Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Monday, March 30, 2015



Hey family!

With reference to the housing, see if you can get my like a google map link to the house so I can see where it is more or less. But it's definitely a viable option, where you said.

My letter to the president this week
Hey president

Things are going well, we have had 3 successful baptisms in the last 2 weeks and we have many investigators with great potential in the coming weeks! I'm really happy that I can show Elder Oliveira how to baptize. I remember when I was trained, we...zeroed? zeramos a primeira transferência e na segunda batizamos 3. I believe that Elder Oliveira has a great potential to be a great missionary. I see his desire to serve and his desire to help others and to be obedient. I believe the Lord has used us as instruments in His hands these past weeks in ways that we could never manage to do by ourselves. We were studying 12 semanas and were learning about teaching people and not lessons and we got talking about how much we try to have the gift of discernment. We talked about many ways that we can gain this gift and decided that we should pray in that moment so that the Lord could bless us with this gift so that we could be more effective missionaries. Elder Oliveira did the prayer and explained to the Lord why we wanted this gift, what we would do with it, why He should give it to us, and we used our faith believing that he could really bless us with this gift. When he finished the prayer, I tried saying something to him but he quickly left the room. After a minute or 2 he returned and said "I'm sorry for having left so fast, I just don't like others to see my emotions...I've only really felt the spirit 3 times in my life. And that was one of them." And the other 2 were when he asked if the Book of Mormon was true. So it was a very strong spiritual impression. And I really have perceived a change in him since this prayer. He's become more talkative and the people need to hear what he has to say and are interested and feel the truth of what he's saying.

I could tell more stories but I know there are 193 other letters that you need to read.

Thanks for everything president!
I trust in the Lord
Elder Horton

We baptized yesterday! Gabriel, a young man of 14 years was baptized, and his family was there too but they're not baptized yet, Rose (his grandma) and Meire (his mom) Meire needs to be married and Rose just needs to decide.

This week, the bishop asked us to teach and prepare for baptism an excommunicated member who's been going to church almost every Sunday for many years but now has the all clear to be rebaptized. That'll be a first for me, I've never taught and baptized an excommunicated member.

This weekend was full of activities for us! It was fun, and tiring, and productive. Productive because we had many investigators there and they did a lot of friendship with members!

We're trying to prepare 2 people for baptism this week! Cris (a girl) and Rose (the grandmother of Gabriel that was baptized yesterday) I'm very confident about Cris and I have faith about Rose.

Our Sunday yesterday was one of the busiest Sunday’s I've ever had on the mission. Meetings from 8 until 2 and then lunch at 4 and 2 distant appointments at night. But it was also one of the most rewarding Sundays

I really enjoyed hearing E Olivera’s conversion story.  How old was he when he was converted?
Like 17 or 18, fairly recent

So you’re teaching Meire??  That’s almost my name!! Meri!!  You’ll have to tell her that your mother’s name is like hers.  It’s probably not pronounced like mine, though…  Oh well.
You know, that's funny that you mention that, I hadn't even though of that yet! It's almost the same pronunciation too.

I don't know what else to say... I forgot to look in my journal to get ideas. So I'm just gonna close up my letter, it's a bit shorter today, sorry

Love you all!

Elder Horton

3-23-15 My favorite Brazilian foods


Hey Family!!!

President Andrew's response letter to my letter from last week.
Dear Elder Horton,
I appreciate your attitude about the work and your companion. I am really trying to break the tradition of climbing a ladder to leadership in the mission. I know that you can appreciate that. Time in the mission and positions don't mean a thing to the Lord. I firmly believe that, in the long run, it makes sense to have the best missionaries be the trainers. If a new missionary gets off on the right foot, he will be a great asset in the mission. I hope that that is the reason that you have been such a valuable missionary. 
President Andrew

Elder Olivera is doing well, he's becoming more and more conscious of what he needs to do to become a better missionary and he's determined to be better. He's also paying more attention to some things I do to win the love of the members and gain their confidence and thus, recieve references, help, and baptize para caramba. I hope it works out and that I can really show him how to baptize a lot of people so that he can baptize his whole mission.

