Friday, May 23, 2014


FAM!!! i love emailing you!!! love pdays!!!

Happy birthday to Amy yesterday. Hope it was great babe.

ok lets start off with the good news, as always. 
-I'm superrrr excited to come home next week for my doctors appointments!!!! woooot we can read our scriptures and pray and wear skirts and do all the things that missionarys do. it will be so fun. 
-Thank you family, for being fab and writing a Sister in need. It for sure made my week 100 times better. I have the best fam in the world. It's so funny to see how completely different everyone is in their letters from "Come home now, I'm not happy you left."- Amy, to "Never ever ever give up."-Dad, to "kyle is the best, I love him"-Emily, to "make sure you get your protein, maybe grilled cheeses?"-mom. hahahah mom do grilled cheeses even have protein?!
 -This week I ask you to do something much more important than writing me letters. If you arent already, I need you all to pray that I will have the gift of tongues! If I remember right, in our family we just say "please bless (name here) on their mission" and that's all. But i need you to say "please bless kelsey on her mission that she will have the gift of tongues so she can communicate with the deaf people she will meet in New York." K thanks you're all the best. 
-Heyyy can someone send me my patriarchal blessing? I forgot it somehow.... and it's mucho important.
-Perks of being in a trio: we're late to everything. Usually that's not a good thing, but our teacher makes us do pushups every time we're late, so we're getting ultra buff. Well not really, but it's good exercise!! Speaking of exercise, Dad can you please make me a good 40 minute work out plan thing? I"m getting bored of running around the field by myself.
-This week our teachers have been focusing more on teaching us charades rather than sign language. Why, you might ask? Because apparently there are real life people out there who are deaf, don't know sign language, and can't read English. Therefore we can communicate with them only through pictures and charades! It's soooo hard hahahahahh. Sign language is way easier. Try acting out the restoration of the gospel without using words or sign language, I dare you. It's completely exhausting. Oh well, at least I'll rock at charades when I get home :)) Oh, our investigator right now is Paco. He's from mexico, doesn't know english, and only knows a little bit of American Sign Language. So therefore we end up acting out a lot of the lesson. Our teachers told us there will be a lot of people like Paco in New York, so me and my comp are getting really nervous hahah. 
-This will make everyone jealous, I'm sure of it. Every Tuesday and Thursday we are privliged to wake up at 6:15 and clean toilets for an hour. This is the life I'm telling you. THE life! -__-
-Hey guess what! I got to sit front row and listen to an apostle again. This time it was the wonderful Bednar!! They started out the devotional by turning on one of his talks he had given at the MTC earlier this year, and we were all bummed, because who wants to watch a talk on the screen when we could have a real live person talking to us? Well that went on for 40 minutes, and then all of a sudden Bednar, the man himself walks in the doors. hahahahha it was so awesome everyone was freaking out. 
-I don't ever want to leave the MTC. I looooove it here. Remember how I didn't cry when I said goodbye to the fam? Welllll I'm pretty sure I'm gonna cry when I leave this place. It's so sad, I make great friends here, but then they leave after 12 days of training. But thennnn new people come and I make friends with them. It's a good life.
-Good news. I now have very great taste in ties. In my pre-mission life I never even paid attention to ties, but now I know there is a big difference between a good and bad tie. No time to explain the difference, but just know that my husband and sons will wear great ties.
-In case you didn't know, deaf people give people name signs. My name sign is the sign for korean because I love asians! I've loved asians my whole life, but then I met something much better.... mormon asians!!! They're the funniest people. The koreans are my favorite.
-Sometimes people ask us ASL missionaries the sign for this or that, and we happily show them. We love teaching people ASL. However when people as us how to sign common sense signs like "hi," "bye," or "love," we show them the sign for idiot, but we don't tell them it's the sign for idiot. We should probably repent and show them the right sign, but it's tooooo funny to see them say "Idiot," when they're meaning to say "hi."  

okkkkk sorry my emails aren't spiritual. I'm spiritual all week I promise, but on P-days I like to pretend I'm a normal person and not a missionary.
love you all :))
sister layton

ps. the ASL is coming along so well. i love the langauge. it's so beautiful, so weird, and so so so fun. On Saturday and Wednesday I tried hard to not use my voice at all. On Saturday I mostly succeeded, but on Wednesday I failed miserably, I neeeeded to talk!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Week One down!

