This was one of the best weeks of my life! I do not lie when I say preaching the gospel causes me to rejoice more than ever before. I am so blessed to be serving here in New York among so many great people.
Highlights of the week, idk if I'll share all of them. There were simply so many!!
-I went to the temple!!! Finally. I've been waiting for this day for months!! In this mission, missionaries get to visit the temple quite often with recent converts or less active members, we also are able to go every six months with other missionaries. I've yet to have the opportunity to go with a recent convert or less-active member, unfortunately. So it was an extra special day for me. I was the only one in the group who hadn't gone yet! This might be a little bit dramatic, but I felt like one of those people who lives out on the islands and had been waiting their whole life to finally go to the temple! I hear that for people who live far from the temple it is a sacred experience when they finally get to go, and it was the same for me! Having lived so close to a temple my whole life it became almost routine to me to attend often. I hope that for the rest of my life I won't think of it just as a "routine" or something we are "supposed to do," but that I will remember how I feltand always remember how sacred and special going to the temple is. The Manhattan temple is SO pretty. There's so much contrast from the city. It felt nice to be in a clean, quiet place again :)
-So. I won a TV. A 50 inch flat screen Sharp TV to be exact. All of the people who own video phones were invited to a deaf game show/pizza party. Everyone in our district has a video phone so we were invited!! We went together as a finding event. As we entered they asked if we were deaf or hard of hearing, and if we were they gave us an ID card thing with a number on it. If your number was chosen you got to go up and play a game, kind of like the price is right. A few people won t-shirts, and one person won an iPad. I just knew I was going to be chosen, I could feel it, but I didn't want to be chosen! I didn't want to go up and play a game in front of the whole deaf community of NYC!! So the announcer got up and explained the rules to the next game, or so I thought. I wasn't paying attention, I was talking to Sister Peterson. Sister Peterson said "Just watch, they're going to choose......." and then her jaw dropped. Anyways before she finished her sentence I looked up and my number was on the screen. So I walked up there ready to play a game and win a t-shirt. And then Jody (the guy in charge) says "are you excited about your new TV?!" I was like "uhhhhhhhh. My tv?" Turns out I was chosen to win a new tv!!! I was kind of shocked and didn't know what to do, I looked at the missionaries in the audience and they were all shocked with their hands over their mouths. It was so funny. I introduced myself, "Hello all! My name is Sister (showed my Nametag for a good 5 seconds) Layton, I live in Astoria! But, I'm from Utah, I live here now because I'm serving a mission for my church!" It was great! I was a celebrity afterwards! People flocked to me and wanted to meet me and hug me and shake my hand. And now they all know who missionaries are!!!! We got soooo many phone numbers and addresses of deaf people. It was insane.
But now I have a tv and idk what to do with it............ Such a burden ;) President said to send it home, so I think I'll do that. He thought it was the funniest story.
It was so weird. But I know without a doubt Gods hand was in it! If I hadn't won the TV everyone would have ignored us and we wouldn't have had a very successful finding event. But because I won the TV people were happy to talk to anyone wearing a badge like mine! In fact, I saw people who I had previously looked up who were very rude to us at the door, but were acting like I was their best friend after I won the TV. God works in mysterious ways :)))
You guys it was just the greatest week. We had wonderful lessons with wonderful people whom I love very much! Our schedule was booked, it was crazy! We didn't even have to fill time with lookups, thank goodness.
We also had Zone meeting to get pumped about 4th quarter.
Everyone must pray for the missionaries here in the NYNYCS mission. We have a goal set for 500 baptisms this year, 5000 people attending sacrament in one week, and 500 people back to the temple. We have reached the temple goal, nearly reached our sacrament goal, but we are very far behind on our baptism goals. We need like 204 more by the end of December! Will it happen? Of course it will!!! We have faith. 204 in a month and 6 days? It will be hard, but it's very doable, IF we are doing everything in our power to make it happen. I know God will do the rest. As I sat in zone meeting I felt the spirit testify to me that these are not simply our mission goals, but they have been inspired by God. He knows his children, and knows that there are at least 204 souls out here prepared for baptism! I love extending baptismal invitations. It's my favorite! We have 3 people on date for baptism and a few people without set dates who have accepted the baptismal invitation.
Goodbye everyone I love you.
Enjoy thanksgiving without me...
We are having a mission-wide turkey bowl on thanksgiving morning, it's tradition! Then we are having thanksgiving with the deaf people who don't have families at the church in Manhattan. I'm making pasta salad, of course.
1. Proof I won a TV.
2. I've always wanted to take a picture like this with the subway rushing by, so I did.
3. Hipster pic for my 6 month.
4. The temple :))))