Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2-23-15 Helping My Neighbor

Hey family!

An excerpt from my letter to the president:
This past week, we had about 10 people marked for baptism in the zone, 4 were baptized. The other 6, were put off until this week because of various problems, but with the other people that went to church, it looks like every area in the zone will baptize this month, except for one, and we'll have about 12 to 15 baptisms this weekend. We're going to plan a Noite Branca (white night) and baptize everyone at once in the same place! We're really following up well with the investigators and we're really hoping and praying that this week, we'll manage to have great results.

The week was very good, one of our best weeks yet together. We're managing to fill our planners with good plans and appointments with many people, investigators, less actives, references, members and everything it's a very good feeling to have it all planned out. We're helping a family return to church which makes me super happy! And they're an Awesome source of resources because they know EVERYONE in their apartment building complex thing. And so like we're just sitting there in their house and someone comes in and we start to talk about the church with them and they're interested and become an investigator! It's awesome. We're also finding less actives and part member families, I feel like we'll have a lot of success in this area. The best part is that it's only like 10, 15 minutes from the church (walking).

Elder Rockwood is a good missionary, he's humble and forgiving and full of faith.

How is Carnival going?  How does it change your missionary work?  I would think it’s harder since people are probably in the party mode and not in the looking for something to better my life mode.  How long does it last??
It's actually already over, it's only from like Friday until Tuesday or Wednesday. There's more people drinking and partying and traveling but it wasn't That different.

How did things go with Wilson and Josi this week?
So we could've baptized Wilson but Josi wasn't 100 % on board and we want her complete support. It's difficult because they can only be visited like from 1 to 3 in the afternoon, and we usually get out of lunch at like 2 and so we're usually running there just to talk with them and Josi is already leaving to work :/ But we're confident that this Saturday, we'll be able to baptize Wilson, for him to be the example for his family. Josi is a bit reluctant to be baptized quickly, but she's interested, she's coming to church even without us going there to get them or calling them :) Which is awesome. She just needs to stop smoking and it's baptism!

What else is happening with you?
I'm reading the old testament again, I'm in Deuteronomy now, it's pretty interesting but for some things I really need the manual to help me understand.

We're helping an atheist to believe in God. There aren't many atheists in Brasil but when I find one of them, they're not atheist for much longer :) He says he's atheist but I don't believe that he believes that, he just says that he doesn't believe. He has a lot of questions, and a lot of ideas and theories that has nothing to do with anything haha but in the beginning, it seemed like he just wanted to debate, prove us wrong, but now he says his question, let's us answer, if he has a doubt, he brings it up, but if not, then he accepts our answer. It's very interesting the change that has happened. And it certainly wasn't our fault, it was all the Holy Ghost. It's amazing the influence He has. I believe that within a month, Maico (like Michael in English) will be baptized in the restored church of Jesus Christ

What is your favorite memory with each of your siblings??
The 3: BULA BULA BULA BULA BULA "stooooppp"-rie ".....BULA BULA BULA BULA"
Rowing with Jon
Man, James left the house and I was 10...I was young.  But I remember when we got the xbox and he bought halo and mom and dad were like "I don't know about that" but then you ended up letting us keep it and I remember that James and I were playing Halo 1 one time and it was the part with the flood and we were listening to the Crazy Train haha, good times.
Rie "Bobby, stay away from my sister" or when I sat between her and Trevor or when Michael mysteriously and randomly appeared at our front door on his bike haha.
Rie and Jon, lifeguarding
Rie, dress up haha, I'm not gonna go into details

I wish I could remember better....I suffer from weak memory disease.
Trampoline, James would bounce us up and catch us by the head and push us down again saying something like "be healed" or something else.... that I don't remember.
When Jon and I made the wooden swords that were sick that took like 3 hours to carve! And then we fought with them and they broke after like 30 seconds :(

Or when Jon bought those gloves and we fought, and he always won >:( made me angry but it was a good memory.

Or working at Zaxby's after Jon and hearing about his stories through others
or the noodle-pvc or pvc-bottle fights
Wow that's really a lot of memories. I need to write a book of my pre-journal memories so I can always remember.

What do you wish we had done more of as a family when you were growing up?
I don't was pretty awesome as it was. Perfect? Of course not but at the moment I can't think of anything that I would change or do better

I'm happy when I'm helping my neighbor.

