Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Well, I'm back in Jefferson City. After two years I made it home. Its been quite the journey, as many of you may well know. It feels good to be home, but at the same time there will always be a piece of me back in a few towns and cities scattered across Nevada. If anyone ever has any questions for me about anything from my blog posts over the last two years, don't be afraid to ask! If there is one thing I've gained an appreciation for over the last year, it is the power of questions. You cannot get any answer if you don't ask the question.

Well, I'll be starting a new blog or two shortly for those who would like to continue to follow the life of Ben Layton a little bit, haha. I suspect that number will be few due to the fact I fully believe that people do not generally tend to be that bored. I will also be updating my profile on, so you'll be able to check that out soon too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Countdown: 1

Last week was busy – so busy that we totally forgot to organize a zone activity to climb Mt. Charleston!   Lots to do this week, too.  It will be my last Sunday in Las Vegas (last Sunday as a missionary -- wow!), so we’ll be inviting our investigators and less actives to come to church to say good-bye.  Hopefully it works. We honestly should be averaging between 5 and 10 investigators at church each Sunday, but the people just haven’t shown up yet. Last Sunday we only had one there.  But we had a success with a less-active member who came, and one of our recent converts was back in our ward this week along with a less-active lady from her work that she brought, so it was pretty solid. Lots of people out of town/family in town this week for Father's Day, so we weren’t really expecting a lot. Hopefully this is just the first week of things going right.

While I’m working and you’re waiting for me to return home, check out this video-- We have been sharing it a lot lately and it may be the best introduction to the Book of Mormon that the Church has made. I love it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Countdown: 2

Here are the zone leaders from the South zones.  (The pic of the North zones has them all with suit jackets -- go figure!)  I'm hiding in the back.  What does that mean?

Well, we did our departing temple trip this week. That was fun but not good:  all we did on the way there and back was talk to the other 15 missionaries going home about how little time we had left, hahaa. Didn’t need that, but it’s all good. Fortunately we have a ton to do, so it should be great.  Also the whole zone had to go in to the office one morning to wash and wax our cars. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The BEST zone ... Tule Springs ...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Countdown: 3

Sunday we had a disappointment to start off the day; an investigator stood us up when we had a member there to pick her up, but I’m sure it was because of her medical problems, so there’s nothing she can do about that. After that though at church we had two of our investigators that we were really hoping for show up! Plus two that are always there. It went really well we think, but we'll find out more when we have our lessons with them this week. We were excited though. Oh and our recent convert F. gave his testimony this week and it was fantastic! Everyone loved it! It was pretty awesome! And it was really good for our investigators there. Fun.

During the week we had a really good lesson with his nephew A. and he was one of the ones at church. He will get baptized when he gets his answer, so that’s pretty cool. 

Best part of the week?  Any time A. or F. prays. It’s incredible. They have such real prayers and you can really feel that they are being listened to. They have a lot of faith.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Countdown: 4

So this week we started teaching a part member family. G. and A. are the couple and they have one little kid. G. has been a member his whole life, but his wife A. isn’t a member though she has already learned a little bit. We just talked about some of her concerns and about the Book of Mormon this week. It went really well. They are a super cool family and we are really looking forward to teaching them more. They are young, like late 20s and just great people.

We also had zone conference this week which was pretty good. I had to conduct which I wasn’t looking forward to, but it went alright I guess. We talked a lot about becoming master teachers and Christlike attributes. We watched a couple of the new Bible videos that are out. We talked a lot about the one that illustrates the parable of the good Samaritan, which I really enjoyed because its my favorite one. It went well overall.

For Memorial Day we had a really solid p-day at the park, but that was about it. We’re in a hispanic ward, so nobody even knows what Memorial Day is, so we didn’t have anything special.  Actually, all holidays are a little different in Vegas from the looks of things because people come here to vacation for the weekend so everyone has to be at work in the hotels and casinos to cover the influx of people. It’s a weird place. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Countdown: 5 ... (and click on "mariachi" while you read this)

My new comp is Elder Lopez.  He’s from West Valley City, Utah, now but lived in Aguas Calientes, Mexico, until he was 10ish. He has been out 14 months.  We've known each other since he came out. He was “born” in Battle Mountain while I was in Fallon, haha. He'd rather be doing regular missionary work all the time than have to do some of the zone leader stuff we do, but he’s happy to be here and excited to be in a Spanish ward.  Most of what I’ll be trying to do is get him ready to take over the area in one transfer (6 weeks – well, 5 now) because that’s going to come really fast. We've got some finding goals which have already started pretty well. We got 2 new investigators this week who are both pretty solid and should be picking up a few more this next week. We set 2 people with a baptism date the first day he was here, so that was fun, but then we found out one is already going to have to be pushed back and the other looks a little sketchy at the moment, but we will see. We also want to increase ward involvement and get more organized, but its difficult doing it all at once because Elder Lopez just needs to meet people first and gain their trust. Hopefully by the end everything will be ready for him. 

F. is doing pretty solid. He doesn’t have the priesthood yet, but the ward is working with him, so things are going pretty well. He came to our ward party this week and it was the first party he’s been to in a year because his old church didn’t allow dancing or "worldly music" etc. He loved it and had a great time. His sister and her family came too and also really enjoyed it, but no surprise there because the party was GREAT! They hired a Mariachi to come and serenade all the Moms in the ward, and they were great. It was so much fun. We had several of our other converts there and they all fellowshipped really well. Plus the bishop and a couple other members are DJs so they had the whole DJ set up and everything, haha. Went really well. 

This week, of our investigators we just had M. and E. at church, even though we had a lot more people promise to be there. We were happy to have those two though, but E. lost the key to turn on her oxygen tank and we can’t find it anywhere, so she is really struggling trying to figure out what she is going to do without that. We've been praying and feel like everything is going to work out, so we hope so! E. is set for baptism June 16th but this whole key to the oxygen tank thing is a huge trial for her, so hopefully everything works out. The other one with a baptism date it T.  She’s set for June 9th, but that has to be pushed back because she still didn’t make it to church. She has to come 3 times still but she’s been taught almost everything.

Lately we have been running out of things to teach 3 of our recent converts, B., L., and R ( who are 10, 8, and 8), so this week was super great that I had a new companion to bring new ideas to teaching them! Elder Lopez had a great idea to read the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s burying their weapons of war from the illustrated Book of Mormon stories book and then to draw weapons. On the weapons we each wrote things we wanted to give up that we don’t do right and then we went into the backyard and dug a whole and buried them. It was pretty fun and went really well. Hadn’t tried that one before!

Oh ya, and we also got another set of sisters into the zone so we had to help them move in and set stuff up for them this week, but now it is pretty much good to go I think so hopefully the extra companionship will bring more work to the zone! We are now the biggest zone in the mission by 2 companionships.