Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2nd Week in MTC - Letter and pictures from Elder Horton!

They say being at the MTC is like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant, I can testify that that is true. It takes a while to get over being homesick. But now I can honestly say that "I Love the MTC."  I started the week off as Moses parted the red sea.  I likewise parted my pants.  Thank goodness it only cost me $2 to "fix the crotch."  My Portuguese is coming along quite well as I teach 2 investigators here till I leave.  The lessons we teach are "Only Portuguese" and if you say an English word they just look at you and say "nao intente" (pronounced Naao Intengie) which means "I don't understand."  We had more snow this week and it was cold enough that it stayed on the ground and didn't melt this time. Some of these missionaries have never seen snow and were flipp'n out.  I see everyone wearing suits and super huge winter coats over them, and I'm over here in the snow with "only a suit" and in a "short sleeve."  Maybe I should have brought a jacket... where did my California weather go? I was told Brazil never gets cold, so don't bring a jacket... so that's what I did. 

I'm very excited to get to Brazil even just for the weather.  My district realized that someone in our group every time we sing is WAY off pitch, and it turns out that it's my companion....  I love the kid and at least he tries!  I watched "Meet the Mormons" the other night.  Now when I first saw this film, I'm not going to lie... I fell asleep 1/4 into the movie; But this time watching it I cried immensely.  That film is perfect and the last story at the end where the mom was sending her son off on a mission... I could definitely relate to this time!  I think the film had more meaning to me this time and at the MTC the spirit is so strong here.  You are just more spiritually open to things.  I would highly recommend the video to anyone that has not seen it!  It was "otimo" (pronounced Otcheemo) which means "awesome."  That's my favorite word.  Originally my favorite word was "que marvillha" (pronounced K marveela) which means "that's wonderful" but i quickly was informed that only gay people use that term in Brazil so I quickly fixed that problem.  Before I entered the mission I was not an emotional person at ALL!  But now after leaving my family and the strong spirit here you feel almost 24/7 ... I have turned into a big baby!  But it's a good thing!  I always have so much peace and joy from the spirit I feel and it's just overwhelming. It's so cool when all of the missionaries here get together for devotionals on Sunday and to hear everyone sing.  It's so strong and the power of music really sets in.  Although we have not had Thomas S. Monson or and general authorities come and speak to us so far. All of the lessons I have had here have been some of the greatest that I have definitely taken from and learned much.  Yes it's also nice here to take some stress out in the gym.  There is a bunch of sports, volleyball, basketball, etc., but you all know my first priority is the "weight room."  I have gained 6 lbs. of muscle in the past 2 weeks and I plan on gaining more!  I'm doing great now!  I appreciate all the love, emails, and prayers from all of you back home!  I hope you are all doing well!  I would love to hear from you!

My address to the MTC is:
Elder Brennen Tyler Horton
2011 N 900 E Unit 201
Provo UT 84602


Elder Horton's Official Mission Tag

MTC Snow and dressed for Brazil Summers

"Elder Horton's MTC District"
From the back left, Elder Brennen Horton, Elder Nathan Kessel, Idahogrin emoticon, then Elder Quinn Greenwood from Arlington, TX, then Elder C.J. (Colin) Christiansen from Idaho Falls, then Elder Rhys Nelson from Mapleton, UT. From the bottom/first row starting on the left is Sister Ashlyn Unbedacht from Orem, UT, then Sister Sadie Andrews from Mesa, AZ, then Sister Nielson from Bountiful, UT, Sister Bredthauer from Bountiful, UT, and Elder Joseph Arnold from Cochran, GA.

Missionary Man!

Provo, UT Temple - gaining inspiration

Suit pants gave way in my first week- $2.00 fix

Attending Provo Temple just across from the MTC

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Letter from Elder Horton from the Provo MTC!