Hey do you guys remember that prayer rock that I had beside my bed to help remind me to pray? I think one of you gave it to me...but I don't remember who. Well with one of the less active families, we were trying to help them to pray and read the scriptures and I remembered that prayer rock! So I was looking for rocks to use, but not like any rock, an ugly rock, but like a pretty rock! Like a white rock! So we were at lunch and what did I see? A tree! With what in the base? Pretty white rocks! So I asked eh sister "Hey can I ask something strange?" "Uh sure" "Can I have 2 of these rocks??" She said okay. In the house of the less actives "I have a present for you 2!" I got the rocks and put one in each hand and asked Elaene "Which hand do you want?" She chose one hand...then the other...then switched again haha and I opened up my hand and the other one too and they thought that was funny. So we gave them rocks :)

I like to talk too much. Sometimes I don't give time for my companion to talk, but it's because I'm so excited and happy!

The bishop changed recently, as I may have told you, and this new bishop is AWESOMEEEE!! He has a great understanding that for a ward to really grow, it needs to be focused on missionary work and he has many plans and ideas of how to double and triple ward attendance in 8 months! He's awesome, I want to end my mission in this area because it really has potential to become an area that baptizes every week, every day of the week :) 

To close my email a funny conversation. My companion was talking with one of the other American elders in Portuguese and he asked "hey Elder, is there anything we can do for you?" And the other American "Um...yeah, you too" "....bye elder" hahaha! He's been in Brasil like 5 months already but I think Rockwood just spoke fast or something. But that was funnny huh!

I love you all! Study the scriptures! Pray! Go to church!

Elder Horton

Monday, February 16, 2015


Hey family

This weekend, until Tuesday or Wednesday Brasil is going through Carnival! It's like a small time of holidays for everyone. There are lots of parades in the bigger cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and lots of samba dancers performing as well, but here in Penha, the only real difference is that more shops are closed and more people are drunk or playing loud music on the streets.

Funny story. Elder C. Souza, who is getting trained by Elder Longi, was talking with the president last week with the 4 of us elders there and the president asked "how's the mission Elder C. Souza?" And he responded "Yeah things are going good but I just can't manage these hills (ladeiras in Portuguese) here in São Paulo! They sure are big!!" (translate to English of course) and we all laugh a bit because we know how it is. After a couple seconds, when the laughter dies off, we all hear President Andrew say "geladeiras" which means refrigerator!! So we're all laughing about the hills in São Paulo and President Andrew understood ladeira(hill) as geladeira(refrigerator) which are very similar! That was funny. Now, whenever we're laughing and the laughter dies off, we say geladeira or refrigerator and start laughing all over again :)

Yesterday, at church, one of the older men of the ward was giving a talk, and he starts talking and it's kind of a slower talk, almost without a purpose that I could tell, he starts talking about things being nonstandard or not the standard. And then he says that when a woman goes to church in pants, it's nonstandard or against the I got really worried and a bit annoyed "Why does he have to say that?!?" my companion just leaned his head on my shoulder like "whyyyy?" as if in despair. We were sitting next to a sister who was using pants and I told her "don't worry about it, that doesn't have anything to do with it" and our investigator was there (Josi) wearing pants and the woman behind was wearing pants. About 5 seconds after he said that, the woman behind us got up and left the chapel, I saw that she had left and I went after her, I got to her after she had already left the chapel gate and managed to convince her to come back. She's a less active that hardly comes to church, I was really worried that that would be the last straw for her. And when I got back, I went and explained to Josi that she's okay and that there's nothing wrong with her or her clothes and she was fine. But man that was close, I got really worried.

I think you must have been a hungry missionary to be able to knock a door off its hinges with a couple of hits!!
The sister had already removed the pins so that made it easier

Were they able to get the broken key out of the lock?
I...don't know, I imagine that now they've fixed it all up.

Do you eat at different homes every day?
Yes, every day of the month we eat with someone different, except for p-day when we eat alone :´( It's very delicious :)

Speaking of lunch with the sisters, I had a very very strange experience yesterday.....we sat down at the table to eat right? And I sit down, I see the pasta, the chicken and the juice, but I don't see rice or beans so I think 'the sister probably just left it on the stove for us to get over there' which is totally normal here! So I asked "and the rice and beans" And the sister responded "there is none" "................." Mouth agape...more silence "that's weirddddd" and for her not to feel bad about it, I explained that it was the first time in over a year that I've been on my mission that I didn't eat rice or beans at the sisters' house....that was so weird. But I told her that I'm not Brazilian and I don't need it and ate it very happily but I felt as if my plate was missing something the whole time, it was very weird, but an interesting experience.

