Monday, November 20, 2017

#safeandsound

Hello friends and family! Thanks to the beautiful invention of technology and the blessing to have it in this mission, I'm typing this email while in my apartment, listening to Christmas music :)
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who get the chance to celebrate it this week. For me and my companion, we will be working!
This week also went by fast, but nevertheless it was a fantastic week for me and my companion. We are really starting to see some of the fruits of our labors in this area! We're out here working like dogs, packing a lunch into the field, changing and patching bike tubes in the middle of the day, talking to everyone, trying to connect members to investigators, and more and more. It really feels good to lose yourself in the work of the Lord.
This past week Elder Ramirez and I were able to help 2 more investigators set the goal of being baptized soon. One for the 17th of December, who's name is Jocelyn. She simply just wants to follow God and set a good example for her brother. She has made some wrong choices in the past and wants to make everything right. A fantastic desire to change! The other for the 24th of December. Lupita's daughter Amarie decided to join her mother and sister in their decision to be baptized Christmas eve. What a better present to the Lord then to join his fold!
Also, Lupita brought her family (minus her husband) to church for the first time in a long time. Her sister also joined with her kids. They enjoyed it so much! And the members almost flooded her after sacrament meeting was over. Even our mission president, who showed up to our church services, talked with her and her kids afterwards! It was a magnificent experience to see them all there.
I didn't know what to put in my subject line, so I figured I would take the opportunity to let you know we are safe here in Hawaiian Gardens , California. 
Nothing else of news this week, but I appreciate all your love and support! Have a great week this week!
Con amor,
Elder Horton

Monday, November 13, 2017

#Spainish

HOLA AMIGOS! 
I'm going to limit my Spanish in this email to that.
Really, this week not much happened. I'm going to apologize in advance for the shortness of this email. But this week truly was good! It's getting a lot colder in the night, so I have had to start wearing a light sweater as we bike in the night. It gets down into the 60s and the 50s here.
We have found some really good people to teach this week. One of them is named Pedro. He let us right in to his house, and we taught him the Restoration. He understood the whole thing and responded to all our questions! My testimony that the Lord prepares people to hear the Gospel has grown so much.
This week in my personal studies I have been substituting my name or the names of those I work with. I encourage all you to do the same! I especially loved Alma chapter 7 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/7?lang=eng). Anywhere is says "my beloved bretheren", "his people", or "you", substitute your name in. It really makes things more meaningful and personal. I invite you all to try it!
I've run out of ideas and time. Love you all! Until next week.
Con amor,
Elder Horton








Monday, November 6, 2017

#14months

Hello friends and family! I hope you have all had a great week. For me, it went by pretty quickly. My butt doesn't hurt from biking anymore, I'm adjusting to the new diet which requires me to eat more since I'm burning more calories, being on bike and all. Oh yeah, did I mention we are on bike? It's actually a lot of fun. My companion and I have started counting the number of Close Encounters we have to a crash with a car, whether it be someone pulling out in front of us or almost hitting us. Surprisingly, a lot of drivers here can be pretty ignorant. Even when they see you are there... Friday we counted 7 close encounters of almost crashing into a car. But the Lord protects us so much! I have gained such a big testimony of how the Lord blesses his ordained servants.
This week went by really fast actually. On Tuesday I hit 14 months in the mission which means almost nothing, except for the fact that I'm marveling at how quickly the time is passing.
Elder Ramirez is showing me very much how to work with members. He's a fantastic missionary and I am learning a lot from him! We have been taking a member of the congregation out to work with us almost every night. Even though we are on bikes, it works! Normally if we were in a car, we would be expected to pick them up and take them with us. But they are so nice! They will meet us in a place, and drive us from place to place.
Let's see... Oh yeah! Let me talk about the food here. Of course you all know it's a melting pot. I can go anywhere and find bomb Korean, Indian, Mexican, Peruvian, American, Greek food, etc. It's fantastic. For me, I have tried so many different mexican dishes and I love them all. The unique thing about mexicans is their affinity for Spicy food. My tongue has been burned time and time again. But as they say, one learns Spanish faster when they learn how to eat spicy!
So I'll talk about the people I'm now working with.
We are still working with Lupita and her family. They are progressing very well and I dare say they're close to baptism! Lupita has had a lot of crazy things going on in her life lately and we haven't been able to sit down and have a good solid lesson in a while. But she's reading in the Book of Mormon as often as she can. It's awesome- when she reads, she takes notes to make sure she understands!! That's fantastic! We are doing our best to introduce her to more members because they are those who make the difference.
The same thing with Diana, Armando, and Erick. We are connecting them with more members. Tonight we will be doing a Family Home Evening with them and Diana, Armando, and Erick in this family's home. It was very kind of them to offer us their home.
We have also been doing a lot of finding. We have to spend more time working with those who are willing to find out the truth of the message for themselves, and spend less time with those who are just willing to listen just to be nice. So we have found others who are willing to act on the message! I'm very excited to begin working with these sons and daughters of God.
Another thing I have been pondering on recently. In John chapter 6 is registered the account of Christ teaching how he is the bread of life. This is a beautiful chapter, and the church even has a video about it! I will attach the video link and I encourage you all to go watch it.
I have been pondering the coorelation this teaching has with the sacrament. Watch for how many promises he makes to those who eat of his flesh and drink his blood, or to those who eat the bread. We know that he is talking about the sacrifice he will soon make for every one of us. To commemorate that sacrifice, we take the sacrament. I invite you all to think how much the sacrament means to you. Is it simply eating a piece of blessed bread, or is it truly having an intervention with the father and committing to follow His commandments?
Con Amor,
Elder Horton




