Marcus was called to serve in the Japan Kobe Mission. He entered the MTC on May 19, 2010. He arrived in Japan on August 3,2010.
Elder Horton will be returning home on April 27, 2012!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

AKO Week 8

Hey, this week was cool. Monday was a pretty normal Preperation day. just normal stuff though we did head over to the church to help set up for the open house thing the members were going to be doing for the Matsuri (festival) the next day. The Matsuri was way fun. The missionaries from the other areas in my district came up to Ako to hang out and talk to people. So everyone in the district got to know eachother a bit. from what we hear, 70,000 people came from all over to see the matsuri. since Ako's population is around 50,000, we talked to a lot of people who weren't from around here which made it hard to set up and appointments or anything. but we were able to set up two which was good exept the both fell through it seems. But what are you gonna do. I took some pictures and stuff of the parade a bit but i mostly took videos of the cool stuff like the samurai fight which i cant really send through the mass emails. so you'll have to wait a year or two for those. but ill send what i can i guess. anyways, it was a lot of fun but i didnt get to buy any of the cool snacks or anything i saw at all the stands and whatnot because we were too busy. i really wanted a princess crepe. so bad... oh well.
after the matsuri, we went and played some basketball for a little sports dendo. i suck at basketball. but im getting better. ill get there eventually if we keep going. like the ping pong activity we have with some members here. ive gotten crazy good at ping pong. same thing with basketball right? probly not.
Wednesday was cool too. President decided he wanted to give our district some special training so we headed over to himeji for that. he gave us a lot of good ideas and stuff for how to work more effectively but the whole thing was in english so i dont know how much Hasegawa got out of it. then after the training, we had to hurry back for Eikaiwa(english conversation class for those who forget) which was fun. we did self introductions for Hasegawa since it was his first week and then wrote letters to santa. I asked for a Robot and the moon and a new tie. Next week we're having our special christmas eikaiwa which hopefully wont suck!
Thursday was pretty boring until night time when we were housing but then got a little distracted by a mysterious building, so we went to check it out and next thing we knew, we were on a pretty freaky adventure. it was like halloween in december. i wont go into details, but it was cold and dark and we kept stumbling into creepsy graveyards and bhuddist shrines. it was fun though. fun things like that didnt exist last transfer.
I honestly have no idea what we did on friday. I assume we went housing or something. but i do remember that i ate donuts and chocolate milk for breakfast, goldfish for lunch, and a big mac(which was only ¥200) and more donuts. I love me some mister donuts. Then saturday, we dendo'd and we had our ping pong activity.
This is getting long, but sunday morning was pretty crazy. we went and cleaned the church in the morning, then we headed over to a less active family's house and shared a message with them, then we had that meeting where we talk about missionary stuff. i have no idea what its called in english. then before church we were supposed to go with the indonesian girl we found, Ryan, to church. but we got there and she had been partying the night before and had a hang over so she wasnt coming. that was a bummer but we'll visit some other time. then church was church, we had to give talks and we pounded the members pretty hard on getting their own missionary efforts started. didnt really intend to but it came out that way. after church, we had rehersals for the stuff that we're going to be doing for the christmas party next week. the primary kid's little skit thing is sooo funny. pretty much everything they do is hilarious to me. they're funny kids. after that was a pretty normal night. i ate mashed potatoes and meat for dinner. just like old times.
Sorry this email was so long. next week is way busy with christmas and zone conference and all so next week might be long too. the week after that might be short though.
hope everyone is GENKI in the states.
Elder Horton
ps can someone tell me my blood type? people always ask and i never know. Its apparently a big deal to people here.
pps my SD card is full on my camera. send me a new camera or something.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ako week 7 New companion!

New companion! woo! Elder Kodama transfered out to Sakai and an Elder by the name of Hasegawa took his place. Yeah another Japanese companion. I've been speaking a lot of Japanese as of late. but its been really good for me. the members tell me my japanese is as good as some missionaries who have served their two years and are going home. which sometimes is a really good compliment, but ive heard plenty of missionaries who are getting close to going home who have pretty aweful japanese. so if they're comparing me to them, its not super flattering. But regardless, I'm getting better. I talk pretty fast and fluently now, which makes a problem because I can speak much better than i can hear which is opposite from most people. But in consequense, people hear me talk and think im fluent or something and start talking really fast and i cant understand a whole bunch of what they say. Its a bit troublesome at times. but listening will come in time. in the mean time, my English is suffering, in case you havent noticed from reading my letters. i try to make it sound all right and i end up correcting a lot of my sentances after i finish them. I didnt really mind all that much before because i figured all i needed english for was teaching Eikaiwa but then yesterday, we housed into a girl from indonesia who spoke much better english than japanese so i ended up doing the contact in english. and i must say it was some pretty aweful english. i wouldnt have thought i was a native speaker if i had heard that contact as a third party. but she became and investigator anyway. We're going to meet her before church next week and go together and teach a lesson after. That should be pretty good her name is Ryan (she probly spells it differently.)
But anyways, back to my companion, Hasegawa is pretty tight. he has good people skills so things are going to go a lot more smoothly than last transfer. Also he was my sempai in the MTC so i knew him from way back then. right now he's senior companion but I've actually been a missionary for longer since nihonjin dont spend 12 weeks in the MTC. But its way cool to be working with a young missionary as my companion. We're going to tear things up this transfer.
So last week was pretty cool. we met with a less active member from italy, Rafael (sp?). but he's way legit. he is from italy but served a mission in britain so he speaks english, though i didnt speak any english with him just japanese because his japanese is really really good. he is here right now getting a doctorate degree in Japanese. So i like listening to him talk because hes not native so he doesnt slur words as much but he uses some really awesome grammar patterns and whatnot. and hes a huge weeaboo hehe. id probly hang out with him after the mission. Then we had transfers and Hasegawa came on over. We ate at our branch president's house and it was one of those times where i was forcing myself to stomache what they put in front of me. i ate Eel, Oyster, and shellfish. shellfill was alright i guess. but i really dont like oysters or eel. gross stuff. i just wanna eat curry.
But yeah thats about all for this week i guess. hopefully things will be picking up soon so i can see something happen in ako. this week theres a big matsuri, or festival, that 100,000 people are expected to come to so the elders from himeji and kakogawa are going to come and work here for that. it should be really cool. im excited. ill try to take some pictures.
Elder Horton
Pictures are going to be the a picture of Hasegawa and I from the MTC. (pretty old so im way cooler by now). and the poster being displayed outside our church for our chirstmas party. Hasegawa says its inappropriate but i like it haha. either way its pretty funny to have that hanging in the church.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ako week 6

Its the last P-Day of the transfer so we're about to head over to kakogawa and party it up with the other elders in the district. apparently theres this really cool all you can eat yaki-niku place i didnt know about when i was there that we're going to go hit up. should be more good times. the elders in my district are way legit right now... with a couple exceptions hehe. But yeah so I'll be trying to make this short. this week was pretty good i guess. it went by fast. Monday and Tuesday were my exchange with Escalante and lets just leave it at that we had a lot of fun. Hopefully things work out with transfers tomorrow that we'll get to work together again. yeah so then on wednesday, we had Eikaiwa and the Kobayashi family came so we had 5 people there in all. new record! Since my companion is Japanese, Ive been teaching Eikaiwa all by myself all transfer and let me just say i teach a pretty mean english class. I'm going to include a picture of the white board after this weeks class(yeah i wrote all that ugly japanese too). usually I actually write more but i just thought the stuff we talked about was pretty funny this week. Then Thursday, we headed over to a different city in our area, Tatsuno where we walked around and tried to visit some less-actives with no luck. but I did take another picture. Friday was district meeting which was cool then normal stuff after that until now. So tomorrow is transfer calls and im pretty stoaked to see what happens. I feel like something crazy could happen. well crazy to me, it doesnt really effect any of you that much. but tomorrow is also matt's birthday(in japan)! so everyone wish him happy birthday. Let's see other than that, just that I'll be calling the family on christmas which is Christmas eve's night for everyone in the states. so if you're in the family, mark your calendars.
Elder Horton

