Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tough Week


About preparedness, I don't remember if I mentioned this last week or not but when I was reading the 88th section of Doctrine and Covenants, I was thinking (man, this is the real purpose of food storage) and I was also starting to think about a doomsday shelter like we watched on TV sometimes. I think it'd be awesome and it'd get used but I also know it'd be hard to do without lots of resources and the Lord says 
57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
 58 And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
 59 For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.
And so we don't have to worry about a doomsday shelter we just have to receive the truth, take the Holy Spirit for our guide, and not be deceived and we don't have to worry. This is really a great promise. Our children will grow up without sin unto salvation. And the Lord will be in our midst.
Thank you for sharing that scripture from Doctrine and covenants section 121 with me. It helped
President Ferrin thanked me for sharing an excellent letter and that we'll talk more at the specialized training that we'll be having the first day of the New Year. At this training he'll introduce new mission rules and new consequences which I think will help. We'll see. My companion has already started to complain and he only knows one of the new rules. He disrespects the president a lot and is absolutely unwilling to keep the rules that he's breaking. It's pretty annoying but I'm dealing with it and seeking the will of the Lord on the matter and trying to do His will as it pertains to all things because his thoughts really are greater than my thoughts.
This week has been okay. We walked a lot, did a lot of contacts, but only had 4 lessons. And no one at church. This is hard too because I just want to have results. Elder Cosme says that it's because of the season of Christmas and new year and everyone’s leaving or resting and he also says its because our chapel is in another city because the chapel where we were meeting is being reformed but I told him that I don't like to have excuses and that really we don't have excuses. He himself said that it doesn't matter the area, what matters is the missionaries but he doesn't seem to understand what that means. He also said that sometimes you have to obey without knowing exactly why. Again, it seems that he doesn't really know what that means. I related that to him and the mission rules and then actually Gave him a reason to keep the rules (have the spirit of the Lord, blessings of the Lord, trust of the ward and the Lord, and baptisms) and he said in response to that, "you do your part and I'll do my part. Just let me do it my way." To that I said "no" Because we have to have unity and we have to have the blessings of the Lord and said that if he doesn't keep the rules maybe he'll go home. To this he said "Fine I'll go home then." Like I said, unwilling to keep the rules. I'm going to relate this and other things to the president when it finally works again (for now it's not working)
But yeah, that's the work.
The harmonica is cool. I figured out that the harmonica isn't just blowing but sucking or drawing as well to hit another scale of notes. It's pretty cool. I'm already playing hymns with the Harmonica without any music or anything I just play and correct myself when I hit a wrong note. It's pretty cool. Today we came to Suzano to spend P day and I walked into their house and they were listening to their non-church music and I didn't like it so I went and played hymns. It was nice.
Sometimes life is hard, but if we just seek the will of the Lord in all things, we can't err.
Sorry I'm a bit more tired or deflated this week
Elder Horton


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from Brazil!


Thanks for letting me know how everyone is doing there, it's good to get the updates.

I didn't write an incredible amount of stuff in my planner to write about today so I may not send a very large email.

Are you saying that you'll send Dad's car book to me? Or is that something that I'll get when I'm home. I'm fine either way, I'd like to see it but at the same time, if you send it here, I'll read it, enjoy it, but then I'll just carry it around and plus you'll have to pay to send it here. I'd just keep it there.

We met a really cool man named Joaquim who's form Japan but he's lived here since he was littleish and so talks like a brasileiro but still knows some Japanese. He worked for the police and so has a gun (unlike the US, they don't have the right to bear arms here) he also has an awesome bb gun that was like 1.200 reais or around 500 dollars. But he is really interested in finding an answer for himself from the Lord if the church we represent is His church. He likes to talk a lot and so we were with him for about 2,5 hours. But I know that with his strong desire to know for himself, that he will receive an answer. The only other thing is that he's been smoking since he was 12 (he's 65 now) and so we'll have to help him overcome this addiction but he's super willing.

Other than this we have maybe one or 2 more people with which we are working but it's pretty empty unfortunately...we've been working pretty hard, it's hard, a lot of people aren't there when we have an appointment. This same thing happened in Vista Verde. It was hard at the beginning but we got going and we got the trust of the word and it was awesome. I'm hoping and thinking that the same thing will happen. We just have to actually merit the trust of the ward. And the Lord. 

