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, January 30, 2011

Tsuyama week 2

Yeah yeah yeah so this week had some ups and downs i do suppose. Monday, actually during email last week, we got a call from one our members say he wanted to take us to see tsuyama's gundam. so we went and did that and you'll see from the pictures, that it was pretty legit. i know where to go to when Godzilla attacks tsuyama now. though really thats quite silly. godzilla would attack a much bigger city and one that was actually on the coast. not to mention that hes wouldnt like the cold here. but anyways, theres a big robot and its cool. then after P-day, we had our family-home-evening with the single adults in Tsuyama branch. that was pretty interesting. We shared a message, played a game, drew some pictures, ate some food, and i played a really awesome game of shogi with one of the members. I started off really strong and was beating him but then he started fighting like a freaking lion i swear. he just wouldnt go down. we actually ran out of time before we could finish but the activity was a good way to strengthen some of our members. next day, we headed over to Aeon mall for some "mall-dendo" (basically just talking to people at a mall). which is usually pretty hard for a lot of missionaries myself and elder nuttall included. something about starting casual conversations about the gospel in a mall is difficult. but we were actually able to do it pretty successfully that day. we had a 20 minute long conversation with this guy named Iria and he was way tight. we exchanged contact info and later that night, he mailed us saying he wanted to get some food sometime so we're going to meet him and his friend on saturday. We are a little worried that his plan is to take us to a bar to pick up some chicks or something but if thats the case, we'll turn it into a teaching oportunity. thats like the word of wisdom and law of chastity in one right there. we also talked to another cool cat by the name of Niki who said he was interested in eikaiwa and actually showed up that night for the class. from what ive hear, they usually have around 5-7 students at eikaiwa here, but on tuesday, for whatever reason, we had 10. and it was my first week and things were a little chaotic. i dont think we made a super great impression on some of the people who were coming for the first time, but hopefully they'll come again. Im not super worried about it.
Then wednesday up till saturday, the mission had its leadership training thing which i didnt go to but my companion did which meant that i was sent to an area called Kurashiki to hang out with two elders by the names of Elders Nakamura and McGuire. And actually I've done exchanges with Mcguire before since we were in the same district when i was in Kakogawa. I dont like Elder McGuire a whole lot. my previous exchanges with him were... rough for lack of a better word. but I was able to live through 3 days with him this time without doing anything too rash. though i did almost snap when he was explaining to me the science behind those stupid powerbalance bracelets. ooohhh. anyways i guess that means my patience has leveled up since my first transfer. so thats good and stuff. Friday night, though, one of Kurashiki's awesome members took us out to visit lessactives and then to this awesome all-you-can-eat yakiniku place and it was insanely delicious and i almost died i ate so much. then on saturday, we went with a bunch of our eikaiwa students to another all-you-can-eat yaki-niku place! and i ate so much i almost died again. That whole thing was planned by one of our investigators, Joutani-san and it was good to be able to meet and talk with him.
Then yesterday wasnt super great. the flu is apparently going around in Tsuyama and there was hardly anyone at church. maybe 10-15 people. and after church we went around and visited various less-actives and potential investigators and all of our visits just didnt quite work out as we had hoped. it was a bit of a bummer. but next week is a new week and im excited it should be a good one.
sorry this email is a bit long. sometimes i have to stop myself from typing unnecessary things. sometimes i type them anyways.
hope everyone is genki!
Elder Horton

Monday, January 24, 2011

Transferred to Tsuyama

Yup I'm now residing in a very cold area by the name of tsuyama. President said in interviews that he was going to send me to a bigger area where i could see more lessons and whatnot. the area is definitely bigger. not really so much in the way of being more urban like i thought he meant. land mass didnt seem like the topic of that conversation. But Tsuyama is more urban than Ako. But we definitely don't seem to be seeing more lessons here. They didnt find one investigator last transfer so we are already doing a lot of finding. So i guess president had a change of heart or forgot about me. But actually, I'm quite happy about it. One of my MTC teachers, Bishoff-sensei served here for like 6 months and he told us some things about here while i was in the MTC. that and my good friend Elder Burhoe served here for 3 transfers before he went to Himeji so ive heard a lot of stuff about the place. Its not the greatest area, but im really quite happy to be here. unlike my last area, i wouldnt mind staying here for 3 or 4 transfers i think. But yeah it is very cold. yesterday i got to experience my nose hairs freezing which brought me back to my winter at BYU. 'cept at that time, i had a mustache which froze too. And this city is waaayyyy spread out. theres about 100,000 people living here from what one of the members here told me, but there arent really any big building or places people gather because everything is so far away. So it makes talking to people a little difficult. There isnt a ward here, its another branch with around 30-35 people coming to church. but the members are all really nice. its not the greatest area. aparently most missionaries before me havent liked it, but i think its good.
My new companion is a Elder Nuttall. I dont have a lot of time so ill just say he's kind of like a spiritual version of Jon VanWagonen. He keeps life interesting and its pretty relaxing to have a companion who i can speak english to. But ill miss Hasegawa. we had a lot of good times.
So as for what happened this week, we didnt do much other than look for people and introduce me to various members and less actives we visit. Saturday, we had a Nabe party where we got to eat some pretty tasty food and yesterday, we visited the hittori family. they have two kids at home who are both returned missionaries so they were fun to talk to. it was a fun visit and we actually ate good food.
again, I'm pretty short on time so i may have to cut it here. Tsuyama is pretty cool and way cold. im excited to be here though. You'll here more from future emails i guess. hope im not forgetting anything too important...
hope youre all genki
Elder Horton

