Monday, July 28, 2014

Statue of Liberty & Cockroaches

Hey guys,

How is everyone doing?
Hope the 24th of July was AWESOME! No worries, I made a few s'mores
over my stove to celebrate good old Utah. Love that place.

I just got back from the Statue of Liberty. It was cool. She's so big,
colorful, and beautiful. We didn't actually go on her little island
because it costs money and us missionaries are poor, but we rode past
her on the ferry for freeeeee. Mmmm yes, nothing better than sailing
on the ferry for pday. There were so many touristy tourists. Of course
I wasn't one of those tourists as I live here now! Even better than
seeing the Statue of Liberty today was finding a DQ. New York has one
Dairy Queen and we FOUND IT. We were all in heaven as we ate our
blizzards :)))))

Alright, Sister Board and I had a really spiritual week with so many
miracles and tender mercies from The Lord. The only problem is I don't
like writing about that kind of stuff in my emails because it just
doesn't do it justice! And let's be honest most people don't even read
spiritual emails.

Bad news: WE HAVE A COCKROACH. a big one. We've had plenty of small
cockroaches, but this one is a big huge momma cockroach. I've never
seen such a large bug. Unfortunately every time we build up the
confidence to kill it, we can't find it. Eeek. I'm so thankful I sleep
on the top bunk. I'm sure all my friends in foreign countries are
laughing as they read this. Yes, I'm a wimp, get over it.

I had my very first interview with President Calderwood on Tuesday.
While waiting for my turn I was scared outta my mind because after all
he is theee mission president! As I stepped into his office and knelt
in prayer with him that fear went away and I felt at peace. Every
missionary says they're amazed at how much love they feel from their
president, but I never believed it... How can a mission president love
and keep track of over 200 missionaries at once?! Well, during that
interview my unbelief went away. I felt that love, the spirit was
overwhelming, and it was SO COOL. Mind blowing, really. I know without
a doubt he is called of god and holds the priesthood keys for the
NYNYCS mission. He is putting an emphasis on Preach My Gospel. Study
PMG, people. I don't care if you're not missionaries, it will change
your life!

Real quick in case anyone is wondering, we dropped the family that's
meeting with the JW's. It was sad. I love them, but it was time.

We had sisters conference on Wednesday with all the NYNYCS sisters. It
was awesomeeeee. I really don't remember what was talked about, but I
do remember the spirit I felt there. I love my NYNYCS sisters. We are
Sistas in Salvation! The STLS asked Sister Board & I to perform a
musical number. Sister Board said we would. Wait WHAT? Lollll anyone
who knows me knows I'm NOT musical! In the end I signed the song while
3 others sisters sang it, so it all worked out.

Speaking of signing, I met like 12 members of the deaf branch this
week. I couldn't really communicate with them, because my ASL is
getting worse and worse each day, but it was so fun. I can't wait to
go ASL!

I love finding. I completely love it. Sister Board and I actually
found new investigators this week!!!! Best feeling everrrrrr. and we
KNOW that through our obedience/faith the spirit will help us continue
to find. There are real life people out here who need this gospel,
they might not realize it, but they do. And we willllllll find them.
They can run, but they sure can'tttt hide from sister Board and I.
One night we went to a scenic view of Manhattan as the sun was setting
and asked people to "take pictures of us" so we could start a
conversation with them. Best. Strategy. Ever. Sometimes we ride the
subway/bus back and forth just to talk to people in situations where
they can't run away. Hahahahha. I think sometimes people give me their
number just so I will stop talking to them. I can't help it, I love to
talk talk talk to people all day long. Some people claim they don't
know English, but I'm like whateverrrrrr you're in America now, let's
talk about the gospel!(ok I don't actually say that, but I think it in
my head.) If you can get people to be confident with the little
English they know, they will love you and won't stop talking to you
:)))) it's so cute. One thing I've been working on is testifying to
every person I talk to.... We have to testify to allow them to feel
the spirit! I love how the spirit guides us to testify of the things
these people need to hear.

I would like you all to take a moment and think about how awkward it
would be when you start to talk to someone, invite them to learn more,
and and find out they're a member. Ooooooops. That happened.

Almost as strong as my love for finding is my love for mangos. Never
had one until this week. My life is changed. Welcome to mango!

