Sunday, June 2, 2013

One Week Out!

Hey everyone!

It's been a great week! 

Earlier in the week we went to Ocean City to see some members and eat dinner with them. We ate on the boardwalk and it was fantastic, I love Ocean City. We're never there when it's sunny though so I still haven't taken any good pictures. Hopefully I will soon, even though we're advised to stay away from the boardwalk, because although that's where everyone will be, there will be too much immodesty. While we were there I noticed that one of the main roads running parallel to the boardwalk is Ocean Avenue, and because I love Yellowcard so much I got really excited. I told Elder Tan that when it gets nice out he's taking a picture of me next to an Ocean Avenue street sign. He doesn't know a lot about American culture, so for the most part he just listens to me talk about random things he's never heard of. 

On Friday we were able to meet with some wonderful women. That morning we visited an older lady, Alma (interesting name since she's a convert) and it was incredible. As missionaries it's so inspiring and humbling to see how we can be the answer to prayers. She is going through a lot and had been praying that the missionaries would stop by her house again, and it was wonderful just being able to sit and talk with her about the gospel, and how it can help her and it was just wonderful. That evening we met with Heather, whose husband away in military service, and she too is going through a hard time having to raise two sets of twins (two babies and two little boys) on her own, and it was great to share a message of the gospel, and see the peace and the comfort that it brought her. Wonderful, strong women are what keep this world going round. 

Saturday the Spanish branch had a baptism at our chapel, and it was incredible. It was so powerful to me to witness the saving ordinance that I'm daily asking others to make, and it was very inspiring and humbling as it reminded me of the sacred nature of my calling and my purpose. After that though we had some fun and went and played soccer with the Spanish branch, and even though some of the guys playing were twice my age, they more than twice as good. They're all yelling at each other in Spanish and I'm just running around trying to kick the ball haha. If they ever needed my attention they would just yell, "Elder Elder Elder!" and point where they wanted me to go, it was a lot of fun. 

Sunday was amazing, we met with Tyrone Saturday night and taught him about the importance of church attendance, but we were worried he wouldn't be able to make it. But lo and behold he walked in a few minutes before church started. Throughout the entire church service the Spirit was so strong and we could tell Tyrone was feeling it. Afterwards he told us how great the church is and how he knows that it's true. He's spent his whole life searching, and nothings ever felt right, but after one time at church he told us he knows this is true and wishes he could be baptized earlier, except he is still trying to quit smoking. It was awesome, I had never seen so much commitment or desire coming from him, the Holy Ghost really does have the power to enlighten peoples minds. The rest of the Sabbath carried this awesome Spirit as well. 

So there are a few guys living right across the street from the church, the closest house to the church, and they are, for lack of a better term, hicks. The first time we stopped by they had cigarettes and beers in their hands and I didn't really think they were worth our time; but my wonderful Elder Tan had faith in them, and had faith in the power of the gospel, and had us go back and invite them to tour the church. And they actually came, I was so surprised, and while we were going around the church talking about it, one of them was getting really interested and we could tell they were feeling something. Afterwards, the same guy is planning on coming to church next week and wants us to visit with him, and another one of them is thinking he wants the bishop to marry him and his fiance next month. It was incredible, and incredibly humbling; it reminded me of when Jesus said, "O ye of little faith," because these people were able to have a spiritual experience, and I had given up on them the moment I saw them. I have a long way to go as a missionary that is for certain. 

One last Sunday miracle: as we were walking around that evening visiting some potential investigators this woman called us. She'd gotten our phone number from somewhere, and she had a friend who lived in Utah who had been sending her a bunch of church materials, and she basically just took the next 10 minutes to bear her testimony to me over the phone about how she knows the church is true and wants us to baptize her, "the Mormon is for me." I was so overwhelmed, I'm truly grateful for this member missionary who was able to bring her friend to Christ. We still have to visit her and do the necessary things, but this woman already has such strong faith in the Book of Mormon, it was truly a miracle. It's experiences like these that really make it clear to me that this is the Lord's work, and that He's moving it forward, and I'm just here to facilitate while He does everything else. 

This whole week has been fantastic, I'm so grateful to be a tool in the Lord's hand and to serve Him. I know this church is true, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I'm so blessed to witness countless miracles as I see people draw closer to Heavenly Father.

I love you all and am wishing you the best,

Elder Horne

P.S. So we're a Facebook mission, which means that missionaries can contact members, investigators, and potential investigators via Facebook; Elder Tan has a Facebook that he gets on roughly every day to talk to people, but I have to wait until I'm done training before I'm eligible to get one. Which means that while Elder Tan is on Facebook, I've spent a lot of time on the church websites, and I would encourage everyone else to do so as well. Mormon Channel has so many fantastic videos, it's my favorite sight to explore, and I would encourage everyone to watch some of them. One of my favorite ones is Mountains to Climb,  as well as The Power of Hope