Monday, May 25, 2015

Manhattan, Temple Trip Etc...


First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful big sister, Amy, whom I have so far failed to send a birthday card to.... :( I'm workin on it. Also, happy birthday to my Grandpa Robinson! I think Caseys was this week too... Happy birthday Caso! 

Today we have a  busy pday once again! We are going to the city for the Mets game! Should be FUN. almost all the missionaries are going. 

Alrighttttt I feel like Monday was a year ago... But let me tell you, it was WONDERFUL. Zone conference at Presidents home was amazing! I'm sad the Calderwoods are going home so soon :(( they have been great examples and great sources of wisdom to me. The day was full of amazing workshops, great food, and we had a zone testimony meeting. It was a beautiful experience. My favorite workshop was given by the Calderwoods son, Kaden, who just came home from his mission in Russia. He gave a workshop on personal prayers-something he really tried to master the last 6 months of his mission. He always found himself falling asleep and saying weird things during his prayers at night. So to fix the problem he started standing up and walking around as he prayed hahahah. He gave lots of really good tips and insights. I've been applying a few of them this week, including standing up when I prayed a few times. It actually helped me, because sometimes I do start to fall asleep! 

Tuesday was Pday, and we had my doctors appointments in Manhattan. It was SO FUN. Well, the appointments were quite boring, but in between was fun! We had 2.5 hours between appointments, so we took a stroll through Central Park, went to Times Square and ate some lunch there :) I'll send some pics! We went in a bunch of stores including the M&M store, Toys R Us, and the Disney store. It was a dream come trueeeeeee! I almost cried at the Disney store! You should've seen us squealing when we found a huuuuggggeeeee MINION in the Toys R Us store. Unfortunately I didn't purchase anything.... Idk about you but I'm not willing to spend $14 for 1lb of m&ms! Lol Times Square is overpriced. 
Tuesday night we looked up a former named E. She was not about to let us come back because of a long list of excuses. And thennnnn Sister Hardman started speaking creole at her... To which she says "oh my goodness, you speak creole, maybe we should talk." She let us right in the house, and we got a return appointment! Yippeeee. I love having a creole companion.

Thursday was our Trainer/Trainee meeting. We got some great training from president there and it was nice for all the new trainees to see each other since they're all going through that same phase of being a new missionary. I feel like it's good for them to realize they're not alone, ya know?

On Friday we did Family History with M. The girl is jumping right into it! She just gets the gospel. She was confirmed on Sunday, and also got her temple recommend on Sunday! We are going to the temple with her to do baptisms for her ancestors this Saturday yayyyyy.

Speaking of temples. We went to the temple with Sister C and Sister S on Saturday. They hadn't been for years! It was so fun to be with them and the other Ward members who came. It had been a while since I'd done baptisms or been in water for that matter.... Me, L, and J were so nervous hahah. We were sitting there grasping each other's hands as we waited for our turn lollll.

In other news, we haven't been able to meet with our investigators much :(( everyone's so busy :(( oh well, it happens. We do our best, and the Lord will do the rest!
Also, some Air Force Thunderbirds came to church yesterday in their uniforms!!! They looked so cool! They were treated like celebrities lol. Everyone wanted their picture taken with them, and the women in relief society couldn't stop talking about them hahahah.

Ok I gotta go..... But just know I am very alive, breathing, and doing well!

Pics: Sister Calderwood,  M&M world, Times Square!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Lots of Water & M's Baptism

Helloooooo Everyone!

OK THIS WEEK WAS CRAZY. Crazy fun, that is.
I have about 20 minutes to email you all today. Pday is actually tomorrow, because we have a conference at presidents house today, but tomorrow we will be in Manhattan for my doctors appointments, so idk if I'll ever have time to email! So sorry if I don't respond to anyone.

First off, I got to go to the temple for my 1 year anniversary. Say whaaat. Oh, it was sooo nice. And so fun! I was on an exchange with Sister Peterson for the day, and you all know how I feel about her- she's my soul sista! Manhattan was noisy and crowded as usual, but I sure enjoyed fearlessing on the train and walking down the city streets. I've missed that place. The temple was lovely. I felt so much peace :)))))))) 

K so what else happened... 
Oh, On Saturday around 4 we were at the church printing programs for the baptism which would take place the next day. We went into the relief society room so Sister Hardman could practice playing the hymns for the baptism. Then, I heard water. Lots of water. I said "Sister, do you hear water?" Sister Hardman's jaw dropped and we dashed to the baptismal font. We opened the door to find the baptismal font was less than a centimeter away from OVERFLOWING. hahahahahahah, we were freaking out and laughing so hard. We called the Elders cuz we didn't know how to turn it off. The Spanish Elders came to the rescue. Apparently, the Spanish Elders had a baptism that night... They turned on the water a while earlier, and weren't going to come back to turn it off til 5! Good thing we were there, or the whole church would have been flooded by 5! That was definitely a hit of the week. Silly elders :)

