Monday, February 22, 2010

The Mad Monkey, A New Companion, and More Succcess


(We read on another missionary Blog that one of the monkeys left with the pensionista in Pucallpa had died. Worried that it might have been the one that Elder Layton left, I did some checking...not the same monkey. It turns out that Elder Layton's monkey is alive and well...other than the fact that it won't let anyone hold him. Below, Sean gives us his theory as to why the thing is so disagreeable.

To start out I'd just like to say that first off, my monkey is angry because he just feels lonely and scared because I've been away from him so long. Of course he's still alive and healthy because he eats well, thank goodness. I heard he needs a passport to come home with me... how much is a monkey license anyway?

This week has been great. I'm tired but in a good way. Actually I'm just tired of sitting down typing stuff. Today we have to do a report of all the converts in the zone for 1 year which will take a long time. It's my first time doing it, because the last time they did it was in September. It's fun!

Yesterday my companion and I talked in church along with the missionary Joel Vasquez that just got home. I talked about prayer and my companion about repentance.

On Saturday we had two baptisms!!! Martha and Jhonny!!! Martha was really happy. It took two attempts to baptize her but she left the water beaming. Her whole family was there and they all were way happy. She's an older woman but she does have a boyfriend that lives in another part we're teaching. He has to get divorced first before they can get married.

Jhonny Guzman on the other hand has had his eyes set on getting baptized for a couple weeks now. He also knows that he's going to serve a faithful mission in a couple years. But I've also given notice during our lessons with him that he has his eyes set out on something else. A girl. Not just any girl. The daughter of our bishop! It was actually the constant texts he was getting during our lessons that sparked my interest. Anyway, it was very "precious", 'cause after the baptism she went over to congratulate him and they shared a nice long hug together. But I'm glad he was baptized for the right reasons.

My new companions name is ELDER GARNICA!!!! His brother's also in our mission, but he's ending along with my companion Elder Rodriguez. I knew his brother very well. I was in the same zone as him many times. But the Garnica that`s going to be my companion i don't know very well. He's cool im sure! So that's all I know... of course I'm staying here in INDEPENDENCIA!!!! This month we have a goal to beat this zones record. Independencia's overall record is 33 confirmations as a zone in one month.... which of course is extremely low for the mission, but I know we can do it.

Well, that's all the time I have to write. I would like to add a thought....but maybe I could just add an invitation. That's better. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers.

Have a wonderful week!!! I love you Mom, Dad, Nana, Eric, Curtis, Grandpa y Grandma Chiechi/Layton, Uncles/Aunts, Cousins, Nephew (Christies baby), and all my great friends!


Elder Layton

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blessings of the Book of Mormon

Familia! Amigos!

We baptized Julia Martinez this week. Her sister was happier than she was I think! Erica is an active member , secretary of the Relief Society but she was the only member of her family before. Now that her sister's going regularly she won't feel as alone.

Next week we have two baptisms. Johnny Guzman, a young man, and Martha, a mother of a member named Paola Vasquez. I'm really close with the Vasquez family so it's going to be great to have them there. Paola's brother-in-law Joel is coming home from his mission this Friday so that'll be cool to be there. He comes home Friday morning, and we're going to eat lunch in the afternoon. My companion Elder Rodriguez is friends with Joel from the MTC here in Peru. So I thought that was cool.

I like the room you showed me. It looks cool. Mostly the pool. This Saturday we're going over to Presidents house for lunch too because my companion's ending and everything. My companion's thinking a lot about home and everything so I'm doing my best to encourage him to keep working hard haha. He surfs for billabong so he's always talking about that and other things.

The Assistants told me that you called the offices dad and that you're trunky or something thinking about home ahha honestly I'm getting nervous even knowing that it's getting closer and closer. (Actually, I called to get info on his release details as I was instructed to do. The secretarty told me that Sean was his zone leader so I told him to tell Sean NOT to get trunky. So it got twisted.)
My plans are really only a few things right when I get home. New clothes, a job, to visit everyone... I'm planning on having some sort of short term calling so I've also been thinking a ton about that. I don't know.....if you want to start passing out that Returned Missionary Form too I'd appreciate it. ;)
Okay enough of that....that feels weird. It's not that often I talk about leaving Peru....hmmm. Sunday was Carnival. Well....all February is carnival but especially the Sunday so what that means is that everyone tries to throw water balloons at us. It's dangerous cause some of them have paint. Crazy Peruvians!!!! I love em.

Okay here's something I was reading the other day.

3rd Nephi 26:

6 And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people

11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.

