Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Friday, January 31, 2014

Photos instead of a letter this week

No official letter this week - he thought he had more time on the computer to get to it, but had to go before that happened :-(  BUT, he sent a lot of pictures, so this week will be a photo letter!
He got scripture covers made for part of his Christmas gift and they are beautiful!

He has an extensive scripture marking system,
as you can see by all the colors and charts.

He made a new planner...

This was from transfers last week - his trainer Elder Steele.

"Awesome leaf cutter ants!"

"We played soccer today, more like they played soccer and I watched."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ice fell from the sky!


Man if they saw my marker set up for my scriptures now, they would all be in too much awe to be able to say that I was cheating haha.  (in reference to my telling him about our stake scripture chase yesterday)

It's good to hear that Kenan is doing the right things and his best to be the best example.

Do you see many children on your mission? Yes I do, it was weird at first because in the MTC, for 6 weeks I went without seeing any kids except maybe one time. But here, there are a lot of kids.

Does your ward have lots of kids? More or less. It's not an immense amount but about normal I think.

What do the kids there like to do for fun? My first thought is fly kites. My second, is cut the lines of other kites. My 3rd thought is....slow coming. They just play with whatever they want.

How’s your week been? My weeks beeennn...alright. Started off pretty bad but it got better.

I know you’ll let us know about transfers – staying or going? I'm staying with Elder Cosme this transfer in our area. President wants me to help him if I can. I know I can't but maybe I can with God's help. I'm praying a lot for him and for me. It's really hard to focus on the people when you're so worried about your companion.

What have you studied this week that has been meaningful to you? Recently I was reading in the Book of Mormon in the book of 1 Nephi chapter 13 verses 20-28 where it talks about the bible and how it was perfect when it left the mouth of the Jew or when it was written but that when the great and abominable church got hold of it, many great and precious and clear truths were taken out. For this reason, the Book of Mormon is 100 percent necessary as is a living prophet. Another cool thing I was reading. I was reading in D+C section 1 verse 30 and it talked about the only true and living church on the earth. I'd already heard this but this time the word "living" struck me as interesting and I thought, "Why is our church living? How is a church living? What does it mean to be living?" if something is living, it's changing and it's always seeking improvement. Our church is the only true living church because we have a living prophet and apostles who talk with God as you talk with another person! And they receive revelation for us in our day. If the bible disappeared, every other church would disappear with it, but ours would still be standing. Even if the book of Mormon disappeared our church would still be here because we have a living prophet! Very cool, very important.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions for 2014?? Not..really no. Probably should've, I was busy thinking about other things like my companion around the time of new years

Dad had a good birthday? Was it a good "king" day? Eat out at a restaurant?

I had a thought that I wanted to share with you guys, and especially you dad. I was studying the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and I saw a picture of Jesus Christ in the Kirtland Temple with Joseph and Oliver and Joseph described Jesus as having hair that was whiter than pure snow and I thought " when a person is getting old and the hair starts to turn white, that just means that that person is becoming more like Christ!" So think about that when you think about your graying hairs, that you're just becoming like Christ.

Also there's a house of a less active here that fell recently because it was constructed not only on a hill but on sand as well! They should've read the book of Matthew chapter 7 better. They knew that it was going to fall and so they had time to take out everything before.

I ate chicken feet Saturday. I saw it and grabbed it and said "sister, is this chicken feet?" And she confirmed it and said it was good. I ate it and it tasted like chicken! It was actually pretty good, she was right. What you do to eat it is bite off the...toes? talons? and take off the meat in your mouth and then spit out the bones, it was good. A good experience.

Oh man, one of our investigators is just great. His name is Fransisco. He speaks English and he loves his music. Below you'll find a link to his music. 

Oh also! We have an awesome pesquisadora who already received an answer. She and Francisco (her almost husband) want to be married and baptized. They liked the church a Lot. Francisco even said that it was everything that he imagined that it should be! That was an awesome moment for me. Also when Delia said that she'd received an answer. And she has a sister who went to church as well, Mariana who also really liked the church and believes in the Book of Mormon to be true...but not necessarily in the right way. This is something that's difficult as a missionary. Because it's awesome that she believes it's true! But it's not because she received an answer, but just because to her, it's the word of God. The problem with this is that she might not recognize the need to be baptized again or the fact that there can only be one true church of Christ. We'll continue to work with them but I'm really excited to do so. I'm happy that we have one more week to help them! I feel a lot less pressure and I know they will feel less pressure too.

We also cut Ana Lúcia. Or better, she cut us. She wasn't really progressing and just said she didn't want more. I think she felt a lot of pressure. A lot of the pressure came from Elder Cosme and his GH tendencies.

We're also talking with another young man who read the whole bible and read the pamphlet on the restoration before we visited with him and so the first thing he asked, "What is this Book of Mormon that I see here" And so we just started off talking about the Book of Mormon. He read, liked it, but said that he didn't want to leave what was written in the bible. I got him to be willing to read another part and a bit more open. We'll go back and visit him again. If he was baptized he would be Very firm in the church. That's the thing sometimes, sometimes people are very firm in their beliefs but if you can manage to help them receive an answer and see the truth for themselves, já era (that's it). They'll just be the firmest member ever.

