Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Independencia

Dearest Family,

I just wanted to express my gratitude for every one of you. I feel extremely blessed here in the mission. Jesse looks the same as he left. So does Jacob. Haha man I miss those guys. I'm happy I'm here in the mission still but since I'm the last Elder to end It will be crazy to be able to see everyone in one time.

I'm growing ever more preoccupied with Brianas college life. I think maybe she could go to COCC or something better than her current situation...

Also I just have to say mom I watched the movie UP before you did so I dont have to wait. Remember, every change we watch one Disney movie as a Zone? Thank you President! I loved the movie ahahhaha. Especially the bird thing I would love one of those.

Also I already sent you your Christmas Package so you could just say I'm a little ahead of the game with the movie and now this. Hopefully you like it. Sometime before Christmas you can go pick it up in the house of Elder Hurd who is leaving Peru tomorrow or the next day I think. Here's the directions:

The Hurd Family
#### ## ######## ###.
Redmond, OR
Phone #: 541-###-####

Okay I JUST found out my change how exciting!!!!! Okay. Im going back to Independencia!!! Ill be Zone Leader with my daddy in the mission Elder Acevedo. New responsibilities and everything but being District Leaders helped me a lot.

Im going to miss these people more than I can even describe. The converts I've had here are the best. I said goodbye to the Zorrilla Family last night. Theyre the best. My hijo (kid) Elder Yaez is going to Pucallpa. Im so proud of him for going there. ? Hmmmm. What else?

We have a lot of really good investigators again. A sister named Marcela thats been coming to church and loving it. Another family that just came yesterday. I had invited her to the church outside a high school about a month ago and she remembered the invitation! That's a miracle. Bueno, we have appointments with them. The mom went to all three hours and even went to the conference for parents yesterday at 4 in the afternoon. Shes someone I recognize definitely prepared by the Lord. Theres also a girl named Maria that has been going to church shes the best friend of Paula a recent convert. Also theres a man named Felipe Reyes that is separated from his wife right now and is having family problems. We taught him the law of chastity yesterday and accepted a baptism date. Hes gone to church 3 times and he's progressing. His plan is to forgive his wife, get married, and move in with his family again.

I know the members in the Independencia. I'm going to the ward Pinos and when I was in Ermitao I shared churches with them so its not completely new to me. Hmm tomorrow I'm planning an awesome District Meeting. Of course the last meeting of the change the Elderes leaving give their testimonies. I've also asked the missionaries to bring a picture of their family to the meeting so that tomorrow one by one we can talk about the reasons we came to the mission and how our families are being blessed by the mission service.
I honestly feel like I'm being blessed more than my family. The mission is full of spiritual experiences. But I do know you guys are also having experiences in the church. That's my thought for today. Have experiences.

Merry Christmas.


Elder Layton

Monday, November 23, 2009

The People That Read It Believe It

Dearest Family,

Briana, what are you doing at BYUI? Why do you have a picture with you and an RM? That's definitely breaking big brother rules!!!!! I'm the first RM you get to know. GRACIAS. That's not a joke.

This week was a good one. We left a lot of investigators that just weren't progressing. There's one important rule in the mission. If you can't feel the spirit in the lesson, the investigator probably isn't feeling it... Sometimes, investigators simply don't want to keep commitments and we never force them. It's something hard you have to learn here in the mission... sometimes you have to leave an investigator because they're just not prepared right in that moment. We had 10 investigators come to church!!! 10 INCAS.

Earlier in the week we contacted a lady named Marcela Primomatos. VACAN!!!! She's oro! Yesterday she came like she said she would and enjoyed every part. She sincerely told the sisters that she wants to come every week. She told us when we were at her house with her family that the Lord must have sent us to her house. I believe that. One day this week we were running short on time and the thought came through my head that we shouldn't visit her. It was only a contact and a quick appointment and we were completely across our area.... but.... then the thought came to my mind that we should go. So we went and she accepted to be baptized with her daughter Yesea. I'm happy about that. We're going to visit her again tomorrow and try to talk with her husband.

Thanks for the package!!! I'm actually wearing the sweatshirt you sent me right now. We're at an Internet by the beach. Today we're going to the beach again to BBQ and play soccer, and who knows what else. Eating hamsters..... I don't know. The mission's amazing.

