Caught on the Streets of Monterrey

Caught on the Streets of Monterrey
Watching...always Watching!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feliz Navidad & the Phone Call

This week was more of just conversation back and forth, and arranging our phone call.  So excited to talk with him.

Mom:  Your packages??? I'm so hoping you had gifts at the party. Spoke with Elder Brown's mom yesterday and that guy is not going to Mexico for a little bit. Says the borders are closed. So his Christmas is still here with them. I told her I sent enough for the both of you...that is if you got it!!!ok thanks!

Elder Clayton:  It still isnt here, we are going to the offices friday, I bet they will be there then! its all good thouhg! thats cool you talked with his mom

Mom:  So nothing??? I sent two and the ward sent one, too. On my heart is so sad!!! I'm so sorry pal. I sent them in plenty of time and I tracked them. Cleared customs December 15 was the 2nd one. Bummer!

Elder Clayton:  Its all good! So I have three coming! that is crazy! I am sure they will get here, it is always slowed down right now at this time of year. how is Caleb and Bridger? what are they getting for Christmas??

Mom:  A year membership to planet fitness. Don't tell them. Ha ha. The usual after that a new hoodie underarmour one so you can have yours back. I am going to tell you there are thermal garments in both boxes. Some for you and two pair for Elder Gomez. Just so you know. Is it still cold? So you can use them.

Elder Clayton:   It isnt cold right now, but it will get cold in january, its not cold to you guys, but to me it is! it gets pretty cold here though, when it rains as well.
 Having a carne asada behind the house with our ghetto grill! 
This is our investigator Omar and --

We went to a birthday party and this guy was here, I guess he is famous here in Mexico! every mexican we have asked, knows him! haha he sang with a group at a birthday party of a member
 These are the 6 elders in huasteca, we all ate together this day and the hermana,
who is a convert gave us stockings!
Oh and Elder Biggs goes home in 6 days!
This was truly my favorite gift of Christmas.  This totally captures his laugh and smile and what I miss the most.  He sounded so great and it was awesome to hear him and Bridger talk in Spanish for quite awhile.  He was so happy and although his packages did not get to him he said it was all good.  He was thinking they would all be there on Friday.  I guess he can have Happy New Year gifts!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Purchased Book of Mormon brings Happiness & Organization is Key

Was going to fix the spelling errors and then decided to not do it. He is our best speller and I can see that his Spanish has taken over. But this is a really good one..

He's in the middle. If you enlarge it you'll see him. He didn't have his camera today. This is all we got. 

Feliz Navidad Familia Clayton! Well this week was kind of hard, I dont know why but some times that happens! but its all good. We just had one investigator come to church yesterday out of our teaching pool, but esta bien. Omar came yesterday and it was the coolest story how we met him. So two weeks ago after writing, we wanted to go to Carls Junior to eat, so we walked to the avenue to get a taxi, got a taxi and started talking to the taxista, we presented ourselves and he was like ¨you know what, I am actually reading a book by your church, the Book of Mormon, I bought it in a market, like a flea market for 10 pesos and I am about half way through¨ and we were astonished! That doesnt happen everyday, so it was kind of funny how this guy had just found a book of mormon and BOUGHT IT! haha its free! and started reading it, we cant pay some of these people 10 pesos to even read it, but he lived out of our area, but he told us that he grew up in the area that we work, so we asked for the address in our area where he had grown up and we went two days later and we met Omar! Omar is 42, an engineer and super smart, he is really difernet but he loves to learn, oh and he has already read the Book of Mormon, and he really liked it. we are helping him to quit smoking and he is super happy about the church. Its honestly amazing how we find some of the people that we teach. Its just super clear that we are sent. We were meant to be in that taxi and to met that man, who was the brother of omar. Oh!! and we are teaching a familiy who are part of a different church called Luz del Mundo. They beleive that they have one apostle and that he takes the place of Jesus Christ, which is apostasy. but you arent going to believe it, we were going to this house to teach them and Elder Brown and I were talking about this church, and if this guy passes away, what happens to the church?? and I am not kidding, it was a wednesday and we talked to the family and they were all sad and we asked what was up and their leader had passed away monday!! so crazy, so..they are lost right now. They dont know the process when one passes away, they thought he was inmortal. In all honesty, its sad because they are lost and we felt bad.So it was kind of crazy, I am thankful for the organiation of our church, we knows what happens if our Profet passes away, we are a church of order and I am thankful for that. I love you all!! Feliz Navidad! I dont have my camera, but will send pics next week!! Adios!!

