Monday, May 20, 2013

Elder Wells is my Zone Leader!!

Out Into The Field!

I've left the MTC and am out in the field! I loved the MTC, my teachers, my district, my branch presidency, and everyone else that helped make my whole time there wonderful. The MTC taught me a lot, I'm so grateful I was able to have what little time I did there in order to learn and grow. I headed out Tuesday morning though and now I'm out!

We stayed in Pennsylvania for a couple days at the mission home, and then went down to Philadelphia for the second day. President Shaefermeyer was telling us how we have the best mission, because without our mission none of the other missions would exist, namely because the majority of the Book of Mormon was translated, and the Priesthood was restored, in our mission. Exciting stuff right? Later that night we met our trainers, and mine for the next 12 weeks is Elder Tan (tah-n). Elder Tan is from Malaysia, so he speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay, and of course English. His English isn't the best so we sometimes struggle communicating, but it's pretty good. He's been out in the field for a little over a year, and I'm the second elder he's trained. He's great, he has a ton of energy and a very interesting sense of humor, it's fun because I normally find his jokes funny just because they don't make sense.

We're in the Lindon, New Jersey area and it's BEAUTIFUL out here. It's about an hour and a half away from the mission home.  We cover the coast of New Jersey, including Ocean City. Ocean City is basically one big tourist location, it's broken off from mainland New Jersey and is covered in super nice beach homes, tons of tourist shops, and has a beautiful view of the ocean and Atlantic City (which is basically a smaller version of Vegas). Ocean City is practically taken right out of a movie set, it is so beautiful. I haven't gotten any pictures yet, but I'll send some soon.

More about our area. Most of the people are wealthy and predominantly Catholic. The people here don't like talking to us, especially if we knock on their doors, so street contacting has proven the most effective so far. There aren't a lot of members, so we have a lot of work to do! We currently have one person with a baptismal date, Tyrone, who is trying to quit smoking and is having a really hard time. It's going to be a hard area, but I know that I've been sent here for a reason.

And guess what, Elder Wells is my zone leader! (along with Elder S). I was able to see him at our district meeting, it's great knowing one person in the area that I can call if we need anything. Our small district is great: Sister M (her last name is long and hard to say) is from Samoa and she's with Sister B. Elder DL is from Mexico, he's the only member in his family and he's with Elder K (also new). Elder J is training Elder R, who is a visa waiter for some mission in Brazil. We have a senior couple, Elder and Sister Ross and they're great.

Elder Tan and I are doing our best, and trying to meet with as many people as possible. The hardest part is probably the limited amount of miles on our car, which I drive because Elder Tan doesn't have a US license, so we spend most of our time walking, which isn't the most effective as our area is really spread out, it reminds me a bit of Maple Valley, clumps of neighborhoods spread throughout the city. I'm glad I got here before the heat hits, so I can get accustomed to the weather first. It has been warm a few days, and cloudy the past couple. We're supposed to have some thunder storms this week which should be exciting.

If you want to send me some letters (and I know you do) I'm pretty sure my new address is:
40 Chapman Blvd, Apt R-9
Somers Point, NJ 08244

Anyways, I love you guys and am loving the work. There is so much to learn and so much room to grow as I learn to best serve the Lord. I know the Atonement can change this people's lives and fill them with joy, and it saddens me that they don't know it.

Love and miss you, the gospel's true!
Elder Horne

Safe Arrival of Your Missionary

Dear Brother & Sister Horne,

This week Sister Schaefermeyer and I have had the thrill of welcoming your son to the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.  He has arrived safely and we have enjoyed becoming acquainted with him. Elder Matthew James Horne was assigned his first companion and trainer. We invite you to please write or email Elder Horne weekly with positive, uplifting information and experiences to encourage him in his missionary efforts.  Your expressions of love and interest in him will not only bless his life here in Philadelphia, but will cement relationships of trust forever.  As instructed by the leaders of the Church, we ask that you not telephone or visit Elder Horne during his mission unless I have been informed in advance.  He will have my permission to call on Mother’s Day and Christmas. 

We know the Lord will bless you as He does all who make the necessary sacrifices to allow their loved ones to serve in these great callings.  If we can ever be of any service or assistance to you or your son, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Thank you for the privilege of serving with Elder Horne.

Best personal regards,

William A. Schaefermeyer
President, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission

One Week Down, One To Go

Elder Stubbs and Elder Horne--Watch out Philadelphia, Here we come!
Best MTC District E.V. E. R

I can't believe I've already been at the MTC a week. It's great though I love it here, the people are awesome and my classes are awesome. The MTC is expecting a big influx of missionaries in the coming weeks so they've been hiring a bunch of teachers, and since the flood hasn't arrived yet my district gets like 7 teachers, even though only 2 are officially assigned to us. Which is great because we get a lot of extra time with them and they're extremely helpful.
So my companion's name is Elder Stubbs. He's from Everett (cool right??) and he loves to play soccer. We are pretty different but we get along really well, I'm so grateful to have such an amazing companion. He's incredibly funny and he's really outgoing so it's been a piece of cake with him.
The rest of my district is amazing as well. There are 10 of us, 6 sisters and 4 elders, which is crazy because we have more sisters than elders now! There is Sister G and Sister P, and they are both incredible sisters (Kaley, you would love Sister G). Sister McN and Sister H are both very compassionate sisters (Sister McN is from Kaysville, so it was nice to talk with her about James and Jorgen). Sister B and Sister P are fantastic teachers. Then we have Elders M and C, Elder C served in Philadelphia for 6 months a year and a half ago, and is returning which is incredible. So that's my district, they're all incredible people and I love them very much.
I've been able to see most of the people that I know here. I've seen a ton of people from school and about 20 minutes ago I was able to welcome two more friends to the MTC! It was great seeing them.
I love it here and am so excited to serve the Lord and bring the message of the restored gospel to as many people as I can. I am so excited to fly out to Philly next week and get to work. I've been having an incredible time here and I know there is no better place for me to be.
I love and miss you all,
Elder Matt Horne