Monday, July 27, 2015

South Shore Ward

Dearest FAMILY and Friends,

First off, shout out to my sister Amy for giving me a new niece todayπŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸΌ i just can't wait to meet little Dot. You might as well make her middle name Kelsey since I have to miss this grand event. Send me lots of pics when she's bornπŸ“·πŸ“·πŸ“·πŸ“·

Well, my prediction was right, I joined Sister Passey and Sister Moore in a trio on Tuesday. This is a big deal! Two dreams came true at once! Not only do I get to kill sweet Sister Passey, but I also get to be companions with Sister Moore, my fellow deaf sister :) you guys, it's been one of the best weeks of my life. Haaaaa I love these sisters so much. We have TOO much fun.

You know how in Alma 17 Alma just so happened to run into the Sons of Mosiah and they were all freakin out and excited/astonished/happy to see one another?! And remember how it brought Alma so much joy to see that they were still his brethren in the Lord?  I've been feeling a lot like Ama this week!  It's pretty cool to see how Sister Passey and I have grown and changed since we were last with each other. (For those of you who don't remember, Sister Passey was my companion from August to February.) Our reaction at transfer meeting as they announced assignments was CRAZY hahah all three of us were so stoked!

So now I'm here... In a ward called South Shore.

Guess who our bishop is- Brandon Essig!!!  Laura Essig's brother!! Haaaaaa that was a fun connection... "Hey Bishop, where are you from?" "Utah, Centerville, Utah." "........I'm from Centerville...... Wait a second are you from theee Essig family?" 

The Ward is TINY. It's really, really small. Half of it consists of newly weds who basically came on their honeymoons to do summer sales. So when they leave in August, it's going to be even smaller!

OH, here's something exciting: we have what's called a "Relief Society district," which means there's more sisters than elders. We have 5 sisters and 2 elders in this small Ward! I love it! Especially the 5 sisters part.#sisterpowerπŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ‘§πŸ½πŸ‘§πŸ»πŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ‘§πŸΌThe Bishop seems to be a bit overwhelmed that there's so many missionaries haha. 

So, I mentioned last week that South Shore is ASL. okay, so it's not completely ASL. we teach half English and half ASL- it's perfect for me because while I do love ASL and deaf people so much, I LOVE teaching in English. Until about 3 months ago, there was no church for deaf people to go to here on the island. Sister Passey pioneered it with nothing but 3 deaf members to start with! So we join the English Ward but have interpreters and have a separate deaf Sunday school. Does anyone remember J from Bayshore? She's the deaf woman I taught ASL to if that rings any bells. Anyways, she goes to South Shore now so it was SO NICE TO SEE HER. Hahaha she's so cute. Unfortunately she's moving to Utah in 3 weeks to try to find a husband :(((( hey, I see where she's coming from, the pickings in NY seem to be slim. Especially for deaf people.

Since we are speaking of ASL, let me tell you what happened this week- the deaf finding event of the century! You're going to think we are terrible people when I tell you what it was....... 
We attended a deaf wake! Lol the things ASL missionaries will do to find deaf people ;) 
Okay, this is not as bad as it sounds. All of our deaf investigators and members informed us about their good friend S who passed away and whose wake they were attending. I really wanted someone to invite us, knowing the whole Long Island deaf community would be there. We called a lady named K K(strange name I know) on the VP and BAM, she said "you must come, you must come. Show support to the two deaf sons. Please come." So we went. As we pulled into the parking lot, we all looked at each other thinking "should we really do this.... It's a FUNERAL." But we prayed to confirm it was the right thing to do. 
The spirit came upon us sisters and said "go!" So we went. 

WE MET SO MANY DEAF PEOPLE. The room was j a m  p a c k e d. I felt as though I was on the 7 train during rush hour again. OUR MEMBERS AND INVESTIGATORS WERE THERE AND WERE TREATING US LIKE CELEBRITIES. P, our investigator tried to introduce us to EVERYONE...."the Mormons are here! The Mormon sisters are here!!!!" She's a great missionary, she is. 

K and C (also deaf investigators) took us to lunch during the break and highly encouraged us to come back for the evening wake. Needless to say, we met lots of people! 

Oh and you'll never guess who was there.... President and Sister Bond from the Union Square ASL branch. I about died I was so happy to see them. :))))))) 

I feel like I should add in that the wake itself was pretty sad. I really want to teach the two young sons. So pray for that if you will.

In other news, there's really not that much other news. I did give a talk yesterday on the Mormon Pioneers. Can you believe that's only the second sacrament meeting talk I've given on my mission? I can't. I wish I spoke more, I love speaking! 

It's about time i wrap this up. Please pray for us to keep finding Deaf people, and hearing people too. But especially deaf people.