hellooooo fam :))
Lots of good news this week!!
-We taught our first investigator, Ethan, 4 times this week! (he's not a real investigator by  the way, he's an actor.) hahahha oh man it was so scary, but so cool. He's deaf, so we had to teach completely in sign language. Most of the time I had no idea what was going on, but when I did understand what was going on, it was so cool to see myself teach WITH MY HANDS. He accepted the baptismal invitation during the 3rd lesson, so we were stooooked! And then the 4th lesson was soo so so bad, he even said he was bored! ha. oh well. 
-My branch president is awesome. He's so so cool. His counselors, on the other hand, we don't love that much. We had a meeting with the 1st counselor, who had good intentions, but completely killed deaf culture and offended many people in our group during the meeting. I don't think one person in the ASL group left that meeting upset. But it's ok, our teachers emailed him and told him that's not acceptable and he apologized :)) The 2nd counselor doesn't like us hahahahh. He says we're so loud and the other groups he's been in charge of have been very quiet. Hahahh i'm thinking "of course we're loud, we sit in a classroom all day in silence so when we're finally allowed to talk we simply cannot stop!"
-Omi and grandpa:
   --I met an elder from Thailand that knows you!! His name is elder Lualai if you remember the name. He's so nice. Anyways, I made a terrible mistake when I was talking to him. The same mistake Omi made. He picked up my nice new set of scriptures and without thinking, I asked "did you get new scriptures for your mission?" He replied, "No, i don't have anything. I have my coat and clothes, but that's all." I should've known better after Omi shared her similar experience with me. 
   --I also met Casey and Carol... I think that's their names. It was so great to talk to someone who knew my family!! They went on and on about how muc they love you, Omi and Grandpa, and the whole Layton family. It made me feel so good that they searched through the cafeteria just to find me and make sure I was doing ok :)
-Elder L. Tom Perry (whose first name is actually not Larry) came to the MTC on Tuesday. One of the perks of being an ASL missionary is we get to sit in the front row at every devotional (because we watch the interpreters.) That was saweeeeeet. I felt so lucky to get to listen to an apostle, let alone listen to an apostle on the front row!!
-I've always wanted to be able to participate in musical numbers in sacrament meeting or whatever, but unfortunately I'm just not capable of singing. But guess what, now I can because I can sign the words instead of sing them! Best thing everrrrrr. My district put together a sweet ASL/singing/piano arrangement for a song... I can't remember what it's called.... and we are going to audition to perform at the devotional. 
-I think I might become vegetarian after being at the MTC. I can't make myself eat the meat here. Thank goodness for spinach and apples and bananas and cereal. oh and bagels of course.
-GUESS WHAT. Elder Jacob Birth from centerville got here on Wednesday and is in my zone!! Hooray! 
-Another perk of being an ASL missionary is that everyone is always watching you, and always wants to talk to you, so we get to meet tons of missionaries! Missionaries from everywhere!! Some of the missionaries I've met come from 3rd world countries, are so poor, and don't have families that support their choice to serve a mission. I feel so blessed to have a family that supports me 100%.

Thank you Kyle and Emily for writing me letters, even though you're super busy newly-weds trying to move across the country. 
Letters are the best, people. We get them at the end of the day, right when we feel like our brain is about to explode.  Please send letters.  Seriously it takes 5 minutes to send a letter from and its freeeee.

The ASL is coming along slowly. I know a lot of words, but ASL grammar is so different than english grammar, and that's where I struggle. I still can't understand everything that my teachers say in class.... but I can understand more than I did last week!! I was getting frustrated one day, and my teacher could see that i was frustrated, so she drew a chart for me on the board. The chart basically showed that the amount of ASL you know doesn't really matter. As long as you love your investigator and follow the spirit, that's all you need. After that I stopped worrying about it and started to trust in the Lord more. 

Life is goooooood. Livin' the missionary life. Always avoiding the MTC orange juice.

Love, Sister Layton

Monday, May 12, 2014

Friday May 9, 2014 Week One:

Dearest Family!!! (and friends)

My first email home!! I cannot even believe it!! Hooray for pday!

It's weird to think I've only been here for a day and a half, it seems like it's been 2 weeks!
I always wondered why missionaries are so so so busy, but now I understand. There's so much to do and so much to learn!

Ok so let's start from the beginning... 
My host dragged me around the MTC, took me to get my nametag (it's still weird I have a nametag), and then took me to my dorm, where I met one of my companions. 
You notice how I said one of my companions.... Surprise! We're in a trio!! Sister Barker and Sister Jensen are my comps :) I love them both to death. We'll talk more about them later.
Then my host took me and Sis. Barker to our classroom, where the rest of the ASL missionaries were waiting for us. 
Man, that first class was CRAZY. ahahahha I couldn't help but wonder "what am I getting myself into?" Our teachers started signing to us, and everyone else understood what they were talking about!! But not me, I was like whaaaat is going on. See, there's a strict rule that we are NOT allowed to use our voice in class. It makes my eyes hurt.
Our teachers told us to walk around and introduce ourselves to each other, using sign language. hahahahah oh man that was so awkward. I didn't know how to say anything!! But everyone was so nice. :)
We then went to a meeting with all the missionaries that arrived on May 7th, listened to some talks, sang some songs, and THEN at the end we sang together "to bring the world his truth," but they changed the last words to "and we are now the lords missionaries to bring the world his truth." I loved that!! So powerful.