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week 5 in AKO

Keepin this short because we've got stuff to do today. On tuesday, we had a girl in our branch who just turned 8 get baptized. her name is Saito Moe. hehe. yeah it was fun Kodama and I were the witnesses and i got to hang out with the Himeji elders. And later that night, We went and played some basketballs. which i havent played seriously since elementary school with taylor doutre. so i was a bit rusty haha. i was getting better towards the end though.
Then for thanksgiving on Thursday we did nothing! except thursday night, the whole district went and had a sleep over at himeji's apartment and i destroyed Hale at Shogi. then the next morning before district meeting, we had our own little turkey bowl for like two hours just the six of us. and it was actually really fun. i got pretty into it though and ive been sore since then. but it was a blast. Then during district meeting, we all shared our thanksgiving turkeys which we had been making all month with a little thing we're grateful on each of the feathers. Then after, we all went to our favorite Brazilian resturant and ate greasey brazilian food till we could eat no more. and thats how we celebrated thanksgiving. it was pretty good all in all.
Then we had some pretty regular days up until today. Today we're going to hang out in Himeji with everyone and after, i have my companion exchange with Escalante in Kakogawa! its going to be just like old times. im reallllly excited. so i may or may not have something to say about that next week. oh yeah and we got a new cell phone this morning. its the biggest cell phone i have ever seen. no exaggeration. besides maybe the really old ones from the early 90's. but its about that big. this thing is a tank.
well thats about all for this week i think. sorry my emails are so boring as of late.

Elder Horton

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ako week 4

Not much happened this week that I can talk about in this email so its going to be a shorter one. Because I'm staying positive, right?
So we'll skip Monday last week and go onto Tuesday. Tuesday, I got to do our service at the old folks home place where I can't understand what anyone says but I can play Shogi, so i do that. I didn't play against the really good old guy though, just a regular old guy so our game was taking a really long time because we were pretty evenly matched. They actually had to eat lunch before we could finish but i think i was going to win. but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to let them win or whatever. I wasn't going to let him even if we were though hehe. Then that night we talked to this guy Escalante found while he was on an exchange here named Takeshi. when he showed up at the church, I was way surprised because he was like a way cool guy. but because of the way Escalante found him, we weren't really meeting to teach him a lesson but really just to talk. So we talked a bit, and we eventually started talking about the church and the Book of Mormon and whatnot, and he was cool with all of it, but he didn't really see why it was relevant to him. If I were a better missionary, he would have become a really solid investigator, but I wasn't good enough. So I'm just going to have to get better I guess. Can't really do much else when you're in my position.
Yeah so then we'll skip Wednesday(Eikaiwa was about the same as last week) and Thursday. Friday, we had district meeting! which was fun as usual. The other Elders in my district are all really cool. Akina teaches me all sorts of things that I shouldn't know in Japanese haha. but you never know when you're going to need to know some of those things right?
Then we skip the rest of friday and definitely saturday and move on to sunday. Sunday, we had the primary program in church where all the kids sang their songs and did their little presentation thing which was awesome. One thing to be said about the Ako branch is that they have some funny little kids. They're always wanting to play and they have no idea that I cant understand their little-kid-talk but it sounds super adorable so who cares.
And that was my week in Email form. We also spent a ton of time looking for new people and didn't find anyone.
coolcool hope everything is awesome in the states.
Love you all,
Elder Horton


pictures are from a couple P-days ago when we went and all took pictures on the roof of Himeji's church. I'm by far the best ninja.
oh this is the kanji for ninja btw: 忍者。I was so stoked when i first found that out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

AKO WEEK 3 - 6 month hump

yeah this week was pretty legit. after email last week, we headed over to Himeji for everyone in the district to hang out a bit before starting the week long companion exchange thing with Hale. Then that night, I got to hang out in Kakogawa with Escalante just like old times. haha yeah last transfer was fun. then the next day he and Kodama headed off to Okayama for their leadership training. So Hale and my adventure had begun. It didnt turn out to be a very exciting adventure but we had some good times. But yeah like i said last week, Hale and I came to Japan at the same time, so neither of our japanese is super good. but like i had anticipated, my japanese was better than his, though his is pretty good.
But yeah so tuesday, we headed out walking around the Eki (trainstation) at Kakogawa and talk to some people, and we talked to a guy about Eternal Families and he became a new investigator. After talking to him, I was pretty happy just due to the fact that we had just had a conversation with a guy in japanese. it was pretty legit. then throughout the day and into the exchange, we actually were able to have quite a few fun chats with various people. Then Tuesday night, we taught Kakogawa's eikaiwa (english class) and i was way excited to see all my old students again and actually had some really cool conversations about where everyone's favorite place in the world was. and those conversations were actually in English. Hale was teaching the kids class which i was jealous of at first, but in the end i was glad i taught the grown ups. Yeah it was a way fun Eikaiwa and afterwards, we asked Yumiko and Kaz (a couple of our eikaiwa students i had found like 4 weeks ago) if they wanted to talk more about our church and Yumiko really did, but Kaz basically told us no for her. So the Kakogawa elders will have to get that one figured out somehow.
Then Wednesday, we took the train back to Ako so we could teach Eikaiwa there. I was a little worried since nobody came last week, but a guy called us and asked us about it before it had started and said he'd come. So his name is Daiki and he and our other student, Kyougoku showed up a half hour late. but it was actually a pretty fun. Then we were supposed to have a lesson with the investigator we had found but he wasnt home. So we walked around the College until some old guy came and kicked us out. i tried to play the "I dont speak Japanese" card, but he didnt believe me. usually people dont believe me when i tell them i can speak japanese. but i guess thats just the life of a gaijin in japan. So then we headed back to Kakogawa for the night and found another investigator at the Eki.
Then Friday, We thought we'd go around and visit some people that hadnt been to church in 10 or 20 years and share a message or whatnot with them. none of them were home but i wrote notes(which took forever because kanji is hard) for all of them and left them in their mailboxes. Then there was one house marked on our map which hale decided we were going to visit. So the guy at this house comes to the door, and I think he's just a less active member, so im talking to him like that. I share our message and talk to him about prayer and whatnot as if he were a member. then Hale invites him to church and he said it sounded interesting so he'd go. i was a little confused by the end of the meeting, but Hale is all like "cool a new investigator!" and then it all made sense. haha but he was way cool, and from what i hear, he came to church yesterday and they taught him a lesson. so that was pretty cool.
Then Saturday, we headed back to Ako, planned, had our ping pong activitiy. and Sunday was also pretty normal. Except some guy is having me proof-read this book about samurai he tried to translate. and it was pretty as expected, the english is awful. So I dont know what ill tell him. i still dont even really know who the guy is though so idk..
But yeah this week was way fun, and it gave me a huge boost of confidence in terms of my Japanese speaking ability. because I was basically able to do everything we needed to that week without too much problem. I think having a Japanese companion has been helping me speak a lot.
Well thats about it. sorry this email is so long. next week will be short, im guessing. also a shout out to Alec!
love you everyone,