So I googled the sock tie.  I think Dad used to have one like that!  Cool!  It’s knit, right??  Not a literal sock??
No, it's not like a literal sock, it's just knitted awesomeness! I think it's original, and pretty, and cool :)

Dad and I heard Portuguese on the TV this week and it sounded beautiful!!  Very melodic!  Is that what you sound like?
I hope so! That'd make it easy to swue my future wife! Just kiddingg, but really, I don't'll have to wait and see on mother’s day or when I get home. I don't have a Lot of accent, I speak almost like a brasiliean. I like the accent from the north of Brasil

How was your week?
Good! We had a better week this week than past weeks.  We did a division/splits with the assistants to the president and that was good because they were able to help us and our zone out. I was able to receive some nice counsels from the assistant that was with me as well. He was in the army before the mission so he was a good bit more direct and one time I said something to which he "burned" me (like I said something that wasn't right and he corrected me very bluntly) and I was like "Ouch! Eita! I just got burned! Adriele (the sister that gave us lunch that day) do you have some burn cream?" "No elder, why?" "Because I just got burneddd!!!" haha it was kinda funny, everyone laughed, even the assistant.

I met another rower in Brasil this week! The young men's president rowed before he moved to Penha! How cool is that! That's the first time I've met a rower in Brasil. And for the record, I've also never seen anyone taller than me here. I've seen some that are like 6'6" but not as tall as me.

Did you travel much?
We walked a lot but we didn't take a lot of buses

How often do you have zone meetings?
1 a month, after the leadership counsel with the mission

Do you have all Elders in your zone or some sisters?
We have 14 elders and 8 sisters, we had 12 and 10 sisters but we lost a pair :/ I love sisters, they're awesome. Some of our elders, like 4 of them, are being a bit rebellious, in our last meeting they weren't paying attention and we could tell that they were there because they had to be there and not because they wanted to learn anything. I got a bit said when I saw that but we're trying to plan on how we're going to help them out. Elder Rockwood and I think it might have to do with them just not liking us, because Elder Rockwood and I don't have the best reputations on the mission because a good amount of people talk bad about us. Not because we deserve it but just because we had some companion that didn't like us and went and told everyone how bad we were and what not. In my case, it would be Cosme, he told a lot of people. Thankfully, a Lot of people that didn't like me are dead or dying! (mission slang which means that they've gone home or are going home.) But there are still a few stragglers.

Who are you teaching?
We are going to baptize Wilson and Josi this week! I say that more with faith than with a perfect knowledge, because it'll be difficult, because she needs to stop smoking still but we believe that it's possible and we're going to do everything we can to make it happen!

What brought joy to you this week?
I like helping people, so this past week, we were able to help about 5 or 6 less actives decide to come back to church and we got many referrals in the process which always makes me happy :) I love talking with members at church and getting things done and increasing friendships and gaining trust and confidence of the members

Katie Tantillo (your cousin) got to go to Boston for a mini mission and worked with sisters (not Bonnie) but at the end of the week got to see Bonnie too.  I haven’t heard the full report yet, but I’m sure it was an amazing experience for her!
That's interesting, I hadn't even heard of this thing of mini mission before I came here to my mission. Is Katie old enough already to do a mini misison?'s so weird thinking of my younger cousins as old, like Jacqueline that's on her mission, that's so weird!

Well that's about it, I hope you guys like my letters, they're pretty big, I try to make them fun :) They're a lot bigger than a lot of missionary letters I've already seen!

I love you all! Don't get trunky Just yet, you guys can get trunky when I'm on the plane home. That’s when I'll get trunky.

Elder Horton

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ties and more ties

Hey family!

I'm short on time today so I'm gonna be a bit quicker I think.

Thanks for the letter mom, I always love hearing about the updates and the new things and the stories and what not. I liked the picture arrangement in the dining room! That's cool

I had a question too, for mom and dad, when I wasn't problematic, did you guys pray a lot for me and for my personal conversion and testimony?

Elder Rockwood wanted to see what there was on the other side of a wall with a 2 floor drop on the other side right? And he had the cellphone in his shirt pocket playing music right? So he went and jumped and as he jumped, the phone flew out of his pocket and 2 floors down to the other side!! And he started yelling a bit and I thought "oh, he's yelling because he's weak and he had problems getting up on the wall" butttt he had actually dropped the phone. But even after the fall, the phone didn't break! It even continued playing music, that we could here still! That was a funny story I wanted to share.

