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, April 22, 2012

Last Email...I am coming home

Yup yup we just got transfer calls this morning and I'm going home. Thursday is transfer day where i head to the mission home and do interviews with president and chill and stuff. then Friday I think i take a bullet train to the airport in Tokyo.
We had to spend some time getting my bags all put together and send them off. We did a bunch of other stuff, I just can't seem to recall any of it. Oh, I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday. it was legit and stuff. And the ramen museum was cool, pictures will happen later. nd today we're heading to Nanba which is like the Akihabara of Osaka if anyone knows what that means. It should be good times. 

So its my last week emailing. I'm looking forward to seeing the people who can make it out to the airport there and talking to everyone else on phones and on the internet. My mission has been one crazy roller coaster. All sorts of ups and downs and twists and turns, and its the longest roller coaster you'll ever ride. But I'm way glad I did it. I've learned a ton and grown up a lot (but not that much), and I'm excited to see what comes next. I loved my mission but it comes to an end. Its time to move on and I'm ready. 

Elder Horton

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hanayashiki- second to last

me and a rainbow!

random missionaries and Maiko


Bailey長老 checking out this raccoon thing















Man all these emails I've been getting have really not been helping me stay focused, I tell you.  But it's cool. While focusing is getting harder and the fact that I have to send off my bags to the airport this week doesn't help, we were still able to teach some good lessons this week. I was especially excited for Hayashi-san. He comes early to eikaiwa and teaches me math (kind of) and then we teach him about the gospel. He's way cool and hopefully he'll be able to come to church this next week. And we still dont know about what's going on with Kariya-shimai and whether or not she will be getting surgery sometime soon.

We went to Kyoto last P-day and saw the sakura and ran into a bunch of my favorite missionaries including Shigeta長老 and Delmege and Cloward長老 etc etc. it was especially fun to catch up on stuff with shigeta長老 We had a lot of good times being roommates in Ibaraki. I have some pictures and i guess I'll post some. 
Today we're off to the ramen museum and to get me a nice, expensive hair cut. 
Next week is the last week for emails so if there's anything you need to tell me, make it happen. 

Elder Horton

Hanayashiki 3

This week was pretty crazy busy with this and that and not much time to work. we had some sort of meeting or interview or general conference on pretty much every day of the week resulting in more knowledge of doctrine and stuff but not a whole lot of time for other stuff. But we should have more time this week. And umm conference was really good. I really liked Holland長老's talk. Today we're off to Kyoto to see the sakura blossoms so not a whole lot of time. We should have more time this next week so maybe i'll have more to talk about. OH yeah! We almost died. there was this freak storm that just came out of nowhere and there was all sorts of wind and rain and stuff and we were walking around some neighborhood and there was a strong wind that was apparently very strong because it ripped some heavy stone tiles off of the roof of a nearby apartment and almost dropped them on our heads. We just head a heavy crash behind us and started running away like little girls. good times. we were definitely protected on that one. anyways i gotta get going. maybe ill post pictures from kyoto next week or maybe ill just make you all wait till i get back.
Elder Horton

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hanayashiki 4

So last week was nice. one P-day, I said we were going out to downtown Osaka and it was good times good times. we went to THE pokemon center(pictures attached). and the sky tower and this and that shopping places. But anyways the dendo for the week was also pretty good. we had a couple lessons with Kariya-shimai and she is doing really well. She is going in for surgery some time this month and after going to the doctor this week they'll know more about the situation and whether or not she can get baptized in april or if its going to have to be later in the summer. either way, she's getting baptized for sure. We had some other lessons and stuff but the definite highlight of my week was my companion exchange in Ibaraki. It was way legit to get to go back and see my old area and my old apartment and even some of the members there. And let me just say, that looking at the area book for Ibaraki, I tore that place up. That is my area book. my name and my work is all over that thing. Not boasting or anything, but it is pretty cool to know that missionaries down the line will look in that book and be like "dang, this Elder Horton was a beast." We'll be heading back over there for General Conference on Saturday so hopefully I'll be able to meet some more of the members then. Lots of stuff going on. I got my packet with all the information for going home finally. but despite that, we're still working. Love you all,
Elder Horton