I love you ALL SO MUCH.
-sister layton in NYC

Oh wait one more story.  On Thursday I completely fell over into a seat
on the bus and let out a little scream. Everyone around looked at me
funny. I looked up and said to all of them "No, I'm not from New York.
I had never been on a bus until I got here 2 months ago, I'm still
figuring it out. Ohhhh and does anyone know how to get to 41st street?
I'm a missionary from Utah and I'm so lossssttttt!" All of that just
came out of my mouth without me thinking hahahahah. But everyone
laughed and loved it! They all thought I was funny for some reason. We
all became friends and eventually I invited all of them to church, but
they thought I was joking and laughed! Church is not a joking matter,
idk why they thought it was a joke. No one ever takes me seriously.
One of the ladies on the bus looked familiar, turns out she lives 2
streets down from me. I said "heyyyy, didn't we knock on your door
before? Oh yeah, you didn't let us in did you?! That wasn't very
nice!" Hahahahah everyone laughed. I love group bus conversations. NEW

Sister Layton's Woodside Bus Stop

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Manhattan - Oops!

Hello and happy Pday.

Holy cow. Fastest week of my LIFE. Sister Board keeps telling me it
will get faster, but I can't even comprehend how that will happen. It
feels like we're already moving 200 miles an hour.

--This week I left my mission. Yep, I left it. On accident of course.
WE WENT TO MANHATTAN! It was an accident, I promise. Sister board and
I are both newbies, and we hopped on the wrong bus which took us right
over the bridge out of our mission and into Manhattan. Hahahahah
oooops. I wanted to cry, but at the same time I was so excited
because.... Well because it's Manhattan!! It was everything I ever
imagined and more! Containing my excitement and acting like a normal
person was a struggggle. Inside I was bursting for joy like a 13 year
old girl going to a one direction concert.(How is one direction, by
the way?) We were there in Manhattan for a good 7 minutes :))))
Best/worst 7 minutes of my life. No worries it won't happen again.

--Something real weird happened this week. Missionaries have been
working with the  family since November. They haven't progressed,
and had never gone to church, yet no one has felt it was right to drop
them. Sister Board and I decided we were going to do everything in our
power to discover the real reason they aren't progressing. We realized
the little kids have asked some unusual questions, questions that 5 &
9 year olds don't normally come up with. Welllllll, long story short,
we discussed with the Elders what those questions might mean, and
concluded that the  family is meeting with the.... Wait
for it..... Jehovahs Witnesses... When we met with the children again we
played detective and got the secret out of them! It was pretty funny,
I won't lie.
  --I mentioned before that the J family had never been to
church... Well the same week we found out they're meeting with the
J-W they actually came to church! It was a miracle! We agreed to
show up at their apartment at 8am and help the mom make breakfast/get
the kids ready. We walked with them to church..... it soon became my
job to keep the kids quiet during sacrament meeting.... Aaaah, I'm
sure all the ward members were thinking "WHAT is Sister Layton
doing?!" Lemme tell you, I'm neverrr having kids. It was funny tho, I
loved when one of the kids says very loudly "what happened to the big
cups?" And "wait, is this water?" Lol. I'll send a pic with the kids
:) stay tuned for more news on this mystery.

--This week we had Zone Conference! Yay. I love my zone. Anyways,
we're having a great revelatory conference, the spirit was on fire and
it was totally awesomeeeee. And then. The zone leaders get up to give
their revelatory pep-talk/speech. I'm leaning on the corner of my
chair because I can feel it's gonna be so good.... and MY COCHLEAR
IMPLANT DIES right as they start talking. what. I was so bummed. I
guess sister board accidentally unplugged my charger so the batteries
didn't charge over night -__- hahaha oops. So I kinda just sat there
awkwardly until it ended hahahah. My life.

--Sister Boards birthday was this week! She's growing up so fast. We
ate so. Much. Food. Mmmm it was so yum, and so expensive. I'm broke.
Luckily Frank, the owner of our favorite hamburger place, gave us
freeeee hamburgers for our whole district! He must secretly know the
church is true... No one in their right minds gives 8 missionaries
free hamburgers if they don't know the church is true! Maybe someday
Frank will admit it and get baptized. Until then I'll gladly accept
the free food.

--Gyros. They're really tasty. So yum. That's all I have to inform you
on that subject matter.

--Our area covers some pretttttty sketch parts of New York. Our stake
president made a rule that the sisters can't go to those areas without
an escort. This week we had no choice.... Like hello, our
investigators salvation is at stake, we can't just cancel lessons!! We
went alone not only once, but twice! Eeeeek I was so scared, Sister
board and I were both shaking. The Elders didn't believe us when we
said we neeeeeded escorts, but the next day they had a lesson in the
same place and we received a text from them saying "we're never going
there alone again either, that was so scary!"

--We matched/folded socks for an investigator for an hour this week.
Idk how this lady obtained so many socks. It was like a giant puzzle.

