Monday, August 24, 2015

28th Week Out, 8th week in Juazeiro, Fortaleza

Dear family and friends;

This week was filled with miracles.  Sunday church started, Elder Hwang and I didn’t have any investigators at church.  Elder Hwang and I were not going to have 0 investigators at church so we went out and looked for people (Note that this was after church classes had already started.)  We went and knocked on a door, taught a woman and invited her to come... but nothing.  We didn’t stop there.   We passed by a couple other houses and everyone still said "No."   We were about to give up because it was 10:10 am by this point and we were at least 30 minutes from the church by foot.  We were going to have to run back in the heat of the day to make it to sacrament meeting by 10:30 am, but we stopped by one last house trying to get one of our investigators to come to church.  We knocked on the door and the dad came to the door.   We asked if he could wake up Emily (our investigator) and ask her if she wanted to come to church with us.  He tried and she said "No."  We asked him to try one more time!  she still said "No."  By this point we had 10 minutes and we weren’t going to make it on time but we noticed that the dad had a car, so we asked him if he could give us a ride to the church.  I thought he would say no because we had woke him up knocking on his door, but I figured we should ask anyway and he said "Yes!"  So on our way there we knew his sister who is a member and we called here and told her to meet us out front.  We were going to try and get him to stay at church with us as well.  We got to the church and he didn’t want to pull in but we got him to and when he did, his sister was there and she was like, "Hey!  Come join me.  It's about to start!"   We got him to come with us!  He sat through all sacrament and after it was over, he told us he was grateful we knocked on his door this morning.  I know he felt the spirit and I look forward to teaching him more!  

Not only that, but 2 weeks ago we were supposed to have a baptism for the girl by the name of "Betinha" who is 19 years of age.  The day of her baptism, she didn’t show up for church?  We called her and she didn’t return our calls?  We passed by her house every single day of the next week and called her every day but she never got back to us.  We were pretty convinced that it was over with her until... the next Sunday she walked to church all by herself which took 30 minutes!  She didn’t even know anyone in church but she came!  During this time she felt that what we were teaching her was the "truth" but she didn’t want to leave her church.  Her whole family is catholic, but Betinha felt the spirit.  It testified to us that is true! 

I recently read a talk by Gordon B. Hinckley who spoke of meeting a young naval officer from Asia.  

The officer had not been a Christian, but during training in the United States, he had learned about the church and was baptized.  He was now preparing to return to his native land.

President Hinckley asked the officer: “Your people are not Christians. What will happen when you return home a Christian, and, more particularly, a Mormon Christian?”

The officer’s face clouded, and he replied: “My family will be disappointed. … As for my future and my career, all opportunity may be foreclosed against me.”

President Hinckley asked, “Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?”

With his dark eyes moistened by tears, he answered with a question: “It’s true, isn’t it?”

President Hinckley responded, “Yes, it is true.”

To which the officer replied, “Then what else matters?” 1

Brothers and sisters Betinha felt this spirit.  She was baptized this last Sunday.  She now is attending Seminary every day and also attends a Mission Prep class along with Thiago, and Joao Neto.  All three of them are "planning on serving missions" now!

Brothers and Sisters, this church is true?  Why would so many people sacrifice the things they do for this church?  Why am I serving a mission if I didn’t know it was true? " It's true isn’t it?  Then what else matters?…" 

I love you all and thank you for all your love and support!

Impressions of Juazeiro
  1. Ketchup and mayonnaise goes on just about everything here in Brasil
  2. Many people sleep in hammocks and not actual beds!
  3. You know when your investigators starts to love you because they will start to give you lunches (snacks).

Rua Republica da Armenia 765
Agua Fria
60821-760 Fortaleza-CE

(Note mail in Brazil is regulated as you might have heard, packages and even letters have a high chance of being opened if you do not cover the letter or package in pictures of Jesus and Catholic Mary. Shipping takes about a month time sometimes longer.

"Betinha" who is 19 years of age felt the spirit as it testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and she was baptized.

Monday, August 17, 2015

27th Week Out, 7th week in Juazeiro, Fortaleza

Dear family and friends;

This week I bought my first “rede” or hammock!  It was only 30 “reais” which is only $10 US dollars! What a deal!