Elder Clayton

See if you can find me in here, I am right in the middle but in the back, behind the Elder next to the sister
Elder Clayton

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Staying "Home" for the Holidays, and their Zone is #1

Looks like he's staying "home" for Christmas. Didn't get any pictures this week, however last week got 14.  So, I can't complain.  He loves his area, district, zone and most importantly the people. So he is so excited to be here for the holidays. Just 9 days and we get to talk to him. To say I'm excited is definitely an understatement. Enjoy...
Hola Familia Clayton! Well the change has ended here in the mission! Presidente has changed how the transfers work, in the past we found out Monday night and changes are Tuesday morning, but now we found out Sunday and changes are today! So we found out that Elder Brown and I are staying and we are super happy to spend Christmas time here in Huasteca. I would honestly say its one of the best places to be for Christmas! So we are happy, also Huasteca, our zone came out to be number one in the mission! We were very happy and proud of the zone and the work they did this last change. We have 8 new Elders coming into the zone, who have some time in the mission so we are excited to have experience in the zone. Yesterday we went to the Devotional de Navidad, I liked it a lot, and this next week there will be a program at the temple, we are all excited for. We had two new investigators that came to church yesterday, and they loved it. They are named Berenice and Karla, its funny how we found them. We went to a house and weren't there, and right next door, there was someone screaming at what we thought were kids, but just screaming and yelling, and I told my comp, we gotta contact this person! haha I like talking to everyone and getting to know them, and my comp jokingly said, I am scared to contact this person because they were yelling so loud, so we contacted the house and the nicest lady came out! Turns out she was yelling at her dog! We are quick to judge, and turns out she has a friend that was a missionary in of all places Honduras, but in Tegucigalpa. She is super nice, and recognizes the spirit and loved the church yesterday. Our first lesson we asked her what she was looking for in life and she said peace, and she told us that she has found a lot of peace from our visits and by praying and reading, for sure an escogida. I love the work, and finding the people that are ready. This week that comes up is semana 1!! We will be working hard and sharing with everyone la Dadiva. love you all!! Feliz Navidad.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stake Conference, Thanksgiving & Seeing Old Friends

