Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Baptism of Renzo Milla

HI!!!
I`m not going to be able to write very much because the internet place didn't open up until 10 and we were waiting outside for an hour to do informes (reports).

How are you? We had a great week! Renzo Milla was baptized. I'm sure his older brother's going to be really happy. Yes, we had a great time at the temple, and yes I got my birthday package which was perfect!!! We broke open the glow sticks and we threw glow goop all over the walls which was a perfect addition to the glow in the dark stars on our ceiling at night.

We set three new baptism dates with some young men. Yesterday we were up on one of the tallest hills and all the appointments fell through so we decided to just contact everyone. We found a married family with kids which was the best! We're going back on Wednesday to teach them so we'll see what happens.

So my pension Rosio had to move out. The people above us and below us all got in a fight. One night when we were coming home we got caught up in the middle of it....well, let's just say we had to run and stuff....and the police came....haha, but that sounds worse than it really was, kind've. But don`t worry, we went up to our room and we`re perfectly safe! So Rosio lives up on the hill with all her family (the Vasquez family). She comes down to give us breakfast and dinner every day until the 1st of the month. Then we`re changing pensions and we`re going to eat with the Vicera family. Brother Vicera is 1st counselor of the stake presidency and they`re one of my favorite families ever! They only live two blocks away. A little farther than downstairs but it`ll make do.

I love you mucho!!!!

Cuidense,

Elder Layton

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gethsemane

Sunday we visited one of the outlying wards in the Stake. Sr. Johnson of the Burns Ward had this song playing...and I asked her to send it to me. (I love it! Thank you Sr. Johnson.) This is the reason Sean is serving a mission. This is the core of his message. And it's not to investigators only...it's to me and to you as well. It's for all of us.

video

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Mission Clothed in White

Good afternoon!!!!!!

We went to the temple today which was the best!, since we weren't able to go last change. We arranged with a member to come pick up the zone in a bus. On the way to the temple the tire blew out. We got off and took a smaller bus after 30 minutes. Then the member “repaired” the bus and came to pick us up at the temple. On the way home the same tire blew out again haha. Sooo, we took another bus to come here, to write you heehee. Apart from that this week was absolutely amazing. We had a ton of experiences and 4 baptisms!!! Here are the people that were baptized this week.

Julia Ocaña – She's the sister of Naylu that got baptized 2 weeks back. Her testimony in the baptism was amazing. She started crying when she started telling everyone how much she wants her entire family to come to the church. Right now she has a lot of challenges with her boyfriend because he`s not to happy about her decision but she's happier than ever.

Yomira Davalos - Yomira the the next door neighbor of Julia. The both of them have been going to seminary so that`s where we received the references from the missionaries.

Wendy Varas – She's a young adult, the niece of Jose Varas a returned missionary. She showed up in church a couple weeks back so we visited her and she had a ton of desires to change her life. Her mom didn't give her permission at first, but after a couple times talking with her we told her to pray to let her mother understand and after talk with her. She did and in the following visit she was all excited cause her mom signed the permission slip. It was cool cause her mom traveled from really far (Wendy doesn't live with her mom, she lives with her uncle) to go to the baptism.

Katy Escobar – The older sister of Roxanna! Finally, after so much time she finally went through with it. She was smiling the entire time in church. To complete the entire family only the dad and another sister who always works on Sunday is left. The dad can't talk but the main challenge is that he's never there!

We're not just baptizing women. We have Renzo Milla that`s getting baptized on Saturday. Renzo is the little brother of Elder John Milla that's serving in the Peru Lima Central Mission. We teaching the entire family. His parents got married and everything, but the parents still won't accept baptism dates!!! Their son is getting back on April 7, 2010....soooo two weeks. The crazy thing is was that I told sister Antonia Milla, hey do you have pictures of your son, because I know some Elders in Mission Central. The first picture she showed me was of her son Elder Milla and his companion, Zac Ingersol! One of my roommates from BYU. That`s so insane, the Mormon world is so small!