Elder Horton

1 some shrine thing we found in Ako
2 the super manly salt sculpture we watched them carve the last couple of weeks
3 i had to take a picture of that

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Yeah so not much at all to report this week. things that happened this week include but are not limited to: Basketball, Eikaiwa, district meeting, and WakuWaku Land. Basketball was pretty fun but nothing happened there that needs to be reported in this email...hehe. yeah i couldnt play because i left my shoes in Kakogawa. Then for Eikaiwa, i was pretty excited to get to know my new english students in Ako, but nobody came. so that was a bummer. then District meeting was way nice. I got a chance to speak english and talk to Escalante about how things are going. I enjoyed that very much. then last but not least, WakuWaku Land. Its this amusement park-like place on the coast here in Ako where there were a whole bunch of families and whatnot playing and having a good time. Kodama has been here for three transfers already but he doesnt seem to know much about how he wants to dendo in Ako so we were kind of scouting the place out. We'll probably head back over sometime when we get some good ideas. Its definitely a place that would have been much more fun if you werent a missionary when you went. I wanted to ride the ferris wheel. but yeah it was cool. Other than that we did find one new investigator while housing at the college. teaching him is going to be interesting.
But yeah this next week actually is going to be a crazy one. The mission has this 3 day leadership training thing going on and hes not a leader or anything but Kodama is going to it. i think its just because hes in transfer 13 so he's pretty old. but anyways that means that from our district, Escalante and Kodama are going to be going. which means Hale and I are going to be companions while they're at the training. then right after the training, we have our regular exchange. so Im going to be Hale's companion starting after P-day today all the way until saturday. which is interesting because both of us are in transfer 3. and my japanese is much better from what I here. So I'm going to be carrying the companionship in terms of japanese. which is a little scary. especially since we do have Kakogawa's and Ako's eikaiwa to teach and the investigator that we found in Ako' lesson. But I'm excited to be doing it. and really excited to get to dendo in Kakogawa again. Since we'll be there for most the exchange. So yeah thats whats happening next week. Maybe ill have more to say next time i email. love you all,

Elder Horton

WakuWaku Land

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I got transferred to Ako

Yeah i got transferred to Ako. Not gonna lie, there were only two places in the mission i didnt really want to go to and Ako is one of them. Its in the same district as Kakogawa so i had done exchanges here so i already knew what it was like. but on the brightside, Escalante is still my district leader so we'll get to have some exchanges at some point this transfer and i talk to him every night. which is cool that i still get to hear about kakogawa. And Elder Hale who was in my MTC district replaced me in Kakogawa. apparently things started picking up there after i left. but yeah so this week, we heard about transfers and then I went around saying goodbye to various people in the area and other than that not much happened. we did have a member visit with a couple who lived pretty far away and we had already shipped my bike to ako so escalante and i had to get there on his bike alone. it was not fun. i got closer to escalante than i ever wanted to. though it is funny thinking back on it hehe. yeah so then on thursday, we transferred. coming to Ako, my new companion is Elder Kodama, who i had worked with before. As his name suggests, he is Japanese and though he knows some english, my days are now 98% in japanese. so im going to get much better really fast. i can already tell that i have been. so now a little bit about Ako.
Ako doesnt have a ward, just a branch. there are around 20 members who come to church every week, but the branch president is way into things and the members are working really hard to make things happen. but right now we dont really have any investigators and the finding is really slow since there really isnt anywhere to street and the people seem pretty cold so far. there is a college so at some point we're going to start talking to some cool college kids i think. but yeah Ako is pretty rural. my feeling right now is that this next transfer is going to be a long one. the last one went by so fast...
so yeah on friday, we did some finding and didnt find anyone, but we did visit this old couple, the takeuchi's who love the missionaries. they were throwing all sorts of weird japanese food in front of me to eat and i had to eat it for the most part untill they put what i guess was a fish that had had the head cut off and the spine taken out and then put in front of me. i looked at it for like 10 minutes before they told me i didnt have to eat it and i accepted their gracious offer. Kodama liked it though. then saturday, we went to the college where they were having this school festival thing. it was pretty fun. everyone was coming up to me and trying to get me to buy their food. i dont think they get many foreigners in Ako so i was popular that day and i got to hand out a bunch of english class fliers. then after that we had ako's halloween party which was pretty fun. they put a lot more effort into it than Kakogawa ward did, but somehow kakogawa's was much better. but they did serve some delicious Curry at the end. i love curry. then sunday was church and i got to give my little self intro/ testimony which was good. there are some really solid members in Ako. theyre just a little small in numbers. I guess ill see if i cant do something about that. Then we went back to the College festival thing and there were some comedians who i didnt understand at all and some cosplayer lady who did some act. it was cool i guess but it was also raining the whole time.
Yeah i guess thats about it. ill send some pictures. a few of them might be a little older.

