Monday, November 24, 2014

Turkey Thanks Turkey

I can't even remember what happened this week...

Lots of cold, and missionariness, and Christmas music (just wait until next week), and dark, and awesomeness. It was a really good week, I am just not too sure if I can remember why. My memory is going. And sadly I didn't take any pictures this week to help me remember. I need to repent and do better at that as well.   


This week is Thanksgiving and so that's really exciting!! Yaaaaaaaay. We have a couple families we are going to be visiting with on Thanksgiving, so it will be full of fun and food and lovely people. And then a part of me is over-anxious to put up our Christmas decorations already (again, wait until next week). We will also be going to the Turkey Bowl, but unlike last year being flag, this year will be tackle. And last year one of the missionaries (now home, playing professional rugby) was apparently a little tough on the ward and they want payback. Well... Someone needs to watch the hot chocolate and donuts, right? Right. 

Yet, Thanksgiving isn't actually about any of these things. It's about being grateful! And this past week during sacrament meeting, one of the YSAs said something I really liked. "God commands us to thank Him - not to make Him happy - but to make us happy." I thought that was pretty neat, and true. This past week I've just been finding so many things to be grateful for. Mostly just superficial things: that I have gloves, that it didn't snow today, that the person we just stopped by was friendly, that I now have the Pentatonix Christmas album (thanks Chani!), that a member was able to come out with us, that someone signed up to feed us dinner, etc. the list goes on and on. And the more I was thankful for all those little things, they all built together and helped me to be more grateful for the larger things: being a full time missionary, for family, friends, the gospel, church, other missionaries, and the Savior. 

And when I was grateful, I was happy. Really happy. 

Simple as that. 

And although Thanksgiving only comes once a year (or twice if you're cool and celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving) you can be grateful any time of the year, any time of the day. You always have the opportunity to be grateful, and so you always have the opportunity to be happy. Happy happy happy. 

I think that's pretty neat. 

Elder Horne

PS the 5th Anniversary of the YSA Branch

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dreams Come True

Transfers = Perfection

When other missionaries ask you: "if you could have your dream transfer, what would it be?" This is what I've told them. YSA Ward, in New Jersey, and golden refining (being someone's second companion, right after they finish being trained). Lo, and behold, the heavens have opened and here I am! Serving in the Sewell Ward and Pitman YSA here in New Jersey with Elder Larsen (who just finished being trained)!

Dreams really do come true. 

Elder Larsen is awesome. He's from Mesa, AZ and loves tennis/golf, fancy pens, and nice clothes. He's been out for just 3 months and is a fantastic missionary. He doesn't have any winter clothes and its forecasted a high of 30 tomorrow and windy, so we are buying some today! 

I'm just so excited. So excited to be serving here, so excited to be with Elder Larsen, just so much excitement all over the place. Coming up is also stake conference, so I'll be able to see my old favorites from way back when in the Linwood Ward! I also reallymiss the people in Downingtown... but what are you going to do? C'est la vie.

More exciting, but different, news: we got in a car accident! It was actually not very exciting, although I'm pretty sure I'm still in shock. Probably. We were just driving down the road, when this car pulls out of a parking lot, t-bones the rear passenger side of our car, and then just drives away. It was all very sudden. It was nighttime. They didn't come back. We had a really nice cop lady come help us out. It was cold. We were fine. Our car is kind of fine. No injuries or anything, just an increasing acceptance of the widespread distaste for New Jersey drivers (especially from PA drivers). 

See, not bad.

 Everything else has been a blur. Just blurred information and craziness all just hitting me at once. Yay for learning a new area. It'll be good though. I'm content. We have good members, we are as close as I feel comfortable to true ghetto (we are next to Camden), the YSAs are wonderful, it's starting to get colder, and I'm just trying to stay on top of everything! This "break" of a Pday has been much needed. 

Love and miss you,
Elder Horne


Monday, November 10, 2014

This Is Happiness

I'm awful with goodbyes...

We learned Friday night that I was being transferred.

From that point on everything just became really sentimental and special. Last visits to people I've been seeing for the past 7 months; a sense of finality and closure that nobody could quite comprehend. Which I think is due to the fact that we exist on an eternal round, and that there really are no endings, just everlasting beginnings.

Yet these past few days have just gone something like this: "Goodbye may seem forever, farewell is like the end, but in my hearts a memory and there you'll always be." Fox and the Hound

Sunday was definitely the most special. It was incredible. It was during sacrament meeting, after I had confirmed Jonathan a member of the church, a recently returned missionary got up and gave his homecoming talk, and we were singing the closing hymn: God Be With You Till We Meet Again (seriously). I was sitting between Jonathan and Jim, and just thought: "this, this is happiness." As I went to give the closing prayer my heart was just filled with so much gratitude, and so much love for these people.

This is happiness.

Then later we conferred the Aaronic Priesthood to Jim, went and ate with a ton of people, and just were able to have many tender special moments. Between lingering hugs and handshakes, to last laughs and memories, I could not have been more blessed yesterday. And I am very grateful. This is happiness.

Here are some more pictures I took with some of the greatest:

The Williamsons! We were doing service

Can't forget Buddy!!

Denise and Jama!

Now it's time to move on.

Which will be nice. I'm glad I was able to die a hero, rather than stay long enough to become the villain (as Two Face would say). I know the Lord is moving me to bigger and better things. Stay tuned.

Keep moving forward.

Elder Horne

Monday, November 3, 2014

Elders Only Past This Point

This past week was great! Although I do not remember much of it... Time is just flying by so fast. It's unreal. I can't believe I hit my 18th month mark this past week. Plus, Elder Prestwich hit his 100 day mark. Weird. Elders only past this point. #cantstopwontstop

Halloween was pretty fun. I just zonked out. We had dinner with a member family (chili and cornbread, YUM) and then had to be in by 6. In most of PA trick-or-treating is legally set between 6-8 PM. You're not allowed to start before or after that. Which is kind of cool. Anyway, we came in for the night, and I was totally hoping to be productive, but I didn't actually make plans of productivity, so I was completely unproductive... I just watched church videos for hours. Literally, like 3 hours. If I had chosen longer videos it wouldn't have been so bad, but I went through tons of Mormon Messages, all the General Conference Highlights, the Phone Call, Johnny Lingo, Mormon Messages for Youth, Strength of Youth Media, and so on. My brain was more mushy than pumpkin slime. And add a whole bunch of starbursts and whoppers on top of that. 

It wasn't pretty. 

Southeast PA is pretty though! Absolutely beautiful. Going into late fall, there are the trees that are just brilliantly lit up with changing leaves, accompanied by the bare bark of others. Lots of wind, lots of clouds, lots of leaves everywhere. It could stay like this forever. Plus we got some clementine oranges (to die for) and the holiday season is totally here. Bliss. Just sweet bliss. I'm waiting for transfers though to start shopping and decorating and shopping. It's gonna to be amuzin'. 

Almost as amazing as Jonathan's baptism!!! Oh my goodness this family is the best. Like, they are seriously so awesome. This has been the fastest baptism I have seen (less than a month after initial contact), but he couldn't have been more prepared or ready. Such a sweet spirit, and powerful testimony. He probably gives the most moving prayers I've ever heard. So sincere. So sincere. And we love him so much. 

The Lord is so good to those that love Him. 

Elder Horne