Monday, January 26, 2015

Storm Juno Hits New York


I do not have much to say today! We had a really good week, as always,
but none of our investigators wanted to meet with us :( That's always
a bummer, but we didn't let that get us down, we just spent a lot of
time working with less actives and trying to find new investigators.
This morning I was wondering why everything is stopping and why no one
is willing to meet with us even though we're trying our best. Well, I
flipped the pages and my scriptures opened to Alma  8. Man, I feel for
Alma! I felt like I was reading my life right now. Like Alma, we will
not give up, we will continue to go forth and preach (with love) to
the deaf people of queens :) I love the Book of Mormon :)))

On Thursday we went on exchanges with Sisters Snow and Harris. I
stayed in Astoria (again) and ran the pool. I'm always amazed at the
end of exchanges when I realize I taught lessons, in ASL, without
Sister Passeys help! The gift of tongues is real. I love ASL! Well
actually it's not really ASL. A wise man once said "if you're called
to serve ASL in New York, you don't learn ASL, you learn to
communicate." It's very true ahhahaha I feel like we're learning 50
different languages because everyone has their own way of signing, and
none of it is ASL!
Did I already mention we have a deaf elder coming in in February? Not
only is he deaf, but he doesn't know ASL, English, or Tongan sign
language. It's going to be SO FUN. District meeting will be full of
Charades until he gets the hang of signing!

Apparently the biggest storm to ever hit NYC is coming! I don't
believe it. I'm looking out the window right now and it's not even
snowing! Stay tuned til next week to see if the storm was actually
THAT bad! It's supposed to hit single digits this week, idk what we
will do because the trains and busses don't run if the weather hits 11
degrees. Skype lessons, anyone?! ;) Thank heavens for IPads and Wifi.
We are lucky missionaries!

We pranked the elders with a Jewish wig this week. Funniest thing of
my life. Ask me about it in 9 months.

Want to know something funny? Sometimes the Holy Ghost prompts me
through my stomach. It's happened a few times on the mission. We crave
something, go get it, and see a former, LA, or find a new investigator
there. For example, on Tuesday night we got home, started planning for
the next day and I thought to myself "I want to go to Dera tomorrow,
I'm going to go to Dera tomorrow! I just cannot go another day without
Indian food!" So we planned our day around going to Dera for lunch.
Well, we walk in, sit down, I look at the people next to me, and what
do ya know- it's a deaf family!!!!!! What are the odds :)) They were
sweet, so sweet. Unfortunately they were Muslim, and not interested
now, but I'm happy we could be there to plant a little seed. They know
a strong member, so I'm hoping we can work with that member to get in
with them.

Transfer calls are this week! I think Sister Passey and I will be
broken up :( We think they might blind us out. Idk. I'll let you know
next week!

Alright, I'm going to go sleep through this "storm," now. Per
Presidents request, we aren't supposed to leave our pads for Pday, so
feel free to send me funny/ugly pictures to make my day a bit less
Love you all!
-Sister Layton
1. The closest we will ever get to a normal district photo.
2. Trying to be hipster with my favorite street art.
3. The watchtower (JW hq) last Pday.
4. Theee Sister Passey and I.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Another Week!

Hey you guys!

Another week in the city has passed, and thank the heavens this one wasn't quite as cold as the last :)) 


-One of our less actives is a hoarder. In my opinion it's fine to save every little thing if you have a big house complete with a storage room, but this lady lives in a one bedroom apartment! Also there are 8 people living there, so needless to say, it's a bit crowded. On Wednesday we held "Operation Clean R's Household" with the district. It took the 7 of us 3 hours just to clean the kitchen hahahah! She was so happy she slept in the kitchen that night! Lol. Also R has kept every piece of mail she's ever received since 2006.......... That's a lot of mail, people. Just bins and bins and bins of mail! I thought to myself "oh, we can just throw it all down the recycling chute, piece of cake!" But then I realized all her important social security papers, court papers, photographs, etc were mixed in with the mail.-__- So one by one we started to go through the bins, separating the trash from the important things. The task has yet to be complete, but we will be back!

-President interviews! This was the best one yet! President interviews are so cool. My goal in life is to be able to pray like President. His prayers always get me, they're so powerful. 

