Tuesday, September 30, 2014

week 16

fist of all... shout out to my mom who i love SO MUCH.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! i have the best mom in the whole wide world. how lucky am i :)

we had the most amazing week :) Simon got BAPTIZED! as did Betty! we had 2 baptisms yesterday which was so wonderful. we have been working with Simon for 2 months and he has come SO far! he has changed so much and seeing him in white just about killed me. "i feel so great! im new!" he even shaved off his beard for the service. im so proud of him :) Betty's was so tender as well, a 17 year old in our ward baptized her and it was so touching to see. their hug after she came up from the water was the cutest thing i have ever seen. tears filled my eyes.... how amazing it is to see God's children making that decision :) and THAT.... is why i love being a missionary.
we have also been working hard with the family i talked about in last weeks email, the man that ran up to me on the bus. we have met with him, his wife Marta, and his (depressed) son Steven almost everyday this week... the parents are preparing to be baptized on October 19! its a little harder to work with Steven but we have AWESOME members in the ward and he is really opening up to them and us. what a blessing that is. in one of the lessons this week, we had something totally different planned, but the spirit spoke to me 3 different times super strongly to hand Steven a picture of the Savior. the room went silent and after a few minutes with tears in his eyes... he said "He does know how i feel." Fernando (his dad) looked at us and started bawling. HE DOES know how we feel. at every moment. the following lesson as we were talking about the Restoration, Steven ran out of the room (he does that a lot.....) but he ran into the Primary room and up to the picture of the Savior and just started bawling. the Savior loves him so much and the Gospel is going to change his life. i love this family so much! haha Fernando is so cute... yesterday was their first day at church and him and his wife just ran up to the front row. he's pretty much already a member since him and Marta were fellowshipping up our other investigators after the baptismal service. MIRACLE.
we had the opportunity on Saturday to go to the TEMPLE! finally! we get to go 2x a year here, and it was so amazing! i can't even tell you how much i love the temple. how lucky are we? we had to get up at 3:30am to travel there (haha mom.. you would have died seeing me walk the streets here that early. picture NYC! yikes. good thing im a servant for the Lord:) but it was the greatest day ever. followed up with the General Womens meeting that night where all they talked about was TEMPLES. so amazing!
i love my mission. i love the Gospel. and this weekend is General Conference... basically Christmas!!!! i can't even wait :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

week 15

so much has happened this week i really don't even know where to begin! first of all, Hermana Dudley and i got a call on Monday night saying there was going to be a change in our companionship. we freaked out a little bit at first haha but we found out we were going to be in a TRIO!! she is a visa waiter from Alberta going to Spain... and she gets to serve with us until it comes :) her name is Hermana Pilling... and she has been the biggest blessing! i can't decide if she needs us or we need her more haha. Hermana Dudley have instantly found that out of all the missionaries in this mission she was definitely put with us for a reason. we are all learning a lot from each other already! so we picked her up Tuesday night from the mission home. we found out there as well that she hasn't even been to the MTC yet (going to the one in Spain... even though nobody really knows when that will be....?) so since she came straight from home we have been doing lots of training and teaching Spanish. (i realized i know a lot more Spanish then i thought :) its been an adventure but she is so awesome!
we have worked really really hard this week, us 3. definitely gone to bed every single night absolutely exhausted... but thats the best feeling ever! we were pretty happy to have reached ALL of our goals too! we worked hard and found lots of new people to teach, the work is really hastening. on Friday we attended another Zone Conference, since Elder Craig A. Cardon from the 70 came to tour the mission. we traveled into Brampton and had an awesome meeting where we heard from him + his wife. also on Friday we got the opportunity to head downtown and go pass out Book of Mormons at the play! for those that don't know, there is play called the Book of Mormon that is very anti, completely ridicules the BOM and the Church. but we REALLY took advantage of having the play showing at Toronto and passed out BOM's + talked to everyone down at the play!! how lucky to have this opportunity... what other mission gets that! haha it was super awesome... even though we had a TON of people yelling and screaming at us. definitely something i'll never forget :) luckily we have God watching over us!
i want to share a story that happened yesterday, one that testified to me that i was called to this mission to find THIS MAN. to background info -- a man ran up to me as he was getting off the bus about a week ago, he knew who we were and in a matter of 30 seconds we had a short little convo.. it was all in Spanish, but he said he was going to call us as i gave him a card. we played phone tag for a few days, when suddenly he comes to church on Sunday with his wife AND son! the son, Steven is actually really depressed. we talked to him for a little but and felt he should recieve a blessing. we got the Elders and the Bishop + Stake President and the spirit filled the room as we all bore testimony of the Atonement. Steven received a blessing, and even though he wouldn't admit it, nobody could deny that spirit we felt! the dad, Fernando, looked me in the eyes after and said "i have been praying to find an answer of what to do about our family and how to help us. i know God lives and i know you can help us, i know i was placed on that bus to find you." tears filled my eyes as i told him that its true, and that this really is the answer to his prayers. ill never forget that feeling i felt, i know God placed this miracle in our lives for a reason and i can't wait to bless this family with the Gospel! i can see them in white already :)
such a good week, i love my mission so much. i love my Savior Jesus Christ.
PS: after a small fall back and an AMAZING spiritual lesson, Simon is DEFINITELY getting baptized this Sunday the 28!! yay for miracles!!! :):):)
xoxo, Hermana Horton

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:)