Monday, July 24, 2017

#kissedbyadrunkman

Hi guys, this last week was quite the week for Elder Horton. Still a boring (for you guys) missionary week, but a lot of cool things happened on my side of the barn.
First off! Before church yesterday, my companion and I traveled into the trailer park to invite our less-active to church. Her son was there, completely plastered drunk, and smoking a cigarette. After he gave my companion a big ol' hug and kissing him on the forehead, I got worried. But in his broken drunk Spanish, he introduced himself to me and gave me a bear hug. We shared a short scripture with him, and then on the way out another big drunk hug. At which point, I guess he felt comfortable enough with me to kiss me on my forehead and send us out with a "les amo". So yeah.. adventurous.
Next up, happy 24th of July/Pioneer's day to you all. If you ask me if they celebrate it in California, I would say Yes! Absolutely! The stake held an activity at which there was free breakfast, stick pulls, snow-cones, dancing and all kinds of fun for the members of the stake. The whole time, the missionaries of the stake were giving out church tours. Considering the amount of non-members there, it was a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to the church and the Gospel. What better way to help someone come to the Lord than showing his house? So yes, that was awesome. I will include a video of the two biggest guys in our Zone doing a stick pull. The Spanish Elder won! yay!
Also we got a District picture of all the Spanish Elders, and a couple English sisters decided to get in there. haha.
Well for all those considering leaving on a mission, just know you're going to have some serious downs. Those don't matter, as much as how you bounce back from them. For example, on Thurday and Friday my companion and I had 8 appointments fall through. By the time the 8th fell, we were pretty disappointed. But we were with a member who was going to accompany us. We all went into the chapel, read out of 3 Nephi 18, and he gave his most powerful testimony. That will do it!
Anyways, sorry I'm out of time. I've got lots of pictures this week.

Elder Horton



Biking exchange! yeehaw!



Investigators galore!



Spanish district



drug bust?



my view right now

video

Stick pull with the two biggest elders.

Monday, July 17, 2017

#Fresh

Hola todos! How are you all doing? I hear the weather has been a little nicer to everyone, so that makes for a more fun summer.
I'm doing well here, about as much as you should expect from a missionary...
So in Spanish, people often use the word "fresca" (fresh) to describe the weather. It means not too hot, but not too cold, and okay to spend a lot of time outside. Well where I'm serving now, most of the people speak fluent Spanish with OK English. However the problem is, "fresh" doesn't directly translate! So often the people stay "It's fresh" that I've gotten used to it. It's pretty funny. Laugh!
Thursday we had our Zone Conference. Sometimes I don't like Zone Conferences, because they go from 9am-4pm. That's 7 hours of sitting and listening, with a little lunch break in-between. But this time was a little different. My companion is a Zone Leader so we had to go early to set everything up. At the beginning, I didn't really go in with the heart to learn something from this meeting. But eventually things warmed up, the Spirit touched my heart, and I was able to learn a lot. We focused a lot on helping people come to church, helping them as they prepare for their baptisms, and aligning ourselves with our purpose. Very good conference, and it's always a pleasure to hear from our mission president. His counsel and words are very wise.
Speaking of our purpose, I don't know if a lot of you know our purpose. It is "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end." Or, in short, "Teach Repentance, Baptize converts"
Becoming a missionary is learning to align yourself with that purpose, and understanding the great responsibility we have as disciples of Christ to bring his Gospel to all the world. People may try to drag us down, Satan can throw temptations and obstacles in our path, but "no unhallowed hand will stop the work of the Lord from moving forward." We already know who's going to win the fight here. There will be, and already have been, a lot of casualties. But the ultimate victory will go to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The only question we must ask ourselves is if we are on his team.
Saturday we had the awesome opportunity to help out at a wedding. This was for a Return missionary who served his mission here, came back, and married one of the girls he baptized. For a while in this stake after his mission, he was the Ward Mission Leader. So all the missionaries call him "Papi". He asked us to help serve food at his wedding, and we happily agreed. This wedding was so big, they had to buy 70 Walmart chickens. Seventy. We gladly helped prepare the food on plates and sent them out to the gym where the tables were. It was a great experience to see him married, and I think all the missionaries there were a little jealous, and thinking about what they may do after the mission *wink wink*
Anyways I'm having a great time here. I love you all and I hope your weeks go well.
Con Amor, 
Elder Horton


Monday, July 10, 2017

#July4th?

I guess I'm going to join on the bandwagon of the rest of the Elders and wish you all a happy 4th of July. Do they go crazy here in California? Why of course, yes they do. Tuesday night as my companion and I were trying to contact some of our investigators, we were walking down the street while every other house was setting off legal and illegal fireworks, some off the top of a ladder so they can see it better. All the while the police were busting people for using illegal fireworks. Nonetheless, it was quite a sight to see.
At the end of the night my companion and I were able to sit down in our second-floor apartment and enjoy the fireworks instead of trying to avoid them. It was quite a sight to see! I hope you were all safe and no one did anything too stupid.
AS for the missionary work! this week, Elder Anglin and I tried to contact every single one of our investigators. Every day. having a lot of investigators, that was tough. We tried to either pass by, send a text, call them, or have someone talk to them for us. The purpose? We wanted to help them gain desires to come to church. It worked! We had 3 investigators at church even though it was looking pretty gloomy Sunday morning and like no one would show up. Blessings, brothers and sisters!
That just about sums up my week. Sorry for the short email, but I have lots of pictures to make up for last weeks lack and the lack of content today. Enjoy my smiling face!
Con Amor,

Elder Horton




Elder Anglin and I BOSSES in the car.