On Friday we had a phenomenal lesson with M! We basically just bore our testimonies to her and talked about her baptism. She was crying and kept hugging us hahahah. It was so cute.
So, M was supposed to get baptized on Sunday.... But SHE DIDNT SHOW UP FOR CHURCH. J went to pick her up, but when she got there M wasn't answering the door or her phone. Once again, we were freaking out. We called her about 20 times, assuming she had overslept. After about 15 minutes, we told J to leave her and make it to church. The sacrament was passed, she still hadn't shown up, texted us, or called us. I knew the baptism was still going to happen... Because the spirit told me, of course... So I wasn't too worried. The first speaker spoke, the second speaker, spoke, and thennnn. We got a call from M! She had, in fact, overslept! We went with J to go pick her up after Sacrament meeting ended. She was so embarrassed that she'd slept in, but so excited for her baptism. The baptism went wonderfully. She was baptized with I, the Elders investigator. They will be confirmed next Sunday :)

One thing I'd like to talk about this week is Zone training meeting! I've been having these my whole mission... But this one was SO GOOD. I have to tell you how one workshop, given by Elder Bennett, went. He stood up saying "okkkkkk I'm going to talk about obedience today, not my favorite thing to talk about." The tone of his voice wasn't very reverent. He asked missionaries to read scriptures for the workshop- "Rowley, will you open up to______" "Pincock, what does that mean?" "Bushman, will you please read______" "STLS, how have you seen the blessings of ______?" He proceeded to make a list on the chalkboard of white handbook rules that don't seem like a big deal. He paused and asked "Elders and Sisters, how do you feel right now? Is the spirit here with us?" I don't know about everyone else, but I definitely did not feel the spirit. The feeling in the room was just off. Elder Bennett restarted, saying with a reverent voice, "Elders and sisters, I'm pleased to be talking with you about obedience today. Blah blah blah. Elder Rowley, will you please open up to_____" Immediately the feeling of the room changed, the spirit was present. It was SO COOL. 
One white handbook rule is that we don't call people by their surnames alone, we don't refer to sister training leaders as STLS, etc. it seems like such a small rule, but his workshop showed that even the smallest things matter. I have gained a testimony on my mission that if you take care of the little things, the big things will fall into place. 

[real quick before I forget, does someone have Spencer Nash's email? I have to ask him if he knows an Elder in my mission]

This week I ate sweet potato pie..... It tastes like pumpkin pie, but it's made out of sweet potatoes. Also, I ate PUPUSAS. I'm telling you, if you haven't tried pupusas, go now! Google the nearest Salvadorian restaurant. It will be worthhhh itttttt.

This week is going to be craaazzzyyyyy. We are going to be out of our area 4 of the 7 days of the week. We have zone conference at presidents house all day today. He's going home :(( On Tuesday we will be in Manhattan for my doctors appointments. Thursday we have a meeting for new missionaries in the city at the office. Then, on Saturday we are going to the temple with Sister Child's to do baptisms & Sister Seniors to do endowments. 
Pray for usssss! 

Kkkk gotta go!
-Sister Layton
At the temple
Us with Mi on Friday night
We took a selfie as we waited for the Elders to turn off the water.
The baptism :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Hello Dearest Friends.

Happy Mother's Day to allll my wonderful mothers out there! 

Skyping home was sweeeet! To fill in those of you who missed it- Abby, Dad, and Amy made me a RAP. A real live rap about my mission. Heck yes, rock on, family. Rock on! The next time I see you will be in 5 months... Whaaaat? :/

So our week was splendid as always. Once again I have no clue what to write about.... So we will see how this goes.

M had her baptismal interview yesterday. Apparently she passed with flying colors! I'm so happy for her. I've said it before and I'll say it again- if cousin Claire was Asian, she would be M. How is cousin Claire by the way? Sometimes I wonder if she's even alive. Is she alive? 
Ok back to M. We practiced the baptismal interview with her on Thursday and YOU GUYS, she has the most solid testimony! I was surprised at some of the responses to her questions! She gets the gospel, she just gets it! Her baptism will be Sunday after church, so stay tuned to see how that goes. :)

Oh, we met with a very very inspiring mother this week. Her name is K. She is from Utah and was raised in the church, but fell away when she was 16. At some point she moved to Long Island and met her husband. Now she's 25 and has 2 kids. About 5 weeks ago she showed up at church. I was asking everyoneeee who she is. No one knew. So I went up and talked to her to find out she's a member! Yippeeee! She's come to church almost every week since then. And last week she even bore her testimony! We were finally able to go see her this week and had a nice chat on her porch. I asked, "what is your motivation to come back to church. No one is pushing you, and it's obviously hard to come to church with your baby, so WHY did you decide you were just going to tough up and do it?" Her response was simple- "yeah, no one is pushing me. Im not doing it for anyone. Im doing it for me and my family. I'm doing it for my kids. They need to know about the gospel and know it's true just like I do. They need to have faith in Christ so they don't make the same mistakes I did." It was so simple, but it touched me so much. I can just feel how much she loves her kids and that she's willing to sacrifice everything for them! She asked us to teach her and her daughter the missionary lessons, and we put her daughter on date for baptism :)) I'm so happyyyyy. It's gonna be fun to work with them!

