Monday, December 26, 2016

Argentina Transfer and the Christmas Call

Elders Layton and Good with the Bellotti Family
Hey everyone!

What a week!! To start, I haven´t received my changes yet, so I don't know where I will be or who with next change, so you guys will all have to wait until next week to find out. We should be getting a call tonight about it. 

Anyways, we had a super awesome week! To start, I went on divisions this week to Barrio 6 with Elder Carducci, a B
razilian who has the same time as me. We got a bunch of lessons, and it was really fun. We also got fed so much in just one day haha. We also found a huge spider in their house that night. Elder Carducci freaked out and sprayed it with bug spray for like 15 seconds haha.

Anyways, Thursday was the best day ever. We had a fun Christmas mission conference for most of the day with half of the mission, because it was split into two conferences. I barely missed out on a Michael Jordan jersey. Total bummer haha. But it was still a great conference. Lunch was incredible too. It was funny because after the conference, everyone who was there and had served in the offices got together for a picture. And everyone was in our conference that had been in the offices for the last 5 or 6 changes except for one person- another Elder Layton who is serving up in Artigas. So some people came and got me and had me sub in for the other Elder Layton and we took a big offices picture haha. 

UPDATE: President Olsen just called Elder Good and told him that he is training next change. So that means I am leaving which is kind of a bummer because I really love this area, but I am excited because.... I´M GOING TO ARGENTINA!! Woooooooh! The zone leaders are going to call me later and give me more information like who is my companion and what area I will be in, but I am actually super excited!! There is only one zone in our mission that is in Argentina, and I think it will be so much fun to go there!! Can´t wait. And I know Elder Good will take good care of Las Acacias, so I am really happy for the people here. 

Christmas Call via Skype
Well, anyways the rest of our day on Thursday was sweet. There is a lady named [...], who Elder Rosenhan and I found last week on divisions. I remember we were walking home and I had a feeling to stop and knock on one more door, which was hers. She is super nice and Elder Good and I went there and had such an awesome lesson with her!! She was very accepting of us, believes in Christ, and doesn't belong to any particular religion. She dug out a Book of Mormon that a friend apparently gave her ten years ago and said now that we came by she wanted to read it. She has never spoken to the missionaries before, but the spirit was strong as we taught the restoration, and she understood well. 

Anyways, after that bomb lesson, we were contacting and saw some people playing basketball so went and talked with them. They wanted us to play, so we did some two on two in our church clothes haha. And then a couple more people came over and they were all so interested in who we were. We have ran into one of the kids, [...] the past two days, and gave us his address because he wants us to come over! We are going to head over tonight, and I have a good feeling :)

Elder Layton via Skype - The Christmas Call
We got to stay up really late on Christmas eve to watch all of the fireworks, because Uruguay does NOT disappoint!! It was the most absurd firework show I have ever seen. People on every street around our apartment were shooting them of and it was so incredible. Elder Good and I had a super great view because our house has a nice roof we can get on :)

I think the most amazing part of this week though was talking to the family though! It was amazing seeing everyone, and I am lucky to have the best family ever! The mission rocks and the church is true!! 

Honestly, there is nothing more that I would want than such an amazing and loving family. I love you guys so much. I am so grateful that we are blessed with the gospel which is so focused on the happiness of families and being together forever. It was just so amazing hearing from you all and it seems like you are all doing so well. Thanks for all of your support and love. You guys make the mission easier for me :) I am so grateful to be here on a mission. I really think I have grown a lot this past change. I finished the BOM this morning and I am so grateful to have it.

Elder Layton

Monday, December 19, 2016


Hey everyone!

It has been a good week and also an interesting week...

We went on divisions on Tuesday and Elder Rosenhan came to our area with me for the day. We had one retention lesson with [...] about the restoration, and one youth member in the ward said he could come to the lesson with us. We taught them in the church building, and when we got there, there were actually four youth, one named [...] who is not a member. he is really cool, and it was neat because we got to teach him and [...] at once, with some member help.

This Guy Can Cook!