Oh how I love when we get great emails and LOTS of pictures.  This was a bonus week.  I was able to be on with him and he chatted about Thanksgiving and how time is going too quickly for him.  He is so happy and they are seeing so many miracles and lives changing.  I love reading how he recognizes the Lord's hand in their lives and his own.  I remember thinking on Thanksgiving and saying a small prayer in my heart hoping he might have something good to eat.  With so many Americans where he was I was very hopeful that it would happen.  It sure did.  They were well feed.  We talked to Bridger about his Thanksgivings in Honduras, rice and beans for sure.  This Elder has been well taken care so many ways.  Enjoy...
Hello Clayton fam! This week was so sick! First off, let me tell you that yesterday was stake conference and it was awesome. President Swapp and Hermana Swapp came and talked about the Christmas campaign the church is doing, its going to be really big and everyone is really excited! After Stake conference, I went to go see the Familia Briones, the dad and teenager, Joel and Joel were all there and so was Elder Gomez, he had a surprise for us and he told us that he had been preparing to receive the Melquesidec priesthood!! I was so pumped. Elder Gomez confirmed him an Elder and the whole family was way happy. Elder Gomez and I felt very thankful to the Lord and the opportunity we had to baptize Joel and Joel and 8 months from the baptism date give him the mayor sacerdocio. Super cool. Also, I saw the Hermana Catalina!! She was very excited to see me, she is doing well and she thanked me for being there in a time of need in her life. When I think of it all, it was just a miracle how we found Jose Manuel and helped him and his family. It gives me the testimony that God really does have a way of things, and he uses very small mediums to effect much larger things. Just like it says in the Book of Mormon in Alma 37. Its all true, it has been more than a blessing to be an instrument in his hands to help his children here in Monterrey. Also this week, we had a baptism of Armando, and we have his son, Gilberto scheduled this next week! We are hoping that he decides to baptism, he just has some small doubts but we are willing to help him. Oh and thanksgiving we ate Turkey dinner with the convert of Elder Brown who is helping us divorce a guy so that he can get married, here in Mexico there is a way for everything haha. Oh and those burritos..nombre yo andaba bien full. It was a fun week and this week that comes up is going to be great as well! love you all!!
Elder Clayton

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Even Though it doesn't Always go as Planned, Great Attitude Prevails...

 Many times you will find that things do not go as planned, however as you will read, his attitude never gets him down and they keep going and understand it's all about people's choices.  Yesterday marked his 18 month mark.  I know that now for him, time will fly and although I want him to return as I miss him so badly, I certainly do not want it to be over for him.  Thank you once again for following his journey and the love and care you have for our missionary.  It means so much to all of us, especially him.  Enjoy...

The baptism fell through because the person who was going to be baptized didn't fell well and went to the hospital! So we are planning it this week, this week coming up is stake conference so I will get to see my converts in Mitras with Gomez! Sweet huh? the chances are very rare of that happening! Elder Gomez is having lots of success and I am very happy for him, we did divisions this last week and we had lots of fun hanging out another time, he is an excellent elder. We found a lot more people too this week, but we have to get them to church! its hard, I would say that's one of the hardest part about being a missionary sometimes, when people don't come to church! its rough, but there is always next week. love you all!!

Elder Clayton

Elder Gomez and I did divisions, just like old times! we are getting older! 
 Antonio, our investigator! he is super cool, he was a reference from a Hermano Mora!
This hermana is a member and is super nice!  Love you all

Sunday, November 23, 2014

#1 Zone & Laughter all Day

As you will witness in this short, but awesome email; they are thriving and doing amazing things.  His attitude is amazing and they are #1 in the mission.  As you will see in the picture, they are quite the pair.  My friend said to me she keeps wondering if they are stalked by the girls down there.  To be honest, I hate to ask.  But, I'd go to church to see him!   Next week marks his 18th month, and Thanksgiving.  We are so grateful for his amazing example and the great missionary he is.  Enjoy...

Hola Familia! This week was excellente, Elder Brown and I found a lot of new people to teach and we had a lot of success in the zone, as of now, we are the number one zone in the mission! We are working hard and loving it here, we are going to have two baptisms this Sunday or Saturday, we are still working out the details but we are excited, yesterday, not many people came to church, neither members or investigators! no se porque, but that's what happened, its hard when that happens after a hard week of work, but its all good, we have faith, and we are going to work harder this week that comes. I really have been blessed with amazing companions, Elder Brown and I laugh all day and we have lots of fun, we have a lot of things in common that we did before the mission and I am grateful to be a zone leader with him, hes a tight guy. I love the zone and everyone is doing well! I love you all and am thankful for all you do for me. les amo mucho! 