We had a mission Christmas conference this week.  Everyone from the mission was there. It's true I'm the tallest. It was cool, President and Sister Ferrin talked, and every zone had a presentation that was basically a hymn with the different parts that was practiced a bit beforehand. There was a noticeable difference between the zones with and without sisters. Also they showed the video of the mission which was cool. And fed us a delicious lunch. And I got a cool pillow case. And we exchanged presents. I got a hand rechargeable flashlight.

I saw Elders Matheny and Charles from my MTC district at the Mission Christmas Conference!! They're both doing well and learning Portuguese good.

This is going to be an interesting week and transfer. After this week the transfer is already half way done o.O very strange. Time passes fast, yet very slow sometimes.

But anyways I love all of you, thank you all for all your words of love, advice, and support. I do really enjoy this time that I have every Monday to hear from all of you.

Stay strong in the faith. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. Fast. And make unto yourselves a house of the Lord. And if you want to prepare your family better for the second coming, read section 88, especially the last verses.

Lots o' love
Elder Horton
Lil Brudder

 Division with Elder Rodrigues back in Vista Verde about a month ago

Elders Matheny and Charles from my MTC district
at the Mission Christmas Conference!

 Bras Cubas - we were walking and I saw this and had to take a picture. 
I was it and thought that maybe the second coming was already happening!

 AnnMarie, I saw this and I had no choice
but to take a picture and send it to you :) <3 you!
South Carolina style - we rode in the back of a truck with a piano
to the mini-show of our stake's choir at a public Christmas event

 Christmas choral performance

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oi familia!


Oi familia!

This week has been my first week with Elder Cosme. He’s one of the fastest speaking missionaries in the mission and he uses a lot of jiria (slang) and so it's been a struggle to understand him and he has to explain what he says a lot. He says he doesn't want to lose his accent or the way he talks and for this he doesn't change the way he talks. But it's all good I'm learning a lot. It's been really interesting working with another companion that's not Elder Steele.

Pete gateau (a French sweet) is very very very good. Look it up and make it! And you also have to use marshmallow cream stuff. Look it up too.  Also Frango ao creme. Chicken with creme de leite (milk cream, cream of milk?) I don't know but it's also Very gostoso.

I don't know if I already said this or not, I think not, but every young man here flies kites! like literally I'll look up and I can probably see 30 kites. They have more in the north apparently. There's soltar pipa, (flying kites) and cortar pipa (cutting other kites with a string that's sharp!)

A funny saying I heard. não cuspe pra acima. Or don't spit upwards. Because it could come back and hit you in the face! Or basically don't say or do something that you might regret in the future. You can say it in English and then explain and then the people will laugh probably.

Elder Henkel arrived from a mission in Salt Lake City south I think it was. He was there waiting for a visa for 9 months! but the good news is that his president let him study the language and so he just has to learn to listen and understand and speak...which I guess is everything but he already knows the grammar and a lot of words. He also has a gluten allergy! Which I thought was interesting. It’s not so sensitive that he can't eat even a particle of gluten. But he doesn't eat the bread here or anything with gluten obviously. It's hard he says but he's awesome.

It is this. I'm not perfect. But I Am called of God to come here and serve a mission here Brasil São Paulo Leste. I'm trying to find what will be God's ultimate purpose for me here.

Elder Horton
 My zone during the last transfer

Last pictures from Vista Verde 
  My father had another son, and so I now have a brother (Elder Steele is training again) fresh out of the MTC in Sao Paulo.  I haven't heard about how things are going there yet but I will sometime today or maybe tomorrow that the mission Christmas conference.
 Some pictures from my new area.  It is Very hilly...demais (too much so)

the house of an irmã reminded me of lord of the rings where
I'm Gandalf and that was the house of Frodo XD

 My new companion making a call to some member...don't remember who anymore

 Ward Christmas party was awesome.  got to know the members better! 
Also a really tall Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Transfers - Happy Tuesday!


I did get transferred!!! My first thoughts were "No I can't get transferred I have to stay here and work with our investigators" But then I remembered that President Ferrin is inspired of the Lord and that the Lord knows what is best for me. I have been transferred to the Brás Cubas area in the zone Mogi das Cruzes. My new companion's name is Elder Cosme. He's from here in Brazil and so I will be completely immersed in Brazil and the language except for my weekly letters home. Elder Cosme actually was in my district my first transfer and I already have a tie from him from when we switched the first transfer! Elder Steele will have a new son which is great because that means I won't be an only child anymore! He's excited for the opportunity to train again. He'll be staying in our area in Vista Verde. Right now I'm in the mission office using one of the computers of the secretaries. I'll probably work some more on my excel sheets when I'm done here :) Take advantage of the time. If you'd like to chat, feel free too, I'm on for the next little bit.