 Oh yeah, and today, we went to costco. It was awesome and american(mostly).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hanayashiki 5

Sounds like my flight plans got all planned out and stuff. Plane leaves Japan April 27th at 4:00PM and I arrive in Denver, CO April 27th at 4:08PM. An 8 minute flight! I'm excited to see everyone. But more excited to eat a delicious Chipotle burrito on April 27th at around 4:30PM! 
This week was pretty good. Taught some lessons, waved people down on the street, knocked on doors. the usual. The elder's quorum had a BBQ activity this last saturday and we had a bunch of our Eikaiwa ( English Class) students come out to it. One of them, Hayashi-san came with his mother. He hasn't been able to come to church much up till now but supposedly his work is going to change and he'll be able to come starting in April. But some of our members, the Tachi couple, were really good about reaching out to Hayashi-san and his mom. His mom had a whole bunch of questions about church and stuff and Tachi-kyodai ( a returned missionary)  was teaching her for like a half an hour. He did a really good job too. Its kind of nice being in a ward with returned missionaries. We also had a less active come who is in need of friends.  But yeah the food was really good. I love me some Yaki-niku. We are going to be heading out to Umeda today which is like the most concentrated part of Osaka, there should be cool stuff  happen so I need to end now. Also we didn’t get to go to the ramen museum last week but now we know where it is and we're going later in the transfer. Hope everyone is genki!
Elder Horton

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hanayashiki 6

His sense of Humor is Back!   Marcus told me his new companion reminds him of Brandon...
It doesn't mean I'm trunky, but I'm counting the weeks backwards from 6. So yeah I'm in Hanayashiki. the missionary i replaced is my good friend Elder Ewer. we were in the same district all the way back when i was in Ibaraki and he was here for the whole 7 transfers since. What he said is that he was 'one with the apartment' and so when he left, all hell broke loose. Seriously this apartment is a mess. I'm not much of a clean freak or anything but there's stuff everywhere. It doesn't help that there's this crazy lady, Shimizu-san who always gives the missionaries tons of random stuff. As it would turn out, Ewer and I actually found Shimizu-san on our companion exchange so long ago. I remember her but i thought she would go away after giving us those flowers. but it turns out shes been wreaking havoc the whole time i was in Niihama. All that aside, things are good. Bailey長老 is a good missionary and he's cool. I'm glad i get to work with a companion that can speak Japanese and hold his own part of the work. We met with some of our investigators this week and had two of them come to church. one is Araki-san who has a lot of questions and a smoking problem but he shows some promise maybe. The other was Kariya-san who is a member's mother and since she is quite old has a hard time understanding things some times. but she said she wanted to get baptized in our lesson with her so how about that. The ward here is big, and while its nice in some ways, in more ways it makes me miss Niihama. Someday ill head back and visit that place when i got a whole bunch of extra money lying around. We're trying to use P-days effectively since there's cool stuff to see and I've wasted the majority of my P-days up to this point. So hopefully we'll get out to kyoto and downtown osaka at some point this transfer. Today, we're going to a ramen museum. if we can find it.  
love you all,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Last week in Niihama