Now I must tell you about M. We gave her a Book of Mormon and restoration pamphlet last week. This week we went back and she had read THIRTEEN chapters of the Book of Mormon, the whole restoration pamphlet, AND had a notebook full of questions for us. Referring to the Book of Mormon, she said, "I feel a sense of comfort when I read it. I feel like it's filling missing parts, like I'm really learning things as I read it.... I believe it's true!" I was like uhhhhh are you for reals here?! We had a short lesson with her and were about to invite her to be baptized when she said "well, I hate to cut the meeting short, but i have some stuff to get to today." Rats.-__-  We will keep working with her!

So our district volunteered at a cystic fibrosis fundraiser.... They had loads of food leftover.... We have at least a hundred bagels, dozens of muffins, a ton of apples, and the list goes on! All unhealthy, besides the apples, but hooray for free food!

Things I've been meaning to tell you: New York has a thing called Blaze Pizza. It's like subway, but for PIZZA. Can you even believe it? I never saw one of those in Utah. And the pizza cooks in 3 minutes! It's amazing. We get taken there often! 

So, we had a family move into the loft on the bottom floor. I may have already mentioned this, I can't remember. The 4 little kids won't leave me alone lolololol. I love it!!!! They always come knocking on our door at night to talk to me. Or when we aren't home they will knock on J's door asking for "Kelsey." Ugh, I shouldn't have told them my first name ;) J calls me the child whisperer ha.

Sister Hardman is doing wonderfully. I love her so much! She still cries every day, I feel so bad. Idk what to do though cuz I definitely was not emotional at the first of my mission. Tipsssss anyone?

xoxoxo the church is SO TRUE.
-Sister Layton IV

-The Hermanas. I'm in loooovvveeeee with them!! We always hang out with them and J after nightly planning because they live below us!
-Eating lunch with J at the canal. I lovveeee the canals. They're everywhere!
-Eating lunch with J turned into me trying to touch the  jellyfish. I failed. But hey look how cool the fish are!

Friday, May 8, 2015

One Year Anniversary

Hello Everyone!

It's been about a year since I've left you all.... In three short days I will hit my year mark! Time flies. :/ :) :( :D I have so many mixed emotions about hitting my year mark. I'm sad, happy, confused, and tired all at the same time! (Is there a Taylor Swift song that sounds like that? I feel like there is, but I can't remember.) It's strange to think that at my next major "mark," I'll be coming home. As you have all seen from my emails, this has been the best year of my LIFE. 

Missions teach you things. The most important things. As you work to convert others, you become your own convert. It's amazing, really! I read my journal entries from way back when, and boy have I changed. I can feel the difference, too! The Doctrine of Christ, the Atonement changes you, I'm tellin ya. Learn to apply it! Learn to rely on God! Learn to say to God "thy will be done," and mean it! 
Also, I look different, but that's a whole different subject which we can discuss later when we have time. 

So, this week was the best week of my mission. I always say that, but they just keep getting better, and better, and better! I don't know if is week will ever be topped!
It started off with a wonderful transfer meeting. I cried. President talked about how once upon a time he had cancer, and gave us 3 principles for life. 
-Learn to rely on God. Don't counsel him, but seek counsel from him. 
-The little things matter. Do the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves. Learn to be happy. Happen to life, or life will happen to you.
-Don't underestimate your attitude. Speak with the tongue of angels! If you let a negative thought come out of your mouth as a word, the minute your ears hear that word, your brain will process it, and you will start to believe it! Same goes for positive words.  Replace negative thoughts or the word "can't" with "with gods help I CAN!"
It was a wonderful transfer meeting. Phenomenal! Andddddd I lost a few of my mission friends that day :( all my mission peeps are dying! 
After transfer meeting I took Sister Hardman out on the streets and showed her what it's like to fearless! It was sweet! Made me miss the city, but not nearly enough to want to leave the island :) we even got a few contacts for the city sisters!

Ok ok ok now for the week events....
We found SO MANY NEW PEOPLE. it was miraculous and humbling. God sure is preparing the hearts of so many to accept our message! Our girl K let us teach her friend J and her brother Q. They are both new investigators with whom we have FHE planned with tonight. We also found a sweet lady named M whose sister is an investigator in Virginia. She's super excited to come to church. We also met an amazing mother named Q who lives right by the church! So much more happened butttttttt, no time to tell it all!
We left all of these peoples homes beaming and got in the car looking at each other in awe wondering what had just happened! Missionary work is so fun.

Js dad passed away.... So she wasn't able to go to Utah for her interview :((((( it's so sad. I love her so much. We went to the wake. :( 

Hey remember that lady I shoveled water for? A? She came to church yesterday!! The Elders started working with her with us. Thank heavens for the elders, they're saints!

M is still doing good. She's excited for her baptism on May 16th!!!!

Oh, before I forget, if someone in Centerville sees a member of Eli Brady's family, please thank them for being amazing and sending me delicious cookies. Or find some way for me to contact them/give me their address. Thanks!

Welp, that's all I have to tell you..... Thanks for all your prayers!!!
-Sister Layton