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 18, 2011

niihama 12- ready for another 6?

So the mission was going on about how these transfers were supposed to be really small and nothing was going to happen. and Singleton and I were doing really well and were pretty excited to do a third transfer together, but the mission lies! For some reason they're doing transfers early this week so we got our calls yesterday. they're making the 4-man in Niihama into a 2-man. So Singleton and Stanford are off to a different area and Cloward長老 are I going to be sticking around and being companions. It makes sense for them to do it. because 2 missionaries can easily do all the work the 4 of us were doing since there isnt really much in Niihama at all. I'm cool with working with Cloward長老 since ive already been in the same apartment with him for 12 weeks, i know him well enough and hes cool. but Singleton長老 has probably been my favorite companion so far and im pretty bummed he's leaving. So the work gets a little jumbled putting the two area's together, but in the end we'll work more effectively this way. But being in a 2人 again is going to be lonely ;-; and what makes it worse is that because of this silly early transfer thing, Singleton and Stanford have to leave off to Okayama tonight.
Besides all that, our week was pretty cool. We got a chance to meet with Sho-kun this week and talk about some good stuff. He is awesome but apparently not very good at taking tests in school so his parents stuck him in cram school on tuesday, friday, and sunday. So church is a little hard for him at the moment. So his baptism is going to get pushed back a ways for sure.
On Saturday, we had our Christmas party! It went way better than I thought it would, except for the part where Manabe兄弟 turned it into a karaoke party for a bunch of high school girls who showed up. But I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the people we went around inviting actually showed up. we had the Shinohara family, mami-san, watanabe-san, some eikaiwa students, some less actives, and a bunch of people i didnt know. We made christmas cakes but they weren't as tasty as the ones i had last year in Ako. overall, it was a way good time, i think some good stuff happened. The members talked a lot with our investigator, Watanabe-san who got married recently so her name probably isnt Watanabe-san anymore. then she said she was coming to church, but once again, it seems to be a lot more difficult to get people to come to church than a Christmas party. Guess we'll go see whats up with her some time.
Then I guess one more thing, but after church we were having branch council and we talked about a girl who is living in a city far off from Niihama but still in our area. She's half Japanese and fluent in both and is teaching english for a year or two here. Aoba会長 was pretty worried because she hasnt been coming to church or returning calls and things werent looking particularly good. but then later in the meeting, a member knocked on the door and told us that this girl, Sister Oman had showed up. So everyone ran out to greet her and there were lots of tears and stuff and i wasnt exactly sure why but i was happy that everyone else was happy. then we had a little sacrament meeting just for her. it was a really special moment...
So that was this week. next week will be the same Niihama with a new companion.

Elder Horton

PS MERRY CHRISTMAS! cloward長老 will just be chillin the two of us this year it looks like.

...and pictures!
1. we had to forge a river...
2. and climb a mountain...
3. and jump on a trampoline ...
4. but we found a big slide and rode it.
5. and here's me at the christmas party with our cake and Mio-chan. isnt she adorable?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Still hangin out in Niiiiihammers part 11!

Transfer calls next week but the mission is trying to make this a small transfer due to christmas and whatnot so apparently only 5 companionships are going to change or something. So Elder Singleton and I will probably be hanging out for a 3rd transfer together. Then after that, I'll only have 2 left so who knows what will happen. I could just for for 5 transfers here and end it all. But looking forwards to calling everyone in 2 weeks.
This week was pretty aight. We met with some investigators and taught some pretty simple principles and confirmed that people could come to church. We got another 2 people to commit pretty solid to come, but neither of them showed up. Just the gaijin from Utah who I had to translate for again.
We did have the assistants to the president come around and hang out with us for an afternoon. We went out with Elder Lystrup and walked around Niihama for a bit talking to everyone. But since there arent many people on the streets, we mostly just got to hear about the mission and whats going on. Apparently someone I found way back in Tsuyama got baptized last weekend. Pretty cool stuff.
We weren't able to meet with Sho-kun this week because he apparently hit his head. We have an appointment with him tonight so we'll get everything figured out then.
But best of all, we had our first weekly game night this last saturday. Manabe-kyodai said he would come with 2 other people so we were waiting for him and just playing ping pong just the 4 missionaries for like 45 minutes until Kato-kyodai showed up. He's a less active and really good at ping pong. he showed us all up! so basically we got to spent like an hour and a half playing ping pong and since we shared a message with him, it was effective. next time, we're going to play some shogi. Hopefully we can get more people to come...
So things are good. I'll put some pictures up from stuff.

Love Elder Horton!

PS oh yeah, we also started a band that was going to play for the christmas party but broke up later in the week.

1. the band
2. Elder Singleton. the maple leaf, himself
3. I got stuck on drums
4. Nightly phone calls in my 'jammies

Sunday, December 4, 2011

新居浜 10週間目

This week was pretty legitimate. I had a comp exchange with Cloward長老 in my area and we were able to get out and find two new investigators and had our lesson with Sho-kun, which went well. We taught him lesson 1 and he understood most the important parts he needed to for now. And we set him up with a baptismal date on Christmas. Before that, we still have stuff that needs to happen, like to talk with his parents since he's under 20 and he needs to get to church, but we have another appointment tomorrow so we'll see how it goes. But Elder Cloward and I had some good times.
Wednesday we had some time to bike out to Saijo and visit some people before eikaiwa, but then Thursday and Friday were almost completely consumed by studying, bus rides, train rides, district leader council, and district meeting. spent a lot of time sitting those two days... but on the bright side, we ate lunch at the Senior couple's place after district meeting and sister okada is way good at cooking. that was a jolly ol' time.
Then Saturday, we visited one of the people we found who said she would come to church, Kana-san, and she said she was still good to go.
Then walking around after that, we got a phone call from some random lady who must have gotten one of our fliers in her post. She asked if we were related at all to the Jehova's Witnesses. apparently she used to be a member there or something but some stuff went down and she wasn't going back but wanted a church so was going to come to ours. Her name was Takahashi-san.
Sho-kun as well said he was good to go to church so we thought we had 3 pretty solid people who should have showed up but nobody did. But some weird gaijin from Utah showed up. He didn't speak japanese so i translated for him during sacrament meeting. translating is still pretty hard for my but i got by. mostly just because the verb of the sentence comes at the end in Japanese so I usually cant even start translating until they finished the sentence so i have to wait and then by the time i finished the first sentence in english, they're already into the next sentence. anyways, my head hurt after church.
So that was last week. We've got hopes for Sho-kun. Though this morning, I called Delmege長老 who is in my old area, Ibaraki to see if that Jehova's witness lady showed up there. she didnt, but he did inform me that Yonezawa兄弟 is still doing really well. he's hometeaching and being home taught and meeting with the missionaries every week. That made me pretty happy. So I guess thats about it.
Till next week,

Elder Horton
oh and happy birthday grandma Horton!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Niiiiihammers 8 & Niihama 9

Carrying the Arc

they keep the triforce in that bhuddist shrine

at a bhuddist shrine place. they fed us weird bean soup

Last Moday, after P-day, we made a call to the Tan family to see how they were doing and talk about bringing a member to their next visit. When I asked if it would be cool to bring a member to the next appointment, there was a long pause and the mom was talking to the daughters and then they told us they wanted to stop everything. And when i asked why, she gave the normal excuse of being bhuddist and whatnot even though we had already established that she believed in God. When I pointed that out and asked what she believes, she just said she didn't know but didn't really care. And I think that just about sums it up. They don't know. I think it was probably one of the daughters that was stopping the whole thing but who knows. But it was for the best that they got dropped now as opposed to later. But we met a bit with our other investigators like Kimura-san, who we taught about praying and reading the Book of Mormon and she seems like she wants to give it a shot. And after Eikaiwa, we got a chance to teach Sho-kun who is way cool and has interest in God and happiness so we have an appointment to meet him again tomorrow and have a more proper talk. We're stoked about that.
Thursday was thanksgiving and we started a companion exchange with the Imabari Elders that night. So before splitting off, we went and ate some delicious Osho's. and I ate... chinese food? I think it's chinese food. But it was good stuff and I spent too much money and wasn't going to have enough to travel to Imabari and back so I had to sell my nuttella spread to elder singleton. but its alright because the stuff wasnt exactly helping me in my efforts to get a six-pack. So then my exchange with Wright長老 went pretty well. He's a way chill guy and we had lots of good times and worked hard.
Other than that, not a whole lot happened other than me giving an awesome talk in sacrament meeting about fasting. which of course was awesome.
Next week should be a busy one, so until then!

