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

Saturday, July 5, 2014

week 4


days are flying, its starting to freak me out hahhaa. and they just sorta blur together! this week was great though! i am learning lots still and trying to perfect my Spanish and how to teach really well. its a roller coaster but i am loving it :) its actually pretty fun to have 18 elders in our zone and just us 4 sisters. we all got new classrooms this week and celebrated birthdays. the MTC is SO great! pretty tiring, but i love it :)

couple great things that happened this week, one day me and my companion were teaching our TRC investigator Mercedes, she is a real real investigator (in the MTC we get a few of those + teaching our teachers as investigators) and so when teaching her we really want to do well. anyways, when teaching her she mentioned she really wants to know more about Joseph Smith and his family. okay welllll golden question! we watched part of the Joseph Smith movie with her and she loved it :) she thought it was so sad and loved how much faith Joseph had in God even though his life was really hard. she finished the movie and is progressing! made me so happy :) (plus she is patient with our espanol hahaha)

we also had our first "contacting appointments" this week. we walk around campus and find investigators to teach and set up appointments! practicing tracting :) its great! and our appointment to teach this cute Guatemalan couple is tomorrow. me and my companion also got the experience of being the example missionaries at the "how to teach" night for the 100 new missionaries. that was a really cool experience! except we taught in English... haha that felt so weird! we felt pretty happy about it though that we got to be the demonstrators :) 

for Tuesday devotional this week... first time with no member of the 12, but we heard from Stephen M. Allen, former 70! and i had my prayers answered about how to be more focused and converted unto the Lord, so definitely an awesome night. his talk really spoke to me, and i couldn't stop crying. he spoke on being a converted missionary, and as a former mission presidents in 2 missions, we got to hear a lot of stories and it was pretty awesome! i love the spirit :) and i love devotionals. gonna miss them when we leave!

as far as Spanish goes, its coming! sorta haha we are slowly getting better and better. we try our hardest to speak as much as we can all day so it helps us learn. i didn't realize learning how to be a missionary AND learning a whole new language could be so hard. who knew there were so many details in how to TEACH a lesson???? holy! it really is crazy. gotta listen to the spirit, listen to the investigator, try not to think too hard about what to say, gotta respond... but first gotta translate into Spanish, then don't forget to ask questions and apply! haha i had no idea but its so amazing to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. 

oh, and we hit 1 month, crazy! we get to watch the fireworks tomorrow and we are pretty excited :) i was really happy to hear about Tyler's success this week. he is working hard in AZ and i am so proud of him. he is definitely being blessed :) my fam is lovin summer and they love me enough to send me my favorite things while in the MTC... i love you guys. life is good! i love the work and i love being a missionary :) the church is true!!!