Elder Horton


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 12

This week was a pretty interesting one. This might be a longer email. straight after P-day on monday, we exchanged with Himeji and i was working in Kakogawa with Burhoe長老 until wednesday. Elder Burhoe is a really good missionary and we got a lot of stuff done. it was legit. Monday night, we visited our favorite gaijin less-active, Matt兄弟. We talked to him about lots of stuff and about why he really has gone less active. and he has various issues that are near impossible for us to do much about. But we're trying to get him to start reading scriptures. baby steps.
Then Tuesday, we found this really cool girl while housing. her name is Arisa (or it might be allysa or something. it has kanji but i dont know if its supposed to be a gaijin name or not either way its pretty rare) and she is way cool. She had some worries about meeting with us because she thought it would cost her money but once we cleared all those up, we set up an appointment to meet here thursday morning. and I'll tell more about that when i get to thursday. Tuesday night, we taught our English class and it was the best class ive taught to this point. we had three new people show up and several of our usual crazy people not show up. the new people were this girl Michiko or Micchan, and then this couple-like couple of people, Yumiko and this guy who goes by Kaz. we had a really fun activity with directions, where you have to guide someone to some destination using only english. since there were an odd number of people, I got paired up with Micchan, which was fun but she was guiding me with her hands too much and with her words not enough when it was her turn. we're going to have to talk to here about missionary rules or something sometime. but i found out later its probly cool because although she doesnt look it, shes 28 and married. But for the good news portion of eikaiwa, where we talk about church stuff, all our new students seemed to be really soaking it in, so we might be seeing if they want to learn more tomorrow.
Wednesday was also pretty good I guess. I was with elder burhoe for half the day and we found two new investigators (both of which later spoked us). Then Escalante and I went to try and visit Marion since we did have a lesson planned for that night, but she was in her pajamas and didnt want to come out. She seems like shes been avoiding the missionaries ever since that thing with Bennion. I dont remember if i explained what that thing was, but whatever i dont want to get into it now. but we talked to Rosario and she informed me that Ive gotten fat. also that her and marion havent been getting along lately. We dont really know what to do with that situation. not much we can do if marion wont talk to us.
Thursday was good. We went to McDonalds for our appointment with Arisa at 9:00 and she showed up! so we taught her a solid lesson 1 and had lunch with her. though she didnt accept out baptismal commitment, she did say she'd read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it, and we said we'd call the next day to see how it went. I was really excited after that lesson. largely because I havent taught many lessons since i got here and largely because ive taught even fewer with people who are normal. Right after her lesson, we had another exchange with Ako. I'd be working in Kakogawa with Kodama長老 and right when we started off, the first guy we talked to was pretty legit. he said he'd meet us later that day. 6:00 at the church. So we talked to some people until then and headed over to the church to meet this guy. and he showed up too! we gave him a quick tour of the church we actually taught him lesson 3, though i dont think Elder Kodama knows what my ablilty is for teaching in japanese so he took most of the teaching just to be safe i think. But anyways, we commited him to baptism, and he accepted! we set a date to work for baptism on the 21st of november. due to mix ups with our phones, we couldnt get his number, but he said he'd come to church if he could and if something came up, he'd call us. So i was a little worried about it, but mostly excited at that point.
Pretty good week, right?
So then Friday, Arisa calls us. She says she read the book of mormon and prayed about it and she felt something special. She got excited and shes good friends with her mom, so she calls her mom and tells her about whats happened. So her mom her she cant meet with us anymore. Since Arisa is 19 and you have to be 20 to be an adult in japan, we have to respect her mom's say. All we can do is say hi to her where she works at the mcdonalds at the mall. I was pretty crushed. then we had district meeting and the whole time McGuire was super annoying. And i was not in the mood for it. But we had our planning session and we were supposed to be having 6 investigators at church, one of which being our investigator with a baptismal date. That was a glimmer of hope.
Then saturday was pretty fun. we had a halloween party with the ward and we were doing a skit kind of thing about alma the younger, so i was an angel and escalante was a gangster like person. the skit didnt go that well but my costume was legit everyone told me it was kawaii. which wasnt what i was going for, but whatevs. you cant see in the pictures im sending, but i had little wings on the back. they were pretty kawaii. the party was pretty good. we had two investigators there, Marion being one of them, though she wouldnt really talk to us. and we also had our new eikaiwa couple-like-couple of people there and they said they had a good time. after the party we were playing tag with all the little kids and they wore me out. it was fun though. they kept stealing my halo.
So then we had church yesterday. Nobody out of the 6 people who said they'd come came. including the guy with the baptismal date. which means he is a very iffy investigator all of the sudden. that sucked. we were sent right back to where we were at the beginning of the week then we had an appointment after church and he spoked us. not gonna lie, we didnt work very hard the rest of the day.
But its all good. Things will turn eventally right? that or I'll transfer out of Kakogawa without having seen anything happen here. Either way, I have had some good times. Next week, youll know if i transferred or not. All in all, it was actually a very fun week. it just had a lot of ups and downs thats all. Hope Everyone is genki in the states.
Elder Horton

Friday, October 22, 2010

Going for the Noodles!

I found this picture on the mission blog- can you find Marcus? It was taken the weekend they got to watch General Conference which was a week later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 11

Hard to believe its already been 11 weeks here. My second transfer is almost over and I'm starting to wonder if I'll be staying in Kakogawa or heading off to a new area next week. The members in this area are seriously awesome though. They really do try their best to help us, however they can. I think they really want to see a baptism since its been over a year since this area has seen one. Part of me wants to get transferred just so a more capable missionary can come in my place and make something happen here. Since it seems like despite any effort Ive put in here, we haven't made a whole lot of visible progress. We've found around 15 new investigators this transfer, which is decent by just about any area's standards in our mission, but we've also been spoked (the investigator breaks their appointment) by just about everyone and then they stop answering our calls. Even the one progressing investigator we had last transfer, Marion, isn't progressing anymore. She wants to wait two years before baptism even though she's ready now. So right now we have no progressing investigators. So yeah yesterday, after a really promising investigator spoked us, i was pretty down, but Im sure that things will get better which is why i also want to stay in Kakogawa to see the end of this streak. So whether i get transferred or not, I'm happy as long as a good missionary replaces me if i do,
but things arent all bad, far from it. Last week on tuesday, at Kakogawa Eki( an eki is a trainstation) we talked to this really cool black guy (black guys are crazy rare, so you always talk to them here). He told us he was from Nigeria and he was christian but he hadnt been to church in a long time so i told him i think its important that he goes to church and that he should try to go back. he said that he thought i was right and that hed think about it. so we gave him a flier and that was about it. But then two days later, at a different Eki, we bumped into him again. it was way cool. so we asked him he had thought about church and he said he'd coming to church not this sunday but the one after that which is the 24th, so he gave us his phone number and stuff. His name is Benjamin and I dont think he speaks any japanese. We can work around that somehow I'm sure. Long story short, WE GOT A BLACK INVESTIGATOR and it didn't take much effort at all. Man missionaries in nigeria have it easy haha-naw they have different issues. Anyways yeah, so thats the situation here i suppose. We didnt get to go the science museum last week because when we got to Himeji, the next bus that would have taken us to the museum was a 2 hour wait. so we're going to try again next week i think. Which is good because ill have money next week. I've been SUPER poor the last couple weeks and i had no idea why, then this morning, i got a call from the office elder and he told me he had made a mistake with one of my orders and I'd be getting 10000yen back in my account. which is way good because i dont think i would have been able to buy groceries today if not for that. hehe so yeah till next week.
love you all,
Elder Horton

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week 10 in Japan!

So yeah this last week was way crazy but I had some good times. Last week after P-Day, I had an exchange with Elder McGuire in Ako. Which was the longest exchange ive ever had. Elder McGuire is just one of those people who are really hard to hang out with for a whole day. I dont think id survive if he was my companion. but anyways. we went and did service at an old folks home kind of thing and there were tons of old people and stuff. and old people are SO hard to understand. there was one lady who was 100 years old! and whatever it was she was saying sure didnt seem like japanese to me. I played Shogi with one old guy who was way good and he was talking to me and whole time telling me tips and stuff but i only understood two words he said the whole time. "Gin," which is one of the pieces of shogi, and "akan" which is kansaiben for Dame which mean bad or no good or something. but yeah i actually was able to beat him with his help which Mcguire said that they hadnt been able to do.
Anyways, after that, we had Interviews with the president on wednesday which was good. We're lucky to have a mission president as good as president is. itll be interesting to see how the mission changes when we get a new one half way through my mission.
but yeah then from thursday to friday, we had the Assistants to the president come in and Dendo with us for a day which was way awesome. Elders Budge and Solomon came and showed us a thing or two. Elder budge is my companion, Elder Escalante's trainer so they had a lot to talk about and whatnot. but during that day, between us, we found 6 new investigators, one of which, elder budge and I were able to teach a lesson to later that day which was really good. it was one of the funnest days ive had so far on my mission and i learned a ton. hopefully we'll be able to meet with those investigators again and they can get progressing or something. i guess we'll see.
yeah yeah then saturday and sunday we finally got to see general conference and check out what everyone had been talking about. I liked the confrence in general. especially Uchtdorfs talks. his two were my favorites. The other speakers were pretty good, though i didnt appreciate the bashing on video games. but whatevs.
So yeah things are going here. today i think we're going to go hit up a science museum or something. Im way excited. i miss science and math and stuff. one of my favorite times of the week is adding up my travel fees for reimbursements just because i get to do some math. someone send me a good calculus problem or something (ill probly regret asking for that). well hope things are rockin in the states. love you all
Elder Horton