Anyways, was an interesting day. We had a super good zone conference with president Olsen, and he talked a lot about responsibility. We have a really incredible mission president! We had interviews with him too, and he talked to us about our release dates. Mine will be in August, and I didnt even realize this until after when Elder Good talked to me about it, and he extended the both of us an extra change on our missions! Haha, I am totally cool with it and that means I will serve for a change over the two year mark. :) (Mom and dad are not sure if they are cool with it or not.)

Anyways something funny happened on Wednesday- Elder Good and I were on one side of our area booking it to the other side because we had another lesson to get to and were a few minutes late. Then some guy named [...] who we always see in the computer cyber stopped us and told us to come in for a charla. We told him we had another lesson to get to but took out our agendas and told him we could come back the next day.

Apparently he was mad that we couldn't come in at that minute so when we were looking at our agendas, he just grabbed Elder Good´s name tag and ran back into his house, slamming the gate and door behind him. Hahaha. Elder Good and I just kind of stood there, wondering if that really just happened.

His mom came out and said that he threw it somewhere, and so we really don't think we are getting that back. Anyways, as we were walking away, this huge dog they have came from behind me and bit me in the leg. It really caught me off guard, and when i turned around it got me in the hand too... So it tried lunging at me a third time and I just kicked it in the face because it was going crazy. Luckily, it backed off after that though. And I am also glad it didnt break any skin of anything, so i think I´m good :)

The Guerrero Family

It was Elder Good´s birthday on Friday. We threw him a little party in the house that night, made a cake, and bought tons of ice cream :) Also, on Sunday we went over to family Guerrero´s house and they gave us the BEST FOOD I HAVE HAD IN URUGUAY! Fernando made the most incredible asado grill and afterwards, they had a cake for Elder Good too. They are such an awesome family.

Happy Birthday Elder Good!

A couple other things that happened this week- [...] is progressing super well and she is definitely on track to be baptized on January 7th. She is already so excited!

The Zone in Their New T Shirts

Also, we had a weekly correlation with our ward mission leader, Hermano Runco this week and I got a picture with him, because he had on a Los Angeles Lakers shirt haha. The worst team ever! Also, today we had a zone  forP-Day. We did a white elephant exchange, and also got some cool zone shirts we paid for a few weeks ago. I am having a lot of fun here in Flores, and I am so grateful to be a missionary.

Hermano Runco, Great Guy, Poor Taste in Teams

I hope you al have a Merry Christmas!!

Elder Layton

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Prepared People

We had a great past week! To start, we were able to start teaching [...] who we found last week at stake conference. And she is soooo prepared and ready to accept the gospel in her life. 

We went over to her tiny little one-room house and taught her the restoration and it was probably one of the best lessons I have had in my whole mission so far! She has been through a lot in her life, and it sounds like she was mistreated a lot by her husband and some of her family growing up. She has some health problems that is is working through too, but she is just the sweetest lady! And she actually understood what we were teaching really well. Anyway, we had another lesson with her on Friday, and gave her a baptismal date for Janurary 7th!! She is super excited and is so grateful to be learning from us. She is truly a miracle and we have been praying a lot to find more people to teach. She also came to [...]´s baptism on Saturday! And now on to the baptism-

So despite a few complications, [...] did in fact get baptized!! To start, no one from our bishopric ever came, and so we were kind of worried, especially because we had talked to them a couple times about it to make sure someone would be there. So we had to postpone the baptism about 45 minutes while we tried to get a hold of the bishopric and get everything figured out, but apparently they were all at work so no one answered. We ended up calling the zone leaders and they gave us permission to go through with the baptism and have our ward mission leader, Hermano Runco preside. So luckily he was there, because otherwise we would have to postpone the baptism to another day. And actually, sadly the same thing happened to the Elders we live with in Barrio 12 who had a baptism too the same day- no one from their bishopric came and since they don´t even have a ward mission leader, they couldn´t have their baptism :/ Hopefully they can get that figured out.