-Elder Harris made life changing brownies on Tuesday for branch correlation. They were soooooo gooood. That is, until he told me how he made them. (Three packages of brownie mix, a cup of chocolate chips, 15 seconds of Hershey's syrup, and a whole Hershey's bar.) I'll be thanking him when I get diabetes. We don't have a branch mission leader, (noooo idea why we don't have one.....) but we get together with the north mission Elders to discuss the branch needs and the work in both missions every week. Elder Harris made the mistake of feeding us the brownies BEFORE correlation. It made for an interesting correlation. Everyone was on a sugar high. :)
-meetings allll dayyyyy on Wednesday. OH I have to tell you about the NYNYCS mission goals for 2015. Here's the deal, our goals are nonexistent! It's sweeeet! Here's what happened: last year our mission set the 5/5/5- meaning 500 baptisms, 5000 partaking of the sacrament on average, and 500 to or back to the temple. The wards and branches were to set goals to help reach the 5/5/5. Before the 5/5/5 was in place, missionaries set their personal goals, but the wards and branches didn't really have goals, it just wasn't a thing to do I guess. There was no unity between missionaries and wards/branches goals. The 5/5/5 was set to help leaders learn to set inspired goals, and unite their goals with the missionaries goals. Now that the leaders know what it means to be united and set inspired goals, we asked the wards/branches to set their own inspired goals and in turn, we made their goals ours. All added up, the goals for this year are 538 for baptism, +868 sacrament attendance, and 721 to or back to the temple. Pretty high for this mission, but I think it's sweeeeeet! And the best part is that the members are connected to their goals and know they're responsible to help us! The ASL branch went high! Our goals are 20/35/50! What the heck! Pray for us haaa.

-Mien fei Ying wen ban! Obviously, we spent a bit of time in flushing this week. It's not America, it's CHINA. seriously a whole new world. Got to see some cute Asian babies :))) nothin better :)))

-no real news with investigators.... It's been a struggle. Keep praying. In the branch we have 11 missionaries and of the 11 of us only 1 investigator came to church!  We aren't sure why this is happening, but we trust the promise that if we are obedient miracles in others will happen.

Today we are going to The Watchtower for pday with the district. Do you know what the Watchtower is? It's basically Jehovahs Witness Temple square, except it's not pretty. Don't ask me why we're going, I have no clue! I'm just going so I can walk across the street to Brooklyn Bridge after :)

Note to everyone who sent me things for Christmas: if you haven't gotten a thank you note from me yet, let me know and I'll send you another one. It seems that someone in the New York postal service keeps stealing my outgoing mail :/

Have a wonderful week! 
Thank you!
Love you all!
-Sister Layton

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Really Cold!!


First off, thank you to whoever prayed that Sister Passey and I could
find new investigators... It worked!!! Prayer is real!! 2 potentials
became new investigators on Wednesday, and we found 4 new
investigators on Saturday!
One of them is named D. She is a mother of 3 adorable children.
I kept feeling like we needed to go look her up when we had a turn
with the car, because she lives pretty far away from us. Well, we
basically planned our day around looking her up, and turns out she is
your IDEAL new investigator. She goes to a Catholic Church with her
family every Sunday out of habit, she doesn't necessarily think it's
the truth. Oh, it's a hearing church, and there aren't even
interpreters! So her daughters, ages 7&9, take turns interpreting for
her. From chatting with her daughters for a few minutes it's apparent
they don't know much signing, so there's no way D gets anything
out of church. Theres no way the daughters get anything out of church
either... From what I've noticed, when interpreting, the words go in
one ear, and out the other! Curious to see if she knows anything about
her religion I asked "What is the general belief of Catholics?" She
says "ask my daughter, I don't know! I just sit there!!" The poor
thing, we need to get her to church ASAP! Pray for d.