--Shout out to my dirty diet coke lovers, if anyone has some extra
coconut syrup laying around you are more than welcome to send it to
me. I would love you FOREVER. Dirty diet cokes don't exist here in New
York, and Sister Board and I have been searching for coconut syrup for
weeks... Only to completely fail. -__-

--HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DEAREST OMI. so sorry I couldn't be there for
the party. I love you so so much!!!

Thank you for your prayers and for cheering me on! The strength I
receive from your prayers is REAL... The fact that I made it through
this week without a nap testifies of that. Love you all.
-Sister K. Layton

Monday, July 14, 2014

sister layton in NY

What is up.

It's been a wicked week! The first three weeks in the field I though
"okay yeah, missionary work is cool, I can do this for a year and a
half!" But this week I started to think "THIS IS SO AWESOME THE GOSPEL

I won't lie, I do miss Utah summers... the golfing, hiking, rainbow
snows, lawn mowing, boating, etc. But I mostly miss golfing. The
closest thing I've seen to golfing here was when I was running around
some soccer fields on Tuesday morning. An olllddd Chinese man was out
with his golf club, a milk jug cap, and a tennis ball. Using the milk
jug cap as a tee, he hit the tennis ball around the fields. It was so
cute hahahah. As I sat down and started to do some sit-ups, that same
old man wobbled over to me smiling. He says with the little English he
knows "big belly, no no no, you want skinny. I show you how." I'm like
"oh... uhhhh yeah ok!" He proceeds to grab my ankles and knees and
puts them in the "proper position." Then he grabs my wrists and pulls
them towards my feet and says "hands to feet, then up then again." So
I attempt this strange exercise and he gets mad because I did
something wrong with my knee. Then he made me do it again, this time
he held my knee in the proper position. Alllll sorts of alarms were
going off in my head because THIS OLD CHINESE MAN WOULDNT TAKE HIS
HAND OFF MY KNEE until I did the exercise right. Well, President never
informed us on what to do in a situation like that, so I was just
hoping my companions would come get me out of it. They were too busy
laughing at me from a few feet away. Then finally I did the exercise
right and he let go and I said "wow thanks for showing me sir, I'll
have to do that more often." And walked away as fast I could. Hahahha.
What the heck, can you say random?!

-Transfer Tuesday! Oh my heavens, I felt so claustrophobic, there were
so many missionaries. I loved seeing the departing missionaries who
were going home the next day. As I looked into their eyes I could see
how sad they were to leave, and how precious their time here in New
York was. It made me motivated to work harder. When I am in their
shoes I want look back and be happy with how I used the Lords time.
   Because it was my first transfer meeting, they made me stand up and
introduce myself, my companion, tell why I came on a mission, and say
the area I'm serving in. I stand up and say "hi, I'm sister layton,
blah blah blah, I've been here 3 weeks, and we're serving in.........
Umm... Uh......" I COULDNT REMEMBER WHERE IM SERVING. Everyone was
laughing. It was pretty funny, President got a kick out of it. You'd
think after being here for 3 weeks I'd at least be able to remember
the name of my area. Hahahaha the struggle is real.
   We have two new missionaries in our district with a new district
leader- Elder Busby. It's Elder Busbys second to last transfer and let
me tell you, he is ready to go out with a bang! He has set some high
goals for our district, and we're determined to reach them. We've been
focusing a lot on finding new investigators to teach. It's actually
very hard to find people in New York because everyone is busy busy
busy. Like hello, you can't be too busy for salvation, people! Due to
finding, we've been knocking on doors a lot. And guesss what, I got a
door SLAMMED in my face! It was awesome, I've always wanted to
experience a real live door slamming!
    I mentioned earlier that we set some high goals as a district.
Along with those goals we decided that if we reach them we will reward
ourselves with..... District pedicures!!! Awesome right? And the best
part is it was the elders idea. Hahahahha. I can't wait. Our feet do
look pretty ugly from all the walking.

-We cooked this week. Real food. It wasn't even fake. Life is good.
Raise your hand if you're proud of me.

-Yesterday I was talking to a man from Bangladesh with a crazy accent.
He thought I was from a different country and asked me what language I
spoke. I was like uhhhh I'm American. He says "then why don't you
understand English?" Hahahah oh man, I'm so bad with accents.