Sunday, October 3, 2010

kakogawa week 9

So yeah this week was pretty crazy and stuff. Pday last week, we just hung out and played chess and i stomped kobe and burhoe長老 and then we had a exchange with the zone leaders. Oshiro長老 and I worked hard and we found some guy who i guess already knew some stuff about the church and said he was willing to listen to us so were going to see if we can get an appointment with him. then tuesday was normal and ended with a normal english class full of crazy people. So then Wednesday, we decided we wanted to go around and find some less actives we hadnt visited before on our map before a dinner appointment with the Taniguchi family. So we were biking around all day and by the time it was time to head back so we could get to our appointment, i was already pretty dead. and we get to the appartment and im like "hey, where do the Taniguchis live anyways?" so we find them on the map and theyre WAY far away. so we're like dang we gotta go or we're gonna be late. and we head out and we got lost and all that good stuff and it turned into a solid hour and 20 minute trip of hard biking to get out there and then probly another 40 minutes to get back. that night i crawled to bed. but the lesson with the Taniguchis was way good. we did like a practice lesson with them so they could start to get used to sharing the gospel and could share it with anyone who was curious and all that good stuff. and their teenage son, who is kind of a punk, was teaching his mom about the book of mormon and it was really funny to watch. and their baby is probly the funniest baby ive ever seen. i wont try to describe it but just believe me. Other than that, it was just normal missionary days until my birthday! which was also fast sunday! But yeah i was actually glad to have had church on my birthday because the Members were way nice about it. the young men and young women sang happy birthday to me in english and made me a card and got be a big thing of calpis which i was way happy about. and sister Kangai got me some cake which was pretty delicious and moist. so yeah it was a pretty good birthday and it feels ok to be 20. they actually have a word for being 20. "hatachi." so instead of saying "ni ju sai desu," i can just say "hatachi desu." its easier trust me.
But yeah this next week should be a good one. we have exchanges with the APs and General Conference and after this im going to try again at getting a hair cut. little doki doki at that. so yeah till next week everyone!
Elder Horton

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I guess ill start from when i left emails last week.
we went shopping and didnt buy enough food so we havent been eating much lately, but after that we headed over to himeji and met the elder who replaced elder jackson. elder burhoe or something. but hes way cool and a really good missionary. his japanese is really dang good for a missionary on his sixth transfer. finally i have someone i can set a goal to surpass and not feel like im going to easy on myself. but yeah we went to some art gallery thing and it cost like 800yen and wasnt even that great. there were like 3 pictures that i really liked. the rest of them were boring or of naked women. but white handbook says art museums are cool so who am i to argue. but i blew a bunch of money and so now we have none. so this week i think the plan is for them to come here and we're gonna go to the church and watch church dvds, write letters(not me i dont have any letters to write), and play ping pong(churches here have ping pong tables). so that should be a fun Pday. then after that i have a comp exchange with the Zone leaders. ill be dendoing with Oshiro長老 which is going to be way tight. He was the first person I dendo'd with when i first got to japan and was still in the mission home.
recently, we've been playing shogi (basically japanese chess but different) when we get the chance to. the first time i played was against elder escalante and i won pretty hard. then we played again another day and he was playing much harder and i was getting a little owned but then he let down his guard and i snuck in for the checkmate or whatever its called in japanese. haha he was way mad.
But yeah last week was good. we had a comp exchange with Himeji and Kobe長老 got to work in Kakogawa and we had a really good time despite not being able to speak english. we tryed visiting rosario but she was yelling in spanish at something so we got scared and decided to go try something else. then that night we played shogi and i thought for sure i was going to lose since kobe長老 is nihonjin and all, and i was off to a rough start but i was able to turn it around for the win. long story short, i really like shogi and im currently 3 and 0.
So last week was good. we worked hard and we found 5 new investigators. how many of them will progress, I dont know. but considering I only found 1 investigator in the 6 weeks with bennion, i think its a pretty good start. Things are still moving a little slow in terms of how many lessons we're teaching, but hopefully that will get turned around in the near future. I think I'll call that good for this week.
Elder Horton
ps, shout out to abe who has been added to the list of recipiants. sorry you missed all the good ones. its down hill from here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

kakogawa week 7

yeah yeah so last week was pretty good pretty good. elder bennion and I pretty much did nothing for the rest of the time he was here. which was lame. but we got transfer calls on tuesday and he was off to senboku so he had to pack and being the kind of wonderful person he is, it took him 2 days. But on Wednesday we went to meet with Marion, and Rosario, and Dennis in some park in east kakogawa to give marion a Liahona for her to learn about modern day prophets. so we did that. while they were talking about boring stuff in japanese that was too much effort to understand, i went off and ran around with Dennis and it was super fun. that kid is super genki. but i also built relationship with Rosario and Marion which was good since elder bennion was leaving and because i have a sneaking suspition Rosario hated me (her japanese is pretty bad so its harder than the average nihonjin to understand but on the phone im pretty sure i heard her say "Horton" "kirai" "korosu" in the same sentance. which translate to "Horton" "hate" "kill." 90% sure.) so yeah that was good times. then the next day was transfers! my new companion is an Elder Escalante. He's half mexican, quarter philipino, quarter british and hes from california. He is a way cool guy and im excited to be working with him. I like his style of dendo a lot. the first day working with him, we found 3 new potential investigators, 2 of them that actually had potential. then the next day we found a new investigator who asked us to proof read some english paper he had written. it wasnt super good by an english native's standards but for a nihonjin, it was pretty dang good. he wanted to buy us lunch but we got him to agree to go to church instead. he seems like a cool kid and i hope we get to teach him more soon.
Something else that helps escalante 長老 get along is that we actually have some stuff in common. and i can give you a hint, it isnt music or vidya games. he also plays a pretty mean game of chess. i actually thought i was going to lose for a good portion of the game, but of course i didnt actually. anyways, it should be a good transfer. i think we can do a lot for Kakogawa and the ward here. im looking forward to it. though one problem is that neither of us really cook so i actually had to cook a meal for the first time and it was a little rough. we'll probly eat a lot of ramen this transfer. which im fine with. ramen + egg + tabasco sause = crazy delicious. I also had Pocky for the first time which is super awesome and which completes my list of memorable food items i have seen from anime. woo!
but yeah i guess thats about it for this week. today we're going to try to head up to himeji to try and see this art exhibit one more time, since its usually closed on mondays. but other than that, i dont really know whats going to be happening this week.
oh also last night, an old man started speaking english to us, which happens pretty often for some reason. but he didnt know much more than "hello" "how are you" "where are you from?" the usual. but when we asked him what he was doing, he said it was embarrassing, but a rough translation would be "the way that girls move." so yeah he was a really creepy old man it turned out. Im not sure why escalante長老 gave him a flier with a map to the church haha but he wont come. not sure why i just told that story. i guess ill leave it at that.
love you all,
Elder Horton
ホートン長老 より
前の趣味について考えば考えるほどに痛い世。  ←-難しいのだ。