Okay I have to goooooo but I do love all you you! Let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do for you. Keep doing all you can do to build up the kingdom of God. Nothing will bring you greater joyπŸ‘ŠπŸ»
-Sister Layton
-Sister Moore and I in front of our cute little house. We live right next to a lake. You can't tell from this pic, but our area is pretty much a forest.🌲🌲🌲🌳🌳🌳 I love it! 
OH, my address is now:
100 Engelke st. 
Patchogue, NY 11732

You can probably use that for the rest of my mission. I'll guessing I'll die here. 
-Sister BARKER.😍
-The "RS" district sisters.
-Classic Pres. And Sister Bond pic.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Thank You Bayshore!


We had a crazy crazy week. Craziness everywhere!
I got a new companion, her name is J J. Just kidding, J isn't my companion, I'm still in a trio with the Hermanas, and still don't have an English companion, but J came out with me so many times last week that it felt like she was my companion hahah. I love her sooooo much!!! 

Last pday we went to Brooklyn Bridge, as I mentioned last week. It was so fun to be in the city again. I LOVE Brooklyn!!! It makes me feel hipster.✌🏼 We met some of our mission peeps there. I love our NYNYS missionaries! A lot of my best mission friends are going home tomorrow :( lame sauce.
Monday evening I learned how to make tortillas at a Spanish members house!!!!!!! Check that one off the bucket list. Oh, and don't let me get started on how much food the Spanish people gave us again this week. Idk how the Hermanas manage to eat so much. I can never finish my food. In the words of Hermana Eberhard, "the gift of tounges is not just for speaking." Lol. 

Attention: we just got transfer calls..... I'm OUT. what! This is very very unexpected. We all thought I would stay. Nope! I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going. The South Shore ASL sisters are preparing for a trio, so I'm probably joining them! Yayyyyy it's a dream come true. I feel like shedding tears of joy knowing that I will be sweet Sister Passeys last companion!!!! Okay, so everyone start praying for me to have the gift of hands again, because I definitely lost ALL my ASL skills. 

Welllll I don't know what else to write about. We actually had some beautiful teaching experiences this week and found THE CUTEST MOST PURE IN HEART NEW INVESTIGATOR. too bad I'm leaving. S's baptism is happening soon, I'm going to miss that too!:( and the twins baptism, etc, etc, etc. I have so many mixed emotions about this move!

I'm going to miss Bayshore... Especially J. Idk what life will be like without J. She's the best neighbor/member/friend/sister/everything. I'm going to miss living at the loft too! And the Hermanas! It's s o  m u c h  f u n having all the missionaries in the same building. On Saturday we had a ward service project and I felt so at home. I had this weird slow motion experience happen to me... It was like I was standing there and I spun in a circle while looking at all the members. I can't really describe what happened. But I remember just thinking how much I have grown to love this Ward family! Bayshore has been too good to me. 

It's like a flaming fiery furnace over here. So much heat! We are dying hahah. On days like this I'm grateful I'm not a walking missionary :)

Anyways. I love you all. I love the gospel. I love THE BOOK OF MORMON.<---- it's true, by the way. I love teaching people about Christ. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY IN NEW YORK. okay, enough of that. 

Til next week,.
-Sister Layton
Here's some pday pics....
The Hermanas and I.
SISTER VASQUEZ. I love her. She goes home with me in October.
My first tortilla! It's terrible lighting, I know. Oh this little girl is the cutest. When the Hermanas teach her mom she just plays with my hair and paints my nails because I only know paquito espanol!


Monday, July 13, 2015


Dear Familia,

This week was absolutely insane! Most crazy week of my mission. I was sent to the Spanish program! My Spanish is getting pretty good, to the point that I can speak short sentences now. Yay. I'll tell you what happened. My companion, Sis H, left. So my new companions are Hermana Zambito and Hermana Eberhard. Hermana Zambito is from Germany/Italy/England and has the most adorable accent. Hermana Eberhard is from Arizona and is so sweet and fun. We were supposed to combine pools, but they have so much work to do so we really just work in their pool and I have to find members to be my companion for a few hours. Transfers is next week so I'll only be with them for one more week.

The pros of living with the Hermanas: they're hilarious, and they get fed realllyyyyy good food.
The cons of living with the Hermanas: they get fed toooo muchhhhh really good food. 
I keep telling people I only want paquito, but they fill up my whole plate! It's terrible, especially when multiple people give you food at night. At one point I just scooped all my food onto Hermana Eberhards plate when the woman wasn't looking because I couldn't put any more food into my mouth! Lol.