Love all of you,
Elder Horton
Zone picture during our last reunion together, President was there as well!

  I was feeling cool on top of the roof and so I had Elder Cosme take a picture,
he decided to continue taking pictures until I descended all the way as well

  Also here, you can see my new soccer jersey :)

And ice fell from the sky! Tuesday! It was very strange,
Elder Paulo said that he'd never seen that happen before in his life.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The temple was awesome!


Starting off, I'll respond to your questions.

How was your week? This week, I think was our best week yet but even so, it wasn't all that awesome from the numbers point of view. We started working a lot in an area that's close to the limits of our area because we, or at least I, want to help the members to have a branch there so that it's easier for everyone to go to church! I know it's possible, we just have to be worthy of the help and blessings of the Lord.

How is Maria Lucia progressing?  She's doing okay. She didn't come to church this past week because she had to take care of her bar. She still doesn't feel that she's reserved a response to her prayers with respect to the Book of Mormon. And it’s also hard to teach her when she works so much. The only time we have to talk with her is in her bar, and so she gets distracted a lot with other people. We'll continue to work with her. Elder Cosme is trying to baptize her still without having received any answer. I've been helping him understand why that's bad and usually he just doesn't say anything because he's trying to ignore me or starts singing some song. But we go on.

How was the temple? The temple was awesome! I really loved it! Did you end up doing it in English?  And so I ended up asking for headphones because I didn't know how it would be and I used the head phones for about 3 seconds and then took them off and understood everything. It also helps that I've watched it in English like 8 times already. I saw Elder Steele there and that was really awesome to talk with them :) He said they had 12 lessons this last week with members! And 6 of those lessons were with Marcelo, the 15 year old we baptized! Marcelo really is just plain awesome. And he also said that that past Sunday, they baptized an elect couple that was just too excited for them. They were curious about the temple and stuff and Elder Steele had to tell them to wait because they had other appointments haha. I love Elder Steele. Obedient missionaries are awesome, blessed missionaries.

How are things going with E Cosme? Things are always getting better. He hasn't had a complete change of heart or anything like that but I think my example is helping him. He said also lately that he's trying to keep the rules. (From my point of view, it doesn't seem like it but maybe for him, he is) We'll see what happens with this transfer 

As you look back on this transfer, what have you learned? Even though this transfer was hard, it's really given me an opportunity to learn some good lessons about mission life and life in general. I've really studied love and charity and other attributes of Christ and with certainty I'm not perfect yet in anything but I'm better. I've also learned more of how someone who is GH or fubeca thinks and that will give me a better chance to attend to these needs in the mission if I'm ever a leader. Even though it's been hard, the Lord knows what He's doing. I just have to try and seek to do His will in all things and then everything will be okay. 

What blessings do you see in your life? I see...trees of green, red roses too I see 'em bloom for me and you and I think to myself, what a wonderful world. I started off with I see and then the song came into my head. I know I have blessings in my life. A lot. To name them is another thing. Good parents, raised in the gospel. To have the knowledge of the Christ's church on earth. A good trainer. I have a lot of blessings.

I ate some Tapioca last Monday. The type of tapioca was called sensação and it had chocolate, strawberry, doce de leite, coconut, and maybe one other thing but it was very good :)

We talked with a pastor this past week. That was very interesting. He said that he already studied our religion and read a good part of the Book of Mormon and he said that he found that a good part was made by man and I thought "como assim?" or "how?" basically. He talked about the multiple woman and we explained that to him. He also talked about life after death and heaven and hell and I thought "Ah, great! An opportunity to explain something" And so I grabbed my bible where it talks about the 3 kingdoms plainly and he explained it away is if it were nothing and his explanation didn't even make sense. He changed the subject a lot too whenever he didn’t know the answer. It was an interesting experience but it's amazing how hard his heart is. When I find people like him, I think, "Man, Satan really works really well. He uses the very own doctrines of Christ and scriptures to shut the hearts of the people". There are a Lot of people here that don't believe in religion in the sense that there's only one church that will save you. This is probably one of the biggest challenges in Brazil.

Also, there's a Kimberly Clark plant here in the city next to mine! I've found some people that work there and that's been cool because I've been able to talk about Dad and how he worked there. They make diapers here too!

Elder Horton
  Service Project, helping a brother build his house.
I thought you guys would be interested to see how it's done in part.

  And van ride to the temple

 Me and Elder Steele

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year in Brazil


My week was good, Things are improving I think. I've been trying just to be a better example and to encourage good things in Elder Cosme and I think he's improving bit by bit. For example he was annoyed that the president doesn't trust him and I suggested to him that maybe he could ask the president what he could do to gain his trust. He said he'd do that after thinking about it for a bit. We'll see. The mission meeting was good. I feel like I've already talked about it with you guys...but I think that was just my journal. The 2 Assistants to the president spoke, one on working and the other spoke well on obedience. But it was easy to discern after that no one had really changed afterwards. President spoke as well. A lot of Brazilians don't like him because he doesn't really speak Portuguese or understand them when they speak Portuguese. But he spoke well. Spoke on the new rules and what not. As for the new rules, there’s nothing really all that new, just reinforced.