Yup, we just got transfer calls and I'm heading off to Hanayashiki for my last transfer. Its kind of silly to leave for just my last transfer, but there needed to be some sort of change so this is probably for the best. My last companion is going to be Elder Bailey. He's my kohai from the MTC so i know him a bit. It should be good times. Hanayashiki is in the same district as Ibaraki so ive been there once before on a companion exchange and its a really nice area. big ward and lots of people. also i might get the chance to go on a companion exchange back to Ibaraki if luck is on my side. that would be way fun. So all of that is good, but I'm a bit bummed about leaving Niihama. I'm gonna miss this branch. It doesn't really help too much that the missionary who is replacing me doesn't have the best japanese from what I've heard so I dont really feel like ill be leaving the area to the most capable hands. but i suppose it cant be helped. 
This last week was pretty good though for what its worth. Found a lot of people with good potential and set up a system where we can meet Mizuki-chan on a weekly basis. Hopefully the elders here will be able to follow through on it all.... i can hope. 
I'll let everyone know about how Hanayashiki is. Hey maybe this means ill get to go to Kyoto to see the sakura!

Elder Horton

only 6 more of these emails. but whos counting?

Monday, March 5, 2012

niihama - the last 3 weeks

Snowy days in Niihama

Well this week was improvement from last week for sure. We had a family home evening with the Igari's and Mizuki-chan and one other young woman in the branch, Itsuki-chan. We had stew and root beer and chips and salsa. then we played a get-to-know-you game and shared a message about the book of mormon. Mizuki-chan committed to read a little every day so she is now ever so slowly progressing. unfortunately its testing season here and the students are all really busy so she couldnt come to church or game night. but we did have that lady we found like two weeks ago, Yamanaka-san at church. she is way nice and seems to have interest in the Book of Mormon and God aso we made an appointment to share more with her tomorrow. Also Game Night special was awesome. only one non-member showed up but there were lots of members and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and liked the message we shared at the end. Oh, and it snowed for reals during game night. by for reals, i mean it snowed about 3 centimeters, but i was still like christmas.
Oh yeah. So a while back i think i might have said something about it, but Cloward長老 and I found this one lady in this shop and she had this weird pendant thing that she uses to talk to her spirit. I dont know, its a bit weird. But we visited her again and she may be some kind of investigator now. we introduced the Book of Mormon and asked her if she would like to read it. So she says 聞いてもいいですか? and she the proceeds to wave her pendant around and apparently her spirit told her to read it because she accepted our commitment.
anyways probably some other stuff happened, but nothing in particular comes to mind.
So have a good week, everybody.
Elder Horton


Getting warmer in Niihama

Pretty good week this week. pretty good pretty good. We had some good
teaching opportunities with Kana-san and Yamanaka-san and the Pendulum
lady. They were all good lessons and I really was feeling like I was
teaching at the top of my game. Really the best I've ever taught. Even
so, none of them are exactly filling the font up themselves. but not
all sheep are golden. We just may have to work through a problem or
two with them. I had a companion exchange with Elder Hatch this week
which was a welcome day of having a companion who can speak english
etc. then we had Zone conference. and seeing as how it was my last
zone conference, I bore my testimony as a returning missionary. a bit
early but the deed is done. It feels a bit weird. So things are good
besides a few companionship issues at the moment. speaking of which,
he's waiting for me to be done so i'll wrap this up.

Elder Horton

another week, another email in niihama
So I don't wanna go into details, but those companionship problems i mentioned last week got a bit bad last week. And in the end, we moved our companion exchange from later in the week to that night. kind of an emergency companion exchange. I was pretty frustrated with the whole thing just because i've never had problems like this with a companion even in the slightest until now. and here i am in my last transfers and i have to worry about something so silly. but after talking a lot with elder nicholes, i started realizing some of the places the problems occurred and what i can do to avoid them. between that and having time to cool down, things are much better now. Though i've been happier. We have transfer calls next week and if it were any other mission president, i'd say there would for sure be a transfer but with president zinke, theres a good chance he'll keep us together till the end just to "teach us a lesson" or something. I guess ill know about all that next week and theres a chance you all might hear a rant about it. that or some other exciting news. one or the other. Maybe I wouldn't care as much but its been interferring with our work. this week we didnt get a whole lot done. partly because of the exchange and everything, partly because we were talking about this or that problem, partly because my companion has headaches everyday after lunch, and partly because when we do work, or heart isnt in it 100%.
Thats not to say we made no progress at all. just not really any progress  worth mentioning i think.
Sorry that this is such a lame email. if it helps, my exchange with elder nicholes was a lot of fun!
Elder Horton