Elder Horton

I copied the pictures from the other elders here so maybe ill send some out...
more pottery

November 21, 2011
They moved our P-day a day for some Zone Conference thing yesterday so I'm emailing a day late. I guess it was a pretty good conference, though I didn't enjoy having to wake up super early to get on a super-slow train all the way to Takamatsu. Then the super slow train on the way back took up our entire day. But in reality, I do love trains. who doesn't?
I guess not a whole lot happened this week. We had appointments and got to talk to most the investigators in our nice little teaching pool that we've built up since we got here. We gave Kimura-san a Book of Mormon and gave her a good place to read from, met with the Tan family and read and explained good parts out of 2 Nephi 31, met with Tojo-san and she is still praying and started reading the Book of Mormon but doesn't want to come to church, etc etc.
In Eikaiwa this week, we made turkeys and explained to all these Japanese people the awesome American holiday of Thanksgiving! and it turns out they have Thanksgiving in Canada too, but its just in October. Also Canadians pronounce the letter 'z' as 'zed.' I seriously thought Singleton長老 was pulling my leg on that one. But I guess I'm learning a lot about Canada. Then we had one of our members, Igari姉妹 interview all the Eikaiwa students and we got appointments with 3 of them. 2 of the 3 are going to be taught by the other 2 elders in Niihama and Singleton and I will teach one 15 year old kid named Sho-kun who is pretty cool. during eikaiwa, we asked people what super power they would want and he said he wanted to be able to make people happy. and he was all asking me if i was happy and why im happy and stuff. So we're going to teach him about happiness. should be cool.
So thats about all thats going on at the moment, or atleast that i can remember.
Hope everyone has a good thanksgiving!

Elder Horton

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Niiiiiiiiihama 7 and Pottery pictures!

Since there were no transfers last week, we had absolutely nothing going on. No district meeting or Zone conference or companion exchange or nothing. So we actually had some time to work. And I changed my planner at transfers so I dont remember the majority of what we did. But I do remember that we biked deep into the mountains to visit Aoba会長 and to share a message with some of his pottery students. Which went alright i guess. The one girl, Usuki-san, mostly just talked about how she prayed to trees and stuff. So I don't know if anything will come of that. But we did get to see the pots and stuff we made a few P-days back and theyre sick. I made a sweet mug that I'm gonna use forever and a bowl that i'll probably send home and a vase that can only fit one flower but is sure to win the heart of anybody who receives it.
Then after that, we went and visited the Tan family and set up an appointment to meet on friday. It was a pretty good lesson, but they didnt accept the invitation to be baptized on Christmas. But they say they'll keep studying and we're meeting again this week. We visited a former investigator/eikaiwa student by the name of Shinohara-san and made an appointment to teach her and her two daughters for tomorrow. That should be interesting. her daughters are 10 and 13 years old and the mom doesnt act much more mature. Should be good times.
Then one other person we found was originally a referral from Aoba会長. she is the lady that had been praying everyday since she met with the missionaries 10 years ago. We assigned her to read Alma 34 and she read it and had some questions. We saw her book of mormon and she had lots of stuff highlighted with notes and whatnot. So when I asked what she thought of the book, she pretty much bore testimony oh how it has given her guidance and stuff when she has needed it. Then she asked who wrote it. So after explaining about that, we set up a time to meet and talk more. Tojo-san is pretty awesome.
So that was about our week. Things are pretty ballin in Niihama. yeahhh

Elder Horton

Monday, November 7, 2011

新居浜 6 & 新居浜 5

新居浜 6

This morning, we got transfer calls! Singleton and I are going to be together for another. I'm pretty Okay with it. It looks like we could even be working for 3 transfers and I'd probably be down. He's getting better at Japanese pretty quickly and he's one of my funnier companions. So we have lots of good times. Allen長老, however. is transferring to Sakai to be with my ol' buddy, Elder Burhoe. So we're getting a new roommate, who's name is Elder Stanford.
So last week was nonsense. I was away from Niihama for all but 3 days, of which we still spent of lot of time studying due to the training for new missionaries Singleton長老 has to do. Which by the way, I'll be starting my 5th transfer straight of doing the new program. which is by far the most of any missionary in the mission and probably the world. I think i deserve 10, 20 or even more nobel peace prizes. Basically, we had very little dendo time. I was going to Matsuyama for district leader council and Imabari for district meeting and also Imabari for my exchange with Elder Nicholes which was awesome. We contacted a bum and learned lots of important life lessons after wards. It was way cool to work with my MTC companion in the field though.
In the small amount of time we did have, we visited a former investigator and met her family. The Tan family. Its a mom and two daughters, one of the daughters being a less-active member. We should be teaching them, and I have high hopes. But since we aren't transferring, we should have lots of time this next week. hopefully I'll have something interesting to write about. Till then,
Elder Horton


This computer is quite so this may be a little shorter. Really not much happened this week that i can remember at the moment anyways. We spent some time preparing for the branch halloween party which went really well... sort of. Pretty much the only people who werent members who showed up were a whole lot of high school girls and two middle schoolers who had come to eikaiwa the last couple weeks. We played this game where you had to get people to guess what you are just by gestures and stuff and one of the things they had to gesture was a pirate. nobody had any idea how to gesture a pirate. i was in shock. it was at that time i realized: im not in america anymore. Overall it was a success. some less-actives came and everyone made some good conversation. Other than that, I did my companion exchange with Burner長老 this week and that was a good time. Hes going to be a french chef when he grows up. This week is going to be a busy one. After P-day today, im going on an exchange with my old MTC companion, Elder Nicholes. its gonna be good times all around.
Not much more to say. Hope everyone is doing well. Send me letters, fools!
Elder Horton
someday ill send pictures maybe.