Anyway, this Sunday was probably one of the best!  We reactivated two less actives.  One was a woman and we have started teaching her mom.  Her and her mom both walked a couple miles to church Sunday!  I sat in church today with three of our investigators and it brought me so much joy to sing the hymns with them.  Also do you remember Joao Neto, my first baptism?  Well this Sunday he blessed the sacrament AND I had the opportunity to be with him as he received the Melckezidek priesthood.  He is so strong and really wants to serve a mission!  Do you remember when he wanted to go around and teach all of his friends?  We have been teaching one of his friends named Thiago Cheng for three weeks now and he decided to be baptized Sunday night.  He chose me to baptize him and it was a touching experience for me.  He is 18 and will turn 19 years old in three weeks!  Already he is considering serving a mission as well!  I think back to when I met Joao Neto and he was drinking and smoking with his friends.  Look at him now!  Like me, he is going around trying to help his friends like Thiago to realize how this gospel changes lives.  Thiago was baptized and will receive the Aaronic priesthood next week!

Brothers and sisters, I continue to stand amazed at how much “joy” this gospel brings me!  It’s one thing when this gospel brings so much joy to me, but it’s a whole other level when you watch the gospel bless the lives of the people you are teaching, and then when the people you are teaching start to bless the lives of others!

I love my life…, I really do!  I don’t just say it!  This is the greatest time in my life!  I love this church!  It is true... I KNOW it!  You all can know it too because I know that I have witnessed and felt of it’s truth through the Holy Ghost by a wonderful feeling we get as we read and listen to things that are true!  I hope that you feel it in my letters!  The feeling is better than any feeling in this world!

I love you brothers and sisters and thank you for all of your kind words and loving support!

Impressions of Juazeiro
1.     Restaurants will charge you if you don’t finish your food!
2.     People paint palm trees to match the color of their house!

My Address:
Rua Republica da Armenia 765
Agua Fria
60821-760 Fortaleza-CE

(Note mail in Brazil is regulated as you might have heard, packages and even letters have a high chance of being opened if you do not cover the letter or package in pictures of Jesus and the Catholic Mary. Shipping takes about a month time sometimes longer.

The Crew! I truly love these men! 

Mountain Horto. You can see the statue of Padre Ciciero on the top.

Me and my companion climbing Mt. Horto to our lunch with a member!

Selatiel on the left, (friend to Joao Neto and Thiago).  Joao Neto on the right, and Thiago in the glasses.

Last week I burned a tie for my 6 month mark!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

26th Week Out, 6th week in Juazeiro, Fortaleza

Dear family and friends;

I have been out 6 months now!  Crazy that 1/4 of my mission is already gone!  This week I don’t have much to talk about, but I went on an exchange with my district leader in Crato.
His name is Elder Jardine.  He is American and he is TALL.  He’s like 6
foot 6, and yes he plays basketball.  We play basketball, volleyball,
and soccer of course on almost every P-day.  You have to realize too
that here in Brasil, everyone is pretty small so even I am a giant.
But Elder Jardine just towers over everyone!  

I have started using the onibus here quite regularly because our area is so far from our house.
Our area is 30 minutes by foot from our house.  The Bus here in Brasil
is ALWAYS PACKED and I mean PACKED!  I will be literally smashed up
against a person from every side!  There’s no breathing room at all!  I
can't believe these buses run with how many people and how much weight
they carry!  

This week was very cool as I have gone on splits with Joao
Neto then Kid I baptized.  He really has a testimony!  This week he was
like,  "We need to go on an exchange so we can go and talk with all of my
friends because I want to share this gospel with them!"  So that’s
exactly what we did and now we are teaching his friends and some
already have baptismal dates!  My first baptism, Joao Neto this week
has told me that he wants to serve a mission just like me.  I now have
this wonderful opportunity to help him serve a mission one day!

