Monday, September 15, 2014

week 14

first of all... its cold here. already! ahh! i didn't think it would come this soon but here we are in coats already. mom... can you send my winter clothes??? haha #canadaprobs. but what a blessing it is to be a missionary! i love it everyday. i just want to say THANK YOU for all the notes from my family and friends for my 100 day mark. those letters really inspired me and i am grateful for so much love, prayers, and support! i love you all :) you really do grow to appreciate ALL your loved ones when you are away on a mission. the Lord is blessing us so much here in Toronto. we have had so many miracles this week, its hard to even fathom! more health probs of course, we did get rid of the bed bugs luckily! also i got a cavity filled and my retainer fixed which made 2 days at the dentist. a struggle with travel time cause it takes quite a bit of our day, but we worked super hard with all our other time, and it really payed off :)

we have been focusing on finding new investigators (a zone goal of finding atleast 2 per companionship this week. easy for english, harder for spanish but totally possible!) and it came to sunday where we only had 1 new. after talking to literally everyone and meeting at least 20 spanish people, all rejecting us... we prayed with so much faith that on sunday that we could find just 1 more. about 7:00 last night we got a referral, rang the doorbell, and met the cutest little couple from El Salvador :):) not only did we find 1... but we found TWO! 2 hours before the week was over. MIRACLE. another miracle would be when John + Corey called us with a trunk full of groceries again, and the nicest member in our ward, Andrioni who has fed us all week. MIRACLE x2. Simon has kept himself away from the cigarettes all week long and is ready to bebaptized this sunday! another MIRACLE. sadly, we were all caught up in God helping us so much that we only had 1 investigator at church... hahaha probably cause we usually have 6 that all just come without us having to say anything and God was trying to tell us to work for it. we are definitely humbled now :)

Thursday was my first Zone Conference in the mission :) its an 8 hour meeting and we had to get up at 5 just to travel to it! #bigmissionprobs but wow it was worth it. definitly a re-boost spirit FILLED meeting! our mission president is an inspired man. we learned so much, and i can't even tell you how much my testimony grew just from that meeting. i love this gospel! we learned how not to fear man. to remember that "i am a disciple of Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people. (3 Nephi 5:13) to use our authority and declare the gospel. the spirit filled the room as missionaries testified of Jesus Christ and his Atonement. i'll never forget how touching it was to hear this quote from an elder "ill forever be grateful for the sacrifice i have made to serve my mission, because i learned its not a sacrifice for all i've gained." SO TRUE. i feel im gaining just as much as the people i'm teaching.

1 last experience, we taught a lesson this week with a few members, an investigator, and a few less actives. everyone is in a very different position spiritually, but the spirit filled the room as Hermana Dudley and i bore testimony of the gospel and the power in the temples, through the priesthood, through the atonement, and in the scriptures. our investigator was in tears, as was everyone (including us) in the room. the spirit you feel when testifying is like none other, espiecially since it was in spanish, and instead of me thinking about how to speak/conjugate, the Holy Ghost was testifying through me, and i was able to teach without even thinking about the words to say in spanish. i am forever grateful for the gift of tounges!

have a good week :) read your scriptures!
xoxo, Hermana Horton

Monday, September 8, 2014

week 13

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what an awesome week. we have worked really really hard and it is starting to really pay off. lots of service this week, especially for our awesome ward. good news! Ofelia was able to make it to church so she was finally confirmed :) Betty (her daughter) was there too of course, and actually as of now, we aren't really sure if she needs to be baptized. she has a little bit of a disability, and anyways... that's still being figured out!

Simon is AWESOME. and even though he has chosen to go to the English ward and be baptized there, we got permission to continue teaching him!!! YAY!! we are so happy about it :) yesterday was his smoking quit date, and it was a long first day for him... luckily he came to all 3 hours of both the English + Spanish ward just to be at the church instead of anywhere else wanting a cigarette. we are praying so hard for him... after 25 years of smoking i have faith he can quit forever! he has already quit drinking and has been clean for 5 months... i know he can do this too!
this week was my first Zone training. it was awesome and our whole Zone is really pumped up about the fact that the "Book of Mormon" play is starting in Toronto soon. for those that don't know... this play was made by "South Park" not by the church, and is definitely very offensive to everything we believe! but hey... guess what we are going to stand out at the entrance and pass out Book of Mormons and talk to everyone :) it's gonna be awesome! #perksofmymission  #bestmissionever Sam Reeves is in my Zone. that was so fun to see her! someone from home. also i got a sweeeeet package from T$ and some packages from my mom/family. plus some letters from the Peerys + my cousins. so much love! i feel so blessed.
the work is on fire here! we are constantly on the hunt to find more and more and more spanish people to teach. we did find a new investigator who we put on for a baptismal date named Fanny :) actually funny story... Ofelia found her! shes converting people already haha. Fanny is on date for the end of Sep. but it just wouldn't be normal here without something crazy happening to Hermana Horton + Hermana Dudley. today... we found BED BUGS. surprise! after several days of some weird rash, we did find the actual bugs. always an adventure but we're never gonna let Satan get to us!
i love this Gospel. its amazing how blessed we are because of it. i feel myself continually growing closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. im grateful for so much, especially for the opportunity to serve Him.
xoxo Hermana Horton

