Friday, September 26, 2014

Argentina MTC ...

Wow! Thanks guys for all the support. I wish I had more time to write you all! Hopefully I can answer your questions here.

So I have really loved my time here at the MTC! Everything is in Spánish, and I am forced to use it a lot more than if I were to have just gone to Provo. It's run solely by Argentines, and communnicating with the roommates is essential, so what little spanish I know has to be used. I have made a ton of really great friends here! My district especially is awesome. It's been a blast! Just last night, we shaved 'CTR' into the back of some kids leg! hahaha Being in here for 5 weeks drives you insane, i'm telling you. The weather down here is perfect! We are moving right into Summer, so it's 70ish every day, with a slight breeze! It's a little humid, but not too bad. Perfect soccer weather! haha my skills are coming along.... ish! haha It's crazy to think I've only got two weeks left here! It's sad to leave, but honestly I'm glad I get to actually go do stuff. One thing I am going to miss, is waking up every morning to a beautiful sunset over the Argentina Temple! I think most of the time, I am way too tired and delusional to even care, but every once and a while, I really take the time to enjoy it. So yesterday I attempted to only speak spanish all day! It didn't go over so hot haha It's so hard! I made it till about 3 o'clock before my head hurt so much I had to switch over to English. I'm trying again tomorrow, so wish me luck! I need to get used to it here, because in a few weeks, I'm going on a two year 'English Fast'! haha Wow, that's gonna be tough. My spanish isn't too bad, if I do say so myself! I have been working super hard, and I feel like I jsut need to practice my grammar a ton. I talked to an Elder from Paraguay, and he spoke 'Guarani' to us! (The most common language in PAraguay) That is going to be tough haha It sounded like gibberish! haha But I have really noticed the Lord's hand in helping me obtain the gift of tongues so far. We got new roommates a few days ago! The Latinos are here for only 10 days, so every week and a half, they rotate out. Its been awesome getting to know them! We had one latino the other week from Spain! He spoke 5 languages fluently, and 2 languages semi! It was crazy, but everytime he spoke a different language, you would kind of judge him! Like french sounds way smarter than chinese or spanish. Just something interesting I guess! haha 

Proselyting this past week was such a blast! As tough as it was, it is always so rewarding. There wasn't any miracle this week, but we did place a few BOM's, and got some referrals! We contacted 18 people, which was about average for everyone here at the MTC. The people we taught last week texted us and said that they were out of town, but had been contacted by the missionaries, and were meeting this week! That would be way cool to see what happens with them. So I think the first time i went proselyting, I was in crazy culture shock mode! Argentina is actually a really nice place haha I mean yeah, there are trash piles everywhere, and there is no such thing as illegal parking, but other than that it's awesome! The people are way friendly, I mean friendly enough to talk to random foreigners dressed up like FBI agents trying to tell them about Jesus haha And the food here is BOMB! We did get chastized by some old italian sounding guy (A lot of italian spanish in our area) about how god is the sun and the universe and the trees! But that's just going to happen sometimes! I feel like Grandma Horton would love the weather down here! I think Carl and I could for sure convince her to move down here! Other than the garbage everywhere, and untidy streets, she would love it hahaha 

Love you guys! Thanks for all the emails, again. I hope and pray for you guys back there in the good old US of A! 

Elder Horton

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pictures of the MTC in Argentina