I’d love to hear more about E Oliveira (or is it Elder Amoras by now?).  How did he choose the alternate name to use? 
That's his middle name. His full name is José Amoras de Olveira

What is his conversion story?
That's a very good question. He said that as a Jew, he studied a lot about a lot of different religions when he was a Jew. He even said that the people that knows more about Jesus Christ than any other people, are the very Jews, even though the majority don't believe in Jesus the Christ. So he was studying about the LDS religion and he said he found an old Book of Mormon in his aunt's house or something like that and started reading. He'd already read about the first vision and a bunch of other things. So he was reading the Book of Mormon and was touched to ask, in prayer, if that was really true, if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if God's church was restored through Joseph Smith. He said he received an answer but hardly couldn't believe it because it meant that everything he had learned was wrong (Imagine, a Jew that didn't believe in Christ, receiving an answer that not only was Jesus the Christ, but His church was on earth). So he asked again, again received an answer but was still doubtful. Asked a 3rd time, and he said that he didn't receive an answer the 3rd time immediately after praying. But he was getting a bus and on the bus saw 2 missionaries and said that was the answer for him the 3rd time. He went up to one of the missionaries, using a kipa (that Jewish hat thing) and told him something like "I just received an answer that Jesus is the Christ" and the missionary was perplexed and amazed by that. And that same week, he received all of the lessons and was baptized! And his mom and brother (who were also Jews) followed after him. His dad still wasn't baptized but he will be.

So we know you’re in to BYU for fall, and the mission president gave you permission to register for classes. What about housing?  Aunt Linda said that housing is pretty tight this fall because there are a lot of returning missionaries from that first wave and housing is filling up fast.  Let me know if you want me to do some looking for you or what.  Do you have any idea of who you might want to live with, or will you just live with who you get?
Yeah that makes sense....we should probably get on that then. I have No idea of who I want to live with. A lot of people on the mission are planning on living with each other but I'm forever alone :( No one asked me to live with them haha but that's okay. I'm good with whatever. My son did mention with me once, the possibility of living together. I just sent an email to him to see if he still wants too and I included your email mom so maybe later or another day you'll receive an email from him or from his mom.

As for housing goes, you know me mom, I don't like spending a lot of money, but I like things that are efficient. So like a house that's not too far from campus, that has the basics and is on the cheaper end.

Speaking of BYU and what not, i went to see the date to it’s next Monday! That really snuck up on me! I was not ready for that! I got back into my BYU profile too and saw all the courses that I still had to take and I shuddered a bit haha it's a really monumental task all of this and the housing and I want to try and apply for scholarships too to see if I can get some free's a lot of stuff. before I left for my mission, I had it all set up in my head how it was all gonna work out and the classes and the teachers and everything but now that I've been here over a year it's kind of all jumbled up and I have to refamiliarize myself again...fetch haha

How was your week?
This weekend, we had the opportunity to help marry, and baptize a couple here in the area! Elder Oliveira is pretty happy that we baptized. If things work out, we should baptize 2 more this Sunday, we'll see how it goes.

The wedding was pretty fun but it was a great rush to get it all ready so Friday and Saturday, that's all we did. I like the Brazilian wedding traditions :)  We were also marriage counselors to a couple that's having marital problems. We're going to involve the bishop too but a lot of times, people tell us about their problems and we try to help them.

We continue to see the Lord helping us and guiding us every day. He even uses the rain to guide us sometimes! Once, we were at a sister's house to get a curtain for the wedding and we were about to leave but then it started raining pretty hard and we decided to wait. And while we waited, the sister remembered to give us something that was pretty important! And then after a couple minutes, it stopped raining! I also notice that a lot of times, when we're on the street walking, it's sprinkling but when we're getting to where we're going or when we're already at where we're going, it starts to POUR! I think the Lord looks out for His servants. But then there are also other days where we're out walking and it is POURING and we get completely soaking wet haha My wife is going to be really pretty! Did you guys know that that's what we say here, when we get rained on, we say our wife is getting prettier!

O and this week at church, there had (does that make sense?...or is it there was?....) over 120 people in the sacrament meeting!!! Last week there were only 92. And we had 6 investigators there! So that makes me happy. I also got to see some old faces from when I was in Penha because they come to visit Sâo Mateus so that was good to see them :)

Aunt Linda was talking about some of the Brazilian foods that Bonnie loves – and she’s never even been to Brazil.  She experienced them in Boston.  Aunt Linda wanted to know what your favorite Brazilian foods were.
I love estroganofe, which I even did this last week!...with varied results...haha but I know what I can do better to make it over more yummy!
Churrasco! Nothing beats a good ole brasilean churrasco (like BBQ but just meat! no hot dogs or hamburgers!)
Lasagna here is awesome too! I don't remember how amerian lasagna is...but i think it's pretty different.
There are others but these are my top 3 :) oh and pizzaaaaa!!!