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

week 12

what a week! definitely a weird and unusual one. my comp was bitten by a spider (or something?) and it got WAY swollen, huge, and red. she got a fever too so we have spent a lot of time inside since she can't walk at all! we also had to make a trip to the doctor (she has medicine now!)... and the dentist since my retainer broke. (also i have a massive 911 cavity. greeaaaat!) ALSO we got stuck in an elevator and Ofelia didn't show up to her confirmation on Sunday. yeahhhhh its been quite the week. luckily we haven't lost our faith, we have found ways to be effective and productive inside, and we also went on splits for a little so i could go to some appointments we had with our investigators. Satan is really attacking our work though, and thats because our area is on fire! and he knows it! but the Lord does too and he has blessed us with small and simple miracles that have really made us work hard :) this whole week has been a really humbling experience because there was one particular night where i remember thinking a lot about myself and how i felt..... and it was that next morning that Hermana Dudley had the bite and when everything started. i wanted to just serve and serve and serve her. literally RIGHT as i was thinking of myself i realized i just needed to serve her. and that's what really made me happy was helping her! so humbling. i've been praying to develop Christlike attributes stronger and i know the Lord is answering my prayers. i am grateful for the opportunity to grow so much as a missionary.

so yeah, Ofelia didn't show up to her confirmation on Sunday, some miscommunication with a member and their phone was broken too. (see what i mean about Satan in this work.....) luckily she is still stronger than ever and we are planning on this Sunday! Betty, her daughter, has a follow up about her hand soon then she will have a baptismal date as well. our investigator Simon is still so awesome, we had a great lesson with him this week! we are sad because we might have to turn him over to English missionaries/ward soon :( it just breaks my heart. i wish we could continue teaching him but he gets more from English and since our lessons are usually Spang-lish... we told him he should pray about switching. man it makes me sad since he is progressing so much and we have been teaching him since day 1 but i know God's plan is more important than mine and we want what is best for him!
we have been blessed with finding a lot of new people to teach, now its just figuring out who is really prepared! sadly we have had to cancel a lot of appointments scheduled because of foot probs but we just remember that everything happens for a reason! God will bless us as missionaries as long as we are exactly obedient. i have really been learning so much this week about our loving Heavenly Father and how much he plays a part in this work. we have had a lot of study time too and i have such a big LOVE for the scriptures! i just want to read them all day long. we can learn so much from the Book of Mormon. i know it is true. i want everyone to read it:) me + Hermana Dudley have also been blessed with the opportunity to teach ESL every Tuesday and Saturday! we offer free English here as a service, and use it as a finding tool. we teach the class A and it is so fun!
its been 3 months now which is pretty crazy.... i have loved every minute of it! i love being a missionary. i love my Savior Jesus Christ. i love the scriptures... i love this Gospel! i know its true:)

Monday, August 25, 2014

week 11

it has been a pretty weird week! we had an off schedule but hey, missionary life is always a surprise! im just thrilled right now, because transfer calls were last night and i am here to stay in my area with Hermana Dudley! we were sure that it would be that way but there is always a chance. i love her and this area and we are excited to kill it. also we are both sick right now *blowing our noses every 5
minutes* #companionsspreadingsickness #missionaryprobs

there were some pretty amazing highlights for sure! mainly....
OFELIA'S BAPTISM!!! yesterday :) so amazing. she has been waiting for so long (20 years of being taught!) and was so so happy and felt so clean. right after she said "Siente rico esto!" (this feels SO good).
Hermana Dudley and i sang in the program and the spirit was so strong.
i love bringing people to this amazing Gospel! her daughter Betty will be baptized shortly as well :) as soon as her hand is better!

we also got the special opportunity of going to the mission home on Thursday, for a follow up training meeting with all the new missionaries/comps with Pres. & Sis. Clayton! (we got to drive too...
haha that was weird!) it was such an AMAZING meeting. it made me really grateful to be lucky enough to be in the greatest mission in the whole wide world :):):) the spirit filled the room as we all bore testimony of how much we have grown in just 6 weeks. its crazy, because i really feel like i have already grown so much as a missionary. in only 6 weeks my testimony has grown out the ROOF. i feel like i am converting myself unto the Lord, just as much as i am converting others. i have become so humbled and diligent and can't wait to grow even more. this mission is such a blessing for me. i got to see my MTC comp there too!!! that was awesome! i missed her.
also... we found out a lot of new info about how missionaries are going to be so much more involved with proselyting through the internet. i guess we are getting ipads soon?? the work is hastening!!!
(everyone go check this out and participate!

this week we also did more service for the same family from India. we are literally taking down every green thing we see in their backyard hahaha. we got the elders + a member + one of our investigators Simon (who is really progressing!) to come help us out too. another experience that happened Friday, we had just gotten out of visiting with Ofelia/Betty, when we were on our way to visit a part member family, the Castro's. we had a member, Hno Ospina, on the way too, when the Castro's called and canceled. pretty upset, i had this sudden revelation to call one of our investigators, Raul. he said he could meet us at the church and we ended up having a WAY awesome spiritual lesson with him and Hno Ospina! goes to show that everything happens for a reason :) especially in the Lords work!

bus + subway contacting continues to be an adventure :) one of the greatest part about it is finding out where the people are from. holy so many countries of people i meet everyday! the best is when i meet someone who has never heard of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has been restored and am able to introduce this amazing blessing into their lives! wow. being a missionary is the best :) i feel so blessed.

the gospel is true. i love it with all my heart. im a disciple of Jesus Christ, & i am here to serve Him :) how lucky am i to join so many others in this marvelous work! let us do all we can in spreading this true message to bless millions of lives.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

week 10

HOLA! what an awesome week! wow, i can't even believe how much we have seen the hand of the Lord in our missionary work this week. He works in miraculous ways. what a blessing it has been! my testimony has really grown so much already as a missionary. i've noticed it a lot this week when in street/bus contacting, people deny the Mormons or what we believe. i am able to stand up for what i believe and testify of what i know to be true! we have been a little slow to find new investigators, but we have faith the Lord is preparing people to place in our path :) we're sure to talk to everyone so we can find them!
-- we had some awesome spiritual lessons with our investigator Simon this week... he has accepted a baptismal date for Sep. 14 and agreed to a smoking stop date as well! he is diving into the scriptures lately and it is so cool to watch :) im excited for him.
-- had the opportunity to do some service for an Indian man this week (who ended up being a millionaire....???? so cool!) who hurt his back and can't clean his yard. the weeds were huge and it was actually way fun haha
-- had a great FHE thursday night with some investigators/members/kids. we taught L3, the gospel :) i love my ward!
-- had lots of lessons with Ofelia & Betty this week. Ofelia is getting baptized this sunday!!! i am so excited for her! Betty will too as soon as her broken wrist is healed :) they are so ready to be baptized. every time we start to teach them something they're like "oh we've been keeping that commandment for years!!!" haha they are awesome.
-- taught our new investigator Raul... everything about the gospel made so much sense to him it was so cool! "oh yeah of course... we definitely need 2 books to testify of Jesus Christ!" "so the authority was lost... is it back now?" *taught the Restoration* "wow that makes so much sense. so we have a prophet now?" an awesome lesson, and one i felt like i was able to teach really well
-- had the miracle of groceries this week. a stranger approached me and my comp late one night with a trunk full of groceries (he got my address from my mom... FB connection) i cried and cried.... God is REAL. and he watches out for His missionaries :)
it's amazing how my spanish is coming along. i can never translate everything that the people say in spanish, but somehow, i know exactly what they are talking about. the Holy Ghost places the knowledge in my head and i am able to teach/testify/answer questions! the gift of tounges is so REAL. and while i am not perfect yet, it's definitely coming along :) i am loving this work so much, i love being a mouthpiece for my Savior Jesus Christ. i am trying my hardest to develop and perfect Christlike attributes each and everyday. the church is true and i love spreading it here in Toronto! and hey... never forget that we are all in this together.... all you members at home... help the missionaries! we are all missionaries :)
Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. He loves us! He guides this work :) thanks for all the love and support. i feel so blessed to be a misisonary!


Monday, August 11, 2014

week 9

had another great week here in Toronto! i am growing to love it more and more everyday :) this week i went on my first exchange. i went with another companion, Sister Stoddard for 24 hours to a new area. we had a lot of fun together and i learned so much from her! i learned how important it is to put everything on the alter of sacrifice and become a consecrated missionary. it really helped me a lot, and i am willing to give the Lords work everything i have! i am not here for me, i am here to serve Him. i am here to bring His children the truth. after being away from my comp for even 10 minutes i realized how much i LOVE her. hahaha i missed her so much! i was happy to be with her and in our area again :) i was in a car area for that 24 hours and speaking/teaching in English too. while it was great, i found how much i missed where i am supposed to be, and speaking the language i have been called to speak! even when i don't always understand the lessons, i love teaching in Spanish :) oh! also on exchanges i got to teach ESL. we teach english in our mission and use that as a finding tool :) it was awesome!
we have been blessed to find a lot of new investigators this week. not all of them are progressing but we are happy they have been placed in our path :) yesterday right before church we decided to just call a bunch of people and invite them to come! we called this one random number, Raul. he was like... okay! and he came for his first time and even stayed for a baptism after. it was so awesome, and i know he felt the spirit so strong because i could feel it right there with him :)  we are also still teaching Simon who has such a desire to change & follow Christ, it's amazing. i love testifying to him of the truthfulness of this Gospel. our investigators Ofelia/Betty (the ones who fell at church... Betty broke her hand! yikes.) were also blessed this week with a TON of food/furniture from a neighbor who was moving. they came to Canada from Mexico with literally nothing, and now they have more food then us.... hahaha its amazing though. they have so much faith! and faith works miracles. they are being baptized Aug. 24 :)
our mission president has reminded us that as missionaries, we need to think of our own conversion too. the Lord is converting us just as much as He is converting the people we are teaching. i think that idea is amazing, and i want to really challenge myself as a missionary. i want to become as Christlike as i can be, completely converted unto the Lord. an awesome quote from President Uchtdorf i read this week, "as we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands. our eyes, His eyes. and our heart, His heart. follow the light that the Savior provides." i really want the people i teach & talk to, to feel the Saviors love. and feel as if the Savior is speaking to them. i want so badly for people to come unto Jesus Christ and realize His Gospel has been restored on the earth today!
few funny moments of the week: Hermana Dudley fell in the subway station.... hahah TWICE. i died!!! we also got off the subway like 6 stops late the other day cause we were talking to so many people.... haha #missionaryprobs. saw 50 lost cat signs of course (they are literally everywhere here? uhhhh what?) saw a couple men pantsless and about 100 men hit on us. it's a good life :)  
i love being a missionary!!!!! the church is true :) Heavenly Father loves you.
xoxo, Hermana Horton

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

week 8

wow, such a great week! very hard, but very rewarding. this week we were lucky to have a lot of miracles. and even after having a few days where every single appointment gets canceled all in the same 10 minutes (really though.... every single appointment hahaha i just wanted to scream) i know Heavenly Father is guiding this work and that when some things don't happen, God has better things in store :) and i have really tried to apply that with my companion this week! and we have sought out all the miracles we could, especially when our days don't go how we think they will. it's amazing what being an obedient and hard working missionary can do for the work of the Lord. we have also learned that everything is in God's timing, and we don't always see "the fruit of our labors". we talk to like 50 people a day, and pass out pass along cards to everyone. bus, subway, street contacting, everyone. but we don't always see success obviously! its all in Gods timing :) i know that's true! and as we do our part as missionaries, the Lord promises to do His. our success as missionaries is based on OUR commitment to find, serve and teach.
so here are some funny and crazy stories of things that happened this week
>>  we brought our 2 investigators from Mexico to church on Sunday. after traveling to get them, we get to the church and the daughter fainted while walking down the stairs... so they both tumbled down! it was really scary, and we thought they were okay, but in the middle of sacrament meeting we ended up having to call 911 for an ambulance. pretty crazy Sunday for Hermana Dudley and i hahaha. luckily she is okay, but she did break her hand. hopefully they are still committed to baptism and we didn't freak them out too much???? haha just kidding :) they are!
>>  found a new investigator through street contacting named Simon who is probably the most prepared person i have ever met!! he wants to change so much in his life and has such a desire to do good. he knows we are an answer to prayers! and seeing him just LOVE our message and lesson about the Restoration of the true church on the earth almost just brought me to tears. the spirit was so strong. he has never heard of the church, and told us he has been searching, and doing everything he can to please Jesus Christ. he is AWESOME and will definitely be baptized soon :)
>>  i invited a stranger to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized this week. haha that was fun! they challenge us to do that sometimes during contacting and i felt the prompting.... and the man said YES! so awesome! complete stranger. sadly he is English speaking so we can't teach him, but we turned him to the other missionaries. i hope in the future he comes unto Christ and is baptized :)
>>  we had a lesson with an investigator named Elizabeth this week and it was the first lesson yet where i have understood EVERYTHING in Spanish!!!!! it felt so amazing. i was finally able to teach and testify of what i really wanted to say.... and i actually knew what was going on hahaha. (always a struggle.) i know it was through the power of the Holy Ghost that i was able to do that. it was amazing!
missionary work is hard but rewarding and i try to soak up every minute of it :) everyone should go on a mission. God has chosen US to do this work for Him of bringing His children to the truth because He wants US to grow as well. the world needs our help. sometimes i feel so sad that so many don't know of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and i just want to tell everyone!!!
i just have to share something from Elder Holland, "you only get one chance to serve a mission. it's your responsibility, your duty, to use it to its fullest. come out of your mission PROUD of what you have done." <--- :="" all="" and="" are="" cheering="" count="" every="" for="" gonna="" here="" it="" last="" love="" loved="" make="" many="" me="" means="" minute="" my="" of="" on="" ones="" support="" thanks="" that="" the="" to="" u="" world="">
the church is true :) go spread the gospel!
xoxo, Hermana Horton

Monday, July 28, 2014

week 7

hola hola hola!

this week was full of miracles. so many that Hermana Dudley and i just couldn't help but tear up as they kept on happening. God is aware of us! and he has prepared many people to hear our message, and put them in our path for us to teach. it is truly amazing. we haven't gotten as lost this week on buses/subways, so we are happy about that :):) oh, also they have some killer mexican food here. BOO YAH.

my favorite miracle of the week. we went to contact a former investigator (in a very sketchy area might i add) named Olivia. we get to her room, and find 2 ladies standing outside talking with her. we all head inside and sit down. the 2 ladies had just come from Mexico, a mom + daughter named Ofelia + Betty. they literally have nothing and have health problems :( ... and Olivia provided them with everything. clothes, food, and an apartment! so amazing. anyways, they have heard all the lessons and right as we sat down they said "oh! you're missionaries! yeah we wanna be baptized as soon as possible!" haha Hermana Dudley and i were like WHAT! woah! so awesome! can't help but thank those missionaries in Mexico who prepared them for us :) so, Sunday comes and we had to get them to church. of course they don't know there way around since they are brand new to here, so we went to get them. they had no bus pass (no job, no money, nothing) and so we tried to dig for enough change but only found enough for 1, $3 bus pass. we walk out of the apartment knowing God would provide a way to get to church. we see a man and ask where the closest ATM is, he asks what we need change for, then pulls out exactly $3!!! i could have burst into tears. such a miracle, Heavenly Father knows and loves us so much. he knew all Ofelia + Betty wanted was to go to church, and he provided a way. missionary work is incredible.

we have found a few new investigators this week which has been a big blessing. Heavenly Father has put several people in our paths. we have about 9 now and we are trying to get them all to progress! also, as missionaries, we teach all 5 lessons now before AND after baptism, so this week we had a lesson with our new recent converts. we had it in the chapel, and even though i could only understand about half of what was going on, the spirit was incredibly strong. i am always so amazed when i can't understand the Spanish but can still feel the spirit and somehow know what is going on, and testify during the lesson. it doesn't always work that way, and i have definitely gotten discouraged this week when i feel like i can't contribute cause i can't understand. but the Lord knows me, and he has helped me every single day. and my Spanish is improving :) i can understand and speak more! now the issue is, just finding those that speak Spanish in this massive city. there is SO much culture here! i haven't met a single American, and probably only 5 Canadians. and every Spanish speaker is from somewhere new too. its crazy!!!

days are long... but probably my favorite part of everyday is personal study :) i have learned so much, especially from the Book of Mormon. it's amazing. i have been focusing a lot on Christ's life and how much he has done for us. haha sometimes i just want to study forever :) but also i love talking to people here, and i love testifying of the restored Gospel. there are so many people we get to talk to everyday it's awesome! even when people refuse to listen, we just tell them God loves them so much :) the work is hastening! i love being a missionary, even on the hard days :) i love you all!

xoxo, Hermana Horton