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cold Days in Niihama

icecream dendo!

one of those little houses down there is the Aoba's. out in the middle of nowhere.
Guess not all that much happened this week. We got out and worked but probably not quite as much as i would have liked. Kana-san got a job so its suddenly hard to meet with her. For whatever reason, the majority of out people were busy this last week and we weren't able to meet too many of them. On the bright side, we have some good appointments for this week. We're doing a family home evening at the Igari's tonight and Mizuki-chan is going to come. Also we have our Game Night special  this saturday. its basically normal game night but with refreshments. Aoba会長, you are a genius.
Yesterday, we tryed visiting our brazilian investigator, Aparecida but instead met her husband who also speaks portuguese. So I got to stand there and look stupid for a solid 10 minutes while my companion and him went off in basiltounge. I guess now i know how the majority of my companions have felt for the last 7 transfers or so. Apparently Aparecida is in Hiroshima but took her book of mormon with her. so she seems to be reading it. いいんじゃない?
But yeah Elder Sobrinho has good portuguese it seems. He's a way nice guy, just a little bit high-maintenance. I didn't even really know what that meant until I met Elder Sobrinho. It describes him perfectly. He has various things going on in his life right now and likes to talk about them. Often when we're supposed to be dendoing. I didn't think it was possible to have a conversation for 2 hours by oneself. I thought a conversation required two people. I learned something. But we've talked about it and he says he wants to work harder this week so hopefully we can. This just isnt exactly how i pictured the last months of my mission being.
So we'll see what happens.
Elder Horton

Monday, February 6, 2012

boa noite from 新居浜!!

Me and my new best friend... Tabasco sauce!

So we got Cloward長老 all packed up and shipped off to Kakogawa and now I'm hanging out with my new Brazilian buddy, Elder Sobrinho. He is very Brazilian. Also Pedro isn't very Brazilian because he speaks too much English. Communicating is fun, but its cool because when he doesn't know a word in English, I can usually guess what he's saying if he says it in Portuguese. Unfortunately, he speaks no Japanese. So we tried a couple more times to meet our single Brazilian investigator  aparecida-san, but she is never home. i think she may have gone back to the mother land. Game night was way legit this Saturday. our new ping pong table came but it wasn't assembled. but on the bright side, i now know how to assemble a ping pong table from Japanese instructions. So we had Kato-kyoudai, mizuki-chan, hikari-chan, itsuki-chan, and igari-kyoudai come out and play. None of you know who most of them are but someday, ill look back on these emails. anyways, we also played some billards which was good times all around. also it turns out girls aren't good at billiards.
Church was good too. Mizuki-chan and Hikari-chan came as we thought they would, but Kana-san did not. anyways i was starting to get frustrated about not getting a chance to teach them ever so i talked to Igari-shimai about it. she said she gave them books of mormon during the young women's hour and explained prayer and she said she'd mail her and set up a time to meet with the missionaries which she called later that night and told us she did. So now we have an appointment to teach Mizuki-chan next Monday at the Igari's. should be good. I'm really glad Igari-shimai is done throwing up from being pregnant.
Then Sunday night I had a pretty neat experience. It was raining and we didn't have coats or umbrellas and i was already feeling sick. we still had about have half hour before dinner but we were thinking about calling it a night. So we were on our way home and going down a way steep hill on wet roads and as we went by an apartment, i felt like we needed to knock on it. but if i were to slam on my brakes and turn into that parking lot, the result would have surely been bad. So I thought to myself, 'silly spirit, you're supposed to protect me, not try to kill me.' So after getting to the bottom of the hill, we turned around and went half way back up to visit all the nice people in this apartment. they actually were all quite rude with the exception of one Yamanaka-san who was one of the nicest people I've met knocking on somebody's door. We talked for a bit and she wants to come to church. She can't come this next week, so I don't know when she will, but it was good that we met her. I was glad we turned around.
Then today, I'm Emailing late because we went to the Aoba's and cut a whole bunch of firewood. TONS of fire wood. it was way fun and I built tons of character.
That"s all for now folks,
Elder Horton