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 11 &12

1. ping pong people
2. At the Indo-curry place
3. thats how I roll

Jan 16
This week was pretty normal i guess because i cant really remember what we did. I guess in addition to our normal work, we played basketball a bit. i scored a basket. the crowd loves me. we had our Eikaiwa class this week and 30 minutes past 7:00, nobody was there so i thought nobody would show, but then 3 people all showed up 30 minutes late. it was a stand alone complex or something. but yeah it was cool because all the students were pretty high level in english so i was able to teach pretty normally without having to hold back or always be translating. probly the funnest eikaiwa ive had in Ako. Thursday, we had service at the old folks home we go to. i got destroyed in shogi in like 10 minutes and then that old geezer had to go shower, so i went and played "trump" with a bunch of old ladies. i picked up on the rules pretty quick, but all the ladies kept forgetting them, so i had to pretty much run the whole game, but it was really funny. good times. After that we had a lesson in Aioi with one of our investigator who is also an old lady by the name of Tomiyama. She is really nice and we taught her lesson 1 about the restoration. she has questions about what happens after death and where we were before this life. Plan of salvation stuff. so shes gonna get taught a solid lesson 2 sometime soon and hopefully get those answered. I like studying Kanji a lot. the word for investigator in japanese is "kyuudousha" or by kanji, 求道者。the first kanji is the kanji for 'motomeru' or to seek. the second is the kanji for 'michi' meaning the way or truth and the third kanji means person. basically, kyuudousha means a person who seeks truth. which Tomiyama-san actually is. So shes a pretty solid investigator i think. Then friday, we had a really fun District meeting, did our predictions where everyone is going to transfer to, and went out and ate some indo-curry. it was delicious and i ate 4 things of nan. Saturday was normal and we had our ping pong activity which will probly be my last time but it was fun and ive gotten pretty dang good at ping pong. And yesterday we went drove around with yabuuchi-kyoudai and tried to visit some people. pretty normal.
maybe next week will be more exciting. or if i dont transfer, it will probably be much more boring.
oh one more thing. At the MTC, I made a commitment to Durney-sensei to eat natto everyday for a week. I started that this week. so far ive eaten it three times. The flavor isnt horrible but the texture is not that of food. its like nasty snot or something. whenever i eat it, my hands start shaking and it makes it hard to use chopsticks. its that hard to eat. words cant describe. use google images or video or something.
Hope everyone is genki and stuff
Elder Horton

Jan 9
So this morning i could have sworn that Hasegawa got out of bed and told me "I'll show you how to take a short shower," except in japanese (i take long showers in the winter because our apartment is freezing). And then I said "manabimasen" which means I won't learn. But i asked him about it and he says he didnt say anything this morning. I guess it was a dream or something. Its pretty interesting dreaming in japanese. in a lot of ways my subconsious knows japanese better than the rest of my brain. like one time, I defined what "aitsu" means in a dream and i didnt know what it meant before. pretty cool i think. Having a Japanese companion really gets your brain thinking in Japanese. Its been an interesting transfer with Hasegawa. there have been some rough times but for the most part we've been able to have a lot of fun. Haha this guy has a dirty mouth, but only with english words. there have been tons of times, ive had to tell him that he cant say that word but he always says its not bad to him and says it anyways. I did get him to stop saying 'the f-word' but now he just says "F-word!" instead. its a little weird but ill take it.
Transfers are coming up next week and I would have said that we might stay together for another 6 weeks, but we had interviews with President this past week and pres says that he wants to move me to a bigger area where i can get some experience with teaching lessons and whatnot since i really havent been able to do much of that up to this point in my mission. So its looking like ill be transfering out next week, but we'll see. I still got another full week in Ako.
Last week was pretty same old same old, though we did have our exchange with Himeji. Burhoe and Akina came on over to Ako and Burhoe and I worked together for a day or so. I was just about the only time ive spoken english for an extended period of time in Ako aside from eikaiwa. But we had a really good time. Elder Burhoe is a really good missionary and he knows how to make the work enjoyable so we were able to find investigators and have fun doing it. Not many missionaries understand that you can do both of those things. Most just do one or the other. Hopefully my next companion will get that. But Burhoe and I visited our indonesian friend, Ryan who talked to the minister from the church in Toyota she was going to and now she says that what we talk about with her doesnt "click." So its kind of a shaky situation but she says shes coming to church next week and we're going to teach her the plan of salvation and all that good stuff. But other than that just a regular week. I got destroyed in Shogi by the old man at the old folks home we do service at. He is insanely good. So thats about it!
hope everyones genki!
Elder Horton

