Michael’s Mission Emails, 2011

Jan 3 2011

Hello Family!!!!
Happy New Year!!!!  Ours was very quiet, didn’t even realize it was a new year the next day until Elder Clark said something on New Years eve.  But yea, we just came in early and relaxed!  I’m actually in the process of sending out christmas cards, I know their super late but I still want to do them.  And yeah I think I already sent off a thank you note to sister Foster, actually I think I sent off 2 but I can’t remember.  Unfortunatly I’m not very prompt with sending thank you cards, I just sent Sister Frost one yesterday.  Ask sister foster if I sent her 2, because the one I just sent her wasn’t very good because I thought I included everything in the first letter.
And I think we’re doing the same thing they’re doing.  We always meet with our investigators twice a week, but there is no way I can get out in 20 mins!  But yea, we have really been counselled to commit them to baptism on the first lesson and the very latest on the 2nd lesson.  As far as the date, President wants us to do everything in our power so they don’t miss their date, but its true, when you commit them that early, a lot of times they miss their date.  But study 2 Nephi 31 to learn more!  And I forgot but I actually did get the license packet stuff, I just need an eye examination and I’m good to go.  I actually had one scheduled last week, but I wasn’t thinking and schudueled it on transfer day so I had to cancel the appt. and the next opening they have is like a week before my birthday… I’ll try to get something done sooner if I can.  And yes Dad that bike light would be extremely helpful, my bike is getting fixed currently so I have another Elders bike and lights, but once I get mine back a light would really help out!  And I don’t think I would need anything else Mom! I know, its pretty crazy I’ll be 21 huh!? Those would be great, but just don’t spend too much money on the sweater, and yea, I think the Spirit of America, Motab CD I left there and I believe there are 2 copies at home, one might be down in the basement and I would love that!  Thank You!
Well… Now to the good stuff!
Our sacrament meeting was awesome! We had a lot of people surprise us and show up. And Bear and Nicole got married on Saturday, Nicole was an hour and a half late (I thought she was getting cold feet or something) it was a quick ceremony, just family and a couple friends there.  Their on their honeymoon now, all thats left for them to get baptized is quit smoking and come to church a couple times.  There is a LA lady we had dinner with last week, Stacy Butterfield, who is dating a non member, and we asked him if he would like to take the lessons and he said he would!  And they were both at church on Sunday!  That blew us out of the water we were not expecting that.  We have an appt with them next week and we are going to commit him to baptism!!  Elder Clark will do it, it will be his first one!!!  And at the end of Bear and Nicole’s wedding, a homeless guy (which there are a lot of here) randomly came and was asking to talk to a preacher, so the bishop talked to him for a while and told him to come back on Sunday and there will be a couple guys that will talk to you.  So he came to church (We actually meet at 1 now!)  So we meet with him before church and the lesson went great!  His name is John, he’s like 28, coming off a bad drug addiction and really wants to change his life around.  As soon as we taught him about prayer, he wanted to pray and he said a beautiful prayer, pleading with his Heavenly Father to help him.  We are meeting with him again on Tues, we think he has a lot of potential, he’s very sincere and did not ask the bishop for food or anything.  I didn’t think he had eaten in a couple days so we took him back to our place and gave him a couple slices of pizza and some corn bread.  So we picked him up as a new investigator that morning and he was the only investigator we had at church!  Nadine said that the cops were at her house and she needed to stay at her house the rest of the afternoon, I think they might’ve been picking up one of her roommates.  Actually when we had a lesson with her on Saturday with the Primary President, sister parker,  the cops came and picked someone up, pretty crazy lesson, first lesson sister parker has come with us too and hopefully first impressions aren’t everything!
I’ll just end with my testimony of the power of the Atonement.  We are really trying to focus on teaching the Atonement more. Pg 2 in PMG says that as our understanding of the Atonement grows, our desire to share the gospel will increse as well.  Bruce R. McKonkie has said the Atonement is the most important doctrine of the church, but the least understood.  I know of the redemptive, strengthening power of the Atonement and know that it can enable people to become born again (alma 5).  It will be exciting to see John change his life and find hope in Christ’s atoning sacrifice, I can’t wait to teach him about it and what it has meant to me in my life and how it helped me get out of the depths of despair.  I know of its power and I am eternally indebted to my Savior for what He has done for me.
Oh and I think I’ll send you a letter for Meredith, if you could get it to her that would be great.
I love you all!  Thanks also for the lesson I learned a couple weeks ago, I have really tried to keep a positive attitude about EVERYTHING now and it has made a huge difference, God really wants us to have an optimistic attitude!  So thank you for helping me to remember that.  And also thank you to everyone’s sacrifice for me, I love you guys.
Elder Horning

 

Jan 10 2011

Hello Family!!
We had a fantastic week this week!  Life is goin pretty good.  Good job on your test Sarah!! I knew you could do it!  Thanks for sending those lights too Dad, those will be a huge help.  Word on the street is that the movie they have shown in the visitors centers, “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” is out!  If it is, that is amaazing movie and would not be a terrible idea to buy.  I think we can order a copy from the mission for like 4 bucks!
We had tons of good things happen this week.  I think its the first time in my mission that we actually reached our total lesson goal for the week.  It definatly is the first time up here in Redding.  We had 8 lessons with a member present, which was a huge number, especially up here, and we found 3 new investigators!!  And that was our goal too! In weekly planning we didn’t know how we were gonna do it, but we set it, prayed like crazy and had faith the Lord would make it happen and He did!  And church was great too, we had 3 people at church.  One was from a PMF we have been teaching for a month, the Kerr family, we were pleasently surprised when he showed up with his wife.  They are doing really well.  Bear and Nicole are still on their honeymoon, we need to meet with them twice this week for sure.  We didn’t get a lesson with Nadine this week and she didn’t come to church, not sure whats happening with her, why she’s not coming.  We picked up a lady and her 9 year old daughter this week.  The mom is a member, but has always been LA.  Her new years resolution was to come back to church.  She really wants to be active, especially for her kids.  And she has not read the entire BOM all the way through yet, and that seems to kinda determine a persons conversion, how many times they’ve read through it, and if they haven’t read through it at least once, the chances of them staying active is smaller than if they’ve read it multiple times.  I love working with Elder Clark too!  I think the reason we are being blessed with so much success is because of obedience, its neat to see the blessings that immediatly flow when we’re obedient to the Lord.  And we’re working a lot better with the bishop now than we were.  We’re starting to meet with him every Saturday to go over the progress record and discuss other members in the ward and I think as a result he is trusting us a lot more and can see we are really serious about what we’re doing.  Overall this area has completely changed it seems like than when I was first here! We have many people to teach and are closer to baptism.  We just need to focus on getting them in the water.  We could actually have another wedding in 2 weeks for a lady we’re working with, Renae, she came to church on Sunday too and is amazing.  She has a lot of faith in the Lord.  And then we might have one for the Kerr’s too before I leave! (Their actually just living together, but we call them the Kerr family for convince.)  So we’re just the missionary match makers.
But I wanted to just share the importance of having a positive attitude and the effect its having on me and the work.  I have really tried to make a big effort these last 2 weeks to always have a positive attitude about everything.  And I never thought about it before but having a positive attitude really invites the spirit!  Scripture study, prayer, good music, and a positive attitude.  Never really thought about it that way before.  And I can see it effecting the work, we are optimistic will we reach our goals and that everyone we’re teaching will come to church and its amazing the results we’ve seen already!  It seemed like immediately after I determined to be optimistic about things that we were blessed immensely!  I think its in Moroni 7, maybe, where it talks about anything good comes from God, and its just like having a good attitude!
But I think thats about it!  I love you guys!  I will pray for the Marsh’s, I hope everything goes well for them.  And Emily I got your letter, I am writing a bunch today so I will write you today, thank you!
Love you all,
Elder Horning

 

Jan 17 2011

Hello Family!!!
Didn’t know if we were going to email today since it was MLK day, but we can!  Thanks for that video Dad, yea, fall on your knees, good times.  Yea, I thought grandma lived in Randolf, not Hartville, but I’ll address it correctly next time.  And thats funny about the Catholic lady, we have a couple crazy’s like that here too.  Working so closely with the Bishop here, I can really sympathize with Bishop Hunter and what he has to deal with there.  There are a lot of needs in a poorer ward.  And about Sister Frost Emailing me, I don’t mind.  Reading just you, Sarah and Dads emails doesn’t take very long and I am terrible at writing letters, there is no time!  So I’m fine with it.  And yea I’ve heard there are big changes in the ward process, like no activity cordinator for the ward, and the new handbook too, thats what I love about the church, they are always coming up with something new!
We had set our goals super high this week and unfortunatly we fell short of a lot of them, but, the great news is that we had a really good week, just not as good as we hoped.  We are really struggling getting people to church consistently though.  Bear and Nicole made it, thats about it.  A LA lady named Alysha Janeway is coming back to church and her 9 year old daughter isn’t baptized, so they are consistent.  We are teaching a lot of people, but they aren’t coming to church consistently.  There’s not a ton to report on… I was just writing my presidents letter and there wasn’t much to report on either.
We are really working on meeting with the active members and having short 20-30 min lessons with them.  Those are working out great.  We are sharing the Atonement of Jesus Christ as the 1st lesson we teach because of page 2 in PMG.  And the way we start off is sing I Need Thee Every Hour.  Singing hymns invites the Spirit probably quicker and more powerfully than probably anything we do, and its nice to have a companion that is willing to sing.
We had Zone Conference on thursday!  It was neat to see that things that they were trying to implement more, we were already starting to do!  So that was really neat.  One thing that they talked about was developing good habits.  Sister Pendleton said something really neat, she said that when we develope good habits, we become better able to act instead of being acted upon.  And that when we have a good habit, its something we look forward to everyday.  I really liked that, I think thats really true.
Hmmm, thrying to think of anything else, oh, yeah, as far as the package, transfers are on my birthday!  So as long as it gets there before then it will be ok.  And I think I’ll be here another transfer anyway.
I’ll just bear my atonement about sacrifice.  Hearing the stories of some of the sacrifices the early saints and pioneers made, it puts into prospective what I am doing.  Is it really that hard to do what I’m doing?  And we can’t gain salvation without sacrificing something, our time, or wordly weatlth or posistion, its impossible to have faith in the Lord without sacrifice.  And I know that the Lord will compensate us for everything we give up.  And it reminds me of the story Jeffrey R. Holland told this last conference about his parents sacrificing for his mission and that reminds me of the sacrifice you all are making for me.  So thank you.  I am deeply grateful of what everyone is doing for me.
But thats about it, hopefully I’ll have more for ya next week!
Love, Elder Horning

 

Jan 24 2011

Hello Family!!!!
I had to laugh when I read your email Mom and its sub zero temperatures!  It has been in the 60s and one day it was 70! I guess its kind of unusual, so it might not last, but it is fantastic!  It has been amazing.  So I feel sorry for you guys, I’m not gonna lie, I like the snow and the changes of season, but I can pass on my mission.  And yeah I hope I have matured, but there are a lot of ways I haven’t!  And yes Dad we have been doing the same thing in our mission teaching active members.  It sounds like Bishop Hunter is getting the ward mission plan up to date.  Its called the circle of love, and its supposed to be the Ward Mission Plan for all the wards.  We have just started to really implement the active member lessons.  I thought they were a huge waste of time, but last Zone Conference president was really encouraging us to do them and gave us ideas on what to teach and even how to call the members to set up a lesson.  So I think there must be a push for that, especially when the weather is bad, you can’t do much if you don’t have lessons.  They are supposed to be quick 20 to 30 min. lessons.  The problem that we have been running into is its hard not to sound like your twisting the members arm for a referral.  Thats really why we’re there, so we’re supposed to ask, just trying to figure out a way not to beg and make them feel guily.
Someone was telling us about the championship game too (you’d be surprised at how well we keep updated on sports) I heard about Pittsburg… I can’t believe their in there again!!
Hmmmm, lets see…. what has happened this week?  Well, we had a really powerful lesson with a LA/PMF we have been teaching, the Kerr family.  We talked about prayer and the husbad and daughter who are the non members said their first kneeling vocal prayer in their life!  The husband Patrick, offered one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard, we even learned some things from his prayer.  The only thing is that we were sure they would be at church, but they weren’t.  The wife, Rebecca, was there, but not them.  We have 7 potential baptisms in this area too, and just so you can keep track of everyone that we’re teaching, they are:
Claire-9 yr old, mother is LA and starting to come back to church, actually set a baptismal date for Feb. 26th this week!
Bear and Nicole
Nadine Murphy and her 9 yr old son Logan
Patrick and Samantha Kerr
And its really exciting that we have so many people in the hopper, but they don’t come to church!  We are very stumped on why they’re not coming and how to get them there.  They’ve all been to church at least once and love our visits and want to learn more, we just can’t figure out why they are losing that fire they had at one point.  Bear and Nicole came to church, but only to sacrament meeting the last 2 weeks for some reason.  We’re going to talk about goal setting and planning this week with everyone and see if that helps them.  And we really want to involve the ward members and try to see if that works.  But that has been kind of disappointing to see.  But other than that, not too much else going on.  We have a lot of people that we’re working with and we are in a rut and don’t know why these people aren’t coming to church and progressing.
Well, I’ll just end with my testimony about drawing nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto us. (James 4:8 i think). Instead of reallying on the Atonement in times of disappointment and discouragement, sometimes we replace trusting in God with looking for other ways to satisfy our need for repentance and faith in the Lord.  As we trust God and turn to Him, He will strengthen and bear our griefs (Matt. 11:30).
Oh and thanks for sending the package Mom, I’m excited to get it!  Oh and check out Mormon.org and put all your profiles on it!
Love you guys!
See ya when I’m 21!
Love Elder Horning

 

