Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Hey mom, this is the beginning of my letter.

Today for P-day we went to Aparecida, to see the basilica here. Look it up on google, I'll include pictures and details in the main letter.

 Here are some of my secret spy pen fotos that I took today during our p-day excursion. They aren't the best quality but I was able to take pictures that otherwise I wouldn't have been able to take. I'll send higher quality fotos later.  We went there (Elders Rivera, Gilliat, Paulo) with Natalia (member) Marlene (Non-member, aunt of Natalia) and Rogerio (little brother of Natalia and not a member).

There being Aparecida in Brasil, The second largest catholic building in the world, second only to the Vatican. We in the mission field call it the great apostasy for various reasons but it was way cool to go there and see everything!

The first picture was written on a wall underneath a bridge, it means "its prohibited to urinate here" 

Another picture, you'll see a woman that's lower than the rest, she's actually on a skateboard and she came from who knows where to see the idol and representation of Nossa Senhora Aparecida (our Lady Aparecida). Marlene knows almost everything about her and Aparecide and the things that are there so she was our tour guide. She explained to me that a lot of people who are sick or having some problem or looking for a miracle do a prayer and say that if Aparecida cures them or helps them that they'll come to this city by foot or by horse or with a cross on their backs or on their knees even. You'll see another picture of a woman on her knees.

 I also saw, what I believe to be, another American there, he had a shirt on from the US.
Also a crippled man begging for money outside of the church. I've never seen so many people give money before. Smart man.

 Natalia's enjoying her food as she was so nice to show me but unknowing that I took the picture haha 

Funny story about that restaurant where we ate at. Starting off with a quick Portuguese lesson. There’s a type of person that's called mão de vaca or cow hand (not like a helper but like literally cow hand) it's called that because a cow's hand is ALways closed, thus a person's hand is always closed doesn't open his hand which is another saying in Portuguese which means he doesn't let it happen or doesn't change. It's like you have money in your hand but you're cowhand so you don't open your hand, you don't use your money. Right so I'm cowhand right? So everyone was hungry and looking for a restaurant and I'm like "guys...I got a problem..." I balled up my hands in fists "I'm cow hand..." they laughed a bit but decided to go eat anyways. I'm also known, as any good cow hand is, for bringing food with me on p-days so I can be even more cow hand and use my cheap food! So I ate my cookieish food and I was happy. They did all you can eat and Marlene stored some food for me! Which she gave me later which made me happy :) COwhand for the win! I have some other pictures of that that I'll send later.

Branch Activity with football and BBQ!

Ana's baptism! From the other area but I taught her a couple times and I interviewed her to baptized. Her interview went very well and I was happy to see that she was very well prepared and it was a very baptismal meeting.

Me being a cowhand with my cowhands eating my cookies with a fork and knife in a weird way because I can't open my hands because I'm cow hands. I really ate every last one of those cookies with a fork and knife. It helped pass the time 

weekly letter, part 2

Hey family

I enjoyed your letters! I don't have a lot of time because it took a while to upload the photos. So I'll let my pictures say most of the words about my pday today, it was fun.

I gave a talk this week in sacrament meeting which I thought was pretty cool. Subject, missionary work. I told the story of the first vision and then talking about the hope and happiness we have as members of the church and then how we're the light unto the world and we should be examples and then that the Lord will bless us and help us in D&C 100. I think it went pretty well.

What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
Ana's baptism and my testimony of prayer being strengthened with that experience that I shared with the president and you guys

What do you like most about your companion?
I was actually telling him some of the things I like about him yesterday as part of our companionship inventory. I like that he's generally timely, we complement each other well, he's a hard worker, and he's woken up with me almost every day to work out. He's a good guy at heart he's just had some fubeca companions that have kind of messed with him.

What do you like to think about when you have some down time?
What's this "down time" of which you speak? What a strange word....If by downtime you mean like the 5 minutes I have in the shower then I usually think about the mission and the investigators and my companion and what I'm learning and lots of stuff. Occasionally I'll think about home or BYU or past friendships but that's pretty rare.

What’s the weather like now that you’re in the coolest part of the year?  I’m assuming it’s the coolest part of the year…
It'ssss....cooling off lately but it's also been kinda on the warm side. Too warm to be winter but it's generally comfortable. A nice break from the burning heat of summer.

Do you eat in the member’s homes often?  Does it change depending on what area you’re in?
It Does depend on the area and the members but usually we eat in a members home 5 times out of 6.

