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!

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