Monday, June 30, 2014

Astoria, New York - Week Two

Hey fam.

This week has been awesome! I love the mission.
This email might be boring. I'm struggling to remember the highlights
of the week.

Let's start with Brooklyn!
-On Tuesday I was able to go on exchanges to Brooklyn with Sister
Slaugh!. I'll admit I was scared outta my mind to leave my companions
in Astoria, but once I got to Brooklyn I fell in love with the place.
It's so beautiful and lovely. The sisters have the nicest apartment on
a realllly nice street. Within my first hour in Brooklyn I saw two
people I know- a friend from my art class at SUU and Elder 
who went to Viewmont. SMALL WORLD.
--In Brooklyn we did service at the parks ALL day. The parks are so
fun and family friendly, full of all sorts of fun activities. Oh and
they have gardens at the parks, like vegetable gardens  and you can
try the vegetables! It's so fun. I'm moving to Brooklyn someday...
When I have a lot of money.....
--In the evening we went to the park where Sister  played the
violin and another Elder played the guitar/sang. My job was to walk
around and fearless people! Let me tell you, I was so scaredddd
because normally when I fearless I have a companion there to back me
up if I can't understand the accent. The first few people I talked to
had the heaviest French/Spanish/German accents, so I purposely ended
the conversation before bringing up the gospel. Then I thought to
myself "Heavenly Father sent me here, and if I show faith he is going
to help me understand people!" So I said a prayer in my heart, walked
over to a woman sitting on a bench and introduced myself. I was hoping
she was American, but no, out came the heaviest Russian accent I've
ever heard. Trying my hardest, I didn't give up, I kept talking and I
KNOW Heavenly Father helped me. I perfectly understood every word she
said!! We connected and had a great conversation. She wanted to learn
more so I got her contact info and gave her our card. I think the
Brooklyn elders have been in contact with her, MIRACLES HAPPEN. I love
missionary work!
--While in Brooklyn I met the first deaf person of my mission!!!!! It
was miraculous that we saw him actually. His name is James. I
remembered enough ASL to have a conversation with him and ask if I
could get his skype number so the ASL elders could call him later that
night. It made me so anxious to get into the ASL program!
--Sister Slaugh, who I was on exchanges with, is very passionate about
individuality. She taught me a lot about how it's important to be
yourself as a missionary. She said the missionaries around me are
great examples, but I am NOT to try to become like them, rather I need
to become the missionary Heavenly Father needs me to be. After she
told me that I stopped trying to be exactly like my companions and
I've noticed that when I'm myself, preaching the gospel comes so much
more naturally!!

Another thing of interest for the Layton fam:
-So 2nd cousin Elder Cook is serving in Charlotte, right? Well, one of
our investigators, Annie recently moved to Charlotte. We've stayed in
contact with her and have lessons every so often over Skype. Well,
when we were skyping I asked her if she knew Elder Cook! She says
"yeah, yeah, Elder Cook just got here! He's actually coming over for
dinner on Saturday!" Hahahah WHAT. It's not very often that two
cousins from different missions work with the same person..... Crazy

-before I arrived in NYC my companions signed us up to teach a BIBLE
CLASS. Yes, a bible class. Do we know anything about the bible? No.
Tomorrow we start teaching the class. I don't know how we'll do it,
with the help of the spirit I guess. IVE NEVER READ THE BIBLE IN MY
LIFE. I should have paid attention in seminary, what was I thinking!
I'll let you all know how it goes. Hahahaha. Pray for us.

-This week some Spanish members accidentally gave our whole zone cake
with coffee in it. Yeah... that's all that really needs to be said.

-the people of New York..... Gotta love em. Yesterday a lady on the
street whispered into my ear "take care of your hair, you need
something to protect your scalp." Mmhmm, thanks for that, lady. I
would share other stories but my mom would flippp out if she heard

-This week I've seen quite a few Manhattan sunsets. Ahhhh they're so
beautiful. I would send a picture, but I'm afraid pictures don't quite
show how beautiful it is.

Another piece of good news: my cooking skills are improving immensely!
I learned how to boil an egg this week. I also cooked some chicken.
Learning new things every dayyyy. I'll be a chef in no time.

Ok I can't really remember anything else......
Life is SO good!!!! Thanks for all the prayers.
Have a fun 4th of July without me. We're gonna try and eat
cheeseburgers here. Should be FUN.
Next weeks email will be better, I promise.
Sister Layton

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