Monday, February 23, 2015

Miracles in Bayshore


First off, I need to make a shout out to my dearest MOLLI, who is leaving the mission field this week. I can't believe my Sister Layton III is going home! I know if it weren't for Sister Molli I wouldn't be the missionary I am today. Sometimes I just stop and think to myself "what would MOLLI do?" It usually works. When I entered the mission field, Molli started sending me her journal entries so I could learn from her and see the kind of missionary she was. From Molli, I've learned what it really means to be a successful missionary. I've learned to lose myself in the work, but not lose my personality while doing so. Molli says "there's no better feeling than truly having ZION. when you have ZION, you know it." She's right, there is no better feeling, especially when you have Zion in building up His kingdom. Take my picture to the airport, will ya? :)

Weekly highlights
-J! This is actually the highlight of my life, not just the week. I met J this week. She's a member of the Spanish Ward. She's the sweetest lady I ever did meet. But wait, it gets better.... J is deaf! She's realllyyyyyyy good at speaking Spanish and lip reading. She can speak pretty good English too! However, she doesn't know sign language. We went to her house for dinner on Thursday evening. I blessed the food in ASL and looked up to see tears flowing down her cheeks. She kept saying "I'm happy, so happy you're here, I'm so so happy!" While hugging me and crying. Hahahah. As the conversation went on (in English, Spanish, AND sign language hahaha) she told us a story. She has been praying for 9 months for an ASL sister to come to her. 9 months ago she had a dream....
She said "I was asleep, and had a dream. Heavenly Father came to me. He was a little bit upset with me. He was upset because I haven't learned sign language, and He told me very boldly that I must learn how to sign. I said 'but why? I don't need to, I can communicate fine!' Then I looked over and saw a whole congregation of people who are deaf that had been taught the gospel. I knew I had to learn sign language so I can help teach them.  She told me but first you have to teach me, teach me how to sign please, so I can teach them the gospel. You are my teacher, He sent you to me." Sister Ewell and I looked at each other in awe. The spirit there was surreal! We were all so happy together. I taught her some more sign language on Sunday, she's doing great! Aaand she has a ton of deaf friends who want to learn!!! 
Do you know what this means, people? The deaf people on Long Island are ready to accept the gospel!!! Im so pumped. 

-We went to our investigator, F's, sons grave with her for the anniversary of his death. It was a tender experience. How grateful I am to know families can be forever! 

-Guess what! My companion is friends with Jordan Buchanan! Who would've thought! That was definitely a highlight of the week when we made that connection.

-I called K(my ASL branch convert) on the Vp a few times this week... Good news, she's been accepted to a really good school for the deaf! When we met her she didn't even know how to sign! Now she's going to one of the best schools for the deaf! It's neat to see how much happier she is with the gospel in her life than it was before. 

-J got a Costco card so she can take us missionaries to Costco. Lololol best member EVER.

-I shoveled water yesterday.. And got a new investigator out of it! Heck yaaa. It snowed a tonnnnnnnnn on Saturday night.. I thought we were going to die on the highways. And then on Sunday it was about 40 degrees so all the snow melted. Everyone was trying to clear the water before it turned into ice...... It's allll ice now. 

-We have an investigator named F who asks us the craziest questions. My studies this week have been SO COOL thanks to her, I spent a lot of time finding answers to her bizarre questions. Sister E. and I have had so much fun studying together. I always thought the Bible was cool, but now we're obsessed! I make Sister Ewell read me the Bible while I drive hahaha. We love each other.

I LOVE Bayshore. I love love love it. I love these people. I keep telling President he has to keep me here for a while, because I don't want to leave! 

All is well, my friends. 
Peace, I'm out. Til next time.

Sister Layton

Sister Ewell & Sister Layton
Sister Ewell, Sister Layton & J
Sister Layton & J
Sister Layton at Bayshore Marina

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What a Week!

What a week.... I'm still living the d r e a m.

