Monday, August 25, 2014


Mom, Dad, you always said "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."
Well, I let them bite. WE HAVE BEDBUGS. We have them pretty bad too.
Ok ok ok now, no one freak out, it's no big deal. Just kidding it
really is a big deal. Oh well, it was bound to happen sometime. You
aren't a New Yorker if you don't get bed bugs right?
I have lots of bites, it's quite disgusting. In the words of Sister
Board as we were walking back from the laundromat, "I feel like this
can't be real life. We have to be living a dream... Or I guess a
No worries, Sister Peterson and Sister Joseph took us in. we have been
staying in their pad the past few days until the exterminator comes
:)))))) Sister Peterson sings us hymns at night until we fall asleep.
She's a saint.
Ok I'm sure you don't even want to hear about this so that's all I'll
say on that subject.
Oh, hey, our landlord called just this moment and the exterminator is
coming right now yayyyyyy!

So, on Tuesday we had dinner with A. She is a member and lives
right on the river across from Manhattan. I don't even want to think
about how much it would cost to live there.... Anyways, we ate dinner
on the roof of the apartment building. It was the coolest most
beautiful-est thing I have ever done. I felt like I was in a movie as
we ate dinner and shared a message while watching the sunset over
Manhattan :))))

Then, on Wednesday Sister Peterson, and I were able to go to Manhattan
for U and J's wedding. I'm proud to say I successfully got us
there without getting lost on the subway. U and Jl are members of
the deaf branch. U just got baptized last week! Sister Peterson and
I were able to teach them with the ASL Elders a few times, and they
invited us to the wedding. So we got permission and everything worked
out just right for us to go together! It was sooooo cooooooollll. Let
me enter the ASL program now please. Oh hahahahaha and at the wedding
someone dropped the cake hahahah so Sister Peterson and I (attempted)
to fix it. Saved the day.

For district meeting this week we did something interesting. We had a
draft! Kind of like an NBA draft. We basically reassigned all of our
investigators to different missionaries who we felt would be able to
help them progress towards baptism. Sister Board and I only have a few
investigators now because no one reassigned their investigators to us.
Looks like we're finding again wooohoooooooo!!!!

N is good :) and her daughters are good too. Going for the Sept.
20th baptismal date for N. Pray for that please. The word of wisdom
might be a little bit hard, but if it's meant to be God will help us
:) They gave us donuts this week. I think I ate 8 donuts this week and
I'm not even lying. Missionary problems. Anywho, tonight we are going
to FHE with N at a members house. It should be totally awesome
because 1.Free food, 2.They live in a realllllyyyyyyyy nice apt.
building, and 3.MEMBERS ARE THE KEY. We simply can't do it without
members, even though they are busy busy New Yorkers.

Oh my gosh something totally awesome happened to me this week. One
morning I was very frustrated because I try soooo hard in my studies,
but I still struggle to connect as much as I would like to with the
Book of Mormon. Throughout my mission I've tried different methods to
find out how I learn best... But none of the methods really worked out
that great. I was feeling down and wondering what was wrong with me.
so I prayed for help on the matter.
That night we went to visit teach Sister Z with Sister T.
Well, we are talking about the Messiah and then randomly Sister Z
starts talking about how some people don't keep scripture study
journals, but rather scripture study sketchbooks! What the heck, why
didn't I think of that before?! A scripture study sketchbook!!!! You
draw what you read! It was pure revelation!
I've been doing it ever since and it works out beautifully for me. I
find a line that sticks out to me and doodle it with patterns and all.
The doodling helps me think about what it really means and expound
upon it through patterns!!!!,,!, or sometimes I just draw out step by
step what is happening. It takes a while, but it's worth it because I
GET IT NOW. yayyaayyay.
So that was cool. It only took me 19 years to figure that out.

Not much more has happened that I can remember. We've been quite
distracted by the bed but disaster the past 3 days. But we are ready
to get rid of them and get back to work!!!!

K the district is doing a puzzle for pday now, so I have to go. It's
so fun, it feels like we are in a cabin listening to music & doing a
puzzle!!! Life is good.

Sister Layton


-In college I drew a picture of binoculars with Manhattan in the
background. Well we were walkin on the river one day, and I saw some
binoculars and I was like "hey! I drew these!" So we took pics with it
-Me on the worst day of my life in the laundromat takin care of the
bedbug situation. We used all 6 of those dryers!

