Tuesday, August 29, 2017

So Many Blessings Through the Gospel!!

It has been a great week, although the weather has been AWFUL! Haha, even though it is still winter here, is was suuuuuper humid and hot for a few days. Then, we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm for a couple of days, and finally it was suuuuuper foggy. Haha Uruguay weather is weird. Lots of changes.

That is SOO AWESOME about Briana!! I am so glad that it is a healthy baby and there weren't any problems! Btw, did mom make it to Briana before or after she had the baby? Because according to the time you sent me this letter, it seems like mom may have just missed it. You´ll have to let me know the baby's name next week if they decide.

That makes me so happy that you have had an incredible week. You know, there are so many blessings that Heavenly Father bestows upon us through the Gospel!! We are so very blessed. Sometimes in the mission, as I read the Book of Mormon, or simply walking in the street, I have these huge feelings of happiness and gratitude to have the Gospel. And boy, I am sure eager to go to the temple with you guys again after the mission :) 

Wow, that sounds really amazing about that eclipse. I feel so happy that all of you guys seem to be doing well while I am here on the mission!

Anyways, we had a really awesome experience on Wednesday. We had a couple plans fall through, so went to a plaza to contact. Well while we were there, a lady named Vanessa calls us over. and said she was really surprised we came by because she was just about to call missionaries she had met the other week in Montevideo and see if there were missionaries here in Rosario. She told us that her younger brother Ignacio had a really scary accident and was transferred from Montevideo to a hospital we have here in Rosario called Camec. Apparently he was in a coma and was bleeding internally in his brain. She asked us if we could come by the hospital a little later and give her brother a blessing, so we did. We were also able to meet Vanessa´s parents and some other relatives who were there, and they were SO incredible! They have never gotten to know missionaries, so we talked to them a lot about the Gospel as we were waiting to go in and see Ignacio. Vanessa had a Book of Mormon the missionaries left her with in Montevideo and we left her parents with one as well. We swung back by the hospital on Sunday to see how they were doing. Vanessa´s dad had gone back to Colonia for a couple of days and had the Book of Mormon (which he has already read all of first Nephi in a couple days). Vanessa had to go back to Montevideo for a couple of days as well, and had been reading the BOM that she had. So anyways, her mom, Alicia was kind of sad because she wanted to read it more but they took the only two copies haha. We left her with another and she told us that she felt a completely different sense of peace when she read it. Anyways, we are hoping that Ignacio continues to recover, and also feel blessed that Vanessa found us in a perfect time!!

We had a great district conference over video in Nueva Helvecia on Sunday, where we had the oppurtunity to hear from Elder Teixeira (again haha), Elder Christensen, Elder Rasband, and a few other leaders. It was aweeeesome!

We are also seeing a lot of potential and progress in Cardona. We continue meeting new family members every time we go to Corina´so the lessons have been a bit of review haha, but she is doing really well. 

Love you guys. I hope everyone has a fantastic week! And congratulations to Briana and Glade who had their newborn baby this morning!! I am an uncle now! Woooooo!

Elder Layton

Monday, August 21, 2017

I Am So Grateful to Have These Wonderful Truths In My Life

Hey everyone!!

It has been a cool week. [...] is doing pretty well, but has been so swamped with work that he
hasn´t been having time to read the BOM and felt kind of bad. So we figured out he takes the bus everyday to work for 45 minutes, and got him the lds application so he can use that time to read or listen to the BOM. He seemed really excited because he likes learning, and hopefully this will help him read more and receive and answer about the message of the Gospel.

Argentina District Reunion w Elder Opazo and Two Sisters

We also had a super great day in Cardona on Friday. It was crazy because last week Juan told us that we should visit someone named [...] was was baptized last year, but he forgot to send us his number to see where he lives and to set up a lesson. Well when we went on Friday, we started to contact, and the very first door of the day we clapped, some tall kid named [...] came out haha. Yeah, funny it was him. He was getting ready for work when we found him, so we set up a lesson for this week instead. We also found a few other people that day who had met with the last missionaries there before the area was closed, so that was pretty awesome, and we should be busy next week when we go. 

That afternoon, we went to [...]. When she opened the door, she nearly bear hugged me, but quickly thought about it and shook our hands haha. Apparently she was getting ready to leave to go and sign for her release papers. She  was previously on parole when we found her due to some incident at work and hadn´t been able to leave her house for some few weeks, but she is honestly super awesome! Apparently since last week, she read the entire Liahona magazine that Elder Vergara had left her with, the restoration/ plan of salvation pamphlets again, and a lot of the Book or Mormon! She said she had all the time in the world since she was just in the house haha. She excitedly told us she would be able to come to church now, so we are excited to continue teaching her!

Colonia Zone

Sunday was great as well. We had a conferencia de rama, in which the district presidency and leaders came over to Rosario, as well as the group in Cardona, since they officially pertain to our branch. There were also three less active members here who came :) That afternoon, we found a super awesome family too. [...], who was actually a reference from our investigator [...], and her two sons [...] and [...], who are just a couple of years older than us. They are all really cool. [...] has apparently had a ton of trials in her life and had a mountain of questions for us, and it was great! Afterwards, she told us that she wanted to have us over for an Asado haha! The three of them seemed pretty committed to reading the BOM as well, and praying concerning it. 

