Monday, February 23, 2009

I Gave It a Good Kick Just Like in the Movies

This week had it's ups and downs. Like always.... I really enjoyed my letters from everyone. Thanks!

Sooo, we were teaching a lesson when a lady screamed. We had to stop everything we were doing because there was a house next to us with black smoke pouring out the windows. Nobody was home and all the doors were locked. The little Peruvians couldn't break down the door so I gave it a good kick, just like in the movies, and nothing happened. About the 5th kick, haha, finally the door gave way and my compi and I put out a small fire in the kitchen. That was kind've a crazy experience. Uncle David would be proud. But because of that I was thinking about two experiences in my life when I had the opportunity to save somebody.

The first one my mom knows about. We were at a park next to a river. There was a girl drowning and I didn't do anything. (Brenda said that the girl wasn't in any immediate danger, but it was a potentially bad situation.) Luckily the rock that pinned her to the river floor came loose and she was just fine. The same thing happened here in Pucallpa when we passed in a motocar right after an accident. It had just happened and there were other people all around so I didn't stop our driver. I felt horrible after though...because I didn't know if any of those people knew how to give the proper treatment. After that I promised my Heavenly Father that I'd never pass up another opportunity to save someone.

Of course I've thought how it applies to my mission. More important than saving someone from dying is giving them salvation. I think that promise was directly related to my mission. I never thought how the atonement, and the gospel, save people. But it's literal. It's real. NEVER EVER give up a chance to share the gospel. NEVER pass up an opportunity to save someone, because of embarrassment, shame, fear........ I've done it before and I've felt the pains that only come from the devil.

We had a lot of baptism dates fall this week because our investigators didn't all attend church. Kind've sad. But I have hope cause we have a lot of new investigators and between my companion and I we're making better lesson plans and following the mission plan. It's hard but nothing's impossible.

Elder Rich is doing great as our Zone leader. He's never done it before but of course his time in the offices gave him a ton of experience. I'm sorry I can't write more.


Elder Layton

Monday, February 16, 2009

We Don't Do the Work of the Lord Without Revelation

Buenos Dias!

Estoy muy agradacido por esta semana. I really had a ton of experiences. I can't really go into detail too much because there were a lot of personal things that happened to investigators but I learned a lot.

We contacted 3 people who were in a personal crisis. Yesterday we got caught up in the middle of a divorce. Every single problem we were faced with we helped the people come to the atonement of Jesus Christ our Savior. We know from the Book of Mormon and from the Bible that he suffered for our sins, afflictions, temptations, and sicknesses. Thanks dad for teaching me that.

So, we've been helping people make and keep commitments. We had so many baptism dates set but some fell yesterday.... We visited something like 10 investigators before church but only one could come. My comp and I thought we did everything possible in the morning.... so of course the Lord blessed us with 5 different investigators in the church.

We're finally figuring out what we have to do in our companero studies. The unity in teaching is key. Really. The thing about Pucallpa is the people have problems understanding the lessons. But we try to teach as clearly as possible.

Also my companion has the best ideas that I'm going to carry out for the rest of my mission. Yesterday we brought chocolate to all the sisters in the ward to gain their love. It was that easy. I read a Proverb about how women are the best and they loved it. So, we got some references. (I had suggested 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, but it appears he found one that worked better.)

You guys.....I absolutely love the kids. This is against the rules but I think I'm in love with a girl. No worries she's only 6 hahaa, but to start our lesson with a ton of investigators (the family who had a death in their family) she said the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. Her name's Elva and she's only 6 but her prayers are 10x better than mine....... Our bishop's the best too. We asked him to pray for a list of 10 less active families we can visit. I know if he does this we'll be blessed. If President Perez taught me one thing it's the importance of revelation in the work of the Lord. We don't do the work of the Lord without revelation.

President Perez of the Peru Lima North Mission

I would challenge anyone reading my blog to start saying prayers more from the heart. This is a huge problem I see in our world. Here since the people are so humble if we can just get them to pray they know what we say is true, and they receive a witness from our Heavenly Father. If they don't pray, of course they don't receive their answers.

Well....... what more? Elder Rich is definitely a big deal, and a great Zone Leader. I think it's freakin' awesome he came here, because he's my example. Nothing extremely exciting happened this week, and by that I mean we didn't baptize anyone. Rosalio wasn't ready but he still has a desire. I was bit by a perro for the 3rd time. The kids here in February (carnival) throw water balloon at us........and they have good aims.