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 6

OK SO. I havent gotten a new companion yet but we talked to president about the whole situation with our investigator and he said he was going to transfer Elder Bennion. so in all likely-hood, Ill have a new companion on thursday that ill get to tell about. hopefully hes super awesome and cool like me so he doesnt make me look bad. other business, ive forgotten to mention Katie's birthday for several emails now. so happy late birthday katie. Ill probly forget about Dad's. i always do.
but yeah so last week after emailing, I went and got my hair cut and boy was that super fun. The lady comes up and asks me what i want. so i tell her "mijikakute futsu ni shite kudasai." which might be a little bit of an awkward way to say it, but it should have gotten the meaning of "please make it normal and short." but she apparently cant do that so she hands me a magazine and im looking through and just laughing because its full of really crazy asian hair styles that my hair couldnt possibly do. but then she shows me one that looks reasonable and i tell her that one should be fine but id like it shorter than that. some other miscommunications occured and to make a long story short, my hair didnt get much shorter but is now slightly asian hair. and im going to have to get it cut again in like 2 weeks. woo!
After that, we tried to meet up with the Himeji elders to see if we could go to some art museum by the castle but it was closed so we just hung out. we might try to go again today. but idk. taking that many trains back and forth starts getting expensive.
then tuesday, we had Eikaiwa! (english conversation class for our slow readers). and we got another crazy person to come! while we were handing out our awesome tissues with fliers in them, he came up to us and asked for one. which is a sure sign of him being crazy. but yeah so we had a class with 3 crazy people! it was super fun. and on his information sheet we have them fill out, he said he wants to learn more about the "honly bible" so we might tell him we want to teach him more about the honley bible and make him into a crazy investigator! oh man eikaiwa is really funny when you try to get the whole class to do a tounge twister at once. they arent the most difficult, but i have to focus to do them right. our students just SLAUGHTER them, oh man oh man its hilarious.
but yeah then thursday, we had Zone conference which was super fun and educational. I got to hang out with Elder Wilcox and Gardner from the MTC and it was good to catch up with them. After Zone conference, we did another exchange. this time i was with Mcguire長老 in kakogawa. we worked really hard on friday and actually found a new investigator! which is really the first time thats happened all of this transfer so i was excited. we set up an appointment to meen on sunday at the church and got his phone number, but then he didnt actually show up. i was pretty bummed but i guess thats just life. we'll call him to see if he wants to meet again this week.
but McGuire長老 and i did bump into a less active member that we have been wanting to contact for a while but didnt know how. it turns out he had been in the hospital for like 2 months and now he didnt have a place to live and had been living in a park. we told him to talk to the bishop and gave him some food we had lying around. so we're heroes.
but thats where ill leave it at for my week. just got to say i hope Rosario姉妹 gets less crazy after Elder Bennion leaves. she is an odd one. she always calls me harry potter. and she said president was just like aladin. i have no idea why
but yeah
Elder Horton
oh yeah where are my ancestors from? people always ask probly because of my red hair and im sick of not knowing what to tell them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kakogawa Week 5

OK so. i had a question. where is Emillio (william morris or something) seriving right now? is it salt lake city spanish speaking south or north or am i wrong? just wondering.
but yeah this week was pretty good. We had two more exchanges the first was me with Jackson長老 in kakogawa. we didnt get much done but we did go around and collect a bunch of tissues people hand out with fliers in them as we dendo'd around the eki (train station). then yesterday, bennion長老 and i changed those fliers with our eikaiwa (english conversation class) fliers and handed them back out. we only had like 40 but if it will get people to eikaiwa, sounds good to me. We're going to be making changes to our eikaiwa because right now it isnt effective at all.
oh yeah then on wednesday we had some stupid nonsense happen. we taught a lesson to our one progressing investigator, Marion, and taught her some commandments and it was a good lesson. but then after, we went upstairs and somehow offended her mom, Rosario姉妹. then Rosario starts going off about how Elder Bennion should say hi to Ashley, who is some gaijin girl from BYU. apparently rosario wants Bennion to marry her daughter and somehow got the idea that he liked this ashley girl and was mad about it. but really he is still just bitter about is ex in the states. believe me i know. But Rosario said they werent coming back next week and it was almost really bad. but we talked to her about our purpose as missionaries and we think she might understand but the situation is still really iffy. but really all of this just raises elder bennions chances of being transferred next week. if he does, ill miss his excessive use of words like "essentially" and "potentially." (he averaged saying essentially 10.4 times a day over the last 10 days that i heard). So we'll see how that situation plays out. unless i get transferred then we wont.
then thursday I had another exchange with Kodama長老 in Ako. He is a nihonjin. and he isnt as good at simplifying his japanese as Kobe長老 so it was a difficult 24 hours. but i learned a lot and my japanese got better. Also we had dinner at this chinese resturant with some potential investigators. they were old people. and theyre speach was nothing but kansaiben (the dialect of some people in this part of japan that they dont teach you in the MTC). they were SUPER hard to understand. and a lot of the time when people are talking at me and i dont understand i can just nod my head and smile and fake understanding. but they were asking questions that required me to respond. by far the most my japanese has been tried since i got here. but they were super nice people so it was still a good time. then the next day i almost stepped on a snake and died.

Then Friday when we were both back in Kakogawa, we visited some members, the Haruyama household. they are fantastic members and already are doing their own personal missionary work. which is nice to hear as a full time missionary. then after our lesson, the dad was asking me where im from. so naturally i tell him im from texas. and then hes asking me what city, so i tell him austin. what part of austin? cedar park. then next thing i know hes showing me our old house on google maps. ah it was awesome. the street picture was even from when we were still living there. my car was parked in the drive way and everything. it made me really happy to see. also it is crazy to see how different neighborhoods are between texas and japan. our house is a mansion to them. and everything is just soo spaced out. but it was great.
but yeah thats about it. Im finding random things to keep things from getting too repeatitive. like my game of chess against myself, which is technically against the rules but since im only making one move a day, zone leaders said it was probly ok. but it is a REALLY intense game of chess. when you have a day to think about each move, you make good moves. I also learned how to play shogi. i think i like chess more but shogi would be more fun if i were better at it. oh and also my belt has gone skinnier by like 2 notches since i got here. in fact, im on the last notch. but i think i still weigh like 170 lbs. unless i converted from kilos to lbs wrong. so i guess im getting more dense. i guess. This is a long email.
Elder Horton

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kakogawa week 4

Yeah so another week down. The Zoo was lots of fun. It was elder bennion and me and elder Kobe and Elder Jackson there and we had good times. it was actually a pretty ghetto zoo. we were super close up to all the animals. i could have touched the polar bears if i wanted to. i think ill send some pictures of that.
Since Elder Bennion is district leader, we're going to be going on lots of exchanges with other companionships. we went on two this last week and we're going on two more this next week. This week I spent a day hanging out in Himeji again with Elder Kobe. For a nihonjin who is only on his 3rd transfer, he actually has pretty good english. but its nowhere near good enough to hold a conversation or even express too many thoughts. So i spent that whole time speaking only japanese with him. I think he speaks a little slower to make it easier for me but for the most part we were able to communicate well enough. even had some fun conversations. And with him on that exchange, we did service at this basilian resturant. and they hooked us up with some free basilian food for breakfast. it was super greasy and i almost threw up because they gave us so much but i managed. In America i would have thrown half my sandwich away but here, everyone always finishes all the food theyre given. so i just go with the crowd but it hurts sometimes. But that was the first time i had basilian food other than when pedros mom made random weird things. then on thursday after district meeting, i had sushi for the first time. it was weird but i didnt hate it. its something i could get used to. i imagine it wont be the last time i have it. then i went on an exchange with Elder neider who is one of our zone leaders and we did some good dendoing. we get stuck inside this crazy guys house for like 2 hours. he had tons of questions but wasnt interested at all. it was a not good time. Then saturday, our ward had an "outreach" activity. which was basically just a few games and a talent show. i didnt do anything for the talent show because i dont have any missionary-appropriate talents. But we did provide one of the games. which was basically just a scavenger hunt in english that might be too easy to give a 5-year-old american kid but they had a blast with it. so that was good. and we had our investigator, Marione, there so she got to get to know the ward members better. which was good. well ima wrap this up now.
till next week
Elder Horton