Well, we went to the temple with K. We stopped by the day before
and she kept saying "no, no, no, no, no, there is no way I'm going,
NO." You might wonder why she didn't want to go. She didn't want to go
simply because of the cold! I don't blame her, if I weren't a
missionary I would feel the same way, hahahaha. It's soooo colddddddd.
Brr! We realized nothing we could say would make her excited to go, so
we started to rely on the spirit. I've never had a lesson with so many
awkward silences, but hey, it worked, by the time we left she was
beaming from ear to ear, stoked about the temple.
She enjoyed the temple, for the most part. She refuses to close her
eyes when going under the water, I DONT KNOW WHY. Then she complains
afterwards that her eyes hurt. We keep telling her she can close her
eyes! Haa.
Oh, would you like to know what happened after we left the temple? I
didn't have time to blow dry my hair, so it was soaking wet when we
walked out. Literally 7 seconds after we left the temple doors my hair
had turned into curly icicles. I'm not joking around here. My hair was
rock solid! It FROZE! I felt like frozone from The Incredibles had
used his powers in me or somethin.
Has your hair ever froze? Didn't think so.
No worries, it thawed eventually.
Why was I not called to serve in California!? I just do not know. I
don't function well under the cold. Sister Passey just laughs at me
because I'm not good at controlling my emotions when it comes to the
Luckily it's supposed to be better weather this next week :)))

Members of the Layton family- why was I never informed that our
ancestor, David Fullmer, is in the doctrine and covenants?! I found
him, D&C 124:132. Cool stuff right there! Not everyone's great great
great great grandfather is in the scriptures!

Oh, also, everyone needs to pray for K. We don't know if she got
home safe.... She doesn't know how to read so it's hard for her to use
the trains, but she insisted on going home by herself without us
helping her. We haven't heard from her since Thursday!
A while before she was baptized she got lost on the trains... for
THREE DAYS... on the way home from church. Three days!! The cops took her
to the homeless shelter ha! Hope that didn't happen again!

It was such a good week! I'm excited to see what next week brings!
Today cousin Matthew emailed me. He talked about how on the mission
you live through your investigators. Actually I'll just quote him, he
stated it perfectly. He says "On your mission, you live your life
through your investigators’ lives. We rejoice as they progress, when
blessings occur in their lives, when they reach and make covenants.
Our joy is their joy. This must be why Heavenly Father loves His
children. His joy is our joy. He lives through our lives. He rejoices
as we progress. He also sorrows when we make harmful choices."
It's so true, and I love it! Being a missionary is the best.

-Sister Layton

This weeks pics:
K and my frozen hair after the temple.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015

Hello Family!

Happy 2015!!

Hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating.

We had a blast partying it up with T-Swift at Times Square on New Year's Eve. Watching the ball drop was soooo crazy, even more fun than it looks on tv! So many people everywhere! Best day of my life!!!
Just kiddingggg. We were required to be in our pad by 4:30pm on New Years Eve. It felt weird. But we had a good time eating taco soup and weekly planning. The best part was when we retired to sleep at 9:00pm... so heavenly :)
This week was good.
Our investigators are struggling! We currently have no progressing investigators! It's very sad, but what more can we do than testify, help them feel the spirit, and give them the choice? We really need new investigators, so pray for that please :)))) oh but one of our investigators, E, did accept a Baptismal date for February 8! Yay!
On the bright side we have been working with lots of less actives. The branch has SO MANY OF THEM. I swear there's enough less-actives to make a deaf stake if they all became active. I love the less-actives!!!! It's so fun to see them slowly,but surely progress in the gospel.

Other happenings this week:

-I was walking across the street, smiled at the lady next to me. And she says "my rich grand daughter is going to kill you. She knows where you are! She is going to find you!!!!" 
I started walking a little bit faster hahahahha. Welcome to New York.

-On Thursday after dinner were looking up a man named P. He was there, surprise! Then, they let us in, an even bigger surprise! So we sat down and talked with him and his family, they're Muslim from Bangladesh, and had no interest in the gospel. But they were lovely people!!!! You know I love me some people from Bangladesh. Anyways, I was asking the aunt how to make my favorite Bangladesh dish, it's some spicy orange chicken curry. She said they don't follow recipes, they kind of just make it! BUT she said "we have some, I share, stay." Im like "sweet, free food, this never happens!" She walks into the kitchen and comes out with no joke the biggest plate of rice I've ever seen in my life. Then the nephew brings our two huuuuge bowls of chicken curry and beef..... The aunt says "EAT." So we started eating, knowing they expected us to eat all of it. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but I thought I might throw up Haa. They stared. us. down. as we ate the food. Finally I finished, then they brought out a "special dessert from their country." I almost died. That's my food story of the week.

-Kendra got a temple recommend! We're going to do baptisms this week!!!

I can't remember anything else...

Love you allllll!
Sister Layton