Try #1 for that same picture.



If you ever find yourself at a crossroad...



la luna



Cerritos college




Monday's activity with the missionaries at the park

Monday, July 3, 2017

#4thofJuly

Good morning/afternoon my friends and family! I hope this last week has been awesome for you.
In the life of Elder Horton, all is well.
I'm just working hard in the Lord's work, thrusting my sickle, and trying my best to reap the harvest.
So the 4th of July is going to be awesome. The Zone Leaders have planned an activity for today for the whole zone to hang out and play sports in the park, while we grill hamburgers and hot dogs. It should be super fun!
But the funny thing about fireworks out here... For some reason I guess people couldn't wait until the 4th of July to send off their fireworks. Ever since the 1st of July they've been going off all day. Morning, Afternoon, night, you name it. You can count on hearing a "Bang" every 30 minutes or so. I'm not sure which fireworks are legal and which aren't, but there's a lot that are shooting into the sky. Some are even so powerful that when they blow up in the sky, the shockwave sets off a few car alarms. Super funny, but I still haven't learned to discern a firework bang from a gunshot. So yeah.
We have been working with a few investigators. One's name is Vick. He's about 20, speaks both English and Spanish, and questions EVERYTHING. He even questions the way he questions things sometimes! Lessons with him easily go an hour or more. Preach My Gospel says, "sometimes people will intellectually question what you teach, but it's hard to question a heartfelt, sincere testimony." Well, we've born testimony to him, he's felt the confirming witness that the Book of Mormon is true, but he still second guesses all that. He's not hesitant or anything, just a really intelligent guy who's a little confused.
We're working with a family named la familia Lopez. Just like the Ambrosio family in my last area, the mother and kids love us, but the father wants nothing to do with us. He even hid from us when we knocked his door on Saturday! But not to worry, it's a work in progress. We fasted for him and we're going to see where this goes.
We just have so many investigators that it would be too much to tell you guys about all of them but those are the ones we have been working the most with. This last week we found 7 investigators which is extremely good. Almost double the standard! We hope some of these people are prepared by the Lord to be baptized in this next month.
AAAANYWAYS! I hope you all are having fun. Have a safe 4th of July, don't blow up anyone (or anything that's not a firework) and stay safe.
Con amor,


Elder Horton

Sorry, I didn't take any pictures this week... Next week for sure

PS from Ryan's mom - Here's a picture of Ryan and his buddies before they all left on missions.

Monday, June 26, 2017

#Cerritos

Hola amigos, this is Elder Horton once again, hailing from the 2nd floor of the Cerritos Library, on one of the more-than-70 computers.
This week has been absolutely crazy. As my companion is a Zone Leader, we have been to and fro, dealing with a lot of business. However that hasn't stopped the work. Elder Horton has been busy learning his new area which includes Norwalk and Lakewood. I've also been a little taken aback by the amount of work in this area. I've had to learn a lot of names, which results with losing a lot of names from my old area. Such is the life of a missionary.
There are some significant changes from down in Long Beach to up here in Cerritos. First off is the weather. We're hitting a constant 95 in the mid day, and increasing every day. Before, I was able to have the ocean breeze cool me off 10 degrees cooler. Also, there's a lot more members in this Ward I'm serving in. It's crazy! however, as far as missionary work goes, there's a lot less Hispanics here. There are more full houses, and less apartments. A lot of Hispanics down here aren't able to find a good secure job, because, well, they're not legal. but with a more secure job you can make more money and live in a house. Kind of twisted logic, and Elder Horton is even boring himself.
Also apparently Elder Horton has started talking about himself in the third person. What a weirdo ;P
Fun story!
Elder Anglin and I were walking down the street, and tried to contact a man who was just about to light up his blunt of Mary Jane. As we got talking, he told us he's a Christian and believes in Jesus. Somehow we got on the subject of his blunt and he told us this. "This is natural. It comes out of the ground, just like tomatoes. Except you eat tomatoes, but you don't eat this. I smoke this."
Elder Anglin and I got a little bit down the road and just burst out laughing. People here are fun to talk with.
That's about it. Sorry for the short email, but I promise more cool stuff next week.
Con Amor,