Oh!!!!! and 2 of the elders in my district in the MTC are arriving today!!! That’s also another reason why I'm here. I'm waiting for them! They should get here in more or less a half hour. Elder Charles and Elder Matheny.

I also got the package for Christmas. The one with the papers. An elder came up to me and told me I had a package but that he'd already opened it because he thought it was for the zone haha so I have it with me now and I'll wait to "open" it til Christmas.

Love all of you!

Oh also, I paid a man today to make scripture covers for me! For my small bible and my triplet (BOM,D+C,PGP) it was 135 reais or about 60 bucks. So that's part of my Christmas present for sure. Thanks mom and dad!! When I get it (next transfer [jan.21]) I'll take pictures to show you guys. It's Very cool. It'll protect the scriptures Very well. Leather and all that good stuff.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ice Cream


And so last week we got the cheap açaí and this week I got the cheap paçoca which is Very good especially with açaí and it's really enhanced our açaí experience.

I think you'll notice that I already used about 40 dollars of the fun money I have. I used it to buy a fan for which I received reimbursement and so I have the money in cash now but I'm curious if there were any additional fees. If not, maybe I'll just do that instead of taking money out of the ATM. That way there’s not the ATM fee. Could you look on the card and see what you find? Thanks :)

We were sitting waiting for the bus and a man walked by selling sorvete (ice cream) (there’s a lot of people who do that especially in the summer) And there was another man waiting with us. He got some ice cream for himself and then offered ice cream for us and we declined politely but he didn't accept our refusal and bought us ice cream anyways. This kind of thing happens in Brazil with a fair amount of frequency. It's not that the people are rich or anything, it's just that they're super friendly and willing to give of their own substance. Sometimes it's really annoying because I know that that person hardly has enough for themselves and they're giving us food. But usually it's just really awesome. Oh and it was sorvete com sabor de quejo. Or ice cream with the flavor of cheese haha so that was interesting. But still gostoso because it was hot.

I'm also happy to say that chivalry isn't dead quite yet. Yesterday or the day before I saw a young man who was carrying a full bouquet of flowers! And about 3 weeks ago I saw the same things and it made me happy and smile.

In priesthood meeting, I was asked to read a paragraph in Portuguese. When I was done, the man in front of me said that I had the accent of a paulista or someone from São Paulo. That made me happy haha. On the same note, it seems that a lot of people believe that I'm living proof of the gift of tongues. Which also makes me happy but also a little like embarrassed or something like I don't know I don't feel all that special. Like I don't want to be put on the pedestal.

There was an Elder that served in this area 4 years ago that's visiting the area recently! He came to church yesterday and that was interesting. He brought his sister with him too and she didn't speak a Lick of Portuguese haha I perceived this and I tried to talk English with her. The key word there being "tried" because it was very hard to talk English. When I did manage to speak English, it was very unnatural and I felt very awkward and after a few words I'd revert to Portuguese without thinking and then have to think about English again. It was a very weird experience for me but very very cool! I liked it. Another cool fact is that recently we've been working with the teaching records from the area book and I looked through all the records and picked out about 20 that looked promising. Of those 20, 2 were taught by the same missionary who's visiting now! So we're going to ask him if he'd still like to baptize these people and see if we can work with him. I think that'd be awesome haha.

Marcelo will receive the priesthood this next week! He's really excited to receive it. Another missionary said that it doesn't matter the quantity of people you baptize but the quality. This really is true and Marcelo really will be a great member of the church, missionary, father, leader, and everything else. Lot's of lives will be touched by him for the better and I'm happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of his baptism and his coming unto the true restored church of Christ.

Something interesting I was reading. I was reading in the bible. Acts 16. Paul and Silas were traveling and preaching and they did something that the leaders of the city didn't like and they were commanded to be beaten. It says

 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

 25 ¶And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

When they had just been beaten and had many stripes laid upon them, I'm sure that all that most of us would want to do would be to just sit there and be depressed and whine and cry. But instead of this, Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises unto God! And as a result, they were freed and as were the rest of the prisoners and they had the chance to invite all of them to come unto Christ through baptism. Really this is an awesome story. To receive the good things in life, sometimes we have to suffer trials and afflictions but if we have a good attitude and always remember our God, then we will grow from our trials and we will perform the work and glory of the Lord. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Starting with ourselves, then our families, then our friends, then the whole world.

