed to be able to feel the spirit every day, especially when I read the scriptures. I have no doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. This work is all so worth it and I am grateful for the grace of my Savior Jesus Christ. I read a really awesome talk this week called His Grace is Sufficient. You should all go read it if you haven't already. 

This Gospel is true. 

Love you all.

Elder Layton

Monday, November 21, 2016

Zee Four Gringos

Elders Good and Layton

Hey everyone!!

It has been a great week and I am really looking forward to all that we are going to do this change. To start, we are living in a house of four gringos again! Yeah, Elder Pettit got his ´kid´ on Wednesday and he is a gringo too. His name is Elder Chudleigh and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. And I got my new companion, Elder Good ant the mission conference! He is really cool and we get along super well. I still think it is funny that he has 5 1/2 months in the mission and he has been out the longest in a house of four gringos. So we are all figuring out the language together. But it has been really fun and I really love the group of guys that we live with. 

So I met Elder Good at the mission conference with Elder Rasband. There were so many missionaries there and we all got to shake his hand. It was pretty stinkin´ cool to see an Apostle of the Lord!! I learned a lot from him and one thing that I thought was cool was that we are in our exact missions, in our exact areas, and with our exact companions for a very specific reason, and that it has all been assigned by revelation from the Lord. We should always ask ourselves in each of our situations, what we are to learn from our current experiences, because there is always something to learn. It was an incredible conference and it was amazing to hear from him. 

Anyways, do you guys remember [...] that I mentioned a while ago? We ran into him again this past week on the street with Elder Nielsen, and this time we were able to get his address. We hadn't had time in the last few days before Elder Nielsen went home because he had a lot of members he wanted to say goodbye to, but we went over to his house on Thursday, my first day with Elder Good. 

Saying Goodbye to Elder Nielsen
Sebastian was super happy to see us and he let us in. It turns out that he lives with eight people and a couple of them wanted to join in our message. The others are named [...and...] and they are a little older but are really awesome. We taught the three of them the Restoration, and they kept getting off track, but it still turned out to be a pretty good lesson! All three of them always tell us how much of a blessing we are to them haha. We went over again yesterday, and followed up some on the restoration and talked some more about modern day prophets and prayer and this time [...] agreed to say the closing prayer, which he did a really good job at. We invited them all to an activity on Thursday at the church to eat Chorizo, and they flooded us with gratitude. They said they didnt want to come just to eat the food, but that they wanted to be with us. Then then all gave us really big hugs after the lesson haha. They are so awesome.

On Saturday, we went over to a baptism in Barrio 12, which is Elder Pettit and Elder Chudleigh´s ward. It was kind of cool that Elder Chudleigh got to have a baptism on just his fourth day! Elder Pettit did the ordinance, and the baptismal service was really special.

I said goodbye to Elder Nielsen Wednesday morning and spent the day as companions with Elder Maxfield since his companion, Elder Pettit was receiving his new missionary at the mission home. Elder Maxfield was able to teach me a lot of good missionary skills his last day here in Flores.

Elder Good and I have been making some plans to find more investigators, and also work more with members. I am super excited for this change. The two of us have a lot in common and I am really excited because he wants to work really hard. He is a stud and together we have been trying to be as obedient as possible. 

Command Central
He is really excited to come to Montevideo because his old area in Salto was apparently really hard. He also loves the food here. His first member meal was at a really awesome family named Palavez and they gave us Asado, which is where they cook a bunch of different meats over a big grill. Elder Good said it was the best thing he has eaten in all of his time in Uruguay. I guess I have been pretty spoiled here in Montevideo :) But yeah, I am loving it here with Elder Good. It is funny because he gets a lot of Elder Bueno jokes from everyone. 

I am so very grateful to be serving a missionary of the Lord! I love and miss you all!

Elder Layton

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Greenie No More

Elder Nielsen's Farewell Party
Hey everyone!!

Wow, the last couple days have been pretty crazy, and there is going to be quite a few changes coming. To start, I received a call today about my new companion for next change! His name is Elder Good- a gringo! My zone leaders told me he only has 5 months on the mission (and I have just 4)! So this is going to be very interesting haha. Elder Moss, another Elder in my zone, came over to our appartment today with some other missionaries and apparently Elder Moss was CCM companions with Elder Good, so he told me about him and I am really excited. They are the group of missionaries who came in right before my group. But I have heard only good things about Elder Good. Elder Moss said he is obedient and really likes to work. He is from Ephraim, Utah and really likes sports. Elder Moss and Elder Chatwin (who was also in his CCM group) told me that we are actually pretty similar and will get along really great so I am super excited! Elder Good is serving way up in the zone Salto right now and is coming to Flores, while Elder Moss is going up to his area in Salto. Anyways... we also recieved some crazy news concerning the changes of the other missionaries we live with last night. First, Elder Maxfield is going near the top of Uruguay to be a zone leader in Salto. And, Elder Pettit who is in my group, currently being trained by Elder Maxfield..... is going to be a trainer next change!!! So that is absolutely crazy. I also heard that Elder Wright from my CCM group will be a trainer next change too! Apprarently President Olsen is making a lot of changes and we have a super young mission, so now some fairly new missionaries will already be training. 

Anyways this week has been great. We taught [...] the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity this week and he is keeping them both! He even gave up alcohol and coffee, so that is fantastic. We were actually just informed that we are having stake conference the weekend of his baptism, so we are probably going to have to push his date to December 10th instead.

Yes, I have heard about Donald Trump winning the election haha. I will admit it was a big surprise for me. Our ward mission leader told us the results on Wednesday morning, and since then we hear about Trump from everyone! It is all over the news here and everyone asks us about it haha. The states are a really big deal in Uruguay. Anyways, Wednesday was really cool because we went to sign residency for those of us ´oros´ and so I was able to see my whole CCM group again. It was super awesome to see and hear from them again. They are all doing awesome. 

Some more big news is that Elder Rasband from the quorom of the 12 Apostles is coming this week on Thursday!!! I am so excited. It is kind of a bummer for Elder Neilsen though as he leaves Wednesday afternoon and is going to miss it. I think that I will be in a trio with Elders Maxfield and Pettit for part of Wednesday and Thursday. The conference with Elder Rasband will be for both missions in Uruguay so I believe over 400 missionaries will be there! Afterwards, we will go to our stakecenter and split off with our new comanionships there. But I am STOKED to here from an Apostle! And am am also really excited to meet Elder Good!

Today our ward mission leader, Runco, took us over to Ciudad Viega in Montevideo, about 30 minutes from here, because Elder Neilsen wanted to get some souveniers before he left. It was really cool. We drove by the ocean (which is actually kind of dull) and also a US embassy. I got a couple of  little souveniers as well so it was fun.

So yeah, it has been an eventful week. We have visited a bunch of members for Elder Neilsen to say goodbye, and it is wierd to think I will be out of training in a couple of days. I still cannot believe that my next comanion only has 5 months and that Elder Pettit is training! Our zone is going to look a lot different next change from what I have heard. But only good things are ahead! I miss and love you all! Until next week :)

Elder Layton