Jan 31 2011

Hello Family!!!!
Thank you for all your birthday wishes!!  I really enjoyed the picture too! And I did get your package too Mom!  Thank you for the sweater and cds!  i really needed both.  And I’ll look for your card Dad, and yes I did get the headlight, I’m getting batteries for it today.  Nothing too exciting will be happening here, a lady from the ward made me a cake and brought it over along with a big pale of ice cream!  So that was way nice, and she brought over some candles, so we will have the cake tonight.  But P-Day B-Day isn’t bad at all.
And I just saw that a huge storm is coming in the east… no school for Emily huh?  Oh yes, that sister is sister archer, she is from aurora I think, somewhere in the cleveland area.  But ya know I didn’t know OSU is #1 in B ball, thats surprising.
As for the work this week…. Well, our teaching pool has been cut in half.  We were really thinking about these people and talking with our bishop and we have decided to drop Nadine and Bear and Nicole.  Which is really dissappointing, they are very close, but they have lost interest or motivation or something.  But we will probably pick them up again in the future, I guess it depends on how much they do on their own and if they really want this.  We had Stake Conference on sunday, so there was a lot of people there, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t make it.  But Patrick and Rebecca and Samantha Kerr made it! 🙂  That was very nice to see.  We will keep teaching them, but patick has a lot of W of W issues before baptism.  So unfortunatly, all my work to get this area beefed up, all went away in about 2 days… BUT, finding people is the exciting part of missionary work so we’re looking forward to a new challenge.  The problem I think here is finding solid people who have jobs and cars.  So we are going to spend a majority of our time in the nicer part of our area.  And Elder Clark recieved some awesome personal revelation yesterday.  For our active member lessons, many members say they don’t have any non member friends, so we are going to challenge them to carry a BOM around with them EVERYWHERE they go, and people will ask them about it and they will have gospel conversations with many people.  And so I issue the same challenge to you all!  Carry a BOM with you EVERYWHERE you go for 2 weeks and see how many people ask you about it!  We are going to give our families a clean paperback copy, so carry that one, not the quad, so people will easily recognize it.  We are going to test it out on the “Focus 5” families we have, and if its really successful, we want it to be a ward thing and get the ward excited about “The Challenge.”  And I’ll follow up with ya in 2 weeks!  Speaking of Elder Clark, we had a great comp inventory during our weekly planning session.  Immediatly after it, we are becoming the best of friends and working very well with one another.  There were a couple things I think bugging him, and as a result, there were a couple ruffles in our companionship, but we were able to just be open and honest with each other.  So we are getting along great and having a great time.  Tracting is even enjoyable now!
But I think thats about it, all the big stuff anyway.
Oh, I’ll leave you with my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I know that it is true.  Like you all know I read it in a month and it changed my heart.  I was more charitable, more patient, and could resisit temptation easier.  There is a lot of power in that book and it brings peace to my soul when I read it.  It opens my mind to revelation too, in PMG it says that the BOM is a “springboard” to revelation and our testimonies, and I can testify that that is true.  I love that book and want to be like President Kimball and read it over 72 times in my life.  (I think it was 72 anyway.)
I love you guys, thanks for the wonderful birthday and I look forward to talking to you soon!
Love, Elder Horning

Feb 7 2011

Hello Family!!!!
I might have to make this a pretty short email, I don’t have a ton of time.  But thanks for all you emails!  That stinks its snowing so much, but thats great Sarah only has a week left!  Exciting stuff!  I loved Bishop Hunters email too, I can’t write him an email today, but I will try and write him soon.  I have like 4 people I need to write ASAP (including emily) there is just absolutely no time to do it!  Thats a very cool idea to have a 40 day fast.  From experience I can tell you its tough when we are working our butts off and the ward doesn’t even want to do missionary work.  Its getting a lot better though, the bishop really wants to help us out.  And you shouldn’t have worried about my birthday Mom!  I didn’t even really think about it, but thanks for the concern! 🙂  And thanks for the card too Dad!  I really like the message on it, very appropriate.  Oh, and thanks Sister Hunter for your letter!  I love getting information about what is going on in the ward.  And whats Wes’s address?  I will write him a letter?
Some news this week was Sister Pendleton got in a car accident.  She is doing all right, I think President was very concerned about her, he was worried their mission might be done.  But she is doing ok, she actually asked one of the police officers if he was Mormon and if he wanted to be and she committed one of the paramedics to baptism!  She is a real inspiration and I want to be that bold with people!
Oh, and how is the BOM challenge coming?  Get those sisters a referral!  It is hard to be in an area like that and find solid people to teach.
Which brings me to something I’ve been wondering. The stay here in Redding has been difficult, and I wonder why I was put here.  But it has made me a way better missionary than I would’ve been if I always had wards like the one in Rocklin.  It has really made me grow and work better with the ward.  But we have been doing a lot of tracting this week.  We had one guy who really wanted to bash with us, whata loser.  Then we had some 7th day Adventist invite us in and they were super nice and gave me a slice of pie and goats milk.  I think thats the first time I’ve had goats milk.  We are tracting in the nicer and richer area’s of our area, trying to find some quality people.
In ward council the bishop asked what the ward can do to get more people for us to teach.  They are going to have a fast next month for missionary work.  I also had an idea in the morning.. the ward is excellent at feeding us, but I think they miss the point of dinners, some of that is our fault too and we’re working on planning specific dinner lessons and making them powerful.  But a thought that I had was what if we only ate at active members homes if they had a non member or LA there.  The bishop didn’t really like the idea, but I think it rally sent a message to the ward council, and by word of mouth, probably the ward too.  I think it helped them to see we are serious about finding people to teach, and we will do our part, it they give us a little help.
Oh and Mom and Dad, could you write me your conversion story?  Like a page if you could?  Whatever length it takes I guess but I would love to hear a detailed account!  ANd maybe what blessings you’ve seen since you’ve been a member.
I love you guys!  Thanks for your prayers and sacrifice!
Love Elder Michael Horning

Feb 14 2011

Hello Family!
I only have 15 mins, so this will be quick.  I don’t have my drivers license anymore since I sent it in to be renewed, so i can’t get a Library card.  But anyway, nice too see you done from school Sarah, that must be a relief.  And thanks for that conversion story too Dad, its cool to read stuff about you and Mom!  And yes Mom I’ve had occasion to wear the sweater vest a couple times and it fits well.  i will have a couple more chances to wear it this week, I hear its going to get colder.  And have you guys seen the new buildings at BYUI? They look incredible, I can’t wait to see them.
Well, I’ll give ya a quick update.  Bear and Nicole came outta nowhere and came to church!  We’ll proly pick them up in a couple weeks.  And we got a referral!!!  Someone in a different ward has been bringing someone to church with them for 7 weeks!!!  We hear she is golden!  Ready to be baptized!  We were very excited to hear that!  We will meet her next week and I’ll let you know how that goes.  And we also picked up a new investigator!  She is 12, name is Emily Weil, she is from a PMF, we actually thought she was baptized, but then we looked at the records and realized she wasn’t!  So that was nice, she came to church as well and is coming consistently.  And Patrick and Rebecca Kerr made it to church too!  So 4 inv. at church!  And we weren’t expecting anyone!  And we did a ton of tracting, but it looks like the Lord is blessing us indirectly for our hard work.
Oh and really quick, I am running out of that journal notebook paper Dad, where can I get more or could you possibly order some for me?  Thanks!
Love you guys!
Elder Horning

 

Feb 21 2011

First things first, Happy Birthday Mom!!!!  I am sending you your present today, I know you’ll love it!  So, it will probably be late.  Yeah, its been raining here, but it doesn’t rain as much as in the rainy season of Ohio.  It actually snowed here this week!  A very rare occurance, in our area it was raining and snowing off and on, it couldn’t make up its mind.  Which really stinks too, it was like 34 degrees and raining, so pretty miserable.  We went out that day and got pretty soaked, when we were heading back to the apartment my fingers were freezing, and then when I went to go unlock the door… I realized I did not have my key!!!!  So we waited for like 10 mins for the other elders to come unlock it!  That was fun.  And for the notebook paper Dad, its not 8 1/2 by 11.  Its a lot smaller than that, but yeah, I just need extra sheets, not a whole new book, I’m going to try and search for some today though.  And yeah I don’t think I have missed very many days writing in it.  And I sent my license renewal stuff in, but haven’t gotten anything back, its a real bummer not having photo ID, so I hope it gets back soon.
The work is picking up slowly, we have several appointments next week with potential new investigators, so we are crossing our fingers those appts go through.  We didn’t have many lessons this week.  Actually, we had 2 deaths in the ward, one was Bear and Nicole’s Mom, who died unexpectedly, she was in her 40s.  Nicole is taking it hard, but I think it is really going to help them in the long run.  They have already said they really want to set a date immediatly, they just need to quit smoking.  This sunday we actually had the 2nd counsellor in the mission presidency, President Edwards, call us in the morning and tell us he was coming to our ward council!!!  So that was interesting, but I think the bishop was more stressed than we were!  At the meeting the ward set a goal for the number of baptisms they want next year.  This last year there was 6, next year they want to double that, which would be very impressive, that is quite a lofty goal.  Oh, one thing I’ve been dealing with has been some poision oak I acquired.  It haas been oozing out for 4 days straight, so I have been asking everyone if its supposed to do that.  Its getting better today though!  One investigator surprised us at church, Louise Cortez, we have been teaching his family for 5 months and he finally came!  So that was nice.  And I will hit my 11 month mark this week, it is hard to believe it has been 11 months already…   We are giving talks in sacrament meeting next week too, I’m very excited, I love getting up and the podium and giving a powerful sermon!  Makes me feel like Jeffrey R. Holland or Bruce R. McKonkie.  I think thats about it though, nothing too exciting!
I’m glad to hear Emily is goin for Honors!  Good job, you won’t regret it.  I have really seen in Redding the value of an education.  With it, you have the freedom to do almost anything, without it, you are litterally trapped, or damned for a religious term, your progression is halted  I love you Mom! Have a wonderful birthday!
Love you all!
Elder Michael Horning

 

Feb 28 2011

Hello Family!!!!
So your finally no longer the RS president huh?  Yeah, thats a big calling.  Thats cool Sarah is the 2nd counsellor.  So, no longer teaching the gospel priciples class?  And your package is en route, so you’ll get it soon!  Yeah, and thanks Dad for your effort on the journal, I love that little thing and its nice to write in it every night.  Oh!  I got my drivers license too!!!!  They used the same picture though from my old one, so I guess I’ll look 16 til I’m 25!
We gave our talks at church on Sunday.  They went pretty well, I was glad to do it, but I love the feeling of relief when it is done.  I always get nervous getting in front of people.  I felt bad though, I was the last speaker, and there was like 10 mins left in the meeting, and I hate to look at the clock, so I went 10 mins over and then the Bishop got up after me and said a few things, so sacrament meeting was 30 mins late!  We had 5 people come to church though!  Thats the most we have had in a while.  We have a couple baptisms coming up too.  Next week we are actually singing at an 8 year olds baptism in the ward, she requested that we sing, I Need Thee Every Hour.  The week after that, the 12th, is Claire’s baptism, then the week after that is Emily Weil’s baptism.  Transfers are in 2 weeks though so I might miss Emily’s.  We also have an appt with a referral from the 1st ward.  I guess she has been coming to church for several weeks, so that is really exciting!  We also picked up a new investigator!  Vale Peterson, she actually has been taught by the ZLs unbeknownst to us, but they haven’t been able to get a hold of her recently.  She says she wants to get baptized, but probably has some WoW issues, and we think she’s actaully married to 2 people presently…   As I am up on my 2nd transfer training Clark, I can see how raising children can ber very discouraging.  I want him to be better than I was, and if he’s not, I feel like I have failed.  I have also noticed I am not very patient with others weaknesses.  I expect a lot out of people who have decided to serve a mission and don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who don’t keep all the rules.  Also, I don’t know if its something I need to deal with or what, but one Elder in our apartment constantly has the sniffles.  What I mean by that is when you have a runny nose and you don’t want to use a kleenex.  Well, he does it very loud, constantly throughout the day and it drives me insane!!!  I have been with him all 6 months up here and have not said anything.  You think I should say something if it bugs the heck outta me, or should I just continue to deal with it?
I know that being humble however, makes life much easier.  It really helps with getting along with people and avoids arguments.  In proverbs it says that only by pride cometh contention.  I just have a testimony on that, I still need to work on it, but its very important.
Sorry I haven’t written too much, I love you all!  Thanks for your emails!
Love, Elder Michael Horning

 

Mar 7 2011

Hello Family!!
Ha, I knew you would like that stuff Mom!  Those DVDs are amazing though, they are a real treasure.  They provide hours and hours of really wholesome media that can be substituted for regular TV watching.  And they are great to use in Sunday lessons too, or FHE.  I can’t praise those DVDs enough!  The church did a great job with those.  And thanks for sending the paper Dad!  I believe thats the right stuff, if not I’ll let you know.  Congratulations Sarah on graduating!  I bet that was a fun and rewarding celebration.  And about that money thing Mom- Technically yeah, we’re probably not allowed, but really its up to the individual missionary.  Don’t let them try and give you that garbage about not excepting money, they could take it if they wanted… you could ask him if they brake any other mission rules like not waking up on time… I would love to hear their response to that one!  You could tell them that since you are a single sister, you can’t have the Elders over and you want to help pay for one of their meals.  I don’t see how they could say no to that.  But yeah, thats lame.  Not gonna lie though, I think I’ve been guilty of that, but I have changed my view about letting people help me.  Because I am denying someone blessings that wants to help me but I am not letting them.  So you could guilt trip them with that too!  Oh, you could righteously rebuke them as well and read the 1st page in their white handbook about “learning and living the higher law taught by Jesus Christ.”  That’ll do it!  Good luck with the job thing too Dad, I keep praying for ya!
This will probably be my last week in Redding.  President usually likes to keep us places for a while.  I have been with all my companions for 2 transfers, and its rare to be kept for 3 with one companion, so chances are I will leave!  Its kind of exciting, but also stinks because the ward is doing great now, and I might go to an area that is dead.  So I’ll let you know next week where I go!!!  We have interviews with President this week, so I’ll see if he says anything there.
We had a really good week this week though.  We had a pretty good amount of appts.  Which was really good since it was raining a lot.  I have a sore throat today, probably from being out in the rain… We finally met with a referral from the 1st ward.  She is awesome, her name is Jane McMullen.  She’s in her 40s and divorced with 2 kids.  For some reason its always the women that investigate the church.  I think I’ve had only a couple male investigators thus far.  But I would really love to be here for the whole teaching process with her, but if I leave I won’t be able to see that!  So that would be a bummer, but good for Clark though!  We have a baptism this Saturday too!  Its Claire Janeway, she’s 9.  Her mom is recently coming back to church and she is great, I bet she is here to stay.  Its probably been cooler to see the change in her than in Claire!  We are teaching her the Law of Chastity and WOW today!! AHHH!! We were dreading teaching her that, but we are just going to watch those Doctrine and Covenants DVDs, so that makes it a lot less painful.  And we have just got a great bishop too, I really like Bishop Loader.  We are way tight with him too.  Our ZLs wanted us to bring up some issues we are having with our WML, and I reluctantly agreed to bring it up with the bishop.  But Bishop Loader was very open with us and really appreciated our feedback and told us that we can tell him anything.  And its just neat to see a huge difference in the relationship we had when I first got here.
Oh, and there’s a 5k this week in the 2nd ward.  And the Stake President is running in it and people we’re saying how hard he would be to beat.  I am very tempted to run in the race, I think that would be fun to beat him!
Oh, and thanks for the advice on the sniffling, I proly won’t say anything since I’ll probably just have a week left.  Things have been much more bearable!
And also, check out Prez Uctdorfs talk this month in the Ensign, I really enjoyed it and am determined to be more positive and look and dig for the positives in others.  Oh, and thanks in advance for writing your conversion story Mom.  I often refrence Dad’s and I think the people we are teaching will find it useful as well.
Love you all!
Elder Michael Horning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 14 2011

Hello Family!!
Guess who’s getting transfered??? This Guy!  Going to paradise 2nd in the Chico Zone.  My new companions name is Elder Grant, not sure how long he has been out or anything, haven’t gotten a hold of him yet.  But I’m excited!  Its about an hour south of here I think.  And… best part, I’M IN A CAR!!!!  That will for sure be a nice break.
Thanks for all your emails too.  No, we haven’t gotten anything from the earthquake, I heard about how big it was though.  Thats cool that Sister Hunter got an article in the Mormon Times.
We had Claire’s baptism on Saturday too!  That was nice to see before I left.  Although, we really dropped the ball.  We forgot to invite a lot of people and the primary president is super upset that we didn’t let her know when it was.  We just completely spaced it.  But that happened right before I left Rocklin too, so maybe it is bound to happen.  We did have 5 people at church too!  Bear and Nicole came, they still really want to get baptized, but unfortunatley always cancel our meetings.  And Jane McMullen, the refferal from 1st ward, came too.  She is awesome, I’m really gonna miss teaching her!  We also committed her to baptism this week, she said that she’s not ready right now, but I have no doubt she will be baptized in the near future.
Oh, and I got a letter from the Bills and they wanted me to bear my testimony.
I will write what I have learned since seminary and what I wish I would’ve known in the seminary days.  First things first, repentance is an amazing thing.  Being born of the spirit is beautiful.  read Alma 5 and Mosiah 3-4 for more.  Also strict obedience keeps us out of trouble.  There was a lot of heartache I could’ve avoided if I would’ve done what I knew was right.  Making the right decision however is not always easy, sometimes its a humbling thing to make the right choice.  Also, we can be a tool in the Lord’s hands if we are humble and submit to His will.  Thats the only unique thing we actaully have, our free will.  Everything else is a gift from God.  Prayer is real too!  God really does love us and wants to hear from us, and He WILL help us if we ask for it.  Those seminary books are a treasure, read them!  I know that the church is true and that the restored gospel is the ONLY WAY to be eternally and really happy in this life!  I love the gospel, it has made my life so much better.  I love you all!
Sorry its short!  See you in paradise!!
Love Elder Michael Horning

Mar 21 2011

Hello Family!