Elder Clayton

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tender Mercies for Gilberto & Lots of Wonderful People

This week we heard from him on Wednesday as they went to the temple on Monday.  He is doing wonderful things in this area and you will see how awesome the members are.  It is amazing to see the hand of the Lord in people's lives.  All their lives you tell them of these things, but to have him write home and recognize these things on his own, just testifies of all the good they he has learned out in the mission field.  He has changed so much, and we couldn't be more proud of all that he is accomplishing.  This is another good one...
Hello Clayton familia! This week was a great week, we had lots of success finding new people and working out dates of our baptisms in the next coming weeks! As of right now, Elder Brown and I have 8 people planned out this change to be baptized, where I am at is such a great area and I love it. The members are awesome and they love us. Remember Edna? Well she is doing great, she is really happy and so is her son, Adan. She has her mom living with her and when we first started teaching Edna, her mom didn't want anything, but now, guess what?? She wants to baptize! In fact, we invited her mom to baptism and she said the classic, well I have already been baptized in the Pentecostal church. but now, she has seen the change in Edna, and there really has been a change and she wants to come to church, so we are really excited for her and her decision to start to listen to us. Also, kind of on a sadder note, Elder Wells and his other companion had a convert here, and she passed away last week, so we helped them out with the funeral and it was pretty sad, because the family don't have much and it was pretty sad to see them to go through this, but its amazing to see little miracles everyday. The Sister that passed away is named Juanita, and just one week before her death, her son, Gilberto was deported from Atlanta and came back to his house. but listen to this, on Elder Browns second day here in the area, we contacted Gilberto and he told us who is mom was! So the next day we visited Gilberto and invited him to baptism and he said yes, and then 6 days later his mom passed away. but to think that he got deported in that time to be with his mom and to learn from us is pretty amazing. So I will be getting a picture of Gilberto and his family pretty soon, they are really nice people. As for that, everything is going really well and I am really happy here! Its starting to get really cold here though! The mornings are super cold but we have hot water, so everything is cool. Love you all!! 

Elder Clayton

 Elder Clayton & Brown @ the Monterrey Temple

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A New Companion, & Time is Flying in La Zona Huasteca

Another change this week brings him a new companion.  He is doing so well, and as you will see he says the time is flying by.  The pictures he sent this week looks like he is having a great time with his new comp, but has he ever not, right?  Enjoy...
Hola familia! This week there was changes! Elder Wells left and Elder Brown came! We actually arrived here at the same time and will be leaving the same time. He is an excellent Elder and is a lot of fun to be around. He reminds me of Elder Peterson of Bridgers mission. we both have nixons and I know we are going to have a good time and have a lot of success here. The zone is doing well, young as ever as well. We are the youngest zone in the mission with 9 out of 12 companionships in training! So it is going alright, I remember all the good times I had with Elder Gomez and am happy for the rest to see and feel the things Elder Gomez and I did while in training. We do alot of divisions or splits, so I am getting to know a lot of other areas and other missionaries which is way cool. We have missionaries from all over the world in our zone. We have Elders from The Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Ecuador, San Salvador, Spain and other parts of mexico. its super sweet and I love it! This week went by super fast with all of the work we had and people we are teaching. We had new people in the church, and are finding new people everyday. I love you all and cant belive that it is already November!! time flys! love you alll! adios!

 So strange that this picture won't transfer over the entire file.  Maybe next week. Or you'll see his companion in the one below, he is the one with the hat on.
All his pictures only did half this time, not sure why.  But, at least we see him. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saludos de MTY - Another Baptism & Life is Good in Monterrey