Another funny story, we were going to lunch and we got to the sister's house and the door was shut. And then I hear her from the other side "the key is broken in the lock! We're gonna have to take off the door!" So I started hitting on the door close to the hinges and after a couple of hits the door came right off! And we set it to the side and ate a delicious lunch :)

I made awesome scripture markers for the missionary lessons and the scripture masteries in excel. And I saw another missionary with the exact same set up and I'd never given it to him and I was like "What?!?! Where'd you get that??" He said he got it from the mission office! It seems it's viral now and I'm famous...but no one seems to know it's from me. But that's still cool though

Man yesterday was one of the biggest rushes/hurries I've had at church. Because it was stake conference, and I had 15 different things to do, literally. It was difficult but I got the most important things done, being the 3 baptisms!!!! But that was a mad rush haha man I hope I never have to do that again (the rush part) there were just some things that didn't work out right that we had to resolve. But something cool, I was talking with the stake secretary which is from my ward and he said that Elder Rais (the general authority that was at the conference) and the stake president praised my posture. I was like "what?" he clarified saying that they liked the way that I help people and that made me happy :) so now I'm happy. I was happy before but now I'm happier. It's good to massage the ego every now and then :)

Elder C. Souza, who lives with us and is being trained by Elder Longi, isn't the wealthiest man. We noticed that he was only using one tie and didn't have many white shirts. When we noticed that, I decided to give him 2 of my awesome new ties that I bought! He was happy :) Elder Longi also did that which made him happy. And today, we went and bought him 3 white shirts and some more ties! And I think that made him happy too, I hope so because we walked a Lot today, on our p-day :( I don't like walking on p-day.

I'm using a sock tie :) Google it

I bought more awesome ties too! But not 21! Just like...6 :) Guilty pleasure

Josi, the wife of Wilson, went to church as I said, and man, when we saw her again, she was different! She was just like...happy! It was way cool to see the difference, it was hard to teach her this week because of her schedule but I'm super excited for her and her future.

Oh and today we were telling jokes in English on the bus right? And one of the women on the bus started to talk about us to another woman, I didn't hear exactly what she said but I heard her say "speak Portuguese" and I think she was saying something negative about us because then I said to her "We speak Portuguese too" And she looked at me with a look of "oh what'd I do now" and started to explain what she was saying. When I said that, another man on the bus started laughing. It was a funny situation in general and an opportunity for us to explain who we are and what we do. I laughed :)

What do you like about E Rockwood?
He's obedient, loving, patient, humble, intelligent, knowledgeable, willing, funny, easy-going, understanding. Yeah that's about it, he's a good example to me as well. He's a man of much faith as well.

What have you learned from E Rockwood or the other new missionaries in your apt?  (You have 4 in your apt, right??) 
How to play scrum haha.  How to love more and be more self-denying.

What differences have you seen in between your old mission president and your new one?  What have you learned from your new one?
I liked president Ferrin, but I'm not gonna lie, President Andrew is a good amount better than President Ferrin in about every way. In the way he talks, acts, plans, and just leads, its better.  What have I learned from President Andrew? rely on the spirit more, to be more Christ like. I don't have many learning opportunities with him.

Well the time was short but I type fast and sacrifice other things to write this letter. Thanks for everything and for your love and support!

Elder Horton

 A young woman that received her mission call

 The 4 Elders from last transfer and 2 young men from the ward

Carlos' baptism!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

490th chances


Hey family!!

Getting to know 3 new Elders and getting them up to speed in their new area hopefully went well.  Do you know any of them from past areas/zones? 
I know Elder Rockwood, I saw him "be born" in the mission (when he came to Brasil) in Mogi, when I was with Cosme and Mikulecky. He's from Colorado.

E. Longi got here with my son, Mikulecky and I saw him every now and then on the mission. He's from Oregon.

E. Souza is new new new NEWWWW!!!! He has like 6 days on the mission!!!! Haha he's being trained by E. Longi, his first son. He's Braslian.

What was your biggest challenge of the week?  
Help the other missionaries and my area and follow up with new people to visit and all that good stuff. But it was a rewarding week.

What was your greatest blessing of the week?
I love Sundays :) I love talking with the members, playing around with them, laughing with them, I love seeing investigators at church, I Really love seeing members interact with investigators, I also love going to members "Hey go meet that investigator!" And they do it, I love getting stuff done and resolving problems, I love being loved, I love using awesome ties and receiving complements, I love an Elder that makes it easier for me to be obedient, I love winning at cards :) Playing is fun too but I prefer to WIN!! Which I did :) Egyptian Rat Screw and Rummi. I'm the king! I made Manga shake (manga with milk and sugar!! AWESOMEEEEE!!!!) I love that still small voice and the certainty that comes with it that I'm doing the right things and I'm on the right path. I love following my Heavenly Father and His commandments. I love my loving leaders and the people that care about me and want what's best for me, especially, you mom and dad and James, Jon, Rie, Liz, Andrew, Shelem, Grandma and grandpa and everyone else.