I would like to invite each of you who reads this letter to do something. I know we all have trials and a lot of things in life our hard. But I'd like to invite you to seek to do the will of the Lord in all things and when trials come, sing praises to God, say a prayer, and be happy because those trials will serve for our benefit and God knows what He's doing even if we don't. And so if we just trust in Him. Everything will be okay.  There's a lot more that could be said about this story but I'll let you discern what that is.

Lots and lots of love for all of you. Never forget that God loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. Never forget that I want to see All of you in the celestial kingdom one day so do what you have to do to make sure you get there!

Elder Horton
  Picture we took with Marcelo that we took today.
He'll get the priesthood next week! He's really excited about that.

  Fomos pra visitar esta família que o Elder Steele batizou um ano átras.

  Last zone meeting with this set of missionaries.

 My zone leader likes the microphone a lot.
He always plays with it. I think he likes the powerful feeling that comes with it.

  Also after the zone meeting we went to a restaurant and got some good brazilian food
and they were wearing Santa Claus hats and I had to take a picture.

We went to the foot doctor and they had AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!
Needless to say I was very excited. It was very cool and refereshing.
We went to the foot doctor because Elder steele was worried about an ingrown toe.

Every Christmas, this nativity set was passed down from companion to companion
and now Elder Steele is passing it to down to me after having added his name to it.
I assembled it and took a picture and will hold onto it till next year where
I'll continue the tradition.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Work


Family and friends,

This week has been good, Elder Steele and I have continued to work better and better together. He's even said now that I'm his companion most preferred (or favorite) :D So that's awesome

We got Açaí from an irmã in the word normally you pay 5 reais for 500 ml's de açaí but we got it from her for only 2 reais :D we've already eaten some açaí in our house, the cheapness of it is very delectable. Now we just need to buy bulk paçoca to go with it.

One of our investigators asked us to take his alcohol away and so we did that and I put the bottle in my backpack but it was very strange walking around with alcohol...We went immediately to our house and poured it down the drain.

The name of that investigator is Jose Roberto and he is confined to a wheel chair. He used to drink cafe, smoke and drink alcohol. He's stopped drinking alcohol and cafe but is still working to stop smoking. The good news is that he's in his house almost All the time! So we can stop by whenever and talk with him.

I heard through the grapevine that in the last month or so that the Ward has the missionary families read the letters of the missionaries. I heard that Daniels mom was there and read his letters, that's cool! How'd that go with her? Is she baptized yet? Also how'd it go when you read my letter? Did you cry? Did you read a funny part?

Something cool. Last week I had really been focusing on the section of preach my gospel, pray with faith. It’s a really great section and amazing for anyone to read, missionary or not. My prayers have really improved since reading that. And prayers are So important for missionary work and life in general. We were praying as we were preparing to leave and I was doing the prayer and I asked God to help lead us to at least one person who is elect and ready to hear our message and be baptized. And then later that night, we met someone who I think is really ready to be baptized within the month. Her name is Cleide and we already taught her the first lesson in the chapel and it was a very good experience. She was supposed to come to church but wasn't feeling well. We'll continue to work with her! More word later.

Elaine and Kendori were baptized!!!!!  The 2 sisters that found Elaine and felt inspired to share the gospel with her and then involve us. Without them, they wouldn't have found the gospel and the joy thats in it. Yay! Members!

Also, we're super early today because we're traveling to Jacareí to visit a family that Elder Steele baptized.

Do you think you can find Austin Douglas Steele on facebook. email, and add him for me :) Thanks. Also, just accept any invites you receive from random people in Brazil. Thanks!

There's no problem with using bleach with a load of laundry that’s just whites right? Thanks :)

So I gave my first priesthood blessing (second part) in Portuguese. It was a blessing of health for Silvinha. She hadn't slept the night before at all and the nights previous were rough. When I finished the blessing, I knew that my grammar was off and I hadn't spoken very good and I was focused too much on the language and not on the spirit. When I tried to focus on the spirit and not on the language nothing came to my mind so I just said a couple more things and closed. I wasn't too happy with the experience. Later we ran into her again later that day and she said she'd already gotten a lot better. I think that was a lesson that God was trying to teach me. That it doesn't really matter so much what is said during the blessing so much as by whose authority and with what power the blessing is performed. It's changed my perspective on priesthood blessings for the better.