Also for April 3rd Joesph and Jose both have baptism dates. The were also references of one of my favorite families in the mission. The Chavez Family. Willy Chavez is a young man preparing to go on a mission and he was actually in Puente Piedra with me on a mini mission for several months. I went on splits with him a couple times, and I also knew him from when I was in Ermitaño the ward next door. Sooo, Willy`s mother gave us those two awesome references. Josef (19 years old) had listened to missionaries 5 years ago and was completely prepared for us.....he was basically just waiting all this time.

So it`s true about the talent show. But I wouldn't say it was really that funny. I suppose I more-likely bored the audience doing the skit of our special drink Larnica (Layton, Garnica). We had a lot of other stuff planned as a zone but everyone was late to get there so we started a little late and everybody knows missionaries have curfews. I could do the elephant skit though. Maybe I'll send the video one day. The best thing though is that we received a lot of references, and there were several investigators there!

I'm just grateful for all these experiences we're having. I can't take any credit for our success, because it`s only been miracles honestly. I feel extremely blessed that the Lord has even permitted me to be here....to let me work in His vineyard in these last days. I'm blessed because of the testimony that I have of this work... that I know without any doubt that it's true. Apart of the Book of Mormon I have a testimony of the doctrine and the truth of the church and of living prophets. I have a huge testimony of the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a testimony of the Holy Ghost. These things I bear my witness and I do not lie, God bearing witness. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's church. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Layton

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Super Drink

I just got off the phone with Elder Wiler. Elder Wiler is the secretary to the President in the Lima Peru North Mission. We were able to take care of some business. Then Elder Wiler told me...

"Elder Layton's my zone leader. He's a good Elder...really funny. Last night they *Elder Layton and Elder Garnica) did a talent show."

I asked what they did. He responded:

"They did a skit. They were both wearing knee shorts so the lower parts of their legs were visible. He and his companion made a super drink. It gave super strength to whoever drank it. It was called Lanica. They called it Lanica because of their names.

They told the audience that the drink was made from a couple of secret ingredients from the United States and Bolivia. (Elder Garnica is from Bolivia.) Then the audience was invited to come up and taste this incredible super drink. Lots of people did.

Finally, they asked the audience if anyone could guess what the secret ingredients were. There were a few guesses but they were all wrong. Finally the Elders (who were each only wearing one sock during the skit) reached down into the large glasses and pulled out their missing socks."

Pretty good stuff.

We miss our son.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baptisms of Naylu Ocaa and Lucia Gonzalez

BONJOUR!!

How are my favorite family and friends doing? This week was full of adventures tracting wild animals in the savage Peruvian Amazon....not. Lima is much better.

I love Peru for the people. Last night we had an activity as a zone in front of the city hall of Independencia. My companion and I dressed up as profets and everything and the other missionaries all had tables. One table was about families, the church, and temples, with pictures and everything. Another table was about the restoration. Another table was about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. And my companion and I gathered the sheep. We contacted hundreds of people in only 2 hours so it was a success.

This week we had the baptisms of hermana Naylu Ocaa and Lucia Gonzalez. Lucia is 90 years old. The baptism was so funny. I baptized Naylu first, and after my companion tried to baptize Lucia. After 5 attempts I had to help. Lucia is a lady that has a lot of physical problems (she`s 90!) so she couldn't get baptized like normal, she had to sit down. She didn't want to go completely under so I demonstrated as a favor to my companion, and after she finally did it! She was just laughing the whole time which just made things even funnier. She's a great person.

Naylu's sister is getting baptized next week too, along with several other people. Remember Roxanna Escaobar? Her sister Katy Escobar has been listening to missionaries for years. I'd visited her a lot, but nothing, until one night we had the idea to watch a specific movie with her about the 10 Virgins and being prudent. After the movie she was crying and now she's also getting baptized on the 20th of March. We have a talent show as a stake on Friday put on by none other than, the missionaries!! Every companionship in the zone's going to do something and we're also doing several shows all together. For some reason the talent shows here are always a big hit....and we get a ton of references.

I'm excited to go to Machu Pichu! That's going to be the bomb!!! But.....are we going with Nate? Honestly it would be even better! But I totally understand if it's not going to work out....

