Monday, October 16, 2017

#2weeks

Hello everyone! It's so great to be able to write you again. It has been 2 long weeks. Sorry I wasn't able to write last week. We had to change our P-day to Tuesday because we had an opportunity to attend the temple, which happens only once every 6 months for us. It was a marvelous experience and I always love feeling the spirit there in the temple.
But I've had a good last couple of weeks in the California Long Beach mission. If you didn't already know, our mission received smartphones and we were authorized to use facebook as well! This new use of technology has been a great blessing to help progress the work of to the Lord. In that light, Mondays will remain my only day to communicate with friends and family under normal circumstances. 
Well the work progresses here in the Cerritos Second ward. We had the incredible opportunity to sit down. And have a nice conversation with Lupita's husband! He's really nice, and even invited us to eat with his family. We learned a lot about his life and how he's willing to learn. We're excited to keep working with the whole family.
I'm going to attach a video of me eating a chile. Now there's a great story behind this video. As i eat the chile in the video, all seems well. Nothing burned very bad, as I was expecting. I even take a drink and eat some tortilla. But as soon as that camera turned off for some reason, the spicy HIT me like a train. My mouth burned for quite the while! Following this video is a picture of me suffering. Hope you enjoy.
Turns out I actually didn't bring my camera. I'm so sorry guys. One more week and I think I'll have this thing we call life figured out. Forgive me.
Fun story to leave you guys off with, because I best be going. On Saturday, we wanted to have a meeting in the park with Lupita and her family, and another hermana and her kids from the ward. We arranged for us all to bring food at 1:30 and just have a good time. This hermana had to leave at 2:30, so we knew we had a short window. Well Elder Diaz and I showed up at 2. (I know, super late but we were at another appointment) This hermana and her kids were all playing there at the park, but Lupita was nowhere to be seen! 2:30 hit, the hermana had to leave, and we suddenly got a call from Lupita. She stopped at the grocery store to get food for the park, and her truck battery died! The absolute worst time to die, I know. She was too nice to go ask someone to give her a jump, so I told her to pray that someone would come to help. She hung up, prayed, and a big ol' truck rolled up and asked her if she needed a jump. Prayer answered right then and there! She eventually got to come to the park. A little late, and she didn't get to meet this hermana, but I know she had a spiritual experience today.
Brothers and sisters I know that the Lord's hand is in everything, and he's working to make sure his work progresses. But I also know that the adversary is working his hand to make sure people don't receive that certain happiness that comes from following the Lord's commandments. The adversary wants us to be miserable, but God wants us to be happy. And, as the scripture says, there must be opposition in all things. So please do all you can to stay on the Lord's team. Satan has various ways into trapping us in to confusion, doubt, and sadness. But if we stand firm and hold on to that foundation we've built on Christ, however small or large it may be, we cannot fall. (Helaman 5:12)
Love you all. Until next week!
Con Amor,
Elder Horton

Monday, October 2, 2017

#Generalconference

To give an accurate comparison for those who are not familiar with the life of a missionary, General Conference is much like the Super Bowl. We spend the weeks approaching with much anticipation, talking with nearly everyone we know about it. Excitement mounts, we make plans to watch with a bunch of others, and finally the big day comes. General Conference may not be as exciting to watch as the Super Bowl, nor do we eat Doritos and Burgers during the presentation, but it's something big to look forward to. Such inspiring messages, and such a spiritual overload! I hope you all took the opportunity to cherish the words spoken, and if not, will review them sometime in the future.
This week for my companion and I was full of that anticipation. We spent a lot of time explaining it to people, why it's so special and important, and getting ready for the weekend! So much so, that we almost forgot we had to find more people to teach, as we must do every week. So once again, we found ourselves at 7pmSunday night, 2 hours before we had to submit our numbers to our leaders. With a heap of faith in our hearts, we jumped out of the car to go visit some potential investigators. No answer, asleep, asleep, etc. So at 8:30 we felt a little discouraged. But instead of throwing in the towel we just simply walked down one street. And guess what? The Lord placed someone in our path! As we walked, I approached a woman and asked if I could give her a pamphlet. I guess she had already seen us coming, because without taking a look at us she let us know that she's a pastor for another church. But we didn't give up there. We simply just starting asking her about her beliefs, where her church is located, and had a pleasant conversation about Jesus Christ. Eventually her husband came up to us and he was even more pleasant. He expressed how good it is that us, as young people, are spreading the word of God instead of getting involved in gangs and drugs. We then explained a little more of our beliefs, gave him a Book of Mormon, and got a return appointment.
If that's not another tender mercy faith-building moment, you tell me what is!
That's the biggest thing on my mind lately so I hope I didn't put you guys to sleep with that story. I hope you're all doing well, wherever you may be. And if you're not, let me know and I'll pray for you ;)
This week my companion and I talked to a lot of people, and there's a lot of good things happening in our area very soon. So stay tuned!
But Elder Horton is out of time, so he'll leave it until next week!
Hasta luego 
Elder Horton

Pictures:



Chile Relleno. A BIG CHILE...



Went to a marching band competition for our investigator, who is the drum major!



This board always has different interesting quotes

Monday, September 25, 2017

#miracle

Buenos dias/buenas tardes everyone! I hope your week was just dandy!
As you can probably tell from the subject line, my companion and I had a miracle this week. It was Sunday night and we had only 2 investigators found in the week. We had to find 2 more in order to meet standards and we had 90 minutes to do it. My companion and I sat in the car, as an awkward silence filled the air. 
Elder Diaz voiced "dude we have to find 2 investigators tonight." 
At which point I replied, "Do you have faith, Elder?"
His response "Yes I have faith."
We immediately started up the car and went to visit a potential investigator. It was a mom and a daughter with a bunch of little kids running around. We went up to them, and told them we had come to share a message of Jesus Christ with them, and asked if we could have some of their time. Immediately they said yes, invited us in to sit on their only couch, and sent the kids into the room to play. We shared our message and they loved it! We considered it a true miracle, because the Lord heard our cries. It was a small miracle, but nevertheless a tender mercy. The Book of Mormon teaches us that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. 
Lately my companion and I have been more focused on involving the members of the church more in the missionary work. The concept is fantastic. Because the missionaries come and go, it is understandable that someone may not want to come to church nor stay. But when they become connected to a member, they have someone to talk to during church, they have someone without a tag who can also bear testimony of the gospel. That's why member missionary work is so vital. So we have started to get members more involved and we have seen the blessings come from it. Those who come on visits with us feel the spirit, get so excited, and want to do more.
So, since Elder Horton is a little low on time, I want to invite you all to become more involved in the missionary work. There are many ways to begin. Invite a friend to a church activity, or go out visiting with the missionaries. Invite one of your friends to learn about the church, or if they have fallen away invite them back. It's simple and easy! Brothers and Sisters we are all involved in a righeous cause. So go out there and Let's Do Something!
Con Amor, 
Elder Horton



 


Playing pool on p-day



my pretty companion

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.