Friday, August 22, 2014


Today was so divine.
We went to Flushings! I belong there. It was heaven. I really truly
hope I serve there sometime. I felt like I was in China, or Korea, or
wherever. No one spoke English and all the signs were in ummm idk
mandarin maybe? All I know is I couldn't read them! I saw one white
person, so I talked to her, because hellooooo she was a white person
in this sea of Asians. We went to Flushings as a district to reward
ourselves for reaching our goal to #findtheforty this transfer. The
Koreans make very delicious Crepes with ice cream and Nutella and
banana and Oreos and everything you can imagine inside of them.
Then, we ate Korean food. Sister Peterson and I shared spicy octopus!
It was soooo divine.

Now, the work. It's been real, peeps.
N is progressing. We had three, yes three, lessons with their family
this week :)) K and V (N's daughters) are doing great
as well. They are my soul sisters. I had some great heart to heart
talks with both of them this week. N is for realllsss reading the
Book of Mormon. In fact she's already in 2 Nephi 17 as of Thursday!
Like what? 2 Nephi already?!
I invited N and one of her daughters to be baptized on Thursday.
The answer was "so, do you believe in hell?" I said "ummmm...." And
looked at Sister Board. She handled the situation very well. I love my
companion so much! On Sunday we invited them to be baptized again and
this time they accepted. And no I am not joking, I heard them say
"yes, I will," with my own ears! Hallelujah. Ummm we forgot to tell
them a date. So idk when it will be. We will figure that out. But it's
Pleaaaase pray for N, V, and K! I don't want to write
everything, but they neeeed help and neeeed your prayers! In my past
life I wasn't the best about praying for my cousins or friends
investigators because I didn't feel like I knew them or anything about
them. Well, this shall not be the case for you because I wrote a whole
email about nelly last week, so you know a lot about her!
Thanks guys you the best :)))))

I don't have a year to write about all the amazing lessons we had this
week, but it was just one of those really good weeks. I have so much
gratitude in my heart for all the ways my Heavenly Father blessed us
this week! Twas just one of those weeks where there is no doubt  that
the spirit is your third companion, the hands of The Lord assisting
you in the work are so apparent, the members are involved and excited,
people are eager to learn, and my spiritual cup is overflowing! Plus,
I can get Sister Board and I from one place to another without getting
lost. Heck yessss, I know my way around this town!

So Yesterday I'm sitting in Relief Society with one of the elders
investigators, ahna. It's a great spiritual lesson about teaching
children. A's phone rings reallll loud, she searches through her
purse for it and silences it. A few minutes later it rings again and
she digs through her purse to find it and silence it. It rings a third
time, so finally she answers it during Relief Society.... Hahahaha and
while she's on the phone ANOTHER phone rings from inside her purse, so
she finds that phone and answers it too. It was so hard for me to
contain my laughter as she sat there with 2 phones, one on each ear,
during Relief Society. Lololol.

We have threeeee dinner appointments this week. That is UNHEARD of
here in Astoria. I'm so excited. I love free food. And yes I am
gaining weight in case you were wondering. Let's just not talk about

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Investigator Story

Instead of my usual random scatterbrained email, today I would like to
tell you the story of our investigator N. I haven't shared much
about my investigators, but I thought it would be fun to do today. :)

   N is a 53 year old woman from Guatemala. Her husband, M,
passed away a year and a half ago. She has two lovely daughters-
V(19) and K(17). A couple of months ago N went back
to Guatemala to visit her country, and from what I understand was
dating an old friend named E.
   E is a Mormon and was one day going to the temple. N
wanted to go with him so he was like "ok, sure, why not." He planned
to have N sit in the waiting room while he did a session, but he
didn't tell her that. Upon entering the temple N was unaware that
she was not allowed to enter and would have to sit in the waiting
area. E failed to inform her beforehand that only worthy members
of the church can enter the temple. She was a little bit disappointed,
but agreed to wait, thinking it would only be about 45 minutes.
   Well, after waiting for about an hour, N started to get upset
and annoyed. From what I understand she complained to a temple worker
because she didn't know a session lasts 2 or three hours! The temple
worker informed the temple president and the temple president came and
talked to N. He gave her the easy reader Book of Mormon with
pictures in it, talked to her about the church, and told her she
neeeeeds to meet the missionaries when she goes back to New York
because they will give her the happiness she is looking for.
   N returned to the United States, and had been trying to find
the missionaries for a month. I guess the temple president didn't give
very good instructions on how to get in contact with us. One day she
was talking to her friend, let's call her M, and told her she wants
to learn about the Mormons really bad. M said "you know, I actually
used to be friends with an Elder, let me see if I still have his
number somewhere." I think M must have forgotten about that
conversation because she never gave N the elders number. Wanting
to meet with us, N called M a little while later and again
asked her to find our number.