Marcus asked me what the cost of an airline ticket form japan to the american coast cost?  I replied around 2,000 round trip.. The ward asked for a  Christmas experience to share at the ward party...
Here was his letter to me...
Yeah i got a package from you but i still havent gone to the post office to get it. hopefully it will be the one with the toothbrush? we'll find out. yeah i thought that might sound like i was thinking about leaving. but even if i were, that would be way too much money. My companion was talking about how his family was thinking about coming and getting him and was wondering how much it would cost. that is a lot of money. gonna have to start saving up for my 2013 trip here.
a letter about Christmas? I guess i could write about what I did last year... Last year for Christmas... The 6 elders in my district all met at the church in Himeji and went Christmas caroling to various less-active member houses. A lot of them weren't home or were just really awkward about it, but we sang songs merrily along the way, wearing Santa hats and Elder Akina had a beard... hehe that wampsack. Riding our bikes back to the Himeji apartment, It started snowing which isn't a common thing that part of Japan. I remember thinking it was a Christmas miracle and just being filled with Christmas spirit. I forgot all about the fact that we were in a non-christian country where people worked and had school on the 25th of December and knew nothing about the holiday other than how delicious Christmas cakes are(they are way delicious here). Then the 6 of us had a little Christmas program where we sang hymns and read scriptures and then we Timtam slammed which is always awesome. Then Christmas day was P-day so we relaxed and talked to our families and had a splendid time. Then I was way trunky the rest of that day as we worked. So yeah people here don't really know much about Christmas or do anything special for it, but I guess we managed to make it special.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Niihama 4/ District Leader

So I'm emailing a little late because we just got back from Aoba会長's house where we made stuff out of clay. I got to use all my skills that i didnt aquire in that art class i took in high school so long ago. good times. but yeah I made a bold and a cup and a very lopsided vase thing. Aoba会長 is way way good at it. way better than mrs schwartz. And  we had a meal that Aoba姉妹 made and it was super good. some of the best food ive ever eated probably.
But yeah this week was really legit. last tuesday, we went to this matsuri with the Manabe family and they had us wear happys and go bounce the taiko's up and down. it was pretty fun and ill send pictures someday maybe.
Then we had to head to Okayama for the Conference with Elder Ringwood. and apparently, his wife is aunt laurie's sister. small world, eh? So that was pretty cool and it was a really good conference. I learned much.
Well Okayama takes a very long time to get to from here so it took the majority of tuesday and all of wednesday and thursday was planning. Then Friday, I did my companion exchange with Allen長老 and we had a way good day. Found some new investigators, Did some member and less-active lessons and contacted some chinese referrals who spoke no japanese or english so that didnt go far. Then we visited some random family that there was an arrow pointing to on the map in the apartment, the Noda family. The husband immediately invited us in. They had been meeting with the missionaries for a long time, the mom having first met them like 26 years ago. They have 3 kids, two twins of 5 yrs and one of 8 years of age. We talked for a while and i asked why they didnt get baptized. basically some of the commandments were hard for them and they didnt know if they could endure to the end and didnt want to go inactive. But we talked about how much the gospel helps families and would be good for their kids and after that, the mom said she wanted to go back to church. theyre busy for a while but said theyd come on the 6th of november. we'll visit before then, but that was a pretty cool experience.
Then yesterday at church, I had a talk. it was awesome. And we had a lady Aoba姉妹 has been working with who hadnt come to church in 10 years come yesterday. she was way excited and greeting people at the door and stuff. So the branch is doing pretty well. Just gotta keep things moving.
Elder Horton
Dear Brother and Sister Horton,

We are pleased to have your son Elder Horton serving in this mission.  He was recently called to serve as a District Leader/Trainer.  We thought you might appreciate receiving a copy of the letter that was sent to him .  We appreciate very much the service your son is giving in this mission.


Richard G. ZinkePresident, Japan Kobe Mission

24 October 2011

Dear Elder Horton,

Congratulations on being called as a District Leader as well as a Trainer.  This choice assignment indicates that you have performed well as a servant of the Lord, and that you have the leadership ability to not only inspire a new missionary to love this work and to be successful, but to also be the leader in your district.

The Mission President's Handbook talks about the importance of a Trainer.  In part, it says:

New missionaries first companions are an important influence during their entire missions.The mission president should call his most capable missionaries, those who are effective in baptizing converts and who will be able to help the new missionaries develop good skills and attributes, to serve as trainers of new missionaries.  As senior companions, they need to train and motivate new missionaries so they begin their mission successfully. They should use the explain, demonstrate, practice, evaluate model as they train new missionaries.  Trainers should diligently follow the daily schedule and obey mission rules.  When training they should:

          1.  Cheerfully and patiently help new missionaries adapt and develop the basic skills and attributes from the Preach My Gospel.

          2.  Use the weekly companion-planning meeting to help new missionaries set goals and evaluate progress.

          3.  Make sure their new companion participates fully as a contributing member of the missionary team.

          4.  Trainers help new missionaries be successful and productive from the very beginning.  Senior companions account to the district leaders and the mission president for the training of new missionaries.

In addition, to the above, as District Leader, you will also be responsible for setting an example for the missionaries in your district in your study of the scriptures and the gospel as well as in your obedience, hard work, proselyting skills and other aspects of missionary work.  As the District Leader you will:

          *  Carry a full proselyting load in your area and strive to baptize regularly.

          *  Supervise, teach, and inspire the missionaries during district meetings and companion exchanges.

          *  Interview baptismal candidates.

          *  Look after the well-being of missionaries in your district.

          *  Demonstrate effective planning.

          *  Work with your local priesthood leaders and members.

          *  Follow up with the missionaries on referrals.

          *  Submit reports accurately and promptly.

As you embark on this very important new assignment, remember to teach your companion, as well as those in your district, the important principle that obedience is the first law of heaven.  Teach the importance of the Spirit by ensuring, through your words and example, that the Spirit is always a third member of a missionary team.  As a Trainer, help your companion to learn to teach by the Spirit.  Make sure you give Elder Singleton a chance to pray and bear testimony as you proselyte.

Remember that as a District Leader, you can have significant impact on the work in your district, and on the growth and development of the individual missionaries.  As a Trainer, you will have a responsibility to your new companion.  In all you do, seek diligently to know the will of God.  Brigham Young once said: "An individual who holds a share in the Priesthood, and continues faithful to his calling, who delights himself continually in doing the things God requires at his hands, and continues through life in the performance of every duty, will secure to himself not only the privilege of receiving, but the knowledge how to receive the things of God, that he may know the mind of God continually; and he will be enabled to discern between right and wrong, between the things of God and the things that are not of God."

Please know that you have been called under the inspiration of our Heavenly Father.  I am grateful for your faith and diligence, and have every confidence that you will succeed in your vital role as one of the Lords choice servants.  May the Lord bless you with wisdom, understanding and diligence as you embark upon this challenging and rewarding assignment.


