Monday, June 23, 2014


FAMILY. I miss you all so much!
But hey, IM IN NEW YORK. I'm here. They tell me I'm still I'm America,
but I'm not so sure. This place is so AWESOME. Unlike anywhere I've
ever been. By far different than centerville in so many ways...
Garbage everywhere, constantly saying "WHAT is that smell?", 500
languages, metro cards, bible discussions on the subway, men on the
bus telling me my calling in life is to study economics, humidity, all
conversations awkwardly pausing as the subway passes by, gum all over
the bottom of my shoes, hand sanitizer for daysssss, foreign food, etc
etc etc. the only thing I can complain about is the fact that I can't
see the clouds very well because of the buildings.
Letters are always very appreciated!
-I'm serving in Astoria! After we arrived at the mission presidents
house last Monday, two sisters asked me where I thought I would serve-
Jamaica, Astoria, or YSA. I didn't know anything about any of the
areas, but I immediately felt that I would be serving in Astoria.
Well, the next day President announced that I would be serving in...
Astoria!! Haa, called it!!! My companions are Sister Samantha Board
and Sister Abby Robertson. You can add them on Facebook if you wanna
see pics of me because I won't be allowed to use Facebook for a while.
I came out in the middle of transfers, so they stuck me in a trio for
now. I don't know who my trainer is, but I'll find out in 2 weeks at
transfers! I'm being trained English, and I don't know when I'll go
into the ASL program, hopefully ASAP. I'm forgetting all the ASL I
learned in the MTC, but it's ok, I'm loving being an English
-Astoria is one of the best areas in the mission. Yes, it's the only
area I've been to, but it's by far one of the best in my opinion. I'm
so happy I get to spend the first 12 weeks of my mission here! Mommm,
I told you I would probably have car my whole mission...... Wellllllll
surprise, my first area is walking!!! I wouldn't have it any other
way. We get to walk, take the bus, and ride the subway! There's people
EVERYWHERE, and most of them are friendly. I love (most) New Yorkers.
Street contacting ("fearlessing") is really big here. People won't
always listen, but there's ALWAYS someone to talk to and invite to
learn more. Plus, we have an amazing view. I see Manhattan every day,
whether it be in the distance while on our morning run or riding past
it on the subway. It's pretty cool I guess. Oh man I can't believe I
live here now!!!
-Our district holds what we call an elliptical 3 times a week... An
elliptical is basically a creative way to let the community know who
you are. For example, on Wednesday we walked up and down the streets
picking up trash... and on Thursday we held signs that said "honk if
you prayed today," and "" at a busy intersection. It's so
fun, New York rockssssss.
-Yes, it's humid.... But I love the humidity. I love it. For reals
tho, because of the humidity I don't have to do my hair. It curls on
its own :)))))
-Everyone who told me it would be too dangerous to go for morning
runs, I'm proving you wrong. I am blessed to have companions who love
to run. Sister Robertson has actually ran marathons, she's amazing!!!
Every morning we wake up at 6:00 and run a few miles to start our
morning. (No better way to start, right pops?!) In my past life
running in the morning was quiet and peaceful because no one was up
and about, but here there's just as many people on the streets at
6:00am as there are at noon! It's funny to me that even at 6 in the
morning you have to use crosswalks because it's impossible to cross
the street.
-I feel like people can tell I'm not a New Yorker just by the way I
stand on the subway. I find myself holding onto the bar with two hands
for my dear life... But everyone else is casually standing there
playing on their phones not even holding on to the bar! Someday I
shall be as balanced as them. Someday. Someday I will also understand
the 29384738 different accents. Someday. Someday I'll be able to
navigate myself around this crazy maze. But for now I just laugh at
-Guess what. I have my own iPad and it's the best thing in the world.
I don't know how missionaries live without them. They're so convenient
to teach and plan with. Whenever I think about not having an iPad as a
missionary my shoulders start to hurt. Idk how missionaries can stand
to carry around books all day. All I need in my bag is my iPad, some
candy, a Book of Mormon, and my metro card! Life in the NYNYCS mission
is too good.
-Astoria is blooming!!! In the 6 months Sister Robertson has been here
she's never had an investigator come to church, until yesterday. We
have many new and progressing investigators whom I love to teach.
Missionary work is so much better than I thought it would be, it's not
a game, it's a real thing with real life people! Of course I can't
remember any of their names yet because none of them are American
names... The struggle is real. and of course I can only understand
what they're saying 60% of the time because they've got ACCENTS and
I'm totally deaf, but I love them and hope that we can bring them
closer to Christ.
-I could go on and on about NY, but you'd all get bored. I love this
gospel and I love this work. Some parts of ny can be sketch, but I
always feel safe. Sometimes we will stop and immediately turn around
in our paths because we have a bad feeling come upon us. I know that
we are so guided and protected as missionaries.
Ok gotta goooooo bye.
Sister Layton

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