Who are you teaching?
A family. Rose, Meire, Flavio, and Gabriel. Gabriel and Rose have gone to church like 4 times already and Meire went for the first time this last Sunday! when we first went there to visit them the first week in the area, Meire said she couldn’t go to church because there were a lot of people there and she had a week immune system (she fought cancer) but this last week we went there with a member and they, especially her, did a Lot of questions and they got very interested to get to know the Church of Christ that we represent. So she went! Flavio would've gone too but he was out of town :( we're hoping to baptize Rose and Gabriel this week and then Meire the other week and then Flavio the other week!

Did you know that May 10 is Mother’s Day??  You know what that means!!!!
Wow....already???, that's not next month, we still got a whole month between now and then haha. But yeah it's getting closer!

What are you studying in the scriptures this week?
I read "The missionary's little book of answers" Which was awesome, had some great explanations for some questions that I'd always been curious about.
I started to read "the great apostasy" By James E. Talmage.
I continue my study of the Old Testament with the manual to help me out and I'm loving the stories and lessons of the Old Testament. The sacrifices and rituals and what not is always annoying but I'm reading it all so that I can say that I read the whole bible, plus the manual helps.

What have you learned from other missionaries this week?
Be good don't be bad....haha just kidding. We stayed up late one night talking about a bunch of things, including illuminatis and the meaning of revelations from the bible and what not, it's always fun to talk about things like this with other missionaries.

Has E Olivera had any big adjustments to mission life?
It's been hard for him getting up early every day haha if it wasn't for me, I know he'd sleep in. He also gets a bit trunky sometimes or gets distracted thinking about things that he used to do and what not, but that's normal, it's not impeding him.

Another long letter, I hope you're happy mom haha like I always say, I know a lot of missionaries that don't write a quarter of what I write. Good thing I know how to type.

I love you all!

Elder Horton

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Women's Day!!!!!



HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!!!! Was it women's day in the states yesterday too? or just here..?

I liked hearing about your experience with the tickets for the basketball game. A lot of people would've gotten really annoyed and frustrated that it didn't get there but then you guys went to the actual game and bought tickets for a lot cheaper and got better seats which is awesome! One could even say that the Lord had His hand in it to help you guys out.

155 at church was a lot, and this week, there was 158!

I’m glad you enjoyed the sweet pizza!  Was it like a Nutella pizza?  Did it have anything on it besides chocolate?  Not that you would need anything more – you KNOW I love chocolate!!
I wish it was nutella pizza! Man that would be the most delicious thing EVER!!!! But it was close, it was just awesomeness in every bite. It haddd strawberry syrup..and one other thing but the strongest was chocolate.

So how was your week?
My week was good, one of the best weeks of the transfer.

We went to an English class because one of our investigators that's going to seminary invited us and that was a lot of fun! And hard was cool to speak English with them and answer their questions and what not. We invited all of them to go to seminary and church, we'll see if they'll go or not.

I traded 2 ties yesterday and I'm gonna trade two more before I go away. One with bishop, one with Stake president, another with an awesome guy that reminds me of James (trunkeza!) and another with the ward secretary. I love trading ties :)
Nos tivemos uma reunião de zona bem I typed all of that without even realizing that i was typing in portuguese

What do you like about being a zone leader? 
I like the opportunity that I have to serve and to help the missionaries in the zone. I also like the opportunity I have to be a better person and to learn many things as a leader.

What are your biggest concerns with being a zone leader?
The work of the missionaries and the obedience and the results.

When are the next transfers?  I know you want to stay where you are – I hope you do!!
Tomorrow! I'm being transferred. After only 2 transfers in the area. Yeah I wanted to stay but I know that the Lord has a plan in all of this. I don't know where I'll be going still but I know that I’ll be training again and that I'll be opening up an area.

What inspired you recently?
The word of the Lord always inspires me. I'm also inspired by inspiring people, like the bishop in Penha, he is inspiring. He inspires hope and happiness in the ward members and people around him. If the Lord calls me to be bishop one day, I hope I'll be like him.

This will be the easiest transfer ever because I managed to get us a ride to the mission office! So I'm happy for that.

I forgot to look in my journal before coming...sooo I'm out of stuff to say.

The Lord is merciful

Elder Horton

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lessons from missionary companions

Hey family!

It's crazy to think that Bonnie is already home...that's so weird!!!...