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Niihama week 18 (I'm going to have to get a new system for this)

So as i eluded to last week, we got our very important phone calls this morning. If one were to ask why they were important, Id tell you that since i got my date to go home at the end of april, that puts me with just two transfers left. and since it doesnt make a lot of sense for me to transfer to a different area for my last transfer, this mornings transfer call determined where my last area would be. Since I have been in Niihama for 3 transfers and my companion had been here for 4 transfers, it was kind of up in the air as to who was going to go, but as it would happen, Cloward長老 is out of Niihama and off to Kakogawa. So I'll probably be in Niihama till the end and probably with the same companion by the name of Sobrino長老 he's from Brazil. from what I've heard he's kind of struggled with Japanese and English on the mission so we'll see how it goes. Either way, I'm pretty stoked for these next two transfers. I think there's a lot of stuff that we can make happen in Niihama. Its looking like i'll be here for 5 transfers so I'm going to make this area my own.
This week was pretty good. highlights include a good lesson with Kana-san at the church on saturday; she seems excited to read the Book of Mormon. Also on saturday we were housing around in the middle of nowhere when we smelled a delicious smell of some sort of baked deserts. we followed the smell into a small shop that seemed to be run by this nice lady. we asked her what kind of goods she sells, seeking to find the source of that smell. She sold a whole variety of goods from chicken nuggets to chocolate chip cookies. So Cloward長老 got some chicken nuggets and i got the cookies. Anyways. as we were leaving, she asked us if we were Christian, seeing our nametags. we told her that we were and then she proceeded to tell us about how she's studying about how to talk to your soul to talk to God and then she pulled out a weird pendant thing and said she used that thing to talk to her soul. She asked us if we could read Japanese and offered us some book but some other customers were coming in and so she told us to come back another time. She we got Dendo'd by some weird religion which there are a lot of in Japan. She wasn't very good at it though. but hey, we might go check it out if we're feeling adventurous. Then we got a call from some random guy from Pakistan. He told us to come to his shop so we did. He bought us some Indo-curry which was really good, but we had to have awkward conversation in his unintelligible English.
We also had Mizuki-chan and Hikari-chan at church again. They're buddy buddy with all the members now. so yeah! Anyway that's all I can think of for now.

Elder Horton

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Release Date i s April 27th!

So earlier this week, we had interviews with President Zinke. I had been waiting for interviews to discuss when I would be returning home. And I talked with president with it but even by the end of the interview, he couldn't give me a sure answer. I was pretty annoyed by the whole thing mostly just because of the whole not knowing thing. But I just got an email from president and he confirmed my date for April 27th. So now I know. Its a weird feeling. I think i liked not knowing better. But anyways, I just thought I'd let everyone know. I haven't thought about it enough to know what day ill be landing in America. the whole time difference thing makes my head hurt.
I think i mentioned in my last email that this week was going to be a busy one and it was pretty busy. companion exchanges with Nicholes長老 and Gardner長老 who now that i think about it, sat on either side of me at the MTC way back in the day. Its always way fun to get to work with the elders you knew from all the way back then. Crazy to see how much we've grown up and yet at the same time are exactly the same.
In terms of Niihama, things are pretty chill. unfortunately, we weren't able to make contact with Megumi-san this week so we have no idea how she's doing other than that she's busy. But we were able to have a really good lesson with Kana-san about prayer. She prayed at the end of the lesson and has really good, strong beliefs. it was refreshing. Also Shinohara Mizuki-chan and her younger sister, Hikari-chan both showed up to church. even though they were really late, they went to seminary and had a really good time i think.
So things are finally starting to roll a bit and as luck would have it, transfer calls are next week. No idea whats going to happen, not even a guess. But its going to be a pretty important call and if you don't know why, maybe i'll fill you in next week. I feel like I'm leaving stuff out, but lets just say it was a fun week hope everyone else is doing well.