Yeah, the Church is true. Have a good attitude, our lives are determined by our minds.


Elder Layton

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Lessons I Learned as a Boy"

I was forwared the link to the following video this morning by a friend. It is powerful and I wanted to inlcude it on the blog, but my first thought was, "It doesn't deal with missionary work or Sean's mission". I soon changed my mind. What do you think? Do you see the same parallel that I saw?

Monday, February 9, 2009

There's Not a Single Problem In Our Lives Jesus Christ Can't Fix

HOLA ¡!!!!!

We just found out our changes. YEAH. I'm here again. Change three in Pucallpa... lo maximo. Elder Rich is going to be my Zone Leader which is awesome! He´s always kind've been my example missionary...maybe because he was the first missionary I went with in Peru, plus Elder Ridge and I stalked his blog before the mission.

Everyone....I'm doing okay. The mission only gets more difficult. We had a huge turnout yesterday in church. 12 investigators but the sad thing is the investigators we needed to attend didn't!!! So our baptism dates fell....well all except one. We have a baptism for this week. His name´s Rosalio. He's actually been talking with missionaries for a year now. He's came to church the past two weeks which is tight! Now our challenge to set dates with all the people that attended yesterday. It shouldn't be too hard if we get right on it.

I found out some cool things about Pucallpa from some less actives. The original name of Pucallpa is May-ushin, which means land of the demons. It turns out that there was some cannibalism going on in the 19th century or something........ eek. I drank this drink called chicha de mais which isn't the best but's 100% Peruvian so I'll take it.

Really more important to me now than anything is baptising. We're having success with everything else all we need to do is challenge them to baptism a lot better. Remember that time when we taught the big group of people at the funeral? Well 6 of them have been attending the church so we have an appointment with them this week, hopefully with the outcome of two or more families we can baptize.

I would love more letters. And sweets!

The Church is true. Never forget that Christ really is our Savior. Lately I've been working on my patience since my companion said I have a patience problem haha. It's true.... I just try to make things perfect a lot of the times but it often comes out making things more of a problem because of my impatience. I was reading in Alma 34 this week and the very last two verses caught my attention.

(And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile against those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them; But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.)

We really have to have patience in the weaknesses of others. We're not perfect and we're all learning and we're all children of God so we have to have patience, and we hope that others will have the same for us. I know there's not a single problem in our lives Jesus Christ can't fix.


Elder Layton

Monday, February 2, 2009

Faith Is Where We Start and It Grows Until We Know

Dearest Everyone! Hi, how are you? President came on Friday of course we learned a ton. I received all my letters too! Yeah, thanks everyone.

This weeks been a crazy one. We've had a little too much fun but it´s been probably the best time in my mission by far. Numbers don't really matter but this week we had a high of personal goals and lessons for the mission. It's been the best!

Zulma who decided to get baptized on Saturday didn't show to her interview... which was devastating almost, but she´s going to get baptized. We baptized both her kids so she's got to be thinking about her example as a mother haha. She's great and comes to church.

We had a ton of newbies in the church yesterday which was GREAT. A less active I didn't even know existed came with his
sister and she wants to be baptized....that was a first, but I'll take the challenge. Really the Lord is blessing us. The lessons have been crazy.

I don't know if I told you about the time a bat flew in during our lesson and tormented the family we were teaching, but it happened again yesterday. And if that wasn't enough we were interrupted during a lesson for the birth of a bunch of baby cats. So yeah, I got to witness the birth of a kitten which was new to me...... cool. I took pictures but I'm thinking about erasing them cause they kind've don't give good feelings.
But enough about that.

I've been studying the atonement a lot more. Because everything we teach has to do with our purpose I've been studying faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ. I remember a long time ago in a galaxy far far away I asked my Dad, How can I know that the church is true for sure? Being the dad that he is, of course he showed me Alma 32. Since then I've found that faith is really where we start and it grows until we know. Here in the mission we don't need to convince anyone. We just show them to trust the Lord and have true faith until it leads them to begin making covenants with the Lord.
I would love to talk more about that but I'm out of time....ugh.

I love you all, Elder Layton

(A second email followed...)

Oh yeah, Elder Rojas wants to tell you guys to send lots of sweets. that´s what we want in packages anyway. Specifically he says to send Hershey milk chocolate bars....yeah.... also if Andrea was wondering why I haven't sent her letters for a long time it's cause I'm extremely poor, and I'm working harder than ever and not cause I forgot about her. She'll understand. LOVE YOU PADRES!!!! Nana, Eric, Curtis.