Richard G. ZinkePresident, Japan Kobe Mission

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Niihamer 3

Another busy busy week with all the exchanges and interviews and whatnot all going on. Elder Cloward and I worked together on Tuesday and had pretty good day. Found some lady who had been less active for the last 26 years but still remembered Aoba-shimai's delicious bread. She seemed a little tipsy but i think she might come to our halloween party on the 29th. Which reminds me, does anyone have any good ideas for Halloween games? that or a way to make bingo interesting? Any ideas are appreciated. We also got to see Manabe兄弟's band practice. they said it was going to be a folk band but it turns out that japanese folk music is different from that of america. but that was pretty cool. the keyboardist for their band is a referral from the Manabe family and she came to Eikaiwa with 2 friends who are now PIs. So Eikaiwa was pretty good. Then Thursday night to Saturday morning I had a companion exchange with Elder Gardner, who sat to the right of me in the MTC. It was way good times. We got to do some good work Thursday night and Friday morning, but then Friday afternoon, we decided to go deep into the Niihama wilderness and search for some less-actives. Some we found, some we didnt, but we were caught in the rain and went and bought awesome pocket coats for 200yen and we were chased by dogs and had all sorts of adventures. Then on the way back from our adventures in the wilderness, I was only a little lost and we ended up taking some off road paths. one of which, Gardner長老's bike ended up in a ditch. the other, he popped his tire. So its raining and we're in the wilderness and the phone only had enough battery to called Elder Clowerd and tell him he needs to take Inoue兄弟's lesson. Which means we didnt have GPS. But we started the long trek home and had some good conversations about what had been going on since the MTC. It didnt take long before we found a Yakiniku restraunt where we decided to eat. and oh man, it was expensive. 1000yen for 80 grams of meat. But it was one of the greatest things ive ever tasted. So Gardner長老 and i eventually did make it back after getting lost a whole lot more. I still dont know my way around the Niihamers very well. But it was way good times.
Then Saturday we had interviews with President Zinke. He says theyre really focusing on this area of the mission which is why theres 4 missionaries in Niihama and apparently theyre going to send us a senior couple to Imabari. Kind of cool, but im not really looking forward to it next transfer. it will be like having Japanese parents in our district. but then again if they drive us places, that would be nice. After interviews, The APs gave us some very lengthy 'training' and we didnt get home from Matsuyama until late at night. And then we went back to Matsuyama in the morning for District conference, which was a really reall good meeting. one of the best ive sat through in Japan. Lots of really good talks and strong members. That was really good times.
And finally, last night, we still didnt have the bike tire fixed, so we just walked to the Matsuri that was going on and there were a ton of people and it was good times. Singleton長老 got to experience some good Japanese culture. We'll probly go to it again if we have time today.
This was a long email and i dont feel like i said anything important. My bad. next week will probably be shorter.
Elder Horton
Niihamer- October 9
So we got a call from the zone leaders today and we have to wear suit coats from this point out. probabally my least favorite phone call. I guess we've thats the end of my last summer. Anywho it was a really busy week this last week. We didnt have much time at all to work. Tuesday, Elder Singleton and I bike all the way out to Aoba会長's house. it was probably a 20kilometer bike ride each way to his house deep in the forest. He wanted us to meet some of his pottery students who were really cool and probly fall under the category of PI. Aoba会長's house is way cool though. he is way intense about making his pots. One of these P-days, we're going to go and see if we can make something. im way excited. That night, we had dinner with the Igari couple and they made me a birthday cake that was way good. Theyre awesome.
Wednesday was planning and Eikaiwa, Thursday took a 2 hour bus ride out to Matsuyama for District Leader council where I got trained on the new mission training plan. Friday we had district meeting where i trained the district on the new mission training plan, ate indo-curry, and had a lesson with an investigator we found on Tuesday by the name of Takahashi-san. He's an interesting guy, but Singleton長老 took the lead in teaching lesson 1 and did a solid job. Then Saturday and Sunday were both in Matsuyama watching conference, which was way good. the story about the fried chicken and the quarter was my favorite. And out of the 8 missionaries staying in the Matsuyama apartment, Elders Nicholes and Gardner, who are two of my favorite elders from my MTC district, were 2 of them and we had a good time catching up. It had been a while.
I cant think of anything else really. It was a busy week where not much happened.
well.... later then.
elder horton

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Transfer to Island of Shikoku (The Rock)

Ballin' in Koyoto

Still Ballin'


Transfer with Elder Hales
So I'm now on the Island of Shikoku in the beautiful country town of Niihama. Before heading out here, we had a chance to get all of out affairs in order in Ibaraki and do a final lesson with Yonezawa兄弟. He's doing really well and i think he'll be great. Then we had transfers, said goodbye to Elders Shigeta, Delmege, and Barker, and went to the mission home to meet my companion fresh off the plane from America. His name is Elder Singleton and he is from Canadia. He's definitely a new missionary, but he has pretty good Japanese and speaks more than the young companions I've had in the past so I think things should be pretty good. So thursday was pretty much taken up by training and the 4 and a half hour bus ride from Kobe to Niihama. Then friday, we met with the branch president, President Aoba (Aoba会長)。 and man is he a good branch president. Really level headed and realistic but still very progressive and proactive in helping the branch. He has a lot of desire and is really working hard with the missionaries. He is pretty much the reason President Zinke made this small city a 4 missionary area. But even so, since Singleton長老 and I are pretty much whitewashing the area, we have absolutely no investigators. exept for the one guy we found housing on saturday. That and Singleton長老's bike still hasnt come from Kobe and we have had to walk everywhere and it has made things a bit slow. But its all good. We're going to be working with the members a lot and we have a goal of getting church attendance in the branch from <30 to 50.
But yeah yesterday, we went to Aoba会長's house and had dinner with them and a bunch of other members and it was really cool. I got to make donuts with Takita姉妹. We made a bunch of appointments for this next week so we should be pretty busy already. Should be a good week.
Elder Horton

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baptism! Last week in Thorn Tree(Ibaraki)

Ibaraki Eikaiwa ( mostly old ladies)

Cleaning the Baptismal Font
It was a good last week in Ibaraki. By the end I was starting to think maybe id be staying and was kind of getting excited, but transfers are happening it looks like. We were told another Typhoon was supposed to come through on Wednesday so they made us cancel our Eikaiwa and stay in the apartment, but it didnt even come through Osaka a little so we were fine. i took a pretty good nap though. We werent able to meet Yonezawa-kyodai until thursday, when we reviewed the baptismal interview and he was way solid on everything. So we set up an interview the next day. So Elder Draper came up and interviewed him after District meeting and yeah he was still way solid. So we started arranging for the baptism with our ward mission leader, who we've kind of been struggling to get to do stuff. But he was way good and arranged everything for the baptismal service Sunday morning. Saturday night we had sports night. all the missionaries from the district came up and it was way fun. Some where in the middle of it, I got a call from President Zinke. He asked about our baptism the next day and I told him things were good to go, and he said that he would be attending the service.
So Sunday morning we had a lovely baptismal service that went down without a hitch for the most part. Yonezawa-kyodai had a bit of an issue with bending his knees, but i still got him under. we had a good laugh about it after. Then throughout church and also for the lunch we had afterwards, the ward was way good about fellowshipping him. It was really awesome. Which is really good because both me and Elder Barker are transfering out this week. So we're going to have to leave him in the wards hands, though we should be able to meet one more time before we head out. It was a really good way to end my time in Ibaraki though. Our apartment here is going from 4 to 2 people and Elder Delmege and a new missionary are going to be taking care of both the Ibaraki and Takatsuki wards. I'm a little bummed that thats happening to Ibaraki, but I guess there are other places in the mission that need it more. Reversely, I'm going to a place by the name of Niihama, which is on the island of Shikoku. It was just a 2 person area, but theres a small branch there with lots of faith and dendo fire so president zinke wants to explode it by putting 4 missionaries there. So I'll be in a 4-man again. And I'll be training a new missionary again. Which, honestly, I'm not super thrilled about. But I think I'll get a solid bean and it should be good. Elder Barker is headed to good ol' Tsuyama. He's going to have a blast there. So yup, I'm off to Shikoku. or 'the rock' as it is called. I got my wish, but now i have to figure out how I'm supposed to pay for the trip out there.
Have a good week everybody in America! but not basil.
Elder Horton
Kind of a so-so week this last week. We visited a ton of people but weren't able to meet with many at all. But we should have a lot going on this next week. basically if we can meet with Yonezawa-san twice this next week, he should be good to go for his baptism this coming sunday. if not, then it will have to wait until the next week. but from the way things are sounding with transfers, i probably wouldnt be here for it. So hopefully he'll be able to meet with us this next week a couple times. So next email, ill let you know what happened with that and whats happening with transfers. Not much to say about this week other than there was apparently a typhoon in okinawa which caused us to get wet several times this last week. that was lame.
Hope everyone is doing awesome in America and stuff.
Elder Horton
PS kyoto was cool but if you wanna see the pictures it will have to wait until the after mission slide show.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ibaraki week 16

