Monday, September 28, 2009

We Have to Keep Pushing Forward

Buenos Dias,

Vamos a la playa!!! Oh oh ohhh oh You've probably never heard that song before. We're going to the beach to bbq and play soccer. I finally got the package!! THANK YOU! It was the best ever. I felt loved. I haven't had the time to play any of the songs you sent me though...but one day.

This week was a hard one.

Yesterday a lot of the investigators didn't come to church. We challenged some of them that fell for the 17th of Oct. I was kind of bummed yesterday too when Oliver didn't come to his confirmation. There's a first time for everything. John, Dalma, and Angel who are all siblings and their cousin Paula were all confirmed. So 15 Baptisms for September but only 14 confirmations. I feel blessed but I know that we need to work even harder than we did this week for October!

We had interviews with President this week. He gave me Mosiah 23:15-22 to read. He talks to me using the scriptures I think. I studied it and everything and I'm trying to apply it. It describes that Alma had success when he put his trust in the Lord. I only hope that I can continue trusting in my Heavenly Father.

I learned this week that maybe our commitments need work. It feels so overwhelming to commit so many people at the same time and visit each one every day but I know we have to just keep pushing forward. President was really happy about the success were having and told me to keep growing.

It looks like my usb lost the pictures it had. Luckily I have backups. But I need to make more now. Ill try sending pictures soon.


Thanks so much for everything!!!! Oh yeah! Christie! Congrats on being a mommy. That's crazy. I guess that makes me an Uncle! I think that's a tear in my eye. Bueno, I love you very much.

I'd just like to share a little bit of my testimony.

I love the gospel and I know it's true. The mission has been the best part of my life. Better than video games, better than American food, better than girls. Of course I miss those things but not really. I want to serve the mission for another 12 years like Ammon did in the Book of Mormon, but they might send me home before then.

I know the profet Thomas Monson is called of God just like his counselors, the twelve apostle, and other leaders in the church. I know that Jesus Christ is the Key cornerstone of The Church of ]esus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Book of Mormon is true si o si. There's not even room to doubt from the physical evidence, and the spiritual confirmation and the promise of that book is something hard to explain but I know by the power of the Holy Spirit that the Book of Mormon is true.

Joseph Smith was a true profet with more fruits than almost any other profet I know of.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

ps.

I know that going to the beach today will bring joy to my heart, as well as the BBQ. I know that playing soccer on the beach is true. And.... nos vemos hasta pronto... bueno, proximo lunes. Send pics if you can. I love getting them.

Chow,

Elder Layton

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who is This Man and What Happened to the Kid We Sent Out?

Dearest People I Love so much,

Mother, I haven't received the package yet. We've been at the Temple and at Papa Johns. I'm sure I'll get it tomorrow.

14 Million members in the church. I wouldn't be surprised if the profets (Spanish for prophets is profetas) know something about huge growth in the Church. It's kind of obvious when in two years the Church Grew a million. We had a stake conference and President Uchtdorf and Elder Holland spoke to us live on satellite. Instead of two stakes in this area, the area split into FOUR!

First of all, a Seventy spoke about sending missionaries to China, Israel, and all the Hindu countries. After that Elder Holland starting out speaking in horrible Spanish for about three or four minutes. It made me want to laugh until he said it would be better if someone translated and somebody then began translating. He told us he loved us five times in Spanish. He thanked the members for the love, for every commandment kept, for every tear, and every smile. He talked about how love in the home was found less in the world and would get worse, but the love in the homes of church members would get stronger.

President Uckdorf talked about how his mission blessed his life. In his ward as a boy, a new girl came to his church with dark eyes and long hair. He said that the missionaries there in his ward were doing a great job. He said we need to focus on two questions.

What can I do to increase my faith?

What can I do to help my family and marriage?

Since I'm not married yet I would take out the latter, but then again President Snow of the presidencia of the Seventy spoke a while ago and promised us that the harder we work here in the mission the more beautiful my wife will be. I believe in the words of President Snow and intend to keep on working hard.

This week has been crazy. I really don't know what to say. Were having success. The nine didn't get baptized all of them. Only six. I baptized Alizon, Jhair, Deibi, Martin, Miguel and Bishop baptized Nelly. Six baptisms and confirmations! The three that didn't get baptized are the Zorrilla Family. Three GREAT youth that have huge desires to be baptized. The day of the baptism on Saturday the dad came back from more than a month of travel in Pucallpa and told his kids no to the baptism. We tried to convince him Saturday night but yeah nada. Then we visited the Zorrilla Family the next day and now the dad, his wife, and the three kids of baptism dates! The Lord is so big, and the blessings were receiving are enormous.

Our baptism dates are these:

26 de Sept.
Paola Andrade
Javier Zorrilla
Jhon Zorrilla
Dalma Zorrilla
Oliver Apaza

3 Oct.
Carlos Acosta
Lesli Segura
Edwin Pablo

10 Oct.
Sheyla Javier
Joyce Rubio
Diana Rubio
Soledad Abarca
Peter Neda
Beatriz Gomez
Javier Zorrilla
Ugenia Teran
Narcisa Vasquez
Jazmin Pardo
Raul Caballero
Maria
Katy Bances

Ive never had so many baptism dates in my whole life and right now encouraging all of them at the same time seems impossible but I know the Lord will help us. Please pray for them all, we're working hard. Being a dad in the mission's hard and everything but that's the least of my worries right now. Elder Martelo's great. He learns fast and everything.