Hard to believe it was time to have another change, but it looks as if he will most likely stay in this same area.  He is seeing lots of success and finding that no matter where he serves he loves these people and they in return love him equally as much.  I look to hear the excitement in his words as these wonderful people understand and embrace the things he has know his entire life.  Even more to know that they are being solidified in his heart, too.  Love him so much and as I take down the Halloween decorations, I am one holiday closer to having him join us back home.   But, I am certain it is going much faster than he is wanting it to and is every so happy!  Enjoy, another great one.  
Hola familia! Well this was the last week of the change! It went by really fast and changes are tonight, I just got here, so I don't think anything will happen, but there might be a few changes in the zone, but I would say the two highlights of my week was the baptism of Edna and seeing the Familia Briones. Edna, Elder Wells had contacted her about 4 weeks ago and every lesson we had with her, she wanted to learn more and loved it. Actually the first time she went to church, she didn't go with us, she went to another church of ours but farther away, the taxi didn't know where it was, so she ended up there, but still loved it. Anyways, she is a Madre Soltera with her 5 year old kid named Adan and she is just a cool person and accepted our invitation to follow Jesus Christ to baptism in our first lesson with her and 4 weeks later was baptized. Due to work, she was baptized in the morning and confirmed later in Sacrament. It was a great program and I really enjoyed it. She will be going to the temple on Saturday and wants to enroll in Institute, she is excited about everything. Also, on Wednesday, we went to Mitras for a meeting and my old area, Mitras was having mutual and I ran into everyone that I used to know there. It was really great talking to everyone there and seeing how they were doing. The best part was to see the family Briones and how well they were doing and that they are really happy. I felt so good seeing them and I cant wait to see my converts and other members in my last area. I miss them haha. Well, I am glad that you had a good sacrament meeting yesterday. Tell Caleb I love him and cant believe that he is going to dances! That's cool though, me gusto su playera aun que me dio miedo!! Nos Vemos familia! les amo mucho.

Eating Campechana y la familia Briones!!! I had a meeting in Mitras, my old area and guess who was there!!! The Familia Briones and they were super happy to see me, Joelito is doing well and so is their dad, they are happy and can't wait to get sealed in the temple in March.

Edna y su hijo Adan.

Hermana Cortez, miembro que nos ayudo y Mi compa Elder Wells

As I looked at the mission blog this morning I came upon this fun surprise.  A few months back Elder Oaks, Elder Beck and Elder achos came to visit.  I just happened to look at a picture and low and behold there in the crowd was one particular missionary, smiling in his usual fashion.  I was so grateful for this, funny as it sounds, these things make my heart leap with joy.  Even without prompting he is smiling and looking so happy.  The answer to the prayer I said many months ago of just let him be happy, then I will know that all is well.  And it is...

Oh, how I love this missionary of ours!  Well, done Elder Clayton, even when no one is watching that smile is oh so real!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Riding in a Taxi & Oh Rats!!!

 This week's email is great, and a little funny because we have been discussing rats in our neighborhood, too.  What makes the rats in his area a Mexican one, do they perhaps wear a sombrero?  We will have to ask them.  Oh, how it would have been fun to be a fly on the wall and see them try to get it out of their apartment.  He sound great however and as you can see they are doing great things in their new area.  And the world is small, even in Mexico.  Enjoy...
Hello Family! This week was another good one from Santa Catarina, we will be having a baptism this next Sunday of the Hermana Edna, she is super excited and we found her about 3 weeks ago, and has progressed very well and is ready! We are excited for that, and for the opportunity we have to teach her. Oh man!! This last week I forgot to tell you, but we had a freaking huge Mexican Sewer rat in our house one morning. I think just the dirtiest thing you could basically have in your house, it came out of the pipe in the shower and was just waiting for my comp to enter, and when Elder Wells entered the rat ran out!! haha and we had a battle that ended with me hitting it with a broom and finding a blood trail that ended and we still haven't found it, but we are pretty sure that it escaped out the door...but it gave us quite the scare. I love this area and am thankful to be here, I love the zone, its doing alright, kind of struggling because there are 7 missionaries in training, but they are all excited to be here. A new Elder came to the zone who is from Morgan Utah, but lived in Layton up until his junior year and he knew Tanner Burningham, I thought that was pretty funny! All he could remember is tanners red hair and that he ran track. The world is super small. Oh and I received 2 letters from my last area, one  from Katherin that she has a calling and she is doing well and another from Carmen, that her cancer has ended. I was shocked when she wrote that. Her letter made me very happy and I couldn't believe that her cancer had ended! They were working on getting married then being baptized. oh and in I think about 3 weeks, there is stake conference so with Elder Gomez, we will see our converts in the barrio de Mitras!! We are excited and he is doing well. I am glad that everyone had a sweet UEA weekend and everyone's happy. I love you all!! 
Elder Clayton