 Now, about 2 weeks ago Elder B and Elder M were
looking through numbers in their cell phone. They saw a name in the
phone they didn't recognize and thought "what the heck, let's call
this lady right now and find out who she is!" The spirit prompted them
to call that number right then and there. Elder B calls and
says "hello, we are the missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints, we have your number in our cell phone and we are
calling to see if you are interested in learning about our church!"
   This lady in their phone was M! N's friend! Elder B
called M about 7 minutes after N had called M the 2nd time
and asked for our number. Right when Elder B called, M was
searching for the number without success. She was about to call N
and tell her she couldn't find the number. M said to Elder
B "I'm not interested, but I was actually just looking for
your number! I have a friend who really wants to talk to you, here's
her number, call her tonight!"
   Elders B&M are like what the heck. Someone wants to talk to us!
This neverrrrr happens! So they call N. Elder B says
"hello N, my name is Elder B, I'm a missionary for The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Your friend gave us your
number and told us you are interested in learning about our church!"
Delighted, N says, "Ah yes I have been wanting to talk to you for a
while! My daughters want to learn too. And I want your book. Can
someone bring me your book tomorrow?" Elder B is kind of in
shock about what is happening, and he says " oh, uh yeah! Of course!
Except it probably won't be me, it will be some sister missionaries if
that's ok?" N replies, "I don't care who it is, just send anyone
to bring me your book!"
   The next morning Sister B and I showed up at her house, after
getting lost for 45 minutes, with the Book of Mormon! She let us in
and we taught her and her daughter V the Plan of Salvation and
committed them to read the Book of Mormon. They are SO prepared. N
says she's not happy, and she is trying to find happiness. She thinks
the church might be an answer to her happiness. V had a lot of
questions about things our church believes. They both have a strong
desire to know for themselves if this church is true. N came to
church the following Sunday and loved it. The members were AWESOME at
picking her up for church and fellowshipping her. :))) the members are
so key.
  This week we were able to go teach N & V twice! On Thursday
N got surgery on her foot, and the Elders were able to give her a
priesthood blessing afterwards. Thank heavens for the Elders! She said
she felt the Holy Ghost so strong and felt so good. She loves the
priesthood now, hahaha it's so cute.  Andddd she came to church again.
This is the first time on my mission that an investigator has come to
church two weeks in a row! Yayyyyyy. V is coming next week....
   N thinks it's a miracle that we found her. At first she thought
M called the Elders and gave them her number, but really it was the
Elders who called M. Miracles happen, people! N is only one
example of the many miracles I have seen on my mission. I LOVE
   Sister B and I have lacked faith to extend the baptismal
invitation to her so far, but we promised ourselves and The Lord that
we will invite her to be baptized next time we teach her. I'll let you
know how that goes.... I hope everything works out with N and
V. They neeeed this gospel. I need it, you need it, and they
need it.
And that is the story of N.
   I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father, that he trusted Sister
B and I enough to place N in our hands. We aren't perfect
teachers, and we sure aren't talented teachers, but Sister Molli
Layton always tells me that the Lord doesn't need talented people. All
He needs is people who are willing and obedient, and then the spirit
can do the rest. I've found this to be so true as I've watched the
spirit take over lessons and do the teaching. To me, every
investigator we have is a miracle, and every time our investigators
feel the spirit is a miracle. God is SO GOOD.
   Ok I'm done with this. I don't even like writing. in fact I hate
writing. Like why do missionaries even write home? I think it's just
cuz "everyone else is doing it, so I might as well do it too." Ok
Love you all so much. :))))
-sister layton

OH and I finally found a good New York bagel. Sister B and I woke
up at 5:10am to go get a fresh bagel to see if they're reallllyyyyyy
that good. They were that good, people. The rumor is true. I would
gladly wake up everyday at 5:10 just to eat a New York bagel.
Oh and I mowed a lawn this week. Yes I'm in New York City. But I mowed a lawn.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Slumber Party & Cookie Dough

Hi fam! (And anyone else who reads this)
This is long by the way..... There's just so much to tell!

Shout out to my cousin Megee for getting a call to BUDAPEST. what the
flip. I look at my email on Wednesday and see an email that says "IM
GOING TO BUDAPEST HUNGARY." Lol I didn't even know Megee was expecting
her call..... But I'm so stoked to have another Sister Layton joining
Molli and I in the field! (And yes we are allowed to open our emails
everyday with our iPads.)