Ok I'll start with a cool story. 
Church was canceled yesterday -__- church canceled as a missionary is the worst! We had 4 peeps planning on coming for their first time! So Saturday night we got a text from Bishop saying "church canceled tomorrow due to bad weather." There was supposed to be a bad storm Saturday night. I thought "yeah whatever, it's not even going to snow." Well, I woke up Sunday morning and not to my surprise there was absolutely no snow on the roads or sidewalks. I said to Sister Ewell "why would Bishop feel prompted to cancel church if God knew it wasn't even going to snow....." It didn't make sense to me
Let's flash back to a few days before. 
J, our BFF, has been struggling with faith. It was all very sad because we love her to the moon and back. you could literally see she was on the verge of giving up. She didn't want to go to church the next day. I must explain that when Jessica prays she doesn't ask for blessings. We've been trying to change that. She believes in prayers of thanks and thinks she shouldn't ask God for blessings. She doesn't like to ask because "he's already given her so much and why should she ask for more?" We keep telling her to ask for specific blessings to strengthen her faith.
Anywayssssss. Sunday evening we were driving to a lesson with J. I had a silly thought pop into my head and said sarcastically "J, Bishop didn't feel prompted to cancel church because of the weather, did he? He felt prompted to cancel church because for the first time ever you prayed and asked God for a blessing......... You asked God to cancel church! You're the reason church was canceled, aren't you?" It was a joke when it came out, but then she turned to me and said "well, yeah.......... I did. How did you know I didn't even tell you!" 
Moral of the story, God answers prayers. And he loves J. Btw she gave me permission to tell that story and wants you all to know she feels like an idiot because she asked for church to be canceled of all things. Hahahahaha.

Oh, we had sisters conference this week! Strange, seems like that was years ago. I drove us and the Hermanas for like 3 hours to The mission office in Rego. Yup, I drove in the city, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Sisters conference was SO COOL. it's so nice to see all my favorite sisters together in one place :) especially sisters Peterson and Barkerrrrr! I missed my ASL homegirls.

For PDAY we went to A and L's house. They live in a huuuuge mansion that was built in the 1800's. ITS SO CUTE. The people who built it were loaaaded. They gave us a house tour and it has everything from a photo-developing room to a maids attic, to a carriage house, to a SECRET TUNNEL THAT GOES TO A SECRET ROOM THAT WE JUST DISCOVERED WHEN THEY TOOK US ON A TOUR. We were all flipping out! oh man it was so legit and so creepy. We found on old dusty mirror and old furniture in that secret room! There's tons of ancient books, pictures, letters, and random things from the original owner in the house! And the wallpaper is to die for! I love old houses hahah. L and A showed us how to do pyrography. It's wood burning art. I made a hummingbird :) best pday EVER. 

On Tuesday... Oh my gosh it was the worst experience of my life! We went to see a former investigator. She had died, so that was sad. We were walking out and a guy yells "hey!" We walked to himself and introduced ourselves.... I tried to get a referral from him.. He had snot coming out of his nose lol. He told us about some mental disability he has. We were about to part ways, so I held out my hand to shake his hand and say goodbye. Hahahaha he grabs me, gives me a hug aaaand kisses my face! And the snot on his face got all over my cheek! I was like ohhhhhh myyyyyy, and I gagged the whole rest of the day.

I'm happy, warm, and safe. My testimony is growing every day. And through real-time repentance, I'm changing everyday. I'm grateful I have a firm foundation of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the church. The truth that Joseph was a prophet seems to be EVERYONE'S stumbling block! Ah well, they'll get over it as they read the Book of Mormon.
I love Bayshore. We are soooo busy with our investigators. I feel like I'm starting to connect with them! We've been freakin out cuz so much to do and so little time to do it! I love that our day is fillllled with teaching appointments. I LOVE teaching in English. I love the loft.
I have no idea how to find new investigators here, but somehow we found 2 this week! #prayerworks. I had a cool experience on Saturday night. I wanted to know if there were, in fact, people in Bayshore prepared to accept the gospel. I prayed for a good 20 minutes while scrolling through my area book to know who, if anyone, in the area book was ready. Well, I received an answer as clear as day that there ARE people ready. A few people stuck out to me and I'm stoked to look them up this week!

Pray for us to be able to set more baptismal dates this week! 
Love you all!
-the real Sister Layton IV

This weeks pics:
Sistah petersonnnnnn! My girl.
Jessica and the hummingbird I made today with the wood burner.
My cute companion sister Ewell!