When I'm back in Bend I have just one expectation now that you told me Mom that Briana and now maybe Eric are working where they are: FREE ICECREAM!!!!!word!!!

I want to share this passage about the importance of faith directly from the Book of Mormon. If only we had the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains:

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if

ye will but have faith.

Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.
Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.


For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.
Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.


Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.

Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.

And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.

And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth his finger he could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of his word which he had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith.

And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil.

And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them Have Faith! (Ether 12:6-20)

The Book of Mormon is true!

I love you all. Have the best day ever!!!!!!

Love,

Elder Layton

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Brisa Baptism + Jhonny Guzman's Progress + Tons of Investigators = Perfect Week

GOOD MORNING FAMILY!!!!

My nephew Trace is a studd. 6 months old today. Thanks Christie for the pictures!

This week has been perfect! We baptized another Brisa....this time Brisa Quispe. It was a great baptism. We're teaching her mother but first she has to get married. We've never actually met the husband because he's never at home, but Brisas mom Pilar is progressing. She went to see the confirmation of Brisa yesterday and everything. We had a ton of investigators in the church yesterday actually so I'm excited about that.

I'm officially older than 2 decades....which is kind've depressing-exciting. I did eat cake though...a lot of it. They have the wonderful tradition here of shoving the entire cake into your face, and then taking pictures.... crazy Peruvians, crazy Vasquez Family!!! Yes, I'll get you the pics haha...

That's cool you saw Katie Maloney. The last time I saw her was in the Bend High prom when I went with Valerie Sutton. I think my freshman year I just disappeared without telling anybody I was changing schools, which is really funny, I think.

I had another amazing experience yesterday. You can't imagine what it feels like to go on splits with one of your converts. Jhonny Guzman went with me again yesterday and everything, and even though he only has a little more than a month as member he teaches really well. He likes reading the Book of Mormon in his spare time...apart from practicing Taekwondo, haha.

Jhonny's had a really hard life. Right before he was baptized, he lived with his parents. They never were really there anyway, but lots of times at the ends of the weeks his dad would come home drunk wanting to punch something, so you can imagine that Jhonny got in the way sometimes. Being 17 years old he decided to move in with his aunt and cousins who are all active members of the church and that`s where I found him. He was ready to have a better life!

Being a missionary is the best. I'm being blessed every day with tons of experencias. I know my letters are so full of exciting details too. It`s my strong point. I'm sure I'll get my birthday package this week! Kelsey I'll see you in BYU!

Nos vemos familia, los amo mucho!!!

Elder Layton

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baptism of Brisa

BUENOS DIAS FAMILIA Y AMIGOS!!!

My companion is from Bolivia!

Elder Garnica is the best. He has a million stories to tell me all the time. It's just great.

I can't believe dad is 48... I don't remember when he turned 40. 2 more years dad! 2 Years will go by really fast believe me.

We had the baptizm of Brisa on Saturday. She actually did it finally!!!! The first two times she was too scared of the water. Jhonny Guzman and Jaquin got the preisthood yesterday! We went on splits too. It was an incredible experience to be able to go out teaching with my convert on his first day as priest. He had a ton of questions about everything. About the church, about the mission, about girls. I helped him out with the first two and explained to him the secret of the third. Luckily I've learned more on my mission about that topic than any other time in my life.

So we have several baptism dates we're working with and many families that we're visiting. My goal this change is just to really focus on finding families. Today we're going to hike a huge hill with the whole Zone to burn our sins that we write on paper and put into our Olympic torch to get the whole zone pumped up for the new transfer. Haha, the new missionaries are really awesome here. Almost the whole zone changed. Of course the Earls are still here with me but everyone else is new. I have an elder in my Zone named Elder Curtis Harding. Finally I have a gringo to hang out with on pdays. He has 5 months in the mission.

That was awesome to see Logan. He doesn't look too different. I'm just jealous Nana got to hang out with him and Jacob!!!

I have to go.

I love yous!!!

The Gospel is True.

Elder Layton