What do you like best about the area you’re in now?  Where is it relative to Sao Paulo?
It has a nice natural beauty, it doesn't have favela or ghetto.  It's the longest zone in the mission from São Paulo but in that zone, it's the closest area. It's about 3.5 hours of travel by bus from são paulo.
I have a little story about prayer.  We prayed before leaving the house to go to church yesterday.  I was the one that prayed and in the prayer, I asked that the Lord might touch someone’s heart in such a way that someone who wasn’t planning on going would go to church.  On the way to church this man that was sitting down stopped us in the street and started to talk with us “hey you guys are going to church?” “Yea, the church of Jesus Christ” “I’m needing to visit the church” “Let’s go then” And he came with us to church and on the way there I even managed to mark his baptism for 2 weeks from that day and he accepted.  And another interesting fact, 2 other investigators that hadn’t been passed as firm went to church.  I don’t’ know if that was directly related to our faith or the prayer, but to me, this 2 things that happened were a real answer to my prayers.  It also helps me realize that our prayers are really powerful and as such, we should really humble ourselves as we prayer, ask and plead with faith that the Lord may bless us and our investigators and always trust in him that He knows whats best.  My testimony of prayer has grown immensely on the mission.

In all, it was a good week and I'm excited for this week. I'm happy and I'm looking for that same happiness that Alma had when he was overcome with happiness and fainted :) That would be cool.

The church is true! Study your scriptures!

I love you all :)

Elder Horton 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Because I'm Happy!


Hey mom!

I liked the Tour de France story and I also liked the story of the begging woman, that really is useful to teach some good principles.

I was actually rooting for Argentina as well because of James and Jonathan and another sister that's in our zone that was in my district last transfer. The rivalry is bitter but it's not vicious. I laughed at James' story about the cup in Argentina haha, thankfully that hasn't happened to me but the day after Germany DESTROYED Brasil 7 to 1, people were looking at me weird but no one said anything. I was expecting that Germany would win though because they're team is super good, they've been preparing for the past 6 years!

It seems like you guys sure are travelling and flying a lot

In less than a year, I'll be home. Not that I'm counting but it became true yesterday, Elder Gilliat who is in my "group" told me. Hump day!

Thanks for the letter too dad, I always love hearing your counsels and what you have to see. I'm happy to see that you're doing your best to magnify your calling :)

So how was your week?
This last week was actually kind of annoying because there were 2 brasil games and then the branch had an activity which was all awesome it just ate up our week so it was kind of hard to work but this week there won't be any other additional "p-days" and we're gonna work super well this week, I'm excited. Especially since my companion and Elder gilliat's companion, and all of us promised to try and be as obedient as possible for these next 2 weeks and to see the difference it makes in their lives and missions. My training in the district meeting was about this and I extended that invite to make that promise. So far so good! We'll see how it goes! Oh and Elder Rivera studied about prayers with faith lately and I'm really seeing him change his prayers for the better which is awesome :) We decided today that really we can do anything with just our prayers. There are some missionaries that work and work and work and work and work but forget to pray or don't pray with faith and they don't have as many results as the missionary that really pleads unto the Lord and talks with Him and has faith. We've both had proof of this in our missions and my testimony of this is strong. Actually I would even like to invite you all to study that section in Preach my Gospel about Pray with faith in chapter 4.

How do you like being senior companion and DL? I know you’ve done this before, but this time seems different since your companion is a junior comp.
It's cool, it's a bit different but about the same. I walk with the phone all the time now.

How do you like having E Gillat in your district?
It's pretty awesome actually, it's cool because we're not perfect but we're good influences on our companions and sometimes I go to him for advice or ideas and he's been pretty helpful up til now.

Who are you teaching?
We actually don't have as many investigators as we should but that's soemthing we're really going to focus on today and this week. The other area in my district has a young woman that should be baptzied this week though so that'll be awesome!

What is something you have learned or been inspired by this week?
I've been inspired this work to always study with my companion and exercise in the morning. The president had a standard of excellence but he just raised the bar so now, exercising in the morning is mandatory because there are a lot of missionaries that are having health problems. For exapmle, one of the sisters in my last district is actually going home today, 5 months early, because of pains in her leg and back that won't go away....we all said goodbye to her yesterday. She was sad but I told her that the Lord has a plan for her still and that He wouldn't want her to return home to just to be sad.
I've also always learning about the blessigns of obedience and the lack of blessings of disobedience in the scriptures with the nephites and lamanties, I just finihsed Alma and I'm reading in Helaman 6 now and it's amazing the differenc obedience makes. It's very blatant. I've found some really awesome scriptures too but I don't have my scriptures with me to share with you guys :/

What was it like there when Brazil lost, and then lost again?? L  We were watching it and the Brazilians in the stadium were literally in tears!  I know it must have been rough!  Hopefully not too rough for you, since you look German!
Everyone, me included, was just kinda sad and depressed and surprised. No one expected that kind of defeat. It wasn't like life ending or anything but it was sad. I wanted brasil to win the cup :( 6 stars is a lot better than 5.