With that in mind it's interesting how literally Everything that happens in our lives can be for our benefit. God doesn't give us trials just to make us stumble. He gives us trials so we can become better people and grow closer to Him. We met a man yesterday who had a lot of trials in his life but instead of growing closer to God, he turned away from God more. I was sad for him. In our lives we just need to trust in God and that He knows what’s best for us because He knows us better than we know ourselves and he loves us infinitely and he wants what’s best for us.

One of the recent converts in Caçapava had a bad spirit enter into him apparently. And apparently it was the father of the man who invited the spirit. Elder Steele and I almost went to Caçapava yesterday to take care of it with the authorization of President Ferrin but the Sisters talked with the bishop because it was in the area of his ward and after they told us that we didn't need to come anymore. I'm not sure exactly what happened but I'll ask them today at the zone meeting. Elder Steele and I were preparing pretty well to do what we needed to do. We were planning on going there in fast because Jesus said in Mathew 17:17 I think that some spirits require a lot of fasting and prayer to be expulsed and for this, his apostles weren't successful in that situation in the scriptures. It's interesting. I've never personally dealt with something like that before and neither had Elder Steele so I was a bit interested and excited to actually use my priesthood power in such a way but nervous also obviously.

LIL BRUDDA' I saw a dog that was Almost lil brudda. I think his hind 2 legs were paralyzed or something but he just walked with the front 2 and dragged the back 2. Thought of you Rie.

We were asking the brothers who would like to leave (work) with us this week and we have a Lot of support again this week. This ward is really awesome. The last pair of elders were fubecas (missionary slang for slacker) and so I think they really appreciate a pair of elders that actually work. And something awesome!! Marcelo lifted his hand that he wants to work with us haha so we're going to levae with him this Saturday and work with him. Then next week he will be done with school and he wants to leave a lot more with us. Marcelo is just awesome. A member said about him (that Elder Steele also cited in his letter) that he's already participating more than some life-long members. I'm really happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of the conversion of Marcelo. He's definitely gonna serve a mission and be a bishop one day.

1 Kings 18. I read this and I thought it was just awesome. It's a story of more than 100 false prophets of Baal and 1 true prophet of God, Elijah. the 100 false prophets of Baal try all day to light a sacrifice altar on fire by pleading to Baal and when they fail, Elijah commands that Water be doused on the alter and sacrifice and then he says a short prayer to God something on the lines of "that they might know that thou art the true and only God" And then God ignites the alter and all the water was evaporated in an instant and Elijah said something like "seize the prophets of Baal, don't let them escape" and then the scriptures say that he killed the prophets of Baal. Then I imagined President Monson haha. And then I thought, why doesn't stuff like this happen today? And then I thought, well it could but then where would be the faith? And so, more fruit for thought and an awesome story.

I think that's about it for today. Sorry mom you'll have to wait til next week for me to read your update and answer your questions.

I love all of you!
Keep true to the faith so we can all rejoice together in the Celestial Kingdom!
Elder Horton

  Elaine and Kendori were baptized!!!!!
   Studying in style. We were lacking another real chair, so he just used the sofa.
(notice Garrett's chair with the boards and pillow)

  How much we usually eat on average. Sometimes more.
Oh yeah and we got dessert after that plate too :)

  We were traveling in another area to do a baptismal interview and we were asking w
here was bairro aeroporto (airport neighborhood) and we asked like 4 people
and they all sent us in the same direction, to the airport.
Apparently no one heard or understood the bairro part.
But we got there did the interview and she was baptized yesterday.

  Marcelo é da hora. (da hora is jíria (slang) for really awesome
and literally means "of the hour")
He was at the party and so I took a picture with him.

 We had a ward party that was just awesome.
  Even had a pool!

  Marcel jogando futebol. and Marcio being Marcio

We helped prepare the jaca which is a fruit that has a spiny outer shell
but a very delicious fruit on the inside. It was sticky but good.
The irmã there gave us um jarrinho (little jar) de doce de jaca (Jaca sweet)

 The lunch we had there, churrasco (BBQ) Very Very good.