Pops, to answer the questions you emailed me....
-working with the zone
  --Ok, so I see everyone in my zone at least once a day if not more.
Whether it be passing on the street, in zone finding activities, at
the church, or on the bus. There are 14 missionaries in the zone and
we all cover the same area. The area isn't too big, it's pretty small,
and since we are all walking, it's not uncommon to see fellow
missionaries across the street. It's awesomeeeeee. We call ourselves
#zone4everchanged. Every TuesdayWednesday, and Friday we meet at the
church for what we call an elliptical. An elliptical is a finding
activity where we set out to talk to as many people as we can and get
as many contacts as possible in 1-2 hours. Each companionship takes a
turn planning the activity.
  --Examples of ellipticals: singing hymns at the metro stop, lemonade
stands, trash pick-up, shoe shine(which we do every friday,) Book of
Mormon placing, chalking the plan of salvation at the park, family
history stands, walking around holding signs with gospel related
questions on them, etc. At the end of the elliptical we meet back at
the church, share experiences, and exchange contact info. So if the
elders find an interested female, they will give us her
name/number/address... Or if we find someone who doesn't speak much
English we will give them to the the Spanish missionaries... The same
goes with YSA. We rarely get to keep the people we find. Of the 8
investigators we have right now, 4 of them came from other
    --Oh we also do service as a zone every Saturday with a man named
Dave. It's pretty cool I guess. He takes a lot of pictures and puts
them on Facebook, so I'm sure you'll see them if we're friends. OH

-how many formal sit down lessons are we teaching each day or week?
 --we honestly don't have a lot of formal sit down lessons. PEOPLE ARE
SO BUSY. IDK WHY. that's what you get in New York I guess. We try and
try and try but they are busy busy busy. This week we only had 3
lessons with investigators, but there was more than one investigator
at each lesson. 3 is a pretty good number for us :)))) I was happy.
New York is hard hahaha.

-do we have any serious investigators approaching baptism?
  --We have a few investigators who we can see getting baptized in
September, but we haven't extended the baptismal invitation yet... I'm
kinda scared because last time we invited someone to be baptized she
gladly accepted, the spirit was soooo strong, and then 2 days later
she fell off the face of the earth and blocked our calls. Bummer.

Other things of interest:
On Friday we had a slumber partyyyyyy! I'm so stupid and locked us out
of our pad. I didn't realize it until right when we were getting home
at 9:30pm. By then it was too late to call our landlord because he
lives far far away. So, after spending time climbing up and trying to
open the window and asking our neighbors to help us pick the lock, our
district leader told us to sleep with the YSA sisters. It was totally
awesome. I love sleepovers. No worries, we were in bed by 10:30.

Lately we've been working with Nyomi and her daughters. Sister Board
and I really struggle when it comes to teaching kids. I love children,
but when it comes to teaching, it's so hard! Like hello, they did
nottttt train us to teach families in the MTC. Anywho, we decided to
make a system and chose to try object lessons! We taught the gospel of
Jesus Christ through making cookie dough! It was so sweet, and they
actually understood it. #success Teaching simply is the key! We
decided we need more practice teaching families/children, so every
Monday we are going to host FHE at a members home! It should be fab
practice, we will be pro in no time.

This week my testimony of service has strengthened. About a month and
a half ago we saw a man(Harry) and his daughter(Olivia) struggling to
move furniture our of their car and into their apartment. We had
plans, but felt promoted to stop and ask if we could help. They gladly
accepted and we called the elders over because let's be honest, us
sisters aren't that strong. As we waited for the elders we talked to
Harry and Olivia for about 30 minutes and got to know them. Olivia was
soooo sweet. After we helped Harry we kept randomly running into him,
always having small talk and inviting him to learn more about our
church. He always said "yeah, maybe," with no specific date. About 3
weeks later he called us and asked if we could help them move some
more furniture, so we hurried over. Finally, this week Harry contacted
us and said he wanted us to come teach him and his wife on Sunday.
WHAT! Yayyyyy.
As we talked on Sunday they told us that their daughter, Olivia, has
been falling down a dark path and making bad choices. Harry told us
that as we talked to Olivia last month she transformed.... The good
came out of her, he saw light in her again. He saw the Olivia he used
to know. He knew that we had something special about us. The spirit
was so strong as we talked on Sunday. THEYRE SO PREPARED. I love it.
Anywho. If we had never stopped to offer them help even though we were
in a hurry, Harry never would have recognized us as servants of god,
and we wouldn't be teaching them now! Sister Board and I pray every
day that God will open our eyes to see unplanned service
opportunities. I know our eyes really have opened. There are
opportunities everywhere! Service softens hearts! Always be looking
for those opportunities to serve!!!

We went to Brooklyn today, it was pretty sweeeeeet. I'm in love with
New York and this beautiful work!
Peacin out,
-sister layton
Pics: sis board and I teaching the children, and Brooklyn bridge!
Sorry they're crappy quality. I don't have a cord to send the pics
from my camera to my iPad.