Elder Horton




Elder Anglin and I



UGH



The Franco Family



The unbeatable trio



The Quintanilla family



The Camarena family



Mi casa es su casa

Monday, June 19, 2017

#thattriolife

Brothers, sisters, animals, and cats of every kind! How are you!?
I'm great, thanks for asking.
First order of business. Elder Horton is back in a trio for 3 days! This last Saturday, an Elder in our district went home early. So for the second time here in Long Beach, I am in a trio for a short time before the transfer date. This one has lasted for 3 days. Our tag-along buddy is named Elder Kimball. He was in the MTC with me, and so we had a fun time fooling around and working hard. He's a fantastic missionary, and has been called to be District Leader this coming transfer in the Ximeno district.
Next order of business! Transfer facts are in, and I will be transferring to the Cerritos stake. My next companion is Elder Anglin who's a Zone Leader. I don't know much about him, neither do you! I'll let you know next week. Of course I'm sad to not stay here with my good friend Elder Wallis. We have worked so hard, gotten along, and increased our investigator pool so much. It's going to hurt a little bit to know I can't help these people progress more to baptism, but I have faith in Elder Wallis to help these people with his new companion. Meanwhile, I have business the Lord needs me to do in Cerritos.
There are many opportunities for growing in this next area where I will serve! I'm going to a strong ward, with many members who are willing to help us in the missionary work. I'm hoping they are as willing as the branch I'm in. We have so few members to help us here, and a lot of them are busy. However they are so willing to help when they can. Also I have an opportunity to learn from this new companion. He's a strong missionary, and a great guy from what I've heard. 
I'm sure after 6 months here, I have forgotten a little about how to change. Same area, same people. I hope I can remember and embrace this new change with new missionaries, new working area, new members to meet, and new everything virtually! As I submit my will to the Lord's, who wants me to work here for the next little while, I know I will be blessed.
This can apply to all of you! You all are facing a little more change than missionaries. School, friends, family, job, etc. If you learn to embrace and love change, things will go so much better for you. "Fighting the system" is not good. It is change that helps us adapt so new situations, grows us spiritually and mentally, and can often stretch us into the person our Heavenly Father wants us to become. Please, everyone learn what kind of changes the Lord is placing into your life and try your best to embrace it. You will be blessed beyond belief.



Red Robin


People park this close in Cali on a regular basis... so do we


Wallis's drawing



Elder Wallis eating candy like always


Haciendo la obra

Monday, June 12, 2017

#Shoutouts

Hello folks! It's shoutout time!
First. S/o to Elder Bison Hancey who leaves for the MTC this Wednesday to learn Mandarin to go to Canada. He's joining the force and we're all so happy for him.
Second. S/o to my recently-released Stake President Russ Nielson for serving so honorably in his calling and for dealing with Pre-mission Elder Horton.
Third. I know this is a little late, but S/o to all those of you who graduated. You did it.
Well this week was a rollercoaster that didn't stop going up. Last Monday night, we went to an investigator's house to find her father, Nacho, there visiting from Mexico. He was open to listen to our message so we taught it. He heard us out and loved everything. He's catholic by tradition, but had never gone to church nor prayed. He needed God, and that's exactly what we gave him. It was an incredible experience as we taught this man how to pray and committed him to be baptized on the 24th of June, the day before he goes home. Sadly, they didn't show up to church so they will not be able to meet the requirement of 3 weeks church attendance before he can be baptized. However we will continue to teach him and his family, increase his faith in Christ, and prepare him for baptism so the missionaries at his home in Mexico can baptize him.
Also throughout the week we found 6 new investigators and had 4 investigators at church. That's absolutely incredible if you're not familiar with the norm here. They have a "standard of excellence" which we met for the first time this transfer. And honestly, it felt extremely satisfying as a missionary to see the fruits of my labors. We are truly working to bring souls unto Christ.
I made a stir-fry this week. I burned my finger, and I burned the vegetables a little, but it turned out awesome! I felt like a real chef cutting up vegetables and chicken and cooking them on our stove. It was really tasty, too.
That's about all from the life of Elder Horton. A lot of missionary work here. Transfer calls are this week, so I will be learning whether or not I will stay for a 5th transfer here in Long Beach East. I really do hope I'll be staying, because Elder Wallis and I are just getting started! We've really found a groove for when we teach, we get along super well, and we're just seeing a lot of results from our work. But if I am transferred, I will serve happily in the new place I go to. It will be sad to leave this beautiful branch with all the great members and leadership. BUT let's just see!
I hope you're all doing well. Send me an email with how you're doing on a scale of 1-10 mentally, physically, and spiritually. And as always, let me know if there's anything I can do or help with you! I'll do anything I can in my power.
Quick spiritual thought: An investigator of mine mentioned to us that it's even a blessing that we have food on our plates and a place to live. Seems simple, yet it's so profound. I'm not sure I could imagine my life if the Lord didn't bless me with the things I take for granted every day. I'm so blessed to be a missionary and spread the word of the Lord. This week, I saw the Lord work miracles through me. I'm just a tool! I may not be very sharp but he uses me. I hope we all take a minute to sit down and think how blessed we are, with each little thing we have. I'm blessed to be here in a library with as much time as I want, to email my family, sitting on a chair and gah... everything's a blessing. We need to thank the Lord a lot more.
Anyways, sorry for rambling. Love you all.

Elder Horton


Happy Guy!


Selfie-deserved stir-fry


The view from Signal Hill, a full 300 degrees of that!


The famous Elder Wallis with a chicken.  Welcome to Long Beach!