-Sister board and I have been getting lost a lot. And I mean a lot. We
have no idea what we're doing, but it's cool. In fact, we see the most
miracles happen when we're not where we planned to be. I love seeing
how The Lord has different plans for us than we have for ourselves and
he knows exactly where we need to be to find those who are prepared to
heard the gospel.
   I used to think the "hastening of the work" was due to the large
amount of missionaries being called to serve, but now I know that it's
because of the Lords help. The New York mission vision starts with
this line: "I am set apart from the world to serve WITH The Lord Jesus
Christ here in New York." He is here, I know He is. He is softening
the hearts of many many people so they can accept His gospel when they
hear it. Now we just have to find them! When we do find them it's
gonna be awesomeeeeee. So stoked.

Ok my zone is playing a game right now and I really wanna play sooooo
until next time peeps.

With love from NYC
-sister layton

Monday, July 7, 2014

W/ love from NY

Dearest family,
I'm back! I can't believe another week has gone by. How dare time go by so fast!

Highlights of the week:
-4th of July!
---It was a grand day. I love America! We woke up and ran our own
little 5k around the neighborhood while happily saying "happy 4th of
July!" to everyone. Of course 50% of the people didn't understand what
we were saying because they don't understand English, and the other
50% were shocked because someone was happy at 6:30 in the AM. In case
you were wondering, people in New York don't dress patriotic for the
4th, it's quite upsetting. My companions and I sure stood out in our
head to toe red, white, and blue outfits! For dinner we decided we
neeeeeeded cheeseburgers, cuz 4th of July, so we went to the best
burger place in town. I've been working hard to make friends with the
owner, and guess what, he gave us freeee shakes! Success! It was so
tempting to stay out late and watch the New York fireworks, but
obedience>fireworks. I wanted to cry as I listened to them from our
apartment hahahah.-__-

-We got training calls on Wednesday! I now know who my mother is!
Sister Board, who has been out for 3 months will start training me on
Tuesday. We're staying in Astoria, and I'm still English. I'm stoked
to see this area grow the next few months. It has so much potential!
Right now it's sounding like I might go to the ASL program in two
transfers. Cross your fingers.

-This week we had 3 legit thunderstorms! It was so totally awesome
even though I ruined my favorite pair of shoes.-__- I've never seen
cooler lightning. One night we forgot our umbrellas.... That morning I
asked "should we bring our umbrellas?" My companions responded
"naaahhhhh it's nice and sunny today." Yeah, it started pouring that
night. Staying indoors, we spent a few hours knocking on every.
single. door. in an apartment building. I actually love knocking on
doors! Every door is a surprise! Some people are rude, some people
make hilarious excuses, some people are actually interested, and best
of all-some people are Asians! The Asians are always so nice and cute.
--While we were knocking I shook a 70-year-old mans hand to introduce
myself. He continued to shake it for 15 very long seconds while going
off about how I'm an "angel sent to him from god." Yet, he didn't want
to hear our message. Hahahahahha all I could think about was getting
my hand out of his, but when I pulled he wouldn't let go!

-So, on Thursday my companions and I were walking down the street. I
passed a group of people who were signing and thought to myself "Oh,
that's cool, they must be deaf," and continued walking. Ten seconds
later I stopped in my tracks and said "WAIT. they're deaf. I'm an ASL
missionary!" Hahahha I forgot I knew ASL. So I turned around and ran
to catch up with them. They were the nicest family.... A Korean deaf
family of 5! Does it get better?! I thought I loved Koreans, but then
I met deaf Koreans :))))) If only they were Mormon! They didn't have
time to listen to my message, and I didn't get their contact info, but
I pray that I will be placed in their path again and bring them closer
to Christ.

-The best experience of the week was probably sitting in on 2 lessons
with the ASL Elders. One was with a member, and one was with an
investigator. The elders are great and holy cowwww, their ASL is
BEAUTIFUL! The spirit I felt watching them sign was incredible. I had
the chills the whole time. They made me teach a small part of the
lesson, and even though I had no idea how to move my hands, it was so
fun! Teaching in ASL is 100% different than teaching in English. I'm
so anxious to go into the ASL program! The deaf member we were
teaching lives near me, and we've scheduled for Sister Peterson (my
MTC companion) and I to go to lunch with him every Friday to practice
our ASL skills.

-fun fact: there are more dead than living in New York. I live right
next to a huuuuge cemetery!!!! It looks so beautiful whenever we walk
by. I'm begging my companion to go wander through it with me next
p-day. Should be fun.

-This week we had lessons in the ghettttooooo. I was pretty scared not
gonna lie. The elders had to escort us to that area of town, cuz
sisters aren't supposed to go alone. Thank heavens for the elders!

Ok I gotta go......
Peace out peeps. Keep being missionaries!
Also if someone would send me a picture of my new cousin Madden that
would be nice.
-Your most favorite Sister Layton

us on the 4th

pushing around our cute pushcart like a legit city person