Monday, June 26, 2017

The Lord Will Bless Us Beyond All Understanding

Hey guys!

An aaaaaawesome week we have had. We have been finding quite a few new people to teach recently. First off, the other night, we found a super nice older couple named [...] and [...]. They invited us in, which was the best thing ever as we were practically proselyting in Antarctica (the nights here get coooooold, due to so much humidity). Anyways, they are very kind people and were so interested in getting to know who we are and what we do. Anyways, we shared the Restoration with them and it was so awesome! They were full of questions, and the spirit was really strong. Afterwards, they were repeatedly thanking us for coming over, which isn't too common around here :). We have another lesson with them scheduled for tonight, so I am excited!

We had a lesson with [...] this week as well. She has been keeping her reading commitments, but hasn't been able to make it to church because she is always out of town during the weekend. Anyways, her partner [...] goes hunting all of the time, and apparently they have an overabundance of meat, and so she sent us packing with like 10 pounds of steak and chorizo. Haha super awesome- so our lunches this week have been good.

We contacted someone this week named [...]. He is a stud! He actually had listened a lot to missionaries about twenty years ago, and later showed us pictures of him and a few Elders eating lunch together. When we contacted him, he was getting his daughter's birthday party all ready, but told us to come back the next day for a charla. So we did, and first thing, he started bombarding us with all this leftover food from the party haha. He is super missionary friendly :) We had a great lesson with him and his daughter, and we went back on Saturday and taught him and his mother-in-law who was there as well. We found another stud this week named [...], who is our same age. He was really interested in the Plan of Salvation, which we taught him and wanted to know more about religion, as he has never been to a church before. But he actually lives in Colonia, so we had to share with the other missionaries haha.

[...] made a big step yesterday as well! He has been going to church for three years now, but never has been baptized because he always had a big problem with the law of tithing and won´t accept it. We have tried teaching him about it quite a few times, but that is the one subject he really doesn't like touching. Anyways, this past lesson, he told us he was willing to follow this commandment! We watched a video about the young, rich man, and then read some scriptures in 2 Nephi 31, and I think it really touched him. I have never seen him ponder so deeply in a lesson, it was awesome!! 

So yeah, it has been a good, productive week. I enjoy Rosario, and even though it´s like -200 degrees, it is all so worth it. I am grateful to have an opportunity to help build the kingdom of God here on earth and to be a missionary. I know that there are sacrifices, but the Lord will bless us beyond all understanding if we store up are treasures in heaven! I love you guys all so much. I hope you all can recognize the incredible love our Heavenly Father has for each one of us as well. Have a great week!

Elder Layton

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Expecting Miracles

Hey guys, I hope you have all had a fantastic week. Well changes all went well, and Elder Limachi went off excited for Montevideo. A couple people from my group, Elder Passey and Elder Houston came here to Colonia, although we got a lot smaller- just 12 of us in the zone. 

Elder Layton's Rosario Home
I spent a couple days in Colonia with the zone leaders since my companion left on Monday and Elder Vergara came on Wednesday. It was awesome. We had a couple of lessons on Tuesday- one with someone named [...] who was pregnant and due the next day (already passed) and the other with someone named [...] who is also pregnant and due in a week. Haha, funny coincidence. Both lessons were honestly super great though :)

My new companion, Elder Vergara from Colombia is pretty cool. He played on the selection team for fútbol in Colombia and also knows how to dance Salsa. Haha pretty sweet. He also loves to cook and so hopefully I can learn a thing or two from him this change, as we cook every day :).

We visited a couple of less actives on Saturday who after the lessons gave us three references! They also made it to church on Sunday, which was super great. Now, we are hoping that they will get married :) 

Anyways, I am very excited for this change, and we are expecting miracles!!! I love you guys. Talk to you next week!

Elder Layton

Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome to Elder Vergara

Hey guys!

Well first off, we received changes last night. And sadly, Elder Limachi is going to be heading out. But it`s pretty cool because he is going to be the new secretary in Montevideo :) Right now I am with the Elders of Juan Lacaze and I will get my new companion, Elder Vergara on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure there are actually three Elder Vergaras in this mission, but I believe my companion is from Colombia. I think he has 8 months or so on the mission. 