1. Kanji Study
2. My companion
3. I wish the weather was as nice as it looked this day
4. Video (dont know if i can but im going to try...)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas in Ako weeks 9 &10

Yeah didn't get to email last week because P-day got moved to Christmas and we didn't email on christmas. So yeah ill try my best to summarize two weeks but I'm gonna forget a lot of stuff. Christmas week was super busy. we had Zone conference, our ward Christmas party, or special Christmas Eikaiwa, and Christmas in Himeji with everyone. Zone conference was pretty cool getting to see people and hear from pres. they tried to tell stories and stuff to make it seem like being a missionary during Christmas is super awesome to try to make people not homesick and stuff i guess. I wasn't really homesick before but the stories had the kind of opposite effect. but then i forgot about that real quick. our ward Christmas party was weird. i mean i guess it was good. but all the 'acts' or whatever you call them were just strange. I have a video of one that i wish i could send because words truly cant describe. but all in all it was a good time. then after, we all ate curry and the most delicious and moist cake Ive ever dreamed of. and we got to chill and talk to some nonmembers like my eikaiwa student, Kyougoku-shimai's daughter who might be coming to eikaiwa some time. So yeah that was pretty good. As for Our Christmas Eikaiwa, not so good. it was alright but really it went about how i imagined. but its all good i suppose. after our ward Christmas party, we hitched a ride with a member living in Himeji(we were riding in the back of his truck with all sorts of random tools and stuff) and started our exchange with them. So Akina and I chilled on Christmas eve until it was time for Himeji's Eikaiwa which was mixed with a ward activity where we all went out and sang Christmas carols. that was fun but it was dark and i couldn't read the music which made it hard to sing. i just hummed the tune when i couldn't see though. i dont have the Japanese Christmas songs memorized yet unfortunately. then on the way back from caroling, we had a Christmas miracle! it snowed! i was way confused. i thought it was like pollen from trees or something at first because there weren't really any clouds or anything and its not normal for it to snow in this part of the mission. it normally just gets really really cold and then rains (which is what its doing right now). but that was fun. i was filled with christmas spirit and stuff. Then we the district all spent the night at Himeji's apartment and had a little christmas program, timtam slammed, and hung out on christmas and i got to talk to the family which was aight i guess haha.
After christmas, it was a little hard to get back into the swing of things, but this last week was all business besides saturday. We spent a lot of time trying to visit people but lots of people are gone or busy for the holidays so we didnt have much success. But last week, our indonesian investigator, Ryan, did come to church though i dont think she understood much. after, I taught her a lesson about the restoration and the book of mormon and all that good stuff. But its really hard to speak English when I'm teaching or even praying and stuff. Ive just gotten so used to doing that in Japanese, that the English isn't natural anymore. I had thought the lesson went all right, but we haven't been able to get in touch with her since then so I'm a little worried. I guess time will tell with that one. We were also able to meet with an investigator who was a referral from a member, Tomiyama-san. That meeting went pretty well she made friends with one of our members and we explained about our purpose and about God and families and we should be meeting again soon. Its just a little difficult because she lives in Aioi, which is another city in our area we cant really get to by bike. so we have to take the train which is okay i guess but we don't really get all that much money and we'll run out fast if we have to go to Aioi a couple times a week. Oh wells, we'll figure that one out too. That's about as much as there is in terms of investigators for Ako right now.
But then Saturday, for the new years, we had a Sports Conference(? that might not translate right but you get the idea) where most of the missionaries in the mission get together and play sports since its impossible to talk to anyone on the first day of the year anyways here. So all my past companions and all the Elders from my MTC district who came to Kobe were there. it was way fun to see everyone and play around a bit. dodgeball was way intense with that many people. and i got to watch kungfu panda in Japanese which was pretty intense too. lots of vocabulary i didn't know, but it was funny. So that was also way fun and kind of a once a year thing where we get to just play for a whole day. So yeah that's about whats been going on up in Japan for me. ill post some pictures. love you everyone,
Elder Horton

2. aioi
3. ako
1. christmas party. hasegawa a funny one.
4. basically says "Christ takes and erases sin." bad translation but i dont know.
5. MTC buddies reunited.