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, 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