Monday, September 18, 2017

#Teaching

Hola todos mis queridos, amigos, y conocidos. Esta semana pasó bien rapido. Así que no tengo mucho que decir...
Hello family and friends. For all those who didn't understand what I wrote, use google translate I guess.
But yes! Though this week didn't have much, it was full of teaching. That's great for a missionary to tell and to hear. I'll tell all you guys some cool experiences I've had this week.
One of my favorite things about being a missionary is when people have questions for me. This gives an opportunity to immediately seek revelation from the Lord to give the best answer I can. I usually always like to answer questions with the Book of Mormon or the Bible. After that, simply explaining does okay too. Our investigator Diana has reached a point where she can trust us as missionaries to be able to ask us anything. So we asked her to write down all her questions. When we sat down for our lesson on Saturday, she opened up her notebook to find a full page of questions!! So we tried as hard as we could to answer them all, but only got through about 10 when we ran out of time. A theme I seemed to notice amongst all those questions is that for one to find out the truth of our message for themselves, they need to read the Book of Mormon, attend church, and pray to the Lord asking with faith and real intent.
Another cool teaching experience was with a woman named Yesenia. She has one boy about 9 months old, and she's a single mom. So we got talking with her about the purpose of life, and how she thinks that God made us and put us here for us to enjoy life, and that one shouldn't get too caught up in religion or things of that type. While my companion and her went back and forth for about 15 minutes, I just soaked in every word and then it was my turn to speak. I said something along the lines of this. "We've got to know that everything is made with a purpose. My shoe right here was made to be a shoe. If I try to use it as a glove, I'm gonna pee my pants. So everything was made in the Wisdom of the one who knows all. And in his word, we find what he made us for. He told us his purpose and our purpose. If your son leaves the house when he's 16 to get a job or something, you're probably going to give him some tips about how to survive out there. Don't go and shoot anyone, don't eat too much McDonalds, don't stay out too late, etc. Because you know more than him. That's how God is. He knows us perfectly, and for what purpose we were made. Now it's our job to find out and fulfill that purpose."
I've got to give credits for the shoe/glove metaphor to my past companion, Elder Anglin.
But yeah.. my time has run out. I hope you're all well and settling in school, fall, or whatever is new in your life. Be sure to include your heavenly Father in every aspect of your life, and you'll be blessed.
Con Amor, 
Elder Horton

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#transfers/birthday

Alright, ladies and Gents. Transfer facts are in. Can I get a drum roll please!
*drum roll*
Elder Horton is... staying in Cerritos 2D! and his companion Elder Diaz is.... staying in Cerritos 2D! We're gonna go a second transfer together and we're excited. We're very determined that we are going to baptize an investigator this transfer. Whether it be Lupita and her family, Diana/Armando/Erick, or Carlitos! Or, who knows? Maybe we'll find one the Lord has prepared, and be able to baptize them. All in the Lord's infinite wisdom and timing.
The second big news of this week is that Elder Diaz had his birthday this last Friday. Because he's been in this area for so long, a lot of the Hermanas knew and tried to do something nice for him. So we spent a lot of time eating specially-made-dishes for him and lots of cake from Northgate market. It was such a fun time to celebrate him and his 20th birthday. And then, we were right back into the work.
Well despite all our efforts and all the promises made to us, 0 of our investigators attended church. That's right, a big ol' goose egg. Which put me into a little rut. But it's hard to stay down with all the blessings the Lord is sending me for my work! I just have to realize things like that happen at times, and we have to roll with the punches. Pick ourselves up and brush the dirt from your pants and move on! That's how life is sometimes.
Last thing today. On Saturday, I was able to go on exchanges with my District Leader! Well as it so happens, my District Leader is Elder Ramirez, the very man who trained me! My first companion in the field. So it was awesome to be companions with him once again, almost a year later. I got to realize how much I have changed and grown as a missionary and as a person. I definitely have a much better grasp on the mission language, and I feel older and more mature. But don't worry. For those who know me well, I'm still the good ol' me ;)
Alright well I believe that's all for this week. There's not much to update you on this week as far as those we are working with so I'll just leave it there. Thanks for all your support, love, and prayers. May the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all.
Con Amor,
Elder Horton