"The streets of Argentina.." Received September 18, 2014

Wow. Thanks for all the letters of support and updating me on your lives! I love reading about you guys.
So this past Saturday, we went proselyting! They picked us up at about noon in a bus, and we headed on the freeway, off into the middle of Buenos Aires. It was so crazy! I haven't ever been so nervous, because everything here is so different! I mean, you hear about other countries being different, but you don't actually realize how different they are until you drive on their roads, and walk through their city! First off, there are no traffic laws here. We pulled onto the freeway, and swerved our way down the highway, dodging cars and splitting the smallest gap in a giant bus. Kind of like that midnight bus in Harry Potter, except more dangerous because this was real life! haha We saw a horse pulling a wagon filled with hay on the frewway. ON THE FREEWAY! haha But the poverty you saw as we drove was incredible. There were armored vehicles with military personnel everywhere, and it look like there was an earthwquake or natural disaster, and the people had just taken the rubble from the building, stacked them, and make make-shift homes out of whatever they could find! But luckily, we drove into a nicer part of town, where they pulled over and booted us out. I was so nervous! I mean, I knew the most spanish in my companionship, and when it comes down to it I know next to nothing! They gave us a map, and an area where we should Proselyte, and we headed off. Aproaching random people, all dressed up in nice clothes was so weird haha We got some weird stares! And after freaking a few old ladies out by attempting to ask them if we could help them with their groceries, we gave up and just walked around town for about an hour, too scared and timid to talk to anyone! hahaha I knew we needed to talk to someone, so the first people we saw after we turned the next corner, I promised myself we would go talk to them. SOoooo we turned the corner, and saw a young couple trying to haul a mattress up onto the second story off their house, onto their patio. Perfect! haha We went over and asked them if they needed help, and turns out it does take more than two people to get a matress onto the second story of their building! So, we struggled to communicate with them, but when they asked us where we were from, and then when we said from the US, the husband started talking in perfect English! hahaha It was such a miracle. We were then able to explain why we are out walking aroung trying to teach the gospel. He wanted to know more! So he invited us inside, and we were able to give the entire first lesson on the Restoration. About halfway through the lesson, we asked him if he had a religion. he stopped us, said 'thanks for coming guys, I'm catholic'... My heart stopped! BUT then he said 'Thanks for coming, I would love to learn more! Were can I get this book?! There is so much violence and hate in this world, and no one wants to talk about God, because sometimes it feels like he doesn't exist...' We bore our testimonies about how it truly can bless your life, and he was SO interested in everything we had to say! We are going back this Saturday to give him another lesson. He prayed at the end, and said he would be able to go to church next Sunday with the actual missionaries haha His wife was equally as interested! I could't believe that we ran into someone who actually spoke fluent English in the middle of BA, and that were so curious about our gospel. The lord truly prepared him, and us to meet with him that day! A quote I heart yesterday from Elder Scott was 'To achieve thins never before attained, one must do things never before done' How true that is!! We were able to share the message that day, only because we were obedient and courageous enough to walk around and share the message of the gospel with random people in a language that we didn't even know. I can't wait to have even more experiences like this one, because I know that the Lord will place in my path, and you paths, oportunities to spread to glorious gospel message. Thanks for all of the support! I love you guys with all my heart.
Other than proselyting, the MTC has been business as usual! It's a ton of work, and the days go by slow, but the weeks are flying by. Yesterday I woke up with a snail on my face (Thanks to the roommates, and I also got my alarm clock chucked out a window, because we hid it in someones ceiling and set it for 2 in the morning. Yeahhhhhh so I'm in need of a new one! haha Eh I will figure it out eventually. Thanks again! Lemme know if the pics worked
Elder Horton

"Mish" Second Letter received September 11, 2014

Hola everyone! I appreciate your emails, they really are what gets me through the week. Your words of encouragement mean the world to me! I apologize for the spelling errors, believe it or not, their keyboards here are in Spanish haha (Dang)
So the food here is pretty much amazing. Our cook is Argentine, so for every meal we have something with meat in it, and some bread! Everything we have had has been so tasty. I may finally be gaining some weight!! Butttttt I try not to get my hopes up hahaha There isn't a scale here for me to check it or else I would.
Waking up to the temple every morning is probably one of the best parts of the MTC! The sunrises here are incredible, and I wake up every morning just in time to seee it. We get to go to the temple once a week, on P Days, so I get to go today. It's so amazing! The sessions are all in Spanish, but it's incredible how much you still can learn. The spirit is such an incredible thing! I felt it so strongly last week, going through the temple.
3 times a week, we have something called a Progressive Invetigator, which is a teacher that doesn't know English, and we have to teach them a lesson in Spanish! haha We've been doing that since the Second day we have been here. It's so crazy how much I have already learned in a matter of a few weeks! Like I said in my last letter, my comps are pretty quiet, so it's usually me giving the majority of the lesson! They just almost don't have a desire to teach or help me in any of the lessons, it's been really tough! But at least I am now able to teach the first 3 lessons all in Spanish, bear my testimony, hold conversations, pray, and I have memorized a few scriptures and the majority of the first vision! The lord has really helped me out on all of those, I've been working so hard! And it's weird to say, but I really enjoy working hard and getting results! I have felt super blessed lately. Thanks for all of your prayers! Any suggestions on how to get my comps involved?
The latinos I am serving with here are incredible. They are so funny! haha You know in Despicable ME, how there are those little Minion guys?! Yeah, they remind me exactly of those! Short, speaking gibberish, and they laugh at everything! hahaha They make my day! They are so talented at soccer! It's incredible! I play soccer with them every day during Physical Time! I'm always the goalie or defense because I stink, and lack ability to play soccer haha But anyways, so the other day, one of them had a breakaway, and I was the goalie! He faked a shot one way, but I got lucky and had long enough arms to block his shot, so I screamed "No en mi casa!!" haha He didn't like that very much, so he steals a pass, and dribbles past the defense, kicks the ball up, spins it on his foot, and then boots it right between my legs hahahaha I was so so so embarrased!
So I don't know why they ever thought it was a good idea to coupe up a bunch of 18 year olds all day, Supply them with English to Spanish dictionaries, and then release them at night??!! hahaha It's been a ton of fun, but I don't know if I'm ever going to use the term 'Flatulencia Machina' on my mission?! hahaha There have been endless pranks as well. Me and this other Elder convinced everyone that one of the guys in our district was going to be transferred to serve a mission in Connecticut! haha We've hid alarm clocks in the ceiling to go off at 3 in the morning, and gone mattress surfing down the stairs! hahaha Every Monday night, we have wresting matches in our room. That was one the the highlights of my week! Except that it stunk so bad after haha I could hardly sleep!
So this Saturday, We get to go Proselyting in Buenos Aires! we get dropped off into a neighborhood with our companionship, and go knock on doors and talk to people for 5 hours! At first when I heard we had to go do this, I was freaking out! haha I had no idea how to say anything in Spanish. But now I'm actually really excited! Even though I understand literally nothing, I get to go out and spread the gospel. I'm so excited!!
So this whole time, I have been a little sick. Nothing too bad, just a cough and a sore throat! But all yesterday, I had a terrible fever! I couldn't get to bed or anything! I was laying there, feeling jsut super miserable, so I asked my roommates if they would give me a priesthood blessing. They did, and I instantly felt so much better afterwards!! Even now, I feel amazing. The priesthood power is so real, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be a part of that amazing experience!!
Thanks you again, I love you all! Sorry again for no pictures, my camera isn't letting me upload them. One day I will get some up! Love you guys
Elder Horton