 

Well, Paradise is EXACTLY like Rootstown.  Pretty much everyone in the congregation is over 60.  And we are in the hills.  Everything is pretty spread out.  Thats one disadvantage to a car area, it means that the ward is really spread out and fewer members.  But it is gorgeous here, there are evergreens everywhere and occasional redwoods.  It has rained everyday since I got here, but its not too bad since we have a car.  I hate being cold and wet though so when we go out in the rain I wear my running pants underneath my slacks, and let me tell you, they are a life saver!!  Its so comfortable with those on.  And that vest has really come in handy too, thanks Mom.  And those gloves that you sent a while ago are great.  I wasn’t expecting it to be so cold in California!  Thanks for writing your conversion story Mom!  I haven’t read it yet, but I will soon!  We live with members and for the most part its pretty nice.  It didn’t smell the best so we got a bunch of candles and now it is actually really nice.  Our bathroom isn’t the greatest, I’ve done what I can to clean it up. I love Elder Grant too, he’s a hard worker.  We have done a lot of tracting since we don’t have anyone to teach.  On Saturday we did like 3 hours of tracting and on Sunday we did like 2.  He is from Texas, has been out 16 months, and apparently is a pretty good Rugby player.  He asked if I knew where Bowling Green was, I guess they offered him a scholarship to play there!  Pretty nuts, and he knew about Kent and Miami of Ohio.  The car is way nice too, brand new Ford fusion!

Like I said, when I got here on Tues we had 0 investigators.  But on Saturday we met with a PMF, the Parkers. Jessica Parker is a member and has been LA for a long time but wants to come back to church, and her husband has come with her in the past and wants to come to church as well.  I think he’ll get baptized soon, I don’t think he thinks so though!  And their 13 year old daughter Stormy isn’t baptized.  So that was way exciting!!  We picked up 2 new investigators, and then, they came to church on Sunday!  Which was a real surprise since there was a storm and a lot of people’s power went out.  So there is a ray of hope!  Every new area that I have gone to, the teaching pool is always very low, but I guess its probably like that in most areas.

So yeah, its just like Rootstown!  There are maybe like 10 youth, and everyone else is ancient with a couple young families sprinkled in.  It just makes me wonder how we are going to find people to teach!  What have the sisters done in the ward to boost the teaching pool?  The Bishop is anti activities, and everyone is old, so not a lot of people show up.  So we think we are going to be doing a lot of tracting, also having a lot of Active member lessons, and visit all the part member families.  Any other suggestions????

Thanks for the journal paper again too Dad!  I think thats about it!  I love you all!

Elder Michael Horning

Mar 28 2011

Hello Family!
Sorry about the Rootstown comment!  I guess that was a big ripple effect!  But I was just trying to help you paint a picture of what the ward was like!  And its not bad that we have so many old people, I really enjoy the people here.
We just got done going on a hike and it was gorgeous!   Paradise is really pretty.  I took tons of pictures.  It reminds me a lot of Ohio because of all the green and trees, my other area’s were all dry and not many trees, so this is a home away from home.
So what are you now Sarah? An LPN?  Thats really exciting that your career is all lined up.
This week we did a lot of tracting.  But I’ve been thinking recently that volunteering at places in the community would be the way to go.  Just get ourselves out there, making ourselves visible.  And we have a hospital in our area (although it is owned the the 7th Day Adventists) but that might be a possibility.  There is also a big event here, the Gold Nugget Days.  I guess that the first nugget found in California was in Magalia (an area we cover just above Paradise).  So we are going to try to set up a booth there.  And the Elders Quorum is having a pig roast on April 30th, so we are excited about that!  We hope that people will invite their friends.
We had a neat experience this week.  We had dinner with a family, the Hawe’s, and they told us about one of their friends that had asked them some questions about the church.  So we stopped by and talked to her, but she didn’t seem very interested.  But then we called the Hawe’s on Wednesday and said they had an hour conversation with her about the church and she said she would come to church with them this week!  Then Sunday morning she called them and said she couldn’t make it, but then when church was starting, she showed up!  So I am optimistic that we will teach her, just don’t know when.  And it was fast and testimony meeting and one guy got up and had notes, so I was already a little worried what would happen.  He gave a 20 min talk on how every other church was incorrect.  So that was interesting, but no repercussions, so that was good.
And things are going great with Elder Grant, we’re getting along well.  He’s pretty funny, and doesn’t talk much.  And our apartment is actually shapin up.  Its actually pretty nice now.
Oh and yeah, I hit my year mark!  And what was funny is that I was actually with Elder Clifford (my mtc comp) on that day.
I’m trying to get through the BOM in a month again.  And I have a fresh copy, so I’m trying out a study technique.  I’m highlighting every reference to faith and repentance.  It is a neat experience to study that way.
But yup, thats whats goin on.  Tell Emily to have fun in Florida! That will be fun!
Love you guys!
Elder Michael Horning

Apr 4 2011

All right, mass email time.  I think I’ll try and send short notes to respond to your individual emails and make a mass one about my week.

I’ll give a shout out to Sarah!  Congrats on passing the test!

Conference was fantastic. We were at the church and a nice Sister in the ward who fed us lunch in between sessions.  Did you guys get the email of some pictures of me?  Someone we are teaching has a Browns helmet signed by Mike Holmgren and I put it on and he snapped some photos then sent them to ya.  I’m assuming you didn’t get them though.

And we actually picked him up as a new investigator this week!  He is a non member spouse and has been coming to church for like 2 or 3 years with his wife.  He actually told us he is planning on getting baptized next month!  We were pretty excited to hear that, we’ll see if he follows through with it.  He is good friends with a lot of members, so he has some great fellowship.  So we are very excited with our teaching pool.  We went from zero to hero, with hopefully 2 or 3 baptisms coming up.

Oh and some exciting news! Elder Christofferson is supposed to be at our mission next month!  First time meeting an apostle!

Something I’ve studied this week has been the will of the flesh vs the spirit.  It seems that this life is a test of how we react when we are physically tired or hurt.  When we are tired or feel pain, we want to resort to the will of the flesh because it will relieve our physical pain immediately, but the test is to be patient and long suffering and not give in to the will of the flesh, but submit to the spirit.  In Gethsemane, Christ suffered in agony and he responded by not succumbing to the flesh but by praying to His Father (Luke 22:44 I think)  So that has been kinda interesting.  That talk at conference really sparked my interest in that too.

Sorry the email is short, I hate being pressed for time.

But I love you guys!  I hope your business does well this year Ange and I hope your trip was good Emily!

Love, Elder Michael Horning

Apr 11 2011
First of all, congratulations Emily on being in NHS!  You will not regret working hard in High School, trust me.  I am very proud of you!
I got poison oak last Monday and at first it was just a little on my arm and now it has covered both of my arms!  Its pretty gross looking.  I am gonna try and get some stuff for it today, but I should just have it for one more week, maybe 2.
Oh and I have some way exciting news!  Guess who’s coming to our mission?  Elder D. Todd Christofferson!! My first Apostle I get to meet!  He is coming May 14th or 15th, I forget.  All the missionaries in the mission will be there, so thats about 200 missionaries.  President said that he wants us to come with a gospel question.  I can’t think of any good ones.  So write me and let me know what your questions are and I’ll see if I can ask him for you!  Our stake is having a stake conference with him the next day too.
I went up to Redding on Saturday to see Bear and Nicole’s baptism too!  That was neat to see.  It stinks that if I was just there 4 more weeks I would have completely saw beginning to end, but close enough.  I got to see Elder Gardner and Clark too, and that was a good reunion.  Elder Clark actually broke his ankle so he is in a boot and in a car area.
We have had some huge miracles this week.  Gary Simmons, who we picked up last week, and has been investigating for 12 years, committed to baptism!  May 7th.  I love telling all the members because their eyes get really wide and they’re always like, “Are you serious!? Gary is getting baptized!?”  The ward has been waiting for this for a long time and it is so neat to be a part of it!  And its always funny how little we do as missionaries, but how richly we are blessed.  The members of the ward did all the work, but WE get to be a part of the teaching process and see him change.  That was so exciting.  Finally someone that isn’t getting baptized right before I leave!  (Hopefully, I think I’ll be here for 6 months tho)
Then, Roger Parker, who has been coming to church with his wife, also committed to baptism!  And also their 3 kids did too!  Their 2 boys were previously in foster homes, so they are just starting to get them all back.  So we thought we just had 2, but its turned into 4!  It is just so neat to teach a family.  Not many missionaries I would venture get a privilege like this.
So we are way excited for what the future brings and have been richly blessed by the Lord.  I attribute some of it anyway to all the tracting we did the first 2 weeks!
But I think thats about it!  I love you guys!  Thank you for your support, I really appreciate the sacrifices made on my behalf.
Love Elder Michael Horning

Apr 18 2011

Hello Family!

 

Glad to hear Emily is applying at Panera!  Ya know if that doesn’t work out, please don’t get a fast food job.  There are a lot better options, they’re just harder to find.  And oh, also volunteer places, it looks way good on applications and is just really fun!

Well, today we actually went golfing with our investigator Gary Simmons.  I don’t really like golf, its too slow of a pace, and I’m not very good!  He’s doing really well.  Our lesson on tithing lasted like 10 mins.  We gave him a pamphlet to read, he said he read it, understands it and we committed him to live it and he said, duh, of course.  The lessons with him are going to be pretty easy.  When you have been coming to church for a decade I bet you learn a couple things.  And the Parkers are doing great too.  Roger has actually been one of the most consistent men in coming to elders quorum.  He shared a neat experience with us this week.  He is totally on board for getting baptized.  One thing that has been a kind of testimony builder is that he has put an ad in the telephone book for 2 yrs for his work and hasn’t had any responses from it.  But all of a sudden since he has met with us, 2 people have called him asking him to work for them.  That was pretty cool.  And it is nuts how the work has picked up so suddenly.  We tried to look into some volunteer opportunities this week.  There is this place called the gold nugget museum, at the end of April the whole town comes to see the “gold nugget days.”  Its a pretty big deal with a parade at the end.  But we might be working at that.  The lady at the museum was trying to rope us in to a lotta stuff though, so we might or might not do it.  It might take up too much time.

Any questions for Elder Christofferson?  Ya know what I might ask him and maybe someone can answer this.  How do we keep exact obedience from becoming Pharisee/Saducee obedience?  One lady told me this week, “People are more important than rules.”  And that really struck me.  Am I too concerned about following the rules than loving the people?  The Stripling warriors “obeyed with exactness,” so how did they keep from becoming obsessed with the rules?

I think thats about it.  My poison oak has just turned to scabs now.  Thankfully its not itching!