I ended Doctrine and Covenants and I started to read the Bible....but then I felt like I really should just read the Book of Mormon again. That book here in Peru is more important to know than anything else. If you read the cover page of the Book of Mormon carefully you'll understand why. It was literally written FOR THE LAMANITES (Peruvians...) and then it explains AND ALSO for the Jews and also for the Gentiles. It's for everyone....... but firstly, for my people. It amazes me the promise that it has. The people that read it believe it. Even the people here that don't believe in the Bible (yes, there are some of those) find it easier to believe in the Bible when they have read the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is more my companion than Elder Yaez I think. Elder Yaez, my kid's, doing great btw. He's learning.

I'm sleeping very well know, thank you mom. This week I also did my first work visit. I visited Elder Andica. I interviewed investigators pretty much all Thursday haha. That's my life now as District Leader. Interviews, work visits, etc. And of course we still are working with a bunch of awesome investigators.

THE MISSION'S FLYING BY SO FAST!!!!! I feel old....not trying to know how much time I have....okay, I have 17 months. Jesse's ending this week no?! I love you very much!

Love, Elder Layton
(Note from Don: Yesterday Brenda attended a ward in Tigard, Oregon...a suburb of Portland, and the town where the temple is located. A returning missionary named Michael Tapete Tanuvasa (Polynesian) spoke. He had just come home from the Lima, Peru South Mission. It was exciting to hear him describe the people in Peru as "the most loving people I've met in my life". He said that through them he had learned to be more like Christ. His talk was on "Love Thy Neighbor".)

P.S. Christie your baby is beautiful, even if he's blowing spit bubbles in the picture. He's my nephew!!!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Love Being a Missionary

Amados Hermanos Mios,

Me siento muy alegre poder compartir algunas experiencias con ustedes.

This week turned out ... hmmm.... worse than I thought!!!! At first that might sound extremely un-optimistic to everyone but what I`m trying to say is we had really high goals and low results.

We did have one baptism hallelujah. Nao made it. His mom decided to work, Jefferson’s god-father died, Sandy wants to get baptized in the Catholic Church, Michael wants more time to prepare, and Guian Carlos is studying in his university from 6 in the morning until 10 at night. Basically I probably feel something like Alma felt in Alma 8: 9-11.

9 Now Satan had gotten great ahold upon the hearts of the people of the city of Ammonihah (Zapallal); therefore they would not hearken unto the words of Alma (Los Misioneros.)
10 Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance.
11 Nevertheless, they hardened their hearts
Of course we know what happened after this. Amulek helped Alma find tons of people that would listen. I know we need to work better with the members!!!! We’re receiving tons of blessing... we just have to be patient.

The People: The people here are wonderful. Humble, simple, hard-working. Well, many of them are very hard working. But sometimes they come to really fast conclusions.

Example. Yesterday, I left the keys in the pension. We got done eating and left to our house up the hill. We had to knock on the door so our land-lord would let us in. We studied until we had to leave but when we tried to leave, we found the door dead-bolted. The landlord had left and locked the door. I had locked the door to our room already, so we were basically prisoners inside our own house. I got up on the wall to call for the neighbors help but he thought I was trying to break into his house or something. Freak. So he started FREAKing out. Yelling shouting, and saying some words missionaries don’t understand. Oh man. We were late for church too. Talk about crazy Peruvians! Luckily our pension passed by the house randomly and threw up the keys.

The Food:
We eat 2 hard breads every morning with American cheese, a thick drink called quacker, and sometimes juice. I miss pancakes and French toast. For Lunch we eat spaghetti sometimes, different soups (delicious), chicken, French fries, etc. and for dinner that’s where we get the surprises because we eat dinner here with the members but it’s normal enough.
I’m sad to say the hamster I was holding in that picture lived only 5 minutes longer. Nooo less. They used a kitchen knife to cut off his head while most of the missionaries took video. I’m proud to say I’ve never eaten cuy (hamster) nor did I watch the horrible scene. I’m not sure if Dad would like the food here. It’s a LOT different than Mexican food.

My life in Peru: Very few people here in Zapallal have a car. Everyone rides in buses. Luckily the bus system is fairly advanced and so it makes it relatively easy to get to wherever you want. It’s almost all sand dunes because we’re so close to the beach, but our area is all paved luckily where the houses are. You can look on google earth to get an idea, but all the houses are stuck together. Almost all the houses are brick. Hmmm what else. I love being a missionary!!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!! See you next week. Send letters. Thank you for everything.