Pictures:

cake #1, 2, and 3



the one picture I have with Elder Diaz on his b-day



Cake #1


Cake #2



Cake #3


Monday, September 4, 2017

#HEATWAVEAGAIN



So apparently we had a heat wave down here... I just thought that's how things were going to be from here on out but I'm so pleased to hear it will get better. This week we had 3 or 4 days hovering around 100 degrees or higher. Now don't get me wrong, I know I don't have the worst of it. But it has still been uncomfortably hot here in Norwalk/Cerritos/Artesia/Hawaiian Gardens!
With that out of the way? Hello how are all of you?
.
.
Great to hear! I'm the same!
But in truth it was a fantastic week! We saw the progression of our investigators, and we found some interesting new investigators. 
We had a very good lesson with Lupita and her kids to teach the importance of baptism. They told us they were told they don't have a very good grasp on the significance of baptism, so we were able to prepare some very good scriptures and sit down with them to help them understand more what they'll be doing. Lupita agreed, and will progress towards, the 24th of this month as a baptismal date. The only thing is she needs to come to church! She came 4 weeks ago, but hasn't been since. That's a problem we're trying to deal with. Sometimes her husband won't let them go so we fasted for his heart to be softened to our message, and the church in general.
Diana, Armando, and Erick are all doing super well. They opened up to us this last Monday night and let us know they weren't very comfortable with being baptized so soon. They wanted to learn more, which is always perfectly okay. So we set a new goal with them, after much pondering and prayer, for the 8th of October. We want to go over more often to help them progress more to baptism!
Carlitos is doing so well. He just started school and is having a little tough time learning, but his mom is helping him out. His father, who was hesitant about baptizing Carlitos, had an interview with the bishop. We have yet to hear the results, but we're assuming all went well and he's feeling a little better about this coming Sunday as his baptism.
That's really all I have to talk about, as this week wasn't the most eventful. Haha but I hope these pictures make up for it!  
Elder Horton


Pictures:

THERMOSTAT



we had 15 minutes of a solid rain!



Service!



Golfing


video

F.A.I.L ;P





Monday, August 28, 2017

#1year

Yes, my friends you read it right. This coming week, Elder Horton hits the big speed bump. His 1 year. Still not sure what I'm going to do to celebrate, but Thursday will be legendary.
With that out of the way, Hello! How are you all doing? I realize you can't immediately answer that question so it's kind of dumb that I ask that. But hey, it's a missionary tradition.
This week I truly saw the Lord's hand in the work! We found some people along the way to teach, and a lot of these people seem to have been prepared by the Lord to recieve his Gospel. In total, me and my companion found 9 investigators, exceeding our goal of 8. Most of these people seem ready. Quite ironically, one of these sisters we found (named Elena) told us later this same week that her husband doesn't want her listening to us. Soo that was actually a very quick encounter with the missionaries. We gave her a Book of Mormon, and encouraged her to read it, beginning with the Introduction.
We had the opportunity to offer a lot of service this week, as well! It's kind of funny. Always, as missionaries we ask someone if there's anything we can do for them. This opens up a lot of opportunities to serve but people so often say no. But this week, we did! The first thing we did was on Friday. We went and helped an hermana build a bed frame with some wood she bought from home Depot. It was fun, and afterwards she fed us some elotes! The second service opportunity was for a family moving apartments. Well it wasn't the most fun thing to do, considering the family is pretty young. So my companion and I were moving all the heavy stuff down the stairs from their second floor apartment and in to a u-haul truck. We were able to fit all the furniture from their apartment into the truck. Thank heavens I played tetris before the mission!
Thursday we had Zone conference, with another zone. For the whole 7 hours, all we talked about was the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the true key to conversion. It testifies of Jesus Christ. for almost 200 years, people have tried their hardest to negate the Book of Mormon. But every accusation made has an answer. I know in my heart, the Spirit has made it manifest to me, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was revealed through a prophet of God in these latter days. I still find comfort in the fact that Joseph Smith endured so many persecutions, trials, and even death, to stand up for a book which truly testifies of Jesus Christ and his mission. Joseph was willing to DIE for this book. I fully believe he knew it was the word of God. If it was some dumb book he just made up out of the blue, he surely would not have died to protect it.
Anyways that's about all I have for this week. It wasn't very eventful but this week should be big. Love you all, stay safe this week.
"Read the book of Mormon erry day." -Elder Hancey
Con Amor,
Elder Horton

1 picture for you all today... a very dark, blurry picture of some cool sunglasses I found in a member's home last night.