Love You,

Elder Michael Horning

Apr 25 2011
Whats Up Family!!??
We had transfers today and I totally did not expect anything to be switched up, but it was.  Elder Grant is goin down to Roseville.  I am getting Elder Butler, who will be out a year next week.  And that means, I get to drive!!!  I feel bad for Elder Grant though, he wasn’t expecting it and he will miss Gary and the Parkers baptism.  And I really wanted to stay with him one more, we just started to get along great.  But yeah thats big news.  I don’t know if I’m ready to take over!
You know what, I have really learned a lot this week about service.  I am very selfish and like to occupy my thoughts with, me.  But I have really realized that the most happiness comes from thinking constantly of someone else, and you really really grow to love someone when you serve them.  Also, I have learned a lot about the “enabling power of the Atonement.”  Elder Bednar gave a great talk on it that another missionary here gave me and it has really opened my eyes to the strength that God grants us.  Much like the Nephites who were completely outnumbered, yet they cried to the Lord and trusted he would deliver them and despite the odds, he did!  Its just like that with our lives.
We had an interesting lesson with Gary this week.  We went over the Word of Wisdom and he said he will still drink coffee until he runs out, which should be this week he said.  Is that repentance?  I think we might need to go over that some more.  I just hope that he doesn’t start drinking it a couple weeks after he gets baptized.  But if he passes the interview than I guess he’s good to go.  But yeah, he definatly has an interesting view on it.
And for the Parkers, we hit a little road block.  We went over and committed Roger to live the Word of Wisdom, and he didn’t say yes.  He said he would try and seemed like he had something that was really holding him back from wanting to quit drinking coffee.  He is a janitor, so the coffee energizes him late at night.
I think thats about it though!  Love you all!
Elder Michael Horning

 

May 2 2011

Hello Family!
For Mothers Day, I will just call you.  I will be calling at 1pm our time.  1 to 2 actually, I don’t think we’ll have a meeting after church, but if we do we will call at 1:30 or 2.  And I’m excited to talk to everyone!  Oh, and what is the population of hartville?  People ask me and I think its 2,000 but I dunno.
Well, what can I say about Elder Butler???  Well, he actually has ceribrial palsy, so its really cool that he is out.  He can’t do a whole lot of service, and I have to walk kinda slow.  But he is an interesting guy… he really likes Star Wars, he is kinda stuggling with home though, he is kinda homesick.  But I really like him.  I really enjoy being senior comp, having control over certain things is really nice, and… I get to drive!  I think I’ve realized that I really enjoy being the center of attention, and I feel uncomfortable when I am not.  Thats my hypothesis…
We almost had a minor crisis.  Gary was really not wanting to quit coffee, and its down to the wire so he can’t drink any more.  But, we never told him that he had to be completely free of it for a week, kind of hoping he would quit before now.  I was really stressing about calling him and telling him.  But I prayed that the Lord would soften his heart, and he did!  He took it really well, and he said, “well, I guess you won’t make that mistake again.” Yup!  I will never shy away about that again, it could have caused a lot of problems, it potentially still can if he slips up once.  But thankfully coffee is not that addictive.  We are expecting to fill the chapel at his baptism, its gonna be huge!
Roger is doing great.  On friday he was really excited to tell us he was only down to one cup of coffee!  And he was bearing his testimony to us about how he knows that God loves him and his family because He sent them us.  So that made me feel kinda good!  And their whole family came to church, they are very consistent.  And they are always dressed very nice in their sunday clothes, despite the fact they are not the most well off.
We also picked up a new investigator!  His name is Chuck, his wife and son are members.  We were teaching the wife and son, but the Mom left to Bakersfield and Chuck doesn’t know if she is ever coming back.  So I think he is really humbled right now and wants to have God in his life.  So we’ll see what happens with him.  We have a ward activity this week we are hoping he comes to.
The bishop also gave us a referral this week that we contacted and she is seems really interested.  We stopped by and she said she was super busy, but would love if we came back again to sit down and talk to her.  So she seemed really promising.
On Sunday I read something I thought was really interesting.
This is in Alma 37.  Alma is talking to Helamen about the Liahona and it worked by their faith and dillegence.
41Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by asmall means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were bslothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
And the rest of the chapter also got me thinking, that reading the scriptures and praying everyday are small things, but they bring marvellous changes!  And because reading and praying everyday is a small thing, it is easy to become “slothful” and not read and pray everyday.  Thus, we, like Lehi’s family, will not progress in our journey.
In vs 42 it says they didn’t travel in a direct course.  Sound familar?  The “straight and narrow”  as Nephi calls it in 2 Ne. 31, leads to eternal life.
In vs 44 it plainly says that giving heed to the words of Christ, or reading the scriptures will lead us to the “promised land” or in other words eternal life.
I like what Alma ends with:
46 O my son, do not let us be aslothful because of the beasiness of the cway; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would dlook they might elive; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
Let us not be slothful either because of the easiness of the way.  And if we look, (read and pray daily) we will live!
Love you all!  Can’t wait to talk to you!
Elder Michael Horning

May 9 2011

Hello everyone!
Great to talk to everyone yesterday!  It really helps me to talk about the things I’m dealing with now so thank you.
This week we had the baptism of Gary Simmons this week and it was great. The ward has been waiting a long time for it and it was neat to be a part of. We have Roger Parkers baptism this week and unfortunatly, I didn’t prepare for it at all!  I didn’t think he would make it actually (that sounds pretty bad huh?) but I didn’t know if he would be able to quit coffee, but on Sunday he said he was on day 2!  So now I am scrambaling to make sure everything we need to do is set up.  We had a great ward activity on Saturday too.  We had a dinner, a little musical entertainment and a tour of the building.  We sang Nearer My God to Thee and another girl sang a great song, way better than ours thank goodness.  And the tour was really cool, I have never seen how a chapel tour would work so it was a neat experience.  Maybe the Rootstown or Canton wards could do something like that eh?  We also had Zone Conference this week.  The last one for the Pendletons.  We sang a revised version of the Mission song, kind of saying goodbye.  I feel lucky to be in this transistion of Mission Presidents.  Our new mission President is President Weston, he has 4 small kids too, so it will be interesting to have such a young family as the new Mission President.  Although since we drove there we have to now limit the amount of miles we use the rest of the month, which is kind of a pain.
I think thats about it,
Happy Mothers Day again Mom!  I love you!  Thanks for all you taught me about being obdient, talking to people and loving the gospel!
Love Elder Horning

 

May 16 2011

Hello family!
Congrats Mom on the calling, sounds like a big job.  I have always wondered what the job is for those stake callings.
Elder Christofferson came this week!  All the missionaries got to shake his hand.  Elder Hallstrom from the presidency of the 70 and Elder McMullin from the Presidening Bishopbric were also there.  So, lots of priesthood power!  Elder Christofferson didn’t speak on anything too earth shattering.  There was a Q&A, I wish I would have thought more about a good question to ask.  One elder asked what the responsibilties of the tribe of mannaseh were.  I thought that was kind of a dumb question.  Then we had a special stake conference with Elder Hallstrom in our stake.  That was neat, he said something pretty interesting, he said that its possible to be active in the church, but LA in the gospel.  The church is there to help us live the gospel.  Kinda interesting.
We had an amazing week this week.  It didn’t seem like it during the week, but when I totaled our numbers, we did amazing!  And we had the most active member lessons this week as well, and I don’t think that that is any coincidence.  We picked up a new investigator.  Judy Campbell, she is the dental assistant for Bishop Mackay.  And she is amazing, she has already read the BOM (she’s taken lessons in the past) and says she already knows its true.  So I committed her to baptism and I guess it kinda freaked out the bishops wife, who was present at the lesson.  I knew I should have preped her before the lesson!!  I guess thats what you get for not following an impression.  Never quiet those by the way, (like I did)  things go better when we follow immediatly.  But now we will prepare her from now on.  And for another reson too, I think she likes to impress everyone with what she knows, so she includes tons of information about like where the BOM lands are down in Guatemala, and went in depth about Jewish law.  Se was really feeding here Meat before the Milk.  And thats not the first time she has talked about irrelevent stuff, one time she got into Kolob somehow.  I am kinda worried that Judy’s brother in law will feed her a bunch of Anti, he’s a born again and way active in it from the the bishop says.  So I’m just hoping she doesn’t get antied.  But if she doesn’t she will be awesome.  And she has a teenage daughter who wants to take the lessons too!
Roger Parkers baptism is next week because of stake conference on sunday.  He is doing great.  He had his interview this week and he was super nervous for it, but after it was done he got a huge grin on his face, ear to ear.  It was funny.  We went to their house this week to watch the Testaments (normally we meet at the church)  and their house is a mess.  I don’t think the Spirit can dwell in messy homes, so we are going to have a lesson this week on how our bodies and houses are like temples.  I’m worried that they potentially could go LA, they don’t know many people and its a huge lifestyle change for them.  So we are trying to get them in some members homes for a dinner and lesson.
Thats pretty much it, things are going great in the ward, we have awesome members.  So, things are just going amazing!
Love you all!
Elder Horning

 

May 23 2011

Hello Family!
Did anyone get raptured?
Oh, and mom, if you could send it to 4934 Lago Vista Paradise, CA 95969 that would be great!  Thank you!
And I’ll give a shout out to David, nice job getting into the program!!!
Well, this morning we actually helped someone move, we were there for a few hours.  Thankfully the other 4 missionaries in Paradise helped, they had a really good attitude about doing some service on P-Day!  But we are pretty tired.
We had Rogers baptism this week!!!  I actually baptized him because Elder Grant couldn’t find a ride up here.  I didn’t think he went down all the way at all, but the 2 witnesses (Elder Sommer and Erickson) said it was good.  As soon as I got him up, I saw Elder Sommers face and it definatly seemed like he thought it wasn’t good, but Elder Erickson said it was ok.  But I totally should’ve done it again anyway.  So hopefully he recieves the Priesthood next week and then can baptize his kids with the next couple of weeks.
So now that we baptized Gary and Roger, were not teaching too many other people, at least ones that are progressing very fast.  So we are really working on trying to find new people and also teaching the new member lessons.  We had our interviews with President this week and he said that Elder Butler will be more important than the work in the ward.  Something to that effect anyway.  I like one thing he said, that some of his best converts on his mission were his campanions.
I can’t think of anything else to write… um, I think thats about it, sorry its short.
Love you all,
Elder Horning

 

May 30 2011

NOO!!!!  Not Jim Tressel!!!!  Thats too bad.  I don’t like all this change in the sporting world, college football will be completely different.
Happy Memorial Day!  We’re not really doing anything to celebrate or commemorate it.  I remember that this time last year I was running a 5k with Archibald!  Its crazy that its been a year since that.  And thats cool you ran into Jenna, yeah, totally call Sis Egli, I wonder how Eggs is doin.
Sister Butler sent me a reply to my letter.  It was really helpful.  It was helpful to try and understand him, but not as far as helping him change, I’m not sure who could do that.
Oh and by the way, Mexican Lasagna is delicious!!  We had it twice this week and I fell in love with it.  Can you make that for me when I come home Mom?
Transfers are next week, I’m not sure if I’ll be transferred, its up in the air.  My DL, Elder Strickland who I go home with and I absolutely love, gave the input that I should be transferred.  It would be weird to only be in an area for 2 transfers though, thats not very long at all!  I don’t really know anyone really well!  But we’ll see.
Gary Simmons recieved the priesthood on Sunday!  Thats the first time someone I taught got the priesthood!  Hopefully Roger recieves it next week.  Speaking of the Parkers, we finally found a great fellowshipper for them.  The Southwicks, we had a lesson in their house with the Parkers and it went great.  And we got a new investigator this week!  We tracted into her a couple weeks ago and we we finally were able to meet with her.  Funny story about that, she called us the day we had the appt to confirm it and she said she was meeting with the Baxters ( a senior couple in the 3rd ward)  at 2 that same day!  I was trying to figure out how they knew the Baxters!  She told us she actually went to church last sunday!  She went with her friend to the 3rd ward, who actually got baptized 3 months ago!  Her name is Karen, and shes one of like 10 black people in Paradise.  She’s way cool.  She has had a really rough past though.  When she was 6 on her way to kindergarden, she saw a dead guy with a huge hole in his forehead with his eyes wide open.  Way spooky. (sorry, hope no one gets nightmares!)  But she was awesome, she was actually taking notes and writing in her BOM.  We just have to get her to the 2nd ward.
Thats about it though, things are going great here!
Thanks for your letters and prayers!
Love ya, Elder Horning

Jun 6 2011

Beth had a baby???? When did this start?  And when did Boyd move to Strongsville? He would be the EQ prez.  Interesting.  Anything else goin on?  Congratulations to Beth and Scott!

We got our transfer calls this morning… I’m staying here and Butler is going to Corning.  Kinda funny, his last companion was Horning, he’s going to Corning, and found out in the morning.  We weren’t expecting that, although I had an idea that that would be a possibility.  I am getting Elder Bouchelle, I guess its french and means “small mouth.”  Something like that, he has been out 5 months.  I told some of the ward I might be getting transferred, so I think it will be a big shocker to see that Butler got the boot.  It was kinda funny, because we already had a ride in place.  I called a member in the ward to be on standby just in case I would be transferred, but instead he’s taking Butler!  I am very glad I am staying here.  3 months is not enough time.  But its always interesting getting used to a new companion, but I’m very excited. 

Church was very eventful this week.  Gary Simmons got up and bore his testimony!!!  I did not see him doing that for years, he has told us that he is deathly afraid of public speaking, especially in front of a microphone.  So that kinda blew me away.  Roger received the priesthood.  And out EQ lesson was awkward, it was on tithing and the guy teaching didn’t think it was a commandment and like was confessing that he didn’t pay tithing and he and his wife fight about it.  Very awkward.  And Roger was there too!  But right afterward he came up to me and said that he needs to pay it.  We have been doing a lot of active member lessons.  The only people we are really teaching are Karen and the Parkers.  And we set a baptismal date with the Parker boys.  Although teaching them will probabaly be a pain, the 9 year old, James, is pretty active and doesn’t pay attention too long.

I have really, really learned the importance and power of prayer this week.  I have had a real spiritual awakening with prayer.  Its amazing that if I have specific problem or question, it often seems easier to go to another person for an answer.  But to get the best answer, it takes more time and work, but its worth it to ask God, he will answer, and we can get very specific instructions.  And I have learned what it means to pray always. Like literally, just all the time, getting on my knees and saying a quick prayer.  It doesn’t take a lot of time either!  But I am sad to say that I have really underestimated the power of prayer.  Because of the “simpleness of the way.”  Like what I wrote in my email a couple weeks ago.  When reading about the Israelites and the brass serpent, I always think, “Wow, how foolish.  All they had to do was look!”  And it ceases to amaze me how similar I am to them.  Because it seems like too simple of a solution.  But it is the solution!  The article in last months Ensign really influenced me.

But thats about it!  I’m doing great with everthing Mom, OH!  Thank you for the CDs!!!  Sorry I forgot till now.  I love them!  I bought a cd player and listen to them in the bath room (because I spend a lot of time in there) and its great, I feel a huge difference.  It really invites the spirit and gives me things to ponder in the morning and throughout the day.  So thank you.

Love you guys!

Elder Horning

Jun 13 2011
Hello family!
Thank you for the emails.  That new stake calling sounds fun Mom!  I bet it is totally new though.  My new companion is Elder Bouchelle (Boo-shell).  He is from Buena Vista, Virginia, where Southern Virginaia University is, the one owned by members of the church.  He really likes music, and he likes B-ball and soccer.  He’s a really good missionary.  He’s been out 5 months, so just a little guy.  He sings really well too, so we are starting to sing at lessons again.  I love that.  And he knows how to harmonize too!  His papa (trainer) Elder Bean is in the 3rd ward, so he is in the same district as him!  Crazy.  And he’s writing a girl too… worst idea ever.  It consumes missionaries thoughts.  He’s a lot like Miller.
We just got done with an awesome hike on some members in the 3rd wards property.  It was beautiful, their house overlooks a canyon, we hiked down into the canyon to some water falls.  Beautiful.  Although it came at a cost.  I bet I’m going to be covered in posion ok.  It was everywhere, but I bathed my arms and face in Tec-Nu, so I’m hoping I don’t get much, but I bet I will.
We are really needing to find people to teach.  Its cool that we had Gary and Roger, but now we don’t have anyone to teach.  We do have the Parker boys, James and Justin, who are 9 and 12.  But they are the most attentive kids, it doesn’t seem like they understand or retain a lot of what we teach.  We’re going to try and do some more visual aids and hands on stuff, which is gonna take a lot of planning.  But yeah, other than them, we are doing a lot of door knocking, and teaching active member lessons.
Oh and Happy Fathers day DAD!!!!!
I think thats about it!
Love you all, thank you for the prayers.
Elder Michael Horning

Jun 20 2011

Hello Family!