We had a way busy week this week. i had an exchange with Hanayashiki that was pretty long. Then we had this training thing for trainers in Kobe that we had to go to. At the trainer training thing, we learned about how we need to stop neglecting our study and do it no matter what. meaning on days where we cant do it in the morning, we spend most of the day studying. So probly for the rest of this transfer, we're going to be in the apartment studying a lot.
On saturday, we had a Shogi party again and Yonezawa-san came. Its pretty unfortunate but hes pretty bad at Shogi. We only played one game before starting the lesson, but Barker 長老 destroyed him pretty bad. But he was cool with the law of tithing. So pretty much all he needs is to hear the law of chastity and then he should be looking good for his date on the 25th.
He wasnt able to come to church this week, but we did have another investigator, Morimoto-san come. He's the guy from the religion where they try and 'cleanse' us and eat cookies with medicine in them. So thats a little weird but he had a good time at church anyways. We were asked by the sisters doing primary to come in and share an experience about being a missionary to all the kids. So we go up and stand in front of the class and they point to me and ask "Who knows this Elder's name?" and a few of the kids yell out, "horton 長老!" then they point to my companion and ask the same thing. none of the kids know. now my companions name is 'Barker.' in japanese, it comes out as 'baka.' which roughly translates to 'idiot.' So of course the kids went crazy when they heard his name. and the whole time he was sharing his experience, they were calling him idiot. 
Anyways, i got a good laugh out of the whole thing. 
As always theres probably a lot im forgetting. But we're in Kyoto right now and about to go see some crazy peace shrine. Heian jingu or something. but before that, we gotta get some lunch. Shigeta and Delmege say they want fish, but i dont want fish. i wanna go to shakeys and get all you can eat pizza and water. Guess we'll see what we end up eating.  
Elder Horton

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tsuyama week 15!

So our new mission president is changing a bunch of stuff around. Like now district leaders actually have responsibility and things they have to do. Basically, unfortunate timing with my becoming district leader. This week we spent some time in Senri with our zone leader and discussed some things that are going to be changing and things we want to do as a district. Then the assistants came to my district meeting on friday to see how the new system is working. One of the assistants, Elder Johnson, called me later and said thanks and gave me an assignment to do some training-like thing at this training for trainers thing that we have on thursday of this week at the mission home. Its not like i hate doing all this extra stuff, but sometimes, it just feels like extra work i dont need. maybe ill get a break next transfer.
But this week was fun anyways. There was a Typhoon that swept through our mission this weekend. They kept us in the apartment for the most part of it, but at one point we were in some pretty intense wind/rain. we were soaked but still went to visit Morimoto-san. We talked with him for a bit, and then he took us into his house and showed us a room that was pure white. like the chairs, the tables, the bookd and everything was white. and there was a scroll with kanji on it, which is typical of a japanese house but then there was also a picture of the guy who apparently founded the religion morimoto-san is currently practicing. and the morimoto-san proceeded to tell us about how the scroll thing and the picture of the dude were his god...? but he also apparently made a promise to god to read the book of mormon. long story short, we have no idea what to do with the guy. definitely wont be focusing on him though.
A guy we will focus on is Yonezawa-san. we met him last monday and taught him the doctrine of christ and committed him to baptism on september 25th. he accepted almost too easily. then he came to church yesterday, we taught him about the plan of salvation and word of wisdom which he also accepted to keep. So he is looking really solid at the moment.
oh man kubo-kyodai just brought us some really good popsicles, but now i can only type with one hand. mine is melon flavored, they love melon in japan btw.
On saturday, i had an exchange with Elder Delmege and we taught a Kamikawa-san before we were sent back because of the typhoon. maybe someday ill tell you about that lesson. it was an odd one.
So between the distric leader stuff and the typhoon, we didnt have a whole of time to work. though we did get to spend a day in the apartment playing shogi. but we still taught a good amount of lessons and had a good week. Next week is looking pretty busy as well though so we'll see.
Elder Horton.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ibaraki week 13 & 14-Summer Festival

We got a call this week from our favorite member who is working in the office part of our church Kobayashi-shimai! She told us there was a guy who called the church and left a message saying that he wanted to learn about our church and the book of mormon. The guy's name was Yonezawa and she gave us his number. We gave him a call and set up an appointment to meet him the next day. He's a cool guy and we taught him about the restoration and we have another appointment tonight. Not really sure what made him want to hear more, and he didnt give a very good answer when we asked. maybe we'll find out someday.
We also had a lesson this week with Morimoto-san, or Mori-chan as he would have us call him. He's a very interesting guy. He says that his religion teaches him to read other religion's books and stuff so he vowed to read the book of mormon completely. ii n ja nai? We'll meet him again sometime this week again.
Then on Saturday, takatsuki and Ibaraki wards had their summer festival. it was wayy fun. we ran the booth with the rock sling and the life size goliath to throw stuff at along with the booth for selling these cracker things they put mayo on. but we sold a ton of them. if it had been real money, we would have made bank. but anyways, it was a blast. i love matsuri's.
Then after that, we had sports night. our good friend Ken came, but other than that everyone was members. but we played basketball for probably just an hour and a half. and let me say, that im in the best shape ive been in since i was like 10, but you apparently use different muscles when you play basketball than the ones i was used to using. because ive been way sore ever since. everything hurts. But it was good times. Thats about it. till next time!
Elder Horton
the thirteenth week:
So we had transfers this week. My companion and I stayed, but we got a new roommate. I have no idea why, but we thought he was going to be brazilian. but hes from Maryland. Anyways, he is a pretty fun guy.
This week, we decided to visit this investigator who always comes to Eikaiwa named Hashimoto-san. She lives in a place called Yamatedai(mountain hand platform) and we looked at the GPS on our phone and it was about 6km away. didnt seem that bad so we headed out. and oh my goodness it was awful. we had to climb a real mountain! i didnt even know there were mountains in my area! i thought the whole thing was city! but we decided to climb the one mountain in our area and it was raining and there were a whole bunch of little bugs that would get stuck to your skin and just die on you so those were all over my arms and face and we had to climb the biggest mountain ive climbed on my mission. it took an hour and a half to get there, but we did and got to have a pretty good chat with Hashimoto-san about why shes not baptized. and the reason basically is that her husband wont let her because joining a christian church isnt a normal thing for a Japanese person to do. on the brightside, It was a lot faster to ride back.
Also, ever since last summer ive been wondering what the difference between 'semi' and 'higurashi' because both translate to cicada. But on the way up that mountain i heard some definite higurashi if you know what i mean.
So it was a good week. We're keeping busy. Hope everyone is fabulous in America!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ibaraki week 11 and 12- District Leader