First Letter...

Hey everyone! Wow. This week has been so crazy haha I don´t even know where to start! I miss everyone all so much, I can tell you that! I will just have to start from the beginning I guess ha

So the flight was terrible haha My body was not made to fit in such a small area! But it was nice, because right after I went through security, I found a ton of missionaries going to the exact same mission and MTC. I started talking with them, and it really helped me calm my nerves! I was seriously so nervous to leave. I especially was able to bond well with a few Elders, and that was really a good time. A kid named Elder Brumble and I stuck together for the layover in Altanta, and we walked around and joked for like 4 hours haha He is way hilarious, and he looks like he is only like 15 years old! When we went to go get food, we went to Popeyes, and all the African American workers saw us all dressed up in suits and started cracking up so hard! hahaha I was so embarrased. So I had a pretty close call in the Atlanta airport trying to get my boarding pass. About fifteen minutes before my flight, I went up to the desk to get my boarding pass, when they siad they needed to see I had paid some sort of foregin fee that i needed to do to get into Argentina. I couldn't for my life, find that receipt I needed to show them! I started panicking so bad haha They took my little ticket, and said I Absolutely needed it to get on the plane. I went to find help at a customer service desk, and they completely blew me off! So I called church travel, and the put me on hold. I said the biggest most sincere prayer that I would make it on the plane with everyone else! The plane ended up getting delayed just before everyone was about to board, and about an hour later, the church was able to clear things up and get me on the plane with the other group (Group of about 30 others). The Lord answers prayers!

Argentina was so weird and crazy for me at first! Everything is just so different haha I swear there are no rules here! At first, I thought I accidentally was flown to Japan, because everyone's Spanish sounded nothing like what I learned in school! hahaha We loaded up a bus, and all drove to the CCM (MTC) where we had an orientation and got our badges. The CCM is quite small here, there is only about 90 Hermanas and Elders here, and it's the most they have ever had. The CCM is right next to the temple, I can look out and see it first thing in the morning, it's beautiful! The Natives here are so awesome. They speak wayyyyyy fast. I room with my two companions, (I'm in a trio) and two Native Speakers! They are way nice and funny, but it can get awkward because there isn't much to talk about when the only spanish you know has to do with the gospel haha Our teachers are way awesome as well! They are both less than a year of their missions, and one of them speaks perfect English, because she went to BYU, and the other has really broken English, and learned while in Columbia.

 I feel like I have been here forever! But not because I don't like it, but because I have already done so much. All 16 hours of my day are spent learning! I am so spent when it's time to sleep. Waking up hasn't been too bad. There have been a few days where I just can't get myself up, but it's important to get up early in order to get a warm shower, so I have some motivation haha The water is always freezing after about 6:45! The first few days I was here were pretty tough. I had a ton of culture shock, because the teachers aren't allowed to speak English! (Though they break that every once in a while) I puched through, however. This Sunday was much needed! It helped me to strengthen my testimony about my mission, and that what I'm doing right now is vital, in order to prepare the world for the second coming.

Between all the hard work and practice, we always have a ton of fun! We've pulled all sorts of pranks, and I have had a ton of fun times with the Elders here. For Fisical Actividad, I always play soccer with the Latinos! They are so amazing haha I am super jealous of their crazy good soccer skills!! They kick my butt every time haha The only thing I am good at is corner kicks, because they can just kick it right to me, so I can head it in, since I'm twice as tall as all of them! haha My companions have been a good time too. They are both pretty quiet, but when Elder Hansen talks, he says the funniest things! I have really learned well how to deal with stress here. At first, I was super stressed out about learning a new language, and a new culture and EVERYTHING! Dealing with stress requires balance though. You have to laugh every once in a while! I have also found that exercisizing really helps as well. 

My Spanish is muy mal, but I work super hard every day to try to make it better! I study every chance I get. I don't think I've ever wanted something so bad in my life! I have worked harder in this past week than I have my entire HIgh School career hahaha 

I wish I had time to tell you more, but it will have to wait until next P-Day! I love you guys, thanks for those who wrote me, I only have time to print them out to read later! The church is true, see you in two!

Elder Horton