I was impressed the reason we don't have the rest of the things Jesus Christ taught this people. The Lord said I will try the faith of my people. Honestly I think some of the things he taught these people were revelations specifically for our day. It would make sense because right before verse 6 Jesus was addressing the last days. I think that if Mormon had written those things down on the gold plates, the physical evidence of those sacred things wouldn't give us the same opportunity to test the faith of many in the last days. It's just a theory I have I guess, but I really know that the Book of Mormon is just that. A test of faith. The Church stands or falls on the Book of Mormon. So for anyone who's read it and prayed it stands. For anyone who doesn't, it falls, for them at least. I'm blessed to have this testimony and I hope that we can all grow closer to our Heavenly Father everyday. That's why we should read the Book of Mormon, because there's not another book that brings us closer to God.

I love you all so much. Happy Valentines Day.

Love love love,

Elder Layton

Monday, February 8, 2010

Everyday I'm Learning How to Be a Better Child of God


How's everyone? This week has been great. We're being very blessed. You remember the Earls right? The gringo couple from Utah in my zone. They're still working on the Spanish. Not completely fluent yet.... but on Wednesday I went out with them all day to help out. I taught them how to do the numbers and everything because it' not like they have a senior companion to teach them everything. We worked on the grammar a bit and taught several families.

They also came with us to an appointment yesterday that was a reference they gave us,'s an absolutely great family. They're the Galazar family....and it's a big family. Honestly I felt the spirit incredibly strong during the lesson. We taught the restauration with the help of the Earls. They taught the first principles and everything. What I like about this family is that they were paying a lot of attention. We left a Book of Mormon and everything and invited them to read and pray so we'll see what happen in our return visit.

Peru is getting to feel more like home... I really can't imagine the states anymore. That's weird.

Haha, I can't believe you found my passport! I looked for a week for that thing! About rooming, I can't find the info to Elder Stewart and Cope.....they were in my mission but they went back to their real mission in Bolivia. I'm not sure if they're done or about to get done but they definitely have more time than I do. So....if you can't get a hold of them, the most important is just get a room with Nate. Something cool south of campus is what I'm thinking. My companion will call in a couple of weeks. He's ending his mission the 24th of Feb. What else...

Tell Eileen I say hi. (My voice teacher.) I would do lessons again if I have a little time before school. I'm planning on getting relatively involved there at BYU. I have no clue what yet, but you'll see. Tell Logan I say hi when he comes home. I miss you all very much. Today we're going to go throw water balloons, play soccer, and have a BBQ. Very cool.

I'll just add that I really know the Church of Jesus Christ is true. Everyday I'm learning how to be a better child of God, and through constant prayer and scripture study we can do it better. It's so important to be constant. Like Elder Bednar talked about in one of his conference talks. If you were to ask his kids how were the scripture studies they wouldn't tell you it was exactly spectacular. They fought at times and didn't always learn a ton, but what they would tell you is that they were constant. They never missed a day of family prayer, or a night of scripture study. For that they've been blessed. They did what was necessary to overcome the temptation the rise up every day in our lives.

Have a good day!!!!

Elder Layton

Monday, February 1, 2010

Missionary Service Brings Happiness and Growth

Lauren is pregnant!!??? ahhhh (Lauren is one of Sean's friends who was recently married)

We received a reference from a member yesterday and now we have a GOLD family!!! The brother's name is Miguel.

I'm working hard and my companion's awesome.

Elder Rodriguez will be calling in a couple weeks. (They will be rooming together at BYU.)

Well.....I'm just really happy. I've grown so much in my testimony this week. I found out how to make better choices and listen to the spirit better.

I miss Nate honestly and I'm excited to room with him. (Nate is Sean's friend and former BYU room mate. He is serving in the Rosario Argentina mission right now, and left about 1 week prior to Sean. They are going to be rooming when they start back up at school.)

We have to go to the bank today to get money with the zone. I'm tired, and this letter's really short because I was doing the weekly informes....but nothing new really has happened. I'll write more next week! I love you!!!!

Elder Layton

(Steve Rau asked Sean for his input on a local program known as the Aaronic Priesthood Encampment. What follows is his response.)

I'm a missionary in the Peru Lima North Mission. I've been out in the mission field now for 19 months and I love every experience, every day, and every part of my mission. The APE helped me prepare for my mission in so many ways. Before my mission I was prideful and didn't do many things that I should have been doing to prepare for my mission. I was invited by the Stake Presidency in a formal letter (to attend) and sent my response of aception a few weeks later.

Honestly the APE is ingrained in my head. It was the first time that I felt the responsibly of helping a companion. It was the first time I could feel what it was like to have a district, or a zone. Now that I'm a Zone leader in a full-time mission I can definitely say that the APE helped me a ton. You could ask me in what way it most prepared me for my mission. It was the spirit of the APE and the spirit of the work that helped me the most.

To be honest, I don't remember anything I learned there. But I remember one night when President Rau and the other leaders called us (the district leaders) into a small tent and asked us about the "missionaries". I felt that I really wanted to help the other young men progress and learn so you could say it help me start developing a charity for others. All I can say is thanks for letting me be apart of the aaronic priesthood encampment :)!

Elder Layton