Monday, August 21, 2017

#Exchanges

Hi guys! I apologize for the lack of time these past weeks. But I have had a request that I write my weekly email earlier so I have more time. So yes, I have PLENTY of time ;)
I hope this email finds you all cooling down from the hot weather you've had. Did you all see the solar eclipse? Cool huh?
This past week, and these past few weeks, have been very good. I've seen plenty of success in this new area I'm in. There are some areas where we work with plenty of hispanics to teach. A lot of these have been prepared by the Lord as well to receive Christ in their lives, so it's a pleasure to work with them. 
My companion, Elder Diaz, is quite the guy. We get along very well! He's a jokester and makes the work a lot of fun for me. We work hard, and when the time comes we play hard. He's also a very good teacher! As missionaries, we are encouraged to teach simply as if we were teaching children. Some of the concepts we teach are tough to understand and for that we must simplify it. Elder Diaz is very good at that!
The weather here in Norwalk/Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens is very good. It's still hot and humid, but it's seemed to cool off a little and seems like the sun is giving us a break from the triple digits. We also are in a car with A/C which helps!
Probably the biggest event this week was exchanges. I was with Elder Lee, who's one transfer younger than me in the mission. It was cool to see how he's grown since I saw him come in my first transfer!
So let me update you all on my investigators in this new area. We have the R*** family, consisting of the mother, L****, and her kids M*****, A****, D****, and C****. They love us as missionaries and have been looking for a church for a while. They embrace the Gospel and try to live the teachings of Jesus Christ as we teach. L***'s husband, W*****, is the only problem! He's got a pretty hard heart towards religion. And we almost never get the chance to talk to him, because whenever he's home he goes and hides from us. But we pray and pray his heart will be softened. With some very good planning, perhaps secretive planning with L**** to find this guy at home alone, we can help L**** and her kids progress quicker towards the waters of baptism.
Then, we have D****, A****, and E****. D**** (16) and E**** (11) are brother and sister. A**** is D****'s boyfriend who comes to visit, from 2 hours away biking. He stays there for the weekend, (when we teach them) and goes home for a couple days. He's already graduated from High School and soon to start college. They're very nice people and attended church for the second time yesterday. They're progressing well and we have planned for them to be baptized the 3rd of September!
C**** is a 9 year old kid of a family returning to activity. He wants to be baptized and he's learned almost everything! We are just waiting for the father to be ready to baptize his child. His faith is not very big and he's hesitant to baptize his child.
Anyways this email has dragged on and on and on. I hope you're all now well-informed about the life of Elder Horton. I'm doing well! Also I have lots of pictures
Con Amor, 
Elder Horton

Pictures:




Jus Chillin



We are trolls



I hear a who...



Terrible attempt at taking a picture of the eclipse



Monday, August 14, 2017

#outoftime

I apologize everyone for the shortness of this email! I took too much time emailing my mother...
Just know I survived this week without getting in another car crash this week.
I'm alive and that's all that matters.
Cool moment of the week: I saw a man leaning up against a wall, and kinda staring at us. People do that all the time, so it didn't trip me up! But, as soon as I waved at him, he turned an walked away quickly. My companion then revealed to me that the man was peeing on the wall. Welp, welcome to California!
Con Amor,

Elder Horton

PS - More from Elder Horton's email to mom and dad...

Hello! Well, a little about Elder Diaz. He went to Snow Canyon, just like Jacob (Ryan's cousin). He used to ride a motorcycle before the mission. He's really super chill, already fluent in Spanish, and a cool guy. He's a joker for sure so we have a fun time with each other. 
I'm judging my hump day as the official year mark August 31st.  BUT, 1 year from today I'll be home. Crazzzy to think.

It's been pretty cold too for us. It felt cold for me the other night, then I got in the car and saw it was 72 degrees... Oh no.. 

