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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Almost half way there! (Half way through the MTC)



Hey Everyone,
So almost halfway through the CCM which feels great! I can’t wait to get out into the mission field! Since last week there have been a couple of changes in my experience in the CCM, first is that since I’m starting to get Spanish, planning lessons has become a lot easier because me and my companion don’t have to write as much down. we have gotten to the point when we will go into a lesson with just a few questions, words, and scriptures written down and we can get through the lesson without too much hassle, we are even getting pretty good at deviating from the plan for a while to answer questions. The shorter time needed to plan lessons is nice because we now have two investigators to teach and we now realize that the teachers were going easy on us for the first one. It is so crazy to teach in Spanish and even though I cannot conjugate my verbs very well, I can get my point across.   It is truly amazing how quickly I have gone from not knowing any Spanish, to being able to teach a lesson in Spanish; I mean I’ve only been here for about three weeks and I’m already a lot more fluent in Spanish than I ever was with French. It really is a testimony to the power of God and how he blesses his servants. Without the help of my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ I would not have been able to function and learn in the mission like I have. The gospel is truly amazing and through Christ all things really are possible.

The second change is that I no longer have to babysit my district as much as before. They all come on time for the most part and there are only a couple times a week where I get super frustrated with them messing around or pestering me to get mail. At the beginning of the CCM stay some of the companionship's weren’t getting a long but gradually they have gotten a lot better.

Today was a great day because I got to go to the Mexico City Temple for the second time. It is crazy because you have the option to go through in Spanish or English; but I’ve chosen Spanish both times and it was amazing the second time because I could understand a lot of what was being said, it was a very spiritual experience.

We also gave a priesthood blessing this week because one of the Elders was feeling super sick.  He didn’t think he would be able to focus in the CCM or really do anything at all because of it. So the nine other Elders in our district all gathered in his room two nights ago and gave him a blessing. In the blessing the Elder speaking the blessing promised him that as long as he was focused on serving the Lord and not on the distractions he has back home and if he really tried his hardest to do everything the Lord asks of him. And the next day he woke up and he felt a lot better. He was able to get over the sickness he had for a couple days overnight. This is another example of how the gospel blesses lives, I am so glad I am a part of this church and I’m so excited to be able to devote myself to the Lord and try to give back to Him, because he has given me everything. There is no doubt in my mind that this church is true, I know it because I have seen its blessings throughout my life and especially during my life right now. I know it because I live it, I love it, I study it, and because the Holy Spirit has testified of its truthfulness to me.

Love
Elder Porter

Friday, August 19, 2016

First email from the MTC




Hey Everyone,
So I have been in the MTC for almost two weeks now and it is probably the hardest thing I have ever done! But before I get into that; in my district at the MTC there are 4 other missionaries going to my same mission: Elder Polad, Elder Stoddard (my companion), Hermana Jones, And Hermana Vasquez. My district is super nice but we all have gotten to know each other too fast, so we get super distracted at nights. My Branch President decided to make me, the only one besides my companion without Spanish experience, to be the District Leader. It was cool at first till I realized that a DL pretty much is a glorified babysitter. 

So the MTC is a beautiful place right in Mexico City, we hear gunshots (sorry Mom) and fireworks every night, but we are very safe. The hardest thing about being out here is learning Spanish. It was so bad after the second real day, that me and my companion were asking each other if it was too late to go English speaking. The reason we were overwhelmed is we had to teach a "investigator" in Spanish on that second day. But since then it’s gotten a lot easier, I still do not know Spanish very well but I am able to get through a lesson teaching one of our investigators with just the topic sentences in Spanish. The only problem is when they ask questions, I cannot understand half the words they say, so I always just hope I caught enough to answer the questions. The first time we taught with just bullet points on the lesson was a disaster but we have done well after that. 

The biggest thing that I have learned about God and Christ is that they are always willing to help if you ask them for it.... and if you don’t ask for it they won’t hesitate to let you know that the only reason you are doing so well is because of their help. So the story behind this goes like this: Elder Stoddard and I were going into our second lesson with our "investigator" and we had the whole thing written out so we would do well, and when it was our turn to teach we forgot to say a prayer to ask for help in teaching, and speaking and interpreting Spanish. We had no idea what was going on our whole lesson. we couldn’t understand Luis (our fake investigator who is actually our teacher Hermano Zamudio) at all and we were super frustrated because the lesson went worse than the first one did. But after that experience we have prayed around 50 times for help before we teach and it’s been going a lot better. I can testify that God is just waiting for you to ask for help and he will help you no matter how small or big the thing is. He is there, He loves you, and he will help you in any struggles or trials. 

I am super grateful for the experiences I have had in the MTC so far, even though it is super hard and stressful. Any of my friends going out on missions soon, the best advice I can give you is make sure you are prepared for 24/7 spirit, stress, and occasionally (not 24/7) wanting to cry yourself to sleep at night. Oh and if you are learning a language DON'T ASSUME YOU WILL JUST LEARN IT IN THE MTC.  That is the mistake I made and I wish I had studied more of espaƱol. 

Oh and to anyone who is interested, I have seen a lot of kids from Davis High here. I have seen Carlos Goff, Michael Moody, Matthew Mickinnan, some kid I had in my math class (sorry I forgot his name), and more often than not I catch a glimpse of some kid that may be me, but looks about 10 years older šŸ˜‰ sorry if I butchered the spelling of some of those guys names, spelling was never my strong suit even before espaƱol.

I love you all and hope you have all been having a great last little bit of summer! 

Mexico MTC


Elder Stoddard and Porter at the Temple


Elder Stoddard

Me