These investigatores have a friend in DF as a missionary and they are from Torreon. Super cool people

I always wanted my picture in a taxi, so I got it!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

His Smile Say it All

This week's email - there wasn't really one.  However, he sent this awesome picture.   I was able to send a quick response to him and ask him what he was laughing at.  It looks like he is laughing with President Swap and all of the missionaries are chuckling, too.  He says, he can't remember.  Funny, it looks like it was really quite funny.  But, honestly, what I wouldn't give to hear his laugh right about now.  I can almost hear it when I look at this picture...almost.  Oh, how I miss him at times, and yet, I don't want to wish this away for him.  Because I know just by looking at him, he is having the time of his life.  Wouldn't you agree?

Oh, how I love him and that smile!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Testimony of a Living Prophet, & Progress with a few Setbacks

I always have the spirit let my heart know that he will be going to the temple so I knew that I wouldn't hear from him until Wednesday.  Funny how it all works.  As I read this email, then I started looking at the pictures, you will see the one with him and Elder Gomez, his trainee and Elder Gomez' trainee.  You will most likely see as I did that he is not the same boy that we sent over 16 months ago.  He is a man.  I had tears fill my eyes and was so proud of him and wished so badly I could just grab him and hug him.  He is doing great things and only to do more before he is finished with this journey and adventure.   I thought how you barely let them cross the street alone and then you send them on a mission and they do it.  Every part of it.  But, they do not do it alone.  He is watched and taken care of from above. I know that He is watching and taking care of him and so many others.  He loves each and everyone of his children and it is evident with each email that our missionary sends home.  He is so in charge.  I am more certain of that each an every day.  Enjoy...

Hello familia! Well, Monday we went to the temple so that is why I am writing so late today! We woke up today at 3:30 and got to the Monterrey temple at 6, we took the bus the whole way and guess what, Elder Gomez stayed the night in our house! It was fun to have him over and his companion that he is training. Elder Gomez is having a lot of success, and I am very proud of him. He is a great friend and I am blessed to have him in the zone with us. This last week we were going to have a baptism on sunday, but our investigator fell back with his addiction to alcohol, it was pretty sad to see. He was going 2 weeks without drinking, he got a job, went to go see his daughter that he hadn't seen in a very long time and things were turning around and he had his interview on friday night, and saturday night we came by and he was drinking a caguama, which is a 40 beer! ah man, it sucked. This guy has nothing, and we really have helped him come out of his hole, he told us he had never felt better not drinking for the past few weeks, then drank again and everything fell! but its all good, we are working with him and he is our friend, we love him and want the best for him. We also have a family, and 3 other investigators we are teaching that are solid. and we are happy to have found them! I love it. Well, conference was awesome. As Caleb said, yes they do repeat the same thing a lot, and that's why they repeat it, because its so important. Many of the speakers in all the sessions, spoke about the Restoration and about Joseph Smith and the importance of prophets. Its true, we speak to people all day from different churches and they are just lost, man. Most of the ¨catholics¨ dont even know who the pope is when we ask them, which is funny at times, but it made me realize that the Prophet today, Presidente Tomas S Monson es un profeta hoy en esta dia, que realmente recibe revelacion de Dios y que el nos guia en esta mundo. Se que si siguemos el consejo de ese profeta y de los apostoles, nosotros no andaremos en obsucridad. les amo mucho!

Elder Clayton 

 other investogator that we are teaching, super cool guy. 

tomas is our investigator, super cool kid from Tampico, Tamulipas 

"The Old Crew"