I love very much. Hopefully you could get something out of what the apostles taught me.

Love,

Your Elder, Elder Layton
Note from dad...Friday marks Elder Layton's 15th month of missionary service. It's genuinely hard to believe that there are only 9 months left until he is done with his service in Peru. It's incredible to see how fast time has flown by and how much he has changed. Before we know it, he'll be coming home and getting on with his life. It's really crazy how fast it's going.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's What the Lord is Asking of Us

Wait. Curtis is 6th grade? I'm confused I thought he was in kindergarten still..

Okay, good morning. Elder Martelo my kid is doing great. (In Peru, trainers are called "fathers". There's a whole patriarchal thing going on with fathers, grandfathers and so on.) Actually he knows more than I do. He's almost 26! He looks young though, so nobody knows his secret haha, his birthday's this transfer so I'll give him a surprise birthday hopefully.

We had 4 baptisms and confirmations this week. Carmen, Brayan, and Angel Apaza, and Elva Barragan. Elva is in her 70's and the great grandma of Astrid, who we baptized a couple weeks back.

Just to tell you a little about the baptism it was hard to baptize a great grandmother. But she was the easiest of the four! Angel was first, but we know the promise of the Lord. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. Angel stood in the water for 20 minutes, then watched his brother and sister and Elva get baptized and still didn't want to go through with it. Hahaha. But, I told him that it was shameful that his brother and sister and an old lady would beat him, so he went through with it. He has a fear of water cause he almost drowned in a pool before I'm thankful he could get over his fear.

Today were going to watch The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith (not to be confused with "Man's Search for Happiness" - GRIN).

Elder Rojas, my old companion, is my Zone Leader now!!! It's awesome because we're best friends and I haven't seen him forever.

This transfer I was talking with my new companion. We put the goal to have 30 baptisms this transfer. You can call me crazy but I know we'll do it. It's what the Lord is asking of us. We started out on a good note...4. If we work harder than ever I think we can have 9 next week. For the whole mission, our goal is uno mas!! or one more!!! One more than yesterday, to work a little harder than last week. Please pray that we can complete our goals. More importantly pray for the people to keep commitments, and to come to church, and to get baptized.

We're extremely blessed in this area. We're working hard and being happy.

Love,

Elder Layton

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Amazing How the Lord Leads Us to Those Who Are Prepared

If somebody wanted to know how I was doing, I'd tell them I'm doing FANTASTIC!!!

Yeahh. We found out the changes right now. I stay here with a new Elder named Elder Martelo. I have no idea how much time he has but Ill keep you updated.

We've been working hard, Elder Moreira and I. We challenged a bunch of new people to baptism. Now we have 15 dates for this month.

Okay, an Elder just came over and told me. Elder Martelo has 2 months in the mission and he's from Columbia. Lo Maximo - I'm a daddy (trainer)!

15 baptism dates feels a little stressful to have under our belt right now. We have to visit these people every day, encourage them, pray for them, teach them all they need to know, and find new people at the same time, but, I'm sure everything's going to be great. I'll miss Elder Moreira.

We had 17 baptism dates on Saturday but 3 fell, and we challenged another to baptism on Sunday. Two of the investigators fell because they didn't come to church. They were excited and everything and wanted to prepare for this Sept 19th but we went to visit them yesterday and the mom said that they were discouraged and didn't want to listen to us. Sad but that's their choice. We found a guy named Jaime yesterday. He has 21 years. (He's 21 years old.) I committed him to be baptized in the contact, and we have an appointment to go back. He wants to be baptized on the 26th of Sept.
This week was cool. We went to lunch with President and his wife!!! It was a buffet restaurant, so I ate 4 heaping plates of everything. After we had to work, so I felt like I was going to throw up, heehee.

After we taught Jahir, Alizon, Martin the family that lives by the church, we started talking to the mother Jessica (she loves the church but her and her "husband" aren't married) and as we left I felt like I should ask her if she had family nearby or friends we could visit. The door closed and I didn't knock again. But we started walking down the road. After passing a few houses, one house caught my eye, but there was a huge dog (which I later found our was named Gordita, Fatty) My companion stopped because he's scared of dogs - so am I, in Peru. Bueno we knocked. A boy came to the door. He left and called his mom. She let us in and we started teaching until we saw a Book of Mormon. It turns out that my old companion Elder Chan had taught them. Also they are family with sister Jessica. Now all of them have baptism dates! I think it's amazing how the Lord leads us to those who are prepared.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIC!!! I didn't forget your birthday yesterday, but I'd being lying if I told you I did anything for you. Ha. Good luck driving. Take care of my car please.

(Eric just turned 16 yesterday (Sunday) and will be taking the test for his driver's license on Thursday...for those of you in Central Oregon, consider yourselves warned.)

Love you all,

Elder Sean Ryan Layton