Anyways, we we were very glad he was able to be baptized. It was funny because there was actually a big struggle in the baptismal font. He is a little afraid of water and so the ordinace had to be done six times, because he was doing everything possible not to go under completely... I think he also didnt like the idea of going backwards and trusting Elder Good to support him. After quite the experience, [...] sat down so his head was just above the water and Elder Good just pushed him under a little haha. But anyways, he finally did it even though he doesnt like water, and he was so happy afterwards!! It was an amazing experience and I feel so happy for him. 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting since we had stake conference last week. We sat next to our investigators [...] and [...], and after a few people got up, [...] leaned over and asked me if I was going to say anything. So I told him I would be happy to bear my testimony and got up. And of course, as I was making my way up to the stand I hear something come from where we were sitting- ¨Wooooooo, Laytooooooon! Bien!¨ Haha, we tried explaing to him a little bit about reverence in the church afterwards. 

Anyways, it has been an eventful week and some funny stuff has happened, but we also some really amazing experiences. It is so much fun to be here serving with Elder Good. and it is also a blast living with Elder Pettit and Elder Chudleigh. I have been learning so much everyday and I am so very grateful for this incredible oppurtunity I have to be a missionary. The church is true! I hope you guys are all having an awesome holiday season! Love you all :)

Elder Layton

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Really Great Week

Hey everyone!!

Well I am sure you guys will all be enjoying a white Christmas, but here it is HOT. We still got the Christmas spirit going though as we bought a small tree for the house haha. Also, the four of us Elders who live together bought Rubix cubes because we can all solve them. Haha we're all a bunch of nerds. Anyways, it was a really great past week! To start, we had a lesson with [...] on Tuesday and afterwards he took us out and bought us some food- that was super nice and he was really insisting! And just the other day, he had his baptismal interview with our district leader Elder Rosenhan, and.....passed!! Woooooooh!! So we each are going to have our first baptism this Saturday! We are both super excited, as is [...].

Sunrise in Flores
Elder Good hit his 6 month mark this week and so we went out to get ice cream. It was awesome, and I am so grateful they have really good ice cream here because I loooooove ice cream haha. 

Elder Good
We had a great day on Thursday. We got a lesson that morning with someone we contacted on the street named [...]. Her son isn't interested and she is very catholic but she enjoyed our message and wants us to come back another day. We also had a lesson with a less active named [...], and we were hoping to get the lesson to be with her husband too, but he hadn't gotten back from work yet. So we had a lesson anyways and it was really awesome! And even better, her husband [...] got back from work near the end of our lesson and sat in. He is really nice and afterwards he said he had to go back out again so he could take us where we needed to go. So he drove us to our house and we got ready to go to a mutual activity that we were invited to. We got there like ten minutes late and only one person was there. So we waited a couple minutes and all of the sudden someone in the ward named [...] (who just got off off a mission) pulled up in a van and like a dozen jovenes piled out. Four of them were non members and two were less actives. We played soccer in the gym for like two hours (we had to leave after two hours, but they were still playing haha) and it was super fun. And we even set up a lesson with one of them this weekend, so we are hoping to get to know some of the others better if they keep coming to activities!

We had stake conference this weekend and we heard from President Olsen, some local authorities, and members of the stake presidency. Also, our investigators came both to the adult session on Saturday and to the conference on Sunday!! 

Flores Cathedral
I read JSH 1:1-35 in my personal study this morning and the spirit bore witness unto me again about the truthfulness of that history. And we talked a lot about the restoration in our zone conference today. We also watched a video about Joseph Smith and the first vision which I have seen a few times but I can always feel the spirit when that first vision music starts and watch the experience. The spirit is clearly a witness unto me of the truthfulness of the BOM and Joseph Smith, but even more is that so many people went through so much just to disprove a boy who they thought was crazy anyways. Satan worked hard. I also think of the scripture that basically says if we build our foundation on Christ we cannot and will not fall even if the mouth of hell gapes open after us. 

I love being a missionary. It sure is hard work, but we really do see miracles and I am so grateful to be able to feel the spirit so often. Although I have read them before, a few vesus really stuck out to me in my studies this week- Moroni 7:45-48. They speak of charity and as I read them slowly and thought about them, they taught me a lot. Amazing verses. 

Anyways, happy holidays to everyone, and I love you all!!

Elder Layton