We got our first letter from Brennen this morning.  He has a lot of small issues to iron out like his shoes hurt, his suitcase is too small, the pens we sent him with make him write sloppy in his journal so he wants new ones, he has packed clothes suitable for the warm climate of Brazil and is freezing in Provo Utah.  It snowed slightly yesterday.  He got to go to the temple today.  He was homesick for about a week.  He is kept very busy in the day but at night when the lights are shut off, he thinks of us.  He got over being homesick... then our letters came.  He loved hearing from all of us.j

He said he as learned more Portuguese in one week at the MTC than he learned in 3 years of High School Spanish.  He taught his first discussion in Portuguese.  It took an hour.  He is helping his companions with the language.  The teachers speak almost all in Portuguese and he finds himself lost a lot.

As Brennen's mother I just want to say that after dropping him off at the airport, I came back home and felt him gone.  It felt empty.  He added so much to this home, but now he will add so much to our home from Brazil.  I feel so blessed to be the mother of this terrific kid!

If anyone would like write Elder Brennen Horton, I know he would appreciate your support.  His email address is: brennen.horton@myldsmail.net

His current address for the next 6 weeks mail is:

Elder Brennen Tyler Horton
2011 N 900 E Unit 201
Provo UT 84602

Actual Letter Sent to us...

Querido meu familia

Eu falo portugues. eu amo voce muito

Forgive my spelling in this email. I only get an hour and I spell checked as much as I can.

I can sort of speak Portuguese now. I taught a 50-minute lesson in Portuguese. Our P-day here is on Wednesday so I’m sorry that I didn’t reply back for a week. It’s been a long week! I do love the MTC and my experiences I am having here. It took me a while to stop being homesick. Let me tell you that was hard. HARD! That’s the only thing that made this week hard. Well actually I got sick my second day and then I got chapped lips so I could barely talk. Then I couldn't sleep at night because my nose got so clogged up, and last but not least, it has been incredibly COLD here!  Yesterday it was snowing a little.  It was so cold and I’m just over here like, "Well I am going to hot Brazil so I didn't bring any sweater vests or anything warm..." Just all-short sleeve shirts. I definitely miss the California weather if you can't tell. And now I’m just like, "Bring on the next challenge already!" Anyways, I’m doing good now.  I just needed time to get over being homesick.  It's only hard at night because during the day I’m always preoccupied with things to do, but at night as I lay in bed, I can't help but think of you guys.  The crying has finally stopped until... I had to read your guys emails! THANKS!  Hahaha!!!  I love you guys and when I said there isn’t a minute that goes by that I don't think about you, I meant that!  

My companions name is Elder Kessel. We share a residence with 4 other elders so a total of 3 companionships.  Everyone is very diverse  and we are all going to Brazil being called a district.  There are different districts depending on where you are going.  But is a pretty small room.  The bathrooms are not a "tree of life" THANK GOODNESS. 

Oh funny story, so I get off the plane and I’m walking down that walkway and you know how you see movies and everyone is holding signs for people they are there to pick up?  Well I start coming down the escalator and I see ALL of these families everywhere with balloons and signs big signs that say " WELCOME HOME ELDER" and I’m like DANG-IT hahahahhaha.  Also every time I heard a "DING" that the iPhones make when you get a text I kept checking my pocket for a phone but always quickly realized there was no phone, or sometimes I feel like my pocket is vibrating and check. It's hard not having a phone but you get over it in time. That was hard as I sat there and watched missionaries see their families again after 2 years as I waited for Brooks to pick me up. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the MTC and I’m excited for my mission, but it just takes time to get over being homesick, which I am pretty well over now.  

Well it's funny, Portuguese is a lot like Spanish but it's also not hahahah!  It kind of helps sometimes and then sometimes messes me up because the words are so similar but I know the Spanish words and I naturally say them.  But I can testify that heavenly father is helping me.  I taught a 50 minute lesson in Portuguese with my companion and I was the one bailing him out when he didn't know what to say and I was the one speaking the majority of the time.  Let me put it this way I know more Portuguese in 5 days than I knew Spanish which I took for 2 years. I go to a class almost every day and the "first day" I walk in... he is only speaking Portuguese and that has not changed.  He only speaks Portuguese to us.  Sometimes I barely know what's going on. 