Elder Layton

Monday, November 9, 2009

When I Looked at That Picture I Felt It Was True


How's everyone doing? This week has been GREAT!!! Well, we had the interviews on Friday with president.

We're still working hard Jose Louis and Italo were baptized. Jefferson went to the church with his mom and someone told them there wasn't a baptismso they left. I called them after they had gotten home and by that time it was a little late, but Jefferson's excited about this Saturday.

We went to his house yesterday and watched the 20 minute Restauracion video. Also we have set for this Saturday Maycol Viegas, Guian Carlos, Isabel Ulloa (the mother of Jose Louis) and Nao (the brother of Jose Louis) and Sandy Rojas Garcia. Sandy's mom Paula has a baptism date for the 21st too. What I really want to do is talk to Sandy's dad, but he's always working. Jose Louis's dad is a recent convert so we'll be completing the family this upcoming Saturday which I'm really excited for!!!

I don't know people.there's not much new happening. Everything's going really well. Right now if the district confirms all the investigators with dates we have we'll have 42. Our goal is 50 or more. Honestly it would be a piece of cake if every one of us works hard and is obedient.

I gave another surprise talk in sacrament meeting. I talked about Jesus Christ and His preordained calling to be our Savior and His atonement. Of course I also reminded them to find people we could teach.

Hmmm. What else? I was looking at a picture yesterday in the church. It's the one where Moroni is kneeling to pray right before he covered up his fathers book. I remember when I looked at that exact same picture when I was 4 or 5 years old in the hallway in Grandma and Grandpa Layton's house, next to Danny's room.

I don't even think I understood who he was or what he was doing, but I remember when I looked at that picture I felt it was true and I felt such a powerful feeling then only as a child. Now when I look at that picture I feel the exact same feeling. I think I could say that's my favorite painting. The book of Mormon is so true.


Eric, Curtis, read your scriptures.


Elder Layton

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Feel Very Blessed to Be Here in the Work of the Lord

I don't have much to write today. Everything is going just great. I taught the District yesterday in District Meeting. Today we went to the temple and it was amazing like always although I did get close to falling asleep. We woke up at 4:00. Bueno, from the letters it sounds like everyone's doing really well.

As for the investigators go, we have many. Right now we have 9 baptism dates but there's a lot more to set, especially because we have muchas families to complete. I'm excited for this month especially now that I'm learning about being a district leader and being a papa at the same time. My district is doing really well again. The investigators that had baptism dates came to church.

THANKS!!!! For the Halloween package. It came just in time. Perfecto. I shared with my companion and my Zone leaders and I took pics with my spider man mask. That's about it for my Halloween. Better than last year.

Tell Landon to get married already.

I have a lot of friends in the mission that are getting ready to end. I feel old. Luckily I have a lot of time left to work.

All that I know is that the Lord is blessing us. Were able to have a ton of success because the members are on top of it. Seriously, I ask for references from the members and they spill them out to us. Bishop is seriously talking about splitting the ward almost every week which is kind of funny because we just split last change, so we need some more Priesthood holders. We have a complete family but the dad's in the hospital...but give him 2 weeks. He was set in convincing his whole family to get baptized. This Saturday if everything goes perfect well be baptizing Jose Louis, Italo, Guian Carlos, and Jefferson the next week we have several more.

Bueno, muchas gracias por todas las oraciones de verdad. Me siento muy bendecido poder estar aqui en la obra del Senor. Les quiero a ustedes bastante y estn en mis oraciones cada dia. Se que el Evangelio de Cristo bendice a las familias en todas partes del mundo. Me siento un poco orgulloso a poder compartir el Libro de Mormon cada dia con los lamanitas especialmente cuando veo que realmente eso libro los hacen sentir un espritu familiar como profetiza la misma escritura.

(Well, thank you for all of the prayers, really. I feel very blessed to be here in the work of the Lord. I love you all a lot and you are in my prayers every day. I know that the Gospel of Christ blesses families in all over the world. I feel a little proud to be able to share the Book of Mormon each day with the Lamanites, especially when I see that truthfully this book makes them feel a familiar spirit as prophesied in scripture.)

I love yas bye bye,

Elder Layton