I’m teaching the RS lesson next Sunday on prayer.  Do you have any thoughts or experiences with prayer from your mission or your life that I might share in my lesson?
I love prayer. I have a big testimony about the power of prayer, I have found various scriptures and parables about prayer including:

1)      Alma 31:38? (the last verse of the chapter)  “And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of aafflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in bfaith.”  
2)      and the parable about the persistent widow. I know that according to our faith and sincerity and purity, the Lord really responds our prayers and miracles really do happen in response to our prayers.

Some personal experiences on the mission:
I had a friend before the mission that I knew wasn't in the best path or making the best choices. I continued talking with the friend and keeping up the friendship and offering counsels when I could. But I think the most important thing I did was pray for the friend every day and fast weekly for this person. I prayed and worried more about this person than I did about my own investigators (which isn't necessarily a good thing) but I recognized this and it was part of my plead unto God: "God, I can't focus on my investigators because I'm so worried about my friend, please bless this friend to get on the right path so that I can focus on my investigators" I made this and many other pleas to God. I was very persistent and I knew that God could help me and wanted to help me and my friend.

Well what happened? One week, I get a letter, and my friend told me something that, to me, was a miracle. I don't think my friend recognized it as a miracle but I certainly recognized it as a response to all my prayers and fasts and felt the Holy Ghost in that moment confirming that it was divine intervention. After this moment, my friend just got better and better and didn't go back to having the same problems and today, is married and sealed in the temple. I know that God hears our prayers and answers them. He wants our happiness and salvation and that of those around us. Sometimes, he just wants to see our faith and perseverance. I learned a lot from this experience and it's something I've carried with me till today.

Another experience after this one. We were preparing to go to church and I was saying the prayer before we left, I felt inspired to ask that someone who wasn't planning on going to church, could go. And so I did, and what happened? Someone who wasn't planning on going, went! Much to everyone's surprise. Another similar experience. I felt inspired to ask to help us find someone on the way to church to go to church with us. So I did, and what happened? We found someone! And they went to church with us!
This was another principle I learned, our prayers have to be inspired as well, there's  scripture about this too...I think in D+C but I don't remember where. But the Holy Ghost will guide our prayers and so we should try and follow Him and what He inspires us to say. When it's inspired, it's 100 percent that it'll happen.

We were at lunch one of these days and Elder Rockwood, my new companion was getting like flavored flour with a spoon and he had gotten it with the spoon and then the fan rotated blowing full speed and blew it all in his face!!!! Man that was funny. I laughed for a good 30 seconds as did everyone else. Good times.

An excerpt from my letter to the president:
So 2 weeks ago, we had an interesting experience. It was Friday or Saturday and we were visiting an investigator and his wife and their son had been kind of reluctant to hear the messages. They both come in, angry, and complaining about how we were taking away their liberty and happiness with our visits because we were visiting them in the mornings and the son couldn't watch TV and we were waking up the mom (without wanting to). We didn't know that this was a problem, the last we heard, they'd wanted us to come in the morning because it was easier for them. In response to this, we said sorry a lot and were really sincere and humble and we could see the difference that our humility had on the family, they became more humble themselves.

Then the son started to complain about the church and the things we'd taught and what not and there were moments that I really wanted to just burn them até o pó and I was very tempted, but I didn't, neither did my companion. We used patience and our knowledge and faith to respond their questions and doubts with humility and we showed our diligence with them marking another day to come back and visit them to help them understand better our beliefs and the Church that we represent. We left their house and they were very friendly and smiling and laughing with us, we went there again this last week and explained everything better and this Sunday, the wife went to church! And liked it! So this to me was proof that really, we need to gain the attributes of Jesus Christ, patience, humility, faith, diligence, knowledge, everything, at all moments. If we hadn't been patient or loving or diligent, we would've cut them and they would've lost the opportunity to know the true church of God, but now, I firmly believe that the whole family will be baptized in the coming weeks. Because we were trying to be like our Savior.

I'm happy for new beginnings and opportunities to be better and second chances or even 490th chances. Thanks for all your love and support!

Elder Horton