The investigators are doing well. This new area is hopping. It's the standard to get 2 investigators to church every week, and these last 2 Sundays we have had 6 then 5. This is awesome because church attendance is the most important thing for an investigator, and often the hardest thing for them to keep. Our investigators are:
The R*** family. L***, and her kids. They are 4 in all. The father almost seems scared of us. Anytime we come over, he runs away into his room. He lets us come over and tells his wife "Haz lo que tu quieres!" or "do what you want!". So she comes to church with her kids. We are trying to work on him. We hope he will let his wife and kids be baptized, simply because the church respects the authority of the head of household. They are on baptismal date for the 27th. On track, too.
D***, A***, and E***.-  D*** and E*** are siblings and live in Hawaiian Gardens. (Where we do a lot of work). A***** lives 45 minutes away in Pamona, and he comes over and lives with them on weekends. He is D****'s boyfriend. Every Saturday we teach them and they love it. They came to church last Sunday for the first time. Too late, they couldn't see the sacrament passed. But next week for sure. They were on Baptismal date for the 20th, but it will have to change now, as an investigator must attend church 3 times before they can be baptized.
C***, who is the 9 year old kid of a family returning to activity. We taught him, and he could be baptized any time. we have set a date for the 26th, and God Willing we can get him there.
B*** is what we call an "eternigator or eternal investigator". People are eternigators for many reasons. What it means is the missionaries have taught them for an unreasonable amount of time without them being baptized. Many people are eternigators for a myriad of reasons. Normally, it's that they don't want to keep commitments or that they have one big thing holding them back from baptism they haven't revealed yet. In Bill's case, the obstacle is the parents. He's 15 and it requires the permission of his parents for baptism. Well, they think he's too young to make a decision like that and therefore won't allow it. We are going to work with him to make a plan to show his parents how badly he wants to be baptized.
Well those are the main ones we're working with. There are many,many others. About 40 investigators we have. But these are they who are progressing the most.

Monday, August 7, 2017

#AnotherCrash?

Alright folks, this is the run down for this week.
Sorry I don't have too much time because I tend to leave writing my weekly email until the last minute.
1. Yes, we got in another car accident. No, it was not the same car/companion/area. Yes, it was also a rear-ending. But this time, to make a difference, the lady who rear-ended us was frazzled. She immediately told us not to call the cops, as she doesn't have a license or insurance, and that she would have to pay us out of her pocket. After we were able to get some basic information from her, (AKA personal information and car information) she sped off because "she couldn't trust us". Well, I believe of the two missionaries versus the lady who's driving without a license or insurance, who's the one who really isn't to trust? Oh well. We called the police and got a report filed. It's all good. Welcome to California.
2. I'm in my new area, with my new companion, Elder Diaz. I'm still in the same ward just jumped to the area which is across the street. 
3. 
I'm out of time, sorry guys. Have a great week!

Elder Horton

PS from Ryan's mom - Here's a little more from Ryan that he sent to Mom and Dad...

Obviously I'm in a new area with a new companion. My new area seems to have sooo many members, that we eat with a member almost every night. It's pretty fun, and so I'm not cooking as much anymore haha. It helps save a little money.

We had a bomb week, with lots of people at church.

Yes, same ward. different area. I still get to see all the members at church.
The move went smoothly. I still live in the same complex, so the good thing is I didn't have to pack any clothes into suitcases, we just took a couple trips with all my stuff from one apartment to the other.
The ward is divided into 4 areas, the areas look long and skinny from north to south. My area, since the stake is pretty circular, looks like a big D. It's a pretty big area, and we do a lot of our work in the southern area in a city called Hawaiian Gardens.

Elder Horton finds his peace through music. As missionaries we have little DVD players, where we can plug in a USB. I have peaceful piano music, General conference music, and talks, and more. Sometimes the life of a missionary can be stressful but we have plenty of time to sit down, rest, and think about the Savior. I find a lot of peace knowing that the Lord is in every aspect of our lives and that we need not fear, but to simply trust in him. If something happens, or doesn't happen, we know it's the Lord's will and he knows what's best for us in order for us to grow and become like him.

Yeah, I'm still running. But my companion likes to use the restroom in the morning, #2, so by the time we get out the door, to run to the track nearby, we don't have too much time left. we run there, then I usually do a mix of run/walk for 3 laps or so, depending on how I feel, and we get back to the apartment. So not too much running. We run every other day. The days in between we work out in the apartment. I still think 6:30 right when I wake up is too early.

Pictures:


Elder Horton at his prime



Don't ask



Elder Diaz and I




Damage to the car