We went to a baptism in Nueva Helvecia on Saturday. It was for a 14 year old girl who is sooooo prepared. She already has a really strong testimony of the church, and the whole program that the Elder´s there planned was really amazing. I felt the Spirit strongly. I know that this is the work of the Lord.

I am very grateful for President Monson who turns 90 today!! I have no doubt that he is an inspired prophet of God, and that he has the authority to recieve revelation for us as a whole, for our benefit and protection in this world. I am so grateful to have these wonderful truths in my life!! Love you all. Have a wonderful week!

Elder Layton

Monday, August 14, 2017

We Are Effective ONLY As We Follow the Promptings of the Holy Ghost

Hey everyone :)

A good week. [...] is starting to really progress. He is reading the BOM a lot and is still searching for an answer, but told us he feels like it is definitely inspired of God. He still hasn't accepted the invitation to church and says `todavia no` with a little smile on his face but he is a stud, and our lessons with him have gone really well so far. 

Elders Layton and Vergara

We found a new investigator this week named [...]. It was pretty crazy because after the lesson, we went over to his work bag, and pulled out this old missionary name tag of someone named Elder Ferrin. Apparently, he found it 16 years ago on a bus, and told us he had kept it in his work bag for all that time, because he thought he might find the guy some day! Haha, I told him he was likely from Utah, but it was something pretty funny :)

On Friday, we all went to Montevideo for a mission conference with Elder Teixeira from the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy. Half the mission was there so I saw some old companions :). The conference was seriously soooooo awesome and Elder Teixeira talked a lot about increasing our unseen potential. He is an incredible speaker, and it was actually kind of funny because he had a huge mixture of accents as he speaks like 6 languages. Anyways, afterwards, I just felt super stoked and pumped up to get back to missionary work. I suppose he gave us a good spiritual ´pep talk´ haha. 

Mission Conference with Elder Teixeira

Mission Conference in Front of the Temple
Coming back to our areas, the missionary bus dropped us off at the Rosario radial, which is a bus stop in which we have to catch another bus to go into Rosario (The bus system is weird here). The next bus   wasn't supposed to pass by for another half an hour and we were about an hour walking from Rosario, so we just decided to walk and try to contact a few of the house way out there we had never made it out to. We actually made a few really great contacts, and then it started to rain HARD. Of course we still had half and hour of walking to the city, were in our suits from the conference, and hadn´t brought umbrellas, but that didn't matter. I am grateful for the reality and divinity of my Heavenly Father who loves us and helps us feel of his joy when we serve him. There is no reason two soaked and cold missionaries could truly feel happy unless our Heavenly Father comforted and guided us through the Spirit that he promises us as we worthily partake of the Sacrament each week!

Sometimes, as I read the scriptures, my mind is blown on how many incredible blessings the Lord has promised us!! I love the scriptures and the Gospel so much! I just always want more time on the mission to read the scriptures haha. 

Elders Vergara and Layton
I feel like my testimony of prayer has grown a lot on the mission, because I have come to realize how much I truly need the Lord in all things. It has definitely been a humbling experience so far. I am grateful that Heavenly Father always pushes us but never gives us something above our ability to overcome. I recognize that without humbling myself and relying on him in all things, and without a sincere desire to follow consistently the promptings he gives to us, we cannot be very effective in anything we do :)

I am grateful to be a part of the great and marvellous work. I promise it is the work of the Lord, and that this is His church. I know that God has given us a perfect plan and that Jesus Christ has paved the way for us to simply follow. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon and know that it is true. I love each one of you guys! And remember- ´Hurrah for Israel!!´ :)

Elder Layton

Monday, August 7, 2017

Double Digits

Hey everyone!

This week has flown by. We had our interviews with President Olsen this week, and afterwards he took us all out to the store and said to get what we wanted. Haha he is the best. After interviews, I went on divisions in Nueva Helvecia with Elder Passey from my group. He is a zone leader and it is really weird because he is training, so the other zone leader isn't even his companion haha. Anyways, it was a super awesome day, and I learned a lot from him. 

We visited some really awesome investigators they have and in fact two of them asked in the the last prayer that they could please be baptized. A good thing to ask for! We also came across a couple of new investigators, who are Evangelicals (a lot of those in Colonia). We left them with a hymn because they wanted to hear us sing, so we sang the classic ´Más cerca, Dios, de Ti' (Nearer My God to Thee). And man, I don't know how we even made it through that song... It was SO funny because the wife was closing her eyes and was waving her hands all over the place. I'm not sure if other churches do that when they feel the Spirit, but I guess she liked it haha. 

We went to Cardona on Friday and had a good lesson with [...]. He apparently went to church again yesterday, along with our investigator [...]. We also found a super awesome investigator named [...] over there while contacting. She told us she was really confused about how to follow God if all churches teach differently, and so the Restoration went really well. She also said we are free to come back next week when we are in Cardona again. Here in Rosario, a few less actives made it to church yesterday, so we made it into double digits haha :)

We found a super nice couple here in Rosario named [...] and [...]. [...] listened to the missionaries a lot when she was a little girl, so already knew a little bit about the church. 

That´s about it for this week. Nothing too crazy. I love you all and I hope you know that I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! Nos vemos!

Elder Layton