1 last thing. at the family night yesterday we started talking about basically things we can to go inherit eternal life and I suggested 4 things that if we do that I can practically guarantee eternal life. The four things are 1) pray with frequency 2) study the scriptures (not just read) 3) fasting and 4) going to church. Just these 4 things, if you do these 4 things, it's really hard to not make it to heaven.

The church is true!

Elder Horton

Stop.  Look.  Listen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

7-7-14 Everyone has great potential



Sorry I don't have a lot of time today so I'll type fast, sorry for any errors.

This past week has been a good one. I got to know my new area pretty well. We take the bus every day to get to our area and again at night to get home. There aren't any hills it's just a pretty big area but thankfully our investigators are pretty close.

Today, in the morning, we went to a waterfall which was pretty cool. We took a bus to get to the river and then walked on train tracks to get higher up. We never really saw a legit waterfall but we hiked in the river during parts (because we can't swim haha) and that was fun, very pretty. Brasil reminds me a lot of South Carolina, the only difference being some plants. I've already sent the pictures of that.

On the fourth of the July, I bought some fireworks and it was also the day that Brasil played against Colombia. We did a small bet with Elder Rivera, that if Brasil lost, we'd buy him pizza but if Brasil won, he'd buy us pizza and so he ended up buying us pizza :) It was pretty funny because for days before he was talking about how Brasil was gonna lose and what not and then Colombia lost and that was fun :) After Brasil's victory, I shot off the fire works which were like roman candles. Sad fact, Neymar (Brasil's best player) fractured his vertebra and so is out of the world it'll be difficult against germany but we'll see.

I like to arrive in new areas and get to know everyone for the first time. I talked with everyone I could asking their names, names of family members, calllings and what not and writing it all down and so by the end of sunday I'd written down like 20 more families which was cool. One sister said that she really liked that I was doing that because as soon as she said her name I already knew who her husband was and who was her mom and her daughter's name which made me feel happy that she (and probably the others) like that. Also, as it was fast sunday, it was open for testimonies, I took advantage of that and stood up and presented myself and bore my testimony about the potential of the branch to become a ward but that this required the members to work together with the missionaries and I also testified that happiness that comes from this gospel and it was pretty strong, I could tell that the members liked it. After I bore my testimony, 4 people referenced to me in their testimonies testifying of the same thing and of missionary work and of how members should help the missionaries and I thought that was awesome. Also, after the meetings, a brother called me the "happy elder" :) I like having good effects like that on people. I feel like I had the opportunity to excite the branch and the members.

The other Elders told me that the only thing our Ward Mission Leader is good for is giving car rides to church but I got to know him once and he was super awesome and RM and super strong testimony and it didn't fit in my head. He might not be doing a whole lot right now but I marked a meeting with him this Sunday that's coming and I can tell that he's willing to work, he's just not sure how.

I also heard that the Branch President was a grumpy old man but my first day in the area, we stopped by his house and did a lot of friendship with him and he's actually a really cool guy and Elder Gilliat (another elder in my district) said that he had never met with him or gotten to know him like that. We talked about the branch and how we can help the branch and so forth

The reason I talked about these things is interesting. I'm not sure exactly why. I think it's because everyone has great potential and some people may not see it and so they limit their own potential or their expectations of the potential of others but really we all have an amazing potential to do many good things. I'm excited for this opportunity that I have to help this Branch and I hope that in the time that I'm here, we can help this branch to become a ward. This is our goal.

How are you getting along with your new companion?
We're getting along pretty good. He's not perfectly obedient but we get along good and bit by bit I'll help him to keep some the rules. He was pretty dang obedient until he got a super fubeca companion and that messed with him pretty bad.

Do you have a favorite mountain in your new area where the people sit outside and you can buy cool treats for your reward of climbing the mountain?
No there aren't mountains here but we have a nice Flat area with people outside and an investigator that gives us pastels for free :) Upgrade! I do love geladinhost hough.

How did the sister do who was so sick (the one that was in your old district)?  Did she have the dengue fever? 
No she didn't have dengue. She's doing better now. Last I heard, she works 2 days and stays in house 1 day.

Who is in your new district? 
Elder Rivera (my comp, Colombian) Elder Paulo (Brazilian) and Elder Gilliat (from my district in the MTC)

Is your companion a DL or ZL?
He's my junior

How’s your dog bite?
Practically gone
This is a well we were helping a family dig.  You have to dig down about 3 meters to hit water.  It was to water their garden.  I think we still had about 1 meter to go.

I know that this truly is a gospel of happiness. That there is no other way to find try happiness in our lives than through the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read your scriptures every day...actually don't read them. Study them!! Learn from them! Apply them.

Lots of love

Elder Horton