Fireworks in Ibaraki

 August 14th-
Yup so we got transfer calls this morning. Elder Barker and i will be working together for another transfer in Ibaraki. But Usui is getting transferred and replaced by an Elder Delmege who is Basilian. Usui is going to the new segregation zone that is all Japanese elders. Im gonna miss that guy. But he was district leader and since he's leaving, i got left with being district leader. So i guess i get to go on a whole bunch of companion exchanges this transfer.
This last week was good;
monday we went to a members house and ate some way good hayashi rice and curry that he had been making for 3 days and watched fireworks from his balcony. it was a splendid evening.
Tuesday, Shigeta and i had an exchange and it was waaaayyyyy hot. But we got to meet with Sugimoto shimai who is my favorite less active. she gave us stuff to make tacos and we talked about burn notice and house. she really likes american tv.
Wednesday we had Eikaiwa but it was pretty lame this week.
Thursday. So on thursday. we were supposed to have the lesson with Uekubo-san, but he had given us that Hashimoto-sans phone number if you remember. and just backtracking a little bit, i called Hashimoto-san back and i wont go into details but he is a way interesting guy and said he wanted to come to my house and called the church and talked with the sister working there by the name of kobayashi-shimai. Then we actually had to miss Uekubo's lesson because we had district meeting and we couldnt call him to reschedule because he gave us the wrong number. We figured he wouldnt show up anyways... but he did. and then he called us asking why we didnt show up and even though we explained the situation to him, he was super pissed. he was throwing tons of dirty japanese at me. ive never been called 'omae' so many times in my life. He demanded that i apologize to his face, but i was in a different city. Then he called the church and talked to Kobayashi-shimai. then she called me. and i talked to her, told her the situation, and told her that the number he had given me had been that hashimoto-san who had called her earlier. and she was able to see that the numbers were completely different. apparently she talked to uekubo-san because he called us back and apologized for the way he acted. it was pretty cool to see the guy humble himself like that. i gained some respect for him and thanks to kobayashi-shimai, i guess everything worked out. but man that whole ordeal was a pain in the neck.
sometimes, i feel like the english translations of the japanese word i want to use are so lame. like 'pain in the neck.' what is that?
Then we can pretty much skip to sunday. We had church and it was the Takakura family's last week, so there was a bit of a farewell for them at church. Then after church, we had a farewell party for Sonomi before she goes back to BYU on tuesday. a bunch of the youth were there and it was good times.
So now its like The Takakura's are leaving, Sonomi is leaving, Usui is leaving, the sister area is getting closed so their leaving. everyone is leaving it seems. a bit sabishii.
Elder Horton
enjoy the pictures

August 7th - part of Marcus's letter to Mom....answering the question what have you learned....
I’ve learned a lot about patience and dilligence and developing Christ like attributes.

I’ve had companions who have pushed me, stretched me, and annoyed me to no end.

Recently being a trainer with new missionaries who can’t speak japanese, ive been forced to rely on my own abilities, my own determination, and on the lord.

Theres a lot of things i could say about the mission. most of them arent super flowery and sweet, but i will say that every area and every companion that ive had has taught me something i needed to learn. i can already see how the mission will change my life and i still have 9 months left.

August 7th

Hello Hello,
Pretty fun week this week. it went by fast. We had my japanese 1st birthday and ate some delicious yaki-niku and timtam slammed which is always awesome. Also had a lesson with Yasuda-san to which Hashimoto-san (who is not a member) jointed. She has been investigating the church for like 6 years and knows more than most members, but she still has a lot of questions. theyre all just really hard or unrelated. so those lessons are always a blast. And then we had a new girl come to Eikaiwa and she was way cool and way nice and said she'd want to hear our message. We'll see if we can meet her some time this week. Eikaiwa has been a way good tool for finding in Ibaraki. Then we had zone conference where president Zinke and the assistants came and talked for a very long time about a lot of stuff. afterwards, we had an exchange with the zone leaders, and Elder Draper and I went out. It was way nice to have a companion who could speak japanese. we taught a whole bunch of lessons and found some new investigators. One of whom, named Uekubo, it seems gave us a misleading phone number. because when he gave it, i gave the number one ring and hung up so it was in the phone. Then later that night, i get a call from the number i stored as Uekubo, but it was a man by the name of Hashimoto. We had a conversation like this
me: hello is this uekubo?
him: no this is hashimoto
me: oh really? sorry i guess i have the wrong number...
him: what do you want?
me: ???? i think i have the wrong number. I thought this was Uekubo
him: I dont know Uekubo. what do you want?
me: .......i thought this was uekubo. Im a missionary. my name is horton.
him: where are you from?
me: ....texas.
him: what do you want?
me: I cant really talk right now..(it was past 10:30)
him: OK call me back when you have time.
me: ?????? ok ???
Im still way confused about the whole thing.
Then on saturday, we had a shogi party for Takatsuki's recent convert. it was way fun, but Usui was the only person i managed to beat. there were a lot of the old-timers from church who were way good.
Then finally at church a guy from vietnam came and he didnt understand japanese so we couldnt really talk to him. but we did our best.
the end
Elder Horton

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Good morning!
we had a fun week this week. We met with Hondayama-san and gave the letter i wrote for his mom to him. Could be the last time we'll see him if nothing changes with his mom. We got an email from Ou-san. His mom says he cant be baptized because they're bhuddists. I didnt know that they were bhuddist in China as well, but apparently they are. I dont know if its bad, but all Bhuddism is to me is an excuse. Its kind of frustrating but its whatevs. We were supposed to have a lesson with Kawai-san but he didnt show up and his phone is broken or something. So we havent talked with him.
So. then at Eikaiwa, not this week but last week, we shared about the book of mormon and a lady who was there for the first time came up after and asked if she could buy a book of mormon at a book store and i told her "no."
Then i gave her one and by this week's eikaiwa, she had read over half of it and wanted to come to church. So she came to church and we taught her a lesson and she says she wants to get baptized. her name is Sawanishi and shes way awesome. we have another lesson appointment today after pday.
we also had Hayashi-san, who is an ojii-chan of 75 years who we found housing, come to church. he is way interesting. first time we met him, he told us he was going to print out giant silk pictures of the pictures in the book of mormon and hang them on his wall. I think he likes the book.
We visited a less active named Ribeka and she said drawing pictures is her hobby, so I asked what kind of anime she liked and she said her favorite was dorarara. i was just happy that i knew what that was. I asked if she had seen baccano! and she hadnt. i was disappointed and told her to come to church and repent. haha only sort of.
There were probly some other stuff but we're going to Kyoto right now. I think we're going to see Kiyomizu dera. its pretty famous. ill send pictures. So later, everyone!
Elder Horton.

So ever since i got to Ibaraki, ive been on a search for a good yaki-niku tabehoudai (all you can eat grilled meat) place. Occasionally, we'd get fliers or whatever, but they were usually like 30$ so that wasnt happening. but yesterday, we were walking down a street pretty close to the church that we had never walked down, looking for some elect. And we stumbled on a pretty good looking place with a yaki-niku tabehoudai for 15$. And it just so happens that this week is my 1 year in japan mark. so we're going to go celebrate on wednesday. Im excited.
This last week was good. Things kind of fell apart with Sawanishi-san so we arent meeting anymore, but we had some less-actives and two good investigators come to church this week. one in particular who we're excited about. Kijima-san is a friend of a member who we first met at a dinner appointment with said member. She's way cool and has a 4-year-old son named isaac who is a little gangsta.
And we had a way good lesson with the Imanishi family, who are way awesome. they have an 8 month old son who was pretty fun. i was freaking out at first when i realized ive been in japan longer than him though.
Other than that, it was just normal stuff. though yesterday we did house into 7 chinese girls. they werent very good at japanese, but i think i managed to get it across to them that we taught about christ at church and we had books of mormon in chinese. They probly understood.
I don't know, it was a good week. oh yeah, we also went to Kyoto. it was legit. I dont think i want to serve there though because there were a lot of Gaijin. But it was fun, ill post some pictures.
Elder Horton
1. a gate
2. me and usui in front of kiyomizudera feture man in blue shirt
3. waiting in line to drink the holy water
4. about to drink the holy water
5. drinking the holy water

