This week has been my first week in the actual mission but 7th week out. Oklahoma is a beautiful place but very flat. If you know me, you would know that I tried to place a Book of Mormon on the plane ride here. Me and my companion shared the gospel with 2 people, and the first people rejected us, but we did give a Book of Mormon to the second person and she said she would definitely read it.
When I finally landed in Tulsa the weather here was so humid but it was much nicer than dry Utah. I stayed at the mission home that night and of course met my mission president and his wife and they were some of the most loving people I have ever met! The best part of the first day though was THERE WAS A TORNADO just 20 miles away from me! There were sirens going on and off the whole night! There was STRONG lightning and thunder unlike anything I have ever seen! It was flashing white outside every 5 seconds! The wind and rain was so strong it was almost falling side ways! The clouds were moving rapidly fast! It was so intense you had to have been there! AND this was my FIRST day! The best part was they gave me my bike and said you can give it a test ride real quick if you want! Of course I did... but I lived another day!
I met my companion the next day. His name was Elder Reed. He was recently a zone leader who dropped down to train me. We live with a member and it's just me and my comp in their house with them. THEY ARE LOADED! We live in a mansion! Check out the pictures! Apparently this is the best house in the whole mission! We also have a car but we don't use it everyday. It's a 2014 Ford Fusion! We also signed up for gym memberships at Planet Fitness and bought protein! But do know that working out is not my focus out here, it's just to stay in shape because the members out here try to fatten you up! My comp has put on almost 30 pounds since he has been out! We were at a members house this week for dinner and it was a sweet old lady. I went and filled my plate with food and she saw my plate and was like..., "OH THAT'S NOT ENOUGH" and put more on my plate and I just couldn't say no! WELL... after that we had ANOTHER dinner appointment.... SO my focus is serving a mission, but I will work hard so I can stay in shape! Also, I went to the store for my first time and bought my own groceries for a week! Well, if you know me you know I ONLY bought healthy food.
The area I am serving in is Fayetteville, Arkansas. If you didn't know where my mission is, it's in the middle of 4 states (Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas,and Missouri). Also, me and my companion are "shotgunning" 2 areas which means we both are new to the area and we are starting from scratch! We were called to serve in not 1 ward but 2 wards! Fayetteville Second and Fayetteville YSA. Our area has the Arkansas University so there is a lot of youth out here going to school! It's very beautiful out here but definitely in the middle of no where! Get this, on Sunday we had 2 wards; 1 at 10:00 and the next at 11:00 and somehow we managed to go to both sacrament meetings and bear our testimony both times.
The YSA ward out here only has 80 members and get this... only 30 are active! There was only 20 at church on Sunday! Talk about a quiet testimony meeting! It was pretty awkward! Also, they don't even meet in a church building, we meet in a house! It's actually the institute building here but it's the only place they can meet. They don't even have enough people to fill that up! The Fayetteville Second Ward was a little bit more normal but they had a bunch of young couples out here with babies so there was like 20 babies crying during testimony meeting... No joke!
Me and my companion fasted this Sunday that we could find someone to teach and we received a referral from a ward member about a family we could stop by and when we did it turned out that there daughter was there with her fiance and their son. It was perfect because we showed up just in time because they were there to pick up their son, but we ended up teaching them a lesson and gave them a book of Mormon and asked if we could return and teach them. They seemed very excited to learn more and said they felt the spirit during our lesson. We now have their phone number and address and will go visit them this week! I cant wait to get this family through the temple! I have good feelings about them.
We have also been tracting... I never though in my whole mission I would go tracting but we had to because we are shotgunning the area and there are no leads at all. Something funny about here is there is SOOOOO many religions. Like there's a LOT of religions and there's a lot of preachers and pastors and whatever, so yea... we have been told to get off people property and to leave and just been shut down a lot, but we have met a couple potential investigators that we will meet up with this week. Even though we get kicked in the face, I know that we are being blessed and that we are doing what Heavenly Father wants which is to give everyone a chance to hear the gospel, and if they rejected it that is there choice.
Heavenly Father gave us our agency to choose what we want and I know that this church is true. Serving a mission has been the best choice in my life! We are working hard to start a teaching pool of investigators and we know the Lord is blessing us as we are very obedient!
My companion is awesome! I love him! He is a great example to me! He has been out for 21 months and even though I have only been out 5 days, we make a great team!
I LOVE it here and I don't know how long I will be here before I receive my mission but I know the Lord sent me here for a reason!
I LOVE YOU ALL! thanks for all your support and prayers!
Impressions of Fayetteville Arkansas:
- Mountains are not a thing
- There is a different church on every street corner...
My new Address (PLZ write):
Elder Brennen Horton
6111 Jana PL
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72704
7th Week in pictures!
|Transfer Day - Going to Arkansas!|
|Just trying out my new bike an hour before one of the worst tornadoes in Arkansas! Sortly after this picture I started to get rained on! Very exciting! Lov'n it!|
|My 14,000 sq. ft. pad! I LIVE HERE! It's the best house in the whole mission!!!|
|My closet! Organized as always! My companion has the bottom rod, I have the top.|
|My companion Elder Read. I love him! We are an awesome team!|
|Our church building. It's a house! !|
(The following is taken from Sister Shumway's blog, the Mission President's wife, dated Wednesday March 25- Friday 27, 2015 Transfer Week dated Wed. 25th - www.http://oklahomashumways.blogspot.com) They picked up Brennen and all the elders from the airport.
Oh my goodness! What a transfer week we had! We picked up the new missionaries from the airport. Their flight came in late so we didn’t even get them back to the mission home until after 4pm. On the way home, the black clouds started rolling in. We had heard earlier in the day that the weather today was set up for tornadoes- but you never know. We were going to stop at the office with our group like we usually do, but the sky was looking ominous so we drove straight back to the mission home. The assistants, with the van and trailer were right behind us. It started raining, but not too bad, and the wind hadn’t picked up so we thought we were probably ok. We had so much training to do, very quickly, so we weren’t paying too much attention until the sky really got black and it started to lightning. That always comes first. We got right on the computer to check the weather. They were showing the makings of several tornadoes headed right toward Tulsa. Just about that time our tornado sirens went off. Those sirens mean – take cover. So we pulled everything out of a couple of closets and made ourselves ready, while President Shumway stood on the back porch and watched the clouds for signs of tornadoe activity. The sirens went off and on again twice more, and there was lightening for a couple of hours and heavy rain, but thankfully, the tornadoes didn’t actually come close to us or harm any of our missionaries. There was some damage in Sand Springs, which is in our mission, but no one was killed. There was a tornado on the ground in Broken Arrow- my assistants were here helping me in the mission home while their families were at home hiding in their closets. The power in Broken Arrow was out for hours.
So- that’s the start of tornado season! May it be the worst we have to deal with this year! We always worry about it. So many of our missionaries are far away from us and we worry about them. Wonderful members take care of them, and we have protocols in place for reporting how everyone is, but it is a little scary. We just have to trust in the Lord, and we do.
"One Dead" Oklahoma Tornado: