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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

week 6

HOLA friends and family!

wow it has been quite the week! i am officially in the mission field. right in downtown Toronto. and for those that know NYC... picture that. i am in the straight up ghetto with skyscrapers and all. haha its crazy and nerve-wracking but pretty awesome! we have definitely gotten lost on the subways a LOT. and the buses are quite the adventure. also it has rained a ton. overall its a lot to take in but its been super great!!!

so we left monday morning at 3am, arrived in Toronto around 3pm, then had to wait around for lost baggage. we finally were greeted by our Mission President + wife, the Claytons... plus some AP's! they are awesome! the first night we had dinner, and only 6 of us Sisters got to sleep at the mission home with the Claytons, me and my comp were SO happy we got that opportunity :) the legit old home of the Ballards. pretty cool and so lucky!! Tuesday we got to meet our trainers/new companions. my new comp is Hermana Dudley. she has been out a year and she is so awesome! very obedient and hard working and has already taught me a lot :) our area is called Christie South, its downtown Toronto and one of the few areas with a Spanish ward. yay!!

we live in a little teeny house. we had literally no food all week, so we have survived off of peanut butter toast with raisins.. oatmeal and then some ritz crackers which ended up being full of ants. hahaha YUM! pretty happy we get to go grocery shopping today :) since this area is brand new to Hermana Dudley too, we are "white washing". which means we don't know our way around, don't know any of our investigators, and don't know this area whatsoever! so that has been pretty crazy but we managed to meet a few investigators after enough calling and visiting :)
our investigators: Julio Sandoval, Elizabeth + Claret (she was baptized the day i got here! just gotta convert her mom:), Maria + Esteban (the dad is a less active, we want to convert the mom and son!), and Maria + Alberto (who are now members! they were baptized on Friday! so so great :) and even though we have only taught them once, it was my first baptism here!) we are trying to talk to a lot of people too so we can find even MORE investigators. talking to people is a lot harder than i thought it would be, but i have learned the importance of talking to EVERYONE. and every single person i talk to is from a new country. literally, this city IS the world. so many languages and cultures, i think i have probably only seen 5 "white" people all week. crazy! i already have a list of 20 countries of people i have talked to. (iraq, greece, korea, portugal, italy, bolivia, cuba.... holy.) it makes it a little difficult to find those who speak Spanish but we have faith :)
yesterday was our first day of church here, i didn't understand much (hahaha... straight up gringo) but its okay, i have faith in the gift of tounges :) i did have to bear my testimony... it was great though! the work is hastening here, its amazing. i have tried my hardest to really JUMP IN and work hard. and it is starting to really pay off. and as me and my Hermana are walking the streets of this crazy city while its pouring rain, looking for people to teach, we constantly have a smile on our face as we sing us some Hymns :)
i am alive and safe and working hard! i love you all, thank you for your prayers and encouragement. i have relied so much on my Savior Jesus Christ since i have been here. i know He is there for me and has really helped me out. there have been SO many miracles just since i have been here. the Lord is watching over me, and i couldn't be more grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
xoxo, Hermana Horton

Thursday, July 17, 2014

i made it....

on monday i talked to my family on the phone for one hour and then headed out from salt lake to canada.  i made it to toronto where i got to meet my new companion and my mission president.  so happy to be here and can't wait to get started on the work!

Friday, July 11, 2014

week 5


crazy to think in 3 days i leave for Canada, my time has really flown at the MTC! my Spanish is nowhere near perfect, or even somewhat fluent, but i am more than ready to enter the field. when i know i have the Lord by my side always, i have nothing to worry about :) this week was great! we were happy about the 4th here in the MTC, because we got to see all the hot air balloons (my fav!) and later we were able to watch the fireworks. they also had us watch the movie 17 Miracles. and after watching that i told myself to never complain about cafeteria food again... hahaha really though. they gave up so much to do anything to serve the Lord. we are blessed. 

we were able to have another member of the Quorum of the 12 speak to us again Tuesday :) that makes 4! we feel pretty lucky knowing this has never happened at the MTC for a LONG time. we heard from Elder Neil L. Andersen. he spoke on the influence of the Holy Ghost and how to heed it's promptings. the Spirit filled the room as he spoke. he shared amazing thoughts with us, but one of my favorite parts was when he testified. i realized that night what an amazing opportunity i have to be a representative of Jesus Christ. i can't wait to invite as many people as i can to come unto Him :) i realized how real the Holy Ghost is, and how much i rely on it. this week i have also become VERY grateful for the Book of Mormon. i just all around really love this Gospel. can you tell im excited to share it?

story for you... when apostles come, they broadcast the devotional to all the other MTC's in the world. as we were singing in the choir, the camera came RIGHT up on my face, and while we can't look at the camera (haha cause that would be weird) i saw it in my peripheral vision and it took everything i had not to look up at myself. keen's face went global! also, we have become really really close with everyone in our zone. having 18 Elders makes for a real good time :) we play kickball and 4 square together and i am actually really sad about having to say goodbye to all of them. they call us the "Her-mamas" haha too great.

we have made good use of all our time left here in the MTC. we are learning lots and trying to take in as much Spanish as possible. i will miss our teachers so much :( they are the greatest. our lessons are becoming better, as i rely on the Spirit while teaching i find i don't even have to worry about what to say next. it's pretty amazing. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. as Hermanas, we sang "A Child's Prayer". it was pretty cool :) also pretty cool to have everyone bear testimony in Espanol. very great day.

funny moment of the week. teaching a lesson with our real investigator Mercedes (we are done teaching her now since we are leaving :( sad about it.) and after learning lots about Jospeh Smith she says "so is he like a Saint for you guys?" (she is Catholic) we go on to tell her about how we don't really call him that and how we don't really use that word in our church "oh so you don't have Saints in your church?" "noooo we don't really use that word." "oh okay, well just wondering cause your tags say "Latter Day Saints"." hahahaha me and my comp were DYING inside!!! "uhhhhh yeah umm we're ALL saints!" she was so confused and it was even funnier hearing it in Spanish. 

little shout out to my man Tyler who is killin it with his hard work in the mission field down in AZ. such an example to me, he has had so many miracles its amazing. the church is true :) i know it! i know Heavenly Father is watching over me, and i know my Savior is with me every step of the way. i feel so lucky to be a missionary in the hands of the Lord. im headed to Toronto in a matter of hours... we got our travel plans and couldn't be more excited.

thanks for all the love and support! 
xoxo, love Hermana Horton