 

Glad to hear you got the card Dad!  Hope your fathers day went well!  That is sad that Bishop Jeppson got released, but an exciting start of the journey for Brother Mars.  I thought that was funny what you wrote Mom about plans for coming home!  I’m not there yet!  Although its crazy to think that I am down to single digits of months remaining and only 6 transfers left!!!!  It really has gone by fast and it is really sad to know that it is finite and has an end.  And thats nice that you noticed that about that sister going home Mom.  It really does make a difference when you can ride the plan home I think.

We picked up a new family to teach too!  Its a LA/PMF, the Jamesons.  The Mom, Ginger is divorced and has 2 boys Zach 10 and Steven 6.  She really wants to start coming back to church and Zach isn’t baptized so we will be teaching him.  We taught them on Thurs and then came to church on Sunday!  Usually that doesn’t happen, I was very impressed that she came all by herself, that takes a lot of courage.  She also has 2 LA friends that live down the street from her (Michael Johnson and LeAnn Murray, not married) that want to come back to church too, but are a little less motivated than Ginger.  But they also have a daughter that isn’t baptized so there might be some potential there.  But its really sad to see that Michael sees that his life is miserable, he feels a ton of guilt and he has no direction in his life, but won’t do the things that I know will bring him lasting happiness.  But we were very excited to just finally pick up someone new.  Its really interesting because the Parkers are kind of on the back burner now, the training wheels are off and they’re doin great.  We are still teaching them but at church they just know what they’re doin now.  Roger asked a question in the gospel principles class, first time I think he’s done that, so I think thats a sign that he’s feeling a lot more comfortable.

And Elder Bouchelle is a really good singer.  He can harmonize really well, and can beat box too.  I guess he was in an a capella group before he came out.  So we sing an awesome version of follow the prophet.  For some reason though I just feel super prideful.  He is a leader and a really good missionary, so I dunno if I just don’t want to take the counsel of a younger missionary and thats why I feel so prideful.  I just feel kinda in a rut, I feel like I’m becoming very complacent, but don’t know how to turn it around.  We are still working hard, but something is missing and I can’t figure out what.  I am praying a lot and trying to figure out what I need to change.  Any suggestions?  I think I like the role of a Robin though more than Batman, I’m a good supporting character, but always get puffed up when I get some authority.

And how is Ang doing?  I hope you can get a job Emily, I think that that is a really important thing.

But I think thats about it! Love you all!

Elder Michael Horning

Jun 27 2011
Hello Family!
Thanks for your email Mom, that was some good stuff.  And do you remember your ’08 Christmas letter?  I read it again this last week and it really meant a lot to me.  I definatly got more out of it this time.  I gues you could call it a “matriarchal blessing.”   Last week we had an interesting experience.  We helped the elders in the 3rd ward dig holes to plant… marijuana.  Yup.  Shes a member and is using it for medical purposes, and the bishop knows about it.  But very interesting, only in California.  Oh and what is Uncle Mat, Doug, and Phils addresses??  I suppose I should probably write all my extended family some letters.
This morning we went golfing with Gary Simmons.  Elder Bouchelle is a really good golfer but I stink.  I don’t think I’ll play it when I get back, its not fun when you haven’t got a clue what your doing.  Oh and guess what?  I got poison oak again!  Thats the 3rd time I’ve gotten it here and 4th time altogether, and the 2nd time at this members property.  Although I don’t think its going to get very bad, the member, Brother Eyslee, gave me some stuff that is helping out a ton.  Its covering my hands, but thankfully its only “bubbling up” nothing is surfacing so far and I hope I can keep it that way.  Its a pain, way worse than poison ivy I think.
This week has been pretty good.  We had dinner on Sunday with the Parkers and another active family in our ward, the Davis’s (who are awesome).  We’re hoping that they get to know some more people.  The Jameson boys who we are teaching came to a baptism this week too.  We missed the actual ordanince because we were so late, super bummer.  But one of their friends Will came and said he wants to be Mormon!  He’s 11 so we’ll see what his parents say.  We have dinner tonight with a family that just moved in that we’re hoping to pick up as new investigators.  Oh and do you know that Bishop that was shot in California?  I played football at BYU-I with his brother!  His brothers name is Matt Sannar and lives in Gridley, in Elder Bouchelle’s old ward!  I thought that was pretty nuts.  President Weston is coming this week too!  The Pendletons are leaving the 29th or 30th.  It will be really interesting to see this new transistion.
I’ve got a question though, how do all of you control your thoughts?  I really need to work on that and am defiantly open for suggestions.

A missionary in the 1st ward is from North Carolina and just made some Cajun shrimp and then we’re playing basketball after that, so I’m pretty excited, I haven’t been able to play a lot on my mission and am way, way out of shape.

Love you all!  (Emily, you will be getting a letter this week and Andrew too!)
Love Elder Michael Horning

 

Jul 7 2011

Hello Family!

Thanks for the addresses everyone!  I think I’ve got everyone, but its gonna take me a while to get those letters sent off.  I’m glad Emily and Ange got their letters!  I’m working on a birthday card for Emily!  Thanks for everyone’s comments on how to control thoughts, very helpful.

Oh Sarah, I’ve got a request for you.  I don’t have my trainers address and I want to write him, so here’s my plan to get it.  Could you add him as a friend on facebook?  His name is Taylor Archibald from Texas.  Tell him his son wants to write him a letter!  If you could do that that would be awesome.

This week has been really good.  We just had a tri-ward breakfast, that went pretty well.  We picked up 2 new investigators this week!  Their names are Jamie Whalberg and Lori Schmidt, Lori is Jamie’s mother.  Jamie is 21 and is married and has a little 6 month old son, which is absolutely crazy to think about, because we are the same age and she is married!  I can’t imagine.  But she actually came to church on Sunday!  She was kinda emotional though because her husband is away in Iraq, and everyone was thanking her for her husbands service, but she really misses him.  She is an awesome cook too, so every lesson we have, we some over for dinner.  She cooked gumbo for us, I think thats the first time I’ve had gumbo.  We have a deal going on where they make the dinner and we make the dessert.  Last time I tried to make apple crisp, but it wasn’t crispy at all.  It was super dry, I think I need to add more butter, but I was kinda diss disappointed with the way it came out.  But she gave me a recipe for peach cobbler so I’m trying that this week!

Oh and my poision oak is gone!  A member gave me some pills and it didn’t even make it to the itchy stage!  It just bubbled up then went back down!

And when we were getting ingredients for the apple crisp on Friday, a guy in old, ripped clothes and unshaven, came up to us and asked us for a card.  So we just gave him a pass along card and just kinda left it at that.  But then we came out of the store and he grabbed us again and asked where the building was and he said he was a member!  His name is Brandon, he just moved from Oregon with his wife, who isn’t a member and they want to come to church!  Thankfully he persisted!  We kinda dropped the ball on that.  We set up a return appt with them, and they said they would be there this sunday, but weren’t, so we’ll see.  But things are goin great.  Roger Parker said a prayer in Elder Quorum!  Which I was really surprised at, and the boys are still on track for baptism in the middle of the month.  We have interviews and zone conference with President Weston this week, so that will be cool to meet him and I’m going to ask him if I can stay here, I’m having a lot of fun in this ward.  Elder Bouchelle and I get along and the work and the ward are great!  But we’ll see!

I think thats about it and all I have time for!

Love you all!

-Elder Horning

Is Tanner home?  Tell him I love him!

Jul 11 2011
Hello Family!

We made the Bishopric cry on Sunday.  We sang “We’ll bring the World His Truth” and there were a lot of people that we could see were gettin a little emotional.  I wish I could have fully enjoyed it from the congregation.

We had Zone Conference this week in Redding.  We got introduced to the Westons, they have 4 kids.  But hearing them wasn’t the best part.  I saw that on the Departing Testimonies in the program, Elder Butler was listed on there.  I was shocked that he was going home, and was nervous for what he was going to say.  But his testimony was incredible!  He had a huge change of heart!  He bore testimony that God loves him (which was completely opposite from what he thought before) and that the test of life is to trust in God through trials.  And he said something to the effect of that he was sorry for putting his companions through a lot, and I also talked to him afterward and he apologized for being a crappy companion.  That really meant a lot to me, and what was just even more amazing was his huge change of heart, he said he wanted to raise a righteous posterity too, which he was totally opposed to having kids before.  And it was neat that I was his only previous companion that got to hear that.  So he’s goin home with his testimony!

We are teaching the guy that flagged us down, Brandon, and his wife, Amanda, who is the nonmember.  She is really open to learning more and they came to church!  No one else did though, kinda a bummer. BUT, a LA that we’ve been teaching since I got here, Esther Davis, finally came to church!  We had a great lesson with her during the week, where she told us that she is just not happy with anything in her life, so we sorta “prescribed” some things to do, like quitting coffee, coming to church, and reading and praying everyday.  So that was cool.

And yes it is getting warm here too.  Umm, I think thats about it.  Next week we are going to try and sing in all the nursing homes.

Oh!  And I loved the Ensign article “Start Moving.”  Thats kinda exactly how I feel.  I need to come up with some more goals, any ideas for some goals I could have on the mission??  I want to try and reach some outrageous goal, I want to find a pretty lofty goal I could have.  But what?

Love you all!  (I’m in the process of making your birthday picture emily!)

Elder Michael Horning 

Jul 18 2011

Hello Family!!

Transfers today…and…no ones going anywhere!  No one in our whole district actually, which is answer to prayer, I really love our District, we have an awesome group of dedicated Elders.  I am very excited to stay, things are just getting better and better in the ward.  We had 5 investigators at church yesterday!  That was way nice, usually we just have 2 to 3.  We had Justin and James Parker there (who are going to be baptized next week!) and Jamie and her mom Lori, and Amanda and her LA husband Brandon.  And we had 2 other LAs we’ve been working with that we have been trying to get out, Esther, and Ginger.  Esther has come 2 weeks in a row!!  Just an awesome, awesome day. And Jamie and Amanda exchanged numbers and really clicked, so that was cool to see.  And this week we have a ton of appts and a mexican fiesta and live mariachi band on saturday!  Oh, and check it out, my ZL, Elder Mortenson, who has the same hairline as me, is using this shampoo called Nioxin, and he said that some of his hair is starting to grow back!!  So I’m totally gonna try getting some today!

We also had some exciting news last night, the Butte County Jail called us and one of our RC/LA members is in jail and needed a ride home!!  So we told our WML about it and he went and got her.  That was crazy though, we had no clue she would be in jail!  She better come to church now!  We bailed her out.

We got a baptismal date with Amanda too!  Aug 13th.  So hopefully she’ll continue enduring to the end and be able to make that date.  I think thats about it!  Sorry the letter is short.

Love you all!

Elder Horning 

Jul 25 2011

Hello Family!!!

 

Sounds like things are pretty hot in Ohio.  I think it is way more mild here than there, things are pretty nice here.  Thanks for the comments on the pictures, I have been able to stay in pretty good shape, lots of pushups.  We just came back from another hike on the flumes.  This time we went down into the canyon and I got some awesome pictures/videos of a waterfall.  Oh, and could you send my old memory card back out that I sent to you? I would love to see those pictures of you guys!  Thanks mom.

Things are going great in the ward.  We had James and Justin’s baptism on Saturday.  It was an interesting baptism though, defiantly a memorable one.  First thing was that Roger just could not get the prayer right for the baptism to save his life!  It was very hard for him, and he didn’t really know how to dunk Justin, so he had to do it 3 times before he got all the way under!  He basically had to bend his knees so far that he baptized himself.  James was easy because he is so small.  Then for the special musical number, Sister Southwick, who has a great voice, choked up during her solo and could not finish the song.  I felt so bad for her, she tried to keep going, but eventually just had to say the words instead of sing them.  Then Jessica (their reactivated mom) gave the talk on the holy ghost and it was really neat to hear her testimony and how coming to church has blessed their family.

We had 3 investigators at church.  2 of them, Jamie and Amanda, are actually becoming fast friends!  They just met at the gospel principles class and have had a couple of play dates.  So we are hoping that Amanda helps encourage Jamie to baptism!  We are watching “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” this week with both of their families.  We are also teaching an excommunicated member as well, named Cindy.  She’s kinda bitter about the missionaries in Provo, apparently they are so busy that they didn’t have time to see her.  She said that she’s been in Paradise for 2 weeks and has seen the missionaries more in 2 weeks than the whole time she’s been in Provo!  But things are going great, Amanda is still workin toward getting baptized, and we have so many appointments that its hard to find time to tract!  And we did that a lot when Bouchelle first got here.

Happy Birthday David!  I will try to send off a card soon!

Love you all,

Elder Michael Horning

 

Aug 1 2011

Hello Family!

 

We had kind of a bummer week.  First, Jamie dropped us.  She was doing so well, she came to church 3 times and was reading the BOM and praying.  She sent us a text message on Thursday saying she wanted to be baptized, but only if it was in a creek or river.  So we were sorta excited, but sorta worried, because if there’s a font available it has to be done in the font.  We told her that after talking to President Weston and she was upset.  So we met with her on Saturday and had a pretty intense lesson with her.  She was very avid she wanted it done her way.  But that wasn’t her real concern, obviously, I don’t think anyone gets worked up just about where they want to be baptized.  But we could not find her deeper concern.  She obviously did not have a testimony, although she thinks she does.  I felt bad because I think I offended her.  I kinda told her I didn’t think she was being very humble about the whole situation, a “my will be done, not thy will”  sorta thing.  And the first qualification in D&C 20:37 is to be humble, and she obviously wasn’t, but maybe I could have handled the situation in a more tactful way.  But on Saturday night she said she didn’t want to take the lessons any more and wasn’t at church on Sunday.  It is very sad for her because she see’s the blessings that have come from meeting with us and coming to church, and there are more blessings that she knows can be hers, but because of this, she can’t have.  But I think once she matures she’ll be baptized.  I think when she sees what she’s missing out on from a silly argument, then she’ll be baptized.  But it kinda sticks because I wonder how much responsibility I have for her not investigating!

Then on Sunday there wasn’t very many people at church, everyone was on vacation.  And at the start of the meeting we had 0 investigators, but after the sacrament was passed we had one come, the Jamesons.  And just another thing that has made this week a bummer is that we only have 1 person signed up this week for dinner!  But we are going to make some calls and try to get it filled.  We have a lesson today though with a PMF, the Davis’s.  They have 2 daughters that haven’t been baptized, but were super close at one point.  So hopefully we’ll be able to pick them up today.

Right when I thought missionary work in this area was just getting easy!  Maybe the point here is never get too cocky, things can get turned upside down in a hurry!

I am getting tired too.  My body I think is taking a toll.  I think it is exhausted, but there is no time to rest!  I guess thats what coming home is for, which Tanner will be home soon huh!?

But I am trying to keep a positive attitude and to learn from these situations to be a better missionary and person, there are things I need to learn.

I think thats about it!  Love you all!

Elder Michael Horning

Aug 8 2011

Hello Family!