But really, it's been great. We've seen lots of miracles in this trio. For example, we went to lookup someone in my area book, and ended up finding an awesome Dominican family for the Hermanas living next door! We also found 2 new investigators for my pool, thank goodness, because all our current investigators seem to think they're too busy for the gospel at the moment. The Hermanas investigators are really cool. And most of them speak English, so I get to help teach! 

In other news, there's really not that much news. 7/11 happened so C (a member) and I got freeeee slurpies. She's my age, so it was fun having her as a companion for a day. I felt like I was just chillin out and knocking on doors with my good friend! There's a deaf young woman in the Spanish Ward, so I interpreted for her in the English Ward on Sunday and afterwards she said I can teach her deaf friends!. We will see how that goes. 

I didn't get to give J's mom a Book of Mormon for those of you who are wondering :( anyways, I'm super grateful to be here! My situation is a little bit crazy, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. The Spanish members are so charitable and loving towards everyone. It's amazing! I love the Hispanic culture. I've learned a lot from the Hermanas about love. The minute Sister Hardman left, they took me right in and loved me as if I'd been with them all along! Life is goooooddddd. Miracles are happening all over the place,  

We are going to the Brooklyn bridge today! A trip to the city is just what the doctor ordered after a crazy week. 
1. The Hermanas had a baptism planned for Wednesday, and it fell through on Tuesday. They were kind of freaking out, and I was still in shock that Sister Hardman left, so it was a hard day for all of us. Next thing we know Elder Ashby is at our door with trail mix. Lolllll funniest thing of my life. 

Ok gotta goooooo bye love you all!
Sister Layton


Monday, July 6, 2015

Welcome President & Sister Reynolds

Hello hello.
Can't believe it's already Monday... What on earth.

This week was pretty good, and pretty weird.
K I don't have lots of time to write because we're going to the
lighthouse and the beach today sooo.... I think I'll just send a few
pics and tell you about em to summarize my week :))

1. Suffolk County Park has the most beautiful trail that leads to the
beach. When needed, we take our lunch breaks here and chill in the
sun. It's the bestttttt. I love nature walks!

2. Reunited at mission conference with "my gurl," Sster Peterson and
her darling new trainee! The new ASL sisters are perfect! I have so
much confidence they will keep up the deaf work as my ASL sisters and
I leave these next few transfers. Mission conference was SO fun! I
love President and Sister Reynolds. They're sweet, funny, spiritual,
loving, aaaaannd short! Like me! Sister Reynolds might actually be
shorter than me. It's great, I feel right at home! But really, we are
so grateful to have them here. The spirit was SO UNREAL as President
and Sister Reynolds introduced themselves. I have no doubt they were
called of God to direct our mission. Aww mannn I love the NYNYS
mission :)

3. The companion and I with Y at mission conference. He comes to
every mission conference/transfer meeting and takes pictures with
EVERY missionary for our parents to see on FB. lollll it's hilarious.

4. I had a fantabulous exchange with Sister Vandertoolen... We did
some service with neighboring districts..... What we did was pulled
patches of weeds, only to replace them with "better" weeds named
milkweed. According to S, monarch butterflies are going extinct,
but milkweed is very good for them. Who knew! S knew wayyy too
much about weeds... Hahaha. #savethemonarchs
5. S is a recent convert who knows ASL and is moving to Idaho. noooo :((((

6. Theeeee Sister Vandertoolen and I in our patriotic 4th of July
clothing. Independence Day was SO GOOD. President interviews happened
in the morning. Gotta love those. In the afternoon/ evening we went to
3 BBQs and ate wayyy too much food because who shows up to BBQs and
doesn't eat?! 2 of the BBQs were at members, and the last one was At
Js brothers house... her mom invited us! Miracles happen. They
live on the water and have the most beautiful view of the bay from
their backyard. But wait it gets better, they invited us to Js
sisters baby shower next week and J gave me permission to give
her mom a Book of Mormon there. Yayy! I'll let ya know how that goes.

7. Independence Day night! After planning we went out in the parking
lot of our apartment complex with the hermanas, Elders, and J
and lighted sparklers! (Which are allowed in our mission in case you
were wondering.) People all over town were setting off fireworks allll
dayyy long! Yes, even when it was light! Fireworks are strictly
illegal, but everyone does it anyways so the cops can't really do
anything about it... So, we went to the 4th floor balcony and watched
the fireworks together while singing songs before 10:30. It was a good
time. The loft life is the best life. Elder Sainteran has all the pics
on his camera, so what I'm sending you is the best pic I've got.

Teaching wise, we had a rough week. Our investigators seem to have
swept off the planet earth. We're hoping they come back soon.....
However, we taught some less active members that we hadn't been able
to contact foreverrrrr!!! Can't win em all, am I right?

Alright, that's all.
Talk to you next week! Please keep praying for my companion and I,
that we can get this work moving! Love you!!!!
-Sister Layton