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ibaraki week 8

We were supposed to go to Kyoto today, but its raining so we're going next week. at the beginning of my mission, i really wanted to serve there, but now i just want to go to Shikoku. it seems pretty legit. But thats a different story because i still have a lot of time left in Ibaraki and we're keeping busy. Our zone leaders are really pushing this thing were everyone gets 20 lessons a week. it might not seem like a lot, but basically, in order to make it happen, we spend all day going from house to house of members and less-actives and investigators looking for someone who is home and will listen to us. But I guess its fine by me. Its been pretty fun to get to know some of the members better and talk with them about their personal dendo and about what they feel like the ward needs help with. Ibaraki ward is awesome. And the other ward we work with, Takatsuki, is also way good, but yesterday Elder Usui and Elder Shigeta had a baptism in Takatsuki and it was the first convert baptism they had had in 7 years. The investigator is a pretty weird guy, but it was still way good for the ward. And one of our investigators, Ou-san got out of bed to come and see it. He's way cool and we taught him all about Christ's doctrine and a bunch of really good stuff.
Elder Barker is doing well. I'm still struggling to get him to jump into lessons and contacts and stuff more, but i guess i need to be better at making the opportunity. He needs to get speaking or his japanese is going to suffer. But he'll get there as long as i have something to say about it.
So it was a fun week. we worked hard and talked to a lot of people. Its really really hot though.
Elder Horton

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ibaraki 7 & I felt an earthquake!

Good evening, America.
"Good evening" isn't something we say that often in america, i feel. But thats how they translate "kon ban wa" here so we always say it a lot at Eikaiwa and i feel silly. So this week at Eikaiwa, we asked a member to interview all our students and see if they wanted to meet with us and here our message. The member we asked is a girl named Yoshino Sonomi-shimai and she is japanese but served a mission in the salt lake city spanish speaking mission. We're pretty sure she was supposed to go to temple square but got misplaced. anyways, she's way good and got 3 people to agree to meet us, who we should be meeting with this next week or two.
Then the next day, I went to Kobe to meet my new companion. His name is Elder Barker and he is an awesome bean. the exact opposite of my last companion. actually reminds me of a younger me. anyways. we had a lesson with Hondayama-san that day which basically was just him meeting us to say that him meeting with us has been causing his family relationship to suffer so he thinks it would be best if we dont meet until he is independant from his mom. We're still going to write a letter to his mom, so we'll meet to give that to him, but that will probably be the last time from the looks of things. So i wanted to give Elder Barker a good experience for his first week, but things have kind of not been working out super well. Though he was really happy when we found one investigator who we have an appointment with tonight. We're working on getting him opening his mouth and he's improving fast. he studys hard and is going to make a really good missionary. I'm excited to be working with him. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but it is really hot in this room and I want to be done emailing, so byebye, everyone,
Elder Horton
Here was the email to Dad:
In response to the earthquake, remark, ill paste an exhert from my email to katie.

"YEAH! i felt an earthquake! it was just after we ate some pizza hut at a members house but it was japanese pizza hut so it was a bit weird. so then we went and sat down on the floor, and i started feeling some weird motions going on in my stomache and i though "oh, man that pizza is doing a number on me" but then Elder Usui was like "oh its an earthquake" exept in japanese. Thats when i realized, i had experienced my first earthquake."

And yeah i heard about your trip. kind of a bummer, maybe it was for the best. also let the record show that i suggested we sell the suburban years ago. but youll get another chance to go backpacking. i wont go. but when i get back, if you wanna go fishing, i might be alright with that. as long as we dont have to walk far.


Last training conference with Pres McIntyre- June 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ibaraki week 5, new bike & Week 6, new president

Last conference with President McIntyre

First conference with President Zinke with (Usui-sama in the background.)

Week 6  July 3

This week was pretty sweeet. Talked to a lot of people found some promising new investigators, but weren't really able to meet with our current ones much. It was a bit of a bummer. Hondayama-san's mom is still in cahoots with satan it seems. But we were able to have some really good member lessons and had a less active family come to church along with a member's friend who was referred to us and is now a very promising investigator by the name of Hayashi-san. Yesterday, we met with the Ikawa family and had some pretty dang legit mexican food. it had just about everything except for sour cream which does not exist in Japan. But man it was sooo good. Good day. We also, with permission from the mission president, were able to go to another Movie Night activity. So yeah I saw Toy Story 3 and didnt even cry that much. it was awesome.
This past week, we got a new mission president, President Zinke who we got to meet on Friday. McIntyre was very powerful, but President Zinke is i think softer and more of a spiritual man. Already, little things are starting to change. like for instance, We were expecting to get transfer calls tomorrow, but we got them today. My companion, Elder Hale, is off to Matsue. And I'll be training a new missionary. From what I hear there are going to be no Japanese Beans so I'll be with another companion with low level japanese it seems. Its not really a problem just that it is more work for me. It should be a blast though. Apparently President Zinke makes a big deal of being a trainer so im expecting a call from him later today to let me know about all my new responsibilities. should be good times. I hope my bean has a good brain in his head for serious. I'll let you know next week.
Elder Horton
Week 5  June26
Well hello, hello!
So I went to Asahi and got a new bike. I had a warranty so It only cost be 20% of what the old one costed but after the expenses for the light and basket and lock and insurrance, it still came out to around 15000yen. So I had to take some funds out of personal funds and im completely broke. But on the bright side, I got a new bike just as I'm getting near my half way mark in Japan. It works out pretty nicely.
This week, Hondayama-san was sick so we weren't able to meet with him, but we've been calling him and emailing him to keep up on his BOM reading. Similar situation with Kawai-san who hasnt been able to meet in June but says he'll come to church on Sunday. He read in the Book of Mormon all the way up to 2 Nephi 4. so we're pretty happy about that. I was also committing him over the phone to throw away all his drugs and alcohol so he could quit. It took a couple tries but eventually we called him and he said that he did it. So he's getting on his way. We also met this last saturday with a new investigator by the name of Ou-san. His name is a little awesome because he's originally from China. But we had a way good lesson with him and committed him to baptism on the 31st of July. So as things are now, we're looking to see 3 baptisms this next month which would be pretty sweet. After Ou-san's lesson, we had a ward sports night activity. We played Badminton with Ou-san and he destroyed me. I didnt know someone could be that good at badminton.
We also met a brazilian guy. So he's obviously an investigator. His name is Raffael and i dont think he owns a shirt.
All in all a pretty fun week. We even got to eat pizza that still wasnt quite american pizza, but was actually really good. nice.
well thats all for now.
Elder Horton
I'll have to take some pictures sometime.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ibaraki 3

Kon Ban Wa (chinese for good evening)
I think we had a pretty normal week for the most part. I had a couple of exchanges, one with Elder Usui and one with Elder Colburn. both were super. This week we made a goal to start working a lot more with the members so we had a lot of lessons and stuff with them.  Member lessons are way fun. between those, church, dendo, and being in a 4-man apartment, Life is just a party right now. might be partying too hard because im way tired.
This week we had lessons with people like Kawai-san. He's still addicted to drugs. So we'll try and help him get over that. We also met Hondayama-san and taught him tithing. He is way awesome, and came to church yesterday and seemed to enjoy it.
I guess there were some other things but we'll see if I want to talk about them some other time.
Elder Horton