We went to Montevideo on Wednesday for the final step in the cedula process. So I finally got it, and now I won't have to worry about any legal problems like I had in Argentina haha. There was actually a funny experience that we witnessed while we were waiting outside to take out our cedulas. There was some slim parking spot on the side of the road and one of the Oweste zone leaders said to us `Yeeeah they like to play push here... ` which btw I never saw in Flores. But after he said so, this car literally started pushing other two cars back and forth with his for like five minutes until he finally fit into the slot on the side of the road haha. It reminded me of that famous scene in `Despicable Me` when Gru makes a little room :)

But idk its pretty tranquilo here. There are almost all paved roads here in Colonia. We don't get food here from members so we eat- what we want haha. But yeah Elder Limachi knew a little about cooking and so I usually followed his lead. We usually eat eggs and oatmeal for breakfast and dinner and for lunch it depends, but usually something with meat and often times rice to go with. We also buy a lot of fruit in little tiendas in the street. it is super cold here right now. also, basically all of Colonia is super safe.

Let Grandma and Grandpa know that i am very grateful! They are always so supportive and am am grateful to have such a loving family. also thanks for the flash drive dad :) I've been going through it little by little. I love the song `Strength beyond my own`. Super pretty. 

Anyways, it's been a little tough to follow up with a few of our investigators this week, but we did swing by [...] a couple of times and he is making really good progress on his BOM reading. He is in Alma, which is pretty awesome for an investigator! 

Pressing Forward

Hey everyone!

Pretty crazy that we are already on our last week of this change. The mission at this point seems to by flying by. 

On Tuesday, we had another lesson with our new investigator from last week and it was really awesome. We had left her to read Moroni 10:3-5 in our first visit but when we came back on Tuesday, she had read the whole chapter! So that was really great. She told us that she would like to start reading it from the beginning, and so we left her with 1 Nephi 1 to start. Anyways, we just got a call from her saying she is in the Montevideo hospital due to all the pain she has been having from her back injury that I mentioned last week. So I would ask that you could all keep her in her prayers!

I went on divisions with Elder Barón on Friday over in Juan Lacaze. That night they had a ping pong activity in the church, and a good number of people came, it was fun. When I got back to Rosario, Elder Limachi totally pulled my leg and told me they lost like 3 of our most interested investigators during divisions. I didn't believe him for a while but then I started to accept what I believed was the sad reality haha. 

Well luckily he was joking. They weren't able to get the planned lesson with Wilson and Diego, but they got in contact with the Diego´s mom, Nancy, who wasn't there during the first lesson, and set up a lesson for the following day, when I got back. We went over and when we taught her the restoration, it was so awesome! I really felt the spirit as strong as I did with Diego and Wilson. She seems really interested as well, and we are looking forward to continuing with this great family! The only challenge is that the three of them all have very different schedules and so we may have to teach them separately. But anyways, I am so grateful the Lord led us to find them, I think they are going to progress :)

On Sunday night (man that has sure been our lucky night this whole change!) we went to the bottom of our area to contact where there are tons of apartment buildings. We ended up contacting a man named [...], who is a 27 year old firefighter with a few little kids. He invited us in and told us he was never raised with religion, so doesn´t really know anything about it, although he believes in God. We taught him the message of the restoration as well, and he seemed to understand very clearly. And even though his little kids were being kind of disruptive as they played, the spirit was definitely there. After we taught him our message, he started asking us all sorts of questions regarding the Plan of Salvation. He wanted to know what happens to us after we die because he said he didn't have any idea. We left him a Plan of Salvation folleto and told him we could teach him more about it the next time we came over. He told us we are welcome whenever, and is a really awesome new investigator!

I am so grateful to be serving the Lord here in Uruguay. I know that the message of the Gospel we all have to share really does bring us peace and happiness not only for this life but for all eternity. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who strengthens me and helps me become better each day. I can always feel his love that he generously gives us. I love all of you guys back at home! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Layton