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week Three- in Himeji

I say Kakogawa week 3 but i really spent a good part of the week in Himeji. which was pretty legit. the elders there are cool guys even though talking to elder kobe is difficult since english is pretty むりmuri for him. I took some pictures of the castle from a distance but I'm going to the zoo there right after we're done emailing and shopping and apparently the zoo is right next to the castle so ill get some better ones today and send those next week or some time. Im going to try and send some other pictures though. three are the view from our balcony. then the other two are from when we went to go and try to dendo at this seaside park place but there was supposed to be a typhoon or something so nobody was there. nobody told us about the typhoon but the weather was nice enough to take some pictures.
So yeah last week. On monday, as we were emailing, Elder Bennion got dear John'd. so he was pretty depressed that day and we didnt get much dendoing done. i spent most of the day listening him talk about his feelings. it was really special. then the next day for english class, nobody showed up again besides a different crazy lady this time. though the other one showed up again after we finished. so basically only crazy ladies come to our eikaiwa. woo! then wednesday through friday i was in Himeji. which was crazy hot. really really hot. i sweat through my planner. which is probly a solid 60 pages. But we did get to meet with this awesome brother who played professional soccer from nigeria. his name is Justice. so yeah we call him justice-kyoudai. but in english it would be Brother Justice. Sick right? well his name is actually really ironic because he spent 7 years in jail for a crime he didnt commit. basically they knew a black person did it, and Jusitice-kyoudai is black so he got charged with it. there arent many black people in japan. But yeah Justice-kyoudai is one of the coolest people ive ever met. The whole time in prison he read the scriptures, especially stuff about forgiveness and the stuff about when joseph smith was in jail and god talks about that. D&C 122 or something. but yeah he has a really cool nigerian accent that was really hard to understand even though we were both speaking english. but yeah hes just about the nicest guy ive met. really glad i had a chance to do so. other than that we didnt do anything epecially awesome in himeji other than walking around the giant shotengai (kind of outdoor shopping malls), though when we were housing over there they got a new investigator who talked to us for 2 solid hours before we were about to give her our message and get out of there. she was nice but talked a TON. oh yeah and for a bike in Himeji, they borrowed a mamochatti(sp?) which is a super japanese bike that lots of people here like for some reason. old grandmas especially. so i was cruisin with my mamochatti and was super legit. i miss my mamochatti-chan. But yeah thats all i can think of for now i guess. not much happened this week since we werent in kakogawa. ill write next week a bit about the zoo and all my adventures there maybe. hope everyone is still genki in the states
elder horton

Monday, August 16, 2010

Second Week

Lets see, what happened last week... Well i was able to get my electionic dictionary for a bargain. it was marked down from 13000 to 7900 yen. I got a canon WORDTANK c36. I didnt know much about it but with a name like that, how could have have refused? but im still in need of a name for my wordtank. and my bike for that matter. elder bennion's bike is shadowfaux so i have to get one cooler than that which a thinker. but yeah so i expect everyone to send in suggestions. my bike is some sort of olive green(or brown if youre preston) and my wordtank is silver.
then on tuesday we had our eikaiwa (english conversation class) but nobody except araki kyoudai, his fanny pack, and his wife showed up. atleast until the end when michiko showed up when we had 10 minutes left. she is completely out of her mind though so she definitely doesnt count. i dont need to speak japanese to know she is crazy. but yeah we're going to have to work on getting more people to eikaiwa. from what i hear there are areas where they get lik 20-30 people every week. so i guess kakogawa just kind of struggles there. hopefully ill eventually get to work somewhere with a decent program.
we met with tanaka-san on wednesday. i dont really know what went on or what we talked about but i had to sit on the floor for like an hour and a half and my legs really hurt. hopefully i can start picking up more of what is being said when people are rambling for extended periods of time. because it happens a lot when youre with araki-kyoudai. lets see. thursday we had district meeting in himeji and i got to ride the train. it was sweet. i ate indian food for the first time it was weird. i even got to see himeji castle from a distance which is being renovated right now and Elder Kobe said its going to take 50 years if i understood his japanese right. but its still an incredible sight. And actually, Elder Bennion has some sort of leader training so he is going to be gone for three days for that. (our zone leaders decided Elder wilcox and i couldnt have handled dendoing by ourselves for three days since we're both beans but i got to go out with him for an hour on friday and i think we could have handled it.) im going to be spending three days in a threesome with the elders in himeji. maybe ill get to see the castle better. guess ill have that to write about next week.
We also got to meet with Marione-chan this week. she still doesnt understand a lot of stuff, but shes keeping her commitments and trying to understand so im happy. also she wants to learn english so elder bennion and i have been teaching her english while she teaches me japanese and elder bennion wants to learn spanish for some reason so she is teaching him that. though i wish she would come to eikaiwa
So yeah i feel like im starting to get into the swing of things. its hard work and usually not a lot of fun. and im still working hard to learn the language, but i think im getting there.
hope everyone's genki in the states.
Elder Horton
僕はカルピスが大好きだ。 なぜアメリカでカルピスがないか全然分からないよ。

I am in Japan-First week in Nihon

Yup so we landed in Japan I guess last night but its hard to tell when you lose a day off your life in the plane. I stayed awake pretty much the entire plane ride and passed out pretty hard at 10:30. Then we woke up and they made us a pretty delicious breakfast of mostly americanish food, though the melon bread is pretty nihonteki (japaneseish)and quite delicious. I plan on eating a bunch more of the stuff. then we had some orientation stuff and we went to a really nice Chinese restaurant. I ate too much and threw up. it was awesome. then they made us walk back from the restaurant to the mission home and dendo(do missionary work) on the way. it was pretty good. The AP did most the talking and I didnt understand quite a bit of it. but we at least gave out a book of mormon and a bunch of fliers. My P-Day is going to be on Monday from now on so look forward to getting stuff from me on that day. And I'm not going to be able to do individual emails today. you'll have to wait till monday for those. but yeah I'm in Japan. Its pretty crazy and it feels really unreal. also its hot and the higurashi are loud. Hopefully, I'll find out what area ill be dendoing in soon. I'm pretty excited. well ja ne