I love the fact that I am now a missionary. It's still weird when I look in the mirror and see my nametag. It's also really weird that people call me "sister layton."
Within the ASL missionaries, everyone has at least 2 years of experience. 1 elder and 1 sister have parents who are deaf, one elder is deaf, one elder has hearing aids, and the other 8 missionaries are way good at signing. 
It's soooo cool to watch them and learn from them.
We sign all day long. We sign at breakfast, we sign at dinner, we sign in class, we sign as we walk outside we sign allllll dayyyy looonnngggg. You have to always be paying attention and looking closely or else you'll miss something. It's exhausting, but I love it. By the end of the first day I wanted to use my voice so bad. It was so exhausting to not talk hahaha. I love talking. 

The first day missionaries are at the MTC they have to wear an orange sticker on their nametag, which let's other people know it's their first day there. So alllllll dayyyy lonnnggg we hear missionaries saying "welcome to the MTC sisters!" That was kinda annoying. I was happy to take off my orange sticker :))

We have 5 people in my district- Me, Sis. Barker, Sis. Jensen, Elder Longhurst (our district leader), and Elder..... I forget his hame. One thing I love about the MTC- if you forget anyones name you don't have to ask them 100 times, because you can look at their nametag. My district is so great, we are great friends, which is important because we're together like 10 hours a day.

Anyways. The MTC is great so far. I've loved most of it :) Sometimes class is hard because my teacher, sister Daniels is hearing, but doesn't use her voice or move her lips, so i have no idea what is going on. My companions are so helpful in class hahaha idk what I would do without them. Our Tutor, Brother Daniels (sister daniels husband,) is deaf, but it's easier to understand him because he moves his lips while he signs.

Yesterday in class sister daniels taught us how to pray in ASL. Wowowo I love praying in ASL!! After she taught us I started to bless my meals in sign and to say my prayers in sign. I love it. It really helps me slow down and think about what I'm saying, rather than just saying the typical prayer. It's so great. I feel like I am better able to sign when I say my prayers than any other time of the day.

Everyone stares at us a l l  t h e  t i m e because we sign. I'm starting to get used to it. When I was blessing my dinner in ASL yesterday, I sad amen and looked up to see a whole table of elders staring at me.... aaaaawkward. 

Oh just a side note, Elder Holland was here on the 6th of May. Can you even believe that? I missed him by ONE day!! Of course that would happen -__-

On the bright side, in the 2 days I've been here, I've already seen 3 of my friends in the past 2 days- Elder Erickson from SUU, Elder Salazar from SUU, and Elder Kasparian- my dear friend from high school. Crazy news about Elder Kasparian, The minute I saw him he was leaving to the West MTC because GUESS WHAT. His mission was reassigned to PERU. He was originally going to Russia or Ukraine, so him and all of the others heading there have permanent reassignments to peru. hahaha so now they have to learn spanish and forget russian. Oh man that's so sad/funny. He seemed excited though.
Another funny fact- our Branch Presidents wife sat us sisters down and encouraged us to wear make-up, she said that all missionaries are encouraged to wear make-up because they want the missionaries to look attractive. I thought that was so so funny.

The MTC is really like Disneyland for Mormons! I feel the spirit all day long. All. day. long. It's like a 24/7 testimony meeting. My testimony has already grown so much.... And i've already gotten so much more comfortable with ASL. I'm so excited to see what will happen t he next 5 weeks. 

We get 50 minutes a day to exercise, so yesterday we went running on the track. Mom was right, exercise helps me relieve so much stress. I felt like I was still in college just running and running and running all my fears away. Thanks dad, for teaching me to learn to love running. The New Balances are working out great by the way.

Mom- GOOD NEWS. we get to call home on mothers day!! woooooot woooot. I hope you're excited. I shall be calling home at 2:15. So be home. Unless you don't want to talk to me, then don't be at home. I won't be too offended lol.

On Saturday we get to teach our investigator Ethan. He's deaf. That should be interesting. Yiiiikes. My companions will help me :) hahahah they're so so so helpful I can't say it enough.

Overall, I'm so grateful to be here at the MTC! I know it's exactly where I need to be. Sign language is pretty hard, but at the same time it's so fun. I know the Lord will help me to learn it faster than I could ever imagine. I know that if I just try to use my hands, he will help me remember the signs. I love all the ASL missionaries. I kind of feel like I'm at EFY, just having a great time, making lots of friends, but then next week they're gonna tell us to pack up and tell us to go home hahahah.

SORRY THIS IS SO SCATTERED. I'll get better I promise.
Well we gotta goooo. We're going to the Art Museum in Provo or something like that.
love you all.
Sister Layton

ps. the computers won't let us upload pics... so next time.

ALSO. they changed my address. It's now unit 82 now. Everything else is the same, but it's unit 82 instead of 42. so if you could please let the FB world know that would be grand :)