What was the best part of your week?
The best part of my week was seeing our investigator, Maria Lúcia at church and also a less-active that we invited that is really cool and actually gave us and Maria a ride to church and back. That was good to actually have someone at church this week. Other than that, I took way good advantage of the food of other missionaries during new years. Elder Cosme loves to spend the night at other missoinaries' houses and I don't like it too much because everyone stays up later and it doesn't really work out so well to sleep.

It's also good to see Americans every now and then. Whether it’s other missionaries or that family that’s in the other word. I do miss Americans sometimes.
What is the funniest thing that has happened since you’ve been in Brazil?
Good question. I don't know...No one ever succeeded in making me say something in Portuguese that was insulting but funny (like at a lunch) I can't really think of anything off the top of my head.
Who in your ward do you look up to and why?
I don't look up to anyone. The tallest brethren other than me is a head shorter than me.
But as for respect-wise, I haven't really picked out a brother to whom I look up.
What is your Bishop/Branch President like?
Our bishop is cool and a hard worker but he's also new. Only about 3 months and as you know it's a lot of responsibility and a lot to learn but he's doing a good job. He tries to help us but hasn't been particularly active in doing so. We also haven't been active in seeking his help so I don't blame him.
Do you have a Ward Mission Leader?  Do you work pretty closely with him?
No we don't have one. I talked with the bishop this Sunday and he said this next Sunday we'd have one and then we'll start to work with him more. It'll be good.
New Year’s Eve was cool. I stayed up until midnight and I don't think I could've managed to sleep even if I'd wanted to. Everyone was shooting off fireworks, it was a constant tumult of rumblings and pops and fizzes coming from all over the town. It was pretty cool.
I seem to have less to say about the day to day mission work...I think that’s because there's less of it. This last week. 0 lessons with member present. 5 other lessons. And 2 with recent convert, less active. The numbers are a bit discouraging...but I'm trying. I suggested to Elder Cosme that we knock doors but he's absolutely opposed to the idea even though it makes sense and is more effective. This week we'll knock doors anyways and he'll like it.
In a lesson we taught this morning I was impressed with the amount of GH that Elder Cosme had. I think all of our lessons up to this point have been the standard 1st lesson or 3rd lesson or 2nd but today was more general and trying to help her. She said she wasn't prepared and that she needed to have more knowledge before making a decision and so I invited her to pray and ask God about the Book of Mormon, the church, the word of wisdom, and being baptized this Sunday and she had agreed to pray about all of that and agreed to do all of that if she received a response. And then Elder Cosme said that he knew she was prepared and he said that baptism was a commandment and that we have to be baptized to enter into God's kingdom. He said some other things and it was all true, but really he wasn't trying to help convert her, he was trying to convince her to be baptized. Thus GH. His companion before me was one of the worst GH's of the mission and I know he had other companions like that and so he's had a lot of GH influence. I was surprised with the contrast between the way he taught and the way I taught. It worked okay with Maria for now but I hope this doesn't create problems in the future...
In Portuguese, there is something called the subjunctive which isn't used in English at all. I think I've almost mastered the subjunctive in Portuguese (and it's taken this whole time) and so it's interesting now. I'm writing in English but I think I should use the subjunctive but there is none to use.
I'm a bit tired but tired is good. I'm trying to work to the maximum. I'm not perfect but I'm trying. We go to the temple tomorrow! In Campinas I think. I'm excited. I think I'll do it in English with headphones. Maybe I'll take off the headphones and try and understand the Portuguese. I have to wake up early tomorrow to do it. And Elder Cosme wants to go to another area to sleep - saying that it will "save time" But I know that they're going to stay awake until late and so really it won't. But whatever. He seems to justify things and in his mind maybe it makes sense but logically it doesn't make sense. I've already explained a couple things to him that he hasn't liked because he wants to do something one way and so justifies it but I explain it the right way
I know it seems like I'm criticizing him a lot. And that's because I am, but I'm also trying to find good things to say about him. Daily, I have a goal to say 3 good things about him and to study love and charity to try and have more of it. So far that's been going okay. The first day, I managed 3 nice things to say. Since then I've managed at least one but it's good to try and think about good things to say.  Lately I've complimented an idea he had, told him that he's friendly, he asks good questions, he works good (when he works) and he teaches good. I'm trying to reinforce the good things he does while trying to help him improve the not so good that he does.
I think that's about it that I have to say... Any questions?
I love all of you and I hope you all have a great day and week,
Elder Horton
  First time I've eaten shrimp or even seafood since being in Brazil,
it was way awesome :D It was for our New Years Eve Dinner.
And that was the storm that soaked us before we had a chance to get to our appointment.
It was really cool from a distance especially with the thunder but when it was upon us,
it was a lot of rain. Happens a lot here. During the day it’s clear
with maybe a bit of clouds and then around 5, 6
it starts to get cloudy and then it storms.
It’s good because it cools stuff down.