 

Thats exciting that Tanner’s back!  I wonder what that will be like, RM status.  By the time I get back he’ll probably be engaged and at BYU and have no time for his old buddies in the Canton ward!  But thats cool, tell him I say Hi!

We just got done hiking the flumes yet again.  This week has been ok, not amazingly good and not terribly bad.  Some exciting news though, we’re getting a new Ward Mission Leader!  We didn’t know until on Sunday when everyone found out.  But I am excited to work with a new guy, although I’m sad that I might only be able to work with him for 1 or 2 weeks.  We have been tracting a lot.  We picked up one new investigator named Bill, but he’s kinda crazy, he’s on medical marijuna.  The Parkers again didn’t come to church this week which was kind of disappointing.  But Brandon and Amanda came to church!  She is our only investigator that made it.  Her baptismal date is supposed to be this Saturday, but I think she is still smoking, so it will probably be in 2 weeks.  We tried to get an appointment with a PMF that moved into the ward, but they flaked on us 4 or 5 times.  We don’t have too many other leads.  My theory for finding is as long as we are obedient and work hard, the Lord will bless us with people to teach.  We’re trying to get a musical # organized where Elder Bouchelle and I will sing and our Bishop will play the violin, and we are trying to get the sheet music for Homeward Bound (not the movie with the animals one).  Something I’m really frustrated about is my inability to conquer my weaknesses.  I just do not work well in a team and I can’t seem to get better at it.  I want to do everything myself because I think I have the best ideas.

Well, I think thats about it!

Love ya guys!!  Sorry I didn’t write more!

Aug 15 2011

Hello Family!
I’ve got some bad news… my memory card that has all the pictures from the 1st year of my mission, doesn’t work.  I hope I can still fix it, but I dunno.  So potentially the only pictures your going to have of my 1st year in the field are the ones I sent you.  So kind of a bummer.  I’m not sure why its not working, I took it to a couple places and they said there’s no fixing it.
Thanks for sending the sheet music Sarah, we really need it.  Sounds like those relief society lessons are pretty interesting Mom.  Oh and did I mention last week I have posion oak again?  It seems like its a weekly occurance.  I finally wised up and got an oinment from a Doctor in our ward, and its helping a lot.  Its all over my leg this time, and at one point I could not extend my leg and it was hard to walk!  But its getting good now.  I think by the end of my time in Paradise, I’ll have gotten it on every part of my body.  Oh and thats too bad the sisters aren’t being fed well, we are being feed great!  I think thats probably how it goes in the west vs the east.
Well this week has been a great week!  We are starting to teach a PMF, Chad is the NM husband, and his wife Lacy is a member.  Chad was a cage fighter actaully, he has a bunch of tatoos and I think was in jail for a time.  But he is a great guy, he is really concerned about his family.  Its incredible how much he thinks and ponders about family decisions.  They came to church on Sunday too!  We had lunch with them on Thursday, but we actually saw him at the Post office the day before, and he told us that when he saw us, it was like an answer to prayer.  He quit his job recently and is trying to find another one, but is having a hard time finding one, so he said a prayer Tuesday night asking for help, and then Wednesday morning he saw us!  He also said that he has been feeling really peaceful, even though he doesn’t know how he’s going to get a job, he feels ok.  And he said he is willing to have his kids baptized too, and come to church, which 6 weeks ago he wouldn’t do.  So its very interesting to see how the Lord has prepared him and softened his heart.  Ironically, he quit his job the same week Jamie dropped us.  So lose one but gain another I guess!  He doesn’t know if he wants to be baptized, but I don’t think it will be too far away.  But it was such a tender mercy of the Lord, we were really struggling to find people and he came out of nowhere.  Thankfully they came to church because Brandon and Amanda didn’t come and we haven’t been able to meet with them for 2 weeks!  So I’m not sure what their deal is but hopefully they don’t drop us too!
Love you guys!  Oh and I also emailed Archibald, my trainer and it was great hearing from him, he is in Jerusalem actually!
Love ya,
Elder Michael Horning

Aug 22 2011

Hello Family!!

 

Well this week has been rather interesting… First I’ll start with the spiritual, good stuff.  One of the guys we’re teaching, Bill, came to church yesterday.  First time he’s been to church in 30 some years.  And he wore a shirt and tie, first time he’s done that for a while too.  So it was a big day for him, hopefully he was impressed, I’m not sure how much he liked it.  The Leroy family also came to church, and Justin Parker was made a Deacon!  Good stuff.  As far as the the not so good stuff goes, we still haven’t been able to meet with Brandon and Amanda, thats 3 weeks now, and they didn’t come to church.  I’m not sure whats going on with them. But the big drama of the week was on saturday.  Elder Bouchelle and Elder Bean (in the 3rd ward) were going to a baptism of someone they taught in gridley, about and hour away, and they wanted to use our car.  I wouldn’t let them do it and they weren’t very happy about it, Elder Bean especially.  I called the ZLs and they said they did not have permission to drive a mission vehicle.  But apparently Elder Strickland (Elder Beans comp) didn’t know that and let them use their car.  So now, Bouchelle and Bean are in a little trouble I think, we’re going on an exchange with the ZLs tomorrow so I think I’ll know more after that.  But I’m not sure who is at fault, Bouchelle or Bean, I don’t think anyone does.  But someone is lying about something.  Elder Strickland also let me know that when they were on exchanges together last week they drove up to Stirling city in our area, which is about 45 mins away, and they pretty much didn’t do anything the entire day, and Bouchelle didn’t tell me about that.  And I was checking our phone and some messages to Elder Bean were deleted.  I asked Bouchelle about it and he said it was an “accident”.  Which I think is ridiculous.  So, I’m a little disappointed in Bouchelle right now.  I feel like he’s just like Elder Miller, loves to just screw around.  And other missionaries in the district have told me he wants more responsibility or be more involved.  And I just don’t see how I can get him more involved when he does stuff like that.  Thats something I’ve been frustrated with my entire mission.  I feel like I’m pulling a lot of the weight, like a baby sitter.  Maybe thats not true though, maybe I just like to do everything all my self.  And I always wonder why I haven’t gotten along with my companions. It really worries me for when I’m married.

But anyway, this is the last week of the transfer so hopefully everything goes well and I’ll let you know where I’m going next week! Oh and I cut my own hair last week.  I think I’ll start doing that at home, do we still have clippers?

Love you all!

Elder Michael Horning

Aug 29 2011

Hello Family!
Guess who’s getting transferred????? I”m going to the Oroville 3rd ward, and will also be a Zone Leader.  It is in the Gidley Zone and Oroville is actually a neighboring town to Paradise, so I don’t have to go far.  Elder Miller was a ZL there and he said about the people, they’re on drugs, been on drugs, or going to be on drugs.  So it should be pretty interesting.  My companions name is Elder Galovich.  I’ve been around him a little bit before and I think I’m really going to enjoy being with him, he’s a super hard worker, is a great singer, and is a really nice guy.  And this is his last transfer too, so I’m killing him off.  Its actually very ironic because I was supposed to come out with him, on Oct. 7th, so its really funny that I’m killing him off when I was originally going to go home if I woulda come out on Oct. 7th.  I’m actually feeling really sick now unfortunatly, bad timing right when transfers are.  Its just a cold and fever I think.  My theory is that my body has wanted sleep for the past 2 transfers and now its getting rest whether I like it or not!  But packing up should be fun, or just exhausting, all I want to do is sleep.  But I’m excited for a new assignment though.  Gridley is the zone elder Bouchelle came from and he has told me all about it, so I’m looking forward to it.
Ya know what Mom, I really appreciate you!  It still haunts me when I was such a jerk to you about getting me a car.  You were doing your best and I was just super impatient.  I’m sorry.  You do a lot for us.  And yeah, I like your assesment on the Chirstmas stuff.  I will probably have to ship it back as soon as I get it basically, I know I’ll already have to send a package home.  And you do a lot for us too Dad!  I’m sure I’ve been a jerk to you too, but can’t recall any times right now.  Thanks for the email too Emily!  I enjoyed hearing from you.  Mom says your all grown up!  I hope I can keep those changes I have made on my mission!
As far as the work is goin in Paradise 2nd… the Chad Leroy and his daughter Lorilie made it to church, they stayed for all 3 hours.  He was the only investigator that came to church.  Brandon and Amanda are totally ignoring us, which is unfortunate.  But things are going really well at least for the Leroys.  Oh and we actually didn’t sing Homeward Bound, after thinking about it we decided it wasn’t the best choice for a sacrament meeting, so we sang If you could Hie to Kolob, which I had no clue how it went, so it didn’t turn out too incredibly well.  But I will miss Paradise, its been a great time here!
Love you all!

Sep 5 2011

Hello Family!!!

 

Wow.  This week has been super busy.  I think we’ve gone to bed at 11:30 or later this entire week.  On saturday though we were on exchanges with Elder Lee and Elder Frank, I was with Elder Lee and he is not feeling well, I think actually he has the same thing I had, so I just stayed in the apartment all day and read, and also cleaned their filthy bathroom.  We had stake correlation on sunday too, where the stake and mission president sit down with us and the high councilor over missionary work and discuss how our Zone is doing.  I was super nervous about it because I had no clue how they were run and don’t like to be unprepared to these things.  I was even more nervous because we were 10 mins late too!! I hate being late, and thats something I have to be patient with Elder Galovich with, he’s always late!  But the meeting went well I guess, we are having a meeting with all the Zone Leaders in the mission tomorrow and then a member of the 70, Patrick Kearon (who spoke at the last conference with a British accent) is coming to our mission.  So he wants to meet with all the ZLs next Sunday night down in Roseville, then we have 1/2 mission conference with him the next day!  Lots of meetings.  But I am enjoying it thus far, ZLs just get so many neat opportunities to interact with President more and others.  We have to do a lot of paperwork and emailing and spreadsheets too.  And I love Elder Galovich, he is a way good guy.  He’s very obedient and charitable.  He knows what his weaknesses are too and wants to improve.  We just had a great comp study this morning and both of us like to do things our way, but it was cool that we could talk about things and try to compromise.  I’m not sure of all the people we’re teaching yet.  But I do know one guy, named William.  He was kinda homeless when the missionaries were teaching him and after he was baptized got kicked out of his moms house, so now the ward is trying to find him a place to stay and get him a job.  And I just feel so bad for the ward, because they already have a lot of needs and I can just imagine what the Bishop was thinking when the missionaries were teaching this guy.  The missionaries leave, but the ward gets stuck with these people.  And its tough because we love everyone, but its not the wards job to do everything for this guy.  The other person we are teaching is Salude.  She is a mexican lady who always comes to church, we’re gonna try and commit her this week to a date.  One great and bad thing about this area is we are always busy with teaching people and meetings and reports.  But I think thats about it!

Love you all!  And have a nice Labor Day Vacation!

Elder Horning

Sep 13 2011

Hello Family!

 

Congratulations to Sarah and David with their first girl!  Probably the biggest highlight this week was Elder Kearon and his wife speaking to us at 1/2 mission conference yesterday.  Wow.  What a great meeting.  And we have General Conference in a couple weeks!  I am really going to enjoy these next couple of weeks!  Whats neat about being a ZL is we have a lot of meetings, which are tiring and boring sometimes, but most of the time it is an amazing revelatory experience each time.  At this meeting I felt inspired.  I have been feeling very exhausted recently and really loved what was shared pertaining to this exact thing.  Elder Kearon used Alma 62:41 in a different way than I have thought about it.  In it, you get 2 reactions to peoples afflictions, they become bitter, or better.  And it is the same for us as missionaries, we came either be angry and complain about the hardships, or be humble, enjoy them, and learn from them.  Sister Kearon gave an amazing talk, and she talked about the rich young ruler in Matt. 19.  He asks the question, What Lack I Yet?  Which is what each of us should be asking ourselves, we like him, are keeping the commandments, but there might be something more we could do, or get rid of to follow Christ.  Then she contrasted that with Luke 5 when Peter and the others are fishing and Christ tells them to cast in their net again, and Peter says, “Master, we have atoiled all the night, and have taken nothing.” And sometimes I feel that way, its hot, I’m exhausted, lessons cancel, its easier to just go to the apartment early or complain about how hard and physically demanding the work is.  But I absolutely love the next thing Peter says, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”  Nevertheless, I’ll do what you asked me too.  I thought that was great.  It has really motivated me to do better, to push through this last stretch of the marathon.  Its easy to get distracted and make excuses to not push as hard, but I need to do better and have the apostles response, ” And when they had brought their ships to land, they aforsook all, and bfollowed him.”  Unlike the rich ruler, they forsook ALL to follow Him.  I loved that!  We had a special meeting with him as ZLs on Sunday night and that was neat too.  I really feel for these general authorities, they must be exhausted from all their meetings that they do.  it really puts into prospective for me, they probably do more than me and they aren’t even in as good of shape as I am!

Things have been going well.  Elder Galovich is awesome.  He is such a charitable guy, he makes my bed and ironed my shirt.  He is a great example to me.  We have a little difference of opinion about how the work should go, but we can still get along great despite that, and it makes us better I think because we have different flavors we can add into the companionship.  It seems like the ward trust is a little down in the ward though.  The previous 2 baptisms in the ward really have created more of a problem for the ward instead of being a boost. I would venture to say thats why a lot of people who are baptized don’t stay active, the missionaries baptize people that aren’t ready.  And I would get sick of that if I was the ward.  Oh and those tires on the corolla might need to be changed to get better traction.  That helped a lot when I did that.  I think thats about it!

Love you guys!

Sep 19 2011

Hello Family!

 

We had a good week this week.  We had 5 investigators at church!  We were a little surprised by a couple of people so that was nice.  Elder Galovich and I had a great comp study this morning.  He is way good at communication.  When he knows something is amiss or I’m irritated at something, he’ll address it, and he does it quite tactfully.  I still feel like I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to be doing as a ZL, but trying to do my best I suppose.  I saw Dad and Susans wedding pics and Andrew is really working up quite the beard huh?  You look like a mountain man!  Oh and I hear your talk was great too Ange!  Your becoming quite the popular speaker, I wonder when the singles ward will ask you next 😉 .  We had some powerful lessons with some people on saturday.  We were on exchanges and I was in our area and I still have no clue how to get around (thank goodness for the GPS I brought!)  and we were up in Berry Creek that day, the sticks of our area, its a 30 min drive just to get up there.  So I was feeling lost and a little overwhelmed, but it turned out to be an awesome day.  We have one lady really close to baptism named Salud.  She just needs to quit smoking and drinking coffee.  She loves Elder Galovich though, I hope when he leaves that it will be a smooth transition.  We picked up a new investigator named Doug.  He comes to church with his wife and she is a RC of 2 years.  His holdup is also smoking, he’s been smoking for 50 years!  It seems like smoking is a huge obstacle to overcome for people, its such a sad habit to be in.  We are playing football today for P-day, flag football, in honor of the byu vs utah game that just happened.  Sorry this is kinda short, I’m having trouble thinking about anything amazing that happened this week and I don’t think too much happened.  I miss the fall though in Ohio, enjoy that weather!