-Elder Horton
So I'm a little worried about my regularity with all this japanese food. but I have thrown up twice. the first time was at the chinese place and the second was at the bishops house. they were feeding us tons of food and i didnt know what most of it was and didnt want to ask. also didnt really know how. but anyways i guess i ate too much. so i asked where the toilet was and i was off. so i threw up a bunch into this toilet. and it was a nice toilet. really new and top of the line stuff as the japanese seem to like so much. most toilets have a lever or something to flush, but not the new ones apparently. they just have tons of buttons everywhere with kanji all over them which makes it really difficult for gaijin (forigners). so i didnt know how to flush. but i couldnt let them see that i had just thrown up all the food they gave me. so i just pressed all the buttons. i still dont know what happened, but i guess it worked. anyways yeah. Im serving in a city called Kakogawa. I dont know what the population is or anything and i would actually be curious to know. my compainion is an Elder Bennion and he has been in the field for i think 8 months. I met a lot of the member of the ward on sunday and they had be come up in sacrament meeting and introduce myself. which was a little scary but i think i did alright. I probly spent more that mom would have liked on my bike. 409,000 yen. but its a sweet bike. it has a basket and a light on the front and 21 speeds and it even has a bell. i look so cool riding around with my helmet and everything. also im about to take out some more money so i can buy an electronic dictionary because this out-dated paper thing is holding me back. but yeah walking around, being a red head, i stand out pretty bad. every time we pass little kids they all practice their english on me and say "hello" and it still takes me a while to realize theyre talking to me and that hello is a weird thing to hear in japan. but its pretty fun for me. its really hot. and they dont believe in insulation in japan so its even hot inside. sometimes even hotter. i dont really understand how they can have SUCH ADVANCED TOILETS but no insulation. makes no sense. but their toilets really are amazing. they make america seem like a third world country. but yeah we have already been getting out and working. i feel like my japanese is still far too inadequate and i found out that since elder bennion has some district meeting, Im going to be going on exchanges with an Elder Wilcox who has been in Japan for as long as me. so thats going to be an adventure. we gonna be lost. Im not used to having this much time to email. hope everything is good in the states. our ward mission leader is an old japanese man who wears a brightly colored fanny pack. its pretty legit. his name is araki-kyodai. hes going to help us teach the crazy guy who believes that everything is true on wednesday. should be good times. tomorrow im teaking english classes for the first time. i have no idea how im supposed to do that. but i guess it should be entertaining at the least. I'll post the address for mailing me stuff in case anyone wants to spend a whole bunch of moneys on postage and whatnot. but yeah i guess thats about all for now.
to mail me send stuff here:
JAPAN 657-0067
Elder Horton
this keyboard is really a pain to type on

Well hello hello everyone from the MTC.

6/1/10 Well hello hello everyone from the MTC.

I have 8 minutes before time runs out so lets see what I can tell about. Things are going pretty well here so far. The elders in my district are really cool for the most part and ive become quick friends with many of them. Japanese is hard. But I'm working hard and seeing pretty big improvements each week. It helps that my sensei are all really cool and good at their jobs, which is pretty incredible considering they have no training but serving missions themselves. I'm already super excited to get out into Japan. Its not that I hate it here or anything but I'm getting sick of it a bit. but i still have like 9-10 weeks so I'll endure.

All the Elders and my sensei tell me I'm competitive. I was winning the "which elder gets the least mail and is thus the least loved game" until mom sent me another letter. but im sure ill make a comeback and get back on top. also I destroyed grammar golf. I guess there isn't much to say. not much goes on here. the food is pretty good i guess. better than expected. oh and a bunch of japanese missionaries who don't speak english came this week so thats pretty excited to practice japanese with them. But I'm just about out of time, so that will be all for this week.


Elder Horton

mom, send this to everyone in the family and preston and see if you can get matt to get preston to get aj's email and maybe send it to pedro

6/8 10 ok i have 6 minutes go.

Um its been a pretty normal week. im starting to get the hang of things at get comfortable here which is a good thing because it will make time go by faster. and it cant go buy fast enough. i really want to get to japan already. and ill probly say that every week. ive become really good friends with some of the guys in my district, though some of them still bug me a bit. But we're all doing our best at learning and understanding the sounds that come from the mouth known as japanese. for a week now and for the next two weeks, we've had nihonjin (japanese people) in the mtc. they speak about as much english as we do japanese so communicating is difficult at times but it definitely is educational and good experience. its crazy how quickly i came to love all of them. they're really awesome people. its going to be sad to see them go in two weeks. but yeah theres not much to share about this place. it doesnt really change much. I like my sensei a bunch. one of them in particular, wilkes-sensei is really good. i like his views and his way of teaching. pretty similar to my own. so hopefully i can learn a lot from him before i go to japan. because after having a conversation with the nihonjin, i realize how much i have to learn still.

well im out of time so until next week,


Elder Horton.

From: Marcus Horton
Date: Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 10:47 AM
Subject: MTC week 5

So our sempai and the nihonjin left for japan on monday and its pretty empty around the residence halls and such. at the same time though, its pretty nice because our sempai were pretty loud and annoying a lot of the time. and next wednesday, we'll get kohai of our own and we'll be the sempai. ooh we're going to have fun with them. I'm probably only going to speak japanese to them just to freak them out... plus its good practice. but I suppose things are good here.. its still very normal but i guess thats good... next week is the one week per year that they train all the new mission presidents and all the first presidency and the apostles are going to be here walking around so that should be pretty interesting.. everyone here is going to freak out. Seriously. going to a devotional is like being in the crowd of a show everyone is irrationally trying to push their way through the crowd to get a good seat. it makes a lot of people really angry but i mostly just think its hilarious. the Nihongo is coming along well.. some of the other elders in my district and I are starting days of the week that are nihongo dake, or only japanese. So hopefully we'll start to get a better grasp on the language before the next set of nihonjin get here in 3 weeks.. it would be really awesome to be able to have a normal conversation with them. our sempai definitely couldnt so its basically our goal to be better than they were.. but it really should be all that hard.. also this keyboard types two periods at a time in case you were confused about that.. So yeah things are what they are, and im ever-excited to go to japan and get out of here.. guess ill just practice my patience.... this keyboard also doesnt have a working enter button so, Love, Elder Horton

6 weeks in.. which means that tomorrow we'll be getting our kohai.. pretty exciting.. i guess ill let everyone know how they are next week .. but yeah not much to say and not much time to say it as usual, but i feel like im showing first signs of understanding japanese a little.. which is pretty exciting i must say.. hmm what else.. well we had a friday devotional thing where Elder Oaks talked and a bunch of other apostles were there.. and apparently president monson and the whole first presidency were here on sunday but we didnt get to see them since they were only talking to the mission presidents.. but yeah things are pretty good and boring here.. i did laundry this morning it was aight.. i used this shout! stuff to make my clothes extra clean.. so yeah its been an exciting day.. oh yeah did you send me with shoe shining stuff, mom? me shoes are scuffed.. Love, Elder Horton

yeah things are pretty good around here i suppose. we'll be getting nihonjin elders this week so we're all excited for that. i usually always find myself bored in my spare time. and i used to think dad was a huge nerd for reading the dictionary and he still is. but i find great joy in reading my japanese dictionary and writing down all the awesome words i find. like the word for eating by stealth. or the word for killing someone who is seeking revenge. ill use that one someday for sure. but yeah reading the dictionary would never have been fun if i had a computer. also i already wrote this in my letter to mom, but we have a grammar book we call pikachu and ive pretty much read the whole thing and i want the next version. which is blue. and apparently theres a last version which is supposedly red. but many believe that charizard is only a legend. but yeah we're starting to get excited as we see that the time we'll finally leave this place comes closer. we should be getting our travel plans in a week or so. so i guess its about as good as times get in the mtc. though really this week was about the same as any other. well till next week everyone.


elder Horton

yeah so last week at the MTC. im super excited. but this stupid timer is telling me i only have two minutes to write this. but anyways next week or whenever, ill be emailing from japan. so look forward to that. i might actually have something excited to say. other than how bored i am here. reading the dictionary can only hold my attention for so long. though i did fit three books in my shirt pocket and that was pretty exciting. but im out of time. send me anything you need to before i leave through dearelder.

love you all,

elder Horton