Elder Horton

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Niihama week 16

This week we had no exchanges or interviews or zone conferences or mission gatherings or anything. So we had a healthy amount of time to get out and work. For whatever reason, ever since i became companions with Elder Cloward, we havent found a single new investigator. i havent had anything like this happen on my mission since i was in Ako about a year ago. Its been pretty difficult, but we did make some good progress with some of the other people we had been working with. Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet with Kimura-san because she got busy on wednesday, which is the only day she can meet. and next wednesday, we have interviews with president zinke so that won't work either. Hopefully we'll be able to meet with her someday. But we were able to meet Megumi-san with Igari-kyoudai as a joint. it was a good lesson and she seems excited to read the book of mormon and find out for herself if its true. Also shes the same age as igari-kyoudai's wife and they're both newly married so they became friends. but unfortunately, Igari-kyoudai's wife is pregnant and has morning sickness really bad and so shes been jumping in and out of the hospital the last month or so. doesnt seem like too much fun.
then we had two people come to church! kana-san who had said she was going to come two times in the past but hadnt showed up and also Shinohara Mizuki-chan (not mitsuki) who manabe-kyoudai had talked to at game night last week. Kana-san brought her 2 year old daughter who was, of course, way adorable and everyone in the branch was all over her. so that was good and Mizuki-chan is good at making friends and made good friends with the few young women we have. over all, it was really good. So we should be seeing more of all of them. Yeah a pretty good week. next week we have 2 exchanges and interviews with president so i think cloward長老 and i only have 2 days to work together. we'll see what happens.
We're in Imabari right now and we just ate really fancy food at the top of a hotel for nicholes長老's birthday.
thats all!
Elder Horton

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Live from Niihama weeks 13 and 14

cloward and mio-chan dressed up as santa to deliver presents to neighborhood kids.

Add Christmas eve and the Aoba's

makin mochi

hammer of justice

chainsaw of epic
Well it was nice to talk to the family last week for Christmas and it sounds like everyone is doing well and all. I don't remember at all what we did 2 weeks ago and this week, we didn't really have much time to do anything. With the time we did have, we knocked on some doors and also visited some investigators which resulted in the dropping of several people. But it was alright because I feel like we have a big list of 'investigators' but not many of them are investigating at this point so we need to get the list cleaned up and find the people who are going to progress. Then after that, we had our Christmas conference in Okayama which takes a solid two days out of our week. But a big chunk of the mission gathered together and played sports and got some training and it was good times. I mostly just played capture the flag and dodge ball. I swear, Im in pretty dang good shape right now but every time i play sports, my body hurts all over the next day. And the next day after that Christmas conference, we had a Mochi tsuki. which is where you hit rice with hammers until it turns into mochi, which is rice that has been pounded a whole lot with a hammer. then we played more games with the members who showed up to that and did some service at the Aoba's cutting wood. The Aoba's son and daughter and their spouses are visiting for new years and theyre way cool. But after all of that my body was about ready to give out.
We then celebrated new years by drinking some cheap 1$ sparkling cider, which i ended up dumping down the drain because it was gross, at 10:30. I set an alarm at 11:59 so i could celebrate new years but i slept through it.
In Japan, new years eve isnt that big of deal at all, but rather new years day and the following two days. its pretty much impossible to proselyte during these 3 days so yesterday the Aoba's had us over again and we ate some delicious sukiyaki. and i still dont know what we're going to do today and tomorrow. Guess we'll see.
This time of year isnt exactly ideal for missionary work, but its almost over. woo
Elder Horton