Splits with Jacob Arteaga


Big bug! I named him Joe




I may or may not have used this last night                          California

Monday, October 30, 2017

#BIKES//AGAIN

Hola everyone. How's your week been? For me, it was HOT. I don't like the random 3/4 day heat waves we have here in California. Last Monday the car told me it was 107. I didn't believe it, so as we kept driving around I was watching the temperature gauge. And sure enough, it stayed at 107. Ay caramba!
As I mentioned in my last email, I was transferred to another area in this ward. I'm covering all area that I have covered before. So nothing is new, except for some people, and the fact that I'm back on BIKE! I can't tell you all how much my butt hurt in the first few days back on bike life. It also takes 20-30 minutes to bike to the part of our area where we work. I can't complain too much though, at least we have bikes to use. I know some people just have to walk and walk for hours. But yeah. Bikes require a lot of maintenence. I've had to go under the hood and check some things out. But thanks to God, everything is well. I've only got one flat so far.
Speaking of my new comp, his name is Elder Ramirez! Some of you may be thinking, "Hey, wait wasn't Elder Horton already comps with Elder Ramirez?" And you would be correct in that. But I'm with a different Elder Ramirez. This Elder Ramirez is very different! He hails from Orlando Florida, though his family has recently moved to South Jordan Utah. He has been on his mission for a little less than I have. In fact, he will hit his year mark this week. He's a native Spanish speaker. His father is from the Dominican Republic, for all of you who know what that means. This is his first time being on bike his whole mission so we both have had to settle into it. I'll attach a cool photo.
Along with being with a new companion in a new area, we've got to talk about the new apartment. So, this apartment had been vacant for a few weeks since the sister missionaries living here before got transferred. They didn't want to sell this apartment just to have to buy a new one later, so they left it for us. It is big and nice! I'm super happy to be living here. There seems to be so much space for everything. A small family could live here!
 There's not too much else to talk about, to be honest. This week has just been full of trying to get to know all the people in the new area, contacting people, and simply just working. I've already learned a lot from Elder Ramirez. He's the District Leader here so I've got a lot more to learn!
Something I've been thinking and studying about a lot lately is the importance of the Spirit. Not only in the life and teaching of the missionaries and investigators, but in the life of everyone. Why do you guys think the spirit would be important? Go ahead and reply below. I understand a little more how the spirit can be our guide. I've seen the spirit guide me and my companions in the mission field, and I have seen the spirit guide the lives of my investigators. I know that is how the Lord communicates to us. We live in a world of so many loud things and distractions, but if we could simply take a few minutes to sit down in silence, and feel that peace that comes from the spirit, we can learn to discern his whisperings. I encourage you all to more fervently pray for the guidance and feelings of the Spirit in your life. It will not only guide you, but it will be your comfort in times of need, he will warn you of danger, and he will teach you ALL things. Let the Lord Jesus Christ be our focus.
Con Amor, 
Elder Horton


Monday, October 23, 2017

#transfers-kind-of

Hello everyone! Transfer facts are in. What is Elder Horton's fate? Drum roll please......
After only 3 months/2 transfers in this area, I am packing my bags again to head  to another area. My companion has been called to train! But Im not traveling far. I'm opening up a new area in the same ward. This new area has part of my current area, and part of my old area. So this will not be too bad! I have already worked in every part of my new area. I have some of my old investigators and current investigators.
This week has been good, and we have seen a lot of progress in the work. We should see many baptisms soon because the Lord is blessing our hard work and Obedience. 
On Sunday, we had the privelage to again watch the kids give a performance for their primary program. It was awesome! I always love to see the kids singing and learning about Jesus Christ and his example.
Today, as we were driving around, we saw a car on fire! We stopped to watch the firefighters douse out the fire. Crazy experience! First time I've ever seen that in my lifetime.
I apologize for the shortness of the email but  I don't know what else has gone on this week... I'll leave it until next week because I'll have a lot more to talk about then! Love you all!


VIDEO: me eating the chile


After eating the chile


Made and grilled some chicken!!


Awesome sandwich from a restaurant named Norm's


Picture of the smoke from the wildfire


"nice"-ish nails?


Temple


Picture with a return missionary (Benjamin Rios-Lazo) in my area. He served in Guatemala and got these super thick ties!

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