Brothers and sisters, there is NOTHING in this world that does or EVER
will bring me more joy than this church.  Oh how I KNOW its true!  Oh
how I am so lucky to have it in my life.  I want to share it with
everyone!  I love you all and thank you for all of your love and

Impressions of Juazeiro

  1. There’s a great white statue on the top of the Hill here in Juazeriocalled Padre Cicero.  The statue on top is of a man named Padre Cicero which is like 75 feet tall!  They light up this statue at night and it can be seen all throughout Juazeiro!  The name of the mountain it sits on is "HORTO" so when people ask what for my name I tell them its just like mountain Padre Cicero but you add an "n".
     Elder Horton with Elder Jardine.  He is American and he is 6
    foot 6 inches tall, and yes he plays basketball

Monday, August 3, 2015

Kevin and I keep asking if he is doing ok… We got a quick yes which I am very grateful for.

Mom and Dad; 
Hey so I'm doing great!  I know you ask me every week but im really doing great.  You don't need to worry about me.  Heavenly Father is watching over his missionary!  I know he will protect me as long as I follow the rules and be obedient to my calling.  If I am ever really strugling I will let you know.  But I couldn't be better! you have taught and prepared me well! more than other missionaries that are here. I'm so lucky to have you as my mom and dad!  I love you guys so much thanks for all you do!

-Elder Horton

25th Week Out, 5th week in Juazeiro, Fortaleza

Dear family and friends;

I love my mission Brasil, need I say more?  Anyways, this week we had an area change.  The area of the native Brasilians in our house was closed, so Elder Hwang and I inherited their area and it’s a lot of fun.  They had the “center of town” which has lots of flee markets, people selling all sorts of things on every little road, and the people here are very friendly!  I love this area we have inherited and we are finding a lot of success with the people here as it is more of a city than farm land.  My mission president, President Fusco gave us permission to permanently take over their area.  

This week I experienced a miracle as we were led to this woman who tried to kill herself 2 times that day.  She said she was going to try again; then we showed up.  We were able to talk with her and help her to know that Heavenly Father loved her.  

This week was Fast Sunday.  Now fast Sunday for missionaries in Brasil is WAY harder than in the states because we don’t drink ANY water or eat anything for 24 hours.  BUT out here in the humid, hot, heat of the sun, we’re walking like 10 miles a day?  That’s defiantly a trial of faith.  I know Heavenly Father will bless me because of this and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I have to fast.

This week we also received news that my District, “not even a Steak yet” will be receiving a visit by an Apostle!  Elder Anderson will be coming to talk with my District on agosto 26th!  Not only that, HE will be coming by MY house to see what the missionary life is like here in Juazeiro!  I’m so blessed to be able to experience this as I will be able to shake hands and talk with one of Heavenly Fathers Apostles!

I LOVE the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This is His church and I have this wonderful opportunity to share His message!  I have never experienced greater joy or greater work than this time in my life.  I love you all and thanks for your love and support!

Impressions of Juazeiro Brazil
1.     Here in brasil people show up to church late...but they most definitely show up to soccer early!
2.     A 1-way road will turn into a 4 way road both ways!
3.     Mosquitos are EVERYWHERE here so if you don’t sleep with a fan on you at night... you can be SURE you will wake up with a whole bunch of bites.
Rua Republica da Armenia 765
Agua Fria
60821-760 Fortaleza-CE

(Note mail in Brazil is regulated as you might have heard, packages and even letters have a high chance of being opened if you do not cover the letter or package in pictures of Jesus and the Catholic Mary. Shipping takes about a month time sometimes longer.)

My new area!
This is Elder Camagro.  My favorite Brasilian!  He was one of the native brasilians in our house.  Since his area was closed, he was transferred.   I got to be in a trio with him and Elder Hwang for a couple of days before he left and we had a lot of fun!  He really helped me learn portugese and we bacame great friends!

So this is Elder Hershberger.   It was his 20th birthday this week and this is his last month in the mission.  He was a past assistant to the president and he is one of the Americans that lives in my house with me.  He is my Zone leader.  He lives in Ohio.  Well for his birthday, we had some kind of party…  but I dont know what kind of party it was!   All I know is I was chosen to be the "clown" and next thing I know people were throwing pie in my face!  The pie was like a flower, rice, and salt mix so it tasted terrible and people were like throwing pie in my face from like 3 feet away!  It was crazy!