I found out some names of favelas here in Penha that I thought were really funny like esmaga sapo which means, smash frog or pé sujo, dirty foot haha or morro da fé hill of faith. Speaking of the hill of faith, we were chilling there enjoying the view (because it really is a hill) and some guys came out with and said "hey German, go away! What are you doing here?!?" And one of them had a gun, we asked forgiveness and started our way down the hill. But I wasn't worried, we weren't doing anything that was going to give them a reason to use the gun. Rockwood even things that it wasn't a real gun.

Yesterday, guess how many people were at church!....155 people the whole last transfer, normal was like 120. Last week there was 141 and this week 151. We were talking about this with the bishop in the ward counsel and he said "and we haven't even started yet" with a smile on his face. He has a goal to double the frequency of the ward in 8 months and he says that that's because his faith is small! Seeing the numbers jump already I said "hey bishop, we don't even need 8 months, we only need like 4" And he replied "my faith is small." I also threw out an idea to take out some benches to make the members sit closer and get to know each other better and the bishop said "no, we need to leave them, we're going to fill them all up!" He's an awesome bishop, in the ward counsel, we just talked about missionary work and he testified of how missionary work resolves all the problems of the Ward. So from now on, this is a missionary ward. And the best part, it's something that anyone can do, it's not just in Brasil that this is possible but really anywhere in the world, it just depends on our faith and desire and dedication.

I got a letter from the activity day girls in Greer, SC wishing me a Merry Christmas, that was nice. But I didn't recognize a single one of them...has it really been that long?? I only recognized their leader/teacher. I think it was sister rouse? older lady, white hair, a little rounded out (don't tell her I said that) I don't know if it was Rouse or someone else but I recognized her at least. But that was nice to get the letter.

Friday (2 weeks ago), we visited Elaene, the less active daughter of Judite who is returning to church now. And she had a neck brace on. Saturday, still had the neck brace and we wanted her to be able to go to church so we offered a blessing which she accepted. And in the prayer as we were leaving, I asked the Lord specifically that He could heal her in the night so that she could wake up without pain and go to church. Well she didn't go to church. But after Sunday, like Tuesday or Wednesday, we went there and she didn't have the neck brace anymore! I was like "Sweeet! When did that happen? Today, Monday?" assuming that it was after Sunday because she didn't go to church. "It actually was better already by Sunday morning" " see! Prayer works, blessings work, the priesthood is real, and God wanted you to go to church!" and still she didn't go :/ Oh well, at least it was a proof to me of the reality of the priesthood we hold and the power of faith and prayer. It served to at least strengthen my testimony.

Man....we were hungry one of these nights and we decided to order pizza...but not just any pizza...but a sweet pizza. Like a dessert pizza. Man that was so good. It was covered in chocolate but I mean like Covered. Like a good half inch! That was so deliciously good. I think we're gonna buy it again this week :)

I went to do a baptismal interview of a Vitoria in another area and we got there and she was taking a bath so we sat down and waited a while and talked with her dad while we waited. After a while, she comes out of the a towel. I looked at her real quick, said oi as did the other elder then we both looked awkwardly away quickly and we just looked at each other while Vitoria ran upstairs haha. It was an interesting experience that was also kind of funny for me that I thought I'd share with you guys

The seminary here is freaking awesome!! We went there 2 of the nights that there was seminary. The teacher is knowledgeable and fun and interesting and worried about the needs and progress of the kids and afterwards, they always do something fun like ping pong or hide and seek or soccer or some activity (it helps that seminary starts 7pm) but it's way cool because everyone loves it and invites their friends who aren't members. One of the nights, there were 5 nonmembers at seminary! Wow! Can you say baptism?? I'm really excited to work with seminary to help youth and their families come to Christ through the waters of baptism

What are you learning from reading the Old Testament again?
Like it's my first time reading the Old Testament, it's just that I stopped reading in Leviticus and then I started again. I really am loving the little treasures of knowledge and wisdom that I'm finding, some things are really tedious or boring but the manual helps a lot.

Thinking back on your mission so far, can you name one thing that you have learned from your experience with each of your companions??  Like name each companion and what you learned from your time with them.  I think that would be interesting to know.
Steele: obedience, diligence, the missionary lessons
Cosme: Patience, love, humility
Garcia: Obedience
Mikulecky: responsibilities of father :) 
Orellana: diligence
Rivera: humility
Bolognini: being happy, excited, focused on baptism, how to make brothers on the mission, Thinking more of others and less of myself
Y. Gomes: the importance of trust and confidence in any relationship
Rockwood: humility, obedience, diligence

Well, the time's about up, I gots to go soon. Love you guys!

Elder Horton