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ibaraki 2

Hello, Everybody!
This week I went to this leadership training thing in Kobe and learned about this new program I'd be working on with my companion since he is a new missionary. This transfer, We have 2 hours of companionship study and 1 full hour of language study in the morning in addition to our hour of personal study. And if we have something in the morning that interferes, we have to do it later in the day. Basically all it means is that after eating lunch, we dont get out of the apartment until 1 o'clock and we have much less time to work. Its actually quite lame for me, but I think its good for Elder Hale. He'll be a better missionary for it.
After that training thing, it was Wednesday, and I got to go to my first Eikaiwa in Ibaraki. We had 9 new students come. around 16 people in all. NEEWWW RECORD! desu. it was way cool and way fun. One of the students even became an investigator. The next day, we went to a Japanese class to study some Japanese and meet some people and met a Philipino guy by the name of Ken who speaks no Japanese but is also now an investigator. Ken came with us to the movie night that the Young Single Adults in our ward planned. We got permission from president and were able to watch the new Karate Kid movie with JACKIE CHAN in it. it was awesome. and I was pretty trunky for a few hours after watching it for sure.
In terms of our other investigators, Hondayama-san didnt keep his commitment to read the book of mormon because his mom burned his book of mormon. So thats a bit of a problem. We're going to work on that. He still has a date to be baptized on the 25th. Another investigator we met with by the name of Kawai-san has a date for the 16 of July. He says he's meeting with the missionaries because he cant quit drugs. So we taught him the word of wisdom and whatnot. Teaching him should be good times.
Yesterday, I finally got to meet some of the members in my ward and they're awesome. we set up some appointments and whatnot so I'm way stoaked.
Well thats probably about it. though I did find my camera. It wasnt in Okayama, just in my bag. So I guess ill send pictures.
Elder Horton

The pictures are from last transfer in Tsuyama with Warner

Monday, May 30, 2011

Transferred to Ibaraki

Transfer from Kakagowa to Tsuyama
So we got transfer calls on Tuesday and I was actually way surprised to find out that I was transferring. They whitewashed Tsuyama with two other missionaries. one new one and another who is on his last transfer. He is a Nihonjin by the name of Nishio and he is actually from Tsuyama. Tsuyama used to be part of the hiroshima mission and Nishio was in the Kobe mission but then Tsuyama got made part of the Kobe mission and his family moved out of Tsuyama but he got called to serve there. That would be crazy to serve in your hometown. But anyways, I'm in Ibaraki now. Its a City in Osaka so its pretty urban here. A very different place from Tsuyama. people dont even say hello back to you.  But I already got to meet a lot of the members in our ward and there are around 80 active ones which is good for our mission. The members seem like they're all way cool and they love the missionaries, so we're going to do a lot of work with the members i think. Which brings me to my companion. His name is Elder Hale (different from the one i was in the MTC with) and he is on his second transfer. I'm like his follow-up trainer or something. but yeah he doesnt speak or understand much Japanese, but he's doing his best and so we're doing pretty awesome. We had a lesson with a Hondayama-san who hasnt heard much but he is way cool. We taught him about the plan of salvation and he says he wants to get baptized and go to the celestial kingdom so we're going to teach him how. I'm way excited. We also housed into this lady who has this really weird religion where they kind of believe everything, including the bible. So i asked her if she needed to be baptized and she said she didnt know. so we shared about the book of mormon and about baptism and set a date to meet her and her friends tomorrow, but im actually not going to be there because i have some leadership training thing i have to go to. So my companion and another really you missionary by the name of Shigeta,who is nihonjin,are going to have to teach them. they should be fine.
We actually have 4 people in our apartment. me and elder hale and 2 other japanese elders. but its way fun. every day is a party.
I probly have more i could say but i dont really remember. I also had pictures to send but i left my camera in Okayama. hopefully ill get that back sometime.
So thats about it. Hope everything is awesome back home.
Elder Horton

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tsuyama week 18

I hear that Grandpa Horton turned 80. It is cool and everything but really its only 4 times as old as me. When i was 10, he was 70 which is 7 times older. That was impressive. Haha Love you, Grandpa. 
This past week on Thursday, Elder Warner and I hit our 1-year mark so in order to celebrate, we just partied all week. By partied, i mean that we went and knocked on doors and stuff and actually were on trains all day on Thursday because we had a Zone Conference in Okayama. But all the same, it was good times. And we kind of got calls from all our investigators telling us that they cant meet with us for a while. I guess its a busy time of year or something. Really every time of year is busy for people in Japan. This next week is going to be a very busy one for us as well though. Elder Warner got his transfer call this morning and he is going back to Tokyo on thursday. The assistants wouldnt tell us what my transfer is going to be so i have to wait till tomorrow. but chances are that ill be getting a new companion and staying in Tsuyama unless something crazy happens. So I guess im excited to hear who my new companion is going to be. We're also going to be working very hard to get people to our Branch conference that we're having on the 29th. We're inviting everyone we see and getting members to invite our investigators. We're also calling all sorts of old members from the list we have. Some of them are quite rude to say the least. Like this character yesterday who pretended like he couldn't understand my japanese though we both knew he could. But I also did talk to one nice person. Maybe they'll come. Well i dont really remember where i was going with that, but I guess we're keeping busy.
Next week should have some new stuff in store so I'm excited.
Elder Horton

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tsuyama week 16 &17

I don't have my Missionary Daily Planner on me so I have no Idea what happened the last two week, but I'll try to remember if there is anything worth mentioning.
We found this girl housing named Sachi-san who is stuck at home with a baby and doesnt have anything better to do but to listen to our message, so we've been teaching her a bit as of late. She read from the beginning of the Book of Mormon and didnt really understand anything other than theres a guy named Nephi who has two stupid brothers. But really thats more than a lot of people understand so she's showing some sort of potential.
It rained like CRAZY for like 3 days straight over here. the river near our apartment was like overflowing and stuff. During the rainy days, I threw on my big blue rain suit and we knocked on people's doors. We knocked on one man by the name of Shiraishi-san's door and he immediately told us to come in. so we're like, "But sir, we're all wet." but he doesnt care, so we step into his genkon but he tells us to take off our shoes and step in. Again we try to object with no success. then he tells us to sit down on these really nice leather couches. So we say "Sir, we're going to ruin these couches." But he doesnt care. Eventually we convinced him to get some towels, but we were still pouring water on his floor and stuff. He had seen us riding around on our bikes and wanted to know what we were doing. So we told him about our message and committed him to baptism and stuff. He was googling our church on his laptop the whole time, so in addition to teaching him about the book of mormon, prayer, and baptism, we also taught him about the word of wisdom and plural marriage. He had to go to Okayama and had to cancel our next appointment with him, but We'll set something up with him in the near future hopefully. He's a very interesting guy. Back when i was a junior, i would have zoned out and not understood most of what that conversation was about, but when your senior companion, you have to focus and it takes a lot more effort and ive been really tired recently.
Yeah there might have been some other things like exchanges with the zone leaders or stuff like that, but its not too important. We have some other investigators we're working with and we're also working a lot with the Branch to get things moving. So yeah I guess things are good.
I also hit my 1-year mark on the 19th this week. pretty crazy stuff i do say.
Elder Horton