Love you all!

Elder Michael Horning

Sep 26 2011

hELLO fAMILY!!!!

 

Is everyone excited for General Conference??!!! Should be great!  We have a week full of meetings for this upcoming week.  Every day this week except Friday we have a meeting.  Thanks for everyones emails, although I’m dying to know which city the Federkeil’s live in PA!  (if someone could email me that that would be awesome!)  We had a good week this week.  I have been feeling so good lately, very very peaceful.  Running I think has really helped, I go running almost every morning and Elder Galovich rides his bike, we go about 2.5 miles and I feel so incredible the rest of the day.  i can’t wait to get back on longer runs.  And something I’ve been thinking of this week is that I would consider going into teaching and maybe could coach cross country too.  I think that would be very fun and very rewarding, I don’t want to have a job that does not make people self reliant.  So let me know what you think.  Oh, and I had a cheeseburger with bacon and peanut butter on it this week at a restaurant some members took us too.

There was a baptism in the Oroville 1st ward on saturday and we had 2 investigators go to that, Salud and Pauline, which was really nice.  Then they stayed for the RS broadcast, so we’re hoping they were touched by that.  Salud is doing great, she’s even paying her tithing!  But she doesn’t want to set a baptismal date and we think she has a bigger concern than what she’s telling us.  We are also have a new Ward Mission Leader!!!  He’s a younger guy, and I’ve never worked with a younger WML yet, so I’m very excited.  His name is Brother Leonard and he is pumped up to work with us and really wants to do the best at his calling.  I really love the old timers, but it seems that most of them are stuck in their skewed way of doing things, so it will be nice to have a WML who hasn’t been corrupted by the tradition of his fathers.  President Weston has finally chosen councilors too.  One of them is in our zone, President Papa.  He is an amazing guy and I can’t wait to glean some things from him.  We had a neat experience this last week too.  We went on a tiny street to contact a referral we got.  The man, Bill, was receptive.  His wife passed away a year ago and really wants the fellowship of the church.  After contacting him we decided to knock the rest of the doors on the little street.  The next door was a young guy and he actually said yes when we asked him if he wanted to learn more about the plan of salvation.  So we set a return appt for this wed.  Then the next door a couple of ladies were out moving stuff and we asked if they needed help and they were very stand offish and did not want to talk about religion at all, they were very stressed out.  But we were just offering to help them out, and they finally relinquished and allowed us to help.  It felt really good to help them because I think the one lady was getting evicted and had to be out that night and they were super stressed and it was nice to be able to help them and relieve their stress a little.  And I bet their view of Mormons will completely change.  So that was a good street!  And on that day as well, our car wouldn’t work!  We were planning to go up to an area thats 45 mins away from us, but the battery was dead!  So we got it fixed a couple hours later, and actually talked to a guy where we were getting the car fixed and referred him the the missionaries in Yuba.  But we changed our plans for that day and had that great experience!

I think thats about it though!  Thank you for your help!

Love,

Elder Michael Horning

Oct 3 2011

Hello Family!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!!!!  I’ll send off a card, but unfortunately it will be late as usual, sorry!

Thank you for your emails, everyone seemed to have enjoyed conference thoroughly.  I did as well, I can’t wait until the Ensign comes out with them.  Jeffrey R. Holland was amazing as usual, I thought President Monson was funny in the Sat. morning session when he just said “Hello” to start off his talk. I guess you can do stuff like that when your the prophet.  Wasn’t that cool when you could hear everyone gasp when the temple in Provo was announced?  That will be a neat one to go to.  Last p-day I actually tore a tendon in my middle finger while catching a dodge ball, so now my finger is in a splint that I have to have on for 8 weeks!!!  I can’t really get it wet, so it really stinks, and its interesting trying to wash my hands with one hand.  There’s defiantly a little adjusting to everything, especially typing on the computer.  This is Elder Galovich’s last week too!  He’s been a great companion and we’re gonna send him off with a great next week.  I’ll be a little lost without him though, I still am having trouble trying to figure what whats goin on in the ward and the zone.

We had a lot of people watch conference. Saturday was a day of eating and watching conference, we ate a ton!  In the morning we went to the Wever’s house to watch conference.  The husband, Doug, is not a member and he gave us some muffins, cold cereal (which was delicious, I haven’t had that for what feels like a long time) and the highlight, chocolate milk!  Thats another luxury I miss having.  Then we were fed lunch in between sessions by another PMF, the Cossins, where the husband, Rob, is also not a member.  They are a pretty interesting pair, they are not very wealthy, they live out of their 5th wheel, and have some interesting ideas.  Then we went to the afternoon session, and then had dinner after that!  We were not hungry at all, but the priesthood session was at 5, so if we ate afterward it would have to been at 7 and we had an appt at 8.  So we were stuffed.  A LA guy were picked up a couple weeks ago came to the Sunday morning session.  He hadn’t been to church since his youth, so it was a big step for him to come, he said that the building looked very familiar, just a lot bigger!  His 2 year old daughter was not used to sitting for more than 2 mins though, so Elder Galovich sacrificed watching conference to babysit her and let Dave watch it peacefully.  That was really nice of him.  Salud was there in the morning as well and she got some sort of personal revelation and said she needed to go home right away and pray.  She believes that Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ, but can’t believe he saw God.  An interesting case, she comes to church regularly and pays tithing, not sure why thats a big hold up for her.  I went on exchanges with the Hmong missionaries in our zone and that was fun.  It was interesting in lessons because I had no idea what they were saying.  At one point a lady let us in, it was our first meeting with her and we were there for a while when Elder Yang (who I was with) pulled at the cell phone because I thought he was just looking at what time it was, but he was actually checking the calender to set a baptismal date!  That was pretty nuts.  The Hmong people are so nice though, I hope I can do it again.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Love you all!

Elder Horning

Oct 10 2011

Hello Family!!

 

Transfers today!!!!  I love getting transfers!  Its just like Christmas!  I am getting Elder Adams, who is coming from the chico zone, my old zone.  He hasn’t been a ZL before either, so this should be really interesting because I still feel like I don’t have a clue as to what all our responsibilities are.  Its cool that I get a good companion, but I’m nervous that he will want to do things his way, because I love doing things my way!  President is really trying to get a spark in Gridley, a small town in our zone.  All the 3 wards are changing, we are actually getting sisters in the gridley 3rd ward!  We haven’t had sisters up in the northern part of the mission since Prez Pendleton was put in, so its a pretty big deal.  They are moving the 2 elders there and putting in 2 brand new sisters.  Then the other 2 missionaries we have there are both training new missionaries.  Cool stuff happening in our zone.

To respond to mom, yeah, I had to go to a doctor.  I was so completely lost, I would have been so easy to take advantage of.  I was signing stuff I had no clue what it was for and didn’t know how to fill out the insurance stuff.  Quite a learning experience.  And yeah, I do put a bag over it in the shower.

Galovich is leaving today.  The ward absolutely loved him, so he will be a tough act to follow.  I am still trying to get to know all the members.  I can’t think of anything too terribly exciting that happened this week other than transfers…. There’s a lady from West Middlesex, PA, see if David knows where thats at.  And do we have any Ross stores in Ohio?  That store is amazing.

Sorry for the short email!

Love ya!

Elder Horning

Oct 17 2011

Hello Family!

 

That seemed like a nice weekend with Emily’s senior night.  Yeah, that brings me back, I miss Friday night football games.

This week has been pretty tough.  I have been sick for a lot of it.  Just a cold, probably because I have gone to bed late and haven’t gotten a lot of sleep.  But I have felt pretty overwhelmed this week.  Sunday was probably the climax.  I am just forgetting tons of things and feel very lost.  I don’t think I have felt so unprepared in any other area.  Its almost like I am forgetting how to run an area, its weird.  What makes it tougher is that I’m with a very capable companion.  I guess thats the downside of having a great companion, its hard to keep up with them.  I feel so bad for Elder Adams, he is super organized and this week has been the week of disorganization.  I know he’s thinking, “great, this guy doesn’t have a clue about what he’s doing.”  But this is good I think to feel a little stress, I really haven’t had this since my greenie area.  Its a good wake up call.  Elder Adams is from New Mexico and he has been out a transfer longer than me, so I think he kinda assumes the role as senior comp.  I think this week we have had the lowest numbers I’ve had on my mission.  But a big chuck of the week was spent organizing people to see and organizing other things.  Elder Galovich was a great missionary, but wasn’t a good planner or organizer.  Thanks for your encouraging words Mom, I appreciated that.  I really do need that help.

No one came to church either!  That was a huge bummer.  But, things can only get better right?  We had a lesson with Salud and she just asks off the wall questions that don’t have a purpose.  She has been taught for a year and doesn’t seem like she has learned much from the lessons.  We have no clue what to do with her.

Sorry I haven’t been able to get a card off to Sarah and Andrew yet for their birthdays, I promise I will get them some time!

Love you all!  Thanks for your updates and wish me good luck this week.

-Elder Horning

Oct 24 2011
Hello Family!
Had a lot better week this week.  I’m gettin the hang of things and getting things under my belt.  We are just always busy and going at 100 miles an hour it seems like.  And Dad commented that this seemed to be the first time I’ve been discouraged on the mission, but believe me, I’ve been discouraged before, but I just don’t include it in my emails :)!  I try to always be positive in my mass email.  I still am forgetting tons of things, maybe it just comes with the territory of coming into something new.  But yes, things definalty have gone better.  But its been good, its keeping me on my toes.
Elder Galovich actually came back this week with his family to tour the mission, so I got to see him and his family.  Its kinda weird to see his mom and dad and brothers, and knowing a lot the stories that Galovich told me.  I think it would be weird in a funny way to see any of my companions families.  We still didn’t have anyone come to church this week.  I have never in my mission had a week where 0 investigators show up, and now I’ve had 2.  No worries though, we’ll just get a lot next week!  We still have no clue what to do with Salud, yesterday we were trying to read Elder Hollands talk on the BOM, and she interrupted us midway through and started asking about polygamy.  She is very random in her questions.  I went on exchanges with both of the new missionaries we have in the zone and they are doing great, I love new missionaries excitement about the work.
Lately I’ve been studying planning and I found some cool instances in the BOM where it shows the results of good and poor planning.  Mosiah 21 is a great example of what happens if we don’t plan and Mosiah 22 is a great example of what happens when we plan.  And Cpt. Moroni is probably the best planner in the BOM.  Alma 43 I think is a great example of that too.  And I’ve really been studying desire in the BOM.  It is interesting to see how many times its used in Alma, a ton, and its interesting to see that the Lord will give us what we desire, either for good or bad.
But I think thats about all thats happening here.  I can’t wait for the turkey bowl of course in a month!  We are also decorating our trunk for the trunk or treat this week too.  Oh yeah!  A LA guy we’re teaching named Dave Bewton came to church for the 1st time in 30 years, that was exciting.  We have a lesson with him tonight too.
But yup, thats about the week, and its still in the 70s here too! 🙂  Hope everyone has a great week!  Thanks for the emails!
Love, Elder Horning

 

Oct 31 2011

Hello Family!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW!!!!
I hope your birthday goes well!!
Congratulations on getting a job Emily!!!  Our first jobs are very similar, and only across the street from one another.  I’m so excited for you to work there, you are going to learn a lot, and you’ll probably learn you’ll never want to get another job like that, but that will be good too!  That is great though, I’m pround of you and I know Mom could use the help.  Isn’t self reliance great!  I want to know all about your experiences there, fill me in on how the first day goes.
Oh, and people always ask me if we are related to Paul Horning, I always say that we are distantly, could someone do some research on that for me?  Like specifically how we are related if we are.  And Mom, would Aunt Annette be open to having missionaries stop by her house?  What are her feelings about the church?  Since today is Halloween, President wants us to be in at 6, so I WILL write her a letter today.
And check this out.  Do you know Shakespear helped translate the Bible?  His name is in it.  They wanted to thank him for his help and decided to put his name in, but not extremely obvious.  So in honor of his 46th birthday they did something pretty tricky.  Check out Psalms 46 and count what the 46th word is from the top, and what the 46th word is, counting from the bottom up…. its pretty cool!  Let me know if you find it.
And for that example of planning in the BOM, one great one is in Mosiah 21-22.  A bad example is Mosiah 21, the people of king Limhi fight the Lamanites to try and get out of bondage.  Does taking up swords and fighting take a lot of planning and preparing?  And why did they do it 3 times?  Why did they think it would work after the 1st or 2nd time?  Maybe its because its what they “usually do” in those circumstances.  But in Mosiah 22, they get smart, in the heading it says that “Plans are made.”  And what preceeded that?  In Mosiah 21:36, they had companionship study, they actually studied the situation out.  Then, they have ward council in 22:1.  Because of getting others input, Gideon proposes a great idea that has incredible success.
I really enjoyed studying that and a couple other examples in the BOM.  The war chapters are full of examples.  And from studying the BOM, I am convinced that meetings and councils are an eternal principle.  We do have a lot of meetings in the church, and sometimes it feels like we have to many, but we better get used to it now, because I’m quite certain we’ll have them in eternity.
Anyway, as far as out week went, it was great.  We reached ALL of our goals this week, and each week we have steadily been improving.  Pauline came to church, a lady that we have been teaching for a while.  We actually dropped Salud, who comes to church all the time.  At our last lesson, she immediatly started to ask Anti questions.  She is not truly interested in learning more, she’s just going in circles.  We got a random call from a guy named Bob on friday too.  We have no idea how he got our number, but he wanted us to come over that day.  He lives in the sketchiest apts in our area, as soon as we stepped in the door, the smell of cigerette’s almost knocked us out.  Its incredible that they can live in that apt.  It was neat that he and his wife reached out to us, but we’ll see if they keep commitments.  We also had the trunk or treat this week.  We were the judges of the chili cook off, thats the 2nd time on the mission that I’ve judged the chili, and I didn’t make the mistake this time of taking the corn bread last, that stuff goes fast.  It was really good though, a lot of non members came.  And Dave, the LA that we’re teaching, is doing great.  He wants to pay tithing despite the fact he’s struggling financially and came to the trunk or treat and church.
This is an awfully long email, a lot of good stuff happened this week, we’re really getting blessed.  Thanks for all your emails!
Love, Elder Michael Horning

 

Nov 7 2011

Hello Family!
I forgot to mention this last week, but the season of Egg Nog has begun!  I was elated when I saw that in the grocrey store.  Life is very good.
Thats cool that Emily got a surprise visit at work!  I remember when they did that to me at Arby’s!
We had a great week this week.  We found a new investigator named Sandy.  She was a referral from a guy in the ward and we have a lot of hope for her.  Her biggest problem will be coming to church though, she lives in the boonies of our area called Berry Creek.  It actually snowed close to there this weekend!  It just rained here, but Berry Creek is higher in elevation.  It is getting colder though, my hands were pretty cold this morning running.  Its funny because sometimes I miss being on a bike in the miserable weather, good memories I guess!  We had Salud come to church this week (even after we dropped her!).  And we have this problem with another one of our investigators too named Pauline, but how can they read the BOM and come to church consistently and not progress!  I guess there are many people who that happens too, but whats the answer?  Why don’t they progress??
This week I have really been focusing on my confidence.  I have been telling myself for 2 weeks that I have no clue what I’m doing, but I actually have a very good clue as to what I’m doing and know whats right!  I think I am just intimidated sometimes of people with more confidence than me, but this week I have just told myself, that I do know what I’m doing!  With the Lords help I know what I’m doing anyway.  So thats been a big help, to know that I do have weaknesses, but the Lord has called me to this despite those weaknesses, and he doesn’t want me to bury my talent because of feelings of inadequacy and the fear of man.
Something we discussed this week in Zone Leader Council was what is holding the mission back from doubling in baptisms?  And I think the answer is faith!  Like when I came out I feel like I had way more faith than I do now, but hopefully will switch that around soon.  But I think us as a mission just get comfortable where things are at and we don’t try and higher our expectations.
I think thats about it though!
Love ya!