Yes we have a gym here, sort of.  There's only free weights but that is ok.  Better than nothing.  We only get like 50 minutes of gym time though and I don't have protein to take afterwards. The food here is great!  I cannot complain with the food. Better than any camp or EFY I have been to. We get to go to the temple today and I’m excited for that.  We went to the temple to walk around on Sunday and it was so funny to see the mass amount of missionaries there.  There’s like 3000 missionaries here and almost everyone at the temple was a missionary.  Every Wednesday new missionaries come in.  It's not everyday, only every Wednesday so I guess I can finally say I’m not the noob anymore.  When we first get here they gave us nametags and there is orange stickers on the nametags. Which signifies we are new missionaries so when you walk around everyone says "HI ELDERS" or "OLA" or "HOLLA" or whatever language. It took me a day to figure the sicker thing out so I took it off hahah.  I’ve been here a week so I think I can say I’m starting to get the hang of things.  I’m trying to explain everything the best I can because I know mom you wanted me to.  They said I needed to wear black socks and I was like NOOOOOOO!  I didn't even bring any black socks; only random cool ones.  I love my sock game.  But I can't wear them anymore.  Or at least not till I get to Brazil. HA.  I didn't hear Marc got his mission call he didn’t email me! Please tell him to email me and tell me all about it and how he feels!! DANG-IT I MISSED IT!  

Well I think that’s it.  If there’s anything you want to know, let me know! I miss you all so much!  SOOOO much but I know I will be back before you know it!  My first week went by so fast!  Mom I regret cutting my hair.  I was wrong and should have let you do it.  I apologize but I guess I have to deal with it now.  


Elder Horton

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FEBRUARY 11, 2015 - Elder Horton leaving his family was hard for all!

Saying Farewell at home...
Paul and Brennen

Stephen and Brennen

Mark and Brennen

Mark and Brennen still holding on

Blake and Brennen

Saying goodby at 5:45 am at BURBANK AIRPORT MOM/DAD/BRENNEN

Goodbye for 2 years (Mom and Dad tough moments)
Boarding Plane

Feb 11, 2015 - Flight off to the Provo MTC from Burbank

Brennen was met by his cousin Brooks at the SLC Utah Airport.  Brooks also served in Brazil.  Brooks took him to lunch and then dropped him off at the curbside at the Provo MTC where he was greeted by a host.  (His host is preparing to go to Taiwan.) He will be assigned a companion and a dorm right away.  We will hear nothing until P day which is apparently Wednesday. (we ended up getting a letter on Tuesday however)

Arrival at MTC met by Host Missionary going to Taiwan

Monday, February 9, 2015

From opening the call, to christmas, to new years snow boarding

Mom and Grandma - Brennen's Mission Call Opening

Mom and Brennen - After just opening the mission call to Fortaleza Brazil!

Great Looking Young Men!

Paul 15 yrs Birthday

On our way to Grandmas...

The Boys at Grandmas!

Mom and Blake

Our Family 2012

Aww Great Job son!

Brennen working his magic on tree lights

Our 11ft Tree for Christmas

Brennen went all out for Christmas - 2014

Awesome Job!

We will never forget the lights this year!

Mark turned 14!

Birthday Boy Mark!

One more tradition on Christmas Eve - Back to Bethlehem Dinner

We sure enjoy this with our family

Reading from Luke

Enjoying our Bethlehem Dinner

Brennen and his first Brazil Churrascaria

Elder David and Elder Banks with the Boys Christmas 2014

Brennen - Going through the Temple, Jan 21, 2015 LA Temple

Our last getaway before Brennen's mission - heading to Big Bear, with an In and Out Burger stop!

Brennen with Go Camera at Bear Mtn Ski Lifts in Big Bear  - Jan 2015

Stephen, Paul, Brennen and Mark (The rest of us at the Lodge)

Farewell 2/9/15