Nov 14 2011

Hello Family!
We just had stake conference on sunday, just like the Akron stake I believe.  It was really good I thought, and we had stake correlation afterward and that went really well too, I felt very prepared and I think that we provided them with some good information.  I am always nervous for those because the stake president is there, President Weston, the high councillor over missionary work, and the 2nd councilor in the mission presidency President Papa.  So there is a lot of priesthood power and church service experience in that room with us little 20 year olds!  But it went really well.  Last p-day we went on a hike to this place called Feather Falls.  It is a gorgeous waterfall.  I have pictures and a video I took, but I’ll be sure not to send the card home for fear of it getting erased!!  That would really stink.   But the hike was incredible, the landscape in parts of northern california are breath taking.
Right now, we are teaching a lot of people who will meet with us, but aren’t really progressing.  If they are progressing than its at a really slow pace.  Dave, a LA we’re teaching, is doing really well, but unfortunatly didn’t make it to stake conference.  We are just really trying to find people to teach, like solid people who actually want to learn and meet with us.  Its interesting because Elder Adams is the best missionary I’ve been with, but we’re not having a ton of success in finding.  Whereas when I was in Paradise, all my companions there weren’t the most obedient I’ve had, but we had a lot of success.  So its interesting how that works.  One reason its hard to find people is because of all our responsibilities and meetings we have, takes away from our proselyting time.   But there are many other rewarding things that come from our duties, but finding new people does not seem like one of them.  Transfers are next week, but I don’t think anything is happening with me and Elder Adams.  I’m going to get the opportunity to interview someone for baptism on tuesday too!  I’ve never done one before so it should be pretty interesting!
Oh and the countdown to the turkey bowl is 10 days!
Thanks for all your updates!
Love you all!
Elder Michael Horning

Nov 21 2011

Hello Family!!!
Sounds like a lot has happened last week.  That is some sad news about Ed and Tydin, I hope all goes well there.  Tell Megan congratulations though, I hope the wedding goes well.  Thats a bummer about Sarah and David’s car, I hope they can find a solution.  And if President Talley and/or President Dayton are reading this I thank you for your concern and interest in my mission, I love you, you both have helped me tremendously.  And word on the street is that Josh Hunter got his mission call!  Congratulations!  He’s going to New Mexico, and my companion, Elder Adams is from Albuquerque.  Does anyone know the exact mission he’s going to?  You know, something that I’ve been thinking about is that I really want to continue to live in Ohio.  It seems like the church could really use some help growing and I would love to stay there and serve in the church.  It seems like the stake boundaries there are ginormous!  Church membership I bet is pretty thin.  Another thing I’ve also been thinking about is that I really don’t have a sense of humor.  I feel like thats why I feel awkward sometimes around missionaries, these guys like to joke around a lot but I’m perfectly fine talking about the work or other non humorous topics.  Do you think our family has a different sense of humor from other families?  I do!  Not a bad thing though.
We had a really good week this week.  I went on exchanges with one of our District Leaders, Elder Leone this week and I really liked what he did.  We went tracting and at one door he just asked if they would like a BOM.  And I had never really thought about just asking people if they wanted one regardless of their interest level.  And it has really worked great.  Everytime we have knocked doors we have given away a BOM and had a good discussion about the BOM, and got some contact info to see for this week.  So it has been incredible to see the difference is with just emphasizing the BOM.  And I think why I didn’t think of it before is because I didn’t want to give it away and then it just lays on the persons shelf.  But I really feel like someone somewhere down the line will be curious enough to read it.  You always hear stories about that.  So finding new people should hopefully go well this week!  Dave came to church again this week.  At our lesson he said he was done with coffee, which was awesome.  He’s doing really well, I’m really impressed with his sincerity.  I am not getting transferred, I’m here for at least one more, but I could see myself being here until the end of my mission.  I saw that my old ward, Paradise 2nd is getting sister missionaries put in it too! That was kind of a shocker, but a good change I bet.  Thanksgiving is of course this week and I’m pretty excited for it.  The Turkey Bowl should be fun, it is on the high school field, which has turf, I think its supposed to rain too.  Unfortunatly there won’t be any frozen turkeys! 😉  Maybe just me!  We are eating with the Howarth family.  And its a full p-day!  I think thats about it!
Love you all!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
Love, Elder MIchael Horning

Nov 28 2011

Hello Family!!
It sounds like Megan had a nice wedding, who did she marry and whats her last name now?  The Turkey Bowl was amazing.  We played on a turf field and it was raining slightly.  Our team won all of our games (of course).  Speaking of football, I saw that Ohio State lost to Michigan!!!  So disappointing!  A member took us to Applebees and I saw the highlights.  Thats like the first time in 5 yrs they’ve won!  Our dinner was kind of awkward.  We went to the Howarths, their kids are all older and married, but only 1 or 2 are active.  So, no one really talked to us, so we washed all the dishes because it was the only thing to do.  But I think thats probably why they wanted us over, to expose their kids to the church in any way they could, but it didn’t seem like the kids were too happy about it! After our dinner we played volleyball with the Hmong branch, which was really fun.  I’m paying for it though, I am still ridiculously sore.  I was actually just checking out a cool new feature on LDS.org and our ward and stake are huge!  I bet the missionaries never run out of work, there are tons of LAs.  I wonder if the stakes up near Cleveland are smaller.
We had 2 investigators at church.  Doug and Salud.  Dave, the LA that we’re teaching, didn’t come unfortunatly.  We didn’t find any new investigators this week either, I’m not sure why we can’t find anyone to teach.  But its ok though, we have other people we are teaching.  Its amazing to type with all my fingers too!  I got my splint taken off last week and it feels great to use all my fingers.  The doctor commended me for my dilligence in wearing that dumb splint.  That thing was a pain.  But well worth it, my tendon is all better and I can move my middle finger now!  I think thats about it, nothing too terribly exciting is going on in the work, just trying to find those people who are prepared!
Thanks for all your letters!
Love Elder Michael Horning

Dec 5 2011

Hello Family!
First of all, what time does church end for you guys and what time should I call you?  We can skype for Christmas! Do you guys have it?  No big deal if you don’t though.
The zone has just been on fire this week.  The various wards set 5 new baptismal dates and found 14 new investigators!!  Which is more than all of last month, and we did it in one week!  So hopefully that success will continue, this month might end up being the highest month for finding in the year!  So that has been really exciting.  Although the zone is doing good, we are kinda still doing the same.  We didn’t find anyone new this week and we haven’t found any solid new investigators since I’ve gotten here.  But we’re working on it, I’m not sure why we’re not finding, but I guess the Lord wants to teach us something.  Dave B. came to church and so did our most promising investigator Pauline.  We have a specialized training meeting on Thurday for the leadership in the mission and it should be a pretty enjoyable meeting because some big shots from the missionary department are coming out!  So I’m looking forward to that.  We are also in charge of the “Christmas Delivery” program thing for our Zone, so we’re trying to figure out what would be a good activity, we are thinking doing a service project would be nice to do.  We have our ward Christmas party this week as well and we are going to be helping serve the food.  Hopefully the actvity will generate some success.  We have dinner on tuesday with a guy who comes to church each week with his wife, so we are hoping we can pick him up as a new investigator, that would be a miracle.  I hope President Daytons surgery goes well.  I think thats about it, not too much goin on.  And my times about up!  Thanks for your updates!
Love, Elder Michael Horning

Dec 12 2011

Hello Family!
We had a great week this week.  We found 2 solid new investigators!!!  Finally!  One is an older lady named Vera and the other is a younger guy named Jackson.  Jackson is the son of a LA that we are teaching who is coming back to church, so a great success.  Jackson lives in Berry Creek, which is the sticks of our area, its 30 mins away from Oroville.  And we had a good day at church as well.  Our gospel principles class was packed!  We had 4 investigators at church.  Pauline came and she is just about the same.  We had our ward Christmas program and it was good.  The only person that we’re teaching that came was Dave, his son played Joseph in the Nativity thing that the Primary did.  We are really going to try and get him to the temple, that would be great.  We also had a specialized training meeting in Citrus Heights on thursday, and it was incredible!  I took 12 pages of notes!  Bro Donaldson and Bro Bothall from the missionary department came to speak to us.  They said a lot of cool things, and I’ll mention a couple.  He said that people cannot access the blessings of the Atonement without baptism.  I thought that someone could access the Atonement by just repentance, but he said that they can feel of the influence of the Atonement but can’t recieve the gift of it until after baptism.  Then he said something really cool about when the Savior was in the Garden of Gethsemane, because Judas left there were 11 of the Apostles who were with him.  Peter, James and John got to go farther with Him than the others, so it looks like this: 8/3.  8 witness Him going into the garden and Peter, James and John get a firsthand account of the suffering.  Then he connected to other witnesses of 8 and 3.  Can you guess what other witnesses he was referring to?  He talked a lot about the Atonement and the missionary purpose.  I’m so glad that I got to understand a lot about the Atonement before my mission, what a blessing!  Next week is looking pretty good as well, 2 people apparently showed up in the Oroville 1st ward and said that they just moved into the ward and were meeting with missionaries down there and wanted to be baptized!  So, we’re seeing them Thursday, so hopefully we’ll be able to start teaching them!  I think thats about all for this week!  Love you all and thank you for the emails.  Hope Christmas preperations are going well.
Love ya,
Elder Michael Horning

Dec 19 2011

Hello Family!
Well, to start off I guess I should let you know what time I am calling.  We also have church from 10-11, so I will be calling around noon our time, so that would be around 3 your time.  And I guess what I’ll do is just call Sarah on her cell phone, I think thats probably the only way it will work out.  But I might call later because if Elder Adams talks to his family first then I might call closer to 1 or 2 our time.  But yes I cannot wait to talk to everyone!  Its kind of interesting that it will be the last time I talk to everyone before coming home.  I have 30-40 mins, but I have 30-40 mins with each parent, so it looks like I’ll be talking to Dad a little longer!
The work is really picking up.  We found 3 new investigators this week!  We tracted into a family, Gabe and Nicole and their 2 kids, so thats where 2 of those came from.  And one was a referral from a guy named Bro Pejsa in our ward, the referrals name is CJ.  Thats the 3rd referral he’s given us in 4 weeks and they all turned into new investigators!  The man is a beast at missionary work, and he was just reactivated himself about a year ago.  And he brought one of the guys he referred us to to church, named Jackson.  So we had 3 investigators at church, Salud, (who we actually aren’t actively teaching) Doug, and Jackson.  Salud is interesting, she comes to church, reads the BOM, and actually went to baptism we invited her to on Saturday, but doesn’t want to make the leap of faith to be baptized.  Doug is still smoking and doesn’t want to quit.  But it seems like there’s hope for Jackson!  We are really excited about him and Gabe and Nicole.  Gabe says he’s agnostic, but just because he doesn’t know anything about religion.  And it really helps that his wife is also open to learning more as well.  Its nice to have some new people to teach.  We’ve been teaching the same people since I got here, so its a nice change.  And I got a text from my old ward, Paradise 2nd, and apparently the Parkers daughter, Stormy, is getting baptized soon!  That was such a great family to work with and that is so cool to see that they are still goin strong and that Stormy will be baptized.  I think she’s like 15 and wasn’t baptized because she was living with her grandparents.  We are having our Christmas program on Thursday, thats when we will be getting all of our packages!  So that will be a fun day.  I almost got eaten on Sunday by a dog too.  Not really, but I was still freaking out!  I hate dogs.  We didn’t know a dog was in this yard, and there was a gate, so I open the gate and go in and Elder Adams waits a little behind the gate.  Then just a couple seconds later, a huge dog is a couple feet from me.  I can’t tell when dogs want to kill you, but I was thinking this guy wanted to eat me.  But I can’t get out very quickly because the dog is between me and the gate!  So I was just standing there thinking about what to do about this pickle I’m in, but finally the owner came out and led me to safety.  Whew!  Situation averted!  I told Elder Adams later that I wasn’t worried about a thing!  But he knew I was lying and said that I probably wet my pants!
But I think thats about it!  The work is goin great and I’ll talk to you all on Sunday!
Love ya!
Elder Michael Horning

Dec 26 2011

Hello Family!!!
It was great to talk to everyone!  Except Ange!!! Thats ok Ange, I still love you!  It seems like Emily’s voice is sounding a lot like Sarah’s.  I do actually have some stuff to update you on, despite the fact that I just talked to you.  We finally got someone with a baptismal date!!!!  Her name is Vera and she’s probably in her 70s, but is still very mobile.  We picked her up a few weeks ago by tracting.  She hasn’t come to church yet, but we have a chapel tour with her this week, so hopefully that gets her more comfortable.  She is the first person here that we have gotten a baptismal date with, so its quite a sigh of relief.  We also picked up 2 new investigators!!  John and Marie, they are a younger couple.  John is actually in the local police department here.  We’re actually going over for dinner tonight, they invited us over.  Transfers are next week and I hope I don’t get transferred, we’re just starting to have all this good stuff happen.  We also had one of our new investigators from 2 weeks ago made it to church again!  His name is Jackson and he’s 19.  He has a real willingness to learn, he has some great questions.  He asked one that I’m still trying to find a great answer for.  We were reading 1 Nephi 2 and it was talking about how if Jerusalem repented, they would not have been destroyed.  Then he asked how Jerusalem was destroyed, and we said by the Babylonians.  And he asked what would happen if Jerusalem did repent?  If God cannot force people to do anything than how would he stop Babylon from destroying Jerusalem?  I thought it was a good question and I think I have the answer.  But anyway he is progressing very well.  Elder Adams and I are actually going to go on a long run for P-Day today and I’m really looking forward to that.  And I got my last egg nog today.  Now just have ro wait until next year!  I think thats about it though!  Love you all and thanks for your prayers!
Love Elder Michael Horning

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